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bearnard123
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The most advanced spacecraft in recent times

Thu Mar 18, 2021 9:00 am

What was the most advanced space craft of the recent time that surprised you the most? As you can see technology nowadays is a fast developing thing and a lot of stuff have been invented for the recent time that can make a scientific breakthrough. What was the most special for you?
 
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flyingturtle
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Re: The most advanced spacecraft of the resent time

Thu Mar 18, 2021 12:51 pm

The spacecraft that surprised me the most?

The Crew Dragon and Falcon 9, because these spacecraft finally enable cheap space travel.

The Space Shuttle and the Apollo program, however, were much bigger technological feats. While it deserves awe, the Space Shuttle was a good example of (political) mismanagement.
 
bearnard123
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Re: The most advanced spacecraft of the resent time

Thu Mar 18, 2021 2:37 pm

flyingturtle wrote:
The spacecraft that surprised me the most?

The Crew Dragon and Falcon 9, because these spacecraft finally enable cheap space travel.

The Space Shuttle and the Apollo program, however, were much bigger technological feats. While it deserves awe, the Space Shuttle was a good example of (political) mismanagement.

I would like to mention the Parker Solar Probe. Simply for getting closer to the sun than any other spacecraft so far and considering how hard it is to get that close. The space craft which is capable to take samples from the outer corona of the Sun really makes you amazed by it, because of the high temperature it can endure.
 
mxaxai
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Re: The most advanced spacecraft of the resent time

Thu Mar 18, 2021 3:58 pm

I concur that the success of the Falcon 9 booster was a huge surprise to me.

The sample-return mission of Hayabusa 2 has been pretty astonishing as well. It's amazing what modern solar cells and electrical thrusters enable.

For the immediate future, I'm very excited about Perseverance, Ingenuity, the first extra-terrestrial aircraft, and of course JWST.
 
GDB
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Re: The most advanced spacecraft of the resent time

Thu Mar 18, 2021 4:57 pm

Agree on the choices so far, if we are including those yet to launch, such as JWST, I'll add in Orion.
 
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kitplane01
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Re: The most advanced spacecraft of the resent time

Fri Mar 19, 2021 2:13 am

The machine that surprised me the most BY FAR is the Falcon 9.

Privately funded reusable booster ... that's just amazing. This was not even predictable looking at history.
- Resuable!!!
- Success: dominates it's industry. Has Ariane scared. Wiped out the commercial side of Boeing / LM
- Developed using learn-by-explosion (NASA would never, even unmanned)
- Method of financing -- first large non-government booster
- Making a profit (I think?)

Machine that made me the most sad: SLS
- This is old NASA at it's worst
- Behind timeline
- Way over budget
- Not novel technology

I think the only realistic debate is what comes in second, because Falcon clearly wins first. In that category, I nominate the RemoveDebris cubesat. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RemoveDEBRIS. It's wins in that it was the first to do a needed mission and on a very small budget. Less technically advanced than Hayabusa, but the budget was like $15M which is impressive in it's own way.
Last edited by kitplane01 on Fri Mar 19, 2021 2:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
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kitplane01
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Re: The most advanced spacecraft of the resent time

Fri Mar 19, 2021 2:21 am

mxaxai wrote:


The sample-return mission of Hayabusa 2 has been pretty astonishing as well. It's amazing what modern solar cells and electrical thrusters enable.



Second vote for Hayabusa 2 (After Falcon of course).
 
bearnard123
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Re: The most advanced spacecraft of the resent time

Fri Mar 19, 2021 8:44 am

kitplane01 wrote:
mxaxai wrote:


The sample-return mission of Hayabusa 2 has been pretty astonishing as well. It's amazing what modern solar cells and electrical thrusters enable.



Second vote for Hayabusa 2 (After Falcon of course).

Also, I would say the Dawn Probe. It uses an advanced ion thruster, allowing it to be the first (man-made) spacecraft to orbit multiple non-terrestrial bodies (Vesta and Ceres). This feat would not be possible (practical) using conventional chemical thrusters, which have too low of a specific impulse.
 
bajs11
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Re: The most advanced spacecraft of the resent time

Fri Mar 19, 2021 1:06 pm

Juno

Is Falcon 9 even a spacecraft?
Isn't it a launcher of spacecraft?
 
texl1649
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Re: The most advanced spacecraft in recent times

Fri Mar 19, 2021 3:00 pm

The Sierra Nevada Dreamchaser is among the non-SpaceX vehicles I have been most impressed with the past few years. It's a shame the manned version is, for now, not happening.

https://www.sncorp.com/what-we-do/dream ... e-vehicle/

https://www.sncorp.com/blog/dream-chase ... -training/

For launch vehicles Relativity would get my vote.
 
FGITD
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Re: The most advanced spacecraft of the resent time

Fri Mar 19, 2021 4:29 pm

bajs11 wrote:
Juno

Is Falcon 9 even a spacecraft?
Isn't it a launcher of spacecraft?


F9 would be considered a booster, as part of a launch system. Dragon would be the actual spacecraft.

I think it’s fair to include Falcon9 though, given that it is the only existing booster capable of doing what it does. And it’s also a massive step in progress vs literally every booster that existed before
 
bajs11
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Re: The most advanced spacecraft in recent times

Fri Mar 19, 2021 5:00 pm

Sorry, but the OP was asking about spacecraft and not launch vehicles which are usually required to launch them into space.

I'd also like to add Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter with its impressive HiRISE camera which is able to take more detailed images of Mars than many earth orbiting satellites are able to take of earth.
 
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zululima
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Re: The most advanced spacecraft in recent times

Sat Mar 20, 2021 4:17 pm

The obvious answer is the one we know least about: The NRO's latest KH-11 Kennen optical recon sats. Basically a Hubble telescope, but pointed towards Earth instead of away from it, and incorporating any number of super-classified advanced systems. They cost as much as a Nimitz class supercarrier.
 
bajs11
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Re: The most advanced spacecraft in recent times

Sat Mar 20, 2021 6:19 pm

zululima wrote:
The obvious answer is the one we know least about: The NRO's latest KH-11 Kennen optical recon sats. Basically a Hubble telescope, but pointed towards Earth instead of away from it, and incorporating any number of super-classified advanced systems. They cost as much as a Nimitz class supercarrier.


Didn't NRO donate 2 of them to Nasa?
One of them will be launched as the Wide field infrared survey telescope.
 
bearnard123
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Re: The most advanced spacecraft in recent times

Mon Mar 22, 2021 3:28 pm

I think if Starship lands on the surface of Mars, we can name this spaceship one of the most advanced at the present time or even the most advanced spacecraft)
 
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zululima
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Re: The most advanced spacecraft in recent times

Mon Mar 22, 2021 5:29 pm

bearnard123 wrote:
I think if Starship lands on the surface of Mars, we can name this spaceship one of the most advanced at the present time or even the most advanced spacecraft)


You need to choose between present and future. The truth is that Starship does not exist yet, nor do prototypes. All we have are technology demonstrators that haven't come anywhere near space. They showed great control, but all three exploded. This is BELOW the level of achievement attained by the McDonnell Douglas DC-X in 1994/5. Don't expect to see one on Mars for at least a decade, and then, only as a cargo barge, since crew escape isn't being designed in. More likely would be program failure of both Starship and Starlink.
 
meecrob
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Re: The most advanced spacecraft in recent times

Mon Mar 22, 2021 6:42 pm

zululima wrote:
bearnard123 wrote:
I think if Starship lands on the surface of Mars, we can name this spaceship one of the most advanced at the present time or even the most advanced spacecraft)


You need to choose between present and future. The truth is that Starship does not exist yet, nor do prototypes. All we have are technology demonstrators that haven't come anywhere near space. They showed great control, but all three exploded. This is BELOW the level of achievement attained by the McDonnell Douglas DC-X in 1994/5. Don't expect to see one on Mars for at least a decade, and then, only as a cargo barge, since crew escape isn't being designed in. More likely would be program failure of both Starship and Starlink.


If its not even at the level of prototype, how can you be certain there will be no crew escape? You can't have it both ways.
 
FGITD
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Re: The most advanced spacecraft in recent times

Tue Mar 23, 2021 12:09 am

Interesting to praise the DC-X while trying to discredit starship.

DC-X was brilliant, but it was no closer to being a final product than Starship. If anything, it's a closer comparison to the starhopper or even the much earlier grasshopper.

Very valid criticism regarding crew escape, however. That was always my biggest talking point against STS so it's hard to believe a launch vehicle is headed that way again. But again...still early on so who knows, perhaps they'll design in a way of separating starship from the booster
 
bearnard123
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Re: The most advanced spacecraft in recent times

Tue Mar 23, 2021 8:55 am

I wanna add that some launch company that manufactures pretty good space rockets. I liked the spacecraft by this company which is called SkyHy and has the term ``hybrid``. However this kind of rocket is not used for long journeys.
https://www.skyrora.com/
 
WIederling
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Re: The most advanced spacecraft in recent times

Tue Mar 23, 2021 12:19 pm

FGITD wrote:
Interesting to praise the DC-X while trying to discredit starship.

DC-X was brilliant, but it was no closer to being a final product than Starship. If anything, it's a closer comparison to the starhopper or even the much earlier grasshopper.

Very valid criticism regarding crew escape, however. That was always my biggest talking point against STS so it's hard to believe a launch vehicle is headed that way again. But again...still early on so who knows, perhaps they'll design in a way of separating starship from the booster


IMHO You'll never see a crew escape system on a "transport class" spaceship.
The idea is to reduce failure rate sufficiently. ( seen an airliner in regular use with ejection seats?
 
estorilm
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Re: The most advanced spacecraft in recent times

Wed Mar 24, 2021 7:43 pm

Of recent time? That's tough to define.

That rules out boosters I think - they're launch vehicles. If you included them, the F9 is amazing but fairly vanilla as far as launch capabilities go - it's impressive due to its price and reliability.

Spacecraft? I'd have to say the latest NASA Mars vehicles; Curiosity and Perseverance due to the extreme complexity in their entry/descent/landing phase which is ENTIRELY automated and has achieved a 100% success rate so far. The number of things that have to go right, most of which are very difficult to test on earth (supersonic parachutes in a completely different atmosphere density, etc) - I mean even the sky crane's thrust modulation has to be programmed for the Mars atmosphere.

This will be an unpopular opinion, but Orion is probably the most "advanced" human-rated spacecraft simply due to its deep-space capability RIGHT NOW, it's already flown this mission before. There isn't really another capsule designed for this, which is CURRENTLY functioning.

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