drew
Nov. 4, 2020
6:01 p.m. PST

potential solution for offloading the Starship

I'm not going to submit this one, as I believe only one entry is allowed per Challenge, but the Starship offload problem of 12 tons from 125m above the lunar surface is the 'expert difficulty' of this Challenge and this solution is too good to just forget about.

Someone else is more than welcome to run with this concept if they wish. The idea is that the cargo is shipped with a cradle that combines rockets to get it out of the Starship, attitude thrusters to make sure it falls at the correct angle, and a 'crush box' that will take the landing forces and reduce them to something the cargo can accept.

Disadvantages are single use, a sacrificial weight and volume required on every payload, and the need to work out the forces involved in landing on the lunar soil.

Advantages are simplicity and relatively few failure points. All three technologies - the rocket assisted lift (ejection seats), the attitude thrusters for terminal guidance, and the crush box (delivery of cargo from aircraft, usually with a guidance parachute) are fairly mature on Earth.
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13 Replies

Samuel Tritten
Jan. 6, 2021
4:23 a.m. PST
this concept has certainly potential.

Two things to keep in mind is that that a rocket ejection system in that height combined with the surface friction off the cargo could be enough to make the Starship fall to it's side triggering either an explosion or a dangerous situation where it just lies there with excess fuel.
So you woud need some system to reduce the friction. A roller system shoude probably do the trick.

The second thing to keep in mind is that in order for the starship to be reusable it will likely need the cargo faring for maneuverability in the earth atmosphere. So the faring needs to be opened in a way that it can be reused

Miguel Datiles
Jan. 13, 2021
6:33 p.m. PST
the roller system would be completely useless if you want to use it twice unless, you land in the EXACT same spot which would be difficult and just give problems. As would any other pre-/on-the-spot built system.

Samuel Tritten
Jan. 13, 2021
7:02 p.m. PST
@Miguel Datiles
what i meant with roller system was not a system that moves the payload by itself. But rather something that reduces the energy translated to the the starship when used with the rocket ejected cradle, suggested by crew. The wheels or rollers would then be directly mounted on to the payload cradle.
I know it's a rather trivial problem, but i thought i mention it anyway.
sorry if i caused some misunderstanding, i hope this clarifies what i meant to say.
Tagged: Miguel Datiles

Miguel Datiles
Jan. 13, 2021
7:07 p.m. PST
how can a roller system be situated as part of something flying in the sky?

Miguel Datiles
Jan. 13, 2021
7:09 p.m. PST
it would break easily

Miguel Datiles
Jan. 13, 2021
7:15 p.m. PST
upon landing it would be smashed unless the programing is good or the controller is good

Miguel Datiles
Jan. 13, 2021
7:39 p.m. PST
and the crush box idea well...

Miguel Datiles
Jan. 13, 2021
7:40 p.m. PST
it would get damaged over time

Miguel Datiles
Jan. 13, 2021
8:25 p.m. PST
maybe that magnetic thinking putty children use as toys would be a better idea

Miguel Datiles
Jan. 13, 2021
9:32 p.m. PST
since it is attracted to magnets

Jamie Box
Feb. 9, 2021
10:13 a.m. PST
Ok just came across this site and ive had an idea for years now regarding large object from a spaceship to the surface of a planet. Here it is, sorry if it not that clear i have ADHD.
In its simplest form, once landed the "boxes/payload" could be fitted with a belt that has small air jets (only on one side of the box. this will be facing outward of the spaceship The box then has a hook/clasp connected to the cable, just like paracheuters do when they jump. Then we fire an anchor/grabber connected to a 150-175m cable to allow for the angle from the ship to the surface then just lower each payload down the cable remotely operating the jets to slowly lower the box to the ground. The belt could then be sent back up for the next box. Sorry if you dont understand a word ive typed.

Jamie Box
Feb. 9, 2021
10:14 a.m. PST
@Jamie Box
forgot to mention the air could be recycled from the panet your on.
Tagged: Jamie Box

Jamie Box
Feb. 9, 2021
10:16 a.m. PST
@Jamie Box also forgot the stablising cables the other sid eto form a triangle
Tagged: Jamie Box
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