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Ok. Shuttle is done. End of era. Move along
Posted by: Mini 9
Date: March 09, 2011 05:44PM
USA is a boarded up old Coney Island now.
Where to next?
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Re: Ok. Shuttle is done. End of era. Move along
Posted by: Lew Zealand
Date: March 09, 2011 05:58PM
erm... 2 more actually.

Then it's everybody outta the pool!
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Re: Ok. Shuttle is done. End of era. Move along
Posted by: Mini 9
Date: March 09, 2011 06:01PM
Dang. dragging it out.
I hope Sheen pilots one of them.
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Re: Ok. Shuttle is done. End of era. Move along
Posted by: Jimmypoo
Date: March 09, 2011 06:04PM
They have to remove all the explosives from the spacecraft first.

You didn't think that thing went "kaboom" all by itself back in 1986,
did you? The extras helped make sure the pieces got smaller.

Interesting to note that the "Misguidance Explosives" are on all rockets,
but that capsule survived the fall -- if only it had had a damned parachute..........
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Re: Ok. Shuttle is done. End of era. Move along
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: March 09, 2011 06:05PM
Two more flights...

Too bad the last THREE Presidents and Congresses have had their thumbs up their collective posteriors, and refused to fund the replacement systems THEY mandated in the first place...

The Shuttle should have been retired, WITH A REPLACEMENT MANNED LAUNCH SYSTEM, more than 15 years ago. It's too damn expensive a system to operate for less payload than it was designed to haul, and more than ten TIMES as much between-flight maintenance, and a lot LESS safety and reliability than it was designed to have.

By any measure, the STS program has been a "sucessful failure".

I get angry when I think of what we COULD have if we'd actively pursued a follow-on design (Google for "Shuttle C" for ONE example) after Challenger, as we should have. If we had operated the rest of the Shuttle fleet, while developing a replacement, we wouldn't be taking a back seat to Russia with its antique Soyuz's now.



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: Ok. Shuttle is done. End of era. Move along
Posted by: Mini 9
Date: March 09, 2011 06:15PM
C for C(harlie freaking Sheen) I hope! smiling smiley

seriously, though, sad era for the old miss
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Re: Ok. Shuttle is done. End of era. Move along
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: March 09, 2011 06:15PM
Quote
Jimmypoo
They have to remove all the explosives from the spacecraft first.

You didn't think that thing went "kaboom" all by itself back in 1986,
did you? The extras helped make sure the pieces got smaller.

Interesting to note that the "Misguidance Explosives" are on all rockets,
but that capsule survived the fall -- if only it had had a damned parachute..........

OK...
1) The Orbiter does not now, nor has it ever had, nor was it ever designed to have, explosives aboard (except Columbia which had ejection seats for it's first few missions... later removed because they were only good for the first 15 seconds of flight..), and the landing drogue deployment charge.
The solid rocket boosters have thrust termination charges to open a port up front (near the nose), but those reportedly were not fired until nearly 20 seconds after the Challenger impacted the external tank and came apart from the dynamic pressures.

2) The "capsule" was the crew cabin, and the post-challenger commission studied adding a "damned parachute". They found it would work just great... if you wanted to ground the shuttle because it was too heavy to fly. Reinforced bulkheads, separation systems, a purge system for the OMS thrusters to not leak corrosive and toxic propellants on an emergency separation...



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: Ok. Shuttle is done. End of era. Move along
Posted by: Racer X
Date: March 09, 2011 06:15PM
Soyuz WORKS, and is cheap. They charge us WAY more than the launch costs because we have no recourse.

We knew from day 1 that the shuttle would cost 1.3x more than a disposable launch vehicle of the same capabilities, and that was back in the design phase. It's likely 2-3x more by now.
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Re: Ok. Shuttle is done. End of era. Move along
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: March 09, 2011 06:20PM
Actually, it's more like SIX times the cost of an EELV is you factor in the original cost of the Shuttles, plus fixed between flight maintenance.

I've got a lot of respect for the Soyuz... It DOES work, and works very well.
But I still don't have to like that after this year we will have to buy rides on a 40 year old Russian rocket to reach the ISS.

But Falcon IX and the Dragon are coming up the turnpike pretty quick, so there's hope!



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: Ok. Shuttle is done. End of era. Move along
Posted by: Lew Zealand
Date: March 09, 2011 06:26PM
The Shuttle was a Cold War technological achievement to show that the US was "better" than the Soviet Union. That era and it's budget motivations have ended.

There is neither the interest in nor the money necessary for manned space travel available within the US government. It will not happen again for a very long time. I'll trade no government-based manned space program for no Cold War.
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Re: Ok. Shuttle is done. End of era. Move along
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: March 09, 2011 06:28PM
Quote
Mini 9
Dang. dragging it out.
I hope Sheen pilots one of them.

That would be EPIC.



It is what it is.
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Re: Ok. Shuttle is done. End of era. Move along
Posted by: Carnos Jax
Date: March 09, 2011 06:28PM
I don't think I have issues depending on Russian hardware. But like Paul and Racer alluded to in the past, there are a lot of good concepts out there varying in degree with commonality to existing Shuttle hardware. It's a shame we don't seem to be taking space technology seriously enough.
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Re: Ok. Shuttle is done. End of era. Move along
Posted by: Racer X
Date: March 09, 2011 06:43PM
Quote
Paul F.
Actually, it's more like SIX times the cost of an EELV is you factor in the original cost of the Shuttles, plus fixed between flight maintenance.

I've got a lot of respect for the Soyuz... It DOES work, and works very well.
But I still don't have to like that after this year we will have to buy rides on a 40 year old Russian rocket to reach the ISS.

But Falcon IX and the Dragon are coming up the turnpike pretty quick, so there's hope!

Soyuz is the Dodge Dart of the space fleet. It just works. Still does EXACTLY what it was designed for decades ago.
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Re: Ok. Shuttle is done. End of era. Move along
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: March 09, 2011 07:52PM
Yeah, but you don't send your high level diplomats to a summit in Dodge Darts either... :-)

As good as Soyuz is, even the Russians are designing a new reusable capsule... slowly, on a shoe-string budget, but they are.



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: Ok. Shuttle is done. End of era. Move along
Posted by: chopper
Date: March 09, 2011 09:14PM
I watched it land today. It was quite epic.
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Re: Ok. Shuttle is done. End of era. Move along
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: March 09, 2011 09:19PM
Quote
chopper
I watched it land today. It was quite epic.

Just like all of 'em.. a whole lot of awesome!
(Hey, just because I think the Shuttle should have been replaced 15 years ago, doesn't mean it's not a terribly cool spacecraft!)



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: Ok. Shuttle is done. End of era. Move along
Posted by: steve...
Date: March 09, 2011 10:04PM
NASA TV has been showing great video today, not just the landing but also great footage of the time at the ISS. The commander said Discovery performed flawlessly just like it did on its first flight. They said it has spent 365 days total in orbit.


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Re: Ok. Shuttle is done. End of era. Move along
Posted by: neophyte
Date: March 10, 2011 12:26AM
Quote
Paul F.
The solid rocket boosters have thrust termination charges to open a port up front (near the nose), but those reportedly were not fired until nearly 20 seconds after the Challenger impacted the external tank and came apart from the dynamic pressures.

Yes. I watched that flight from a 4th story window in Tampa, a nearly horizontal view. In my minds eye I still see a "Y" - The solid rocket exhaust coming up from the horizon, and the two boosters' separate exhausts as they flew up and away from one another after the explosion. It was a cloudless day, and that "Y" drifted slowly south over the next hour or so before it dissipated.
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Re: Ok. Shuttle is done. End of era. Move along
Posted by: freeradical
Date: March 10, 2011 01:19AM
Chemtrails

jest smiley
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Re: Ok. Shuttle is done. End of era. Move along
Posted by: Mini 9
Date: March 10, 2011 04:45AM
pshaw, chemtrails last all day long.

I'd love a modern day Jack Sparrow, pirating NASA and taking the shuttle for plundering the other kingdoms' satellites, and space debris.
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Re: Ok. Shuttle is done. End of era. Move along
Posted by: Will Collier
Date: March 10, 2011 10:19AM
Quote
Paul F.
Quote
Jimmypoo
They have to remove all the explosives from the spacecraft first.

You didn't think that thing went "kaboom" all by itself back in 1986,
did you? The extras helped make sure the pieces got smaller.

Interesting to note that the "Misguidance Explosives" are on all rockets,
but that capsule survived the fall -- if only it had had a damned parachute..........

OK...
1) The Orbiter does not now, nor has it ever had, nor was it ever designed to have, explosives aboard (except Columbia which had ejection seats for it's first few missions... later removed because they were only good for the first 15 seconds of flight..), and the landing drogue deployment charge.
The solid rocket boosters have thrust termination charges to open a port up front (near the nose), but those reportedly were not fired until nearly 20 seconds after the Challenger impacted the external tank and came apart from the dynamic pressures.

2) The "capsule" was the crew cabin, and the post-challenger commission studied adding a "damned parachute". They found it would work just great... if you wanted to ground the shuttle because it was too heavy to fly. Reinforced bulkheads, separation systems, a purge system for the OMS thrusters to not leak corrosive and toxic propellants on an emergency separation...

Spot on... my senior design project (post-Challenger) was a study of a possible recovery system for the crew cabin (I still think they should have pursued one and given up the weight, but that's very nearly a moot point now).

The hypergolics in the OMS and related on-orbit thruster systems DID explode after the orbiter broke up, but confusing those with range safety explosives is definitely an error.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/10/2011 10:19AM by Will Collier.
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