Skip to main content

Questions tagged [design-alternative]

Questions about alternative designs the asker has thought of, such as "why was X built this way and not this way"

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
11 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why do cryogenic fuels want an extra pressure tank?

I do see the need to provide pressurizing gas with non cryogenic fuels (like RP-1) but if you require to have it at very low temperatures anyway to keep it liquid and the pressure in the tank drops, ...
Prototypist's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
65 views

Exploring DNA-Based Hard Structures for Space Applications—Looking to learn more

I recently had a fascinating conversation with a student about to graduate with a master's in microbiology. He shared that he’s lined up a job where he'll work on developing "hard structures"...
Twicks's user avatar
  • 216
2 votes
1 answer
121 views

Choice of Ammonia and oxygen as liquid rocket propellants in vortex combustion

I have been thinking lately about the benefits of using liquid ammonia and oxygen as rocket propellants, where ammonia is difficult to burn, what if in a fuel rich closed cycle, ammonia is used to ...
kent nelson's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
153 views

Using Orbital Rings to Achieve High Escape Velocity

Hoping an astrophysics-calculation-competent person could help confirm this scenario: Say civilization has established an orbital ring around the Earth with an external launch track (using super-...
C. Burns's user avatar
  • 111
0 votes
0 answers
62 views

Can infrastructure for generating a protective artificial magnetic field around a planet also be used to propel nearby spacecraft?

This is an attempt at "...maybe you scientists whizzes can visualize what I'm talking about and explain it better." from this closed question. If a well-established colony on the Moon or ...
phil1008's user avatar
  • 5,632
1 vote
1 answer
216 views

Could we make space roads? Like a space elevator between planets?

We hear a lot about space elevators that could place something in orbit, but what about a space road between planets? Suppose you had a long tube or flat road placed between Earth and Mars by chemical ...
CuriousMathPerson's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
120 views

Solar Reflective Plasma Drive

I understand that solar sails have just recently been progressing to be of use. Could the solar sails be positioned to create a hyperbolic mirror to super heat a substance to produce propulsion along ...
Justintimeforfun's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
4k views

Why not use containers to clean up small space debris?

Small space debris is a serious problem. I think that if a large container orbits full of space debris and sweeps up small pieces of space debris that fit into the container, the space debris can be ...
전현서's user avatar
  • 101
1 vote
0 answers
85 views

Tether materials considerations for sky hook with jet engine

Suppose a skyhook was deployed with orbital dynamics mechanics such that when its hook side (opposite the counterweight) entered the atmosphere, it was nearly stationary with respect to local air ...
user121330's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
85 views

Would (Dual Concentric inline Powerhead) FFSC Cycle engine be possible to engineer

I,ve been wondering if it was possible engineer and how we would we work it out DUAL preburner inline FFSCC ENGINE with concentric core and individual concentric turbine inside one another and maybe ...
ALPHA GENISIS XTREMED's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
187 views

Could a rotating skyhook use a sail or wing to make orbital corrections to keep the structure in orbit?

Imagine a rotating skyhook with the majority of its length in the thermosphere, but whose hook side (as opposed to the counterweight side) has the ability to deploy wings or sails. Suppose that ...
user121330's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
2k views

An alternative architecture for a mission to Mars

This image, which is supposed to represent the current architecture of the mission to Mars by NASA, raised a wave of emotions. People find it too long and complicated. But is it really possible to ...
Saturn V's user avatar
  • 1,335
1 vote
2 answers
263 views

What can possibly accelerate space elevator to these types of extreme velocities?

Is it possible for a space elevator not to just reach speeds of a few hundred km/h, but much faster. Since in the future, people might want to go up to GEO to maybe work there and come back home on ...
The Rocket fan's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
201 views

connecting two satellites [closed]

How strong would my bond have to be if I wanted to closely connect (30cm - 1m link) two satellites on the same orbit in LEO? (I can move the satellites however I want to have them close to each other) ...
Leonie's user avatar
  • 31
0 votes
0 answers
64 views

Misting/Fogging Nozzles as Rocket Injectors

Misting and Fogging Nozzles are nozzles often used in irrigation and cooling. They basically use high pressure to break the liquid into tiny droplets achieving really great atomization. I think these ...
Anish Kommireddy's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
184 views

In Zero G, can excess heat be used propel a spaceship forward?

In Zero G, can excess heat be used propel a spaceship forward? I was looking for a similar answers online, and have bounced around a few places, I found this question, and it's responses thread useful ...
TheDayitwasWritten's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
103 views

What conferences have technical sessions that cover credible and transformative alternatives to chemical-rocket-based launch?

Constraints Some examples of such technologies are described on Wikipedia's Non-Rocket Spacelaunch page. But, to clarify a bit further... I found list of such technologies in Figure 2.1 of a document ...
phil1008's user avatar
  • 5,632
4 votes
1 answer
258 views

Shuttle-era mission profile for a desperation moon mission

It is 1996. For reasons best left to Worldbuilding SE, it has become a matter of civilizational life and death to send humans to the moon and bring them back to earth as soon as possible. Everybody is ...
Mark Foskey's user avatar
  • 11.3k
8 votes
7 answers
2k views

Embedding foundations from low lunar orbit?

Reading about Lunar Crater Radio Telescope and Lunar regolith thickness and composition, (roughly 5-10m of soft soil) and anchoring in soft regolith, would it make sense, in order to anchor large ...
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
213 views

Solar Turbines on the moon

Related to other questions about power generation on the moon. URL's will be added shortly... Given that force is experienced by objects hit by sunlight, such as a solar sail, would a turbine of some ...
AnarchoEngineer's user avatar
-6 votes
1 answer
305 views

Hydrogen-propelled space elevator [closed]

I'm working on a space elevator design using kerosene-burning jet engines and dirigibles supporting 1km stages of pipeline and cable stretching up to the end of the stratosphere (~50km), then using ...
Sam Cottle's user avatar
-6 votes
1 answer
182 views

Windmills in Space [closed]

What if we put a windmill like we use now in space like on moon or a space station so its attached to the surface and since we have no wind we use air tanks in the blades to rotate, everytime it slows ...
Shubham Chaudhari's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
358 views

Deorbit ISS vs. Preserve ISS as raw materials for ISM?

Recent news: NASA Seeks Proposals from US Industry for Station Deorbit Spacecraft (ISS) NASA has released a request for proposal from U.S. industry for the U.S. Deorbit Vehicle (USDV), a spacecraft ...
Rob's user avatar
  • 161
3 votes
3 answers
1k views

Would orbital ring platforms affect the orbit of a planet?

If we built an orbiting platform of sufficient mass (let's say, made from harvested asteroids) that was anchored at both poles of the planet it surrounded, would such an addition to the planet's mass ...
Dan East's user avatar
-4 votes
1 answer
231 views

How does SpaceX prevent fuel from cluttering together in zero G [closed]

What is the solution to stop fuel inside starship collecting in center of the tank during zero G flight? Here is a rough sketch of starship with rudimentary diaphragm system to control flow of fuel ...
levis springer's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
168 views

Could a skyhook with double pendulum catch a payload with zero velocity?

It's my understanding the the tip of a rotating skyhook would be travelling at ~3.6 km/s (Mach 10), which presents a major problem. Could this be overcome by attaching a second, smaller, also rotating ...
Michael Currie's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
93 views

Semi-Cryogenic HTP/LH2 engine?

Also see HTP as oxidizer for main propulsion (for more info on history of H2O2/HTP in rocketry) Note: HTP and H2O2 will be used interchangeably I know the Black Arrow LV (The first orbital lipstick) ...
AnarchoEngineer's user avatar
-7 votes
1 answer
174 views

Wouldn't it be easier to send human heads instead entire human bodies for space exploration? [closed]

A major part of what makes human space exploration extremely difficult is the infrastructure required to support the human body outside earth. It requires resources just to launch into space due to ...
ATL_DEV's user avatar
  • 87
1 vote
1 answer
187 views

space is a vacuum there is no drag, so would hydrogen harvesting from space to use as fuel be possible once in orbit? [closed]

If space is a vacuum and there is no drag, would hydrogen harvesting from space to use as fuel be possible?
Tara Cunningham's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
137 views

Inflatable tank/balloon use for recovery

Hopefully this idea makes sense. Basically if you've seen the space-truck (ROOST), you'll get where I'm going with this. I'm wondering whether an inflatable tank/tank lining could be used to produce ...
AnarchoEngineer's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
154 views

Would a laser seismometer work from lunar orbit?

Lasers today have become extremely sensible, they can detect sub-millimeter movements of a surface from a distance. Could this feature be exploited to create a lunar seismometer working from a probe ...
FluidCode's user avatar
  • 191
0 votes
0 answers
110 views

SSME/RS-25:; Why arent high pressure and low pressure pumps coaxial?

The Space Shuttle Main Engine low pressure pumps to prevent cavitation at the main pumps. This pumps were driven by separate turbines fed by high pressure fluid from the main pumps. Why? It just adds ...
Abdullah is not an Amalekite's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
779 views

SSME/RS-25: why seal between LOX pump and preburner?

Both the the fuel and oxidiser preburners ran fuel rich. In order to prevent the preburner gas from entering the LOX pump and blowing it up, they had this complex double seal with a gas purged void in ...
Abdullah is not an Amalekite's user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
92 views

Higher density medium tube from sea level to space for travel

Is it theoretically possible to build a strong sealed tube from Earth's sea level all the way to Space, fill it with a medium (such as water) that has a higher density than humans. And then humans ...
Saurabh Goyal's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
3k views

Why can't buoyancy of air be used to support a mega structure as an alternative to a space elevator?

The reason for asking this question stems from recent articles about large loss of strength of carbon nano tubes with even single atom movement, tested samples showing high vulnerability to space ...
stringue's user avatar
18 votes
5 answers
6k views

Wouldn't it make sense to use parachutes for aborting test flights rather than destroying the whole rocket?

Recently, a SpaceX test flight was aborted by blasting the whole device. Wouldn't it make sense to have parts of such rocket be equipped with parachutes when test flights are performed, so at least ...
AxD's user avatar
  • 299
5 votes
1 answer
290 views

Why wasn't Buran mounted on top of Energia?

Since unlike the Shuttle, the Buran did not carry the main engines, why was it not mounted on top of the external tank equivalent - Energia's core stage? And even better, why wasn't Energia's second ...
Abdullah is not an Amalekite's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
173 views

Why didn’t the N1 use detachable boosters like the Soviet’s did on Soyuz?

Why did the N1 (to my inexperienced eye) have a massive rework? Soyuz, Vokshod, Vostok, Sputnik all showed that detachable side boosters worked. If side boosters work, why wouldn’t the N1 just had ...
Blue Skin and Glowing Red Eyes's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
257 views

If a spacecraft's double hull filled with water is hit by a micrometeorite, could the water freezing or surface tension stop the leak?

I'm thinking about the possibilities of water storage also serving radiation shielding for long space journeys (months to years). Assume within the solar system but outside of upper earth orbit. ...
Koon W's user avatar
  • 263
1 vote
0 answers
78 views

What if satellites could be recovered during a launch failure? [duplicate]

How heavy would a capsule have to be to return a satellite safely to earth in the event of a launch failure? Would a satellite survive the loads endured by astronauts during an abort? If not, is there ...
Abdullah is not an Amalekite's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
237 views

Can a spinning water film cool an engine cheaper and better than ablative?

Ablative cooling us an incredibly simple way to cool a liquid rocket engine, when compared to regenerative cooling. But ablatively cooled engines are (presumably) hard to refurbish. Why not inject a ...
Abdullah is not an Amalekite's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
247 views

Is Electromagnetic Propulsion Like Radiation Pressure propulsion?

while browsing for new propulsion methods I found the following interesting: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiation_pressure "Radiation pressure (also known as light pressure) is the mechanical ...
Stoyan's user avatar
  • 41
0 votes
0 answers
74 views

Inserting optical elements into a ring laser gyroscope to sense all three axes

Ring laser gyroscopes (RLGs) leverage the physics of ring laser interferometers and the Sagnac effect to sense rotation in a single plane. My understanding of RLGs is that they are independent systems ...
Jonathan L.'s user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
137 views

Would it make sense to compress air around a bell nozzle during booster ascent?

Regarding boosters having one single liquid fuel engine, such as Delta 4 for example. Would some sort of annular aerodynamic device, attached to the skirt and placed around the bell nozzle, help ...
user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
1k views

Sending a Soyuz ship interplanetary - a plausible option?

This is my first time on Space Exploration SE, although I have participated quite a bit over on Worldbuilding. Anyway, as an avid sci-fi reader, I have been wondering if sending a Soyuz interplanetary ...
Lelu's user avatar
  • 199
-2 votes
3 answers
306 views

Can Solid Rockets (Aluminum-Ice) have an advantage when designing light space-tug for LEO?

This is a new subject for Space Industry – heavy spacecraft (1200-ton) in LEO that have to burn hundreds of tons of propellant to get going to their destination. It looks inefficient to launch 7+ fuel ...
TheMatrix Equation-balance's user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
247 views

Why is insulation used in spacecraft thermal control?

The temperature of spaceships can range from -126° C to 149° C. Wouldn't it be better for the spaceship envelope to have as high a thermal conductivity as possible to even out the temperatures (the ...
Saturn V's user avatar
  • 1,335
-1 votes
1 answer
90 views

Air-Augmentation on a VTO&L super heavy lift

I'm working on a basic design for an Air-Augmented first stage, which boosts the second, expendable, stage from a near-orbit, to allow for deorbit of the second stage. Essentially it's an SSTO that ...
AnarchoEngineer's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
2k views

Propellantless propulsion in gravity field

I have a proposal for a following propellantless maneuver. It is propellantless in sense that no mass is lost from spacecraft. It is not reactionless as spacecraft interacts with planet through ...
Andris Atteka's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
101 views

How heavy is an orbital pogo stick?

Moving people from a A to B in space often requires a significant change in velocity, requiring propellant eating into the mass budget. But most of this propellant is "wasted" in moving a ...
SE - stop firing the good guys's user avatar

1
2 3 4 5
7