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Hybrid Launch Systems

Posted by: Sigma - Wed Nov 07, 2012 12:39 am
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Hybrid Launch Systems 
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Post Hybrid Launch Systems   Posted on: Wed Nov 07, 2012 12:39 am
So, one thing I have recently read is that inferior cheap rockets, with a low faliure rate, and low performance can be combined with a maglev launch and Scramjet, to get into space cheaply, any thoughts?

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Post Re: Hybrid Launch Systems   Posted on: Wed Nov 07, 2012 1:07 pm
Maglev, or any other "track" or "gun" launch system is not cheap. It has a high initial investment cost that only breaks even if you launch a lot or over the long term. This makes the barrier to entry for this technique higher than other launch schemes.


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Post Re: Hybrid Launch Systems   Posted on: Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:22 pm
What about a electric drag car on a scaled slot car track? They have electric motors and constant variable transmissions working good, roads are cheap, just a thought...

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Post Re: Hybrid Launch Systems   Posted on: Fri Nov 09, 2012 7:06 am
Just do what Burt Rutan is doing and launch from a plane. Just because he was the first to do it doesn't mean he is the only one who can. Really you don't even need a plane, just engines and wings. The fuselage is there to attach the orbiter to the air breathing engines and first stage wings. It can be made as small as possible and still do it's job. ......sooo ok it's a plane but it won't look anything like what you recognise as a plane today.


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Post Re: Hybrid Launch Systems   Posted on: Sat Nov 10, 2012 3:54 am
This should get the wheels turning...

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Post Re: Hybrid Launch Systems   Posted on: Sun Nov 11, 2012 7:55 am
Ekranoplan? Well, it's big, but it's not very fast and it doesn't go very high. I don't think it'd be that much more useful as a first stage than the SeaLaunch floating launch platform. A big supersonic flying delta wing could be interesting though. Put the rocket on top...

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Post Re: Hybrid Launch Systems   Posted on: Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:22 pm
Fly back boosters was used to great effect in the film Thunderbirds Are Go!


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Post Re: Hybrid Launch Systems   Posted on: Mon Nov 12, 2012 2:16 pm
Lourens wrote:
Ekranoplan? Well, it's big, but it's not very fast and it doesn't go very high. I don't think it'd be that much more useful as a first stage than the SeaLaunch floating launch platform. A big supersonic flying delta wing could be interesting though. Put the rocket on top...



You don't think 500 kph at 1 m MSL is fast? Also they were built to a specific purpose as a high speed weapon's platform or assault craft.


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Post Re: Hybrid Launch Systems   Posted on: Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:11 am
JamesG wrote:
Lourens wrote:
Ekranoplan? Well, it's big, but it's not very fast and it doesn't go very high. I don't think it'd be that much more useful as a first stage than the SeaLaunch floating launch platform. A big supersonic flying delta wing could be interesting though. Put the rocket on top...



You don't think 500 kph at 1 m MSL is fast? Also they were built to a specific purpose as a high speed weapon's platform or assault craft.


Pretty sure it's the same speed as 500kph at 1000m. It's slow there for a rocket launch platform...


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Post Re: Hybrid Launch Systems   Posted on: Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:13 am
Maglev is possible now, and not that outlandish or expensive, the main issue there is cost and that is not that substantial compared to the cost of chemicals, both monetarily and ecologically, and with the nonrenewablity or re-usability of the current schemes, and after its done, its done, it can be used for a multitude of launch vehicles if is designed properly, including those with rockets if need be, this just extends our current launch weight as well as potentially eliminates the need for disposable space ships, as well as caustic and or explosive reactions,

side note, can energy be stored as momentum in a super-fluid contained within a torus, and then be extracted somehow later? just another idea....

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Post Re: Hybrid Launch Systems   Posted on: Wed Nov 14, 2012 3:30 pm
Sigma wrote:
side note, can energy be stored as momentum in a super-fluid contained within a torus, and then be extracted somehow later? just another idea....
Not enough, that's bacically a liquid flywheel, and turbulence/friction on the inside would rob a lot of that energy over time. You'd be better off with a solid flywheel in a vaccuum with maybe some magnetic guidance to keep it spinning in place so you don't have to worry about axel losses. Even then, you're talking about very little energy compared to the orders of magnitude used in spaceflight. And, it's dangerous, the gyroscopic effect of that rotationg mass would complicate (robbing energy from) steering, and could destroy the whole ship if it broke free, possibly from power loss. We have these problems with aviation turbine engines too, they affect angular momentum, and tend to explode when something goes wrong. Remeber the centrifugal force points straight out. A flywheel, liquid, or solid spinning fast enough to store that much energy would compound these problems. Reaction Wheels are an exception to this, because they're actually used for torque steer, so you don't have to throw away reaction mass, but can only turn you in place, not thrust in any direction.

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Post Re: Hybrid Launch Systems   Posted on: Thu Nov 15, 2012 3:18 pm
Look up "superfluids" (hint: they are frictionless).

Where it would be impractical is that the usual suspect, helium, has such low mass that the volume would have to enormous or it's velocity stupendous in order to store a meaningful amount of energy.

If you can find another element or compound with more density that exhibits super-fluid behavior, then it might be worth looking into.


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