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Space Shuttle Replacement

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posted on Mar, 10 2005 @ 05:10 PM
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I read in the news paper today that NASA is being sued by a Mass. Congressmen because they are taking the Hubble budget and instead of fixing the Hubble they are using the money plus the majority of 2005 budget to fund a replacement vehicle for the aging Space Shuttle Fleet.

I am having a hard time finding anything on the web, I will edit post when I find a link.

Any ideas what will replace the Shuttles and when?




posted on Mar, 10 2005 @ 05:29 PM
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The Shuttle is to be replaced by something called the Crew Exploration Vehicle. Basically, NASA is going back to capsules, although they will be reusable this time.

The Shuttle, while fantastic and everything, has been a failure. It got nowhere near the 40+ flights a year required to make it cost effective, and due to budget stripping and changes of role, it was left asa bit of a pig really. It was too heavy, and didnt in the end meet any of the origional design specifications, and disposable boosters can now be made extremely reliably and very cheaply.

The Crew Exploration Vehicle is based around the idea that you split the human and cargo elements. They can go UP on the same booster, but they dont have to be in the same vehicle. The cargo can be seperated into a disposable shell below the CEV capsule, which also allows for escape systems. This has the added benefit of the CEV being able to have a one piece heat shield instead of heat tiles and a simpler deorbital trajectory, because a capsule self orientates during reentry.


en.wikipedia.org...
www.spaceref.com...
www.answers.com...
THe CEV is not just designed for earth orbit, it will go to the moon in the same style as the Apollo capsules, and it will also go to Mars in one form or another. The moon is planned for between 2015 and 2020, and Mars sometime after 2020. Dont expect either of these missions to happen tho.

[edit on 10/3/2005 by RichardPrice]



posted on Mar, 10 2005 @ 05:42 PM
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Shuttle is built of materials that are extremly outdated and the technology that is available today for space exploration is exponentially ahead of the shuttle. The hubble is no longer needed, they are sending up a new telescope in the coming years that would make the hubble look like a 486 compared to a P4

Train



posted on Mar, 10 2005 @ 05:51 PM
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Thanks for the links.

I agree the Hubble needs replaced. It still captures amazing images though.

My main concern is getting a replacment for the shuttle soon. It would breath life back into NASA and human space exploration in general.



posted on Mar, 10 2005 @ 05:58 PM
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Originally posted by BigTrain
The hubble is no longer needed, they are sending up a new telescope in the coming years that would make the hubble look like a 486 compared to a P4

Train


Hubble *is* needed, and the James Web Space Telescope DOES NOT replace Hubble because it cannot see in the visible spectrum and the ultraviolet range, which Hubble can (and primarily does). The JWST is primarily a infrared telescope. When Hubble is deorbited, we loose a massive chunk of ability with regard to astronomy because currently nothing at all can give us what Hubble does - ground based telescopes do not measure up because of atmospheric distortion (which has had a lot of work on recently but nothing 100% accounts for it) and the ultraviolet just isnt there in any quantity required by the time it gets to the ground (which is a good thing).

Personally, I say spend the money buying back the second Hubble Space Telescope body and mirror from the Smithsonian, fit it out with current tech and launch it. Yeah, might not be practical, but it gives us a proper Hubble replacement at a fraction of the cost and risk


Bit of info on the HST mirror - if the mirror was the size of Washington, the tallest thing on it would be a grain of sand. Hows that for smooth?

[edit on 10/3/2005 by RichardPrice]



posted on Mar, 10 2005 @ 06:04 PM
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I thought NASA had a replacement for the Hubble that saw infrared and visible light spectrum?

Also was supposed to be much more sensitive then Hubble with more clarity and greater magnification.



posted on Mar, 10 2005 @ 09:24 PM
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I highly doubt the CEV will gwt used for any Mars related missions. Even the moon is a newly added feature that Nasa has added to it. It was originally designed for the International Space Station only. and its not yet confirmed if it will be a capsule shape or not...Lockheed has a concept that has little delta like wings on its sides, but lands by chute on air bags.

and the Hubble is outdated, the only people who want it fixed are the ones who have seem some Hubble pictures and think there amazing and know nothing about any other telescopes, and they think its "Unique" and one of a kind and want to fix it regardless of the price.
RichardPrice - Tell me why you like telescopes in the "Visible light spectrum" versus the Infared. There are telescopes on earth that are far better then the Hubble, and they are Visible light...each has their role. Visible light telescopes on earth have very little atmospheric distortion, to the point that with a bigger mirror then the Hubble they supass it in resolution and clarity, and if they break they dont cost a half billion to fix. Space based telescopes still have a role, there clarity is great, but to see farther and clearer tou need a bigger mirror, and rockets are expensive and only get so big. Infared are not as good for on earth because of the atmosphere, but in the clear darkness of space is where they work best. Also...Infared reveal more detail in there photo's then Vissible light, cause you can see threw obscurities like gases.

As for future telescopes.....If you spend a little time looking around on the net then you will relize that there is no need for the Hubble, so many amazing telescopes are being built or in there concept phase. One of my favorite it to build a telescope in a moon crater, where sunlight cant touch it, so it always has its eye to the sky, and instead of having a big delicate expensive mirror be sent there, since there is no gravity and wind they would use water for its mirror.



posted on Mar, 10 2005 @ 09:27 PM
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CEV sounds like and extreme anticlimax of sorts...

After the shuttle program that is..



posted on Mar, 10 2005 @ 09:37 PM
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Originally posted by Murcielago
I highly doubt the CEV will gwt used for any Mars related missions. Even the moon is a newly added feature that NASA has added to it. It was originally designed for the International Space Station only. and its not yet confirmed if it will be a capsule shape or not...Lockheed has a concept that has little delta like wings on its sides, but lands by chute on air bags.

and the Hubble is outdated, the only people who want it fixed are the ones who have seem some Hubble pictures and think there amazing and know nothing about any other telescopes, and they think its "Unique" and one of a kind and want to fix it regardless of the price.
RichardPrice - Tell me why you like telescopes in the "Visible light spectrum" versus the Infared. There are telescopes on earth that are far better then the Hubble, and they are Visible light...each has their role. Visible light telescopes on earth have very little atmospheric distortion, to the point that with a bigger mirror then the Hubble they supass it in resolution and clarity, and if they break they dont cost a half billion to fix. Space based telescopes still have a role, there clarity is great, but to see farther and clearer tou need a bigger mirror, and rockets are expensive and only get so big. Infared are not as good for on earth because of the atmosphere, but in the clear darkness of space is where they work best. Also...Infared reveal more detail in there photo's then Vissible light, cause you can see threw obscurities like gases.

As for future telescopes.....If you spend a little time looking around on the net then you will realize that there is no need for the Hubble, so many amazing telescopes are being built or in there concept phase. One of my favorite it to build a telescope in a moon crater, where sunlight cant touch it, so it always has its eye to the sky, and instead of having a big delicate expensive mirror be sent there, since there is no gravity and wind they would use water for its mirror.


When you say the can use water for a mirror I am assuming your are speaking of polished frozen water (ice).

Please explain if my assumption is wrong. Either way it is a brilliant idea.

The only problem is that the movement and orbit of the moon would dictate what we could look at.

Do you have a link to explain how the moon satellite works.



posted on Mar, 10 2005 @ 10:14 PM
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bpletcj - You appear to to be pretty interested in future telescope designes...so heres a link to a new article that disscusses them.


Super Telescopes in Space and on the Moon



posted on Mar, 11 2005 @ 04:00 AM
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Originally posted by Murcielago

RichardPrice - Tell me why you like telescopes in the "Visible light spectrum" versus the Infared.


I will answer your entire post


1. Hubble can see in spectrums THAT DO NOT MAKE IT TO THE GROUND. Therefor ground based telescopes do not cut it.

2. Infrared is one very small portion of the spectrum, and the James Web Space Telescope is designed mainly to look at objects travelling away from us, as the red shift in the light spectrum makes those objects more visable. A LOT of stuff does not appear in the infrared due to the fact that it blueshifts downward in the spectrum because of the way and speed its moving.

3. A lot of Hubbles work is in the blueshift area, where JWST cannot see by design, and where ground telescopes cannot see because the ultraviolet is blocked by the atmosphere.

4. When you request time on Hubble as an astronomer or physicist, you are asked to specify why your work cannot be done on other telescopes - so time on Hubble is reserved for work that cannot be done elsewhere.

5. Space based telescopes have a better field of view and a darker background to work with, so the quality of imagery is a lot better than ground based telescopes which are only able to observe a few percent of what Hubble can.

6. The JWST was origioanlly designed as a complementry telescope to Hubble, not a replacement.

7. Adaptive optics have improved but are still nowhere near the same as Hubble across a similiar visible range that Hubble can see. Most AO telescopes are limited to a very narrow band.

8. Hubble can remain fixed looking at a single point in space for weeks if required, getting better resolution and field depth than ANY ground telescope can. This massively negates the requirement for a larger mirror as you are collecting more light over a longer period of time.

I know that there are telescopes like Spitzer or Kreck either in production or being planned, but none of these telescopes comes anywhere near Hubble. The fact of the matter is that even if tehre was something to replace Hubble, there would be a 5 - 10 year gap between Hubbles decommissioning and the replacement being orbited or coming online.




As for future telescopes.....If you spend a little time looking around on the net then you will relize that there is no need for the Hubble, so many amazing telescopes are being built or in there concept phase. One of my favorite it to build a telescope in a moon crater, where sunlight cant touch it, so it always has its eye to the sky, and instead of having a big delicate expensive mirror be sent there, since there is no gravity and wind they would use water for its mirror.


Currently no telescopes being built on earth replace Hubble. It cannot be done due to the atmosphere. Since the atmosphere strips out ultraviolet, you loose a massive band of spectrum since a lot of stuff is blueshifted.

THe best idea is to put a telescope on the moon, and I have heard this idea before. They wouldnt use water as the mirror tho, they would use mercury, as it is multitudes more reflective than water.



posted on Mar, 11 2005 @ 01:48 PM
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RP
8. Hubble can remain fixed looking at a single point in space for weeks if required, getting better resolution and field depth than ANY ground telescope can.

The Hubble is in Low Earth Orbit, and circles our earth in an hour in a half. It cant look at an object in the sky for for longer then that.

[edit on 11-3-2005 by Murcielago]



posted on Mar, 11 2005 @ 01:54 PM
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I think what he means is that if the Hubble is in orbit at the equator and focuses on an object North or south of its orbit even though it is traveling it is still looking at the object the whole time.

Imaging there is a tether (line of sight) that connects the Hubble with the object.

Now if it was focusing on an object East or West of its orbit then yes it would lose site of it as it would pass behind the Earth.

I hope this makes sense i am not good at these kinds of visualizations.



posted on Mar, 11 2005 @ 02:12 PM
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Originally posted by Murcielago

The Hubble is in Low Earth Orbit, and circles our earth in an hour in a half. It cant look at an object in the sky for for longer then that.

[edit on 11-3-2005 by Murcielago]


Actually Hubbles orbit is every 97 minutes, at a distance of 353 miles, and like bpletcj said, that only limits its view in the plane of the solar system. Plus Hubble only goes into earths shadow for 27 minutes each orbit, which is acceptable for long period focusing rather than the 12 - 14 hours that a ground based telescope is in shadow for. Hubble focuses on star fields for 3 - 4 weeks at a time if required, only taking shots when out of shadow, whereas ground based telescopes move out of the field of vision as the earth moves around the sun.



posted on Mar, 12 2005 @ 01:16 PM
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Back to my original question though.

What is the Replacement for the Shuttle Fleet going to be?

I am not talking black project crafts, I think we already have crafts that can transverse space quite easily that we are not being let on to.

But what will be the public craft that NASA will use? There has to be something more advanced then going back to Apollo era capsules.



posted on Mar, 12 2005 @ 01:39 PM
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well, i know that some members think that im anti-american or something like that -something that i denie-, but lets stay objetive.

the big shuttle problem is that for an medium comercial load (satelites and other stuffs), you need to launch an 60-80 tons monster, and that isnt comercial or practical.

the big hubbles problem is that the deep space investigation is made by IR sensors, and in the optic range there are new tecnics more cheaper and efective of ground conventional telescopies (like computer digital optic correction with lasers and modular mirrows), for high energy UV-gamma range you need other technology (but also based in satelite , because high energy frecuencies are absorbed by the atmosphere), IR is an small portion in the electromagnetic spectrum, yes, but almost all the energy in the universe is emited -or transformed- in IR because you only need low energy levels, instead high frecuencies dont show you the universe details

now the best replacement for the shuttle is another rocket desing, with an small space plane -i think that there is an american-european proyect in that way-, such rocket could launch an manned mission or charge loads in an independent way (like the soyus-proton sistem)

[edit on 12-3-2005 by grunt2]



posted on Mar, 12 2005 @ 01:56 PM
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Originally posted by grunt2
well, i know that some members think that im anti-american or something like that, but lets stay objetive.



Although I am asking about a replacement for the shuttle thats not to say that I am looking for an American space vehicle only.

I am looking for joint ventures (as you said) to any type of new vehicle.

I am curious if it will be another space plane, or even something modeled after a flying saucer. (I am not debating about UFOs just using that as an example)



posted on Mar, 12 2005 @ 02:11 PM
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well, if you want an practical idea for an space shuttle replacement you must consider the market, what we need??, i think that only reusable rockets and an small space plane (for 3-4 persons) its obvious that such vehicle will be cheaper than the shuttle and the soyus (rescue costs), there other alternatives like the mc donal douglas VTOL space rocket (saving launching costs), but such alternatives only could be ecomonical for very, very heavy loads (because you need an very,very big single rocket), there other design alternatives like new re-entry cooling sintems (to avoid heavy ceramics) or rockets launched from big aircraft (galaxy, jumbo or condor), even modular rockets with modular stages (with the thrust requierements)as you see there are lot of alternatives

the problem for the fantastic space ship is that you need a loooot of room for the fuel, unless we discover an new super powerful fuel these fantastic ships will be fantastic BIG and HEAVY, in other words unpractical

[edit on 12-3-2005 by grunt2]



posted on Mar, 12 2005 @ 03:19 PM
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The replacement for the Shuttle *will be* the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV). It will be a (up to) 5 man reusable 'Apollo style' capsule (NASA has stipulated that as its primary design requirement - every concept drawing that has thus far come out has been imaginary craft to get the publics imagination going).

Why are they doing this? Because its cheaper - boosters are pretty much commodity items these days, and can be produced at FAR less cost than what we can currently produce a reusable booster for. Put it this way, if the CEV is to be replaced in 30 years, and it takes that long for a reusable booster to be cheaper than a disposable booster, then which is more economic? A current Delta-4 launch costs $190million USD, and that includes the cost of the rocket. The cost of a reusable Space Shuttle launch costs $500million USD on average, not including the cost of the Shuttle (which would be amortized over the life of the shuttle).

The manned aspect of the craft will be seperated from the cargo - as I said before, the cargo will go up on the same craft but unconnected to the CEV and the CEV can dock with it for the duration of the mission. This negates the need for a big, heavy, costly permanent cargobay.



posted on Mar, 12 2005 @ 03:35 PM
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OK, OK I am sorry I kept pushing for another option when you already presented me with a solution.

I just thought maybe there would be something more exotic out there.

Thanks for the figures by the way. I knew there was a cost difference between reusable and non reusable but didn't realize there was that big of a difference.

I guess I forgot that the prime reason for the Shuttles in the first place was because they were trying to bring the cost down.

So we can practically launch 3 CEV missions for the cost of 1 Shuttle mission?

What about payload capabilities? Does the CEV ( I know the payload and CEV are in separate stages) have the same payload capabilities as the Shuttle?

I guess you were right about the other designs too, it was more to garner public interest then anything else.



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