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first interplanetary spaceships

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Z

ZenGalacticore

Guest
JeffreyNYA":273d9p8j said:
JasonChapman":273d9p8j said:
Hello, I'm a new kid on the block. I very much like the look of this site, a busy forum.
So I'll dive right in.

I have often wondered, when we finally manage to start manned missions to the other planets in our solar system what our first interplanetary spaceship would look like. Given the size of our solar system would conventional rocket ships do the job? I have created this illustration of what we might design in the future.



I'm currently working on Santa Maria MKII Unlike the ship above the SM MKII will be capable of faster than light travel.
Thanks
Jason Chapman

Think the main issue with your design like most others is that its to big, to complicated and far to expensive to be even worth it at this point. And until we have a manufacturing base and shipyard actually in space, then it will remain that way.

What is truly needed is many small cookie cutter pieces that you can stick together with an engine. Say 5 modules from Bigalow with an extra designed for high radiation periods. With something like this it would be possible to build a fleet of ships quickly. I am sure there are other parts of this. but if ways can be found to mass produce parts that can just be bolted together and can be flown on something other tahn a 1 billion dollar rocket, then we have a chance. Now if you want to start landing places, I think you need to do things like moons and asteroids to setup outpost to see what we really can do with them. Once we are able to produce fuel and parts in space we will be well on our way to setting up bases on planets. But we need to do the first things first.
Ah yes, Jeffrey, but we can still DREAM! You ought to see my version of the 'Hydrogen Scoop' relativity/velocity starship. It's,... well, I'm not for divulging my stuff until it's copyrighted! ;)
 
W

williammook

Guest
Someone mentioned cost. Cost is only associated with the development of a thing. Once fully developed, costs need not remain high. One of the reasons costs for space travel remain high is that the US and other nations have missile proliferatoin controls in place. These restrictions on information and discussion of technique are supposed to secure us from everyone having an ICBM, but it also limits what we can do in space. After all, if you can orbit the Earth and navigate to a distant planet, you can send a payload from one point on Earth to any other. Great for package delivery, but not great for the recipient if the package happens to be an atomic bomb.

But, imagine a world where such restrictions are not needed. We live in a world where these restrictions cause more harm than good. What is the use of missile proliferation controls in a world where North Korea, Pakistan and Iran have the ability to orbit payloads and explode atomic bombs? The only people in the dark, out of the loop are business folk. Criminals will have the bomb before Ford and that's too damn bad. Heck, criminals made it possible for Pakistan to get the bomb in the first place, criminal elements probably ALREADY have nukes.

So, why do businesses need nukes? Give me my loan or I'll blow up this bank and all of its branches! That was a joke back in the day.

The point is, micro-nukes, magnetic nozzles, and rocket tech make amazing things possible - and they have been possible for over 60 years. We have restricted knowledge, and discussion even with the notion that it would secure us against nuclear attack.

Well terrorists have attacked us and the have nukes and ICBMs or are on their way to getting them. Meanwhile business is in the dark.

Why does business need nuclear explosives and rocket tech?

The power of these things is tremendous! Imagine a spaceship in every garage built around these things. Now, imagine the same technology that makes deep space travel possible, in every home. Providing unlimited power and recycling everything.

That's what Lewis Strauss, director of the Atomic Energy Commission meant when he said in 1954, our children and grand children in 1970 will have power that is too cheap to meter. This pissed off the oil interests and Eisenhower fired him. Partly because of politics but mostly because high temp nuclear power -using micro-nukes was highly classified at that time. Still largely classified today.

Since that time, under Nixon, Eisenhower's VP in 1954, the oil companies switched to mid-Eastern oil rather than develop these highly effective power plants, which lead to our current mess, politically, economically, and environmentally.

When I was in graduate school at the Ohio State University in Aerospace, I worked on a project to determine how to keep a complex spaceship in good repair during the 3 year journey. How many spares do you take? Why not make what you need in transit? How do you efficiently do that? This is important.

Imagine a home sitting in the wilderness powered by nuclear fusion and recycling everything. Making fresh water and air even out of stale water and air. Taking garbage and broken appliances and a very small amount of raw material, and using nuclear fusion making of them elemental materials again. Then, using data supplied from space through a global internet, building whatever is desired by the owners - while all manner of food grow in automatically tended hot house.

This is a grounded spaceship - sitting on Earth - allowing people to live lightly on the land, without massive pollution, in self contained shelters.

With this technology we can not only travel to other worlds, we can build houses there too - and be free of centralized systems of production and control.

This is viewed as a problem by those who don't trust in democratic and market processes.

There are many things to worry about.

Imagine a population that can travel anywhere in the solar system at will, and live handily at any level using automated nuclear powered systems that require only locally obtained inputs.

We have a terrible problem controlling our borders now because everyone owns a motorcar. Could you imagine the US with 100 million airplanes? or 100 million nuclear fusion rocket spaceships?

What would cities do when people took their spaceship to a mountaintop in Peru and using a 'star-seed' 'grew' another nuclear powered home? What would nations do?

Out of 300 million people, if even one person were crazy and angry and smart enough to defeat the controls on them, and turn the nuclear pulse units into nuclear handgrenade, or rocket nozzel into a nuclear plasma cannon - and wipe out cities and large swaths of the countryside.

So we don't have that. Obviously we have 30,000 decommissioned nukes right now and millions of crazy people driven mad by poverty and a bleak future dedicating themselves to acquire one of these loose nukes and use it against those they consider the cause of their problems.

As untenable as peace seems in the first scenario, it is more believable than peace in the second scenario. Our steadfast refusal to build a positive future of hope and prosperity out of fear will bring those fears to reality. A future with a nuclear fusion generator in every basement, and a nuclear powered spaceship in every garage is actually a safer world than one with a terror cell in every state and 30,000 decommissioned nukes any one of which might be in control of those terror cells.

In 1957 USSR astounded the world with Sputnik. It inspired people to dream. Comsats tied our world together in ways impossible to earlier generations. This expanded business and commerce. Man on the moon, photos of Earth floating in the void without borders inspired the environmental movement. Some of those who traveled to the moon were transformed by the experience and entered religious orders. They had a vision of an Earth united and at peace.

We have refused to embrace these ideas and have pursued a more limited vision of the future. As a result, we have switched from a growing vital culture to a culture in decline. We will either change and accept again the challenges of our technical progress, or we will die, and leave it to others to do what we could easily have done had we the courage to do so.
 
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InfoSpong

Guest
William, you have a wild view of the world and its sad to say you just about hit the nail on the head. This world is heading to a dead end future and at a rapid pace. The human race started as explorers and pioneers for the survival of man but we started to lose it in the last 100 years. All thanks to greed! How sad it is when we look out the night skies with this massive universe to be discovered and to think man will prolly destroy themselves before we get past Pluto.

Jason, sorry to see your vision goto Sci Fi, it dont deserve to go here but somewhere to be inspired and a few people gave you a hard time on your creative vision which I felt uncalled for. We have to remember what science is? Its the discovery of the future and to understand what already exists. We fail everytime when humans say its impossible as we find out later that its possible. Einstein opened the door for science of today but dont mean its limited. Traveling the universe at the speed of light is something we like to dream about but traveling at the speed of light is still a very slow way to travel the universe. Im sure if humans are around long enough, we will surely find away to travel across the universe before light gets there.
 
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nimbus

Guest
His ships are fiction. All he needed to do to keep them in the tech&biz forum was to do a little homework on the technicalities and then improvise a sales pitch on their commercial feasibility.
 
E

emudude

Guest
William is absolutely right about the problem of not sharing technology; this is why I proposed a modification of the Partial Test Ban Treaty in another thread so that we could follow the Outer Space Treaty's vision of exploring space together as a unified human race. Like it or not, restricting information can only slow down progress for the majority while people who are really determined - this includes terrorists - can and will get their hands on this technology, leaving people who would use this technology for good out of the picture completely. Keep with the spirit of the internet and let's develop technology for the mutual benefit of everyone instead of sitting stagnant and walking on eggshells. Just like the world during the cold war didn't send the planet into nuclear armageddon, neither will a highly decentralized culture brimming with the gifts of nuclear technologies. I want my car that doesn't need to be refuelled for five years, not some oil guzzling pile of crap! :evil:
 
J

JasonChapman

Guest
InfoSpong":35elj9sj said:
William, you have a wild view of the world and its sad to say you just about hit the nail on the head. This world is heading to a dead end future and at a rapid pace. The human race started as explorers and pioneers for the survival of man but we started to lose it in the last 100 years. All thanks to greed! How sad it is when we look out the night skies with this massive universe to be discovered and to think man will prolly destroy themselves before we get past Pluto.

Jason, sorry to see your vision goto Sci Fi, it dont deserve to go here but somewhere to be inspired and a few people gave you a hard time on your creative vision which I felt uncalled for. We have to remember what science is? Its the discovery of the future and to understand what already exists. We fail everytime when humans say its impossible as we find out later that its possible. Einstein opened the door for science of today but dont mean its limited. Traveling the universe at the speed of light is something we like to dream about but traveling at the speed of light is still a very slow way to travel the universe. Im sure if humans are around long enough, we will surely find away to travel across the universe before light gets there.
Hey Thanks for those comments ‘Info’
I don’t mind this post being moved to the scifi section, I was expecting to be thrown in the basement with the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot.
I was surprised the get the response I got, create a debate for and against what I have proposed and I hope I have brought a little colour to space.com. I can understand those who have argued against, see me as a hopeless dreamer with a vision that will never be possible. However us scifi artists and writers have been the inspiration for many astronauts, astrophysicists, and scientists alike, and it’s safe to say that we have been around a hell of a lot longer than the likes of NASA, or the European Space agency.

I do see a future for man in outer space, and I see us developing the technology to explore beyond our solar system, and now that work has begun on the first Spaceport in New Mexico that dream is one step closer. Dare I say it, yes I do, NASA is an organisation run by a bunch of old dinosaurs, who lack vision and drive, they are constantly bickering about how much things cost, and the space shuttle should have been retired after the Challenger disaster and the loss of seven brave souls. Instead it’s just limped on with the lost of another ship and more lives. I’m not saying it hasn’t achieved a lot, it has, it’s given us Hubble and been a valuable part of space exploration, but it should have been done differently. After the shuttle is retires, which is soon I believe NASA will be relying on rockets to launch our astronauts which is taking a giant leap back instead of forward. I just hope someone at NASA decides to grow a backbone and see Virgin Galactic as a useful cost effective way to ferry astronauts to and from the ISS instead of stuffing them in a small capsule and sticking them on top of what effectively a giant firework (Firecracker) and hoping for the best. Rockets are way too costly especially in a world with rising costs of fuel. A scathing attack maybe, but a necessary one.

In a world in desperate need of change we need people to look forward, not back or just what’s in front of them. I’ll certainly go on designing spaceships, it’s part of what drives me, looking forward to the distant horizon.
 
W

williammook

Guest
Micro-fusion pulse is a possibility. Muonic induced fusion has been proposed as a steady state means to create a fusion reaction at low temperature and pressure. A muonic burst in an inertial confinement compression of boro-hydride, or lithium deuteride, reduces reaction requirements and attains Lawson criterion at much lower power densities. In short a fusion powered pulse ship is possible. Its capable of traversing the solar system with ease, and also modified to power space stations, space colonies and so forth - and end our energy crisis.

Before that we can build reusable chemical launchers to cheaply put up a network of communications satellites to create a global wireless hotspot to provide wireless broadband globally. We also add wireless telerobotic activity - similar to the new movie surrogate - but to allow us to do work remotely. We could live in one city and work anywhere we can send a signal - which means anywhere between where you are and the moon.

So, long before we have fusion powered rockets (and we could have them today if we wanted) we can build large reusable chemical rockets that orbit comsat networks and solar power satellites that beam energy by narrow powerful infrared laser beams to where energy is needed at very low cost.

Fusion can be reserved for appropriate use powering interplanetary and interstellar journeys, while beamed energy from space is used for terrestrial and orbital applications. Lifting large solar power satellites with massive nuclear fusion rockets also provides long term stability in energy supply and pricing bringing energy down long term. Moving solar power satellites closer to the sun and beaming energy across the solar system, further increases power while reducing costs. Finally, orbiting very close to the sun, we generate energy and beam it between stars to power laser light sail spaceships, that move at 1/3 light speed and more.

One interesting thing is that there are millions of asteroids orbiting between Jupiter and Mars, and rockets of this type can change the orbits of these asteroids. It has been suggested that asteroids that are on collision course with Earth might be deflected away from colliding with Earth with nuclear pulses. It has also been suggested that close encounters with heavy asteroids be engineered to transfer momentum between Jupiter and Earth, enlarging Earth's orbit just enough to counter the ever increasing brightness of the Sun.

Other things are possible.

Of these, is surveying all the small bodies of the solar system, deflecting those that pose a threat, engineering the orbit changing encounters just described, but also, identifying and capturing the very richest of all these asteroids and putting them into stable orbits in sun synchronized orbits over the poles. Then, sending up large remotely controlled factories to process these asteroids into useful things. On the one hand, things we can use on Earth. On the other, things we can use on orbit - including large pressure vessels to grow things - forests and farms on orbit. We send icy moons and asteroids from the outer solar system to these - to provide water and carbon - and grow massive quantities of food, and wood and fiber and leather - and make products on orbit, and send them directly to people anywhere on Earth or in space.

We can do this today with technology well developed.

We can identify the asteroid belts around other stars and use those just as we use asteroids orbiting the sun, to build industrial infrastructure, and send materials back to Earth.

How do we manage remotely controlled factories in other star systems?

Faster than light signals - which precede faster than light travel.

vanStockum, Tipler, and others have shown that a massive spinning objects have the capacity to create causal time loops. These loops involve particles entering the ergosphere of a spinning black hole at a specific time, and leaving at an earlier time.

Well a rapidly spinning super-massive black hole exists at the center of the milky way

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjzDJWD8k_U

Sending a signal to this black hole, in the appropriate way, allows that signal to be reflected back at an earlier time. We send a radio pulse to the black hole, it takes 30,000 years to get there, and then exits 60,000 years before it arrives, coming back at Earth, to be received AS it is sent. This 'beating' of CTL signals allows us to examine the physics of black holes, and then by changing the 'dwell time' we can send signals back in time.

Ron Mallett at U of Conn is attempting to do something like this.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHC8z6ULs18

Success with something like a space based version of the VLA -arrays of radio telescopes in space around every star - using the gravity of the star itself as a large antenna to focus signals from the galactic center - that communicates broadly with specific regions of the spinning supermassive black hole's ergo sphere - allow instantaneous communications with remotely controlled surrogate workers in distant star systems.

Signals travel to the supermassive black hole from Earth, then from the supermassive black hole to the star system - arriving instantly - and reversing the process to send signals back - instantly.

It also allows communications in time. For example, you want a custom ordered couch, or car it usually takes 8 to 10 weeks to get it - well you order it, the order gets sent back in time - and it is waiting for you at home. Or you arrive at a restaurant, and sit at the table, give the waitron your order, and you get the order nearly instantly - having had it sent back in time 20 or 25 minutes preptime after giving it.

Experimentation in causality violation will also give us new insights into physics of causality.

Computing systems with negative time delays will allow goal directed behavior to be built into robotic systems that can literally sense the future and take appropriate action - creating a new level of artificial intelligence not possible with mere biological systems.

Laser light sails moving between stars at 1/3 light speed also give rise to the possibility of creating super colliders involving large massive shaped iron-56 wedges moving at 1/3 light speed. Colliding these shaped masses allow experimentation in creating our own microscopic engineered black holes. These engineered objects can be made to spin, and dance and interact to create a new class of engineered product. With these we can easily modify spacetime - creating high gee gravity drives converting rest mass directly to graviton beams, and tapping zero point energy to stamp out new black holes on demand, and letting them evaporate to generate energy and graviton rockets on a scale 10x larger than fusion rockets.

With this sort of technology, which comes after we build laser light sails that travel between stars, we can travel at high speed to the galactic center and travel around the black hole there in such a way as to travel through space and time - so we can travel instantly across the galaxy - and visit any point in time the black hole exists.

It is here that it will be very likely we meet alien intelligences.

Technology grows in quantum leaps - discontinuous changes based on fundamental shifts in insight.

We have the means now to build chemically powered reusable multi-stage rockets that put up a global wireless hotspot and solar power satellites.

We have the means now to build surrogates like Honda's ASIMO to allow us to live anywhere and work anywhere else.

We have the means now to build fusion pulse rockets that allow industrial use of the asteroid belt.

We have the means to use remotely controlled factories and captured rich asteroids along with space based power to give everyone on Earth a meaningful job and a standard of living equal to that of any millionaire - while ending all pollution on Earth and ending every shortage.

This is just the beginning.

We can send signals instantly through space - and send signals through time.

We can also beam energy from star to star and push lightweight sails around with payloads at 1/3 light speed - to dispatch payloads to other star systems - controlling them in 'real time' - and then mining iron-56 and colliding shaped pieces of iron-56 to create artificial black holes - black hole dust I call it. engineering the interactions of those black holes to do other things - such as just described - this could have all been done in the last 60 years - it can be done in the next 60 if we desire.
 
W

williammook

Guest
JasonChapman":8rh1ps3m said:
William, me and you need to have a long chat :D
Z-pinch fusion

http://www.sandia.gov/media/NewsRel/NR2001/Zbeam.htm

and a compact source of muons

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_o ... d59d76b205

may be combined to reduce the size of an ICF process by reducing the energy needed to cause fusion

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muon-catalyzed_fusion

While all the literature I can find speaks of hydrogen as the fuel, there is no reason this process cannot be used to reduce the energy requirements of inducing fusion in boron and protium (hydrogen) or lithium-6 and deuterium.

This is a way to make fission free nuclear pulse rockets of tremendous capacity

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


wrt - cars - the Ford Nucleon was studied

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

A sub-critical mass of weapons grade plutonium was placed inside a beryllium reflector to bring it to criticality. The entire apparatus then rose in temperature and heated a working fluid, which then ran a turbine like drive.

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

A 15 pound mass of plutonium - a sphere 3 inches in diameter is sub-critical. When surrounded by a reflective layer of beryllium - reflecting neutrons back into the sphere - becomes critical and heads up. The beryllium is made into slats, like venetian blinds, and varies their reflectivity to control power output and temperature.

This is a reactor version of very tiny systems developed for tactical nuclear weapons

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W48

There is 88.25 million MJ per kg of fissile material.

There is 120 MJ per gallon of premium gasoline.

So, consuming 0.6 pound (4% of the total) of Pu before 'recharging' involves the production of an amount of energy equal to 334,280 gallons of gasoline. At 10 mpg, the vehicle would go 3.3 million miles before refueling. At 100 mph that would take 33,000 hours of run time. At 1,000 hours per year - this would last 33 years.

So, recharging every 5,000 miles must involve maintenance and reliability testing.

Another possibility is a nuclear powered fan - a hover car - that hovers for 15,000 hours or so - without refueling - with a flight speed of 300 mph - that would go 4.5 million miles on the same 'charge' despite higher energy use rate.

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

Similar atom powered fan built into a home create air-curtains that replace windows walls and roofs. Homes may be trucked to a site, and unfolded, then powered up. Water and nearly everything else is recycled in these self-contained homes. At lower power levels, the units last 12 years and are then replaced.
 
T

tampaDreamer

Guest
Dude you are babbling but I love it. Don't stop! Also I demand the OP make pictures of all of this.
 
F

freeluna

Guest
For interplanetary space travel, I envisioned something along the lines of a rotating space station with a bank of ion engines strapped to its center of rotation. I wrote about it here...

http://freeluna.blogspot.com/2006/06/riding-dog-bones-and-dough_115050692024316051.html

You would need to either have a surface to LEO transfer vehicle at the other end, or carry one with you. I gather that SSTO requirements for Mars are fairly simple, so you wouldn't have to pack a shuttle with you to do the transfer. Something much smaller would suffice, and I would avoid carrying hydrogen to Mars as it tends to evaporate to easily and is too low density as a fuel.
 
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JasonChapman

Guest
I was watching a really interesting documentary last night on the Discovery Channel entitled ‘Aircraft That Never Flew’ They were going on about a US government research project into Nuclear powered bombers, set up in the 1940s. Unfortunately they couldn’t solve the problem of shielding the crew against radiation so the program was abandoned. It got me thinking about what I designed, and suggested the theory of nuclear powered engines on spacecraft.
I wonder if the US government did abandon the project, or did they pursue a classified research project, it’s certainly a plausible thought.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_aircraft
 
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vogon13

Guest
I think you answered your own question there, Jason.

To this day the radiation problem remains unsolved and without a breakthrough, these nuclear aircraft projects will be on indefinite hold.

The Pluto project engine was so dangerously radioactive, that upon completion of it's anticipated automated bombing mission to the USSR, it was proposed to just have it fly back and forth over the USSR and kill the remaining survivors with the radiation from its' reactor. Seems like such a device would pose a grave threat to us, too.

No matter how 'evil' one might think the US government is now, I think most folks appreciate that use of the Pluto nuclear ramjet to commit genocide on an unprecedented scale is orders of magnitude worse than what constitutes current US international morality.
 
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williammook

Guest
Radiation was a problem for the Apollo astronauts and that was just an 8 day journey. The Space Shuttle and ISS and all orbital flights fly well within the vanAllen radiation belts which shield folks from the worst of radiation. The surface of the Earth beneath the atmosphere and magnetic shield (which causes compasses to point North) still yields 30 milli-rems per day. This is considered an acceptable dose. This rate doubles every mile above sea level. It also increases with latitude since the magnetic field steers radiation to the poles. Flight in an airliner adds about 1 milli-rem exposure for each hour of travel - for this reason.

Outside the Earth's magnetic field, in interplanetary space 80% of the radiation is in the form of protons, 12% alpha particles, 8% ions - nuclei of virtually every naturally occurring element. The most deadly to humans are the iron ions since they penetrate most deeply into the body and deposit energy most efficiently in tissue.

http://helios.gsfc.nasa.gov/cosmic.html

While solar radiation constitutes a small fraction of radiation in interplanetary space, sunspots and solar flares can radically change that picture. These solar storms can be very deadly to lightly shielded space stations, space colonies and spaceships.

Flying 10 hours aboard a commercial airliner will expose a person to 10 milli-rems of radiation (about what they get in a chest x-ray - or about 4 months exposure on the ground). High sunspot activity can increase this to 100 milli-rems (what they get in 3 years) and a solar flare can increase this to 1,000 milli-rems (what they get in 30 years on the ground)

Things are considerably worse above the Earth's atmosphere and beyond the magnetic field of Earth.

The magnetic field of earth captures particles of various energies which circulate in the field. These belts of radiation start at about 18,000 km altitude and extend to 80,000 km altitude.

The space shuttle flies at 200 km altitude and seeks to minimize radiation exposure. Even so, flight below the magnetic shield of Earth, and above the atmosphere, exposes astronauts to 100 milli-rems per day.

Interplanetary flight beyond the Earth's magnetic shield exposes astronauts to even higher levels of radiation.

http://srag-nt.jsc.nasa.gov/Publication ... chmemo.htm

Radiation levels can rise to as high as 100,000 milli-rems per event in a flare - and constant exposure is approximately 1,000 milli-rems per day (30x higher than on Earth, 10x higher than on the Shuttle) - and this is about the same on the surface of the moon, and 2x higher than on the surface of Mars.

https://engineering.purdue.edu/NE/Resea ... lding.html

Shielding can effectively attenuate radiation by a factor of 1,000 or more - but costs in terms of mass - about a metric ton per two square meters of shielded surface. This is more efficient than air, and Earth, but not by a huge factor. A person in a 2 meter diameter sphere needs 6 tons of shielding to survive comfortably at Earth normal levels. This can be reduced by 'shadow' shielding that faces toward the sun. That is, 3 tons of shielding covering the solar disk could shield any number of people stacked behind it from radiation FROM the sun. This was the trick used by nuclear pulse spacecraft. The pusher plate on the nuclear pulse craft not only reflected the momentum of the expanding plasma cloud, but it was designed also to absorb and attenuate radiation from the nuclear blasts. This meant that the plate doubled as a shadow shield. The same thing can be said for nuclear thermal rockets

http://www.springerlink.com/content/j13428l026045412/

The bigger the spaceship, the heavier - and more payload may be dedicated to shielding. The same with colonies. That's why space colonies, space fabrication and so forth, doesn't mind sending raw ore to a location for processing into metals and glass and so forth - for a colony. The debris left over makes a dandy shield.

Why is radiation so deadly? Because the energetic ions and radiations destroy biochemical information and biochemical processes at the cellular level that cause disease, and death at the cellular level. This means that if processes are found - using nano-technology - that can repair this destruction faster than it occurs, then we can expose ourselves to higher levels of radiation with impunity. This is another avenue separate from shielding and dveloping big rockets to carry that shielding around.

There are other possibilities as well.

Even in such a hostile environment as interplanetary and interstellar space, we can use tele-robotics with our spacecraft to carry out complex assembly and manufacturing functions far from Earth - without exposing anyone to radiation. We send a signal rather than ourselves.

So, we can send a small number of large ships, to survey and retrieve rich asteroids - and send them back to Earth orbit. Then, we send up tele-operated robots like Honda's Asimo

http://world.honda.com/ASIMO/

to manufacture the materials using solar energy into goods and products that are useful on Earth and in space - and dispatch them from orbit to Earth's surface, or other orbits, or to the moon and mars.

In this way we can feed clothe and provide for everyone on Earth while reducing our impact on the environment, and build up the very large spacecraft we need to travel between worlds with adequate shielding.

http://www.nas.nasa.gov/About/Education ... t/art.html
 
M

MeteorWayne

Guest
williammook":2uxwjr67 said:
Radiation was a problem for the Apollo astronauts and that was just an 8 day journey. The Space Shuttle and ISS and all orbital flights fly well within the vanAllen radiation belts which shield folks from the worst of radiation.

Uhhhh, No.

The Inner Van Allen belt extends from about 700 to 10,000 km. The ISS orbits at 340-360 km depending on it's last boost and decay rate.

The Van Allen belts do not act as shields; it is the earth's geomagnetic field that acts as a shield, and also traps particles to create the belts.
 
W

williammook

Guest
MeteorWayne":dssitgp0 said:
williammook":dssitgp0 said:
Radiation was a problem for the Apollo astronauts and that was just an 8 day journey. The Space Shuttle and ISS and all orbital flights fly well within the vanAllen radiation belts which shield folks from the worst of radiation.

Uhhhh, No.

Uhhhh, yes

[/quote]

The Inner Van Allen belt extends from about 700 to 10,000 km. The ISS orbits at 340-360 km depending on it's last boost and decay rate.

[/quote]

True - but I wasn't talking about this was I? lol.

[/quote]

The Van Allen belts do not act as shields; it is the earth's geomagnetic field that acts as a shield, and also traps particles to create the belts.[/quote]

Yes, you have mis-characterized what I've said, and are repeating what I've just said, and what the references I quoted say -

[/quote]
The magnetic field of earth captures particles of various energies which circulate in the field. These belts of radiation start at about 18,000 km altitude and extend to 80,000 km altitude.
[/quote]

These are the main vanAllen belts not the weaker inner belts - its the magnetic field of the Earth which deflects the ionized radiation, and that radiation circulates mostly between 18,000 and 80l,000 km - what you say is true, but has nothing whateer to do with what I've said - namely that the Earth's surface is well sheilded, as is the low orbital flights of the shuttle and ISS. beyond, 80,000 km radiation levels are 30x higher, which is dangerous, and with sunspots and solar flares, fatal.

Only large massive shields allow interplanetary spaceflight
 
J

JasonChapman

Guest
yes I'm back, sorry I have been away for so long been busy with getting married and starting a family. Anyhow I have some new and I hope exciting stuff on the drawing baord which I hope will be a hotbed of debate. Here's a taster.



see you guys soon.
 
Z

ZenGalacticore

Guest
Well that's great artwork Jason, but it's hardly anything new. A spinning doughnut with solar panels. Hmm... now where have I seen that before? Oh yeah. In artist space concepts since the 1950s, or even the 1920s and before. :)
 
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JasonChapman

Guest
Hold that thought Zen I'll get back to you on that later.
 
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JasonChapman

Guest
You're right Zen, dounut shaped space stations are nothing new, but they're the best shape for creating artificial gravity according to some scientists. I'm reading an interesting book at the moment called 'Colinies in Space' by T.A Heppenheimer. He theorised that by the year 2007 there would be 150,000 people living and working in space, that's including orbiting space stations, moon collinies, and Mars bases. How many astronauts on the ISS?
Ok so Mr Heppenheimer was a bit of optomist, but this book was written in the wake of the Apollo Missions and Skylab (Yes I did say Skylab), his book covers lots of interesting aspects of space travel, which I do plan to highlight.
 
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ZenGalacticore

Guest
Then you should also read about Gerard Oneill and his orbiting space colony concepts, if you haven't already.
 
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JasonChapman

Guest
Thanks for that Zen, I did Google O'Neil, there seems to have been quite a few scientists in the 60's and 70's who put forward bold ideas concerning exploration of space, deep space, and colonisation. Why didn’t NASA take these people seriously, it’s not like they were crackpots, some of these scientists were top of their fields.
Its a shame that books written by authros/scientists like O'Niel, T.A Heppenheimer, Freeman Dyson, end up in a small book shop in an unknown aprt of the world. I shall take a look out for the book you mentioned. I think its important to speculate and talk about the things these men visioned and build on their ideas, that way their work remains alive.
 
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ZenGalacticore

Guest
It is a shame that Oneil's ideas seem to have been forgotten by the powers that be. NASA considered many of his concepts, I have no doubt of that, but the overall scheme and scope of his concepts are, for now, beyond the financial resources of NASA and what the apathetic American people are willing to fund. It is a shame.

It's a peculiar thing about Americans. We love to fancy ourselves as this bold and adventurous people, always willing to test and push the boundaries and bravely go beyond. Similar to the big talk about free speech and "freedom", much of it seems to be just that these days, 'talk'.

But we have the foundations, the know-how, and the ability to seriously begin a step-by-step development of a spacefaring culture. The only thing lacking is the WILL to do it. I almost hate to say it, but a lot of science fiction these days doesn't help because they always make it look so easy. And many in the general public seem to get the idea that it is easy, or that it should be easy. Of course it's not.

The complexities and difficulties as portrayed in the film "Apollo 13"- which of course wasn't fiction- should be more the approach of sci-fi writers, in my opinion. Not only would it make for more gritty and edge-of-your-seat fiction, it would perhaps be more inspirational.

That's one of the things (among many things) that I always loved about the original Star Trek, that is, the sense of danger and difficulty in the exploration of space. Not from aliens necessarily, but from our imperfect selves and our imperfect technology. I don't see that kind of drama and suspense in most science fiction today. It's all about special effects and women acting like men.
 
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a_lost_packet_

Guest
ZenGalacticore":1o1wkoio said:
...The complexities and difficulties as portrayed in the film "Apollo 13"- which of course wasn't fiction- should be more the approach of sci-fi writers, in my opinion. Not only would it make for more gritty and edge-of-your-seat fiction, it would perhaps be more inspirational...
One thing I've always envisioned was more of a return to a theme centering around Man's struggle with the environment.

For instance, notice the old movies and books relating to the exploration of the American West. Aside from Indians, of course, there's eking out an existence in harsh conditions, surviving blizzards, floods, terrible dust-storms, etc..

Then, notice the colonization stories and stories of ship-captains bravely rounding the Cape of Good hope. Their relatively small craft is buffeted by the unforgiving sea, the winds are both a tool to be used and one to be feared, all the while, the Sea is doing it's very best to try to kill them yet, enables such wondrous opportunities for exploration..

Put a ship and a crew in the 25'th century battling against Nature just like our ancestors have yet simply set it in a different milieu and you have a great story. In fact, many great Sci-Fi stories have come from that theme. I always enjoy books that deal with that particular theme in unique ways. I love to see the captain bravely tying himself to his ships rudder while fighting against the sea... in space in the 25'th century. :)

After all, Star Trek II was "Moby Dick In Space"



I think Kirk's Ego could qualify as a Force of Nature within the general Moby Dick theme. :)
 
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