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NASA's Next Rocket May Shake Too Much

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posted on Jan, 20 2008 @ 08:23 PM
I bet this problem will push the expected 5 year gap between the Shuttle and the Orion even further. So if this is described as Apollo on steroids and we have used the Saturn V, why do we have this problem?

NASA is wrestling with a potentially dangerous problem in a spacecraft, this time in a moon rocket that hasn't even been built yet.

Engineers are concerned that the new rocket meant to replace the space shuttle and send astronauts on their way to the moon could shake violently during the first few minutes of flight, possibly destroying the entire vehicle.

"They know it's a real problem,'' said Carnegie Mellon University engineering professor Paul Fischbeck, who has consulted on risk issues with NASA in the past. "This thing is going to shake apart the whole structure, and they've got to solve it.''

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posted on Jan, 21 2008 @ 12:09 AM
reply to post by harddrive21

Meh... I don't think this is much of an issue at all. So they found a problem while it's still merely a design on paper. This is why it's called Research and Development. I imagine the Saturn Ib and V had all sorts of issues durring its R&D period. I know the Saturn V's S1-C Stage had issues with Pogo oscillation. The Ares 1 has gone through many changes already and there's still time to solve them before the design is finalized and construction begins.

posted on Jan, 21 2008 @ 06:28 AM
That is a valid point. The only difference is they had a working launch vehicle a heck of a lot faster than we did. Our R&D should be years quicker thanks to computer simulations, but it seems longer.

posted on Jan, 21 2008 @ 07:13 AM
reply to post by harddrive21

Maybe its like driving in the dark, your mind receives less information and you usually end up going faster.

With the computer simulations and the amount of information NASA is driving in broad daylight have have to be more cautious.

posted on Jan, 21 2008 @ 09:40 AM
reply to post by Now_Then

NASA was very 'Gung-Ho" during the 1960s. The politcal environment dictated that NASA proceed at break-neck speeds, thus taking risks (and spending LOTS of money).

Things are different today. NASA tests, retests, and tests again. They cant afford (politically nor financially) to move at the same speed as in the 1960s, becuase if something went wrong, the whole program would be shut down for years while congress held hearing after hearing to attempt to find the root MANAGEMENT cause of a problem.

If the same political environment that's in place today was in place during the Apollo 1 fire tragedy, we would have never got to the moon in the 1960s.

That's why the constellation program is taking so long.

[edit on 1/21/2008 by Soylent Green Is People]

posted on Jan, 21 2008 @ 09:45 AM

Originally posted by Soylent Green Is People
If the same political environment that's in place today was in place during the Apollo 1 fire tragedy, we would have never got to the moon in the 1960s.

So true...

As to the simulations: with present day tools they'll be sure to weed out a lot of problems that previously would go unnoticed. So it's good to have somebody being on top of their game as far as R&D goes.

posted on Jan, 21 2008 @ 12:46 PM
Thanks to modern technology, we will less-likely have Apollo 1 and 13 repeats.

The reason 1 and 13 had issues was design flaws that modern day designers COULD have weeded out during R&D if Apollo had modern-day tech in R&D.

Shuttles are different stories. Maintenance of older designs with flaws resulting from that, are not related to advanced R&D, just age and management errors.

posted on Jan, 22 2008 @ 01:29 AM
I'm all for finding and fixing problems. But there's no way that R&D can cover everything with a computer simulation. Life doesn't work that way. At some point you just have to go ahead and fly the damn thing. Otherwise, all progress gets bogged down in endless "fixes" for ever more imaginative problems.

Technology itself seems to be part of the reason for this. The more we know in theory, the more we can imagine going wrong. To a certain extent, we need to follow the old KISS method.

I hope we don't delay so much that nothing ever gets done for fear that "something" might go wrong.

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