View Full Version : What to do to resume shuttle flights

2003-Jul-07, 04:12 PM
Florida Today has an incisive series of articles (http://www.floridatoday.com/columbia/columbiastory2A3513A.htm).

2003-Jul-07, 05:01 PM
I often find it frustrating and confusing when looking for the cause of a problem, failure, disaster or whatever, that it is as much or more a process problem than a material or system problem. Even the Apollo 13 near-catastrophe was a process problem.

Everyone, myself included, wants to find the one smoking gun. Instead we get a strange chain of small events and happenings that lead to the failure. It's harder to understand and harder to fix.

PS I miss perusing the board. I've been out on the road for work all spring and summer and haven't had time to log on.

2003-Jul-09, 01:35 AM
I say scrap the shuttle as soon as possible. Then have a few private firms design some specialized spacecraft.

For example, you might need:

An unmanned high-payload resuable (if possible) launch system to put cargo into orbit. Designed to place large cargos into orbit, or deliver supplies to the Space Station.

A "repair ship" that carries a small crew. Sole purpose is to fly up into space and repair or retrieve satellites and other spacecraft. Should consist of little more than the cockpit, small crew quarters and the payload bay. The payload area could contain a disposable fuel tank upon launch to reduce needed external fuel. The tank would be jettisoned if necessary when reaching orbit.

A space taxi designed to ferry crew back and forth between the Space Station (or other spacecraft). Minimal cargo space, and should be totally resuable (i.e. no disposable external fuel tanks) if possible.

NASA shouldn't have much say in the matter other than determining the craft parameters. The last thing we need is a bureaucracy interfering and giving us another Space Shuttle.