Do you believe there is rocket fuel on the moon?

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PeterTurland
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Do you believe there is rocket fuel on the moon?

Post by PeterTurland » Thu Jul 07, 2011 9:01 pm

To the best of my knowledge there is oxygen, aluminium and water on the moon, if these substances are in the right configuration they can make more than one kind of rocket fuel.

Getting into orbit is very expensive and dangerous, to reach a velocity of 25,000 miles an hour in the earth's atmosphere, is dangerous, expensive and stupid - if rocket fuel exists on the moon.

OK we set up a plant on the moon to process the available materials on the moon, control the whole thing from earth using drones and such, create rocket fuel on the moon, launch a rocket from the earth towards the moon and refuel it with rocket fuel manufactured on the moon, controlled by minds on the earth.

Launch something akin to Burt Rutan's space ship one, from the earth, SS1 was light, dainty and a pretty little bird that did not cost a lot to build, unlike that brutal monstrosity named the shuttle, one of the most daft things about the design is, it was covered with the equivalent of bathroom tiles.

When the SS1 reaches the safety of the vacuum of space it is accelerated to 25,000 miles an hour by the moon tug.

The only reason the Yanks designed a flying bathroom utility, was because they mistakenly assumed they had to reach and leave escape velocity, within the atmosphere of earth, get high enough and you reach a pure vacuum, accelerating or decelerating something within this environment makes it neither hot nor cold.

But I am not a rocket scientist so most probably don't know what I am talking about.

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Wilf Arnold
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Re: Do you believe there is rocket fuel on the moon?

Post by Wilf Arnold » Thu Jul 07, 2011 9:42 pm

Have a look here:

http://www.school-for-champions.com/sci ... turn_v.htm

so 25000 mph in the atmosphere isn't necessary.

The reason for the tiles was for coming back - the shuttle on return was a big, not very agile, glider. The tiles were a heat shield - if they broke off then rather than let water through (in your bathroom analogy) they let vast amounts of heat reach the metal making up the bulk of the shuttle - witness what happened to Columbia in 2003.

To get back to topic - it may be possible to make fuel on the moon, but how much energy is spent doing it is another matter - and totally beyond me as I'm no rocket scientist either.

Ian Kingston
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Re: Do you believe there is rocket fuel on the moon?

Post by Ian Kingston » Fri Jul 08, 2011 8:59 am

PeterTurland wrote:To the best of my knowledge there is oxygen, aluminium and water on the moon, if these substances are in the right configuration they can make more than one kind of rocket fuel.
The water is the important thing - it can be split into hydrogen and oxygen to make rocket fuel.
PeterTurland wrote:Getting into orbit is very expensive and dangerous, to reach a velocity of 25,000 miles an hour in the earth's atmosphere, is dangerous, expensive and stupid - if rocket fuel exists on the moon.

OK we set up a plant on the moon to process the available materials on the moon, control the whole thing from earth using drones and such, create rocket fuel on the moon, launch a rocket from the earth towards the moon and refuel it with rocket fuel manufactured on the moon, controlled by minds on the earth.
OK in principle, difficult in practice. I think you'd need a permanent human presence on the Moon of a hundred or more people.
PeterTurland wrote:Launch something akin to Burt Rutan's space ship one, from the earth, SS1 was light, dainty and a pretty little bird that did not cost a lot to build, unlike that brutal monstrosity named the shuttle, one of the most daft things about the design is, it was covered with the equivalent of bathroom tiles.
SS1 and the Shuttle were designed for completely different tasks, so comparing them is unfair. SS1 carries three people on a short sub-orbital hop and requires no heat shield. The Shuttle carries up to eight people and a 25 ton payload into low orbit and has to provide a living environment for the crew for around two weeks.
PeterTurland wrote:When the SS1 reaches the safety of the vacuum of space it is accelerated to 25,000 miles an hour by the moon tug.
If by this you mean letting the Moon's gravity pull the ship towards it, then your mission will fail. Earth's gravity remains stronger than the Moon's until you reach the L1 Lagrange point, where the two balance. This is roughly 326,000 km from Earth. The Moon is about 384,000 km from Earth on average, so by the time the ship gets to L1 it's almost at the Moon.
PeterTurland wrote:The only reason the Yanks designed a flying bathroom utility, was because they mistakenly assumed they had to reach and leave escape velocity, within the atmosphere of earth, get high enough and you reach a pure vacuum, accelerating or decelerating something within this environment makes it neither hot nor cold.
While it's true that you don't have to reach escape velocity, this has nothing to do with temperature, atmosphere or vacuum. Reaching escape velocity allows the ship to coast all the way to its destination, using no more fuel until it gets there. This is the most fuel-efficient way to do the job. If you decided to go more slowly you would need to carry much more fuel.
PeterTurland wrote:But I am not a rocket scientist so most probably don't know what I am talking about.
:wink:

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