Tag Archives: future of spaceflight

In The Grim Darkness Of The Far Future There Is Only War.

Innokenti asks

Weapons in space. I imagine Sci-Fi shows lie to us lots about the sort of stuff that might be effective in a space-battle. For example as I understand nukes would only be of minimal use out there in space.

What are the most efficient weapons for space-battles though? (Assuming largely human technology of near-future imagination rather than magic alien energy shields and stuff.)

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The Future Of Spaceflight.

Rockets suck. This is a thing that we have established here; they’re terrifically awful ways of getting into space that are only used because nobody has really come up with anything better. There’s all sorts of ideas for wacky drive systems once your spacecraft is actually in space – ion drives, solar sails, Bussard ramjets – but these all sidestep the real problem facing future space travel, which is that you have to get out of the Earth’s gravity well first. This is not easy; even though the Earth is pretty small for a planet it’s still the heaviest of the four terrestrials and has what is to us a very hefty gravitational pull.

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A Brief History Of Spaceflight, Part Two.

On Monday there were words about the various types of manned spacecraft we’ve flung into orbit (and beyond). Particularly discerning readers will have noticed that the vast majority of them — Vostok, Voskhod, Soyuz, Mercury, Gemini and Apollo – were designed and launched within a single decade between 1960-1970. Since then we’ve had exactly one new manned space vehicle: the Space Shuttle. Manned spaceflight has been more or less left to stagnate by national governments, but there are promising signs that the next decade may be as groundbreaking as 1960-1970. Are governments becoming interested in spaceflight again? Hardly. The US government is still dragging its feet over the design and development of the MPCV, while I’ve heard very, very little about the proposed replacement for Soyuz (on the other hand that doesn’t really need replacing since it does what it’s supposed to extremely well). No, what’s going to be exciting about the next ten years is the opening up of human spaceflight to a variety of commercial efforts.

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A Brief History Of Spaceflight, Part One.

Following on from why the Space Shuttle sucked, I’m going to do a little summary of manned spaceflight – both where it’s been, and where it’s going.

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