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Questions tagged [design-alternative]

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54 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
292 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
36 views

Solar preheated magnetoplasmadynamic thruster

Can focused sunlight super heat the gas in a MPD taking less electricity to change the fuel into plasma? From comments: http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/enginelist.php#id--Beamed_Power--...
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0answers
32 views

Earth to Mars Booster and Orbiter

Is there any practicality in having an Earth to Mars Orbiter with an extra engine to connect with spacecraft in LEO to and provide thrust from other engines not capable of launch? starwars.fandom....
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1answer
54 views

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

Let's say a tungsten meteor in orbit melted would it stay in a ball minus the Roche limit of the Sun distrupting the ball? Would liquid metal be stable in space unlike most other liquids like water? ...
3
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3answers
109 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
72 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
118 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 ...
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0answers
43 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 ...
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0answers
84 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
74 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
30 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 ...
4
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3answers
146 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 ...
4
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3answers
309 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
127 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
34 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
136 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
189 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
162 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
291 views
+50

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
252 views

Liquid shield for spacecraft? [closed]

Initially this question was going to be on how to improve the Parker Solar Probe shield. While time passed I saw other possibilities for using this method for active shielding. Could a shield heated ...
1
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2answers
338 views

How does the speed and volume of particles differ in producing thrust in space?

Does a slower detonation velocity push a ship more the same way explosives with a slower detonation velocity moves dirt better? At the same rate does slower particles produce more thrust from a ...
1
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1answer
176 views

Diamagnetic Polar Orbit

This has nothing to do with electricity, Electrodynamic propulsion, or light sails. I am asking can a flat surface made of diamagnetic material like light sail displace Earth or the Sun's magnetic ...
15
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3answers
965 views

Could a spacecraft be made out of wood?

Could a spacecraft use organic materials, like wood or bone or shell or other tissues, as an interface to the vacuum and radiation of space? Would wood outgas and crack up in space? I wonder if life ...