Jul 102013

Lockheed artwork of a Mach 6 hypersonic transport, circa 1979. Fuel would have been liquid hydrogen. A report on this, with some quite good drawings, is available as Air Doc 3.

lockheed lh2 mach 6 hst

 Posted by at 1:23 am
  • se jones

    Speaking of HSTs…

    So last night I went over to the University to listen to Darin W Toohey, Professor,
    Dept of Atmospheric & Oceanic Science at the University of Colorado, talk
    about his year (2011) in Washington as a Jefferson Science Fellow in the in the
    U.S. State Department.

    To make a long story short: it seems the latest fad among “climate
    change” experts at EPA is to lose sleep over all the carbon black the coming
    fleet of sub-orbital rockets are going to inject into the upper atmosphere. So,
    in keeping with the OB trend to do things via executive order through agencies
    (and around congress), the State Dept. snuck in all sorts of rules, limits and
    future “cap-n-trade” crap on rocket emissions into the newest
    Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) act. (that’s sort of NAFTA for China,
    Japan & East Asia for those of you in Rio Linda).

    Our esteemed trading partners were happy to tax the shit out of the budding
    commercial space launch industry in exchange for a bunch of other concessions
    in their favor.

    Half the crowd was ecstatic, the other half (including me of course) were furious.
    Pitty Alan Stern couldn’t make it, there would have been fireworks.

    Lesson – THIS is the kind of political shit that goes on behind the scenes. A
    bunch of egg heads negotiating a tax on rocket exhaust (that MAYBE in 40 years could raise the temprature .01C) in exchange for some fish export tariff rates or something. That’s how it works and what we’re up against.

    • Anonymous

      That’s. Just. Spectacular.

      • Cthell

        Well, at least it won’t have any effect on vehicles fuelled by carbon-free engines (admittedly, of the top of my head that’s only traditional O2/H2 engines and anyone mad enough to use a H2/F2 engine in the atmosphere, but I suppose it would also include nuclear-thermal and plasma), so it wouldn’t impact any potential Skylon/Lapcat operations.

        I know that liquid-fuelled rockets run fuel-rich (I presume to prevent the potential damage to the motor from high-temperature oxygen?); I wonder if there’s a difference in carbon-black emmisions between liquid-fuelled rockets and hybrid rockets?

        • publiusr

          I seem to remember in the book TERRAFORMING about how, if you were to replace Venus atmosphere with a similar concentration of water vapor –not liquid water on a stabilized planet–but simple water vapor…Venus would actually be hotter. Water vapor is actually a more severe greenhouse gas than CO2 itself.

          Now the thought is that the hydrologic cycle would rain the excess water vapor out faster than the carbon cycle could re-uptake that carbon back into the surface biomass it actually is supposed to be all along–all the way back to the Carboniferous.

          But it looks like that is happening pretty quickly too:


          I remember when Bush 43 (not my fav) called for hydrogen production, and then some greens railed against the effects pure hydrogen in the upper atmosphere.
          So they really are about cutting off our opposible thumbs, shooting us in the kneecaps so we can lose our up-right and bipedal stance so we can all roll back into the caves with Al Gore and Alley Oop.