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  #1  
Old 2004-03-28, 07:01
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Space just got a bit closer.

Yesterday Nasa successfull a "scramjet engine".

The X43A, traveling at 7 times the speed of sound, is the fastest craft ever not to use a rocket.


The unmaned vechile was dropped from a modified B-52 bomber at a high of 40,000 feet.
A small rocket on it then boasted it upto 95,000 feet, before the Scramjet engines kicked in.

The engines worked for 11 seconds, accelerating it to mach7 before cutting off. The craft then glided at supersonic speeds for many minutes before cashing into the ocean.

The important thing to understand about the scramjet engines is they take the oxygen needed for combustion out of the air itself. The engines also have hardly any moving parts whatsoever.
http://www.dfrc.nasa.gov/Gallery/Gra...comparison.jpg
The engines are in fact,very simple compared to normal engines.
Its only been recently however we have had the materials and tools nesscery to make them.


The use of oxygen from the atmosphere means space and weight for the feul is dramitical reduced, makeing it thoeriticaly possible to literaly fly a plane into space.

Nasa plans to test a Mach10 version later this year.
Allthough even that isnt the limit to what the engine can do.

http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.j...7&pageNumber=1

http://www.nasa.gov/missions/research/x43-main.html

Excuse me for hypeing it up, but this engine will play a major roll in the future.
We may not have antigravity, spaceelivators or transporters....but we now have something that can get us into space almost as easily.
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Old 2004-03-28, 08:30
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But once the plane reaches outer space, won't he kind of be stuck, 'cause there's no oxygen over there?
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Originally Posted by SpaceGuitarist
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  #3  
Old 2004-03-28, 10:24
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Anakkin, in space your accelaration doesnt change. Ie, (Lets assume there was no gravity.) If I threw a rock, it would go on forever, never speeding up or slowing down.

With this it may be slowed down a tiny bit by leaving the atmosphere, but after that, theres nothing to stop it. Well, virtually nothing.

DF, very interesting . Although, would the amount of G's kill anyone inside? Good for probing methinks, but for living organisms? I'm not so sure.
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Old 2004-03-28, 11:36
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Yeah, but the gravitational force from all the different planets\stars can mess up the plane's course.

Also, if the plane's movement in space will be solely due the speed it got back in the atmosphere, it definetely not be able to land, or something like that.

I suppose it'll still be able to get into orbit around a planet, and stuff.
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This is work of higher intelligences, who take other, esoteric and psychological sciences into account than we are normally used to even consider, numerology being one of them, because everything for them is ritualistic and everything is meant for a deep programming of our psychological state. One day witchcraft and science will collide.
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  #5  
Old 2004-03-28, 13:51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anakin
Yeah, but the gravitational force from all the different planets\stars can mess up the plane's course.

Also, if the plane's movement in space will be solely due the speed it got back in the atmosphere, it definetely not be able to land, or something like that.

I suppose it'll still be able to get into orbit around a planet, and stuff.
Thats why theres various rudders etc which allow it to change direction away or towards to pull of a star/planet. As for landing? Well, yeah, it can't just land by smashing through the atmosphere or another planet. It'll probably orbit a few times and come down that way. Or just fly into eternity
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Old 2004-03-28, 14:47
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This engine is designed for getting into space, not for controlled space travel (which is actualy dead easy in comparison, but you would need a different design).

Once we have an easy, cheap method of getting into and outof orbit, the cost to bring payloads into space dramaticaly reduces.
Not only does that make building spacestations easier, it also makes it possible to actualy build a craft in a spacedock from orbit. Before that was imposible due to expense, but thanks to this its now possible.

And building a spaceship without having to launch it from the groun makes a hell of a lot of stuff possible.
Bigger, more fuel, more space, rotation based gravity,....and most important of all...reuseable.
I mean, fly to the moon, use a lander to get up and down, then fly back to the dock
Nothing wasted.



Quote:
DF, very interesting . Although, would the amount of G's kill anyone inside? Good for probing methinks, but for living organisms? I'm not so sure.
Humans can easily travel at Mach7 as long as the acceleration isnt too fast.
NASA will have to make the X43 accelerate upto that speed in a slightly slower time.
At the moment, they are just testing the engine.

0-Mach7 in 10 seconds certainly isnt recomended for humans
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  #7  
Old 2004-03-28, 15:29
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Wow, I'm very impressed. I guess no one wants to mention how President Bush has backed the space program financially and politically

Anyways, yes, it is very, very cool. I wonder how close we are to using hydrogen as a fuel, because we were discussing this in my chemicals class, how much greater energy there is utilizing the a chemical reaction to produce Hydrogen and Water and the ratio is so much greater than that of common fossil fuels...
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Old 2004-03-28, 18:54
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Darkflame: When you put it that way: cool
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Originally Posted by SpaceGuitarist
This is work of higher intelligences, who take other, esoteric and psychological sciences into account than we are normally used to even consider, numerology being one of them, because everything for them is ritualistic and everything is meant for a deep programming of our psychological state. One day witchcraft and science will collide.
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  #9  
Old 2004-03-28, 22:52
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Quote:
Anyways, yes, it is very, very cool. I wonder how close we are to using hydrogen as a fuel, because we were discussing this in my chemicals class, how much greater energy there is utilizing the a chemical reaction to produce Hydrogen and Water and the ratio is so much greater than that of common fossil fuels...
oh? Didnt i mention ? Its hydrogen based...
Seriously, the scramjet engines rule.

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  #10  
Old 2004-03-28, 23:53
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I want one of those!

Hmm, seems very simple though, the design of the engine itself. How can it get so fast in such a short period of time however is another story...... physics can be very hard to understand.
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  #11  
Old 2004-03-29, 02:50
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i'm guessing it can accellerate that quickly in such a short space of time because the rate of intake/compression/burning/exhaust (i.e. the rate of throughput of the engine) is so much higher than in a normal jet engine, because it literally just takes the supersonic air and lets it pass through the inlet to compress it.

from the diagram:

"in normal jet engines, rotating blades compress the air, and the airflow remains subsonic"

With a much higher intake/throughput/output speed, the scramjet engine would be able to accellerate at rates far in excess of a normal jet engine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by darkflame

Humans can easily travel at Mach7 as long as the acceleration isnt too fast.
NASA will have to make the X43 accelerate upto that speed in a slightly slower time.
At the moment, they are just testing the engine.

0-Mach7 in 10 seconds certainly isnt recomended for humans
heh...when i read that first sentance, i was like......true, but fuck (sorry...f*ck...), not when you're getting up to those speeds in 11 seconds! then i read that last sentance...

and yeah, as has already been pointed out, this technology obviously couldn't be used in space itself, with there being no air...so there would really be no changes in the way space travel itself is undertaken, it'll still be by traditional methods. But, as has again already been pointed out, the major implications for this are for taking things into space, rather than actually moving about in space. Once you can take things into space like this, you can then start to use that to build up resources to make travel in space itself a lot easier, even if not actually much different.

On the subject of travel in space itself, i'm thinking harnessing the power of burting gamma bubbles would be by far the best solution mmm....possibly thats just not gonna happen........
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  #12  
Old 2004-03-29, 18:30
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In the year 2024 there will be a space gate explosion and then trhe moon will cause debris to encircle the Earth and cause constant meteor showers. Meanwhile, people will live on Mars and Jupiters' moons. And Titan. Not to mention, Venus will be made inhabitable by floating plants, and the asteriod belt will become a home to humans too. The work that becomes a new genre will be called Cowboy Bebop


Back on topic, wouldn't this be able to work in space if you had separate cyclinders for hydrogen and oxygen? In theory, no, because there is nothing in space, but, in practise, perhaps?
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  #13  
Old 2004-03-29, 18:40
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The current rate of "real" technology progress looks likely to be:

Current: Ion Drive (now well established, great for long periods of acceration. Very little fuel required.
Downside very,very,very week...its only usefull because it lasts so long in a frictionless enviroment)

Near Future: Fusion Drive (much easier then fussion on the ground, give you reasonable thrust for a fair emoung of time...far better then chemical rockets.
Downside: Bringing Radioactive material into space will be very dangerious on rockets......but wait? whats this...the X43 )

Far Future (30-50years): Fusion Anti-mater. (not as sci-fi as it sounds. We actualy have plans for a fussion engines what would get a signifcant boast from anti-mater reactions. Theres no new physics needed for this.
However, we need more anti-mater.
At present we can only make it in stupidly tiny quanitys.
In a whole year, we can only produce a few grams at most thoughout the world.
We need faster reactors to make the stuff, and maganetic drums to store it till its needed.
However, once we have it, then we can have engines with fast acceleration and fuel that lasts a long time. We dont need much of the stuff either. A teaspoon full would easily be enough to give a boast in the fusion engine of 100% or something)
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  #14  
Old 2004-03-29, 19:49
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yeah, matter-antimatter reactions seem the most likely fuel for the (forseeable) future...
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