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Questions about space travel

  1. Jun 14, 2017 #1
    Hey there! My name is Laurel, and I'm working on a short story with a friend about, among other thing, space travel. I've just got some questions about exiting the atmosphere in order to fly a spaceship around looking for other stuff. I don't want you to feel you have to over simplify things, because I can use google to figure out terms and whatnot, but if it makes it easier for you, by all means.
    Thanks so much!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 14, 2017 #2
    As for exiting the atmosphere that doesn't present any problem for modern designs of rocket.
    The vehicle is only in the atmosphere for 2 or 3 minutes, and as long as there are no structural failures the atmosphere has very little effect on it's flight.
    If there are structural failures then the rocket is probably doomed anyway whether it's in the atmosphere or not. but atmosphere will cause it to disintegrate more quickly.
     
  4. Jun 14, 2017 #3

    1oldman2

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  5. Jun 14, 2017 #4

    Drakkith

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  6. Jun 17, 2017 #5
    Thanks! I didn't realize there was one, lol.
     
  7. Jun 19, 2017 #6

    DHF

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    If you are working with current technology then you need a rocket with a large amount of fuel and multiple stages. Currently no one has figured out how to do a single stage craft that can leave the atmosphere. So you are talking a large undertaking by a significant crew of professionals and a massive controlled explosion :) Unless you introduce future or alien tech, there would be no discreet way for your characters to lift off. Not sure if that is a feature of your story or not. As far as the speeds involved, your craft would need to reach 11 kilometers a second or a little over 40,000 kilometers an hour. This would get them free of our orbit and off into space. if they just want to reach low earth orbit and cruise around, maybe buzz the International space station then they only need to get there ship up to almost 8 kilometers a second or just under 28000 kilometers an hour.
     
  8. Jun 19, 2017 #7

    Drakkith

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    Oh we know how to do it. It's just way easier and cheaper to use a multi-stage rocket since you don't have to carry a huge amount of dead weight into orbit (and/or beyond). :biggrin:
     
  9. Jun 19, 2017 #8

    DHF

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    I wasn't aware anyone had build a successful prototype yet. I know Allen Bond has been working on it for decades but I thought he was still working out the bugs.
     
  10. Jun 19, 2017 #9

    Drakkith

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    Maybe I misunderstood you. Are you referring to a vehicle which is essentially a plane-rocket hybrid?
     
  11. Jun 19, 2017 #10

    DHF

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    Yep, I was. Bond's model uses an air breathing engine so it can greatly reduce the amount of O2 it has to carry into orbit.
     
  12. Jun 23, 2017 #11
    As said before, getting through the atmosphere isn't much issue anymore. There are logistical issues, but not scientific ones. Most of the bugs were worked out by the Nazis. A history of the V-2 and Wernher von Braun (who came to the US after WWII) might be interesting to you.
     
  13. Jun 23, 2017 #12

    phinds

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    Uh, the Germans did it in the 1940's
     
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