New Mars Forums

Official discussion forum of The Mars Society and

You are not logged in.


Announcement: We've recently made changes to our user database and have removed inactive and spam users. If you can not login, please re-register.

#1 2004-02-18 19:02:17

Bill White
Registered: 2001-09-09
Posts: 2,114

Re: Tee! Hee! - Plastic space ships?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]A few weeks back I flogged the heck out of the idea for plastic space ships. Boron doped polyethylene to be more precise.

Look here! that idea is getting public press.

So, if President Bush / Sean O'Keefe are serious we will add a plastic TransHab to ISS sooner rather than later.[/color:post_uid0]


#2 2004-02-19 05:33:47

Shaun Barrett
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: Tee! Hee! - Plastic space ships?

[color=#000000:post_uid14]You bet, Bill !!    cool

    Materials Science is on the brink of major breakthroughs, as are so many of our sciences today. The changes will come thick and fast over the next decade or two and our world then will look so very different to today's as to be close to unrecognisable.

    I always like to look to history for a clue as to how the future might shape up. I'm especially fond of looking at the world of 1900 and comparing it with 1920 and 1930. The differences are astounding over even that short timespan and the rate of technological advancement is hardly any less now than it was then!

    I'm sure you're perfectly correct that space radiation problems will be solved in the very near future, along with many other previously daunting space-related problems. I've been getting the impression for many years now that humans-to-Mars technology, though ostensibly out of favour and publicly shunned by mainstream science, has been getting surreptitious attention in more than a few labs around the world!

    I'm hopeful that the 2030 time frame for the first crewed Mars mission will appear increasingly pedestrian as science and technology surge forward.
    For one thing, I'm reasonably confident that the first space elevator will be functional long before 2030, with 56 laboratories around the world striving to mass-produce carbon nanotube cables. The elevator should reduce costs considerably and will thus eliminate one of the biggest impediments to space exploration.

[Oops, sorry! Looks like I got carried away and drifted off-topic a little bit there.]

The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner


#3 2004-02-19 06:28:24

From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Tee! Hee! - Plastic space ships?

[color=#8D38C9:post_uid2]*'s too early in the morning and I'm so totally UNfamiliar with this topic.  After Shaun's post, I shouldn't even bother...

I'm thinking about all that space debris out there...and how (in Earth orbit) a tiny meteor only 1/10 inch in diameter packs a punch equivalent to a bowling ball zipping along at 60 mph...and it'd be traveling even [i:post_uid2]faster[/i:post_uid2] and thus have even more of a wallop further out (away from Earth's orbit). posted over 500 Potentially Hazardous Asteroids yesterday (in our vicinity).  They vary in size, of course.

I have wondered how much all that debris might hamper human movement out into the solar system...I mean, sooner or later there's bound to be a few impacts (law of averages and if there are enough ships "out and about").  If many, people will be calling for manned exploration to stop.

I don't know if I should bother to ask, but:  Can they develop a material to withstand impact on a ship to Mars by a meteor even so tiny as 1/10 of an inch in diameter??


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)


#4 2004-02-19 07:06:58

From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,658

Re: Tee! Hee! - Plastic space ships?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Cindy, they might or might not, i dunno for sure, but the chances of being hit are actually very very very.... small. We get a wrong impression with all that garbage aroud leo and geo, but interplanetary space is very safe in comparison...

Shaun, i agree, but knowing the big enterprizes and their inflexible plans... I start to think someone other (private?) will reach Mars before the big guys... Simply by taking advantage of new technology, and not having a truckload of paperwork to do to implement something new and daring.

Nanofiber research, for instance is taking up quite a speed, lately, with minor and major breakthroughs being published around the world... Computerpower is getting a boost too (intels optical devices, mindblowing breaktrough if you think about it...) We'll see things happening in five to ten years that we can't even dream of today... Weird times... Hope our minds will be able to keep up (we're good at that, but how good?)[/color:post_uid0]

ExoMars' launcher's 2nd stage is probably en route to Mars. Unsterilised... yikes


#5 2004-02-19 07:50:11

From: Paris in Astrolia
Registered: 2004-02-13
Posts: 595

Re: Tee! Hee! - Plastic space ships?


The elevator should reduce costs considerably[/quote:post_uid0]
Just replace space shuttles instead of the elevator, and see,
that was what space shuttles were supposed to do.
A rigid space elevator with 100 metric tons lift capability moved with supraconducting and magnetic railways tracks
would a perfect concept, I fully agree.
With flexible ropes or ribbons, then there are complex dynamic problems.
The elevator gravity center should be on geostationary orbite
a kind of ballast mass set at about 90000 km,
in order to keep a tension...
Because its rather impossible that 90000 km long ribbons or ropes
has no elasticity at all,
then length variations, unavoidable with moon tidal effects induce orbital speed variations,
and oscillatory modes in that elevator assemly, witch could initiate a ribbons or ropes rolling in.
I bet that keeping that structure stability will cost a permanent energy supply to a manoeuvering system
to keep the space elevator balanced and under controle.
If so aren't price evaluations of the space elevator and launching costs widely and wildly underestimated ?
anyways, 3D simulations I saw on space elevator promoting site are untrue,
I think that the ribbons or ropes simply can't follow a staight vertical line, but anyways a spiral curve.[/color:post_uid0]


Board footer

Powered by FluxBB