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Questions tagged [design-alternative]

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1answer
70 views

Could in situ (in-rocket) evaporative cooling/refrigeration be used for methane or hydrogen cryogenic propellants?

@Uwe's excellent answer to the question Why would sub-cooled LOX tanks need to “topped-off” until the last minute or so? explains that the LOX is sub-cooled in situ within the rocket's tank using ...
5
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1answer
126 views

Why can’t cryogenic propellants be storable, at least on the ground, via refrigeration?

Cryogenic fuels (liquid hydrogen, liquid methane)1 and oxidisers (liquid oxygen)2 are the rocket propellants of choice where raw performance is the overriding concern, due to the very high performance ...
3
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4answers
165 views

Could we build a sunlight regulator to orbit the sun and help with global warming? [duplicate]

like less sunlight around the poles would be good. if we put it in orbit close to the sun we may not need it to be that large. we can keep it in good position with RF cavity thrusters and mini ...
1
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0answers
45 views

Is it possible to remove space junk using magnets? [duplicate]

I have heard that the earth is surrounded with tiny bits of "space junk". I was wondering, why not send a large magnet into orbit and collect all the junk? And by time the magnet is covered with ...
12
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6answers
8k views

Could a space colony 1g from the sun work?

Let me break down my thoughts and I have no science background so let me know if this could even be possible. Have the colony on an object like a big asteroid or a similar man made construct. Have ...
2
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1answer
133 views

Could the ISS put a ring around the Earth?

I was reading about orbital rings, and more specifically I was thinking about how one could be constructed. It obviously would need angular momentum, because each piece of the ring (if separated from ...
4
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1answer
133 views

What might be a viable avenue of propulsion research in aiming for mission delta-V north of 100 km/s?

This question was inspired by some comments of mine I left on an answer here: Is it better to develop more powerful rockets instead of seeking and developing new technologies? and thus in turn both ...
1
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0answers
58 views

Most challenging aspects of a reusable satellite scheme like this?

What would be the most challenging aspects of a reusable satellite scheme similar to the one shown in this video? For the kilo-constellations (e.g. SpaceX's StarLink with 4,500 to 7,500 satellites) ...
5
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1answer
170 views

Could a fairing vacuum protect the payload from acoustic loads?

This is a weirder question, but here it goes: During launch, a payload (let's say a satellite) undergoes intense shaking and acoustic loads. This is known from the launcher parameters and the ...
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1answer
157 views

Could a Rotary Rocket charge a super capacitor while descending on Mars?

Could a rotary rocket entering the atmosphere collect enough energy in a super capacitor through the rotors (along with auto rotation) while descending to have a controlled landing in the last few ...
2
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1answer
204 views

Super Capacitor Stages

Could this super capacitor be up scaled to be of use in the lower stages of a rocket? Here is the only information I found online on this? Related: Could rockets ...
0
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1answer
55 views

Could a solar panel be modified to also collect a static charge on Mars?

I was waiting for someone to piece both of these questions together into another question. @Dragongeek was the first, Could a solar panel be modified to create a static charge while spinning to remove ...
5
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3answers
285 views

Fast spining solar cells to clear Martian dust possible?

I've seen a fast spinning glass wheel used in front of a camera to clear away water, dust or ice. Could Solar panels be made circular and spin to clear dust off of them in the same way may? As ...
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2answers
128 views

Could electricty be generated from a Martian dust storm?

This helicopter is producing static electricity from the blades moving through the dusty air. Along with the electricity provided by wind generators could additional power be created this way from ...
32
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6answers
8k views

Why aren't air breathing engines used as small first stages?

I am wondering why we don't use jet engines as first stages. Most small rockets, like the Electron, can lift off with a small thrust. In the Electron's case, 192 kN. Why can't we replace the 9 ...
1
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2answers
186 views

What is the shielding capability of liquid metal compaired to solid metal?

For simplicity, consider a spherical metal shape for shielding materials (people) inside. A problem I see is that it is going to be hard to forge a sphere of metal big enough like that and it is ...
3
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2answers
272 views

Would it be practical to add side payloads on top of Falcon Heavy's side boosters?

Those side payloads / side fairings, would be strapped on central core second stage, on top of side boosters. The idea is to increase payload volume without (that much) changing drag during the lift ...
1
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1answer
105 views

Can an Ion engine in tow assist in launch? [closed]

This question asks: How large a body could a probe with ion engines land on and launch from? and made me think could an ion engine that is the payload be mounted in a way to assist in the launch?
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1answer
109 views

How to build a space catapult large enough to shoot a one hundered thousand ton spaceship in to low orbit?

I assume calculations start with the payload weight. A massive foundation would be needed lots of concrete and rebar meters thick. Also a harmonically sealed tunnel a thousand miles long filled with ...
0
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1answer
102 views

Will a spacecraft accelerate in a gravitational field via the use of a powered rotating mass?

I believe that a powered rotating mass on board a spacecraft should result in the spacecraft being propelled in a continuous increasing velocity towards the source of the gravitational field. To help ...
-1
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1answer
170 views

Could this satellite wobble in orbit creating additional orbital angular momentum?

This question asks if this type of steam engine would work: Could a steam Engine outperform other electric producing devices in space? this not a sterling engine since it has far less moving parts. ...
12
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2answers
3k views

Can a rocket refuel on Mars from water?

Can a rocket run only on hydrogen and oxygen? Could a rocket, rover, and electrolysis machine be sent to either of Mars' poles to excavate ice to make hydrogen and oxygen to refuel an unmanned rocket? ...
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1answer
143 views

Could a rocket launch off water horizontally in stages us using water and air for lift to save fuel? [duplicate]

A term I have heard is the "water was like class". Meaning that the water had 0 waves. Could a rocket be modified to take off a horizontal surface starting slowly increasing throttle on each stage? ...
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9answers
6k views

Would a grinding machine be a simple and workable propulsion system for an interplanetary spacecraft?

I am wondering if any space agency has ever considered using a grinding machine as a propulsion system for an interplanetary spacecraft. This system would not be used to lift the spacecraft off of a ...
4
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1answer
170 views

Could escape velocity be achieved in the atmosphere?

When rockets launch for orbit they travel up and the air thins respectively to the speed increasing. How fast can a rocket for travel at sea level before it would fail or the elevation would have to ...
2
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2answers
138 views

Break Away Valves for Launch [duplicate]

I forgot to hang up the fuel pump and broke it off and costed around 80 dollars to replace. While there I wandered could this be adapted to a rocket in some way? How much fuel capacity would be saved ...
4
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1answer
228 views

Could a “nuclear turbo-jet” be built?

Being familiar with jet engines myself, I wonder whether a similar device could be built to provide high $I_{\text{sp}}$ and high thrust in vacuum and space. Using the tried-and-true turbojet formula ...
3
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0answers
210 views

Could a steam Engine outperform other electric producing devices in space? [closed]

What would be the Specific Impulse of a steam-based propulsion system like this model in space? Are there any types of engine that works this way? Could 2 tanks be designed to rotate slowly in space ...
0
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0answers
89 views

Sharp nose or Blunt nose vehicle for higher rentry speeds?

Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 (HTV-2) is a crewless, experimental hypersonic glide vehicle rocket glider developed as part of the DARPA Falcon Project capable of flying at 13,000 mph (Mach 17.53, 21,...
8
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1answer
335 views

Does a high staging number have diminishing returns? Is there a way to address that mathematically?

I was reading this question: Help me understand what Farside, a ten "stage" rockoon looked like? How was it configured? Comments link to Highest stage counts in actual launchers? but here ...
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0answers
184 views

Orbit to Orbit Transport Stage

Would it be faster or cheaper to have a lander, SSTO, and/or Space X Mars rocket to rendezvous connect with a more efficient engine or "transport stage" or another lander, SSTO? When the spacecraft ...
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1answer
86 views

What is the vapor pressure limit of liquid metals in space?

Would liquid metal be stable in space unlike most other liquids like water? Are there any metals that has a high vapor pressure limit? Side question: Can liquid metal be given an electromagnetic ...
3
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3answers
145 views

“Hybrid” ion engines?

If it's possible, could you use "hybrid" ion engines, maybe VASIMR, running on a mix of hydrogen, argon, and oxygen to exceed the velocities produced by any other ion engine? Could buckyballs also be ...
0
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2answers
78 views

When does reusable lower rocket stages become benificial?

Can lower stages of current rockets be replaced to reusable and more efficient boosters with parachutes? Would reusable rocket stages save money?
1
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1answer
120 views

Rainbow Space Probe?

Can a probe be sent out to shine a white laser through the atmosphere of a planet to measure a rainbow spectrum to determine composition, temperature, density etc.? Water drops refracts about at a ...
0
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0answers
45 views

Why don't astronauts/ships/stations carry portable 'magnetospheres'? [duplicate]

As I understand it, cosmic radiation is one of the biggest dangers/problems to space exploration. Some cursory research seems to suggest that it wouldn't take very strong magnetic fields to deflect ...
1
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0answers
99 views

Very Low Gravity Bicycle

There are a couple of existing questions about riding bicycles off of Earth. Designing a bicycle for Mars? Can you ride a bicycle on Deimos? Bicycles are lightweight and proved a reliable method ...
1
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1answer
89 views

Why did Deep Space 1 use solar concentrators?

@Hobbes' answer mentions that Deep Space 1 used special refractive solar concentrators attached to photovoltaic cells. According to SCARLET: The innovative array uses 720 lenses to focus sunlight ...
0
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1answer
34 views

Reaction Drive Launch Catapult

I want to suggest a variation on the launch catapult. The rocket assembly is accelerated vertically through momentum transfer, by a reaction driver on the ground. In concept the driver would be a ...
5
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3answers
156 views

Creating your own artificial gravity by running. (Part 1 - the basic idea)

The main motivation for artificial gravity is the astronauts' health Usually artificial gravity is supposed to work by rotating the spacecraft. See diagram A. Wouldn't it be much simpler to simply ...
5
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3answers
401 views

Two 1000 kg gold spheres orbit their CM in near-contact, great way to measure G or limited by spaceflight issues?

The hypothetical, non-existent crowdfunding site go-launch-me is so confident, they are offering a two-for-one special. For a limited time, if your project is funded they will foot the bill for a 2nd ...
18
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6answers
9k views

Why can't they just drop a solar winch down from a shuttle and have planes fly up and clip things on?

Why can't they just drop a solar winch down from a shuttle and have planes fly up and clip things on? I know of the idea to have a space lift but the cable necessary is too expensive. Why can't we ...
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2answers
144 views

Is rail gun conversion possible? [closed]

can a rail gun be converted into a "High Velocity Pulse Engine",to be used as a "Jump Drive" to achieve light speed capabilities.
1
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0answers
38 views

Is it possible to “shape” area impacted by radiation shielding during interstellar travels? [closed]

If I have uderstood radiation/other shielding described in other questions correctly...it will be among other things provided by magnetic field(s) generated by superconductors. Is it possible to ...
3
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1answer
162 views

Could protons in the Sun's solar wind be used to create a photonic laser thruster for a spacecraft?

I have a conceptual idea for a photonic laser thruster for a spacecraft and I am wondering if this particular idea has already been thought of and whether or not it is capable of generating enough ...
4
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3answers
216 views

If specific impulse is directly related to exhaust velocity, would a ion post-accelerator improve the Isp of a propulsion system?

I understand that ion- and hall thrusters resemble a particle accelerator, and that led me to wonder if a post-accelerator (particle accelerator) used to boost the velocity of the ions would improve ...
2
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1answer
185 views

Why rockets are not tossed up before launch [duplicate]

Ok, I understand the nature of my question but anyway why the rockets are not tossed up before launch. It could introduce a huge handicap for a rocket in terms of reduced distance it has to travel, ...
11
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3answers
4k views

Rocket flywheel instead of battery/generator (crazy idea)?

The Electron rocket is launched using a battery instead of generator... I saw some video about research into using flywheels for energy grid buffer storage, I think that they could reach higher ...
1
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1answer
312 views

Is a ballistic blimp entry possible on this way?

Could the entry of Mars with balloons work by inflating to equalize with the atmospheric air pressure, while establishing buoyancy before meeting the ground? Would a balloon pop if dropped from space?...
1
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1answer
291 views

Liquid shield for spacecraft? [closed]

Could an alloy of hot or cold liquid metal be made magnetic by adding electricity to the molten ball to give it magnetic properties to wirelessly attach it to a space craft to use as a shield shown in ...