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
0 votes
1 answer
204 views

Continuous staging? [closed]

In industrial chemistry it's well known (Armagnac vs. Cognac) that continuous processes are more efficient than batch processes. In-game microtransactions have competed so favorably with just ...
user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
232 views

Would this 'hybrid expander cycle' engine be practical?

This is another attempt at making closed expander cycle a bit more efficient (the first attempt was here). The design combines some elements of both the open and the closed expander cycles (hence the "...
user avatar
  • 585
3 votes
1 answer
1k views

Rockoon on steroids

In typical rockoon a balloon is the lifting body to the upper atmosphere where a rocket is released and ignited. But I would like to ask about a variation to launch small payloads to space. Instead ...
user avatar
  • 2,145
6 votes
1 answer
474 views

Is there anything fundamentally wrong with 'autogenous expander cycle`?

This question is a spinoff from here. To set the context, here is my understanding of the expander cycle: Closed expander cycle is very efficient, perhaps more efficient than staged combustion cycle....
user avatar
  • 585
3 votes
1 answer
160 views

Can I push the atmosphere out of the way?

The problem with virtually all methods of giving a launch vehicle velocity before launch is the atmosphere. The higher the velocity, the worse the drag. In the comments to a recent question, someone ...
user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
5k views

What are the biggest challenges for high altitude rail-gun launch systems?

Use a maglev railgun for initial acceleration - in a new, hyperbolic tunnel facing eastward - this exits from the burrowed -undergrade- track to Equadors' Mt. Chimborazo peak - (a mountaintop both 6 ...
user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
446 views

What would be the challenges for a 50 km long tether to the surface of Venus to get recurrent surface samples there?

Basalt fiber would be an excellent material for a tether in the atmosphere of Venus because it could withstand both the acidity and the high temperature near the surface there. From this answer about ...
user avatar
  • 7,052
1 vote
1 answer
137 views

Would mass drivers be able to transport base material on the moon more efficiently than drones?

I am a hobbyist working on a climate change adaptation idea that is a variation of orbital sun shades. It would project soil/material from the moon to provide targeted shading for whatever part of ...
user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
89 views

Can we use a drone instead of rocket? [duplicate]

I would like to know if it is possible to use a drone instead of the rocket to launch a satellite into orbit. If no, then I would like to know why, and if yes, then in which countries would this be ...
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
114 views

Question about orbital mechanics and trajectories for a space infrastructure project/climate adaption idea

I’m working on an alternate approach to the concept of using a solar shield to shade the earth from the Sun (to help with climate change adaptation). It would use streams of lunar soil from multiple ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
241 views

Can jet engines be used to launch a rocket?

Following up on my previous question Can a VASIMR Plasma engine be used to launch a rocket?, I was told that VASIMR plasma thrusters are inefficient in an atmosphere. I then had the idea of using jet ...
user avatar
  • 99
6 votes
2 answers
1k views

Can a VASIMR Plasma engine be used to launch a rocket?

When I was in primary school, I spent countless hours designing spaceships that probably wouldn’t work. It’s only now that I’ve stumbled across some of the old drawings and actually thought if it ...
user avatar
  • 99
2 votes
3 answers
390 views

Would it be possible to send a nuclear bomb to Europa and make a hole in the ice of more than 11 km?

The idea is to carry an atomic bomb in an orbiter and throw it towards the surface, would it be plausible?
user avatar
  • 139
6 votes
1 answer
942 views

Is a Lofstrom loop realistic

Is a Lofstrom loop (also known as launch loop) realistic? The general idea behind a Lofstrom loop is a large structure intended for easier access to space, held up by active support (think rotating ...
user avatar
  • 193
6 votes
1 answer
323 views

Could a solar sail composed of smart glass stay near the L1 point of Venus?

From answers to this question i've learned that the Lagrangian L$_1$ point of Venus is not stable, despite the almost circular orbit of the planet and the fact that it has no moon. Nevertheless would ...
user avatar
  • 7,052
1 vote
0 answers
115 views

How many Starship launches would it take to build this simple centrifugal space station concept?

Every centrifugal space station design I have seen uses either a large curved material or an inflatable structure. There have been no large scale curved material construction in space and only one ...
user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
447 views

What are the calculations for gas transport to the Moon with a pipeline?

This paper, acquired from this question about tethers on the Moon, describes LADDER, a mission to deploy a Lunar Space Elevator (LSE). The space tether, made of Zylon fiber, would be 264,000 km long,...
user avatar
  • 7,052
-3 votes
1 answer
148 views

A question about the feasibility of the Casimir propulsion system [closed]

There is a connection between vacuum energy density and the Casimir effect , see : https://arxiv.org/abs/quant-ph/0204125 Another reference can be found here: https://aapt.scitation.org/doi/10.1119/...
user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
60 views

I consider it possible to reposition orbitals without reboost and no thrusters I would like to discuss this Idea with someone? [duplicate]

Ok I'm going to label this idea "Skiing in Space" as that analogy is possible the simplest to grasp the concept. When a person moves on skis he/she has to shift body weight to the relevant side to ...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
155 views

Is it theoretically possible to create absolute velocity?

I think I read somewhere that it's impossible to create absolute zero velocity because there is always a reference point? what defines the reference? I seen the comments here: https://www.quora.com/...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
67 views

Does deploying an artificial planet help us study and collect more detailed data about the solar system and the universe?

If we have a space station that can orbit like a planet, wouldn't it give us an advantage in terms of positioning for astronomical experiments? This may also enhance the network transmission ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
455 views

Can we hang a really large rope or wire from space to the Earth? [duplicate]

I have a very simple question that can we hang a really large wire from space to the Earth? What if we build some turbine kind of thing that can produce electricity in space and we transfer that from ...
user avatar
-5 votes
1 answer
321 views

Magnetic force-driven propulsion system for an interplanetary/interstellar spacecraft

I have come up with a conceptual idea of a magnetic force-driven space propulsion system. What I believe is very unique about this propulsion system concept is that its working principle should not ...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
84 views

Is it useful to exploit turbojets or turbofans for rockets like that (for mid & heavy-lift ones)? [duplicate]

In fact, Atmo is very hostile for classical rockets. It makes them too sizable, heavy & inefficient as well. To shift this situation needs to get another propellant, but we have fallen short here. ...
user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
175 views

Is it possible to use hybrid propulsion to drive the turbopump?

Turbopump are driven either by a preburner or by an electrical engine (OK this technology is quite new and currently in 2019 only used on the Rutherford engine). If I understand correctly, using ...
user avatar
  • 3,722
0 votes
1 answer
105 views

Would it be achievable to use the first stage of a launch to Venus as the envelope of an airship in its atmosphere?

Like the Orbiter Vehicle of the Space Shuttle was mounted on its external tank, the "gondola", the crewcar of the airship, could be likewise mounted on the last stage of the launch rocket, that would ...
user avatar
  • 7,052
2 votes
1 answer
330 views

Could a CubeSat be propelled by this low-tech electromagnetic propulsion system?

I have come up with a conceptual idea for a low-tech electromagnetic propulsion system for a CubeSat, and I would like to know if it would create (on a theoretical basis) a net force strong enough to ...
user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
703 views

Compressed gas thruster for an orbital launch vehicle?

Is it possible for a compressed gas thruster to be used to launch a spacecraft into orbit? Let's say, it's already moving at 250MPH(111.7 meters/second) relative to the planets surface. Planets ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
194 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 ...
user avatar
  • 148k
8 votes
2 answers
1k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 3,829
3 votes
4 answers
196 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 ...
user avatar
  • 31
1 vote
0 answers
52 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 ...
user avatar
13 votes
7 answers
9k 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 ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
153 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 ...
user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
275 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 ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
249 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) ...
user avatar
  • 148k
5 votes
1 answer
433 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 ...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
298 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 ...
user avatar
  • 1
2 votes
1 answer
259 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 ...
user avatar
  • 1
0 votes
1 answer
138 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 ...
user avatar
  • 1
7 votes
3 answers
392 views

Fast spinning 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 ...
user avatar
  • 1
2 votes
2 answers
345 views

Could electricity 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 ...
user avatar
  • 1
34 votes
6 answers
11k 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 ...
user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
310 views

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

For simplicity, consider a spherical metal shape for shielding cargo/people behind. (The liquid ball is supposed to be between the Sun and the cargo. Not people inside it.) A problem I see is that it ...
user avatar
  • 1
3 votes
2 answers
314 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 ...
user avatar
  • 3,579
1 vote
1 answer
116 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?
user avatar
  • 1
-1 votes
1 answer
129 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 ...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
163 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 ...
user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
302 views

Speculation on the concept of in-space magnetic ring/rail launcher for a spaceship?

This is in reference to the question If human space travel is limited by the G force vulnerability, is there a way to counter G forces? Which, by my limited understanding, seems to point at the ...
user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
242 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. ...
user avatar
  • 1