53 votes

Before we build a Mars colony, why don't we build a 100% self-sustainable test colony in the Antarctic?

The colonization sites under consideration would be in the mid latitudes or equatorial, and would be more like Arizona than Antarctica in terms of sunlight, with a near 24 hour day/night period and ...
Christopher James Huff's user avatar
37 votes
Accepted

Repurposing a nuclear submarine for space travel

NO A rocket can lift a few tons. A submarine weight thousands of tons. Propel itself in space: if you add an rocket or ion engine it could. But it's WAAAAY too heavy for any of theses to work. ...
Antzi's user avatar
  • 12.6k
31 votes

Before we build a Mars colony, why don't we build a 100% self-sustainable test colony in the Antarctic?

One reason for not starting a new one is that we have already built several: Flashline Arctic Devon Island Utah Dessert Sealed 500 day missions Hawaii Underwater And the actual antarctic stations, one ...
GremlinWranger's user avatar
27 votes

Are Armageddon's simultaneous shuttle launches feasible?

Most of your concerns can be put to rest by this image: Image credit: NASA, Source: Wikipedia For the last time in the Shuttle program, Space Shuttles Atlantis and Endeavour are placed ...
TildalWave's user avatar
24 votes
Accepted

How feasible is the Delta-Glider?

The specific impulse figure of 40kN•s/kg (i.e. exhaust velocity of 40km/s) and the 31.5km/s of delta-v achieved thereby is not achievable with current propulsion technology -- it’s about 10 times the ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
17 votes
Accepted

Is going to Ceres "as easy as going to Mars" like this aerospace engineer says?

This hinges as bit on what "as easy as" means. We clearly can't go to Mars today because we don't have the technology. We do have all the bits and pieces in theory, but we haven't build anything that ...
Polygnome's user avatar
  • 6,936
16 votes
Accepted

Why aren't linear aerospike engines in common use?

Aerospikes are notoriously difficult to cool efficiently. With a bell nozzle, you have a minor part of rapidly expanding(+cooling) exhaust touching the broad, actively cooled nozzle - that means ...
SF.'s user avatar
  • 55k
16 votes
Accepted

Are Armageddon's simultaneous shuttle launches feasible?

There's no historical precedent for simultaneous launch, but some early space program rendezvous experiments had flights launched somewhat close together. Gemini 8, 10, 11, and 12 each launched ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
10 votes

Is going to Ceres "as easy as going to Mars" like this aerospace engineer says?

Well, I'd say that "We can go to Ceres as easily as Mars" isn't quite true, but it's really a matter of perspective. On the one hand, measuring by fuel expenditure, specifically rocket delta-v, a ...
Dragongeek's user avatar
  • 18.8k
9 votes

Repurposing a nuclear submarine for space travel

It would be easier to repurpose a large truck tire, and it would be more effective. Antzi has a great answer for NO but the question shows some lack of knowledge about the difference between imploding ...
James Jenkins's user avatar
9 votes

How feasible would it be to move the ISS to the surface of the Moon to recycle its components in future?

Supplementary answer expanding on @PearsonArtPhoto's answer. The first part of getting ISS (or anything else) from LEO to the Moon is lifting it's orbit around the Earth (or at least one end of its ...
Steve Linton's user avatar
  • 19.6k
9 votes

Why aren't linear aerospike engines in common use?

The Everyday Astronaut just released an hour long video investigating this question. Some of the main points are: Aerospikes are especially advantageous to single stage to orbit vehicles, and ...
JanKanis's user avatar
  • 541
8 votes
Accepted

Are magnetic boots in space practical?

This turns out to be a pre-space-age thing. It's not really needed, most of the time it's perfectly fine to float around. On Skylab they provided an elaborate system of triangular grid floors and ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
7 votes

Could oxygen be used in a resistojet in a vacuum environment?

This response addresses just the last part of your question "what sort of $I_\text{sp}$ and thrust might it have", and does so in the sense of an ideal resistojet. I hope this isn't too basic an ...
Puffin's user avatar
  • 9,564
7 votes

Before we build a Mars colony, why don't we build a 100% self-sustainable test colony in the Antarctic?

The conditions in Antarctica are very different from Mars so building a base there is not a good analogue. There is a near a vacuum on Mars and the amount of sun light received on Mars would be much ...
Slarty's user avatar
  • 9,323
6 votes
Accepted

How often can liquid hydrogen engines be restarted?

My understanding is that designing for multiple restarts isn't particularly difficult; it's just that most engines don't have the need for it, so they don't bother. The RL-10 mentioned in the Lunar ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
6 votes

How feasible is the Delta-Glider?

Brief: The extremely high Isp (about a factor of 9 above what is achievable today) enables it to perform feats of derring-do beyond our current imaginings. Apart from that, it seems feasible. ...
Russell McMahon's user avatar
5 votes

Could momentum transfer be practical (e.g., for orbital insertion at Pluto)?

Obviously in very abstract theory a probe's momentum could be transferred from one component to another such that one part of the probe might be inserted into orbit while the other part is flung even ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
5 votes

Is the Pulse detonation engine feasible

Pulsed propulsion is certainly possible, but there are a bunch of engineering issues that mean such a design would never be more efficient than a comparable constant-flow chemical rocket. For nuclear ...
Ingolifs's user avatar
  • 6,458
5 votes

Is the Pulse detonation engine feasible

It is indeed possible, and at least one craft powered by pulse detonation engines have been successfully flown. A big problem of pulse detonation engines for aircraft use is the infernal noise - if ...
Eth's user avatar
  • 769
5 votes

Could the ISS be propelled to Mars?

Yes. If you added a slow ion thruster you could slowly raise the orbit, also you can use the moon to help pull you out of the current low earth orbit. Eventually gravity assist passed the moon and ...
Brooks Nelson's user avatar
5 votes

Could the ISS be propelled to Mars?

Yes, you can but like it was said it would need some changes. Better insulation. You would need to keep the internal temperature the same receiving only 43% the solar heat ((149km/228km)²=0,43). ...
OuNelson Mangela's user avatar
5 votes

Why aren't linear aerospike engines in common use?

Having worked at Rocketdyne for many years my understanding was that although they wanted to put it on the Space Shuttle, the politics of a single source caused NASA to write a proposal that required ...
Rick Harry's user avatar
4 votes

Would it have been possible to have sent the Space Shuttle around the Moon?

Late to the party but I just watched a video by Scott Manley from August 2020 discussing the exact question, in the context of the TV Series "For All Mankind" which features Shuttles outside ...
Peter - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
4 votes

Repurposing a nuclear submarine for space travel

No. Absolutely not. 1) Submarines are prohibitively heavy. Like... WAYYYY too heavy. You couldn't get one into space. 2) If you could do it piece-meal, it would take many, many launches to get ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 41
4 votes

Before we build a Mars colony, why don't we build a 100% self-sustainable test colony in the Antarctic?

There are three main location categories for analog tests for Mars colonization: Lunar base Space station Biosphere on Earth A lunar base will have the highest fidelity, providing an environment ...
Steve Pemberton's user avatar
2 votes

Stabilization of Lagrange point asteroids

tl;dr: Inclination change. Yikes! You would have to reduce their inclinations. It's better to consider a longer transit and tilt your own inclination with an Earth fly-by each time you go, than to ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
2 votes
Accepted

Probable future tech to sterilize an EVA suit as it is being worn

Vacuum is a harsh environment, so having the suit exposed to it should get rid of most bacteria. It is not a bulletproof method though, as confirmed by a famous case. Another good opportunity is to ...
SE - stop firing the good guys's user avatar
2 votes

How would manned interstellar travel become feasible?

Edit: An alternative for building a huge ship to sustain a whole colony for thousands of years of travel would be to send cryogenized people, and unfreeze them once arrived; a middle term solution in ...
J. Chomel's user avatar
2 votes

Why aren't linear aerospike engines in common use?

This answer is supplemental to the other excellent answers here. This Curious Droid video also confirms it's just a question of time and money. The first few words "History is full of decisions..." ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k

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