Focus on Orion not Ares and the moon

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jmiller31

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In all of the conversations here and elsewear I find it interesting and unfortunate that most people are focusing on the cancellation of the "moon program". When Bush announced it I as lots of other people recognized it for what it was, a political stunt that he could dump on the next president but would buy some times and votes. While I agree it would be cool to go back to the moon and it's sad that a country that managed to land men on the moon just 60+ years after figuring out how to fly couldn't manage to do it again in the next 40 years I agree it was a bad idea.

Having said all of that the one thing that came out of the plan that seemed reasonable was the Orion capsule. I'm not sure I agree that we should rely on private companies to provide the rockets to send NASA astronauts into space but I think it's silly to expect them to provide the capsule/ship/work environment whatever you want to call it. In my mind one of two things will happen in this regard.

1. SpaceX or someone will construct a capsule based on what the lowest common denominator of requirements for a wide variety of potential customers need. When NASA mission planners go to use it they will either have to make so many changes to the vehicle or strip so much from the mission as to make the whole mission unworkable.
2. NASA will spec out a capsule that someone will make, how is this different than Orion? Why waste what's been spent on starting over?

If the design of Orion is flawed then fine start over but it's silly to cancel this portion of the program.

Using the logic of private is better than government then we should tell the air force to not buy any more fighters and just buy Lear Jets and figure out how to stick missiles on them.
 
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pathfinder_01

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Yeap that is the question. I agree that orion might have been the only thing worth saving. However I suspect that building a capsule is not a something that should take many years to do. In fact, maybe 3 at most?? I do think that Nasa should have it's own vechiles, but privatize the launch.
 
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orienteer

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I am still not sold on Orion. Oceanic recovery does not sound safe to me. Remember Liberty 7? I am also not too sure about landing on land when Soyuz can have a ballistic reentry and land 150 miles away from the target ( and not on someones house). My final beef is the lack of sample return space.

Wonder if someone could put retractable wings on a shuttle like capsule. The arrow could sit on top of the rocket for launch, and would not need as much of a heat shield (i.e. weight) at which time the wings could emerge and the pilot could take over.
 
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EarthlingX

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Orion is based on the CRV, which was also canceled. I'm sure that all the tech will be saved, this way or another, probably under different name, as we've seen before.
J-2X is probably in the greatest danger, because there's a couple of operational second stage engines, but good things come up, eventually.
If no one else, Lockheed Martin and Bigelow will get it in the orbit, there might be other interested in it, like ESA.

Orion on Ariane (forum)

Orion Lite:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orion_Lite
Orion Lite (forum)
 
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Bromo33333

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pathfinder_01":1mbnqxxl said:
Yeap that is the question. I agree that orion might have been the only thing worth saving. However I suspect that building a capsule is not a something that should take many years to do. In fact, maybe 3 at most?? I do think that Nasa should have it's own vechiles, but privatize the launch.
I don't mind the military model. They transfer technology and have some contract supervisors on site as a private military company designs and builds the item in question. The Military will them use them per their mission. The Military has very little native design capability. This doesn't look much different, though NASA will have to work with their contractors in order to make sure they get something.

But ...

The budget hasn't passed, and the GOP appears to be staking a lot on NASA's Moon Shot. Given their current momentum, it is likely some of the budget is likely to be restored. The pundits all seem to think that it is terribly important to land a man on the Moon again before the Chinese might.
 
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Woggles

Guest
Lockheed Martin Orion Team Fabricates World's Largest Heat Shield Structure

DENVER, March 1 /PRNewswire/ -- The Lockheed Martin ( LMT)-led team developing the Orion crew exploration vehicle achieved a major technology milestone by completing fabrication of the world's largest heat shield structure. The shield is five meters (16.4 feet) in diameter and is critical to the protection of the spacecraft and its crew from the extreme temperatures experienced during re-entry. The work was completed at Lockheed Martin's composite development facility in Denver, Colo.

full article here. http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases ... 06637.html
 
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DarkenedOne

Guest
jmiller31":21h64876 said:
In all of the conversations here and elsewear I find it interesting and unfortunate that most people are focusing on the cancellation of the "moon program". When Bush announced it I as lots of other people recognized it for what it was, a political stunt that he could dump on the next president but would buy some times and votes. While I agree it would be cool to go back to the moon and it's sad that a country that managed to land men on the moon just 60+ years after figuring out how to fly couldn't manage to do it again in the next 40 years I agree it was a bad idea.

Having said all of that the one thing that came out of the plan that seemed reasonable was the Orion capsule. I'm not sure I agree that we should rely on private companies to provide the rockets to send NASA astronauts into space but I think it's silly to expect them to provide the capsule/ship/work environment whatever you want to call it. In my mind one of two things will happen in this regard.

1. SpaceX or someone will construct a capsule based on what the lowest common denominator of requirements for a wide variety of potential customers need. When NASA mission planners go to use it they will either have to make so many changes to the vehicle or strip so much from the mission as to make the whole mission unworkable.
2. NASA will spec out a capsule that someone will make, how is this different than Orion? Why waste what's been spent on starting over?

If the design of Orion is flawed then fine start over but it's silly to cancel this portion of the program.

Using the logic of private is better than government then we should tell the air force to not buy any more fighters and just buy Lear Jets and figure out how to stick missiles on them.
There are two problems with this idea.

1. Orion was designed to go to the moon. For simply getting people back and forth from the station it is overkill.

2. Ares and Orion were designed for each other. Ares was designed to carry Orion and Orion was designed to be carried by Ares. Orion cannot simply to transfered onto another rocket. I suppose the existing Delta IV Heavy or the Atlas V Heavy would be capable of transporting it, but significant modifications would need to be made to these rockets as they were not originally designed for manned launches.
 
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neutrino78x

Guest
I would want to use a capsule that looks roughly like the Mars Direct capsules.

It should also have the ability to be reconfigured for different needs, one configuration to go to an asteroid, one to go to the Moon, one to go to Mars. We should be able to have a large fleet of them manufactured, and then snap on different configurations for different targets. That way we can send one mission to an asteroid, the next to the Moon, another to an asteroid, and the next one to Mars.

--Brian
 
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bdewoody

Guest
Why build Orion just to go to LEO. I thought everybody in here was tired of us just going up a couple of hundred miles and circling the earth. If we aren't going to the moon and then to Mars why bother.
 
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Woggles

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http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2010/03/ ... ommercial/

Orion removed from NASA control – MOD positioning for commercial role

NASA managers are pushing through the shutdown of the Constellation Program (CxP) at a pace, with a series of memos showing all the Ares test flights have already been cancelled, along Orion ‘defunded’ and returned to the sole control of contractor Lockheed Martin. Meanwhile, MOD director Paul Hill has written to NASA administrator Charlie Bolden, requesting the Agency promotes MOD to the commercial sector
 
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Gravity_Ray

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JasonChapman":ic2fy1vp said:
Just dragged this off the BBC website, it a crying shame Obama cancelled the moon project, talk about a major set back.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8565243.stm
Obama didn’t cancel the Moon project. He didn’t even really cancel the constellation program; it cancelled itself with a ballooning budget and slipping completion dates. If the last administration had simply funded the darned thing it would have been just fine.
 
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