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If an astronaut threw a balsa chuck glider....

Old 02-07-2011, 08:47 PM
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foodstick
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Default If an astronaut threw a balsa chuck glider....

If an astronaut threw a balsa chuck glider straight towards the earth from the space shuttle, as hard as he could...Would the energy carry it until it reached the earths gravity? Could it survive the transition from outer space to our atmosphere?
Old 02-07-2011, 11:41 PM
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Default RE: If an astronaut threw a balsa chuck glider....


ORIGINAL: foodstick

Could it survive the transition from outer space to our atmosphere?
Simple answer to that is NO! There is special ceramic tiles on the shuttle not to burn up during the re-entry. As for the balsa? You can answer that one yourself[X(]
Old 02-08-2011, 02:55 AM
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Default RE: If an astronaut threw a balsa chuck glider....

You have to realize that while it LOOKS like he is "Hovering" over the earth, he is actually traveling a Bazzillion miles per second (Actual speed) and so is the glider.

Now... IF he were hovering, and threw the glider, then yes, it would continue until it reached the earth
Old 02-08-2011, 03:20 AM
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Default RE: If an astronaut threw a balsa chuck glider....

Hmmmm, Not so sure we have all the data yet. The space shuttle has a lot of mass per area and hence little drag as it enters the first molecules of our atmosphere. A balsa glider would have a lot more area (drag) for its mass so the velocity might slow down fast enough to keep friction at tolerable levels.

What we need on this forum now is a Steely-Eyed Rocket Man from the '60s to give us the straight scoop. Or... We get Mark Kelly to take up a glider and we do an empirical test.
Old 02-08-2011, 05:23 AM
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Default RE: If an astronaut threw a balsa chuck glider....


ORIGINAL: thailazer

Hmmmm, Not so sure we have all the data yet. The space shuttle has a lot of mass per area and hence little drag as it enters the first molecules of our atmosphere. A balsa glider would have a lot more area (drag) for its mass so the velocity might slow down fast enough to keep friction at tolerable levels.

What we need on this forum now is a Steely-Eyed Rocket Man from the '60s to give us the straight scoop. Or... We get Mark Kelly to take up a glider and we do an empirical test.
Interesting question. I'm with Thai on this one......we need someone who knows what's really going on up there. My impression is that the space shuttle is already in the earth's gravitational field and must maintain it's speed or the orbit will eventually deteriorate. Make sure and check the CG of the glider before you throw it........oh wait...... how do you determine that in space : ) !!!!
Old 02-08-2011, 05:33 AM
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Default RE: If an astronaut threw a balsa chuck glider....

Paper survied the shuttle burn up because of low mass.

L.
Old 02-08-2011, 06:07 AM
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Default RE: If an astronaut threw a balsa chuck glider....

Ok, who's gonna do this thing??? Not me !!!
Old 02-08-2011, 06:39 AM
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Default RE: If an astronaut threw a balsa chuck glider....

Me neither - You can't smoke up there [:@]
Old 02-08-2011, 06:41 AM
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Default RE: If an astronaut threw a balsa chuck glider....


ORIGINAL: MinnFlyer

Me neither - You can't smoke up there [:@]
Then I'm out as well!
Old 02-08-2011, 07:46 AM
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Default RE: If an astronaut threw a balsa chuck glider....

Same thing ! I wonder what would happen after a big ole ham&bean fart???
Old 02-08-2011, 08:33 AM
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Default RE: If an astronaut threw a balsa chuck glider....

I was curious..I had wondered that since the atmosphere is so thin at the edge if possibly the balsa wood start bleeding off speed without ripping apart or burning up..
Old 02-08-2011, 10:21 AM
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Default RE: If an astronaut threw a balsa chuck glider....

It IS an interesting situation
Old 02-08-2011, 10:31 AM
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Default RE: If an astronaut threw a balsa chuck glider....


ORIGINAL: foodstick

If an astronaut threw a balsa chuck glider straight towards the earth from the space shuttle, as hard as he could...Would the energy carry it until it reached the earths gravity? Could it survive the transition from outer space to our atmosphere?
Hehe, hey Foodstick were you guys drinking beer all night to come up with this one.......


Depending on distance from Earth, they will be travelling in vacuum, at what, about 24 000 km/hr or something to stay in orbit? Remember the coin and feather in the vacuum glass cylinder - falling at the same speed?

Your balsa glider travelling at around 24 000 km/hr will, in order to get in lowerorbits,need an awful lot of slowing downentering the Earth's atmosphere. If most meteorites don't make it through, I guess your glider will be toast. Now, if you train a cockroach to flyit................

Cheers

Bundu
Old 02-08-2011, 10:43 AM
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Default RE: If an astronaut threw a balsa chuck glider....

No, they're from the US, so they'd be traveling in "MPH"
Old 02-08-2011, 10:44 AM
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Default RE: If an astronaut threw a balsa chuck glider....

Would it return to earth, most definitely. Would it burn up on reentry, probably not.
Old 02-08-2011, 10:52 AM
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Default RE: If an astronaut threw a balsa chuck glider....

The balsa glider would need to be thrown after the reverse thrusters of the shuttle were ignited to lower the orbital speed. The glider would then slowly return to earth (a gravity thing) (that's the technical term) . Due to its low mass (also technical), very little friction would be generated and the glider would eventually glide on its own accord (not the vehicle). Once descent to ~ 60,000 feet, the little wayward glider would probably be torn apart by viscious thermals. Should it survive, it could land anywhere; kinda like a message bottle thrown into the sea.
This is such an interesting topic, I wouldn't mind if NASA used my telephone number on a glider to see if I get a call in the next 20 years, or so. Perhaps several 100 gliders should be launched/released. Would that be littering??
Old 02-08-2011, 11:13 AM
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Default RE: If an astronaut threw a balsa chuck glider....

Here's a good article on the process.


[link=http://www.aerospaceweb.org/question/spacecraft/q0218.shtml]Re-entry[/link]


I looks like there is a very narrow agle that you have to hit to re-enter Earth. The glidder having high drag would trade heat for speed when it hits atmoshere and burn up. That's my vote


Jeff
Old 02-08-2011, 11:42 AM
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Default RE: If an astronaut threw a balsa chuck glider....

Well, in my dream scenario..
I was hoping as the plane descended the gradual atmosphere increase would somehow allow the balsa glider to start pulling the nose up, and thereby porpoise instead of continue at break neck speeds.

I thought the new experimental space plane was using a tumbling effect to bleed off speed, and thought possibly the ultra light wing loading of the glider could allow it to start flying much sooner than most objects...
The way the space shuttle comes down on the runway on final gives you a good feel how HOT that thing must be when coming through the initial reentry .

I guess throwing gliders off the roof just ain't good enough for me anymore !
Old 02-08-2011, 11:52 AM
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Default RE: If an astronaut threw a balsa chuck glider....

Yes, but re-entry or not, the shuttle flies like a brick and NEEDS to come in hotter than hell.

I think your scenario on the glider would be correct. Due to its low mass in relation to its size, the air would slow it down and it would start to fly - and eventually land. Now let's just hope it doesn't put someone's eye out
Old 02-08-2011, 01:37 PM
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Default RE: If an astronaut threw a balsa chuck glider....

ORIGINAL: foodstick

If an astronaut threw a balsa chuck glider straight towards the earth from the space shuttle, as hard as he could...Would the energy carry it until it reached the earths gravity? Could it survive the transition from outer space to our atmosphere?

I think some one needs to have a grade 1-3 person ask an astronaut this before it would be done. Perhaps we could rig a little battery and GPS transmitter to track it, oh nevermind, Iran and others are not allowed GPS technology and risk of glider landing there is highly probable.

Speaking of which I wonder how they get MS windows, or what operating system they use on their PC's.

I know Linux could work, does not take long to figure out computer language works.
Old 02-08-2011, 01:47 PM
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Default RE: If an astronaut threw a balsa chuck glider....

If not balsa, how about a paper plane? The Japanese are already researching launching paper airplanes from space, check it out here http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23827045/

Dave
Old 02-08-2011, 01:49 PM
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Default RE: If an astronaut threw a balsa chuck glider....

Oh I remember that!

So ya, if paper can be made to make it, then of course balsa would, just give the task to those Jap space agency guys to figure it out!
Old 02-08-2011, 01:52 PM
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Default RE: If an astronaut threw a balsa chuck glider....

Foodstick.... This is indeed an interesting question. I sent an email to Robert Nemiroff who runs the astronomy site, http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html . He responded and suggested I post the question at a discussion forum there so I did and it is running now at Starship Asterisk. Looks like an interesting discussion group! Check it out at
http://bb.nightskylive.net/asterisk/...p?f=30&t=22868
Old 02-08-2011, 01:54 PM
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Default RE: If an astronaut threw a balsa chuck glider....

Actually an astronaut wouldn't know either. They are trained to fly, work, eat, sleep and do their jobs. It's the engineers that tell THEM what angle they need to come in on etc.
Old 02-08-2011, 02:04 PM
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Default RE: If an astronaut threw a balsa chuck glider....

Ask the Japanese; they allready bombed the USA with paper balloon bombs in WWII.

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