Should NASA Have Retired Shuttles?

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by 2takesfrakes, May 19, 2014.

  1. Leroy

    Leroy Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The astronauts are never "stuck" on the ISS there is a vehicle that can be used to escape docked there at all times. Launching to the ISS is another matter however but no astronaut will ever be marooned in orbit.
    That's easier said than done it takes a lot to develop and build a space vehicle especially when government red tape is involved, there was a plethora of shuttle replacement options on the table during the mid 90's that went nowhere, not to mention Project Constellation which promised replacement vehicles including the Orion capsule which got canned. Spacex is our best bet for manned spaceflight at least it won't get cancelled when a new politician gets elected every few years or so.
     
  2. Scroogourner

    Scroogourner Admiral Admiral

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    The Orion capsule is alive and well. One of the few things to survive the cancellation of Constellation.
     
  3. Leroy

    Leroy Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That's good to hear I thought it suffered the same fate as the rest of the project. What are they planning on launching it with? Was it that launch system that uses recycled shuttle boosters that last I read was too expensive to fly?
     
  4. Scroogourner

    Scroogourner Admiral Admiral

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  5. Brolan

    Brolan Commodore Commodore

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    So what's the hold up? These are existing components, why does it take a decade to get this going?
     
  6. Leroy

    Leroy Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Thanks for the link that's the one I was thinking of.
    Because of government bureaucracy that works like this 1. NASA starts up a program 2. NASA creates a nice powerpoint presentation of what the new program is. 3. Said program wastes a lot of time and money doing nothing and going nowhere. 4. Said program is then cancelled in favor of a new program. Return to step 1 then repeat ad nauseam. That's what manned spaceflight has to deal with now.
     
  7. Scroogourner

    Scroogourner Admiral Admiral

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    You forgot the step where congress pulls funding half way through.
     
  8. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    NASA has to finish something--and right now, the Senate seems to really back SLS. I am glad about that because shuttle derived HLLV advocates finally found folks who would listen, but ULA and the medium lift folks started screaming, and frankly the SLS bashing has been overdone.

    Sojourner and I disagree on this subject of course.

    More damaging to Elon Musk and Space X is ULA. They wanted leaky hydrogen depot concepts as an excuse to launch more and more EELVs. SD-HLVs were a threat to this, as is BFR and even Falcon Heavy--although its shroud diameter is really only EELV size or so.

    ULA bashed Ares V, and now Musk is the target.

    This has to make you wonder how legit the Ares V/SLS bashing was--since it was ULA that floated a lot of that nonsense.

    Now lies are being told against Space X.

    I don't believe those either.

    Now I hope BFR is to fly--but I still support SLS.

    Unlike most in the alt.space movement I think NASA SHOULD be in the rocket making business.

    NASA relied on Russia, and we saw what happened with that. If we rely on ULA, well, they tried to foist their EELVs on them. NASA needs to do its own thing and not have to rely too much on anyone else. I've gotten to the point that I don't trust anything. If SLS is killed, and Space X buried by ULA, then we are all back at the mercy of the Air Force/ULA monopoly.

    And the USAF has interfered with spaceflight enough. They killed the Saturn, ruined the shuttle with Hexagon requirements, etc.

    Right now, SLS and Space X has the support, and ULA is struggling a bit.

    I wouldn't have it any other way.

    There is some good news in terms of observation http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2528/1

    The current battles http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2529/1
    http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2526/1
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2014
  9. Maxillius

    Maxillius Commander Red Shirt

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    It's not like they didn't have a deadline. The projected life of the shuttles was 20 years, and they were used for 30. The youngest shuttle only had 2 years life left in it when the fleet was retired so whose fault was it for not planning ahead? (apart from the obvious: beaureucrats)
     
  10. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Because they're NOT existing components. They're derivatives of existing components that are being redesigned to do something completely different. This was the specific reason they went with the in-line instead of side-mount design for the SLS, because it would give the aerospace companies several years in which to collect a couple billion dollars worth of R&D money to design a whole new rocket design.

    If they wanted to convert space shuttle parts into a new system, all they'd have to do is take the existing shuttle stack, swap out the orbiter for a new spacecraft bus and then test fly it to see how it handles without the wings. But Congress ordered NASA to abandon that design in favor of one that would make the aerospace guys happy.

    Because that's an important distinction, I repeat: Congress ordered NASA to use a very specific Ares-based inline design.

    This is the reason why I and many others refer to it as the "Senate Launch System." Because it is, for all intents and purposes, a rocket that was designed by politicians to serve a political purpose. It is expensive and time-consuming to develop because it was DESIGNED to be expensive and time-consuming.
     
  11. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    No, that's Step 4.
     
  12. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You might call it whatever you want, but the fact remains that Urban Dictionary rejected Senate Launch System as an expansion of SLS when I submitted it, so you're apparently a minority. ;)