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Fraser
2003-Nov-25, 05:44 PM
SUMMARY: NASA has estimated that implementing the improvements to the space shuttle fleet suggested by the Columbia Accident Investigation Board will set the agency back $280 million USD. One problem that NASA still hasn't found the solution for is how to give astronauts the ability to repair holes in the wing, like the one that brought down Columbia. The agency is soliciting suggestions from outside as well; since November 12, they've received 286 suggestions - mostly from the public.

What do you think about this story? Post your comments below.

Josh
2003-Nov-25, 11:06 PM
Why can't the just attatch a composite bonded repair patch to it? They do that for aircraft (not mid flight of course) and these things hold up longer than the original structure in some cases. Obviously there'd have to be a few modifications made to the patch itself in terms of heat resistance etc, but that shouldn't be a problem. Everything behind the patch should just be filled with a foam or thermoset. Simple.

Haglund
2003-Nov-26, 09:54 AM
I believe that if NASA will get enough funding for anything in the future, everyone (especially politicians) must understand two things; space exploration is expensive, and it is dangerous. One can't make it 100% safe (the only thing to do that is to stop human spaceflight altogether), and you can't make it terribly cheap.

Luke
2003-Nov-26, 12:44 PM
;) I think this is peanuts. This is a small price to pay to secure the safety of the brave astronaughts who operate the flexible, versatile shuttle. I believe that NASA would be better off upgrading the shuttle rather than replacing it with a less flexible OSP. :angry:

imported_Frank
2003-Nov-26, 04:01 PM
I have always been bothered by story titles and stories like" $ 25 million a launch!" It sounds like the cash burns up with the launch fuel, when in reality it is used to pay folks salaries and so improve the US economy. Lots of folks will receive pay checks as a result of spending that $280 million to get the shuttles on orbit again. If there is a bad aspect to it, it's that the percent of that money that goes to paying health care cost is proportionately too high. B)

DippyHippy
2003-Nov-28, 11:27 PM
I agree with you, Parker - no one said spaceflight would be cheap and easy - although I will admit NASA tried to sell the shuttle to Congress that way, back in the 60's.

Okay, so NASA tried to say the Shuttle would be a cheap and easy way to get to space... at one point NASA even claimed it would be able to launch once every two weeks :lol:... but the reality is that those who work in the program - and especially the astronauts - know better.

Obviously a spacecraft should be made as safe as possible but nothing is 100% safe... is there such a thing as taking safety issues too far? I mean, to the point where the thing would *never* launch, if you stuck to every safety rule?

Haglund
2003-Nov-30, 11:53 AM
Originally posted by DippyHippy@Nov 28 2003, 11:27 PM
I agree with you, Parker - no one said spaceflight would be cheap and easy - although I will admit NASA tried to sell the shuttle to Congress that way, back in the 60's.

Okay, so NASA tried to say the Shuttle would be a cheap and easy way to get to space... at one point NASA even claimed it would be able to launch once every two weeks :lol:... but the reality is that those who work in the program - and especially the astronauts - know better.
Perhaps doing what they did seemed necessary back then in order to get funding for at least the shuttle (they wanted a space station but the current president's administration disgreed). But perhaps that is not a good practice in the long run, since the politicians would see a history of broken promises and failures and overrun budgets... (I should add that I truly admire NASA, and I believe with a more focused longterm goal and funding they could achieve greater things than ever before.)


Obviously a spacecraft should be made as safe as possible but nothing is 100% safe... is there such a thing as taking safety issues too far? I mean, to the point where the thing would *never* launch, if you stuck to every safety rule?
Exactly. One has to fly, that's the only way to gain experience and knowledge about spaceflight, and that in turn is important to make safer and cheaper spacecrafts in the future.

MarQ
2003-Dec-02, 01:51 AM
I agree with Luke, this is about half the cost of a Shuttle launch. Thing like the landing brakes, tires and reinforcing the wings and body points are probably the priorities. But that's not gonna save anybody from the two catastrophic points of flight that Challenger and Columbia fell apart.
What about new plans for a spaceship? That's what we need to spend $280 million on, some hardcore research into the next spaceplane...chose it and stick to it no matter what the cost. I'm not comfortable with the idea of turning my telescope to the Moon and seeing Chinese wave back at me. NASA must make a move for the next 25 years of progress, not setbacks.