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#1 2007-08-27 07:23:29

Terraformer
Member
From: Ceres
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,531
Website

Re: Shipyards

What about having orbital shipyards in orbit to cut down on the costs of launching. It would use resources from the moon and asteroids to cut down on costs of resources from Earth.


"I'm gonna die surrounded by the biggest idiots in the galaxy." - If this forum was a Mars Colony

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#2 2007-08-27 11:57:32

Nik
Banned
From: UK
Registered: 2007-08-26
Posts: 18

Re: Shipyards

Brilliant !!

We could even build wondrous space stations at L4 & L5 using material rail-gunned from Moon !! Perhaps even a Bernal Sphere or two !!

Unfortunately, we're still at the 'Coracles, Sewn-Plank & Clinker-Built' stage of space-ship building. Alas & Alack, the 'Great Endeavour' is currently careened whilst that sprung plank is laboriously repaired...

FWIW, I've been in British Interplanetary Society long enough to want to weep over NASA's decades of bumbling...

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#3 2007-08-27 12:01:36

Terraformer
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From: Ceres
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,531
Website

Re: Shipyards

I don't see Britain doing anything. Or ESA.


"I'm gonna die surrounded by the biggest idiots in the galaxy." - If this forum was a Mars Colony

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#4 2007-08-27 16:11:32

RedStreak
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From: Illinois
Registered: 2006-05-12
Posts: 541

Re: Shipyards

Nice idea but the true cost of launching pretty much deals with Earth's gravity and, sadly, there's nothing even a Star Trek-esque orbiting shipyard can do to mitigate that.

When we got something setup on the Moon the possibility will come for something stationed at L5 and L4...I'd even encourage it.  However until scramjet and/or space elevator technology matures enough don't hold your breath.

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#5 2007-08-27 16:36:46

Nik
Banned
From: UK
Registered: 2007-08-26
Posts: 18

Re: Shipyards

Hi, T, IIRC, there is a LARGE chunk of ISS space-station which ESA built and NASA have yet to launch.

There would have been more, but NASA kept scaling back, delaying, re-designing etc. Losing a couple of shuttles didn't help...

FWIW, check out Alan Bond's SABRE engine...

http://www.aau.ac.uk/rel.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SABRE

http://www.reactionengines.co.uk/index.html
Look under current projects...

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#6 2007-08-28 07:18:41

Terraformer
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From: Ceres
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,531
Website

Re: Shipyards

But ESA still have to rely on the US or Russia to launch it.


"I'm gonna die surrounded by the biggest idiots in the galaxy." - If this forum was a Mars Colony

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#7 2007-08-28 08:48:55

Nik
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From: UK
Registered: 2007-08-26
Posts: 18

Re: Shipyards

Too true.

Snag is NASA, ESA, Russia etc-- D'uh, we ALL believed NASA's forecasts for Shuttle costs & schedules. Big Expendable launchers had no place in the grand plan.

I've seen the arguments about Saturn5 being 'old tech'. but it worked *just fine*, would have done nicely to loft modules, capsules, even a lifting-body or two. Didn't happen. The Shuttle was expected to under-cut expendables' costs, turn-around in less time than it took to build and test an expendable...

The only realistic jobs for expendables beyond 'national pride' were polar orbit and other 'out of plane' paths. Even interplanetary probes would ride Shuttle to low-orbit, courtesy of 'Inertial Upper Stage'.

So, ESA put their money into building modules to suit a Shuttle lift. And, lo, NASA screwed up. And the ISS was scaled back, down-sized, down-sized twice more, deferred, delayed, crewed to a bare minimum. And, lo, NASA screwed up again.

( Analogy is building a range of custom cab-overs for the pick-up trucks you've seen in the new brochure, then learning the trucks will be a year late, twice the price and a five-star lemon with-all... )

Now, ESA, Japan, China, Russia, Brazil, SeaLaunch etc etc are re-learning the Saturn5 skills, building bigger and bigger expendable launchers.

Surprise, surprise, NASA's official shuttle-replacement Orion rides a Big Expendable launcher.

By the time Orion flies, three or four other groups will have similar lift capacity, several private 'reusable' launchers will be prototyped, and 'fly to orbit' tech may be pushing them hard...

Did you check the SABRE links ? That improbable heat-exchanger *works* and, IMHO, is as significant a development as 'Lancashire' tubed boilers...

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#8 2007-08-29 01:18:11

Michael Bloxham
Member
From: Auckland, New Zealand
Registered: 2002-03-31
Posts: 426

Re: Shipyards

Just out of curiosity, and I'm sure it has been discussed before; what is the cost of sending payloads to orbit in fuel costs alone (using current fuel prices)?


- Mike,  Member of the Clean Slate Society

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#9 2020-10-09 16:57:53

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 25,992

Re: Shipyards

Building the shipyard with partners and somewhere not in earth orbit....

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#10 2021-06-09 07:54:51

Mars_B4_Moon
Member
Registered: 2006-03-23
Posts: 3,392

Re: Shipyards

Congressional Watchdog Skeptical of NASA’s Plan to Return Astronauts to the Moon by 2024
https://gizmodo.com/congressional-watch … 1846982649

How China’s space station could help power astronauts to Mars
https://www.scmp.com/news/china/science … nauts-mars

European Space Agency plans to bring GPS and Skype to the moon with satellites
https://www.independent.co.uk/life-styl … 52946.html

LUNAR OUTPOST
https://fortmyers.floridaweekly.com/art … r-outpost/

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