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Ultralight spacecraft

Posted by: Terraformer - Fri Jun 12, 2009 12:58 pm
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Ultralight spacecraft 
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Post Ultralight spacecraft   Posted on: Fri Jun 12, 2009 12:58 pm
Notice to Richard P. Speck - I said spacecraft, not spacesuit with added heat shield :lol:

If we can get the cost of launching cargo down to $100/kg, and have a decent space infrastructure (craft already there, fuel depots using fuel from Luna/Asteroids), then ultralight spacecraft are the final piece in the puzzle. If they weigh 200kg/passenger (passenger included) then that would come to $20,000/person. If the rest of the flight (to the other planet) costs an extra $5000, then the totals $25,000. I'm sure people spend more than this in moving countries.


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Post Tiny spacecraft...   Posted on: Fri Jun 12, 2009 5:53 pm
Very small spacecraft? How about 200 grams or less. Can be done with today's technology: http://www.microlaunchers.com/

These can be cheap and numerous enough to change the space access paradigm as the microcomputer did for computer access


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Post    Posted on: Fri Jun 12, 2009 8:08 pm
I should have made myself clearer. I was refering to a manned spacecraft, to reach orbit.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Jun 12, 2009 8:31 pm
you're starting to violate physical laws once you try to get your spacecraft that small. pretty much you're required to have something propelled by electricity and have that electricity delivered to you while in "flight". the only thing actually capable of having this is a space elevator lifter platform as far as i'm aware. even then, you're not gonna get 200kg/passenger. it's just way too hard what with life support and all that.

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Post    Posted on: Fri Jun 12, 2009 10:22 pm
How is it violating physical laws? It's not like the craft has to get into orbit under it's own power. We have booster rockets for that.

I did calculations for life support for one day. The figure I came up with was about 40kg per person. It *is* possible, just ask rpspeck.


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Post    Posted on: Sat Jun 13, 2009 8:06 pm
ok if you're not counting booster rockets as part of the craft then you're not making an ultralight craft. rockets are expensive, and so is fuel for the rockets. if you want to use conventional chemical propulsion you will never get under $100/lb because your propellant cost will always be higher than that.

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Post    Posted on: Sat Jun 13, 2009 10:16 pm
TerraMrs, a spacecraft is the bit which flies around in space, and doesn't include the upper stage of the rocket.

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if you want to use conventional chemical propulsion you will never get under $100/lb because your propellant cost will always be higher than that.

Gasoline costs something like $1/liter, right (below that probably, I don't live in the US)? LOX is about 13 cents per liter. Propellent costs aren't such a big issue.

Besides, I was talking about the spacecraft itself, not the rockets used to put it up there.[/b]


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Post    Posted on: Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:05 am
Again it probably gets better with bigger space craft and lots of people.

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Post    Posted on: Mon Jun 15, 2009 4:35 pm
i don't have time to calculate a delta v cost per kg per km/s using just propellant costs but it's not going to be under $100 for any reasonable delta v even using best case estimates. sure you can have a metal shell with some air scrubbers and circulation equipment and sit up in LEO and it'll be not too expensive to operate, but once you start considering how you're gonna get down, what you want to do when you're up there, if you want to change orbits at all, you lose the ability to have a cheap craft. and while yes, the part that flies around in space is the "spacecraft", it's also ignoring the issue if you don't include the cost of getting the craft to space as part of the "spacecraft" cost.

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