US space program

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by wihosa, May 12, 2009.

  1. wihosa
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    wihosa VIP Member

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    With yesterday's launch of the space shuttle we are one mission closer to the scheduled retirement of the shuttle. The plans for post shuttle space missions is now being reviewed and that is a good thing. The current plan for future missions looks like a step backward opting for a vehicle very like the Apollo capsule in both configuration and function.

    Here's my common sense suggestion for a space program to move us forward.

    First we must look critically at the space shuttle. It is a vehicle which has three functions, none of which it does well (or at least as well as could be done). First it is the vehicle for transporting personnel into space. If that were it's only function it could be about one tenth the size it is. The reason for it's size is it's second funtion, that of moving cargo into space. It's third function is being a workstation in space.

    I propose a three part space program, effectivly seperating the three funtions.

    First a 'space plane' for moving people into space. It would be able to carry a crew of six or seven yet small enough to be launched from the wing of a large aircraft at high altitude and fly directly into space. It would capitalize on the technologies for reusable space craft developed by the shuttle program.

    Second, the use of expendable rockets to lift cargo into space. This is off the shelf technology.

    Third, a permanently orbiting 'space crane' taking the place of the robotic arm on the shuttle. This vehicle would have the ability to 'fly' to other orbits to capture and repair sattelites, but would be stationed near the space station providing housing for the crew.

    This three part system would reduce cost as people could be easily and efficiently move to and from space.Cargo could be sent anytime regardless of the comings and goings of people, using proven and cost effective expendable rockets without the danger to people inherant with every shuttle flight.

    The new 'space crane' would provide a valuable tool for repairs and service, always on call. This would also give us the ability to assemble future moon mission vehicles in space which could 'fly' to the moon and back to the space station without the need for the expensive ability to transit through atmosphere.

    No, I'm not an engineer, just someone who makes my living by applying common sense, I'm a general building contractor.
     
  2. American Horse
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    American Horse AKA "Mustang"

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    I accept that your other two proposals could work, because they effectively already have. However are you certain that a space plane can reach orbital velocity as you proposed? It really doesn't matter very much the elevation from which it is launched nor the elevation which it reaches unless orbital velocity can be obtained.

    .
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2009
  3. BaltimoreBob
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    BaltimoreBob Righteous Robert

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    2010 (1984)
    aka "2010: Odyssey Two" - USA (original script title)
    aka "2010: The Year We Make Contact" - USA (promotional title)

    That's next year.
    What happened ?
    We had a space colony on the moon in that movie.

    I guess they need to retitle that movie 2110.
    At least another 100 years away.

    And Dave is still with us.
    Actor Keir Dullea - Age 73
    Born: 30 May 1936, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.

    Baltimore Bob
     
  4. American Horse
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    American Horse AKA "Mustang"

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    Almost none of the future projections pan out, neither in time frame nor even in real applications. The complicating factor, to me, seems to be economics and markets. When 2001 Space Odyssy was written the driving force for the space program was military competition, which is an excellent spur for innovation and progress, but it flagged when the competitive goal was reached, and we didn't quite know what to do with it after that except maintain what had already been accomplished.

    Arthur C. Clarke has authored lots of predictions about the future, some being realized early some not at all. HERE'S a LINK to some comments of his on his own predictions and some more predictions leading up to the year 2100, when, in his words, "History begins..." - He wrote this list of predictions in 1999.

    I think things would come about much sooner if there was an incentive that would maximize the broadest possible competition for an achievement. Newt Gingrich has suggested several such possibilities for those and NASA has a program for COMPETETIVE PRIZES..

    My belief is that competition for a prize is the best incentive for achieving great goals when there is no ongoing competition in the marketplace. We are led to believe that the national governments of Europe pushed for the settlement of the New World, but what really got the job done was the push for "winning a prize" by private enterprise by investors and ordinary people willing to risk all and change their lives forever to find something different from the status quo.

    Here's a short list of NASA Technology Spinoffs, practical improvements in or new technologies that found their way into our daily lives unbidden by any farsighted politician or scientist.
     
  5. Navy1960
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    Navy1960 Senior Member

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    I might suggest you look at two things then, basically the one main reason that NASA went with the ARES project was simple. "FUNDING". There are many concept vehicles that were follow-ons to the the Shuttle, including the Shuttle-C which was an unmanned version of the Shuttle to be used as a heavy lift vehicle. Another was the OSB Orbital Space Plane, which was another concept vehicle prior to the advent of the CSV which was the ulitmate choice. The CSV as you know is much like an Apollo based Capsule concept that , unlike the Shuttle has no lifting capability other than a crew. This is to be accomplished by the as yet to be launched ARES V rocket. So yes while the concept is much like the Apollo concept, you can be assured that it was done so because of Budget issues at NASA. NASA IMO from much to long spent time in the Shuttle window without a solid follow-on project and lack of vision. This can be directly attributed to NASA management becomming complacent and not setting goals other than ISP construction. Which again IMO is a complete money hole and the money could have been spent on longer term visions such as returns to the Moon or Mars projects or for that matter sat. launches
     
  6. Midnight Marauder
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    Midnight Marauder BANNED

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    In "2001, a Space Odyssey" 1968 we had the moon colony, 16 years before "2010" came out.

    You really never have any facts straight, do you? And it's stunning, since you have right there in front of you, a machine that can look up all facts of the known world. So, what we have with you is, willful ignorance. Seems odd that if you are old enough to have served in Vietnam, you're referencing a 1984 movie which was a sequel to the original in 1968. I think now, you're probably just some dumbass young kid who needs to give his mom her computer back.

    And for whatever reason, too stupid to understand the difference between science fiction, which the movies are, and actual science, which is what space exploration is.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2009
  7. BaltimoreBob
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    BaltimoreBob Righteous Robert

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    To help the Space Program

    For people getting an Income Tax Refund ?

    How many Dollars would you like to contribute
    to the USA Space Program from your Refund:
    I'd give $10 per year.

    $10 from 150,000,000 people is $1,500,000,000.
    $1.5 Trillion dollars - would that Help ?

    The Cancer cure might be in Space ?

    Baltimore Bob
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2009
  8. Harry Dresden
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    Harry Dresden Latinum, Plantinum,Silver,Gold Member Supporting Member

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    i think i agree with ya MM....he says he was "Drafted" during Nam....into the Navy....BULLSHIT....the last time the Navy drafted someone was for a short time in WW2....NOT during Vietnam.....me thinx Bob is a fraud....and a Coward
     
  9. Citizen
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    Citizen Active Member

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    If I am not mistaken a reusable space vehicle already been developed and successfully tested.
     
  10. KittenKoder
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    KittenKoder Senior Member

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    The space station.
     

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