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Old November 27 2008, 10:13 AM   #1
GodThingFormerly
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Andrew Probert's ST:TMP Dry Dock to be Orbited by 2020!

Well, not exactly, but I am rather struck by the aesthetic and operational similarities between Andrew's ST:TMP dry dock structure and this real-world proposal from 2004 by USAF Research Laboratory engineer James Michael Snead for a "Space Logistics Base" to assemble and support CisLunar transfer vehicles.



Snead's paper detailing the above concept can be downloaded as a PDF from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics website.

Cosmic thoughts, ladies?

TGT
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Old November 27 2008, 12:00 PM   #2
Timo
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Re: Andrew Probert's ST:TMP Dry Dock to be Orbited by 2020!

Vaporware? Or just a paper tiger?

It's too bad they never built this sort of capacity into the ISS. That would have given the design longevity and validity beyond the absolute face-saving minimum. It would also have evicted the microgravity experimenters from ISS, so that they could have had a more meaningful platform free from the disruptive presence of astronauts and their vehicles.

Something common to this plan and the early Freedom "orbital harbors" is the use of actual physical hangars for thermal and micrometeoroid protection. An argument in favor of the ILM space mushroom?

Timo Saloniemi
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Old November 27 2008, 07:02 PM   #3
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Re: Andrew Probert's ST:TMP Dry Dock to be Orbited by 2020!

The God Thing wrote: View Post
Well, not exactly, but I am rather struck by the aesthetic and operational similarities between Andrew's ST:TMP dry dock structure and this real-world proposal from 2004 by USAF Research Laboratory engineer James Michael Snead for a "Space Logistics Base" to assemble and support CisLunar transfer vehicles...
Eh, there are only very vague similarities to me... like being a structure in space that supports spacecraft.

But given your, um, unnatural affection for Probert, I'm not surprised that your love-struck eyes see more similarities than I do, TGT.
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Last edited by SonicRanger; November 27 2008 at 07:39 PM.
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Old November 27 2008, 07:23 PM   #4
Captain Robert April
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Re: Andrew Probert's ST:TMP Dry Dock to be Orbited by 2020!

That was uncalled for.
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Old November 27 2008, 07:43 PM   #5
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Re: Andrew Probert's ST:TMP Dry Dock to be Orbited by 2020!

Captain Robert April wrote: View Post
That was uncalled for.
Oh, come on. Feel free to notify a mod if you really think I was flaming him or something. The facts are that (1) our friend TGT, whom I often complement, is known for being extremely fond of the works of Probert and Sternbach and that (2) he's much more of an insult comic than I am -- what's good for the goose is good for the gander. Or today, I guess you could say that what's good for the hen is good for the tom.
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Old November 27 2008, 08:00 PM   #6
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Re: Andrew Probert's ST:TMP Dry Dock to be Orbited by 2020!

Damnit! I was expecting to see the big mushroom starbase.
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Old November 27 2008, 09:48 PM   #7
JuanBolio
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Re: Andrew Probert's ST:TMP Dry Dock to be Orbited by 2020!

'bout time.
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Old November 27 2008, 09:50 PM   #8
Jimmy_C
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Re: Andrew Probert's ST:TMP Dry Dock to be Orbited by 2020!

That's really cool! I wonder if they would really build it, though. Seems more like a "I wish we had this" thing.
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Old November 27 2008, 10:00 PM   #9
Herkimer Jitty
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Re: Andrew Probert's ST:TMP Dry Dock to be Orbited by 2020!

Jimmy_C wrote: View Post
That's really cool! I wonder if they would really build it, though. Seems more like a "I wish we had this" thing.
Don't worry, if they do decide to build it, the project'll be cut down to size so much that they'll end up sending only a single reaction control thruster up.
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Old November 27 2008, 10:23 PM   #10
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Re: Andrew Probert's ST:TMP Dry Dock to be Orbited by 2020!

SonicRanger wrote: View Post

Eh, there are only very vague similarities to me... like being a structure in space that supports spacecraft.

But given your, um, unnatural affection for Probert, I'm not surprised that your love-struck eyes see more similarities than I do, TGT.
HUH?





You only see vague similarities? Those big panel lights ... the framework construction area ... the fact that it's open on the front, back, and bottom ... the staging and crew area on top? If this had shown up in Star Trek: Enterprise, it would have been thought of as an homage to Probert's design.

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Old November 27 2008, 10:28 PM   #11
GodThingFormerly
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Re: Andrew Probert's ST:TMP Dry Dock to be Orbited by 2020!

Timo wrote: View Post
Vaporware? Or just a paper tiger?
A "blue sky" proposal presented at an AIAA meeting which - like pretty much every other interesting proposal - was subsequently forgotten.

It's too bad they never built this sort of capacity into the ISS. That would have given the design longevity and validity beyond the absolute face-saving minimum. It would also have evicted the microgravity experimenters from ISS, so that they could have had a more meaningful platform free from the disruptive presence of astronauts and their vehicles.
My pesos are on the ISS being reduced to an unmanned free-flyer for microgravity experimentation by 2012, so the less said about it the better.

Something common to this plan and the early Freedom "orbital harbors" is the use of actual physical hangars for thermal and micrometeoroid protection. An argument in favor of the ILM space mushroom?
You're a dead man!

*ahem*

If you would care to peruse the Probert illustration I linked to, the upper segment of the dry dock has a travelpod docking ring which implies a pressurized habitat, and the large rectangular inset appears - at least to me - to be an outer airlock door for moving relatively large assemblies in and out of what could very well be a radiation/micrometeoroid/atomic oxygen/insolation-free "clean room" environment used for the final assembly or servicing of unusually sensitive space vehicle subsystems.

Oh, Great Probert, Tell Us Your Intentions!

SonicRanger wrote: View Post
Eh, there are only very vague similarities to me... like being a structure in space that supports spacecraft.
A structure composed of pressurized segments below which are suspended lights to keep constant luminosity on the serviced spacecraft as the orbiting platform moves in and out of Earth's shadow cone? The similarities are absolutely uncanny (as Psion just demonstrated).

But given your, um, unnatural affection for Probert, I'm not surprised that your love-struck eyes see more similarities than I do, TGT.
Well, that can I say? I'm just waiting for my big juicy kiss.

TGT
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Old November 28 2008, 12:05 AM   #12
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Re: Andrew Probert's ST:TMP Dry Dock to be Orbited by 2020!

I like it. Now build it, dammit!
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Old November 28 2008, 12:12 AM   #13
Jimmy_C
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Re: Andrew Probert's ST:TMP Dry Dock to be Orbited by 2020!

Maybe not for an earth-orbiting station, but if there are resources that can be mined on the Moon, then I can see this being used in lunar orbit. I mean, how many ships and space stations would be built using this thing before it becomes more cost effective than the "send up pieces and dock them together" method used for Mir and the beginning of the ISS? If you are building 10-20, maybe. But 2-3 stations and 1 Mars spaceship? I don't know if that would work well. And long long until we need to replace this station? 10 years?

The Moon's less gravity would make it more cost effective for launching raw materials for fabrication there, and you wouldn't have to deal with Lunar dust messing with anything. Of course, you would have to deal with solar flair, the solar wind, and other radiation, though.
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Old November 28 2008, 07:59 AM   #14
Timo
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Re: Andrew Probert's ST:TMP Dry Dock to be Orbited by 2020!

Of course, you would have to deal with solar flair
You mean, sharing a thread with TGT?

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Old December 9 2008, 01:58 PM   #15
Probert
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Re: Andrew Probert's ST:TMP Dry Dock to be Orbited by 2020!

It's quite a complement to see one's conceptual thinking somewhat validated by a 'real-world' proposal. Even if this concept is a fluke (meaning the engineer did NOT see TMP) of parallel development, both concepts are based on logical thinking of what functions a structure like this would be built to address.

Both concepts propose the following: A structure to provide a well-lighted area for spacecraft in need of inspections, repairs, resupply, and maybe "refitting". The structure would logically provide a hanger or two capable of holding an atmosphere, for numerous reasons, and also include a sizable crew compartment containing living, working, warehousing, and recreational spaces.

So, except for my structure's ability to reconfigure for different-sized ships and keep those ships centered in the structure with the use of tractor beams, they do, in function, seem pretty similar.

Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

Andrew-
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