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(Kickstarter)   The Slingatron: not a bikini, nor a beverage maker, but a cheap way to space   (kickstarter.com) divider line 62
    More: Interesting, orbits, Slingatron, New Old, radiation protection, rocket launchers, robotic spacecraft, hypervelocity, Freeman Dyson  
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3593 clicks; posted to Geek » on 30 Jul 2013 at 10:26 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-07-30 12:31:34 AM  
ya, but can you make drinks in space with it?

/actually, this is pretty cool
 
2013-07-30 12:57:39 AM  
hmm .not likely.
 
2013-07-30 01:34:23 AM  
That mini version looked like it would shake itself to death if it ran for a couple seconds longer.
 
2013-07-30 10:31:41 AM  
Way tl;dr. But they think they're going to do that for $250K?
 
2013-07-30 10:33:48 AM  

sithon: hmm .not likely.


Spiral = stupid.  Plenty of straight right-of-ways available in the desert
Ramp at the end = stupid.  Yeah, let's make a 40 degree change in the velocity vector with 2 EM drive units

Do this right: build a linear accelerator in the high desert in Mexico, or in Western Australia.  Too much political risk to put it in Africa or South America - although 10 years from now Brazil could try this.
 
2013-07-30 10:35:16 AM  

abhorrent1: Way tl;dr. But they think they're going to do that for $250K?


Nope, they're going to do a 5 meter version which won't really get to space for 250K, instead it will reach half of escape velocity(1/4 escape energy).  They hope that demonstration will get NASA or SpaceX or ESA or someone to invest in building a full-scale version for $millions.
 
2013-07-30 10:38:25 AM  

FrancoFile: sithon: hmm .not likely.

Spiral = stupid.  Plenty of straight right-of-ways available in the desert
Ramp at the end = stupid.  Yeah, let's make a 40 degree change in the velocity vector with 2 EM drive units

Do this right: build a linear accelerator in the high desert in Mexico, or in Western Australia.  Too much political risk to put it in Africa or South America - although 10 years from now Brazil could try this.


It's not a magnetic accelerator, it's a mechanical accelerator.
 
2013-07-30 10:39:22 AM  

ikanreed: FrancoFile: sithon: hmm .not likely.

Spiral = stupid.  Plenty of straight right-of-ways available in the desert
Ramp at the end = stupid.  Yeah, let's make a 40 degree change in the velocity vector with 2 EM drive units

Do this right: build a linear accelerator in the high desert in Mexico, or in Western Australia.  Too much political risk to put it in Africa or South America - although 10 years from now Brazil could try this.

It's not a magnetic accelerator, it's a mechanical accelerator.


So even more stupid.
 
2013-07-30 10:46:00 AM  
couldn't they come up with a name that doesn't sound like a recalled children's toy?
 
2013-07-30 10:51:41 AM  
WAIT!

When did "space" become a verb?
 
2013-07-30 10:53:29 AM  
Didn't I see this on the slingshot channel?
 
2013-07-30 10:55:20 AM  
Artist of "artist's concept" fails physics.  The tracks of the spiral would have to bank as the launch vehicle's velocity increases.  The thing should be shaped like a bowl, rather than a disk.
 
2013-07-30 10:57:12 AM  
I came here looking for bikinis. Leaving disappointed.
 
2013-07-30 10:57:16 AM  

FrancoFile: ikanreed: FrancoFile: sithon: hmm .not likely.

Spiral = stupid.  Plenty of straight right-of-ways available in the desert
Ramp at the end = stupid.  Yeah, let's make a 40 degree change in the velocity vector with 2 EM drive units

Do this right: build a linear accelerator in the high desert in Mexico, or in Western Australia.  Too much political risk to put it in Africa or South America - although 10 years from now Brazil could try this.

It's not a magnetic accelerator, it's a mechanical accelerator.

So even more stupid.


Erm, no, the problems that make magnetic accelerators difficult: sustained power output, magnetic interference from electromagnets on power current, positively absurd voltages, required length of track.  Those don't apply here.  There is one very difficult problem from mechanical acceleration like this, and that's synchronizing the motion of the segments down to the millimeter.
 
2013-07-30 10:59:01 AM  

zarberg: I came here looking for bikinis. Leaving disappointed.


You'd rather see another thread of bikini pictures than a gun that fires into space?
 
2013-07-30 10:59:46 AM  
Big spinning mechanical thingy....should be fine.

scifiportal.eu
 
2013-07-30 11:01:44 AM  
images1.wikia.nocookie.net

where were you when they built a railway to heaven...
 
2013-07-30 11:02:35 AM  
Looks like the inside of a scroll supercharger.
 
2013-07-30 11:06:18 AM  

ikanreed: FrancoFile: ikanreed: FrancoFile: sithon: hmm .not likely.

Spiral = stupid.  Plenty of straight right-of-ways available in the desert
Ramp at the end = stupid.  Yeah, let's make a 40 degree change in the velocity vector with 2 EM drive units

Do this right: build a linear accelerator in the high desert in Mexico, or in Western Australia.  Too much political risk to put it in Africa or South America - although 10 years from now Brazil could try this.

It's not a magnetic accelerator, it's a mechanical accelerator.

So even more stupid.

Erm, no, the problems that make magnetic accelerators difficult: sustained power output, magnetic interference from electromagnets on power current, positively absurd voltages, required length of track.  Those don't apply here.  There is one very difficult problem from mechanical acceleration like this, and that's synchronizing the motion of the segments down to the millimeter.


Sustained power output applies here too.
Length of track applies here too.
Plus this has ridiculous problems with vibrational modes in the payload.

The whole thing is hokey.  Instead of putting a ramp in the last few meters of the track, they should make the whole thing flat and just tilt it by a few degrees so that it has an appropriate launch vector.
 
2013-07-30 11:16:10 AM  
www.babies-n-town.com

When our kids were babies, we called this seat the Vibratron. Although we had somewhat less ambitious goals at the time than to achieve escape velocity.

That being said, the Slingatron idea seems to be fraught with peril and doomed to failure. I would love to see a linear accelerator though.
 
2013-07-30 11:24:19 AM  

way south: Didn't I see this on the slingshot channel?



Nah, that one fired machetes.
 
2013-07-30 11:25:56 AM  
anilinkz.com
 
2013-07-30 11:28:21 AM  
ikanreed:  There is one very difficult problem from mechanical acceleration like this, and that's synchronizing the motion of the segments down to the millimeter.

That and the tiny problem of trying to mechanically accelerate anything up to over 11km/sec
 
2013-07-30 11:30:35 AM  
Didn't Wile E. Coyote (Super Genius) try something similar to this?
 
2013-07-30 11:33:15 AM  
There are a lot of people playing Kickstart Chicken on that one...

The amount of power it takes to accelerate something to a speed necessary to completely penetrate the atmosphere on such a trajectory is something like six times the power it takes to just lift it straight up with a rocket... In order to achieve a stable orbit, the launched vehicle has to have only slowed down to 28,300kmh by the time it reached orbit.   The elaboration necessary to get such a rocket to even just the best maglev speeds (501kmh) is absurd.  The shuttle clears the tower with a full load at 60mph (roughly 95kmh).  At 3x the height of the tower it's pushing up the throttle and accelerating at over 29m/s^2.  It leaves the pad effectively at 2g (1g acceleration, 1g gravity).

Is several hundred billion dollars of installation, risk and hundreds of millions of dollars per year actually worth burning the engines for fourteen fewer seconds maybe six times a year?    I'll save you the thought.   NO.  The pollution of the manufacture of such equipment is many orders of magnitude higher than the pollution that would result if that first fourteen seconds was a nitrous oxide and hydrazine burn... so DERP to you, kickstart idea.
 
2013-07-30 11:33:50 AM  

Strik3r: WAIT!

When did "space" become a verb?


It isn't a verb.
 
2013-07-30 11:34:06 AM  

FrancoFile: ikanreed: FrancoFile: ikanreed: FrancoFile: sithon: hmm .not likely.

Spiral = stupid.  Plenty of straight right-of-ways available in the desert
Ramp at the end = stupid.  Yeah, let's make a 40 degree change in the velocity vector with 2 EM drive units

Do this right: build a linear accelerator in the high desert in Mexico, or in Western Australia.  Too much political risk to put it in Africa or South America - although 10 years from now Brazil could try this.

It's not a magnetic accelerator, it's a mechanical accelerator.

So even more stupid.

Erm, no, the problems that make magnetic accelerators difficult: sustained power output, magnetic interference from electromagnets on power current, positively absurd voltages, required length of track.  Those don't apply here.  There is one very difficult problem from mechanical acceleration like this, and that's synchronizing the motion of the segments down to the millimeter.

Sustained power output applies here too.


No, it doesn't.  They need the requisite energy levels, but they can spin up as slowly as they need to.

Length of track applies here too.

Yes, but due to the per-accelerated nature of it, it doesn't require as much.  That's pretty much the point of the design

Plus this has ridiculous problems with vibrational modes in the payload.

Yes, payload restrictions apply.  They mostly intend to launch fuel and supplies for missions brought into space by a traditional rocket.

The whole thing is hokey.  Instead of putting a ramp in the last few meters of the track, they should make the whole thing flat and just tilt it by a few degrees so that it has an appropriate launch vector.

Hokey: yes.  Implausible: no.  Linearizing the design is literally impossible given how it's structured, so I have to guess you have no idea what you're talking about,
 
2013-07-30 11:35:01 AM  

sxacho: the Slingatron idea seems to be fraught with peril and doomed to failure. I would love to see a linear accelerator though.


I tend to agree.
While the machine in the video is an unholy and cool beast, I don't see that scaling up well for something of a size we can use.
An accelerator that could lob hundred ton payloads above fifty thousand feet would be more useful and realistic to build.
 
2013-07-30 11:35:20 AM  

give me doughnuts: ikanreed:  There is one very difficult problem from mechanical acceleration like this, and that's synchronizing the motion of the segments down to the millimeter.

That and the tiny problem of trying to mechanically accelerate anything up to over 11km/sec


Their goal isn't escape velocity, but LEO velocity of 7.6 km/s
 
2013-07-30 11:46:16 AM  
Strik3r: WAIT!

When did "space" become a verb?


The same time 'San Jose' became a verb.
/do you know the way to San Jose?
 
2013-07-30 11:58:10 AM  
To go fast enough to reach escape velocity in the lower atmosphere, wouldn't the craft be a glowing ember before it got off the ground?
 
2013-07-30 11:58:25 AM  

Nicholas D. Wolfwood: Strik3r: WAIT!

When did "space" become a verb?

The same time 'San Jose' became a verb.
/do you know the way to San Jose?


Wouldnt 'know' be the verb there?
 
2013-07-30 11:59:10 AM  

Summercat: Nicholas D. Wolfwood: Strik3r: WAIT!

When did "space" become a verb?

The same time 'San Jose' became a verb.
/do you know the way to San Jose?

Wouldnt 'know' be the verb there?


....ignore that. I suckle coxs.
 
2013-07-30 12:02:17 PM  

jigger: To go fast enough to reach escape velocity in the lower atmosphere, wouldn't the craft be a glowing ember before it got off the ground?


Expendable ablative coatings, RTFA.  This thread is just like one big pile of not understanding the project.  Which doesn't bode well for them reaching 250k.
 
2013-07-30 12:11:26 PM  

Summercat: Nicholas D. Wolfwood: Strik3r: WAIT!

When did "space" become a verb?

The same time 'San Jose' became a verb.
/do you know the way to San Jose?

Wouldnt 'know' be the verb there?


"...to San Jose" is the infinitive clause
 
2013-07-30 12:11:27 PM  
The spiral idea seems silly... why not just a big, long, straight track? There would be plenty of room for that in the desert, or even underground.
 
2013-07-30 12:17:33 PM  

XMark: The spiral idea seems silly... why not just a big, long, straight track? There would be plenty of room for that in the desert, or even underground.


Because that would literally do nothing?  Have you looked at even a word of the description, and the physics involved?
 
2013-07-30 12:30:00 PM  

FrancoFile: sithon: hmm .not likely.

Spiral = stupid.  Plenty of straight right-of-ways available in the desert
Ramp at the end = stupid.  Yeah, let's make a 40 degree change in the velocity vector with 2 EM drive units

Do this right: build a linear accelerator in the high desert in Mexico, or in Western Australia.  Too much political risk to put it in Africa or South America - although 10 years from now Brazil could try this.


They need a ramp at the end to gain any type of altitude, unless you want them to clear airspace to the horizon and beyond... Otherwise, it'just going to continue straight, and not only will it take forever to gain any altitude, but the earth will be trying to pull it back the entire time. Same reason that planes climb so quickly, rather than take a 1% climb rate.

Seriously guys, this idea has been a mainstay of SciFi(Hard SciFi, the kind written by actual scientists) for at least 70 years.
 
2013-07-30 12:38:32 PM  

ikanreed: give me doughnuts: ikanreed:  There is one very difficult problem from mechanical acceleration like this, and that's synchronizing the motion of the segments down to the millimeter.

That and the tiny problem of trying to mechanically accelerate anything up to over 11km/sec

Their goal isn't escape velocity, but LEO velocity of 7.6 km/s



Still not going to work. Even with the difficulties of a mass-driver, it is still far more practical than a slingatron.
 
2013-07-30 12:41:12 PM  

Mikey1969: FrancoFile: sithon: hmm .not likely.

Spiral = stupid.  Plenty of straight right-of-ways available in the desert
Ramp at the end = stupid.  Yeah, let's make a 40 degree change in the velocity vector with 2 EM drive units

Do this right: build a linear accelerator in the high desert in Mexico, or in Western Australia.  Too much political risk to put it in Africa or South America - although 10 years from now Brazil could try this.

They need a ramp at the end to gain any type of altitude, unless you want them to clear airspace to the horizon and beyond... Otherwise, it'just going to continue straight, and not only will it take forever to gain any altitude, but the earth will be trying to pull it back the entire time. Same reason that planes climb so quickly, rather than take a 1% climb rate.

Seriously guys, this idea has been a mainstay of SciFi(Hard SciFi, the kind written by actual scientists) for at least 70 years.


Not with the silly "ski-jump" at the end. They know that a projectile traveling at orbital speeds is going to blast right through that curve instead of changing vectors.
 
2013-07-30 12:41:36 PM  
strangengines.files.wordpress.com
Simpsons McCarty did it.
 
2013-07-30 12:44:21 PM  

Strik3r: WAIT!

When did "space" become a verb?


You can 'space' things out in a row.

You've never walked into a room and completely "spaced" what you were doing?

Been used in SciFi before when they kill someone by sending them out an airlock(They "space" them).

So in other words, quite awhile ago.
 
2013-07-30 12:45:10 PM  
The tech is Balinese.
 
2013-07-30 12:49:19 PM  

give me doughnuts: Not with the silly "ski-jump" at the end. They know that a projectile traveling at orbital speeds is going to blast right through that curve instead of changing vectors.


Yes they have. Robert Heinlein envisioned his built up the side of Pike's Peak because he knew that you needed an escape angle, not just speed.
 
2013-07-30 01:22:02 PM  
Sticking things on top of a bomb to blow them off the planet is a pretty bad idea, but we're really good at it, all things considered. There are undoubtedly better technologies, but . . . this isn't one of them.

Although a number of people have already pointed out weaknesses of the slingatron method, stop to consider the kinetic energy involved and the absurdly tiny margin for error. In terms of energy, this is like a rocket that burns up completely before the payload leaves the launch pad. If something goes wrong, by even a tiny amount, it's just a bomb. The slingatron would utterly destroy itself, never mind the payload.

Laser-launch systems are far superior for many reasons. And easily googled -- try the Wikipedia page for Lightcraft, for instance. Think of them as space elevators where you don't have to build the elevator part.
 
2013-07-30 01:41:23 PM  
This looks like a very complicated way to incinerate your payload. It's traveling 7 km/sec. at ground level when it leaves the ramp. But I'm thinking it won't leave the ramp. It will burst into flames from friction while it's still pinwheeling around the spiral ramp, spewing flaming wreckage over a wide area.

This looks like something the villain would build in a Bond movie, and we get to see 007 blow it up, in slow motion, from multiple angles.
 
2013-07-30 01:50:21 PM  

bingethinker: It will burst into flames from friction while it's still pinwheeling around the spiral ramp, spewing flaming wreckage over a wide area.


Nah, friction isn't an issue. It's compression that gets you- the bow shock heats the air in front of the projectile.
 
2013-07-30 03:07:22 PM  

ikanreed: FrancoFile: ikanreed: FrancoFile: ikanreed: FrancoFile: sithon: hmm .not likely.

Spiral = stupid.  Plenty of straight right-of-ways available in the desert
Ramp at the end = stupid.  Yeah, let's make a 40 degree change in the velocity vector with 2 EM drive units

Do this right: build a linear accelerator in the high desert in Mexico, or in Western Australia.  Too much political risk to put it in Africa or South America - although 10 years from now Brazil could try this.

It's not a magnetic accelerator, it's a mechanical accelerator.

So even more stupid.

Erm, no, the problems that make magnetic accelerators difficult: sustained power output, magnetic interference from electromagnets on power current, positively absurd voltages, required length of track.  Those don't apply here.  There is one very difficult problem from mechanical acceleration like this, and that's synchronizing the motion of the segments down to the millimeter.

Sustained power output applies here too.

No, it doesn't.  They need the requisite energy levels, but they can spin up as slowly as they need to.

Length of track applies here too.

Yes, but due to the per-accelerated nature of it, it doesn't require as much.  That's pretty much the point of the design

Plus this has ridiculous problems with vibrational modes in the payload.

Yes, payload restrictions apply.  They mostly intend to launch fuel and supplies for missions brought into space by a traditional rocket.

The whole thing is hokey.  Instead of putting a ramp in the last few meters of the track, they should make the whole thing flat and just tilt it by a few degrees so that it has an appropriate launch vector.

Hokey: yes.  Implausible: no.  Linearizing the design is literally impossible given how it's structured, so I have to guess you have no idea what you're talking about,


My initial comment was based on an assumption that it was EM driven.  After reading FSM-knows how much crap I saw that it's a mechanical system.  My further comments were based on that understanding.  I understand physics.

Good luck launching anything liquid (fuel, water) with this.  Slosh is going to tear either the fuel tank, the rails, or the drive system apart.

And I stand by my comment on the ramp.  Assuming this thing can scale at all, it would be much better to make a flat plate (like the 2-foot demo model) that's tilted to one side.  The small amount of energy pumped in and out of the gravity well is nothing compared to the mechanical energy driving the whole thing.  Hell, it would be better to mount the whole farking thing vertically, and have 2 major payload rails on the outside of the curve and a stabilizing rail on the inside.
 
2013-07-30 03:39:00 PM  

FrancoFile: ikanreed: FrancoFile: ikanreed: FrancoFile: ikanreed: FrancoFile: sithon: hmm .not likely.

Spiral = stupid.  Plenty of straight right-of-ways available in the desert
Ramp at the end = stupid.  Yeah, let's make a 40 degree change in the velocity vector with 2 EM drive units

Do this right: build a linear accelerator in the high desert in Mexico, or in Western Australia.  Too much political risk to put it in Africa or South America - although 10 years from now Brazil could try this.

It's not a magnetic accelerator, it's a mechanical accelerator.

So even more stupid.

Erm, no, the problems that make magnetic accelerators difficult: sustained power output, magnetic interference from electromagnets on power current, positively absurd voltages, required length of track.  Those don't apply here.  There is one very difficult problem from mechanical acceleration like this, and that's synchronizing the motion of the segments down to the millimeter.

Sustained power output applies here too.

No, it doesn't.  They need the requisite energy levels, but they can spin up as slowly as they need to.

Length of track applies here too.

Yes, but due to the per-accelerated nature of it, it doesn't require as much.  That's pretty much the point of the design

Plus this has ridiculous problems with vibrational modes in the payload.

Yes, payload restrictions apply.  They mostly intend to launch fuel and supplies for missions brought into space by a traditional rocket.

The whole thing is hokey.  Instead of putting a ramp in the last few meters of the track, they should make the whole thing flat and just tilt it by a few degrees so that it has an appropriate launch vector.

Hokey: yes.  Implausible: no.  Linearizing the design is literally impossible given how it's structured, so I have to guess you have no idea what you're talking about,

My initial comment was based on an assumption that it was EM driven.  After reading FSM-knows how much crap I saw that it's a mechanical system.  My ...


I'm pretty sure "slosh" won't be in the picture for liquid fuels, because they will fill containers completely.  It contrasts our day to day feeling about containers of liquid, but when there's no space for liquids to flow, they are fairly physically stable.
 
2013-07-30 04:30:22 PM  

prjindigo: There are a lot of people playing Kickstart Chicken on that one...

The amount of power it takes to accelerate something to a speed necessary to completely penetrate the atmosphere on such a trajectory is something like six times the power it takes to just lift it straight up with a rocket... In order to achieve a stable orbit, the launched vehicle has to have only slowed down to 28,300kmh by the time it reached orbit.   The elaboration necessary to get such a rocket to even just the best maglev speeds (501kmh) is absurd.  The shuttle clears the tower with a full load at 60mph (roughly 95kmh).  At 3x the height of the tower it's pushing up the throttle and accelerating at over 29m/s^2.  It leaves the pad effectively at 2g (1g acceleration, 1g gravity).

Is several hundred billion dollars of installation, risk and hundreds of millions of dollars per year actually worth burning the engines for fourteen fewer seconds maybe six times a year?    I'll save you the thought.   NO.  The pollution of the manufacture of such equipment is many orders of magnitude higher than the pollution that would result if that first fourteen seconds was a nitrous oxide and hydrazine burn... so DERP to you, kickstart idea.


You may be right, but I think it's worth the investment if we could get the thing to the pumpkin chunckin' event within the next decade or so.
 
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