# More oceans: Titan, question.

sonhouse
Science 20 Dec '13 11:34
1. sonhouse
Fast and Curious
20 Dec '13 11:34
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap131220.html

Radar image of the lakes of Titan. The question is, suppose it's 200 years or so in the future and we have super insulators and such and fusion reactors and we had a reason to do so, could we build ships that would ply the lakes of Titan? Can we have something substantial float on such a surface as liquid methane?
2. 20 Dec '13 12:28
Originally posted by sonhouse
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap131220.html

Radar image of the lakes of Titan. The question is, suppose it's 200 years or so in the future and we have super insulators and such and fusion reactors and we had a reason to do so, could we build ships that would ply the lakes of Titan? Can we have something substantial float on such a surface as liquid methane?
Well liquid Methane has a density of about 40% that of water.

To support mass M requires Displacing an equal mass of fluid.

The displaced mass is density p times volume displaced.

M = p * V

If we make P = 1 for water and P = 0.4 for methane and want to
support the same mass in each then we get...

Vw = 0.4 * Vm

Thus

Vm = 2.5 * Vw

So a ship sailing on pure Methane would have to displace 2.5 times the volume
per unit mass of one sailing on pure water.

This might require building out of Carbon fibre instead of steel (carbon fibre having 3
times the strength per unit weight as steel).

But it's eminently doable.

And it's not like there is a shortage of carbon on your methane lake.
3. sonhouse
Fast and Curious
20 Dec '13 15:01
Originally posted by googlefudge
Well liquid Methane has a density of about 40% that of water.

To support mass M requires Displacing an equal mass of fluid.

The displaced mass is density p times volume displaced.

M = p * V

If we make P = 1 for water and P = 0.4 for methane and want to
support the same mass in each then we get...

Vw = 0.4 * Vm

Thus

Vm = 2.5 * Vw
...[text shortened]... it's eminently doable.

And it's not like there is a shortage of carbon on your methane lake.
Yep. The main question would be WHY? What would you ever need with a methane lake boat? I guess if you had a colony there you would need transport. It's funny. If you had a colony there, you would have an infinite supply of natural gas. The sticky part would be getting the O2 to react to it๐
4. 20 Dec '13 15:56
Imagine the life preservers they will have aboard.

Weeks ago I was reading up on the B-58 supersonic bomber, and saw that it had escape pods for the crew. I picture Titan preservers being that elaborate.

http://thelexicans.wordpress.com/2012/12/31/the-stanley-b-58-escape-pod/
5. sonhouse
Fast and Curious
23 Dec '13 15:40
Originally posted by Paul Dirac II
Imagine the life preservers they will have aboard.

Weeks ago I was reading up on the B-58 supersonic bomber, and saw that it had escape pods for the crew. I picture Titan preservers being that elaborate.

http://thelexicans.wordpress.com/2012/12/31/the-stanley-b-58-escape-pod/
I used to work on an ancient bomber, the B-47. It had the interesting feature that the navigator escape pod ejection seat faced DOWN. At the AFB I was assigned, one navigator got killed by doing a checkout and accidentally activating the ejection seat, he hit the tarmac which was maybe 8 feet under the plane, got kinda crushed. Most ejection seats go UP which at least gives you a fighting chance at survival from low altitudes.

You couldn't pay me to be a navigator on that old plane.
6. 23 Dec '13 16:15
Originally posted by sonhouse
Yep. The main question would be WHY? What would you ever need with a methane lake boat?
If you take my advice there's nothing so nice
As methane about on the river.
7. sonhouse
Fast and Curious
24 Dec '13 14:20
Originally posted by Rank outsider
If you take my advice there's nothing so nice
As methane about on the river.
Well you know how it goes on Titan:

I'm going to cry me a river.....