posted on Aug, 1 2005 @ 06:17 AM
Here is a article at english.pravda.ru...
Looks like Russia is set to dominate space again.
"Using new materials for heat insulation is one of the project's major design achievements
A new Russian "hybrid" re-usable space vehicle will be built without using tiles, the most vulnerable component of U.S. Space Shuttles, according to
a statement made by Vladimir Syromyatnikov, director general of consortium Kosmicheskaya Regata (an affiliate of the Rocket Space Corporation Energia.
"The concept is based on a combination of capsule space vehicles (Soyuz) and the winged space vehicles (Buran), the project aims to ensure more
safety for space missions," said Mr. Syromyatnikov.
The new vehicle will fly as a capsule the longest part of the journey. The lander's wings will be kept folded and protected by heat insulation. The
protective screen will be released during the reentry and the vehicle will fold out the winds to land as an airplane. The new vehicle will combine
the positive characteristics of both Soyuz and Buran vehicles. Unlike the winged space vehicle, it will have heat insulation built out of
heat-resistant alloys. No tiles will be used.
The development of the new vehicle will enable designers to get rid of the tiles, the most vulnerable component of U.S. Space Shuttles. "Using new
materials for heat insulation is one of the project's major design achievements because the tiles are faulty and too expensive, they have to be
repaired before and after the launch," said Mr. Syromyatnkov.
I think if this trend in NASA keeps up, it is the end of wonderful era of space travel for the U.S. Perhaps it's Russia or maybe even China who will
take the mantle of premium space power.
[edit on 1-8-2005 by VDS]