Can we land the space shuttle on the moon? Some say it is impossible, but not all. One idea floated in an online think tank recently was to set up an aircraft carrier style arresting hook and allow the space shuttle to land on a flat area or semi hard run way. Of course such a crazy stunt could be risky, but what if it could be done?.One guest to the online think tank thought for sure it could not work because a Space Shuttle would be in orbit around the moon at 530 meters per second and stated; "That's just a wee bit fast for an arrestor hook, or anything vaguely similar.".Ah, but who says it has to be vaguely similar? When an idea such as this is thrown out in the abstract form.
One needs to think of how to make it work and not only why it won't. Having built many devices, re-designed equipment and tried and yes failed many times, I always found it interesting that people would say something would never work and then we would always find a way with a few improvements to make it work. It might be nice to have a such a device on the moon in the future to catch robotic cargo loads. Perhaps drop a hook like an anchor and have a friction inertia device slow it down and in doing so, collect energy to charge batteries to run other systems.
Sure we can do better or use other methods to bring things to the moon, but we already have the Space Shuttle assets. This idea is intriguing and such thought might propel a new design for something else later even more important. I think I should make a concept sketch with several other possible applications for this and just put them on the web for idea sake, someone looking for another solution may see it and use the basics for something else.You know you could have an airborne arresting situation where it did not involve the surface of the moon, but slowed down the shuttle or whatever was visiting and simply have an arm at the end to gently set it on the surface in one piece and that way if the system failed you simply abort and go around. If it was working fine the arm extends and sets it down.Now then and just thinking out loud with solutions to your 530 meters per second speed of landing.
Why not discharge gas directly above the 12 meter AGL glide path and use a gas we do not want from mining operations, then excite those molecules with sound and cause a thickening event, slowing the space craft down and allowing for some flight dynamics and ground cushion. Now it works?.Is there underground thermal activity we could collect to discharge later? Let's you have a 15-mile shallow angle trajectory and you are cruising along at the speed of a high-powered bullet and you are right next to the ground. If there is suddenly a temporary atmosphere, which thickens as you get closer (more gas and more sound or should I say frequency waves to excite molecules) and may a ground catch system, which would act as a cable with inertia friction dampening.
You could do it?.But there must be 30 ways to make this work. I bet there are. I am undeterred there is always a way.
And even if the strategy for thermal vent release or extra mining gas release is not worthy here, well that idea might be used somewhere else in the future too for something on a planet with those conditions or similar. So for a think tank site, that idea stands, with some obvious needed added components. Many people have great ideas or thoughts, which lead to other thoughts and each thought should be processed and considered in order to propel new innovations and not all the old stuff which does not work. Consider all this in 2006..