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Space travel

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Transcript

  • 1. Space Travel: Past, Present, and Future Daniel Alterbaum and Hershel Eisenberger The Big Bang and Beyond Professor Verde
  • 2. Overview
    • History of American Space Travel
    • Current Designs and Models
    • Models in Development
  • 3. Robert H. Goddard
    • “ The Father of Modern Rocketry” (1882-1945)
    • Contributions:
      • Developed liquid fuel for rockets
      • Proved that rockets will work in a vacuum
      • Invented gimbels and multistage rockets
      • Developed gyroscopic control apparatuses and liquid fuel pumps
    • Predicted that rocket technology could be used to reach the moon in 1912
  • 4. The Goddard Rocket
    • Launched on March 16, 1926, in Auburn, Massachusetts
    • First rocket to use liquid fuel
  • 5. Liquid and Solid Fuel Rockets
    • Liquid-Fuel Rockets:
      • First theorized by Tziolozski in 1896
      • Most powerful thrust system available
      • Liquid oxygen currently most popular fuel
    • Solid-Fuel Rockets:
      • More reliable than liquid fuel
      • Much simpler and more straightforward
  • 6. The Physics of Rocket Movement
    • Newton’s Third Law of Motion:
      • “For every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction.”
      • Rockets don’t “push off” something - the force exerted by the thrust pushes the rocket in the direction opposite the thrust
  • 7. History of American Space Flight
    • Explorer I: January 31, 1958
      • First American satellite launch
    • Mercury Redstone Rockets
      • January 31, 1961: First primate in space
      • May 1961: Allan Shepard is first American in space
    • Gemini Titan II Rockets
      • First American space walk in 1965
    • Apollo-Saturn V
      • Multistage rockets for more power to travel to moon
    • Pioneer X
      • First spacecraft to travel through Asteroid Belt and take pictures of Jupiter
    • Skylab
      • 1973: First American space station
    • Voyager I
      • Furthest-traveling spacecraft (now twice as far as Pluto)
    • Space Shuttle Program: April 12, 1981
  • 8. Pictures!
  • 9. The Modern Space Shuttle
    • Uses a combination of liquid and solid fuel rockets
    • Relies on much of the technology conceived by Goddard
    • Orbital Maneuvering System (OMS)
    • Reusability through atmosphere exit/reentry
  • 10. Future Design Overview
    • Current research efforts are focusing on improving the efficiency of contemporary designs
    • Contemporary shuttles are high-mass and require significant fuel to achieve escape velocity
      • v critical = ( GM / R ) 1/2
    • Research focuses include tethers, plasma rockets, and fusion-powered rockets
  • 11. Momentum-Exchange Tether Propulsion
    • Technology that could greatly increase the efficiency of near-Earth transportation (i.e., the moon and Mars)
    • Involves the creation of 100-mile tethers composed of multi-fiber metallic strands
    • Using electric currents and gravity, these tethers could be attached to orbiting objects (e.g., satellites, shuttles) and could fling them away from the Earth towards the moon or Mars
    • Such trips would be made substantially quicker and with less fuel use
  • 12. Momentum-Exchange Tether Propulsion
  • 13. Electrodynamic Tether Propulsion
    • Metallic wires of approximately six miles in length that generate electrical currents when passed through substantial magnetic fields, such as those surrounding the Earth and Jupiter
    • When attached to a space payload, these tethers could take advantage of the planetary or solar magnetospheres and use the force of the electrical current exerted to fling objects deeper into space
    • Could be far less expensive than standard rocket propulsion and could facilitate better long-term satellite orbit maintenance
  • 14. Electrodynamic Tether Propulsion
  • 15. Plasma Rockets
    • Current model is the Variable Specific Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASMIR), which may be tested in space in mid-2004
    • How it Works:
      • Radio waves are disbursed throughout a liquid fuel of compressed hydrogen
      • The waves heat the liquid in a manner similar to how microwaves heat food
      • Three specialized magnetic cells amplify the heat concentration until the hydrogen is transformed into plasma (atoms stripped of electrons)
      • Magnetic fields provide containment for the superheated plasma, enabling thrusts that could accelerate the plasma rockets to speeds 2-3 times greater than those achieved by current designs
    • This design may later be used in nuclear fusion facilities
  • 16. Plasma Rockets
  • 17. Fusion-Powered Rockets
    • If made practically possible, fusion-powered space shuttle and rocket designs would have immense utility for astronauts traveling long distances in space
    • Fusion-powered engines would be able to superheat liquid hydrogen fuel quite efficiently, not only providing strong thrust power but also generating much extra power to run the shuttle entirely
      • Such energy could be used to generate artificial gravity through shuttle rotation and cool the liquid hydrogen needed for combustion
      • Providing the energy needed to cool the hydrogen and to generate power could significantly reduce shuttle mass and payload (which is often used to contain excess liquid hydrogen to compensate for combusted losses and power generation)
    • Current major problem lies in containment of radioactive uranium energy – current models can only generate about 225,000 pounds of thrust (compared to 400,000 pounds in current chemical models); anything more could not be contained due to high heat
  • 18. Fusion-Powered Rockets
  • 19. Bibliography
    • Tether Information: Dr. Robert P. Hoyt and Dr. Robert L. Forward of Tethers Unlimited, Inc. (TUI), the company subcontracted by NASA to investigate their potential usefulness
      • http://www.tethers.com
    • Plasma Rockets Information: “Plasma Rockets Could Propel Man to Mars”, by Glen Golightly, reporting at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) Advanced Space Propulsion Laboratory
      • http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/technology/plasma_propulsion_000616.html
    • Fusion-Powered Rockets Information: “Will Nuclear Power Put Humans on Mars?”, by Greg Clark
      • http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/solarsystem/nuclearmars_000521.html
    • History Information: NASA website
      • http://www.nasa.gov
    • Goddard Information: Goddard Space Flight Center website
      • http://www.gsfc.nasa.gov/gsfc/service/gallery/fact_sheets/general/goddard/goddard.htm
    • Liquid Fuel Rocket Information: About.com Inventors Directory
      • http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blrocketliquid.htm