Sunday, May 5, 2013

Daily Thoughts 05/05/2013

A Flight Through Space from Brough's Fairytales of Science, Charles Henry Bennett

Daily Thoughts 05/05/2013

Yesterday, I checked the Twitter and Facebook pages for the library.  There was also the Friends of the Library Book and Bake Sale.

I finished reading Floating To Space, the Airship to Orbit Program by John Powell.  This book is about JP Aerospace which is a company that does high altitude experiments with balloons.  Recently the JP Aerospace program broke the altitude record for airships.  It is very much a do it yourself type venture.

Each stage of their planned program would open new scientific vistas.  Just getting an airship to the height which they propose is a breakthrough.  There are three steps to their program, an ascender vehicle which would go to 140,000 feet, a deep sky station which would be a permanent manned high altitude platform in near space, and finally an orbital airship which would go to space.  Each of these things seems impossible to many people.  That is why the book is so fascinating.

Having very high altitude airships would improve communications technology, surveillance technology, energy technology, and climate data.  It would make things like high altitude wind energy
and ideas like Stratosolar's  high altitude solar power platforms much more believeable.  It sometimes stretches the limits of ones imagination.

The science in the program is fascinating.  The book gives a history of balloons being used in space, including the imp glider and the satelloon.  If you are interested in cheap access to space this book is a must read because John Powell does a lot of work with microsatellites, rockoons, science experiments for education, and rocket engine experiments.

It also brings back the idea of having airships for travel.  A lot of people are taking a closer look at airships because of this.  I like looking at companies like

There are numerous examples of the author repeatedly testing the limits of engineering and innovation.  This book also touches on a new frontier which there is very little known about, near space, the upper portions of the atmosphere.  There are microbes, strange electrical activities, and unique phenomena to observe.

I highly recommend this book.  It is one of those unique books which is hard to find.  I had to reserve it twice through interlibrary loan to get the book.  It is worth going to the JP Aerospace website to take a look.

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