Saturday, 07 April 2012
We have all seen the amazing video footage being streamed from outer space, such as the space walk with the earth spinning in the background...
The methods that we are using to reach space are derived from ideas that are over a century old:
"Tsiolkovsky not only solved theoretically such age-old questions as how to escape from the Earth’s atmosphere and gravitational field, but he also described several rockets. The first, conceived in 1903, was to be powered by liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen—a very modern propellant combination . . . [Tsiolkovsky] made another discovery—the multistage rocket, which he called the ‘rocket train.’ Actually, this concept was not as new as Tsiolkovsky, who discovered it independently, thought; firework makers had used the principle for at least 200 years. But Tsiolkovsky was the first to analyze the idea in a sophisticated manner. The multistage technique, he concluded, was the only feasible means by which a space vehicle could attain the velocity necessary to escape from the Earth’s gravitational hold" (Von Braun & Ordway, History of Rocketry and Space Travel  42).
This is the direction the future of space flight must go for cheap, individual space craft to be developed. i.e. planes not rockets...
1. We have planes that can fly at over 60 miles above the ground.
2. Already rockets are becoming out of date... "Earlier this month, the two of them said they will build an air-launched orbital delivery system. To do this, Paul Allen’s company Stratolaunch Systems will have to build the world’s largest aeroplane." This is the direction (minimum) that we have to go for global sustainability and probably the next generation of tech AND spaceflight...
Useful for space living: [Science] Check out this 'replicator'