When you imagine a spacecraft, “small” is probably not the first word that comes to mind. Yet, as of 2021, the largest rocket launched in history is still about 111 meters long. Saturn V. In other words, it is slightly longer than a football field. . . SpaceX, the largest rocket ever, measuring 120 meters Starship earlier this year, this rocket has not been launched now.
When you compare these dimensions with people’s future expectations, the situation looks dire. If you expect the utopian future of Star Trek, we’ll be sailing around seven times the length of Saturn V by the mid-2200s. So how do we get to that technology?
China may have an answer to this question. A research proposal submitted to the National Natural Science Foundation of China with lengths up to 1 kilometer prompted him to research how to build spaceships, described as “great strategic aviation equipment for future use of space resources, exploration of the mysteries of the cosmos, and long-term life in orbit”. For comparison, the world’s tallest man-made structure, Burj Khalifa, 828 meters long.
What’s more, the aerospace engineering professor and former NASA chief technologist, who at least called the idea “fully viable” Mason Peck
According to , this can be achieved. Peck, WordsSideKick. to com ” I would describe the issues here not as insurmountable snags, but as problems of scale” and adds: ” The biggest of these issues will probably be cost.”
If accepted, the amount to be allocated to the project will be 15 million yuan, or approximately $2.3 million. Not much at all, given the size and scope of the project. For re-comparison, the International Space Station is only about 110 meters wide at its widest point and cost about 50,000 times that measure to build.
Live Science. aerospace engineering professor speaking to com Michael Lembeck, ” Fantastic, not viable and fun to think about, but not very realistic for our level of technology” and adds: ” The space station is a $3 billion-a-year enterprise. Multiply that for larger plants and it soon becomes a pretty big, worthwhile undertaking.”
On the other hand, the ISS was built thirty years ago. New technologies like 3D printing can help cut costs, Peck says, and are an even more attractive option for the truly optimistic: Gathering resources from the moon (this plan naturally requires some measure of lunar colonization to execute, but it’s a potential in the very long run) .
However, some difficulties are not so easily overcome. The force that a one kilometer spacecraft must achieve will be a balancing act. If you’re too high above the Earth’s surface, you risk exposing a random passenger to dangerous levels of radiation, and if you’re too low, atmospheric friction can push the ship out of orbit. Depending on what the ship is used for, the ongoing maintenance costs can be enormous and make the plan utterly impossible.
Lembeck” The level of effort here is extremely small compared to the desired results” and thinks that with such a small budget, the project was probably designed as a small academic study to explore the earliest stages of such a process.
If the project continues, the funding will take five years, but even if it is successful, it is impossible to say how long it will take before we see these thousand-meter spaceships in the sky. Who knows – we may have to wait until 2245. . .