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Xprize cup on a mountaintop

Posted by: Voyager4D - Sun Jan 18, 2004 10:23 am
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Xprize cup on a mountaintop 
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Space Walker
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Post Xprize cup on a mountaintop   Posted on: Sun Jan 18, 2004 10:23 am
A major obstacle to the construction of Sky Ramps in the USA is the political power of existing sea level spaceports, particularly the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This can be countered by explaining that NASA made an error constructing sea level spaceports because launching from mountaintops can boost the payload of any space vehicle. Launching at higher altitude allows rocket engines to produce more thrust because the thinner air allows a better plume, the vehicle pushes against less air density at launch, and Max Q is less a factor.
http://www.skyramp.org/high.htm


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Spaceflight Trainee
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Post    Posted on: Mon Jan 19, 2004 1:13 pm
Yep, NASA has been wrong all these years. And it's going to be real easy to get those huge rockets, fuel and all the other material needed for a spacecraft up the side of the mountain, too.


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Space Walker
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Post    Posted on: Mon Jan 19, 2004 1:53 pm
Its not like they should choose Mount Everest or somthing like that... :roll:

In addition, most of America's rocket manufacturing is done in California, Colorado and Arizona, so shipping to mountaintops would be cheaper than to Florida, even with the steep rail ride up a mountain.


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Post    Posted on: Mon Jan 19, 2004 11:14 pm
I remember discussing this when the aerospike was chosen for the x-33. There are real advantages to launching well above sea level in terms of efficiency. The tranportation of materials is not that problematic, just choose a site that lends itself to an easy grade.

I have other questions though. I have lived in the mountains most of my life, and all the wrong seasons are long. Mountain tops are cold, windy, and receive more moisture than the surrounding area. To give enough launch days the site would have to be carefully chosen. Far enough south so that winter isn't too rough despite the elevation. And perhaps an area in the rain shadow of an even taller peak. I did not see these issues addressed on that web site. Have they researched an appropriate site?


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Post Silos   Posted on: Mon Feb 09, 2004 7:31 am
Well... if you were in a long term situation... you could build silos.

Landing is the issue..

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