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On converting an airliner into a spacecraft...

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Valcan

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Re:

summoner":33jmx42g said:
I read a scifi book once that the humans and some alien allies used submarines for spacecraft. That seems a much better choice, although they had some type of antigrav drive to get them to space.    
Yea i remember it was by eric flint i believe head over to baen.com and you can probably find it. It was pretty good not hard scifi.

Theres a second out. I cant read it. Let me put it to you this way. Space ship, another spaceship, ramming as a tactic...........DENIED!
 
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scottb50

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Re: Re:

Valcan":3mnedqcj said:
summoner":3mnedqcj said:
I read a scifi book once that the humans and some alien allies used submarines for spacecraft. That seems a much better choice, although they had some type of antigrav drive to get them to space.
A submarine would nt be very good they have the opposite pressure problems and would be hugely overstressed and well overweight to be effective.   
 
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kelvinzero

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Booban":2mz2k33z said:
I did a search for an idea and this turned up. And I thought my idea was crazy.

I didn't think a blimp could make it all the way to Orbit so that wasn't my idea. My idea now is why not use a blimp as a mother ship instead of a ship like white knight and then launch a rocket from under the blimp to go into orbit from there?
I think small rockets have already been launched from balloons. Small ones that are not going to orbit I think but just for atmospheric science.

Another idea I have heard is magnetic launch from balloon. I imagine the structure would have to be many kilometers long and use such high g as only to be useful for cargo.
 
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space_tycoon

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Glad this thread survived... I often think about all the airliners that end up in "graveyards," always seemed like a waste to me.

In the past three years since I started this thread I've come around to the idea of using airships in just the way JP plans. I can imagine a future where giant, high-altitude airships carry fleets of rocketplanes to the edge of space.

So much wiser than firing Big Dumb Boosters to end up in the scrapheap.
 
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Astro_Robert

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The balloon looks sort of interesting, and I find it amusing that the large one resembles the Arizona UFO from a few years ago, when people claimed they saw an enormous wedge of lights flying by.

This is interesting in the way that Polwell Fusion is interesting; I hope it works out, but I think its a longshot.

The current test vehicles look like they are more than 7 years from carrying real cargo. Each phase of this plan makes me think it is more risky and less likely, but still interesting.:
- The ground-station vehicle is probably doable, maybe even in their 7 year timeframe.
- The station vehicle looks like maybe doable, but noway in their timeframe. I mean if the orbital vehicle is 6,000 feet long, then the station has got to be like 10,000 feet long per arm (thats a whopper of a starfish). I think the engineering challenges on any structure (inflatable or otherwise) of this size are more than they are letting on. Even an aircraft carrier is dwarfed by this thing.
- The 6,000 foot dart-shaped orbital vehicle really gives me pause and must be substantially more than 7 years out. I am still skeptical about thermal loads on this vehicle in both launch and re-entry. Even considering solar effects during a multi-day trip are likely to be complicated.
 
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