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Nasa to keep Shuttles existing Rockets

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posted on May, 26 2005 @ 02:55 AM
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It takes a lot to get the Space Shuttle to orbit earth, the orbiter itself has rockets on it, but the first stage is done by the Solid Rocket Boosters (SRB), theres 2 of them, and in the middle of them is the larg external tank. Presidents Bush's speech over a year ago said that the Space Shuttle will retire in 2010, apparently the SRB's and the external tank are exempt. Nasa's newest administrator Micheal Griffen wants to use what they've got. Since they allready have a working infastructure for it. Using shuttle propulsion systems is expected to save money because facilities, personnel, materials and ground support equipment for launch and recovery already are in place. Griffen said if they use it then they could meet there new ambitious goal of getting the new CEV operational by 2010.

Will Nasa keep its Rockets

There are 3 main other competitors though, however if one of these are picked he doubt the 2010 CEV deadline could be met.
They are the Boeing Delta IV------Lockheed Atlas V-----and the underdog SpaceX Falcon V


BTW, Boeing & Lockheed want to combine there work to save money, the joint venture would be called "United Launch Alliance", but we'll have to wait till the end of the year to see if congress passes it or not.
Boeing & Lockheed to form a Joint Venture

The shuttles current tank & rockets are more powerful then the 3 competitors, the only thing more powerful then it is the old apollo rockets.

These 2 sites show a picture of Lockheeds Atlas configs & Boeing Delta configs

Lockheed Atlas V configs

Boeing Delta IV configs

Comparison of the Current Shuttle's Rockets Vs Boeing Delta IV Heavy
Shuttles rockets VS Boeing Delta IV Heavy


in the main link
"I already have a heavy-lift vehicle," NASA administrator Michael Griffin told reporters at an informal briefing last week at the Kennedy Space Center.



in the main link
Additional lift capacity could be achieved with multiple solid rocket boosters, coupled with shuttle main engines in various configurations. Griffin has commissioned a study team to consider the various options and report back later this summer.

It appears we will have the answer this summer.

They have to decide what to do pretty quickly because Hasa wants to use the new CEV by 2010. The CEV (Crew Exploration Vehicle) isn't even in construction yet, so that will be a hard goal to keep, ecpecially for Nasa.

Early 2006 Nasa will choose the winner of the CEV, it will either be Lockheed Martin or Boeing/Northrop Grumman. Northrop/Boeing are keeping a lid on there design still, just to make sure no ideas they have are stolen. But Lockheed has allready shown some artist renderings of what theirs will look like(theirs is below).

Is this what Nasa's Next-Gen spacecraft will look like in 5 years?

What do you like best...Keep with the tried and true...Or go with a different design???





posted on May, 26 2005 @ 05:39 AM
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The re-usability of the solid rocket boosters is attractive. I'm actually okay with the next phase relying on these rockets (though I wish they had perfected the burn by this time - and what I mean is, "smoothed" it out. I still can't figure out why the ammonium perchlorate can't be perfected to a better particulate size to produce a smoother burn. As it is, the pellets are currently the size and look of a #2 pencil eraser and when it burns it produces a very rough burn - as you can imagine when dealing with particulates of appreciable size.)

Just to clarify, you state "but the first stage is done by the Solid Rocket Boosters (SRB)" - well, them and the 3 main engines. The SRBs can only produce about 70% of the thrust needed to launch. So, unless we're talking about an appreciably lighter total lift package, the SRBs still couldn't do it alone. Which brings me to my beef on this. That disgustingly humongous external tank. It seems the area of greatest potential for development would be in the main engine area, and more specifically in it's propulsive measures. We need main engine propulsion that doesn't take a fuel tank the size of Utah to get us to orbit...that's where the weight reductions can take place.



posted on May, 26 2005 @ 06:20 AM
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Personally i dont really see a problem keeping the existing SRB's and external tank.

Although these components have been to blame for both the Challenger and Columbia disasters (Challenger due to human error), i feel that the external tank has been sufficiently upgraded to launch the new shuttle into orbit, as long as the CEV is less likely to be damaged by falling foam insulation etc...



posted on May, 26 2005 @ 06:24 AM
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Originally posted by MickeyDee
Personally i dont really see a problem keeping the existing SRB's and external tank.

Although these components have been to blame for both the Challenger and Columbia disasters (Challenger due to human error), i feel that the external tank has been sufficiently upgraded to launch the new shuttle into orbit, as long as the CEV is less likely to be damaged by falling foam insulation etc...


Here's what I'd like to see. Move the launch facilities and landing facilities offshore and away from population centers. That or tell the American population to buck up, we're going to being launching nuclear-powered vehicles over your head. Then go to nuclear propulsion. That's the next big step.



posted on May, 26 2005 @ 06:28 AM
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Originally posted by Valhall
Move the launch facilities and landing facilities offshore and away from population centers. That or tell the American population to buck up, we're going to being launching nuclear-powered vehicles over your head. Then go to nuclear propulsion. That's the next big step.



Brilliant idea for an offshore launchpad and hopefully one day in the not to distant future we will see Nuclear Powered Spacecraft!

It would have to be a rather large shuttle though if it was going to be nuclear powered!




[edit on 26/5/2005 by MickeyDee]



posted on May, 26 2005 @ 06:40 AM
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In answer to the question posed in the first post...I like the Lockheed Atlas V a lot more than I do the Boeing submissions.



A lot more aerodynamic design...very slick - and perdy too! *
*



posted on May, 26 2005 @ 07:21 AM
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I personally favour the Delta IV Heavy as it is the most powerful rocket in the US fleet bar the shuttle(and tank/boosters) and the retired Saturn V!

Delta IV Statistics Compared To Current Shuttle System!



Although a joint venture would obviously give us the best that both companies have to offer!



[edit on 26/5/2005 by MickeyDee]



posted on May, 26 2005 @ 08:36 AM
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Hhmmm. Well i guess this idea to keep the shuttle lifters is a good cost effective idea, however its still quite old technology from the 80's. Developments in new technology and techniques should be applied for lifting the CEV in the future so NASA doesn’t suffer the same faults it’s had with the shuttle.
The new designs and concepts for the commercial space industry will probably be more advanced than NASA in the future as the latest technology will be more embraced by the private sector.
I am not opposed by the idea to continue to use the shuttle lifting bodies, but in 10 years when NASA is still using tech from the 80's that’s already 25 years old, you've got to ask yourself whether this is a good idea or not.



posted on May, 26 2005 @ 09:02 AM
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Originally posted by rufi0o
Hhmmm. Well i guess this idea to keep the shuttle lifters is a good cost effective idea, however its still quite old technology from the 80's. Developments in new technology and techniques should be applied for lifting the CEV in the future so NASA doesn’t suffer the same faults it’s had with the shuttle.


They're a hell of alot older than that!

Most of the shuttle and boosters are based on technology from the 60's and 70's.
You see, the problem with using new technology is its not tested.
If we designed a shuttle today with technology that was designed today and launched it, how do we know it would work? We wouldnt!

I assume that the technology that is being used to create the CEV will be from the late 90's at the least.

Thats why i agree with reusing the SRB's and ET, they are tried and tested, and apart from Challenger and Columbia (Challenger being human error and Columbia....well dont get me started) they have had no serious flaws since the day they first launched Columbia into orbit in 1981!



posted on May, 26 2005 @ 09:43 AM
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I know it will always be safe to use the tech from the 70's and 80's. But how is that going to progress NASA and its image for the public?
Everyone loved spaceship one because it had a new approach and exotic design for space travel, even if it’s just to LEO.
Like I said the only people to embrace new technology and approaches to space travel will be the private sector.
The solar sail being launched in the next couple of weeks or so I think, is by a private company. NASA has no plans with solar sails set out in the future.
The advances in space flight will probably only be achieved by the private sector.
Where did u think the tech from apollo came from? It had to be designed and made from current german V2 rocket technology.



posted on May, 26 2005 @ 09:49 AM
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There was an illustration in Aviation Week about three weeks ago that portrayed a CEV concept diretly atop one of the solid fuel boosters. Rather than being strung on the side of the boosters -- like the shuttle is -- the CEV is intended to be placed atop the tip of the booster (like a 60s capsule or Dyna-Soar design).



posted on May, 26 2005 @ 10:07 AM
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Originally posted by onlyinmydreams


There was an illustration in Aviation Week about three weeks ago that portrayed a CEV concept diretly atop one of the solid fuel boosters. Rather than being strung on the side of the boosters -- like the shuttle is -- the CEV is intended to be placed atop the tip of the booster (like a 60s capsule or Dyna-Soar design).


Okay, THIS would be a major improvement. The tandem configuration is going to be so much less draggy and there will be a great reduction in thrust requirements once this obnoxious Dr. Evil configuration is done away with. I'm glad to hear this. I haven't really kept up with the CEV propulsion concepts being kicked around. Wonder if I can still get a copy of that Aviation Week?



posted on May, 26 2005 @ 11:53 AM
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Valhall - Yeah, I knew the shuttle used its own 3 engines, but they are only doing 50% thrust while the SRB's are firing...So I was just trying to emphasis that they do the majority of the work.


onlyinmydreams
There was an illustration in Aviation Week about three weeks ago that portrayed a CEV concept diretly atop one of the solid fuel boosters. Rather than being strung on the side of the boosters -- like the shuttle is -- the CEV is intended to be placed atop the tip of the booster (like a 60s capsule or Dyna-Soar design).

any links???
I didn't know that.....and I dont feel like re-photoshoping.


But if thats true...thats a good call by Nasa.



rufi0o
The solar sail being launched in the next couple of weeks or so I think, is by a private company. NASA has no plans with solar sails set out in the future.

Nasa has being puting millions into solar sails, and are testing one now (in a vacuum chamber), and will be till July.
Nasa's Solar Sail

I assume your referring to COSMOS 1, which could launch June 21....which is a Russian solar sail. I have serious doubt on this mission, they have had delay after delay, this thing was supposed to be launched several years ago.



posted on May, 26 2005 @ 12:00 PM
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Originally posted by Murcielago
Valhall - Yeah, I knew the shuttle used its own 3 engines, but they are only doing 50% thrust while the SRB's are firing...So I was just trying to emphasis that they do the majority of the work.



??? Are you saying 50% of the total thrust being developed (i.e. that 1/2 the thrust is coming from the SRBs and 1/2 from the main engines?), it's more like 1/3 from the main engines and 2/3 from the SRBs.



posted on May, 26 2005 @ 12:02 PM
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It’s not a Russian solar sail, its just being launched from a Russian submarine. Yeah I am aware of the vacuum tests NASA is doing, but the cosmos 1 solar sail is the only project, which is testing the feasibility of controlled solar sail flight.



posted on May, 26 2005 @ 12:16 PM
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Originally posted by Valhall

Originally posted by Murcielago
Valhall - Yeah, I knew the shuttle used its own 3 engines, but they are only doing 50% thrust while the SRB's are firing...So I was just trying to emphasis that they do the majority of the work.



??? Are you saying 50% of the total thrust being developed (i.e. that 1/2 the thrust is coming from the SRBs and 1/2 from the main engines?), it's more like 1/3 from the main engines and 2/3 from the SRBs.


no no no...The SRB's are at and stay at full power till there jetisoned, but while the SRB's are at 100%, the shuttles 3 rockets are at 50%. Right before the SRB's are jetisoned, the shuttles 3 rocket are increased to 100%. They do that to save fuel.



posted on May, 26 2005 @ 12:27 PM
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Originally posted by onlyinmydreams
There was an illustration in Aviation Week about three weeks ago that portrayed a CEV concept diretly atop one of the solid fuel boosters. Rather than being strung on the side of the boosters -- like the shuttle is -- the CEV is intended to be placed atop the tip of the booster (like a 60s capsule or Dyna-Soar design).


Brilliant, no more bits of rusty looking foam s**t falling off and taking out the underside of the new shuttle!




posted on May, 26 2005 @ 12:30 PM
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NO NO NO NO NO!

That's what I was afraid you were saying!

To clarify! If you add the thrust produced from the SRBs and the thrust produced from the main engines and get one number

TOTALTHRUST

the main engines are producing approximately 30% of TOTALTHRUST and the rest is coming from the SRBs.

so let's say it adds up to 10,000,000 lbs of thrust (I don't remember right now I'm just picking a round number)

7,000,000 lbs of that comes from the SRBs and 3,000,000 lbs comes from the main engines.

NOW! About the main engines. NONNONONONONONONO

They are operating at 104% of their thrust rating during a launch.

They operate at that until the shuttle hits the max-drag region and they are throttled back to about 97%. Then as soon as the shuttle busts through the max-drag region, they are throttled back to 104%.



posted on May, 26 2005 @ 12:54 PM
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So basically your saying the shuttles 3 rockets are near 100% thrust the whole time?



posted on May, 26 2005 @ 12:55 PM
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No, I'm saying they're OVER 100% for all of the launch except about 8 seconds. I think it's less than 8 seconds to get through the max-drag region. So they are operating from 104% all the way to 109% except for that 8 seconds.

It was at the point that Challenger came out of the max-drag region, and they had just throttled back up to 104+% that the shuttle disintegrated.

[edit on 5-26-2005 by Valhall]



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