[ExI] glory failure

spike spike66 at att.net
Sun Mar 6 19:44:47 UTC 2011


The mainstream press has had too little to say about Friday's Taurus XL
launcher failure.




This was very bad news for humanity as well as Orbital Sciences Corp.
Humanity lost a satellite which is designed to study the spectrum of solar
energy that penetrates aerosols, from which we could calculate the
atmospheric temperature effects of various power generation schemes.
Orbital Sciences Corp has now lost three of their last four launches, and
the second one in a row for the Taurus, for the same problem: payload
fairing failed to separate.  This could drive their launch insurance prices
beyond competitiveness.


I was personally interested in the Glory mission because of something I have
been wondering about for some time.  We hear of the promise of solar
concentrators which would run a Carnot cycle, such as the Sierra SunTower in
southern California:






What I don't know is how they are radiating away the waste heat from the
Carnot cycle.  Since this is out in the desert, they are not using
evaporative cooling, or rather I sure don't recall seeing a cooling tower
when I was there.  So they need to be radiating the heat by some other
means, and from that I can calculate or estimate how much of that heat would
be trapped by the atmosphere, and if so estimate from the Glory mission how
much a particulate aerosol such as coal plant soot or volcanic ash would
increase the amount of heat trapped by the atmosphere.  The answer to this
would determine if it is feasible to scale up solar towers.








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