PDA

View Full Version : Thoughts on current designs of spacecraft?



PenguinGuard
2007-Feb-15, 07:36 AM
I am just curious... Perhaps I was brought too much in a world where cool looking things are well cool... but I would really like to see some sleek cool looking machines brought into the space program... What do you all think?


*Edit* if this is in the wrong place... feel free to move it.

01101001
2007-Feb-15, 07:46 AM
Form follows function (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Form_follows_function).

Maksutov
2007-Feb-15, 07:52 AM
Form follows function (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Form_follows_function).Case in point. (http://www1.jsc.nasa.gov/er/seh/pg9pic.jpg)

PenguinGuard
2007-Feb-15, 07:53 AM
It says it is a current live debate...

Well I guess I will just post a thought on the subject...

Some designs that look stylish could very well add structural integrity could they not?

I understand that this would be an expensive thing to do... But wouldn't some objects that we use actually benefit from a stylish design? Like lower profile edges to keep a low profile against and object like the sun, if it were correctly oriented like the stealth planes do?

I dunno... I guess if I get lots of money I will donate it all to NASA to design something cool...

Tog
2007-Feb-15, 10:19 AM
Some designs that look stylish could very well add structural integrity could they not?

When I thought I might be able offord it I started looking at high end telescopes. One that I looked at was very big on the look of the scope. The best woods, a little engraved brass name tag, and so on. My reply was that I didn't care if it had orange shag carpet glues to the outside as long as it worked as well as it was claimed.

I think this holds true with space vehicles as well. Airplanes like the SR-71 look like that because they had to to do what they were supposed to do. Since planes have to move through the air, they have certain shapes. When it was time to make movies about space, a lot of those shapes, and ideas were brought into the vacuum.

The first concern in any design will be: What is the lightest way we can do this to have it do what it's supposed to do safely? Hiding the latice of the lander supports with sheet metal fairings to make them look better just adds useless mass, which means more fuel is needed to push it around.

Even if there was some way to amke some sort of titanium-lithium alloy that floated on water and was nearly impossible to damage, things would still look about like they do, because they could be made lighter. Making it the same mass by adding stuff to enhance the CDI* factor adds nothing to what it's supposed to actually do. Form follows function. The only way a spacecraft will look "cool" is by coincidence.

*CDI= Chicks Dig It:cool:

kzb
2007-Feb-15, 12:48 PM
You might have something actually, yes form follows function *in the early days* of a product. Look at early motor vehicles for example. Now they're just another designer label to wear.

NASA has to sell its products to an increasingly hard-pressed taxpayer, so it wouldn't surprise me in the least if they started a CDI department.

PenguinGuard
2007-Feb-15, 05:28 PM
I do understand the argument of price, heavier means less chance it will ever go anywhere because you have to convince more people to give you more money to cover the cost of fuel...etc.

But what will the Aliens think:P

TrAI
2007-Feb-15, 07:03 PM
Just about anything can look good, its just a matter of framing it right.

There is a certain beauty in the look of a structure that is functional, Take a look at the photos I have attached, its not a spacecraft, but I think it might be relevant to the discussion. It is actually a steel lattice lighting tower providing glorious sodium orange tinting to our nights, not very cool perhaps, but with the right frame of mind, and the right lighting, it is kind of beautiful.

gGriffeth
2007-Feb-16, 01:59 AM
I don't think modern shuttles necessarily look "stylish", but I'm sure they're made like that for a good reason. It would be nice to have a slick looking space shuttle, but not at the expense of good statistics.

daxloves
2007-Feb-16, 04:00 AM
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some people think the new Cadillac concept car with a V looks cool, some think it looks stupid.

What you think is a cool design might not be what I consider to be cool. Maby I'm the kinda guy that thinks an old Volvo has the coolest design... or maby I like the new Porsche design.

Jens
2007-Feb-16, 05:48 AM
I am just curious... Perhaps I was brought too much in a world where cool looking things are well cool... but I would really like to see some sleek cool looking machines brought into the space program... What do you all think?

Here's an interesting thought: space probes get launched on top of a rocket, and nobody gets to see what they *really* look like unless they happened to see them being built. So our pictures are basically all from "artist sketches". So just use some imagination with the drawings! Nobody will ever know the difference, unless they want to go to the trouble to build their own rocket to go chase after New Horizons and find out that it doesn't *really* look like a Romulan hawk or whatever it's called. :D

captain swoop
2007-Feb-16, 08:53 AM
what looks cool and sleek now because it was designed to look cool and sleek will look dated very quickly. Form follows function.