Last shuttle launch

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Last shuttle launch

Postposted on Fri Jul 08, 2011 8:17 am

So sad. :( :( :(

www.nasa.gov for the live stream.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/STS-135

We went to Florida on holiday when I was 4, Disneyland etc. Apparently we were having breakfast in a diner one morning and there was this rumble and we ran outside and saw a shuttle launch :) I'm too young to remember it though.
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Re: Last shuttle launch

Postposted on Fri Jul 08, 2011 9:09 am

Reddit post thanking NASA for the years of imagination :)

http://www.reddit.com/r/reddit.com/comm ... agination/
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Re: Last shuttle launch

Postposted on Fri Jul 08, 2011 9:18 am

Godspeed Atlantis
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Re: Last shuttle launch

Postposted on Fri Jul 08, 2011 9:35 am

If it goes today I'll regret not making the trip there for a long time. If it doesn't I might seriously have to try to get out there for the next attempt in a couple weeks...
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Re: Last shuttle launch

Postposted on Fri Jul 08, 2011 9:55 am

Now we can finally move on to commercially-funded manned space programs, ala SpaceX.
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Re: Last shuttle launch

Postposted on Fri Jul 08, 2011 11:13 am

Captain Ned wrote:Now we can finally move on to commercially-funded manned space programs, ala SpaceX.


Now I can finally ram a pike up your ass. :evil:
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Re: Last shuttle launch

Postposted on Fri Jul 08, 2011 2:14 pm

that's unnecessary.
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Re: Last shuttle launch

Postposted on Sat Jul 09, 2011 1:33 am

Good riddance to an overly fancy and costly program.
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Re: Last shuttle launch

Postposted on Sat Jul 09, 2011 12:21 pm

RIP to an immensely powerful program. I would like to see it's job taken to the private sector, but I would also like to see more heavy-duty exploration and science carried out by the government.
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Re: Last shuttle launch

Postposted on Sat Jul 09, 2011 1:05 pm

Vrock wrote:Good riddance to an overly fancy and costly program.

The original concept was good. It was the execution that kinda sucked.
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Re: Last shuttle launch

Postposted on Sat Jul 09, 2011 1:23 pm

just brew it! wrote:
Vrock wrote:Good riddance to an overly fancy and costly program.

The original concept was good. It was the execution that kinda sucked.


I'm not sure the concept was all that good to begin with. Making a spacecraft reusable ups complexity, ups weight (which reduces payload and range), ups cost, and reduces reliability and safety.

There are good reasons no other space program uses a reusable vehicle (and no, the Buran doesn't count, as it only flew once, and that without any crew on board, before getting canned). SpaceShipOne and Two don't count either, as they are both suborbital craft, and don't face high reentry stresses due to the low speed of reentry.

EDIT: The only way a reusable spacecraft becomes cost effective is with multiple, frequent launches. In fact, studies in the 80s showed that the only way the shuttle would be cost effective was if it launched once a week. Needless to say, that never happened (nor do we have any need for such frequent launches in the near future).
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Re: Last shuttle launch

Postposted on Sat Jul 09, 2011 6:44 pm

Nutmeg wrote:Now I can finally ram a pike up your ass. :evil:

Uhm, wow, really? Just because the shuttle was a major accomplishment in manned spaceflight, doesn't mean it is sacrosanct now, when it is about 20 years obsolete. Time to move on.

Meanwhile, as a thought experiment, I would be curious to see what a modern shuttle program performed with the same intensity and money-pit atmosphere as the original, would produce. Given access to modern material science, both the physical structure and the heat-proofing materials ought to get a whole lot smaller and lighter, meaning lower fuel requirements and a shorter reset time.
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Re: Last shuttle launch

Postposted on Sat Jul 09, 2011 9:52 pm

Voldenuit wrote:I'm not sure the concept was all that good to begin with. Making a spacecraft reusable ups complexity, ups weight (which reduces payload and range), ups cost, and reduces reliability and safety.

There are good reasons no other space program uses a reusable vehicle (and no, the Buran doesn't count, as it only flew once, and that without any crew on board, before getting canned). SpaceShipOne and Two don't count either, as they are both suborbital craft, and don't face high reentry stresses due to the low speed of reentry.


What about SpaceX's Falcons? It's not a current capability, but Musk's stated that all stages of the Falcon 9 are ultimately intended to be reusable (SpaceX's inability to recover the first stage was their only disappointment on the first test flight), and the the Dragon capsule could actually be reused without so much as replacing the heatshield.
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Re: Last shuttle launch

Postposted on Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:00 pm

ludi wrote:
Nutmeg wrote:Now I can finally ram a pike up your ass. :evil:

Uhm, wow, really? Just because the shuttle was a major accomplishment in manned spaceflight, doesn't mean it is sacrosanct now, when it is about 20 years obsolete. Time to move on.

Meanwhile, as a thought experiment, I would be curious to see what a modern shuttle program performed with the same intensity and money-pit atmosphere as the original, would produce. Given access to modern material science, both the physical structure and the heat-proofing materials ought to get a whole lot smaller and lighter, meaning lower fuel requirements and a shorter reset time.


The original plans for the shuttle was to make it much smaller. A fleet of 5 were supposed to do 50 launches a year - almost monthly! That smaller and lighter shuttle carried its own fuel (eliminating the massive fuel tank) and even had a jet engine for assistance when landing. However, the military had a number of capability requirements - including 'capturing' Soviet satellites, so the shuttle was inflated in size and cost. The only positive aspect to those changes relate to the ability to carry the Hubble.

I am actually pleased that private enterprise will take over the rocketry duties. Let NASA focus on satellites, probes, and telescopes - things that they have done VERY well. All of those cool probes and robots doing the real science have had NOTHING to do with the shuttle program. Casting off the expensive boondoggle should be a really good thing.
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Re: Last shuttle launch

Postposted on Sun Jul 10, 2011 2:12 am

I am not sad to see these go. They have had too many problems over the last decade. I hope something better comes along soon, though.
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Re: Last shuttle launch

Postposted on Sun Jul 10, 2011 5:49 am

Voldenuit wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
Vrock wrote:Good riddance to an overly fancy and costly program.

The original concept was good. It was the execution that kinda sucked.


I'm not sure the concept was all that good to begin with. Making a spacecraft reusable ups complexity, ups weight (which reduces payload and range), ups cost, and reduces reliability and safety.
We have a winner.

Fact is, the shuttle program was overly ambitious and in some ways, was a solution looking for a problem. It was a 'gee-whiz, look what we can do, and it's reusable too!' poke in the eye at the USSR. The program never lived up to its promise of a low-cost space truck. I'll not argue that it was a net loss for us, but it certainly didn't fit in with the 'faster, cheaper, better' NASA mantra of recent times.

$1.3 billion every time MC says 'we have ignition and liftoff'. Yikes.
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Re: Last shuttle launch

Postposted on Sun Jul 10, 2011 7:52 am

Thrashdog wrote:
Voldenuit wrote:I'm not sure the concept was all that good to begin with. Making a spacecraft reusable ups complexity, ups weight (which reduces payload and range), ups cost, and reduces reliability and safety.

There are good reasons no other space program uses a reusable vehicle (and no, the Buran doesn't count, as it only flew once, and that without any crew on board, before getting canned). SpaceShipOne and Two don't count either, as they are both suborbital craft, and don't face high reentry stresses due to the low speed of reentry.


What about SpaceX's Falcons? It's not a current capability, but Musk's stated that all stages of the Falcon 9 are ultimately intended to be reusable (SpaceX's inability to recover the first stage was their only disappointment on the first test flight), and the the Dragon capsule could actually be reused without so much as replacing the heatshield.


That's a good point. I suppose I wasn't entirely clear about what I meant when I said 'reusable vehicle'. Designing a spacecraft that is meant to survive reentry indefinitely (as the shuttle was), and carting the main engine with you all the way up and down again is an example of 'full reusability' that complicates design and adds weight to spacecraft.

At the other end of the spectrum, we have 'recoverability' - for example, the shuttle booster casings are recovered after launch, and if they are in good enough shape after landing, are refurbished. Falcon 9's *proposed* reusability falls in this category, although they are more complex than the solid rockets used for the shuttle boosters, being a liquid fueled design*. Designing for recoverability adds less weight and complexity than full reusability, and unlike the former, is less likely to drive the design stage in unforeseen directions.

The reentry capsule for Dragon is an example of 'limited reusability'. The capsule is rated for (I believe) a certain number of reentries before it is scrapped and replaced by a new one. This was the same idea behind the Orion CEV that was being developed at NASA before it was shelved.

I think that SpaceX's goals with the Falcon and Dragon are sensible, and one way to reuse spacecraft components sensibly and economically. That is, of course, if it works.

* This makes them more easily damaged on reentry, and is probably why SpaceX is planning on sea recovery for the first (and second?) stage(s).
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Re: Last shuttle launch

Postposted on Fri May 25, 2012 9:11 am

And SpaceX has just demonstrated another milestone as the ISS now has a Dragon hanging off the end of the remote arm. Crazy bastiches met every single test in their first attempt to fly to the ISS.
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Re: Last shuttle launch

Postposted on Fri May 25, 2012 10:03 am

Hats off to them!!!

Too bad apple does not make rockets , they definitely have the funds.
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Re: Last shuttle launch

Postposted on Fri May 25, 2012 10:24 am

Captain Ned wrote:Now we can finally move on to commercially-funded manned space programs, ala SpaceX.

That's what I was thinking!
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Re: Last shuttle launch

Postposted on Fri May 25, 2012 10:25 am

just brew it! wrote:
Vrock wrote:Good riddance to an overly fancy and costly program.

The original concept was good. It was the execution that kinda sucked.

Isn't this always the case with government programs? The road to hell is paved with good intentions...
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Re: Last shuttle launch

Postposted on Fri May 25, 2012 11:03 am

And we now have hard dock.
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