1461: "Payloads"

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1461: "Payloads"

Postby Eutychus » Wed Dec 17, 2014 6:13 am UTC

Image
title="With a space elevator, a backyard full of solar panels could launch about 500 horses per year, and a large power plant could launch 10 horses per minute."

Nice to see a big poster-sized comic again. Next one must measure payloads in staplers. Or batteries.
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Re: 1461: "Payloads"

Postby rhomboidal » Wed Dec 17, 2014 6:18 am UTC

If only everything was designed and built as well as the Saturn V's were. Though, hopefully, don't also require recruiting from Nazis' previous personnel.

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Re: 1461: "Payloads"

Postby Copper Bezel » Wed Dec 17, 2014 6:39 am UTC

Any guesses what the one at the bottom near the right without a label is?

I can't stop reading the one label as "211 horses exploded on launchpad," which is quite tragic.
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Re: 1461: "Payloads"

Postby San Fran Sam » Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:08 am UTC

why would you want to send horses into space?

and what's with the '81 Oldsmobile. that was my father's Oldsmobile.

and the Dodge brothers never worked for Ford. so there!

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Re: 1461: "Payloads"

Postby Stuart98 » Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:13 am UTC

Copper Bezel wrote:Any guesses what the one at the bottom near the right without a label is?

I can't stop reading the one label as "211 horses exploded on launchpad," which is quite tragic.

xD

They all have labels. Here, take this crudely imgur editor'd image: i. imgur. com /2dygkEs . png?2

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Re: 1461: "Payloads"

Postby azule » Wed Dec 17, 2014 8:36 am UTC

I suggested, in a previous what-if thread, that Randall could do an infogram comic on Wednesday alternating weekly with a what-if.

Enjoy your comic this week. Next week might be a new what-if.
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Re: 1461: "Payloads"

Postby saengerbeatle » Wed Dec 17, 2014 8:43 am UTC

I'm kinda disappointed Space Crafts are measured in horses and not in giraffes. Seems like giraffes are only a unit for heights after all...

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Re: 1461: "Payloads"

Postby J L » Wed Dec 17, 2014 9:02 am UTC

No proper star trek without horses. Or horse elevators, for that matter.

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Re: 1461: "Payloads"

Postby Neil_Boekend » Wed Dec 17, 2014 9:32 am UTC

saengerbeatle wrote:I'm kinda disappointed Space Crafts are measured in horses and not in giraffes. Seems like giraffes are only a unit for heights after all...

Their physical size would be measured in giraffes. Mass is measured in horses because all horses have the same mass.

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Re: 1461: "Payloads"

Postby StClair » Wed Dec 17, 2014 9:40 am UTC

KSP just got a new update/version this week. I predict a "Horse Payload" mod by the end of it.

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Re: 1461: "Payloads"

Postby keithl » Wed Dec 17, 2014 9:49 am UTC

title="With a space elevator, a backyard full of solar panels could launch about 500 horses per year, and a large power plant could launch 10 horses per minute."

I'm curious about the mass assumed for a horse. A 10% estimate is 1000 pounds ( ISS = 925,000 pounds = 932 horses? ). Forgive the ancient units, presumably someone can make a better metric estimate given the "average" stats for the larger vehicles and satellites. (Edit: The mass of large satellites like ISS increases with time as we add stuff. Randall may be working from a list provided by cow orkers still working at NASA.)

It's late, I'll need to check my references and do the calculations in the morning, but ... the hypothetical space elevator is designed to go to GEO, or throw objects from the anchor. It doesn't go directly to low earth orbit, and LEO altitude is useless and expensive (tether cost) unless you are Richard Branson. To get to a LEO orbit, you release from the tether about 2/3 of the way to GEO into an elliptical orbit with perigee at LEO. At apogee, you add north/south delta V (with a rocket) to change the inclination of the orbital plane. At perigee, you subtract a few kilometers per second of delta V (with a large rocket) at perigee to circularize. It is easier to go to Martian or Moon orbit than to a high inclination circular LEO orbit from a space elevator.

Then I will check the energy efficiency - space elevators are energy inefficient using either beamed power or (for a hugely massive one) power sent up electrically from earth on cables. The current ISEC reference design (which I contributed to) assumes ambient solar power and some really big solar panels on the climber itself (I did not contribute this notion).

Average annual US insolation is about 5kWh/m²/day, about 200 W/m² averaged over the day and year. A Solar World Sunmodule Plus 280 panel is 17% efficient (34 W/m² average). A "large power plant" is 1GW, so the presumed back yard is 500*1E9/(34*10*60*8766) = 2800 m² = 0.7 acres. A rather large back yard, or a smaller "large power plant" that I assumed.

I suppose it would be more accurate to learn which assumptions Randall used, but it is more fun to estimate.
Last edited by keithl on Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:00 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1461: "Payloads"

Postby speising » Wed Dec 17, 2014 9:54 am UTC

This space elevator calculation seems to be as naive as the "we won't need power meters with nuclear power anymore" fantasy. in practice, the elevator woudn't only need huge initial investments, but also regular maintenance etc. we can't just ignore those costs.

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Re: 1461: "Payloads"

Postby Djehutynakht » Wed Dec 17, 2014 10:01 am UTC

We have T Rex's in space.

I think we're doomed.

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Re: 1461: "Payloads"

Postby antares » Wed Dec 17, 2014 10:44 am UTC

Stuart98 wrote:They all have labels. Here, take this crudely imgur editor'd image: ...

Copper Bezel is right, the one at the bottom between the H-11A and the Delta IV-H (2000s) has no label at all. Also, the caption of Keyhole 3 (40 horses) only says "spy satellite" without giving the number of horses shown above.

Djehutynakht wrote:We have T Rex's in space.

I think we're doomed.

They're not as bad as raptors. A T-Rex in space is harmless - he has such tiny arms with which he certainly couldn't steer a spacecraft.
Last edited by antares on Wed Dec 17, 2014 11:02 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: 1461: "Payloads"

Postby Neil_Boekend » Wed Dec 17, 2014 10:46 am UTC

The T-rex mission is cunningly hidden from simple Google search by the many people who made drawings of T-rex-es in space, usually with lasers.
Wikipedia has a paragraph on it though
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Re: 1461: "Payloads"

Postby wayne » Wed Dec 17, 2014 12:22 pm UTC

If we make an elevator from graphene (nanotube) cable, we could use the cable itself for power, couldn't we? It conducts electricity.
Parallel cables separated by an insulator to lift building materials, at first, and then eventually, a nice big cable with electromagnetic propulsion, so the lift capsules wouldn't need motors at all.
Perhaps a hollow tube that could lift material internally, like a big pipeline. Lift metallic spheres, cylinders, or pellets in a slurry of water and suspended solids; the pellets would move the liquid, and could be run constantly, providing a constant water supply, and freeing up a lot of mass in lift capsule shipments for manufactured items.

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Re: 1461: "Payloads"

Postby cellocgw » Wed Dec 17, 2014 12:26 pm UTC

Alt-text should have read "This infographic is dedicated to the memory of Mr. Ed."

In space, do horses get hoarse?
Guess the only way to control them in orbit is to make sure they're a horse of a different collar.


Ok, I'm leaving now...
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Re: 1461: "Payloads"

Postby just john » Wed Dec 17, 2014 1:20 pm UTC

I applaud this effort toward ridding our planet of horses!
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Re: 1461: "Payloads"

Postby Beavertails » Wed Dec 17, 2014 3:35 pm UTC

Couldn't you carry more horses if they were duck sized?
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Re: 1461: "Payloads"

Postby Keyman » Wed Dec 17, 2014 3:44 pm UTC


Wow....

"Tether Technologies Rocket Experiment" (T-REX)
Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (ISAS/JAXA),
Uchinoura Space Center (USC)
Kanagawa Institute of Technology/Nihon University (KIT/NU)
electrodynamic tether (EDT)
Low Earth Orbit (LEO)

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Re: 1461: "Payloads"

Postby ThemePark » Wed Dec 17, 2014 4:07 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote:Alt-text should have read "This infographic is dedicated to the memory of Mr. Ed."

In space, do horses get hoarse?
Guess the only way to control them in orbit is to make sure they're a horse of a different collar.


Ok, I'm leaving now...

The next Apollo mission will be to get two horses up on the Moon, where they can play H.O.R.S.E.
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Re: 1461: "Payloads"

Postby Keyman » Wed Dec 17, 2014 5:02 pm UTC

ThemePark wrote:The next Apollo mission will be to get two horses up on the Moon, where they can play H.O.R.S.E.

Been there. Done that.
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OK...haven't really been there been there.
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Re: 1461: "Payloads"

Postby Locoluis » Wed Dec 17, 2014 5:30 pm UTC

antares wrote:
Stuart98 wrote:They all have labels. Here, take this crudely imgur editor'd image: ...

Copper Bezel is right, the one at the bottom between the H-11A and the Delta IV-H (2000s) has no label at all. Also, the caption of Keyhole 3 (40 horses) only says "spy satellite" without giving the number of horses shown above.

Djehutynakht wrote:We have T Rex's in space.

I think we're doomed.

They're not as bad as raptors. A T-Rex in space is harmless - he has such tiny arms with which he certainly couldn't steer a spacecraft.


Still, the mind wonders...

A highly intelligent, space-faring species of large lizards, who escaped the Cretaceous–Paleogene (K–Pg) extinction event, and are now 66 million years ahead of us in terms of technology and pretty much everything else.

They've been watching us all this time, and now they understand that we're meeting their same fate, and that it's their duty to prevent it. Our technological level is insufficient. Despite widespread damage to the global ecosystem, we've only managed to reach the Moon, and we don't even have permanent bases there. Unlike them, we won't make it on our own.

Without their help, this planet will succumb to the hand of Man. Or maybe they'll decide that we're a vermin that must be eradicated for the sake of all life on Earth.

Of course, there are better science fiction writers out there who probably came up with something less groan-inducing. :P
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Re: 1461: "Payloads"

Postby buddy431 » Wed Dec 17, 2014 6:19 pm UTC

Looks like he's taken a horse to be almost exactly 1000 pounds. The unlabeled rocket in the 2000s, with 21 horses, is probably one of the delta IV (non-heavy) variants (maybe the 5 m fairing with two solid boosters?).
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Re: 1461: "Payloads"

Postby buddy431 » Wed Dec 17, 2014 6:44 pm UTC

Sorry for the double post.

I realize why he displayed them all with their payloads to LEO, because you want to be measuring the rocket the same way each time. But different rockets are optimized for launching to different orbits, so I'm not sure that it's really as good of a comparison as we might think. The Saturv V, for example, was not intended to launch extremely large payloads to LEO, and never did so (a modified variant of just the first two stages launched skylab, which was significantly lighter than the quoted payload of 262 horses).

The other one that stands out to me is the Ariane 5 ES. While the ariane 5 ES variant is a large rocket, and is the most capable of the Ariane 5 family for launching payloads to LEO, the Ariane 5 isn't primarily a launcher to LEO. The Ariane 5 ECA is by most measures a larger rocket, capable of launching about 23 horses to a geostationary transfer orbit. Compare this to the proton rocket, which on this graph looks to be about the same size as the Ariane 5, is only capable of about 13 horses to GTO (The Ariane 5 ECA, however, is not capable of launching large payloads to LEO, because its engine lacks restart ability).
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Re: 1461: "Payloads"

Postby Djehutynakht » Wed Dec 17, 2014 6:44 pm UTC

Neil_Boekend wrote:The T-rex mission is cunningly hidden from simple Google search by the many people who made drawings of T-rex-es in space, usually with lasers.
Wikipedia has a paragraph on it though


Aha! I had a sneaking suspicion it was a real mission. Unfortunately, I was too lazy to go beyond the very top of Google.

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Re: 1461: "Payloads"

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:22 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote:Alt-text should have read "This infographic is dedicated to the memory of Mr. Ed."

In space, do horses get hoarse?

All horses get hoarse, of course.
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Re: 1461: "Payloads"

Postby yellow103 » Wed Dec 17, 2014 8:10 pm UTC

I'm afraid to say I don't get the Oldsmobile. I would have thought that one would use a reliant robin.

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Re: 1461: "Payloads"

Postby MrDude_1 » Wed Dec 17, 2014 8:15 pm UTC

I must know... What is the standard weight for a horse?

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Re: 1461: "Payloads"

Postby keithl » Wed Dec 17, 2014 8:26 pm UTC

keithl wrote:
title="With a space elevator, a backyard full of solar panels could launch about 500 horses per year, and a large power plant could launch 10 horses per minute."
... It's late, I'll need to check my references and do the calculations in the morning ...

IMHO, the space elevator concept is a placeholder, like GNU/Hurd was before Linus Torvalds invented a community development process around Linux that transformed free/libre software into a global phenomena, and Cygnus demonstrated high profitability for the GCC compiler suite. The space elevator concept will also be radically transformed by practical-minded heretics. The impractical orthodoxy will be sidelined and diehards will kvetch like RMS does.

The 2013 Space Elevators: An Assessment... can be purchased from Amazon for $30. 349 page pdf. A paper and slides I presented to the space elevator conference in August 2014.

Details: Climbing to GEO requires 48 MJ/kg. Climbing to 100 km altitude (legal "space", not a practically useful orbit) requires "only" 930 KJ/kg, but also more than 200 tons of tether and anchor "orbiting" above for every ton supported statically at that altitude. This is a wasteful way to use an expensive and high maintenance asset, like a camping vacation on a major airport runway.

Assuming a 450 kilogram horse, 100% efficiency, and zero vehicle and life-support weight, 500 horses to LEO altitude is 210 GJ and to GEO altitude is 11 TJ, or 6.6 kW-years and 340 kW-years respectively. 10 horses or 4500 kg per minute is 70 MW to LEO altitude and 3.6 GW to GEO altitude. Real efficiencies will be abysmal, given the low long distance power transmission efficiencies and the extra power and mass needed to radiate waste heat into vacuum - precisely how abysmal causes heated :-) arguments, empirical data entirely lacking. Disposing of descent energy is even more problematic (the focus of my paper).

Why are we launching horses? Presumably they are dead, rotting, and infectious, and we are dropping them (descent displaced by coriolis acceleration) into the castles of our besieged enemies. This is FEBS, the Fractional Equine Bombardment System.
Last edited by keithl on Wed Dec 17, 2014 9:20 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: 1461: "Payloads"

Postby keithl » Wed Dec 17, 2014 8:57 pm UTC

The heaviest astronaut launched during Apollo was Rusty Schweickart at 197 pounds. This document says mature horses weigh 1100 to 1200 pounds, and eat 2.5% of their weight in feed per day. I found no information on acceleration harnesses or space suits for horses, orbital feeding and grooming techniques, or the behavior of horse poop in zero gee and vacuum.

This picture from a right-wing-fruitcake patriot website demonstrates the grave strategic threat posed by horses in space:
Image

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Re: 1461: "Payloads"

Postby Coyoty » Wed Dec 17, 2014 9:28 pm UTC

The Centre National d' Etudes Spatiales launches cattle.

The '81 Oldsmobile is a secret mission by some Proxima Centauri colonists who overslept when the USS Ascension launched, and they're trying to catch up to it. They had some help from a Dr. Emmett Brown.

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Re: 1461: "Payloads"

Postby Neil_Boekend » Thu Dec 18, 2014 7:13 am UTC

Locoluis wrote:
Spoiler:
antares wrote:
Stuart98 wrote:They all have labels. Here, take this crudely imgur editor'd image: ...

Copper Bezel is right, the one at the bottom between the H-11A and the Delta IV-H (2000s) has no label at all. Also, the caption of Keyhole 3 (40 horses) only says "spy satellite" without giving the number of horses shown above.

Djehutynakht wrote:We have T Rex's in space.

I think we're doomed.

They're not as bad as raptors. A T-Rex in space is harmless - he has such tiny arms with which he certainly couldn't steer a spacecraft.


Still, the mind wonders...

A highly intelligent, space-faring species of large lizards, who escaped the Cretaceous–Paleogene (K–Pg) extinction event, and are now 66 million years ahead of us in terms of technology and pretty much everything else.

They've been watching us all this time, and now they understand that we're meeting their same fate, and that it's their duty to prevent it. Our technological level is insufficient. Despite widespread damage to the global ecosystem, we've only managed to reach the Moon, and we don't even have permanent bases there. Unlike them, we won't make it on our own.

Without their help, this planet will succumb to the hand of Man. Or maybe they'll decide that we're a vermin that must be eradicated for the sake of all life on Earth.


Of course, there are better science fiction writers out there who probably came up with something less groan-inducing. :P

In a dr Who episode there are dinosaurs in a space ship. And of course there is Madam Vastra, I can't remember exactly, but I presume she gets into space at some point.
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Re: 1461: "Payloads"

Postby BlitzGirl » Thu Dec 18, 2014 7:26 am UTC

I like that Pegasus's capacity is 1 Pegasus. But using Pegasus to launch a Pegasus seems redundant, with the whole "winged horse" thing.

Pfhorrest wrote:All horses get hoarse, of course.

Of course!
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Re: 1461: "Payloads"

Postby Neil_Boekend » Thu Dec 18, 2014 7:31 am UTC

BlitzGirl wrote:I like that Pegasus's capacity is 1 Pegasus. But using Pegasus to launch a Pegasus seems redundant, with the whole "winged horse" thing.

Wings don't really work in space, so unless the Pegasus ate a lot of beans it would need a rocket strapped to it's back.
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Re: 1461: "Payloads"

Postby Pfhorrest » Thu Dec 18, 2014 9:06 am UTC

BlitzGirl wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:
cellocgw wrote:Alt-text should have read "This infographic is dedicated to the memory of Mr. Ed."

In space, do horses get hoarse?

All horses get hoarse, of course.

Of course!

And you shouldn't talk if you're hoarse.
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Re: 1461: "Payloads"

Postby orthogon » Thu Dec 18, 2014 9:24 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
BlitzGirl wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:
cellocgw wrote:Alt-text should have read "This infographic is dedicated to the memory of Mr. Ed."

In space, do horses get hoarse?

All horses get hoarse, of course.

Of course!

And you shouldn't talk if you're hoarse.

I know an old lady who swallowed a horse. She's dead, of course.
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Re: 1461: "Payloads"

Postby Klear » Thu Dec 18, 2014 12:35 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
BlitzGirl wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:
cellocgw wrote:Alt-text should have read "This infographic is dedicated to the memory of Mr. Ed."

In space, do horses get hoarse?

All horses get hoarse, of course.

Of course!

And you shouldn't talk if you're hoarse.

Not that anyone can hear you in space. (I'd make a rhyme, but I feel by now it would feel forced)

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Re: 1461: "Payloads"

Postby rmsgrey » Thu Dec 18, 2014 2:12 pm UTC

Neil_Boekend wrote:
BlitzGirl wrote:I like that Pegasus's capacity is 1 Pegasus. But using Pegasus to launch a Pegasus seems redundant, with the whole "winged horse" thing.

Wings don't really work in space, so unless the Pegasus ate a lot of beans it would need a rocket strapped to it's back.

Pegasus in Space is an SF book by Anne McCaffrey, who used Pegasus as a metaphor for psychic abilities in some of her titles.

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Re: 1461: "Payloads"

Postby neoliminal » Thu Dec 18, 2014 3:00 pm UTC

There's an unlabeled Vehicle Launch Capacity near the year number 2000.

Anyone know what that is?

Sorry, someone already addressed this.
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