Christine - 10/9/2007 7:50 AMThe best way to shield from solar protons during a flare in my mind would be to put a giant water filled polyethylene tank on the sun-facing side of your habitat.
tnphysics - 11/9/2007 9:58 PMIn principle, why couldn't you make the spacecraft able to withstand launch loads without a fairing?
kkattula wrote: "Basically, if you take a bunch of smokers, send them to Mars and back over 3 years, (without cigarettes), their life expectancy on return would be higher than if they'd stayed on Earth and continued smoking."
If you take a bunch of smokers and put them into a small aluminum can together on a trip to Mars, without cigarettes . . .and I guarantee their life expectancy will be no more than 2 weeks. They'll all kill each other! :laugh:
Kaputnik - 11/9/2007 6:06 PMNo reason other than that it is usually more mass-efficient to have a disposable fairing than a toughened spacecraft. ... it will also increase the aerodynamic drag on the vehicle, reducing performance.
bad_astra - 13/9/2007 9:10 AMUnless you're building an Oneal colony from Earth Materials (exactly the opposite of how it should be built, anyway), there is no reason, ever, for a Sea Dragon. How many launches of this kind of vehicle could be needed by one country in one year? One? Maybe one every 2? You still need standing army to maintain it, it's prep facilities, etc during the off time so you really get no savings from having such a monster. And if you LOSE a Sea Dragon, how many years are you unable to go to space at all because you bet the farm on one LV and killed off the rest of the competition?What is far more reasonable and robust is a diverse lv's with high flight rates.
tnphysics - 19/9/2007 6:14 PMSea Dragon was intended to use a "brute force" approach to acheving large payloads.What about a more clever approach?Pump-fed reusable LRBs. Pump fed (but no more expensive) reusable core stage. Nuclear upper stage.