Stephen.colbou 2014-08-26 14:43:06
Would a gas turbine attached to a large rocket such as the space
shuttle provide enough additional thrust to make it worth having for
the initial take off. It could be dropped with the normal boosters
before leaving the atmosphere and maybe reused for later flights.
Thrust could be provided upto mach 5 and I presume the space shuttle
is still in the atmosphere at this point in its flight.
I also thought that some kind of catapult ie. mag lev or even steam
catapult could provide an additional push allowing a much larger
payload to be carried.
Henry 2014-08-26 14:43:44
It is hard to make such schemes pay for themselves, rockets being cheap
and powerful. If you want to add thrust to the shuttle, you add more
rockets, or more rocket fuel (there has been some work on longer SRBs).
There have been occasional proposals to replace *small* solid strap-ons,
such as those used on earlier Deltas, with recoverable jet-engine pods.
The idea is not ridiculous, but to date it hasn’t looked promising enough
for anyone to pursue it.
Not with any ordinary sort of turbine engine. They are at their best
below Mach 1 and are pretty useless beyond Mach 3. They are also quite
fussy about smooth airflow into their intakes, and they are heavy.
It’s difficult to get much gain that way for a large vertically-launched
vehicle. Indeed, the easiest kind of catapult to build is a rocket sled…
which gets you back to just adding some more rocket power if you need
MOST launched 30 June; first light, 29 July; 5arcsec | Henry Spencer
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