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Old 02-14-2017, 03:26 PM   #31
RogerBW
 
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Default Re: Steampunk Mars/ Cold War crossover

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Does liftwood just negate gravity up to a mass limit, or does it actually provide lift, allowing you to gain gravitational potential energy? If it's the latter, some laws of physics are going to need a rewrite.
It's not made quite explicit in the rules. It seems like force:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Space 1889 p. 18
Liftwood vessels are held up by many individual liftwood panels, arranged much like Venetian blinds, which provide varying amounts of lift depending on their angle toward the surface of the planet.
but then it seems like what GURPS calls contragravity:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Space 1889 p. 118
[...] which has remarkable antigravity properties
(reducing the weight of a vessel to less than that of air and thus allowing it to float).
and then again:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Space 1889 p. 172
In a specific piece of wood, the sap may exert lift in one direction, but not in another; when properly oriented, the wood produces a great deal of lift, but when twisted even a few degrees, the lift is reduced, sometimes dramatically.
(At the very least, as Marcus Rowland pointed out, you can mount it on a wheel with some mechanism to pivot it as the wheel turns, and get a perpetual motion machine.)
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Old 02-14-2017, 03:41 PM   #32
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Default Re: Steampunk Mars/ Cold War crossover

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Does liftwood just negate gravity up to a mass limit, or does it actually provide lift, allowing you to gain gravitational potential energy? If it's the latter, some laws of physics are going to need a rewrite.
In Sky-Galleons of Mars the ships work very like naval sailing ships and ironclads, except capable of three dimensional movement, so yeah, lift.
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Old 02-14-2017, 06:00 PM   #33
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Default Re: Steampunk Mars/ Cold War crossover

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Originally Posted by fredtheobviouspseudonym View Post
Unless I (very well could have) missed something the USSR is still in the game -- they've got Really Big Boosters (the Big Dumb Booster in aerospace terms) so could get stuff to Mars/Venus faster than USA in that time.

Of course, they might want adherence to the Glorious Worker's and Peasant's Republic in exchange for their help . . .
No, the Soviets don't have anything in the Saturn's class in this time period. The N1 was not ready for prime time (4 test flights and 4 explosions) and smaller in payload than the Saturn V anyway.

Even allowing for them starting 6 years later than the Us did on Saturn it was probably never practical. Their design for a Moon lander was worse than the N1's notorious first stage.

The times when the USSR had superior access to space (never mind actually superior technology) have been more limited than people might think. Before Gemini and after Shuttle and a little bit when they flew a couple of Energiyas.

But in 1973 they aren't players.
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Old 02-14-2017, 06:26 PM   #34
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Default Re: Steampunk Mars/ Cold War crossover

So Earth can receive heliograph messages very quickly. How long until a large enough mirror/light can be orbited to respond. I'd say with a major effort 6 months. NASA could send up a large Mylar reflector with some sort of system to create Morse code rather quickly I would imagine.

How many years for there to be an unmanned "care package". This could obviously replace the Vikings. So they arrive as per OTL in June and August of 1976. What do we send? Weapons? Medicine? Coffee?

I'm hoping for a non-NERVA Venus fly-by proof of concept mission by 1980. If there is an orbital elevator on Mars (my idea, not something in canon Space:1889) than getting humans to and from the surface of Mars is much easier. As are launching deep space missions from Mars due to the increase in velocity at the top of the tether.

Perhaps a manned mission to Mars could be pushed up a bit due to the Mars tether making it a bit easier. I'd have a manned mission no later than 1983 using a Saturn V / NERVA combination.

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Old 02-14-2017, 06:41 PM   #35
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Default Re: Steampunk Mars/ Cold War crossover

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Originally Posted by marvin View Post
So Earth can receive heliograph messages very quickly. How long until a large enough mirror/light can be orbited to respond.
There's no real reason to put it in orbit. You just use a larger one on the ground.
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Old 02-14-2017, 06:49 PM   #36
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Default Re: Steampunk Mars/ Cold War crossover

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
There's no real reason to put it in orbit. You just use a larger one on the ground.
Yeah. Floating something big and reflective off the coast of Florida would be easier, but wouldn't a series of space based reflectors be able to stay in contact with Mars for longer periods of time? I could see NASA starting with the first option but then working to replace the heliographic relay system ASAP.

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Old 02-14-2017, 10:31 PM   #37
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Default Re: Steampunk Mars/ Cold War crossover

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
Unfortunately this is a thing liftwood would not do. An air freighter as large as a sea freighter would have a lot more drag than a conventional airplane of smaller size. To go just as fast it would have to have proportionately bigger engines and fuel use.

You could get away with somewhat less drag from not having wings. It's not certain that this works out in liftwood's favor though. Only a lift mechanism with virtually no volume avoids any drag penalty. You get drag from wings and you get drag from gas bags and you get m9ore drag from the gas bags which is why lighter-than-air craft are special niche only these days.

So it could depend on how bulky liftwood is. It's possible that it would impose drag penalties as large as or even greater than that of wings.

Lift without expending energy is good and without the crippling drag penalties of gas bags is even better but you're nto going to get away without drag penalties.
True, you couldn't really fully match the speed of modern planes, but you could get quite a bit faster than ocean travel for the same personnel/cargo capacity and reasonable fuel use.
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