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Advanced Concepts / Re: Rail launch system for a TSTO craft !
« Last post by JohnFornaro on Today at 01:20 PM »
I checked there was no thread for this here so far !

Loook harder...

So, you take the next launch vehicle, and strap it on a long MagLev ramp and accelerate it to a high speed, maybe 1000 mph.  The ramp is sort of a reverse roller coaster; starts out horizontal, curves upward to vertical.  As soon as you get to the top, you ignite the rocket.  The benefit is that you use nuclear power from a generating facility to overcome inertia and get up a head of steam.  The initial rocket blast would stop the MagLev carrier.  Timing is everything.  The ramp is reusable and quickly made ready for the next flight.
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Given the size of the barge, could they use it for future BFR returns with little modification?

And launches with a few modifications.  It addresses a huge point of BFR discussion that there isn't anywhere viable (practical) for land launches of a BFR currently identified.
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So, if I get this straight, a drone unmanned Dragon spacecraft will be launched by a drone unmanned rocket which will autonomously land on this giant drone ship while probably being videotaped by drones.

And designed by a guy who thinks there's a risk of AI enslaving / destroying humanity...
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The lander might use CH4 or there might be some refueling going on at the EAM...
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Kudos to sghill for correctly predicting wings. I was a doubter, but fortunately did not promise to eat my hat if I was wrong. Will be having my normal tasty breakfast of a glazed doughnut instead.  ;)
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Its been a decade...and folks still want to build an HLV based on old technology when there such an exciting path forward
If you support SLS/Orion, it appears you only care about building, operating, providing oversight of old technology

Here's a quick list of "old technology" that comes to mind just quickly off the top of my head.
Gasoline engines, wheels, electric lights, vacuum cleaners, skill saws, nuclear power plants, gas kitchen ranges, refrigerators, sewing machines, Soyuz launch vehicle, communications satellites, television, radio, radar, automobiles, raincoats, ceramic dishes, rivets, bolts and nuts, welding, farm tractors, combines, ships, airplanes, jet engines, glass windows, paint, computers, printers, newspapers, pencils, ink pens, tape measures, clocks, calculators, bulldozers, road graders, asphalt, concrete, firearms, etc, etc, etc. I could literally go on for hours listing things that we all depend on every day of our lives that are totally dependent on "old technology".

The question should be "does it work and work well?", not "how old is the tech?". Deciding whether or not something should be used on the basis of whether or not it is "old technology is just plain *stupid*.
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Q&A Section / Re: Orbits Q&A
« Last post by baldusi on Today at 12:59 PM »
Wikipwdia stated that Venus was too round for it to provide any meaningful drift.
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We need to remember that most of SpaceX's decisions are driven by cost, and road transport is cheapest.

Also, according to Musk, F9 will be road transportable "forever", at roughly 13 feet in diameter and 140 feet long for the first stage.

starting around 0:45
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SpaceX Landing Barge! It was said that the first stage will land on the barge and then fly back to the landing site. Not sure if it's this mission but an interesting idea.

Information on the barge thrusters from the manufacturer, Thrustmaster.
http://www.thrustmaster.net/spacex-announces-spaceport-barge-positioned-thrustmasters-thrusters/
#t=39
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Can someone familiar with gas cylinders please take a look at this (old) photograph of the landing leg -   http://www.spacex.com/news/2013/03/26/landing-leg   and any others out there to comment on whether it could be commanded to retract (vs. just extend) for the flyback without any external intervention (other than maybe adding or re-pressurizing He in the supply tank at the same time as re-fueling).  From what I think  I know of gas cylinders the answer is that this is a one way extend only design because the rod diameter is nearly as large as the outer cylinder ~ thus no piston could exist internally that would have a back side.  But I want a knowledgeable second opinion on that.  Also, may want to look at the design of the leg latches to see if they could be self latching or would need manual latching.

ISTM there could be a cable mechanism inside, which would be able to retract the leg. But, in order to do that post-liftoff would need quite a bit of power and weight.

Cheers, Martin
My guess:

Rocket lands.

An autonomous vehicle, looking (and weighing) like an aircraft tug you see at airports, drives underneath, registers to the hold-downs, jacks up, and latches.

The vehicle is wide and very heavy. It is an all-inclusive GSE center. It also has a heat shield on top.

It jacks up more, taking the weight off the legs.

Not sure about leg retraction...

It jacks down.

It drives to center-deck, where there are supply ports (in the deck) for propellant. Helium, electricity, etc.

It recharges the rocket.

The rocket then launches from this platform.
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