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  • New Rocket Engine Could Reach Mars in 40 Days

    Seems it's been five or ten years since I first read about this technology. It's a very different technology for an ion engine with a much wider power spectrum.

    Slow but steady push

    Some satellites and spacecraft already rely upon electric propulsion in their ion engines that create thrust based on energized gas. Similarly, Ad Astra's Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR) ionizes gases such as xenon or hydrogen to create superheated plasma stream for thrust.

    But VASIMR also has the advantage of relying upon electromagnetic waves to create and energize the plasma, rather than physical electrodes that get worn down due to contact with the superheated plasma. That translates into greater reliability over time and allows for a very dense plasma stream to create more thrust.
    http://www.space.com/businesstechnol...ip-100305.html
    Any metaphor will tear if stretched over too much reality.

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  • #2
    Cool, I remember reading about Ion engines in the early 80's -late 70's where the thrust was minuscule. Hopefully they can take this somewhere tech wise but I'm in favor of nuke powered rockets for deep space.
    45B10 1986-91

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    • #3
      I say we go.

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      • #4
        Darn right. In 5 years ( or less )we build the lander/return module and kick some Star butt.


        Give the naysayers something to complain about.

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        • #5
          There are plenty of holes in the proposition, as there are plenty of holes appearing in US roads, bridges and water reticulation facilities.

          "Itís easy, especially in tough economic times, to push aside infrastructure initiatives, including basic maintenance and repair, in favor of issues that seem more pressing or more appealing.(like space travel- mine) But this misses the point that infrastructure spending that is thoughtful and wise is an investment, a crucial investment in the nationís future ó and itís a world-class source of high-value jobs."
          http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/16/op...16herbert.html

          I am not sure why anyone would be advocating spending potentially massive amounts of money on projects that can have immediate benefits to few outside of those actually working on its progression, when there are immediate and tangible benefits to be obtained by many by spending similar amounts of money on, say, repairing failing infrastructure.

          Lives are at risk NOW, economic growth is being hurt NOW, by not spending on these things now or in the very near future. Mankind is not under significant threat of destroying itself utterly, hence needing another place to live, not for a long time anyway. I consider it is much better for a sum of $X billion to be spent producing immediate benefits for many via infrastructure repair, rather than the same amount spent on interplanetary travel benefiting very few in the long run.

          It's not very "sexy", and it won't result in the fulfillment of "wet dreams", but it will pay much better dividends in both the short and long terms.
          Last edited by At ease; 06 Mar 10, 23:41.
          "It's like shooting rats in a barrel."
          "You'll be in a barrel if you don't watch out for the fighters!"

          "Talking about airplanes is a very pleasant mental disease."
          ó Sergei(son of Igor) Sikorsky, 'AOPA Pilot' magazine February 2003.

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          • #6
            Ah the old, we canít do that until we fix all the problems we already have falsie.
            That attitude 500 years ago would have kept Columbus from sailing.
            200 years ago and the U.S. would still be packed on a little strip of land on the East coast.
            Why would anyone waste money-developing aircraft when there are so many more important things that need that money?
            The space program was a huge waste since we didnít get a dam thing from it. No transistors, Teflon, Velcro. Satellites what do we need them for?
            Home computers? Cell-phones?
            Naw none of them will ever be used by anyone other then the ďfew outside of those actually working on its progressionĒ
            Iím sure that without the space program we would all be better off then we are today. Without those weather sats. to warn us of hurricanes we could have kept the population under better control since so many more would have died.
            Last edited by Tsar; 07 Mar 10, 02:23.
            Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedy. -- Ernest Benn

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            • #7
              Originally posted by tsar View Post
              Ah the old, we canít do that until we fix all the problems we already have falsie.
              That attitude 500 years ago would have kept Columbus from sailing.
              200 years ago and the U.S. would still be packed on a little strip of land on the East coast.
              Why would anyone waste money-developing aircraft when there are so many more important things that need that money?
              The space program was a huge waste since we didnít get a dam thing from it. No transistors, Teflon, Velcro. Satellites what do we need them for?
              Home computers? Cell-phones?
              Naw none of them will ever be used by anyone other then the ďfew outside of those actually working on its progressionĒ
              Iím sure that without the space program we would all be better off then we are today. Without those weather sats. to warn us of hurricanes we could have kept the population under better control since so many more would have died.
              Sad but true, sometimes for the good of the species and society we have to abandon our kinder, gentler instincts to go the hard road.


              Which will they remember in a hundred years;

              We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard'
              JFK

              " I don't need to know about life on Mars when I know there are rats in apartments in the Bronx'
              Walter Mondale

              (PS I need to verify the exact wording of the quote, it came from a Michael Collins book)
              One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions - Admiral Grace Hopper

              "The eunuch should not take pride in his chastity."
              Wu Cheng'en Monkey

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              • #8
                Originally posted by At ease View Post
                There are plenty of holes in the proposition, as there are plenty of holes appearing in US roads, bridges and water reticulation facilities.

                "Itís easy, especially in tough economic times, to push aside infrastructure initiatives, including basic maintenance and repair, in favor of issues that seem more pressing or more appealing.(like space travel- mine) But this misses the point that infrastructure spending that is thoughtful and wise is an investment, a crucial investment in the nationís future ó and itís a world-class source of high-value jobs."
                http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/16/op...16herbert.html

                I am not sure why anyone would be advocating spending potentially massive amounts of money on projects that can have immediate benefits to few outside of those actually working on its progression, when there are immediate and tangible benefits to be obtained by many by spending similar amounts of money on, say, repairing failing infrastructure.

                Lives are at risk NOW, economic growth is being hurt NOW, by not spending on these things now or in the very near future. Mankind is not under significant threat of destroying itself utterly, hence needing another place to live, not for a long time anyway. I consider it is much better for a sum of $X billion to be spent producing immediate benefits for many via infrastructure repair, rather than the same amount spent on interplanetary travel benefiting very few in the long run.

                It's not very "sexy", and it won't result in the fulfillment of "wet dreams", but it will pay much better dividends in both the short and long terms.
                Give the naysayers something to complain about

                Comment


                • #9
                  Velcro!!!! NOPE.

                  You should have listen to Paul Harvey's rest of the story more often.


                  The hook-and-loop fastener was invented in 1941 by Swiss engineer, George de Mestral[5][7][8] who lived in Commugny, Switzerland. The idea came to him one day after returning from a hunting trip with his dog in the Alps. He took a close look at the burrs (seeds) of burdock that kept sticking to his clothes and his dog's fur. He examined them under a microscope, and noted their hundreds of "hooks" that caught on anything with a loop, such as clothing, animal fur, or hair. [3] He saw the possibility of binding two materials reversibly in a simple fashion,[8] if he could figure out how to duplicate the hooks and loops.[5]
                  "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                  Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                  youíre entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Martok View Post
                    I say we go.
                    Me too.
                    This way might even be quicker.

                    "Advances in technology tend to overwhelm me."

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                    • #11
                      Hey

                      Wile E. Coyote is one of my peeps! (Although Mom says we are not directly related.)
                      Any metaphor will tear if stretched over too much reality.

                      Questions about our site? See the FAQ.

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