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Retire the Shuttle.....Now?

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posted on Dec, 13 2005 @ 03:11 AM
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Originally posted by fishmaster
I thought the saturn 5 style was wasteful....you couldn't use it again.


Yeah, wasteful... like disposable feminine hygeine. Bring on those OB re-usables, that's the Right Stuff


Try making a reusable bullet.

Seriously, disposable is better in rocketry. Better for performance (light weight), better for reliability (fewer fatigue cycles), better for launch budgets (cheap one-shot structures), and better for the economy (steady, predictable production of reloads). The math was all worked out by the Russian Tsiolkovsky in the 19th (that's right, 1800's) Century. Read Goddard's 'A Method For Acheiving Extremely High Altitudes' to understand more, then go out and build a cheap model rocket, say from Estes. Get one of their altitude spotters. Now fly the rocket with a 'C' engine and no paint. Then give it a fancy paint job and compare altitudes.

Less is more in rocketry.

Someone at NASA forgot that.




posted on Dec, 13 2005 @ 03:38 AM
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Originally posted by Murcielago
Why do you people make the moon seem important by saying it could halp get us to Mars? The moon is important enough and trillions should be spent on it. I dont see why it always resorts to Mars.

Besides...We dont have any clean room facilities on the moon in which to build our space probes, So why should we launch them from the earth...only to land on the moon, and then launch them from the moon to Mars.......that doesn't sound very logical.


Obviously because we shouldn't build them on Earth in the first place. With a sufficent base on the Moon, we could build ships on the Moon. The entire Moon is a clean room for that matter. There is almost certainly raw material there as well as the plenty of room for solar energy generation. On the Moon, there is some gravity so the human body wouldn't deteriorate as fast as in a true weightless enviorment. In addition you don't have to worry about some rival political power knocking the moon down as we would worry about close orbit space stations.

If your base on the Moon is underground as most of it certainly would be, getting the entire thing whacked by meteors wouldn't be as big a concern either, like it is with totally manmade space platforms. Tunneling underground on the Moon and coating the walls with airtight sealant seems more effiecent than clumsy metal cans hanging in the void to me. As far as structural integrity and protection goes, there is just no comparison.

Large ships could have parts sent to the Moon in multiple trips making the problem of launching a ship as large as will probably be required to go to Mars much easier. This is the same reason why we didn't just build the IIS here and launch it but built it in orbit piecemeal over time out of smaller pieces that we do have to capability to get up there. Lets not forget either that the moon is about the best orbital observitory platform that we can imagine. We don't have to build the platform. It's already there and it's really big. We just have to use it.

Anyway, I'm not as hyped up about actually going to Mars as many seem to be. There are more useful things we could be doing and they all involve the moon as a jumping off point. If you ask me, the asteroid belt is where we need to be focusing our attention. Go grab an asteroid, bring it back to Moon orbit (much safer than Earth orbit and less crowded), mine it, hollow it out, stick engines and facilities in it and viola!, instant spacecraft!

Finally, it would be much easier to initially establish a base on the Moon than on Mars, due to the lack of a harsh climate (no sandstorms that cover a 1/4 of the planet on the Moon) and the distances involved. I believe that ultimately the survival of the human race depends on getting a large enough group of people living somewhere other than this one planet as soon as we can. We probably can't destroy the Earth, but we sure could make it uninhabitable. With the Moon, it may take decades to get a permanent foothold. With Mars, it may not be until next century. We may not have that much time.



posted on Dec, 13 2005 @ 04:48 AM
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At this point in time NASA really should not be wasting time trying to fix something, which can never physically meet their requirements. Sadly I cannot see this happening. The money will be continued to be spent on the flawed space shuttle, while this money could potentially be used to develop either other technologies, fund private sector programs or be used on other tasks, such as the JIMO missions. It really is depressing to think about the amount of money being wasted on old flawed technology. It just seems like NASA is taking one step forwards and two steps back all the time.



posted on Dec, 13 2005 @ 03:25 PM
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We cant build rockets and very delicate and expensive spacecrafts on the moon, we wont be able to do that for at least 50 years. It takes a long time to build that kind of infastructure.

Thats even if the moon has the resources to support that idea. It has a lot of titanium...thats all that I know of, but i'm sure it has a lot more. But the fact is you have to look at every single item on a spacecraft, and see if it can be made on the moon, with its resources...like glass, plastics, metals, etc., then look at the process on how each one of the hundreds, if not thousands, of items on the spacecraft are made.
The task in nearly mind boggling.

Oh, and I wouldn't call the moon a clean room...according to the astranauts, its dust is like sand...and gets everywhere.

When we go to the moon...I'm with you on the tin can habitats.

Underground is good...but still have a lot of buildings above the surface.
As long as we can find water there, is will make the whole process much easier. The the main building material could be concrete, since its strong, and radiation proof.

I would like to see science labs on the moon, but it makes more sense to have it in space...like the ISS, so you can do Zero-G experiments. But i'm sure we have some better suited for the moons gravity. I to would also like to see a large telsecope on the moon, its a great place for one.
Your mine asteroid concept is pretty off-the-wall though.



posted on Dec, 25 2005 @ 02:39 PM
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You guys are forgetting the biggest advantage to basing from the moon: water!
Splitting it into LOX and LH2 with nuclear or solar energy sources would get you the necessary fuel for interplanetary expedition. Once the infrastructure is set up, it would prove much cheaper than hauling it all from earth.



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