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Win the X-Prize with balloons?

Posted by: Tony88 - Fri Jul 02, 2004 9:59 am
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Win the X-Prize with balloons? 
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Post Win the X-Prize with balloons?   Posted on: Fri Jul 02, 2004 9:59 am
Hi Guys,

I just saw the X-Prize competition on Discovery Channel. Amazing stuff your attempting. I don't know anything about rocketry but I came up with this x-concept after watching the show:

http://www.earthsense.net/x-prize.html

After seeing it please let me know if it remotely makes any sense.

How far up can high altitude ballons go?
At 2/3 of their maximum altitude how heavy a payload can they approx take?

cheers


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Post    Posted on: Fri Jul 02, 2004 10:40 am
It makes remote sense indeed. Needs a little more explanatory text.

You may find JP Aerospace interesting.

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Post    Posted on: Fri Jul 02, 2004 11:45 am
Thnx Dr. Keith

I didn't write anything on it because I didn't want anyone to think I know (or didn't know ) what I'm talking about :D

It was just something I imagined when I watched the X-prize doc on discovery.

It looks very dangerous to me but if fuel can be injected up to the vehicle under extreme conditions with a very long fuel tether, I imagine the vehicle could go quite far up.

Perhaps someone could show its unfeasibilty, or improve on it so it could be a concept to think about further.

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Post    Posted on: Fri Jul 02, 2004 12:28 pm
Tony88 wrote:
I didn't write anything on it because I didn't want anyone to think I know (or didn't know ) what I'm talking about :D

The man who says nothing for fear of what others think (or say in reply) will never be a contributor. Have no fear therefor and reveal to us your thoughts in full.

Tony88 wrote:
It looks very dangerous to me but if fuel can be injected up to the vehicle under extreme conditions with a very long fuel tether, I imagine the vehicle could go quite far up.


Ok so I'll ask this ... presumably the second balloon is carrying extra fuel. Could you not merely combine the two balloons (or use a larger one) to lift the extra fuel and dispense with that dangerous looking fuel tether.

Your idea is pretty good actually, it's very close to teams like da Vinci.

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Post    Posted on: Fri Jul 02, 2004 4:39 pm
Quote:
Ok so I'll ask this ... presumably the second balloon is carrying extra fuel. Could you not merely combine the two balloons (or use a larger one) to lift the extra fuel and dispense with that dangerous looking fuel tether.

Your idea is pretty good actually, it's very close to teams like da Vinci.


The da Vinci project is very similar. Wow, didn't know Ballons could get up to 80,000 feet.

Image
davinci project flight illustrations
Image

I imagined the fuel tether would support the vehicle 100's or perhaps a 1000 + more of fuel thrust, so when the vehicle does have to use its own fuel supply it will start with a full load.

If there is a material which could withstand the heat of the thrust to which the fuel tether is attached then 1 large balloon would be good. Thats why I
added a second balloon and heat resistant fuel rods, to keep the fuel tether
away from the vehicle thrust when its above the fuel supply balloon.


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Post Balloons   Posted on: Fri Jul 02, 2004 7:29 pm
The highest altitude ever attained with a balloon (unmanned) is about 170,000 feet.

However, with an air launch from a jet motherplane at around 50,000 feet not only does a vehicle still avoid accelerating to supersonic speed in the thickest part of the atmosphere but in the case of the X-15 a speed at launch of 500 mph was also imparted.


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