Meet 'Tenacity': 1st Dream Chaser space plane gets a name

Aug 12, 2020
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>>> Branson should cut a deal with Dream Chaser's company and save some money.

If I could pilot Tenacity, I'd fly it around the Moon. <<<
 
Jan 9, 2020
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Theft! I seem to recall this was one of the finalist names for the now named Perseverance. Give the grade schooler some credit!
 
May 13, 2020
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Sometime ago I wrote about the need to bring back the Shuttle and I was shot down by others who claimed that the shuttle was just a waste of money. Someone told me that there was no one copying the shuttle and it was time I faced reality. Someone on this page asked if this could land on a runway. If you look at the actual video footage, that is exactly what it does in its test flight. It does not land in the ocean; for it lands on the ground. Reenacting the Apollo is not the right move. You can not move forward by moving backward. This is the future of Space Avionics. Plucking astronauts out of the ocean is so sixties. We are living in the twenty-first century; not in the twentieth century. "To the moon, Alice. To the moon."
 
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Dec 21, 2019
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The shuttle WAS a waste of money, Kristianna, money that could have been better spent by pressing onward into the solar system. Worse, it was a waste of time, three decades' worth. You want to talk about "moving backward?" Landing 12 men on the moon beginning only eight years after the first human launch, but then following up by futzing around in low Earth orbit for the next half-century? THAT's moving backwards.

Maybe an ocean recovery is aesthetically unpleasing to you, but wasting weight (and thus fuel) on wings, control surfaces, landing gear, the onboard systems to operate them, etc. uses up lifting capacity that could otherwise be used for the things you WANT to put in space. Furthermore, runway-recoverable space plane designs tie a spacecraft to home, and continue to take space flight down the shuttles' well-worn and uninspiring path, because they are only economically sound only for the quick turnarounds that are unnecessary for anything but Earth-orbital operation. Who cares how the damn thing comes home, if in the meantime it's been further than a couple of hundred miles?
 
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Jan 9, 2020
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You want to talk about "moving backward?" Landing 12 men on the moon beginning only eight years after the first human launch, but then following up by futzing around in low Earth orbit for the next half-century?
"total cost of Project Apollo as $25.4 billion (about $153 billion in 2018 dollars). " -- wiki

Landing 12 men on the relatively close moon costed us $12,750,000,000 per person!

Also, "futzing around" in the LEO has achieved some important research and engineering that we'll need in deep space. For example, micro gravity repair and construction of multi component space based facilities. For example, addressing cosmic rays and mitigating their impact on the body and brain. Not to mention, the Apollo program was like two tin cans on each end of a piece of string. We accomplished a 21st century feat with 20th century technology. The fact is, the moon is very nearby. You can practically reach it by grappling hook. You know, a 12.75 billion dollar grappling hook.

If it was that important to you and you are so convinced you know how to do it better, then why didn't you do what Elon Musk has done? No, you just sat there bemoaning reality while watching Star Trek. Get real.
 
May 13, 2020
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The shuttle WAS a waste of money, Kristianna, money that could have been better spent by pressing onward into the solar system. Worse, it was a waste of time, three decades' worth. You want to talk about "moving backward?" Landing 12 men on the moon beginning only eight years after the first human launch, but then following up by futzing around in low Earth orbit for the next half-century? THAT's moving backwards.

Maybe an ocean recovery is aesthetically unpleasing to you, but wasting weight (and thus fuel) on wings, control surfaces, landing gear, the onboard systems to operate them, etc. uses up lifting capacity that could otherwise be used for the things you WANT to put in space. Furthermore, runway-recoverable space plane designs tie a spacecraft to home, and continue to take space flight down the shuttles' well-worn and uninspiring path, because they are only economically sound only for the quick turnarounds that are unnecessary for anything but Earth-orbital operation. Who cares how the damn thing comes home, if in the meantime it's been further than a couple of hundred miles?
It does seem, to me, is that your rant provides no actual data to support your premise that the Space Shuttle was a waste? The facts sir. Dream Chaser is real and is going to launch and provide logistical service to supply tghe ISS with cargo. Fact!

Mod Edit - GRAPES Violation - No Politics
 
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Aug 5, 2020
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Theft! I seem to recall this was one of the finalist names for the now named Perseverance. Give the grade schooler some credit!
Not only purloined but also a terrible name, just numbingly obvious and dull .... They should have stuck with their Dream Chaser direction and forged a more aspiring path ....
 
Jul 10, 2020
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The shuttle WAS a waste of money, Kristianna, money that could have been better spent by pressing onward into the solar system. Worse, it was a waste of time, three decades' worth. You want to talk about "moving backward?" Landing 12 men on the moon beginning only eight years after the first human launch, but then following up by futzing around in low Earth orbit for the next half-century? THAT's moving backwards.

Maybe an ocean recovery is aesthetically unpleasing to you, but wasting weight (and thus fuel) on wings, control surfaces, landing gear, the onboard systems to operate them, etc. uses up lifting capacity that could otherwise be used for the things you WANT to put in space. Furthermore, runway-recoverable space plane designs tie a spacecraft to home, and continue to take space flight down the shuttles' well-worn and uninspiring path, because they are only economically sound only for the quick turnarounds that are unnecessary for anything but Earth-orbital operation. Who cares how the damn thing comes home, if in the meantime it's been further than a couple of hundred miles?
It cost a lot of money, but it wasn't a waste of money. The shuttle built the space station, and that would have been a much more difficult job without the shuttle. It also taught us a lot. It had a huge payload and could carry things no other craft could.

It is about time we got back to not dumping return craft in the ocean. SpaceX has a great idea with their reusable rockets, and the Dream Chaser would have been a perfect fit atop one of those rockets. There is no reason people should have to be fished out of the ocean.

As for keeping to low Earth orbit for such a long time, we had robotic probes that did a fantastic job of exploring for us. Although they can't do everything, they saved us a bundle of cash over what a manned program would have cost, especially with the tech that was available at the time. We weren't going to create a Moon base with the tech we had in the last century. As for the design only being good for Earth, so what? It makes a great shuttle, in the true sense of the word. I would hardly call the original shuttle's path "uninspiring". I bet if you asked a lot of designers what inspired them today, one of those things would be the shuttle program.
 
Oct 21, 2019
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For frequent trips to and from low Earth orbit (LEO) the ability for a winged vehicle to land on a runway does have advantages. Obviously there is no point in having the added weight burden of wings and undercarriage etc for vehicles intended to travel beyond LEO. One of the major safety problems with the final shuttle design was that for the first time ever a manned vehicle was placed on the side of a large fuel tank which also had side mounted solid rocket boosters, rather than as in all previous launch configurations having the manned vehicle at the very top of the launcher. This placement of the shuttle made it very vulnerable both to explosion of the fuel tank (as happened with Challenger) and damage due to insulation debris falling from the top of the fuel tank and striking the fragile wing leading edge (as happened with Columbia). :( The overall safety record of the shuttle, 2 accidents involving the destruction of both shuttles and the loss of their crews (14 people in total) in 135 missions was rightly judged unacceptable. Both the SpaceX Dragon capsule, the Boeing CST-100 starliner capsule and NASA's Orion capsule have reverted to the tried and tested philosophy of placing the manned vehicle at the top of the launcher which allows for an emergency escape system to pull the vehicle rapidly clear of the launcher in the event of a launcher malfunction. Interestingly the winged Dream Chaser vehicle will also be mounted at the top of the launcher - that's the correct place for it! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_the_Space_Shuttle_program#Accidents
 
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Sep 1, 2020
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Sometime ago I wrote about the need to bring back the Shuttle and I was shot down by others who claimed that the shuttle was just a waste of money. Someone told me that there was no one copying the shuttle and it was time I faced reality. Someone on this page asked if this could land on a runway. If you look at the actual video footage, that is exactly what it does in its test flight. It does not land in the ocean; for it lands on the ground. Reenacting the Apollo is not the right move. You can not move forward by moving backward. This is the future of Space Avionics. Plucking astronauts out of the ocean is so sixties. We are living in the twenty-first century; not in the twentieth century. "To the moon, Alice. To the moon."
CΔRL ΛTTΞNIΞSΞ:
Hi there.

I think the shuttle was a fantastic machine, and while I share your enthusiasm for modern and forward-looking space vehicles, the standard, squat command module that lands in the ocean is probably much safer than a space plane--as glamorous and modern as space planes are.

A "capsule" has an ablative heat shield fashioned largely of one piece, and as such, they never fail, whereas space planes have tiles--and we know where that can lead, sadly--which brings me to the shuttle's design--which was an aerodynamic marvel, but not the best, to say the least; in fact, it was doomed to eventually fail as it had because of this feature and that of the foam on the external tank, in addition to its o-ring woes (a result, I am told, of transport and funding issues, dooming the solid rocket booster design to being segmented, whereas single tubes would have been safer, but hard to deliver by barge).

The orbiter and crew compartment were placed behind the leading edge of the launch assembly, below the tip of the external fuel tank; this was inherently risky--as we found out--for foam flaked off during launch and could strike the leading edge of the orbiter and its nose and flanks--which is what it did, eventually taking a chunk out of a wing--removing the heat-absorbing tiles there and exposing the light-weight metal frame of the wing beneath to the plasma generated on re-entry.

None of the the above could have happened if the orbiter were placed atop the vehicle, as the Dream Chaser is to be--and of course, none of these types of concerns come with the flying of crews in ocean-bound landing modules with ablative heat-shields.

Yes, it's "so sixties," but this isn't Star Trek; it's real life--and much safer.
 
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Apr 7, 2020
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For frequent trips to and from low Earth orbit (LEO) the ability for a winged vehicle to land on a runway does have advantages. Obviously there is no point in having the added weight burden of wings and undercarriage etc for vehicles intended to travel beyond LEO. One of the major safety problems with the final shuttle design was that for the first time ever a manned vehicle was placed on the side of a large fuel tank which also had side mounted solid rocket boosters, rather than as in all previous launch configurations having the manned vehicle at the very top of the launcher. This placement of the shuttle made it very vulnerable both to explosion of the fuel tank (as happened with Challenger) and damage due to insulation debris falling from the top of the fuel tank and striking the fragile wing leading edge (as happened with Columbia). :( The overall safety record of the shuttle, 2 accidents involving the destruction of both shuttles and the loss of their crews (14 people in total) in 135 missions was rightly judged unacceptable. Both the SpaceX Dragon capsule, the Boeing CST-100 starliner capsule and NASA's Orion capsule have reverted to the tried and tested philosophy of placing the manned vehicle at the top of the launcher which allows for an emergency escape system to pull the vehicle rapidly clear of the launcher in the event of a launcher malfunction. Interestingly the winged Dream Chaser vehicle will also be mounted at the top of the launcher - that's the correct place for it! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_the_Space_Shuttle_program#Accidents
The Challenger fuel tank did not explode, it was torn apart by dynamic forces during the breakup.
 
Oct 21, 2019
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The Challenger fuel tank did not explode, it was torn apart by dynamic forces during the breakup.
Yes it's true the fuel tank didn't detonate in an explosion, the fuel tank was breached and the resulting release of liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen resulted in a fireball. Apologies for my terminological inexactitude. :)
 
Apr 7, 2020
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Yes it's true the fuel tank didn't detonate in an explosion, the fuel tank was breached and the resulting release of liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen resulted in a fireball. Apologies for my terminological inexactitude. :)
Sorry, didn’t mean to appear to be picking nits! But it is a significant distinction in discussion of the safety of the Shuttle stack. But again, sorry to Sheldon you!
 
Oct 21, 2019
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Sometime ago I wrote about the need to bring back the Shuttle and I was shot down by others who claimed that the shuttle was just a waste of money. Someone told me that there was no one copying the shuttle and it was time I faced reality. Someone on this page asked if this could land on a runway. If you look at the actual video footage, that is exactly what it does in its test flight. It does not land in the ocean; for it lands on the ground. Reenacting the Apollo is not the right move. You can not move forward by moving backward. This is the future of Space Avionics. Plucking astronauts out of the ocean is so sixties. We are living in the twenty-first century; not in the twentieth century. "To the moon, Alice. To the moon."
Here you go kristiana276, it looks like China are developing their own (unmanned) winged re-usable vehicle that will land back on a runway. A bit like the USAF's X-37b Orbital Test Vehicle. :) https://www.space.com/china-launches-experimental-reusable-spacecraft.html
 

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