JCC Warp Power's Chicago Pile Moment May Be Upon Us

Discussion in 'Community' started by Chancellor_Ewok, Mar 24, 2013.

  1. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    I would not mind further space elevator r&d but easier concepts of cheap, resuable single and two stage to orbit designs have been around for decades. It's politics and corporate lobbying that are the problem. Space-X is in business and the cheapest ride to orbit right off the bat and it will only get cheaper.
  2. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2002
    star 7
    IM A COP YOU IDIOT
  3. Darth_Invidious Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 21, 1999
    star 5
    And a space elevator, possibly one of the most challenging (if not altogether impossible), expensive and oh so very cost ineffective feat of human engineering ever dreamt of so does not equal "short term" to me. Launching payload into orbit the old fashioned way is probably going to be the standard operating procedure like, say, forever.
  4. Likewater Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 2009
    star 4
    Cost ineffective? So lifting things to space for hunderds of dollers per pound, instead of what 100,000 dollers per pound is cost effective? in what universe is that?

    Or do you imagine the people of the world switching to nerva rockets, spent nuclear fuel! I can see that going over Oh so well. The chemical rocket is probably the most inefficent way of launching anything out of a gravity well, that can actually lift anything out of a gravity well. And it hasent signifcantly changed in the what 50 some odd years of its existance, which must be forever and a day, or are my parents older than the moon landing, and my grandparents older than spaceflight period.

    So yes Short term, like constructing the pyramids, or the Suez and Panama Canals, you know building things that last, as in the Canals, economicly viable and word altering. Or nasa can remain being an engineers playground for making probes that get more and more socially irrelavent every passing year.
    Last edited by Likewater, Mar 29, 2013
  5. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    The Shuttle was 10,000 per pound. Everything else is 2k per pound and up but less than the Shuttle. Rockets are actually rather efficent measured in Specific Impulse(Isp). The Isp of the Queen mary is well under 100. Your car is about 200. Most solid fuel rockets are 200to 300. The Shuttle and the majority of hydrogen/oxygen engines are 450. Airliners don't have to carry oxygen, they suck it in and combust it with fuel so they have an Isp..I think..of something like 2,000. NERVA is 900. Airliners only have to go a few hundred miles per hour, rockets to LEO have to get to 17,000 mph. They are more expensive for that reason. The fuel cost is nothing, it's the engineering, parts, stress laod needed, and the fact that rockets are throw aways that lead to larger costs. Politics and greed play a role too.

    Thrust is a problem. More efficient rockets have low thrust and become incapable of lifting off the Earth. Getting around between the Earth and Moon and Near Earth Asteroids will always be dominated by chemcial rockets so each trip takes days rather than months(a recent ion rocket took 6 months to get to the Moon from LEO).

    So yes a space elevator would be nice. At a start price of $100 per pound to LEO it woul dbe short years away from $10 per pound which is roughly airline prices. But airlines, rockets, and anything else you can think of does not require buliding a structure tens of thousands of miles long. Even if the material exists(it does, sorta) actually creating, maintaining, and protecting it would be a huge undertaking.

    I think that by the time we could actaully go ahead an create a space elevator rockets will be cheap enough to make it unnessessary to build such a thing. That is not an absolute! If Elon Musk and Virgin Galactic and various others lose, then over priced launch costs will continue and maybe one day someone will be able to make a space elevator.

    ^too long, didn't edit for spelling. :p
  6. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2002
    star 7
    while you were posting about a stupid ******* space elevator an asteroid came and vaporized your house
    Last edited by Rogue_Ten, Mar 29, 2013
    Darth_Invidious likes this.
  7. Lord Vivec Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
    @VadersLaMent @Emperor_Billy_Bob @Chancellor_Ewok

    Little present for you: http://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the-math/2012/10/futuristic-physicists/

    Survey is available for us to do now, but his results stem from the time he gave it to faculty and students of physics only.

    Things of note

    So what about faster-than-light interstellar travel (warp)? This looks pretty similar to teleportation, with a slightly higher fraction (91%) of faculty saying it’s essentially impossible. Student opinions are regressively softer.

    Oh, I bet the physics faculty are just "cynical snobs."

    Some words to read and think about.

    So it appears to me that the respondents to the survey were doing more than extrapolating our recent joy ride into a shiny future. My guess is that they consulted their understanding of physics—combined with a sense of practicality—to address questions of time travel, warp drive, teleportation, etc. In other words, the responses cannot easily be written off as coming from a bunch of wet blankets.
    Indeed, physicists get into the game motivated by the thrill of exploration and discovery in one of the few remaining frontiers. There is no selection effect for attracting pessimistic downers. Probably the opposite, in fact. Most are fans of science fiction at some level—at least to the point of having positive feelings toward classics like Star Trek and Star Wars. Despite this, their physics-informed opinions don’t paint those genres as likely future paths for us.
  8. Darth Guy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 10
    Eh, meteors like the recent one and Tunguska are a once-in-a-century event, and many aren't going to kill a lot of people (fatalities for the whole of human history: ~0) especially if they explode high up. Meteors like the one that cause Meteor Crater in Arizona (IIRC about the same size but made up of tougher material) are a once-in-10,000-year event. Both would obliterate a city if they hit or exploded close enough to the ground, but the chances of that are pretty remote considering how little of the planet's surface cities actually cover. A system to detect and intercept these relatively small asteroids would probably be about as effective and worth the cost as ballistic missile interception. Extinction-level asteroid interception would be easier, but they're so rare (once every many millions of years) our time would be better spent trying to quiet the Yellowstone volcano (erupts once every few hundred thousand years).
  9. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2002
    star 7
  10. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    I'm still trying to figure out where I utterly dismissed the current understanding of limits. Oh, I never did that.