Anonymous
Anonymous asked in EnvironmentAlternative Fuel Vehicles · 1 month ago

how can we find a way to get a rocket to take off with just using electricity instead of using fuel we have electric cars why not rockets?

8 Answers

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  • 4 weeks ago

    Rockets are raw power, nothing currently available could replace such an engine for launching heavy craft against Earths gravity, although once in space away from heavy gravity there is the ion engine which has already been used in a number of space craft. This engine is also being tested for use in aircraft.

    https://www.nasa.gov/centers/glenn/about/fs21grc.h...

  • Sammy
    Lv 5
    4 weeks ago

    The electric power, used to charge the batteries in your electric car, is generated from massive coal burning power plants.

    Source(s): Not really as "green" as you thought, eh?
  • 1 month ago

    We need to invest more on such tech.

  • 1 month ago

    How?  Through significant investment in core scientific research.  Where are you going to get the electricity from?  You can launch objects into space right now using an electromagnetic rail gun, but most materials (especially life) can't withstand those forces.

    Electromagnetism is likely to, some day, evolve to the point where it can push against magnetic fields, individual molecules, and quantum fields - but probably not for at least a generation.

    • intelex
      Lv 6
      1 month agoReport

      @John - Radioactive materials are still "fuel" that is consumed, which the question excluded. Wind, solar, tidal, and geothermal are all non-fuel electric.  Since fuel is consumed, it is not an ideal requirement on different planets or moons.

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  • 1 month ago

    Not diesel. Rocket fuel is best.

  • 1 month ago

    A rocket works by "throwing away" reaction mass.

    That's the principle Newtons third law describes: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

    In the atmosphere, aircraft jet engines "throw" large massed of air backwards and the the reaction pushes the engines (and aircraft) forwards.

    In space there in no substance to use as reaction mass, unless the rocket carries it. No amount of electricity can do anything, without something to use for that.

    Some existing satellites use "Ion thrusters" which are electrically rather than chemically powered, but they still require small amounts of gas as reaction mass, even though it is electrically accelerated.

    One of the launch methods already in use uses winged aircraft with jet engines to lift the rocket to a high altitude first, before the actual rocket section is released and uses its own fuel.

    The jet part could hypothetically be electrically powered, and electrically operated jet engines are in development - but that does not save as much rocket fuel as you may think, as a major part of the problem with getting to Earth orbit is that it needs a _lateral_ speed of roughly 16,000 miles per hour as well as over 100 miles altitude..

    Another possibility sometimes mentioned is a kind of linear accelerator or "magnetic cannon" to launch a spacecraft - but that again has major practical problems.

    The speed needed would cause the craft to burn up from air friction during launch if it were at low altitude, so it could only have a chance of working if built up an extremely high mountain, to put the end in very thin air.

    The other problems is the G forces needed to achieve orbital velocity within the confines of a launcher are completely impractical for manned use.

    From a quick calculation, to reach 16,000 miles an hour at 1G takes over 7000 seconds; so at 10G, 700 seconds.

    The accelerator system would need to be over a thousand miles long even at forces that would kill a percentage of the passengers.

    For cargo that could stand eg. 100G it may be possible - but not for manned launches.

    A system like that could possibly replace a first stage rocket to get a craft up to moderate altitudes and speeds to reduce overall mass and fuel use, but it does not seem possible to use such a system alone to achieve orbit from Earth.

    Such a system on the Moon would be a very different matter, as there is no atmospheric friction and a launch track could be as long as needed; plus the orbital velocity is much lower.

    Or possibly a supply launcher for interplanetary missions?

    [OK, it's 17,000 MPH needed for a low Earth orbit, not 16,000, after looking it up].

    Source(s): "The mean orbital velocity needed to maintain a stable low Earth orbit is about 7.8 km/s (28,000 km/h; 17,000 mph)" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low_Earth_orbit
  • 1 month ago

    It's already in the mix Milkshakes, it's called "Electromagnetism"

  • 1 month ago

    The ways are there. The only problem is electricity storage. To have the energy to propel a one ounce rocket, you gotta have pounds of batteries to power the ion generator. Which in itself is quite lite.

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