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Thread: Broken dreams: the future of American spaceflight

  1. #1 Broken dreams: the future of American spaceflight 
    Vanoord is offline Lock up your Alpacas
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    It's a week after Atlantis landed in the darkness and brought the curtain down on the Space Shuttle programme. In the absence of Shuttle launches, here's a thread about the future that I'll occasionally add to, although it may take a while for anything to actually happen...

    The future for publicly-funded American spaceflight now rests on a concept called Space Launch System (SLS) - a rocket based on shuttle-era hardware but with the orbiter replaced with a capsule.

    SLS programme is a brainchild of the Obama administration, which vaguely envisages humans standing on an asteroid; and subsequently a manned flight around Mars. Whilst this sounds like an exciting idea, there's a hitch...

    The manifest for SLS has now leaked out of NASA and it's not entirely positive: the projected first flight of SLS is late 2017, an unmanned test which may flyby the moon

    The second flight is scheduled for mid-2021, with a manned flyby of the moon, although no landing is planned at any time. After that, SLS is scheduled to fly once a year up until 2032 - when the full version of SLS will be ready, with sufficient lifting capacity to make a Mars mission possible.

    In simple terms, NASA are now looking at a 10 year gap until they next launch a human being into space.

    The SLS programme is pretty-much unworkable on many fronts, not least because the slow rate of development will result in a massive loss of skilled workers - the external tank factory, for example, will lay off its final workers in a month's time due to the lack of a firm project specification.

    The odds of SLS flying as currently suggested are pretty low, not least because there's no political will to fund a programme that can't deliver its vague aim of putting humans in Mars orbit for over two decades.

    Instead, the torch of American human spaceflight will be passed to the commercial operators who are busy evolving their launch systems at an impressive rate: the flame of Apollo and Shuttle may be fading, but the future is not all darkness.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vanoord View Post
    It's a week after Atlantis landed in the darkness and brought the curtain down on the Space Shuttle programme. In the absence of Shuttle launches, here's a thread about the future that I'll occasionally add to, although it may take a while for anything to actually happen...

    The future for publicly-funded American spaceflight now rests on a concept called Space Launch System (SLS) - a rocket based on shuttle-era hardware but with the orbiter replaced with a capsule.

    SLS programme is a brainchild of the Obama administration, which vaguely envisages humans standing on an asteroid; and subsequently a manned flight around Mars. Whilst this sounds like an exciting idea, there's a hitch...

    The manifest for SLS has now leaked out of NASA and it's not entirely positive: the projected first flight of SLS is late 2017, an unmanned test which may flyby the moon

    The second flight is scheduled for mid-2021, with a manned flyby of the moon, although no landing is planned at any time. After that, SLS is scheduled to fly once a year up until 2032 - when the full version of SLS will be ready, with sufficient lifting capacity to make a Mars mission possible.

    In simple terms, NASA are now looking at a 10 year gap until they next launch a human being into space.

    The SLS programme is pretty-much unworkable on many fronts, not least because the slow rate of development will result in a massive loss of skilled workers - the external tank factory, for example, will lay off its final workers in a month's time due to the lack of a firm project specification.

    The odds of SLS flying as currently suggested are pretty low, not least because there's no political will to fund a programme that can't deliver its vague aim of putting humans in Mars orbit for over two decades.

    Instead, the torch of American human spaceflight will be passed to the commercial operators who are busy evolving their launch systems at an impressive rate: the flame of Apollo and Shuttle may be fading, but the future is not all darkness.
    If the ancient Mayan's are to believed, just under 7 billion human beings will be launched into outer space in December 2012. An infinately greater accomplishment and one which will effectively end NASA's plan's to fly to the moon .. or anywhere else for that matter.
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  3. #3  
    smokintony is online now Boot Room insider
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    Im not American but a private funded space program is probebly the best way for them to go, I wouldnt want the UK to spend Millions, Billions even just to orbit objects around what is effectivly a lump of space rock


    Don't get me wrong i am fascinated with the workings of the universe and Astronomy but I'm also keen to make sure here on earth the inhabitants are looked after, so far in the universe with all its wonders theres none found yet more precious than that of life here on our own speck of space dust
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    Quote Originally Posted by smokintony View Post
    Im not American but a private funded space program is probebly the best way for them to go, I wouldnt want the UK to spend Millions, Billions even just to orbit objects around what is effectivly a lump of space rock


    Don't get me wrong i am fascinated with the workings of the universe and Astronomy but I'm also keen to make sure here on earth the inhabitants are looked after, so far in the universe with all its wonders theres none found yet more precious than that of life here on our own speck of space dust
    Either that or something similar to the multinational agreements between Germany/UK/Italy to build the Tornado and those three countries with Spain to build the Typhoon.
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    smokintony is online now Boot Room insider
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul143 View Post
    Either that or something similar to the multinational agreements between Germany/UK/Italy to build the Tornado and those three countries with Spain to build the Typhoon.
    That could work I guess, but could the Chinese, Russians and Americans who have the 3 biggest space programs really work effectively together
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  6. #6  
    Ihaveadream is offline Academy prospect
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vanoord View Post
    It's a week after Atlantis landed in the darkness and brought the curtain down on the Space Shuttle programme. In the absence of Shuttle launches, here's a thread about the future that I'll occasionally add to, although it may take a while for anything to actually happen...

    The future for publicly-funded American spaceflight now rests on a concept called Space Launch System (SLS) - a rocket based on shuttle-era hardware but with the orbiter replaced with a capsule.

    SLS programme is a brainchild of the Obama administration, which vaguely envisages humans standing on an asteroid; and subsequently a manned flight around Mars. Whilst this sounds like an exciting idea, there's a hitch...

    The manifest for SLS has now leaked out of NASA and it's not entirely positive: the projected first flight of SLS is late 2017, an unmanned test which may flyby the moon

    The second flight is scheduled for mid-2021, with a manned flyby of the moon, although no landing is planned at any time. After that, SLS is scheduled to fly once a year up until 2032 - when the full version of SLS will be ready, with sufficient lifting capacity to make a Mars mission possible.

    In simple terms, NASA are now looking at a 10 year gap until they next launch a human being into space.

    The SLS programme is pretty-much unworkable on many fronts, not least because the slow rate of development will result in a massive loss of skilled workers - the external tank factory, for example, will lay off its final workers in a month's time due to the lack of a firm project specification.

    The odds of SLS flying as currently suggested are pretty low, not least because there's no political will to fund a programme that can't deliver its vague aim of putting humans in Mars orbit for over two decades.

    Instead, the torch of American human spaceflight will be passed to the commercial operators who are busy evolving their launch systems at an impressive rate: the flame of Apollo and Shuttle may be fading, but the future is not all darkness.
    Financially anyway, we know of what is on the moon they did not tell us about, we can see mars is a planet that at one time did have life like ours.

    I just do not feel the need to explore anymore when they cannot tell us the truth on any of it anyway.

    Shame to see the shuttle programme go but i ask what is the point in anymore?
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    Quote Originally Posted by smokintony View Post
    That could work I guess, but could the Chinese, Russians and Americans who have the 3 biggest space programs really work effectively together
    The Chinese are coming on in leaps and bounds, but are keeping themselves to themselves and not getting involved in any sort of international co-operation.

    They're about to start building a space station, although as with anything in China, they're not releasing many details about it.

    There's every chance that the next generation of space travel will belong to the Chinese - although they may be hampered by the intervention of politics in the same way that NASA is now suffering. From that point of view, commercial development may provide the fastest path for technological development.
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    Quote Originally Posted by smokintony View Post
    That could work I guess, but could the Chinese, Russians and Americans who have the 3 biggest space programs really work effectively together
    Doubtful but it is possible for bipartizan or include the European Space Agency in any deal.

    I think there will also be the requirement to sell it under mutual self interest. Eg to preserve some jobs in all partners each partner is responsible for the manufacture of part of the vehicle.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ihaveadream View Post
    Financially anyway, we know of what is on the moon they did not tell us about, we can see mars is a planet that at one time did have life like ours.

    I just do not feel the need to explore anymore when they cannot tell us the truth on any of it anyway.

    Shame to see the shuttle programme go but i ask what is the point in anymore?
    Shuttle provided a very useful capability in building and maintaining the International Space Station - from three points of view: firstly it could deliver strangely shaped stuff quickly and without having to have something specially adapted to carry it; secondly, the robotic arms gave it a staggering capability to actually do things; and thirdly it had a massive capacity to bring equipment and experiments back to Earth, which no other launch system can do.

    In terms of exploring space, I'd tend to agree with the idea that at some point in humankind's future, we'll spread out across the stars - these are only very early steps and we'll probably see nothing in our lifetimes.

    In the meantime, there's a lot of science being undertaken in space which does bring results which are of benefit to humanity - Teflon being the most-cited example.
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    smokintony is online now Boot Room insider
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    Going off subject a bit, something Ive never quite understood is IF an object in motion continues forever unless acted upon by another force why cant they send the space shuttle to the moon(I understand it couldn't land) Ive heard theres not enough fuel, but once its in space and escaped the earths atmosphere and gravity couldn't it just continue forever and use the moons gravity or another planets to slingshot itself back to earth. I'm guessing it hasn't fully escaped earths gravity but would that little amount be enough to stop it after all Ive heard if workers on space station knock one of their tools that object will float off into space forever.
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    Quote Originally Posted by smokintony View Post
    Going off subject a bit, something Ive never quite understood is IF an object in motion continues forever unless acted upon by another force why cant they send the space shuttle to the moon(I understand it couldn't land) Ive heard theres not enough fuel, but once its in space and escaped the earths atmosphere and gravity couldn't it just continue forever and use the moons gravity or another planets to slingshot itself back to earth. I'm guessing it hasn't fully escaped earths gravity but would that little amount be enough to stop it after all Ive heard if workers on space station knock one of their tools that object will float off into space forever.
    Correct, fuel issues - it doesn't / can't carry enough fuel to get anywhere near there.

    I struggle with orbital mechanics but the crucial bit to understand is that at the height of the International Space Station (200 miles up or so), it isn't actually in zero gravity - gravity is about 95% of that at the Earth's surface, but because the whole thing is travelling at 17,500mph, it's effectively in freefall.

    To get outside the Earth's gravity, you need to go a lot, lot further and shuttle simply couldn't get that amount of fuel off the ground, partially because the orbiter itself weighs about 100 tonnes.

    SLS is designed to overcome that - it's essentially the shuttle 'stack' without the shuttle which will give it the ability launch a smallish capsule and an upper stage with enough fuel to get to the moon / Mars.
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    smokintony is online now Boot Room insider
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vanoord View Post
    Correct, fuel issues - it doesn't / can't carry enough fuel to get anywhere near there.

    I struggle with orbital mechanics but the crucial bit to understand is that at the height of the International Space Station (200 miles up or so), it isn't actually in zero gravity - gravity is about 95% of that at the Earth's surface, but because the whole thing is travelling at 17,500mph, it's effectively in freefall.

    To get outside the Earth's gravity, you need to go a lot, lot further and shuttle simply couldn't get that amount of fuel off the ground, partially because the orbiter itself weighs about 100 tonnes.

    SLS is designed to overcome that - it's essentially the shuttle 'stack' without the shuttle which will give it the ability launch a smallish capsule and an upper stage with enough fuel to get to the moon / Mars.
    So it cant be true that objects knocked by astronauts doing space walks float of into space forever then? surly gravity would overcame the initial inertia caused by a slight nudge
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    Quote Originally Posted by smokintony View Post
    So it cant be true that objects knocked by astronauts doing space walks float of into space forever then? surly gravity would overcame the initial inertia caused by a slight nudge
    If you're outside the ISS and you "drop" a spanner, it will float off, at a slow-ish speed relative to the space station.

    It'll stay in orbit, travelling at 17,500mph-ish around the Earth for some time, but it will eventually slow down* and start to drop into the Earth's atmosphere - where it will slow more quickly as it comes into contact with more and more particles of 'air'.

    Eventually (six months +) it will re-enter the atmosphere and burn up - given it's doing Mach 24 ish, nothing will make it back to surface.

    This, incidentally, is how the ISS disposes of rubbish - automated cargo vessels go up to the space station, get filled with rubbish and are then "de-orbited" by burning them up over the Pacific ocean.

    The ISS itself gets boosted upwards, usually by the automated transfer vehicles that deliver cargo. I think the last European vehicle put about 40km on the height of the ISS, moving it into a higher orbit than ever before now that no more large structural parts are to be delivered.



    * there are a very few particles of 'escaped' atmosphere up to around 400 miles from the surface of the Earth. Even though these are very few and far between, if you're hurtling around at 17,500mph you're going to hit them every so often.



    Slightly at a tangent: this photo (click) shows the entry hole made in a 1/2" thick panel on Endeavour after a 1.5mm bit of circuit board hit a radiator on orbit.
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    smokintony is online now Boot Room insider
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    Ahh that makes things a bit clearer, thanks
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vanoord View Post
    The Chinese are coming on in leaps and bounds...
    On that note, the Chinese have managed two successful launches this week, this one being an 'experimental' satellite of unknown purpose.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vanoord View Post
    On that note, the Chinese have managed two successful launches this week, this one being an 'experimental' satellite of unknown purpose.
    That will put a bit of fear in the totally paranoid
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    Is a damn shame, the sooner we get off this rock the better imo, that can only really happen if the entire human race works together so I wont be holding my breath.
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    To be honest I never really got the point of NASAs post 60s space programme. In 1969 man went to the moon and then by 1972 that was it. It was a bit like getting a car for the first time and then deciding that there really wasn't any point leaving town.

    So they then went pottering about with Skylab and then the Shuttles. But most of the scientific leaps and bounds came from much cheaper unmanned probes like Voyager and the Pioneer probes and the Mars rovers and surveyors.
    I guess that Space is dangerous and costly place to put human beings and there is neither the economic conditions nor a great political will to carry on with short trips above the atmosphere.
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    Oh dear.

    Less than two months after the shuttle fleet was retired and it looks there may be an issue with supply to the International Space Station.

    Today's Russian resupply flight to the ISS has encountered something of a problem in that the Progress capsule hasn't separated from the upper stage of the rocker and as such isn't going to make it to the space station unless something can be fixed rapidly.

    Thankfully, Atlantis took a lot of supplies up in case of something like this happening, but it's a pretty stark demonstration of why keeping options open for resupply would have been a sensible move.

    There's a second issue that will also rear its head shorty: the Progress freighter is effectively a Soyuz capsule converted for freight use, but otherwise it's effectively the same as the human-carrying Soyuz.

    If there are any questions about safety, Soyuz can't be launched - this could cause some *major* problems for the ISS as it will remove the sole method of getting astronauts to the space station.

    .
    Last edited by Vanoord; 24-8-11 at 15:45.
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    Suggestions now that the Progress capsule and upper stage have re-entered and broken up somewhere over Russia.

    This looks like it's going to be a big setback for the ISS.

    In answer to the unasked question: NASA has three space shuttle orbiters, of which two (Atlantis and Endeavour) could conceivably be returned to service.

    However, most of the workforce at Kennedy Space Centre has been laid off; there are no spare external tanks and no spare solid rocket boosters - plus, the factories for those have seen a lot of lay-offs.

    Shuttle won't be coming back and there is nothing on the horizon to replace it. This is a problem that needs to be sorted by the Russians; and sorted quickly.

    There are those who said: "Shuttle shouldn't be retired until the replacement has been successfully flown and is ready for service. If anything goes wrong with Soyuz/Progress, we're going to be in a right mess." They were right.
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    shody1976 is online now First team regular
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    Very interesting debate. I've thought about this very subject quite a few times myself.

    I've always thought that space exploration was a bit of a waste if the furthest we could get was the moon. For it to be really worthwhile, international space agencies need to develop the technology to be able to conduct deep space exploration, something I believe we are no where near to achieving yet. The basic physics of sending man and machine millions of miles into space I would imagine, is relatively simple in theorectical terms, but putting it into actual practice is something else. If any space agency can get a man to Mars within the next 20 years, I'll be very, very impressed.
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    Pretty much at the same time that the Obama administration is majoring on a new jobs programme, SLS has been officially unveiled:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14915725

    Highlights:

    The design for a huge rocket to take humans to asteroids and Mars has been unveiled by the US space agency (Nasa).

    The Space Launch System (SLS), as it is currently known, will be the most powerful launcher ever built - more powerful even than the Saturn V rockets that put men on the Moon.

    On top of the SLS, Nasa plans to put its Orion astronaut capsule, which is already in development.

    The agency says the first launch should occur towards the end of 2017.

    /

    The SLS will borrow many technologies developed for the recently retired space shuttle programme. These include the shuttle orbiter's main engines.

    But whereas the reusable spaceplane had three such power units on its aft, the SLS main core stage in its full-up configuration will have five.

    A further stage on top will provide additional muscle, as will shuttle-like strap-on boosters. Although, again, these will be bigger than those used on the shuttle.

    The initial design calls for the SLS to be able to put 70 tonnes in a low-Earth orbit (LEO), the altitude of the space station. Some 130 tonnes is the eventual target.

    By comparison, today's biggest commercial launch vehicles, such as the Ariane 5 or the Delta IV Heavy, can put just over 20 tonnes in LEO.

    The immense lift capability is necessary to put all the equipment in orbit that is needed to undertake a deep-space mission. This would consist of not only the Orion capsule but perhaps a habitation module and a landing craft to go down to the surface of another planetary body.

    /

    In leaving routine LEO operations to the commercial sector, Nasa hopes it will have sufficient funds available to develop the SLS and Orion in time for the 2017 inaugural launch.

    There is no "roadmap" yet for where the SLS and Orion might take humans, and when. President Obama has talked only about getting astronauts to an asteroid in the 2025 timeframe, and to Mars at some unspecified future date.

    So... a concept that's been knocking around for 3+ years - and which was known about in July anyway.

    The development timescale hasn't been improved (see the opening post) and there's still no definite mission.

    The Orion capsule, incidentally, is likely to fly unmanned in 2013/14 atop a commercial Atlas V rocket, although at the moment that's going to be a one-off test.

    Whether the Orion/Atlas combination will ever be flown manned is another question altogether, suffice to say that it would provide a proven (from the Atlas point of view) system for launching humans about 6 years before SLS will be able to.

    There was also an announcement from Alliant Techsystems yesterday for the development of their proposed 'Libery' launch system - basically a shuttle solid rocket booster with a European Ariane stage sat on top of it. This is effectively the now-cancelled Ares 1 rocket that NASA was going to use, but with a slightly different top half.

    For all the promises about ease of development that Alliant have promised, they haven't actually got a capsule to sit on top of their rocket, so unless they sweet-talk someone to lend them something.

    As ever, the picture is muddy.
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    If America stopped conducting wars and diverted the funds to Space Exploration a lot more could be done.

    As a wide eyed 11 year old in 1969 I watched man first walk on the moon on an old scratchy B+W TV. More than 40 years on space travel has not gone forward...at least there should be by now a permanent space station on the moon....or something....disappointed
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    Well... some improvement for the big picture for Space Launch System:

    SLS-1, the unmanned flight of an Orion capsule atop the first SLS rocket is still scheduled for 2017 - the capsule will perform a flyabout of the moon, followed by a return to Earth.

    The first manned flight, nominally SLS-3, also a lunar flyabout now looks as it it may be brought forwards from 2021 to 2019.

    The return to the moon mission, previously scheduled for

    The Orion capsule will now take its first flight atop a Delta IV rocket has, however, slipped by six months to December 2013 with a further few months slip also likely.

    A second Orion launch on a Delta IV has also been pencilled in, sometime in 2014/15 - this will test the Launch Abort System at max-q velocities. The LAS is a rocket system designed to pull the capsule off the top of the (still accelerating) rocket and will be carried out at max-q, the point of maximum aerodynamics loadings, typically about 40 seconds into flight. That should make interesting viewing...
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    Press release from NASA today:

    NASA PROPOSES ORION SPACECRAFT TEST FLIGHT IN 2014

    Agency Moves to Implement Deep Space Exploration Plan

    WASHINGTON -- NASA plans to add an unmanned flight test of the Orion
    spacecraft in early 2014 to its contract with Lockheed Martin Space
    Systems for the multi-purpose crew vehicle's design, development,
    test and evaluation. This test supports the new Space Launch System
    (SLS) that will take astronauts farther into space than ever before,
    create U.S. jobs, and provide the cornerstone for America's future
    human spaceflight efforts.

    "President Obama and Congress have laid out an ambitious space
    exploration plan, and NASA is moving out quickly to implement it,"
    NASA Associate Administrator for Communications David Weaver said.
    "This flight test will provide invaluable data to support the deep
    space exploration missions this nation is embarking upon."

    This Exploration Flight Test, or EFT-1, will fly two orbits to a
    high-apogee, with a high-energy re-entry through Earth's atmosphere.
    Orion will make a water landing and be recovered using operations
    planned for future human exploration missions. The test mission will
    be launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla., to acquire critical re-entry
    flight performance data and demonstrate early integration
    capabilities that benefit the Orion, SLS, and 21st Century Ground
    Systems programs. The agency has posted a synopsis explaining its
    intention on NASA's procurement website.

    "The entry part of the test will produce data needed to develop a
    spacecraft capable of surviving speeds greater than 20,000 mph and
    safely return astronauts from beyond Earth orbit," Associate
    Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations William
    Gerstenmaier said. "This test is very important to the detailed
    design process in terms of the data we expect to receive."

    NASA also intends to release several competitive solicitations to
    industry in the near future. One solicitation will request proposals
    for the design, development, test and evaluation of a new advanced
    liquid or solid booster capability for the SLS. Another future
    contract NASA intends to compete will be for the development of
    spacecraft, and payload adaptors and fairings for crew and cargo
    missions. The competition and award dates for these will be
    determined as missions are identified.

    NASA is developing the Orion spacecraft to launch astronauts to
    asteroids, the moon, Mars and other destinations atop SLS, the
    agency's new heavy launch vehicle. An early orbital flight test such
    as EFT-1 will provide data needed to influence design decisions and
    serve as a pathfinder to validate innovative new approaches to space
    systems development. The goal is to reduce the cost and schedule
    risks of exploration missions
    Video here: http://vimeo.com/31799422

    As expected, the test flight for the Orion capsule has slipped back a bit, to 'early 2014' - and NASA are a bit quite about the fact that they're buying a rocket to put it on top of, as their own won't be ready for another three years after this launch.

    But, progress it is indeed.
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    Humanity could achieve great things, we have the technology and we could easily spare the cash. What is needed to accomplish these feats is the political will. Until there are votes to be won through space exploration or money to be made then large cheques will only be written when the military takes an interest in it.
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    A couple of chapters have closed on the Shuttle.

    Behind the scenes, there had been an attempt to resurrect Endeavour and Atlantis and use them commercially; however that attempt was abandoned last week, mostly due to the transition of the manufacturing plants to support the will-it-ever-happen SLS programme. With that, any final hope of resurrection has now gone.

    Similarly, later today, Atlantis will be powered down for the final time, drawing a line under the orbiter's operational days: some soon photos here.


    As an aside, for that's all it is at the moment, there is some talk at the moment of the possible development of a new "shuttle capable" vehicle - the may be an announcement in the first quarter of 2012 (or there may not).

    The aim appears to be to design something that has the 'downmass' capability of the shuttles, i.e. the payload that can be returned to Earth: the shuttles were capable of bringing something like 15 tonnes of material back, whereas the ability of current and planned capsules is minimal. Only time till tell what's proposed.
    Last edited by Vanoord; 23-12-11 at 09:30.
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  28. #28  
    Vanoord is offline Lock up your Alpacas
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    As of about an hour ago, the Russians have suffered another failure of a Soyuz rocket, thankfully only carrying a satellite and not a crewed capsule. Preliminary suggestions from Russian sources are that the third stage failed to separate / ignite.

    This comes two days after the successful launch of a Soyuz rocket carrying three astronauts to the ISS (which is due to dock with the space station later this afternoon).

    No news yet on whether this affects common parts shared with the crewed Soyuz launch system that lofts astronauts to the ISS, so no estimates of potential impact on crew launches to the space station - again though, this underlines the potential problems with relying on a single crewed launch system to the ISS.
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  29. #29  
    Vanoord is offline Lock up your Alpacas
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    After last week's Soyuz failure, the Russians are having another go today, in about 10 minutes' time. Live coverage - http://www.arianespace.tv/
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  30. #30  
    Vanoord is offline Lock up your Alpacas
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    The beginning of the end for the shuttles has arrived: the 747 that will carry Discovery to her new home in the Smithsonian Museum arrived at Kennedy Space Centre last night.

    Discovery is spending her last couple of days in the vehicle assembly building and will be rolled out around 5am local time on Saturday morning. From there, it's a short trundle to the loading facility next to the landing facility, be loaded onto the 747.

    The veteran orbiter will depart for Washington on Tuesday, from where Enterprise will be collected for her short journey several weeks later to New York's Intrepid museum.
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