StarTram and other non conventional space launches


TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
StarTram! Sounds exciting. Like a Science fiction series. But if your name is Elon Musk you call it Hyperloop and well.
This system I have in mind, [...] how would you like something that can never crash, is immune to weather, it goes 3 or 4 times faster than the [...] bullet train [...], it goes about an average speed of twice what an aircraft would do. You would go from downtown LA to downtown San Francisco in under 30 minutes. And it would cost you much less than an air ticket or car, much less than any other mode of transport, because the fundamental energy cost is so much lower. And I think we could actually make it self-powering if you put solar panels on it, [...] you generate more power than you would consume in the system. There's a way to store the power so it would run 24/7 without using batteries. [...] Yes, [this is possible,] absolutely.
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Startram promises to make Space launches cheaper and blow the doors off the fastest maglev trains anywhere.
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The Idea is not entirely Original go back to the early early 20th and one of the first movies was about a group of scientist who are fired in a cannon to the moon.
 

T-U-P

The Punisher
Staff member
Super Moderator
First time hearing this acoustic levitation concept. Is it more efficient than magnetic levitation?
 

TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
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  • #3
Not Sure. Acoustic is still new and at such a scale and application untested. The Idea is based on a advanced application of Ultrasound. generate a sound at the right frequency a objects can be propelled. I find it funny that form a science fiction perspective this is Dr. Who tech. The Sonic Screwdriver
 

TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
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California billionaire unveils futuristic 'Hyperloop' transport
Photo
9:53pm EDT
By Rory Carroll
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - California billionaire Elon Musk took the wraps off his vision of a futuristic "Hyperloop" transport system on Monday, proposing to build a solar-powered network of crash-proof capsules that would whisk people from San Francisco to Los Angeles in half an hour.
In a blog post, Musk, the chief executive of electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc described in detail a system that, if successful, would do nothing short of revolutionizing intercity transportation. But first the plan would have to overcome questions about its safety and financing.
The Hyperloop, which Musk previously described as a cross between a Concorde, rail gun and air-hockey table, would cost an estimated $6 billion to build and construction would take 7 to 10 years. Eventually, according to the plan, it would jettison more than 7 million people a year along one of the U.S. West Coast's busiest traffic corridors.
As many as 28 passengers could ride in each pod and the system could even transport vehicles, according to the 57-page design plan.
Musk, who in the past has hinted at the hopes of building such a system, proposed the Hyperloop as an alternative to a $68 billion high-speed rail project that's a major priority of California Governor Jerry Brown. It would be safer, faster, less expensive and more convenient, Musk said in the blog post.
But not everyone is convinced the project is a good idea.
Jim Powell, a co-inventor of the bullet train and director of Maglev 2000, which develops high-speed transport systems using magnetic levitation, said the system would be highly vulnerable to a terrorist attack or accident.
"The biggest overall problem is the idea of the low pressure tube from a terrorist standpoint," he told Reuters after taking an initial look at Musk's specifications. "All a terrorist driving along the highway has to do is pull over, toss a net of explosives at it, and then everyone in the tube dies," he said.
Musk said that since the tube will be low- but not zero-pressure, standard air pumps could easily overcome an air leak. He also said the transport pods could handle variable air densities.
Musk may also have neglected to factor in a few costs. Powell said that since an extensive monitoring system would be needed to keep track of the tube's pressure, the cost of the project could double Musk's estimate, coming closer to $12 billion.
QUESTIONS STILL
Musk, who made his name as a PayPal founding member before going on to start SpaceX and Tesla, envisions capsules departing every 30 seconds at peak times and traversing the roughly 400 miles between Los Angeles and San Francisco along an elevated tube erected along the I-5 interstate highway.
The capsules ride an air cushion blasted from "skis" beneath, propelled via a magnetic linear accelerator.
The expected half-hour travel time for Hyperloop passengers compares with current travel times of an hour and 15 minutes by jet, about 5 and a half hours by car, as well as about 2 hours and 40 minutes via California's planned high-speed rail.
Other major questions remain, notably whether the California state government will ever approve the massive project, and whether any private companies are willing to step in and build it. The design remains theoretical and has yet to be tested in the field.
Musk has said he is too busy running electric car company Tesla and rocket manufacturer SpaceX to build the Hyperloop himself. He said the design plans were open-source, meaning others can build on them.
On Monday, however, he told reporters on a conference call he could kick off the project.
"I've come around a little bit on my thinking here," he said. "Maybe I could do the beginning bit... and then hand it over to somebody else."
He said he would be willing to put some of his personal fortune toward the project but stressed that building the Hyperloop was a low priority for him as he continues to focus primarily on SpaceX and Tesla.
He also asked the public for help to improve the design. Corporations have resorted in the past to public assistance on their products. In 2009, Netflix Inc awarded a cash prize to a team that succeeded in improving by 10 percent the accuracy of its system for movie recommendations.
(Reporting by Rory Carroll; Editing by Andrew Hay and Ken Wills)
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Tesla is owned by Musk and has Graphic art of the Hyperloop.
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Jeff Head

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Tesla is owned by Musk and has Graphic art of the Hyperloop.
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A very interesting project. And the technology is here to make it happen.

He does need to address the safety issues, and I bet he has not factored in the environmental impact studies which will add 100s of millions to the cost.

However, due to the economic black hole that California is, and due to potential litigation and insurance issues (again which will add more hundreds of millions of dollars to the cost), I expect the project will not be taken up at any time in the near future.

IOW, the technology could be done, and it could easily be made more safe (at more cost), but due to environmental concerns, legal concerns, financial concerns, and special interest groups the pols will line up for their own projects and against this one...it probably will not happen.
 

Equation

Lieutenant General
A very interesting project. And the technology is here to make it happen.

He does need to address the safety issues, and I bet he has not factored in the environmental impact studies which will add 100s of millions to the cost.

However, due to the economic black hole that California is, and due to potential litigation and insurance issues (again which will add more hundreds of millions of dollars to the cost), I expect the project will not be taken up at any time in the near future.

IOW, the technology could be done, and it could easily be made more safe (at more cost), but due to environmental concerns, legal concerns, financial concerns, and special interest groups the pols will line up for their own projects and against this one...it probably will not happen.

I agreed Jeff, on top of that the land needed to be purchase to build it as well. I wouldn't give up hope on it yet. If Elon Musk can sell it and convince the both the public and government sector that it's doable and creates lots of jobs and boost the local economy, than it's doable. :)
 

AssassinsMace

Brigadier
I saw a partial interview with Elon Musk today. He's not planning to be involve in this project since he has Tesla and Space X to deal with. He's throwing out this idea and his study for someone else to tackle. Interesting since he's getting all this attention but if people remember this idea was already out there from a Colorado company a few years ago and posted in here. I wonder if there's some intellectual property issue which is why Elon Musk is not getting involved. It's not his idea so no real glory.
 

TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
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  • #9
I just read about that and it looks doable. The thing is does it has to be levitated first in order for the air pressure to easily accelerate the vehicles inside the tube? Since it's solar there's plenty of energy.
Pnumatic trams have been tried before. In New York city for example a short lived short length of pnumatic subway was tested but proved inpractical when compared to electric due to low speeds and pressure issues. (Remember the tunnel in Ghostbusters 2 that was a reproduction of the test tunnel)
Friction is the enemy, contact between the tram and the tunnel or rails will slow the tram. If you try to push the speed, stress them both. By breaking contact with the surface the speed option opens up as friction becomes less an issue.
To be honest I am mostly posting hyperloop because it has potential for use as a orbital launch system and Musk as we all know is big in private space.
 
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