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Old 08-12-2018, 05:43 PM
 
Location: Macon, Georgia
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This Probe will be the closest ever to the sun.
https://www.space.com/41461-parker-s...h-delayed.html
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Old 08-12-2018, 09:19 PM
 
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Better to detect and fix any problem now than losing an expensive hardware after launch. It's hard to believe after decades of space exploration, the propulsion system in use is still a controlled chemical explosion.
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Old 08-13-2018, 07:21 AM
 
7,129 posts, read 3,895,051 times
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Originally Posted by davidt1 View Post
Better to detect and fix any problem now than losing an expensive hardware after launch. It's hard to believe after decades of space exploration, the propulsion system in use is still a controlled chemical explosion.
It’s all about getting maximum thrust for the fuel mass. Same reason why cars use gasoline...
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Old 08-13-2018, 09:49 PM
 
Location: Madison, Alabama
3,955 posts, read 2,019,847 times
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Originally Posted by davidt1 View Post
Better to detect and fix any problem now than losing an expensive hardware after launch. It's hard to believe after decades of space exploration, the propulsion system in use is still a controlled chemical explosion.
What other methods are available? Overcoming the "gravity well" is very hard to do.
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Old 08-13-2018, 09:51 PM
 
Location: Madison, Alabama
3,955 posts, read 2,019,847 times
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Originally Posted by the tiger View Post
This Probe will be the closest ever to the sun.
https://www.space.com/41461-parker-s...h-delayed.html
It actually launched early yesterday (Sunday) morning. It was delayed from Saturday. I think you were looking at an old article since it had already launched when you posted.
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Old 08-14-2018, 03:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by RocketDawg View Post
What other methods are available? Overcoming the "gravity well" is very hard to do.
The better question is why aren't there better methods? The first satellite was launched in 1957, 61 years ago. The same rocket technology is still used. Today, it is a little safer and more efficient and powerful but still the same thing.

A little off-topic, our dated propulsion system is another indication that advanced alien spaceships have never crashed on earth. To achieve interstellar travel, an alien race would have to have developed propulsion systems and engines far superior to our own. If they came and somehow crashed on earth, very unlikely to impossible due to their advanced knowledge and technologies, and by some other miracle they crashed right here on US soil and not in Peru or Vietnam or any other country, and the US government got a hold of their technology, they (the US government and NASA) would have learned from this technology and developed much better propulsion systems. The fact that we are still using the same dated and expensive propulsion technology we have been using for 61 years means no alien spaceship crashed here.

Anyway, there have been talks about nuclear powered propulsion systems for years, but just talks.

Last edited by davidt1; 08-14-2018 at 04:05 PM..
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Old 08-17-2018, 07:44 AM
 
7,129 posts, read 3,895,051 times
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Originally Posted by davidt1 View Post
The better question is why aren't there better methods? The first satellite was launched in 1957, 61 years ago. The same rocket technology is still used. Today, it is a little safer and more efficient and powerful but still the same thing.

A little off-topic, our dated propulsion system is another indication that advanced alien spaceships have never crashed on earth. To achieve interstellar travel, an alien race would have to have developed propulsion systems and engines far superior to our own. If they came and somehow crashed on earth, very unlikely to impossible due to their advanced knowledge and technologies, and by some other miracle they crashed right here on US soil and not in Peru or Vietnam or any other country, and the US government got a hold of their technology, they (the US government and NASA) would have learned from this technology and developed much better propulsion systems. The fact that we are still using the same dated and expensive propulsion technology we have been using for 61 years means no alien spaceship crashed here.

Anyway, there have been talks about nuclear powered propulsion systems for years, but just talks.
Read up on NERVA. Much more than “talks”, it was under active development until defunded in the early 70’s. The technology works.

You make an assumption that alien tech would give us a leg up. What if a 2018 laptop was left in the Middle Ages? Would they even know the principles behind it? What it did?

The reason chemical rockets are still used is because (1) it is proven and works, (2) there is no major investment on alternative methods, (3) you need a lot of thrust to escape Earth’s gravity, and (4) no country is willing to consider alternatives that risk poisoning or irradiating the launch site or planet.
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Old 08-18-2018, 01:11 PM
 
4,255 posts, read 8,011,985 times
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Originally Posted by markjames68 View Post
Read up on NERVA. Much more than “talks”, it was under active development until defunded in the early 70’s. The technology works.

You make an assumption that alien tech would give us a leg up. What if a 2018 laptop was left in the Middle Ages? Would they even know the principles behind it? What it did?

The reason chemical rockets are still used is because (1) it is proven and works, (2) there is no major investment on alternative methods, (3) you need a lot of thrust to escape Earth’s gravity, and (4) no country is willing to consider alternatives that risk poisoning or irradiating the launch site or planet.
I hope this will remain a discussion and not a pissing contest. I actually am a believer in the Rare Earth Theory. That talk about alien propulsion tech was a jab at the UFO/Alien nutjobs. But since you brought it up, we are not in the Middle Ages. Once we built radio transmission towers and spacecrafts, we have advanced to the next level.

An alien race, no matter how advanced, still has to follow the laws of physics, gravity, aerodynamics, etc. Their tech won't look like magic to us. An alien aircraft would look familiar because there are only a few ways to deal with air friction in earth's atmosphere. A alien laser or ray handgun would still have to pointed a target and thus would look more or less like a gun.

Chemical fuel is around 20 times the weight of the space shuttle itself. Imagine carrying 20 times the weight of your car in fuel just to get around. That's a very poor ratio.

Last edited by davidt1; 08-18-2018 at 01:52 PM..
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Old 08-18-2018, 01:42 PM
 
1,410 posts, read 1,113,819 times
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If an alien technology were based on physics we haven't discovered yet it would look like they don't follow the laws of physics. Think of an ancient Roman trying to understand a cell phone. And that's only 2000 years.
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Old 08-18-2018, 04:29 PM
 
Location: Madison, Alabama
3,955 posts, read 2,019,847 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markjames68 View Post
Read up on NERVA. Much more than “talks”, it was under active development until defunded in the early 70’s. The technology works.

You make an assumption that alien tech would give us a leg up. What if a 2018 laptop was left in the Middle Ages? Would they even know the principles behind it? What it did?

The reason chemical rockets are still used is because (1) it is proven and works, (2) there is no major investment on alternative methods, (3) you need a lot of thrust to escape Earth’s gravity, and (4) no country is willing to consider alternatives that risk poisoning or irradiating the launch site or planet.
True. I remember hearing about NERVA early in my career, and a good aricle on it is in Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NERVA As the article says, it lost political support (apparently the main senate sponsor died), and funding for space was tight in that era.

Unless I'm mistaken, NERVA was not intended for launching to Low Earth Orbit, but was meant as an upper stage engine to be used from LEO to its destination (moon or Mars). At the time, Saturn V would handle the earth to LEO portion, so you'd still have chemical rockets for the difficult portion of the flight. Saturn V first stage used kerosene/LOX and NERVA was LH2.
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