Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Christopher, Jul 10, 2014.
That poor smiley is gonna get worn out.
You broke the link by getting the . outside the URL tags.
OV-101 was never going to make the first orbital flight: it was a prototype which would need heavy refitting (as it was only fitted with the systems needed for the ALT tests) before it could be flown to for orbit, which would take far too long (it would take less time to include the lessons learnt in the ALT tests in later orbiters which were still half-built, such as OV-102).
In that sense, it was a definite pyrhirric victory by the Trek fans; if OV-101 had been left as Constitution, maybe 102 would have been Enterprise rather than Columbia.
Acc. the original plan (the two Heppenheimer/Smithsonian books on Development of the Space Shuttle give chapter and verse and memos and some insomnia cure on this) Enterprise was to have been refitted to enter service as the second or third operational space-worthy orbiter; then it was spotted that it would be cheaper and quicker to refit STA-99, originally intended as a structural test article, into an actual flight worthy orbiter (OV-99, Challenger).
Hence Enterprise's refit got knock back to follow the first few 'production line' orbiters, as fifth or sixth at earliest. But then the funding dried up after two production line orbiters (Discovery and Atlantis) and a full set of spare parts sneaked through the budget as such (eventually put together as Endeavour), so Enterprise stayed on the ground.
Bluntly, as an overweight prototype, it was probably always going to be cheaper in the long term to build a new one than refit OV-101. Columbia was never sent to the ISS because she was too heavy to get there while still carrying a decent cargo (though she was going there on the next mission that didn't happen).
Enterprise was even heavier, and that couldn't be changed without effectively destroying her and rebuilding from scratch.
Orbiter base weight around 1985, for what it's worth, were:
Enterprise: 160,000 pounds (after refit for orbit)
Columbia: 158,000 pounds
Challenger: 155,000 pounds
Discovery & Atlantis: 151,000 pounds.
Given how much it costs to get each pound into orbit, you can see why after a couple of launches it would be cheaper to build an new Discovery/Atlantis production orbiter than refit Enterprise for orbit.
I think the board broke the link, since I just copied and pasted it directly and let the board automatically turn it into a link. I think the board software has had problems before with links that end in punctuation marks.
Well, gee, that worked for at least one later Enterprise...
^Every time I see the "too bad the Enterprise never went into space" conversation come up, my mind goes this way. The fact it could have been one of the two shuttle disasters always comes to my mind. I'm happy it never had the chance to...
Not really, considering the first two fully functional shuttles, Columbia and Challenger were destroyed!
At least the Enterprise survives in NYC!
Separate names with a comma.