It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

HoW come Burt Rutan is cleverer than NASA?

page: 1
0
<<   2  3  4 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Jan, 24 2006 @ 08:32 AM
link   
Thr thread below asking about the worth of the lives of Astronauts immediately brought to mind the Horizon documentary I watched last week about Spaceship One.

There was a great deal of amazing stuff in that show but the one that sprang immediately to my mind was "How come NASA can't do re-entry the easy way?"

As was explained on the show, and as we all know, re-entry is fraught with difficulty and risk. The shuttle has to be very precisely controlled for re-entry and if it isn't it will be destroyed.

On Spaceship One hopwever there is NO specific heat shielding whatsover and there is NO control required at all! The reason being that the 90 degree folding of the tail booms creates enough drag to slow it down sufficiently that there is no excessive kinetic heating at all and the craft comes down 'Like a shuttlecock' all by itself. As a result of several successful demonstrations of this, leading to the winning of the X-Prize in the process, Virgin Galactic currently has five passenger carrying 'Spaceship's under construction to begin fare paying flights (actually joyrides, rather than travel at the moment). VG also has the worlds first civil space launch license ever issued and has taken over £10m is advance bookings. And yet a NASA launch launch is still fraught with the same amount of angst and soul searching as the Apollo moon shots!

This is also probably the first time ever that a US invention stands to be commercially exploited by the Brits, as far as I can tell it has always been the other way round.




posted on Jan, 24 2006 @ 09:03 AM
link   
SpaceShipOne was not travelling at 17,000mph (the velocity required to maintain Low Earth Orbit) like the Shuttle.

To achieve a stable orbit, the Shuttle must burn a large amount of fuel. To return to Earth (or to "De-Orbit" as it's called) the Shuttle would either have to burn a like quantity of fuel to slow down to a speed near that at which SS1 was flying (about 400MPH, I believe) or do as it does....come screaming back to Earth at hypersonic speeds, allowing friction (and thus huge amounts of heat) from the interaction with Earth's atmosphere to slow it down.



posted on Jan, 24 2006 @ 09:11 AM
link   
That cannot be right. There is no way it would take the same amount of fuel burned to reach orbit in order to slow down. If you are in space then their is no resistance (hence why astronauts can float in space beside the shuttle at 17,000mph) so a small blast of fuel would slow you down, maybe more than a small blast to slow you down enough, but isn't that preferable to what it actually does now?

Besides which, if the SS1 wasn't deliberately 'draggy' it would still burn up in the atmosphere through gravity induced acceleration, this is the specific bit I was referring to.

[edit on 24-1-2006 by waynos]



posted on Jan, 24 2006 @ 09:33 AM
link   
Waynos, this does me no joy to say this, but I am absolutely stunned at your knowledge on this subject. I have followed your posts for years now, and you seem to be an absolute genius when it comes to aircrafts and the thousands to planes to be flown over the years. I am blown away, I never expected this type of question to come from you, but again, maybe we just need to clarify a few things.

For one, Burt Rutan is not cleverer than NASA, in fact, hes far from it.

His accomplishments are, well, in fact, worthless.

The spaceshipone was a very unstable design as can be seen by the inherint "wobble" that it sustained on its vertical climb. The vehicle is too "short and stubby" and hence, the effects that Yeager experienced in X-1 was visible in spaceshipone. it seems to me that Burt Rutan didnt know anything about shockwave formation and it appears that the ship is unstable at high speeds. As the shockwave propagates along the fuselage of the airframe during increasing speeds, it eventually reaches the rear stabalizers and in effect, if the design is such that the shockwave moves over the rear wing, then you cannot move the wind for control. Yeager luckily had a mechanism in the x-1 that could move the entire rear wing surface and not just the wing control surfaces which allowed him to control the airplane.

During the first launch of spaceshipone, I thought I was going to witness a death on Live tv and the spaceship started going out of control.

As for comparing the shuttle to the spaceshipone, that is like comparing a ferrari to a bicycle. Spaceshipone did nothing but fly str8 up to 62 miles and then fell str8 back down, this included no level flight out of the atmosphere and no re-entry. As far as im concerned, its not a spaceflight at all. More like a publicity stunt for funding. Any number of companies could accomplish that back in the 60's, maybe earlier.

Lets make somethign else clear right now. Private companies today have millions of times better technology than NASA had when it designed the shuttle. The problem with NASA now is that it is a gov. company. Private firms have always done things better, for example, Boeing and Lockheed.

Back top the topic, once somebody designs and flies a shuttle replacement, then this topic is pretty much dead.

Train



posted on Jan, 24 2006 @ 09:37 AM
link   
The shuttle burns fuel, not to slow down to the speeds mentioned, just to de-orbit the craft. They still hit the atmosphere at like 14,000 mph. They use the heat sheilds and a large s-turn manuevure to burn off energy and slow down. This is a fact of spaceflight, you must be traveling at incredible speeds just to sustain orbit. And you must have a heat shield to re-enter, what other way do you plan on slowing down?

Train



posted on Jan, 24 2006 @ 09:38 AM
link   
One more thing, why does the shuttle use tiles still. Hasnt anyone developed a spray on ceramic or can't they form a single hull-like ceramic that can be attached. It seems to me that the tile scheme is greatly out-dated. Im sure someone can invent a single piece ceramic or at worst, a 3-5 piece setup, 30,000 plus tiles, come on!!

Train



posted on Jan, 24 2006 @ 09:56 AM
link   

Originally posted by BigTrain
One more thing, why does the shuttle use tiles still. Hasnt anyone developed a spray on ceramic or can't they form a single hull-like ceramic that can be attached. It seems to me that the tile scheme is greatly out-dated. Im sure someone can invent a single piece ceramic or at worst, a 3-5 piece setup, 30,000 plus tiles, come on!!

Train


Umm train What happens if you have a bird or strike of some sort on take off? One crack in one large ceramic is going to be disasterous. where as the tiles right now from my knowledge wont kill the crew if one is cracked or even missing on re-entry.



posted on Jan, 24 2006 @ 11:39 AM
link   

Originally posted by Canada_EH

Originally posted by BigTrain
One more thing, why does the shuttle use tiles still. Hasnt anyone developed a spray on ceramic or can't they form a single hull-like ceramic that can be attached. It seems to me that the tile scheme is greatly out-dated. Im sure someone can invent a single piece ceramic or at worst, a 3-5 piece setup, 30,000 plus tiles, come on!!

Train


Umm train What happens if you have a bird or strike of some sort on take off? One crack in one large ceramic is going to be disasterous. where as the tiles right now from my knowledge wont kill the crew if one is cracked or even missing on re-entry.


Actually, thats incorrect. The tiles are much more suceptable to breaking off and cracking than a single large piece. Not to mention that the more tiles you have, the more possibilities for failure. And I doubt a bird would damage a 2-3 inch solid reinforced piece of ceramics. And I think one large peice would be much, much stronger than 30,000 peices, glued on.

Whats stronger, a brick-masonry wall, with thousands of bricks, or a solid concrete wall.

Train



posted on Jan, 24 2006 @ 11:41 AM
link   
what about polymercoating the ceramic against birdstrikes etc.?
would solve the broken tile problem...



posted on Jan, 24 2006 @ 12:17 PM
link   
Thanks for the answer Big train, you pretty much covered what I wanted.


Also, you don't have to be surprised at my ignorance on this subject, the fact that I know so little about this is why I asked the question.

Therefore my ignorance is also the reason behind this one too, if SS1 never really reached space how come it won the X-Prize? Your comments about its instability and your fears of witnessing a death on live TV during the first flight etc also make me very concerned to think that Virgin galactic have five passenger carrying versions under construction and already have the license to fly them, despite them not even being built yet!

You may be able to tell that the technicalities of space travel have completely passed me by


[edit on 24-1-2006 by waynos]



posted on Jan, 24 2006 @ 12:27 PM
link   

Originally posted by BigTrain

Actually, thats incorrect. The tiles are much more suceptable to breaking off and cracking than a single large piece. Not to mention that the more tiles you have, the more possibilities for failure. And I doubt a bird would damage a 2-3 inch solid reinforced piece of ceramics. And I think one large peice would be much, much stronger than 30,000 peices, glued on.

Whats stronger, a brick-masonry wall, with thousands of bricks, or a solid concrete wall.

Train


Uhm, no.

Both will crack under a bird strike, it doesn't matter whether its a tile or its a single coating.

However, how far that crack propagates will depend on how disjointed the structure is. If its tiled, you loose one tile - and live. If not, you lose everything.



posted on Jan, 24 2006 @ 12:36 PM
link   

Originally posted by northwolf
what about polymercoating the ceramic against birdstrikes etc.?
would solve the broken tile problem...


Need to be a damn thick coating.

Have any of you seen a birdstrike test?

It makes wing leading edges fold up like tinfold!

Its a bad quality realplayer clip, but look here



Don't forget, all the impact would need to be contained within the coating as a ceramic will not have any flexibility.



posted on Jan, 24 2006 @ 12:37 PM
link   
Burt Rutan smarter then NASA!?! Ha! All he did was make an "space"craft in order to win a prize. The commercial viability is still very suspect. The XPrize should have had rules saying you can spend more then X amount of $ and you had to have signed up the same time as everyone else. If those rules would have been part of the competition Brain Feeney and the DaVinci Project would be the winner of the XPrize right now, not Scaled (Built to Break Records and Win Competitions) Composits.
Sorry for the rant but that is truely how I feel.



posted on Jan, 24 2006 @ 12:55 PM
link   

Originally posted by BigTrain
One more thing, why does the shuttle use tiles still. Hasnt anyone developed a spray on ceramic or can't they form a single hull-like ceramic that can be attached. It seems to me that the tile scheme is greatly out-dated. Im sure someone can invent a single piece ceramic or at worst, a 3-5 piece setup, 30,000 plus tiles, come on!!

Train


ACTUALLY THERE IS. for the X-38 they develed a metal/composite one piece shield to cover the aircraft and permit its rrentry to orbit

Dryden X-38 Fact sheet



posted on Jan, 24 2006 @ 12:56 PM
link   

Originally posted by BigTrain

For one, Burt Rutan is not cleverer than NASA, in fact, hes far from it. His accomplishments are, well, in fact, worthless.


The spaceshipone was a very unstable design as can be seen by the inherint "wobble" that it sustained on its vertical climb. The vehicle is too "short and stubby" and hence, the effects that Yeager experienced in X-1 was visible in spaceshipone. it seems to me that Burt Rutan didnt know anything about shockwave formation and it appears that the ship is unstable at high speeds. As the shockwave propagates along the fuselage of the airframe during increasing speeds, it eventually reaches the rear stabalizers and in effect, if the design is such that the shockwave moves over the rear wing, then you cannot move the wind for control. Yeager luckily had a mechanism in the x-1 that could move the entire rear wing surface and not just the wing control surfaces which allowed him to control the airplane.


As for comparing the shuttle to the spaceshipone, that is like comparing a ferrari to a bicycle. Spaceshipone did nothing but fly str8 up to 62 miles and then fell str8 back down, this included no level flight out of the atmosphere and no re-entry.


Lets make somethign else clear right now. Private companies today have millions of times better technology than NASA had when it designed the shuttle. The problem with NASA now is that it is a gov. company. Private firms have always done things better, for example, Boeing and Lockheed.



Back top the topic, once somebody designs and flies a shuttle replacement, then this topic is pretty much dead.

Train




- Don't be so arrogant/dismissive, anyone can come up with a brilliant idea, even if they don't have qualifications or a past history of it. The man that invented the wheel didn't have a PhD in engineering did he?

- Waynos is taking about a concept, a principle, which you are disregarding on the basis of specific flaws with the design, flaws which are not associated with the concept being discussed. For instance, control at supersonic speeds can be achieved through all moving tailplanes, or impulse jets, or zero mean flow rate impulse jets.

- Again, a dubious comparison, its lack of mission flexibility is directly a result of budget constraints.

Ok, to deorbit the shuttle in the same manner as spaceshipone is not a straightforward process, all (or at least the vast majority of) angular motion (with respect to the earth's centre) has to be arrested, then a controlled vertical descent can begin. The shuttle currently uses the earths atmosphere for this - however, it maybe alot more feasible now than it was then to use a rocket.


- Agreed, but, NASA has a million times better budget... how much was spent on making the shuttle spaceworthy again?


- A private company will never be able to design, build and fly a ready made "shuttle replacement", they will however, be able to demonstrate ideas, concepts and designs that would be incorporated onto any new design shuttle. The topic is not dead, its just got the wrong thread title thats all.


[edit on 24-1-2006 by kilcoo316]



posted on Jan, 24 2006 @ 12:57 PM
link   
there seems to be a lot of misconceptions about just how complex the entire system of the shuttle's coating is. Here is the most up to date thing (with the most in depth explanation) I can find at the moment that will help explain the technicalities. As we all know, Columbia is now gone and the shuttle has had even more revamp.

www-pao.ksc.nasa.gov...

interesting picture.

antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov...



posted on Jan, 24 2006 @ 12:59 PM
link   

Originally posted by carcharodon

ACTUALLY THERE IS. for the X-38 they develed a metal/composite one piece shield to cover the aircraft and permit its rrentry to orbit

Dryden X-38 Fact sheet


The link wouldn't work for me



But I guess its something along the lines of silicon carbide? (good for 1400+ deg C)



posted on Jan, 24 2006 @ 01:36 PM
link   

Originally posted by carcharodon

ACTUALLY THERE IS. for the X-38 they develed a metal/composite one piece shield to cover the aircraft and permit its rrentry to orbit

Dryden X-38 Fact sheet


This would also use tiling.

quoted from website.

"A composite fuselage structure will enclose the chamber and the exterior surfaces will be covered with a Thermal Protection System (TPS) to withstand the heat generated by air friction as the vehicle returns to Earth through the atmosphere. The TPS will be similar to materials used on the space shuttles, but much more durable - carbon and metallic-silica tiles for the hottest regions, and flexible blanket-like material for areas receiving less heat during atmospheric reentry.



posted on Jan, 24 2006 @ 01:42 PM
link   
I dont think that Burt is smarter than NASA in a technical way. Where I think he is smarter is that NASA has spent gobzillions of $$$ to send very elite, expensively trained professionals into space whereas Burt has spent an infantesimal portion of NASA's expenditures to have the capability of sending the common man into LEO or better. What was it he said after SS1 came down to the crowd cheering him on? "I bet there are 18,000 people that work at NASA dying to get a ride on this". In Burts view, the common man should not be denied a trip into space. He wants to become the Greyhound or Delta Airlines for LEO.



posted on Jan, 24 2006 @ 01:59 PM
link   
Hmmm, I seemed to have inflamed some peoples sensibilities with my question. Let me explain, the wording of the question in the thread title was, well, sort of flippant, and deliberately so. I don't seriously think that Burt Rutan has more brain power than the whole of NASA. But he did build a craft in which re-entry heat shields were unnecessary and re-entry flight control irrelevant. This seems such a brilliant idea that I simply wondered if it could be scaled up.

Kilcoo got what I was asking straight away, but it seems nobody else really has. My question (from a standpoint of complete ignorance of the subject matter as I admit) is basically why can't the re-entry mode used by SS1 be used on a shuttle type vehicle, thus making it largely risk free as the SS1 reportedly is? Big Train went a long way towards answering part of that when he said that SS1 didn't really reach space, that was why I posed the second point aboput why they won the X-prize as I believed that was the whole point of it.




top topics



 
0
<<   2  3  4 >>

log in

join