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Steam balloons could be used to lift space rockets to higher altitude for launch. Launching from high altitude reduces air drag and thus improves efficiency. The researchers present the method in an article published in The Aeronautical Journal.
Launching satellites to orbit becomes easier if the booster rocket is first lifted to high altitude where the air is thin. Indeed, small rockets have been sometimes launched from an aircraft or a balloon. However, using hydrogen or helium balloons has its drawbacks, because hydrogen is flammable while helium is expensive.
Study - Scientists - Meteorological - Institute - Propose
In a recent study, scientists working at the Finnish Meteorological Institute propose to use hot steam as the lifting gas.
"The balloon is filled by hot steam on ground and released. As the balloon ascends, part of the water vapor condenses. The condensation releases a...
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