Delta IV Heavy Lifter - Space Freighters In Fact And In Fiction

In the next few days, the new Boeing Delta IV Heavy rocket is expected to launch. The 23-story tall Heavy was developed under the USAF Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program. The vehicle's RS-68 core-stage engine is the first large, liquid-fueled rocket engine developed in the US in more than twenty years.


(From Delta IV on the pad)

The two strap-on booster cores will be jettisoned 100 seconds into the flight; the center core's RS-68 engine will burn for about 330 seconds, an increase of about 70 seconds over previous flights. This demonstration flight will carry an instrumented payload to measure vehicle performance.


(From Delta IV diagram)

The Delta IV Heavy rocket is capable of the following payloads and orbital targets:

  • 48,000 pounds to low-Earth orbit (LEO) like the International Space Station
  • 28,000 pounds to geosynchronous transfer orbit (used by communciation satellites)
  • 22,000 pounds to Trans Lunar Injection routes to the moon
  • 17,000 pounds to Mars-bound trajectories
Science fiction authors have written about ships of all sizes. In Methuselah's Children, written in 1941, Lazarus Long needed a ship capable of lifting 100,000 people into geosynchronous orbit. He went shopping on the Moon; lunar colonists needed much more in the way of goods than they produced, which led to a lot of ships making one-way trips:

Lazarus soon saw that just two ships had both the lift and the air space needed. One was a tanker and the better buy, but a mental calculation showed him that it lacked deck space, even including the floor space of the tanks, to accomodate eight thousand tons of passengers. The other was an older ship with cranky piston-type injection meters, but she was fitted for general merchandise and had enough deck space. Her payload was higher than necessary for the job, since passengers weigh little for the cubage they clutter - but that would make her lively, which might be critically important. (Read more about the space freighter.)

If you'd like to launch up to 28,000 pounds of real (not fictional!) payload into geosynchronous orbit today, you'd better take a look at the Delta IV Payload Planners Guide and updates page. If you would like to read about one of Robert Heinlein's smaller spacecraft, see the article on the Joy-Boat Junior, a sub-orbital craft very similar in function to SpaceShipOne - The First Strato-Yacht, which won the Ansari X-prize this fall.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 12/13/2004)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Spacecraft ")

Laser-Powered Spacecraft To Explore The Solar System
'Whoever launched it fired a laser cannon... for about forty-five years, so the intruder would have a beam to travel on...'- Niven/Pournelle, 1974.

SKYLON Space Plane Gets Boost
'They were more airplane than spaceship...'- Robert Heinlein, 1951.

Europe's Cheops To Look For Habitable Planets
'I was near enough it now to set my automatic astronomical instruments to searching it for a habitable planet.'- Edmond Hamilton, 1936.

SpaceX Dragon First Private Craft To Dock With ISS
'Why, the ship wasn't a proper deep-space craft at all.'- Robert Heinlein, 1941.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

3D Skin Printer Helps Burn Victims
'Over her lacerated right shoulder he sprayed art-derm...'

Tesla Autopilot's 40 Percent Crash Reduction
''I hope all those other cars are on automatic,' he said anxiously.'

Pent-Up NASA Scientists Simulate Life On Mars
'That gives it complete isolation.'

China Now Has Robot Journalists
'A vast complex electronic organism buried deep in the ground, responsible to no one...'

Relationship-Practicing Robot From Turing Robot
'Streamlined, smooth-working, absolutely noiseless, breath-takingly realistic.'

Cormorant Flying Car
'The cab came floating down out of the sky...'

ElliQ Robot To Help Israel's Grandmas And Grandpas
'The robant and the tiny old woman entered the control room slowly...'

EU Debates Kill Switches For Robots
'I have a mechanism which our autofac on Mars builds as an... emergency safety...'

Scotland Set To Implement Basic Income
'Earned by just being born.'

Sales Robots More Persistent Than Humans
'Robot-salesmen were everywhere, gesturing,,, shrilling...'

AI Identifies Suicidal Behavior With 93 Percent Accuracy
'...He padded into the living room, and seated himself by the suitcase; he opened it, clicked switches, and turned on Dr. Smile.'

Razer Project Valerie Laptop Unfurls
'A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled silently...'

Can Virtual Reality help People Cope With Pain?
Research is promising.

Dust Movement On The Moon, Saturn's Rings Solved
'...The dust normally on the surface picks up and keeps a charge.'

Largest Micro-Drone Swarm Release Successful
'... Programmed to hang in space in a hexagonal grid pattern.'

Robot Motion Planning 10K Times Faster
'The robot crab... fired a burst of light, then froze...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.