Tesla Roadster's 'SpaceX package' with rocket thrusters could actually work

Discussion in 'In the News' started by simonalvarez0987, Jun 10, 2018.

  1. simonalvarez0987

    simonalvarez0987 Active Member

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    #1 simonalvarez0987, Jun 10, 2018
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    This weekend proved to be a fruitful one for Elon Musk’s Twitter followers and fans of the next-generation Tesla Roadster, as the billionaire entrepreneur discussed, in honest-to-goodness seriousness, how the electric car maker would utilize SpaceX technology to make the upcoming all-electric supercar an absolute monster on wheels. Needless to say, there was quite a lot to take in.

    Musk started off his Twitter discussion on the next-generation Roadster by stating that the car will feature ~10 rocket thrusters that are “arranged seamlessly around (the) car.” Musk further noted that the thrusters would “dramatically” improve acceleration, braking, and cornering, to the point that the Roadster would be able to fly - a reaffirmation of his previous statement referring to the vehicle having the capability to fly 932322853009080320[/MEDIA]]“short hops.”

    Musk noted that Tesla would be using SpaceX’s Composite Overwrapped Pressure Vessel (COPV), a container consisting of a thin, non-structural liner wrapped with a structural fiber composite. COPVs are designed to hold a fluid under pressure, and are used by SpaceX’s first-stage rocket boosters during re-entry and landing. Musk further explained the use of SpaceX’s technology in later tweets.



    While the idea of using rocket propulsion to enhance the performance of an all-electric supercar might seem to be well into the realms of science fiction, using COPVs for the next-gen Roadster is actually pretty feasible, at least from a technical standpoint. SpaceX’s COPVs have operating pressures of around 350 bars (5,000 psi) and too powerful for a land vehicle. If Tesla installs a similar version of  SpaceX’s upper stage thrusters that are used in guiding rockets, rear-mounted devices could store just enough compressed air to provide Tesla’s next-gen Roadster an additional boost in acceleration for a short duration.



    Rocket thrusters placed in front of the vehicle that provides thrust opposite of the Roadster’s direction of travel, at least in concept, could help the electric car’s braking capability, while thrusters placed along each side of the vehicle can help in cornering by providing lateral force. In order to accomplish this, however, Tesla would have to carefully balance the weight of components from the upgraded SpaceX package - Musk noted that the vehicle would sacrifice its rear seats from the standard 2+ 2 configuration to accommodate the additional hardware - with output from the rocket thrusters to maximize the vehicle’s performance. Onboard electric air pumps would repressurize the space-grade containers when they were depleted, making for repeat fun, at least in a theoretical sense. Musk also stated that SpaceX COPVs that will be used for the next-generation Roadster will be durable, and be “literally bulletproof.”



    Overall, Musk reiterated that the next-generation Tesla Roadster is designed to be the best car in the industry when it gets released. During his tweetstorm, Musk mentioned that with the all-electric supercar, Tesla is attempting to beat ICE vehicles on “every performance metric;” thus transferring the “halo crown effect” gas cars have as the top speed standards in the automotive market.

    New details about Tesla’s next-generation Roadster have been released by Elon Musk lately. The SpaceX option for the vehicle was announced during the 2018 Annual Shareholder Meeting, and not long after that, Musk also revealed that the vehicle would feature an “Augmented Mode” designed to “enhance human driving ability,” thereby providing assistance to drivers who would be operating the insanely powerful supercar.

    During the unveiling of the next-generation Tesla Roadster, Elon Musk noted that the purpose of the all-electric supercar is to give a “hardcore smackdown” to gasoline-powered cars. The specs of the vehicle that were unveiled then, which are representative of the all-electric supercar’s base trim, are already record-breaking, including a 0-60 mph time of 1.9 seconds, a quarter-mile time of 8.9 seconds, a top speed of over 250 mph, 620 miles of range thanks to a 200 kWh battery, and 10,000 Nm of torque. With the Roadster’s SpaceX option, the all-electric supercar could very well establish a new class of vehicles that lie beyond the hypercar echelon. 

    Article: Tesla Roadster's 'SpaceX package' with rocket thrusters could actually work
     
  2. J.Taylor

    J.Taylor Active Member

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    The rocket package will be a very expensive option not available to any other car manufacturer. This will place the Tesla roadster into a truly space age category.
    *(and if priced to where it is worth will be very profitable for Tesla Corporation).
     
  3. Taylor S Marks

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    I want someone to do the math. These tanks can store air at 350 bars / 5000 psi. The car should be comparable to Model 3 in regards to cd and weight... isn't this enough info to get an idea of what kind of acceleration it'll have? Throw it into Kerbal Space Program?
     
  4. Not_Mandatory

    Not_Mandatory Member

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    Knowing the total available storage pressure is one thing, but we'd need to know the relative output limit of each nozzle, along with the precise orientation (assuming it's not gimbaled), as well as the efficiency of each nozzle (so we can calculate how long a nozzle could provide thrust before running out of stored propellant). And since it's from a finite pressure tank that refills "offline", it would effectively be a performance gradient that decreases significantly over time as the propellant is exhausted.

    BTW, when I first saw the article, I had to check to make sure it wasn't 01 April...

    Glad he's finally starting to tackle flying cars, though, dammit. We were promised those decades ago! :D
     
  5. juan94d148835770

    juan94d148835770 New Member

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    I dont understand how a 350bar copv gives thrust enogh for a car or rocket, but a diving tube with 300 bars wont? Atleast i dont think i could strap a diving tube to my car and make it go fast? Right?
     
  6. Not_Mandatory

    Not_Mandatory Member

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    The highest pressure diving tanks I know of only support up to 3500 psi, which is about 240 bars. So even those are still ~33% less pressure than the COPV. And if you had the proper tubing and nozzles, you probably could impact a vehicle's performance with a 240 bar tank, although the COPV increases the available propellant's pressure over such a diving tank by nearly 50%.
     
  7. JohnA

    JohnA New Member

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    Naively, an upper limit for thrust can be estimated from the pressure alone. Envisage cutting a disk out of the containment vessel and then working out how hard you'd have to push it to hold it in place. Force required is the opposing pressure times the area of the disk. Reckon the palm of my hand could offer the car ~1g acceleration.
     

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