I've read that NASA will be doing tests of the Orion capsule possibly using Delta IV Heavy launcher. Now I"m assuming that these tests would be using "realistic scenarios" in regards to weights. So my question is, why not consider smaller launchers for say ISS crew missions instead of the newer more massive launcher?
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rwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 1988 posts, RR: 2 Reply 1, posted (7 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 2575 times:
A man rated version of the Atlas V Heavy was being considered as a "light" launcher for that kind of mission, using a lightened version of Orion. No real funding yet, AFAIK, and the concept seems to be in some flux with the commercial manned systems under development.
tugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 4629 posts, RR: 7 Reply 2, posted (7 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 2474 times:
Quoting PC12Fan (Thread starter): So my question is, why not consider smaller launchers for say ISS crew missions instead of the newer more massive launcher?
Isn't the entire system intended to also perform manned missions to the moon and mars, etc., not just LEO? My guess is it is cheaper to qualify just one human-rated launch system than to qualify two for separate mission requirements, even if one is over-capable for one of the missions.
Of course that is where the SpaceX system seems so much better, the same system can just be scaled to fit the mission requirements.
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