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327 comments

Hungry crew (5, Interesting)

SIGALRM (784769) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159039)

The Delta IV family blends new and mature technology to launch virtually any size medium or heavy payload into space
Probably wouldn't be a bad idea to send one of these bad boys up to the ISS [boeing.com] loaded with some serious good eats [space.com] :)

Seriously though, it appears the Delta 4 Heavy will primarily service military--rather than commercial or scientific--interests.

Re:Hungry crew (1)

Steve Embalmer (783552) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159156)

the Delta 4 Heavy will primarily service military--rather than commercial or scientific--interests

You're right. There seems to be competition for cheaper, lightweight alternatives that appeal to the commercial sector, like Europe's Arianespace. The military gets all the *really* big toys.

No, no, no... (0)

xv4n (639231) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159230)

Russians are the pizza delivery guys.

Re:Hungry crew (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11159235)

send one of these bad boys up to the ISS
I heard about this, apparently they're supposed to be getting a little "Christmas present", some food and water, any day now.

Best Technology Still Western: Good! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11159368)

I, for one, am glad that the best space technology still remains in the West, not China [phrusa.org] . The moderately successful launch of the Delta 4 should keep the West at least 10 years ahead of the Chinese.

The Chinese are aggressively militarizing space. Note that their space program is part of the Chinese Department of War. The American space program (aka NASA) is a purely civilian effort.

I agree with the poster... (2, Funny)

odano (735445) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159048)

Who cares how much weight a rocket can lift into space? If it isn't sexy, it ain't getting my business.

I'll just take my satellites to russia.

Re:I agree with the poster... (4, Interesting)

kippy (416183) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159115)

if your goal is lifting a manned habitat to a Mars intersecting trajectory it's pretty damn sexy.

Or if you want to put up some crazy, ineffective missile shield, it looks pretty good too.

I don't think that people in the market for rockets of this scale are swayed by a name.

Yeah, I know. I should get a sense of humor.

Delta-9 (4, Funny)

thmclean (590355) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159056)

I'm waiting for the Delta-9. That would be waaay more heavy, dude.

Re:Delta-9 (0, Redundant)

fitten (521191) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159099)

Oh yeah? Well... I'm waiting for the Delta-11...

Re:Delta-9 (5, Funny)

KrancHammer (416371) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159118)

Yeah, well the Delta-Burke beats 'em all.

Re:Delta-9 (0)

DoctorPepper (92269) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159612)

Only if she sits on them! ;-)

Re:Delta-9 (5, Informative)

thmclean (590355) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159142)

Delta-9 as in "Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol." Might have been a little to drug geeky for this crowd.

Re:Delta-9 (1)

KrancHammer (416371) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159213)

It seems in that case that thmclean is not such an accurate nick

Re:Delta-9 (1)

paganizer (566360) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159373)

Shouldn't there be a dextro in there somewhere?

Re:Delta-9 (4, Funny)

Too Much Noise (755847) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159153)

Hah! that's thinking small - I'm waiting for a rocket that will launch Earth into ...

Oh, wait ...

NOT successful (5, Informative)

mOoZik (698544) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159058)

It was not completely successful. The two dummy satellites did not make it to orbit due to a problem with the first stage. You can read about it here: Boeing Rocket Launch [newscientist.com]

Re:NOT successful (4, Interesting)

Squareball (523165) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159145)

You beat me to it. Funny thing though, even though it wasn't a success, Boeing was on the radio saying that they consider it a success. WTF? Failure is a success now days? Sure it wasn't complete failure but had there been a real satellite on board it would be pretty much a loss now. "F = Fantastic" oh brother.

Re:NOT successful (2, Insightful)

mOoZik (698544) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159208)

Yeah, another example of the government spinning an almost failure into a success. Had it exploded on the pad, they would have said, "Despite the absense of take-off, we believe the launch was a success. We are ready to commit billions of tax dollars on this rocket. I think they are so optimistic because Boeing had trouble finding commercial customers for the maiden flight, so the govt. had to finance almost the whole thing. As a result, they don't want to admit that it was a partial failure.

Re:NOT successful (1)

PPGMD (679725) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159316)

Because simply getting off the pad with a new rocket is quite an accomplishment. For the government a first launch that makes it's 90% of the way is a success because they have learned to expect failures, and this one was a minor one compared to blowing up on the pad.

As for the guberment being the customers, Boeing had a rocket that fills a void that they needed, and the DoD decided to finance it.

Re:NOT successful (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11159346)

And the spin goes on..

With Bush's high profile success in getting a victory in the face of huge failures - by firmly insisting they were successes, now everyone is trying it. Reality doesn't matter, only how you can spin the perception matters.

Now you've got things like microsoft employees trashing the security of competing products, despite the proven, repeated, and severe failings of their own.

Expect more to come..

Re:NOT successful (1)

saider (177166) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159431)

It is a success if they got the data that they were looking for. Even if it failed to put the objects into their assigned orbits, this was a test launch and was designed to test the system. Glitches are bound to appear on the first flight of anything. A successful test does not always mean that the product works. It means that all the test points were touched and data retrieved for all of them.

Re:NOT successful (2, Informative)

boodaman (791877) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159485)

I'd say a test launch of a rocket this size that actually made it off the launch pad for the first time ever qualifies as a success.

If you read the back story of the project, Boeing built the first new launch facilities in the last 35 years in order to launch this series of rockets. Getting off the pad on the first try with this configuration seems like a success to me.

Re:NOT successful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11159487)

Considering most of NASAs failures are rather ... um ... spectacular. I'd say this was a success. Relatively speaking.

Re:NOT successful (3, Insightful)

Zerbey (15536) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159513)

It didn't explode on the launch pad, and it did make it into orbit. That's a remarkable achievment in itself. This is new hardware and there's bound to be teething problems.

The term you're looking for is "successful failure" :)

Re:NOT successful (2, Interesting)

JimBobJoe (2758) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159540)

Failure is a success now days?

How about the Alamo? Texans cite and use it as a rallying point so often that it's easy to forget that it was a huge military disaster.

In that light the "Don't mess with Texas" always made me chuckle a bit.

(I incidentally proposed that Ohio coopt the line and make it "Don't mess with Ohio or we'll burn Atlanta down again" because while Texas lost the Alamo, we burned the south.)

Re:NOT successful (1)

hey (83763) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159165)

from that article:

"Air Force instead paid to launch a dummy payload and a pair of small research satellites."

Our tax dollars at work.

Re:NOT successful (0)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159256)

I didn't know Bush and his cronies were planning a visit to ISS? ;)

Re:NOT successful (3, Insightful)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159299)

> "Air Force instead paid to launch a dummy payload and a pair of small research satellites."

Our tax dollars at work.

Would you rather that they had put another $Billion of our tax dollars into a spy satellite that would be uselessly drifting in space right now because of the partial failure of this untested rocket?

Re:NOT successful (1)

Libor Vanek (248963) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159425)

Why not allow more non-profit organizations to test new satelites technology? And not some nano-satellites with 30 minutes life-time. But something like highly-experimental device... It should be 23 ton payload - that's LOT of experiments ;-)

Best Technology Still Western: Good! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11159478)

I, for one, am glad that the best space technology still remains in the West, not China [phrusa.org] . The moderately successful launch of the Delta 4 should keep the West at least 10 years ahead of the Chinese.

The Chinese are aggressively militarizing space. Note that their space program is part of the Chinese Department of War. The American space program (aka NASA) is a purely civilian effort.

space shuttle why now? (4, Interesting)

kippy (416183) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159069)

So what reason is there for the space shuttle now? all the heavy lifting can be done by these things and the personnel can get up in a Soyuz. These things seem "cheap" and from what I've read, this paradigm can be used to just strap on a few more rockets to get to the Moon or Mars.

Can anyone cite a reason for continued shuttle lifetime that isn't political?

Re:space shuttle why now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11159130)

Long-term health effects of 0G on humans.

Re:space shuttle why now? (2, Interesting)

kippy (416183) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159194)

so put them in the space station with Soyuz.

plus, how much data do we need on this? We've been gathering it for decades now. The result: eat right, excersize, take it easy for a few days when you re-enter a gravity well.

Re:space shuttle why now? (1)

bhima (46039) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159397)

The space station and hubble are in very different orbits

Re:space shuttle why now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11159146)

I agree.

Re:space shuttle why now? (2, Interesting)

ausoleil (322752) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159203)

For one thing, the Space Shuttle is the only American man-rated launch system in service (well, nearly in service) today. The last one has not been used since the Apollo-Soyuz joint mission, and there is no tooling or production facilities to build an Apollo-style capsule or launch vehicle to carry it aloft.

Secondly, there are still missions that require both heavy lifting and human beings. For example, if NASA were to choose to repair the HST using a non-robotic mission, it would be the Shuttle that carried the repairmen aloft.

Re:space shuttle why now? (1)

slashdot_commentator (444053) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159515)

For one thing, the Space Shuttle is the only American man-rated launch system in service (well, nearly in service) today. The last one has not been used since the Apollo-Soyuz joint mission, and there is no tooling or production facilities to build an Apollo-style capsule or launch vehicle to carry it aloft.

Blah, blah, blah. And the Empire State Building is now the tallest skyscraper in Manhattan. Meaningless factoid. Guess what, eventually there will be another building which will be taller. The answer is to go build it. 23 ton PAYLOAD. You merely design a new capsule to put on top of the rocket. Hell, probably could kludge a Soyuz to fit on top of it.

Secondly, there are still missions that require both heavy lifting and human beings. For example, if NASA were to choose to repair the HST using a non-robotic mission, it would be the Shuttle that carried the repairmen aloft.

Yes, but you don't need the shuttle to do that. Manned capsule on rocket can do the same damn thing. Why are you so in love with something that crippled the US space agenda? You're like a liberal who thinks the gov't can end poverty by wealth redistribution.

Re:space shuttle why now? (2, Interesting)

scxw65d (50032) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159267)

Because the space shuttle can also bring objects down from orbit. And sometimes your satellite will need repair, so you gotta get it down somehow.

Or maybe I'm just talking out my ass. I blame Jack Daniel's.

Re:space shuttle why now? (1)

slashdot_commentator (444053) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159400)


You're talking out of your ass. There hasn't ever been a shuttle mission which required taking a satellite out of orbit and landing it on earth.

There isn't any utility in doing so either. Its cheaper to send up a new satellite.

Shuttle was an engineering marvel, but a white elephant failure. Disposable rockets are cheaper, and it sucked out all that money that could have been used for a manned Mars mission, or a "useful" space station.

Re:space shuttle why now? (4, Informative)

DoctorPepper (92269) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159537)

Actually he isn't. STS-87:

"Early in the mission, the crew deployed Spartan, a freeflying solar instrument package that was supposed to make independent observations of the sun's outer atmosphere and the solar wind. However, the equipment failed upon deployment and was unable to complete its mission. During their first spacewalk Winston Scott and Takao Doi grabbed the spacecraft by hand and berthed it in the payload bay for its return to Earth. Since landing, the Spartan satellite has been impounded for study to determine the cause of the failure."

Granted, the mission wasn't to go up and retrieve a broken satellite, but they did, in fact, retrieve the satellite and bring it back to Earth.

Re:space shuttle why now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11159460)

you blame Jack Daniel's what?

Re:space shuttle why now? (2, Insightful)

rcw-work (30090) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159603)

And sometimes your satellite will need repair, so you gotta get it down somehow.

NASA says [reston.com] the shuttle costs $2.2 billion/year to have around and $85 million per flight. Since NASA had only been making half a dozen flights a year, this equates to $500 million per flight average mission costs.

That'd better be one important satellite you're trying to repair. We could have replaced even the Hubble Space Telescope for the price of the shuttle missions we've done to service it.

Re:space shuttle why now? (1)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159287)

So what reason is there for the space shuttle now? all the heavy lifting can be done by these things and the personnel can get up in a Soyuz. These things seem "cheap" and from what I've read, this paradigm can be used to just strap on a few more rockets to get to the Moon or Mars. Can anyone cite a reason for continued shuttle lifetime that isn't political?

Because ferrying people to and from the stupid ISS isn't the Alpha and Omega of the US manned space program.

Re:space shuttle why now? (1)

kippy (416183) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159311)

exactly. and aside from that, what does the shuttle do?

HST? You've got to ask yourself if it's really worth the billions to get the shuttle back up there and possibly the lives of the crew.

Re:space shuttle why now? (0)

ausoleil (322752) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159347)

You have got to be seriously kidding yourself if you think any manned space flight is not placing the lives of the crew on the line.

Re:space shuttle why now? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11159374)

Much like any other taxi ride. (Right now the drivers don't speak English, perfect!)

Re:space shuttle why now? (1)

kippy (416183) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159394)

Of course it is but you have to make a call on if it's worth it or not for that particular mission. from the money point of view, the training and value of the expertise of the crew is pricy. From a political point of view, can we risk looking like fools sending a crew to their deaths to repair an outdated telescope?

If this was a groundbreaking mission, it's debatable but this is a maintenance mission for a piece of hardware that's beyond it's usefulness.

Re:space shuttle why now? (2, Insightful)

radtea (464814) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159451)


There has never been any reason for the space shuttle, at least not as it was ultimately realized. The requirements for crewed flight and cargo are so radically different that there has never been much engineering justification for combining the two.

A sensible launch system would have at least two components: a small, crewed vehicle type with six nines reliability, and one or more larger vehicle types for lifting cargo and blowing up.

There are some economic factors that mitigate against this mix a bit, like the high, relatively fixed per-launch costs. But I'd be surprised if the big-picture economics didn't line up with the engineering on this one.

The shuttle exists as it does because of politics, not engineering or economics.

--Tom

Six 9s? Who's paying for 1 million test flights? (4, Insightful)

fname (199759) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159570)

Six nines reliability sounds nice, but that works out to one failure in a million attempts. Realistically, until you've had 1 million succesful launched with only 1 failure, you could not claim six 9s reliability. That may be a good goal for an operational vehicle, but it's unrealistic for a development vehicle. We just don't know enough about what could go wrong to assign probabilities with that degree of certitude.

six nines? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11159599)

Is that even possible? Do you mean a vehicle where 999,999 out of 1,000,000 flights are safe for the crew? I might have trouble walking my dog a million times without some serious adverse event.

Or do you mean that it functions perfectly 99.9999% of the time? Depending on what happens the other 0.0001%, that may be achievable, but may not be enough. For example, a one-second catastrophic explosion occuring an average of once every million seconds is not too reassuring.

Your point is valid, though - make the crew transport as safe and reliable as possible.

Re:space shuttle why now? (2, Interesting)

richardoz (529837) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159563)

For one thing:
The additional modules for the ISS are built and reinforced to mount into the Shuttle's payload bay. It not a standard coupling structure that can be easily replaced.

Re:space shuttle why now? (2, Informative)

MarkLR (236125) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159607)

It's needed to build the ISS. A number of the pieces of the ISS are designed to fit into the shuttle's cargo bay and to be supported by brackets within the bay during lanuch. No current expendable rocket has the same configuration. Plus the spacearm is needed for some assembly tasks.

Damn... (1, Funny)

SwedeGeek (545209) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159082)

Guess my mother-in-law is going to be here for Christmas afterall. :(

Re:Damn... (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159403)

So your mother-in-law frequently goes ballistic?

Re:Damn... (1)

fimbulvetr (598306) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159416)

That's tough dude...I've mad a few m-i-l jabs and all of them funny, and most to do with her weight, and I've been modded funny everytime. You seemed to draw the short straw though.

Note to mods--read the headline of the article, then the body of this post, this is a joke and quite funny.

This doesn't seem like progress to me (0, Offtopic)

hey (83763) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159084)

How about a new approach.

Re:This doesn't seem like progress to me (2, Insightful)

bjomo (832719) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159154)

It isn't so much about progress as it is about reclaiming capabilities that we let slip away. The US did have a heavy lifter outside of the shuttle, since we had let the know-how from lifters like the Saturn V slip away. Now we will have a heavy lifting launch vehicle that doesn't require a manned mission.

Re:This doesn't seem like progress to me (4, Interesting)

kippy (416183) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159163)

This is a new approach.

while it's not using antimatter or fusion or something, it makes use of "off the shelf" components to strap together a powerful rocket.

If you want more power, just bundle another couple on. You couldn't really do this with the shuttle or the Saturn. Plus, if you have different mission parameters, you can use basically the same hardware without the need to do R&D for years for a new rocket.

Yeah, it's still chemical propulsion but it seems like a better way of thinking to me. This is something that can actually get some economy of scale.

Re:This doesn't seem like progress to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11159393)

How about a new approach.

Let's see:

Rocket: no good. We need a new approach.

Wax wings: Tried, spacecraft melted. Failure.

Build a masonary tower to space in Iraq: Tried, project management failure, disbanded.

Drop a string from orbit: Materials shortage.

... I'm running out of ideas here.

MOD PARENT FUNNY (but, not too much) (1)

fracai (796392) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159453)

People just don't appreciate good navigational humor these days.

Sexier??? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11159086)

Personally I think the Ariane 5 and 'Satan' are way sexier...

Man, you have a wierd phallic fetish going on there.

Re:Sexier??? (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159255)

I suppose that someone called Arianne could be sexier than a Mammoth (not checked pictures, but with that name she deserves a calendar at least), and about Satan, well, maybe some women can have a better clue if is sexy or not.

Re:Sexier??? (0)

ccharles (799761) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159305)

Man, you have a wierd phallic fetish going on there.

Dude... maybe the poster is, you know, a girl...

Re:Sexier??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11159435)

girl, slashdot...

HAHA good one!

Re:Sexier??? (1)

Gadgetfreak (97865) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159591)

Try being an engineer in the submarine business. The only thing that sells nowadays is the longer, girthier, black cylinders. [navsource.org] Not only are they full of seamen, but they launch a variety of other phallic objects. Good thing the Navy likes to keep things under wraps.

How Successful Really? (4, Informative)

10sball (80009) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159093)

The bit I read this morning wasn't as positive as the story posted above...

http://www.spacetoday.net/Summary/2713 [spacetoday.net]

Delta 4 Heavy launch comes up short
Posted: Wed, Dec 22, 2004, 9:30 AM ET (1430 GMT)
The first Delta 4 Heavy launch vehicle lifted off Tuesday afternoon but a problem with the vehicle's first stage has apparently kept the vehicle from deploying its payload in the proper orbit. The vehicle lifted off from pad 37B at Cape Canaveral at 4:50 pm EST (2150 GMT), more than two hours into a three-hour launch window because of minor problems during pre-launch preparations, and initially the launch appeared to be normal. However, the Delta 4's first stage -- three identical core boosters -- shut down eight seconds earlier than expected. To compensate, the upper stage fired longer than planned during the second of three burns needed to place the primary payload, a demonstration satellite, into geosynchronous orbit, and as a result ran out of propellant during the final burn. Contact has also not been established with two nanosatellites that were deployed from the booster 16 minutes after launch. Despite the underperformance of the first stage, Boeing officials said they, as well as the Air Force, who paid for the flight, were pleased with the launch.

Re:How Successful Really? (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159446)

the Air Force, who paid for the flight, were pleased with the launch.

Looks like a success to me.

Software problem (1)

RocketRay (13092) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159569)

The signal telling the flight control computer that fuel was about to run out was instead somehow interpreted to be fuel has run out. And since it didn't blow up and everything else worked very well, it's a success. /what I've heard...

You need to get out more (2, Funny)

stubear (130454) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159095)

"Personally I think the Ariane 5 and 'Satan' are way sexier..."

I think the nick-bts needs to get out more.

Big Rocket (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11159102)

Personally I think the Ariane 5 and 'Satan' are way sexier...
I think you just have rocket envy.

Finally a new large scale US rocket Motor! (4, Interesting)

StateOfTheUnion (762194) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159127)

After 25 years of sleeping at the wheel as the Russians built new rocket motors, the US finally comes out with a new one . . .

The RS-68's [boeing.com] on the Delta IV Heavy are the first new big rocket motor to be designed and built in the US in a long time (The space shuttle uses motors designed in the late sixties or very early seventies).

And for the record, I think a new rocket motor qualifies as sexy . . .

Good thing too for the Russians (0)

Iberian (533067) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159167)

I mean look at their economy, all that money spent on space exploration has really paid off. Rather than a cool rocket they should be more worried about feeding their starving nation. Priorities my man, priorities.

Re:Finally a new large scale US rocket Motor! (2, Interesting)

CK2004PA (827615) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159218)

American rocket technology of the late sixties is still ahead of current Russian designs. As of matter of fact its ahead of current American designs. Read some books on a little something called the Saturn 5. There isn't anyone around today that could rebuild one very easily.

Re:Finally a new large scale US rocket Motor! (1)

FesterDaFelcher (651853) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159262)

"After 25 years of sleeping at the wheel" - You may call it sleeping at the wheel, but I call it not spending tax payers money on something that already works, just so you can point at the Russians and say "Ha Haaa" every few years.

Priorities. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11159144)

"Personally I think the Ariane 5 and 'Satan' are way sexier..."

Like a dump truck is sexy. When you need to get a job done, you don't care what it looks like.

Saturn 5 vs. Delta 4 Heavy (5, Informative)

MufasaZX (790614) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159152)

To answer the obvious predictable question, no, the Delta IV Heavy doesn't even come close to the Saturn V. The Sat5 could heave 118,000kg into LEO, while the 3 booster D4H can only lift 22,000kg. There is talk of strapping on even more big candles to the D4, going up to as many as 7 main engines (the core and then 6 around it), but rough extrapolation would take that only to 51,333kg, far better than the shuttle but still a far cry from the awesome power of the Saturn V [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Saturn 5 vs. Delta 4 Heavy (4, Interesting)

ausoleil (322752) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159304)

Good points. Unfortuntely, there are no launchable S-Vs, no infrastructure, and not even many engineers familiar with the system left to build or launch one. In short, Nixon, Ford and Carter were fools for throwing away the best launch system the world has ever seen.

Think of what may have been if Von Braun had been allowed to proceed with Nova. It made the Saturn V look like a bottle rocket.

Re:Saturn 5 vs. Delta 4 Heavy (4, Insightful)

NardofDoom (821951) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159328)

The shuttle orbiter weighs in at 99,318 kg fully loaded. [astronautix.com] I'm not sure how much of that is the engines, but if we weren't busy launching bricks-and-wings into space we'd be able to lift more than 50 metric tons to LEO. For crew return we can use a capsule with an ablative heat shield, and the crew wouldn't have to worry about finding their way out of an exploding craft moving supersonically to eject, just put an escape rocket on the capsule like with early spacecraft.

Something tells me that would be cheaper than the shuttle, and get more done, and be more adaptable.

It's all in the numbers.. (1)

_PimpDaddy7_ (415866) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159169)

Delta IV is composed of 5 vehicle configurations.
First stage powered by the RS-68 engine.
Delta IV second stages are derived from the Delta III second stage.

Confused yet? :)

Which runway?? (3, Funny)

KE1LR (206175) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159179)

Anyone who's spent time listening to air traffic control radio near a major airport has certainly heard large aircraft identify themselves as " heavy" so my first thought was that "Delta 4 Heavy" sounded like a 747 instead of a rocket.

Proof left as an exercise for Google (3, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159199)

So I read the headline:

"Boeing Successfully Launches Mammoth Delta-4 Heavy"

Of course, for every stupid, bizarre, or just plain wonky idea, there already exists at least a semi-serious proponent. Proof is left as an exercise for Google [google.com]

From the second Google hit on "mammoth wooly rocket", I quote:

Flight at mach 3.0 from rocket booster in the rump, electric beams from tusks, missiles come from the two nostrils of the trunk

It gets weird after that.

I know some women... (2, Funny)

_PimpDaddy7_ (415866) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159215)

who'd love these rockets [boeing.com] :)

Re:I know some women... (0)

tristan-jt2 (820528) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159282)

not much of a pocket rocket though... :-)

Boeing's inaugural launch woes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11159221)

At least it went better than the debut of the Delta 3.

I was out to see that launch from Cocoa Beach. Great view of the entire flight. We were watching it near a bunch of asian tourists when it came time for the seperation of the SRMs. The SRMs popped off with a little extra flame from the side. The tourists started to 'Ooo' and 'Aaahhh' at the sight while I just slapped my forehead. I kept watching until the rocket met the horizon in an expensive fireworks display.

Boeing just isn't good at space lift operations. McDonnell Douglas had a pretty good record until Boeing stepped in. These type of failures really start to scare me with the future of space lift.

"Oh, we launched alright but half our payload didn't make it. Can we book you for the next flight?"

Wind0wz iz teh r0xorz (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11159244)

micro$oft window$ is bettar tan Linix is each way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11111oneoneone. i
In closing, vi is better than emacs.

I offer my congratulations (1)

jtseng (4054) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159250)

I know this kind of event is not as sexy and media-worthy as the Scaled Composities flight, but IMO if it wasn't for NACA/NASA (as flawed as it is) and their supporting contractors, SC would not have had the base of knowledge to work from to have their flight be a success. So I offer my congratulations to the people who tackled the inherent technological and engineering challenges and made this test flight possible.

(BTW how does the D4H compare to the Energia? I read a while back the Energia was more powerful than any current American booster but was still not as powerful as the Saturn 5.)

Re:I offer my congratulations (1)

gnuman99 (746007) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159345)

See for yourself. Energia [energia.ru] . It can launch up to 100 tones to low Earth orbit, so about 5 times the payload of the US rocket :P

Heck, it can put up 32t to Lunar orbit!

Re:I offer my congratulations (4, Informative)

NardofDoom (821951) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159421)

According to astronautix: [astronautix.com]

Energia

LEO Payload: 88,000 kg. to: 200 km Orbit

Saturn V:

LEO Payload: 118,000 kg. to: 185 km Orbit

Delta IV Heavy

LEO Payload: 25,800 kg. to: 185 km Orbit

Re:I offer my congratulations (1)

foistboinder (99286) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159546)

Saturn V:

LEO Payload: 118,000 kg. to: 185 km Orbit

IMHO, the biggest mistake made by the US space program was shutting down the production of Saturn rockets. Imagine constructing a space station using Skylab sized modules. Also manned missions to the moon and Mars would be more feasible.

"Satan is sexier..." (3, Funny)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159284)

"Satan is sexier..."

Yeah...good luck getting funding for your "Satan" rocket from the current crop of "values" politicians in Congress.

Tell the marketing guys to try "Sword of Jesus" instead; you'll be in like Ron Jeremy.

Re:"Satan is sexier..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11159526)

in like Ron Jeremy.
hahahaha nice.

Which units? (4, Interesting)

Rich Klein (699591) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159296)

...capable of lifting 23 tonnes...

Boeing [boeing.com] is a US company, but Nick [mailto] (and the BBC [bbc.co.uk] ) used the British spelling of tonnes. What kind of tonnes are we talking about?

The space.com story [space.com] provides some more useful numbers:
The added engines allow the rocket to launch 50,800 pounds (23.040 kilograms) of payload into low Earth orbit and 28,950 pounds (13,130 kilograms) to geosynchronous orbits...

That would seem to be (roughly) metric ton(ne)s; there are 2,204.623 pounds per metric ton.

For comparison:
1 ton, gross or long (same as a British ton) = 2,240 pounds
1 ton, metric = 2,204.623 pounds
1 ton, net or short = 2,000 pounds

Re:Which units? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11159626)

AFAIK in the UK Tonne=metric Ton=Imperial

Energia... (1)

Corson (746347) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159388)

The Russian Energia rocket (http://www.russianspaceweb.com/energia.html) is still more powerful... Is this to be a new pissing contest? :)

Re:Energia... (-1)

superdan2k (135614) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159433)

No, because the Energia has never flown, and at the rate the Russian space program is going, it never will, either.

Still a few problems (3, Informative)

Fiz Ocelot (642698) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159389)

There were a few glitches:

"We had a shorter than expected first stage burn. That was compensated for by longer first and second burns in the second stage," said Dan Collins, Boeing vice president for Expendable Launch Systems,

And: [decaturdaily.com] "The delay at five minutes was due to a loss of communication between launch control and the vehicle destruct system. Boeing spokeswoman Monty Vest described this."

Robin Hood Game for Linux (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11159551)

Download the demo here :
http://www.3ddownloads.com/Strategy/Robin%20Hoo d/D emos/rh-linux-demo-x86.run

And please some submit the news to Slashdot (I am French, my english is too poor...)

There is an article at epci-interactive website
http://www.epic-interactive.com/Website20 04/englis ch/index.htm

Sorry for my off-topic

Only a Stepping-Stone (0, Redundant)

DumbSwede (521261) | more than 9 years ago | (#11159587)

Delta-4 only a stepping stone to the next generation of ULTRA-HEAVY lift vehicles the Delta-Burke

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