The Shuttle

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Re: The Shuttle

Post by halberdier25 » Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:28 pm

Neither of the Genesis projects come anywhere near the ISS, and they're primarily focused on getting ideas for long-term space living in anticipation of interplanetary travel.

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Re: The Shuttle

Post by Crazypilot » Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:20 pm

According to some research Space Shuttles if kept will save millions from unemployment but cost over 13 billion to keep.
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Re: The Shuttle

Post by halberdier25 » Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:31 pm

Cite your damn sources.

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Re: The Shuttle

Post by Phoenix » Thu Aug 18, 2011 1:25 pm

Falcon Heavy is the game changer, being able to lift more than the shuttle (wiki)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison ... ch_systems

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Re: The Shuttle

Post by halberdier25 » Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:16 pm

Which is one of the reasons we retired the shuttles...

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Re: The Shuttle

Post by spongebob14 » Sat Dec 03, 2011 12:30 am

I forgot the name of this company that already has a plasma emitting rocket. Supposed for NASA space missions to mars by 2016.

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Re: The Shuttle

Post by halberdier25 » Sat Dec 03, 2011 7:15 am

VASIMIR?

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Re: The Shuttle

Post by Seagull » Sat Dec 03, 2011 8:40 am

the next shuttle should have other design and ion engine
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Re: The Shuttle

Post by Dragon029 » Sat Dec 03, 2011 9:17 am

Don't expect another proper space shuttle for quite some time; if one is made, it likely won't be used for Earth to orbit operations, especially with ion engines as it's primary - while a more modern airframe could solve a bunch of the issues with the past space shuttles, they were quite expensive to operate and have a bit of a stigma, a little bit like the fear of building blimps again.
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Re: The Shuttle

Post by Shutter » Sat Dec 03, 2011 12:18 pm

We'd be lucky to see a "next space shuttle" at all. At this point most people seem to have decided themselves that a wide variety of cheaper, more specialized vehicles are better than one jack of all trades. That and dragon is right; shuttles blow up, which is terrible.

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Re: The Shuttle

Post by Dragon029 » Sat Dec 03, 2011 3:14 pm

I wasn't so much as trying to say they blow up, but rather that the idea of a shuttle has gathered a bad name as far as economics go, even though with the right materials, design and tech, you could have something much less maintenance heavy as the old shuttles. The analogy with the blimps was just how since 1 blew up, few people (exceptions being USAF and ?) want to go back to zeppelins, etc, let alone hydrogen-based LTA's.

As for future shuttles, depends how you define it - you could just have a totally un-aerodynamic vehicle designed for moon to LEO transits, but would you even class it the same? They'd be as close and as far to each other as you get.

There'll also definitely be space planes; SpaceShipTwo flies starts going to the edge of space in 2012 or 2013, some other company had plans to make some drastic modifications to a Learjet as well, but I don't know if they're still continuing with that. Space planes =/= space shuttles though, because they don't dock or deposit equipment into orbit. That could change though as well - Virgin Galactic wants to do transcontinental flights with next SpaceShipThree - with that kind of launch capability, it'd be quite plausible to get high enough for things like space-station rendezvous. Add an airlock (and reaction control systems as well if they're not added on #3) and you could have an evolutionary, multi-purpose aerospace vehicle.
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Re: The Shuttle

Post by halberdier25 » Sun Dec 04, 2011 4:41 am

The US orbiters could not be unmanned and putting a minimum of two guys (four if you want to be useful) on a rocket is not worth the risk for most payloads. It's great if you want to put people up there, but it's also an INCREDIBLY UNNECESSARILY expensive way to do it. Buran's only flight was completely unmanned, and the Energia rocket tech was meant to evolve to a completely reusable system, as well.

The next "shuttles" we see will be SSTO, most likely, but right now chemical rockets are an expensive way to do it. Sure, your initial investment isn't all that great, but they don't really provide inexpensive transfer to LEO. Something like a launch loop or space fountain could produced with modern materials (whereas we can't make a space elevator on Earth with current materials; the moon or Mars would be easier) for significant principle investment, but inexpensive transit costs. And they could carry people, unlike a Verne-esque space gun which would subject people to too much acceleration and could only be used for solid materials.

Suborbital flights are easy, as we've seen with current captive carry tech (i.e., SpaceShipOne) and can be produced and operated relatively inexpensively. Hell, the DoD is interested in providing the USMC with the capability to launch a couple dozen Marines on a suborbital trajectory so they can be anywhere in an hour or two.

Keep in mind that the real reason we use chemical rockets is that they are incredibly efficient and escaping our gravity well and accelerating to orbit (a rocket doesn't just go up, it needs to also go sideways). Once outside of a gravity well and outside of the atmosphere, acceleration can be handled MUCH more efficiently outside of the realm of chemical rockets.

EDIT: The Soviets fired a laser at Challenger in 1984. It shut down some of the orbiter's systems.

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Re: The Shuttle

Post by NavyGator » Sun Dec 04, 2011 8:30 am

I had always hoped that the Tethered Elevator concept would be the most
appealing idea to those in the business of space travel. After all, of all
of the ways that have been devised to lift mass into space, it is the
concept that is the most Re-usable, it also just happens to be the one
that is the most complex to build.
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