View Full Version : Interplanetary spacecraft - Ideas

2002-Nov-13, 07:34 AM
I hope in this thread that we might discuss interplanetery spacecraft, including those to just go to the moon, near and future designs.

Here are some preliminary specs for an earth-moon-Mars spacecraft, not just oneway or anything.

-Command module with shielding for crew (a shelter specifically).
-Two counter-rotating habitat rings.
-Small landing bay, three workpods, lander.
-Middle section consisting of fuel tanks.
-Plasma drive unit including Rickover reactor.
-Three plasma drives located at very rear of craft.

That is all for now, will do a short sketch later and post. Any ideas welcome. -Colt

2002-Nov-14, 07:40 AM
*nudge* And I am trying to decide on the propulsion, still probably plasma or fusion though, with backup ion engines. -Colt

2002-Nov-14, 09:43 AM
On 2002-11-14 02:40, Colt wrote:
*nudge* And I am trying to decide on the propulsion, still probably plasma or fusion though, with backup ion engines. -Colt

Why do so many people put up fusion as a viable method, when as of now, we can't make it work ??

I am in favor of a nuclear solution NERVA (http://www.astronautix.com/project/nerva.htm).


2002-Nov-14, 04:12 PM
For a very near future option, why not use Space Shuttle/Buran/Mir/ISS technology for a long duration transfer vessel spec-ed out however its needed and launched to a storage orbit, or docked at the ISS when not being prepped for a mission, something on the order of a Buran- or Columbia-class in mass and size, but not needing wings (this thing SHOULD be built to remain on station in permanent orbit, we haven't done it to date, because there hasn't been anywhere to keep it or work on it. With the ISS, no more excuses), this saved mass being availible for additional heavier cargo (not much, but every gram counts on a spaceflight), refueled by launching something like a Shuttle Main Fuel Tank for onboard engines (bad idea) or an Energia Booster or 2 (better idea) as a "strap on" option launched unspent using guided versions of the SRBs or whatever else is available. Assembled in space (no mean feat with so many pieces, but possible), then boosted from Earth orbit to the Moon. Once there, its returned either by whatever fuel is not needed in boosting it clear of NEO or by additional boosters brought along, reusable or otherwise. On return, any spent boosters are dropped into the atmosphere to either burn up (bad idea, but cheap), or be reclaimed and refurbished for future use (good idea, requires effort, not so cheap, and new ones launched to replace them, as the saying goes, wash, rinse, repeat. Admittedly, this is kind of a dirty solution in that it potentially relies on a lot of one shot technology, but it could be done.

Performance Disclaimer: Any systems mentioned here are simply the ones I believe could do it, not discounting that the reality of creating this system may require some modifications or even wholesale redesigning.