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Making The Present Shuttle Safer!

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posted on May, 14 2005 @ 09:10 AM
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Mickey Dee ... youre a Champ and I enjoy seeing your perspective.




Thanks very much!!!






posted on May, 14 2005 @ 09:38 AM
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Originally posted by Murcielago

MickeyDee
And these expenditures are not worth having even if they could save seven brave men and women onboard Columbia!

I'm done argueing with you, the fact is your point of view is dumb.\

Example: (it never happened)(hypothetical)
I'm getting an oil change in my truck and they tell me my front right tire is getting pretty bald and ask me if I want them to replace it with a new tire, I say no, because I dont have the money but plan to get all 4 tires replace in a couple weeks. I'm driving home on the interstate and my tire blows, and I lose control and my truck swerves to the right hiting a mini van, causeing it to slide sideways, it hits the side of the road and catches on the grass and rolls 5 times, the family of 4 was all killed.

That family would still be alive today if I would have just paid the money for a new tire.

I hope that hypothetical example will sink in.


Actually, the example doesn't sink in with me too well. Columbia was a totally different situation. A family of 4 blissfully travelling to grandma's didn't get wiped out by a penny-pincher's bald tire. Seven astronauts who knew full well the minute they climbed in that shuttle that any one of several million things on that shuttle could prevent them from arriving back on earth alive. That's the part that kind of torques me about when people try to mandate fail-proof systems or put hokey money-wasting band-aids on so that the public can go on blissfully ignoring the space program until the next inevitable loss of life occurs. These people know that there are risks - but even more important than that they know the greatest risk is the risk no one even knows about yet. We could have an iron-clad thermal protection system and the next loss of life in the space program could be because an unknown bacteria was growing on a controller of an APU or something weird like that.

You don't stop exploring because you haven't reached perfection.

[edit on 5-14-2005 by Valhall]



posted on May, 18 2005 @ 06:26 AM
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Originally posted by Murcielago

BTW, if they find a hole, or something to big for them to patch up, they will stay on the Space Station, the Shuttle could be remained docked up there, or they could have it on autopilot and flown back to Flordia, that way its no risk to the crew. Dont forget about the Soyuz Capsules, which can hold 3, I would assume the next shuttle would fly up with around 3 or 4 people, and go back with 7, there would be no need to urgently get the original 7 back to earth, they could stay up there performing various tasks. over a couple months time the would all return to earth.


Lot's of problems with this scenario:

1. The shuttle could only remain docked to the station for a limited time. Not weeks - and definitely not months.

Reason:

a. I don't believe ISS can fly TEA while Shuttle is docked. This increases likelyhood of gimbal lock on the CMGs and, since the CMGs will become saturated more often, increased fuel consumption for momentum dump burns. (I'm going to check on whether ISS can go back to TEA with a docked-shuttle - but nonetheless, even if they can, due to b. below, there would be more CMG saturations and more momentum dump burns.)

b. The docked Shuttle will increase drag, and torque due to gravity thereby excerbating the issues in a.

2. There would be no "second shuttle" come to ISS while a shuttle is docked at ISS. So there would have to be an undock and allow the first shuttle to just float away...very unsure of the safety issues involved in then sending a second shuttle up. As far as I know, NASA's policy is still only one vehicle in orbit at a time.

3. There is no "autopilot" to land a shuttle. Though a good portion of the descent is "canned", it eventually requires a behind in the seat. In my mind - and most likely what would happen - is that a person or two people would attempt to return the wounded shuttle.

4. The shuttle crew would NOT be able to stay indefinitely on ISS. Setting aside the fact the oxygen generator isn't working properly, even if it were, the station couldn't support three times it's intended crew for any length of time.

5. Soyuz would be used fairly quickly. But here's where the questions arise. In order to evacuate in the Soyuz you have to have your chair cushion. A specially designed chair cushion is created for every ISS astronaut for a Soyuz return flight. In fact, the crew change over is not considered complete until the seat cushions in the Soyuz are changed out. The cushions ensure your innards don't get rearranged and your spine isn't driven through your head during the ground landing of the Soyuz. Here's a grey area that I don't know the answer to. For a Shuttle crew going to ISS, if they are taking a replacement ISS crew, then the replacement crew will have their Soyuz seat cushions, but I don't believe (but I also don't know) that the rest of the Shuttle crew has had Soyuz seat cushions made for them. Furthermore, if the Shuttle mission is a re-supply, maintenance, etc. flight to ISS - I don't believe ANY of the Shuttle crew would have Soyuz seat cushions. Now - that being said, that is BEFORE Columbia. One would hope *
* that if there is a contingency plan involving a re-dock or stay-docked scenario, that now all Shuttle crewmembers would go up with a Soyuz seat cushion.

That's actually something we might ought to check into!

EDIT: Inserted that I'm going to check on whether ISS can fly TEA with shuttled docked.

[edit on 5-18-2005 by Valhall]



posted on May, 18 2005 @ 05:11 PM
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originally posted by valhall
In my mind - and most likely what would happen - is that a person or two people would attempt to return the wounded shuttle.



This would never be allowed to happen. It would be Columbia pt 2. Total suicide.

They tried to return a wounded Columbia and look what happened.


This is why the shuttle is not suitable for the job anymore. As Valhall explained, the scenarios given for a rescue mission would probably not work, leaving the only option of attempting re-entry.
And we all know what happens when they try that!



posted on May, 18 2005 @ 07:14 PM
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Originally posted by MickeyDee

originally posted by valhall
In my mind - and most likely what would happen - is that a person or two people would attempt to return the wounded shuttle.



This would never be allowed to happen. It would be Columbia pt 2. Total suicide.

They tried to return a wounded Columbia and look what happened.


This is why the shuttle is not suitable for the job anymore. As Valhall explained, the scenarios given for a rescue mission would probably not work, leaving the only option of attempting re-entry.
And we all know what happens when they try that!



Actually, it wouldn't be Columbia Part 2. Because if this decision was made, the public would know upfront that the astronauts had chosen to take this risk. That's a lot different than driving down LBJ freeway with the shuttle disintegrating over your head and listening to the CapCom repeating "Columbia, Houston, UHF comm"...which is exactly what happened to me. It's one thing to be told the situation and what certain people have decided they are willing to try, lay out the risks and probabilities to the public, and watch the events unfold...it's another to have seven people vanish with no warning.

Also, think of this...if you have a 7 man Shuttle crew and a 3 man ISS crew, and three Shuttle members say "We want to try to bring this ship back home...that leaves 4 people who can stay on Station for quite some time...with the three ISS crew returning in the Soyuz. I think this is something that would be seriously considered.

NASA needs to learn how to handle these situations - and that all depends on better PR and more honesty of risks and probabilities. Their greatest weakness is their haughtiness....they play the numbers way too much.



posted on May, 19 2005 @ 11:03 AM
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Actually, it wouldn't be Columbia Part 2. Because if this decision was made, the public would know upfront that the astronauts had chosen to take this risk.



Very true Valhall!

Suppose those astronauts would know the risk they were about to take in trying a re-entry in a damaged shuttle!



posted on May, 19 2005 @ 11:19 AM
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The Russians launched their shuttle(the Buran) and landed without anyone onboard, I suppose NASA could do the same if they figured the shuttle was not safe for re-entry.

I think they should leave at least one of the shuttles permantly up their attatched to the ISS with a big lab in the cargo bay and try to make a replacement ASAP.

Like I said before the Delta 4 heavy is a fine rocket and I dont think it would take to much to build another craft that could glide home to strap onto that baby. Maybe while we're waiting for the new craft they should go back to capsules to get people to the ISS.

I think their will 5 maybe 10 more shuttle flights tops. When the shuttle was first launched there was talk that they could have 2 or more launches a month and while I love what the shuttle has done I think it needs to be retired as soon as possible and let a better craft take over.

I would love to see us to start colonizing space in my life time and to that we need better space shuttles.



posted on May, 22 2005 @ 07:14 PM
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jrod
Maybe while we're waiting for the new craft they should go back to capsules to get people to the ISS.

ahhh...or not.
We have russia for the ISS capsules.


jrod
I think their will 5 maybe 10 more shuttle flights tops. When the shuttle was first launched there was talk that they could have 2 or more launches a month and while I love what the shuttle has done I think it needs to be retired as soon as possible and let a better craft take over.

(if memory serves) I believe they need 28 more shuttle flights to complete the ISS.
Thanks to Griffen they are accelerating the CEV, and it should be operational around 2010...the same time the shuttle retires.


While yes, the shuttles are old...they are still very important to Nasa, and international partners who are involved with the ISS?



posted on May, 30 2005 @ 07:45 AM
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I just wanted to add here that I did get a response on the TEA question. ISS can maintain TEA with a docked shuttle. But the other statements remain to the higher number of momentum dumps due to the added drag and torque the shuttle would create.



posted on May, 31 2005 @ 05:27 PM
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Why make the Shuttle safer?

Just bin the whole project and use the Russian Soyuz capsules till 2010 when the CEV is finished!!!!!




posted on May, 31 2005 @ 10:05 PM
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Valhall
The docked Shuttle will increase drag, and torque due to gravity

Theres no drag in space.
With the shuttle attached the ISS will weight more and there for it will take more to keep it at its proper height of 250 miles, but they can use the shuttles thrusters to help with additional lift, plus it would take awhile for it to fall anyway. So the next shuttle mission could get prepared to birng what ever nassesary to keep it at its recomended height.



Valhall
The shuttle crew would NOT be able to stay indefinitely on ISS. Setting aside the fact the oxygen generator isn't working properly, even if it were, the station couldn't support three times it's intended crew for any length of time.

well of course not indeffiniatly, but longer...yes. I thought we were discussing a theoretical future...so if/when we would have a shuttle crew abandon its landing due to a problem...anyway, what i'm getting at is the gererator will be fixed or replaced by then. Besides, the ISS still has enough air for a year (with its current skeleton crew of 2).

3 times its intended crew!? the ISS normally has 7 people in it(i believe), but since the shuttle its being a skeleton crew of 2, who are basically just making sure the whole thing doesn't fall apart. so if they had the shuttle crew of 7, plus the 2 allready on the ISS, thats 9 people, which it could support.

You lost me with the Soyuz seat cushions, never heard of any thing like that before. So is it a mold of the astranauts but...or what? either way, if someone needed to use the Soyuz and didn't have a custom made seat cushion...I bet they would make it to earth fine, since its just to help distribute the shock...they could suck it up and deal with it.


and Mickeydee - They didn't try and land a wounded Columbia...they didn't know it was wounded.



posted on May, 31 2005 @ 10:08 PM
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Originally posted by Identity_Unknown
Just bin the whole project and use the Russian Soyuz capsules till 2010 when the CEV is finished!!!!!


Excellent Idea!!!

We can just use ropes and bungee cords to strap the large ISS trusses, and large components needed to finish the ISS onto the side of the capsule, wow, you are just brilliant.
(a hint of mad sarcasm)



posted on May, 31 2005 @ 10:23 PM
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Originally posted by Murcielago
Theres no drag in space.


uhhh....Yes there is. In LEO there is drag. And it is not constant, but varies according to where you are in orbit. The torque due to gravity does as well. Therefore the need for TEA.



With the shuttle attached the ISS will weight more and there for it will take more to keep it at its proper height of 250 miles, but they can use the shuttles thrusters to help with additional lift, plus it would take awhile for it to fall anyway. So the next shuttle mission could get prepared to birng what ever nassesary to keep it at its recomended height.


There's also the need to compensate for torque and maintain attitude - so that you know where you are. This requires more attitude control - either by the CMG's (as long as they are not saturated) or by the RS's propulsion system. But the shuttle cannot provide attitude control. So the added burden on the CMGs and then the RS propulsion system are realized due to the added drag and torque of the docked shuttle.


Valhall
The shuttle crew would NOT be able to stay indefinitely on ISS. Setting aside the fact the oxygen generator isn't working properly, even if it were, the station couldn't support three times it's intended crew for any length of time.




well of course not indeffiniatly, but longer...yes. I thought we were discussing a theoretical future...so if/when we would have a shuttle crew abandon its landing due to a problem...anyway, what i'm getting at is the gererator will be fixed or replaced by then. Besides, the ISS still has enough air for a year (with its current skeleton crew of 2).


Well - I'm glad you're sure of that. The oxygen generator has to be fixed first. And that requires a shuttle crew in the air. Seems to me there's some period of time where we have a malfunctioning oxygen generator and a shuttle full of astronauts. Until that situation changes - my statements stand.



3 times its intended crew!? the ISS normally has 7 people in it(i believe), but since the shuttle its being a skeleton crew of 2, who are basically just making sure the whole thing doesn't fall apart. so if they had the shuttle crew of 7, plus the 2 allready on the ISS, thats 9 people, which it could support.


Yes. In the current configuration the ISS has held, and is geared for, no more than a 3 member crew. There is typically a 7 member shuttle crew. That's 10 folks trying to live off 3 folks' air supply.



You lost me with the Soyuz seat cushions, never heard of any thing like that before.


Now you have.



So is it a mold of the astranauts but...or what?


Yes, it is.



either way, if someone needed to use the Soyuz and didn't have a custom made seat cushion...I bet they would make it to earth fine, since its just to help distribute the shock...they could suck it up and deal with it.


Are you volunteering?



and Mickeydee - They didn't try and land a wounded Columbia...they didn't know it was wounded.


That's not what he said.

[edit on 5-31-2005 by Valhall]



posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 02:58 AM
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and Mickeydee - They didn't try and land a wounded Columbia...they didn't know it was wounded.



Valhall
That's not what he said.


yes it is.



MickeyDee
They tried to return a wounded Columbia and look what happened.


[edit on 1-6-2005 by Murcielago]



posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 03:37 AM
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You guys can debate what should be done where and how, but how many of you are actually engineers? Of you engineers, how many of you actually understand flight dynamics and the physics required for space flight? You can suggest gluing some aluminum to the shuttle or using some Soyuz capsules all you want, fact is government sponsered space flight is the wrong approach all together.

Adjusted for inflation, all the US manned space flights previous to the introduction of the Space Shuttle were far cheaper than it is for a single operational evolution of the shuttle. The Russians have figured this out a long time ago. Some speculate that they abandoned thier shuttle program because the USSR collapsed. While thats true, they also saw that the Soyuz was far cheaper and more reliable than thier program.

Things like the XPrize showed that a few million dollars in private development can go alot further than billions wasted in government red tape. Im sure we will get a fine replacement for the space shuttle, but its going to cost as much as an aircraft carrier. Unfortuantly, private space flight in the US may not be long lived, as Congress is sure to regulate the living hell out of it. Unfortunatly, the US will loose ground to nations like the Chinese, who are using a variant of the Soyuz themselves.

Governemnt-run space flight is not safe as long as money is wasted on garbage.



posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 04:59 AM
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Originally posted by WissNX01
You guys can debate what should be done where and how, but how many of you are actually engineers? Of you engineers, how many of you actually understand flight dynamics and the physics required for space flight? You can suggest gluing some aluminum to the shuttle or using some Soyuz capsules all you want, fact is government sponsered space flight is the wrong approach all together.


You've stuck an apple and a banana together and called it a rutabaga.
What does these folks being engineers or not have to do with whether they can discuss and be creative?



posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 08:12 AM
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I just wanted to follow up a little more because something's bugging me.

No one on this board has to have some experience-based or education-based threshold met in order to qualify to engage in a discussion. It bothers me that you implied that those of us on this thread, who apparently have a common interest in this topic, may or may not have met some arbitrary criteria you feel should be met before we can speak on it.

I always enjoy seeing people come up with ideas and then feel passionate enough about them that they want to share them with others. I haven't seen Mickey Dee get all bent out of shape by the fact that certain posts in the thread have pointed out that an aluminum shield would probably not be worth the weight it added. Instead, what I've seen, is a discussion develop that has caused exchange of information and concepts that - speaking only for myself - have enriched at least some of the people who are involved in it.

I dare say we shouldn't be headed toward the point that we have to submit a real life resume in order to get some type of accreditation before we can enter into discourse on a given issue. That would be the living $h!t$ now wouldn't it?



posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 08:24 AM
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I did say that they tried to land a wounded Columbia because they did!

And NASA had a very good idea that Columbia was damaged.

NASA found the video footage of the foam hitting the underside of the shuttle only a couple of days after launch and knew there was a risk of her burning up on re-entry!

The only reason Columbia was allowed to return is because there wasnt enough fuel on-board to take Columbia to the ISS, and there was no shuttle ready to attempt an in orbit rescue mission!

NASA also know that even if the Astronauts performed an unplanned spacewalk to investigate the tiles, there was no equipment on board to fix the leading edge of the wing!

I'll try and find some links to this because i know you wont believe me Murc!



Edit To Add Links:


Originally From Space.com
NASA knew from Day Two of Columbia's 16-day research mission that a piece of the insulating foam on the external fuel tank peeled off just after liftoff and struck the left wing, possibly ripping off some of the tiles that keep the ship from burning up when it re-enters Earth's atmosphere.

A frame-by-frame analysis of launch video and film clearly showed a clump of something streaking away from Columbia 80 seconds into the flight.


Link to Space.com





[edit on 1/6/2005 by MickeyDee]



posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 09:28 AM
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Originally posted by MickeyDee

The only reason Columbia was allowed to return is because there wasnt enough fuel on-board to take Columbia to the ISS, and there was no shuttle ready to attempt an in orbit rescue mission!


[edit on 1/6/2005 by MickeyDee]


Well, it's more than that. The Columbia did not have a docking port for docking to the ISS. It was never intended to dock to the ISS. That's why it was the dedicated "science mission" shuttle. Also, the Columbia was heavier than the other shuttles, so there are some issues there as well.



posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 09:37 AM
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I thought they were going to stop useing shuttles and start using those mach planes? Maybe they could just stick Lisa Lashes in?



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