Tuesday, August 20, 2013

New site updated

A total of 4 new posts
  1. About the Mars trip--- discussion of problems and possible solutions
  2. Mark Levin's book signing draws a crowd ( video )
  3. Watch the 10 year yield--- what to look for from the economy in the near future
  4. Next generation airships --- Aeroscraft is making a big airship in California

Sunday, August 18, 2013

[Shared Post] GDP per capita in terms of commodities 1960-2011

GDP per capita in terms of commodities 1960-2011


Statistics derived from this source.

[Shared Post] China Will NOT Overtake U.S. – Dick Morris TV: Lunch Alert!

latest post:

China Will NOT Overtake U.S. – Dick Morris TV: Lunch Alert!

[Shared Post] Using the Skylon as scaffold to build Mars space vehicle

latest post on new blog:

Using the Skylon as scaffold to build Mars space vehicle

[Shared Post] Announcement

Announcement:  "Posting to new blog site to commence immediately"

Update:  To see the post go to the link below.

The new site has been neglected.  Time to use it or lose it.


The Skylon: How to fly an aircraft into space - Truthloader

If you could imagine for a moment, how could you attach stuff on each end of the Skylon once it is in orbit?

The wing structure would be the strongest part of the vehicle.  The payload area is directly above it.  I'm thinking of an attachment that would go there and extend in both directions so that it can accommodate the habitat and lander on opposite ends.

The NTR would be in the payload bay.  The hydrogen for the trip back would double as radiation shielding from the reactor.  It would already be in Skylon's tanks.

Perhaps the lander could be an enhanced Dragon.  In order to leave Mars, you probably want more than the onboard Draco engines.  Perhaps a methane/lox booster that can be refueled for the trip back up.  They would separate after leaving the Skylon, and land on the Mars surface in close proximity.


A previous post about a trip to Mars.

If modifying the Skylon isn't acceptable...

Then just carry up the nuclear thermal engine as cargo.  A 4000 MW nuclear thermal rocket could fit inside the Skylon's cargo bay.  Perhaps you don''t need that much thrust.  A smaller engine, like a 800 MW engine could be fired longer to do the job.  The advantage of a smaller engine would be that it would be easier to shield.

That thought gave me an idea.

What if you were to use the Skylon to go to Mars and back?  The idea is to use the nuclear thermal reactor (NTR) as the propulsion device to and from Mars.  You'd fit it inside the cargo bay, and hook it up the the hydrogen tanks.  Put a couple hard points at each end of the Skylon so that it can be spun up for artificial gravity for the long trip to Mars.  On one end, there'd be a habitat.  On the other end, there'd be a lander.

At 3 RPM, you'd get the same artificial gravity Von Braun was talking about with his space station concept.  The length of the Skylon is comparable to the diameter of his space station.

You would need several launches to get everything in place for the trip.  You'd need to refuel the hydrogen tanks.  You would need to deliver the habitat and the lander.

One advantage to using a Skylon this way would be to have a ready made way back to the ground.  The same vehicle that gets to orbit can return from Mars.  As mentioned, there wouldn't be a need for separate hydrogen tanks for the NTR.  That would reduce the number of assembly missions.

Perhaps only three assembly missions would be needed.  One to deliver the Skylon and NTR itself.  Two, to deliver the habitat and supplies.  And three, to deliver the lander and fuel.  Note:  the Skylon doesn't have to do all the lifting.  A heavy lifter could do the rest.  Just dock all of the pieces together and you're ready to go.

Perhaps a fourth mission could put into place a methane/lox generator on the Mars surface.  The lander could be used multiple times in order to refuel the Skylon's tanks for the return trip to Earth.  You would want a water source, though.  Mars has plenty of water.  Another possibility would be to carry all return hydrogen on the initial assembly.