Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 

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 ")

China Wants To Build Mega Space Ships
'Don't do anything to endanger our shipping privileges...' - Frank Herbert, 1965.

Dream Of Building Your Own Rocket?
Fiorello Bodoni, you inspire all of us.

Used Dragon Cargo Spacecraft Will Fly Again
'the overstrained meters made the smaller craft skittish as a young horse...' - Robert Heinlein

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.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Current News

Prophetic Offers Lucid Dreaming Halo With Morpheus-1 AI
''Leads trail away from insertion points on her face and wrist... to a lucid dreamer...'

More Like A Tumblebug Than A Motorcycle
'It is about the size and shape of a kitchen stool, gyro-stabilized on a single wheel...'

Tesla Camera-Only Vision Predicted In 1930's SF
'By its means, the machine can see.'

First Ever Proof Of Water On Asteroids
'Yes, strangely enough there was still sufficient water beneath the surface of Vesta.'

Aptera Solar EV More Stylish Than Heinlein Steel Tortoise
'When confronted by hills, or rough terrain, it did not stop, but simply slowed until the task demanded equaled its steady power output.'

Gigantic Space Sunshade Would Fight Global Warming
'...the light of the sun had been polarized by two crossed fields so that no radiation could pass.'

Untethered Spacewalk's 50th Anniversary
'But that space walk of mine wasn't so very amazing.'

ESA Designs Huge Inflatable Moonbase
'It was like being inside a balloon; indeed, that was exactly where he was.'

AlphaGarden Robot Cares For Gardens Better Than Humans
'...a simple clock-set servok with pipe and hose arms.'

Let's Make Slaver Sunflowers! Engineering Plants To Reflect Light
'The mirror-blossom was a terrible weapon.'

TeslaBot Uber Driver (2024) And The Automatic Motorist (1911)
'Robots have worse problems than anybody'

DiffuseBot Uses Generative AI To Invent New Soft Robots
'It embodies several small-scale multiple stampers, apparently for dealing with sheet metal.'

Philips Smart Palm Recognition Smart Deadbolt
'A palm lock must be keyed to one individual's hand shape...'

BMind Smart Mirror from Baracoda
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who has the greatest wellness of all?

Ballie Your AI Robot Companion From Samsung
Projects your content anywhere you like.

Holobox? Who Doesn't Want A Home Hologram?
'...there appeared standing upon the disk, the image of a man...'

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.