Russian space shuttle story at ArsTechnica

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Re: Russian space shuttle story at ArsTechnica

Postposted on Wed Sep 25, 2013 10:47 am

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Re: Russian space shuttle story at ArsTechnica

Postposted on Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:16 pm

clone wrote:the cold war never wound down, Russia failed but in the eyes of the U.S. it's never wound down, it's why their defense budget keeps growing, it's why civil liberties are considered by those who matter as a legacy of the past.


Nonsense.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_b ... ted_States

The defense budget slumped throughout the 1990s. It was 9/11 and all the wars after it that sparked it back up.

I can't really get into the civil liberties bit and stay out of R & P.

clone wrote:for a nation competing on the global stage the cold war will never end.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_War

JBI capitalized the phrase "the Cold War" for a reason. He wasn't attempting to deliver some sort of platitudious metaphor, he was referring to a specific part of history.

So don't be ridiculous.

clone wrote:as for slowing down it was defense capital that got silicon valley going which directly led to this explosion in tech we are enjoying today, so while the space race slowed due to the lack of tangible gains to be had the pace of growth in other sectors certainly hasn't.


I disagree with that, because the defense industry was never particularly interested in the parts of silicon valley that lead to that "explosion in tech." And there were never going to be any "tangible gains" in the space race. It was solely a prestige project and everyone knew it.

clone wrote:if I was to place a bet on why humanity isn't in space nearly so much as we'd hoped, I'd place it on our inability to find a viable means of producing gravity for prolonged exposure to space.


It isn't the lack of artifical gravity in space that's the problem, it's the abundance of natural gravity keeping us of out of it.

I mean, really.
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Re: Russian space shuttle story at ArsTechnica

Postposted on Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:33 pm

I don't always agree with JohnC, but he's clearly right about this. The Soviet Union entirely relied on the future promise of communism to help stave off discontent from the continual and obvious failure of present socialism. The space program was a futuristic prestige project which helped them to keep that vision alive. Without putting a man into space they would had nothing to point to as evidence that their society was advancing as it was supposed to according to Marxist-Leninism. That was untenable.

You see, you really don't understand what he's talking about. He laid it out in front of you, but you don't know enough of the history and the context to read between the lines:

JohnC wrote:For anyone who actually want to read about facts - I suggest getting a good Russian-English dictionary or a person who can fluently read and translate Russian text and start your own research into Buran program (starting around 1972 year and in particular the research of financial viability and practicality of "reusable spacecraft systems" that was done during that time by various scientific institutes tasked by USSR's Military-Industrial Commission) and the whole USSR's economy and political system during those years.
Then you might actually learn that it was always about this and not the silly nonsense like "improving the well-being of common people through scientific research".


and

JohnC wrote:That's a partial reason, yes. But it was not the major one. Tu-144 was not a military airplane and was never intended for any military purposes and it was also known that it would be economically impractical to use it even before its construction started. Its highly "unfinished" and unreliable state was also known before it was forced to be put into passenger service. All because of what I've said before


JohnC is saying what SHOULD be obvious after the cold war: These projects were only ever done to be impressive on paper. They are literally "Me too!!" projects, designed to convince the western world that the USSR was viable and could "keep up" and, to a lesser extent, convince the soviet people of the same.

You see, JohnC is pointing out what should be obvious: it was tech demo. The Buran flew but once, all the talk of being superior in any way is all but silly. It's fantasy. The soviets knew it was impractical when they started the project nearly 40 years ago, so it's absurd that people today are going around talking seriously about it.

The West has a long history of taking those "impressive papers" far too seriously, the Bomber Gap, the Missile Gap, CIA's Team B, etc.. all ridiculously overestimated the soviet threat because of it.

Don't make the same mistake.
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Re: Russian space shuttle story at ArsTechnica

Postposted on Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:42 pm

Guys, this has gone from a pretty neat converation about space/autoflight tech to Cold War R&P.

Can we get back to the tech stuff? I'll even take a funny joke involving Kerbal Space Program.
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Re: Russian space shuttle story at ArsTechnica

Postposted on Wed Sep 25, 2013 1:08 pm

superjawes wrote:Guys, this has gone from a pretty neat converation about space/autoflight tech to Cold War R&P.


Because pumping up the Buran will do that, it's all about Cold War Politics.

Here, let me give you an example:

clone wrote:just the idea that we could do it in 1987 would have gotten me so juiced back in 1987 that I'd have been thinking that a 2001 space station and an eventual prolonged journey into space would have been entirely feasible.


Neither the shuttle nor the Buran made either of those two things feasible.

The shuttle was all things to all people, a classic camel that didn't do any particular thing well.

A space station like the one in the movie 2001 ain't going to work very well in low earth orbit, which is the only place the shuttle ever went. A space station of that size and space would suffer too much atmospheric drag. The ISS has to be continual boosted to offset the inevitable orbital decay, I can't imagine what that movie monstrosity would take.

Also, if we are going to use the shuttle to help transport materials to build our 2001-movie space station, why the spacious crew compartment? If we are going to use the shuttle to transport people to the space station, why the huge payload?

People were pointing this out before the shuttle ever even flew. And it's just the start. There are innumerable things that the shuttle was supposed to do but never did.

I mean, clone makes a big deal out of the soviet's use of autopilot as being advanced, but that's missing the forest for the politics again. Didn't you guys see even the movie "The Right Stuff?" Congress would never have approved an unmanned vehicle, why, that's unmanly! Utterly unbecoming of red-blooded Americans. Of course the thing will have pilots, hell, it'll have seven of them. :roll:

Seriously though, the shuttle was the first american space vehicle without an unmanned test flight. clone's got it completely backwards

http://www.collectspace.com/news/news-041006a.html

John Young (the commander of STS-1) said the following:

John Young? wrote:"I think if you look at all the things we had to do, flying a winged launch vehicle into space without any previous unmanned test, it probably was very bold and we thought we knew a lot more than we did."


and

John Young wrote:They wanted to fly the thing unmanned. I went to many, many meetings where they [said they] wanted to fly the thing unmanned, but finally the program manager up at [NASA] Headquarters John Yardley, he said he wasn't going to come across California with nobody in the spacecraft. So, we got to fly it manned. It's probably the safe way to do it. We looked at California and there were all kinds of places you can land out there... including the freeways, which I saw in a TV movie where they did land on the freeway." (laughs)


Does that sound technical to you? Or does it sound like, duh-dum-duh, politics?
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Re: Russian space shuttle story at ArsTechnica

Postposted on Wed Sep 25, 2013 1:29 pm

clone wrote:
if I was to place a bet on why humanity isn't in space nearly so much as we'd hoped, I'd place it on our inability to find a viable means of producing gravity for prolonged exposure to space.


It isn't the lack of artifical gravity in space that's the problem, it's the abundance of natural gravity keeping us of out of it.

I mean, really.


Actually, that isn't correct. In terms of what is keeping us out of space for long periods of time, lack of gravity in space is a bigger factor than the abundance of gravity on the ground.

We've already solved the gravity on the ground problem - that's what rockets are for. That technology has improved over the years, but it really hasn't changed all that much. Launching people into space has long been mastered.

What's difficult is keeping people alive and healthy in space. What we're finding is that people who spend months in space tend to suffer physical problems due to the lack of gravity. Bones and muscles become weaker, sleep gets thrown all out of whack - it's a real problem. There are other issues like radiation and the ability of dust-sized particles from outside blasting a hole in your hull, but zero-gravity is one of the big ones.

Back to the original topic... there is no doubt that the Russian Space Shuttle was impressive, especially for it's time. But frankly - and you can ask any pilot - the ability to land on an aircraft carrier is actually much more impressive than going up into space, flipping over and turning around, and landing again. The maneuvers in space are actually relatively easy to accomplish via remote control; there is no air in space, and thus no resistance, turbulence, etc.

Landing on an aircraft carrier involves setting down on a space that is not only moving laterally to you, but also up and down in ways that cannot be completely predicted. Pilots who land on them have to be very skilled. It is very unlikely that technology available when the Russian's did their thing would have been capable of a carrier landing. You need much faster response times.
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Re: Russian space shuttle story at ArsTechnica

Postposted on Wed Sep 25, 2013 3:27 pm

JohnC wrote:These idiots couldn't even transliterate names properly - it's not "Tushina", it's "Tushino" factory, named after the city of Tushino. And Unit 2.01 was never moved to Germany.


Amy Shira Teitel is not infallible, but she is an kind of an expert on space history and deserves our modicum of respect
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Re: Russian space shuttle story at ArsTechnica

Postposted on Wed Sep 25, 2013 6:28 pm

Glorious wrote:The space program was a futuristic prestige project which helped them to keep that vision alive. Without putting a man into space they would had nothing to point to as evidence that their society was advancing as it was supposed to according to Marxist-Leninism.

Thank you for understanding.


Luminair wrote:
JohnC wrote:These idiots couldn't even transliterate names properly - it's not "Tushina", it's "Tushino" factory, named after the city of Tushino. And Unit 2.01 was never moved to Germany.


Amy Shira Teitel is not infallible, but she is an kind of an expert on space history and deserves our modicum of respect

Copypasting info from unidentified, unreliable source without properly cross-checking the same info using other sources (including foreign ones) doesn't automatically turn you into an "expert on history". If you have "respect" for such people - it's your choice. I don't.
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Re: Russian space shuttle story at ArsTechnica

Postposted on Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:03 pm

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Re: Russian space shuttle story at ArsTechnica

Postposted on Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:16 pm

:lol: You're so clueless it's beyond hilarious... I'll just leave it at this point and let the others entertain themselves.
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Re: Russian space shuttle story at ArsTechnica

Postposted on Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:17 pm

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Re: Russian space shuttle story at ArsTechnica

Postposted on Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:48 pm

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Re: Russian space shuttle story at ArsTechnica

Postposted on Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:46 am

clone wrote:do you believe for an instant that the U.S. is going to allow anyone to surpass them in tech, offensive or defensive if they can prevent it AND/OR do you believe in response any nation is going stop investing in attempts to at least remain within a distance of the U.S. if they are able?


Again, JBI CAPITALIZED the phrase "the Cold War." You, and only you, seem to think that's some sort of generic phrase described the general human bent towards competition. :roll:

To everyone else, it refers to a specific period of time in the history between two superpowers.

clone wrote:(I didn't talk about defense budgets because they don't apply)


WTF?

clone wrote:Russia failed but in the eyes of the U.S. it's never wound down, it's why their defense budget keeps growing


What are you, retarded?

clone wrote:1st part: the struggle to mass produce transistors didn't lead to the explosion in tech in Silicon Valley!!! (financed in the beginning by the defense department which was willing to pay anything to get them).... really? .... seriously?.... it wasn't defense department money that changed a farming community into silicon valley?


The first transistor was invented by Bell Labs in NJ. That first type of transistor was manufactured in Allentown PA. The first commercial transistor radio was sold by Texas Instruments, the famous and successful TR-1 was built in Indiana. The first IC was made by TI etc.... I honestly don't know what you are talking about, outside of Shockley semiconducter in the late 50s, but that's famous because of what it later portended, not for what it meant at the time.

Everyone was trying to deal with the tyranny of numbers, so none of this shocking nor was it entirely limited to the military. Bell Labs, for obvious reasons, was tremendously interested in transistors if only for their commercial operations.

I mean, for heaven's sake, the silicon valley name wasn't coined until the 70s or even popular until the 80s. The struggle to "mass produce" transistors was well-over by then, and it was being done all over the county. People might not remember it now, but Massachusetts used to be the high-tech state.

In the 50 and 60s Route 128 was much, MUCH larger than Silicon valley in tech industries. Look it up. You are anachronistically assuming that things yesterday are the same as they are today, and that's just so wrong it's not even funny.

clone wrote:that's what I found most impressive about it given it was back in 1987.


Except that, as I told you:

1) ALL pervious US space vehicles were flown unmanned (even project Mercury in 1961) before being flown manned.
2) The Shuttle's first flight could have been unmanned, but for political reasons was not. I cited the commander of STS-1 to this effect. That was 1981.
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Re: Russian space shuttle story at ArsTechnica

Postposted on Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:01 am

cphite wrote:Actually, that isn't correct. In terms of what is keeping us out of space for long periods of time, lack of gravity in space is a bigger factor than the abundance of gravity on the ground.

We've already solved the gravity on the ground problem - that's what rockets are for. That technology has improved over the years, but it really hasn't changed all that much. Launching people into space has long been mastered.


There are plenty of Russians who have spent around a year in space. Were they weak when they returned to Earth? Sure, but they seem to be ok.

Meanwhile, it costs around a quarter of million dollars to put a single person into low earth orbit. That's a real problem.

Didn't you read any science fiction as kid? I'm paraphrasing, but didn't Heinlein famously say "Once you're out of the gravity well you're not halfway to the moon, but halfway to anywhere.

Or you could read Clarke's "fountains of paradise."

It isn't rocket science. :P
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Re: Russian space shuttle story at ArsTechnica

Postposted on Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:05 am

It sounds the decision to make STS-1 a manned mission was done more in the lines of nationalism (USA was still aching from the pains of stagflation and oil crashes in the late 70s) and ego-stroking then anything else.

It makes more sense to do an unmanned mission on a untested launch vehicle than risk a disastrous crash and burn on the first flight with people involved. At the time, it would have been a PR nightmare and the death knell for manned missions at NASA.
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Re: Russian space shuttle story at ArsTechnica

Postposted on Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:08 am

Glorious wrote:
cphite wrote:Actually, that isn't correct. In terms of what is keeping us out of space for long periods of time, lack of gravity in space is a bigger factor than the abundance of gravity on the ground.

We've already solved the gravity on the ground problem - that's what rockets are for. That technology has improved over the years, but it really hasn't changed all that much. Launching people into space has long been mastered.


There are plenty of Russians who have spent around a year in space. Were they weak when they returned to Earth? Sure, but they seem to be ok.

Meanwhile, it costs around a quarter of million dollars to put a single person into low earth orbit. That's a real problem.

Didn't you read any science fiction as kid? I'm paraphrasing, but didn't Heinlein famously say "Once you're out of the gravity well you're not halfway to the moon, but halfway to anywhere.

Or you could read Clarke's "fountains of paradise."

It isn't rocket science. :P


To nitpick at Heinein's quote, it still requires a lot of energy and time to reach anything beyond the Earth/Moon system that isn't interplanetary or interstellar space. Don't get any me wrong, it still require a lot of energy for any significant mass to achieve escape velocity from the Earth.
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Re: Russian space shuttle story at ArsTechnica

Postposted on Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:13 am

Krogoth wrote:To nitpick at Heinein's quote, it still requires a lot of energy and time to reach anything beyond the Earth/Moon system that isn't interplanetary or interstellar space. Don't get any me wrong, it still require a lot of energy for any significant mass to achieve escape velocity from the Earth.


Oh, that's entirely true and not really a nitpick at all.

I'm just pointing out that the problem with space travel isn't the lack of artificial gravity but the preponderance of natural gravity.
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Re: Russian space shuttle story at ArsTechnica

Postposted on Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:26 am

Glorious wrote:
Krogoth wrote:To nitpick at Heinein's quote, it still requires a lot of energy and time to reach anything beyond the Earth/Moon system that isn't interplanetary or interstellar space. Don't get any me wrong, it still require a lot of energy for any significant mass to achieve escape velocity from the Earth.


Oh, that's entirely true and not really a nitpick at all.

I'm just pointing out that the problem with space travel isn't the lack of artificial gravity but the preponderance of natural gravity.


Gravity is handy if you need to slow down and attempt to achieve a stable orbit. That's assuming the object in question exerts a significant amount of gravity. ;)
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Re: Russian space shuttle story at ArsTechnica

Postposted on Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:15 am

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Re: Russian space shuttle story at ArsTechnica

Postposted on Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:51 am

JohnC, in this thread you are an arrogant self-proclaimed specialist in Russian history and politics.
You do advise others of reading and understanding Russian texts about Buran, yet you posted a link to a page that does not contain anything related to Buran - it is just about the policy of catch up. And catch up is just what US did after Gararin.
... Then you might actually learn that it was always about this and not the silly nonsense like "improving the well-being of common people through scientific research".


Mocked up the author of the excellent article at Ars for a spelling mistake. Turned the thread into politics, while ppl here just admired the Russian achievement compared to the tech today and to US achievements.

If you are going this way, at least be objective - both sides did space exploration, yet US was second in everything but man on the Moon (and being the first and only there). If we are going to be punctual - name the man who the US owns most of the rocket technology, Werner von Braun.

Same about politics and lies - mocking up the lies in USSR, while at the same time in US there was paranoia and commie witchhunt and Central Americas regime "changes" by CIA paid death squads, ... What to say about now - perpetual wars for the last 20 years, NSA domestic spying, IRS political opponent vengance, ...

See, it is not all white and black.
Do not be such a dick, pay tribute where it is due. It is the russian scientits that designed Buran, not the central committee of the Communist party.
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Re: Russian space shuttle story at ArsTechnica

Postposted on Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:14 pm

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Re: Russian space shuttle story at ArsTechnica

Postposted on Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:40 pm

To all:

If you can't discuss things calmly and coolly, this thread is done. That most specifically includes complaining about other posters.

Thanks for listening.
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Re: Russian space shuttle story at ArsTechnica

Postposted on Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:47 pm

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Re: Russian space shuttle story at ArsTechnica

Postposted on Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:51 pm

...on a side note "Gagarin"... (typo? or lost in translation?)

In Cyrillic alphabet it is Гагарин; even after you pointed it out I had to look twice in my post to see the error in Gararin :)

As for the language in this thread and in few front page comments as well - have not seen such rudeness on TR before as today.
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Re: Russian space shuttle story at ArsTechnica

Postposted on Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:51 pm

The former Soviet Union is so hard pressed for money that you can go to some of the provinces and fly in say a su37 as long as you purchase the fuel and sign a waiver. Helps with pilot training also.

I for one would love to feel the G forces, speed, power and maneuverability with its fantastic vectored thrust and amazing thrust to weight ratio of one of the fastest most maneuverable fighters in the world.

If a SU-27 had the avionics and weapon control systems of a f15 eagle with a pilot trained as well as ours I think the Russian plane would win 60= % of the time. If it was a strait up gunfight I think it would be closer to 75% win ratio to the russian plane. Heck in a Gunfight I would say a mig 29 would do very well against a f15.

The Russian planes are much tougher and can take off on any runway..gravel whatever since most all of them close their belly intakes for the engines and pull air from the top side of the aircraft to keep debris from entering their engines. They were designed that way for quickly assembled front line air bases. But now most all of the military runways are turning to gravel from no upkeep combined with super cold weather then thawing and freezing again over and over adding the the disrepair of the runways.

Wonder how much damage would be done do the f15s engines if it attempted a gravel runway takeoff
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Re: Russian space shuttle story at ArsTechnica

Postposted on Thu Sep 26, 2013 1:27 pm

Glorious wrote:
cphite wrote:Actually, that isn't correct. In terms of what is keeping us out of space for long periods of time, lack of gravity in space is a bigger factor than the abundance of gravity on the ground.

We've already solved the gravity on the ground problem - that's what rockets are for. That technology has improved over the years, but it really hasn't changed all that much. Launching people into space has long been mastered.


There are plenty of Russians who have spent around a year in space. Were they weak when they returned to Earth? Sure, but they seem to be ok.


There are a total of three who have spent a continuous year in space, and a few others who have come close to a year. However, evidence exists that spending much more than that could result in loss of bone and muscle mass, problems with vision, and various other health issues.

Meanwhile, it costs around a quarter of million dollars to put a single person into low earth orbit. That's a real problem.


The price has and will continue to come down as space flight becomes more common and the equipment and procedures become more standard. Humans aren't likely to become more capable of withstanding long periods of zero gravity.

Didn't you read any science fiction as kid? I'm paraphrasing, but didn't Heinlein famously say "Once you're out of the gravity well you're not halfway to the moon, but halfway to anywhere.


You do understand what science fiction means, right? Heinlein was a visionary, yes; but he was still writing fiction.

Or you could read Clarke's "fountains of paradise."


Or hell, why not just grab a couple of Star Trek novels... it's only a matter of time before we have teleportation, warp drive, and energy shields...

It isn't rocket science. :P


Correct. The rocket science aspect is fairly well settled. It's the medical stuff that's the real challenge.
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Re: Russian space shuttle story at ArsTechnica

Postposted on Thu Sep 26, 2013 1:45 pm

cphite wrote:Correct. The rocket science aspect is fairly well settled. It's the medical stuff that's the real challenge.

You're still not getting the importance of Earth's gravity well. Yes, we know HOW to lift stuff/people to Earth escape velocity, though we've not sent a human at that speed since December 7, 1972. It's still expensive in fuels and rocket parts, it has an inherent failure rate that will never be zero, and it's damned uncomfortable to boot.

Getting things/people out of Earth's gravity well without using chemical rockets will be the first great step forward. Personally, I've always believed the space elevator to be the best method for this as it greatly reduces the needed mass to be lifted and allows for electrical power to provide the required force. A station above geosync (most elevators are designed with the center of mass at geosync) would greatly reduce the propulsive needs for escape velocity.
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Re: Russian space shuttle story at ArsTechnica

Postposted on Thu Sep 26, 2013 2:02 pm

cphite wrote:
Or you could read Clarke's "fountains of paradise."

Or hell, why not just grab a couple of Star Trek novels... it's only a matter of time before we have teleportation, warp drive, and energy shields...

Fountains of Paradise only requires the invention of a stronger tensile strength material - many thought carbon nanotubes were going to be it. I remember reading an edition that had the actual science of the space elevator in an appendix.

Star Trek has insert techno-babble scripts.
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Re: Russian space shuttle story at ArsTechnica

Postposted on Thu Sep 26, 2013 2:17 pm

Captain Ned wrote:Getting things/people out of Earth's gravity well without using chemical rockets will be the first great step forward. Personally, I've always believed the space elevator to be the best method for this as it greatly reduces the needed mass to be lifted and allows for electrical power to provide the required force. A station above geosync (most elevators are designed with the center of mass at geosync) would greatly reduce the propulsive needs for escape velocity.


NERVA engines attached to an interplanetary tug would be much easier to make. We were apparently quite close to making flight-ready hardware in the '70s before NASA's budget got cut.
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bthylafh
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Re: Russian space shuttle story at ArsTechnica

Postposted on Thu Sep 26, 2013 2:23 pm

bthylafh wrote:
Captain Ned wrote:Getting things/people out of Earth's gravity well without using chemical rockets will be the first great step forward. Personally, I've always believed the space elevator to be the best method for this as it greatly reduces the needed mass to be lifted and allows for electrical power to provide the required force. A station above geosync (most elevators are designed with the center of mass at geosync) would greatly reduce the propulsive needs for escape velocity.
NERVA engines attached to an interplanetary tug would be much easier to make. We were apparently quite close to making flight-ready hardware in the '70s before NASA's budget got cut.

Well, if we're going to throw radiation around let's just go straight to Orion. NERVA is a good idea and has an Isp about 3-4 times LOX/LH2, but it'll never play in the court of public opinion. Heck, we saw how the Cassini and New Horizons RTGs got people all in a tizzy and they're damn near impregnable.
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