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posted by janrinok on Thursday May 01 2014, @12:36AM   Printer-friendly
from the who-will-blink-first dept.

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."

 
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  • (Score: 3, Funny) by geb on Thursday May 01 2014, @10:58AM

    by geb (529) on Thursday May 01 2014, @10:58AM (#38430)
    A staged rocket is necessary to get into orbit. In theory I see no difficulty in using a staged trampoline too.

    You bounce on a huge first stage booster trampoline to carry you and a pile of smaller trampolines a little way up, then bounce on the next largest, and the next, each time gaining momentum by shedding one trampoline at high speed behind you.

    Eventually you bounce on the final orbit insertion trampoline, carrying only a few small maneuvering trampolines for rendezvous and docking.

    You would, admittedly, need a lot of trampolines.
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  • (Score: 1) by karmawhore on Thursday May 01 2014, @03:01PM

    by karmawhore (1635) on Thursday May 01 2014, @03:01PM (#38518)

    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.

    --
    =kw= lurkin' to please
  • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Thursday May 01 2014, @09:12PM

    by aristarchus (2645) on Thursday May 01 2014, @09:12PM (#38652) Journal

    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.

    --
    Die Republikkkanische Partei isst die weissvolken partei.