NOW, You can send a balloon to the Moon!
NOW, You can send a vehicle from your back-yard, by yourself, to Russia, China, The Moon, Mars and Beyond for only $2000.00. LEARN HOW:
Now you can make, or buy, a kit to launch a spacecraft from your backyard and send it as far into space, or around the world, as you want. We all know that balloons go close to space but now they can go all the way into space. Thousands of students send balloons to space every week.
You only need to get something into space and point it at something and give it one kick. It will keep going to the Moon, Mars or the edge of the galaxy. There is no friction in space. Something that starts moving in one direction, almost never stops until gravity grabs it.
New polymer materials like Vectran, which was the first generation balloon material used for the Mars balloons, can be made so they don’t pop and so they vent the lifting gas (hydrogen, helium, etc.) as they expand. The issue was: can you make a balloon that will resist popping when the outside air pressure is removed. You need a material that is strong enough to supply the balancing pressure to match the helium, but light enough that the whole balloon will still float. New polymers with tension grids, can do that.
(PHOTO: Vectran Balloons used on Mars)
You can make hydrogen at home by “cracking it” out of water or any organic material. You can buy helium from any party supply or welding shop.
So you have the balloon-pop problem solved, the lifting solution solved…what’s next. Well..you need something powerful, and tiny to run, your contraption. You will use your smart phone. It turns out, modern smartphones have more computing power than the entire Apollo 11 space craft that landed on the Moon. You will just radiation shield and thermal-proof the light-weight little guy and you are off to the races. One last one of the challenges, until recently, was thought to be unsolvable, this is no longer the case. To understand the problem, let’s hear from some scientists:
“The balloon floats due to buoyancy. The buoyant force is proportional to the mass of the air displaced by the balloon. As the balloon rises toward space, the decreasing air density means the buoyant force also decreases. Once that force decreases to the point that it equals the weight of the balloon (including the helium), the balloon will cease to rise.”
“If you want to send the balloon into space in a rocket and release it already outside the atmosphere, then it won’t really matter how heavy the balloon material is, so you can certainly make it strong enough to hold a quantity of helium.”
” A Hydrogen balloon lifts up because of buoyancy; the surrounding heavier air sinks beneath it lifting it up and bearing it. As the air becomes rarer with height, Hydrogen inside doesn’t feel the pressure so much and tries to expand within the confines imposed by the restricted volume (of balloon skin) till the pressure differential makes the balloon burst. In space air or any gas is almost next to nothing. We take Earth for granted, whose gravitational pull keeps all air molecules around (call it ‘atmosphere’). So, buoyancy can’t do your work there. So you are left with no such choice to overcome gravitational force that directs you down.”
“. “to reach “escape velocity or speed”, you need to exert a force to counter gravity equal to 9.8 m/s2 times your mass, but then, you need to do that anyway to keep from falling through your chair. If you had a ladder into space (hey, don’t laugh–it’s seriously being considered, if we can make the materials strong enough), you could climb up it at whatever leisurely pace you’d like. So what is escape speed all about, then? In order to escape the Earth slowly, you need to continually exert a force to counter gravity. But suppose that instead of a ladder, you have a cannon. You can give your spacecraft-to-be an initial speed, but after that, it’s on its own. If you take a typical cannon, point it straight up, and fire, the cannonball is going to go up for a while, then slow, stop, and fall back to the Earth. Put more powder in your cannon, and the ball will get higher before this happens. But suppose you put enough powder in your cannon that the cannonball leaves the muzzle at 11.1 kilometers per second. Now something interesting happens: The cannonball doesn’t just get very high before turning around; it never never turns around. Gravity still acts on it, so it’ll slow down relative to the earth, but it won’t stop. It’ll continue forever into the Great Unknown, without your ever having to do more than give it that initial speed. You’ll notice I’m saying “escape speed” rather than “escape velocity.” The two terms aren’t interchangeable. Velocity is a vector, which means it has both magnitude and direction. But escape speed doesn’t depend on direction. If I have a high-powered cannon, I can point it wherever I want, up or at any angle, and my cannonball still won’t fall back to the Earth. I could even point it down, if there were a tunnel conveniently carved through the Earth so it wouldn’t just smack into the surface. Since the direction doesn’t matter, just the magnitude, what we have is escape speed. You may also have noticed that escape speed isn’t needed for a rocket. A rocket isn’t like a cannon: It’s always producing thrust, even after liftoff. So why aren’t there any slow rockets? It’s largely a matter of cost. Burning rocket fuel is an expensive way to generate force, so you want to get it over with quickly, in order to waste as little fuel as possible supporting the rocket against gravity. But if you had enough fuel, and weren’t in a hurry, you could ascend as slowly as you liked… in a balloon.”
“In 1961 a gas balloon with 2 men in an unpressurized gondola made it to 113,740 ft. That’s practically space. A balloon acts like a beach ball floating on water. The best it can do is float to the (near) top of the atmosphere. Some unmanned gas balloon have gotten to about 175,000 feet.”
“The lift generated by a balloon is created because the gas inside the balloon is lighter than the gas on the outside.Once you go high enough the gas on the outside will be at the same density, and your balloon would no longer generate any lift.”
“If your balloon can expand you can go higher. However once you reach the area called ‘near space’ (about 40 or 50 miles up) your balloon would be impossibly large. The highest unmanned balloon only reached about 32 miles.”
We have all now seen Felix Baumgartner’s epic skydive from a balloon in near space, and the company that wants to float a hotel room in space, for tourists, with a balloon. Those heavy capsules require massive balloons. Your spaceship is only going to be about the size of a box of Rice-A-Roni, so you only need a couple medium weather balloon-size balloons.
SO, THE BOUYANCY POINT! Let’s take care of that next.
Recent technologies have solved thyat problem. Meet The Microthruster grid and broadcast energy beams.
It is now common to run miniature ion streaming drives on satellites. They slowly push spacecraft around by expelling a stream of ion material. You can power them with solar, battery and broadcast power.
Lasers have now been fired all the way to the moon. Microwaves have been used to shoot down opposition satellites. We now know how to project energy over vast distances and convert it back into usable power.
So when your balloon comes to rest at it’s bouyancy point, the ring of Kickstarter ion panels above, below, or encircling it start to activate from solar, battery or ground beamed power. They slowly push your, now technically weightless, balloon , the rest of the way out into space. This happens very, very slowly but, to save $22 Billion dollars, you can wait an extraday or so to get to space, right?
So now you are in space. You are relaying your signal back to earth via one of the extensive numbers of old-school satellites circling the Earth. Your little ion panels are moving off of the ground power and looking to the sun for the extra juice. Maybe you also deploy your mylar solar sail about now, too.
Then, you just use the camera on your now heavily insulated phone, to aim at the Moon, Mars or other object and off you go.
You just beat NASA, and you got it all in for the price of a month of rent. At these prices, it doesn’t matter if a few of your launches don’t quite make it. The costs are so low, you can afford to launch a bunch, and see which ones make it.
Korean students send regular balloon flights into North Korea. Hobbyists launch balloons to 127,000 feet daily. Vectran and polymer exotics can now be purchased by the yard. The ion and broadcast energy systems are now all being made in volume production. You are only limited by your imagination.
Here are more tips on how to get started: