Well, let us look at some parallels in history. When the Vikings discovered Iceland, and found it to be a suitable habitation, with wall to wall forest, they went back to their country men, and told them that they had only found a land of ICE (to deter others from competing with them for settlements there). Moreover, when the Portugese were exploring down the coast of Africa, to keep the other European Nations away, they spread the myth that the winds and currents were contrary there to normal shipping, and if you did not have a ship in the special Portugese design, then you would get trapped and not be able to return! (Scaring others off from making any explorations there!) And, so it is with the Final Frontier. Those who have been there, want to monopolize it and keep everyone else at home, trapped here on Planet Earth!
But, with the recent passage in Congress of bills to supply financial support to those engaged in the current Private Enterprise Space Race, the Commercialization of Space has begun! And a new era of the Space Age is here. Consequently, some out there, who know that we at ZDK are very Space orientated, inquired if we had anything to contrubute to this new effort. So, this Article was written that we might dig out our old files, and make known on the Net some of the things we did, years back, that may have applications now. (And, if you are interested in purchasing or licensing any of the following, let us know.)
A large part of the success of Space Commercialization, and the current Privatization of Space, is going to depend on the vehicle chosen to carry the cargo and passengers.
Now, referring back in time again, to aviation history, for a parallel, air flight and air transport were available, technology wise, to the world for about a generation, before actual commercial air traffic really began. The Wright Brothers did that flight in 1903 and then, in about the 1930s, the DC-3 was designed, and commercial air usage really took off. (Pardon the pun!) In any case, it was the design of the DC-3 that opened the door for a new era in private air travel, because it could effectively and efficiently carry either passengers or cargo to reasonably long distances,and at descent speeds. Thus, with the development of the vehicle, commerical air traffic was born! And has now grown into the major airlines that we see today.
Consequently, the choice of a proper vehicle design will determine the success or failure of the current Commercialization of Space Race.
And for a combination of efficiencies at both re-entry and in flight through the atmosphere, we developed on our Lifting-Body Shuttle design or LBS.
And for a basic description, this is something like a round frizbee, but with the sides of the fuselage extend backwards in straight lines, to give it better aerial characteristics (and to make room for the engines, and cargo compartment). In addition, rather than the nose being fully rounded (as in a disk), the LBS nose is entended a bit, like something of a bird's head, to provide for better air-streaming and lateral or in-flight control and manouvering. Moreover, this extension gives room here for a command cockpit, and an emergency escape pod (for take off and landing troubles).
The large internal volume of the vehicle, provided by the rounded shape (and the rising dome, in the center, for lift), is shared between a large, long cargo compartment and the four specialized engines, two on either side of the cargo compartment (and their fuel, below) for powering the craft. The long (truck-trailer-like) cargo bay streches from behind the cockit (where it connects to the command room for crew access) to all the way to the tail of the craft, where there are cargo doors, for loading and unloading, with squat landing gear, to allow the tail to come down to load and unload directly to truck beds. (Or, for military command, a kind of Castle above the Clouds?)
The belly of this Space Plane craft is lined with tiles or other materials to endure re-entry, and the LBS re-enters the atmosphere much in the same as the current space shuttle does--on its heat shield belly. This allows adaquate protection of the engines and cargo doors (in the rear), as well as the cockpit (up front). Moreover, the more aerodynamic design (and wings, below), gives the LBS some manouverability upon re-enter, rather than just coming down like a rock, as the old capsules used to.
Furthermore, it also has small hinged wings, projecting from the back extensions of the fuselage-disk. On take-off and landing, these can be set to be flat and straight out, giving more lift when needed (and perhaps even equiped with flaps or flaperons). Then, as the flight progresses, they can be angled up, for greater flight control and stability (dihederals). And next, as for entering Space, or for rentry (or for stealth manouvers) they can be folded further back, at an angle over the rear body or fuselage (like the ears of a dog--or the so called BAT EARS).
And as Howard Hughes used to say: THIS IS THE BIRD THAT WILL FLY!
Moreover, if you are into difficult applications,and landings, the LBS can be fitted with a large rotating helicopter-like internal fan, and ducting work, so as to give it some reasonably good V/STOL characteristics. YES, and this might be especially good for a space exploration mission, where you might need to hover a bit to find a good landing site. (But, where in our solar system are you going to find a planet with enough atmosphere to accomodate that kind of flight?) Now, with that added weigth and machinery or this internal fan, the payload and cargo carrying ability is going to be considerably reduced! However, it is possible, if you need this kind of manouvering.
The engine we designed is a 3 stage motor (though a more simple 2 stage one could also be built). As a description, it is a normal, jet engine (of sorts), but this has a SPECIAL afterburner attached, and then an air cowling around the engine, to allow added air to flow past the jet engine and reach the afterburner. However, the SPECIAL afterburner is fitted with in-take doors, so that it can be completely closed off, forming a rocket combustion chamber!
So, FIRST, it is a normal jet engine on take off--with perhaps a little added thrust from the afterburner, for heavier cargoes. (Moreover, if needed, a retro-fit could be made, to attach rocket boosters to the LBS to help lift really heavy or oversized cargoes-- or to accommodate the simplier two-stage engine.) SECOND, as it picks up speed from take-off from a runway, the afterburner can be engaged, giving added thrust, greater speed, and higher altitudes. And, as the atmosphere thins, the regular jet engine can be shut down to allow it to operate as a Ramjet. THIRD, as it climbs in altitude, and the air reduces more, an oxidizer can be added into the afterburner to maintain fuel combustion efficiencies. And eventually, the afterburner can be sealed off from the air intake, to allow it to become a fully functioning rocket engine, for the final push to space and orbit insertion.
(Then, once in Space, smaller thrusters in the rear (and/or sides) would provide orbital manouvering power.)
Now, if you are going to build a commercial space vehicle, then this is the engine that will do it!
Well, we have been referring to our unique fuel as the X-Fuel System, for venacular use. But, it technical terms, it is HFT, which stands for Hydrogen-Floride-Trinary. OK, if there are any chemists out there, they have just FAINTED, for regular use of HF is out of the question. Not only does it scare the pants off everyone (as it is highly explosive--and on an order close to that of nukes), but it produces some unusual environmental problems, as well. (And dangers to those who use or employ it!) So, the faint-hearted have either passed out on the floor, OR have run out of the room, claiming we are talking engineering heresy here! (If not insanity?)
However, if you are still with us, then let your mind be opend to the possibilities. For, though HF, alone, is a wild beast (that kilss workers and destroys enviroments readily), in a TRINARY Fuel System, it can be tamed! For, alone, as a binary fuel, the HF will really give you a wild (and almost uncontrollable) kick! But, with a Trinary additive, the HF reaction can be better controlled (by making a more complete, slower burn)--and it reduces the environmental impact of using HF (by burning it all the way into a less harmful exhaust).
Now, if the ecology freaks find out you are using HF, they will go nuts! But, HFT will check the environmental impact. Giving them less to complain about. Moreover, the SRRJ only burns HFT at extremely high altitudes, reducing the impact of acid rains--at lower levels, it burns liquid hydrogen mixed with air. For more ecologically friendly uses!
So, now how does this wild mule of a carriage puller work? Well, in the SRRJ, with the jet engine for take-offs, only Hydrogen is burned at first (thus reducing environmental impact). At higher altitudes, the Floride is added, along with the Trianary agent, to achieve the thrusts and speeds needed for reaching Space and orbit insertion. (And once you are fully in Space, the trinary agent may not be needed, as space should be vast enough to absorb the HF exhaust and environmental problems--though we certianly would NOT recommed doing this a lower altitudes, where the acid rain from it could be devastating!)
Now, for the faint-heart, who gasp at using HFT, let me point out that it is calculated that a V-2 sized rocket, using HFT could achieve orbit, with its one ton payload. What other fuel can deliver that (outside of nuclear stuff)? Consequently, HFT is the way to make Space travel cost effective--and CHEAP! (We just need to learn to tame and control the beast with that Trinary agent.) Thus, it is likely to become the standard fuel of the coming commercial Space transports.
Care to buy or license this fuel design concept(s) from us?
OK, the LBS (with the V/STOL fit) would be the perfect lander and Planetary exploration vehicle. But, how would you get it to the other Planets? Well, another Project (by a different group) has come up with an ORION Design (by Dr. Dyson) where miniture nuclear explosions would propel a naval destroyer sized craft at 1 g accelerations to where trips to Jupiter and Saturn would have been possible back in the 60s. And, now with some further nuclear refinements, the Orion could, perhaps, reach all the way out to Pluto (or Sedna?). Thus, the fit of the LBS with the Orion would make such trips and travel very practical--or at least doable.
So, what are we waiting for?
The LBS Gunship developed as a concept a little slower than the regular LBS, so it is only about 30 to 35 years old. A lot of this had to do with figuring out how to get high aerial preformance and firepower through the re-entry process. But, so far, it beats anything in the air that any other Nation on Earth can put up there! (And if developed and deployed, it would provide air-control and combat superiority in orbital Space for many years to come!)
So, what are we talking about here? Science Fiction Fantasy? Well, for descriptors, the "Martian" LBS Gunship is basically an LBS frame and craft, slightly modified for military specializations.
RE-ENTRY AND WEAPONRY:
The most noticable thing is that the tiles are not on the belly but are on the back, so that the "Martian" re-enters the atmosphere on its back (or rather up-side-down, on its head, if you prefer). Now, why in the world do such a crazy thing? Well, we needed some way to protect the weapons package, on the belly, from re-entry. Thus, while the back is tiled, the belly has protected room for ordinaces: a planned large turret, for large bore ordinance (allowing ship like bombardment from the sky), and there is also room for bomb and/or missle racks (or even, internal, stored ordinance, with re-loading mechanisms, and doors opening on the belly, for launch or catapult). Protective air-to-air or anti-air missles could also be stored here, on the belly (or on its stubbing nearby wings). In addition, the beak or bird's head and points about the bottoms of the wings are extended and rounded down, into a kind of tear-drop shape (allowing good aerodynamics). Then, in the beak or head, there is the cockpit but with downward looking windows, for better search and destroy, and bombardment control. Moreover, the wingtip tear-drops are to be fitted with small turrets and gattling guns.
Gunship? Well, NO, the "Martian" is more like a flying battleship, that can deliver and project naval like ordinances to any spot on the globe, and within minutes, by orbital flight! Awesome! (Tell me any other Country that can do that!!! It is air and Space superiority for sure.)
In addition, fitted with the LBS large, internal rotating fan (around the belly turret) for V/STOL operations, the "Martian" would have flight manouvering characteristics like the Harrier, but at hyper-sonic velocities! Yeah, giving it something like those wild UFO flight abilities, that use to be reported. And for which we gave it the nickname: "Martian".
Now, isn't this an air superiority weapon beyond belief? Nothing like it in the air today! And well ahead of whatever is on the drawing boards now, for tomorrows projects. (Care to contract its development and production? Contact us soon!)
However, the LBS with the SRRJ and using HFT could make this Space Plane or Space Bomber a working reality! But, rather than using the "Martian" for this, as its cargo capacity would be limited (as it is already stocked with a lot of ordinance and the V/STOL machinery), we would recommend using the LBS. The cargo capacity could store and transport a lot of bombardment tools (and its bomb payload could be discharged via the back cargo doors, much as depth charges are dropped from the fantail of a speeding ship or boat! Moreover, the LBS could even be built large enough to put something like a nuclear submarine's worth of missles or warheads into orbit--a very nasty and threatening weapons platform! (Now, is this something that you should pass over and ignore? Then talk to us! The USAF could really make good use of this.)
Its highly explosive and incendiary qualities make it an attractive warehead for missles and shells, and other weapons! (Perhaps replacing plastiques?)
However, its high tech applications and handling would probably mean that your average, every day G.I. Joe would be more likely to kill himself, and a good number of his fellow sholdiers, rather than the enenmy with HFT weapons. However, if you could provide a pool of highly trained and skilled troops (Combat Engineers or Special Forces)--well, lets discuss it, further. (For domestic companies. Foreign Companies, you need to talk with the U.S. State Department before we can export that tecnhology to you!)
Well, for one thing, over the years, we have rolled it out every so often, to see if there might be any takes, that we could sell or license it to. But...
The governments who were in Space, simply sought to monopolize it. And they didn't want any competitors out there! (Yeah, some kind of Fascist control over our Solar System?) Consequently, we could not get any interest or contracts to pursue it from the government.
There has been no commercial interest in Space. Consequently, there had been no investor dollars to support and supply a commercial system like the LBS-SRRJ-HFT Space Plane. Hey, and without money, even the best of systems is going no where! So, it sat on the vine, for years, decades, and now a generation.
Moreover, ZDK.I got into something else, that we considered far better. And that was advanced nuclear engineering (such as you see described and detailed in the other Pages of our Library Web Site, here). Now, nukes,for sure, are going to make better Space Exploration Vehicles. But, the government's monopoly on nukes is far worse than its domination of Space. So, while, as with the LBS, we could do some really good vehicles at this time, things are probably going to have to wait on the nukes, until private enterprise invades that field, too.
In the meantime, we can now make use of the LBS-SRRJ-HFT Space Plane. That is, if someone out there would like to make the investment in it. Any takers?
On the other hand, if you really do need to contact us, reach us at:
Phone: (509) 493-1674 screened--leave messages
And, E Mail: email@example.com (Mark subject box: COMMERCIALIZED SPACE.) NOTE: we are working on our e-mail. If the above does not go through, use firstname.lastname@example.org and they will forward it on to us.
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Filed: 03-11-04 . . . Up-dated 04-27-04