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Moonlighting NASA Engineers Say They Created a Rocket Better Than NASA's

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posted on Jul, 14 2008 @ 07:38 PM

"HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — By day, the engineers work on NASA's new Ares moon rockets. By night, some go undercover to work on a competing design.

These dissenting scientists and their backers insist they have created an alternative rocket that would be safer, cheaper and easier to build than the two Ares spacecraft that will replace the space shuttle.

They call their project Jupiter, and like Ares, it's a brainchild of workers at the Marshall Space Flight Center and other NASA facilities. The engineers involved are doing the work on their own time and mostly anonymously, with the help of retirees and other space enthusiasts."


Its good to hear people are trying new things without the help of Nasa. If this can be cheaper safer and more economical would be great news since Nasa's public budget is so limited.

Mod Note: External Source Tags – Please Review This Link.

[edit on 18-7-2008 by Jbird]

posted on Jul, 14 2008 @ 07:40 PM
I agree, this is very comforting to hear. It's always great to hear people doing things for genuinely good reasons with no catch.

posted on Jul, 14 2008 @ 07:51 PM
The DIRECT proposal has been gaining a great deal of attention from mainstream media outlets lately. Anyone who is interested in a more detailed look at their proposal should check out their website. The forums over at NASA Spaceflight also have a section of their forum dedicated to the discussion of alternatives to NASA's Ares I/V launchers. Several members of the DIRECT team post there on a regular basis.

posted on Jul, 14 2008 @ 07:57 PM
Indeed, it is inspiring to hear of those few passionate engineers and scientists who are willing to go above and beyond what their jobs entail. If only the ones in charge had this mindset...

Cheaper to build and more efficient? They definitely will not use them

posted on Jul, 14 2008 @ 08:08 PM
I agree, Its so frustrating that we could be maybe 10 years ahead of where we are now in the space program if it was not for all the rules/budget issues and public appearance. If someone can get us to mars faster than Nasa more power to them.

posted on Jul, 15 2008 @ 03:44 PM
Perhaps one of the competing, private space agencies might be interested in licensing the Jupiter design in their own programs?

NASA is slowly losing its status as the only game in town. I can only see this as a good thing. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a NASA basher. Far from it! NASA has done some incredible things over the years, but they are fast becoming a money pit. Like most bureaucracies, they over promise and under deliver.

There are many very useful projects that are run by NASA, but there are also several useless ones as well. One that comes to mind is the original Orion project. This project, if memory serves me, was to use nuclear weapons as the main form of propulsion. Can you imagine any country on Earth that would allow multiple atmospheric nuclear detonations just to propel a capsule to Earth orbit? Yes, it could work (believe it or not) but it simply isn't PRACTICAL! I wonder how much money was wasted in the development of this concept?

That's where NASA seems to have lost its way. It sacrifices practicality on the altar of technological achievement. Just because it would work doesn't mean it's a good idea to try it.

The only way space will become more accessible is if private enterprise gets involved. Without the critical thinking of business, and the need to control the bottom line on the balance sheet, efficiency will always be a distant dream.

posted on Jul, 15 2008 @ 04:09 PM
There are plenty of interesting rocket designs sitting in file cabinets all over the place. And if somebody was a multi-billionaire with a desire to fund low-return projects, they might even get built.

Design is easy. Putting all the pieces together, including the huge infrastructure and all the people needed to finance, build and fly the things, is another kettle of fish altogether.

posted on Jul, 15 2008 @ 05:20 PM
Actually, Nohup, the primary advantage of the DIRECT design over NASA's current Ares I/V designs is that DIRECT retains more of existing STS (Space Transportation System, commonly called the shuttle) infrastructure than either Ares vehicle.

NASA's baseline for the Ares vehicles calls for a re-designed 5.5 segment SRB (as opposed to the 4 segment SRBs used on STS) and separate launch vehicles for crew (Ares I) and cargo (Ares V). Ares I will be powered by a single 5.5 segment SRB topped with a relatively small upper stage powered by a J-2X rocket engine. Ares V will use 2 of the 5.5 segment SRBs strapped on either side of a 10-meter (diameter) LOX/LH2 core stage driven by 5 (possibly 6; there are unconfirmed reports that this aspect of the design is in flux) RS-68 rocket engines. Ares V will use an upper stage/Earth Departure Stage (EDS) powered by a J-2X, although this upper stage is currently baselined at 10 meters in diameter and is NOT identical to the upper stage used on Ares I, although both will use the same engine.

While the Ares V arrangement looks much like the current STS system, STS uses an 8.4 meter core, not the 10 meters Ares V is currently baselined at. Ares will be much wider than the STS, necessitating changes to the tooling used to manufacture the core tank, changes to the barge used to transport the tank from Louisiana (where it is manufactured) to the Vehicle Assembly Building in Florida, changes to the processing facilities in the Vehicle Assembly Building, changes to the Mobile Launch Platforms which support the rocket during launch, changes to the crawlers used to transport the platforms to the launch site, and changes to the launch sites themselves. Ares I would require entirely new infrastructure in the form of (at absolute minimum) a new Mobile Launch Platform and changes to the launch site.

The DIRECT plan avoids the majority of those changes. Same sized tank means same sized tooling, using a physically identical/similar vehicle for crew and cargo launches avoids the expense of keeping 2 production lines open, and existing Mobile Launch Platforms, Launch Pads, and construction/transport (barge)/processing facilities can be used with very little modification.

NASA is reinventing the wheel with respect to the infrastructure changes inherent in their ARES designs. They're spending more money than is necessary (and probably more money than they have/will have) on two rockets which are in danger of becoming too expensive to fly - the exact same problem which killed the Saturn V and ended our FIRST manned moon program.

Information about the DIRECT launcher is available at the websites linked in my first post to this thread; information about the Ares launchers is available from NASA at NASA's reference page.

posted on Jul, 17 2008 @ 01:37 AM
the real trick is lauching to geo. if u can do that then u can link up and have a nice space station / platform to make other nifty things.
then a moon shot is 1 simple burn away.. as would be a mars shot and even astroid mining.
really.. somebody needs to consider geo orbits closer and the benies of having a manned station there.
heres an idea. lauch to geo.. then from geo make another station then nudge it to a luner geo orbit.
then u will have 2 geo stations ( 1 earth and 1 moon ) and u can set up a taxi type of craf that would go simply back and forth moving goods / air / water to and from the eath / moon stations.

posted on Jul, 17 2008 @ 12:37 PM
and still we heading into the 21st century and we are still getting of this planet using that backward technology called rockets.

I hope that China gets it first. That they use a maglev rail launch or a that laser system or a totally different system.

It is better for the environment and better for technological progress..

We need a hourly re-usable launch system so we can get crafts in space to get helium3 , metals, minerals ect from space to earth or even to craft objects in space using materials out there..

less oil is better for the economic and security of not only the USA but also the world.

hope the USA will finally get it that stepping of oil will help more in taking down alqaida and the taliban then throwing bombs on them.
they will then loose one of there primary reasons of fighting the USA... That is oil. The terrorist can now use oil against us and so we have to use less oil and oil based fuel and materials in our space programs.

Space explorations is more important than the war on terror , more important than religions, and its the future of mankind..

we have to get to a civilization like in startrek.. we have to get away from oil and money and finally work together to get cities and jobs on the moon mars and on the moons of our outer planets. with in the coming 50 years.

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