Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Everything Old is New Again (Even in Rocketry)

Funny how skills and knowledge are constantly lost as new and (at the time) better ways of doing things are invented. Still there are often ideas and technologies in the past that can be repurposed for use today. There were many amazing automotive engine ideas a hundred years ago, they just didn't have the technology at the time to make the practical.

Well some extremely clever people have revisited the rocket engines used to take man to the moon, their use was discontinued decades ago for what were good reasons at the time. However the changing requirements of the space travel made some brilliant engineers have another look at them.

Read and Enjoy - http://arstechnica.com/science/2013/04/how-nasa-brought-the-monstrous-f-1-moon-rocket-back-to-life/

"At the time, the F-1 was the largest and most powerful liquid-fueled engine ever constructed; even today, its design remains unmatched (though see the sidebar, "The Soviets," for more information on engines that have rivaled the F-1). The power generated by five of these engines was best conceptualized by author David Woods in his book How Apollo Flew to the Moon"[T]he power output of the Saturn first stage was 60 gigawatts. This happens to be very similar to the peak electricity demand of the United Kingdom."

1 comment:

Mark Bolton said...

Even in the day the skills to build these machines were not shared by many. The ability to do hand welding of the quality referred to, has passed however.

The mighty Saturn V must rate as one of the pinacles of human achievement however. To be able to take men and machinery to the moon and back is treated as prolix by a disinterested public but once you start running the numbers you soon realize what an astonishing feat it was. Just imagine (and I am told you cant) the space shattering roar of a motor of that Leviathan proportion.

The next step in space - tethers , catapults and such, will take the infrastructure only such a ship can loft.

Rejoice that it is being done again!!