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You Are The Designer- Orbit to Orbit Interplanetary Passenger/Cargo Ship

Oct 23, 2019
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Orbit to Orbit Interplanetary Passenger/Cargo Ship
What should such a ship look like? What features would you want to see on such a ship?

Using technology that already exists or that can reasonably be expected in the not too distant future, rough out a design for a functional orbit to orbit interplanetary passenger/cargo ship.
Have some fun, and let your imagination run wild.


To start I would suggest using a modular design allowing the ship to be quickly and eaisly reconfigured to meet whatever the currrent need happens to be. Begin with a central thrust beam, itself of a modular design allowing sections to be added or removed as needed – like cars on a train. Various special/general purpose modules may then also be attached or removed from this central thrust beam as needed. The central thrust beam would also serve as a central conduit allowing crew access to all those attached modules.

Your turn. :cool:
 
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Oct 23, 2019
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Could a small type of headron Cern atom smasher be made to make anti mater particles, on a space craft to make a anti matter engine , the particles made would be used strait away in the engine and there would be no need to store them?
The space craft it self could be made in modulars on earth and rocketed to orbit, 🚀starting with regular rocket engines, next send up very large fuel tanks, liquid fuel and oxygen, maybe a section with a small nuclear plant☢ , a storage section, food supplys,and living quarters, and a section with forward control centre .and may be 6 very large irons engine s on the sides of the ship All assembled in orbit, it would be a true space craft 🌌as it would never land on a planet or moon, it would have a couple of smaller landing crafts on the ship itself. It could get its liquid fuel ⛽from the moon of titan , 🤔🧐
 
Oct 21, 2019
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Ian Selby, as regards antimatter it takes an enormous amount of energy to create a miniscule amount of antimatter in the CERN LHC, quote " antimatter has been touted as a possible future weapon or source of fuel – antimatter-driven propulsion is a staple of science fiction.
However, antimatter currently takes far too long to produce, and at too high an energy cost, for either weapons or fuel to be practicable. CERN claims it has taken several hundred million pounds to produce just a billionth of a gram, and that to make a gram of antimatter would take about a 100 billion years." https://www.iop.org/resources/topic/archive/antimatter/index.html#gref
 
Oct 23, 2019
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Ian Selby, as regards antimatter it takes an enormous amount of energy to create a miniscule amount of antimatter in the CERN LHC, quote " antimatter has been touted as a possible future weapon or source of fuel – antimatter-driven propulsion is a staple of science fiction.
However, antimatter currently takes far too long to produce, and at too high an energy cost, for either weapons or fuel to be practicable. CERN claims it has taken several hundred million pounds to produce just a billionth of a gram, and that to make a gram of antimatter would take about a 100 billion years." https://www.iop.org/resources/topic/archive/antimatter/index.html#gref
Hi in space we have the sun as the ultimate energy source, or using solar penal s or having a nuclear reactor on board to run some form of mini magnetic collider, the idea was when making the antimater particles to use them strait away in the engine of the space craft., Not to store it but to make this collider part of the engine.
 
Oct 23, 2019
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The book "ThunderStrike!" by Michael McCollum features an interplanetary space craft powered by antimatter engines. The antimatter is produced in orbit by huge solar arrays, even so production levels are relatively low, But a little antimatter along with a whole lot of hydrogen goes a long way.

While antimatter engines may be possible in the future, in the near future some kind of nuclear propulsion may be more realistic.

Whatever type of engine is used you will want to have more than one. After all, if something should go wrong you will be a long way from help. Redundancy in all vital systems would be a must.

One more thing. A low but continuous thrust will get you to your destination faster than a high but relatively short thrust at the beginning of the trip. In other words, no boost to speed then long coast till deceleration at destination, but rather continuous thrust (acceleration/declaration) all the way. An Ion engine would be ideal for that.
 
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Oct 21, 2019
49
10
35
Orbit to Orbit Interplanetary Passenger/Cargo Ship
What should such a ship look like? What features would you want to see on such a ship?

Using technology that already exists or that can reasonably be expected in the not too distant future, rough out a design for a functional orbit to orbit interplanetary passenger/cargo ship.
Have some fun, and let your imagination run wild.


To start I would suggest using a modular design allowing the ship to be quickly and eaisly reconfigured to meet whatever the currrent need happens to be. Begin with a central thrust beam, itself of a modular design allowing sections to be added or removed as needed – like cars on a train. Various special/general purpose modules may then also be attached or removed from this central thrust beam as needed. The central thrust beam would also serve as a central conduit allowing crew access to all those attached modules.

Your turn. :cool:
This is interesting since it is a subsection of my Sphereship Concept.

When employing a system of interchangeable modules, the most efficient shape is a sphere, which provides the most internal volume for the area of the hull. That expresses itself in two ways, mass and strength.
Less hull area translates directly to less mass. Spherical Modules also require less mating surface between modules.
A sphere is an extremely strong and sturdy shape for its size, making Sphere Modules ideal for robust elements in an inline series of modules on a spacecraft.

Due to the relatively small mating surface, they would be easy to assemble and disassemble from the “train” as you call it. The central tube running from the fore to the aft of each module would make them able to withstand a great deal of acceleration/deceleration, and also provide easy access and passage between modules.
That small mating surface would also provide low friction for one of the modules to be spun, while the module provides varying levels of artificial gravity during the trip.
 
Oct 23, 2019
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Ian Selby, as regards antimatter it takes an enormous amount of energy to create a miniscule amount of antimatter in the CERN LHC, quote " antimatter has been touted as a possible future weapon or source of fuel – antimatter-driven propulsion is a staple of science fiction.
However, antimatter currently takes far too long to produce, and at too high an energy cost, for either weapons or fuel to be practicable. CERN claims it has taken several hundred million pounds to produce just a billionth of a gram, and that to make a gram of antimatter would take about a 100 billion years." https://www.iop.org/resources/topic/archive/antimatter/index.html#gref
If the partial accelerator was set up on the space craft to make antimater...? How would it cost millions of pounds??. As one would be using the antimater directly in the space craft s engine s along with a fuel such as hydrogen. I thought this forum was a think tank, and not a quote tank that one can easily download from the net🙄
 
Oct 23, 2019
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When employing a system of interchangeable modules, the most efficient shape is a sphere, which provides the most internal volume for the area of the hull. That expresses itself in two ways, mass and strength.
Very true. And for spacecraft that never have to punch their way through an atmosphere a sphere would be the ideal shape.

Now when it comes to structural strength, all windows/port holes should be eliminated. In their place there should be high res video screens. In the opening years of WW2 the US Navy began building their new ships without portholes for that very reason, that they compromised the structural strength of the ships hull. I understand that airlines are now contemplating building aircraft without windows for the same reason, providing passengers with video screens in their place.

And as you indicated, at least one or two of the modules should rotate to provide artificial gravity. But how much. Trying for a full 1g would probably put too much stress on the structure.
 
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Oct 23, 2019
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If the ship is designed to have rotating modules to provide gravity for crew and passengers, would it be best to have just one such module or two counter rotating modules?
 
Oct 21, 2019
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If the ship is designed to have rotating modules to provide gravity for crew and passengers, would it be best to have just one such module or two counter rotating modules?
After reviewing the concept, it appears that it would be more practical to spin up the entire “train” of modules. There is no reason I can see for not spinning up the engine, fuel, and cargo modules too. That would eliminate a problem with friction between modules, simplify design, and make movement between modules easier.
 
Oct 23, 2019
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After reviewing the concept, it appears that it would be more practical to spin up the entire “train” of modules.
I had never thought of that, though it would simplify things greatly.

I am thinking the individual spherical modules may be on the order of 200 to 300 feet in diameter. Some just empty shells (both pressurized and un-pressurized) for packing cargo , others with special environmental controls like refrigeration, and some little more than open grids on which cargo which needs no special protection from open space can be attached.

What do you think of this idea? Having engines on both front and back ends of the "train." There is no real necessity for the command module to be the leading module. This would provide redundancy in case of the failure of one engine, and also allow acceleration and deceleration without the necessity of flipping the entire craft end for end.
 
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Oct 23, 2019
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Now that I think about it, having engines both fore and aft will be a necessity unless you de-spin the entire ship before turning it end-or-end for deceleration. Have you ever used an angle-grinder and tried turn it in such a way to change it's plane of rotation? You can feel the resistance. The same would be true of any spacecraft with a rotating component, and that resistance to change of rotation plane would put undue stress on the craft.

Also, any imbalance in weight distribution will induce a wobble in a rotating spacecraft. So some sort of automated fluid ballast system would be needed to keep the modules in balance as passengers/etc., move about the craft.
 
Oct 23, 2019
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OK, so we have a spacecraft composed principally of spherical modules strung together like a space-train. If as has been suggested the entire craft is spun up to provide some degree of artificial gravity, then the modules on both the leading and training end of the craft would be matched engines, as you would not want to flip a spinning spacecraft end-for-end for declaration purposes. The only other viable option would be to de-spin the craft, turn it around for declaration, the spin-up again.

If the two end modules are going to be the ships engines, then the next modules in from them would be the primary fuel tanks. How many would depend on the ships destination and desired arrival time.

Somewhere in the middle of the craft would be the command/passenger module(s).

Probably outward from the command/passenger module(s) you would have a module containing a complete machine shop, industrial 3D Printers, and everything else including a stock of raw materials, that might be needed to do on the spot repairs to any part of the ship,

Also, for long voyages an agricultural module for growing fresh foods. With modules of 200 to 300 feet in diameter one such module should be more than sufficient for the purpose. You could even have enough room for chickens and fish, perhaps even a few flowers beds too in the "farm" module. As an added bonus, flowers, gardens and chickens can do wonders for the mental health of the crew.

Between these modules and the fuel/engine modules would be the cargo modules.

One more point. If the entire ship is going to be spinning, then the traditional wing-like solar panels will not be an option. What you can do is make the entire spherical exterior surface of the modules solar panels, or generate ships power internally. Or perhaps a combination of both.
 

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