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PostPosted: Thu 30 Jan, 2014 - 4:29 am 
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My little sister asked me why you had to have a precise weight in cargo on a space shuttle. Tom what I understand, the shuttle can only lift off with a certain weight or else it may fall off course or even crash. But, I had an idea to tow a cargo rocket behind the shuttle. Like, have the shuttle lift off and then have the rocket lift off at a precise time afterwards. After the shuttle was in orbit, the rocket would then be towed towards the shuttle. From my current state of knowledge, there wouldn't be many variables that shouldn't be to hard to work out by the world greatest.

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PostPosted: Thu 30 Jan, 2014 - 4:44 am 
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I wonder if you know how much money and fuel it costs to send any kind of objects into orbit around Earth. It's a few million US dollars in fuel alone, let alone the resources used to transport the goods, and construct the empty vessel. This whole system is impractical. Towing is an incorrect definition used here (To tow, the act of an entity with no power being pulled or pushed by an entity with power by guide of rope/cable/joint). Towing another shuttle would mean the first one pulling the second one into the air. The act of this, in addition to the tension gained on the cable likely connecting the two units would be far too strong, and would cause the first vessel to deviate from its flight route, becoming out of control. In addition to the actual force of the rocket engines needed to get the vessel off the ground, it would be far too much for the cable to handle, causing it to snap, and depending on where it goes, likely completely destroying the launch tower (spilling fuel everywhere, on the red hot launch pad after the recent blast off, causing a fire) and causing it to be needed to repaired before the next launch, or destroying the surrounding terrain, making it difficult to actually move the vessels to the launch pad.

It would not make any physical kind of sense to try to do this. Shuttles are massive, they can hold quite a bit of cargo, and they were used to move things into space to create the ISS.

PS: Your signature doesn't rhyme with your name. :P


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PostPosted: Thu 30 Jan, 2014 - 5:11 am 
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Yeah, upon further research, I learned just how much weight a space shuttle can take. I always thought that that the only reason we haven't attempted a Mars Mission was lack of sustenance on the ship and fuel. So I thought hauling fuel and food behind the shuttle might allow such travel. Also, what I meant by "tow", I actually meant connect with a long wire that could be reeled in afterthought sa certain point. And, the Siggy is suppose to have sarcasm in there somewhere...

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PostPosted: Thu 30 Jan, 2014 - 5:13 am 
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Funny how spell checker can turn "after" into "afterthought"...

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PostPosted: Fri 31 Jan, 2014 - 12:13 am 
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That's the thing, there is an active trip to Mars underway. It just takes so long to actually get there, the closest Mars would actually be to Earth is 57.6 million km (35.8 million miles) on July 27th, 2018. That will take a very very long time. Consider that the ISS is travelling at around 27,600kmh in orbit around us, that means it'll take the ISS at its current speed just under 87 days (almost 3 months) to get there alone, in 2018, when the distance is the shortest. It would be a lot longer for a smaller vessel, with it needing to burn fuel to travel the distance (pulling out of the orbit of Earth and into the orbit of Mars, without crashing into the planet. The astronauts who are going there will be cryogenically frozen until they arrive, and their body fed pure glucose and carbohydrates as their fuel to burn.


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PostPosted: Fri 31 Jan, 2014 - 1:41 am 
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We have the tech for cryogenics? Where have I been living...

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