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Stealth Shuttle

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posted on Dec, 10 2004 @ 11:09 AM
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I was wondering if a Stealth Shuttle could be made with the current technology we have or in the near future. One major problem I see in the creation of such a craft is making (RAM) Radar absorbant material that can survive the intense heat of reentry. Temps that can reach thousands of degrees.

The Shuttle has a amazing (TPS) Thermal Protection System made up of tiles that a great for stopping heat but not at all good for stealth and are not very strong. I know NASA wants to move away from the weak tiles in the future and people have proposed new reusable thermal protection systems that involved some kind of advanced high-temperature metal.

So I would invision the RAM we have today would burn off during reentry and it would lose its stealth. Not a very effective craft unless you could make a high temp RAM. If this could be done it could have uses beyond a " Stealth Shuttle" like Im thinking about though that could be handy IMHO. Other applications could be for stealth Hypersonic or Orbital planes, both of which would have to deal with extreme temps?

So does anyone have any opinion on how a Stealth craft like this can be made or if one could even be made at all?




posted on Dec, 10 2004 @ 11:17 AM
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I'm trying to think of a reason for a stealth shuttle. What would it be used for? If for use as stealth bombers that can enter the atmosphere on a moments notice and drop bombs, I don't think it would be cost worthy or feasable. With the money spent for one shuttle launch, you could send over quite a few of the already existant stealth bombers.

Just my opinion.



posted on Dec, 10 2004 @ 11:17 AM
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Bigger question- Why?

According to some sources around here as the shuttle enters the atmosphere and the air around it turns to super heated plasma, it is stealthy on the RCS spectrum. No comment though on the infared system.



posted on Dec, 10 2004 @ 11:18 AM
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One problem...If radar works that far up in the atmosphere wouldn't thermal sensing work too...so...An enemy wouldn't really need radar to detect re-entry because they could pick up the heat signature. Leaving the atmosphere is a totally different issue though....good thougt!



posted on Dec, 10 2004 @ 11:21 AM
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I understand that a lot of the stealthyness of an object is material, but lots of it is based on simple geometic radar deflection no? A shuttle could be made at least somewhat stealthy because of this, and, at least RAM paints and disposable materials could be used to cloak it during take of and orbital 'action'.

Of course, a stealth fighter taking off is different than an entire rocket booster-shuttle complex lifting a shuttle into space.

Heck, how about stealth satellites/space stations? They wouldn't have to re-enter at all eh?

Come to think of it, thats too interesting and advantageous a tech to not have. There probably is one up there, if its doable at least.



posted on Dec, 10 2004 @ 11:25 AM
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I was just using a Stealth Shuttle as a example even though a Hypersonic plane might be a better application. Because most people know more about the Shuttle then Hypersonic planes.

And yes Radar works even that high up NORAD tracks objects the size of a glove or larger in orbit some 100,000 of them. Thermal tracking wouldnt be a problem because your not putting off high heat while in orbit only during reentry.



posted on Dec, 10 2004 @ 11:34 AM
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Originally posted by ShadowXIX
I was just using a Stealth Shuttle as a example even though a Hypersonic plane might be a better application.

Do hypersonic jets need the same thermal protection tho? I would think that since there are stealth cruise missles then there can be stealth hypersonic planes.


Thermal tracking wouldnt be a problem because your not putting off high heat while in orbit only during reentry.

So the question is, can a ship be made that can be heat resistant and stealthy, even if its detectable during re-entry right? I'd say it has to be no? It can allways be covered with the same stuff they use to make the stealth jets out of right? Heck, it can have a generally unstealthy body, but a stealthy, cheap, expendible outer shell.



posted on Dec, 10 2004 @ 11:49 AM
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Most cruise missiles are Subsonic that I know of, the US Tomahawk cruise missile only has a top speed of 550 mph.

Only a few of Hypersonic scramjets have been tested around mach 10. Im not sure of the thermal protection they use but none have been stealth that I know of. We have ICBMs that reach hypersonic speeds But I have never heard of a Stealth ICBM either.



posted on Dec, 10 2004 @ 12:32 PM
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I thought of an idea once , well a few days ago, similar to this.
Make a station in space and launch an ICBM with a saturated uranium rod from a reactor inside the missile, now if this stealth shuttle worked you could launch a stealth ICBM (if it exists) from the shuttle and no one would be the wiser.



posted on Dec, 10 2004 @ 03:01 PM
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Originally posted by ShadowXIX
Most cruise missiles are Subsonic that I know of, the US Tomahawk cruise missile only has a top speed of 550 mph.

Only a few of Hypersonic scramjets have been tested around mach 10. Im not sure of the thermal protection they use but none have been stealth that I know of. We have ICBMs that reach hypersonic speeds But I have never heard of a Stealth ICBM either.


It is virtually impossible to make a truly stealthy re-entry vehicle. The naked eye can easily see the space shuttle (or ICBM RV's for that matter) as it re-enters the atmosphere. In fact, if you know what to look for - you can see some of the larger low-earth orbiting sattelites (like weather sattelites) - without any sort of optics. The most accurate space sensors that the US uses to track sattelites are actually just telescopes....

That said, there has always been a concerted effort to make ICBM RV's have as low of a radar cross section as possible - although the materials that can be used are limited.



posted on Dec, 10 2004 @ 07:03 PM
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In Lockheed martin's proposals for the Global Reach/Global Strike development program they proposed to take unused ICBMs and put regular warheads on them so that the US could put a conventional munition any place on the planet in 2 hours. It would eventually be replaced by a hypersonic suborbital plane that would fire a small rocket to put a common reentry vechicle with a bomb on it to do the same mission at the fraction of the cost.



posted on Dec, 10 2004 @ 10:49 PM
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Originally posted by roniii259
In Lockheed martin's proposals for the Global Reach/Global Strike development program they proposed to take unused ICBMs and put regular warheads on them so that the US could put a conventional munition any place on the planet in 2 hours. It would eventually be replaced by a hypersonic suborbital plane that would fire a small rocket to put a common reentry vechicle with a bomb on it to do the same mission at the fraction of the cost.


Actually ICBM's (MM3) can hit their target in 45 minutes. But that would be rediculous to use for a conventional weapon, there tube/housing gets destroyed once lift off, and they are very expensive, it would be more feasable (if your in a hurry) to launch a cruise missile at your target, theres usually a ship with in range of the suspected enemy.



posted on Dec, 11 2004 @ 02:03 PM
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I think that the ICBMs would be put in a new launch facility like Vandenburg on a conventional launch stand ussing left over rockets from dismantlement agreements from treaties like START. The requirement was to strike anywhere in the world from the CONTINENTAL USA. The Two hours included not just the flight but launch sequence and intell delivery.


E_T

posted on Dec, 11 2004 @ 03:11 PM
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ICBMs wouldn't be good idea. Any unannounced launch would get everyone's finger near "The Button" very quickly.



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