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Astronaut23: I am just going to take from your statements that you do wish to learn, and are not here as a troll. I hope so because you know so very little about the history of the space program or what is going on.
IF NASA's funding had even stayed at half what we had back in the 1960's it would have stayed at least at 1.0 % of the federal budget (instead of the stupid 0.5% it is now). We could then have had at least 3 times the number of shuttles that we had at the peak of activity (that would be some 15 shuttles instead of five). There would then also have been enough funding to have at the least several space stations totally belonging to the US instead of just one that we share internationally.
It is an absolute truism that in order to bring the price of anything (and this includes Earth orbital space travel) down significantly you need to have a high volume of activity in that something. If the funding had remained at even 1%, NASA would have been placing as many shuttles into LEO in a month as they did during any six months (say one shuttle a week) of the eventual program. This would have easily cut the cost of placing a pound to LEO aboard the shuttle to half or less than it eventually become.
We had the greatest space program with the greatest possible future not only for the US but for all mankind back in the 1960's, and we killed it for the incredible stupidity of a useless war! The only reason why that has not happened sith the latest war fiascoes is that NASA's budget is now so low as to be almost below the radar of congress. This is the ONLY advantage that I can see of having such a low space program budget, but then all science has suffered under the last administration anyway, so why should NASA be any different?
And despite what you and others think you may know, that was NOT because of NASA.
I would recommend that you go to a nearby library and get some books on these subjects and then read them.
I do have a book on it Frodo. I got a copy of Jenkins book on the history of STS. I know its hard to get anything accomplished and on budget when your budget for research and development is getting cut and then to top it off they cut it more later because you didn't get the work done on time or weren't successful being underfunded.
What do you think about the early designs for a manned flyback booster and a manned orbiter combinaton. You think it would have worked good?
You know whats sad. Look at what kind of space programs we could have with the stupid money wasted on this last war.
See you can indeed even criticize NASA here, if you do it right. And your last post was not even critical, I salute you!!
Jenkin's truly excellent book has a rather large section on the Chrysler SERV design. I must admit to really liking that particular design. I attended a class at Rocketdyne on liquid rocket engines (our manufactured product) where in the section on engine nozzles we studied the aerospike engine principles. There was an illustration of a circular aerospike engine that used some 12 of the 200K class H1 engines as the thrust chambers for a circular aerospike engine that was some 90 feet in diameter! Years later, when I had bought and read Jenkin's excellent book. I came to realize that this aerospike configuration was what the class had been discussing.
I have the book somewhere in my current library, but I don't feel like getting it at this time. However, if my memory serves me correctly the net mass to LEO of this system (which resembles a very large Apollo control capsule) was some 115,000 lbs to LEO, which is almost twice the eventual LEO weight of payload of the eventual shuttle design! Besides which, the carrying bay was more than twice the current size.
The problem then was that this was a much more radical design that NASA was evidently willing to go for at that time.
There were even larger and more impressive designs for the future of spacecraft that were brought out during the decade of great dreams in the 1960's. But as we both evidently realize the contollers of our lives in congress would far more fight useless and far more expensive wars that really give both the US and the world with mankind what it really needs for a reasonable future.
By the way, please get away from the "NASA Moon Hoax" types. We really DID go to the moon with the Apollo project.
You are evidently far too intelligent to be taken in by such shake oil salesmen as those that really have no reasonable argument against the landings. As I stated the reflectors at three of the Apollo sites that are used by lasers in determining very accurate moon-Earth distances are an ultimate proof that the Apollo astronauts were there. Go and Google it if you wish, it IS there for anyone of reasonable intelligence to see!!