16

The question is somewhat odd. The "Interplanetary Transport Network" may be a misleading term. When probes are sent into deep space, most of them make use of flybys or gravity assist manoeuvres. Virtually every celestial body can therefore be used for increasing the speed of a probe or decreasing it. The "network" refers to series of such manoeuvres. In the ...


16

Answer: not much. Here is a photo I took looking aft inside of the 747. Here is another just below the hard points. Ignore the silly people. ;)


14

Given the limited fuel range of N911, I would wonder why the fuel tank wasn't expanded From the Shuttle Ferry Flight blog: ...the SCA has a very limited range when ferrying the Orbiter. That range depends primarily on the weight of the Orbiter and the air temperature. Winds are also a factor. The heavier the Orbiter is, the less fuel we can load into ...


12

There were two tailcones. For a long time there was only one, but when Endeavour was built with a drag chute, it required a mod to accommodate that since the drag chute box was at the base of the vertical tail. The opportunity was taken to build a second tailcone. The tailcones broke down into six pieces. They were shipped back to Dryden by truck. They ...


11

There are several ways to transfer energy through long distances of hard vacuum and even the atmosphere wirelessly. What Nikola Tesla was doing back in the pioneering days of wireless power wouldn't really work, because electrodynamic induction transfers lose too much of their efficiency over distances much larger than one sixth of the wavelength. And ...


11

Yes, you can transport energy through space. That's how we get energy from the Sun. I believe that what you saw was referring to the use of solar power satellites to provide electrical energy for use in Earth power grids. Solar energy collected in space has the potential advantage to be independent of the day-night cycle, as opposed to solar energy plants ...


9

Short Answer: No. The maximum speed of curiosity is around 90 meters per hour with a 'cruising' speed of around 30 meters per hour. Average human walking speed is around 5000 meters per hour (that's 5km/h or around 3 miles per hour). The various Mars-rovers simply aren't built for long-range travel, aiming more for a lifetime max of a few kilometers of ...


9

In terms of delta-v budget there could be large savings in transporting required materials from the Moon to LEO (∆V ~ 2.74 km/s) instead of Earth to LEO (∆V ~ 9.3 - 10 km/s) [1], assuming you can reduce excess orbit insertion velocity (~ 3.3 km/s from about 11 km/s reentry speed to 7.7 km/s for ISS) that builds up due to Earth's larger Hill sphere with ...


7

As for your bonus question: NASA operates four Navy surplus F/A-18s as chase/observation planes for test flights. They're unarmed and demilitarized; if for some reason the SCA needed an armed escort, they'd get it from USAF or USN. In addition to those F/A-18s, NASA has historically used T-38s and F-104s in this role -- they still have T-38s and still use ...


7

I'm going to say "no". I thought of a lot of objections but realized I was overlooking a fundamental one, namely: What's the most important difference between a kilogram of oxynitrogen in the upper atmosphere and that same kilogram in an air tank in low Earth orbit? The difference is the speed that it is moving at. Eight km/sec! No matter how your ...


6

The "easiest" way I can think of to accomplish this is to make friends with an astronaut scheduled to fly aboard the ISS. I believe they aren't allowed to fly souvenirs for profit, but I imagine you could get away with asking them to carry a small item for you in their personal gear in exchange for some other favor.


6

There are some real hurdles here. They include: Drag. Some portion of the "hose" will experience drag which will have to be compensated for by some sort of propulsion. Angular momentum. Regardless of how you pump the gas up to a higher orbit, you will have to increase that mass' angular momentum. More propellant... Rarefied gas. In order to be able to ...


5

Airplane engines, and rocket engines are usually transported with a cover on them. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single piece of unexpected debris. The covers try to protect them.


5

While the rover is an automated vehicle, it is likely it can be used in a personnel transport role. Any vehicle that can carry a person's suited mass, and has a platform big enough to sit upon, and doesn't exceed about 3G's of thrust is a suitable personnel transport. It may not be ideal, it may not be comfortable, but it doesn't need to be. The Mars One ...


5

It is true that some of the rockets, especially the initial Atlas family of launchers, are to be pressurized even during storage or they will collapse under their own weight. Basically, these are simply steel balloons that will retain their shape and rigidity only under constant pressurization. This 'steel balloon' design was essentially adopted from the ...


4

They have been wrapping the boosters in transport (and second stages, though those are smaller and thus rarely noticed by passerbys) all along. The question, is this a booster being transported for launch is easy to answer. It is on its way for testing in McGregor, before being then shipped to a launch site. (The article speculates this is core 1048 and it ...


4

Once you have a substantial refining operation on the moon you probably will go with an oxygen/argon atmosphere. Argon is suitably inert and will be obtained when you melt lunar rock. (It's from the decay of potassium, it's not primordial.)


4

High initial costs compared to current demand rate is the basic economic problem. The infrastructure would need more spacecrafts to serve in order for it to become worthwhile. Prolonging the life of GEO satellites might become the crucial stepping stone to make this concept profitable. But they are today not built be refueled. I think that tugging is much ...


3

A link to the relevant article: http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/space-flight-news/orion/exploration-flight-test-1/two-delta-iv-heavy-boosters-arrive-ccafs-leadup-nasas-eft-1-mission/ From that article, On Tuesday, March 4, two Delta IV Common Booster Cores (CBC’s) arrived at Port Canaveral aboard United Launch Alliance’s (ULA’s) Delta Mariner barge. ...


3

Solar-Power cells do exactly this. Light is an electromagnetic wave that can be converted into electricity. On a larger scale, we could build a giant space-laser to beam concentrated light at a particular point. As others have pointed-out, this is solidly in the realm of Sci-Fi right now. There are major hurdles preventing such a project, engineering a "...


3

This information can be found in a document produced by the Historic American Engineering Record as part of their effort to document the Space Transportation System. The pdf document is located here (too long to post the log).


3

The fabric sleeve used (not plastic) is deliberately black to increase internal temperature and with it pressure which helps maintain the stage's shape during transport (or rather, prevents it from bulging)... there's also two large compressors front and back of the transporter which do the same thing, pump air into the stage and keep it at relatively high ...


3

Let's apply Occam's Razor: The plastic is there to protect the stage against the elements (rain, sand, dirt blowing around). Black plastic is easy and cheap to make (see bin liners). The number of times a non-wrapped stage has been photographed makes "they want things to be hidden" an unlikely reason to wrap the stage. A quick estimate of the heat load:...


2

Yes, Boeing did the HASTOL study and it seems viable with current technology and economy, there is even Wikipedia article about it. Besides of lifting cargo from hypersonic aircraft to orbit, the bolo can also generate power by electrodynamic tethering and there were even several missions testing it.


2

There's two ways to view your proposal; If you can do impulse burns but not constant acceleration burns, like your mention of multi-stage accelerations suggests, then what you describe is a series of Hohmann transfers into higher orbital altitude, but instead of doing an orbital circularization burn, you continue with another apogee rising burn as the ...


2

According to the NASA page on the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, pig iron and pea gravel were loaded inside to balance the aircraft: "You see, the nearly 2 tons (1710 pounds) of pig iron up-front in the former first class section of the aircraft, and the 3.5 tons (7000 pounds) of pea gravel in the cargo hold are for keeping the aircraft’s center of gravity ...


1

The big gray box attached to the end of the trailer is the power pack for the trailer. It powers the hydraulic jacks that raise/lower and rotate each axle. Depending on the trailer design, it could provide drive power for the trailer too, so it can maneuver at low speeds without a tractor unit.


1

Ultimately, the most difficult challenge would be one of competing economically against entities that mine asteroids rather than the moon. I'll have to recheck for exact numbers, but I generally understand that the energy cost of getting off the moon exceeds the energy cost of bringing in asteroid material by around an order of magnitude.


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