Re: Launch Technology

Date: Tue Jan 23 2001 - 15:50:56 MST

Ken Clements wrote:
> Spike, I am somewhat surprised to read what you wrote below after all the years
> we have been thinking about the expected impact of molecular design on rocket
> fuel. I guess you consider all that outside of "standard chemical rockets." I
> fully expect someone to design solid fuel rockets that are one big crystal that
> has been constructed to have a supervelocity anisotropic burn characteristic.

Gah. Energy density in the best HE we have (and it's damn near to physical limit)
is a fair cry to a simple oxygen/hydrogen rocket motor. Apart from that, you
*can't control* it, after it has started. That shockwave has a lot of energy,
and you sure as hell can't contain it.

Just a few more obvious objections.

> In this kind of design the molecular reaction mass is accelerated in nearly
> only one direction when the chemical bonds are broken. This is something like
> the old gag gift of the can of spring "snakes" that come spraying out when you
> open it.

Please tell me how to do it at high energy density, because I have not the
slightest idea.
> Also, "way" cheaper could be achieved now if we had a "way way" cheaper source
> of energy so as to drive the cost of making rocket fuel "way" down.

The energy is not the problem, the structure is the problem.

Perhaps rocket science is called rocket science for a reason. It's *science*.

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