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just a silly idea

Posted by: Nahtan - Thu May 06, 2010 6:51 am
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just a silly idea 
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Post just a silly idea   Posted on: Thu May 06, 2010 6:51 am
I have been thinking about how high you could get something for the least amount of energy and least amount of non-reusable parts. I would just like some people to pock holes in my idea, and tell me why it wouldn't work, or how it could be improved on.

My idea has three stages, A balloon to as high as balloons can go, and then I was thinking a kite being dragged by the balloon. I'm not sure if there are winds up at the max highs balloons can go or if you could make solar powered propeller work, but that is what I was thinking of, and then because a kite can be allot lighter and bigger(maybe make it out of Styrofoam and Mylar, and give it about 100 square meter area) I though a kite being pulled along by a balloon could get allot higher. The heaviest part of the kite I thought would be the string connecting it to the balloon. From what I have read and researched about the upper parts of the atmosphere, there would be atmospheric drag up till almost 500km, but was thinking the highest this sort of idea would be able to reach would be 120km.

After that I though you could try launching a small rocket, or maybe if you put a pipe/barrel on the kite I also though you could try firing two very small satellites off in opposite directions (two in opposite directions so each counter acts the force of the other one pushing off), I don't think you could get a full orbit before they fell to far, but with two you might be able to cover half the way around the world.


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Post Re: just a silly idea   Posted on: Fri May 07, 2010 6:28 pm
If you skip the kite, you'd get even higher with the balloon :-)


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Post Re: just a silly idea   Posted on: Fri May 07, 2010 9:20 pm
There's no way you're going to get much further than 60km with a balloon, unless it's made of diamond, contains a vacuum, and carries a payload of a few grams.

Even so, you can get most of the benefits a lot lower down - 30km roundabouts eliminates most of the air drag and gives you a vacuum level Isp for your engines. If I'm not allowed a Ramjet 1st stage, or full Airship to Orbit, I'd have an Airship that's capable of quite high speeds using an efficient engine - say 1-2km/s using a similar scheme to JP Aerospace (this is the point at which air drag switches to being a cube law, rather than a square one, I believe). After that, I'd have a two stage vehicle, with the first stage boosting to perhaps 5km/s before releasing the upper stage, which would fly on into orbit.

The first stage (airship) could get up quite high on it's own - suborbital torusim, easily.


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