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Parallel Universes
2012-Jul-13, 02:02 AM
What do you guys think of the new launch system being developed? It was sad to see the shuttles stripped and mothballed but its about time something new was built to replace them.

http://www.space.com/2947-project-orion-nasa-spaceship-takes-shape.html

That article is dated 2006 and talks about sending people back to the moon. how many stages are they putting on it?

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/constellation/orion/index.html

Found this NASA page which says the program was cancelled but the design has been adopted for new plans. seems to me we get new plans with every change of administration. Its now called Orion MPCV. I tried searching for Project orion but got a list of articles about atomic rockets.

http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/mpcv/index.html

NASA's MPCV page gives a few details. Anybody here working on this project or know somebody who is?

It sounds like a Saturn V.

Romanus
2012-Jul-13, 10:24 AM
I'll believe Orion when I see it on the launchpad more than once; for now, SpaceX's Dragon is the only domestic game in town.

NEOWatcher
2012-Jul-13, 12:34 PM
What do you guys think of the new launch system being developed?
That's a very broad question that can't be answered in a simple manner.
I suggest you do some searches on this board for "SLS" (Space launch system). You will see how hotly debated the opinions are.

Everytime the subject comes up, we get some very strong opinions.
Personally; I would rather you see what has transpired rather than start (yet another) debate thread about it. (I know that's not your intention, but it does turn out that way)


I tried searching for Project orion but got a list of articles about atomic rockets.
Have you tried just "orion mpcv"?

Parallel Universes
2012-Jul-14, 03:37 AM
Erm... I have now. I suppose that was the next logical attempt. Lockheed Martin gets all the tasty contracts doesnt it. I remember how Robert Zubrin used to work for them building Titan rocket boosters. He wasn't too impressed by their methodology. Hope they get this Orion vehicle right. Never thought I'd see the day when china had more space launch capability than the united states. Those dragons are putting people into space. NASA has to beg rides from the Russians. Sad.

Noclevername
2012-Jul-14, 03:45 AM
Those dragons are putting people into space. NASA has to beg rides from the Russians.

Just one correction, the Dragon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragon_(spacecraft)) is built by an American company and has not yet transported any human passengers.

Daggerstab
2012-Jul-14, 11:13 AM
Given that the previous sentence was about China, I think that your correction is incorrect. :) Parallel Universes was probably talking about the most recent Tiangong mission.

Garrison
2012-Jul-14, 05:06 PM
Erm... I have now. I suppose that was the next logical attempt. Lockheed Martin gets all the tasty contracts doesnt it. I remember how Robert Zubrin used to work for them building Titan rocket boosters. He wasn't too impressed by their methodology. Hope they get this Orion vehicle right. Never thought I'd see the day when china had more space launch capability than the united states. Those dragons are putting people into space. NASA has to beg rides from the Russians. Sad.

Well it's happened before. After the last Apollo hardware was used up and before the STS came into service there was a gap of a few years; its just so long ago now that people have rather forgotten it. With a little luck by 2015 the US will have commercial reusable capsules/orbiters capable of putting up as many as seven crew at a time with commercial space stations following after. What your a looking at is a period of change in the way MSF is done in the US; it's bound to be a little messy to say the least.

publiusr
2012-Jul-14, 05:40 PM
Here is some more information for you:

Orion http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2012/07/nasa-esd-key-orion-requirement-lunar-missions/
http://www.aviationweek.com/Blogs.aspx?plckBlogId=Blog:04ce340e-4b63-4d23-9695-d49ab661f385&plckPostId=Blog:04ce340e-4b63-4d23-9695-d49ab661f385Post:3353dc03-5709-4912-b155-eda538af3f00

This is to be used Beyond Earth Orbit (BEO)

For station re-supply, these are the contenders

Unlike all the other concepts here, Dragon has already launched, and is in the lead:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragon_%28spacecraft%29

The Liberty capsule http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2012/07/atk-us-space-flight-independence-liberty/
http://www.space.com/15626-iberty-rocket-private-space-taxi-photos-atk.html
http://spaceflightnow.com/news/n1205/09liberty/

Boeing's contender http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CST-100
CST 100 http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2012/05/boeings-cst-100-successful-full-landing-system-test/

Dream Chaser http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2012/07/dream-chaser-nlg-skid-system-landing-tests/

Dream Chaser is profiled on page 37 of the July 2 issue of Aviation Week and Space Technology, where Mark Sirangelo was interviewed. He went so far as to say that since there are no outside investors or venture capitalists, they "carry twice the industry average in R&D budget." There is talk about their great down mass capability, their BOR-4/HL-20 legacy. They bought up a lot of equipment from elsewhere--the old American Rocket Co for the hybrid motor, and Starsys Research, MicroSat, etc.

The braking mechanism for Curiosity is also theirs in part...."Unlike Space X, which has moved as much component fabrication as possible in-house, Sierra Nevada usually goes outside for equipment it does not already manufacture."

This is why I hope the downselect goes to Space X and Dream Chaser, as both are outsiders, and may aid one another with different strengths.

Doodler
2012-Jul-16, 02:58 PM
I think Boeing's going to be a go for launch by sheer force of experience. While I'm definitely cheerleading the new kids on the block, I don't particularly see anything wrong with Boeing keeping their hat in the arena. They might be the "old boy's network" insider, but they bring a LOT to the table that doesn't have to be ramped up, like the other two.

All three in independent service would be the absolute best solution.