PDA

View Full Version : The space gap 2010-2015



banquo's_bumble_puppy
2005-Mar-09, 02:07 PM
I just read that the last graduating astronaut class have been told not to expect to fly anytime soon. The shuttle is to be retired by 2010 and there will be a period 2010-2015 where no manned US rockets will be flown. The gap is due to the time required to develop and build the new CEV. Now can anyone see problems in the offing with this? It's not secret that US/Russian relations have chilled yet again. Comments? Thoughts? My personal belief is that NASA will find an excuse to keep the shuttle flying beyond 2010....I would bet money on it...

cyswxman
2005-Mar-09, 02:17 PM
What do they plan to do with the ISS during that time?

banquo's_bumble_puppy
2005-Mar-09, 02:33 PM
ah...the ISS...due to be completed the year the shuttle supposedly retires...good question...better hope that the fences are mended by then...

the_shaggy_one
2005-Mar-09, 02:42 PM
I'm hoping that the administration change in 2008 will help to mend a lot of our international relations, no matter which party the new administration is from.

*ducks*

ToSeek
2005-Mar-09, 02:53 PM
There were six years of no manned space flight before the first shuttle mission (nine if you ignore the one-off Apollo-Soyuz mission), so this isn't unprecedented. These astronauts will be in the same boat as the last couple of batches of Apollo astronauts.

pumpkinpie
2005-Mar-09, 03:15 PM
I heard this recently too, straight from an astronaut's mouth! It was John Blaha, who was the guest at "lunch with an astronaut" at Kennedy Space Center a couple weeks ago. My impression from him was that it will be longer than 5 years--perhaps closer to 10. His timeframe was retire the shutttle in 2010, then put all our time and money into developing the new vehicles to go to the Moon and beyond, which he said would be 2018. And I figured in a buffer of a couple years, seeing as how things frequently get delayed! That shocked me--it was the first time I had to think about a whole decade without spaceflight! Of course the have to test the vehicles before they have to go to the Moon, so it makes sense that it would be a few years earlier than Blaha said.

Of course, remember that this is for *NASA* only. It doesn't say anything about when other countries will be sending people to space--like China and Russia. So there may be no *American* astronauts in space, but there still may be humans in space.

This makes me think back to October 2000, when the first crew manned ISS. I remember all the hoopla about a "continuous presence in space" and that October 30, 2000 should be the last day when there were no humans in space. Well, I guess they should have added an asterisk and said *for about a decade!

banquo's_bumble_puppy
2005-Mar-09, 03:22 PM
but you are forgetting that ISS is due to be completed by 2010...surely the Americans won't abandon it upon completion...the whole point of keeping the shuttle flying 'til 2010 is to build the station....otherwise what's the point...Nasa has changed it's mind before and I'm betting they will again with the shuttle

Jim
2005-Mar-09, 03:27 PM
A gap of even 5 years in some sort of shuttle operations does not bode well for ISS. The station is severely restricted in crew and activities now as only the Russian capsules are available to ferry people and supplies.

It's possible NASA will develop an unmanned supply vehicle and use the Russian capsules for people. But that will only maintain ISS in a very long holding pattern.

Maybe ESA or JPAX or the Chinese will step up, but it's a definite giant leap backwards for the US.

pumpkinpie
2005-Mar-09, 03:27 PM
but you are forgetting that ISS is due to be completed by 2010...surely the Americans won't abandon it upon completion...the whole point of keeping the shuttle flying 'til 2010 is to build the station....otherwise what's the point...Nasa has changed it's mind before and I'm betting they will again with the shuttle

I agree, I never think anything that I hear about the future of spaceflight--especailly 5 or more years ahead--is set in stone. I'll believe it when I see it! I didn't really get a clear answer about whether there will still be people on the ISS after the shuttle is retired. They've been keeping it manned for over 2 years without the shuttle. So is that what they will do with the ISS post-shuttle? Use the Soyuz again? Like I said the impression I got from the astronaut was "no NASA/American astronauts flying to space after the shuttle is retired, until we have the new Moon vehicle." But I'm sure all the details haven't been finalized. I also could have interpreted him wrong!

Swift
2005-Mar-09, 03:48 PM
but you are forgetting that ISS is due to be completed by 2010...surely the Americans won't abandon it upon completion...the whole point of keeping the shuttle flying 'til 2010 is to build the station....otherwise what's the point...Nasa has changed it's mind before and I'm betting they will again with the shuttle
I absolutely think that the US could completely abandon the ISS. I'm not saying I think it will, but it is absolutely (IMHO) a possibility. Given the budget, other issues (social security, taxes, terrorism), the US position in the international community, and the very low interest of the general public, I think there is always a probability that we just shut NASA down (at least in the 5-10% range to make up a number).

Look at Apollo: we had the hardware, we had the plans, we had the people ready, and we just stepped away after 17.

Togusa
2005-Mar-10, 02:35 AM
Maybe ESA or JPAX or the Chinese will step up, but it's a definite giant leap backwards for the US.
(emphasis added)

"JPAX"? Jim, did you mean to refer to JAXA (http://www.jaxa.jp/index_e.html)?

Jim
2005-Mar-10, 02:08 PM
Whatever that Japanese space agency thingee calls itself. (Probably a subsidiary of Sony anyway.)

Madcat
2005-Mar-12, 12:02 AM
IIRC, they are looking to get a manned, reusable shuttle going, just like us. How fortunate for us all. ](*,)

Ilya
2005-Mar-12, 03:12 AM
but you are forgetting that ISS is due to be completed by 2010...surely the Americans won't abandon it upon completion...the whole point of keeping the shuttle flying 'til 2010 is to build the station....otherwise what's the point...Nasa has changed it's mind before and I'm betting they will again with the shuttle

"Abandon ISS upon completion" is just what Bush Space Plan calls for, although not in those exact words. Most likely Russia will end up owning the whole white elephant, and using it as a tourist destination. (Note: I am NOT being sarcastic. I really think this is ISS' most likely fate.)

Jim
2005-Mar-12, 04:15 PM
"Abandon ISS upon completion" is just what Bush Space Plan calls for, although not in those exact words. Most likely Russia will end up owning the whole white elephant, and using it as a tourist destination. (Note: I am NOT being sarcastic. I really think this is ISS' most likely fate.)

I just had a great idea for the location of the GW Bush Presidential Library!!

mopc
2005-Mar-12, 07:31 PM
Any chance those private space tourism companies have a orbital craft by the early 2010's? Like Virgin Galactic? They say they can't wait until they can fly SpaceShipThree across the Atlantic in 20 minutes, though the plans for SS2 are merely a larger suborbital with bigger windows.

There probably won't be many American orbital flights, but there sure will be a lot of suborbital going on.

Sever
2005-Mar-12, 07:42 PM
Any chance those private space tourism companies have a orbital craft by the early 2010's? Like Virgin Galactic? They say they can't wait until they can fly SpaceShipThree across the Atlantic in 20 minutes, though the plans for SS2 are merely a larger suborbital with bigger windows.

There probably won't be many American orbital flights, but there sure will be a lot of suborbital going on.

Well Bigelow Aerospace is suposed to have their space hotel up and running by 2010, and a shuttle service. And since they are going ahead, I don't suppose that it would be too hard to convince a mining cologlamorate that the moon has plenty of minerals and stuff to go around... 8)

mopc
2005-Mar-12, 08:45 PM
Bigelow Airspace, yes. But in FIVE years? With what? Are they testing hardware right now? What launcher will they use? What spacecraft will they use? Are there at least concrete plans?

um3k
2005-Mar-12, 08:52 PM
Bigelow Airspace, yes. But in FIVE years? With what? Are they testing hardware right now? What launcher will they use? What spacecraft will they use? Are there at least concrete plans?
There was an article in Popular Science recently. They have made and are making excellent progress, if you ask me. I will not be surprised if they have a station by 2010.

mopc
2005-Mar-12, 08:57 PM
Pretty amazing stuff here on this news page:

http://www.bigelowaerospace.com/news.html

US government has just approved Bigelow's Inflatable Space Module.

Truly, we should just ignore Shuttles and ISS, that's 20th century cold-war left-overs. Nothing will ever come out of that. The future belongs to entrepreneurs and dreamers.

Sever
2005-Mar-12, 08:59 PM
Bigelow Airspace, yes. But in FIVE years? With what? Are they testing hardware right now? What launcher will they use? What spacecraft will they use? Are there at least concrete plans?


The Space.com artilce (http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/050308_bigelow_update.html)
The Popular Science article (http://www.popsci.com/popsci/aviation/article/0,20967,1027551,00.html)

I think the modules will be useful for other things, like a Mars or Moon temporary habitat (since I feel that permanent habitats will be underground).

publiusr
2005-Mar-16, 06:04 PM
Mr. Big looks to be trying to use these two launch vehicles for a demonstrator:
http://www.russianspaceweb.com/dnepr.html

http://www.spacex.com/index.html?section=falcon&content=http%3A//www.spacex.com/falcon_overview.php

The full blown hab may be launched by the Venerable Sputnik era launch vehicle--which turns 50 in 2007:

http://www.russianspaceweb.com/soyuz2.html
http://www.russianspaceweb.com/soyuz_lv.html

Private orbital craft to visit--will look like a mini, all-hybrid Energia/Buran stack:

http://www.popsci.com/popsci/aviation/article/0,20967,1027553,00.html

Heavy Lift future for Russia? (only if they and the Ukrainians work things out):

http://www.russianspaceweb.com/

A unique book on history of the world manned space exploration published recently in Russia. The book is titled "The world manned space exploration. History. Technology. People."


http://english.pravda.ru/main/18/90/363/15107_book.html



MISC.


On the CNN web site "Astronauts face
an uncertain future"

http://www.cnn.com/2005/TECH/space/03/06/grounded.astronauts.ap/index.html

To the rescue:
http://www.space.com/news/griffin_nasa_050311.html

Ilya
2005-Mar-17, 11:33 PM
HERE'S a wizard idea. Spend $40 billion building a big tin can in orbit round the Earth, in order—at least in part—to keep the rocket scientists of your former enemy from going to work for your current enemies. Then find that a law intended to stop the current enemies getting their hands on such rocket scientists' knowledge means you can no longer use this expensive tin can. Confused? Read more (http://www.economist.com/science/displaystory.cfm?story_id=3738886) on ISS. (Or is it MOR-ON ISS?)

publiusr
2005-Mar-18, 06:01 PM
Well, that's one opinion. The original Mir 2 was to use the Polyus battle station design. A few of those 80, to 100 ton pods, and ISS would have been done decades ago--had it been the USA that flew Energiya and not the USSR.

Ilya
2005-Mar-18, 06:14 PM
Well, that's one opinion. The original Mir 2 was to use the Polyus battle station design. A few of those 80, to 100 ton pods, and ISS would have been done decades ago--had it been the USA that flew Energiya and not the USSR.

And if we had some ham we could have ham and eggs -- if we had some eggs. Sure US could have had ISS (sorry, Freedom) decades ago, if it kept Saturn 5 instead of Shuttle. What's the point in wishful thinking? The article I linked to talks about future, not about "if only" past.

publiusr
2005-Mar-18, 06:24 PM
If we remember the mistakes of the past--we will not repeat the future.

Ilya
2005-Mar-18, 07:23 PM
If we remember the mistakes of the past--we will not repeat the future.

True, if trite. So, the lessons here are:

1. Abandoning heavy lifting capability you already have it is very stupid.

2. Multi-year, multi-billion dollar projects with no defined goal are just as stupid.

2a. Making said undefined projects international is beyond stupid.

How does any of this apply to my aforementioned article (http://www.economist.com/science/displaystory.cfm?story_id=3738886)? Do you disagree that ISS now depends on supplies from the source which NASA is banned by law to buy from?

publiusr
2005-Mar-18, 07:31 PM
Like I said--that article is just one person's opinion, no better than yours or mine. That law can change after all. I didn't come up with ISS--but there it is. Time to make do. I think the Russians would take it as a present--seeing Zvezda was (the second--non-Polyus-- iteration) Mir-2 to start with. That is why we should have spent on ALS NLS. That would have outclassed EELV--reduced our dependance oon foreigh launchers, and allowed big Station segments to be put in a more southerly--less inclined orbit.

Space Station Freedom.

We thought we could use existing tech, and rely on our Russian allies to save money.

It didn't work that way. That attempt to save us money instead of buckling down and doing waht was right is what got us into this fix to begin with.

ALS/NLS would have save us a lot of pain, and an all-american station of greater capability would have been finished.

This is the price we paid for not having the NLS/ALS heavy lifter.

No--we put it off and spent on the B-2...

That is what you should get upset over.

mopc
2005-Mar-19, 09:53 PM
which is more powerful: the Saturn V or that Proton from Russia? What was the most powerful rocket ever?

Ilya
2005-Mar-19, 11:12 PM
which is more powerful: the Saturn V or that Proton from Russia? What was the most powerful rocket ever?

Saturn V, by far. It could place 300,000 lb into LEO; Proton can place only 44,000 lb. And yes, Saturn V was the most powerful rocket ever that actually flew.

mopc
2005-Mar-19, 11:14 PM
which is more powerful: the Saturn V or that Proton from Russia? What was the most powerful rocket ever?

Saturn V, by far. It could place 300,000 lb into LEO; Proton can place only 44,000 lb. And yes, Saturn V was the most powerful rocket ever that actually flew.


You mean that Soviet moon behemoth that exploded several times in Kazakhstan? N2 or something??? How much more powerful was that?

Ilya
2005-Mar-19, 11:17 PM
Like I said--that article is just one person's opinion, no better than yours or mine. That law can change after all.

You and I seem to have a different definition of "opinion". The article's author does not claim the law is unchangeable -- in fact, he calls for changing it (or making an exemption). That a law exists is a fact. Whether it can be changed and whether it should be changed are opinions. And I think you and I (and the article) all agree that it can and should be changed. I fail to see who do you disagree with, and on what topic.

Sever
2005-Mar-19, 11:32 PM
which is more powerful: the Saturn V or that Proton from Russia? What was the most powerful rocket ever?

Saturn V, by far. It could place 300,000 lb into LEO; Proton can place only 44,000 lb. And yes, Saturn V was the most powerful rocket ever that actually flew.


You mean that Soviet moon behemoth that exploded several times in Kazakhstan? N2 or something??? How much more powerful was that?

The N1 was less powerful then the Saturn 5, it could only place around 75 tonnes in LEO or something.
Its a pity RHOMBUS was never followed through with.

mopc
2005-Mar-19, 11:36 PM
which is more powerful: the Saturn V or that Proton from Russia? What was the most powerful rocket ever?

Saturn V, by far. It could place 300,000 lb into LEO; Proton can place only 44,000 lb. And yes, Saturn V was the most powerful rocket ever that actually flew.


You mean that Soviet moon behemoth that exploded several times in Kazakhstan? N2 or something??? How much more powerful was that?

The N1 was less powerful then the Saturn 5, it could only place around 75 tonnes in LEO or something.
Its a pity RHOMBUS was never followed through with.


So what did Ilya mean when he wrote "that actually flew". What was the other powerful rocket that never flew?

Sever
2005-Mar-19, 11:41 PM
which is more powerful: the Saturn V or that Proton from Russia? What was the most powerful rocket ever?

Saturn V, by far. It could place 300,000 lb into LEO; Proton can place only 44,000 lb. And yes, Saturn V was the most powerful rocket ever that actually flew.


You mean that Soviet moon behemoth that exploded several times in Kazakhstan? N2 or something??? How much more powerful was that?

The N1 was less powerful then the Saturn 5, it could only place around 75 tonnes in LEO or something.
Its a pity RHOMBUS was never followed through with.


So what did Ilya mean when he wrote "that actually flew". What was the other powerful rocket that never flew?

I believe what Ilya ment by that was the rocket that sucessfully reached space. I think he was refering to the N1.

mopc
2005-Mar-19, 11:47 PM
what about this Rhombus, how powerful was that supposed to be? Was it a Russian project?

Sever
2005-Mar-20, 12:02 AM
what about this Rhombus, how powerful was that supposed to be? Was it a Russian project?

It was a preposed American reuseable HLV with a LEO payload of 450 tonnes.
http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/rombus.htm
It was also supposed to serve as a lunar spacecraft and a Mars-bound spacecraft.
Mars ship. (http://www.astronautix.com/craft/proeimos.htm)
Moon ship. (http://www.astronautix.com/craft/proelena.htm)
And a troop carrier. (http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/ithacus.htm)

Real beauty of a rocket.

publiusr
2005-Mar-23, 06:35 PM
That was of the Phil Bono school. AMLLV would have taken 3 million lbs. to orbit. Sea Dragon was the simplest ultra-HLLV.

Saturn V was the most capable launch vehicle so far at 130-140 tons, depending on who you talk to. Energiya could have evolved into an even greater vehicle, wih the Energiya Vulkan coming in at 175-200 tons to LEO
www.k26.com/buran
http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/energia.htm
http://www.astronautix.com/lvfam/energia.htm

Stock Energiya specs 9with four strap-ons):
Liftoff Thrust: 3,582,250 kgf. Liftoff Thrust: 35,129.90 kN. Total Mass: 2,524,600 kg. Core Diameter: 7.75 m. Total Length: 97.00 m. Flyaway Unit Cost $: 764.00 million. in 1985 unit dollars.



N-1 weighed a bit more than Saturn V, and had more lift off thrust, but was not as efficent. 95 tons to LEO at best:

Liftoff Thrust: 4,400,000 kgf. Liftoff Thrust: 43,000.00 kN. Total Mass: 2,735,000 kg. Core Diameter: 17.00 m. Total Length: 105.00 m. Flyaway Unit Cost $: 604.00 million. in 1985 unit dollars.
http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/n1.htm


But N-1, had greater thrust than Saturn V at lift off, and could grow into:
http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/nimiiiii.htm



Saturn's specs:

Liftoff Thrust: 3,440,310 kgf. Liftoff Thrust: 33,737.90 kN. Total Mass: 3,038,500 kg. Core Diameter: 10.06 m. Total Length: 102.00 m. Development Cost $: 7,439.60 million. in 1966 average dollars. Launch Price $: 431.00 million. in 1967 price dollars.
http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/saturnv.htm

Saturn could grow as well:
http://www.astronautix.com/lvfam/saturnv.htm

http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/saturnc8.htm This was to use two M-1s or eight J-2s. Four SSMEs or four RS-68s would have been best--had they been around for the second stage.


http://www.launchcomplexmodels.com/lcm/HeavyLift.ppt

www.launchphotography.com

mopc
2005-Mar-23, 06:39 PM
Man, that Troop Carrier Rhombus is crazy!!!

So Energiya was the second largest? How close was it? It's been revived, hasnt it? When are the launches?

publiusr
2005-Mar-23, 07:01 PM
In terms of lift-off thrust, Saturn V comes in third: though it is first in actual payload capability due to configuration.

Here is one two and three in liftoff thrust.


N-1
Liftoff Thrust: 4,400,000 kgf.

Energiya
Liftoff Thrust: 3,582,250 kgf.

Saturn V
Liftoff Thrust: 3,440,310 kgf

This makes Saturn V the third most powerful rocket in terms of thrust, bested by not one but two Soviet era boosters.

Energiya was the best of the three because it was modular. You cannot use the Saturn V first stage as a cheap com-sat launch vehicle--however the Energiya Strap-On (Zenit) booster--a four nozzle engine with more thrust than a single nozzle Saturn V F-1 engine--is used now in Boeing's Sea Launch booster--the Sea Launch Zenit. The half-strength two nozzle RD-180 is being used by Lockheed-Martin's Atlas V.

So both Boeing and Lock-Mart use Energiya HLLV strap-on tech. to service their markets.

Saturn is a dead god.

Long live Energiya.

Nicolas
2005-Mar-23, 07:07 PM
I really like the Energiya rockets, but in my opinion the only thing that compares the capacity of rockets is their maximum capable payload mass (and payload dimensions in second place) into orbit. Comparing thrust levels is a statistical trick that has in practice little value. The client isn't interested in how much thrust the rocket gives; he wants to know how much useful mass the rocket can launch into a certain orbit.

I mean, I could make a very badly constructed rocket that needs 1000.000.000.000 pounds of thrust to launch just 1 kg of usable payload into LEO. OK I couldn't, but I exagerated to make the exampe clear. :)

That said, I agree that the Energiya concept has more finesse than the SaturnV (which performed excellent for the tasks used by the way).

mopc
2005-Mar-23, 07:11 PM
Saturn is a dead god.

Long live Energiya.

Long live the new king!!!

But when is Energiya going to be used in its full form? Why didnt they build the ISS with a full Energiya?

publiusr
2005-Mar-23, 07:22 PM
Some more notes:

Saturn IB has less thrust than one RD-170 Energiya Strap-on--and has less thrust than the Proton rocket:
http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/saturnib.htm
http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/pro1s861.htm

Saturn IB:
Liftoff Thrust: 743,890 kgf.

Modern Proton thrust:
Liftoff Thrust: 902,100 kgf.

The Proton family:
http://www.astronautix.com/lvfam/ur.htm

The Rombus/Bono school:
http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/nexus.htm
Largest of all:
http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/mllv.htm

Simpler and more rugged--cheaper too:
http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/searagon.htm

What could have been--and should be
http://www.astronautix.com/lvfam/alsnls.htm

Here is the F-1's thrust rating
http://www.astronautix.com/engines/f1.htm
Thrust(vac): 789,324 kgf.

Which is inferior to the Energiya strap-on motor:
http://www.astronautix.com/engines/rd171.htm
http://www.astronautix.com/engines/rd170.htm

Thrust(vac): 806,000 kgf.

Saturn F-1 could have been improved, however:
http://www.astronautix.com/engines/f1a.htm

The largest single chamber engine in the USSR:
http://www.astronautix.com/engines/rd270.htm

It could have been used here:

http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/r56.htm

Nicolas
2005-Mar-23, 07:27 PM
Publiusr:

again #1: thrust is not the correct measure to compare rocket launching capability. We've had this comparison between the escape tower of Soyuz, and Gagarin's rocket, remember? If you compare rockets, you need to compare purpose (mass+dimensions of payload) and not means (thrust).

again #2: this last post -while very interesting- brings the post unnessecary far off topic. Like many people told you before, and as I asked the BA to explain: if you want to discuss this things, please just start a new thread. it's free! :). And dedicated threads are much more interested than plug-ins in other threads. They tend to disrupt board traffic, and your message tends to gets lost/igonred in other threads.

publiusr
2005-Mar-23, 07:29 PM
I am just responding to questions being asked. Therefore--not a hi-jack. The point is that American liquid fueled rocketry has suffered.

F-1 and Saturn is dead--the Proton and Energiya strap-on (Zenit) tech is very much alive. You can thank the Air Farce for that. They hated the Saturn--being an Army rocket, and gave us the expensive Titan stretch jobs in its place. Since this thread is on rockets, let me take the time to explain that the pyramid shaped R-7 Russian Soyuz/Vostok/Sputnik launch vehicle family is not to be confused with the larger UR-500 Proton family.

Nicolas
2005-Mar-23, 07:32 PM
While your last post isn't that far off topic indeed, that collection of links is more than just a response to questions asked. The original topic was the space gap: decommisionning of the shuttle, interim manned vehicles, and the problem of astronauts that will not fly in several years (or haven't flown in several years).

And my remark wasn't just about this thread, it has been said multiple times. I'm just trying to help you to make your posts as effective as possible.

publiusr
2005-Mar-23, 07:35 PM
Understood. Just making a point about how US liquid tech has lagged.

publiusr
2005-Mar-23, 07:40 PM
What is really frightening is that India's new GSLV with a 200 ton solid first stage will outclass the Delta II, and that the Shenzhou's Long March ride is between their seven ton to LEO R-7 and Proton--even to a single engine Zenit or thereabouts.

The rest of the world is leaving us behind. Thrust matters--if used properly.

mopc
2005-Mar-23, 07:41 PM
Oh, yeah, the space gap!

I guess we will see the first attempt at an orbital space tourism craft by 2013. The Nasa space gap will be filled by the Russians, the Chinese and what the US does best: entrepreneurs.

Nicolas
2005-Mar-23, 07:41 PM
Publiusr: OK, glad to hear that we understand each other. Again, feel free to start threads yourself on topics that interest you, I'd be glad to participate in them!

There were (and are) promising ideas and concepts on manned launchers indeed. My opinion on this is that the current Shuttle concept should never have been developed. While the technology used is impressive, it was a wrong choice to put everything in this concept, that had flaws in the very essence of the concept. They should have kept/developed more kinds of launchers, and only fully developed a shuttle fleet when a concept had been developed that truly was worth the development effort. That way, we wouldn't beh aving the problem of a very expensive shuttle that is only suited for a limited number of tasks, and no other manned craft. Of course, many of these arguments are more easy to say on reflection, but already at the start of the shuttle program, it was calculated that more design effort would have led to a craft that very soon would have regained that extra investment.

mopc
2005-Mar-23, 07:50 PM
But thinkig about space since 1957.... at first there was a very yang approach: fast and careless, burning proper maturing stages. In 12 years people were walking on the moon!

That's what ruined space for the next decades. If an economic logic strategy had been developed, the 1970's US space gap would not have existed... man could have landed on the moon in 1990 but then with a permanent infrastructure to exploit lunar resources and make profit.

Now it's the time to create sustained space development...

Swift
2005-Mar-23, 07:52 PM
I seem to recall (and yes, I know my memory is a dangerous thing) that NASA's original shuttle design was for a much smaller vehicle, which would mostly be for crew and small satellites or modules. But they couldn't get Congress to fund the development of such a vehicle. They had to get the military to endorse the project and throw its support behind it. The only way NASA could get the military interested was to make a launch vehicle capable of lifting large payloads of military interest. I recall that a number of the early shuttle launches were classified military missions. Of course the larger vehicle cost a lot more than what was originally proposed and was much more complicated.

Nicolas
2005-Mar-23, 07:52 PM
What is really frightening is that India's new GSLV with a 200 ton solid first stage will outclass the Delta II, and that the Shenzhou's Long March ride is between their seven ton to LEO R-7 and Proton--even to a single engine Zenit or thereabouts.

The rest of the world is leaving us behind. Thrust matters--if used properly.

The rest of the world is catching up on space technology indeed. After 50 years of space flight, it is a natural thing that more countries learn the trick. You can't hold that back -but you can try to stay ahead.

Thrust matters (a lot) indeed. It is in a way a measure of the minimum usable power of your rocket. Things like the mass ratios and burn time ultimately determine how -and how efficient- that thrust is used.

That is one of the problems with the shuttle: you've got the same thrust, whether there are 8 or 3 people on board, whether you're bringing up a heavy satellite or almost nothing. Thrust is on many missions not used very efficient in the shuttle concept. Also, the orbiter is a very heavy mass of essentially non-payload; this penalty can only be justified when the reusability of the orbiter saves more than it costs on launch mass. As this isn't the case in the space shuttle, the concept inherently is partially a failure -no matter how nice the missions that can be done with it. The further development stages of the shuttle -which were shelved because of lack of funding- did gain in launch cost due to the better reusability aspects (number of parts to be reused, plus maintenance). As these concepts were never developed, their final performance is unknown of course. But at least they started from a concept that projected profits by reusability, which the shuttle hardly did -and was clear not to do during early design.

publiusr
2005-Mar-23, 08:03 PM
I never view thrust as a waste--esp. with modular systms. N-1 was considered over-powerd for its day--and some wanted to wait until a smaller nuke was provided to build the first Soviet ICBM.

It is always better to have too much truck than not enough.

The R-7 was the HLLV of its day, and the rocket grew into useful roles. The Shuttle could too as a basis for HLLVs, but I've said that before.

What is important in terms of engine power is that the V-2 is no longer the standard.

A Scud (and its many offspring) is just the ultimate, hypergolic V-2.

Redstone was a stetched, integral tank V-2 with slight changes. The RL-10 is a hydrogen V-2, and each of the R-7's main nozzles puts out as much thrust as a V-2 engine. This is changing.

The RD-170 Energiya strap-on engine (found in whole or in part on Sea Launch, Ukrainian Zenits, Atlas V, and the Russian Angara) is becoming the new standard.

Von Braun has given way to Glushko.

JohnOwens
2005-Mar-24, 03:15 AM
There were six years of no manned space flight before the first shuttle mission (nine if you ignore the one-off Apollo-Soyuz mission), so this isn't unprecedented. These astronauts will be in the same boat as the last couple of batches of Apollo astronauts.
A bit belatedly, hello? Skylab? Pete Conrad's mission-saving spacewalk? Ring any bells?

mopc
2005-Mar-24, 03:40 AM
There were six years of no manned space flight before the first shuttle mission (nine if you ignore the one-off Apollo-Soyuz mission), so this isn't unprecedented. These astronauts will be in the same boat as the last couple of batches of Apollo astronauts.
A bit belatedly, hello? Skylab? Pete Conrad's mission-saving spacewalk? Ring any bells?

Yeah, Skylab! What rocket launched that? Saturn V?

Sever
2005-Mar-24, 03:43 AM
There were six years of no manned space flight before the first shuttle mission (nine if you ignore the one-off Apollo-Soyuz mission), so this isn't unprecedented. These astronauts will be in the same boat as the last couple of batches of Apollo astronauts.
A bit belatedly, hello? Skylab? Pete Conrad's mission-saving spacewalk? Ring any bells?

Yeah, Skylab! What rocket launched that? Saturn V?

Yeah, twas a Saturn 5. I think it was a modified 3rd stage.

mopc
2005-Mar-24, 03:49 AM
So when was the last Saturn V launch? Cause the first shuttle was what... april 1981? How long was that US space gap?

banquo's_bumble_puppy
2005-Mar-24, 11:23 AM
July 1975 was the last Apollo- ie. Apollo-Soyuz- so approx 6 years

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo-Soyuz

Fram
2005-Mar-24, 01:00 PM
There were six years of no manned space flight before the first shuttle mission (nine if you ignore the one-off Apollo-Soyuz mission), so this isn't unprecedented. These astronauts will be in the same boat as the last couple of batches of Apollo astronauts.
A bit belatedly, hello? Skylab? Pete Conrad's mission-saving spacewalk? Ring any bells?

Yeah, Skylab! What rocket launched that? Saturn V?

Yeah, twas a Saturn 5. I think it was a modified 3rd stage.

The rocket was a two stage version of Saturn V (thank you, wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skylab)). So it is very well posiible that Skylab was a modified third stage indeed...

Nicolas
2005-Mar-24, 01:46 PM
As far as I know, it was.

I don't see that kind of spin-off things to fill the coming space gap for the US however. They could ride on soyuz towards ISS if they want to keep Americans in space.

mopc
2005-Mar-24, 05:28 PM
So Apollo-Soyuz was in fact the last American space flight before the Shuttle, not Skylab....

publiusr
2005-Mar-24, 10:21 PM
A gap I hope we never have again.

Misc. websites:
http://www-pao.ksc.nasa.gov/kscpao/nasafact/pdf/majorlaunch.pdf

www.tim-report.de/Project_Enterprise.pdf

JohnOwens
2005-Mar-24, 11:51 PM
So Apollo-Soyuz was in fact the last American space flight before the Shuttle, not Skylab....
Right, but it was the "nine years if you don't count Apollo-Soyuz" part I meant to critique, not the "six years" part.

publiusr
2005-Mar-31, 10:45 PM
Our NASA Chief to be has written a book that should interest you:
http://www.aiaa.org/content.cfm?pageid=360&id=1107

publiusr
2005-Apr-08, 08:44 PM
New artist conception of Angara at http://www.russianspaceweb.com

mopc
2005-Apr-08, 10:41 PM
Good links!

Launch window
2005-Aug-02, 05:00 PM
In the Shuttle launch we saw debris and there was several small peices of tile. After two and a half years of fixing this problem, NASA discovers it hasn't fixed it at all. If the chances of loosing a shuttle are 1/50 per flight, then we'd have a 40% likelihood of loosing another one in the next 20 flights. It is most likely is that NASA will get the shuttle up and flying again, and soon and it is sad to see media feeding frenzy that has started over the Discovery near miss. HST did cause a lot of debate and people are sad too see the last days of Hubble, I don't really think there is going to be a another shuttle flight up to it. We are looking at a maximum of some 25 flights or so to finish the ISS with the shuttle, so let us do it by the 2010 deadline. Would we be better off using disposable capsules as opposed to trying to repair the shuttle, shuttle should be used only for those ISS items that can’t possibly be taken to the ISS by any other means than the shuttle itself. I also had discussed alternative methods such as Proton, Shuttle-C, Ariane or SDHLV / STS derived Skylab type launches to finish the ISS as soon and as safe as possible.

Orpheus
2005-Aug-03, 08:37 PM
I just had a great idea for the location of the GW Bush Presidential Library!!

[-X Would you need the whole ISS for half a dozen comics and a colouring-in book?

Launch window
2005-Sep-30, 04:35 PM
Urgency Of Vision For Space
http://www.spacedaily.com/news/oped-05zz.html
?

publiusr
2005-Sep-30, 07:06 PM
Even the anti-Nasa types are pushing for Heavy Lift.

Gemini
2005-Oct-01, 05:38 AM
We could use the Sdv's to launch ISS components and use the "stick" for manned ISS missions. Test out new equipment and supply the ISS.

publiusr
2005-Oct-05, 06:20 PM
One large drum-shaped module launched by HLLV would finish ISS.

Launch window
2006-Jan-13, 07:23 AM
NASA's current plan calls for retiring the space shuttle by the end of 2010 and flying the CEV with humans on board for the first time in 2014. However, NASA's new administrator, Mike Griffin, has called the potential four-year gap between shuttle and CEV unacceptable and vowed to take steps to close or at least minimize it.

Bush wants to finish the crew exploration vehicle by 2014, but Congress wants it by the time the shuttle is retired in 2010, so there will be a seamless transition to the new hardware. Griffin has set a target of 2012, and Horowitz has promised "to make the gap as small as possible."
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/18/AR2005121800843.html
If effort and preparation are all that are required, he should be able to deliver because "I'm a focus kind of guy."

Congressional pressure to avoid a gap in U.S. human space access is behind a NASA push to accelerate the first piloted flight of the planned Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV).
http://www.aviationnow.com/avnow/news/channel_aerospacedaily_story.jsp?id=news/CEV01126.xml
While President Bush originally wanted an operation CEV by 2014, the final RFP for the shuttle replacement called for a first flight with crew "as close to 2010 as possible, but no later than 2012, without compromising safety." The new document also drops requirements for a LOX/methane engine on the CEV service module as a placeholder for future extraction of the fuel from the atmosphere of Mars, and for delivery of unpressurized cargo to the International Space Station, although nothing would prevent the winning team from proposing them, according to a program spokesman at Johnson Space Center.

Launch window
2006-Mar-08, 06:15 PM
I wouldn't be too concerned about the 2010-2015 gap, as it has been spotted and is now being addressed and Griffin wants to combat it with his 'Lunar-sooner' idea.

What I would be more worried about is the current gap, the Shuttle has been a great spacecraft in the past but today it seems it best days are over and there are mnay safety questions. There has been very little in manned space missions since Space Shuttle Columbia disaster over Texas in February 2003, it did make a little return in 2005 as Discovery did a test run to the ISS led by Eileen Collins, however the foam/debris problem had not been fixed. Asked about the debris astronaut Andrew Thomas said "it's probably a bit dramatic to say that we dodged a bullet, although there's clearly some power in that metaphor "

He might be right to say they dodge bullets as '16 pieces of foam' flew off the Discovery

Shuttle is a complex machine and faces enormous technical problems each time, let us not forget some of the more comical issues such as the woody-woodpecker problem on STS-70 where a bird drilled hundreds of holes on the foam insulation of the Shuttle external tank.
http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/missions/sts-70/movies/woodpecker.mpg
The Chinese have been making advances in manned space flight, and the Russians have had constant launches using manned craft for support vessels for human space flight from 1961 to 2006. Russia also built a Shuttle called 'Buran' but with the USSR coming to a collapse they faced a tough choice which to keep , Buran, MIR or Soyuz. - and so when the Russians looked at each craft they decided to scrap the Buran-Shuttle.

Doodler
2006-Mar-08, 06:51 PM
Oh for cryin' out loud...

Gap shmap, we've had a pair of two year gaps because of Challenger and Columbia, and we'll be nearly another year because of bloody Discovery... Four years without an American manned launch is not the end of the freakin' world, people. I imagine we'll be paying through the nose to use Soyuz capsules to keep the ISS manned and we'll have the CEV when we have the CEV.

Cripes, the sky isn't falling because the US can't muster a reliable manned launch system, it only falls when we use an unreliable one irresponsibly.

Nicolas
2006-Mar-08, 07:06 PM
INdeed, not to worry.

Europe still exists, and we don't have any manned craft. If we want an astronaut up, we ask the Russians or the US (in the past). That will be the case until Europe has his own (or shared) launcher (thinking about Kliper here). For the moment, the relationship with the Russian space agency is good. They can send people up, and Europe has the equator to launch from. Well, actually Europe does not, but we pretend to do so in Kourou :). Anyway, the point is that having no manned craft for some time is not the biggest problem in life. Give it some time and the US will come up with another craft and a new period of manned launches.

A few drawbacks and some years to look things over do not mean space technology does not advance. The goals set for the CEV go beyond what manned space exploration has done up to now, so we're heading the right direction.

Launch window
2006-Mar-29, 09:59 PM
INdeed, not to worry.

Europe still exists, and we don't have any manned craft. If we want an astronaut up, we ask the Russians or the US (in the past). That will be the case until Europe has his own (or shared) launcher (thinking about Kliper here). For the moment, the relationship with the Russian space agency is good. They can send people up, and Europe has the equator to launch from. Well, actually Europe does not, but we pretend to do so in Kourou :).

The Europeans need a manned craft if they are serious about the Aurora mission to Mars

Launch window
2006-Sep-10, 09:30 PM
US Hopes to Transfer Space Station Resupply to Private Sector
http://www.voanews.com/english/2006-08-19-voa1.cfm
NASA chief Michael Griffin has said his agency will not buy commercial services if ultimately they are not cheaper than what the U.S. government can provide. NASA is developing crew and cargo rockets for its moon and Mars exploration program that can also be used for missions to low Earth orbit, such as space station visits. But Griffin says the agency wants to spare the rockets for long distance exploration if possible.
There will be a two-to-four-year gap between the time the shuttles stop flying and the new NASA spaceships are ready. Commercial aerospace services would ensure that the United States would not have to rely on Russia or other space station partners to carry up crews and equipment, as it had to do during the long hiatus in shuttle flights after the loss of the shuttle Columbia in 2003.

Doodler
2006-Sep-11, 01:39 PM
There is another alternative, though it may be an unpopular one.


Keep one or two shuttles active until the CEV is available. If it absolutely MUST launch, and requires something large to send it, then keep some capability to get off the ground with a large load.

Even if it means the shuttle of choice sits in mothballs, as opposed to a formal decommissioning, don't completely throw them away just yet.

Swift
2006-Sep-11, 02:21 PM
There is another alternative, though it may be an unpopular one.


Keep one or two shuttles active until the CEV is available. If it absolutely MUST launch, and requires something large to send it, then keep some capability to get off the ground with a large load.

Even if it means the shuttle of choice sits in mothballs, as opposed to a formal decommissioning, don't completely throw them away just yet.
I like the idea, and I suspect that as 2010 approaches, there have been launch delays, and there are still some more pieces of the ISS to throw up there, that there will be some slippage in the retirement date. But I would be surprised if NASA doesn't decommission all active shuttles before the CEV is ready, just "because".

Cugel
2006-Sep-11, 03:53 PM
Most of the existing infrastructure, like the VAB, the crawler, the launchtowers... everything has to be converted to the new hardware. It seems impossible or extremely costly to keep a complete shuttle hardware line operational at the same time. I think it is one or the other, the 2 architectures simply cannot co-exist.

tofu
2006-Sep-12, 12:33 AM
Oh for cryin' out loud...

Gap shmap, we've had a pair of two year gaps because of Challenger and Columbia, and we'll be nearly another year because of bloody Discovery

wait, sorry, what happened to discovery??

Manchurian Taikonaut
2006-Sep-12, 02:18 AM
wait, sorry, what happened to discovery??

Eileen Collins was disappointed the foam problem was not fully fixed, Discovery had a near miss with foam debris and it was Andy Thomas who said it was dramatic to say they we 'dodging bullets' but there was some truth in the metaphor, Soichi Noguchi was considering taking the return trip on a Soyuz
http://www.badastronomy.com/bablog/2006/02/28/16-pieces-of-foam-fell-off-discovery/

Doodler
2006-Sep-12, 03:22 AM
One large drum-shaped module launched by HLLV would finish ISS.

One full sized Bigelow Nautilus module would treble its internal volume. ;)

Plenty o'ways to skin that cat.