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Space Race 2: Flying High Beyond The Sky

Posted by: gladiator1332 - Wed Oct 27, 2004 3:43 pm
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Space Race 2: Flying High Beyond The Sky 
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Space Walker
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Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2003 5:34 am
Posts: 126
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Post    Posted on: Tue Nov 02, 2004 9:05 pm
You know, why doesn't the US just switch to the metric system. Everyone else has, there's literally zero excuse at all for Americans to not use metrics. In all likelihood, the reporter(s) misheard Rutan once by writing 140 km instead of miles and that single error was copied and pasted numerous times, including in this article. Really, there's just no excuse for misinterpretations like this, though at least no econobox Mars probes were harmed. :P

Granted, 140 miles is a very low orbit, but it could perhaps be maintained through continuous use of ion drive. Ion drives have never been used in manned spacecraft but they've shown themselves to be highly reliable and effective in unmanned probes over the last half-decade. You'd have to ship replacement propellent several times a year, but if you already have cheap access to orbit (an assumption that has to be made from the get-go) it could be beneficial to go with a lower orbit to improve the throw capabilities of orbital launchers. I'm uncertain what the actual figure is, but I'm pretty sure that the shuttle can only ship about 60% to the ISS what it can to a 150 mile orbit because of the higher necessary speed. The rocket equation is very unfriedly, even a miniscule increase in desired Delta-V can slash payload capibilities apart. Hey, at least it's a possibility.

Either that or the reporter has no idea what he's talking about, which is completely plausbile.

"Yes, that series of words I just said made perfect sense!"
-Professor Hubert Farnsworth

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Location: Hamburg, Germany
Post    Posted on: Wed Nov 03, 2004 10:38 am
Hello, Dr_Keith_H,

Thank You Very Much for your friendly, nice and helpful assistance ... I have to improve my knowledges of what meanings english terms and words for a native English speaker have behind the simple translations of the terms and words and will like to do that to prevent failures...

Hello, Senior von Braun,

I never would expect, await or claim that the US have to switch to the metric system.

You seem to be understanding very well, what my point is - the fact that both the initial post and the article I quoted are reporting similar or identical altitudes, the similarity or identity itself. Plus the increase of altitude itself. This is valid regardless of km vs. miles and regardless of 130 miles vs. 230 miles.

Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)

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