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non-suborbital - non-orbital: just keeping altitude

Posted by: Ekkehard Augustin - Fri Dec 28, 2007 10:17 am
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non-suborbital - non-orbital: just keeping altitude 
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Post non-suborbital - non-orbital: just keeping altitude   Posted on: Fri Dec 28, 2007 10:17 am
What about "vehicles" that don't get into orbit but launch and keep a certain altitude for a while before landing again?

This moment I had the - not yet thought about much - idea of avehicle that ghets to a certain altitude and waits there for a nother vehicle to take over payloads or astronauts.

Such a vehicle could launch from the ground or entry from a space-based vehicle.

It would be launched to a certain altitude and location when it is clear that another vehicle is approaching at a known time.



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Post    Posted on: Fri Dec 28, 2007 10:59 am
I guess that one of the issues would be if it was cheaper or not. Id imagine it takes alot of fuel to hover for a while. Perhaps it would be good with a balloon which could reach an atitude and hold it there without popping?

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Post    Posted on: Fri Dec 28, 2007 12:27 pm
What if the region to hover in would have to be in space? Then no ballon would work.

To hover doesn't have to mean that a precise altitude has to be kept - it would be sufficient if the vehicle is enabled to adjust its altitude within certain margins.

It would have to activate its engines to keep a position for a while - to apply such a vehicle requires optimal timing but that will be possible I suppose.



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Post    Posted on: Sun May 17, 2009 6:01 am
The thought seems to be included into the skycrane for MSL - this skycrane I am trying to extend to more purposes in another thread.

In this thread the thought simply isn't restricted to skycranes - it might be used as temporary part of a transportation chain and docking to the hovering vehicle might be required.



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Post    Posted on: Sun May 17, 2009 1:18 pm
For what purpose? A craft at orbital alitude but not velocity wouldn't be able to rendevous with a craft moving at orbital velocity.

There doesn't seem to be much point. However, if you have a high efficiency drive that can keep you at that altitude, you can use another drive system for gaining horizontal velocity, without any drag.


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Post    Posted on: Sun May 17, 2009 7:42 pm
Keeping altitude doesn't mean keeping orbital atitude - it might be any altitude below the orbital one.

It might reduce fuel consumption, required time and so on.



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Post    Posted on: Sun May 17, 2009 8:32 pm
Whatever it is you are transfering from the non orbital space craft, to the orbital one must reach orbital velocity anyway... if it is expected to make the transfer in one piece. Orbital craft are doing like 5 times the speed of a bullet. Even if your craft only got up to say 4 times the speed of a bullet the oncoming craft is still going (relatively) as fast as a regular speed bullet... so you might be able to save fuel and just go 4 times the speed of a bullet, then fire a gun along side the other craft as it passed by you... but then you could only transfer bullet sized objects and they would have to be able to survive being fired from a gun.

Just a bit of hummor there =) for demonstrational purposes <3


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Post    Posted on: Mon May 18, 2009 2:57 pm
The vehicle I have in mind wouldn't move relatively to the ground but just hover above a certain point - like the skycrane desigbed to land the MSL on Mars. The vehicle I have in mind simply wouldn't hover a few meters above that point but kilometers.



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Post    Posted on: Mon May 25, 2009 1:37 am
Hovering using rockets, even if it is not required to maintain an exact altitude, is extremely inefficient. The rocket would use up all its fuel in just a few minutes.


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