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Hypography X Prize Entry


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We can do better than the 5.7 km/sec from LEO to moon orbit figure you give.   We do it like this:   From LEO we place the craft into an orbit with an apogee of 322464 km. This places it within the

I'm getting excited now.     I'd like to focus primarily on propulsion if that's okay... Doing some research, it seems that most of the work can be done for us with preconstructed systems. Here's on

The cars need to be rugged in terms of needing to operate in the daylight of the moon, and survive the cold moon night. They would be equipped with a couple of cameras. Call it three. Two would be

I shall propose a Magenetic Acceleration Cannon to deliver our package to the moon!

That or a giant sling shot is about equal in the chance of success...At this stage at least.

 

I think we've all come to the consensus that a rocket is the best way to go. ;)

 

If you think of a better/cheaper way, then we're all ears.

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I think we've all come to the consensus that a rocket is the best way to go.

except for me, i voted for a boomy boosty thingy if i recall correctly.

 

Why aren't we employing this method already?

Because for the amount of mass they are sending into space, the balloon method would be impractical. second reason is that it is not as simple as using an already built platform. Lastly it has been used in russian space program and xprize, they use planes, i propose high altitude balloons for environmental reasons. also, remember that we are not sending a 2 tonn craft up into space, we need to make it as small and light as we can possibly make it ;)

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except for me, i voted for a boomy boosty thingy if i recall correctly.

 

Oh, right. A "boomy boosty thingy". :)

What exactly were you referring to?

 

We're still going to need some kind of rocket to take us to the moon. Is that what you were referring to?

 

Because for the amount of mass they are sending into space, the balloon method would be impractical. second reason is that it is not as simple as using an already built platform. Lastly it has been used in russian space program and xprize, they use planes, i propose high altitude balloons for environmental reasons. also, remember that we are not sending a 2 tonn craft up into space, we need to make it as small and light as we can possibly make it ;)

 

Good point. So I wonder how much lift those balloons can provide?

(freezy heads off to google)

 

edit: ok, found this site: Balloon Lift

 

For Hydrogen:

diameter=24 volume(L)=204976.4 lift(gr)=228550.5 lift(lb)=503.87

 

That's a lot of lift, but I suspect our module will be much heavier than that.

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certainly, you as a space person, should be aware of where the majority of chemical energy of a rocket is spent. right, to accelerate the craft over the first 10000feet. the air is dense here, and it takes lots of energy to propel a vehicle through it. This is why for a very long time, russians, in their Buran project, were working on creating a flying shuttle launch platform, because the energy saving is termendous, so, you need less fuel, which means less weight and ability to use a smaller craft. This is also why the original x-prize used a plane to launch the "runner" (i think they called it) which had the rocket booster that then accelerated the craft to where it needed to go...

 

I suggest a similar design, only instead of a plane, it would be cool to use high altitude balloons, and thinking about the weight of the craft, most likely multiple high altitude baloons, to get the craft to over 10000feet, in fact to something like 100-120 000 feet prior to using rocket boosters to then break the earth's pull... I'm a math person, but i'm not a rocketry person, so i can not give you precise figures, but maybe someone with rocketry experience can, but it would be a hefty amount of fuel that would take you 35km up.... though it's still miniscule compared to the totel distance that is needed to travel, methinks its the biggest friction barrier for the mission :)

 

i think i'll stop here and go start working on changing over my linux install to xubuntu on my mac :) (dont worry it's a dual boot)

 

Okay, using the launch model I already have ready in orbiter, it is pretty easy to figure out if this is practical or not.

 

At an altitude of 35km, my model has used 43487 kg of fuel, the remaining mass being 54294 kg.

 

So how much hydrogen would it take to lift this mass to 35 km by balloon?

 

It takes about 0.6 kg of hydrogen to lift 1 kg of mass, so this gives you a mass of 33120 kg, for an apparent savings of 10367 kg (not counting the weight of the balloons themselves.)

 

But, here in lies the rub: My model has an upward velocity of over 1 km/sec when it hits that 35 km. A balloon would not have this velocity. So how much of that 10367 kg was used to get that 1 km.sec? You can't count this as part of your savings.

 

So instead of figuring out how much fuel is used when you pass the 35 km mark, you figure out how much fuel it would take to just get the rocket to a altitude of 35 km with no vertical velocity when it gets there. This worked out to be 29385 kg of fuel. This left a remaining mass of 68394 kg. This would be the mass a balloon would have lift, and you would need 41038 kg of hydrogen for your balloon.

 

Slight problem here, this is more than the fuel you would burn by rocket.

 

Quick note: My model is based on what it would take to deliver and land a payload of just a bit over 100kg to the moon's surface.

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except for me, i voted for a boomy boosty thingy if i recall correctly.

 

 

Because for the amount of mass they are sending into space, the balloon method would be impractical. second reason is that it is not as simple as using an already built platform. Lastly it has been used in russian space program and xprize, they use planes, i propose high altitude balloons for environmental reasons. also, remember that we are not sending a 2 tonn craft up into space, we need to make it as small and light as we can possibly make it :)

 

Not an impractical idea to be sure. :bloom: >> Air Force Explores Balloon-Assisted Launches

 

Maybe kites? :lol: Sorry...had to say it. :evil: :doh:

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interesting link Turtle, I didn't know they were thinking about this type of launch. :shrug:

 

 

you know that would have to be the worlds largest kite. :evil:

 

Air Force Explores Balloon-Assisted Launches

...Powell turned to the work of space science pioneer James Van Allen' date=' who developed the concept of balloon-assisted launches at the University of Iowa in the 1950s. Van Allen, discoverer of the Van Allen Radiation Belt, used a rockoon to explore cosmic ray intensity, auroral particles and the Arctic magnetic fields. The [b']rockoon[/b] system carried rockets via balloon to heights of 1,500 meters, and from there they were launched to altitudes of up to 75,700 meters. ...

 

Just to clarify, it has already been done. Rockoon to the Moon!! I love it. :shrug: Way to go Jim Van. :bloom:

 

Problem with the kite is that no matter the sail area, as you climb higher the air thins and you loose lift. I just like attaching ideas to kites. :lol: I like saying kite. Ohhh....Rockite! :) :doh:

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If what Janus has calculated is true (and I'm only saying "if" because I have not checked the numbers myself), the balloon-assisted launch idea is not a good one for a lunar mission. I'm sure that it can find use for the purposes listed in the article Turtle posted (small, lightweight satellites), but for a lunar trip it seems impractical and more expensive compared to a traditional rocket approach, as discussed earlier in this thread.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Suit up rocketeers, I will be back in town soon.
Your return cannot come too soon, IMHO :confused:

 

In the absence of a ringleader, I’ve slacked off completely on the Google X prize, having in short time built a nice framework, in the past 60 days I’ve done nothing to my MUMPS-based simulator to add the modules needed to actually run a guidance program for an earth orbit-to-landing. :( I’m all thought, no action! ;)

 

At a New Year’s party, I discovered that a semi-professional astronomer friend is actually a professional vacuum pump salesman. So the prospect of actually being able to create my own little box of moon-like vacuum in my basement seems, if not certainly within my mechanical grasp, at least affordable. :)

 

Now, if only the pesky Payment Card Industry (PCI) would stop pestering me at work, I’d surely have all the time I need… The nerve of those multi-trillion dollar industry councils – do they think we have nothing better to do than protect their highly profitable participating organizations from losses due to credit card fraud?! My business is supposed to be enhancing medical quality of care, damnit! :rant:

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Your return cannot come too soon, IMHO :)

Thanks, Craig!

 

I am back from my sabbatical, and I am ready to get to work. I am going to be focusing on two areas for our X-Prize entry. 1) I am going to be working on the overall mission profile to help keep the ideas flowing into creative and plausible plans. In that regard I will be working with every team. 2) I am going to build a working rover that will be controllable via the internet. As it gets closer to a usable state I will work with Tormod and creating a portal here at Hypo for observing it in action, and letting people take turns driving it around our initial lunar surface simulator (the area around my house in range of my wireless internet). The overall plan is going to be an ongoing work in progress with each team determining their own deadlines.

 

I will add details about the rover in the rover thread. I am also going to start a thread that summarizes all of our work to date so a person can see the current state of the mission profile without having to hunt all over to find it. I will work on that this week, but it is third behind school and work, so my progress may be slow.

 

If you are new to the site, or just finding this thread, you are more than welcome to join in the fun. That is all for now.

 

Bill

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  • 1 month later...

Today felt like the first day of spring. The sun was out and the birds were singing. I took the kids to the park and we played tag on the new playground equipment. The lake is melted and was almost perfectly calm and flat so we spent some time skipping stones and speculating about how long it would take to throw every rock at the edge of the lake into the lake. We decided it would take forever. But all of that is just window dressing around the point of this post. Spring means spring cleaning, and spring cleaning means cleaning out the garage. And cleaning out the garage means working on the lunar rover. I hope to be busy with it in a few weeks.

 

Now I must warn everyone that I am going to be on a thin time budget, just a couple hours each week, so I will so a bit, play a bit with it, post about it, and let it go until the next time. I love the intellectual puzzle of this project, but spending too much time with it is not a top priority, and spending money on it is even lower. I am hoping that my son John works on it with me, but he is more likely to be preparing a costume for the Ren Fair than interested in space exploration. We will see. I will make some basic design drawing and include pictures and specs of the RC car I bought for the project last fall. I might still do that this weekend. Hell, I might do that right now, I have a few minutes...

 

Bill

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