DailyDirt: More Economical Ways Into Space
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
The affordability of putting things into space is very gradually getting better all the time, and someday cheap launches will enable some pretty cool stuff. Rockets are still expensive (and dangerous), but there’s more competition than ever before — and the prices are coming down. Here are just a few links on cheaper ways to get off our planet.
- The trajectory that most people think of for getting to Mars is the Hohmann transfer approach — where you aim your rocket at where the planet is going to be and you have limited windows of time for optimal launching. A ballistic capture approach could be cheaper by aiming a rocket in front of Mars and waiting for the planet to catch up (avoiding the Hohmann method’s retrorockets to slow down upon approach). It’s a slower trip, but it could be practical for unmanned payloads and re-supply missions to the red planet someday. [url]
- SpaceX is almost ready to test its reusable rockets. The plan is to launch a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket to get an unmanned Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station, then the rocket will safely (and softly) land on a floating platform so that it can be cheaply refurbished for another mission. [url]
- The EU is trying to compete with lower cost launch systems with a next generation of Ariane rockets. A proposed Ariane 6 will have more flexible capabilities, including heavier payload capacity, and do so for (up to) 50% less in the costs. [url]
If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.
Filed Under: ariane 6, ballistic capture, hohmann transfer, international space station, iss, mars, re-usable rockets, retrorockets, rockets, space, space exploration
Comments on “DailyDirt: More Economical Ways Into Space”
the SpaceX reusable rocket test is delayed til Jan 6, 2015…. we’ll see how that actually works out next year.
Fuel is too expensive. I don’t think we’ll see an opening up of space until we’ve developed our first space elevator. It’s a massive one time investment that replaces the need for chemical combustion based rockets but it all but eliminates the fuel costs and it vastly improves the safety.