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Old 08-04-2008, 07:45 AM   #1
Kyle
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Default ISS: The Largest moving thing ever made?

I was watching the movie 'Titanic', they reference that the Titanic is the largest moving thing ever built by man, obviously thats not the case anymore. But the ISS is the Size of a Football Field and 'moves' at 17,500 MPH, that would also make it one of the fastest (next To Low Altitude Shuttle Missions and Mercury Missions, Gemini, ect.) things ever built.

I was wondering, is the ISS the largest moving object ever built by man? Its already the most expensive thing ever built by mankind (God, it shouldn't have been.)
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Old 08-04-2008, 07:52 AM   #2
Urwumpe
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Compared to modern supertankers or container ships, the ISS is microscopic.



Even the largest ground vehicle is bigger as the ISS.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bagger_288

And in case of planes, the A380 is almost equally large.

The ISS could be counted as biggest spacecraft...
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Old 08-04-2008, 07:53 AM   #3
Kyle
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Well, unfortunately the ISS is the most expensive
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Old 08-04-2008, 08:06 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle View Post
 Well, unfortunately the ISS is the most expensive
Isn't the estimate of final cost at something like $157 billion dollars? Compared on the list of expensive objects built by man:
(all found at Wikipedia, which may or may not be correct.)
2nd place is occupied by the Three Gorges Dam at $25 Billion, 3rd is the "Big Dog" tunnel project in Boston at $14.6 billion.

Mir cost $4.3 billion, comparatively speaking, and the Shuttle was apparently $1.7 billion per unit.
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Old 08-04-2008, 08:23 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Cobalt View Post
 Isn't the estimate of final cost at something like $157 billion dollars?
Yes. It is on the same scale as the Apollo program or the russian space station program before Mir. Mir alone was already a pretty expensive program.

It is a large scale project, you can compare it better to infrastructure programs.

The Iraq war for example already cost 500 billion USD.
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Old 08-04-2008, 08:34 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Urwumpe View Post
 Yes. It is on the same scale as the Apollo program or the russian space station program before Mir. Mir alone was already a pretty expensive program.
Indeed. Apparently, the cost of the ISS to NASA alone, flights included, is $100 billion. No clue if that's right, as it was found at WP.

But back to it being the largest moving object, no, not really even close.
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Old 08-04-2008, 08:47 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Cobalt View Post
 Indeed. Apparently, the cost of the ISS to NASA alone, flights included, is $100 billion. No clue if that's right, as it was found at WP.
Sounds about right, at least as close as a future prediction can come.

The European costs had been calculated once as 3 billion per year alone until assembly complete and 600 million per year for the utilization phase. That is about 40% of the ESA budget currently.
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Old 08-04-2008, 09:02 AM   #8
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ESA numbers, again from WP:

Overall estimate, 9 billion.
Partially broken down, it seems 1.4 went to Columbus, control center included, ATV development 1.35 billion, with Ariane 5 launch costs at about 150 million each.

So everyone's feeling the hurt in their wallets, really.
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Old 08-04-2008, 09:12 AM   #9
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 Isn't the estimate of final cost at something like $157 billion dollars?
What a waste of money! There are starving kids in Africa!
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Old 08-04-2008, 09:15 AM   #10
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 What a waste of money! There are starving kids in Africa!
I know, right?

Really, my point wasn't that it was money that could go somewhere else, it was just that it's a very large sum of money.
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Old 08-04-2008, 11:34 AM   #11
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This thread got me thinking - although the ISS is not the largest thing built by man, how does it stack up in terms of kinetic energy?

ISS - 277t/7706m/s - 8242GJ*
Apollo 10 - 57t**/11082m/s - 3529GJ*
A380 - 560t/283m/s - 22GJ
Bagger 288 - 13500t/0.17m/s - 188kJ

* Earth's rotational velocity could probably be subtracted from these numbers for better comparison.
** Includes mass of empty S-IVB.

Maybe this is not a fair comparison. Either way, they are all pretty awesome machines.
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Old 08-05-2008, 03:35 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle View Post
 I was watching the movie 'Titanic', they reference that the Titanic is the largest moving thing ever built by man, obviously thats not the case anymore. But the ISS is the Size of a Football Field and 'moves' at 17,500 MPH, that would also make it one of the fastest (next To Low Altitude Shuttle Missions and Mercury Missions, Gemini, ect.) things ever built.

I was wondering, is the ISS the largest moving object ever built by man? Its already the most expensive thing ever built by mankind (God, it shouldn't have been.)
Kyle not to be rude but you should check up on your facts before you post your thread on a forum.
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Old 08-05-2008, 04:11 AM   #13
Linguofreak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tblaxland View Post
 This thread got me thinking - although the ISS is not the largest thing built by man, how does it stack up in terms of kinetic energy?

ISS - 277t/7706m/s - 8242GJ*
Apollo 10 - 57t**/11082m/s - 3529GJ*
A380 - 560t/283m/s - 22GJ
Bagger 288 - 13500t/0.17m/s - 188kJ

* Earth's rotational velocity could probably be subtracted from these numbers for better comparison.
** Includes mass of empty S-IVB.

Maybe this is not a fair comparison. Either way, they are all pretty awesome machines.
Ah... We're talking kinetic energy with respect to Earth here. How does the MESSENGER probe stack up? Assume that its orbital velocity is about equal to that of Mercury (A bit less at the moment, but the goal of the mission is to get the thing into orbit around Mercury, so in the long term it's a good assumption).

So it's orbital velocity is 47.88 km/s. Earth's is 29.79. When it's on the opposite side of the sun from us, those add together and we get 77.67 km/s. The mass of MESSENGER is 1093 kg. Multiply that by the square of the velocity, and it has 80% of the kinetic energy of the ISS in a mass a bit over 1 metric ton. (6593 GJ)
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Old 08-05-2008, 07:13 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urwumpe View Post
 The Iraq war for example already cost 500 billion USD.
845 billion USD according to this report (and more in indirect costs):
http://www.reuters.com/article/topNe...opNews&sp=true

Quote:
Originally Posted by James.Denholm View Post
 What a waste of money! There are starving kids in Africa!
See above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linguofreak View Post
 Ah... We're talking kinetic energy with respect to Earth here. How does the MESSENGER probe stack up? Assume that its orbital velocity is about equal to that of Mercury (A bit less at the moment, but the goal of the mission is to get the thing into orbit around Mercury, so in the long term it's a good assumption).

So it's orbital velocity is 47.88 km/s. Earth's is 29.79. When it's on the opposite side of the sun from us, those add together and we get 77.67 km/s. The mass of MESSENGER is 1093 kg. Multiply that by the square of the velocity, and it has 80% of the kinetic energy of the ISS in a mass a bit over 1 metric ton. (6593 GJ)
Interesting figures. It is a bit cheeky to add the Earth's orbital velocity to MESSENGER for the purposes of comparison considering it gets that velocity by just by being on the opposite side of the sun. When it is on the same side as the Earth the relative velocity is only 18.09km/s. If you want a similar comparison, consider the Bagger 288 travelling at 29.79km/s! It did occur to me after posting that mechanical energy w.r.t. both the sun and earth might yield some interesting results.
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Old 08-05-2008, 04:44 PM   #15
martins
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I think the largest man-made structure might actually be the Great Pacific Garbage Patch http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_P..._Garbage_Patch.

It doesn't "move" a lot as such, but probably gets churned quite a bit by the currents, so it might still qualify as the largest moving thing.
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