Tuesday, May 12, 2009

magnetoverse - 1 new message in 1 topic - abridged



Today's most active topics:

* The Incremental Mass Driver - 1 new

Active Topics

The Incremental Mass Driver - 1 new
One of my early concepts for a mass driver was a modular.system that could be
run part time and constructed part time. What I mean is, as soon as you added
enough modules to launch high-G hardened cargo, you could begin launching such
payloads in between adding more modules. As the mass driver grows longer, you
can reduce - Mon, May 11 2009 9:08 pm
1 message, 1 author


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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Wikipedia on mass drivers


Brief: "

A mass driver or electromagnetic catapult is a proposed method of non-rocket spacelaunch that would use a linear motor to accelerate and catapult payloads up to high speeds. All existing and contemplated mass drivers use coils of wire energized by electricity to make electromagnets. Sequential firing of a row of electromagnets accelerates the payload along a path. After leaving the path, the payload continues to move due to inertia.

A mass driver is essentially a coilgun that magnetically accelerates a package consisting of a magnetisable holder containing a payload. Once the payload has been accelerated, the two separate, and the holder is slowed and recycled for another payload.

Mass drivers can be used to propel spacecraft in two different ways: A large, ground-based mass driver could be used to launch spacecraft away from the Earth or another planet. A spacecraft could have a mass driver on board, flinging large pieces of material into space to propel itself. A hybrid design is also possible (see coilgun, railgun, or helical railgun).

Miniaturized mass drivers can also be used as weapons in a similar manner as classic firearms or cannon using chemical combustion."

Full detail: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_driver

Saturday, May 9, 2009

I've been thinking about this for years...

Electromagnetics have a LOT of advantages over chemical propulsion systems for space exploration.

Mass drivers as currently thought of are suitable for launching hardware that is capable of withstanding high g-force loads far beyond what living organisms or delicate electronics can handle. The concept needs a revamp, a new paradigm. The basic idea for mass drivers has been around since the late 1970's at least. So have some of my ideas for upgrading them to handle larger and more delicate payloads. One of the largest discussion topics here will be on mass driver technology and how to improve it. Mass drivers can launch a payload per minute, rather than the payload or three per month current rocket technology can support.

Another concept that needs rework is the electric rocket, or ion drive propulsion. Current ion drives use very small amounts of fuel at very high velocities to produce a tiny amount of thrust for months at a time. We need ion drives that can produce higher thrust levels at even higher velocities over a sustained period, which would make them suitable for relatively rapid travel of full-sized, manned space craft. This is the second piece of a lower-cost, high-volume space transportation infrastructure, and it will be another heavy topic of discussion.

Finally, the third major area of discussion will be overall strategies for exploring space using these technologies to explore and colonize the solar system. It may surprise some people that I would say it, but George Bush actually got at least one thing right during his tenure as President of the USA, and it was the idea of going to the Moon first and establishing a permanent base there. It's not until you understand the full power and potential of an integrated electromagnetic space transportation infrastructure that it becomes clear why that is. I will be writing on exactly why getting a solid presence on the Moon first is key to opening up the rest of the solar system to exploration and colonization.

We might no have warp drives, but we can definitely have much better electric drives. Here is where we'll hash that out.

There is also a companion Google Group to go with the Magnetoverse blog, which you are welcome to Join: http://groups.google.com/group/magnetoverse?hl=en

For those reading this on the Group, here's a link to the Magnetoverse blog: http://magnetoverse.blogspot.com/

It's time for space 3.0