Obama withdraws funding for constellation

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HopDavid

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aaron38":2cbhftyf said:
The other reason why I'm happy Constellation was scrapped is that it had the order wrong. The missions to the Moon would just be more flags, bootprints and rocks missions.
The moon has resources that could make travel to Mars easier and less expensive. Without infra structure on our moon and in orbit, settlement of Mars is a pipe dream.

I'm happy to see Constellation scrapped, though.
 
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Tritium

Guest
quatermass":3omdls12 said:
Hate to say it, but told ya' so. No Constellation, Ares, Orion - no US manned programme at all. But we shouldn't be surprised - Obama has done exactly what he said he'd do before he was elected. He's been as good as his word - you have to give him that. And note - there is very specifically no money for Direct or any other Shuttle derived vehicle. Anything Shuttle related is dead - and no amount of clever drawings, animations etc. will resurrect it. Production lines will close, engineers will leave, expertise will be lost, and it'll be Saturn V all over again. It's over - move on.

Problem is - move on to what? The best that can possibly happen under this "bold new vision" is been-there, done-that trips to LEO, for no rational purpose. Vital research on weightless cricket reproduction, crystal growth and a bigger IMAX camera. Seriously - it's over. Commercial involvement in space will be exactly that - commercial. If there's no profit to be made, it won't happen.
That's the cold reality of it - and if the money comes direct from the US government to private companies via NASA - that's not commercial, that's subsidy. Subsidised, LEO missile-and-capsule 'missions' to nowhere, for nothing. Forget Branson - he won't put money into the development of anything - he'll only buy stuff that already exists, so he can make money from it - he's a businessman, and it doesn't matter if it's suborbital hops, insurance policies, banking, CD's or flights - only interested if it turns a profit. But, that's the same for all commercial space - come up with timelines, plans, inflatable moon bases and rest if you like, but please also explain how it is these companies can make a profit out of it! What's the product?
Robot missions to the Moon - Surveyor, Ranger, Lunar Prospector, Clementine, LCROSS... how exciting will new missions be! Very inspiring to a new generation, I'm sure! As for shuttle replacements, or new vehicles of any sort - there's no mention. Nothing new, nothing shuttle-derived - nothing. Just a big, empty hole which will be filled by wishful thinking, sexy animations, tables of very plausible looking figures, but nothing will actually happen.
However, President Obama won't be there very long if the runes are read right - so in a few years' time, President Whatever will order another review, and announce another bold, new initiative, but by then it'll be too late - all the skills and experience will have drained out of NASA, and pads 39 A and B will be cold, derelict monuments to what happens when the spirit that got them built in the first place gets crushed by people with no soul, passion or vision. Just weeds, rust, silence and decay. It's a crying shame. So welcome to Obama's bold vision - banks go on as if nothing happened, loss-making car companies carry on as before, millions lose their jobs, and guess who pays for it all? You, your children, and their children too.

As for being branded "Chicken Little" by hopelessly naive space cadets - that really doesn't help. I don't know if you noticed, but Obama just cancelled your space programme under your noses, and miraculously sold it to you as being a good idea. Just do one thing - remember what got said, and when, and by who - and come back in ten years and describe what actually happened, and what became of all the lovely paper rockets.
It is a shame.Yet,I know that there are countless human minds still dreaming,still reaching towards the stars...
 
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Tritium

Guest
I do not belong to a category.
Thus,I can think,using my own mind to come up with fresh ideas.1.Finding money to build the Earth to Orbital Manufacturing and Supply Center,with a heavy lift vehicle capable of multiple missions-trips.(sounds like the space shuttle we already have...)2. Building a ship capable of heavy transport missions to a moon-base.3.Build Lunar orbit or Lunar Surface Launch vehicles capable of heavy transport/delivery missions to Mars.We are able to do this.We only need money.
 
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BrianBoru

Guest
And if you can't read - NASA getting out of manned space exploration - from that budget, you're either fooling yourself or incapable of critical analysis.
 
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Gravity_Ray

Guest
quatermass":aj406rve said:
...As for being branded "Chicken Little" by hopelessly naive space cadets - that really doesn't help. I don't know if you noticed, but Obama just cancelled your space programme under your noses, and miraculously sold it to you as being a good idea. Just do one thing - remember what got said, and when, and by who - and come back in ten years and describe what actually happened, and what became of all the lovely paper rockets.
Can you show me a link where the space "programme" was cancelled? I would love to see that.

From reading your post it’s obvious that you are talking politics and not actual science or engineering. Can you just stay in the politics forum so I can entirely avoid your posts? Thanks.
 
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Valcan

Guest
I think the idea of a medium payload space shuttle (simply a space truck that is cheap and reusable..NOT the shuttle like we see it now but as it was ment to be a cargo carrier) is a good one but kept to the mission it was designed for not a space station/spaceplane/test vehicle/whatever we can think of.

Let me put it this way.

Saturn 5 specs:
Height 110.6 m (363 ft)
Diameter 10.1 m (33 ft)
Mass 3,038,500 kg (6,699,000 lb)
Stages 3
Capacity
Payload to LEO 118,800 kg (262,000 lb)[1]
Payload to
Lunar vicinity 47,000 kg (100,000 lb)

Spaceshuttle:
Height 184 ft (56.1 m)
Diameter 28.5 ft (8.69 m)
Mass 4,470,000 lb (2,030 t)
Stages 2
Capacity
Payload to LEO 24,400 kg (53,600 lb)
Payload to
GTO 3,810 kg (8,390 lb)

Now look at the difference.
The spaceshuttle masses over four anda half million pounds. Saturn 5 a little over 3 million.
Saturn 5 could deliver over 260,000lbs to leo.The shuttle only 53,000. Whats going on? oh yea that huge freaking spaceplane.

For getting cargo into earth orbit the Shuttle is a freaking huge waste of mass. That is why no more spaceshuttle that and its insane maintanence and cost. For a simple get it up there mission its a dang crime to use a the shuttle.

I think we should continue with ares V for the Heavy vehicle or if they can do it direct.

I think the key thing is cost

Ares V was rated to lift over 400k to LEO ( :shock: ) wether this was true or not im not sure. Direct 264 or whatever was rated at over 200k to LEO. The cost per year for D-264 was said to be around 900mil per year for the program and 190mil per flight.

Shuttle btw 2.5bil a year and 200mil a flight (Keep in mind more of the mass going up is really uneeded) so basicaly say 3 to 4 flights a year of the shuttle....was it worth it?

Let me make sure everyone understands im not a shuttle hater i love the thing but its all about efficency.

BTW, does anyone know the cost for the Ares V i couldnt find it

Edit* You can find all the info on the internet i used Wiki let me know if its wrong. BTW think the weight of the orbiter itself is around 250,000lbs at lift off.
 
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asj2010

Guest
This is the only guy who makes sense.

Stephen123":3pdf7hua said:
gonzoprototype":3pdf7hua said:
This budget is exactly what NASA needed. Dump the dead weight, ditch the absurdly outdated Constellation mindset, and start a truly 21st century program, complete with technology that is more than just a bastardized version of Apollo-era tech.
(Sigh!) Here we go again!

What you sneer at as "outdated" and a "bastardized version of Apollo-era tech[nology]" others would term "proven technology". Proven technology is basically what most of us drive round in every day courtesy of Ford or Toyota; or fly round in thanks to Boeing and Airbus.

When you go out to buy a new car do you demand "a truly 21st century" automobile or do you stick with the "absurdly outdated", Ford-era technology of the internal combustion engine?

New technology takes time and money to develop. Some day we may all be driving round in electric cars and flying in supersonic jets. The trouble is we aren't there yet.

So what are we to do until such wonders do arrive? Do we continue to drive our Ford-era technology or should the government issue an edict: no more internal combustion vehicles are to be built and existing ones are to be retired and taken off the road? A few billion dollars will be handed over to private industry to develop a brand new generation of gee-whiz gadgetry that will launch the new era, but until the shiny new era dawns the rest of us will be obliged to walk. Or take public transport. Or stay home.

I mention this because "stay home" was basically what happened to NASA in the 1970s when the powers-that-be decided that the future of American spaceflight lay not in that "absurdly outdated" single-shot Apollo stuff but in re-useable spaceplanes. Reusability, they decided, would make access to space more affordable and allow lots more flights. Access was seen as the key to space. Once NASA got up out of the Earth's gravity well it could go anywhere.

Or at least that was how the promise seemed to go.

The trouble was it didn't exactly turn out that way. The Saturn V and other Apollo era technology were duly pensioned off and money was poured into what became the Space Shuttle, but the technology turned out to be far more complicated and expensive than the visionaries anticipated. More expensive than the Congress and others, already struggling to pay for Vietnam and other burdens, were unwilling to fork out for. They balked, budgets got slashed, which turn led to de-scopings (eg originally the whole shuttle stack was to be reusable) and other compromises, and what America ended up with was a thing many space enthusiasts have been grumbling about ever since.

You think somebody might have learnt a thing or two the last time round. But no, once more here we go again...

$6 billion to NASA’s budget over five years...[that] draws upon American ingenuity to enable us to embark on an ambitious 21st century program of human space exploration and observation of the Earth and the Universe.
(drawn from this factsheet: http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/421064main_NASA_OSTP_Joint_Fact_Sheet_FINAL_2020.pdf

Plus there are promises of "commercial partnerships and cutting-edge technology research" (I'm quoting from the front page of "www.nasa.gov")

Doh! How is any of this new?

The Shuttle program was also an "ambitious...program of human space exploration and observation of the Earth and the Universe" that made use of "cutting-edge [for the '70s] technology" and "American ingenuity". Moreover, it was done with the active participation of private enterprise. A private corporation (Rockwell), for example, designed and built the Shuttle (using government money).

Yet where is the Shuttle program today?

And where will Obama's vision be in five years?

$6 billion for manned spaceflight over that five years (that's about 1.2 billion per year) is going to be a mere drop in the bucket if the goal is to return to the Moon, let alone venture anywhere farther afield; and what is it to be spent on?

If even the Moon is no longer in NASA's sights, then this really will be back-to-the-future territory, folks! An LEO future. Unwittingly or otherwise, Obama will have turned the clock forty years. Last time we came through we got the Shuttle. From the looks of it the goal is to have private enterprise reinvent an LEO solution AGAIN.

Indeed, even the promise of "affordable human access to space" (another quote from the factsheet) was essentially the one made for the Space Shuttle!

Let's hope they do better this time round, but I wouldn't be counting on it!
 
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menellom

Guest
Not to get in the middle of the little pissing match going on but, you guys mind keeping the posts shorter? It's hard enough trying to follow the conversation without dozens of page-long walls of text.
 
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MisterMac

Guest
What Will Congress Do?

It will be interesting to see IF there will be a fight on Capitol Hill to override President Obama's decision to axe the Constellation program. With the recent political events in Massachusetts, will the members of Congress (Democrats in particular) that represent electorate in the areas where major NASA centers are located, have the intestinal fortitude to go against the President and fight for funding to keep the Constellation program? If they are up for re-election this year, can they afford not to?

For certain, there will be a lot of posturing on Capitol Hill, but it would be interesting to see if the President will have a big fight on his hands.

MM

:cool:
 
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MikeB17

Guest
I'm kicking myself!!! When I was a kid we went down to Florida to see the last Saturn 5 launch. But that was Skylab. If I had know that Apollo 17 was going to be the last moon flight ever - that's the one we should have gone to see.
 
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MeteorWayne

Guest
damskov":3pqaco2o said:
So while I sympatize with those who feel this as huge setback, I think you should realize that the blame lies with the politicians who sold the Constellation pipe dream but never provided adequate funding, not with the leader who finally has the balls to put an end to it. Better to stop the project now than experience the future series of delays, budget overruns and lowered ambitions that were sure to come, don't you think?
This hits it right on the head. the Bush VSE/Constellation dream was never funded at a realistic level, so I knew right from the get-go it would never happen in my lifetime.

IMHO, admitting that is a crucial point for the public...do they care enough to demand that the legislators provide adequate funding, or don't they? I suspect they don't, so there will be no moon or Mars missions before I die.
 
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BrianBoru

Guest
In the U.S budget "Domestic Discretionary Spending" accounts for 1/8th of the budget total.
NASA is included in "Domestic Discretionary Spending" - OMG, WHAT PORK ! :roll:
 
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Valcan

Guest
BrianBoru":2o50re1l said:
In the U.S budget "Domestic Discretionary Spending" accounts for 1/8th of the budget total.
NASA is included in "Domestic Discretionary Spending" - OMG, WHAT PORK ! :roll:
And ive heard 3/4th of the federal budget is pretty much entitlment programs like welfare and such so...

If your looking for logic in the general public forget it. Most wouldnt care if everyone else had moon fortresses and we didnt as long as they could go on thinking about the latest youtube video, there softball game next week or where to go get drunk tonight. I know i work with them.

Most americans just arent going to care unless it affects them theyve been tought that from birth pretty much. Theyll do what is easy and feels good. Of course that is most people but anyways.

What americans will get excited for is legion. For some its solar energy like the enviromental people (real greens need not apply those people sometimes make the Nazies seem ok. I've heard them advicate making 90% of the human race impotent and only the "right" people getting to breed). Some conservativeswould like the military benefits of Space science and research such as the rods from god proposal, lasers etc. Some all the medicine. Really many would support all different things but it has to relate to them. And they HAVE to see some results. They dont wana hear about a mission to the mars in 40 yrs they want to hear about one in a 4 or 5.

But still you get the "theres so many problems on earth we should stay and fix them before we go and just mess up the rest of the universe" or "thats just a wast of time hows that gonna help us" :shock:

PS. that wasnt really a political thing just trying to say waiting for the general public to start talking about space launches is useless. Especialy with our horrible education system.
 
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docm

Guest
Lookie what showed up in the slideshow on NASA's budget page....

a crewed Dragon

And some threads on NSF are mentioning that part of Blue Origin's 'mission' for CCDev is the development of a "pusher" LAS, presumably a liquid fueled one. Sound familiar?

http://www.nasa.gov/news/budget/index.html

 
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nimbus

Guest
MikeB17":163fds84 said:
If I had know that Apollo 17 was going to be the last moon flight ever
What?
CosmicAudioChic":163fds84 said:
Congress....
PLEASE do not let this happen!

https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml
You have to present some argument.
docm":163fds84 said:
Lookie what showed up in the slideshow on NASA's budget page....

a crewed Dragon

And some threads on NSF are mentioning that part of Blue Origin's 'mission' for CCDev is the development of a "pusher" LAS, presumably a liquid fueled one. Sound familiar?

http://www.nasa.gov/news/budget/index.html

Yep and others in that same slideshow just as interesting.
 
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menellom

Guest
CosmicAudioChic":2ciqjpvy said:
Congress....
PLEASE do not let this happen!
There are only two outcomes for the proposal, and two possibilities for each of those outcomes.

Outcome 1 - "New Plan" passes

A - Private industry succeeds, booms, within 10 years we have a host of LVs and private stations, meanwhile NASA makes major technological strides from propulsion to power and uses this to design a truly next gen spacecraft to take us out into the solar system.

B - Private industry fails, we don't do a lot of manned missions the next 10 years, bum a lot of rides from the Russians, but NASA will still be doing all that research and in the end even if the plan is ultimately scrapped in favor of something new, the technology developed during that time is still there. So at least we have something to work with in the new plan.

Outcome 2 - "New Plan" doesn't pass

A - Congress blocks the proposal, comes up with a new one, nobody wants to properly fund it (admit it, you know I'm right here), 10 years from now we end up exactly where we are now.

B - Congress blocks the proposal, doesn't bother coming up with a new one, NASA finds itself without a spacecraft, a plan, or budget and the entire space program is axed within the decade.


So ultimately, while I know not everbody's happy with the new plan, I think we risk a bigger loss if we don't try it.


Of course I could be wrong and Congress could decree America will land on Mars within a decade and give NASA $100 billion dollars... it's not impossible, just highly improbable.
 
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vulture4

Guest
After 25 years of evolution, the shuttle is finally flying amazingly well. STS-129 crushed the previous record for fewest problem reports. Major improvements that cut maintenance time and imporve safety are being made with each flight. The Shuttle is much safer than it has ever been in the program history. Unfortunately people from the former NASA administrator to space enthusiasts to some of the astronauts were bored with the step-by-step approach to building a civilization in space, and apparently thought that because the Shuttle has been flying 25 years, what it does is easy, or old, or dull. It was ahead of its time, and it is still at the cutting edge.

Shuttle carries nearly twice the crew of Orion, and 22,000 lb of cargo, the RMS, everything you need to do a job in space. Constellation costs more per seat and uses older technology. It was intended to take a few US astronauts to the moon in a grandiose scheme that would produce no benefits comparable to its cost. It was a total waste of money from the start.

Obama would have extended Shuttle if NASA had been willing to drop Constellation, he actually increased the NASA budget. But Griffin and much of the NASA leadership was determined to kill shuttle so they could force everyone to accept Constellation. Perhaps if they changed course now Shuttle could be extended, but they will not admit they were wrong until it is far to late. Like selfish children, they now have neither. We will not see a real reusable spaceship again for at least twenty years. In the future this will be looked back upon as the most foolish and wasteful decision NASA has ever made.

Even today many have the delusion that the Ares will be taken over by "private industry", or that SpaceX will need the Orion capsule to fly humans, or that the COTS-D contractors will use LC-39 and the VAB. It will never happen, because neither Elon Musk nor David Thompson are fools. NASA needs to get used to the fact that its role in human space launch is over, because Mike Griffin and the many people who believed him killed it with their shortsightedness.

NASA is about to spend over $3 billion just to "close out" Constellation. This is money down the drain and America cannot afford it. Constellation has no meaningful mission and should be abandoned. NASA needs to restart the technology demonstrator program, and ask what industry needs instead of telling industry what NASA wants. NASA

The NASA center directors need substantial discretionary funds to diversify their workforces, and they need to do it quickly. They need to listen to the people at the bottom of the food chains of their centers, both civil service and contractor, some of whom have ideas that can revolutionize aviation or cure horrible diseases. We need to abandon the myth that "spin-off", that is to say, anything of practical value on earth, is an accidental byproduct of spaceflight. It needs to be a primary objective of NASA or it won't happen. The money still to be spent on Constellation could fund thousands of research and development projects to the point of outside funding or commercial viability. The criteria should be value and cost, innovation and impact, not whether it happens to involve spaceflight. Research and development won't replace Shuttle, but it may provide practical benefits for America, and right now NASA needs more than ever to produce something of practical value.
 
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menellom

Guest
First of all Vulture, the decision to retire the shuttle has nothing to do with people being 'bored' and everything to do with Columbia. After the disaster, the immediate reaction (or should I say overreaction) was that the shuttle was 'no longer safe' that it was turning into a 'flying death trap' or some such nonsense. One year later the Administration comes out with the VSE and announces the shuttle will be retired in six years.
Truth is we could probably extend the shuttle another two or three years, long enough for the private industry to close the gap and offer several LV solutions.

The problem is that they've spent the last six years since the VSE was announced saying the shuttle is no longer safe, that after this year it's suddenly going to be 'unflyable'. The only way we could continue shuttle flights is if a lot of people in a lot of very important positions admit they were wrong.

I'm all for it, I think it'd be a great compromise. But it ain't gonna happen.
 
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Valcan

Guest
menellom":3fuhrqva said:
First of all Vulture, the decision to retire the shuttle has nothing to do with people being 'bored' and everything to do with Columbia. After the disaster, the immediate reaction (or should I say overreaction) was that the shuttle was 'no longer safe' that it was turning into a 'flying death trap' or some such nonsense. One year later the Administration comes out with the VSE and announces the shuttle will be retired in six years.
Truth is we could probably extend the shuttle another two or three years, long enough for the private industry to close the gap and offer several LV solutions.

The problem is that they've spent the last six years since the VSE was announced saying the shuttle is no longer safe, that after this year it's suddenly going to be 'unflyable'. The only way we could continue shuttle flights is if a lot of people in a lot of very important positions admit they were wrong.

I'm all for it, I think it'd be a great compromise. But it ain't gonna happen.

According to Nasa's own people they could take a few more flights but after that they DO become death traps.

Really the shuttle signed its own warrant. Its like building a 747 that could hover carry 20 people and 10 tons of cargo and fly from florida to tennessee and calling it amazing.
Basicaly as ive said before it just trys to do to many things. The government is well known for doing this to many different things. Look at the desgin of the LCS program.

You can either have a space program or a test facility. There isnt enough funding for both.
 
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Gravity_Ray

Guest
Actually I do think the shuttle is unsafe (not magically and suddenly but from the beginning). I was there when the shuttle was first proposed.

The shuttle program started in the late 50s with the Department of Defense with the Dyna-Soar Glider (Dynamic Soaring Vehicle) it was called the X20. It was an experimental vehicle that was used to learn about if it can meet satellites in orbit and possibly destroy them (it was just after the Sputnik flight). It was cancelled in the early 60s.
Then came the lifting bodies by NASA there were a few but ended with the X24 where much of the data for aerodynamic performance during reentry for the shuttle came from. It basically ended with the M2F2 (which is what you see crashing at the beginning of the Bionic Man TV show). These lifting bodies ended in the early 70s.
The shuttle was supposed to make access to space routine. To do that it had to be “ fully reusable”. Thus, the Shuttle was shaped not only by engineering considerations but also by pressure from the White House and Congress to control its cost. Also because the Department of Defense was interested in using the shuttle to launch reconnaissance and other military satellites, military requirements also influenced the shuttle’s design. A delta wing was chosen for maneuverability, and the size of the payload bay was increased to ensure that it could hold the largest planned military payloads. In the late 60s and early 70s North American Rockwell proposed a fully reusable shuttle but it was going to cost an arm and a leg. So to save money NASA chose to make a partially reusable shuttle. That led in the early 70s to the shuttle that most of you will recognize. Who approved the final design of the shuttle? President Nixon. (That right there should have worried people; not that it was Nixon that approved it, but that it was not an engineer that approved it).

The pluses of this ship; Its designed to operate on land, atmosphere, and in space. It combines features of a rocket, aircraft and a glider. No other flying machine is launched, serves as crew habitat and cargo carrier, maneuvers in orbit, then returns from space for an unpowered landing on a runway, and is ready to do it again in a few weeks.

The minuses of this ship; It is a Frankenstein. To do the above “pluses” it uses the TPS (thermal protection system). These tiles can handle 3000 degrees Fahrenheit, but are so fragile to impact that if you sneeze very hard on them you can put a dent in them.

So you have a ship that is designed by committee, is twice as large as it needs to be for what it was intended for originally, is covered by a tile system that is needed to deal with these Frankenstein design requirements and is side mounted on a non reusable tank that sheds ice chunks that are deadly to the TPS... So the design has been dangerous from the get go, not suddenly, and not randomly. This ship as good as it is, is dangerous for the people that ride it. I have said several times that a smart and rich company should buy the TPS design from NASA, make a smaller shuttle for manned use only and put it ON TOP of a rocket and then YES, you will have a great way to get people to LEO and back. But this current design has to be retired.

Hope I didn’t bore you all, but I figured I should pass to you what I have learned with my grey hairs.
 
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MeteorWayne

Guest
menellom":3u4mxhdv said:
The only way we could continue shuttle flights is if a lot of people in a lot of very important positions admit they were wrong.

I'm all for it, I think it'd be a great compromise. But it ain't gonna happen.
And coughed up 3 or 4 billion dollars to restart the program, which also aint gonna happen.
 
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Valcan

Guest
MeteorWayne":393rigd0 said:
menellom":393rigd0 said:
The only way we could continue shuttle flights is if a lot of people in a lot of very important positions admit they were wrong.

I'm all for it, I think it'd be a great compromise. But it ain't gonna happen.
And coughed up 3 or 4 billion dollars to restart the program, which also aint gonna happen.
I dont think a smaller Orbiter would be a bad idea. But like it was originaly ment to be. Space Vehicle that was reusable and for carrying cargo/people.

BTW why did they never go with a lifting body? They work and would seem to be a natural design. Plus there are so many better materials in the works that can do the job of the tiles better its unreal.
 
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nimbus

Guest
Valcan":8y90pv69 said:
MeteorWayne":8y90pv69 said:
menellom":8y90pv69 said:
The only way we could continue shuttle flights is if a lot of people in a lot of very important positions admit they were wrong.

I'm all for it, I think it'd be a great compromise. But it ain't gonna happen.
And coughed up 3 or 4 billion dollars to restart the program, which also aint gonna happen.
I dont think a smaller Orbiter would be a bad idea. But like it was originaly ment to be. Space Vehicle that was reusable and for carrying cargo/people.

BTW why did they never go with a lifting body? They work and would seem to be a natural design. Plus there are so many better materials in the works that can do the job of the tiles better its unreal.
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index. ... ic=11968.0
 
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