Lift Ships, a short story of possibilities: Copyright © bf, 2009-2014 All Rights Reserved
Of course, Hydrogen cannot lift forever and acceleration is needed to give the mass the final boost out of the gravity well.
Typical trajectories for H2LiftShips are not straight lines like a rocket, but a spiral up through the atmosphere based on the Einstein modified equations
Every pup, right after paper training, learns the basic modification of the Einstenian math, right after they understand Newtonian equations...so simple a monkey could do it!
Simple Newton equations are modified to send cargo into space using the H2LiftShips
F=MA (Force =Mass*Acceleration)
In the pre H2LiftShips systems, heavy mass was lifted at massive acceleration, hurling the ship and cargo into space.
In the H2LiftShips area, hydrogen is used to supply both the lift and, when added to Oxygen, the energy needed to boost the ships into a higher orbit. Once free of the constraints of atmospheric drag, and with the effective weight reduced by the pull of gravity, the Hydrogen balloon is tied back into a huge solar sail.
The boost crew compresses the hydrogen using compressor pumps on treadmills while the balloon is re-configured, supplying thrust to boost the ship from the grip of gravity. It took many failiures to get the system right and only a skilled crew with coordinated boosters, navigation, sail handling and command strucure could successfully handle the transcet
The pups learned that rather than E=mc^2, which resulted in massive force to launch into space, the equation was really is E=M(c The speed of light, spinning.
There was some debate as to when and how this equation was derivied, the simians claim that it was one of their group, once the humans learned to communicate properly with their furry breathern, but history seems to point to the equation being introduced in 1979 or so by a human scientist...studying wood digestion..although that seems unlikely!
In any case, the same hydrogen and oxygen used for lift and acceleration of a rocket, but tweaked for Lift , THEN Acceleration based on the modified equation worked better than the old format of Lift AND Acceleration.
The prototype ships used mechanical/electrical pumps, but the explosive nature of Hydrogen gas caused a few disasters too many and most ships switched to non-metallic hardware.
Any electrical systems were turned off or isolated in a containment section until most of the Hydrogen was purged.
Boost crews have to be fast, powerful and lightweight. Humans typically are not employed since other animals have better strength to weight ratios.
Compressor Crew (CompC)
Typically bipeds: They can pump with both arms and legs, multiplying the compression.
Pumper Crew (PumpC)
PumpC moves the compressed gas to the rocket nozzles. The pipes zig-zag through the undercarriage and are duplicated at more than one section to ensure a balanced flow.
Dogs are the best pumpers since they love running on treadmills that spins the fans.
The Rocket Maintenance Crew (RockMC) adjust flow to the rockets, typically 2 to 4 staff per ship. Dogs are the best for this task since their 240-degree field of view vs. humans paltry 180 degrees allow them to manipulate multiple controls at the same time.
Once the ship has switched to solar sails and are out of the grip of Earth’s Gravity, they don their space suits and jump to an incoming ship for a lift back to ground.
The Ship's Crew:
Jack: Genetically enhanced to be able to speak (with a growl). Wears a backpack with tools designed for use by dogs that can be easily grabbed. Well designed for working in tight places where four legs can be used to brace against bulkheads in zero gravity to get maximum leverage with mouth handled tools.
Goal on in life is to visit the biggest trees he can find on each planetfall.
Tang: Rigging master and general deck Hand. Considers himself an expert card player. Spends his off time playing with computer generated opponents. Has rigged the games so he is a winner, thinks he can win his fortune in Las Vegas
All working dogs tend to be anal retentive, their tool packs carefully laid out and maintained for rapid identification and manipulation of tools.
Standard backpacks have up to 10 tools on each side,each tool with a custom mouth piece for a dog's mouth with a ring on centered on the back to attach a carabiner for pulling
Socket wrenches are contained in one panel with sizes from 5 to 20mm in 2mm increments, each with a different odor and counting nubs for easy selection and identification.
All tools are non-metallic: Saw and blades; Impact Hammers; Skyhooks; Accenders; Belay carabiners; Clamps; Come-Alongs; Paint Brushes; Broom; Heat Gun; Scissors/wire cutters; All-in-one meter; Sponge; Patch Cord; Crimper/Pliers/Lock Wrench; Scraper; Knife; drill and bits; Flashlight; Sealant
Herding prods are available, but seldom used by experienced workers who prefer time tested methods of control.
Special rope ascender-ratchets are proven tools on any ship. The ratchet is placed over the rope and pulled to lock it down. Walking backwards, using all four legs on the ramp pulls the sail tight. At the end of the ramp the ratchet is placed into the retaining click and a quick run to back to the start allows attachment of the the 2nd ratchet. Releasing the first ratchet starts the process over. Letting out the sail is the opposite: The ratchet is attached to the rope and pulled to release it from the retaining clip. Slowly stepping forward releases the sail safely. With heavy solar winds, an unseasoned mate could be pulled forward off their paws or the sail released causing untold damage to solar sails and mates.
Tang is the quintenssial intellectual, his tools are a hammer, screwdriver and muscle
The moon is the industrial hub of the solar system.
Most of the manufacturing plants are on the equator close to the power generator stations. Power is generated from the flow of gas in sealed systems heated and cooled by the lunar temperature fluctuations. The generating plants are nothing more than large tubes spaced over the surface. Boiling gas during the solar day at (107'C) spins the generators on the up flow and the gas is sent downstream to the lunar night for condensation and additional power generation. At the start of the lunar night, the -150'C temperature condenses the gas, turning additional generators and feeding the power grid. The gas/condensation patter is repeated as the lunar night advances, insuring virtually unlimited power feed to the grid.
The plants can receive raw materials from the asteroid mines and mill them using the high quality power from the grid and micro gravity to manufacture the hardware, tools and computers to sell to the rest of the system. Computer cores and crystals, generated in zero gravity in the asteroid belt are annealed to secure shells in the microgravity on the moon and distributed to all of the solar system as linkable, functional smart balls that are used as the building blocks for computers and machines.
The earth is the breadbasket for the solar system.
Tang's favorite place was Las Vegas, connected via high speed rail from San Diego with the Niland Spur
Uniquely non-discriminatory to age, sexual orientation, genetic variability or original species, they are happy to serve any human or primate that has the money to lose.
Earth has the happy conflugence of gravity, water and light to grow food and animals for the rest of us. While there is still some limited manufacturing, Earth cannot compete with low and zero gravity manufacturing plants where supplies and power is virtually unlimited.
Algal farms are found on most any lump of rock, pointing toward the sun. Originally, highly productive and successful, even with the distant sun (compared to the Earth). Over time, x- and gamma rays would keep on knocking off amino acids and modifying the genetic code of the algal farms at rates that would cause unwelcome mutations to be introduced
New algal seed stock would need to be re-introduced from Earth on a regular basis to insure that the farms would continue to produce.
Algal farm teams consists of hydrologists, microbiologists, lymnologists and just some regular workologists to do the heavy lifting. As more and more people and and people moved to the belts, the higher the risk of introduction of unwanted blue-green algae, protozoa, viruses and bacteria increased the risk of contamination and crop failure.
The off-earth citizens do try to grow their own food, but without gravity, plants grow tall, fast and mushy....lignin is just wimpy without the pull of gravity and fruits, grains and vegetables are just not as good as gravity grown food.
Grass and plants would grow astoundingly fast in the microgravity environment of the belt, but after a few generations, the lignin would become less and less compressed and the plants would become spongy and tasteless.
Grazing animals were introduced as a supplemental food source as soon as it became clear that they could survive in the environment, but, like the grasses they ate, after a few years they would be come as soft and spongy as the food they ate.
There have been many attempts to set up herds on the moon and asteroids, but the poor nutritional value of zero-gravity grown grasses and grains result in herds that cannot survive for very long...that and the fact that cows and sheep are basically lazy and if they don't have gravity to force them to move, will rapidly turn into floating, corpulent blobs of flesh with skinny little legs.
Many tried to exercise the animals, with herding dogs, but while it was fun for the dogs, the animals would just become stressed after being run around the rock a few times. Other techniques such as cow exercise equipment were just about as successful as the dog workouts.
Strapping a 2 ton cow to a treadmill in zero gravity is not a pleasant task for anyone, especially the cow...
Surprising, pigs were successful in the limited gravity of the rocks, not being constrained to eating grass and more then willing to root and work for their dinner. Given some direction (e.g. food), they would burrow into a rock and help develop its intrastructure.
Animal husbandry is the key to the earths economy. The LiftShips transport live animals, grains and fish to the inhabitants of the solar system.
While it would seem to be simple to freeze and transport packaged goods instead of live animals, fresh food is considered a luxury that many can afford and the profits that can be made far exceeds the effort to handle and maintain the stocks.
Mars never has lived up to it's potential, not the tough god of war, but more like the ugly stepchild that everyone tries to ignore
Except for the geologists and scientists, Mars was too far from the sun to be a garden spot, the atmosphere too thin to support plants or animals and no resources worth collecting. It did make a dandy prison planet, hard to get to, harder to leave, but you can't base a civilization on prisoners and desert, as Australia has aptly shown.
Mars has a huge requirement for equipment and food, but little to offer as a trading partner. Since they already had a stock of crooks and charlatans, they have become the banking center of the solar system, since currency is their only transportable asset.