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Is today's Project Orion a joke compared to the Project Orion's of the past?

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posted on Oct, 5 2006 @ 12:54 PM
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Check out previous Orion projects by NASA dating back to the 60's.

www.nuclearspace.com...

They were theorizing and experimenting about nuclear powered spacecraft in the 60's, why are we using the same technology that we used then to get to the moon and why is it taking just as long?

Is this a blatant attempt to hide technology(possibly military) from the public?

Can't we as a country build a better shuttle in 2009 than we did in the 60's? Apparantly not!

If Orion is the best space shuttle we can build in 2009, we should close down NASA today and kill every single black project. Why spend countless billions to build the same old crappy shuttle with the same capabilities as we currently have, it makes NO sense!



jra

posted on Oct, 5 2006 @ 04:19 PM
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Originally posted by Low Orbit
Check out previous Orion projects by NASA dating back to the 60's.

They were theorizing and experimenting about nuclear powered spacecraft in the 60's, why are we using the same technology that we used then to get to the moon and why is it taking just as long?


But we arn't using the exact same technology for the Orion, there is a lot of new stuff and it takes time to design and put together and test a rocket. Just like any aircraft project today (ie: F-22A, F-35)


Is this a blatant attempt to hide technology(possibly military) from the public?


I highly doubt it. The current Constellation program is an affordable program, unlike what a totaly new concept program would cost. This is what critics of this new rocket fail to understand. The Ares rocket and Orion capsule are affordable, compair that to the X-33 which was going to replace the Shuttle, but was costing way too much money (about 1.3 billion) and some of the new technologies wern't really working. It was 85% complete, but it got scraped because it was too complex and too expensive.


Can't we as a country build a better shuttle in 2009 than we did in the 60's? Apparantly not!


There was no Shuttle in the 60's and they're not building a Shuttle now. A Shuttle is ment for LEO and it can't go to the Moon. The Orion is a capsule.


If Orion is the best space shuttle we can build in 2009, we should close down NASA today and kill every single black project. Why spend countless billions to build the same old crappy shuttle with the same capabilities as we currently have, it makes NO sense!


Again, the Constellation program is ment to be affordable. It's not a technology demonstrator. Why do so many people want NASA to spend billions on something new. It will take so much longer to complete. NASA needs something now, they need something that doesn't cost billions. This is why NASA is going with the Constellation program. Here's some more info:

www.nasa.gov...
en.wikipedia.org...



posted on Oct, 5 2006 @ 04:40 PM
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There might be a little confusion here. Several years ago there was an idea for getting huge payloads into space called Project Orion. It basically involved making a big strong upside down bucket, putting a huge payload on top of the bucket and popping a nuke off under the bucket. When the bucket started to slow down you popped off another nuke. There were actually small scale tests done using conventional explosive in place of the nukes to prove the theory.

NASA's new spacecraft to go to the Moon and beyond was just named "Orion". I don't think it will be nuclear powered though.



posted on Oct, 5 2006 @ 08:00 PM
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JRA - "Again, the Constellation program is ment to be affordable. It's not a technology demonstrator."

The current space shuttle has been in service more than 25 years, if we are building a new capsule for the moon and mars why don't we do it right the first time and build another technology demonstator, we have many different options out there for propulsion other than rockets, let's try them, let's try something NEW!


JRA - "Why do so many people want NASA to spend billions on something new. It will take so much longer to complete. NASA needs something now, they need something that doesn't cost billions. This is why NASA is going with the Constellation program."

Although I currently can't find how much the Constellation program is going to cost I would imagine it will also be a couple billion. Why build a substandard space capsule while you could be working on something Innovative and New!

I would compare it to would you rather build a 1971 datsun 180b in 1971 for 2k or would you rather for 40k and five years later you could be driving a 1976 Porsche 911 turbo. You have 1 billion in the bank and only can have one car, what do you do? And you currently have a datsun.

Why not spend the money? Should't we see spending this money as an investment into our future rather than being a burden onto ourselves.



posted on Oct, 5 2006 @ 10:18 PM
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Actually, the Orion of the 1960's is a joke compared to the Orion of today. I don't know what else to call everybody's favorite nuclear-pulse-powered paper spaceship, except maybe Edward Teller's wet dream. That man never met a problem he didn't think an H-bomb could fix...

Low Orbit, the shuttle isn't going to get us to the moon, or to Mars. Since we want to go to both the moon and Mars, we need to build a new vehicle which can go to those places - and preferably support missions to both. So that's what we're going to do. And no, it isn't particularly "kewl" looking - no nuclear pulse propulsion, no ion drives, no spaceplane or lifting body design, no SSTO, etc. And that's great by me because technology demonstrators should be just that: demonstration vehicles to showcase new technology.

I've said it before and I'll probably end up saying it again, but if we turn Orion and the Ares vehicles into an excuse to play with the bleeding edge of what's possible we will end up with NOTHING - zip, nada, bupkiss. All the Orion is supposed to do is go up into LEO and dock with either the ISS or an EDS (Earth Departure Stage) headed for the moon or Mars, hang out for about 6 months (or up to 3 years, if they are improved to support a Mars Return Mission), and return to Earth. That's it. Why make it more complicated?

Sure, we could probably build the Battlestar Galactica if we really wanted to, stick an Orion nuke-out-the-back engine on it, and use it to cruise out to the moon, Mars, and points beyond, but who's going to pay for it - or launch it, or support it, etc. And even if we did have the Battlestar Galactica to use to visit the moon, Mars, Jupiter, etc., you'd STILL have to build something - I don't know, maybe a space capsule, something we only use to go from Earth to LEO and back - to get astronauts to and from our Battlestar.

For any number of reasons, the Orion is exactly what NASA needs - it isn't the ideal vehicle, for any number of reasons, and isn't what I would design, but it will get NASA relatively cheap access to space and pave the way for a true Heavy Lift launcher (the Ares V). We don't need something cool and cutting edge - we just need to get up and come home. That's it. Your Datsun/Porsche comparison is quite apt. I don't WANT a Porsche - give me the Datsun any day. Give me something that gets me where I'm going - or to the Earth Departure Stage that will get me where I'm going - over an overpriced, impractical mode of transportation any day.

If we turn the Orion into an excuse to create a "technology demonstrator" (as you put it, Low Orbit), we're just going to make the mistakes of the X-33 all over again.



posted on Oct, 5 2006 @ 10:57 PM
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Originally posted by Low Orbit
Check out previous Orion projects by NASA dating back to the 60's.

www.nuclearspace.com...

They were theorizing and experimenting about nuclear powered spacecraft in the 60's, why are we using the same technology that we used then to get to the moon and why is it taking just as long?

Is this a blatant attempt to hide technology(possibly military) from the public?

Can't we as a country build a better shuttle in 2009 than we did in the 60's? Apparantly not!

If Orion is the best space shuttle we can build in 2009, we should close down NASA today and kill every single black project. Why spend countless billions to build the same old crappy shuttle with the same capabilities as we currently have, it makes NO sense!

dude i'm totally with you on thi one the problem wit the goverment is that in order for them to change something it takes them years, someplaces they are still running windowsNT 2000 so it is not strange to me that NASA takes their time, besides as long as the people that make rockets have people from the goverment backing tthem up nothing special is going to happen any time soon


jra

posted on Oct, 6 2006 @ 02:52 AM
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Originally posted by Low Orbit
JRA - "Again, the Constellation program is ment to be affordable. It's not a technology demonstrator."

The current space shuttle has been in service more than 25 years, if we are building a new capsule for the moon and mars why don't we do it right the first time and build another technology demonstator, we have many different options out there for propulsion other than rockets, let's try them, let's try something NEW!


Like I said, building a totally new vehicle is expensive and would take too long to develop. This is why the Ares is good. It's a familiar design, so there should'nt be to many problems durring development.

What other propulsion methods would you suggest. What do you think NASA should do with the budget they have? I don't think blowing up nukes as a means to propelle ones self will make the US tax payers happy.


Why build a substandard space capsule while you could be working on something Innovative and New!


What exactly is substandard about the Orion? It will be built with the best materials availible and will have advanced computers and controls inside it.



I would compare it to would you rather build a 1971 datsun 180b in 1971 for 2k or would you rather for 40k and five years later you could be driving a 1976 Porsche 911 turbo. You have 1 billion in the bank and only can have one car, what do you do? And you currently have a datsun.


Personally I think that's a horrible analogy and doesn't really relate to the current situation we're discussing.

I see it more as, would you rather have a car that does what you need it to do, is a reliable design that works and is efficient and doesn't cost you tons of money to build and operate? Or would you want a car that has tons of new technologies that haven't fully proved themselves yet and are not fully reliable and cost tons just to figure out how to get it all to work?

I say go for what you know and work on advanced concepts on the side. Build them when you have the time and money. Right now is not the time to take a huge risk on something unknown.


Why not spend the money? Should't we see spending this money as an investment into our future rather than being a burden onto ourselves.


NASA only gets about $16 billion per year (this is not a lot compaired to other items on the US budget). Building a brand new, expensive concept that might never work out (ie: X-33) would be a burden to ourselves and hurt our chances of getting further in our space programs. How can building something new that we know should work, be a burden? The Ares V will be the biggest rocket yet (in terms of cargo capacity). It will get us to the Moon and Mars. I fail to see what's wrong with this.



posted on Oct, 6 2006 @ 06:41 AM
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Capsules are better then Spacecraft that think they are Aircraft like Kipper and the Shuttle.


Why do people constantly judge spacecraft by looks alone? Have you people never heard of the Mellenium Falcon principal? It looks like a bucket of bolts, but it can do the kessel run in less then 12 parsecs.
That's what we need for any future manned missions beyond earth, not some souped up hotrod that gets 6 miles per gallon and is inherintly unsafe.




The current space shuttle has been in service more than 25 years, if we are building a new capsule for the moon and mars why don't we do it right the first time and build another technology demonstator, we have many different options out there for propulsion other than rockets, let's try them, let's try something NEW!


We don't need a technology demostrator. We need a praticle craft that can be built here and now, not 50 years from now.


What do you suggest? Maglev Slingshot? If it were so easy to build, we'd have built it by now. Space Elevator? Ditto. Anti-Gravity? No evidence for it's existance(I have to see it to believe it). How about a Giant rubber band slingshot?


Rockets are the best we have right now. Spending hundreds of billions of dollars on a new launch method which may or may not work out is way too risky. I'd rather we concentrate on setting up a self-sustaining moon colony which will double as a fuel manufacturing plant.

[edit on 6-10-2006 by sardion2000]



posted on Oct, 7 2006 @ 10:28 AM
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If I could have it my way I would want a nuclear powered passenger and cargo shuttle to be ferried back and forth between Earth's orbit and the moon and mars. Hopefully such a craft could be launched into orbit via rockets once in orbit then the craft would turn on it's nuclear engines.

There are many options already on the table if we would want to pursue nuclear space-based propulsion such as nuclear thermal rockets, nuclear pulse rockets, NERVA, etc.

Selling points of such a craft would include much shorter trips to the moon and mars. Since it takes less time there would be less exposure to radiaton. A nuclear powered craft could run for upwards of 20 years without needing to be refueled.

The easier we can get to the moon and mars the more successful we will be when we decide to colonize them down the road. Also, if we are willing to use nuclear energy in space it might help lead to using nuclear power on the moon and mars.

Final Point, there is more potential energy in any nuke than in any rocket. Although rockets are often considered the safe solution for space flight, they are not safe. It has taken scientists over 60 years to perfect the rocket as much as they have. Nuclear energy can be safer than rockets if given the proper research and funding.



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