Papas Fritas writes:
Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin has lashed out again, this time at newly announced US ban on high-tech exports to Russia suggesting that "after analyzing the sanctions against our space industry, I propose the US delivers its astronauts to the ISS with a trampoline." Rogozin does actually have a point, although his threats carry much less weight than he may hope. Russia is due to get a $457.9 million payment for its services soon and few believe that Russia would actually give it up.
Furthermore, as Jeffrey Kluger noted at Time Magazine, Russia may not want to push the United States into the hands of SpaceX and Orbital Sciences, two private American companies that hope to be able to send passengers to the station soon. SpaceX and Orbital Sciences have already made successful unmanned resupply runs to the ISS and both are also working on upgrading their cargo vehicles to carry people. SpaceX is currently in the lead and expects to launch US astronauts, employed by SpaceX itself, into orbit by 2016. NASA is building its own heavy-lift rocket for carrying astronauts beyond low-Earth orbit, but it won't be ready for anything but test flights until after 2020. "That schedule, of course, could be accelerated considerably if Washington gave NASA the green light and the cash," says Kluger. "America's manned space program went from a standing start in 1961 to the surface of the moon in 1969-eight years from Al Shepard to Tranquility Base. The Soviet Union got us moving then. Perhaps Russia will do the same now."
Well, that is just a silly suggestion! Do you know how high you would have to jump from in order for a trampoline to put you into orbit? Yes, slightly higher than the orbit you want to achieve, once you take into account atmospheric drag (both ways) and the inevitable application of the laws of thermodynamics and trampolines, because you can never get out of a trampoline more than you put into it. So sorry, Mr. Russia Scientist Guy, the Trampoline Initiative will not work. Seriously.
So sorry, Mr. Russia Scientist Guy, the Trampoline Initiative will not work. Seriously.
Oh, maaan! Seriously... it won't work?!? What would be the solution, then?
Pogo sticks on trampolines?
[Donning mad scientist hair.] Why, yes... yes, yes, yes! It could work if we add bungee cords, rubber bands, a giant football goal post, and a flock of chickens! Mhwa ha ha ha ha!
Perhaps we could build a large, wooden badger.
Maybe... 'causer a wooden snake won't help for sure.
(mushrooms! ... ducks)
I was going to post something similar (and you're replying to GP, who *was* talking about achieving orbit, so it totally makes sense) but really we're only talking about rendezvous with ISS, and you can do that with a suborbital bounce on just one really awesome trampoline.
Hmm, lots of very good silly ideas here! Maybe we can do it! My current thinking, pace the infinite trampoline assembly, is that we drop our payload from very high up, and then launch a trampoline upwards, propelled by four (or so) solid booster rockets, have the payload bounce off the ascending trampoline, adding its velocity to the reciprocal of the falling payload, thus achieving a bigger bounce for the bucks.
Or, we could just re-start the Cold War, out of nostalgia, I guess.