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Rocket Engines

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Space and Planetary Science' started by amusicsite, 27 Apr 2012.

  1. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
  2. Shaun

    Shaun Über Geek

    Hmmm ... Looks a bit like a longer and fatter SR-71 Blackbird (with multi-payload capability aparently) - but presumably the scale of this "plane" will be much larger, so it sounds like the engines will need to be something very special to get it up and out of the atmosphere.

    I always wonder about where the funding for stuff like this comes from? The report mentioned the $250 million next phase - not small change by any reckoning. Presumably investors get something in return other than a warm, fuzzy, I've-done-something-for-the-future-of-humanity feeling?
     
  3. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    Well as you noticed it looks like the SR-71 Blackbird. This is also being developed by BAE systems which is a leading defense supplier.

    A multi-payload space plane that can fly over any country from a great height... I can see a military use for that. I'm sure that governments around the world will sump up the money for it as a spy plane / weapons carrier. They may even make one or two for the occasional science trip too.
     
    Shaun likes this.
  4. Shaun

    Shaun Über Geek

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ion_thruster

    Something I've heard mentioned before and was prompted to look at again by the book I'm reading at the moment, but this really threw me:

    I'd imagined masses of thrust and a white hot tail stretching out the back like chemically fueled rockets.

    Further reading of the Deep Space 1 mission shows the engine fired for 678 total days - a record for such engines at the time (1998).

    The Dawn spacecraft, launched in 2007, was the next testbed for ion thrusters and is currently completing the first part of its mission to orbit asteroid Vesta and will head to Ceres, which it is scheduled to reach in February 2015.

    I've also learned a little bit more about the science of ion thrusters this morning too, which was not how I'd imagined they worked.

    Cheers,
    Shaun :D
     
    amusicsite likes this.
  5. BoforsGun

    BoforsGun Über Geek

    Location:
    UK
    What was the book you were / are reading?

    Amazing stuff!
     
  6. Shaun

    Shaun Über Geek



    That's a long way up for just a two-minute ride ... :)
     
  7. classic33

    classic33 Über Geek

    So. How do you plan on getting back down!
     
  8. BoforsGun

    BoforsGun Über Geek

    Location:
    UK
    Their speedo must be massive!
     
  9. BoforsGun

    BoforsGun Über Geek

    Location:
    UK
    At 5:01 is that the sound from the Alien film?!?!?!
     
  10. classic33

    classic33 Über Geek

    Seeing the odd bursts of flame coming out of the side reminds me of the Challenger disaster.
     
  11. BoforsGun

    BoforsGun Über Geek

    Location:
    UK
    Amazing how good the footage is all the way through.
     
  12. classic33

    classic33 Über Geek

  13. BoforsGun

    BoforsGun Über Geek

    Location:
    UK
    I'd love to be around to see that when it happens, I may be a little old by then though! :cry:
     
    classic33 likes this.
  14. Alex H

    Alex H Senior Geek

    Location:
    Central France
  15. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
  16. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    http://www.sciencealert.com/nasa-sc...ulsion-system-that-could-reach-mars-in-3-days

    An interesting advance on the laser propulsion concept. Fire lasers from earth to get up to 1/3 the speed of light to get around space quicker. Not sure how breaking would work though.

    I'd imagine, if it works the next phase would be to use lasers in space to do this. This could even provide the breaking needed to slow down. Either with some sort of nuclear power or huge solar arrays that provide the power for the space lasers you could have one near earth and one near mars. Speeding you up on exit then slowing you down the other end.

    Sounds promising and could be the breakthrough needed to make inter solar human space travel a real possibility... As well as the potential to send out space probes at nearly the speed of light to check out other systems.
     
    beanz and BoforsGun like this.
  17. beanz

    beanz Staff Member Staff Member

    I can't decide what's likely to happen first: whether technology of propulsion in 'normal' space is going to solve the problem of travelling the immense distances between celestial objects before there is a breakthrough that permits the actual warping of space as a means of travel. Either way, reducing the time factor is a really exciting field of science.
     
  18. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    I think space warping is a long way off, if even possible. Where as the speed we can travel with some sort of propulsion is likely to steadily increase. If we manage to send even a minute probe into another solar system in my lifetime I'd be well chuffed.
     
  19. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
  20. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    Or EM Drive as commonly known.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RF_resonant_cavity_thruster

    Well NASA have just released their peer review details of how it works.

    http://arc.aiaa.org/doi/10.2514/1.B36120