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Thor Wotansen

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Everything posted by Thor Wotansen

  1. I'm currently trying to use this for a challenge involving Duna. I'm doing the challenge in a sandbox save, but it was launched legitimately, without cheats, and weighs in at a cool 1020ish tons. It's currently loaded up with various landers and base pieces, and has a ΔV of about 2300m/s (with the landers all fully fueled). On the launch pad, the part count was just shy of 1000 parts.
  2. Can you fault a hard working booster for wanting a bit of R&R in the ocean after a job well done?
  3. The following mission ideas can be taken as challenges, however I will not be scoring them. I will continue adding more missions to the series as time progresses. Feel free to follow the series from Mission 1 through numerically, or just pick one that sounds fun, just be forewarned that the later missions will be structured with the assumption that you have completed the previous missions. I am pulling inspiration from several real life mission proposals from various sources, as will be evident, and each Mission will have a few options for how to complete it. I won't put any mod restrictio
  4. That landing was epicly casual, lol. The booster was like "man, I got this."
  5. Well, if you do design a separate service module for Dragon to dock to to go around the Moon, you could always add in a cabin, I mean, you're already docking to it. That way you wouldn't have to jeopardize the abort capabilities of the Dragon by loading the trunk with a full service module.
  6. It would be easier to launch a separate service module on the FH and then launch a Dragon on a F9 to dock in LEO before going on to the Moon. The 30ish tons of payload should be enough for a service module to put a Dragon around the moon and back.
  7. @kerbiloid and @Dragon01 what do you guys think about Thorium liquid sodium reactors? I know you guys have a lively discussion about nuclear treaties over in the SSTO thread, just thought I'd throw another element in the mix over here.
  8. I'm starting this thread as a place to discuss ideas and nerdy details for all forms of alternative energy, from nuclear reactors providing electrical power, to linear generators powered by the movement of a human doing human things to power personal devices. It seems nerdy discussions of the merits of various energy sources and their carbon footprint pop up in various places, so why not condense them into one place? To start off, I've had an idea kicking around in my head for a year or so now, for a linear permanent magnet generator built into something like a knapsack or backpac
  9. From Wikipedia: The reaction is exothermic, meaning it produces heat. This means you can remove heat while still maintaining the 300-400 °C needed for the optimal reaction. Heat can be used for all sorts of useful things, like powering a sterling engine to run a generator to electrolize water for hydrogen, or liquefy air to extract pure CO2, with a cryocooler. So yes, as long as you don't let any methane escape into the atmosphere, you can have some of your lunch for free.
  10. I believe SpaceX is eventually planning to have a ISRU unit using the Sabatier process to make their own methane out of a bit of hydrogen and CO2 from the atmosphere. One benefit of this is that it creates a decent amount of excess energy that can be harnessed to do things like make electricity. I wouldn't be surprised if SpaceX was carbon neutral by 2030.
  11. I wonder if they're going to use the Roc to transport submarines or something.... I do hope it gets used for something, and doesn't just become another aviation record holder that slowly wastes away in a hangar somewhere where people pay $5 to see it.
  12. Sounds like it might end up being a net loss then....
  13. I have a very hard time imagining a serious spaceship design that includes 6 meter thick concrete anywhere, while still being something that can accelerate at multiple Gs. The reason we use concrete as radiation containment for reactors here on Earth is that it has a fairly high water content (hence hydrogen), it is a structural material that is easy to build with, it can be mixed with all sorts of things like pieces of lead, and it's very inexpensive compared to other alternatives. We also tend to worry about contamination of the surroundings of the reactor, something that's just not a conc
  14. I you punch a neat hole in a nuclear reactor, how well does it work? Deigning armor to defeat a high energy projectile that shatters like that is challenging, but doable, especially if you use your armored outer hull as an oversized whipple shield and armor your reactor with a good slab of high strength ceramics with a reactive surface composite over top. It's much harder to design an armor system to defeat a solid slug that doesn't deform much on it's way through a nuclear reactor at a decent fraction of orbital velocity for LEO I know the writers of The Expanse aren't science nerds to
  15. Tungsten is a remarkable material, it is incredibly dense and is one of the toughest metals we have. A solid slug of it won't really deform, even at thousands of Gs acceleration. The biggest problem with railguns is getting the slug to transmit all the power without welding itself to the rails. This is normally done by getting it going at a good clip before it reaches the rails. The other big problem is heat. This can be mitigated by using a high temperature superconductor like a Yttrium/Barium conductor at a temperature of around 77°K to transmit the power to the rails. We might even be
  16. The form and organism takes is highly dependent on it's diet. For the most part, I would expect that most, if not all, species that achieve intelligence and sentience to be omnivores. Large carnivores are, by nature, very territorial, and they are unlikely to develop agriculture or fire, since evolution would have given them a digestive system that obviates the need for plant crops and cooking. Without agriculture or fire, the species won't advance to the stone age. A herbivore might be able to pull it off, but most herbivores go for either big herds for safety in numbers, or for large siz
  17. That's fair, although it might be more cost effective to just send 150t of starship ring sections curled up tighter in the cargo bay, and weld it in situ into whatever you need. Insulating it will consist of shading it from the sun and any reflected or re-radiated energy and sticking a little cryocooler on it with a big honking radiator. Even a fairly low powered unit would be very effective in an application like that. With 150t of soft landed cargo you'd be ale to get far more in the cargo then you'd get from the ship itself.
  18. The problem with railguns will always be that they punch neat holes through things. If I were designing a spaceship for the kind of combat we see in The Expanse, I would engineer the railgun projectiles to punch through the crew compartments exactly like you see in the show. The reason is that the railgun is meant to take out things like drive clusters and reactors, and seriously damage the structure of the vessel, and if it was built to shred the crew compartments, it wouldn't to squat to a reactor with it's heavy shielding and (presumably) armor. I would even go so far as to say that taki
  19. Regarding the complaint about ship densities, I can imagine some pretty awesome composite materials using honeycomb titanium alloys and Styrofoam, with carbon fiber outsides, reinforced with something like titanium chicken wire and kevlar. It would be expensive as hell to make right now, because we don't have any demand for such materials, but it would certainly be within possibility to manufacture such panels at high volume. We know that the ships in The Expanse are multi-hulled, like submarines, with the outer layer being armor and main structure, and the inner hulls being pressurized crew
  20. It really depends on what you want to do with your ship. For the most part though, I think going "tall" is probably the best choice, since it's easier to account for variations in the center of mass in a "tall" ship than in something spread out wide around the engine. This can be somewhat mitigated by having multiple engines and using a combination of gimballing and differential throttle to keep your CoM going through your CoT, but in general, it will be easier to keep everything as close to the thrust axis as possible. The Expanse does a good job of designing believable ships, with the Eps
  21. I suspect the first machines to be somewhat similar to what Andy Weir describes in his book Artemis. He's got some earth mover type machines picking up rocks for smelting in the base, and they dump their waste heat into a vat of wax with coolant lines running through it. When the machine returns to base with a full load, it hooks up to an external dock and runs coolant through the wax heatsink from the base, while it recharges it's batteries and unloads. The base will already have massive cooling needs, and will radiate the heat away with whatever it normally uses. As far as building b
  22. @kerbiloid and @YNM I'm assuming some gravity or facsimile thereof. The entire system is a closed loop, with the only inputs and outputs being the humans traveling and whatever their digestive tracts contain, once it has fully matured. Growing insects to supplement the fishes diet is a good idea, but I'd be more inclined to grow something like crickets or ants, that can live off of agricultural byproducts or food scraps. Flys are also a good option. Rabbits are quite dependable when kept as livestock in a controlled space. Breeding and raising rabbits for food is already
  23. The cool thing about fish is that they don't care about gravity, they already live in what is effectively a 0G environment. We know that gravity is necessary for some stages of fetal development, and I assume the same is true for fish, but for the most part, they should do fine in low G.
  24. That exactly the point of space farming. With an aquaponics system, it is possible to grow everything from lettuce and spinach, to things like ginger and sweet potatoes, and everything in between. You could easily incorporate things like chickens and rabbits into the system for eggs and meat (rabbits are one of the most feed efficient sources of meat, as well as having almost entirely fat free meat). With a large enough colony, you could incorporate goats into the system for milk, and start making things like cheese and yogurt. Any crop you can grow here on earth, you could grow in a fairl
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