[ExI] Inflatable tower could climb to the edge of space

spike spike66 at att.net
Fri Jun 12 19:21:43 UTC 2009


> -----Original Message-----
> From: extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org 
> [mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of Dan
> ...
> I believe that idea's been discussed before -- and not just 
> here.  Not that it's a bad idea.  I think I also saw an 
> animation on a TV documentary depicting a crewed rocket being 
> accelerated and then the rockets firing at the end -- kind of 
> similar, I reckon, to launching planes from a carrier, though 
> I presume the jets are running before they're launched.
> Regards,
> Dan

Ja we had a version of this discussion about 6 ot 8 years ago, but I am
seeing some new ideas, such as the individually inflated bricks.

I had in mind a linear accelerator hurling a winged first stage, and a
nearly spherical final stage that is accelerated partially by Keith's laser,
partially by chemical propulsion.  The tower would hurl the final stage,
with a flyback first stage, which doesn't ignite until clear of the tower.
It would be hurled at about a km/sec nearly vertically, then a kerosene/LOX
flyback first stage would carry it to about 2.5 km/sec, at which time
separation occurs, and the chemical stage kicks in, raising to about 4
km/sec, after which we use ablative laser to achieve orbit velocity.

It isn't clear that the tower is worth doing, unless we plan to launch a
whole bunch of stuff, such as if we intend to build Keith's orbiting power
stations.  The break even point would require thousands of launches.
Humanity might decide to make an about face at this point in history, and
turn our backs on that future, opting instead to fight like hell over the
remaining oil and coal.


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