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Autogyro Rocket Booster Recovery

Booster is shaped like a helicopter blade, spin slows its decent.
  [vote for,

In the vertical launch position, its profile offers very little wind resistance. Once the fuel is expended, it's ejected from the main rocket and falls to earth like a helicopter blade, maple seed or elongated turbine. Various shapes and rotational configurations could be tried, spinning around its central point like a helicopter blade or around it long axis like a dropped strip of paper. I wonder if you'd have any benefit from combining the two.

To be practical, you'd need enough slowing of the fall for the unit to survive hitting the water without having to add any strength to the structure, otherwise they you'd just be better off adding a very light parachute, although this wouldn't require parachute deployment system. Simply re-fuel and re-use.

A twist, no pun intended, of the magnus effect rocket recovery idea from Baconbrain.

doctorremulac3, Mar 08 2018

What if this turns out to be the perfect rocket design? https://d1466nnw0ex...n_iv/600/573421.jpg
I think it's got issues but maybe I'm missing something. [doctorremulac3, Mar 10 2018, last modified Oct 12 2018]


       Just have some blades pop out when it detaches methinks. Needs a better category.
RayfordSteele, Mar 08 2018

       Hmm. If the whole thing were blade-shaped, you'd have a lower volume-to-weight ratio; that is, the booster would contain less fuel for a given weight than if it were cylindrical.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 09 2018

       Yea, hmm. Maybe if it collapses into shape after the fuel is expended? Start out round and then flatten as you go. I dont' think there's much problem if you have twists and turns behind the leading point of the thing since that's all behind the shock wave anyway. In other words, as long as the nose cone is aerodynamic the body should be able to collapse in various spots as the fuel empties.   

       Having the body be made of a semi flexible material might address the impact resistance issue of the water landing as well.   

       I'm also thinking the maple seed model is the way to go since you'd have your heavy motor at one end like the seed in the example. The motor would also be, by necessity, hardened compared to the rest of the vehicle so when it hit the water it would take the brunt of the impact. By the time the flattened out fuel tank portion hit the water it would be moving at a fraction of the initial impact speed.   

       So when comparing this to the competition, those automated rockets that land like a 1950s sci-fi movie, it becomes a weight and complexity comparison. Flexible might actually be lighter than stiff tanks so I might win that one. I don't have to carry any fuel throughout the landing so I get that one as well. No landing gear, no guidance mechanisims but perhaps the main thing is this is stupid simple.   

       I forgot to put a category, thanks Ray.
doctorremulac3, Mar 09 2018

       Come to think of it, what about just hardening the engine portion for water impact then softening the tank portion to be flexible and just hitting the water at terminal velocity?
doctorremulac3, Mar 09 2018

       Thing is, parachutes aren't that heavy, they're simple, reliable and well-understood.   

       Is this idea going to be significantly better (cost, functionality, reliability) than the existing systems ?
8th of 7, Mar 09 2018

       Autorotation would make it better than a parachute.
FlyingToaster, Mar 09 2018

       Parachutes do fail. Even if a plane desintigrates in mid air many of its parts autorotate on their way down. Point is it’s pretty foolproof.   

       But yea, we’re working on the model t of rockets now. It’s about value for the money.
doctorremulac3, Mar 09 2018

       Don't we want as much building stuff up there as possible? A climb capable booster would be better mechano'd for a space terminus or starship construction.
wjt, Mar 09 2018

       Well, I'm just talking about drop away first stage boosters that usually just fall back to Earth.
doctorremulac3, Mar 10 2018

       That was my question, the economy of partial reuse, your [doctorremulac3] attempt at increased efficiency, compared to the concept to throw everything up to be reused up there. Of course with some smart reuse engineering built in.   

       if advancing then the main engine is the flavour of time cutting edge engine and the boosters are Saturn V's.
wjt, Mar 10 2018

       Well, keep in mind, the first stage of the Saturn V didn't acheive orbital velocity, it crashed back into the ocean. The second stage as well.   

       I'm wating for Elon Musk to unveil the perfect re- usable rocket design that turns out to be the one in the link.   

       He's already got them landing on their tails, a science fiction concept we all laughed at once upon a time.
doctorremulac3, Mar 10 2018

       You'll bankrupt yourself dragging payloads out of your planet's gravity well using chemical-fuelled reaction engines.   

       Just give up on developing new launchers and put all the money into building graviton-polarity generators.   

       Once you have that tech, chemical rockets will instantly become a historical curiosity, like coracles, sedan chairs, and war chariots.
8th of 7, Mar 10 2018

       //coracles, sedan chairs, and war chariots//   

       Combining those was not your best idea; the man between the shafts never has a free hand to work those blades at the sides, so the original coracle tendency to go in circles is perpetuated.
pertinax, Mar 11 2018

       Yes, but you have to concede that putting a sharp metal edge all round the paddle did confer a considerable advantage in mêlée combat.   

       The blood was everywhere... in retrospect, the sharp edge on the handle did represent poor judgement.
8th of 7, Mar 11 2018

       So [Ian], gravity is just us all being in solar orbit in very close proximity. The goal then would be to move all the other bits, on solar orbits, out of the way to allow a very low energy path out.   

       [doctorremulac3]I was trying to imagine bigger if the Saturn V was lifting less then maybe your getting a fuel reserve and spare engine for needed course corrections.
wjt, Mar 16 2018

       I think you're talking about single stage to orbit. Those are tough. The staging system designed hundreds of years ago is just a really good way to get things up there.   

       No reason you can't build re-usability into those lower stages though, which has been done successfully now.
doctorremulac3, Mar 18 2018


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