• Question: If you had the oppurtinuty to design a rocket, what would it look like, what equipment would it have, and what would it be called?

    Asked by elliejones to Adam, Catherine, Karen, Leila, Nazim on 20 Mar 2012.
    • Photo: Leila Battison

      Leila Battison answered on 20 Mar 2012:

      I really like the idea of using some of the nuclear energy and particle accellerator technology that we have to create a powerful and safe rocket that can have variable power, so we could steer around and look at what we like, instead of pointing it at a distant planet ad firing!

      I would want to have plenty of space for plants on board, so we could have a healthy ecosystem to keep people alive on long journeys, and I’d want to take with me all the stuff we have here on Earth that we use to look for fossils and new species.

      I’d call it Nantosuelta, after the Celtic goddess of nature 🙂

    • Photo: Catherine Rix

      Catherine Rix answered on 20 Mar 2012:

      I would like to build a rocket to try and collect microbes in space. It would have a nosecone that opened and inside the nose cone there would be an aerogel – a sticky material to collect any particles. The nose cone would close and then the rocket would come back to Earth so that I could have a look and see if any microbes were collected

    • Photo: Nazim Bharmal

      Nazim Bharmal answered on 20 Mar 2012:

      If I could design any sort of rocket, I would make one that could land as a plane and take off like one too. I’d be sure that it was painted blue, had a few flowers painted on the side, and I’d call it Matilda. I think the best thing you can do is make technology friendly: calling something Matilda means you aren’t going to get scared of it!

      The idea behind a “space plane” is that you could take off normally and when you are high enough, you can switch to using a more powerful engine that gets you out of the atmosphere. Then once you are high up you can either quickly zip around the Earth and land again (imagine it taking only 2 hours to get to Australia) or you can go up and meet a space station or space ship in orbit.

      Space ships that never land can be designed very differently from a space plane, and so we could make ones that spin (artificial gravity) and could travel to the other planets like Mars or even the moons of Jupiter.

      Once you get there, you would have another space plane that takes you down to the surface again.
      Ideally, my space ships (can I have two space planes and one space ship?) have lots of scientific equipment for exploring: tents so we can live there for a while, a rover to drive around the surface, and lots of DVDs to stop me getting bored as even to get to Mars could take 2 years.

    • Photo: Adam Stevens

      Adam Stevens answered on 20 Mar 2012:

      So as you may be aware I’m a bit obsessed with Mars, so my rocket is designed to start off the human exploration of Mars.

      It would have to take all the stuff we would need for at least a couple of years (when we could send another one, then another, then another!) which I hope I have included in the design, which is here

      Those in the know might realise this looks very like NASA’s new Space Launch System, but that’s because that’s wicked good.

      We would probably send the astronauts separately after all this stuff had landed safely, just in case.

      I had to think pretty hard about a name, was just going to go with Ares (BORING), but did a bit of digging.

      Turns out Ares’ granddaughter (or the roman version anyway) was called Concordia, and she was the mother of the god of medicine, Asclepius, so I think that’s quite nice.

      So, feast your eyes on the good ship Concordia-1 (because it’s the first of many).