Northrop Grumman and Boeing sign on CEV

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halman

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nacnud,<br /><br />We are always confronted by the paradox that the atmosphere creates when going into space: You have to go fast to get into space, but you can't go fast in the atmosphere.<br /><br />Having a vehicle which can land at an airport like any other airplane is the ideal in long-term development of craft to make the hop to orbit, to reduce turnaround time and operational expense. Condeming a design as faulty because it fails when compromised is engineering by emotion. As the technology of attaining orbit improves, weight considerations will become less important.<br /><br />Charles Lindbergh had to make his flight across the Atlantic without a radio, because the weight would have reduced the amount of fuel that the aircraft could handle by several gallons. Can you imagine being told that you would have to leave one of your two suitcases behind, if you want your flight to arrive safely? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> The secret to peace of mind is a short attention span. </div>
 
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serak_the_preparer

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Agreed that the value of looks cannot be ignored. Looks sell, and for someone to pony up cold cash for the thing someone else has to do some selling.<br /><br />On the other hand, looks aren't everything...<br /><br />VINCENT: You want some bacon?<br /><br />JULES: No, man, I don't eat pork.<br /><br />VINCENT: Are you Jewish?<br /><br />JULES: No, I ain't Jewish, I just don't dig on swine, that's all.<br /><br />VINCENT: Why not?<br /><br />JULES: Pigs are filthy animals. I don't eat filthy animals.<br /><br />VINCENT: But bacon tastes good, pork chops taste good...<br /><br />JULES: Hey, sewer rat may taste like pumpkin pie, but I'd never know 'cause I wouldn't eat the filthy motherf***ers. Pigs sleep and root in sh!t, that's a filthy animal. I don't eat nothin' that ain't got sense enough to disregard its own feces.<br /><br />VINCENT: How about a dog? A dog eats its own feces.<br /><br />JULES: I don't eat dog either.<br /><br />VINCENT: Yeah, but do you consider a dog to be a filthy animal?<br /><br />JULES: I wouldn't go so far as to call a dog filthy, but it's definitely dirty. But a dog's got personality - personality goes a long way.<br /><br />VINCENT: Ah, so by that rationale, if a pig had a better personality, he would cease to be a filty animal. Is that true?<br /><br />JULES: We'd have to be talkin' 'bout one charmin' motherf***in' pig. I mean he'd have to be ten times more charmin' than that Arnold on Green Acres, you know what I'm sayin'?<br /><br />- final scene, Pulp Fiction
 
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nacnud

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For craft that are regulary to travle from Earth to LEO and back I totally agree. Once sufficent demand is there. <br /><br />However I was really refering to craft that never need to come back down again. It all depends on what you want to do. <br /><br />For example Earth - /> LEO -> Earth craft would be idealy how you describe but what about LEO -> EML1 or Moon surface -> LEO craft or even EML1 -> Asteroid -> EML1. Some of these might need an aeroshell to enable areobrakeing, some might not.
 
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halman

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nacnud,<br /><br />I fervently hope that NASA mismanagment does not result in trying to design a vehicle to fly in atmosphere as well as landing on the Moon. It has long been a basic tenet of educated science fiction that a specialized vehicle would ferry people and cargo from Low Earth Orbit to the planet's surface and vice versa. From LEO, the type of vehicle used depends on the mission profile.<br /><br />For the present proposed trips to the Moon, I would much rather see a lunar shuttle developed to handle the trip from LEO to the Moon's surface. This vehicle would have a fairly light framework, as it is not required to withstand high gravity, strong acceleration, or atmospheric buffeting. We will need vehicles such as this for a long time if the Moon is to be developed, so we may as well start building them now. Also, to design a Crew Exploration Vehicle with the capability to land and take off from the Moon adds tremendous complexity to the vehicle, when what it is really needed is a way of getting personnel from Earth to orbit and back. If we take the approach that the CEV will take people from Earth to Lunar orbit to transfer to a landing craft there, then we add extended life support requirements to the CEV.<br /><br />In light of the dearth of heavy lift launchers to get a large CEV into orbit, I suggest that we keep the CEV as minimal as possible, and design sepearate vehicles for the extended life support, landing and take off, and orbital transfer duties. I am very concerned that we are going to end up with a CEV which will be too heavy for any existing launcher to orbit, which will create a delay while a new launcher is built. The existing maximum payload weights to LEO are around 50,000 pounds, which seems pretty light if the vehicle is going to carry between 5 and 7 people. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> The secret to peace of mind is a short attention span. </div>
 
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