View Full Version : Discussion: Orbital Space Plane Review Completed

2003-Sep-23, 05:38 PM
SUMMARY: NASA's Orbital Space Plane program reached an important milestone this week with the completion of its Level 1 requirements review. The review evaluated designs from several contractors for a spacecraft which will provide crew rescue and transfer of personnel to and from the International Space Station. This review was to ensure the proposed vehicles are safe, reliable, affordable, and can be maintained. The review team has also put forth their Level 2 requirements, which are much detailed and describe many features that the proposed designs must include.

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2003-Sep-25, 12:41 AM
With talk of NASA developing a "lifeboat" for the space station, I have wondered why they don't use proven designs such as Mercury or Gemini capsules. These have already been proven to be reliable vehicles for re-entry and, since they have already been designed, they should be relatively inexpensive to produce. I imagine the space station with a few Gemini capsules docked to it and, in the event of an evacuation, the crew could climb into the capsules, separate from the station, and perform the re-entry maneuvers. It seems simple. I wonder what I am missing because it seems no one has suggested it before.