Obama Space Plan: Return to Moon: "No Go"

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Johnny Rico, Sep 8, 2009.

  1. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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  2. diankra

    diankra Commodore Commodore

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    Promising, but... once-bitten, twice-shy on high launch rates. That was what the Shuttle was supposed to achieve - I'm old enough to have mid-1970s era books on manned spaceflight that include flight manifests that build up to 30+ flights a year by 1984-ish.
    It only works if it actually works, as it were!
     
  3. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    ^well, the shuttle was supposed to achieve those launch rates with only 4 orbiters and a huge ground crew for servicing. EELV's would be mass produced and require a fraction of the ground crew the shuttle does.

    And if you read the report, they admit that they couldn't do it alone. Other companies (SpaceX?) in the industry would get contracts for the fueling launches as well.
     
  4. diankra

    diankra Commodore Commodore

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    Five orbiters if NASA had got its way, but yep.
    I just hit the bookcase and have come back rather gobsmacked - checking Reg Turnhill's Observer's Book of Manned Spaceflight (1978 3rd edition, and yes, it's a bit of a kid's book, but a solid one), I find I'd actually under-remembered: the flight manifest it prints, starting with OFT1 in June 79 with the Skylab rescue on the second flight, actually ramps up to a projection of 58 flights in 1988 (40 from KSC, 18 from Vandenberg). :eek:
    Even then I suspect that might have been a tad optimistic... but it's an eye-opening reminder of how high hopes once were. (Quick addition: pages 347-349 of Heppenheimer's Development of the Space Shuttle have some intersting stuff on how the flight manifest affected the number of orbiters built, quoting a 1977 General Accounting Office memo that 'NASA's five orbiter fleet is based on the assumption that the number of payloads will more than double during the 1980s, from 40 a year to over 90 a year'. Gulp!).
     
  5. BCI

    BCI Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think it's really a shame. There is the STS, and it's such a wonderful peace of technology. From the seventies up to now, it has cost as much as a handful of B2 bombers.
     
  6. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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  7. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    --- The way I heard it was promised in the late seventies, with a four shuttle fleet, there was to be a launch every two weeks, with each shuttle going up once every two months. I'm a big NASA booster, and even I wouldn't of bought that.

    A story my uncle from boeing told me, that went around the areospace industry years ago. The shuttle and B-1 bomber proto-type were being built by Rockwell at the same time. Shuttle's contract was cost plus, the B-1 was fix price. Whenever the B-1 went over price for any given month, they would order things against the shuttle, and then quietly transfer them across.


    Breitbart had a small interesting article on Chinese space ambitions

    www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.d250ad11b26dc10b20fcd37105b9e552.71&show_article=1
     
  8. Marc

    Marc Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I suspect the B-2's had a slight economy of scale advantage when it came to their production costs.
     
  9. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    ^and illustrates what's wrong with the shuttle. It could never reach economy of scale. You had to build half the system for each launch, the other half of the system was in limited supply, and the whole damn thing required a standing army to operate.

    It is a wonderful machine and I love it, but NASA was crippled when it was designed by outside forces that lead to extreme compromises.
     
  10. Marc

    Marc Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Do you have any details on what would of been different with the Shuttle is it hadn't been the bastard child of NASA and the Military?
     
  11. bigdaddy

    bigdaddy Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Who would have thought the spin here would stop?!

    Bush said "Let's go to the moon by 2020!" and then gave no money!!!!

    That's a great space president! Any asshole can say it, but it there is no more funding then it will never happen.

    Also NASA of today is run by fuck-ups, I say we cut the budget to nothing.
     
  12. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The wings would of been smaller, the air force wanted "cross range" capability. The cargo hold would of been smaller, air force again wanted the big 15 x 60 feet for some of their cargos.

    The Hubble Space Telescope would of had to be lifted by titan (?) booster or be much smaller to fit NASA's original shuttles cargo hold. the current size module for the ISS wouldn't fit either. Many of the satelites NASA lifted through the years would have fit, but not the deep space probes.

    The smaller shuttle still could of performed crew transfers.

    Old president with a big dream and no spare money -- new president with no clue and too much money.
     
  13. Marc

    Marc Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    In a way it sounds like the the military demands stopped the shuttle from being a total turkey. I'm not sure how a small capacity would of really helped things unless I'm totally dense this morning.

    Or was the intention to use the Titans etc to do the heavy lifting the shutttle would then launch and do the final work in space?
     
  14. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    It wasn't just the military. Lack of budget was a problem too. Originally the entire system was supposed to be reusable. instead of srbs and external tank there would have been fly back boosters. the money just wasn't there to develop a reusable "first stage". The increase in size exasperated(sp?) this by making the mass fraction to reach orbit larger.

    There is a really good article here on the entire design process:
    http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/shuttle.htm
     
  15. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Moderator

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    The word you're looking for is exacerbated.
     
  16. Marc

    Marc Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    but no doubt some people have been exasperated by the whole deal :)
     
  17. diankra

    diankra Commodore Commodore

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    With the smaller designs, then yes, use expendables to launch big cargoes, including space station modules, and then the orbiter would have been a genuine shuttle, carrying a crew of maybe five plus the contents of a smaller payload bay up to the station (or on solo missions).
    It might seem limited, but it would have been able to carry more crew and cargo than Apollo (the payload bay could have carried small station modules, akin to Kvant on Salyut 7/Mir), while being fully reuseable (the other half of the system being a flyback booster stage). And there would potentially have been the option to launch large unmanned payloads by attaching a second stage to the payload and launching that from the shuttle booster (akin to Shuttle-C, or the first test of the Buran launcher Energia with an unmanned satellite as payload).
     
  18. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    Hehe, yea, that's what i get for relying on firefox's spellcheck too much. I knew it didn't look right, but FF didn't complain.

    Actually, just googled both words. They can have the same meaning when used in the same context.

    So no, I wasn't horribly mispelling the word I was thinking of. You just thought I was.:techman:
     
  19. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The fly-back booster, F-1 (?), was to be a saturn five first stage with nose cone, wings, jets and landing gear. Advertised as just a standard first stage to be constructed with exsisting forms and tools, I really don't see how it could of been used repeatly.

    Interesting thing about the russian buran - snow flake (?) - shuttle is that it was designed to be flown by ground control, if a crew wasn't required in orbit. Delivery runs.
     
  20. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    ^That's only one of many conjectured flyback first stages they assessed. Check out the link I posted earlier.