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A Solution To The Ares 1 Problem

A tuned mass vibration damper:

Due to both the immense size of Taipei 101 and the fact that it sits just over 600ft from a major fault line, engineers had no choice but to install one of this size at a cost of $4m. Too heavy to be lifted by crane, the damper was assembled on site and hangs through four floors of the skyscraper. It can reduce the building's movement by up to 40%.

And only 728 tons. Hey, the vehicle's already overweight. What's a little more?


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Stephen Kohls wrote:

You could make the damper magnetic and launch from only iron-plated launch sites - that might help with the weight problem.


Karl Hallowell wrote:

Incidentally, is that active damping system still being pushed? Have they run the reliability numbers yet? I bet 1 in 460 chance of loss of mission is well out of reach by now.

Ralphe wrote:

If the money is right I might consider designing a high pressure gas - low weight - high velocity mass damper, but my cousin Rube told me he has it all figured out so I expect to hear something officialistic soon.

ken anthony wrote:

Every trekker knows that when you have any problem (this would be the inertial dampeners) you just reverse the polarity.

You don't understand the true brilliance of the Ares concept. NASA aren't building a rocket, they're actually building a space elevator by stealth. The Ares design will just get bigger and bigger until it won't need to fly at all because they'll be able to launch satellites by throwing them off the top.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on June 28, 2008 12:52 PM.

Wonder How Many There Are? was the previous entry in this blog.

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