PDA

View Full Version : Naive question about a jurney to the moon...



duszynski
2009-Feb-04, 07:30 PM
Hi all,

first of all HELLO!!!
I'm a screenwriter and just recenlty I've started writing a thing about a jurney the the moon. It's a dreamy thing...I'm mean not 100% realistic.
The movie is about a man who wants to realize his bigest dream: fly to the moon. He's not rich, but very patient and very bright. One of those who can fix everything and understand how's the tv, cd, dvd etc is build.
A man with a gift...

So I was wondering wether it's actually possible? To build a spaceship on your own? To land on a moon and spend some time on it?
I've checked ebay and it's actually possible to buy used russian spacesuit. That's good!:) But can a single guy make a little rocket in his garrage and fly out of an Earth orbit?

Well I know how it all sounds. Forgive me. But if anyone bother answering some of those questions I'd bee more than grateful. And some clues and ideas would be apreciated!!!

and excuse all the mistakes I made in this thread.

Jan

Tucson_Tim
2009-Feb-04, 07:43 PM
Hasn't that already been done with The Astronaut Farmer? At least in low Earth orbit. (Which I didn't buy.)

No, I don't think it's possible unless you're very, very rich.

NEOWatcher
2009-Feb-04, 07:48 PM
Hi all,
Welcome.

He's not rich, but very patient and very bright. One of those who can fix everything and understand how's the tv, cd, dvd etc is build.
That might be an issue. Just the amount of raw materials alone might be enough to break his bank even if he had all the skill and tooling to get it done.
Then there is fuel. Maybe over the course of some long period of time, he can electrolize his own O and H, but storage and compression is going to get tough.
And; It's going to be one heck of a large machine.

The story's been done, but without realistic timelines, and with magically appearing materials. The government's going to be an issue too. Not because of the men in black, but because of things like building regulations, OSHA, neighbors complaining for various reasons, and just normal red-tape.


I've checked ebay and it's actually possible to buy used russian spacesuit. That's good!:)
How much?


But can a single guy make a little rocket in his garrage and fly out of an Earth orbit?
Heck, it would even be difficult for a married guy. ;)


Well I know how it all sounds. Forgive me.
I would suggest putting some work into it and maybe bounce some more specific ideas back and forth. The people here have an imagination, but they are also aware of the thousands of people and billions of dollars that it takes.

pzkpfw
2009-Feb-04, 08:08 PM
I a "little" rocket could do it, NASA would not have needed the Saturn!

Kelfazin
2009-Feb-04, 08:17 PM
Keep in mind, NASA spent many years and billions of dollars while employing hundreds of thousands of people developing the lightest, yet functional, spacecraft they could. Granted, with today's technology, you could reduce a significant amount of weight by using modern computers, etc, but you still need a way to accelerate whatever weight you end with to a speed of roughly 24,000 miles per hour to escape Earth's gravity. That takes either a lot of fuel to do it quickly, or a lot of time to build up the speed.

Going to the moon is no easy feat, those NASA guys just made it look easy :)

BigDon
2009-Feb-04, 08:23 PM
Applying my years of refereeing role playing games since '76, within the bounds of not good, as least watchable willfull suspention of disbelief I can come up with:

The hero has access to a future "cancelled" program's equipment. By which I mean the story takes place some time after the cancellation, not time travel.

The "Dark Star" mistaken identity trick. ("I had just put on his spacesuit to pull him out of the liquid oxygen when they came and got me!")

He steals it.

duszynski
2009-Feb-05, 01:58 AM
thanks so much for all the replays.
i was just thinking...hmm...well there is all that buzz about the super tech that's beeing used to make spacecrafts and all that, and i was wondering if it was possible to achieve it with a simple tools.
i know it will sound redicoulous but if i wear a spacesuit and fly as high as possible with a baloon and then use some sort of a propeler that would eject me from Earth athmosphere...

it's just all those boundries that seem to be untouchable for "ordinary" man.

Kelfazin
2009-Feb-05, 02:18 AM
in order to get into earth-orbit you need to be traveling at a minimum of 17,500mph. So if you were in a balloon wearing nothing but a spacesuit, you would need to strap on some type of rocket pack in order to accelerate to that speed. Of course, you would probably be burned to a crisp on reentry...

Bearded One
2009-Feb-05, 03:35 AM
You just need for him to discover cavorite.

(See H.G Wells The First Men in the Moon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_First_Men_in_the_Moon).) :)

BigDon
2009-Feb-05, 03:49 AM
thanks so much for all the replays.
i was just thinking...hmm...well there is all that buzz about the super tech that's beeing used to make spacecrafts and all that, and i was wondering if it was possible to achieve it with a simple tools.

it's just all those boundries that seem to be untouchable for "ordinary" man.

The men who built the Apollo program were ordinary men with an extraordinary task.

And not so much super tech as super detailed tech. You can't fake it and make it when it comes to leaving the planet.

IsaacKuo
2009-Feb-05, 05:21 AM
It is not possible...unless you cheat. You, as the author, can cheat by setting your story on an alien world (and not necessarily revealing this to the reader until the end, or if the viewer is knowledgeable about astronomy he can figure it out himself).

If the aliens are living in a world without half the escape velocity as Earth's, then pretty unremarkable chemical rockets can do the job without an outrageous expense/difficulty. You can model this alien world roughly on Mars--about 2/3 of Earth gravity.

Hmm...maybe the last shot in the movie could be a view of the main character's home world from the surface of the moon--and it's visibly not our Earth.

astromark
2009-Feb-05, 07:32 AM
A little out of left field and obviously wrong... Yes I think a single person could build a working space craft. A lunar mission would be within the abilaty... But as has been well noted a great deal of fuel and technical support would need a massive budget. The problem I see as the hurdle would be just the costs.... everything else is possible.

duszynski
2009-Feb-05, 03:46 PM
this is geting better and better. well let me unfold some details about the story. Imagine a guy that gets an "astronomical" compensation from a firm that coused an accident in which his family died. So he has money. (I don't know how much one needs to build a rocket). And it's one way ticket. No coming back to Earth. He leaves the planet and all the suffering behind and flies to the moon, lands there and dies when the air is finished. i'm not sure about the ending though. maybe something happens in the end? but i don't think any extra terrestilas will appear. more like a halucinations caused by lack of oxygen. I don't know yet.

17500 mph - that's going to be an issue:) Excuse my ignorance, but are you saying that a normal plane with a full speed and all the steers set to "go up" wouldn't leave Earth's orbit but would get to a point where going higher is impossible? (you must be all laughing from those questions - I was trained as a musicians and most of my time I spend writing notes, so even a basic knowledge about space in a black magic to me)

so there is no other way to leave the earth but to speed yourself to 17500 mph?

Kelfazin
2009-Feb-05, 04:31 PM
17500 mph - that's going to be an issue:) Excuse my ignorance, but are you saying that a normal plane with a full speed and all the steers set to "go up" wouldn't leave Earth's orbit but would get to a point where going higher is impossible? (you must be all laughing from those questions - I was trained as a musicians and most of my time I spend writing notes, so even a basic knowledge about space in a black magic to me)

so there is no other way to leave the earth but to speed yourself to 17500 mph?

A high performance airplane, say the SR-71, can fly right up to the edge of space and probably leave the atmosphere for a small amount of time, but it will get to a point when it can climb no higher and fall back to Earth. It would be on what's called a sub-orbital flight, meaning out of the atmosphere, but not in orbit.

To visualize what an orbit is I'll borrow from our old friend Isaac Newton: Imagine a really tall mountain. On top of that mountain is a giant cannon. If you fire the cannon, the cannonball will shoot, let's say 5 miles, before it falls to Earth. So you increase the power, and fire again. Now the cannonball flies 50 miles before falling to Earth. Now, take all the black powder you have left, and fire again. The cannonball flies so far and so fast that it completely misses the ground, flies around the earth, and lands behind you. That's an orbit. (see attached diagram too)

So the speed required to "miss" the Earth is 17,500 mph. That will get you into orbit, but, it won't get you to the moon. In order to get to the moon you will need to be going around 24,000 mph. This is based on the amount of gravity the Earth has and that speed is known as the Escape Velocity. The escape velocity is basically the speed something needs to go so that a planet's gravity will never manage to pull the craft back. When you are in orbit, you are trapped by Earth's gravity. You are constantly falling towards the Earth, you just keep missing the ground. To overcome that constant tug, you need to achieve escape velocity.

And none of us are laughing, I guarantee it. There was a time when we had these questions too, we just know the answers now :)

Kelfazin
2009-Feb-05, 04:40 PM
To get a little better idea, the X-15 rocket-plane (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-15) still holds the record for the fastest speed ever reached by a manned aircraft (4,519 mph) and regularly flew at altitudes greater than 50 miles (the highest flight was 67 miles, or 353,760 feet). Even these extreme rocket-powered planes, the fastest ever built, could never have achieved any more than a suborbital flight.

IsaacKuo
2009-Feb-05, 06:01 PM
so there is no other way to leave the earth but to speed yourself to 17500 mph?
You can cheat, but setting your story on some alien planet that's not Earth. The aliens can look/sound human (ala Star Wars).

astromark
2009-Feb-05, 06:46 PM
Looking dodgy for your handy man is it not ?

Remember that beautiful Saturn 5 rocket. I can.
The Apollo craft and the lander and the crew. How little it was.
The energy to propel all of that hardware to orbit. To have enough fuel to get that payload into a lunar rondaview... No! your back yard mechanic can not expect to achieve this level of complexity and lift ability. Even from a stable Earth orbit a considerable effort is required to attain that 24,000 mph. I do not think any private individual could assemble such a complex infostructure... and as a work of fiction would be difficult to except.
Out of the remnants of the United Nations... could we assemble a 'Federation' and from this build a space program and defense network ? ... No,:) I do not think so. Could a private individual do this... NO.

duszynski
2009-Feb-05, 06:48 PM
Ok, I start to understand that the idea of flying to the moon is slightly naive...:)
I don't want to set the movie on another planet, for it would be tricky to make a convincing set. Also it would be difocult not to make it just funny. I'm thinking drama is a genre that I want here, more then sci fi.
What about the super rich Richard Branson, will his spacecraft be able to fly out of the orbit?

Gillianren
2009-Feb-05, 07:16 PM
I don't know how much one needs to build a rocket.

It isn't just the rocket. As mentioned, the fuel costs would be, er, astronomical. I don't know exact details, either, in that I was an English major in college, but the whole thing would be a lot more expensive than you seem to think. I think you're just thinking of the rocket itself, which might be able to be built for a few million (I don't know), but you need the fuel, the launch facility--and, I'm quite sure, other people to help. I don't think you'd need the dozens, if not hundreds, that NASA used, but remember, they even had to have people outside the capsule shut the door.

Nick Theodorakis
2009-Feb-05, 08:07 PM
If you writing science fiction, you can just make up a technology that could make it work, like John Varley did in his book Red Thunder.

Nick

captain swoop
2009-Feb-05, 09:10 PM
Why not just jump from the rooftops like the Cats of Ulthar do?

Kelfazin
2009-Feb-05, 09:21 PM
Ok, I start to understand that the idea of flying to the moon is slightly naive...:)
I don't want to set the movie on another planet, for it would be tricky to make a convincing set. Also it would be difocult not to make it just funny. I'm thinking drama is a genre that I want here, more then sci fi.
What about the super rich Richard Branson, will his spacecraft be able to fly out of the orbit?

Right now, Branson's Spaceship One, with his multiple millions of dollars of investment and full teams of engineers, has only achieved sub-orbital flight. I know he wants to get into orbit eventually, but even that stepping stone is huge.

NASA had to take the same steps, they didn't go into orbit until the 3rd Mercury flight, the first two lasted less than 15 minutes total flight time.

jfribrg
2009-Feb-05, 09:24 PM
I sizeable portion of the budget went into developing the tehnology, testing what worked and what didnt, etc. Why not start with your single guy finding the plans to the Saturn-V in a trash dumpster? By doing so, he has already saved a billion dollars. Give him a job as a night watchman in a super high-tech robotic nasa subcontractor machine shop so that he can manufacture any part that he needs and is able to do it with lightweight state-of-the-art materials.

mugaliens
2009-Feb-05, 09:54 PM
So I was wondering wether it's actually possible? To build a spaceship on your own? To land on a moon and spend some time on it?

It is if your name's Harriman - but only if your heart holds out.

Spacesuits are overrated. No need for 'em, unless you're planning on a hull breach!

Making an airworthy kit-build airplane in your garage is doable, but figure on about 1,000 hours. Even then, less than half are ever finished. For a spacecraft to reach orbit, figure about 100 times that. For something to reach the Moon, go up another order of magnitude.

cjameshuff
2009-Feb-05, 10:23 PM
Right now, Branson's Spaceship One, with his multiple millions of dollars of investment and full teams of engineers, has only achieved sub-orbital flight. I know he wants to get into orbit eventually, but even that stepping stone is huge.

Elon Musk, on the other hand, has sent a small payload into orbit on a vehicle developed by his company, which he started in 2002 and which now has about 600 employees. A larger version, planned to eventually carry a manned capsule, is in development and nearing its first launch. And Robert Bigelow started Bigelow Aerospace in 1999, and currently has two prototypes for his private space stations in orbit. They both have relatively good odds for getting into orbit themselves.

Building and launching an orbital vehicle is not something you can do in your back yard with anything resembling current technology, let alone setting off for the moon. It seems within the realm of plausibility for a private individual with sufficient motivation and resources to reach the moon eventually, but it'll require something along the lines of founding a successful company, involving large numbers of people and large amounts of money.

Van Rijn
2009-Feb-05, 10:34 PM
It is if your name's Harriman - but only if your heart holds out.


Yes, I was going to suggest reading The Man Who Sold the Moon and Reqiuem by Heinlein. This was a character that (with a lot of money and help) built moon rockets and at the very end made it to the moon, but didn't come back.

Kelfazin
2009-Feb-05, 10:40 PM
Elon Musk, on the other hand, has sent a small payload into orbit on a vehicle developed by his company, which he started in 2002 and which now has about 600 employees. A larger version, planned to eventually carry a manned capsule, is in development and nearing its first launch.

Gotta love SpaceX :) I really hope they get it working right.

Neverfly
2009-Feb-06, 02:31 AM
Andy Griffith did it.

NEOWatcher
2009-Feb-06, 01:28 PM
Elon Musk...
And Robert Bigelow...

If the guy has enough funds for constructing a rocket, then he would probably have enough for purchasing a flight commercially.
SpaceX for the rocket, and Bigelow for the crew compartment.
It could be a mission sold as non-human flight, known only to a few key people in the private companies to get around some problems (including regulations on the safety of a manned flight).

I don't think Falcon9 Heavy would be able to lift enough fuel for the TLI of a capsule, but I'm not sure of the math, and the weight of the capsule is a key. But; being sci-fi, you might be able to stretch that fact, or make some Falcon 9 variant with even more of a cluster of boosters.

As far as end of mission... The sacrifice in weight of the capsule could be the heat resistance needed for re-entry for a fiery death. Maybe he can roast one last marshmellow on the way down.


They both have relatively good odds for getting into orbit themselves.
I just want to be clear that Bigelow has no means of getting into orbit, and that they are just working on orbital equipment.

joema
2009-Feb-06, 02:20 PM
there is no other way to leave the earth but to speed yourself to 17500 mph?
Actually to reach the moon requires about 25,000 mph (36,666 feet per sec, 11,176 meters/sec).

Using available technology that is mandatory. A fictional drive system with infinite power could reach the moon going any speed you wanted -- you could travel at a constant 1,000 mph if desired.

The energy required to reach a given speed increases as the square of velocity (KE = 1/2*m*v^2). For this reason it's VASTLY harder to reach orbit than a suborbital hop.

E.g, the X-15 max speed was 4,520 mph. It's tempting to conclude the X-15 reached 25% of orbital velocity, so only 75% left to go. However the ENERGY required to reach orbit was much greater than 75% more. It's even harder to reach the moon.

Look closely at the interior of a Mercury space capsule. They are in various museums, or you can find close up pictures on the web. It is about the smallest human cockpit imaginable. Just to get that in orbit required an Atlas rocket. To get a Mercury capsule to the moon would require a much larger rocket. To get a vehicle capable of entering lunar orbit and soft landing on the moon would require a still bigger rocket.

NASA examined a bare bones manned lunar program with Gemini hardware. It would have used a tiny, open cockpit lander: http://www.astronautix.com/craft/gemnilor.htm

Even that required a dual lauch of a Saturn C-3 (smaller than a Saturn V), plus a Titan II.

But if you're not coming back, this reduces the requirement a bit. The Lunar Surveyor probe landed on the moon, total landed mass 292kg (644 lbs): http://www.astronautix.com/craft/gemnilor.htm

Surveyor required an Atlas Centaur booster, including a sophisticated cryogenic upper stage: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centaur_(rocket_stage)

If you assume some advances in materials and technology, the absolute minimum required to soft land a human on a one-way lunar trip would be something like an Atlas Centaur. Picture a Surveyor probe with an open cockpit and a single seat.

Barring governmental intervention, it's conceivable a Richard Branson or Bill Gates could spend a few billion $ and fund the endeavor. BTW, it would take most of Richard Branson's net worth to achieve that -- he's not that rich relative to Gates or Warren Buffett.

If such a thing happened, he likely wouldn't develop his own technology, Astronaut Farmer-style. He'd simply go to the Russians, write a big check, and they'd provide what he needed.

cjameshuff
2009-Feb-06, 03:17 PM
I just want to be clear that Bigelow has no means of getting into orbit, and that they are just working on orbital equipment.

Indeed, I could have worded that more clearly. He's putting up private space stations using launch vehicles designed, built, and launched by other companies. He's got two prototypes in orbit, but no way to deliver people to them yet.

The Falcon 9 might require a few launches (in addition to the launch of the crew, that is) to get enough up in orbit to make the trip. With the stated one-way trip, you don't need a return vehicle and fuel for it, and you can skimp on radiation shielding and take a longer flight if doing so reduces fuel requirements more than food/other consumables...you won't be dying of cancer or developing cataracts.

NEOWatcher
2009-Feb-06, 04:08 PM
Indeed, I could have worded that more clearly.
Not that thinking of it would have been easy. It took me a while to formulate a clear statement myself.

The Falcon 9 might require a few launches (in addition to the launch of the crew, that is)...
It looks like the crew (tourist) transportation is their big worry based on this older article (http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn12836).

That reinforces my opinion and impression me that G loading and vibration of man-rating is a really big issue compared to capacity.

But; Bigelow seems to be an issue (http://www.bautforum.com/space-exploration/84445-news-bigelow-aerospace.html) right now anyway.

captain swoop
2009-Feb-07, 12:16 AM
What was that film/tv series about the salvage company that built a rocket? I remember it used to launch from their scrap yard.

Edit to add

OK I see Neverfly got a ref to it a few posts ago

Good old IMDB Salvage (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0079847/)

The film was a pilot for the tv series Salvage 1.

BigDon
2009-Feb-07, 03:41 AM
"Houston control, the vulture has landed!"

BigDon
2009-Feb-07, 03:42 AM
Saw it when it was new, thanks Capt Swoop.

JustAFriend
2009-Feb-07, 04:33 AM
Can't believe no one's mentioned Robert Heinlein's "Man Who Sold The Moon" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Man_Who_Sold_the_Moon) (1951)

Van Rijn
2009-Feb-07, 07:08 AM
Can't believe no one's mentioned Robert Heinlein's "Man Who Sold The Moon" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Man_Who_Sold_the_Moon) (1951)

*cough, cough* (http://www.bautforum.com/1428153-post26.html)

Paul Beardsley
2009-Feb-07, 10:07 AM
Interesting thread, duszynski.

You said at the start that you are not aiming to be 100% realistic. Given that others on this thread have indicated the technical difficulties, I think the next thing you need to do is decide how realistic to pitch it, and what sort of story you want to tell - that is, what is the emphasis?

A couple of people have already mentioned The Astronaut Farmer. That's required viewing, IMO. Also mentioned is Heinlein's "The Man Who Sold the Moon"/"Requiem", which you might enjoy, and might give you some new ideas. I would strongly recommend the first Wallace and Gromit film, "A Grand Day Out" - this demonstrates how you can be utterly unrealistic and yet still engage the audience in a big way.

Generally in science fiction, the reader/viewer wants to get on with the adventure, and a token justification of the means is usually sufficient. H.G. Wells' The Time Machine and First Men In The Moon both begin with some vaguely plausible talk about dimensions or blocking forces, and that's enough for the reader because it's the author's way of saying, "I know and you know that this is all fantasy fiction, but I have put some thought into it."

There are a few ways you could play it. Developing a suggestion someone already made, you could have your hero as a child enthusing about space travel, but then have him as an adult wandering sadly through a scrapyard where some recognisable spacecraft have been dumped. This would instantly clue the audience into the idea that a) the film is about nostalgia for a dream of spaceflight that never quite took off (so to speak) and b) he can probably obtain the discarded hardware fairly cheaply

You can largely gloss over the technical/cost aspects by just having fleeting shots of him receiving vital components in the post. A montage of images: in one, a courier delivers a parcel with "eBay" printed on the side in prominent letters [rename it something like "iBuy" if you wish], which he opens to reveal a space helmet; in the next, he opens a parcel to reveal an oxygen cylinder, and in the third, you see a large lorry stop outside his house, which is opened to reveal just enough of a rocket for us to recognise what it is.

You can actually play up the unrealism if you go for a poignant comedy approach.

captain swoop
2009-Feb-07, 10:41 AM
He could have 'outside' help like in Explorers (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089114/)

duszynski
2009-Feb-07, 11:22 AM
What can I say? I'm amazed by all the ansers and hints you gentelman gave me. Thank you!!!
I saw Explorers (one of my chilhood favorite...) and loved Heinlein. when I was a kid I was a hardcore sf literalure fan. K.Dick and Aldis where my favorite.
Paul Beardsley, what you wrote is truly interesting and very inspiring.
How realistic I want to be? hmm. I was considering few approaches.
One is a semirealistic - something that Coen brothers are good at ("Burn after reading") And that would be similar to what you wote about ibay (!), etc. This approach is very tempting. And it's basicaly saying: Everybody think that you have to be a zilionaire to fly to the moon. Well, they're wrong. Surch the web and the russian markets and underground, blackmarket shops and you're ready to go! What is also tempting is that I imagine our hero to go there unnoticed. No radar, nobody noticed, and he's walking on the moon and enjoying the views.
Another approach would be that he has some sort of a knowledge that is alternative to what the scientists are saying. I don't know: black holes, supersymmetrical geometry, maian calendar...
I remember watching a lecture by a guy called Haramein - alternative physicist - that claims that universe is made from a supersymmetrical geometrical structure and if we explore this structure we'll learn how to travel in space, time and all the other dimensions.
So maybe some of that to? For example our hero finds an instruction how to build a spacecraft in the internet. Instruction found in the piramids! ta taaaam!!!

Peter B
2009-Feb-07, 01:23 PM
What is also tempting is that I imagine our hero to go there unnoticed. No radar, nobody noticed, and he's walking on the moon and enjoying the views.

Well, the US Air Force's Space Command tracks objects a few centimetres across which are in Earth orbit. It's unlikely our hero is going to get to the Moon without people noticing. Of course, there's a plot device you could exploit there, too: "Uh, sir, there's a spaceship orbiting the Earth, and according to our calculations it lifted off from Hicksville, Mid-West State. Oh my God, it's accelerating out of Earth orbit [scribbles some calculations] for the Moon!" Or perhaps news gets out and people on Earth become fascinated by the story, even though our hero doesn't know it.


Another approach would be that he has some sort of a knowledge that is alternative to what the scientists are saying. I don't know: black holes, supersymmetrical geometry, maian calendar...I remember watching a lecture by a guy called Haramein - alternative physicist - that claims that universe is made from a supersymmetrical geometrical structure and if we explore this structure we'll learn how to travel in space, time and all the other dimensions. So maybe some of that to? For example our hero finds an instruction how to build a spacecraft in the internet. Instruction found in the piramids! ta taaaam!!!

Well, the problem with this (only a problem for your original idea, perhaps not for our hero!) is that if it becomes so much simpler to go to the Moon, it might be so much simpler for him to return to Earth. Unless, perhaps, something goes wrong with his machinery, or the path to the Moon is inherently one-way.

Hee-hee. This is fun.

neilzero
2009-Feb-07, 01:44 PM
We can get to the moon using neither LEO = low Earth orbit nor moon orbit, so we can make most of the trip slowly. Our speed when we make a soft landing on the moon will be about 2500 miles per hour with respect to Earth. Technical break throughs may make the extra kilowatt hours or equivelent needed for slow unimportant. Neil

neilzero
2009-Feb-07, 02:14 PM
If an extra long Edwards type space elevator is available. It can flip a bare bones space craft off the far end of the elevator toward the moon at 25000 miles per hour. Travel time to the moon is only a few hours, but you need lots of energy to slow down for a soft moon landing. It may however be more than a week travel time on the space elevator. Life support on the space elevator may be almost half the total cost. Neil

Peter B
2009-Feb-07, 02:41 PM
We can get to the moon using neither low Earth orbit nor moon orbit, so we can make most of the trip slowly.

Neil

Can you explain why this is so?

Warren Platts
2009-Feb-07, 03:50 PM
Hmm...maybe the last shot in the movie could be a view of the main character's home world from the surface of the moon--and it's visibly not our Earth.Yeah, they could be apes from Planet of the Apes. The ape gets to the Moon and finds and old American flag. . . .

IsaacKuo
2009-Feb-07, 04:02 PM
Or the ape gets to their "Moon" and finds the set we filmed the Moon landings on. ;p

skylark
2009-Feb-07, 06:33 PM
Bottom line is you probably couldn't do it believably with the technology available today and your premise for the movie, but if you invent somthing based on theoretical physics that is not too too far fetched and just play it as this guy figured it out then you could have him get to the moon or even another planet if you so choose.

Here is one idea. He finds a piece of alien technology from Roswell (I know I know don't reveal it until the end) he spends his whole life trying to figure out how it works. He finally does, builds a small rocket which will barely take him high into the clouds, turns on the second alien power source , and takes off to the moon or wherever. He uses the rocket to throw people off his real mission, and he never tells anybody about the technology he discovers because he realizes it could be used for more bad then good (i don't know). He takes that secret to the grave maybe or has it published after he dies who knows that's up to you.

I'd watch it.

BigDon
2009-Feb-07, 08:03 PM
Well, the US Air Force's Space Command tracks objects a few centimetres across which are in Earth orbit. It's unlikely our hero is going to get to the Moon without people noticing. Of course, there's a plot device you could exploit there, too: "Uh, sir, there's a spaceship orbiting the Earth, and according to our calculations it lifted off from Hicksville, Mid-West State. Oh my God, it's accelerating out of Earth orbit [scribbles some calculations] for the Moon!" Or perhaps news gets out and people on Earth become fascinated by the story, even though our hero doesn't know it.



Well, the problem with this (only a problem for your original idea, perhaps not for our hero!) is that if it becomes so much simpler to go to the Moon, it might be so much simpler for him to return to Earth. Unless, perhaps, something goes wrong with his machinery, or the path to the Moon is inherently one-way.

Hee-hee. This is fun.

Even "funnier".

What would the Russians think of that? Especially considering a Midwest launch location? And how long would it take to tell the difference between a surprise, unannounced Moon shot and a special delivery "piece of the Sun" to Moscow?

(Moscow weather today. Ten million degrees, with extensive firestorms over part of much of the area and scattered fallout though Thursday...)

Which would be a very good reason to supress this activity once you, as a govermental body, discover it. This of course, makes you the "evil gub'ment agent".

joema
2009-Feb-07, 09:23 PM
...you probably couldn't do it believably with the technology available today and your premise for the movie...
His premise is the main character gets or inherits an astronomical sum of money. That's totally plausible -- it's happened many times. The character wants a one-way trip to the moon.

Several wealthy people have already paid for Russian-launched orbital trips. Given enough money, the Russians could definitely soft-land a human on the moon for a one way trip. It's essentially the same payload as the 1960s Surveyor probes.

In 1970 the Russians soft-landed the 840 kg (1,850 lb) Lunakhod rover on the moon. That's far more mass than needed for a single human. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunokhod_programme

Given sufficient money (which the fictional character has) the Russians could likely cobble together various components to get him to the moon, one way. It's a plausible extention -- rich people are already paying for Russian orbital trips. You don't need anti-matter or warp drive.

duszynski
2009-Feb-08, 09:22 AM
russians!

Gillianren
2009-Feb-08, 07:48 PM
Given sufficient money (which the fictional character has) the Russians could likely cobble together various components to get him to the moon, one way.

Would they, though? It seems unlikely to me, given that they would basically be, depending on your point of view, either executing the guy or at least assisting in his suicide.

Click Ticker
2009-Feb-09, 03:38 PM
Get yourself a nuclear rocket and launch in the middle of the desert. More power, less mass to launch would equal less fuel required. Sure, a few of the locals would be a bit upset about the fallout - but you're not coming back so what do you care?

HypothesisTesting
2009-Feb-09, 03:42 PM
Hi all,

first of all HELLO!!!
I'm a screenwriter and just recenlty I've started writing a thing about a jurney the the moon. It's a dreamy thing...I'm mean not 100% realistic.
The movie is about a man who wants to realize his bigest dream: fly to the moon. He's not rich, but very patient and very bright. One of those who can fix everything and understand how's the tv, cd, dvd etc is build.
A man with a gift...

So I was wondering wether it's actually possible? To build a spaceship on your own? To land on a moon and spend some time on it?
I've checked ebay and it's actually possible to buy used russian spacesuit. That's good!:) But can a single guy make a little rocket in his garrage and fly out of an Earth orbit?

Well I know how it all sounds. Forgive me. But if anyone bother answering some of those questions I'd bee more than grateful. And some clues and ideas would be apreciated!!!

and excuse all the mistakes I made in this thread.

Jan

Build your own spaceship? Do you remember the Apollo mission? It cost as much as the Vietnam War (maybe) . Only Bill Gates could build his own.