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View Full Version : And station prospects looked bad before!



Glom
2002-Dec-20, 07:49 PM
NASA now has a new manifest for assembly of the ISS. Rather than a 2003 finish as the program originally called for, it goes until 2008. But, this extra time ensures that the station will have a few extra things... missing.

The following has been mothballed:
The CRV
The habitation module
The Node 3
The two Russian research labs (there's no mention of them at NASA's site nor Rosaviakosmos's)

Without the habitation module and the CRV, the station will be stuck with a maximum crew complement of 3. But, they'll still have the Destiny Lab, the Columbus Lab and the Kibo lab. Unity and Zvezda are also useful for scientific experiments. So they won't have enough people for all the laboratory modules. A bit like the NHS really.

The sad thing is that Von Braun's Integrated Space Program would have given America a 100 man space station by 1986.

heliopause
2002-Dec-20, 11:25 PM
Ugh, the ISS.
Bring

the

sucker

DOWN!


(BOOM!)

Glom
2002-Dec-20, 11:35 PM
Bring back the Saturn rockets! Should we start a campaign? I mean, Skylab was far bigger than any ISS module.

Hey, maybe we could retrieve S-IVB-507 that's currently in the geocentric system. It's now being called J002E3. It would also be a choice bit of irony. Because that S-IVB was used to get Pete Conrad to Luna and Pete Conrad is the one who commanded the first Skylab expedition, not to mention repaired the station.

AgoraBasta
2002-Dec-20, 11:46 PM
Why wouldn't they just sell the thing to whomever wants it?!
Nah, they're too proud for that...

Colt
2002-Dec-21, 12:25 AM
We either need to bring the damn thing down or get in gear with it. Stop making all of these small, expensive modules with miniturization all over the place. Build a larger module that can be boosted and use "off-the-shelf" technology instead of continually developing new stuff. NASA has a problem of trying to cram everything they can get into the smallest space for the lowest cost and the most advancements. This leads to everything going overbudget.

From a good book, Venus by Ben Bova I think the character Fuchs sums it up pretty well:

"Yes. He spent his life on scientific excursions to Mars, didn't he? Rode out there on elegant, state-of-the-art spacecraft designed to be as efficient as posible slimmed down to the least possible gram, worried about every cent of cost and newton of rocket thrust."
"That's the way spacecraft have to be designed, isn't it?"
"Oh, certainly," Fuchs answered sarcastically. "If you're working with academics and engineers who've never moved their own carcasses farther than the vacation centers on the Moon. They produce highly refined designs, so highly refined that they use the very latest materials, the most sophisticated new systems and equipment they can conceive."
"What's wrong with that?" I asked.
"Nothing, if you're designing the craft for someone else to use. If you'reworried about spending the boss's money. If your design philosophy is to give your master a vessel that has the very latests of everything and is built at the lowest possible cost. An impossible contradiction, don't you see?" Venus, Pg. 200.

/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif -Colt

roidspop
2002-Dec-21, 03:39 AM
This possibility was raised elsewhere, but since there seems to be talk about putting a manned station in one of the Lagrange points, why not consider putting this white elephant up there instead? Surely we can put together some sort of propulsion system that wouldn't rip it apart, and slowly boost its orbit out to L1 or wherever...then park it and forget it and do something worthwhile.

Glom
2002-Dec-21, 06:07 PM
Not something that massive. Von Braun's plan depended on the successful development of the NERVA (Nuclear Energy for Rocket Vehicle Applications) stages. They would be used to put the Skylab mission modules in geostationary orbit and Lunar orbit.

I read in New Scientist a couple of months ago about plans to put an inflatable space station at L1 (Geo-Seleno). I think NASA should turn to these inflatable space stations. They surely could be more practical because they could be larger than the Space Shuttle payload bay.

BTW geostationary orbit applies to Earth. Would a Lunar equivalent be selenostationary? I doubt such an orbit would be stable because it would have a radius of about 90000km, which is more than a quarter of the way to Earth, I'm just speculating.

Rodina
2002-Dec-21, 06:47 PM
Isn't the direct Lagrange point between the Earth and Moon at 90000km?

i.e.,

E-----------L2---M

Since point L2 is in a selenostationary orbit above, the meridian bisected by this line... it's always over that point and since that point is always facing the Earth, it ends up getting just enough of a tug from the moon so it orbits the Earth 90000 km closer to the center of the Earth (or the center of the Earth-Moon system) but still takes 29 days to make that orbit...

Isn't that what a lagrange point is?

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Dec-21, 06:49 PM
On 2002-12-21 13:07, Glom wrote:
BTW geostationary orbit applies to Earth. Would a Lunar equivalent be selenostationary? I doubt such an orbit would be stable because it would have a radius of about 90000km, which is more than a quarter of the way to Earth, I'm just speculating.

At least one such orbit is fairly stable--the Earth's. Remember, the Earth is almost stationary in the lunar sky. It can be farther away because it is so massive.

Isn't that the sixth Lagrange point? /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Glom
2002-Dec-21, 11:00 PM
On 2002-12-21 13:47, Rodina wrote:

Isn't the direct Lagrange point between the Earth and Moon at 90000km?

i.e.,

E-----------L2---M

Since point L2 is in a selenostationary orbit above, the meridian bisected by this line... it's always over that point and since that point is always facing the Earth, it ends up getting just enough of a tug from the moon so it orbits the Earth 90000 km closer to the center of the Earth (or the center of the Earth-Moon system) but still takes 29 days to make that orbit...

Isn't that what a lagrange point is?


I think you mean L1, L2 is on the other side of Luna. That would most certainly work for a selenostationary orbit but not generally. A stationary orbit is one where the orbiter remains over a fixed point on the attractor. Because, the same point of Luna is always pointed towards the Earth-Luna line (Sinus Medii) because Luna is in tidal lock, L1 (or L2 for that matter) would keep you in the Earth-Luna line and therefore over the same point on the lunar surface. But, if Luna wasn't in tidal lock, the LaGrange points wouldn't work.

Rodina
2002-Dec-22, 01:26 AM
[b]I think you mean L1, L2 is on the other side of Luna. That would most certainly work for a selenostationary orbit but not generally. A stationary orbit is one where the orbiter remains over a fixed point on the attractor. Because, the same point of Luna is always pointed towards the Earth-Luna line (Sinus Medii) because Luna is in tidal lock, L1 (or L2 for that matter) would keep you in the Earth-Luna line and therefore over the same point on the lunar surface. But, if Luna wasn't in tidal lock, the LaGrange points wouldn't work.[/i]

I didn't mean to imply that it would work if Luna were not tidally locked - but your point is well taken.