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Goshin
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Old
221 - 04-01-2010, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Senty View Post
Dude, you'd need to cover half the moon with lasers to reach near light and the nearest star.

Here's a question about solar sails though: if a photon hit a flat (perpendicular) surface would the resulting push be in a different direction than if the surface were at an angle?
a laser based system for reaching high amounts of c would be hundreds and hundreds of years into the future.
it wouldn't be set on a planetary body, but rather a battery set floating in space. easier to aim and no worries about a horizon or directional facing or blockage.

about the photons, it seems to me that if there was any weird angular momentum going on do to surface facing, it would be adjuster for by thrusters on the sail body that guide it toward's its destination.
 
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Goshin
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222 - 04-01-2010, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Rampancy View Post
i would like to know about all of these things
Solar sail - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Laser propulsion - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

space debris is an ongoing problem
a little tiny bolt or something is still travling 17thousand kmh or mph i forget and could destroy a spaceship or the ISS on impact if it cut through the outershell of the object


we're surrounding ourselves in a massive debris field that continues to grow and be a logistics nightmare for craft exiting or sitting around in Low Earth Orbit

Quote:
These objects consist of everything from spent rocket stages and defunct satellites to explosion and collision fragments. The debris can include slag and dust from solid rocket motors, surface degradation products such as paint flakes, coolant released by RORSAT nuclear powered satellites, clusters of small needles, and objects released due to the impact of micrometeoroids or fairly small debris onto spacecraft.[1] As the orbits of these objects often overlap the trajectories of spacecraft, debris is a potential collision risk.

The vast majority of the estimated tens of millions of pieces of space debris are small particles, like paint flakes and solid rocket fuel slag. Impacts of these particles cause erosive damage, similar to sandblasting. The majority of this damage can be mitigated through the use of a technique originally developed to protect spacecraft from micrometeorites, by adding a thin layer of metal foil outside of the main spacecraft body. Impacts take place at such high velocities that the debris is vaporized when it collides with the foil, and the resulting plasma spreads out quickly enough that it does not cause serious damage to the inner wall. However, not all parts of a spacecraft may be protected in this manner, i.e. solar panels and optical devices (such as telescopes, or star trackers), and these components are subject to constant wear by debris and micrometeorites.

The present means for spacecraft shielding, such as those used for the manned modules of the International Space Station, are only capable of protecting against debris with diameters below about 1 centimetre (0.39 in). The only remaining means of protection would be to maneuver the spacecraft in order to avoid a collision. This, however, requires that the orbit of the respective object be precisely known. The current equipment used to gather such information is only capable of tracking objects down to about 5 centimetres (2.0 in) diameter in low Earth orbit, and about 50 centimetres (20 in) in geosynchronous orbit. Out of the estimated 600,000 objects[1] above 1 centimetre (0.39 in) diameter, only 19,000 can be tracked as of today. This leads to wide uncertainties in the estimated quantities of debris, and the predicted path of their orbits.

If a collision with larger debris does occur, many of the resulting fragments from the damaged spacecraft will also be in the 1 kilogram (2.2 lb) mass range, and these objects become an additional collision risk. As the chance of collision is a function of the number of objects in space, there is a critical density where the creation of new debris occurs faster than the various natural forces that remove these objects from orbit. Beyond this point a runaway chain reaction can occur that quickly reduces all objects in orbit to debris in a period of years or months. This possibility is known as the "Kessler Syndrome", and there is debate as to whether or not this critical density has already been reached in certain orbital bands.
there are numerous propositions for cleaning up the debris field, and it's really a hard thing to grasp and tackle
for instance, a robotic tug that just swept up debris into something like a sticky trap (think mice/mosquitoes) wouldn't work, as a), it would constantly need to change its orbit to sweep new junk up and that would require massive propellant amounts and b) the junk would impact it at such high speeds that it might destroy the sweeper craft and add more debris to said field

i'll look up other ideas on how we can get rid of the debris field, but for now thats all i got based on memory
 
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Rampancy
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223 - 04-01-2010, 02:06 PM
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whoa. did not know all that.

cool ****, hope we find a way to clear all that stuff out and/or protect our spacecraft
 
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Goshin
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224 - 04-01-2010, 02:10 PM
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any other questions? theres so much info out there it's hard to focus on any one thing
so questions help me narrow down what next to post, or what to look out for if i run across any informations
 
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Senty
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225 - 04-01-2010, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
about the photons, it seems to me that if there was any weird angular momentum going on do to surface facing, it would be adjuster for by thrusters on the sail body that guide it toward's its destination.
Actually I was more interested in reducing the need to reboost satellites by shaping them as to take full advantage of photon impacts. Probably insignificant but it might add up over multiple orbits.
 
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Senty
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226 - 04-01-2010, 02:28 PM
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How well does the typical station window protect against radiation and space debris?
 
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Goshin
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227 - 04-01-2010, 02:41 PM
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ah, satellites wouldn't use solar sails within 800km of earth's boundaries, negating GEO and LEo satellites. The drag from the atmosphere would be too great, and a laser based system would require too much power to shoot into space to reboost said satellites anyway.

To slow down, the sail would need to pivot and face the sun so it doesnt keep going in one direction. This pivot device woulda add weight, complexity, and price to these satellites, so i dont see solar sails being used for 'station keeping' in L1/L2 either.

I think it would be best used for propulsion, or as that one link demonstrated, debris clean up by using drag caused by the atmosphere to sink junk.


the station windows (including the newly installed cupola) i would imagine are as durable as shuttle windows. One of the shuttle windows suffered a few MMOD strikes this last go around in space and preformed excellently. The ISS also has things that can shut over the windows to protect against potential larger strikes to the station.

Quote:
The windows are protected by external shutters, which can be opened by the crew inside with the simple turn of a wrist. Afterwards, the shutters are closed to protect the glass from micrometeoroids and orbital debris, and to prevent solar radiation from heating up Cupola or to avoid losing heat to space.
also, radiation the way you're thinking isn't a big deal near earth where the ISS and shuttle go to.
Once we leave the magnetosphere, then radiation gets to be tricky.
I'm not sure how windows handle that 'deep' space radiation
 
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slacker
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228 - 04-01-2010, 02:43 PM
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launch 20 small ion-engine ships that deploy a large foil/kevlar "wall," much like those used to vaporize small objects in to plasma. Then stack all of these ships in orbit as such:

Ship 1 -->
Ship 2 -->
Ship 3 -->
etc

EARTH

Essentially, onion-type layers of foil walls. Once in orbit, the 20 or so small, cheap ships cover a vertical range of .5-1 KM. Then, using the small, efficient ion rocket, slowly move all of the ships in unison towards higher orbits. If they orbit once every 90 minutes, that is 16 orbits per day. Moving at a climb rate of 1 km/hr, they could cover up to geosync orbit in a few months or less.

The hard parts:

This obviously only covers two of the three spacial dimensions. After one "pass," these craft would have to re-orient themselves to cover a different longitudinal path, and then go back down towards Earth. Adjust again, and go back up. This may take up to 4-5 years to perform a clean sweep of the sky.

Next, they would have to be able to avoid the real space stations and other craft in the sky. This maneuvering would take time and effort. Hopefully, with the small and efficient ion engines, the ships would not require refueling.

Finally, if their orbit direction and velocity were equal to some debris, they would never intersect paths. These pieces would miss completely. Thus, an entirely separate project orbiting in the opposite direction would be required to re-do the entire project (or do it at the same time).
 
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Last edited by slacker; 04-01-2010 at 02:50 PM.
Goshin
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229 - 04-01-2010, 02:52 PM
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or you could reorient the crafts to go the other direction or whatever

few things
propellant issues for ion engines (and getting better ion engines than what we currently have in operation)
drag issues on big sails
this only works for very small debris (this same foil is used on the ISS, but only helps for objects in size of .39inches), anything larger will punch a hole through the foil or explode it
expense (is it cost effective?...Nasa doens't get a whole lot of money unfortunately)
 
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Last edited by Goshin; 04-01-2010 at 03:02 PM.
Senty
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230 - 04-01-2010, 02:59 PM
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What was that thing that flew by during one of the shuttle tether experiments?
 
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Goshin
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231 - 04-01-2010, 03:04 PM
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can you narrow down the date or shuttle msision number?
 
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slacker
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232 - 04-01-2010, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
or you could reorient the crafts to go the other direction or whatever

few things
propellant issues for ion engines (and getting better ion engines than what we currently have in operation)
drag issues on big sails
this only works for very small debris (this same foil is used on the ISS, but only helps for objects in size of .39inches), anything larger will punch a hole through the foil or explode it
expense (is it cost effective?...Nasa doens't get a whole lot of money unfortunately)
Indeed. Few comments:

The ion engines are weak, but this mission isn't about speed. An ascent rate of .5 km/hr is easy to achieve.

Changing their direction would be tough. We would have to change them from 17,000 mph in one direction to 17,000mph in the other direction without losing orbit.

The sails could be smaller if you add more ships in the mix

The foil would actually be double foil-coated kevlar. This would increase the size of the debris that could be intercepted.

The missions could be by sponsored private companies. The space agencies of the world might contribute to the project because it increases the safety of their own ships in space.

By the end of the mission, the sails might be completely ****ed up, but hey, that's their job.
 
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Senty
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233 - 04-01-2010, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
can you narrow down the date or shuttle msision number?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMe4TD6svH8
I for one welcome our space fuzz overlords


Has there been any new news on Virgin Galactic? I thought they were supposed to begin operation sometime this year.
 
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Last edited by Senty; 04-01-2010 at 04:13 PM.
Goshin
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234 - 04-01-2010, 05:48 PM
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ya, first sub orbital test by 2011 i believe
operations sometime in 2011
 
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DocHolliday
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235 - 04-01-2010, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by MasterPudge View Post
Indeed. Few comments:

The ion engines are weak, but this mission isn't about speed. An ascent rate of .5 km/hr is easy to achieve.

Changing their direction would be tough. We would have to change them from 17,000 mph in one direction to 17,000mph in the other direction without losing orbit.

The sails could be smaller if you add more ships in the mix

The foil would actually be double foil-coated kevlar. This would increase the size of the debris that could be intercepted.

The missions could be by sponsored private companies. The space agencies of the world might contribute to the project because it increases the safety of their own ships in space.

By the end of the mission, the sails might be completely ****ed up, but hey, that's their job.
Launch 6 then. 3 going one way and 3 going the other. Bound to catch it all if both groups cover the whole sky.

I am no rocket scientist, but what I do know tells me that the amount of energy it would take to reverse ones orbit would be insanely high. Maybe some orbital trick where it slowly adjusts it orbit over the course of a long time until its orbiting the opposite direction? Not sure on the terminology to describe what I am thinking about.


EDIT: Found a pic which might help me explain what I am thinking about. Not sure if its possible with ION engines. This is me taking my limited knowledge and trying to apply it to something very complex.



Any vehicle launched into orbit will have a orbit angle. I was thinking maybe its possible to slowly adjust this angle over the course of a long time until you are orbiting the opposite direction in which you started. You still use the same amount of energy, but its done over the course of a very long time. Something an ION engine was built for.
 
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Last edited by DocHolliday; 04-01-2010 at 06:12 PM.
Senty
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236 - 04-01-2010, 06:10 PM
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The UN should just create a fund to penalize those who leave junk behind and through that fund private clean up efforts.
 
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Senty
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237 - 04-01-2010, 06:14 PM
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Wasn't there some cooperation announced a while back between Bigelow Aerospace and Virgin Galactic? I can't find any mention of it.
 
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Goshin
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238 - 04-01-2010, 06:31 PM
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no probably not

VG can't obtain orbit, and it would take significant funds and reworkings of plans to achieve said orbit

bigelow is specifically in it for space and deep space modules and anything orbit related
he's just waiting for a commericial company to finally be able to reach orbit consistently and be able to put people up
then he can launch his modules and create his space hotel or space labs or whatever

they were talks of changing the ISS orbit to be used as a moon waypoint between earth and the moon (lay over area) but getting it into the 28.5 inclination is costly in terms of propellant used and installing the engines, for very little payoff
propellant usage for these things would be huge dudes
 
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Goshin
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239 - 04-15-2010, 01:43 PM
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president is giving a speech today about space flight and the new course for america
Prior to this speech, Elon Musk has issued this statement:


Elon seems to know what the president is going to say!


SpaceX release:

At Long Last, an Inspiring Future for Space Exploration

The Apollo Moon landing was one of humanity***8217;s greatest achievements. Millennia from now, when the vast majority of the 20th century is reduced to a few footnotes known only to erudite scholars of history, they will still remember that was when we first set foot upon a heavenly body. It was a mere 66 years after the first powered airplane flight by the Wright brothers.

In the 41 years that have passed since 1969, we have yet to surpass that achievement in human spaceflight. Since then, our capability has actually declined considerably and to a degree that would yield shocked disbelief from anyone in that era. By now, we were supposed to have a base on the Moon, perhaps even on Mars, and have sent humans traveling on great odysseys to the outer planets. Instead, we have been confined to low Earth orbit and even that ends this year with the retirement of the Space Shuttle.

In 2003, following the Columbia accident, President Bush began development of a system to replace the Shuttle, called the Ares I rocket and Orion spacecraft. It is important to note that this too would only have been able to reach low Earth orbit. Many in the media mistakenly assumed it was capable of reaching the Moon. As is not unusual with large government programs, the schedule slipped by several years and costs ballooned by tens of billions.

By the time President Obama cancelled Ares I/Orion earlier this year, the schedule had already slipped five years to 2017 and completing development would have required another $50 billion. Moreover, the cost per flight, inclusive of overhead, was estimated to be at least $1.5 billion compared to the $1 billion of Shuttle, despite carrying only four people to Shuttle***8217;s seven and almost no cargo.

The President quite reasonably concluded that spending $50 billion to develop a vehicle that would cost 50% more to operate, but carry 50% less payload was perhaps not the best possible use of funds. To quote a member of the Augustine Commission, which was convened by the President to analyze Ares/Orion, ***8220;If Santa Claus brought us the system tomorrow, fully developed, and the budget didn***8217;t change, our next action would have to be to cancel it,***8221; because we can***8217;t afford the annual operating costs.

Cancellation was therefore simply a matter of time and thankfully we have a President with the political courage to do the right thing sooner rather than later. We can ill afford the expense of an ***8220;Apollo on steroids***8221;, as a former NASA Administrator referred to the Ares/Orion program. A lesser President might have waited until after the upcoming election cycle, not caring that billions more dollars would be wasted. It was disappointing to see how many in Congress did not possess this courage. One senator in particular was determined to achieve a new altitude record in hypocrisy, claiming that the public option was bad in healthcare, but good in space!

Thankfully, as a result of funds freed up by this cancellation, there is now hope for a bright future in space exploration. The new plan is to harness our nation***8217;s unparalleled system of free enterprise (as we have done in all other modes of transport), to create far more reliable and affordable rockets. Handing over Earth orbit transport to American commercial companies, overseen of course by NASA and the FAA, will free up the NASA resources necessary to develop interplanetary transport technologies. This is critically important if we are to reach Mars, the next giant leap in human exploration of the Universe.

Today, the President will articulate an ambitious and exciting new plan that will alter our destiny as a species. I believe this address could be as important as President Kennedy***8217;s 1962 speech at Rice University. For the first time since Apollo, our country will have a plan for space exploration that inspires and excites all who look to the stars. Even more important, it will work.

--Elon--


interesting stuff. In all actuality, going commericial completely does help us a lot, and does cut costs (even for Direct's Jupiter)
we'll see what happens i guess!
 
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Daemon
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240 - 04-15-2010, 01:50 PM
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I hear direct is completely out now
 
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