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So why is space travel so hurdlesome again?

  1. Jul 21, 2017 #1
    For some reason, whenever I see these documentaries on space travel, and how NASA explains its projects, they always make it sound like "OMG we'll be able to colonize space MAYBE a million years in the future, with super technology, yadda yadda" and "space travel is so difficult", but aside from just getting the rocket fuel together to launch your behind in space, what is so blithering difficult about sealing a container, and sticking an oxygen tank in it?

    I mean, look, this is just simple mechanics, I don't understand why NASA doesn't send people up into space every weekend (unless the fuel reason, but come on), this is mechanics, it's plumbing, it's not rocket science (or, heart surgery as it turns out, rocket science is a tad bit overrated IMO), just seal a container, put some lead on it or something else to avoid the radiation, and bada bing bada boom, send a guy for a month or two to live in space.

    PS As an aside, does this have to do with that thing from a movie about space where NASA spent millions to develop an ink pen to work in space while USSR just used a pencil? NASA has no fing idea how to industrialize the space industry?? And make it punchy and cost effective?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 21, 2017 #2
    The pen/pencil story: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fact-or-fiction-nasa-spen/

    Your opinion is just a tad bit wrong.
    When things tends to go big-bada-boom if designed or manufactured poorly the design (and manufacture) process will cost a fortune.

    Also, it's not a good popularity if the hero dies halfway up due some 'plumbing' gone wrong. So that 'plumbing' should be able to work in an environment which is a nightmare for any engineer.

    I think it would be useful to check some more 'plumbing' related problems first. Check for 'boiler explosion history' on google. That things are around for ~ 150 years, and still not completely safe: imagine the cost of making such thing work in a far more stressing environment without any tolerance for failure.
     
  4. Jul 21, 2017 #3
    "Your opinion is just a tad bit wrong."

    Ohhhhh, I beg to differ, hehehehehehehehehe (I am laughing because I already know what I am going to say, you didn't catch me unaware by anything)

    "When things tends to go big-bada-boom if designed or manufactured poorly the design (and manufacture) process will cost a fortune."

    It's a fuel tank. It's a container with fuel. It is lit on fire, and it shoots the ignited fuel out of its backside. A Ferrari has a more complicated design than that, it has cylinders a crankshaft, all sorts of moving parts and mechanisms. This is literally just fuel on fire in a nozzle. That's dumb. That's caveman dumb. People who think that "rocket science" is anything special have brain damage. (And Newtonian space physics is the stupidest thing since ever)

    "Also, it's not a good popularity if the hero dies halfway up due some 'plumbing' gone wrong. So that 'plumbing' should be able to work in an environment which is a nightmare for any engineer."

    Make an ejection seat/mechanism. Works for planes, why not for Shuttles, etc?

    "I think it would be useful to check some more 'plumbing' related problems first. Check for 'boiler explosion history' on google. That things are around for ~ 150 years, and still not completely safe: imagine the cost of making such thing work in a far more stressing environment without any tolerance for failure."

    That is EXACTLY MY POINT - NASA is ran by people like you who are so goddamn petrified that even a single bolt will be out of place that they overdesign everything and hold everything back 10 years past its due. If the boiler explodes - WHO CARES? Is it a Nuke? No. Put a redundancy even! Stick a redundancy in there, make everything out of cast iron so its indestructable, and send the Industrial Age tech up there into space, because THAT'S ALL YOU NEED!!!!


    And it's not JUST about breaking gravity and entering orbit, I mean ONCE UP THERE, why aren't we building our own compartments up there?

    Are you telling me we can't get IKEA to do a special order to seal a few hundred compartments up at 1 atmosphere? That is coming from WITHIN the compartment? Come on man, this is like the easiest plumbing job ever!
     
  5. Jul 21, 2017 #4

    jbriggs444

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    Science Advisor

    You can open the top of a 55 gallon drum filled to the brim with kerosene and try to light it off. It won't propel anything anywhere. It won't even burn unless you stick a wick in it. A kerosene/LOX rocket has a few moving parts and needs some engineering so that it can pump the fuel mixture to the combustion chamber at the right rate, so that it can keep the combustion chamber from melting or blowing itself apart, so that the whole assembly holds together under the thrust and so that it can vector the thrust to keep the thing from simply pinwheeling.

    And then there's the pesky Tsiolkovsky equation. Fuel requirements are an exponential function of delta V. That's a real "exponential", not the fake "exponential" that folks like to use to make things sound big.
     
  6. Jul 21, 2017 #5
    I really don't think too many Industrial Age techs would volunteer to sit on top of a cast iron rocket. :wideeyed:
     
  7. Jul 21, 2017 #6
    I think we can conclude that the OP has no idea about this topic.
     
  8. Jul 21, 2017 #7

    jim mcnamara

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    Staff: Mentor

    Thread locked.
     
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