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Old Oct 05, 2013, 6:12pm   #11
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is there a reason the laser is on the ground in the first place if you're using a satellite as a relay?
I figured the satellite couldn't achieve the necessary power. Maybe a nuclear satellite could.
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as you know (which is the internationally accepted way of introducing an important point the other person probably knows but you don't want to make them look like an idiot if they don't nor talk down to them if they do) g forces are caused by acceleration rather than velocity. when you're fighting the gravity of the Earth you want to create as much thrust as possible as quickly as possible. in space you can afford to be a bit more sedate.
Yes, I am aware of this. I suppose way out in the future with star trek type ships, a constant 1 G acceleration would make the trip more comfortable for humans whether the ship is constant accelerating, or spinning.

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but putting people in space is a bit meh. the only real reason for a manned mission to, say, Mars at this point is publicity. the logistics of sending a man to mars (and getting him back) are insane. when you consider how much space and weight would have to be given over to keeping him alive, and how many little robots to dig holes and play with soil you could fit in that space...
but if it sparked a renewed public interest in space exploration, and all the funding that comes with that, it might actually be worth it.
Exactly. A sample return mission would make more sense. It could even be funded by selling a portion of the samples. Considering the cost of moon rocks, martian rocks would be significantly more.
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well yeah, lightest possible fuel plus oxygen but we're both being careful here in case some bright spark has discovered a bizarre reaction that liberates a greater fraction of of chemical energy from matter than hydrogen combustion.
I posted the question on yahoo answers. But have not heard back. i asked something along the lines of what chemical bond either forming or breaking yields the greatest amount of energy per mass.


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i like the idea of using the same hydrogen for bouyancy and then as fuel. the logistics might be tricky but it has a certain elegance.

the idea has been floated before, pardon the pun. google "space blimp".
Just googled it, sounds like some more work in better materials would be needed. It sounds like it is possible though in the not too distant future. Whether or not it could be cheaper than conventional rockets remains to be seen.

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all science contributes to all other science. the wider your base of knowledge, the higher the peaks in it can be. maybe you and your team perfect a really awesome burger relish which makes a 50s style diner the exciting lunch time hangout for nerdy 20 year olds with limited sexual experience from the department of hard sums at the university of equations with lots of greek letters in them. then one day while he's waiting for his tofu burger on a gluten free bun, poindexter q nerdstereotype find himself playing with the old style napkin dispenser and hits on this brilliant idea for a launch assembly based on a really big spring, right when a more handsome, manlier scientist bursts through the door and announces that they're discovered cold fusion and can they please borrow the ice cream machine to test it.

Kc
Ahh, cold fusion would solve lots of problems. More than likely it would be the soup I perfected, not the relish, but right idea

-d
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Old Oct 06, 2013, 1:04am   #12
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is there a reason the laser is on the ground in the first place if you're using a satellite as a relay?
I figured the satellite couldn't achieve the necessary power. Maybe a nuclear satellite could.
so we are going to use to laser to power the satellite's laser in some way?

or is your satellite just a big mirror?

Quote:
Yes, I am aware of this. I suppose way out in the future with star trek type ships, a constant 1 G acceleration would make the trip more comfortable for humans whether the ship is constant accelerating, or spinning.
it feels like breaking is going to be more stressful than accelerating tbh.

what we need are inertia dampers, and you have to figure that we'll come up with something suitable by the time we're thinking seriously about missions of this kind of complexity.

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Exactly. A sample return mission would make more sense. It could even be funded by selling a portion of the samples. Considering the cost of moon rocks, martian rocks would be significantly more.
mm. not sure about this to be honest. i mean, i can buy a gram of mars for less than $1k. those moon rocks you hear about with insane prices attached either (i) are really really big or (ii) have especially significant provenance or (iii) aren't for sale and someone is being a bit sensationalist. also have to consider that the ones of any significance don't come on the market very often; if you tried to actually operate some kind of martian mining concern, you might very quickly reach a point where you have more rocks than customers and no real market.

now, what intrigues me, is NASA's failure to embrace space tourism. so far everyone who's had a holiday on the ISS has booked passage with the Russian Bureau of Firing Rich Americans Into The Sky...surely there is some money to be had here.

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I posted the question on yahoo answers. But have not heard back. i asked something along the lines of what chemical bond either forming or breaking yields the greatest amount of energy per mass.
i don't see how it can be anything other than H-H. The next lightest compound is LiH with a relative atomic mass four times that of H2. also it's ionic rather than covalent.

in any case this is predicated on my saying something silly. we aren't actually concerned with how much energy we can liberate but how much useful energy we can liberate. we're looking for maximum possible thrust, which, right now, means expansion of gases.

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Just googled it, sounds like some more work in better materials would be needed. It sounds like it is possible though in the not too distant future. Whether or not it could be cheaper than conventional rockets remains to be seen.
well...we should pause and note that the russians are still using soyuz rockets...which have been in service since 1966. we might also note that they have a better (lower) failure rate than the shuttle. i think we might have to accept that, as simple as a rocket is...it's actually really fucking good at the job it's designed for.

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Ahh, cold fusion would solve lots of problems. More than likely it would be the soup I perfected, not the relish, but right idea
why is it some sort of gazpacho? or borscht? it's borscht isn't it. and it's such a fun word to say.

we need to keep this thread going. the Pens have scored 2 goals in the first period of both games i've watched while posting in this thread and i love a nice nonsensical superstition.

Kc
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Old Oct 06, 2013, 5:28am   #13
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so we are going to use to laser to power the satellite's laser in some way?

or is your satellite just a big mirror?
Sure you would lose a little efficiency by using a laser to power a laser, but I just don't see how an earth based laser could be precise enough to power a distant moving object, where as an earth based laser could probably power a geostationary satellite and the satellite with a lack of atmosphere to get in the way could hopefully be precise enough to power a distant moving object. If a mirror could do this, great, but I'm not sure it could. Maybe some sort of fiberoptic to bend it.



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feels like breaking is going to be more stressful than accelerating tbh.

what we need are inertia dampers, and you have to figure that we'll come up with something suitable by the time we're thinking seriously about missions of this kind of complexity.
Breaking into an atmosphere could probably be controlled by very careful trajectories. If I recall correctly, didn't the Martian rover missions save on lots of fuel weight by grazing the atmosphere to slow down prior to the actual entry?
On Earth, air bags and crumple zones seem to be the extent of inertial dampeners at least for split seconds. I honestly have no better ideas other than series of springs or puffs of air or something.

Quote:
mm. not sure about this to be honest. i mean, i can buy a gram of mars for less than $1k. those moon rocks you hear about with insane prices attached either (i) are really really big or (ii) have especially significant provenance or (iii) aren't for sale and someone is being a bit sensationalist. also have to consider that the ones of any significance don't come on the market very often; if you tried to actually operate some kind of martian mining concern, you might very quickly reach a point where you have more rocks than customers and no real market.
Yeah, it may not fund it all, but just pull something similar to like what DeBeers does with diamonds. Obviously as supply goes up, price goes down, so just make sure the amount available to the public is very limited. Most would be used for research anyway.


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now, what intrigues me, is NASA's failure to embrace space tourism. so far everyone who's had a holiday on the ISS has booked passage with the Russian Bureau of Firing Rich Americans Into The Sky...surely there is some money to be had here.
Part of it is that NASA isn't in the space tourism business and the bureaucracy would probably never allow it. That and the Russians would be able to do it cheaper anyway. Your right though, you'd think NASA would want to. Fortunately private companies seem to be picking up on this and in say 20 years, there will be regular flights up in space. Maybe in my life time it will be affordable for middle class people to go into orbit.


Quote:

i don't see how it can be anything other than H-H. The next lightest compound is LiH with a relative atomic mass four times that of H2. also it's ionic rather than covalent.

in any case this is predicated on my saying something silly. we aren't actually concerned with how much energy we can liberate but how much useful energy we can liberate. we're looking for maximum possible thrust, which, right now, means expansion of gases.
I just don't know enough about chemical bonds. Maybe removing all of the deuterium from all of the fuel would help a little bit, but that's only a few percent. I don't know if the cost of doing that would exceed the cost saved from reduced weight. Furthermore I don't know if the neutron affects the energy of the bond or not. EDIT, I guess deuterium is only 0.02%, so never mind.


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well...we should pause and note that the russians are still using soyuz rockets...which have been in service since 1966. we might also note that they have a better (lower) failure rate than the shuttle. i think we might have to accept that, as simple as a rocket is...it's actually really fucking good at the job it's designed for.
Yeah, it still amazes me that some old technology still stands the test of time. It's 2013 where the fuck is my flying car? I'm still driving around in 100 year old technology.


Quote:

why is it some sort of gazpacho? or borscht? it's borscht isn't it. and it's such a fun word to say.

we need to keep this thread going. the Pens have scored 2 goals in the first period of both games i've watched while posting in this thread and i love a nice nonsensical superstition.

Kc
I do make a pretty good gazpacho. Haven't worked on borscht yet. I typically make water add only dry mixes. They fool the vast majority of people. Freeze dried ingredients are pretty amazing - when rehydrated properly, the taste and texture is no different than fresh cooked.

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Old Oct 06, 2013, 3:54pm   #14
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Sure you would lose a little efficiency by using a laser to power a laser, but I just don't see how an earth based laser could be precise enough to power a distant moving object, where as an earth based laser could probably power a geostationary satellite and the satellite with a lack of atmosphere to get in the way could hopefully be precise enough to power a distant moving object. If a mirror could do this, great, but I'm not sure it could. Maybe some sort of fiberoptic to bend it.
you probably don't want your satellite to be geostationary because it will spend a huge portion of its time out of position, with a big hulking rock in between it and the ship. this also presents a challenge in powering the satellite from earth.

and the atmospheric extinction problem is equally true whether you're trying to reach an object in orbit or an object at jupiter.

not sold on lasers for exploration beyond, say, the Moon. seems like we have better options in any case.

Quote:
Breaking into an atmosphere could probably be controlled by very careful trajectories. If I recall correctly, didn't the Martian rover missions save on lots of fuel weight by grazing the atmosphere to slow down prior to the actual entry?
i like how we both spasticked the word braking.

aerobraking is fine for rocky bodies with atmospheres. there aren't many of those but they're probably the ones where we're going to be most interested in dumping people.

Quote:
On Earth, air bags and crumple zones seem to be the extent of inertial dampeners at least for split seconds. I honestly have no better ideas other than series of springs or puffs of air or something.
what we want is something that can harvest braking energy. like how brakes in a car create heat; use that heat for something, like cooking the celebratory ramen.

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Yeah, it may not fund it all, but just pull something similar to like what DeBeers does with diamonds.
you mean kill lots of black people?

Quote:
Obviously as supply goes up, price goes down, so just make sure the amount available to the public is very limited. Most would be used for research anyway.
value to research is almost certainly going to be greater than what you could get flogging the things.

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Part of it is that NASA isn't in the space tourism business and the bureaucracy would probably never allow it.
nor was Roscosmos until someone asked them how much it would cost.

I think a much bigger part of it is, NASA don't have any space ships right now. since they retired the shuttle in 2011, everything's gone up in a Russian rocket.

And given that the shuttle was designed to be retired in the 90s...how the fuck is NASA in this position?

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Fortunately private companies seem to be picking up on this and in say 20 years, there will be regular flights up in space. Maybe in my life time it will be affordable for middle class people to go into orbit.
woo! five minutes of suborbital weightlessness for just a quarter of a million bucks...

yeah. no.

Quote:
I just don't know enough about chemical bonds. Maybe removing all of the deuterium from all of the fuel would help a little bit, but that's only a few percent. I don't know if the cost of doing that would exceed the cost saved from reduced weight. Furthermore I don't know if the neutron affects the energy of the bond or not. EDIT, I guess deuterium is only 0.02%, so never mind.
yeah. i agree

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Yeah, it still amazes me that some old technology still stands the test of time. It's 2013 where the fuck is my flying car? I'm still driving around in 100 year old technology.
cars have almost certainly evolved more than rockets have over at least the course of our lifetimes.

Quote:
I do make a pretty good gazpacho. Haven't worked on borscht yet. I typically make water add only dry mixes. They fool the vast majority of people. Freeze dried ingredients are pretty amazing - when rehydrated properly, the taste and texture is no different than fresh cooked.
Gordon Ramsay hates you.

also it's a good thing it wasn't borscht: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-24411365

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Old Oct 07, 2013, 7:41pm   #15
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you probably don't want your satellite to be geostationary because it will spend a huge portion of its time out of position, with a big hulking rock in between it and the ship. this also presents a challenge in powering the satellite from earth.
and the atmospheric extinction problem is equally true whether you're trying to reach an object in orbit or an object at jupiter.
Yes, it would be out of position, but the idea was when it's out of position, it beams the laser to another satellite in a network for the relay. With an atmosphere getting in the way, it would be more feasible to beam something to a geostationary satellite. There is a much shorter delay too with the speed of light.
Quote:
not sold on lasers for exploration beyond, say, the Moon. seems like we have better options in any case.
I would agree, but I do think if the technology is perfected, it would have lots of applications on Earth.
Quote:
aerobraking is fine for rocky bodies with atmospheres. there aren't many of those but they're probably the ones where we're going to be most interested in dumping people.
what we want is something that can harvest braking energy. like how brakes in a car create heat; use that heat for something, like cooking the celebratory ramen.
There has been some mumblings about landing on an asteroid prior to mars. Maybe gravity assisted braking opposite of gravity boosts?? If it’s a people mission, that would probably require going way out of the way and tacking on months would probably require supplies that exceed the weight of braking. Once again a more efficient fuel would come in handy.
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value to research is almost certainly going to be greater than what you could get flogging the things.
Yeah, obviously, but rich rock collectors would like to have a piece of history. I don’t know if they would want it enough to pay for the mission.
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Fortunately private companies seem to be picking up on this and in say 20 years, there will be regular flights up in space. Maybe in my life time it will be affordable for middle class people to go into orbit.
Quote:
woo! five minutes of suborbital weightlessness for just a quarter of a million bucks...
yeah. no.
I don’t see it working out with suborbital flights, it would have to be multiple orbits. Just taking a stab that in 20 years, it may be available. Already there is the vomit comet which is reasonable in cost for a middle class person who really wants to feel weightlessness in 30 second bursts.
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cars have almost certainly evolved more than rockets have over at least the course of our lifetimes.
Yeah they have, but fundamentally 90%+ of cars on the road are still internal combustion engines. Rockets still spew stuff out one end to get thrust.

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Gordon Ramsay hates you.
Kc
I’m sure he does. I actually considered trying out for that show where he yells at everyone because I thought it would be interesting to have a scientist on the show. But then I realized I have no line cook experience and it seems the ones with line cook experience do the best. I’m sure my chili is better than his though

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Old Oct 08, 2013, 1:30pm   #16
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I feel like this whole space travel thing is not really going anywhere. Thats why I think we should work with what's closest to us: the moon. Just bomb some chemicals up there, sprinkle some water over it and -BOOM- atmosphere.

And I prefer minestrone to a gazpacho or borscht although I sometimes make my own version of borscht with potatoes and sausages which has nothing in common with borscht but I call it borscht anyway because borscht.
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Old Oct 08, 2013, 2:28pm   #17
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I feel like this whole space travel thing is not really going anywhere. Thats why I think we should work with what's closest to us: the moon. Just bomb some chemicals up there, sprinkle some water over it and -BOOM- atmosphere.
the Moon lacks the mass to hold an atmosphere and the magnetic field to protect it from the Solar wind.

Quote:
And I prefer minestrone to a gazpacho or borscht although I sometimes make my own version of borscht with potatoes and sausages which has nothing in common with borscht but I call it borscht anyway because borscht.
you could call it wurscht?

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Old Oct 08, 2013, 3:26pm   #18
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Yes, it would be out of position, but the idea was when it's out of position, it beams the laser to another satellite in a network for the relay. With an atmosphere getting in the way, it would be more feasible to beam something to a geostationary satellite. There is a much shorter delay too with the speed of light.
one way or another, with an Earth based laser you have a rotation problem to solve. and there is still the extinction problem. if we are going to faff about with lasers, I much prefer a satellite as the point of origin.

Quote:
(re: lasers) I would agree, but I do think if the technology is perfected, it would have lots of applications on Earth.
possibly, but we don't need to have some grandiose space related plan to develop laser related technologies.

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(re: aerobraking) There has been some mumblings about landing on an asteroid prior to mars. Maybe gravity assisted braking opposite of gravity boosts?? If it’s a people mission, that would probably require going way out of the way and tacking on months would probably require supplies that exceed the weight of braking. Once again a more efficient fuel would come in handy.
thing about gravitational slingshots is, you need a small number of large bodies to all be in just the right place and just the right time. if Voyager had missed its window we'd have had to wait another 200 years for the same opportunity to present itself.

gravity assisted breaking sounds like a thing that should be easily achieved, but the more I think about it the more complex it becomes. aerobraking is simple. it's just drag. a force applied in direct opposition to momentum. gravity cannot be applied in direct opposition, except when you are trying to escape the gravity of a body...so lets say we decide to visit Titan. we can either faff about getting into the perfect orbit around Saturn and then break that orbit and head for Titan where we have to do the same again...or we can just get ourselves into the perfect orbit around Titan.

all of this stems from a G force problem anyway, a problem I'm not convinced exists. the forces felt from (comparatively mild) acceleration and deceleration in space will be significantly less than those felt by astronauts attempting to leave and return to Earth in conventional rockets today. the internet informs me that Apollo 16's reentry entailed a force of 7.19 G. I think we'll be fine.

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(mars rocks) Yeah, obviously, but rich rock collectors would like to have a piece of history.
yeah, they will buy a tiny tiny piece for a couple of hundred bucks, just like people do with meteorites.

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(space tourism) I don’t see it working out with suborbital flights, it would have to be multiple orbits. Just taking a stab that in 20 years, it may be available.
well, this is exactly what companies like Virgin Galactic are offering. i think they have orbital flights planned with no particular timetable. of course, Branson probably isn't as famous in America as he is here, and what he is principally known for is failing to cross the Atlantic. Also for trains that are just pish.

the ISS orbits in about 90 minutes. that seems like a reasonable thing to aim for. if we were starting a space tourism company which we aren't.

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(re: cars vs rockets) Yeah they have, but fundamentally 90%+ of cars on the road are still internal combustion engines. Rockets still spew stuff out one end to get thrust.
and I don't think there are any proposals on the table that would negate the need for spewing something out the back end to create thrust. oh well.

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(re: Gordon Ramsay hates you.)
I’m sure he does. I actually considered trying out for that show where he yells at everyone
that narrows it down.

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because I thought it would be interesting to have a scientist on the show. But then I realized I have no line cook experience and it seems the ones with line cook experience do the best. I’m sure my chili is better than his though
there is always one who goes deep with no line cook experience through pluck or tryhard. your goal would be to outlast the bolshy african american woman stereotype that everybody hates.

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Old Oct 08, 2013, 10:52pm   #19
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Too much of a pain to keep quoting, so I'm just gonna type out a reply.
What do you all think of legume soups? Lentil, black bean, split pea, etc? I think I've just about perfected my split pea and ham soup. But to make it into a concentrate that's just as good will take some time.
I forgot to mention, another reason for not trying out for the show is that first prize would be like hell to me. Why would I want to run my own restaurant? That's about the worst job there is. Reminds me of a bad joke. First prize is a one week trip to northern Siberia in the winter. Second Prize is a one month trip to northern Siberia in the winter. Can't I just have a million dollars or round trip to the ISS instead?
Not to beat a dead horse, but for the laser thing, it would originate from the satellite, but a way to power it would be from the ground. I think just making a nuclear powered satellite network would probably suffice though.
Referring to gravity assistance, I believe you are pretty much right on. Unless something lines up perfectly, it’s probably much easier to just brute force it. One note though, with non-human exploration, I think it vehicles could be designed for much higher g forces. Maybe a series of 100 g explosions would make more sense to get something to where it needs to be. But then again when your distance is huge, maybe a much steadier .05 g would make more sense. I really don’t know. I just know it’s much easier to move something quick with an explosion than a controlled explosion. I recall reading about a nuclear bomb test in which a big block of heavy metal was put on top of the bomb to see if it could hit escape velocity on earth. With a super highspeed camera, it only managed to get one shot of the block before it was out of view. Based on that, they could determine it was well past escape velocity and most likely burnt up before leaving the atmosphere. To be able to channel that energy usefully would be incredible. But yeah, as you mentioned with the Apollo astronauts, nothing typically gets past a about 10g. In fact I don’t even think they test past 12g in the centrifuges. If during reentry it gets much past that, the heat shield won’t be able to handle it and it would burn up anyway.
Yeah, I don’t think Virgin or any other company is going to sell a lot of tickets beyond the initial batch if they can’t even orbit. I’m not sure what the additional fuel requirements are to orbit versus where they are at now. Even if it’s 3 times the cost, they would sell more than three times the tickets. Just my opinion though.
By the way, there is no way to propel something in space without some sort of propellant, right? Intuitively it make sense, but it really cuts down on ways to move things. Sure you can change spinning by shifting the center of mass and whatnot, but I don’t think you can change the overall velocity.
Anyway, I’ve got work to do.

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Old Oct 10, 2013, 6:49pm   #20
darryl
Still can't quit day job.
 
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I did a little digging.
'Relative Effectiveness' on the wikipedia indicates that Octanitrocubane is the most powerful (currently known to man) chemical explosive. It doesn't mention how that compares to hydrogen/oxygen though.

Interestingly enough octanitrocubane has an RE of 2.38. Compare this to the Tsar Bomba of 2,100,000 which had the Russians used the uranium tamper instead of lead, it would have been about double. So yeah, nuclear fission or fusion is the way to go if it can be controlled.

Edit: So I'm just thinking, light weight fuel may not make the most sense since really you need high momentum spewing out the the rocket, not just high velocity. I'm guessing current rocket fuels are probably close to the most efficient we will achieve.

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Last edited by darryl; Oct 10, 2013 at 8:10pm.
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