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Space Shuttle Return To Flight May 15. Too Early?  
User currently offlineUAopsMGR From Croatia, joined Mar 2005, 144 posts, RR: 0
Posted (9 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 5289 times:

I'm looking forward to the return of the US Space Shuttle program in May, but is NASA ready to launch without a certain fix to the problems that brought down STS-107? The repair methods look sketchy.


Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try.- Homer Simpson
23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineSATL382G From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (9 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 5252 times:

IMHO they should have returned to flight as soon as they fixed the ET. They are trying to make the thing risk-free and it will never be so.

NASA should finish ISS with shuttle and then send shuttle to the Smithsonian. Press on with CEV or whatever the next gen manned spacecraft is going to be... Just make sure to incorporate crew escape and a robust thermal protection system.


User currently offlineF86sabre From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 92 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (9 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 5220 times:

SATL382G hit the nail on the head. If this stuff was easy and risk free then everyone would be doing it. Every job in the world has a certain amount of risk associated with it. The astronauts know the risks and are ready to get on with it. While undue risk is not a good thing, you can't make anything 100% risk free.

I wish NASA and the government would pursue a goal that would get the worlds imagination fired up. I think the time is right for us to do something bold and lasting.

Best wishes,
F86sabre


User currently offlineCOAMiG29 From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 515 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (9 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 5198 times:

i personally think nasa should ground the shuttle now and put it in the smithsonian and start the next gen now till then work on the iss with soviet equipment that has proven itself over the years


If Continental had a hub at DFW with nonstop flights I would always fly them, unfortunantely good things take time.
User currently offlineSATL382G From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (9 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 5185 times:

Russian equipment does not have the lift capacity to finish the station. ISS equipment was designed for shuttle launch. So you've got to have shuttle to finish it.

User currently offlineGreaser From Bahamas, joined Jan 2004, 1101 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (9 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 5030 times:

Quoting SATL382G (reply 4):
Russian equipment does not have the lift capacity to finish the station. ISS equipment was designed for shuttle launch. So you've got to have shuttle to finish it.

Absolutely...though there is still alot of contraversy regarding ISS, though i personally support it. How many years does it have left?? 10??
Finish the missions, get it done right first time. Retire the venerable shuttle, begin the competition phase for the shuttles i.e this year or 2006. even though retirement is schelduled for 2010, 2006 would't be early to start R&D.



Now you're really flying
User currently offlineSATL382G From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (9 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 5002 times:

Keep in mind also that that the real problem behind both shuttle accidents was management. Management at NASA in both cases knew of the technical problem and failed to act to prevent the accident.

Sure shuttle is fragile and therefore dangerous. But when a problem presents itself you deal with it and then go fly.


User currently offlineUAopsMGR From Croatia, joined Mar 2005, 144 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (9 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 4936 times:

Well said SATL382G,

Insulation shredding has been an issue since the very first flights. Up until the 2002 incident during the launch of Atlantis when insulation loss came to within 6-inches of the SRB electrical box, the shredding was considered an "acceptable risk" by NASA managers, at which point it drew some attention, but obviously not enough.

Hopefully, the redesigned tank for STS-114 will in fact be the safest NASA has flown. In any case, I'm looking forward to being at the Cape on May 15th.



Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try.- Homer Simpson
User currently offlineLehpron From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 7028 posts, RR: 21
Reply 8, posted (9 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 4850 times:

Quoting SATL382G (reply 1):
NASA should finish ISS with shuttle and then send shuttle to the Smithsonian. Press on with CEV or whatever the next gen manned spacecraft is going to be... Just make sure to incorporate crew escape and a robust thermal protection system.


I so completely incredible agree with you on that.

IMO, I think they should dump a load of cash on the Hyper-X program and anything that spawns out of it. NASA has lost touch with their aeronautical aspect, they might as well be called NSA. At least this way it may speed up an already lacking space program. Anyone that knows anything about the way a business works is that you have to spend money to get money and in NASA's case, you got to spend money to gain knowledge.

[Edited 2005-03-06 23:20:36]


The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12322 posts, RR: 25
Reply 9, posted (9 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 4696 times:

When it comes to manned space exploration, I'm a cynic.

The space shuttle has been about pork barrel politics right from the start, with its ridiculously unachievable goals of cost per flight, cost per pound uplifted and number of flights per year. And putting congressmen in space - how pathetic!

The space station largely exists to pull tax dollars into the aerospace sector, (initially) as an unemployment program for Russian scientists and as a way to give the shuttle something to do (I guess they were running low on congressmen who wanted a hop). Even after decades and tens of billions of dollars, at best it has a tiny chance to achieve a tiny fraction of the science it was initially built to perform.

Manned space flight is not worth the outlandish, exorbonent, ridiculous costs involved nor the risk to human life it entails (even if the astronauts accept the risk, it's us who get to morn when they die), especially given the meager return of scientific information.

If it had been up to me, I would have cancelled the space station in the late 80s and diverted the money to unmanned space exploration, high energy physics, oceanography, earth sciences, or just kept it in the treasury. As a side effect, the space shuttle would probably have been retired by now.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineCadet985 From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 1551 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (9 years 3 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 4665 times:

Quoting SATL382G (Reply 1):
IMHO they should have returned to flight as soon as they fixed the ET. They are trying to make the thing risk-free and it will never be so.

Absolutely right. When you have like a million pounds of rocket fuel under you, nothing is risk free. Each time a space shuttle re-enters the atmosphere, there are a million things that can go wrong, as we saw with Columbia.

Marc


User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13162 posts, RR: 78
Reply 11, posted (9 years 3 months 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 4656 times:

Finish the ISS, retire the Shuttle, get the CEV on track with the most simple, robust launch system possible.

Then get back to the Moon, not cheap but nowhere near Apollo costs either, in any case pick the right launch vehicle for CEV and putting one up each time should be much cheaper than Shuttle.

And that is where Shuttle fell down, it required the same infrastructure and manpower to put a Shuttle into low Earth orbit as it took to put a Saturn V up to either put people on the Moon or launch a Space Station in one go (Skylab).

So NASA (and the American taxpayer) would have been better off carrying on with Apollo/Saturn, developing these vehicles.
A boosted Saturn V could have put a station up with a tiny faction of the costs (and risks) of those dozens of Shuttle flights required for ISS, without the extensive EVA's once in orbit too.

You cannot replicate Saturn now, you can however use Shuttle derived SSME/ET/SRB to lift heavy loads, with Delta IV Heavy for other unmanned launches, for a Earth Orbit CEV launch, first stage is a single SRB, 2nd is a modernized Apollo era J-2 (12 left, production equipment still exists, with an Apollo style escape system at the top.


User currently offlineCloudy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 4576 times:

NASA should finish ISS with shuttle and then send shuttle to the Smithsonian. Press on with CEV or whatever the next gen manned spacecraft is going to be... Just make sure to incorporate crew escape and a robust thermal protection system.
---

That is more or less what they are doing. There may be a few extra flights here and there, but for the most part, the shuttle will do only ISS construction and some resupply. At least that is the plan. We will see if this will really happen.

I have my doubts as to whether the CEV or any new manned space vehicle will actually fly in the next decade, however. NASA's standard pattern is to study any new spacecraft idea to death and then drop it. This has happened every time a new manned spacecraft since the shuttle has been seriously proposed by anyone. As others have said, there are to many entrenched interests that need the space shuttle. These interests stretch all the way from the Johnson Space Center to Boeing's and Lockheed's facilities on the West Coast. If the shuttle is to be replaced, these people will accept nothing less than a vehicle at least equally capable and expensive to operate. This is never said out loud but it does not need to be. Preserving jobs for voters in the right districts, profits for campaign contributers, and empires for bearaucrats are what matters.

The only way I can see the CEV being actually built is if one of these things happen....

1. It gets as expensive and pork-laden as the shuttle.

2. Some foreign government(probably China) puts up something else just as good and makes NASA, etc. look bad.

3. Some private group competing for America's Space Prize begins to approach NASA in capability.

4. Another accident forces the shuttles into permanent retirement. If this happens, look for number #1 above to happen as well.

The CEV wouldn't be that hard to build. Its goals are laughably easy. The Apollo command and service module did essentially the same things we want out of a CEV, except with 3 crew rather than 6 or 7. When there was competition, public pressure, and national prestige on the line, we built it with 1960's technology. Only government without competion could seriously be proposing to take as much time and money to build the CEV as NASA is planning to take.

IN SHORT...The shuttle(or something else almost as bad) will remain unless NASA gets some competition. In fact, nothing real will be done in space unless NASA gets some competition. This is just the nature of government.


User currently offlineSATL382G From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 4544 times:

Quoting Cloudy (Reply 12):
If the shuttle is to be replaced, these people will accept nothing less than a vehicle at least equally capable and expensive to operate.

Agreed there are many entrenched interests.

However, shuttle was designed with military interests and capabilities in mind. Many of these capabilities were never used, such as the one orbit polar mission. A civilian spacecraft, capable of emulating the shuttle missions/capabilities that were flown, would be considerably cheaper.

FYI: The one orbit polar mission would have launched south out of Vandenberg, deployed it's payload, and then landed back at Vandenberg. Since Vandenberg would have "moved" (earths rotation) approx. 1500 miles since launch, a 1500 mile reentry cross range capability was required. This cross range capability is what drove the shuttle design both aerodynamically and thermally.

[Edited 2005-03-31 18:12:14]

User currently offlineCloudy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 4507 times:

However, shuttle was designed with military interests and capabilities in mind. Many of these capabilities were never used, such as the one orbit polar mission. A civilian spacecraft, capable of emulating the shuttle missions/capabilities that were flown, would be considerably cheaper.
-----

This is true. The CEV (if it ever gets built) does have some positive aspects. Another good thing is that the CEV seperates the launch vehicle from the spacecraft. When private industry and the military improve launch vehicles, the CEV could take advantage of these improvements. It also makes the vehicle much easier and less expensive to build if all it has to do is fly in space and return to earth. Launch to earth orbit is a seperate problem that deserves a seperate solution. Seperating the launch vehicle from the payload also confines government contol and investment to where government control and investment is needed.

Another shuttle capability that rarely got used is the ability to bring back a large cargo from space.


User currently offlineTedTAce From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4483 times:

http://www.ksctickets.com/kennedyspacecenter/ltt.html
Tickets for the Space Shuttle Return to Flight launch of STS-114 Discovery will be available for purchase beginning Monday, April 4, at 9 AM EST

I know what I'm doing Monday Morning!!!


User currently offlineSATL382G From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 4474 times:

TedTAce,

Thanks for the heads up.... How are you buying your tickets? The website is sort of vague? Do you have to purchase at KSC or can you call - internet?

regards


User currently offlineTedTAce From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 4467 times:

Quoting SATL382G (Reply 16):
How are you buying your tickets? The website is sort of vague? Do you have to purchase at KSC or can you call - internet?

Monday morning I will be hammering away at the URL http://www.ksctickets.com/kennedyspacecenter/ltt.html
Until it says 'click here to buy'

In RE: "Do you have to purchase at KSC "
You cannot buy them @ KSC on launch day for SURE!!.. You will not even be allowed to get near a place where you could buy them same day (something about post 9/11 security)

The site doesn't say anything about non-web purchases, but you also WILL want to read: http://www.ksctickets.com/kennedyspacecenter/imlaunbrview.html


User currently offlineSATL382G From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 4461 times:

Well cool! I think I'm going to join you.....

User currently offlineTedTAce From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 4458 times:

Quoting SATL382G (Reply 18):
Well cool! I think I'm going to join you.....

Look for the big geek with the little wimpy camera Big grin


User currently offlineUAalltheway From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 4407 times:

20 bucks says the shuttle won't be up by May 15th. NASA keeps saying they will have it up by a certain date, and than they usually fall through on it. They released a little over a year ago that they would have it up by September of 03 or 04 or something.. and of course that never happend. Maybe NASA just keep releasing these dates to try to boost hopes of civialians or something.

User currently offlineTedTAce From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 4406 times:

Quoting UAalltheway (Reply 20):
20 bucks says the shuttle won't be up by May 15th.

Anyone who bets against you (no matter how optimistic they are) is a sucker.

I would LOVE to see you proved wrong, but I'm not even close to foolish enough to think that May 15th will see a Shuttle launch.

BTW did you hear about the crack they found on the ET today that (once again) delayed rollout? It's rolling to the pad as I type, but I'll be floored if the 15th passes us with a launched shuttle.


User currently offlineSATL382G From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 4404 times:

I'm hoping it is delayed. Fewer people will be able to go watch the launch. Which means I'll have a better view.....  Smile

I didn't get the tickets either....

Has NASA TV ever covered the entire rollout to the pad before as they did today? Dry viewing yes, but never having seen the whole procedure....


User currently offlineTedTAce From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 4449 times:

Quoting SATL382G (Reply 22):
Has NASA TV ever covered the entire rollout to the pad before as they did today? Dry viewing yes, but never having seen the whole procedure....

This is an excellent question. I didn't realize NTV was for 'real' until I moved up here not more then a month after Columbia met it's fate. I'll pay close attention to this 'next time' if possible.


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