Here is a proposal to reduce the costs of launching the satellites into space. The closer something is to the earth the bigger is the amount of energy to put it into orbit. Since there is no air in outer space rockets are required to move place objects beyond the atmosphere. But launching a rocket from the ground requires a lot of energy. Rockets have a relatively small useful mass (cargo). This is because a rocket must carry all its fuel within and since putting something on orbit requires lots of energy rockets use lots of fuel. The problem is that the fuel that is going to be used when the rocket is high need to carried up as if it were useful cargo until it’s used. To move more (the fuel for the higher altitudes) mass upward more energy (fuel is required). The consequence is that most of the energy used in a satellite rocket launch is used lifting fuel the first the first kilometers of the ground.
To save on fuel, risks and costs the answer is to launch from a higher position. It’s true that rockets are need in outer space to move thing around but before that there is no reason to use them when we can use the atmosphere and simple physics to the job. The following is a proposal to take a launching platform to the highest possible altitudes at low costs:
Name: Stratosphere Launcher
Objective: Reduce the costs and ecological impact of satellite and space ship launching.
Working principles: The Stratosphere Launcher works using meteorology balloons to take a small space port and rocket/shuttle up to the stratosphere. A stratosphere space port has important advantages over a ground level space port:
- The distance to be in orbit is much shorter.
- Earth gravity strength is lower.
- Most weather conditions will not affect launching.
Because the distance to be in orbit is smaller and earth gravity strength is lower, the energy required by the ship to reach space will be smaller allowing for smaller ships and fuel tanks meaning lower costs as well as less ecological impact. The station will have a mechanism, similar to those used in submarines, to inject or extract helium to/from the balloons to/from tanks so normal operation will mean none or very low helium and energy consumption. Stability will be achieved controlling the amount of gas in each balloon as well some propellers and/or weights using electronic controllers similar to those used in autonomous electronic helicopters.
For now this is just an idea hope we can gather the talent to make it possible.
There is an image (very simple draw) but the system doesn’t allows me to upload it yet.