Orlando the Adventurer pulled a Scimitar from beneath his Robes and smiled...
Friday, 4 November 2016
Space Fall: Launching ONeil cylinders from Earth
Thirty two billion cubic feet of hydrogen will lift a million tons to the edge of space. The problem is materials. A shell of 4142 carbon alloy steel is already just under thirty six million tons at a centimetre thick. Lets say we reduce that to titanium of tin-foil thickness inside a structural frame of titanium and add rocket motors and fuel of a few hundred thousand tons to push it to space and land on Mars. Thats a rocket up the middle twelve saturn fives high.
Material strength requirements are the problem. We may need to resort to electric fields to strengthen the hull. But you know why thats a problem. The Hindenberg built an electrostatic charge that grounded. Then it started burning. Thats not what you want around twelve saturn five rockets wrapped in thirty two billion cubic feet of hydrogen.