Is there any reason in the future why a similar balloon as yesterdays spacejump couldn't have a larger balloon and thrusters to go to the moon?

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Spacefaze | 14:09 Mon 15th Oct 2012 | Science
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It would work out a lot cheaper and safer wouldn't it?

Will this pave a new way to travel to space ( Even though it's not particularly new )

What are the possibilities?


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A ballon relies on the gas inside it being lighter than the gas that surronds it (very simplisticaly speaking) there is no gas in space.
I like a drink too.

I look forward to the replies on this.
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Davethedog then isn't it in our best interest in focusing on a type of gas or possibly a liquid that can be put into a balloon which would then help it float or move through space with some added thrusters to give it stability and directional ability?
Your on a wind up
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Davethedog no i'm not on a windup but like to throw ideas out there and see what the more knowledgable make of it.

You could call it a mixture of fascination, curiousity and hypothetical situations which might have a basis in reality.

Remember the genius's of this world are those that have thought outside the box.
It can only float up so far due to the atmosphere thinning. To go beyond that the thrusters would have to be large enough to at least achieve free fall orbit, and thus too heavy to float up with the balloon.
Did you see the size of the Saturn rocket needed to get the mooncraft on its way? And you'd take that up in a balloon? With all its ground services?
Ancient man tried to build a ladder to the moon. you have as much chance as they did.
ballons fly because they are lighter than air, as there is no air in space it can't be lighter than nothing. The ballon used was at the very limit of the possible height.
I still favour some sort of catapult...

in the spirit of the OP ...

the new gen 'shuttles' piggy back on a jet to several miles alt then fire rockets into orbit

how many helium balloons would it take to get a shuttle to 24 miles ready for ignition?
This idea is a far better proposition and despite sounding like science fiction would actually work. The problem making a tether that is both strong enough and light enough, Carbon Nano tubes are looking like the best bet to make a tether.
^^ EDDIE51, I love the idea. It is a wonder Richard Branson hasn't sold seats on one of those yet.
I think the issue her is that whilst felix was a long way up, he was only at best 30% of the way into "space". That extra 70% is still a long way to go and by the time you have carried the boosters to that hight your not actually saving very much. Its simpler to go from the ground.

Now what they need is a lift.
Getting into space and staying there isn't about getting high enough it's about speed

Once out of the atmosphere you have to orbit the Earth fast enough to avoid just being pulled straight down again.

Your "centrifugal force" has to balance gravity, to escape Earth entirely you have to reach 11.2 Km/s

To do that you need to take an awful lot of fuel up with you and if you look at the size of that balloon capsule and the size of the baloon needed to get that all the way up there I think you might start to see what the problem is!

Basically the short answer is that when you do the maths it's completely impractical
For the space elevator to work the top of it would have to be moving fast enough to be in freefall orbit and at an altitude to be geostationary. see here
This means that the tether would have to be free falling at just the right rate all the way up to stay in line. There is no known material that would support even it's own weight at a tiny fraction of the altitude needed to even try and put this into practice. As jake says when you start doing the maths it's just totally impractical. The most effeicient way into space is exactly what we do now.
The space elevator even has its own contest:

with that much money up for grabs, I suspect the technological problems will be solved. Driverless cars were science fiction not too long ago.
I think dr b you are falling prey to the falisy that you can extrapolate future technological advances from past.

When you're in the midst of a period of scientific advance thats very tempting but for example in 1850 trains reached 78 miles per hour, by 1950 it was 715 mph, a few years just after the year 2000 a nasa test vehicle managed 7,000 mph

At that rate we would expect 70,000mph by about 2050 - Dont see that happening do you?

What tends to happen is that fundamental technology changes happen - steam, propeller aircraft, jets rockets and things progress very rapidly to the limits in those technologies.

However such paradigm shifts are not inexhaustable and there's no telling when they can come - "low" temperature superconductors looked imminant in the 80's but they never made it mainstream - they may now be about to happen but we're still talking liquid nitrogen temperatures not room temperature.

I also don't think 2 million dollars is much of a prize! I doubt you can build a Lear jet for that let alone a space elevator! the money is in any patents.

I'm not saying it's impossible - just that I first say this talked about in the 80's (although it's older) - I'm not expecting to see it in the next 50 years
£2 miillion will buy you a third of a second hand short range 50 seat airliner. Spacecraft cost a bit more.
Once it is out of the atmosphere it would stop rising and just float but it would gradually lose the gas and start to fall back due to its weight.
What happened this time was the gas released to allow it to drop by parachute.

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