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Author Topic: Raffle to the Moon...  (Read 3050 times)

Lillowen

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Re: Raffle to the Moon...
« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2012, 08:10:13 AM »

Which fuel?  There's an awful lot of rocket fuels, ranging from solid-rocket perchlorate-based materials to the Space Shuttle Main Engines, which are pure hydrogen/oxygen burners.

    LOX and kerosene (RP-1). Used for the first stages of the Saturn V, Atlas V and Falcon, the Russian Soyuz, Ukranian Zenit, and developmental rockets like Angara and Long March 6. Very similar to Robert Goddard's first rocket. This combination is widely regarded as the most practical for boosters that lift off at ground level and therefore must operate at full atmospheric pressure.

    LOX and liquid hydrogen, used in the Space Shuttle orbiter, the Centaur upper stage of the Atlas V, Saturn V upper stages, the newer Delta IV rocket, the H-IIA rocket, and most stages of the European Ariane 5 rocket.

    Nitrogen tetroxide (N2O4) and hydrazine (N2H4), MMH, or UDMH. Used in military, orbital, and deep space rockets because both liquids are storable for long periods at reasonable temperatures and pressures. N2O4/UDMH is the main fuel for the Proton rocket, Long March rockets, PSLV, and Fregat and Briz-M upper stages. This combination is hypergolic, making for attractively simple ignition sequences. The major inconvenience is that these propellants are highly toxic, hence they require careful handling.

    Monopropellants such as hydrogen peroxide, hydrazine, and nitrous oxide are primarily used for attitude control and spacecraft station-keeping where their long-term storability, simplicity of use, and ability to provide the tiny impulses needed, outweighs their lower specific impulse as compared to bipropellants. Hydrogen peroxide is also used to drive the turbopumps on the first stage of the Soyuz launch vehicle.

(Sourced from Wikipedia, this batch, thanks)

Now, when it comes down to the efficiency of the rocket nozzle, then you definitely have an issue, as those are commonly built to have a maximum efficiency only at a specific altitude, a matter only solved through the use of an aerospike engine, none of which have been publicly fielded to my knowledge.  They might though be in use on some classified-as-hell project (as opposed to lab and test-stand demonstrators like I've seen), but elsewise, I've no clue.
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Re: Raffle to the Moon...
« Reply #16 on: December 21, 2012, 08:55:14 AM »

Base price for a Falcon 9 is $54 million.  Falcon 9 heavy is $120 million.  Most of the price of space travel is government bloat.  With private firms having a go at it, that bloat is cut out, giving figures like SpaceX's.  Some estimates for a moon base are $35 billion and below, over an order of magnitude lower than what NASA would pay.  I'm still working on my own numbers, but 100 billion is a very high estimate.  The real unknowns are in development, but they shouldn't be as high as NASA pays.  $100 billion would send quite a few people to the moon, and much sooner than you'd think.

You also have to consider that several advanced propulsion techniques are being worked on right now.  Look up the Mach-Lorentz thruster for starters.  Those have the potential to change things within a decade, let alone a lifetime.
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Tiffany Ross

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Re: Raffle to the Moon...
« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2012, 10:31:42 AM »

No.  Don't want to go to the moon.
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Lillowen

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Re: Raffle to the Moon...
« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2012, 11:26:23 AM »

The Mach-Lorentz thruster, and the Woodward effect in general, seems to be under deep scrutiny, and there seems to be a LOT of skepticism about whether it would work (or even for that matter whether it is science at all considering that it might violate physical laws (or so it seems)).
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The whole history of science has been the gradual realization that events do not happen in an arbitrary manner, but that they reflect a certain underlying order, which may or may not be divinely inspired.  --Stephen W. Hawking : "A Brief History of Time"

Some people are like slinkys They aren't good for anything but you just can't help but smile when you see them tumbling down the stairs.

hariman

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Re: Raffle to the Moon...
« Reply #19 on: December 21, 2012, 12:01:48 PM »

Lillowen: I'm speaking in relative terms to magrail launches and other theoretical launch systems that require only the fuel needed to power the generator/capacitors.

But, that IS an interesting section of article on rocket fuels. :)
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