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Thread started 27 Apr 2012 (Friday) 22:40   
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Go4EVA!
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mikeCL wrote in post #14381164external link
So the shuttle was pretty much just to help build the ISS and launch a few objects right?

So with them wanting to test out the Orion program (is it still going on?) How will the payload stuff work out?

Over thirty years of flight we've launched quite a few payloads! Numerous communications satellites, multiple science laboratory missions, multiple dockings with the Mir space station, exploration missions like Magellan to Venus, Galileo to Jupiter, the Ulysses Solar mission, the Gamma Ray Observatory, the Chandra X-ray Observatory and, of course, the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). I also feel obligated to say that assembly of the ISS was no trivial matter either -- we've been working very hard to get all the pieces into space, while simultaneously coordinating efforts between multiple International partners. From my perspective, the ISS is an enormous accomplishment.

The Orion Program is definitely still going on. http://www.nasa.gov ...n/systems/mpcv/inde​x.htmlexternal link

The Orion spacecraft is being designed as an exploration vehicle - not as a means for delivering payloads to orbit. That responsibility will fall to other launch vehicles -- provided by NASA and/or commercial launch services.

mikeCL wrote in post #14381219external link
I do remember the HST being the highest for the shuttle to get to and if I remember right the optics were pretty messed up from the get-go but they worked around it.

"Pretty messed up" is a relative term. I respectfully encourage you, and others, to take the more "sensational" articles you read with a grain of salt. Admittedly, the HST primary mirror is imperfect -- it was ground slightly (2.2 microns) "too flat," creating distorted images with spherical aberration effects. But please keep in mind that even with the uncorrected optics, HST was still delivering images that were better than ground-based telescopes. In addition, it's important to realize that there are multiple science instruments incorporated into HST, and not all of them were impacted by the mirror defect. During the STS-61 mission, we successfully installed a "corrective optics" instrument in the HST aft shroud which brought the images back into the desired performance range. Today, HST is in great shape -- actually better than the day it was launched, with improved computers, new solar arrays, and upgraded science collection instruments. HST is the "crown jewel" of NASA's astronomy program.

Jon wrote in post #14381713external link
The current plans, IIRC, are basically to use SRBs (based on the ones in the Shuttle program) and engines based on the shuttle main engines for both Orion (the passenger vehicle) and the heavy cargo lifters that will be needed to support future, more ambitious, plans for space, including manned missions to other planets. In fact, NASA pulled the real shuttle engines from Discovery, Endeavour and Atlantis as part of prepping them for the museums.

Jon, the concept you describe of using Shuttle-derived technology (e.g. SRBs, ETs, RS-25 engines, etc.) for our "next" Program is all correct - that is exactly where we were headed with the recently-cancelled Constellation Program. But a lot of things are changing these days and I cannot say with confidence what will actually happen in the future. My personal opinion is that we will use shuttle-derived components, but we're in a transition phase right now.

Mike Deep wrote in post #14381738external link
My understanding is the RS-25s pulled from STS will be flown on the first SLS flights, and will perish with the core stage on re-enty.

Yes, that was the plan Mike -- but as I stated above, I'm not placing any bets on anything just yet...

bikeboynate wrote in post #14382711external link
One question, Is the Orion space vehicle any bigger than the Apollo capsules? Can astronauts even "stand up" while in space if they were confined to the command module?

A mission to Mars would be a very dangerous one, especially if you think about solar activity.

The current Orion capsule design will accommodate 4 crewmembers so, yes, it's a bit bigger than Apollo -- but "standing up" isn't really a design driver for an orbital (zero-g) vehicle. Current plans are to use Orion for long transit missions in micro-gravity environments, and a separate "lander" of some sort would be used to explore terrestrial surfaces such as the moon, Mars, or an asteroid. The crew will definitely be able to "stand" in whatever landing vehicle is designed.

You are correct that Solar Proton Events and Galactic Cosmic Radiation are significant hazards that we must shield against -- this is a huge challenge to long duration missions in deep space (outside low earth orbit).

Post #46, May 05, 2012 15:41:38


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bikeboynate
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Go4EVA! wrote in post #14384538external link
The Orion spacecraft is being designed as an exploration vehicle - not as a means for delivering payloads to orbit. That responsibility will fall to other launch vehicles -- provided by NASA and/or commercial launch services.



Jon, the concept you describe of using Shuttle-derived technology (e.g. SRBs, ETs, RS-25 engines, etc.) for our "next" Program is all correct - that is exactly where we were headed with the recently-cancelled Constellation Program. But a lot of things are changing these days and I cannot say with confidence what will actually happen in the future. My personal opinion is that we will use shuttle-derived components, but we're in a transition phase right now.


The current Orion capsule design will accommodate 4 crewmembers so, yes, it's a bit bigger than Apollo -- but "standing up" isn't really a design driver for an orbital (zero-g) vehicle. Current plans are to use Orion for long transit missions in micro-gravity environments, and a separate "lander" of some sort would be used to explore terrestrial surfaces such as the moon, Mars, or an asteroid. The crew will definitely be able to "stand" in whatever landing vehicle is designed.

You are correct that Solar Proton Events and Galactic Cosmic Radiation are significant hazards that we must shield against -- this is a huge challenge to long duration missions in deep space (outside low earth orbit).

Was it true that a group of engineers at NASA opposed the Constellation program and designed their own Shuttle derived launch system basically using the same SRB's and ET as the shuttle? If that is true did the current SLS designs come, in part, from those models created by the group of "rebellious" engineers?

Also is there any talk of another reusable spacecraft in the future of NASA?

I wonder how you could possibly protect against solar activity... A magnetic field maybe? Lead is to heavy to haul into orbit, so that's out.

Post #47, May 05, 2012 16:08:23


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Go4EVA!
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bikeboynate wrote in post #14384608external link
Was it true that a group of engineers at NASA opposed the Constellation program and designed their own Shuttle derived launch system basically using the same SRB's and ET as the shuttle? If that is true did the current SLS designs come, in part, from those models created by the group of "rebellious" engineers?

Also is there any talk of another reusable spacecraft in the future of NASA?

I wonder how you could possibly protect against solar activity... A magnetic field maybe? Lead is to heavy to haul into orbit, so that's out.

I wasn't actually working in that area at the time but, yes, I believe there were competing proposals in work. As I recall, virtually ALL of the proposals used shuttle-derived technology in some way, so it certainly wasn't just one group of "rebels." (Again, please be cautious about the sensational articles and headlines.) Part of what makes NASA an interesting place to work is the way lots of people, with lots of ideas, come together and attempt to build a solution that works. We're by no means perfect, but we learn from our successes and failures in a very challenging environment.

If you read up on the Orion Program, you'll find that it is a "partially" reusable spacecraft.

IMHO, radiation is one of the biggest threats to human exploration of deep space. What we really need is a revolutionary propulsion system that will reduce the "out and back" transit times. "Water wall" radiation shields are a common topic of discussion these days.

Post #48, May 05, 2012 17:05:00


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mikeCL
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The launch of the Chandra X-ray Observatory is the one I have on video someplace sadly it was Columbia that launched it.

My concern about all this is that I feel after the shuttle program is over we will be slowing down.. I know that might not be the case but I wished NASA had more funding. I know most of the high geostationary orbit stuff is all unmanned but I have to wonder.. how much more stuff can we park up in that area?

I swear I had a program that would show stuff like that.. If I can recall I think it might be called sat scape or something like that..

Post #49, May 05, 2012 21:47:31




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Pagman
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Go4EVA! wrote in post #14384835external link
I wasn't actually working in that area at the time but, yes, I believe there were competing proposals in work. As I recall, virtually ALL of the proposals used shuttle-derived technology in some way, so it certainly wasn't just one group of "rebels." (Again, please be cautious about the sensational articles and headlines.) Part of what makes NASA an interesting place to work is the way lots of people, with lots of ideas, come together and attempt to build a solution that works. We're by no means perfect, but we learn from our successes and failures in a very challenging environment.

If you read up on the Orion Program, you'll find that it is a "partially" reusable spacecraft.

IMHO, radiation is one of the biggest threats to human exploration of deep space. What we really need is a revolutionary propulshion system that will reduce the "out and back" transit times. "Water wall" radiation shields are a common topic of discussion these days.



Well If they can produce a Black Project "Aurora type concet" that can achieve mach 4-8 then Im sure they should be able to create something that could achieve this, and as you say - once yo break free from the earths atmosphere, then less propulsion should be needed In zero gravity as there Is nothing to fight against eg - the law of gravity v forward motion and drag induced brick wall......

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