Daily GUIDE-ance:

Friday, April 16, 2004

Flying Saucer 1.0

Oi. I am tired and not really in the mood to write alot, but I am inordinately jazzed about the above snapshot of the Mars vessel I have been designing. I created the above model at home with my student version of Proe-2001 (which is crap-at work I used Proe Wildfire 2.0, which is much better).

This version has an outer diameter of 200ft. It would need to rotate roughly 5.5 times a minute to simulate Earth gravity at it's outer most diameter. Like I said, I am not really in the mood to work through all the math and details tonight. The two "funnels" in the middle of the spaceship measure 300 ft end to end- long enough to stash two modern space shuttles in. The idea in my mind right now is to send about four of these type vessels to Mars, with spaceshuttles to carry crew members between ships during the year long voyage, and also to land on and take off from Mars.

Having laid this design out in 3d a couple weaknesses become apparent- one: the space shuttles are much bigger in comparsion to the rest of the ship than I had been thinking. I am afraid trying to dock a shuttle inside one of these ships, would be inviting a destructive collision. The solution as I see it right now is two fold, and obvious: Make the ship bigger. Make the shuttles smaller.

I am thinking it would not be hard to make the shuttles smaller because Mars is smaller than Earth (much see earlier post) so a shuttle will need less thrust to escape Mars's gravity. I would suggest using modern shuttles to escape earth's gravity initally, but then to leave those shuttles on Earth. These Mars shuttles might be able to be more along the lines of the LEM from the Apollo missions than the modern shuttle.

Making the ships bigger has alot of good points as well. The larger the radius of the ship, the less fast it has to spin to simulate Earth gravity for one. A really big ship- say 800 ft diameter- would only need to rotate about 2 times a minute to get the outer level to 1G.

I guess the next step for me is to find the dimensions of the LEM and modify this deisgn to accomodate something more like a robust LEM instead of a spaceshuttle.

Why I am I doing this? I dunno. Kinda the same motivation that compells kids to draw spaceships I think, whatever that is. Only I am 34 and know some physics and Pro-e. But I am having fun.

Oh here's a birds eye view:

More Later.

26 comments:

timpani76 said...

Why can't you ever have any normal blog posts? Like a random poll. Who's skankier: Angelina Jolie or Madonna?

Or, you could post cute pics of your kids.

Never mind, I forgot this is John's blog, so it must be full of mind-bending stuff. I seriously am glad that you think of these things, because if I tried to, things would come out of my ears (blood, bits of brain, unused nuerons).

lizS said...

try living with him. it's even worse.

Bruce said...

john, i think we need to convean the counstle. there are some members of the jsfc that are saying some comtimpuiuos things about you. severe disapline or even expulsion needs to be considered. / i think you could dock and tether the "shuttles" externally some what like a two stage rocket. and what kind of drag problems would your current blunt sidded disign have.

Bruce said...

and madonna is clearly the bigger skank or have you forgotten the 80's

lizS said...

you don't have drag in space! there's no atmospere in space!

Anonymous said...

Drag.

Well its not a dum thought if you are planning on taking off and landing from/on Earth. I haven't got to that part yet, but I am thinking the only way is to build this one is to build it in space .

My thinking is that the design demands of having to blast off from Earth impose alot of restrictions, and that the design demands of a ship that can sustain both life and sanity in space for 2 years impose even more restrictions, and on the whole I dont't see having a ship that can do both as all that feasible.

J

Anonymous said...

Docking.

If i am understanding right, you are suggesting, Bruce, ships that like sling a flexible plastic tunnel between each other when they want to transfer personnel or what not?

Sounds tricky.

I think I am not understanding excatly your idea there.

Actual collision is not so much what I am worried about with the shuttle being so massive compared to the ship it self. What I am more worried about is the eual and opposite reaction when a large shuttle pushes off from a small ship, that is already in a possibly delicate balance what with it rotating 5-6 x a minute.

J

PS Madonna might be skankier, but Jolie is just UUGLY

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah Timpalicious:

Of course that is the type of praise I live for.

J

timpani76 said...

OK, it makes more sense now that you say this will be built in space. But, they will have to detach part of it to go down and get off of Mars? Or will there be another ship going with them (like in tow).

Ok, Jolie is only ugly in John's mind, because as skanky as she is, she's still undeniably attractive.
Also, I think Madonna's skank factor has been in a state of decline since she's had children.


timp=name I will use after I kill Bruce
T-dog=my rapper name
timpalicious=my fruity dessert name

lizS said...

i am going to have to go with my husband on the jolie issue. i have never seen her attraction, and the more i learn about her the less attractive she gets. and she sucks at acting, as does her father. i don't get either one, but whatever. hollywood. home and birthplace of whores and their pimps.

Anonymous said...

Yeah Timpalicious, that's what I am thinking. I want to build this thing in space (or possibly on the Moon) and send it to Mars with 3-4 others like it. The center "funnels" are to house little baby "shuttle/lander" ships. These smaller vessels would have no fake gravity and be for moving from big ship to big ship during the trip. After arriving in Mars orbit, the small ships would be used to land people on Mars, and the big ones would stay in orbit until it was time to go home in about a year.

There's more, but its bed time.

J

Bruce said...

connecting would not be all that hard i think. hard but not undoable. they refuel jets in flight and fighting gravity the whole time. a small perpendicular thrust would work to sepperate the ships. after that the main propultion could be fired. and as maintaining sanity, major sych test would have to be done. i think i could make it but who knows 3 years is a long time. i was thinking of escaping gravity with the blunt idea (clearly should be built in space)but a new thought "hits" me. what about space junk? would it not be better to be slanted to take the hits at an angled or glancing blow.

Anonymous said...

I think the major trick in connecting ships is the fact that they are spinning so fast. That is something that nobody does today, unless I am seriously mistaken.

J

Bruce said...

you could suspend the rotation long enought to hook up.

Anonymous said...

Yes if you dont mind your soup, mashed potatoes, papers, furniture, computers, plumbing etc all lurching into zero g and then back again.

J

timpani76 said...

They make it look so easy on Star Trek!

Bruce said...

it would be somthing you would have to prep for

Anonymous said...

I did think of another way to theoretically anyway simulate gravity, without rotation.

If you continously accelerated your ship at the same rate of accelertion due to Earth gravity for the whole trip,you would have an effective "floor". (this is like the flip of simulating zero g on earth by diving an airplane at freefall). The problem with this idea is that by the time you got to Mars you would be going as fast as if you had fallen down a hole so deep that it took you a year to hit the bottom. (neglecting the whole terminal velocity thing)

J

Bruce said...

you could do magnettic floors with bits of mettal in the cloths. (ignoring that magnets screw with computer equiptment.)

Anonymous said...

How would you take a shower?

Bruce said...

no showers, moist towelets

timpani76 said...

Moist towelettes for two years?

Anonymous said...

wash your hair?

You could also fly in a spiral to simulate gravity, but the spiral that you flew in would be the same spiral described by a section of the rotating ship, so basically thats retarded.

J

timpani76 said...

Wouldn't flying in a spiral be easier to do than to build a rotating ship though? Less chance for snafus?

Eyepoke said...

Heres how it works as I understand it:

Once you are in space and are free of stuff like wind resistance Newton's "an object in motion tends to stay in motion" takes over. So you basically burn fuel to acclerate up to a cruising velocity, but the you are done burning fuel, untill you arrive. You just coast (faster than bullet, but still a constant velocity).

The same basically should hold true for rotation. Once you get spinning in space you will just spin forever, until something runs into you and stops you.

So the most fuel effecient way to fly a spiral ought to be as part of a rotating ship, that is also crusing along the axis of rotaion.

But if you want to fly that same spiral with out being part of a rotating ship, it means you have to be constantly, the whole trip, burning fuel because you have to be constantly changing direction.

Does that make sense?

Great question.

J

timpani76 said...

Oh sure, when you explain it like that, it sounds all logical.