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Posted 20 May 2011 - 07:48 PM
Posted 20 May 2011 - 10:59 PM
What other technologies could speed up the way we get from London to New York, or Sydney to Los Angeles, or Cape Town to Tokyo? Hypersonic ramjets cruising twice as high as current aircraft? Rocket planes that take a shortcut through space? Supersonic ocean submerged maglev trains through vacuum sealed tunnels? There are a few references on the timeline, but I'm interested in discussing what barriers might stand in the way, or what economic circumstances will justify a change to the status quo.
I firmly believe the age of the commercial jet is fast coming to a close. Thus, as resources for fuel continue to deplete and their component prices continue to rise, we will see a shift to other transportation modes. That being said, the use of 'Rocket planes' and the like will also go the way of the Dodo.
As to these barriers? Well, although the chunnel and it's ilk have begun appearing in various places around the planet, one well placed seismic event will take one apart in seconds. Same goes for a MagLev tracks on land, although I believe current tech could probably prevent serious catastrophe in cases of seismic destruction of the track.
So, all said, I think the relatively 'young' age of our planet is the major drawback to high-speed transportation technology at the present. Until we can design absolutely fool-proof systems that can negate natural events from interrupting those systems, I think we are condemned to continue on as-is until the oil runs out.
- Caiman likes this
Posted 23 May 2011 - 07:31 PM
Posted 24 May 2011 - 10:51 PM
I like the space elevator idea proposed by Chronomaster, but I'm afraid the investment won't be made until we've moved beyond capitalism. That or material science needs to make a massive breakthrough that would make this somewhat 'cheap', relatively speaking.
Posted 25 May 2011 - 03:11 AM
Current Carbon Nanotube technology is very close to fruition, in the capabilities of strength, toward its use in space elevator construction. It was estimated that the elevator cable would need a material capable of sustaining a length of 4,960 kilometers of its own weight at sea level in order to reach a geostationary altitude of 36,000 km without tapering and without breaking.Carbon nanotube technology is fast approaching this threshold, as well as the graphene ribbon tech as well.
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