Steam Lcmtbve

Put in your water and shovel in your coal. Put your head out the window, watch them drivers roll I'll run her till she leaves the rail, Cause we're eight hours late with the western mail From the US folksong Casey Jones, attributed to Newton and Seibert (1909) THE development of the American west, to a very large extent, depended upon the steam locomotive. Not only did the coal-driven trains of the transcontinental railroad transport the mail, but such items as tools, produce, and people were...

Content

INTRODUCTION CITIZENS OF THE COSMOS 1 Neolithic and Bronze Age Migrants 11 Living Among the Near-Earth Objects 20 Settling the Outer Solar System 24 CHAPTER 3 THE ROCKET AND ITS LIMITS 29 Nuclear-Thermal and Solar-Thermal Rockets 37 CHAPTER 4 THE FIRST GREEN SPACE TECHNOLOGIES 41 Aeroassisted Atmospheric Reentry 42 CHAPTER 5 PROBES TO THE PLANETS WHERE WE'VE BEEN ON The Lure of Our Sister Planet 54 CHAPTER 6 PROBES TO THE STARS CONCEPT STUDIES 67 Some WonderfUl Improbabilities 72 TAU NASA's...

Tue New Fironti1eir

O'er the smooth enameld green, Where no print of step hath been, Follow me, as I sing And touch the warbld string Under the shady roof Of branching elm star-proof Follow me. FAR above the emerald green seas that served as passageways through the Mediterranean, the Polynesian Pacific and to the New World, far above the tremulous canopies of the elm forest and beyond the finest wisps of Earth's life-giving atmosphere sits the Interplanetary Frontier. In crystal clarity, telescopes and space...

The First Starships

Of the various technologies reviewed in Chapter 6, light sailing seems to be the best current choice of systems to propel humanity's first starships. Ramjets are infeasible, antimatter is difficult to store and too expensive, and the socio-political problems inherent in nuclear-pulse propelled spacecraft may be insurmountable. Only the light sail remains. As discussed by Ben Finney and Eric Jones, there are two basic approaches to interstellar expansion via light sail. In keeping with previous...

Hyperspace Shortcuts

As discussed in Chapter 6, space time warps seem even less likely today than ZPE machines. But research in these fields should continue in spite of what seems to be a low probability of success. Enormous amounts of energy actually universal amounts may be required to produce a wormhole. And exotic, purely theoretical energy fields must be manifested from the quantum vacuum to maintain them. Breakthroughs have occurred before much of twentieth-century physics broke through'' the...

Solar Thermal rocket Fundamentals

Concentrator Solar Thermal Rocket

The operation of a solar-thermal rocket is presented in Figure 12.1. Unlike a chemical rocket, the Sun powers solar-thermal rockets. Using either a Fresnel lens or a parabolic mirror, sunlight is concentrated to superheat propellant, which is then vented to produce thrust. The concentrator is the key feature that distinguishes this technology from other propulsion technologies, heating the propellant with the equivalent of up to 1,000 Suns (at 1 AU). Recall that exhaust velocity and thrust are...

Aerogravity Assist

Aerogravity assist is an extension of the established gravity-assist maneuver (Chapter 4) with a planet or large moon to increase the speed of a spacecraft non-propulsively. Basically, aerogravity assist is a technique that would allow a spacecraft to dip closer to the planet about which it is seeking to get a boost so close as to actually fly hypersonically through its upper atmosphere during the encounter to increase its turning angle well above what is otherwise possible and obtain a much...

Aerocapture

Aerocapture is a radical method of putting on the brakes.'' If an interplanetary spacecraft is approaching a world with an atmosphere, it provides a method of decelerating for planetary capture without the use of fuel. During an aerocapture pass, a spacecraft grazes through the outer layers of the destination world's atmosphere. During the maneuver, atmospheric drag slows the spacecraft enough to ensure capture into a planet-centered orbit. It is a precise, one-pass affair. Everything must work...

Antimatter propulsion

Particle physicists have been creating antimatter for at least half a century as a byproduct of high-energy particle accelerator research. But what is it First theorized by Paul Dirac in 1928, antimatter particles with the same mass as their normal matter cousins but with opposite charge is regularly produced in many facilities used for particle physics research. The antimatter counterpart of the electron is the positron. The proton's antiparticle is the antiproton, having...

Rockets

Thermal Propulsion

NASA, the US Department of Defense, and other agencies are considering near-future applications of this technology. Perhaps the earliest application will be orbit transfer. Assume that you've paid the launch cost to put a satellite into low Earth orbit a few hundred kilometers above Earth's surface and you wish to raise its orbital height to a geosynchronous altitude, about 36,000 kilometers above Earth's surface. You could of course do this with a conventional upper stage using chemical...

Further reading

A number of popular treatments of tethers and related devices have been published. Consult, for example, Chapter 2 of Giancarlo Genta's and Michael Rycroft's Space The Final Frontier (Cambridge University Press, New York, 2003). The johnson Matloff tether sail combination is further described in US Patent No. 6,497,355 B1. For further information on the Hoytether, consult the website 8 Forward, R.L., Tether Transport from LEO to the Lunar Surface,'' AIAA-91-2322, AIAA ASME SAE ASEE 27th Joint...

Aeroassisted Atmospheric Reentry

One might think that a viable means of returning an Earth-orbiting spacecraft to our planet's surface could be effectively done by simply firing the rockets in reverse. But if you consult the Rocket Equation in Chapter 3, you will see that such an approach simply could not work. In the example given in Chapter 3, the exhaust velocity of a near-optimum chemical rocket is 4.55 kilometers per second, and the velocity increment required to achieve minimal Earth orbit is about 7.45 kilometers per...

Solar Electric propulsion

Sustained human expansion beyond Earth not only requires the transportation of the people, but also of the cargo supplies needed to sustain them. Since cargo is not as sensitive to the time spent in deep space, lower-thrust systems such as solar-electric propulsion see Chapter 11 might be used to efficiently carry such supplies on the long voyages between planets. Taking advantage of plentiful sunlight, SEP-based vehicles might be the cargo ships of deep space. Why would one use SEP instead of...

Aerobraking

If a spacecraft is not to land on the surface of a planet, but is rather required to go into orbit around it, then aerobraking can be of significant benefit. Aerobraking significantly reduces the amount of onboard propulsion needed to slow down and be captured into orbit, but it does not eliminate it. To understand why this is so important, it is useful to discuss how an orbiter is captured around a planet using only rocket-based propulsion. A typical mission without the use of aerocapture...

The Fi1irst Ssgeen

And silken-sharp the dazzling thunder falls Upon the startled land. The rising, falling dart Sudden and piercing on the summer's heart And while from tree to tree the voice of fore calls EARLY in the Space Age, as thunder fell earthward from the rising rockets as they pierced the firmament, researchers realized the necessity of developing space technologies to exploit the Near-Earth environment. To get into space astronauts and cosmonauts would use the high-technology rocket. But to return from...