# Evacuating planet Earth via commercial airliner jets.

#### Keatah

##### Active member
If you could somehow convert each commercial airliner jet into a moon shuttle, how long would it take to evacuate the population of planet earth?

The answer is 3.7 years.. Based on current number of passengers being flown by airlines today.

#### ky

##### Director of Manned Spaceflight
Wow i think a lot of people would die by then if it was a natural disaster.

#### Eagle

##### The Amazing Flying Tuna Can
Earth/Moon Holtzman Orbital Period * Population of Earth / Total Passenger capacity of all airliners?

I guess its a somewhat intriguing number, if useless. I wonder if they should took in account population growth over the 3.7 years.

##### New member
We don't need to convert commercial airliner jets into moon shuttles. We already have Starflight One:

:lol:

#### Cairan

##### Donator
Donator
One interesting aspect is the fact that airliners are built to specs for a given pressure differential between the cabin and the environment. At 40000 feet, the cabin pressure is about 75 kPa, while the outside pressure is about 19 kPa, which rounds to a 60 kPa difference. You could therefore, in theory, pressurize the cabin to 60 kPa, with a 25/75 oxygen/nitrogen mix to have a partial O2 pressure of 15 kPa, equivalent to what is on the airliners at cruise altitude.

Then you'd need to apply some type of additional thermal protection I'd think, as the bare aluminium skin might radiate a little too much heat to space... On the other hand it might be a blessing, relieving the need for fragile radiators to be retrofitted if you dump the heat in the structure and let the wings play that part...

#### Hielor

##### Defender of Truth
Donator
Beta Tester
One interesting aspect is the fact that airliners are built to specs for a given pressure differential between the cabin and the environment. At 40000 feet, the cabin pressure is about 75 kPa, while the outside pressure is about 19 kPa, which rounds to a 60 kPa difference. You could therefore, in theory, pressurize the cabin to 60 kPa, with a 25/75 oxygen/nitrogen mix to have a partial O2 pressure of 15 kPa, equivalent to what is on the airliners at cruise altitude.

Then you'd need to apply some type of additional thermal protection I'd think, as the bare aluminium skin might radiate a little too much heat to space... On the other hand it might be a blessing, relieving the need for fragile radiators to be retrofitted if you dump the heat in the structure and let the wings play that part...
Don't think that'll work as you expect, given that airplane pressurization systems rely on outside atmosphere for their air, afaik...

#### Cairan

##### Donator
Donator
Don't think that'll work as you expect, given that airplane pressurization systems rely on outside atmosphere for their air, afaik...

Yes indeed, basically airliners rely on a constant quantity of air being lost through vents and replenished by the compressors, so are not exactly airtight... Still might be -possible- (albeit maybe hardly feasible) to adapt them with CO2 scrubbers at the main vents and prevent O2/N2 from venting out... Just tossing the idea that structurally it -might- be possible to convert an airframe for emergency purposes...

#### Hielor

##### Defender of Truth
Donator
Beta Tester
Yes indeed, basically airliners rely on a constant quantity of air being lost through vents and replenished by the compressors, so are not exactly airtight... Still might be -possible- (albeit maybe hardly feasible) to adapt them with CO2 scrubbers at the main vents and prevent O2/N2 from venting out... Just tossing the idea that structurally it -might- be possible to convert an airframe for emergency purposes...
To get to space, maybe. But not to get back down.

#### Sky Captain

##### New member
Give an airliner to Mytbusters and it will be air tight in no time :lol:

#### garyw

Moderator
Tutorial Publisher
If you could somehow convert each commercial airliner jet into a moon shuttle

And that's the problem. With the extra weight of the conversion your passenger numbers would be greatly reduced rendering the final figure wrong.

#### T.Neo

##### SA 2010 Soccermaniac
And that's the problem. With the extra weight of the conversion your passenger numbers would be greatly reduced rendering the final figure wrong.

I think it's assumed here that the airliners are being used only as pressure vessels, and their woefully inadequate propulsion systems are being ignored.

Considering that the airline industry flies something like 2 billion passengers a year, it should theoretically be possible to evacuate all humans on Earth into space within less than a decade, completely ignoring the technological problems. Of course, when you realise that you need to ship all sorts of other stuff into space. Already launching just the mass of alll humans on Earth, would cost around 5 quadrillion dollars at existing launch costs... and that is already neglecting the most simple survival requirements such as pressure vessels.

Assuming enough technological proficiency, I could see at least hundreds of thousands of people being launched off the Earth in the space of a year.

#### Grover

##### Saturn V Misfire
Donator
but i doubt theres enough resources on earth to make spacecraft for each one, you'd need to do the efficient thing and make a HUGE space station (funnily enough, i had just thought of a space station concept ) and ship everyone up there in individual craft, but even then, you'd need a hell of a lot of resources, and you would probably end up making bits out of any useable metal just so you had enough

either way, we cant evacuate earth right now, leave ti a few thousand years will we make it to the next star system and stuff

#### T.Neo

##### SA 2010 Soccermaniac
Well, it isn't like the rest of the solar system is uninhabitable- it's barren, but we could survive there if we set up good enough habitats. Problem is, we can't really do that right now.

Considering the thousands, millions of tons of material in buildings, ships, aircraft... there should be plenty of metal still left in the crust of the Earth with which to build spacecraft.

#### statickid

##### CatDog from Deimos
Donator
then we could return to the charred husk of earth and harvest water/minerals/plant seeds/etc etc...

#### Solar424

##### New member
Yeah, but can you imagine eating airline food for over three days?

#### Keatah

##### Active member
Not any worse than McDonalds on a daily basis for weeks at a time.

#### T.Neo

##### SA 2010 Soccermaniac
Hey! Don't bash my method of slow suicide.

#### Hielor

##### Defender of Truth
Donator
Beta Tester
Not any worse than McDonalds on a daily basis for weeks at a time.
Difference being that McDonald's tastes good...

#### River Crab

##### SpaceX Cheer Captain
Donator
Anyone remember [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocketplane_XP"]Rocketplane XP?[/ame]

Was interesting, although it had an unbelievably low price tag. In the end, they went bankrupt, but they seriously considered turning Learjets into spaceplanes...
I was too good to be true, of course.

Seems their website is still up...

This was only suborbital, but it was expected to operate at orbital altitude...I don't think converting today's airliners into moon shuttles will ever be possible, though. I hope you weren't trying to say it should be...

We don't need to convert commercial airliner jets into moon shuttles. We already have Starflight One...
My favourite part was the stock footage of "Columbia" (actually it was Enterprise) "about to launch into space after a record turnaround time of two hours." :lol:

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#### Eli13

##### Fish Dreamer
Good ole columbia. Rest in peace.

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