Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The package deal. A comment I made at Nasaspaceflight

« Reply #79 on: 06/12/2011 09:58 PM »

1. Aerial propellant Transfer for spaceplanes. A modified A380 could refuel a reusable Lh2/LOX spaceplane large enough to put a 20 tonnes payload into LEO. With operations of airline efficiency, cost could be as low as $100/kg. APT hugely increases the number of launch windows compared to direct ascent from the ground.

2. Hypersonic rotovators. In sun synchonous orbits, combine this with APT spaceplanes and costs to orbit could be as low as $25/kg as payload /spaceplane quadruples.

3. Space tourism, a hotel in the polar dusk to dawn sun synchronous LEO orbit would be in  continuous sunshine.

4. Solar power satellites, these also go into sun synchronous orbit with microwave reflectors in equatorial orbit to send power to rectenna near population centers on the ground.

5. Stanford torus, again these go into sun synchronous orbit, they are a base for the crews building the Solar power satellites, a home for rich people wanting to move out of Beverly Hills and a destination for tourists.

6. Solar thermal rockets, I'm puzzled that these don't get more study for interplanetary flight, they only need light weight mirrors to collect sunlight and don't waste that sunlight energy the way solar sails do by just bouncing it away, at 1AU from it the sun provides 1 GW of power per square km, H2 propellant will give an Isp of about 1000s, H2O ~400s. Why would anyone even consider the weight cost and complexity of nuclear electric or solar electric?

7. Asteroid mining.

8. The lunar surface based rotating tether covered at the end of this paper:

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