Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by valkyrie013, Aug 12, 2019.
How many engines is enough?
If you're referring to the N1, the more you have the more likely it is that one will fail, so you have to rely on the computer to shut down another to correct the balance... which is a problem if the wiring is wrong so the wrong engine gets shut off, or the fault is in the fuel pipes not the engines, both of which happened on N1 failures.
My comment was more sarcasm then serious... I know what you mean about failure and redundancy.
Trying to recall the details on the four N1 failures, but one was because of leaking fuel lines (a worse version of the pogo that hit Apollo 6), and on another the KORD had been miswired so it shut down the wrong engines and made the problem worse.
For what it's worth, the Wikipedia entry on the N1 launch failures is quite comprehensive. I met an RAF pilot once back in the early 70s who said he had flown spy missions for MI6 on behalf of the US. He claimed he had photographed an enormous rocket on its launch pad in Soviet central Asia and the devastated pad a week later. I was amazed by that story and somewhat disbelieving - the existence of the N1 wasn't known to the western public at that time and would an RAF pilot really be flying a US spy plane? His tale turned out later to be plausible although he probably shouldn't have been telling me.
Some in the West called it the “G-1” by mistake.
In some popular space books, it was drawn as wider and larger than Saturn V but it was really too narrow up top. It did have more thrust than any other rocket, but it’s dry weight from separate internal tanks ate into that advantage.
The SLS like Energia would have been better but came too late. It would have been of a modular design—with Energia Vulkan as the best.
There is a new space book from PHAIDON called “Soviet Space Graphics” that you might like—a more scholarly book is Michael Smith’s book “ Rockets and Revolution.”
Did Kennedy hamper the space program? Hell no. He did the greatest thing for the space program one could do - he gave it a mission, a difficult goal to reach for, and a deadline to do it by. NASA absolutely NEEDS a mission, and a Congress who is not hostile to it. The Space Shuttle is what hampered the space program, as it kept us limited to low Earth orbit for three decades, all while soaking up all the budget so we couldn't develop anything new in the meantime.
Almost like it was designed just to do that. Inefficient, costly to run, over budget....... Hmmm
One could certainly wonder... and it is very unfortunate. If only NASA had a budget comparable to Apollo, we could have run both a Shuttle fleet to handle orbital cargo, deployment, and satellite retrieval, as well as exploratory program to take us beyond the Moon. But alas... coulda, woulda, shoulda
Even with the flaws of the shuttle program, it could have been possible to forge ahead with a program using it, combined with the cargo Shuttle-C variant, but the will was never there, or when it was, like with the first Bush administration, they TRULY proposed something so ridiculously expensive in the wake of Read My Lips No New Taxes that it was never going to happen.
With the COVID bailouts, a doubling of NASA budgets could be snuck through...perhaps
Unfortunately, too often any increases in NASA budget finds itself tied to increases in NSA spying programs too. Just because they have similar acronyms doesn't mean they should be paired together.
"OTD in 1961 President J. F. Kennedy delivered the "before this decade is out" speech committing the USA to reach the Moon by the end of the decade. In July 1969, together with my grandfather I watched that goal achieved. Now 50 years after Apollo I still eagerly await our return."
I just hope next time we have a long-term goal, and not just a "okay we've done that, now we're finished"
keeping Gateway station running is one way to keep beyond-earth-orbit operations going. it may not be as useful as people were hoping, but it is a Gateway Drug to the moon , mars, and beyond
Today the space exploration technologies company will the help of NASA's funding will make history.
As for the history, no, there was no real plan to go anywhere beyond only the Moon, for the time it was done in. There were ideas thought up of a fly by to venus, but all that was just dreaming.
The program to the moon did its job, as for the current program, hopefully one or two missions with proving technology will do this again.
I don't think Space X will do what NASA has done, it will in time, I'm sure. Space flight is a difficult game, and people who plan, plan so for pragmatic and financial reasons, most people aren't interested in this subject, unless they could own a piece of it financially, which is a sad fact of life.
Not quite true. There were numerous projects on the table for actual development, not just pipe dreams. The Venus flyby was essentially the same hardware as what would later become Skylab.
Longer stays on the lunar surface were always in the cards, just requiring increasing the size of the Lunar Module to account for more fuel, atmosphere, and supplies. Even if the Saturn 1B and V were all that could be available, Earth Orbit Rendezvous could easily assemble the two to make up the difference. EOR was already proven before Lunar Orbit Rendezvous was selected as the lunar landing option. A Lunar base was the logical follow-up to that.
Going to Mars was on the table LONG before the manned Venus flyby was considered, it was always the next logical option, not just pipe dream, unless you call the Lunar landing a pipe dream before Kennedy made his speech
And of course there is the space station, intended to run side-by-side with the Shuttle, as it was the primary purpose of the shuttle itself.
Every bit of this was on equal level as the shuttle proposal. The only real difference is, everything except the shuttle are Kennedy-era plans, and Nixon didn't want any part of that. He wanted only what he could put his name on,... and even with that, the Shuttle passed Congress by only a single vote.
looking back at Apollo its easy to look for clouds behind the silver linings. But what it does show is what countries can do when they commit to large scale peaceful science and engineering initiatives. Its unfortunate its taken so long to follow up, but these years have not been empty, and a lot has been learned that will help in the next step. I'm very optimistic about our species future out there.
The unfortunate thing is, we didn't do it for peaceful science and engineering initiatives, we did it because we were scared of the Soviets and wanted to surpass them. We need a competitor, or nobody gives a damn. That is another reason why I have been rooting so hard for the Chinese space program, hoping that it would light a fire under our backside and get us flying again. While it has been working to a degree, instead of propping them up as a threat like we did for the Soviet program, we spend all our time doing anything we can to say how much their program sucks.... even though it absolutely doesn't
This is going to sound offensive, but that's silly.
You first claim the space race was not peaceful in its initiative (it was, actually. The ICBM and spysats race were seperate and the two technologies did not really boost one way, but did the other. The first integrated circuits were for icbms. the first reliable orbital recovery systems were for Corona, etc).
We don't need to compete with China's oddly lethargic space program. In any case, India will be fly soon too. ESA, Japan, and Canada are all in on Gateway. And it will continue to boost the new commercial delivery systems. China can do what they want. I'm all for more and more space faring nations.
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