[ExI] Balloon to space

Keith Henson hkeithhenson at gmail.com
Fri Jan 9 12:42:26 UTC 2009

If you work out the math involved, going up to 50-100,000 feet doesn't
buy you much in improved payload.

What it does get you is reduced "max Q" which means you can use
lighter structure for your rocket.

Keith Henson

On Thu, Jan 8, 2009 at 4:17 PM, BillK <pharos at gmail.com> wrote:
> <http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2009/jan/HQ_09-003_Antarctic_Balloons.html>
> This seven-million-cubic-foot super-pressure balloon is the largest
> single-cell, super-pressure, fully-sealed balloon ever flown. When
> development ends, NASA will have a 22 million-cubic-foot balloon that
> can carry a one-ton instrument to an altitude of more than 110,000
> feet, which is three to four times higher than passenger planes fly.
> Ultra-long duration missions using the super pressure balloon cost
> considerably less than a satellite and the scientific instruments
> flown can be retrieved and launched again, making them ideal very-high
> altitude research platforms.
> ----------------------
> Spaceship 1 was only about 3 to 4 tons loaded weight and launched at
> 50,000 ft from White Knight 1.
> So a higher launch from balloon with less fuel (less weight) seems
> nearly within reach.
> BillK
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