Rocket propulsion what alternatives could there ever be?

Richfromengland

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Hi,

What alternatives could there ever be for rocket launches?

I suspect as construction requires fuels that are used every day, and a rocket requires, hydrogen and oxygen to get into orbit.

It is unlikely any other power could launch a payload into orbit ever.

I saw a video clip example of a scale rocket model launched into the sky using only solar. But that didn't include a miniature payload either. That'd need to be bigger too.
 

jedidia

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There's a few alternatives, most of them highly theoretical, with only a few having even the most minimal of practical test and research applied to them.

You can find a pretty nice list of existing, possible, improbable and ridiculous concepts on Atomic Rockets.

The only realistic near-future "alternative" I can see are hybrids like skylon, but skylon still has a way to go until it can even start proving itself.
 

Richfromengland

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That is what, skylon?

Realistically with a low energy society due to environmental reasons, resource constraints, there wouldn't be really a business for orbital flight. Fifty years down the road.
 

Hielor

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Come on now, a nice typed description would be beneficial for future readers too.
Tell a man what a thing is, and he'll have knowledge for now.
Teach a man how to use the google, and he'll have knowledge for all time.
 

Xyon

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Jam tomorrow, see? Or is that the one about setting a man on fire so he's warm for the rest of his life?

For outer space itself, we have Ion drives, and we had some wild speculation around Em drives not so long ago (that went suspiciously quiet, though). Ultimately, perhaps, we will find a means of propulsion so far-fetched and preposterous that we can't even dream of it right now.
 

PhantomCruiser

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You are from England, a member of this forum and you don't know about Skylon?!?

It'll be great if it works. :)
If it doesn't work, well I guess it won't be great :(
 

Xyon

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You are from England, a member of this forum and you don't know about Skylon?!?

It'll be great if it works. :)
If it doesn't work, well I guess it won't be great :(
You missed out the T-word, which is maybe the more important aspect of this one. Not the doll with the funky hair, mind.
 

Richfromengland

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I know nothing about this company. The UK's position on space flight is quite small. There is a satellite company in South England, in Surrey county.

---------- Post added at 02:50 AM ---------- Previous post was at 02:49 AM ----------

You prefer not finding things? :blink:
It just would of been more helpful, and quicker to of just had some basic description about it.
 

Notebook

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Reaction Engines are the best known, and if they can get the Sabre engine working onto a winner/
Surrey Satellite Systems are the ones you may be thinking of? Spin-off from Surrey University, and doing well.

Scotland has Clyde Space. https://www.clyde.space/

UK space industry wasn't always small...


N.
 

Loru

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There are other possibilities. While space elevator is still beyond our material science, there a things like launch loops, space fountains, or plain and simple electromagnetic mass driver. While last one can't be used for achieving orbital velocity on Earth, it can be used to vastly reduce fuel needed therefore improving payload / fuel ratio.

Problem with all those solutions is massive initial cost, however they'd be economicaly viable with many launches / year.
 

jedidia

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however they'd be economicaly viable with many launches / year.
I have my doubts about an earth-based massdriver being viable. The thing would have to be located at as high an altitude as possible, which makes me suspect that the initial costs won't weigh so heavily on it as the maintenance costs of the first two decades.

In the end the killer is that you'd already need demand before building any such ridiculosly expensive thing. It's way too costly to just build it and hope that "the demand will come if we offer the capability". That's economic suicide.
 

SUPA-FNX

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I just figured a way to ease the space access a bit..by making a spot on earth where gravity does not affect 100%..like only 20 %.

That makes a corridor to space.

Cheaper to build than a space escalator. :thumbup:
 

Linguofreak

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That is what, skylon?

Realistically with a low energy society due to environmental reasons, resource constraints, there wouldn't be really a business for orbital flight. Fifty years down the road.
Nah, we're still quite a ways off from depleting available energy sources. Worst case scenario, solar power can easily supply current energy needs, and that'll be good for another 5 billion years or so.

As for space launch, you don't necessarily need a rocket for the atmospheric phase of the launch, but once you're above the atmosphere, or above the highest speeds your jet engines can reach, you'll need a rocket. Now, there are ways of building rockets that perform better than chemical rockets, such as nuclear thermal rockets (instead of heating your propellant by burning it, you pass it through a nuclear reactor).
 

SUPA-FNX

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I just figured a way to ease the space access a bit..by making a spot on earth where gravity does not affect 100%..like only 20 %.

That makes a corridor to space.

Cheaper to build than a space escalator. :thumbup:

Maxwell's 4th law gives a possibility to make this.

So what do you think ?

Will space craft gain a benefit if it is provided a gravitation free corridor to enter space ?

You still need delta-V ?
 
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