It is by its very nature a more elegant solution to the problem of designing for all of the various flight regimes encountered during launch, orbital flight and return to Earth. What do you think is more advanced, a vehicle that can maneuver and then make a controlled landing, or a ballistic cone with limited crossrange that must rely on parachutes for "landing", if you want to call it that?
What's more advanced: The shape or the fact that it's internals are based on tried-and-true Soyuz subsystems?<br /><br />Besides; what's wrong with Apollo's shape? It worked well, could work well again. This new proposal would carry TWICE as many Astros as Apollo and be fully or at least partially re-usable to boot.<br /><br />Or are we gonna start the old "Lifting bodies versus Capsules" carp arguments again? If we are, then, cheese & rice, I'm SO outta here!!!<br /><br />Besides, for the record: I THINK KLIPER IS COOL!!! GO RUSSIA!!! <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p>One Percent of Federal Funding For Space: America <strong><em><u>CAN</u></em></strong> Afford it!! LEO is a <strong><em>Prison</em></strong> -- It's time for a <em><strong>JAILBREAK</strong></em>!!</p> </div>
I think when Americans see Kliper touch down on a runway, and then look at our "CEV" parachuting down to Earth like a 1960's Apollo capsule, they're going to be rather disappointed by our regression. <br /><br />And I'm not convinced that parachute landings are as safe as a controlled runway approach. Will there be ejection seats or any sort of egress capability if "CEV" decides to pull a Genesis?
More elegant? Simple is elegance.<br /><br />First of all we need a good mass to volume ratio to give the most room for a crew with the least possible mass. The smaller the surface area of the ship the less mass. A sphere would have the least possible surface area for it's volume. However a sphere is less than ideal when you have to deal with the most dangerous phase of the mission, reentry. One whole side of the sphere would require a thermal protection system increasing the mass. If you cut the sphere in half you get a dome. This shape will provide the largest possible volume for the area that requires thermal protection.<br /><br />A Dome shaped capsule will also have a simple round section that requires thermal protection which means you can go with a simple ablative heat shield instead of a more complex system of thermal tiles and carbon carbon. More complex gives Mr Murphy more ways to apply his law. A simple round thermal protection system is easy to protect during the mission by covering it with a service module.<br /><br />Having the least amount of surface area possible means that you have the least chance possible of space debris hitting the capsule.<br /><br />It's easy to attach an escape tower to a capsule design, giving a better escape profile to the launch portion of a mission.<br /><br />A Dome shaped capsule is the best most elegant option during all phases of the mission from launch through reentry. A lifting body only has advantages during the final few minutes of a mission, less than 1% of the time. It is safer during launch and reentry, the two most dangerous phases of the mission and overall is the safest design.<br /><br />You are focusing too much on less than 1% of a mission and ignoring the design advantages of a capsule during the remaining 99% of the time.<br />
>And I'm not convinced that parachute landings are as safe as a controlled runway approach. Will there be ejection seats or any sort of egress capability if "CEV" decides to pull a Genesis?<br /><br />I'm against cutting holes in manned spacecraft heat shields. CEV doesn't need ejection seats, just a backup parachute. Extra 'chutes are much lighter than wings and landing gear - and don't require holes in heatshields.<br /><br />Josh <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div align="center"><em>We need a first generation of pioneers.</em><br /></div> </div>