Continuing this line of thought, assume the spaceplane has reached an altitude of nearly 100,000 ft and a speed of well over 3,000 mph. As the air begins to thin, the aerospike rocket is gradually brought online. This uses the same combustion chamber as the ramjet, keeping weights to a minimum. By the time the spaceplane has reached 4,000 mph and 150,000 ft, it is operating on rocket engines alone. It is now up to the rockets to take the ship to 17,500 mph and 528,000 ft. This translates into about a 25,000 ft s DV, including 4,000 ft s for remaining drag and gravity losses, and 1,000 ft s as a hedge factor in case earlier assumptions are off. Normal ground-launched rockets require about 30,000 ft s DV to reach orbit so we have gained a DV advantage of 5,000 ft s, or 3,400 mph with these air-breathing techniques. This might not seem like a lot, but let us look at the numbers, beginning with the exponential form of the rocket equation.
Despite the slight rise in temperature, the research inside Spacehab continued at breakneck pace, although the astronauts had to move some of their life sciences gear over to Columbia's middeck to keep it sufficiently cool. One of the most important pieces of equipment on board STS-107 was ESA's Advanced Respiratory Monitoring System (ARMS), which required the crew to participate in an extensive series of breathing exercises to measure their cardiac output, with particular focus on the critical first few hours in microgravity. Its first measurements were taken just six hours after launch.
On a winter's evening, with the snow crunching beneath your boots and your breath hanging in frosty clouds in the air, your eye may catch upon a single star glimmering like a multifaceted diamond through the dark silhouettes of bare trees in the southeast. As you gaze upon this scene, you may imagine a kind of stillness settling upon the world, or perhaps within yourself. At such contemplative times it is hard to tell. But something about 'lone stars' strikes an emotional chord within us all. Can there be no greater symbol of solitude and yet dignified defiance than a single star shouting down the night
The stars seem permanent, but that's only because we're just passing through. If you live for 100 years that's only one part in 100 million of the age of the universe. How can you expect to see the (low of cosmic change Comparing your lifetime to the age of the universe is like comparing the longest time you can hold your breath to your lifetime. That's it. One breath is to one lifetime as one lifetime is to the age of universe. Inhale deeply
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