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The Shuttle Program ends... Where are the "Space Planes?"

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posted on Jun, 4 2011 @ 05:13 AM
reply to post by Illustronic

Here’s Wikipedia, though you probably know all about it already. The US Navy gun, though it’s the biggest ever, is just a pipsqueak. To get payload into orbit you’ll need one some tens of kilometres long.

Admittedly, they work better on planets with little or no atmosphere. Still, even on Earth the technical challenges are likely to be smaller than for a space elevator.

posted on Jun, 4 2011 @ 05:15 AM
reply to post by Astyanax

I not only have evidence of the black TR-3Bs (the triangles), I understand they come in different colors too! Of 1950's technology, here's a picture of a white one, a 1963 TR-3B.

posted on Jun, 4 2011 @ 05:21 AM
reply to post by Astyanax

Yes they have images of it on the Navy Eye on the Fleet, though I'm not sure which gallery.

posted on Jun, 4 2011 @ 05:21 AM

edit on 4/6/11 by Astyanax because: of too much information.

posted on Jun, 4 2011 @ 05:25 AM
reply to post by Astyanax

edit on 4-6-2011 by Illustronic because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 4 2011 @ 12:46 PM
reply to post by Maxmars

Space Planes aren't realistic for space exploration on a tight budget and for safety for that MATTER.

Look at the two shuttle Disasters.

I suggest people take a look at the comments on the Site(been on this site for 10 years)

Alot of the Comments are insightful and i will quote a few that are very related to the topic of Space Planes

Also lending Credence to the absurdity of the Idea to have more 'Space Planes' Like the shuttles to satiate your own needs to see the ship as 'Cool'

A Space Capsule is much better for safety and robustness and stability then a Space Plane.

Ultimately, we need something robust enough to handle most situations in local and deep space, be able to be mass-produced, and reach orbit cheaply. THAT will be the ship that gets us off of this planet en mass.

Lets not forget a valid point NASA made: This vehicle is ten times safer than the shuttle was! Not an unimportant consideration for astronauts' families. And another point, is that this vehicle is a modular design. It is a command module, yes similar to the apollo vehicle because that design is proven! Now, the various deep space missions will require different spacecraft designs depending on theire specific goals. So the different mission specific modules are designed and built, but using this vehicle as the reusable command module. Bare in mind it is a deep space command vehicle, not a ground to orbit taxi. Don't condemn it because it happens to look like Apollo. NASA is making the correct descision with this vehicle, and doing it with impecable timing, considering the explosion of private sector space industry about to unfold. Kudos to NASA for being so adaptable in a toxic political environment!

Comments here.

edit on 4-6-2011 by TheUniverse because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 4 2011 @ 01:33 PM
reply to post by TheUniverse

The shuttle was more dangerous than a capsule, but that is not the case for every spaceplane. Shuttle was the most complicated vehicle ever build, it was also very big and with complicated heat shield. Small spaceplanes, like Dream Chaser, are not any less safer than capsules, and have some positives that capsules do not possess, namely lower G-forces during reentry and better maneuverability in atmosphere. They can also land on conventional runway.

posted on Jun, 4 2011 @ 02:32 PM
reply to post by Maslo

Small spaceplanes, like Dream Chaser, are not any less safer than capsules, and have some positives that capsules do not possess, namely lower G-forces during reentry and better maneuverability in atmosphere. They can also land on conventional runway.

Can you provide Evidence that space planes even smaller ones are safer than the Capsules. The Capsules are Proven Safe with the Several Missions Flown During the Lunar(Apollo) Missions. Without a Casualty and this was in the 1960's 1970's!

There was three deaths due to the Apollo Missions; that was due to the testing Process. So You can't really blame them.

You can Blame NASA for the Shuttles though because they are extremely Unsafe For Atmosphere Re-entry and Exit

The Shuttles and ' Space Planes' on The Other Hand. Are Very Unsafe due to their Shape for Atmospheric Re-Entry.

edit on 4-6-2011 by TheUniverse because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 4 2011 @ 02:34 PM
Back to Skylon spaceplane - recent BBC article about Skylon passing key review:

Thread about Skylon on, with what looks like an actual developer of this spaceplane contributing under nick "Hempsell":

posted on Jun, 4 2011 @ 07:33 PM
The Space Shuttle had more than 5 million moving parts. Russia never manned their Buran, and it didn't even have rocket engines on it, they were atmospheric jet engines in the main aft. I believe only one single Buran ever achieved space altitude, of course, unmanned.

NASA is so stupid, they never got their space plane to work, huh?

posted on Jun, 4 2011 @ 07:58 PM
The first Shuttle failure would have happened eventually, but the reason it did for that crew is Ronald Reagan. He wanted to use it in his state of the union speech in January 1986.
So political pressure is another reason Space Planes.

posted on Jun, 4 2011 @ 08:50 PM
reply to post by Granite

The Shuttle Disaster in 1986 was a media driven disaster. The launch was already delayed twice and that school teacher's class was flown down to watch their teacher go to space live in a media frenzy. It was the only Shuttle launch that went forward in near freezing temperatures, (look it up although one might be skeptical in central Florida at the time but look it up). Many people in Mission Control tried to alert the launch as being hazardous and did actually see the O-ring leak. It was to no avail because we got so complacent in Shuttle and any launch successes as it was like serving meat and potatoes, commonplace. They said we always see these leaks and we will not delay another launch.

It was also human error that minimized the dangers for the other Shuttle reentry chain reactive explosion.

The Shuttles were great birds, the human element made it 'percentage wise', a comparable failure/success proposition but it wasn't the crafts, it was people and media pressure that created the very real deaths of accomplished brave people on board that were killed.

posted on Jun, 4 2011 @ 09:11 PM
Let's not get too far off topic, Please.


posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 05:57 AM
Its fantastic to see Skylon getting some publicity at last. The clever bit is the engine and the ESA report concludes that the technology works based on the demonstrator, and they see no reason why the scaled up version wont work. They don't have vested interest so there's no reason to doubt the conclusion.

The goal for this is to have access to space with infrastructure closer to an airline than to the shuttle. There is no intent to man rate the vehicle, at least to start with.

If it gets built and proves itself in the small satellite business I see no reason this could not eventually be the true successor to Concorde.

This is neither a space exploration vehicle nor a tourist gimmick. As such comparisons with capsules and with the White-knight vehicles are misleading. Its something new, a LEO commercial vehicle and a hypersonic transport. Its been a long time coming.

posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 08:43 AM
It looks like we here at ATS have yet again discussed news that is a tad "ahead of it's time."

Suddenly this week, it seems that there is some interest in the Skylon project...

Skylon, the Euro Spaceplane

UK and European Space Agencies give a "Go" for space plane

posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 09:09 AM
Forget the space-planes.
Give us the quantum-field-propelled 'flying saucers'!

posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 09:12 AM
The powers that be have decided that private industry can do the space exploration. Tumbleweeds roll across the spaceport near my house. Maybe I can throw a party there.

posted on Jun, 9 2011 @ 10:18 AM
Darn, was looking for the applaud for the OP, but it's a mod, so I can't.

Excellent post.

I can't help but think our most promising avenue is to use such a space plane to get to a moon station, and from there, use ships with more exotic (but scary for the public) drives to expand our foothold into space.

We have the tech for nuclear rockets, for example, but of course, "not in my backyard" politics. By using the moon as a launchbed, we can avoid that fear, and still use the tech.

I think the real future of space exploration and travel will come from the private sector, but I also think that is a ways off (but in my lifetime) from becoming a reality.
edit on 9-6-2011 by Gazrok because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 10 2011 @ 10:29 PM
The publics space program aka NASA has a new module in the works but the US Military most likely has crafts far beyond what we know of.

posted on Dec, 6 2012 @ 02:38 PM
An update for your pleasure....

SKYLON spacecraft's engine passes critical test

November 30, 2012

Reaction Engines Ltd. announced on Wednesday the completion of a critical round of testing of its SABRE engine’s precooler system. The SABRE is a radical type of hybrid jet/rocket engine capable of propelling a spacecraft into orbit or an aircraft in the atmosphere, at a velocity of Mach 5 (3,800 mph, 3,300 knots, 6,115 km/h). It’s intended for Reaction Engines’ SKYLON spacecraft and its airliner derivative, the LAPCAT A2 hypersonic aircraft.


SABRE is basically a rocket engine that uses a precooled compressor for part of the ascent. It acts as an air-breathing jet until it reaches Mach 5 and an altitude of 25 kilometers (15.53 mi). By this time, it’s already 20 percent on its way to space. For the other 80 percent, SABRE converts to a pure rocket mode using its onboard store of liquid oxygen instead of air to loft into orbit at a speed of Mach 25 (19,000 mph, 16,500 knots, 30,600 km/h).

Good luck!

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