View Full Version : Space Plane or Capsule

2003-Jul-30, 01:30 AM
Here's an article at Spaceflight Now about the different choices that NASA's looking at:


Essentially, should the next crew transfer ship have wings like the shuttle, or be a capsule like Apollo, or what the Russian's do with Soyuz?

What's your opinion?

2003-Jul-30, 05:51 AM
I'm a big shuttle fan.

2003-Jul-30, 08:48 AM
I think the shuttle looks more ... umm ... routine. Which is a good thing. We want it to be routine. But I'm for whichever is the most functional and cost effective.

2003-Jul-30, 07:09 PM
The cheapest and safest solution is going to be a capsule. If you want to get humans to and from the station, a capsule seems to be the way to go. The shuttle takes an army of people to rebuild and maintain for each flight.

In my opinion, there's no shame in pulling out the old Apollo capsule plans, upgrading the technology, and using that to get people into space. All I really care about is getting people into space. So what if it doesn't have nifty wings?

2003-Jul-30, 07:46 PM
I am all for the capsule, especially if its for emergency use to re-enter the atmosphere. Those things are tried and true. I think the space plane would be more ideal for transport to/from other space-based locations.

2003-Jul-30, 09:35 PM
One of the things the shuttle was built for (and why the ISS is in the "caretaker" mode now without the shuttle) is lifting heavy and big things (in addition to people) into space. A capsule can't bring the components of the ISS up to the station. If we are going to go on to the logical next step of the station, such as building outposts on the Moon or Mars, we're still going to need a cargo carrier to carry supplies and people there. So, we can use a capsule type vehicle to carry people and small supplies, or for a CRV for the station, but we still need to develop a shuttle-type vehicle or space plane RLV for lifting and building.

2003-Jul-30, 10:54 PM
Why can't we use a heavy lift rocket, like the Ariane 5 to carry space station parts into space? It's probably a lot cheaper than using the shuttle, and then use an automated system to guide the part into dock with the station, like the automated Progress ships.

2003-Jul-31, 12:11 AM
I think, in these times of economic wealth and heavy spending on the space budget, they should build a few more capsules and a newly designed shuttle. bugger the cost and then hire another 100 astronauts to fly 100 missions a year. no worries.

John M. Burt
2003-Aug-03, 05:04 AM
History shows that the cheapest and most reliable human space vehicle is the Soyuz capsule. NASA should contract for a supply of Soyuz, or license a knockoff the way the Chinese have done.