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Shuttle may go on 'Demo' flight before going back into service

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Mr. Anderson, May 29, 2003.

  1. Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson


    Sounds like a good plan, but actually it might not make that much difference. Chance are that everything will go fine and then when missions resume something will crap out.

    What they need to do it make sure there is a 'rescue' scenario if the shuttle gets up into orbit but can't get back down.

    if that means for every shuttle flight that another shuttle has to be ready to go at a moments notice, well, then that's what its going to take.

    And what ever happened to the emergency escape pod that's been under testing.....a couple of those should be docked at the ISSS in case of problems.

  2. macrumors P6


    I see no reason why they couldn't do a test flight for the next shuttle flight. They could do it the same way as the first 2 flights of Columbia, only allow a commander and pilot on the mission. I agree with Mr. Anderson that some sort of escape mechanism needs to be included. The test flights back in 1981 to 1982 included an ejection seat.
  3. macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    The shuttles will be in their 30's soon. Its time for a replacement that is faster,cheaper and more productive then the old obsolete shuttle. I dont see a need for a test flight, just stop foam from breaking the shuttles tiles and lets get on with it.
  4. macrumors 65816


    They don't really even need a pilot for the test flight. They could automate the whole flight. The russians did it with their space shuttle.

    I don't think a test flight could change one thing. What happened the last flight was a completely random occurance. Obviously you can't plan for them but clearly the current shuttles are vulnerable. So what if they test? And it comes back and everything is ok? It doesn't mean anything. The current shuttles should be mothballed and a new program should be started. Otherwise, Nasa should close or take a purely administrative/scientific approach to space travel and outsource space travel to commercial sources. NASA really is a waste of money when there are plenty of rich investors waiting to launch their own programs.
  5. macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Any time you have Govt doing anything there will be a great waste of money. We should be able to do a lot better then the shuttle in this decade,lets hope for a interplanetary spacecraft that can fly throughout the solar system in the next. Problem will be like govt redesigning the space station a half dozen times costing millions and even billions on paper! Keep Govt out of it as much as you can and we could do this cheaply. A cheap way to orbit will open space up. Sorry for ramblin.:rolleyes:
  6. macrumors regular

    I agree with doing a test flight, though running it on auto-pilot might bring a larger risk of failure. One big problem with having two shuttles ready to go is it would mean an enormous expense to NASA. Its not like you can mothball one shuttle fueled up and everything, too expensive to keep safe and honestly, how often is there a need for it? If there is such a need, we could probably just use teh Russian capsule which is much quicker to get into orbit. Or they could just latch on to the ISS to conserve supplies (I would recommend putting emergency supplies on the ISS just in case). Then again I am just a humble pilot, not an engineer.
  7. macrumors 68040


    Problem is, if it were only up to profit to motivate people, we'd never have gone to the moon, the Soviets would "own" space and we'd not have GPS, Skylab, Hubble, and of the planetary probes or space-based telescopes (x-ray and gamma ray, for instance). We'd never have sent men into space and we'd have certainly never "wasted" those billions on Apollo.

    Space programs are a loss leader, and the government has the venture capital.

    Fact is, what you are hoping for (interplanetary travel) is further away now than it was in 1969 because NASA's budget has been gutted. If we wanted to go back to the moon five years from now we wouldn't be able to. This isn't because space is a waste of money, but because Congress and the Presidents have clearly shown that peaceful space initiatives use money they think is better spent elsewhere.

    Businesses can't see how they can profit from this sort of thing, so they won't invest, especially not in the amounts needed for a space program. Would an astute broker have invested in a little company called Microsoft in '75? Not if he wanted to keep his job!
  8. macrumors regular

    I don't think the Russians have shuttles; they're automated space craft were designed from the ground up to be unmanned. The shuttle needs at least a pilot and commander onboard to make sure everything goes according to plan.

    That said, shuttle flights need to resume now that they know the cause. Well, first they need to fix the foam. We need to continue to explore space but we also need to develop an escape/rescue plan for the space shuttles and hurry the development of a new spacecraft that is continually updated.
  9. macrumors 65816


    The Russians did design and build a shuttle, that was similar to NASAs, however, after a successful test flight, they never used it again as it was prohibitively expensive
  10. macrumors P6


    According to a new article in the NY Times 6/7/03, "Costs & Risks Clouding Plans To Fix Shuttle." The easy part was the over 1000 man hours to collect the debris from Columbia and to analyze same. The difficult part will be to follow the reccomendations of the panel to restructure NASA.


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