Shuttle Too Old To Fly?

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Mr. Anderson, May 27, 2003.

  1. Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #1
  2. macrumors 65816

    Roger1

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    #2
    I think we need a replacement for the shuttle. This should have be in the design phase 10 years ago.

    I also think they should have checked the Columbia while it was in space. If found damaged (obviously it was), we could have left it in space, and used it as a "space bus". Moving sattelite around in orbit, repairing them, etc. Ah, well. Too late for 20/20 hindsight.
     
  3. thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #3
    You never know - that might end up what happens with the other shuttles if they get damnage on a trip up to the ISS. I'd imagine that from now on there will be a spacewalk or some sort of walkaround before leaving orbit and returning to Earth. The only question will be what would they do if something got messed up?

    D
     
  4. macrumors G3

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    #4
    I was watching on the news last week, and it was suggested that had NASA actually considered the damage as cause for a possible loss of vehicle, then Atlantis that was already in prep for a flight could have been made safe in 2 weeks for a rescue mission. The crew would have been transferred to Atlantis.

    Control of Columbia would then have passed to Mission Control who would have set Columbia on a destruction trajectory causing it to (mostly) burn up in the Atmosphere, and any surviving bits into the ocean.

    They wouldn't leave a Shuttle up there...
     
  5. thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #5
    Ah, well, too bad - I kind of like the idea of having a shuttle up in space permanently. I wonder when there will ever be a 'space' only vehicle that isn't a space station. When you think about it, that would be a huge step, but you'd need to have a ton of things set up to keep it functioning. A space dock, refueling station, waste disposal, oxygen, etc. This is something we won't see for a while, probably. Unless we get a cheaper way to get to orbit or figure out a good way to mine the NEOs.

    D
     
  6. macrumors 65816

    Roger1

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    #6
    Can you imagine what we could do if we had a shuttle permanantly in space? Hmmm, put a habitat in the cargo bay, maybe a couple of extra fuel storage containers slung underneath, and another container for food, etc, where the main liquid fuel pod bolts up. I wonder if something set up like that could make it to Mars? Instead of "Space Bus" how about "Space Motor Home", on a short trip to Mars? :D
     
  7. thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #7
    Ha, well, I wouldn't want to go to Mars in that.

    Anyone here a fan of SpaceBalls? :D
     

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  8. macrumors 65816

    Roger1

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    #8
    I saw it once, a long, long time ago. Hmmm, I think I'm going to have to rent it again. :D
     
  9. macrumors P6

    wdlove

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    #9
    If they did keep a space shuttle in orbit permamnetly they could attach it to the ISS. Hopefully they have more than one docking mechanism. I think it would make a great additional module. Also anytime a satellite needed repair they would have a ready mode of transportation! They would have to work out a mechanism of have some spare parts in space or a way to make spare parts, just a thought!
     
  10. macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    #10
    Re: Smart or Stupid depending on success...

    You have major damage to the last couple shuttle flights, one is still severely damaged in space.

    So what do you do?

    Embark on a extremely high risk mission to rush another shuttle into space, with a blast off problem that can strand yet another shuttle and crew in space.

    The foam on the tank is a major problem, until the problem is fixed you'll risk killing another crew. The problem is no longer minor damage to tiles every flight -- but major damage every flight.

    All the fixes/changes to the foam coating on the external tank have only made a minor annoyance a major risk.

    ---

    Most likely they'll fix the external tank problem and use a method to sonically checking the tiles (like the do pipelines), change the risk tree again, and send them back up.
     
  11. macrumors regular

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    #11
    hey cool, a quote from a professor at my University! (Refering to Embry-Riddle) 'course I'm just training to be a pilot there so I have no idea who the guy is ;-)
     
  12. macrumors 68020

    bennetsaysargh

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    #12
    <off topic>i wonder if i would be able to use my iPod in space? what about laptops? desktops? all of these questions i am wondering.
    !
    hook the iPod up to the space shuttle in a built in dock that has a stereo system for the whole shuttle! and it could record the experiments:D</off topic>

    <on topic>i hope they come up with a cool design, that is cost effective, safe, and efficiant. a lot of people are afraid of space travel no since columbia, but sadly, tragedies happen, and we have to move on. i really want to see my generation going into space more regularly than now.</on topic>
     
  13. thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #13
    You might not be able to find firewire or usb on any onboard shuttle computers. The laptops the crew take with them are way more powerful. I don't know if anyone has taken a mac into space yet.

    But in the CNN article on the future of the space shuttle there is this quote:

    However, Don Nelson, a retired NASA engineer in Houston whose career spanned Gemini, Apollo and the space shuttle, disagrees.

    He believes the shuttles shouldn't fly in their current condition and that a number of changes are needed, including a new batch of computers.

    "You can't sell the computers at a garage sale right now, they're so obsolete," said the outspoken NASA critic.


    Ha! Pretty damn pathetic.

    D
     
  14. macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #14
    the shuttle was made from 60's and 70's technology. Its time for a new shuttle and not some darn capsule or small lifting body. You would think this generation could do better then what they accomplished with apollo in the 60's and the shuttle in the 80's. Heck we have not even been back to the moon or anywhere else for that matter. SAD! Space program has been milked and milked and shown very little advancement in propulsion and crafts. Govt and beauracratic waste has the space program where it is today.
     
  15. macrumors P6

    wdlove

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    #15
    I find that amazing that in the 21st Century we would be still flying a Shuttle with 70's computers technology. They have done some major overhall r/t the number of flying hours. You would think that they would have taken that opportunity to upgrade computers! :confused:
     
  16. macrumors 604

    MrMacMan

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    #16
    So tell me when we give NASA billions and billions where the hell is that going to?

    Shuttle Jet Fuel?

    What the hell... 70's computers, that seems a little too DOS/APPLEDOS for me.
     
  17. macrumors regular

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    #17
    I think the European and Chinese space agencies will light a fire under NASA's arse in the near future, aren't the Chinese planning on a moon mission in the not-so-distant future? This is probably the only bad thing to come from the end of teh cold war, no more space race.
     
  18. macrumors 6502a

    trebblekicked

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    #18
    do you remember the hubble replacement parts mission? they put a new cpu in the hubble during a spacewalk in 2000 (i think). guess what they upgraded to--->a 386.:confused:


    <EDIT rephrasing/emot.
     
  19. macrumors 6502a

    GeneR

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    #19
    Hmmm.

    I have a certain Conspiracy-Theory Friend (CTF, for short) who tells me all sorts of things I would probably never know (or want to know) about space.

    One thing he mentioned was the fact that the other nations ARE working on a much better system than what NASA has. However, since so many industries in the US are tied into the current program and there is so much momentum behind maintaining the current program, that chances are, we are not going to be ready for the other competing space programs. Additionally, because so much industry is riding on the shuttle program they tend to hide this fact from the public to everyone's disadvantage.

    I guess the analogy would be similar to trying to stop a stampeding elephant with a toothpick. Too much momentum to keep an obsolete program going like this. They still brag on television about how the Shuttle is supposedly outfitted with all the "latest" technology. But is it?

    What I'm hearing is about other nations are considering aircrafts that can launch lighter spacecrafts at low-orbital altitudes and even a lot of unused engine and propulsion systems that have been shunned due to the current focus on the space shuttle program.

    What bothers me is if all of this is true.

    And what also bothers me is if nobody in the US does anything about it.
     
  20. macrumors P6

    wdlove

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    #20
    I think I remember reading that China is planning it's first manned mission tinto space by the end of this year. Hope that their can be planned cooperation between China & NASA!
     
  21. thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #21
    In the future - most likely. Although I don't see it happening any time soon. China is very secretive and has too much to prove. They'll get to the Moon if given the time and opportunity.

    D
     
  22. macrumors 68020

    bennetsaysargh

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    #22
    i know that japan is planning to send a rocket up, an somwthing to orbit the moon to take pictures of it. then people who think that we didn't land on the moon will be definatly proven wrong!
     
  23. thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #23
    Are they planning on taking pics of the lunar landing areas? That would be very cool - got any links to this?

    D
     
  24. macrumors 68020

    bennetsaysargh

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    #24
    sorry, but i saw this on the news a little while ago. they were going to take pictures of the lunar landing site i think. im almost 100% sure.
     
  25. macrumors P6

    wdlove

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    #25
    Hopefully they will discover that through cooperation, they could attain their goal much sooner. Maybe the SARS fisaco will show them that they do indeed need outside help!
     

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