New Space Plane

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Mr. Anderson, Sep 2, 2003.

  1. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #1
    "http://www.cnn.com/2003/TECH/space/08/31/sprj.colu.space.sedan.ap/index.html"

    Smith said the space plane initially will be launched by either Atlas or Delta boosters. These American rockets are among the most dependable, each with decades of success. Later, NASA hopes to develop another booster system.

    Makes sense to have a cheaper system, but the fact still remains that it requires a non-reusable booster to get there. I was sort of hoping this was going to be a single stage to orbit ship....

    :(

    D
     
  2. iGav macrumors G3

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    #2
    This is what we want to see.... even though it's as you say D, not the ultimate solution... it'll be cool to see how NASA handle this and within such a time frame. It's still a very ambitious project.

    I can only vaguely remember watching the first Shuttle flight and can remember zilch of the dev. program for it, when you look at all the stuff going around back in the early Mercury and Gemini it really was an exciting time with new craft launches, tech and discovery.... and now with the internet it'll be even easier to keep track of the dev. of the new program.

    Atleast I know I should hopefully still have enough time to get to see a Shuttle flight before they're grounded... :)
     
  3. Mr. Anderson thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #3
    Well, its going to be much harder to get everyone excited about a space plane. Its a very limited capability ship - a people mover....

    And I'd love to see the numbers on how much per pound its going to cost to get people/things to orbit.

    And why not make it a Space SUV, make it a 6 seater. I can't imagine that they haven't thought of that. Getting only one more person up to the space station than a Russian Soyuz isn't that great.

    And they're still going to need the Russians and Space Shuttle to get more pieces of the station up there.

    Wasn't it the plan to have more than 4 people up there anyway?

    D
     
  4. iGav macrumors G3

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    #4
    The real interesting project will be the replacement for the Shuttle, but according to the article it'll be like a decade before anything really happens there.... maybe someone should tell them about that 2014 asteroid.... maybe get them to speed up the dev. alittle. :eek: :p

    It's interesting why they don't make it capable of carrying more than 4 people... would it really cost that much more to add 2/3 more??

    What I found cool was the ability to control the craft remotely... I understand that the Shuttle has a very basic remote operational ability, allowing it to be controlled from earth but it's limited in the maneuvers but nothing like as advanced as this craft will be able to manage.

    I hope NASA will upate alot of the computer tech though.... I remember NASA asking for people to go on the hunt for late 70's and early 80's tech so they could keep the Shuttle flying for abit longer.... man 80's tech... even electronic toy games back then were abit dodge, nevermind controlling a space shuttle with it.... :eek: :p :p
     
  5. Mr. Anderson thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #5
    Ha, knowing NASA the CPUs in the Space Plane will probably be RAD 750 processor, running at a whopping 133 MHz! :D

    Its not that its an old chip, its quite new actually. The problem is that computer technology needs to be radiation hardened for space and the industry is quite a few years behind terrestrial versions.....

    I'm thinking the 4 person limit has to do with weight and getting the thing to orbit. But I do find it hard to believe they couldn't find a few things to lighten that would allow 6 people.

    D
     
  6. iGav macrumors G3

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    #6
    I didn't know that the electronics for space had to be radiation hardened to go in Space... well I learn something new everyday... ;)

    Here's the article about NASA needing the old parts...

    Intel 8086 anyone?? :eek:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/1985138.stm
     
  7. Mr. Anderson thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #7
    That's really scary - 8" Floppies? Wow, I remember them, but damn, I knew they were using obsolete equipment but that's nuts!

    And if an astronaut brings up they're laptop its got more processing power than the whole shuttle.....:confused:

    D
     
  8. iGav macrumors G3

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    #8
    heh-heh-heh I know it's crazy... I bet NASA are the highest bidders on eBay auctions for old tech... :p Highest Bidder for Intel 8086 Processor: NASA... heh-heh!!

    What kind of worries me, is that if the Shuttle itself uses such old tech. then what does mission control use to control it?? would this have to be similar age tech. or could they kind of run emulation type stuff that allows them to use more modern computers??

    So if this new craft is going to feature new tech will they have to refurb houston as well?? :confused:
     
  9. Tim Flynn macrumors regular

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    #9
    Imagine a shuttle running on Windows ... scary :eek:

    Iamgine on re-entry the computer informing the pilot, "Guidance system as caused improper operation in kernal.dll, please reboot and try again" :eek:
     
  10. jayscheuerle macrumors 68020

    jayscheuerle

    #10
    Remember the TV show "The Six Million Dollar Man"?

    The vehicle that they showed him crashing was part of the development for the space shuttle.

    All about it

    Trivia Fact: The aircraft seen crashing in the opening sequence of The Six Million Dollar Man was an M2-F2, a "flying body configuration" built by Northrup. The audio is from a crash that occurred on May 10, 1967, at Edwards Air Force base in California. The test pilot, Bruce Peterson, hit the ground at 250 mph, tumbling six times. He lost use of his right eye and had to stop flying, ending his career. Understandably, Peterson has said that he hated reliving his accident, week after week, courtesy of Steve Austin.
     
  11. Mr. Anderson thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #11
    Ok, now I'm a little pissed. I watched a DIscovery Channel on the X-15 and learned that they made it over 60 miles high (300,000+ feet) in altitude and Mac 6.7....and not only that, this happened in the late 50s and early 60s. The plans for the *orbital* X-15 was scrubbed because of the manned rocket program. If it hadn't been cancelled, who knows what would be available today in terms of space travel. They even had a prototype of a scram jet on a couple of the X-15 flights.......nutso. And now we're stuck with a Shuttle and maybe a space plane with outdated techonology.....


    D :(
     
  12. Thanatoast macrumors 6502a

    Thanatoast

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    #12
    New space plane would be good, as long as it was cheaper and safer. (not asking too much, right?;))

    It could be both. By separating out duties, it could be safer by concentrating on keeping the passengers safe, and cheaper because it's smaller and the cargo could be sent up later in vehicles that don't require the expense of having a crew on board. Insurance costs would probably fall as well.

    They'd just have to make sure that the new space-plane/"sports sedan" has a dvd entertainment system (like in those too-expensive cars) so the crew doesn't get bored while waiting for their cargo to arrive.

    Or is this plane strictly for transport to/from the ISS? If so, why not go with a Soyuz style solution. Certainly cheaper, maybe even safer.
     
  13. Thanatoast macrumors 6502a

    Thanatoast

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    #13
    Sorry for double post.

    Was the X-15 that Canadian plane? I watched a movie once with Dan Aykroyd that told the story of a Canadian jet fighter that at the time was the best in the world, and was getting orders in from air forces throughout the world. They had plans for an orbital version but they were scrapped due to US pressure and political fighting over that pressure. All the planes were destroyed, along with the blueprints, IIRC.
     
  14. topicolo macrumors 68000

    topicolo

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    #14
    No, that was the Canadian Arrow. Too bad it was scrapped tho--seeing good technology go to waste is always a little disappointing.
     
  15. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #15
    I was watching the same thing off and on at work. Wasn't part of the reason it was scrapped because on what would become the X-15's last flight the @ss end took severe heat damage and they didn't have the budget to repair all the damaged systems and parts.


    Lethal
     
  16. Mr. Anderson thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #16
    Yeah, the budget was cut due to the manned rocket missions - getting ahead of the russians.

    The part that had been melted at the high speeds was the dummy scram jet, but it had managed to melt into the fuselage as well. Pretty nutty stuff, but we'll never know where it could have taken us....

    D
     
  17. Mr. Anderson thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #17
    The Canadian Arrow is still under development - its Canada's entry in the X-Prize.

    http://www.canadianarrow.com/

    The X-15 was a hypersonic research plane from the late 50s to early 60s...

    http://www.sierrafoot.org/x-15/x-15.html

    The Canadian Arrow with its V-2 rocket assembly has about the same thrust (57,000 lbs) as the main engine on the X-15....and the X-15 managed to get to 67 miles above the earth, making 8 of the pilots astronauts.

    D
     
  18. Thanatoast macrumors 6502a

    Thanatoast

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    #18
    The Canadian Arrow you linked to Mr. Anderson is neat, but it isn't the plane I was thinking of. I was thinking of a jet fighter from the sixties. The way they told it, Canada almost had a manned space program before the US did.
     
  19. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #19
    bottom line is we need a cheap,easy way to orbit. i like what scaled composites is doing and think nasa could use this same idea to the max making a lift craft and a space/landing craft. take this idea use nasa ability and come up with a cheap way to orbit. then work on the station and on pure space vehicles. but these big all or nothing to the moon and mars are not the way to go, but stepping stones untill the path is made is in my humble opinion.
     
  20. Tim Flynn macrumors regular

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    #20
    To clear up some confusion.
    The plane in the sixties you're talking about is the Canadian Avro Arrow. Very cool plane. I won't get started about it's demise, profanity filters would kick in !
    The TV show was very good. An interesting note, if you what the final credits, was what happened to alot of the people. In one word ... NASA.
     
  21. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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  22. Mr. Anderson thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #22
    But the Arrow's speed was only Mach 2.5+, the X-15 was topipng out at 6.7, huge difference. And they might have been able to make escape velocity - not so the Avro Arrow. Don't get me wrong, it was ahead its time and it sucks that they got cancelled.

    Thanks for the link, I'm glad to have read up on it.

    D :D
     
  23. jayscheuerle macrumors 68020

    jayscheuerle

    #23
    That's not NASA.

    That's Burt Rutan of human and solar powered flight fame. If he was NASA, we'd be circling Jupiter by now.

    Brilliant man.
     
  24. jayscheuerle macrumors 68020

    jayscheuerle

    #24
    Not so fast buster!

    Escape velocity from earth is about 25,000 mph (or 7 miles per second), ignoring air friction.

    They were skimming space, but they were definitely coming home. - j
     
  25. Mr. Anderson thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #25
    Yeah, but if you jump up to Mach 10 or so you can get orbital flights, that's a big one as well. That's what was going to be in store for the next versions of the X-15 till the budget got cut. Shame, really. We'd never have needed a shuttle if they had got it going....

    Single stage to orbit is the future - once we get that, things will change dramatically.

    D
     

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