Rocket from Balloon

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by aerostadt, Nov 26, 2019.

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  1. Dec 5, 2019 #61

    Wallace

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  2. Dec 5, 2019 #62

    cbrarick

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    sign me up for launch alerts.....until then I'll be busy digging my shelter....
     
  3. Dec 5, 2019 #63

    Nytrunner

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    Yeah, I can't agree with Wallace on this one.

    This is a discussion started around an actual company/startup attempting a commercialized endeavor, not our normal "student wants to build a rockoon and launch it from black rock or the gulf" deal.

    I think discussions of the technical considerations and workarounds is quite appropriate and it would be unfortunate for it to devolve into another mock-thread. We have plenty of those.
     
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  4. Dec 5, 2019 #64

    djs

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    If this is the case, they have an interesting youtube channel regarding their activities:

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaGUmYZvL1QmyOKboh2QQyg/videos


    I'm interested in how their mobile solution squares with FAA approval for the balloon/rocket? I would think they would end up being very confined to very specific locations + dates....
     
  5. Dec 5, 2019 #65

    boatgeek

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    OK, I'll go against my normal rockoon thread instincts and take this back in a more serious direction now. The originally posted Space.com article had some images/info of what they were planning. A few things stuck out to me:

    The intention is to launch at a 30-45 degree up angle from under the balloon canopy. It looks like they have some kind of launch rail for the rocket, maybe half of its length. Presumably, the rocket will drop a little off of the rail, so the flames should be well clear of the balloon itself.

    Launch is from 60K feet, so above most of the atmosphere but nowhere near 100K as discussed in other places. The balloon apparently only needs a semi or two with a 40-foot containers to launch.

    The balloon isn't helium, but rather hot air. That explains how they get it back "easily" including landing--just vent some hot air to descend and then re-fire the heater closer to the ground to slow descent. They also claim to have thrusters to keep it on station. I would be fascinated to see what kind of thrusters hold a normal hot air balloon (and not a blimp/zeppelin shape) in upper-level winds. In theory, the thrusters would give them enough control to land close to their GSE.
     
  6. Dec 6, 2019 #66

    Wallace

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    Although I'd love nothing more than to see it actually happen, I have my doubts. There've been way too many of these attempts already and none of 'em had legs..That's all.
     
  7. Dec 6, 2019 #67

    cerving

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    OK, let's look at a balloon launch vs a ground launch with an extra booster from a simple comparison view...

    Ground Launch: Engineering issues well understood... lots of rockets have been into orbit. Booster stage imparts significant initial velocity to payload (remember, you need to get it to about 25 km/hr for orbit), so the sustainer doesn't have to be quite as big to get into orbit. If you're clever about it, you can reuse the booster stage. You need a launch pad away from things, in case you cato.

    Balloon Launch: Pretty much experimental. No initial velocity boost, so your rocket is going to have to carry enough fuel to get from near zero to 25 km/hr which increases the weight and means that your balloons are going to have to be bigger too. If you do multiple stages, you still end up with some pieces other than the balloon that you have to figure out how to recover, unless you simply throw away the booster stages and eat the additional cost. Potentially less GSE required than a ground launch, but you still have to be able to inflate the (very large) balloons and fuel the rocket on the ground so it may be a wash.

    Advantage: Ground Launch.
     
  8. Dec 6, 2019 #68

    Ez2cDave

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    What's "accuracy" ?
     
  9. Dec 6, 2019 #69

    Ez2cDave

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    Launch it in international waters . . . No "permission" required.
     
  10. Dec 6, 2019 #70

    heada

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    Even in international waters, if you go into space, you have to get approval of your national org that controls such things. This is by international agreement. If you want to renounce your citizenship so you no longer have a national org to control you, you could do it but then you're open to "enforcement" by the US Navy. I wouldn't suggest that.
     
  11. Dec 7, 2019 #71

    BABAR

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    Everything was experimental at one time.
     
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  12. Dec 9, 2019 #72

    jadebox

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    JP Aerospace received permission about 20 years ago for a suborbital launch from a balloon over Black Rock, so I doubt that getting permission is much of an issue for this company.

    Perhaps the technology has improved enough to make the idea practical. I am still a bit skeptical.
     

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