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Russ
2001-Dec-10, 11:35 PM
I just returned from Florida. I was able to take time to tour the Kennedy Space Center (KSC). Only one word applies to that place. <bold> AAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWEEEEEEEESSSSSSOOOOOMMMMME!</bold>

I'll confess to being at a loss for words. You have to see the place to believe it. They have a complete "Kit" for the Apollo display, including a full Saturn V, CSM and LM. My poor grasp of American English will not do justice to the display. I'm crowding 50 years old, have been to hell & back, been all over the world and of all of the man made things I've seen this is, uuuummmmm, uuuummmm, Ya just gotta see it.

It was so awe inspiring, I was on the verge of tears as I walked around the display.

As an engineer I can apreciate the effort and tallent required to build such a thing. I hold the people who designed an built the Saturn V et.al. in the UTMOST RESPECT.

If you want to convert a hoax believer, tell them to shut up until they've been to see this display. For the price of a modest meal they will have their numbskull ideas dispelled.

The place is just AWESOME!

edit to correct code.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Russ on 2001-12-10 18:37 ]</font>

Mr. X
2001-Dec-11, 12:22 AM
Is it a full WORKING Saturn V or a carboard cutout?

Squirm
2001-Dec-11, 01:18 AM
Apollo is a religion. no?

Mr. X
2001-Dec-11, 01:25 AM
On 2001-12-10 20:18, Squirm wrote:
Apollo is a religion. no?

Quite so.

ToSeek
2001-Dec-11, 12:58 PM
On 2001-12-10 19:22, Mr. X wrote:
Is it a full WORKING Saturn V or a carboard cutout?


It's a real Saturn V (http://www.kennedyspacecenter.com/html/saturnVcenter.html) that could have sent men to the moon. There are others at the Johnson Space Center (Houston, TX) and the Marshall Space Flight Center (Huntsville, AL), though one is a full-scale engineering model. (I haven't found out which.)

_________________
"... to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield." - Tennyson, Ulysses

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: ToSeek on 2001-12-11 07:58 ]</font>

Russ
2001-Dec-11, 02:29 PM
On 2001-12-10 19:22, Mr. X wrote:
Is it a full WORKING Saturn V or a carboard cutout?


I believe they said it was Apollo 19, which was under construction when the program was abandoned. So it is a real rocket that, I suppose, could be put on a launch pad an sent up. I suspect it would need some refurbishment prior to launch.

JayUtah
2001-Dec-11, 05:29 PM
NASA ordered Saturn V boosters to go all the way up to Apollo 20. That left three boosters after Apollo 17. One was used to put Skylab in orbit. The other two are display models, one at KSC and the other, I believe, in Huntsville, Alabama. Although certain things may have been done to these boosters to render them safe and suitable for display, they were originally constructed as flight boosters, not mockups or test articles.

ToSeek
2001-Dec-11, 07:39 PM
On 2001-12-11 09:29, Russ wrote:
So it is a real rocket that, I suppose, could be put on a launch pad an sent up. I suspect it would need some refurbishment prior to launch.


You'd also need to retrofit a launch pad to support it.

JayUtah
2001-Dec-12, 04:06 PM
You'd also need to retrofit a launch pad to support it.

Yep. The LUT for the Saturn V is cut up in a field outside KSC.

ToSeek
2001-Dec-12, 05:08 PM
On 2001-12-12 11:06, JayUtah wrote:
You'd also need to retrofit a launch pad to support it.

Yep. The LUT for the Saturn V is cut up in a field outside KSC.


And the launch pads used for the Saturn Vs are now used for shuttle launches.

JayUtah
2001-Dec-12, 10:33 PM
And the launch pads used for the Saturn Vs are now used for shuttle launches.

Yes, a cost-cutting measure. Launch Complex 39 was originally designed to have three pads, but only two were constructed. And only one Apollo missions was launched from Pad B, the rest were launched from Pad A. Pads 39A and 39B have been fitted for shuttle launches. This involved tearing out the Apollo LUTs (Launch Umbilical Towers) and MSS (Mobile Service Structure) and replacing them with suitable structures for the shuttle.

(Incidentally, it was originally going to be the Saturn Launch Umbilical Structure until someone noticed that the acronym would be SLUT. No kidding.)

Also the MLP have had to be modified for the shuttle. I don't believe the crawler had to be modified though. There wouldn't necessarily be any need to change how the crawler interfaces with the MLP, or how the MLP interfaces with the pad structure.

But realistically speaking it would probably cost more to refurbish the existing Saturn Vs for flight as it would to construct new ones.

Garrette
2001-Dec-13, 01:25 PM
Yes, there's one in Huntsville. It's at a reststop on the southbound side of I-65 not long after entering the state from Tennessee. My kids and I really enjoyed getting up close to it.

ToSeek
2001-Dec-13, 02:14 PM
On 2001-12-12 17:33, JayUtah wrote:
Pads 39A and 39B have been fitted for shuttle launches. This involved tearing out the Apollo LUTs (Launch Umbilical Towers) and MSS (Mobile Service Structure) and replacing them with suitable structures for the shuttle.


Does anyone else remember the "kiddie seat" launch platform used to launch the Apollo-Soyuz Saturn IB from Pad 39?

Mr. X
2001-Dec-13, 04:52 PM
On 2001-12-12 12:08, ToSeek wrote:


On 2001-12-12 11:06, JayUtah wrote:
You'd also need to retrofit a launch pad to support it.

Yep. The LUT for the Saturn V is cut up in a field outside KSC.


And the launch pads used for the Saturn Vs are now used for shuttle launches.


Cheap *******s /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

They just don't think about the poor engineers in the companies, wanting a little bread for their families! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

SAMU
2001-Dec-14, 07:51 PM
The rocket beside the highway outside of Huntsville AL. is a Saturn 1 But there is an entire Saturn 5 at the space center proper. When I was there I jumped the rail and climbed up onto one of the engines to take a real good look. I looked as a machinist as if I had worked on it in my shop deciding if this was in good enough shape to send out. I looked at everything, the gimbals, the stearing, the fuel pumps, the tubing, nuts, bolts even the cotter pins, everything I could see on the surface. It is all made of titanium and stainless steel. It looked real good to me. There was not a speck of oxidation or corrosion anywhere I looked exept on the cotter pins. There was also a Titan, an Atlas, a couple of Redstones, another 2 Saturn 1s and a V2. The Titan and the Atlas were in good shape, made of titanium and stainless. The others were not in good shape. I don't think they could be refurbished but they could be used to train a crew in refurbishing before the good ones were worked on.

My rough estimate to do the job with great risk is 15 to 25 million. 100 million With a real good degree of safty, with modern tecniques, better than the original astronauts had.

SAMU

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: SAMU on 2001-12-14 15:05 ]</font>

The Bad Astronomer
2001-Dec-14, 07:54 PM
On 2001-12-12 17:33, JayUtah wrote:
(Incidentally, it was originally going to be the Saturn Launch Umbilical Structure until someone noticed that the acronym would be SLUT. No kidding.)


Um. SLUS? Is "Structure" supposed to be "Tower" or something like that?

SAMU
2001-Dec-15, 01:39 AM
Giving more thought to the idea of using the Apollo again here's this idea.

If an Apollo vehicle was refurbished and launched without the astronauts it would be safer and subtracting 180 lbs removed per astronaut plus 120 lbs for their suits times three astronauts equals 900 lbs that could be replaced with 900 lbs of parachutes. With my experience with large aerospace machinery and my experience with parasails I believe the Saturn 5 booster could be returned by splashdown with minimal damage. Landing in the water empty it will float if unbroken on splashdown. Using Earth orbit rendezvous via the space shuttle to put the astronauts aboard for the rest of the return to the Moon.

Returning from the Moon, the command module and the LM could be returned to Earth in the cargo bay of the shuttle. Recovering the spacecraft the with the shuttle is free because the shuttle has to return empty from the ISS anyway. In this way we would have a partially reusable lunar vehicle. The parts that would be lost would be the second and third stages and the landing module that is left on the Moon. With some clever redesigning of those components and refueling by the shuttle they could be reused as well.

Of course the (by my count 4, Houston, New Orleans, Huntsville and Kennedy) remaining Saturn 5s are historical artifacts and this would require playing fast and loose with one or two of them. Still, it's an interesting idea.



SAMU

Donnie B.
2001-Dec-15, 04:04 AM
On 2001-12-14 20:39, SAMU wrote:
Returning from the Moon, the command module and the LM could be returned to Earth in the cargo bay of the shuttle. SAMU


The fatal flaw in your plan is that the CSM could not possibly carry enough fuel to decelerate and make an earth orbit where it could be met by the shuttle.

The original mission profile used direct reentry... the CM simply cut into the atmosphere at upwards of 25,000 miles/hour, using friction as a brake. The heat shield was used to both protect the astronauts and to dissipate the heat of reentry by ablation.

It would take a halacious amount of fuel to decelerate the CSM enough that it could be snagged by the shuttle, which orbits at something like 18,000 miles/hour. I don't think there's been enough advancement in the state of the art to make it possible. (Don't forget you have to carry that fuel all the way from the ground to lunar orbit, which means many times that much more more fuel to lift it. Same thing at the moon: you have to push that fuel back to Earth, so the trans-earth burn has to be bigger, which means you have to take along that fuel too, which means you have to lift it off Earth...)

I think you'd have more luck if you changed the whole mission profile. Use the shuttle to ferry fuel to earth orbit, launch the lunar vehicles on smaller boosters, and assemble the vehicle in orbit. That is, go with Earth Orbit Rendezvous.

But all this assumes that somebody is willing to pay a whole lot of money to get back to the moon. Just who's going to foot the bill for all this?

-- Donnie B. pledges $1000.00 if he gets a teensy moon rock as a souvenir. Anybody care to cover the other $999,999,000.00?

SAMU
2001-Dec-15, 04:58 AM
You're right, all you really need is a "pusher" to get the lander to and from luner orbit, the lander itself and the shuttle brings the raw materials ie fuel and parts. Remember the TLI stage is a relatively small stage, it's the 3rd stage of the Apollo stack. If you go with a smaller lander... I tell you what, I've seen the LM close up. The thing looks like it was made of bridge parts. It is way bigger and heavier than I would have expected. I write with major experience in aerospace fabrication. I with a crew of only 5 other men built the main fabrication structure for the fusilage of the new Boeing 777.

I agree, forget the Apollo mission profile. Remember you don't need to have the reentry capsule because the astronauts reenter on the shuttle. All you need is a lander that can return to the "pusher" or the ferry and the pusher itself.

30 million, tops. Plus shuttle, ground crew, and ISS facilities expences. Figure 120 million per turnaround. That's 10 percent of what anyone else is quoting.

SAMU

Kaptain K
2001-Dec-15, 07:31 PM
Way backin the '50s, R.A. Heinlein noted that "Earth orbit is halfway to anywhere". Not only that, but the vast majority of the (energy) cost of reaching Earth orbit is in just getting off the ground. IMHO, space travel will never be economically feasible until we quit trying to boost everthing into orbit by brute force.
By using a solar powered linear induction motor or capacitive discharge "railgun" catapult for the first stage, all of the "fuel" for the first stage could be left on the ground.
A reuseable "scramjet" second stage would use air as the oxidiser, saving weight that could be used for payload.
Of course, the infrastructure for this would be extremely expensive, but once in place, per use cost would be low.
For maximum cost effectiveness, the launch site(s) should be 1) (near) equatorial to take advantage of the Earth's rotation, 2) fairly high altitude to reduce aerodynamic drag during the initial stages, and 3) remote from current population centers since the "sonic boom" from such a large vehicle going supersonic in the troposphere would be fierce. Just off the top of my head, Equador and Peru in S. America and Mt. Kilamanjaro in Africa come to mind. Unfortunately, the eastern portion of Hawaii is already populated or it would be ideal.

The Bad Astronomer
2001-Dec-15, 08:58 PM
On 2001-12-15 14:31, Kaptain K wrote:
Way backin the '50s, R.A. Heinlein noted that "Earth orbit is halfway to anywhere".


If you take him literally, though, he was wrong. What he meant was that it takes half as much energy to get to low Earth orbit as it does to get to escape velocity. That much is true. However, you still need energy to match velocities with whatever object you wish to reach. So if you want to soft land on Mars, for example, you need a lot more energy than just escape velocity from Earth. That's one of the reasons it has been so difficult ot get succesful Mars landings.

As I recall, Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven talk about these energies in the book "A Step Farther Out", a collection of essays about space travel. I wonder if they comment on the "halfway to everywhere" quotation...

johnwitts
2001-Dec-15, 09:27 PM
Taking an Apollo CSM and LM to Earth Orbit would be no good. You'd also need a SIVB sized booster to get the stack to the Moon, way too big and heavy to fit into the Shuttle cargo bay. It's all about weight and fuel and velocity, velocity fuel and weight. The Shuttle gets less payload to orbit than the Saturn V got to the Moon, even discounting the SIVB's that impacted on the surface. The Shuttle is about ten times too puny to achieve a lunar mission, unless we use many multiple launches to get a shed load of stuff into orbit. On quote from an Apollo engineer goes something like this. Nobody will ever know how hard it is to get to the Moon until someone tries to go again.

Kizarvexis
2001-Dec-16, 09:42 PM
On 2001-12-15 16:27, johnwitts wrote:
On quote from an Apollo engineer goes something like this. Nobody will ever know how hard it is to get to the Moon until someone tries to go again.


There is speculation that one of China's goals for it's manned space program is to go to the moon. I have this sneaking suspicion that if China gets serious about sending people to the moon, then the US might get real interested in going back. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Kizarvexis

johnwitts
2001-Dec-17, 12:03 AM
Then they will need to ditch the shuttle and use a proper rocket.

SAMU
2001-Dec-17, 08:34 AM
I've been cruising the NASA site researching statistics and hardware for designing a reusable lunar return spacecraft and it's looking not only do able but eminently do able.

Since the structures for the ISS are bulky but relatively light weight, the lift capacity of the shuttle for those missions is wasted. If the excess lift capacity is used for fuel for the lunar ferry, the cost for turnaround becomes less.

The fuel weight capacity of the S1VB-500 (the Apollo third stage) 230,000 lbs.

http://history.nasa.gov/SP-4029/Apollo_18-19_Ground_Ignition_Weights.htm

The trans lunar injection burn used 162,441 lbs

http://history.nasa.gov/SP-4029/Apollo_18-23c_Launch_Vehicle_Propellant_Use.htm

The lift capacity for the shuttle.
Lift Capability:

Deploy Mission (28.45 deg and 110 nm)
63,500 lbs of cargo

http://shuttlepayloads.jsc.nasa.gov/flying/capabilities/capabilities.htm

Basicly I'm thinking of a two man mission. An empty, redesigned to use newer more potent fuels and motor, S1VB-500 to serve as the reuseable round trip ferry and service module, A redesigned LM to serve as the reusable lander and command module spacecraft, and one of the Saturn Vs to lift it all to Earth orbit rendezvous with the ISS, and the excess lift capacity of the shuttle for ferry fueling, resupply and men.

Initial Cost: 65 million + a Saturn 5 including 1st, 2nd and 3rd stages, Turnaround cost 100 million.

Donnie B. send me the $1000 if you don't mind if I spend it on research. If I go I promise to get you a moon rock if I have to swallow one to get it to you.

My estimate for a railgun launch system capable of launching a 20 ton semi truck sized payload to Earth orbit of 18,000 miles per hour at 10 Gs for 16 miles is two and a half billion.
SAMU

PS

I have found the LM for Apollo 10. It's the only one that didn't crash. According to NASA it's in heliocentric orbit. http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/lunar/apolloloc.html

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: SAMU on 2001-12-17 04:23 ]</font>

Russ
2001-Dec-17, 07:32 PM
I am impressed with the ideas and enthusiasm in this discussion. We may get humans out of Earth orbit again yet!

Regarding the boost capacity of the Saturn V stack. It said in the display graphics that the stack was designed for multiple tasks. It could, for example, make a similar mission profile to Mars, carry HUGE robot satilites to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus & Neptune. It could have boosted significantly more than it ever did.

Although they had no graphics, it also said that several different payload busses were designed for these alternative missions. I would expect at least one was a nuclear warhead bus.

Regarding mission readiness, What I saw looked nearly mission capable. I would assume a "Non-Distructive Test" (NDT) program on load bearing components would do for the boost sections. The capsule is another story. I don't think you could get three people that would ride that small of a CSM any more. My high school locker was bigger than the living space in the CM. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

johnwitts
2001-Dec-17, 09:03 PM
Basicly I'm thinking of a two man mission. An empty, redesigned to use newer more potent fuels and motor, S1VB-500 to serve as the reuseable round trip ferry and service module, A redesigned LM to serve as the reusable lander and command module spacecraft, and one of the Saturn Vs to lift it all to Earth orbit rendezvous with the ISS, and the excess lift capacity of the shuttle for ferry fueling, resupply and men.

I don't think it would be that simple. Imagime it. You've got the SIVB into orbit with a CSM and LM (modified). You send this lot off to the Moon, only you can't dispose of the SIVB because you want it back. Either you send it on a free return trajectory, and do a similar CSM/LM mission to Apollo, which gives you the problem of how you get the returning SIVB screaming back from the Moon at 25000mph down to 17500mph to redock with the ISS. You have the same problem with the modified CSM/LM combination when it returns from the Moon. All this takes extra fuel. One advantage is that we wouldn't need a CM. Another way of doing it is to combine the SIVB and SM into one big hybrid craft, and taking the whole lot into Lunar orbit to dispatch the LM for an Apollo like landing. The whole SIVB/SM hybrid would then bring the LM back. It would still, however, need to be braked into Earth orbit. This would take even more fuel than was used to get the Apollo craft to the Moon, as the SIVB/SM hybrid would have to be bigger and heavier to get out of Earth orbit and to the Moon in the first place. As an estimate, it would take at least twice the fuel that Apollo used to perform the mission in this way. That would mean an SIVB at least twice the size of the origional (boosters are basically big fuel tanks with relatively small engines), and I don't think the Saturn V could lift something that big. BTW, I don't think we could even build a Saturn V today, even if we wanted to.

johnwitts
2001-Dec-17, 09:07 PM
Can we post pictures here?

<img src=http://images.jsc.nasa.gov/images/pao/AS11/10075267.jpg>

Yes, we can! Is this allowed?

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: johnwitts on 2001-12-17 16:08 ]</font>

JayUtah
2001-Dec-17, 09:30 PM
I don't think it would be that simple.

No, it wouldn't be.

...the problem of how you get the returning SIVB screaming back from the Moon at 25000mph down to 17500mph to redock with the ISS.

A non-trivial problem. You might try aerobraking, but that would take a long time and you wouldn't be able to do that with an off-the-shelf S-IVB. The only other alternative is doing it with an engine burn, but now you've got the problem of requiring twice the fuel in your S-IVB -- a chunk for the TLI burn and then a similar-sized chunk for two EOI burns. Now add in the problem of keeping that cryogenic fuel happy during a circumlunar free-return trajectory.

This starts to become one of those problems were reusable isn't necessarily better.

Another way of doing it is to combine the SIVB and SM into one big hybrid craft

This would be a logical consolidation. If you send a CSM/LM stack to the moon along with the TLI booster which you plan to recover, you realize it doesn't matter much from an orbital energy standpoint whether they make the journey attached or separated.

But by consolidating the craft you make the LOI burns require more fuel, since they would have to slow not only the CSM/LM stack but also the booster. Ditto for the TEI burn.

If all this is starting to sound like a double-edged sword, you're right. The staging philosophy says, "It's cheaper in terms of fuel to throw away the parts of a rocket that you're finished using." The economics philosophy says, "It's cheaper in the long run to reuse rocket parts." Successful mission planning consists of walking the appropriate fine line between these two extremes.

johnwitts
2001-Dec-17, 09:37 PM
Not only would you need the fuel to get there, and the fuel to slow down when you got back, you'd also need fuel to get the 'get back' fuel there and back. Does this make sense?

SAMU
2001-Dec-17, 10:43 PM
Yea The idea of the SIVB/SM combo with the CM/LM combo is the way to go. Lannched empty to begin with they can be bigger and heavier. Built with modern composite materials it could have greater capacity for the same weight.

Also here's this.

The rest of the Saturn Vs should be only a hundred miles or so off of Cape Kennedy. Staging occured at 70 miles downrange.

http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/ap15fj/01launch_to_earth_orbit.htm

Since they are made of titanium and stainless and at a depth of 2 miles they should not have much corrosion. The fusilages are probably rubble but the hard, solid structures of the F-1 engines should be OK. http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/ap15fj/01launch_to_earth_orbit.htm
Salvaging several gives us some that we could canabalize to make a couple of good ones. Their location should be easy to determine as they were tracked on radar all the way down. The Navy's Grapple is made to salvage at that depth and usualy has not much to do.

PS

How about a name? I nominate "Phoenix"
"A mythical bird reborn from the flames of its own burning body."

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: SAMU on 2001-12-17 17:54 ]</font>

johnwitts
2001-Dec-17, 10:53 PM
That's only the first stages. Besides, it would probably be cheaper to design and build a new rocket than start dredging the sea. The major costs behind rockets is not the manufacture of the boosters or the fuel, but the man hours needed to prepare them to fly. Look at the Shuttle. Reusable yet more expensive per launch than any throw away booster ever made, including the Saturn V Moon missions. The Russians have been using the same design of booster since forever, and have now got production lines sorted for a kind of mass production. I believe this is the way to go. Junk the Shuttle. At least until we've got a proper spaceplane that has a turnaround of a day, and only requires refueling and restocking the kitchen before relaunch.

SAMU
2001-Dec-17, 11:12 PM
"Do you know what makes this bird go up?"

"FUNDING makes this bird go up."

But where does funding come from? It comes from capturing the imagination of the people.

You don't junk anything. You salvage, you make do, you use good ol' American inginuity and maybe some russian, japanese and french hardware. You do somthing people can understand and support and the funding will pour in like water.

SAMU

JayUtah
2001-Dec-17, 11:22 PM
The fusilages are probably rubble but the hard, solid structures of the F-1 engines should be OK.

The rocket casings would have disintegrated on impact. The only assuredly impact-proof part of the F-1 would be the combustion chamber. I wouldn't trust any of the plumbing.

Salvaging several gives us some that we could canabalize to make a couple of good ones.

No. The F-1 was not designed to be reused. Some components were intended or expected to erode with use. The F-1 rated burn time was a bit less than three minutes.

There is no advantage to salvaging engines that have sat on the ocean floor for 30 years and trying to cobble together a man-rated, flight-rated engine. Better simply to construct new ones.

johnwitts
2001-Dec-17, 11:25 PM
Apollo failed to capture the imagination of the public. Colour TV from the Moon nobody watched. Why will they be interested now? Those who are really interested, such as those here, would sell their left .... to go to the Moon, or to watch others. Most folks just are not interested enough, otherwise it would already be being done. Where was the international outcry when Apollo was cancelled? It's a 'been there, done that' mentality that pervades society.

SAMU
2001-Dec-18, 04:22 AM
Terminal velocity at sea level for a human body is 60 - 180 mph depending on it's orientation. An empty Saturn 5 has a much lower weight to size ratio than a solid body. It's terminal velocity would be less. A terminal velocity fall for a human would break all his bones but it wouldn't disintegrate him. The Saturn V could with stand explosive sonic vibration that would reduce a human to liquid and it operated in a supersonic environment. I hardly think it disintegrated. In fact I saw film when it seperated at launch turning broadside to the supersonic slipstream and it seemed to hold up pretty good. Here's a piece of the Challenger. <IMG SRC=http://images.jsc.nasa.gov/images/pao/STS51L/10062419.jpg> It seems to have held up pretty well.

The reason the public lost intrest in Apollo was because they chose Armstrong to get out first. Armstrong was the most wooden, untalkative stiff in the space program. He even blew his first line. It should have been Aldrin who got out first. Aldrin was an engaging, talkative, likable guy. He was my favorite astronaut. That's who you needed to first set foot on the Moon, Some one who could come back and talk about it. That was his JOB!!! We didn't spend all that money for one man to have an adventure he could take to his grave with him. He got to be the first man to set foot on the moon. The least we should expect is that he talk about it.

I think that people are hungry for somthing great to support. After this current crisis is over the public is going to get tired of the polititions pumping it for all it's worth in the next year. The politicians are going to be looking for somthing else to get the puplic intrest. Finding and hauling up the Saturn Vs and having a look at them is relativly inexpensive to do and could be the spark that starts the ball rolling.

I think the next steps are to get in touch with the commander of the USN Grapple, the manager of the Cape and the manager of Michoud to see if recovery, transport and storage facilities could be made available. And to hustle up some funding to go and drag a camera sled around the Saturn V decent splashdown area.

SAMU




<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: SAMU on 2001-12-17 23:28 ]</font>

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: SAMU on 2001-12-18 00:35 ]</font>

ToSeek
2001-Dec-18, 01:18 PM
On 2001-12-17 23:22, SAMU wrote:

The reason the public lost intrest in Apollo was because they chose Armstrong to get out first.

I've heard this same claim on Usenet, and I didn't go along with it then, either. First, Armstrong's #1 job was to be a test pilot, and he was a very good one. Second, I don't know if any individual effort could have held up interest in the space program. Maybe if Carl Sagan had been the first man on the moon, but probably not even then. I don't think it's appropriate to blame Armstrong for the public's loss of interest.

JayUtah
2001-Dec-18, 04:35 PM
It's terminal velocity would be less.

Yes, I agree with that. "Disintegrate" can have many interpretations and so wasn't the best choice of words. I simply meant I would expect to see the fuselage in pieces, not intact.

In fact I saw film when it seperated at launch turning broadside to the supersonic slipstream and it seemed to hold up pretty good.

Sure, but that's different than slamming into the water.

It seems to have held up pretty well.

A matter of opinion. See, that fits my definition of "distintegrated". Sure, it's a big chunk, but remember that Challenger broke up at altitude and fell in pieces. But I simply meant that the first stage would have probably broken into small pieces on impact.

But it would still be fruitless to try to recover the F-1 engines for possible reuse. Even if large portions of them survived the impact intact and have remained largely unaffected by thirty years' immersion in warm salt water, they weren't meant to be fired more than once.

I'd rather see them recovered as museum pieces. An F-1 makes a fantastic museum display.

The reason the public lost intrest in Apollo was because they chose Armstrong to get out first.

As already noted, they chose Armstrong because he was the pilot they felt was most qualified. The geometry of the lunar module dictated who got out first.

Besides, the next commander was Pete Conrad, considered the most colorful of the moonwalkers.

Aldrin was an engaging, talkative, likable guy.

He still is. Besides, Aldrin got to walk on the moon too. They were both there, both recording, both absorbing and internalizing, and both able to share largely the same experience had they wished. The notion that the whole project was doomed to oblivion simply because Armstrong got out first, a relatively minor thing, seems like the tail wagging the dog.

That was his JOB!

I disagree. His job was to land on the moon and return safely to the earth. Talking about it would be irrelevant if the primary goal were not attained.

We didn't spend all that money for one man to have an adventure he could take to his grave with him. ... The least we should expect is that he talk about it.

Are you claiming we somehow "own" Neil Armstrong now? Spending money is irrelevant. Neil Armstrong put his life on the line, which is certainly any more than any of us may have individually contributed to Apollo. How he chooses to spend the remainder of his life is his own business.

I think that people are hungry for somthing great to support.

This I agree with. Americans always seem to work better when there's a clearly defined goal we can all get behind.

Finding and hauling up the Saturn Vs and having a look at them is relativly inexpensive to do and could be the spark that starts the ball rolling.

Sure. As I said, I'd love for every aerospace museum to have an F-1, if it can be arranged.

I don't know about expense. My understand is that the equipment is fairly cheap to operate, but rather expensive to build. Therefore what little equipment we have is in high demand and so its use has to be prioritized. I dunno, just thinking.

SAMU
2001-Dec-18, 10:31 PM
I'v done some research on the USS Grapple

http://www.chinfo.navy.mil/navpalib/factfile/ships/ship-ars.html

and find that the Navy has 4 ships of the safegaurd class. Two, the Grapple and the Grasp, are stationed in Little Creek Virginia. Mailing adress FPO AE 09570-3223. The Grapple ARS 53 is commanded by Lt. Commander David E. Davis. It has a rear boom with a lift capacity of 40 tons. The empty whole Saturn V first stage is 42 tons. It probably displaces 5 tons of water so if unbroken figure 37 tons. Since it must have broken up the heaviest pieces will be the engines, gimbals, and stearing. When I looked at the engines myself I estimated their individual weight to be 5 to 8 tons each. Since they were attatched to the tank solidly to support the 5 million lbs. of thrust they may have remained attached to the lower tank structure fairly well. If they held together very well it may be a 20 to 30 ton lift. If the upper portion of the stage hit first it may have softened the impact as a sort of crumple zone for some of the Saturn Vs that are down there. According to NASA there are 13 down there.

Imagine it, somwhere just off shore are all the actual Saturn Vs of the Apollo program.

As has been pointed out it is as expensive to prepare a rocket for flight as it is to build one. But preparing a rocket for flight is still cheaper than building AND preparing a rocket for flight. It is also 30 times cheaper than developing a whole new system.

I agree about Pete Conrad. He was another good talker and another of my favorite astronauts. Armstrong is one of my favorites too. It's not his fault that he's not a talkative guy. It's the fault of the guys who chose him to be the first. They know he wasn't a talkative guy.

NASA didn't like the public behavior of The Mercury Seven. When they got the next group, "The New Nine", of astronauts into training NASA sent them to charm school. According to an interview I saw with Pete Conrad they tought them things like "The cuffs of the pants should come down to there and the socks should come up to here and the cuffs of the sleaves should come out of the jacket this far and you should button the jacket here when you stand up and unbuton it when you sit down. They also trained them in public speaking. Niel Armstrong was one of "The New Nine". Since he was trained in public speaking it should be considered part of his job just like putting retrofire heater switch to auto before launch or giving the cryo tanks a stir when told to. It wasn't his fault that he couldn't do it. But the people who sent him knew because the astronaut training was closly monitored.

Lets make this 'nuff said about why we can't and help me research the how we can.

Copy and print some of this thread and mail it to your friends and congressmen and get your friends to write to their congressmen too. You could be a part of the begining of what could be the start of the permanent habitation by man of another world. At least you could help start the recovery of tremendously important artifacts of the Apollo program that will be on display to people for centuries.

SAMU

johnwitts
2001-Dec-18, 11:20 PM
Agreed. Lets find those stages and haul them out. I've got space for an engine in my garden, if I can have one. BTW, who owns the engines? Do they come under salvage rights? If I went and got one myself, would it be mine? What about the rovers on the Moon? Do they count as salvage? Hmmm.

The Bad Astronomer
2001-Dec-18, 11:31 PM
On 2001-12-17 18:25, johnwitts wrote:
Apollo failed to capture the imagination of the public.

What??!!

I strongly disagree with this statement. The first landing was watched all over the world; I have heard a billion people saw it. Apollo 8 (which went around the Moon) was major headline material. Apollo 13 too.

The public got bored with it later, during Apollo 13 (before the accident) and perhaps after 14, when things went well again.

But your blanket statement is as far from correct as any I have ever heard.

johnwitts
2001-Dec-19, 12:09 AM
Oh no! I've upset the Big Bad One!!! Sorry, this was never my intention. One of my 'skills' is to take a very complicated set of circumstances, and to condense them down into a short, 'flip' sentence. My real feelings are that Apollo failed to keep the imagination of the puplic. Like most things, great events like Apollo, or great sporting moments, or VE day, or whatever, are soon forgotten and the feelings that go with them dissappear as soon as another new sitcom comes on the telly. Look at Formula 1 racing. It's become boring to some. Why? Because one team is doing very well, and dominating the procedings. Two hours for a race where the same bloke leads for the whole thing, and who also did the same in the last six races, is too much for some people. Likewise Apollo. 9 flights to the Moon and which do people remember and make films about? Apollo 13, cos they nearly died. It's just the mentality of folks. People around me are sick of me talking about what I've found out about Apollo on the internet and in books. They just aint interested. To sum up, going to the Moon just isn't interesting enough for people who are not interested in going to the Moon. I'd go in a minute, if I could, but I don't find those around me would bother, or indeed be that interested if we did go back.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: johnwitts on 2001-12-18 19:27 ]</font>

Peter B
2001-Dec-19, 01:58 AM
SAMU, you speculated on the S1 coming down top end first, with that part of the stage acting as a crumple zone.

That doesn't sound likely to me, though I admit I'm no expert.

Based on the distance the stage had to fall, wouldn't the most stable position be engines down, due to their weight?

SAMU
2001-Dec-19, 03:11 AM
I believe that the Saturn Vs do come under international salvage laws. They're abandoned and in international waters. Unless NASA can prove it has maintained survailence, maintanence and therfore possesion under internationl law. Pull 'em up and they're yours. With 13 down there that's 52 F-1 engines. Plenty enough to go around. But once you get them ashore they are in the US and in the US anyone can sue you for anything. If you did pull somthing up I bet you'd find yourself in court. You would probably win but you would still have to defend it.

I think that it most likley would tumble down due to it's unstreamlined shape. It would fall tail down for a time until pressure and turbulence built up and then it would turn broadside till the presure relives and it would swing back to a tail down attitude oscilating back and forth and tumbling quite a bit or it may have taken a sort of stable angled tail down spiral corkscrewing decent.

I now recall having seen about 6 or 7 years ago some underwater video of a Saturn V on the ocean floor. It was part of a program produced when they were planning the recovery of the Mercury capsule, Liberty Bell 7.
Here's the liberty Bell 7.
<IMG SRC=http://www-pao.ksc.nasa.gov/kscpao/images/mercury2/99pp-1036.jpg>
Looks pretty good after sitting in Davy Jones' locker for 40 years ay?
And guess what this is.<IMG SRC=http://www-pao.ksc.nasa.gov/kscpao/images/mercury2/99pp-1035.jpg>
Here are more of the pictures. http://www-pao.ksc.nasa.gov/kscpao/captions/subjects/mercury2.htm
I recall thinking that it was badly damaged but on recalling the picture the fusilage was only collapsed to half of its diameter for 3/4 of it's length and the lower portion of the tank, mountings and engines were in good shape. Also it was on a sand bottom, not imbeded and with surprisingly little growth in a few palm sized spots on it.

To get a spacecraft, or more accuratly a spacecraft manufaturing or refurbising program, flight rated you only have to run an example of the program vehicles in a static test for as long as it would be expected to run in flight without failing. To get it man rated you have to fly it as you would if it had a man aboard. Since we don't really need it to be man rated the first man rating test flight can be the lunar spacecraft lift mission flight.

As to the parts that were designed to tolerate erosion during use I think that the past 30 years of development in exotic materials, especialy ceramics could be used to replace those parts better than they were before. The testing of the components can be and is accomplished in the aerospace industry by x-ray and ultrasound to find any small cracks in materials and parts. Thats what makes a part aerospace rated and why they are more expensive than conventional parts.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: SAMU on 2001-12-18 22:30 ]</font>

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: SAMU on 2001-12-18 23:10 ]</font>

K. Hovis
2001-Dec-19, 01:15 PM
On 2001-12-18 19:09, johnwitts wrote:
(snip)
Look at Formula 1 racing. It's become boring to some. Why? Because one team is doing very well, and dominating the procedings. Two hours for a race where the same bloke leads for the whole thing, and who also did the same in the last six races, is too much for some people.
(snip)
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: johnwitts on 2001-12-18 19:27 ]</font>



Sounds like you need to turn to NASCAR for your motorsports!</p>

SAMU
2001-Dec-19, 07:17 PM
The salvage and reconstruction of some space vehicles is topical to the subject of this thread as some have said that "the ultimate proof that we went to the Moon is to go there again.
I'm not sure what auto racing has to do with an ultimate proof of moon landings. Exept maybe as a source of pilots. As has been said elswhere,"they are familiar with handeling their own machinery, they are comfortable in conditions of flame and they have their own helmets." /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

SAMU

JayUtah
2001-Dec-19, 10:26 PM
Agreed on the topicality argument, but I'm still skeptical that salvaging and reconditioning old Apollo hardware is the best way to get to the moon again.

I don't think you could fully disassemble an F-1 engine. I know Rocketdyne designs (well, some of them) and there is a lot of welding and other permanent joinery in them. So that means some things can't be inspected carefully enough because they can't be easily disassembled to the point of x-raying them or inspecting them microscopically for microfractures. You could always boroscope them, of course, but that isn't as revealing.

The combustion chamber would probably have suffered severe throat erosion. So you can't fire it again. At least not with acceptable chamber pressure. So you'd have to throw out the combustion chamber, and that's a big chunk of hardware.

I would expect the nozzles to have suffered severe damage on impact with the water. That's another big expensive part you have to throw away. And if the stage struck tail-first, as I expect, the air pressure wave traveling up through the injector might have also seriously damaged that structure. The injector is the single most complicated and expensive part on a rocket engine, so we have to count on that being damaged.

What do we have left? Miscellaneous fuel pumps and plumbing. Valuable, perhaps, but not irreplaceable. In fact, our turbine technology today far oustrips (pun intended) anything in the F-1. The F-1 had a certain elegance in design that we prefer not to follow today. But we could certainly produce new turbines of greatly surpassing quality. We wouldn't necessarily be interested in getting the actual old ones.

But the bearings would probably need work, and that means replacing pump and turbine casings.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that the most expensive and irreplaceable parts of the F-1 are those I expect to have been the most damaged. So while it's certainly possible to restore an F-1 to flight condition through potentially extensive overhaul, I don't yet believe it would be cheaper, easier, or faster to do so.

JayUtah
2001-Dec-19, 10:55 PM
I believe that the Saturn Vs do come under international salvage laws. They're abandoned and in international waters.

For those reasons I agree. Finders keepers.

However, what if NASA recovered them already in secret to keep them from falling into the Soviets' hands? Conspiratorial, I know, but it would have been valuable booster technology and thus worth taking extreme lengths to produce.

But I suspect the U.S. government believed the engines were irretrievably disposed of, and therefore didn't try to get them.

Plenty enough to go around.

Do you folks have any clue how much an F-1 engine weighs? And I don't mean in terms of numerical weight.

Our local planetarium is relocating to a more spacious facility, and since I volunteer there I got to help pack up the stuff. "The stuff" included an Atlas first stage combustion chamber, similar to those used in later Mercury missions. That thing is monstrously heavy, and its throat diameter is only eight inches or so.

it would swing back to a tail down attitude oscilating back and forth

I agree. The center of mass of an empty stage is decidedly back toward the engines. Aerodynamically speaking, it would fall roughly tail-first, but since it has a large surface to present to the slipstream and a comparatively small moment of inertia, I'd expect wild gyrations.

If it strikes the water tail-first, it's then possible that large chunks of the fuselage would survive, perhaps even as barrel sections. But if it strikes at an angle, it will snap in half and crush and the separation point. This would tend to collapse the sections and separate them.

We have to recall that the pressurized fuel tanks were expected to help stiffen the structure. Without that, the structure was not as strong as you might think.

I now recall having seen about 6 or 7 years ago some underwater video of a Saturn V on the ocean floor.

No kidding? I'd love to see that.

Looks pretty good after sitting in Davy Jones' locker for 40 years ay?

Sure, but you can't tell anything by looking at a JPEG of a photo of the spacecraft any more than a doctor can definitively diagnose a patient over the telephone. Recall also that the Liberty Bell 7 soft-landed.

To get it man rated you have to fly it as you would if it had a man aboard.

No, it's not that easy. You have to demonstrate the ability to exceed specified reliability figures. That is, you have to demonstrate that a particular component fails at a rate no greater than that allocated to that component. You can get away with doing this empirically by demonstrating that your production standards ensure that any two components that roll off your line will be identical enough to validate the empiricism.

That is, if I test a lot of 1,000 devices and only two of them fail, I can say that I have 99.8% reliability. But that presumes that the next 1,000 that roll off the line will also have only two that fail. This is inferred by qualitatively examining the process by which the components are produced.

If you're working with refurbished parts you can't make any representations of reliability by association. You can't test one refurbished part and then infer that other refurbished parts will behave similarly. Each part has to be considered a separate case, and you can't then satisfy specified reliability constraints for manned flight.

There are rules to man-rating. You don't just run it and see if it breaks.

As to the parts that were designed to tolerate erosion during use I think that the past 30 years of development in exotic materials, especialy ceramics could be used to replace those parts better than they were before.

Sure, but it might not be ecomonical to do this for a refit compared to just applying those materials to a new design.

Thats what makes a part aerospace rated and why they are more expensive than conventional parts.

Astronomically so, pun intended. We also have to use different (and frequently more expensive) production processes to achieve them. It's not just a matter of rejecting unsuitable parts.

For example, auto parts are often stamped out of sheet steel by large presses. This is a very cheap way to make these parts in bulk. But doing so creates massive stress lines and microfractures. It's not important in an auto part because it will likely not be stressed to the point of fracture. And even if it does, the failure is manageable. You simply replace the part.

But in aerospace that part would have to be very carefully machined from a solid block, with special care taken to select the correct "feed and speed" so as not to thermally or mechanically damage the part. Further, special coatings or treatments are usually applied.

For nearly every conceivable assault the descent, impact, and salt-water soak could mount on the F-1 engines, there is an appropriate engineering test or procedure to detect and correct the effects. But the question still remains whether this is more desirable that starting from scratch.

We have to keep in mind that the goal is to reach the moon again. If refurbishing some F-1s proves to be a suitable first step, then I'm all for it. But we can't let our romantic attraction to the Big Iron detract from the overriding goal. The goal is to refit an F-1 only if that's the best way.

johnwitts
2001-Dec-19, 11:54 PM
Mr Bad, am I fogiven for my hasty comment? I am from the UK after all.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: johnwitts on 2001-12-19 18:56 ]</font>

SAMU
2001-Dec-20, 02:10 AM
The idea of aerospace certification of equpiment salvaged from the ocean is well taken but any equipment new or used for a trip to space has to be certified. The equipment salvaged from the ocean has many uses as well as for a trip to space such as providing hands on experience to universities in areas such as aerospace rated hydraulic machinery, nondestructive testing experience in the areas of radiology and ultrasonics even history departments could make researching the hardware documentation a credited program.

I envision a program that progresses through universities and industry as class projects to either museum quality diplay artifacts to static testing quality status. Since there is no time constraint on the program it can take as long as it needs. As well as providing university expertiese in the various disiplines required to make the project happen, including multi univerity input in the program spreads the workload over a large base making for a greater access to participation for many more people than is allowed in the current "positive use" space program thus provoding focus and broad appeal.

I have gone to the NASA website and downloaded the fact sheet of what is needed for "Unsolicited Proposals". Terminology in quotes is terminology that is recomended by the fact sheet. I have the intention of developing a proposal to NASA for funding of a program as outlined above and below where I am the "Primary Investigator".

I have currently broken down the proposal into these parts:

1) Sonar survey and GPS mapping of the decent area to find the possible locations of the parts based on the sonar returns. (Work that may have already been done by the "Concerned Agency" (NASA))

2)Deap water photography to confirm the locations of the parts. (Work that may have already been done by the "Concerned Agency")

3)Filing of new proposal to the Navy's "Concerned Agency" to aquire access to the USS Grapple and the USS Grasp to raise the wreckage located by the first 2 portions of the proposal.

4)As part of the first proposal aquiring storage facilities at "Conserned Agencies" NASA KSC and NASA Michoud.

5)Concurrent with the above activities contacting universities, museums and industries around the country and the world as well as other NASA departments to find those who want to participate in the restoration project.

6)Filing a "New Proposal" for funding to carry out the restoration project.

I am serious in this and will be researching the details for the official proposal during the next few weeks or so. The fact sheet says that a "Proposal usualy doesn't take more than 20 pages. I will be posting a new topic then with the details of the proposal for those who want to participate. I will be setting up web service to centraly coordinate comunication with participants.

If you want to begin participation now you can by contacting the divisions of your local colleges, universities and trade schools Particularly those with mecanical, electrical, and aerospace enginering divisions and those with radiological and ultrasonic non destructive test training divisions that you think would want to participate as that is one of the requirements of the proposal. Also find out the level of financial participation they are prepared to contribute as regards mainly to transportation of the equipment to their location and equipment to be used in the restoration process. If the contact is positive get the name of the university, it's mailing address and any phone numbers and e-mail addresses you can, get the name of the person or persons who you speak with , their title, their mailing address and if possible their phone numbers and e-mail.

The proposal will be called

"Phoenix: A Proposal For The Underwater Salvage, University And Industrial Restoration Of Historical Launch Artifacts Of The Space Program".

This is what is called a grass roots movement. Get on board. Let's make somthing great happen.

SAMU

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: SAMU on 2001-12-19 21:23 ]</font>

sldhd
2002-Jan-02, 02:12 AM
ok, i am by NO means a scientist or anything close to them,but i am very curious about space and everything associated with it. so if my opinion is a little twisted or stupid please forgive me. so we all want to see somebody land on the moon again right?so heres my 2 ideas: why couldn't we use nuclear propulsion?even if we could use it until we got into outerspace(radiation reasons)i would imagine it would be alot lighter than liquid fuel. so if this one is a no,no heres number 2. i heard talk of the HAARP project and what it can do, why not trying to capture its bursts in a cone/dish like structure under the space vehical that was to be used. you could also use it once again after it left the moon by bouncing the signals off the moon.i've seen something like this in minature scale on the discovery channel where they shot some funnel shaped thing into the sky a ways.so how far fetched is this?

Peter B
2002-Jan-02, 03:24 AM
First problem with nuclear weapons as propulsion is the treaty banning the use of nuclear weapons in space.

Second problem is the poorly developed technology.

I think at the moment any return to the Moon is going to use well-tested technology. Particularly as any return is going to be governed by economics a lot more than Apollo was.

JayUtah
2002-Jan-02, 03:24 PM
I second Peter's motion. I think the technology to accomplish the next round of lunar landings will be familiar, unspectacular technology. Space travel is quickly becoming modular and productized. What had to be custom manufactured thirty years ago can now be ordered from catalogs. The key to making lunar exploration possible is the ability to produce reliable, cheap equipment for accomplishing the voyage. That means sticking with what we know works.

2002-Nov-05, 01:17 AM
Who cares the saturn was over exaggerated and never carried payload.

jrkeller
2002-Nov-05, 02:47 AM
So all the people that put various payloads into the Saturn V, like the LM, the fuel, the astronauts and watched it move from the Vehicle Assembly Building to the launch pad are lying? And also all the people who photographed all these activities must be lying too? Oh and all the news crews from the papers, magazines, TV, radio and the like that saw that happen too are lying as well. I think this now at thetop my list of personal HB laughable topics.

jrkeller
2002-Nov-05, 02:48 AM
On 2002-11-04 20:17, Mooner wrote:
Who cares the saturn was over exaggerated and never carried payload.



And you know this how? Offer up some proof. Since you are going to offer this info free someday, why not give us some of it now.

Irishman
2002-Nov-05, 07:35 AM
I am flabbergasted. At least JayUtah is adding a touch of sanity to the discussion. Let me give you a preview of the responses you'll have.

"You want to do WHAT?!" No, no, no, no, and Are you insane?

Recovering the Saturn V boosters could have some potential value in the way recovering the Liberty Bell. Using the hardware as a seed for a large scale educational project in refurbishment etc has some merit, but I do not see this a something the government will support in any way. You're not going to get tax money for this. If you can convince industry and educational backers, great, but it will be a hard sell.

But actually wanting to refly them as the basis for a new lunar program? Um, no.

As someone who has built flight hardware for NASA, I can tell you this will not go over well. They get tense if you tell them you had your equipment outside in the Houston air without protection. And you're asking Safety and Reliability to buy off on components that have sat at the bottom of the ocean for 30 years?

This ignores the fact that we would have to rebuild the tooling to handle the rockets, to build new components that must be replaced, test the ones that are recovered to see if they need replacement, and assemble them again. Oh, and nevermind that the facilities at KSC are currently taken up by the Shuttle processing. And do the full set of drawings still exist, microfilm or otherwise?

As has been pointed out, component testing would not be as straightforward as for new designs. Human rating the system would require detailed inspection and testing of every component reused, not just lot samples and such.

I think return to the moon is a great idea, but I just don't see this as the way to do it.

SAMU said:

Since the structures for the ISS are bulky but relatively light weight, the lift capacity of the shuttle for those missions is wasted. If the excess lift capacity is used for fuel for the lunar ferry, the cost for turnaround becomes less.

Where are you getting your info? I'm not aware that there's much excess lift capacity for ISS flights. I know that there was discussion over the size of the modules vs. payload bay and the weight. The Lab and Hab were considered at a larger size, and would have been flown up empty, but it would have taken more time/effort/cost to install the internal payload racks. Instead they fly up loaded. Also, the Shuttle carries the docking adapter, which takes up part of the payload bay.

And even if there's weight capacity (which I don't think there is), where are you going to carry the fuel? The shuttles may fly with either weight or space empty capacity, but not with both. (Plus centers of gravity are an issue for balancing everything.)

Oh, I noticed something. The NASA site you listed for the Shuttle capabilities, you got the wrong info. You looked at "Deploy Mission", but that's not the right one. You should reference "ISS Mission".

ISS Mission (51.6 deg and 220 nm) - 40,300 lbs of cargo

See, ISS is in a 51.6 deg inclination orbit so that the Russians can launch to it. It's also at a 220 nm orbit, rather than 110 nm - that's a lot higher. I think that's to give it plenty of fall time between reboosts. So the Shuttle is carrying more fuel to get to the harder to reach orbit, which means less payload. Ergo, no excess capacity.

The Deploy Mission category cited is for geosynch satellites and the like. They carry their own stage to get from low orbit to wherever. Also, the Shuttle is not (at least last time I checked) slated for many missions aside from ISS.