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Jaxxon
2003-Oct-30, 01:38 AM
Although the funding may not be available, President Bush may make an announcement on December 17 (concurrent with the Wright Bros. centennial celebration) that the US will make a return to the Moon:

Excerpted article:
Report: Bush May Announce U.S. Return To Moon (http://www.lunarrepublic.com/news/journal_10292003.shtml)

Complete "Spacelift Washington" report:
'Presidential review on space policy heading to closure' (http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewnews.html?id=892)

Fraser
2003-Oct-30, 04:51 AM
I've got my fingers crossed. Robert Zubrin from the Mars Society tried to convince the government to send a human mission to Mars by 2009. We'll see if either gets adopted as policy.

Josh
2003-Oct-30, 06:09 AM
...and I'll keep everything else crossed.

Sending humans back to the moon, i think, is the necessary first step in sending them to mars. It may only be once or twice but we need to get the hang of "deep space" again.

DippyHippy
2003-Oct-30, 06:17 AM
OMG! I think that would be a superb idea... but isn't it just a little bit too visionary for Mr Bush? Surely he's just saying "forget Iraq - let's go to the stars!"

Haglund
2003-Oct-30, 07:34 AM
Excellent, I really really hope that he will set NASA to return to the moon! I hope they will go there to stay permanently this time, that would be a great step forward. I believe that it would definitely raise the public interest in the space program too. I better not get my hopes up too high, what if he decides to not do it...

Dave Mitsky
2003-Oct-30, 08:17 AM
Well, W's daddy proclaimed that the US was going to Mars and nothing came of that. I'm certainly happy that the US may be entertaining more ambitious plans but where is the money going to come from? Is this just another part of the GOP plan to put the nation so far into debt that Social Security funds are going to be raided to pay for it?

Dave Mitsky

imported_ROB
2003-Oct-30, 08:44 AM
the chineese launch is what the space program needed a kick up the @**. Lets hope that is going to happen id like to see man on the moon in my life time.
perhaps another first for the states , the first woman on the moon?
that be good.

kashi
2003-Oct-30, 10:22 AM
Someone should tell George W Bush that there's oil on the moon.

Hunter
2003-Oct-30, 08:41 PM
Or WMD. :D

Seriously, I think it's a great idea, and one that is easily affordable with NASA's $15 Billion budget. Although some have suggested raising it to $20 Billion, which would really allow NASA to do so much more. If they cut out all the extra stuff (like the Pluto probe), cut down on research that's not really relevant (HyperX), and stop flying the shuttle, they could easily afford a moon base and the vehicles to get them there.

They need a heavy launch capability and a crew/cargo transfer vehicle, but these have already been discussed. They just need to be designed and built. Oh, and nuclear power is a must.

But a moon base would make good practice for a Mars run. Especially since, if anything goes wrong, Earth is a day away.

Jaxxon
2003-Oct-30, 10:08 PM
Hunter noted:

> They need a heavy launch capability and a crew/cargo transfer vehicle, but these have already been discussed. They just need to be designed and built. Oh, and nuclear power is a must.

I agree. Perhaps the way to get it done is to allow private aerospace companies to get involved (without government/taxpayer subsidies). In a joint venture between NASA and commercial enterprises, NASA can provide the infrastructure -- facilities, logistics coordination -- while the private companies can supply the technology, with both entities sharing in the success. B)

("Success" being my code word for being able to build human-occupied bases, constructing observatories and research centers, and mining Helium-3 and other materials.)

Cambo
2003-Oct-30, 10:14 PM
My thoughts are cost related.
Would it be cheaper to launch from earth to say the ISS and then to everywhere else, or, from earth to the moon and then everywhere else?
Bearing in mind the inherent limitations of the ISS and the abundance of space for infrastructure on the moon.
The ability for remote launches of fuel producing machinery to the moon and manufacturing of fuels on site would be a major cost saving in the medium to long term.
The ISS, Mir, and others have shown that long term habitation of space is possible.
With a gravity on the moon would the health of inhabitants be less adversely affected?
And is earth really only a day away with todays technology?

Anyone know the sums? Even guess them?

Hunter
2003-Oct-30, 11:10 PM
Responses to your questions, Cambo.

[Would it be cheaper to launch from earth to say the ISS and then to everywhere else, or, from earth to the moon and then everywhere else?]

Depends on what technologies and plans you're using . Spacecraft have to strike a balance between thrust and Isp(specific impule). That's sorta like raw power and fuel efficiency (like mpg in your car), respectively. Generally speaking, when you raise one, you lower the other. You need high thrust(power) to get out of Earth's gravity well, but you want high Isp(fuel efficiency) so you can carry more payload and less fuel, and/or go farther. Today's chemical rockets, at launch, are about 90% fuel and 10% payload.

My current line of thought, is to use a high-thrust vehicle to get to Low-Earth Orbit(LEO), and then transfer to a purely space-only vehicle with high Isp, for transfer to the moon or Mars. Once we get manufacturing capabilities on the moon, we can use moon materials to build spacecraft and launch them from there; they'll waste less fuel getting out of a gravity well. And spacecraft could refuel from the moon, if we can find a good fuel to mine there. The infrastructure, more than the cost, is what I'm mainly after, though.

As for cheaper, that's up to the technology used. But consider this: Russia's rockets can launch about 20 tons for $20 million. The Shuttle can launch about 30 tons for $500 mill. The old Saturn V (which took us to the moon), could launch 125 tons for about $700 mill (guessing here and adjusting for inflation).

[With a gravity on the moon would the health of inhabitants be less adversely affected?]

Gravity would help, but gravity on the moon is only 1/10th of what it is on Earth. Still, some is better than none. Be more concerned with space radiation, though.

[And is earth really only a day away with todays technology?]

Oh yes. The old Apollo ships took about three days to get there, but they coasted along slowly after using almost all their fuel to break from Earth Orbit. A dedicated transfer vehicle that spends all it's time in space, could use Nuclear Thermal or Plasma propulsion to go at least 3x faster, if not more.

zephyr46
2003-Oct-31, 05:04 AM
OMG! I think that would be a superb idea... but isn't it just a little bit too visionary for Mr Bush? Surely he's just saying "forget Iraq - let's go to the stars!"
sure it is, but good idea, it's the closest America will come to paying a fine for invading those two countries, messed up as they may have been. If USA pulls it's troops out and goes to the moon they satisfy the critics and throw the onus of resposibility back on the UN and Bush comes out, having liberated Iraq kicked the Taliban, Hard, and looking as visionary as The Kennedies, kinda.

MarQ
2003-Oct-31, 05:54 AM
Do you think we'd drag the Russians along with us, and a few ESA astronauts for good measure?
The heavy launch vehicle question is a good one, and that's where we may need Russia's help. A shuttle could be outfitted at the ISS with more strap-on rocket power, and a lander in the cargo bay.
God, that's be soo cool to see while I'm reading old S&T magazines in the nursing home!

Haglund
2003-Oct-31, 07:00 AM
I hope they will cooperate together with ESA, Russia and Japan on this one. As for heavy launchers we have the shuttle, Ariane and Russia do have the Energia, which is never used anymore sadly.

Tinaa
2003-Oct-31, 12:42 PM
Ah, Dave, to think SS will be around for people my age is a myth. I see it as just another tax to pay the way for people who refuse to take care of themselves. I wish we could earmark the taxes we pay to go where we wanted them to go. I hope my president does have the courage to commit to Mars.

DisinterestedThirdParty
2003-Oct-31, 06:41 PM
Strictly my opinion...
Until this country (USA) comes up with a safe, reliable, intelligent and cheap way of getting the first 300 miles off the ground, the entire enterprise is a waste of money.

Once we can get things into orbit cheaply and abundantly, we can consider building ships in orbit, fancy propulsion systems, reasonable space stations, etc. It's that first 300 miles that's got the whole thing on the "bad ideas" list.

And it doesn't appear we currently have a way. The shuttle has certainly proven to not fit any of the criteria. If you're not in agreement with that statement, read the Columbia Accident report.

Matthew
2003-Nov-01, 01:18 AM
All the US really needs to do is announce its desire to go back to the moon, give NASA a billion dollars or so in extra funding for research and we could be looking at going to the moon again within the decade.

With an extra billion dollars NASA could research landing sites, effective launching procedures, effective landing pods. When NASA had come up with an effective program then NASA could ask the US government for the money to begin the building of the equipment.

A collaboration with ESA, NASA, Russia (and China, though unlikely) would be putting man truly onto the moon, not just putting the US onto the moon.

Haglund
2003-Nov-01, 04:04 PM
International cooperation might be good, if they can get rid of much of the bureaucracy and such, which will suck up time and resources. Also, as DisinterestedThirdParty says, what needs to be more efficient, safe and economic is the launch vehicles. Once we've got those...

zinkstation
2003-Nov-01, 09:52 PM
[SIZE=7][COLOR=red]
I think it's extremely optimistic to expect anything close to a manned mission to Mars by 2009. You surely must mean 2019?? It is the eve of 2004 and we can't even get to orbit without the Russians. It is my contention that we *do* return to the Moon before attempting to send humans to Mars, and I wonder why this has not been proposed over the past twenty years. A small moonbase could develop techniques and materials for a larger outpost. The snowball effect could eventually lead to Mars mission planning, but then you are still talking about a massive directive supporting an enormous program.

The problems are many, as they were in 1962, but back then there was a national mandate to control the "high ground" of space. "High ground" is defined differently now, i.e. security. You have the bugs in the Middle East to thank. I personally feel more secure having toppled Hussein. The poor Taliban did it to themselves and had it coming. Cry me a river. I wish we'd done the same thing to Idi Amin when he was clogging the river with bodies.

Ironically, it is due to the technological explosion that was 'Apollo' that we are able to control any battlefront in the world, with minimal collateral damage.

Planetwatcher
2003-Nov-02, 11:10 PM
Going back to the Moon is a great idea, however I seriously question the following quote.
If they cut out all the extra stuff (like the Pluto probe), cut down on research that's not really relevant (HyperX), and stop flying the shuttle, they could easily afford a moon base and the vehicles to get them there.

The things in the quote are not extra stuff, but actually stuff which can HELP us get back to the Moon. How? one may ask. Consider the following.

The Pluto probe is a great experiment in spacecraft effeciency. The probe will have the longest ever journey just to meet it's objective. It will have to fly far, fast, and cheap in order to work. Whatever technology is developed for the Pluto probe will surley be usefull in future Moon missions. Besides all that, we really do need to get to Pluto and the Kupier belt.

HyperX will likely be the shuttle's replacement. That project is not too far along where we can't develop for it a means to land on the Moon.

The shuttle is the foundation of nearly all our future in space. Just recently a new bigger and more powerfull solid rocket booster was developed for the shuttle. Now mind you the shuttle is designed for low and mid level orbiting missions. But suppose you could have three SRBs instead of two on the external tank. Or better yet, two external tanks each with three of the new SRBs. I would think that could put a shuttle all the way to the moon and in a lunar orbit. Perhaps even enough to bring it back to Earth as well.

Or as interesting, if HyperX can be fitted with Shuttle tanks and SRBs, we are talking about greatly extended lunar missions.
So lets leave the 'extra stuff' in place and lobby Congress and Mr. Bush to fund NASA to make it all work.

zephyr46
2003-Nov-03, 01:27 AM
A small moonbase could develop techniques and materials for a larger outpost.

Look at the speed this thred went from a possible return to the moon to mars. Zinkstation, I fully agree with you. The ISS would make sense if there were a moon base. At the moment, senators are debating (http://www.space.com/news/iss_senate_031030.html) the value of the ISS (space.com). It's like at any minute a we could step onto that next great leap backwards regarding space. Maybe the focus should be on towing the space station to the moon, or half way there, otherwise I fear it may follow it's contemporaries into the seas of earth.

Hyper X (http://www.alliedaerospace.com/), I think I'm with you planetwatcher,


Until this country (USA) comes up with a safe, reliable, intelligent and cheap way of getting the first 300 miles off the ground, the entire enterprise is a waste of money

Disinterestedthirdparty, since it is the USA that is putting up most of the money for space as we know it, I wish you were wrong, I feel you are more right than wrong. Certainly, it should be safe and reliable. But most of the robotic missions, including hubble I would suggest are not economical, but, in the finest tradtions of science, contribute more than there finacial worth tenfold in understanding where we are. Adventure is expensive, and most of the manned acheivements were a dare compitition between the USA and USSR, with Terrorism stealing peace time funding, I think you need to look to the religious threads and ask yourself if the entire enterprise is a waste of money. I quote a recent joiner, we all live in the gutter, some of us look to the stars.

The world needs a better economy to open up space, or some exeptional exeptions.

seeker372011
2003-Nov-03, 02:06 AM
Originally posted by Parker@Oct 31 2003, 07:00 AM
I hope they will cooperate together with ESA, Russia and Japan on this one. As for heavy launchers we have the shuttle, Ariane and Russia do have the Energia, which is never used anymore sadly.
[QUOTE]


Isnt this the real way forward? co-operation not competition?

Suerely utopian but if all the pace Agencies cooperated Humanity wouldget a bigger bang for the buck and funding would be less dependent upon one man's vision.....

SpaceCadette
2003-Nov-03, 08:42 AM
Originally posted by Jaxxon@Oct 30 2003, 10:08 PM
Hunter noted:

" ... Perhaps the way to get it done is to allow private aerospace companies to get involved (without government/taxpayer subsidies). In a joint venture between NASA and commercial enterprises, NASA can provide the infrastructure -- facilities, logistics coordination -- while the private companies can supply the technology, with both entities sharing in the success. B)

("Success" being my code word for being able to build human-occupied bases, constructing observatories and research centers, and mining Helium-3 and other materials.)"
That's big of private aerospace companies --- are you saying they'll do it for all mankind, and all without presenting a bill? No matter who does it, the taxpayers will pay for it, one way or the other. Either with some funding during development or by paying for services after the fact. Which would be fine, actually! :D

What private aerospace can hope to get out of it is licensing of any new technology they develop with an eye to future development. The biggest problem I see with the entreprenurial companies is that no one of them has yet had the werewithal to make progress in actually launching anything. And they have shown no signs of banding together in a consortium to poll their resources, which is about the only way they would be able to do it without some governmental funding.

I'm waiting with baited breath for the X-Prize competition to be won. Beyond hardware, though, research costs a pretty penny as well.

Hunter
2003-Nov-03, 08:37 PM
Replying to Planetwatcher:

[The Pluto probe is a great experiment in spacecraft effeciency. The probe will have the longest ever journey just to meet it's objective. It will have to fly far, fast, and cheap in order to work. Whatever technology is developed for the Pluto probe will surley be usefull in future Moon missions.]

The Pluto probe won't have much new technology. It will be built and done the same way as past probes, like Cassini and Gallieo. Perhaps some new technology will be used, but nothing that can't be tested on better missions in preperation for moon and Mars. Pluto probe will use RTG's as a power source; that's old and weak. We need to focus on newer, more powerful, nuclear reactors that will be our bread and butter on moon and Mars.

[Besides all that, we really do need to get to Pluto and the Kupier belt.]

Eventually, yes. But there is only so much funding to go around. Patience, Grasshopper!

[HyperX will likely be the shuttle's replacement. That project is not too far along where we can't develop for it a means to land on the Moon.]

HyperX is a technology to enable hypersonic travel through scramjet and air-breathing technologies. It has a few problems:

Problem #1 - No air in space.

Problem #2 - This technology only works with chemical fuels that we are already using. These are grossly inefficient (95% fuel and 5% payload to get into space on most rockets). We need radically better fuels and engines in order to truly open up the solar system. Stuff like Nuclear Thermal(NERVA and such) and Plasma propulsion (VASIMR).

Problem #3 - These engines need winged vehicles. Winged vehicles need landing gear. Wings and landing gear add mass that could be better used in a capsule design for extra payload.

[The shuttle is the foundation of nearly all our future in space. Just recently a new bigger and more powerfull solid rocket booster was developed for the shuttle. Now mind you the shuttle is designed for low and mid level orbiting missions. But suppose you could have three SRBs instead of two on the external tank. Or better yet, two external tanks each with three of the new SRBs. I would think that could put a shuttle all the way to the moon and in a lunar orbit. Perhaps even enough to bring it back to Earth as well.]

Oi. The only thing another SRB will add is greater speed to orbit. The astronauts already undergo tremendous G-Forces during ascent; too much more, and you'll only succeed in putting human remains in orbit. SRB's are only used for the first 2 minutes of flight anyway. The remaining 10 minutes or so are taken care of by the Space Shuttle's Main Engines.

And where would you propose putting an extra fuel tank? If you add more fuel, then you must add more fuel to propel the added fuel and extra mass of the tank. With the inefficient fuel we use now, you don't get get much of an increase in payload or distance. Maybe 1% or 2%. And the SSME's are the most efficient and powerful rockets on the planet.

[Or as interesting, if HyperX can be fitted with Shuttle tanks and SRBs, we are talking about greatly extended lunar missions.]

HyperX is fine for hypersonic travel around Earth. But it would would only be effective for maybe a minute or two as an orbital vehicle climbs out of the atmosphere(only effective between Mach 5 and Mach 7 and in atmosphere), and then you're stuck with the dead and useless weight of the extra engines.

With Real Estate, they tell you that you should keep three things in mind: Location, Location, Location. With Rocket science, it's: Mass, Mass, Mass.

The shuttle is the past, not the future. It's a brilliant piece of engineering, but overly complex and expensive to operate. And it doesn't lift much more than a cheaper Russian rocket. To see what we should be working on, take a look at the following link:

http://www.nuclearspace.com/a_liberty_ship.htm

zephyr46
2003-Nov-04, 05:01 AM
Shuttle Options from space daily (http://www.spacedaily.com/news/oped-03zzs.html)

Complex, but functional.

Matthew
2003-Nov-04, 06:07 AM
Yeah but would one of those get us to the moon? We probably need a new rocket, or we could build the space craft in space. Send the craft into space in seperate parts (like space stations) make sure everything is ok, then launch toward the moon. Simple.

Dave Mitsky
2003-Nov-04, 06:30 AM
"The shuttle is the past, not the future."

Amen to that!

"It's a brilliant piece of engineering, but overly complex and expensive to operate."

I disagree with the former since the STS is a compromised design with no safety features in place and strongly agree with the latter.

Dave Mitsky

Matthew
2003-Nov-04, 07:13 AM
The shuttle cannot have safety features in place for every possible scenario.


[HyperX will likely be the shuttle's replacement. That project is not too far along where we can't develop for it a means to land on the Moon.]

The HyperX could be developed for standard space travel (into space, but not to the moon), with a different design for the moon. Why weigh a craft that will only go to lower earth orbit with equipment for the moon?

zephyr46
2003-Nov-05, 04:19 AM
Russian aerorocket (http://news.ninemsn.com.au/Sci_Tech/story_52892.asp), ???

Haglund
2003-Nov-05, 06:04 AM
Originally posted by seeker372011+Nov 3 2003, 02:06 AM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (seeker372011 @ Nov 3 2003, 02:06 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-Parker@Oct 31 2003, 07:00 AM
I hope they will cooperate together with ESA, Russia and Japan on this one. As for heavy launchers we have the shuttle, Ariane and Russia do have the Energia, which is never used anymore sadly.




Isnt this the real way forward? co-operation not competition?

Suerely utopian but if all the pace Agencies cooperated Humanity wouldget a bigger bang for the buck and funding would be less dependent upon one man&#39;s vision..... [/b]
Perhaps a combination of competition and co-operation is the answer, like we do today. Nothing would really spark a new moonrace between Russia and USA or ESA and USA. I think if they too go to the moon it is by co-operation with USA. That, or with China, in which case there maybe could be a moon race...

Matthew
2003-Nov-05, 10:42 AM
Coperation would probably not include China because they want to have an independant space program.

izzy
2003-Nov-06, 03:57 AM
U.S. Senate hearing on Lunar Exploration webcast

this info was passed to me by a NSS member, and I thought it might be of interest

- iz

---
U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation
Science, Technology, and Space Subcommittee

A hearing on Lunar Exploration is scheduled for tomorrow (Thursday, 11/6) at 2:30 a.m. in room 253 of the Russell Senate Office Building. Members will hear testimony about future exploration of the Moon. Senator Brownback will preside. Scheduled to speak are Harrison Schmitt, David Criswell, Paul Spudis, and Roger Angel

It will be webcast live at http://www.senate.gov/~commerce/hearings/w...list.cfm?id=987 (http://www.senate.gov/~commerce/hearings/witnesslist.cfm?id=987)

A transcript will be posted later if you miss it
---

zephyr46
2003-Nov-06, 04:25 AM
Harrison Schmitt spoke in Australia last year saying it was imperative we return to the moon, nominating Titanium as a finacial/economic motivation.

Hunter
2003-Nov-06, 09:50 PM
RE" ["It&#39;s a brilliant piece of engineering, but overly complex and expensive to operate."

I disagree with the former since the STS is a compromised design with no safety features in place and strongly agree with the latter.]

It may be a compromised design, but that doesn&#39;t mean it isn&#39;t a brilliant piece of engineering. Indeed, the fact that it&#39;s compromised and yet still manages to fly should say otherwise&#33; And it does have safety features, it&#39;s just that spaceflight is inherently dangerous and risky, and if we spent a whole lot of time thinking up every single safety feature, we&#39;d never get off the ground&#33;

starrman
2003-Nov-08, 11:24 PM
I just received this message. Thought it might be pertinent to the discussion here.

* * * * *

Dean Calls for Humans to Mars
> Nov. 6, 2003
> For further information about the Mars Society visit our website at
> www.marssociety.org
>
> During an online national town meeting conducted by the Washington
> Post and Concord Monitor, Democratic presidental hopeful Howard Dean
> today called for the United States to launch a humans to Mars program.
>
> Dean&#39;s statement came in response to a question from a citizen from
> Dallas. The transcript of the exchange reads as follows:
>
> Dallas, Tex.: "If elected President, what are your plans for NASA and
> the Space Program? Do you think it&#39;s time to retire the Shuttle and
> move on to bigger and better things, such as a human mission to Mars,
> or returning to the moon?"
>
> Howard Dean: "I am a strong supporter of NASA and every government
> program that furthers scientific research. I don&#39;t think we should
> close the shuttle program but I do believe that we should
> aggressively begin a program to have manned flights to Mars. This of
> course assumes that we can change Presidents so we can have a
> balanced budget again."
>
> The Mars Society is a non-partisan organization and does not endorse
> any candidates. We urge all candidatges and poltical parties to
> support human Mars exploration. Currently, Mars Society members are
> engaged in a nationwide mobilization to meet with hundreds of
> Congressmen in their home districts to convince them that NASA needs
> a goal for its human spaceflight program, and that goal should be
> Mars. Mars Society members have also been seeking out the various
> presidential candidates on the campaign trail and engaging them on
> this issue. The fact that Dean, who is currently leading the
> Democratic pack, should come out with such clear support for human
> Mars exploration shows we are making real progress.
>
> Dean supporters should contact their campaign offices and
> congratulate their candidate for taking his visionary stand in
> support of an American space program that really goes somewhere - and
> to the right place at that&#33;
>
> Supporters of alternative candidates should contact their campaign
> offices and urge them not to let Dean be the only candidate in the
> race with a competant space policy. If they want to beat Dean, they
> need to take an even stronger stand: Humans to Mars within a decade&#33;
>
> On to Mars&#33;
>
> For further information about the Mars Society, visit our website at
> www.marssociety.org.

Haglund
2003-Nov-09, 02:07 PM
Manned Mars mission, I&#39;m all for that, but I think that perhaps we should return to the moon to build a lunar base first. Then when we go to Mars, we should make sure it is to establish a permanent colony there.

Dave Mitsky
2003-Nov-10, 09:05 AM
Originally posted by Hunter@Nov 6 2003, 09:50 PM
RE" ["It&#39;s a brilliant piece of engineering, but overly complex and expensive to operate."

I disagree with the former since the STS is a compromised design with no safety features in place and strongly agree with the latter.]

It may be a compromised design, but that doesn&#39;t mean it isn&#39;t a brilliant piece of engineering. Indeed, the fact that it&#39;s compromised and yet still manages to fly should say otherwise&#33; And it does have safety features, it&#39;s just that spaceflight is inherently dangerous and risky, and if we spent a whole lot of time thinking up every single safety feature, we&#39;d never get off the ground&#33;
Two catastrophic failures in 114 some flights is an absolutely terrible safety record, far poorer than any experimental aircraft. (Keep in mind that NASA at one time claimed that the STS fleet was capable of 60 flights a year&#33;) The very fact that the shuttle sits on the side of the external fuel tank is a tremendous risk factor. Once the SRBs are ignited there is no way for the crew to escape if things go awry. Furthermore, winged reentry vehicles are much more hazardous than capsules.

Get over the shuttle. It&#39;s time to find a cheaper and safer way to reach LEO.

http://web.mid-day.com/news/world/2003/june/56853.htm

http://www.jsonline.com/news/gen/feb03/115...sp?format=print (http://www.jsonline.com/news/gen/feb03/115266.asp?format=print)

http://www.j-bradford-delong.net/movable_t...ves/001554.html (http://www.j-bradford-delong.net/movable_type/archives/001554.html)

Dave Mitsky

Hunter
2003-Nov-11, 05:23 PM
[Get over the shuttle. It&#39;s time to find a cheaper and safer way to reach LEO]

Hey, I&#39;m not disagreeing with you that the shuttle needs to be retired. It was an experiment that perhaps needed to be done, but that experiment has been carried out too long. It *was* a compromised design, and there are better ideas on the drawing board that need to be explored (which take money to implement).

Though I would take issue with your comparison to exeriment vehicles, when a better comparison would be to other orbital and sub-orbital craft. Just take a look at unmanned rockets, which have a 95% success rate, and the shuttle. 2 out of 114? That&#39;s a 98.3% succes rate, right? Seems safer to me. And those two accidents were mainly due to people on the ground not doing their jobs.

I&#39;ll say it again: Spaceflight is *not* safe. It is not like regular airplane flights. As long as we launch using chemical explosians, our rockets are going to blow up. When taken in this light, the shuttle is relatively safe (relative being the key). Yes, there are a number of design flaws, but it has worked well despite them.

But let me repeat: I agree the shuttle should be retired. There are safer and less costly methods of getting to space (my fave being a maglev ramp-assisted launch of a nuclear thermal-powered or VASIMR-powered ship).

But I will not deny the complexity and engineering that went into the making the shuttle, which houses the most powerful rocket engines on Earth. To do so belittles the designers and engineers who worked with what they were given, and churned out a piece of advanced technology (at the time). Not all advanced technology is good, however.

Spacenut
2003-Dec-10, 03:48 AM
I found this "unannouncement" very curious and difficult to follow. I saw it all over the news networks, followed by White House denials that there was going to be any kind of announcement. Huh?

Wait a minute. How did this "return to the Moon, or maybe to Mars" thing get going anyway? Where did the news networks get their info? Was it leaked from the White House? If so, why is the White House denying it?

Pres. Bush has a prime opportunity to give NASA the presidential support that has been absent literally for decades. NASA director O&#39;Keefe has said the present moment is the best opportunity in 30 years to call for a new space initiative. I think all of use would like to see America return to the Moon in our lifetime.

Can anyone therefore trace this story to its source? Thanks&#33;

Dave Mitsky
2003-Dec-10, 07:46 AM
Originally posted by Hunter@Nov 11 2003, 05:23 PM
Though I would take issue with your comparison to exeriment vehicles, when a better comparison would be to other orbital and sub-orbital craft. Just take a look at unmanned rockets, which have a 95% success rate, and the shuttle. 2 out of 114? That&#39;s a 98.3% succes rate, right? Seems safer to me. And those two accidents were mainly due to people on the ground not doing their jobs.

FWIW, the Saturn 5 had a 100% success rate.

Dave Mitsky

Matthew
2003-Dec-12, 04:44 AM
Didn&#39;t Saturn 5 kill 3 astronauts for Apollo 1?

Haglund
2003-Dec-12, 05:08 AM
That was a failure in the Apollo module itself and not the actual launcher Saturn... so the rocket is still 100% but not the Apollo craft.