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#226 2018-12-04 12:02:42

Void
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Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,011

Re: Alternate BFR (Big Falcon Rocket)

smile

I will continue to be a pestilence then!

….

This triggered a potential new thing.
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-ceo-el … sed-catch/
Quote:

While sadly unsuccessful on the catch front, Musk noted that both fairing halves successfully performed gentle touchdowns on the ocean surface. Far more importantly, the CEO implied that – counter to past ocean surface recoveries – SpaceX fairing engineers and technicians would instead attempt to dry and clean these particular fairing halves well enough that they can be reused on a future launch.

And that seems sensible, as they are eventually going to phase out the Falcon 9, so just do the best you can.  The fairings are apparently valuable, so apparently they think it is worth it to reuse them by some method.  Every method however will have a cost.

I am thinking that the wind is the problem, the boat just cant cope with it.

But Elon Musk has warned about drones being used to hit and explode to kill people. 

Well drones could be a double edged sword.  Maybe a useful tool to manipulate the fairings in their flight.

Air breathing, with some common suitable fuel.  With AI, could they fly through the Earths troposphere, and latch onto the fairings or parafoil, and then push or pull the fairings to assist in getting the fairings to the nets?  I am thinking that if a Falcon 9 can be repeatedly used/landed successfully, the use of a drone to fly to grab the fairing may not be a ridiculous idea.

Of course the drone then adds a cost, but if you can catch the fairing in the net, then you don't have to cost of pulling it out of the ocean and cleaning it up.  It might work, and it might be worth it.

And I think it could be worth it as practice for something bigger.

……

This next is rather far fetched, but so what.  These capabilities may be developed eventually.  I think Vulcan is planning something similar.

Here I am going to go more off the deep end, but so what.  Ultimately could you have a drone to fly up and assist a starship down to the ground.  An air breathing drone.  It would be big I am sure.  Worth it?  I don't know.

And a lesser intermediate game would be to eject cargo from the starship and catch it on the way down.  More complications, but you would lighten up the starship.  I would just serve to get the cargo down to the upper troposphere, and it would be ejected.  Maybe recovered by similar methods to the fairings.  Of course I don't know what those payloads might be.  Minerals from the asteroids? Special materials manufactured in orbital micro-gravity?  And the catching method: Canisters-Parafoils-Drones-Nets?

Last edited by Void (2018-12-04 12:21:18)


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#227 2018-12-04 14:23:39

Void
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Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,011

Re: Alternate BFR (Big Falcon Rocket)

OK, more of it.

It does disturb me, the notion of a "Starship" dropping it's payload in the troposphere.  If I understand it's structure, then for a satellite delivery type, there is a trunk lid on the front end.  Worried if you popped that open while falling through the troposphere, then it flies off.

Could you have a capsule in the trunk and forget the trunk lid?  Just eject it, and hope that the Starship could do what it does with a wide open hatch on the leeward side?

Then again you could dispose of the cargo capsule in orbit, and it would need it's own heat shield.  Clamp the trunk shut on the Starship.

Anyway either way you just unloaded a burden for landing.

Such a cargo capsule could emerge from the Starship, or could perhaps be materials from other parts of the solar system to be delivered to the surface of the Earth.  If the cargo capsule emerged from the Starship, then most likely it would be a micro-gravity factory that Starship carried up previously.

Another concept would be for Starship to hand off the capsule to an Eagle Grab, (See previous posts for Eagle Grab), and the Starship just does a landing. 

So, three situations where a capsule is plunging either with or without the Starship, down into the troposphere.

So, now having that multiplicity out of the way, I am happy with a combination method to deliver the goods to the surface.  In this case, the "Goods" is the capsule mentioned.

So with parafoil methods as a pioneering show of methods, then of course a Parafoil.  I did not previously consider that method compatible with "Wizard of OZ" ground engine method.   However if you add an intercept of the capsule/Parafoil combination by an air breathing drone.  And then can clamp the drone to that assembly, now you potentially have an airplane.  Potentially it can fly to a landing catchers mitt.  I suppose at the last moment the drone detaches, and drops the capsule and Parafoil into the emissions of the ground engines.  Hopefully the ground engines are not so hot that they burn the Parafoil.  And with AI programming it may be possible to "Catch" the capsule/parafoil assembly and throttle down to a tolerable drop onto a big bouncy house in a bigger pond.  (See previous posts).


So, I think chances for that type of activity.

And what SpaceX is trying to do with Fairings, essentially very close to the above.  However the Fairings are light, and a load of minerals will likely be heavy.


End.

Last edited by Void (2018-12-04 14:35:27)


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#228 2018-12-05 12:48:02

Void
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Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,011

Re: Alternate BFR (Big Falcon Rocket)

I am going to have to advocate for a U.V.C.  (Elon Musk cannot fire me for making an acronym as I am retired and never worked for him).

Universal
Volume
Containment

You can consider this Sci Fi if you want to.

My ability to work with words is still improving, but conveyance of notions could be fuzzy.

Anyway I am looking at shipping containers.  They are now made to both go on trains, ships, and I believe barges.

And I am looking at railroads, specifically the train track gauge.  While it is early days for this "Railroad", and anarchy and chaos help to foster innovation (Up to a point), at some time period, some shared universal U.V.C should be considered as the major mode of operation in my opinion.

So, a U.V.C. would be a container which would fit into many different space assemblies which would likely have propulsion.  Even if not the same corporations, or groups of corporations.  Maybe largely international as well.

Per Post #219 I believe, the "Eagle Grab".  Umm....  I did not specify a bald eagle, but some of them could be.  It is the eagle of the book of revelations actually, any eagle you like.  Not a nationalistic specificity.

So, now we have various vehicles which might accommodate a U.V.C.

-Flip Top Cargo Starship per SpaceX might.
-Maybe the New Glen and/or New Armstrong might.
-Vulcan?  Maybe.
-Eagle Grab, certainly.
-Others as well perhaps.
-What about Lunar and Mars landers? Well maybe.

But what about the U.V.C. itself?  Could you put a heat shield on it in some cases, and also provide a parachute/parafoil, and dump it into the ocean?  Maybe.

And doing that could you instead provide it with parachute/parafoil methods, and then send a drone to latch to it and direct it's horizontal movements (While it is descending), direct it to ground a ground engine / catchers mitt situation?

I want to consider these things.

And what about the Moon and Mars?  Can you put a U.V.C. on top of a lander?  Maybe.

The U.V.C.'s could contain propellants.  The U.V.C. delivered by a launcher to an "Eagle", to form depots.  It could be materials or hardware.

It could even be cabin space with people in it.

Would you land a U.V.C. with people in it with the Wizard of Oz method?  Not unless it was necessary I would think.

I am looking to refuel "Starship" and maybe others while in orbit, from an Eagle.  If you are dealing with people, unless they are seasoned crew, I would think that you would provide extra fuel and do a "Starship" type landing with the Cabin type U.V.C. remaining with the "Starship".

However if it is just the return of a empty U.V.C. or even more likely a U.V.C. with materials to deliver to Earth, then consider the Ocean landing method or the Wizard of Oz method.  Of course you need a heat shield, etc. to do that.

I am very interested in "In Situ" from the Moon, and also perhaps from Asteroids.  U.V.C. might deliver Liquid Oxygen from the Moon to an Eagle.  Things like that.  An Eagle would then move a collections of U.V.C. to a location favored, quite likely LEO.

So, if you put a U.V.C. on a lander for the Moon or Mars, what of it?  Well, I guess for making 3D shelters, fiber glass goop is what you want to deliver.  Do you want a different type of U.V.C. to deliver Oxygen or fuels to Interplanetary Eagles?

Well, there you go. Lego's.

Going to jump in a booth where it is 160 degrees below,3 1/2 minutes, and then take a sauna.  Hope it won't be too crowded. smile
Ended.

Last edited by Void (2018-12-05 20:39:08)


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#229 2018-12-05 20:40:22

Void
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Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,011

Re: Alternate BFR (Big Falcon Rocket)

Per post #228, and in light of the, (Sometimes), survival of falcon 9 rockets which land on sea water, can we improve the method of sea recovery of a;

Universal
Volume
Containment

That is if you skip the landing engines wizard of Oz method, and splash down at sea, can you make the impact more survivable for the hardware?

I think you might, if you could get gas bubbles under the impacting surface before water hammer occurs.  This is comment based on a post elsewhere, which I will soon link to.

…...

See post #26 in this link:
http://newmars.com/forums/viewtopic.php?id=8275&p=2

……

Do you have a bubble machine you land into, or do you deploy a method from the U.V.C. to create bubbles of gas in the water under the impacting surface before water hammer occurs?  How?

It would need work.

Last edited by Void (2018-12-05 20:47:54)


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#230 2018-12-06 13:38:16

Void
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Registered: 2011-12-29
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Re: Alternate BFR (Big Falcon Rocket)

I should not, but here I go.

A what if;

A spacecraft like the "Eagles" I have described ejected a;

Universal
Volume
Containment

(U.V.C)

Without a parachute/parafoil, or thruster system, but the UVC had a heat shield;

So it burns through, and is scheduled to impact either land or ocean more or less.  But falling through the atmosphere, there would be time for a superman/james bond hero drone of extraordinary capabilities to intercept it and clip itself and a terminal velocity reducing process to the falling assembly.  Perhaps a parachute/parafoil.  And the air breathing drone also to have obviously something resembling the powers of an airplane/drone.


Then for an uncrewed and unpassengered mission you can move a UVC through the atmospheric column, (up and down), and even into the orbitsphere, (up and down) without a propulsion system.  No thrusters, no air breathing engines and fuel, no parachute/no parafoil.

So, you see what I am after.  Really a cheaper lunch.  But that superhero drone has got to be very, very good at it.

I suppose the method could be used to rescue crew and passengers from higher places to the surface, but I almost vomit thinking about it.  Better than dead or severely broken up though.

Going somewhere else for a while, bye.
Ended

Last edited by Void (2018-12-06 13:48:20)


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#231 2018-12-07 09:57:11

Void
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Re: Alternate BFR (Big Falcon Rocket)

I have been thinking about it.  SpaceX has offered wonderful dreams.  If I interpret them correctly they are into fluid swaps.  (Propellant swaps) to achieve greater life for the offspring.  Really Mommy & Daddy help for a child to go to Mars.  Not a bad concept.  But that child has to go to a brutal situation.  You roll the dice to some extent.  I understand the mentality that produces this pattern.  I do not object.  We hope for the best.  In any case there will be a day after with or without success and with or without us.  Lets hope some kind of us is included in the future.

So, I contemplate a potential follow-up situation which may, I hope enhance possibilities.

In a very simple schematic we can consider our bodies to be composed of bones and joints and muscle.  The three together give us some resilience and some motion.  We might like similar for our efforts to become solar system active. smile
And of course I am, for now, ignoring the life support for the bones, joints, and muscles, and the brain that directs them.

Bones have prolonged more significant power to hold a pose, but very little hope of altering a pattern.  Muscles can hold a pose or change a pose, but the interval times of power are vastly shorter.  And joints mediate between bones and muscle.

It seems like a successful method to me.  So, when to we apply bones and when muscle and then the needed joins of the two?

We want firmness, strength, and flexibility, as is calculated to be most prosperous for our purposes.

As for strength, I feel a "Starship" with some raptor engines is quite a lot, especially when assisted by a "Super Heavy Lifter".
And then there are possibilities that other strange tricks may be added to this, to enhance the power of reach of the muscle.

We should also want firmness and flexibility.

Yes for firmness we need a code of method, and for flexibility, perhaps a method to share between distinct sub-entities.

……

So, in concert with fluid sharing, cartridge sharing.  Universal Volume Containments to join various space processes together, I hope.  A flexibility.  Perhaps a firmness in a standardization of methods.  Joints and Bones perhaps.

So, in my opinion at some point a shell that can endure re-entry to the Earth per aeroburn  is typically desired, unless that shell or collection of payload will be hosted directly by a BRF type imagined similar device.

So, then as a contemplated perhaps normal practice, a lifting device to lift a U.V.C. to some orbit.  That containment could contain whatever.  But for now lets consider and example where it contains a useful amount of propellants and payload.

Per pervious (On this thread), of "Eagles", then that method to receive these containments, and to manipulate and use them as might be appropriate.

And so used, then empty shells, can you drop them into the Earth atmosphere to self aerobrake, and then receive landing assistance?

That being a rather aggressive combination (I think) of an air breathing drone and a parachute/parafoil.  That to latch onto the falling shell, and to assist in its recovery as a reusable hardware item.

I am getting tired.  Think that will do for now.


Ended

Last edited by Void (2018-12-07 16:55:31)


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#232 2018-12-07 17:05:55

Void
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Registered: 2011-12-29
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Re: Alternate BFR (Big Falcon Rocket)

As a sanity check per post #231, I will remember what I "Think" the original SpaceX philosophy is, and also that of Dr. Robert Zubrin.

Dr. Zubrin is easy.  Mars is the place to go.  You need "Stuff" on Mars.  So, send stuff to Mars by the best methods possible.

SpaceX seems to have started with Elon Musk's wish to be able to do rockets at all.  And it is my expectation that he wanted to do that to access Mars.  So their BFR and its offspring, are intended to just be able to make it to Mars by the "Skin of their teeth".  Beyond that market forces are a necessary temptation.  Baby don't go to Mars if baby is not nurtured.  Nurturing needs a whole lot of Money.  So, then money needed.

I can understand why they won't take SpaceX public.  If they did, then reaching outward to get greater capabilities would end, as baby would be sent to the glue factory, to render for short term stock numbers.  I hate circular cannibals, looters, being allowed into the dream nursery.
I won't quite say what I think should be done with them, but you would be very, very afraid.

…..

So, with the notion that nurture of the Mars effort is very important, then sending stuff to Mars is important, and having money to send stuff to Mars is important.
……

My scheme for that does involve the Moon at times.  And although we might prefer not to bring stuff down from orbit to the surface of the Earth, there are cases where we would want to do that in order to have the means to send more stuff to Mars.

Beyond that my vision is more like that of people like Jeff Bezos (Without the Money), however, I have concluded conditionally that Mars is a very big stepping stone (Along with the Moon), to accomplish that.


My Moon thinking is that not all Earth space money wants to go to Mars.  Some wants to do other things.  Well, get involved with that.  And then turn it as it is reasonably appropriate into support for sending stuff to Mars.

For instance, I am very interested in getting Oxygen from the Moon to support flights to Mars.  (And other things).

It is possible that an economic loop could exist for a time where Oxygen from the Moon supported travel to Mars, and Argon from Mars supported travel to the asteroid belt, and the asteroid belt + Martian Argon delivered minerals and such to existing markets, and then Money to connect the loop.

But....  The Europeans have made an electric rocket system that can apparently handle air.  Air from wherever  maybe the top of Earth's or the Mars atmosphere.  So then that is an unknown.  How Argon or air compare for electric rockets.  We are at the beginning of the definition of what is possible, not ready to create cults of literal religious strait jackets for the sake of mind num lack of awareness.  Be very carful of the singers of fancy words.  They are often sirens who not knowing what they do, sing you onto the rocks of failure and lead you into the abyss.

Perhaps you should hire the deaf to teach you how to communicate with sign language.  At least then the eye mind is involved.  The eye mind is required to do technology.


They reportedly have some violence problems on occasion.  But violence would be motion of frustration.  Understandable.  The sirens of words are the real predators.  You should fear that they will waste your time and life with puppetry of importance which is in visual examination, intellectually impotent.

Well really I was going to talk about the strengths and weaknesses of containerization and when and where, but I think that is quite enough to for tonight.  I will see about later.  The eye. 


Ya, ended.
OK, enough.  Got it.  Good chances I think, if we play things well.

Last edited by Void (2018-12-08 09:54:36)


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#233 2018-12-08 09:57:36

Void
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Re: Alternate BFR (Big Falcon Rocket)

Alright, worst case for containerization that I can think of just now is Methane.

A better case is for Oxygen.

Even better is a propellent for electric rockets, perhaps Argon.

My best current proposed application is for micro-gravity batch process factories.

……

So, as in a mirror I then go backwards on the above.  This all presumes that there are some important alternate processes in Micro-Gravity.

It also presumes that I are not a hillbilly.

So, since the most likely research vessel would currently be the SpaceX/Elon Musk > "Starship", I will presume that by some means for the market which might be considered to exist, experiments would be done within such a vehicle in micro-gravity to compliment any known product possibilities that currently exist.

Lots of expense to keep such a vehicle idled to wait for experimental or production results.  Still, I should expect, a potential money tree.

However, if you had a process that showed good indications of profit, then you might consider lifting the factory for that to orbit, and then retrieving your lifting vehicle to do further service, instead of idling it.

I think it can be presumed that this would be a batch process and not a continuous process, as obtaining raw materials while in-process is a deep complication.  So, while your container factory is up there, wouldn't it be nice if it could be hosted by something that provided it other non materials resources, such as electrical energy, and position of orbit, relationship to atmosphere.  I spoke of so called "Eagles" previously, I will seek to not bore you with excessive redundancy.

So, then the "Starship" leaves the containerized "Micro-Gravity factory" in the care of such a device which is as I have previously described, in orbit.  When it runs out of raw materials, I presume that the "Batch" is done.  So then how do you get it down?

Well if it has a heat shield of it's own, then you don't have to send a starship up to get it.  But the "Eagle" must send it down.

That perhaps could be done with thrusters, a mass driver, tethers, and what???  Well room for fun there.  The so called "Eagle" can only endure a limit of aerobraking.  It cannot do more to ensure the survival of it's existence.  Beyond that efficiency suggests that you would not take it down so deep into the atmosphere when you could fling the factory down to experience the thicker atmosphere by various means.

So, I think I have made at least a marginal case for container notions.  I have not tried to obliviate the other notion which is to swap resources by fluid means.

……

Resuming post edit.

So, if you did have containers to drop down and you sent them on their way down, there could be various methods to retrieve them.

They could be autonomous like a historical crewed space capsule, to splash down in the ocean.  Or similar to what the Russians do with retro rockets.


However you could cut it to a minimum.  Once the capsule reaches a certain air pressure a small hatch pops open which allows a drone to grab a holdfast.  The drone could have parachute/parafoil features as well.  Depending on how fitted out such a drone would be, it could be so big as to fly the joined assembly to a retrieval point.  For instance it escorts the capsule to a place to land and lets it go over it.  The culmination to be a drop to a receiving pad of some kind, where it would not be intended to incur damage.  Therefor recyclable hardware to lower costs.

Of course there would be other schemes possible.  The drone could be just a weak one not strong enough to really arrest the fall of the capsule, but strong enough to guide it to a net capture such as could be done with SpaceX falcon9 fairings.

In some cases the parafoil could emerge from the capsule, and then the drone only guides that load horizontally.  Or if an aggressive drone, it maybe will fly the assembly to a "Capsule Port".   Bouncy House in a pond?


…..

As for the pod/UVC/whatever, perhaps in some cases it would be something used on the Moon or Mars.  In the case of the Moon a tank mounted on a LEM to lift Oxygen to orbit.  Perhaps on Mars to lift Argon to orbit.

On both worlds it is possible that these containers might be used as housing.

I think that helps to indicate a direction.

Ended.

Last edited by Void (2018-12-08 15:00:31)


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#234 2018-12-08 15:51:55

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,011

Re: Alternate BFR (Big Falcon Rocket)

OK, perhaps we should not try to unleash the Kraken, but lets consider a study of it for fun.

Substitute Tornado for Kraken.

Is it possible that we could generate a more well behaved version of the tornado, and have it help catapult/escort a rocket upward through the lower troposphere?

Really a vortex of heated rising gasses that might spin, and have some of the nature of a "Physical" object.

For the experiment I might want to imagine a circle of 6 gimbaled rocket engines pointing upwards, firing at the same time.  I think you could make an atmospheric vortex.

How tall is a typical tornado?
https://www.quora.com/How-tall-is-a-typical-tornado
Quote:

Some people below are taking "tornado" to include the mesocyclonic updraft in the parent thunderstorm, in which case it would be around 35,000-50,000 feet tall. Since a tornado is just an extension of a particularly strong rotating updraft, this answer is extremely rational.

That probably requires a much bigger energy budget than we might think we can afford.  Also, likely you would have probability of being the monster in the Monsters to Villagers.  "The peasants/villagers just don't understand.  I want to play with vortexes!

Of course if your ground engines burn LOX and Hydrogen, very hot.  Way too hot and very wasteful as massive amounts of energy would be blead off from the vortex by electromagnetic radiance.

So, you might as well use air instead of LOX, and why not natural gas instead of Hydrogen.  But still electromagnetic radiance will sap way too much energy from the vortex. 

So, ??? Add water > steam???

Well a direction>>>>  Something to ponder.

We can make the vortex spin clockwise!!!  We can make the vortex spin counter clockwise!!!

So much to learn.


Anyway same engines might make it possible to catch a falling spacecraft.

If I over define it at this point, then other possible thinking may be stifled.

Any fun here?  smile

Ended.

Last edited by Void (2018-12-08 16:13:29)


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#235 2018-12-10 18:30:17

Void
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Re: Alternate BFR (Big Falcon Rocket)

Here I will not put my swill of ideas.  (Not too much swill).

This is reportedly a tease from Elon Musk, about Starship and the Super Heavy Booster.  I put it here because Elon Musk and SpaceX are apparently doing an alternate BFR themselves.  And I really don't have the energy to find a more appropriate place.

https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-elon-m … metal-bfr/
Quote:

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk teases new Starship photos and “heavy metal” BFR
CEO Elon Musk says that SpaceX will share new photos of BFR's Starship upper stage in January and begin building boosters in Spring 2019. (SpaceX)


By
Eric Ralph

Posted on December 9, 2018
Drawn in by Teslarati photographer Pauline Acalin’s most recent photos of Port of LA Falcon 9 recovery operations SpaceX is in the midst of, CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter on December 8th to discuss titanium grid fins and – more importantly – answer a miscellaneous handful of questions about the status of BFR’s development.
Marked lately by rapid-fire, wide-reaching changes to BFR’s general structural composite, Musk at long last confirmed what some suspected – now known as Starship/Super Heavy, the BFR program has officially moved away from carbon fiber composites as the primary material of choice for the rocket’s structure and propellant tanks, instead pivoting to what Musk described as a “fairly heavy metal”.

I am just eager to see what they choose to show us some months down the line.

Last edited by Void (2018-12-10 18:32:19)


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#236 2018-12-11 20:53:04

kbd512
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Re: Alternate BFR (Big Falcon Rocket)

Void,

I try to read most of your posts, but sometimes I don't follow where you ultimately want to go with them, unless you're just thinking out loud.

Anyway, lots of interesting thoughts.  I'm going to devote more time to them in the near future.

Thanks

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#237 2018-12-11 22:30:37

SpaceNut
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Posts: 16,180

Re: Alternate BFR (Big Falcon Rocket)

I know what you mean kbd512...

The bfr is just another flavor of what it can do with minimal changes that make it more suited to its tasks to be performed with it.

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#238 2018-12-12 15:59:07

Void
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Posts: 3,011

Re: Alternate BFR (Big Falcon Rocket)

Nice that anyone reads my posts KBD512, Spacenut.

For now, I am going to deviate from speculations.

Here is information.  The new type of heatshield for Starship, and it is implied for the Super Heavy Lifter???

https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-new-bf … ssistance/
Quote (Their speculation).

However, it could be the case that SpaceX hopes an improved TUFROC-X might be viable as a monolithic one-size-fits-all heat shield material throughout BFR’s Super Heavy booster and Starship upper stage. Being forced to deal with a variety of different TPS materials inevitably raises the complexity and cost of a given spacecraft, so being able to significantly reduce the number of materials needed could be a boon for Starship.

So now I violate my earlier statement.

So, if they are going to use heatshield on BFR’s Super Heavy booster, I guess maybe in the engine compartment as well?

So do they do some propulsive drain off of speed, and then go sideways down like the Starship, to drain off more energy, and reduce landing propellants needed.  If so do they "Roll" the Super Heavy booster??  They could as I do not see it as having a defined top or bottom, if you are belly flopping it.

And then I get even weirder.  If you put a hollow nose fairing on the top end of the Super Heavy booster, instead of Starship could you put the booster into orbit?  Could you then re-propellant it?  Granted, you most likely want to get at least your Oxygen from a non-Earth source at that point.  The Moon, Asteroids.

What could you send where with that?  And of course why?  And then when you were done, could you drop the Super Heavy booster into the atmosphere, using a combination propulsive and roll aerobrake method?


Only some of the above is likely.  Mostly things I did not say. smile  But I think that some of the capabilities I speculate on could appear down the road some years from now.

Ended.

Last edited by Void (2018-12-12 16:12:58)


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#239 2018-12-12 20:20:39

kbd512
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Re: Alternate BFR (Big Falcon Rocket)

Void,

Although it may not be apparent to some on the forums, nobody is going to Mars without a LOT of help from NASA.  Despite suggestions to the contrary, NASA and SpaceX are involved in a mutually beneficial relationship.  NASA does low-TRL technology development better than anyone else.  Startups like SpaceX do large-scale integration projects faster and cheaper than the traditional contractors.  The traditional contractors do highly specialized high-risk technology development and small-scale but complex integration better than anyone else, which would be why all the planetary probes and large military and commercial satellites are built by Lockheed-Martin, Northrop-Grumman, and Boeing.

Since SpaceX has also returned to using traditional Aluminum-Lithium alloy, presumably isogrid, then if they were smart they'd make their Starship a slightly taller 8.4m diameter vehicle that utilizes the government-funded Aluminum friction-stir welding jigs at the Michoud Assembly Facility.  Since they already use Aluminum-Lithium alloy in Falcon 9 and Falcon 9 Heavy, which was developed by Lockheed-Martin, the traditional space contractors clearly take no issue with the sale of materials or technology and services to SpaceX.

Anyway, the patent for TUFROC says the material density ranges between 10 and 20 pounds per cubic foot, presumably for lower temperature applications, but up to 60 pounds per cubic foot, presumably for higher temperature applications.

Here's the patent for TUFROC from Google:

US7381459B1 - Toughened uni-piece, fibrous, reinforced, oxidization-resistant composite

The patent application was from 2004, so it should be obvious how long it takes to properly develop and test these new materials.

Speaking of composites and isogrid structures...  Isogrid Composite Fabrication:

Isogrid Composites Inc. Multihead Animation & Video

Automated Composite Isogrid Fabrication

Isogrid Test - Grid Side

Incorporating these newer composite technologies into propellant tanks ain't easy or cheap.  Maybe they can still make the pressure cabin from composites and just wait for the new carbon nanotube composites that NASA is currently working on to come to fruition.  That truly would provide a revolutionary mass savings over Aluminum-Lithium.  Meanwhile, Aluminum-Lithium is good enough to get the ball rolling.  Who cares if the payload to Mars is 75t?  That's still 74t more than what we can currently deliver.

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#240 2018-12-12 20:45:15

Void
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Re: Alternate BFR (Big Falcon Rocket)

That was a very pleasing post KBD512.  I appreciate your ability to keep so tight to actuality.  It helps me to more accurately prune my speculation hedges.  smile

Last edited by Void (2018-12-12 20:48:24)


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#241 2018-12-13 21:21:35

kbd512
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Re: Alternate BFR (Big Falcon Rocket)

Void,

Here's another thought about what this all means.

If MSNW LLC develops a successful ground demonstrator of their Fusion Driven Rocket technology, which intentionally allows fusion energy to escape from a magnetic bubble and out an electromagnetic nozzle (something we've proven very capable of achieving, unlike net electrical energy gain from thermal conversion from fusion), then chemical propulsion will quickly become obsolescent for interplanetary transfers.  It's the only type of near-term realistic technology that guarantees a 50%+ payload mass fraction and a 90 day transit time to Mars.

They've successfully demonstrated each individual technology, meaning it performs to the level it must perform to and actually works, and now they're working on integrating all separate pieces into a single functional ground test article.  NASA is devoting more funding to this technology than NTR, which means it has some chance of actually seeing the light of day.

The magnetic Lithium foil liner absorbs most (not all, but shadow shielding and the Lithium foil propellant tanks can absorb most of the rest of the neutrons) of the neutrons from fusion, so little shielding is required, and the expelled Lithium plasma (the propellant) carries most of the heat from fusion with it so gigantic radiator arrays are not required.  It uses modest solar power (180kWe) to charge a bank of super capacitors that produce a supersonic implosion (3km/s) of the Lithium foil, which doesn't exceed the plastic deformation limits of the foil, to create an exponentially increasing magnetic field that "traps" a D-T pellet / target inside that intense magnetic field between the Lithium foil and the pellet, rapidly compressing the pellet until it fuses and turns the Lithium into hot plasma.  That technology was successfully demonstrated in a variety of ways quite some time before MSNW LLC's project started with NASA.

IIRC, no gigantic superconducting coils required.  My understanding is that this is all straight copper technology that only functions for a split second at a time and the fusion pulse repetition rate is only once every 10 seconds to achieve those flight durations.  It's a novel physics problem solved using COTS electrical hardware (pv panels, super caps, regular magnetic coils, etc).

The payload for MSNW LLC's design reference mission was taken directly from NASA's DRA 5.x, meaning 61t to Mars with 180 total transit days to and from Mars.  I think we can delete the mass of the lander from the mission, use BFR as the lander instead, and deliver the in-space habitat and propulsion system aboard a pair of Falcon Heavy rockets, the first delivering the propulsion unit to ISS and the second delivering the inflatable habitat module.  Only SpaceX has real or almost-real lander technology, so there's no point in duplicating efforts when the intended landing target is the same.  However, Starship is not an ideal space habitat design.  It has to be as light as possible because it's also a rocket stage that will now be significantly heavier due to the return to Aluminum-Lithium alloy.

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#242 2018-12-21 10:11:10

Void
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Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,011

Re: Alternate BFR (Big Falcon Rocket)

KBD512,

Somehow I missed your last post until now.  Very encouraging thinking is my opinion.

I think it is wonderful that SpaceX planed "Starship" to be able to just white knuckle it to the surface of Mars.  But I humbly join with Dr. Robert Zubrin, and apparently you in the notion that the machine is best used as a surface to orbit device.  That would be it's efficiency.  However I am very pleased that it's capability was not limited to the extent that it could not do a complete interplanetary mission, surface to surface.  (With propellent support in LEO).

The fusion method you mention would be very good I should think for the purpose you mentioned.  Lets hope it comes to fruition.  This technology would get activities into to the birthing range.  With or without Mars, then I presume that the asteroids and perhaps Trojans become within range of human use.  I make that sentence, as we are apparently going to have to deal with impediments involving contamination of Mars.  It is always good to have a plan "B", against the various Masked foes evil plans.  I will say that not all thinking about biological planetary protection is wrong, just that the topic leaves broad shadows where the insane or evil can cause a lot of grief to our plans for the human race.

I believe that there may be a vast potential to move far beyond the just barely possible methods of the 60's, 70's, 80's....  Has it been that long?  I think that there are people out there who wasted a whole lot of humanities potential over all these decades, but that's probably how it has always been.  Too bad.

I really do think that ultimately there will be several types of "Starship".  Some tuned to Mars, some tuned to Earth.

And we hope these fusion ships.

Then where I see chances of finding mercy from the brutality of reality, is perhaps in the passage up though and down into a planetary gravity well, especially the Earths.

The stuff I now present is borderline insane, but give me credit for being willing to expose myself to potential humiliation for the sake of chances.

I really do think that there may be a way to incorporate "Ground Engines" into the launch of non-crewed missions to LEO.  That I have already spoken of.  Similarly I believe that we can build a catchers mitt.  That would primarily involve catching a falling object into a produced vortex of vast updraft method.  I have also spoken of this.

And then what about an Eagle-Catch?  That would be a device which dives into the Earths atmosphere and grabs a payload with a weak orbit, and pulls it up.  The easy version has it only say go down to the ~100 mile level, grab the payload, pull it up.  The mirror of that would be to drop a payload into a sufficiently low level that it would be assisted in the initiation of a capture to surface.  (The desire being a lack of disassembly upon surface contact).

…..


So I really think that despite how long space efforts have been ongoing, we are still only in the diapers episode of the activity.  I think chances for the new are quite evident, and should be a compelling hope.

Done.

Last edited by Void (2018-12-21 10:36:30)


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#243 2019-01-07 18:00:17

Void
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Re: Alternate BFR (Big Falcon Rocket)

Something has occurred to me about Starship and Super Heavy Lifter.

I was almost disappointed by the four "Wing/Airbrakes" on the new BFS-Starship.  However it is elegant.  But it would interfere with one of my notions, which was to build a double shell, and leave the outer shell in orbit to build space stations, use the inner shell to Aero Brake.

So, that is out.

But it just occurred to me, that if they wanted to they could build an alternate Starship as well as the one they are building.

This one would never return to a planetary surface.  It would not need;
-A heat shield.
-The highest quality stainless steel.
-Any fins.

So, that would lighten it up and reduce air drag.  The propellant tanks then could be smaller.

And when they do build a "Starship" of the satellite delivery type, they could bring the engine section down from this device for reuse.

Of course to do that, they would need to make the engine section detachable as per the Vulcan.  I suppose other parts could be taken down as well.

Then by doing that they could have components for space stations.   Perhaps synthetic gravity type.  And in fact interplanetary space ships as well.

If you have a baton, (Per GW Johnsons notions as I understand it), then you may have more or less handled the micro-gravity illness(s) problem(s).

There after then radiation is the issue.  I would say put a storm shelter where you would have a gym at the end of each baton.  You might also put such at the hub.  Perhaps some of the shielding would be propellants.

Such a device would not require Hohmann transfers but could use ballistic capture.  Maybe electric rockets.

The trip would be longer, by a couple of months, but the departure time is nor rigid, you don't need a heat shield or aero burn.  And with electric rockets you may have propellant savings.

And as I indicated, the micro-gravity problems and radiation problems may be handled sufficiently.

But of course you would need a Starship as a shuttle at Mars.  Perhaps it could be used 10-100 times, and then have to head back to Earth for maintenance?  Maybe minor maintenance could occur on Mars or in orbit.

Just looking ahead.

I still am glad that Starship is designed so that it can do a direct Hohmann to the Martian surface.  I just don't think that in the future such a thing will be regarded as a limit.

Not Done

Last edited by Void (2019-01-07 18:09:55)


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#244 2019-01-08 13:15:58

Void
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Registered: 2011-12-29
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Re: Alternate BFR (Big Falcon Rocket)

Continuing on the notion of just prior post #243.

It is my understanding that the "Starship" of the now per SpaceX/Elon Musk, can do Single Stage to Orbit.  It just would not have cargo or much cargo, so for that reason may not be worth doing.

However if you did want to play a "Vulcan" like game, then you would build an alternate Starship SSTO, where all it is composed of is the shell which would be two propellant tanks, and the engine section, and whatever else is needed to make those work together to reach orbit.

With such large tanks and no payload other than the weight of the ship itself, and left over propellants, instead of doing re-use, you would more be doing re-purpose.  The Engines and Avionics and such would likely be in a re-use situation, but the dual tank cone, and the left over propellants would be payload to orbit.

The parts to be reused would be taken back down to the surface in a cargo Starship.

But the dual tank cone could become a depot.

It could become a part of a baton type interplanetary space ship.

Beyond that you could manufacture star type space stations/space ships with synthetic gravity.

One such would have a hub, perhaps a new type of Bigelow inflatable, with a number of cones attached to it.  Spin it, and have a gym at the tapered end where the synthetic gravity is the most.

If you are in LEO, then radiation not that much of a problem.  If you are going interplanetary, then you need shielding.  I think at each tiny gym, and at the hub.

I am fairly sure that this makes some sense, and is not just silly.

Done.


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#245 2019-01-08 16:57:55

Void
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Re: Alternate BFR (Big Falcon Rocket)

Per #243 & #244,

I think this notion could be the beginning of ore processing in space.

I am particularly interested in Phobos and Demos, if they should prove to have valuable content.

So then one cone could be a process line to process that ore.  Another as a habitat for the operators/repair crew.

As this might move along, from this eventually perhaps the ability developed to actually build larger synthetic gravity machines toward the O'Neill cylinders.

Done.


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#246 2019-01-10 14:31:16

Void
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Registered: 2011-12-29
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Re: Alternate BFR (Big Falcon Rocket)

To be honest, although strip mining of Phobos and Demos might be a good start, I think since they may well be "Rubble Piles", the game here would be to make a metal enclosure inside the moons large enough to put a synthetic gravity machine.  These moons are apparently porous, so it may not be necessary to expel tailings out to the surface.  If so then you could have an ever growing foam of metal bubbles being built inside each of the moons.  Solar panels outside I would think, for power.

My favorite would be a triple part device.  An outer perhaps spherical metal shell filled with air and micro-gravity.  A disk shaped shell inside that with vacuum in it, and inside that a spinning synthetic gravity machine, which would have pressurization inside.

With clever work, you could have seals so that you could walk between the hub of the synthetic gravity machine and into the micro-gravity bubble.  And if the seal leaked, the air would just go into the vacuum disk, and you would pump it out if the volume was not too large.

Further, if the synthetic gravity machine leaked atmosphere to the vacuum disk, then calculations done properly would make sure that even in the worst case the pressure drop would not be lethal.

And if your outer micro-gravity shell leaked into the regolith of Phobos or Demos, you would still have the synthetic gravity machine to take refuge in.

And then as I said, not just one of these but a growing foam of them.

And if everything is optimal, then these shells made of metals that are not worth shipping to Earth, but during the process rare earths, and platinum group metals and maybe gold to trade with Earth.  Maybe even hydrated minerals which along with the Carbon I expect will be there, a full spectrum of propellants for combustion type propulsion. 

Maybe Argon from Mars for electric propulsion.

So Mars, not just one world, but 3 worlds, and pioneering work on colonizing rubble pile asteroids.

Done.


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#247 2019-01-11 20:53:44

Void
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Registered: 2011-12-29
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Re: Alternate BFR (Big Falcon Rocket)

It seems that some members I expect to be hear are currently absent.  That is regretful.  I hope I did not cause it.

Anyway I have to say that I think that it is not a bad idea at all to build a baton synthetic gravity machine of GW's prescription from a deviation from starship as explained previously.

After that I would think perhaps a Y or X configuration might be good to try.  In those only the spokes of a old style sy fi space station would be built.  But then after that if it turns out that synthetic gravity has value, then why not make a geometric perimeter attached to the spoke ends, which would encircle unto itself.  Not a real circle, but composed of starship fuselages joined both to each other and to the spokes. 

Eventually it will be possible to construct thing in space from space materials, but it seems to me that SpaceX may have the possibility to jump start the space station business.  (After they get Mars going, I hope).

If I really am poisoning this site I will be glad to back off.

Done.


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#248 2019-01-13 16:34:57

Void
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Re: Alternate BFR (Big Falcon Rocket)

I have been thinking about it a bit more.
Watched this about how SSTO is not such a great thing:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sfc2Jg1gkKA

But still I cling to the possible exception that if your cargo were to be the shell of a pseudo-Starship, then indeed that could be sensible.  At least under the color of the sky of my world.

So, I am currently thinking of say maybe 5 of these things linked together. 
1 as a hub with airlocks and a docking port at each end put in place.

A baton attached to that where for each baton arm 2 ea. shells are attached serially.  The noses would attach to the hub on each arm of the baton for two of the shells, and then in serial fashion, 2 ea. would be attached nose to the tails of the first two I mentioned.

Alternately the hub could be some Begelow inflatable type thing.

What I am thinking is that GW suggested that two Starships tied together tail to tail could safely produce .5 g if spun.

So, I am thinking that a longer one composed of four of the shells, and a hub should easily be able to achieve 1 g, and that points between the ends would simulate any object in out solar system except gas giants, ice giants, and the sun.

So, that would be a very good way of finding out in detail what the needs for gravity are for the health of Earth creatures.

So something like that could be put into LEO.

Of course it would require other structure like life support and cables that keep it from flying apart from the centrifugal force, but it should be attainable, should SpaceX want to bother.

As I said previously, I am expecting in such a method that things like engines would be recycled back to Earth for re-use.

…..

And then as an interplanetary craft, you then have a five parts ship.  5 pressure shells.  And of course to be a spaceship propulsion needed.  I presume an electric rocket propulsion, so then a electric power supply required.

And if interplanetary, then shielding required.

And I really do think that Ballistic Capture would be the preferred method to attain Mars.  And I presume that something like Ballistic Capture could be used to get it back into Earth orbit. (Not absolutely sure on that).

Well, I reserve the right to be mistaken also.

I have to ask before I can know.

Done.

Last edited by Void (2019-01-13 16:52:28)


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#249 2019-01-13 17:11:01

SpaceNut
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Re: Alternate BFR (Big Falcon Rocket)

The artificial gravity batton surface area is the diameter of the ship question comes up with a lessening of the gravities effects as you go towards the center of rotation. As you noted the longer that length is the less the effects are with lessening distance from the center. Mean a short distance would cause a large variance from head to toes and less of a gradient issue when the length is longer.

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#250 2019-01-14 12:04:51

Void
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Registered: 2011-12-29
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Re: Alternate BFR (Big Falcon Rocket)

Thanks SpaceNut.


I have been thinking that reusable 1st stages are expected to lower the cost of propellants in orbit.
For SpaceX, the Final stage also reusable to Earth.  That presumably also lowering the cost of the propellants Oxygen and Methane, and perhaps electric rocket propellants and Hydrogen?

But also lowering the costs of construction materials.

So for solid materials lofted to orbit, re-purposing, or re-cycling.  These are things not very often done yet.

An example of re-purposing would be an alternate starship which is never intended to return to a planet surface, certainly not the Earth.
Its first task is to rise to orbit, it's second task is to be an enclosure for other purposes such as human habitat or a factory line.

Recycling would be where you took the parts which were not appropriate for the re-purpose and "Blacksmithed" the materials into something else.  And of course to recover the engines and other parts would be to re-use.

An interesting idea is that perhaps some space junk will be redeemed to be recycled in the future.

……

So now I deviate over to Blue Origins, the New Glen to be specific.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Glenn
Quote:

The New Glenn (named for John Glenn) is a heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle in development by Blue Origin. Design work on the vehicle began in 2012. The vehicle itself, and the high-level specifications, were initially publicly unveiled in September 2016. New Glenn is described as a 7-meter-diameter (23 ft), two- or three-stage rocket. Its first stage will be powered by seven BE-4 engines that are also being designed and manufactured by Blue Origin. Like the New Shepard suborbital launch vehicle that preceded it, the New Glenn's first stage is designed to be reusable.[3]

Final Stage:
Quote:

Second stage
Diameter
7 m (23 ft)
Engines
2 × BE-3U
Thrust
980 kN (220,000 lbf)
Fuel
H2 / LOX

So, the "Final" upper stage, has two BE-3U, H2/LOX vacuum engines.

Seems to me that perhaps that could be repurposed to transit to and from the Moon.  Maybe even landing on the Moon?  Appropriate propellants at least, perhaps appropriate capabilities?  So, right or not, that suggests an alternative to re-use transits of the Earth's atmosphere for the Final Stage.  Don't know that it has the reach to do it, but it is an interesting alternative to the SpaceX scheme.
Of course Blue Origins seems to be more interested in the Moon than is SpaceX.  But I think I heard that Blue Origins has recently started to think of Mars.

SpaceX does seem to try to generalize the Starship/Super Heavy Lifter, but with Oxygen and Methane as propellants, that leaves a niche of H2/LOX that Blue Origins could occupy.  Strangely that suggests to me that SpaceX and Blue Origins may be Frenemies in the future, and will have situations where co-operation could make both of them money.  Not always in competition.

Done.

Last edited by Void (2019-01-14 12:23:20)


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