Re: Launch Technology

From: Ross A. Finlayson (
Date: Sun Jan 21 2001 - 15:14:19 MST

Spike Jones wrote:

> > Spike Jones wrote: Starting with a 50 pound rocket, I have some *serious*
> >
> > > doubts we could make it to orbit with 7 pounds. I might believe
> > > 7 ounces however.
> >
> > Adrian Tymes wrote: Ok, ok, true. Point is that it's < 100% of the
> > craft's mass - and that
> > we need *far* better (faster exhaust velocity) fuels than have been
> > used to date, no? (Lasers - highest exhaust velocity, barring FTL
> > discoveries - fuelled by matter/antimatter - highest known energy
> > density - would be nice, but we can settle for more immediately
> > achievable ones as an intermediate step.)
> Ja. There are no great breakthrus in our future for standard
> chemical rockets. No one tomorrow is gonna discover a
> previously unknown chemical that will get us to orbit way
> cheaper than now. In the area of chemical rockets, the
> only development we can look forward to is economies
> of scale by making a lot of them.
> I am convinced we need to develop some means of keeping
> all the energy on the ground, transmitting it to the rising rocket
> by means of laser. The infrastructure for doing this is being
> developed in the form of weaponry: ground based lasers and
> airborne lasers. In some form those weapons will be used to heat
> propellant to lift rockets. I just dont know how yet. spike

We talked about lasers before, and laser propulsion. Some tinkerer had
launched a frisbee sized device using laser several hundred meters. If our
launch backpack had a laser boost in the beginning as well, or laser for
combined interial reflection and propulsion mass reignition, keeping the laser
pointed at the missile (or rocket/missile hybrid) would require sophisticated
tracking, like an anti-missile rocket.

I was thinking a lot of the reaction mass could be pulled from the air as it
goes through it. By having the initial boost liquid or solid chemical engine,
it achieves speeds where air is moving into the intakes and being heated by the
partially air-colled fusion reaction, or water cooled with air cooled water
jacket. Thus, the air is expelled at a high rate of speed.

I notice the launch equations involve inverse square. A fly flying from floor
to celing expends a lot less force than a human standing or jumping and
touching it.


Ross Andrew Finlayson
Finlayson Consulting
Ross at Tiki-Lounge:
"The best mathematician in the world is Maplev in Ontario."  - Pertti L.

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