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Airships to orbit?



 
 
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  #1  
Old July 4th 20, 11:29 PM posted to sci.space.policy
[email protected]
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Posts: 687
Default Airships to orbit?

Workable? Or just another flight of fancy?

"This airship flies from the upper atmospheric station to orbit. It uses hybrid chemical/electric propulsion to slowly accelerate and reach orbit.

"A two mile wide station parked at 140,000 feet is the new way station to space. The station acts not only as a port for the orbital airship but also as a research center, construction site and tourist destination."

See:

http://www.jpaerospace.com/atohandout.pdf

&

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...spaces-founder

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  #2  
Old July 5th 20, 12:21 AM posted to sci.space.policy
Alain Fournier[_3_]
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Default Airships to orbit?

On Jul/4/2020 at 18:29, wrote :
Workable? Or just another flight of fancy?

"This airship flies from the upper atmospheric station to orbit. It uses hybrid chemical/electric propulsion to slowly accelerate and reach orbit.

"A two mile wide station parked at 140,000 feet is the new way station to space. The station acts not only as a port for the orbital airship but also as a research center, construction site and tourist destination."

See:

http://www.jpaerospace.com/atohandout.pdf

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...spaces-founder


I wouldn't dismiss this as fantasy. But I would like to see thermal
heating analysis and a few other things before saying it will work.
Flying at near orbital velocity for hours in an atmosphere thick enough
to give lift is tricky to say the least.


Alain Fournier
  #3  
Old July 5th 20, 01:14 AM posted to sci.space.policy
Sylvia Else[_3_]
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Posts: 87
Default Airships to orbit?

On 05-Jul-20 8:29 am, wrote:
Workable? Or just another flight of fancy?

"This airship flies from the upper atmospheric station to orbit. It uses hybrid chemical/electric propulsion to slowly accelerate and reach orbit.

"A two mile wide station parked at 140,000 feet is the new way station to space. The station acts not only as a port for the orbital airship but also as a research center, construction site and tourist destination."

See:

http://www.jpaerospace.com/atohandout.pdf

&

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...spaces-founder


Would need to see some numbers for this.

Will it actually be able to rise to 200,000 feet using buoyancy?

More questionable, is whether it is possible to accelerate such a body
to orbital speed using low thrust. As its speed rises, so will its
altitude, but also so will the drag from the residual atmosphere. It is
far from clear that it can achieve orbit that way.

Sylvia.
  #4  
Old July 6th 20, 03:42 PM posted to sci.space.policy
David Spain
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Posts: 2,901
Default Airships to orbit?

On 2020-07-05 6:04 PM, JF Mezei wrote:
On 2020-07-04 20:14, Sylvia Else wrote:
Will it actually be able to rise to 200,000 feet using buoyancy?

More questionable, is whether it is possible to accelerate such a body
to orbital speed using low thrust. As its speed rises, so will its
altitude, but also so will the drag from the residual atmosphere. It is
far from clear that it can achieve orbit that way.


Isn't it more likely that the ship would be dropped from the balloon and
ignite rockets to quickly accelerate to orbital speed before it falls
down to the ground?

And how do you get back down without a TPS? Or are you only interested
in a one-way trip?

You should read over the documentation a little more carefully.
It seems clear the "orbiter" part of the design is also a balloon in a
wedge shape. That is to allow for *gradual* descent back into the
atmosphere without having to worry about lift and control vs heating
during descent.

It's interesting tho, I didn't see how the engine configuration as drawn
shows how that's possible unless the engines have reversible thrust. The
balloon wedge geometry would be wrong if you inverted the craft for decent.

[snip]

Would be interesting for aircraft design though with regards to Max-Q.

I agree with the latter. This is the slow path to/from orbit.

Dave

 




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