Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Lockheed Martin unveils Space Shuttle replacement

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago

Space 549

Vegan Bob writes "Lockheed Martin released its proposal for the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) in a recent Popular Mechanics article. NASA will choose this vehicle scematic or opt for the yet-released Northrop Grumman design in 2008. The CEV will replace the Space Shuttle program, and will eventually go to the moon (between 2015 and 2020)."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

One or two questions related to these articles: (5, Insightful)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435240)

Wait, what?

Why add an orbital rendezvous requirement to all missions? Why use a shape like this which, I presume, requires the use of failure-prone ceramic tiles for reentry protection instead of a tried-and-proven heat sheild when you're planning to use parachutes to land the thing anyhow? What's the advantage to using this thing over just a regular capsule if it's not necessarily reusable?

How does it possibly make sense to use the same vehicle for LEO missions as for moon and Mars missions? What happened to the important ideas behind Mars Direct or Semi-Direct (aka, having a seperate hab module that you can leave for future missions and making your fuel on Mars instead of hauling it with)? Does this signal that NASA is planning for Mars as just a set of "footprints and flagpoles" missions? Why are they planning a fly-by of Mars at all when the most dangerous part of a well-planned mission would be the part in transit rather than the part on the planet?

And perhaps most of all, why is it going to take us fifteen years to get back to the moon when we got there from scratch in less than ten the first time around? Heck, what's our goal in going back to the moon in the first place instead of concentrating on the much-more-promising Mars? Did we miss something the last time around?

In short: Just what, exactly, is going on here?

Re:One or two questions related to these articles: (2, Interesting)

October_30th (531777) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435268)

Just what, exactly, is going on here?

Lipservice and political grandstanding? I don't think there will be political will to carry out even a "footprint and flagpoles" Mars mission in the near future.

Re:One or two questions related to these articles: (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12435285)

requires the use of failure-prone ceramic tiles for reentry protection instead of a tried-and-proven heat sheild when you're planning to use parachutes to land the thing anyhow? What's the advantage to using this thing over just a regular capsule if it's not necessarily reusable?

You seem to be forgetting that the vehicle will be on top of the stack, not bolted to the side.

Re:One or two questions related to these articles: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12435289)

RTFA

The team scrapped foam insulation in favor of a redundant Thermal Protection System that includes a backed-up carbon-carbon heat shield.

Re:One or two questions related to these articles: (1)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435347)

The team scrapped foam insulation in favor of a redundant Thermal Protection System that includes a backed-up carbon-carbon heat shield.

I read TFA, trollboy. As far as I can tell, this means that they're using the same sort of tiles that are on the bottom of the current shuttle, except in a double layer.

I admit I could be wrong, but it sure looks like the thing's meant to re-enter on it's belly...

Re:One or two questions related to these articles: (4, Informative)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435516)

No. Carbon-carbon is not ceramic. And backed-up doesn't mean that it's a double layer.

Carbon-carbon is the material that forms the leading edge of the wings, which failed from impact damage on Columbia. By backed-up I presume they mean that the material will be structurally supported underneath, probably by a continuous backing layer. The leading edge of the space shuttle wings were not structurally supported underneath. The interior of the carbon-carbon pieces on the shuttle wings is hollow.

Re:One or two questions related to these articles: (3, Interesting)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435573)

Something else I forgot. The carbon-carbon they are proposing won't be made from tiles. They can construct it as a single piece heat shield. The original shuttle designs also called for a seamless thermal protection system, but they went to a tiled design when it became apparent that they couldn't fabricate it in larger pieces. The nightmare of maintaining so many fragile and unique tiles on the shuttle wasn't their first choice. Materials and fabrication methods have advanced a lot in 30 years, so I'm sure that they will avoid unique and fragile ceramic tiles at all cost.

Re:One or two questions related to these articles: (2, Interesting)

sTalking_Goat (670565) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435302)

Nothing about this impresses me. The design being the biggest disapointment. Maybe its time to take bids from some of the new areospace startups instead of handing it off to old entrenched Boeing. Those dinosaurs look at space and all they see is nails, so of course they'd want to build the same old hammers.

Re:One or two questions related to these articles: (1)

big-giant-head (148077) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435362)

This is just Lockeheed Martin's concept. No one has seen mockups of boeing's yet. I understand thiers is more of an Capsule type configuration, instead of a lifting body.

Re:One or two questions related to these articles: (0)

sTalking_Goat (670565) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435407)

I meant Lockheed but typed Boeing.

Either way Boeing seems to be going back to the Apollo with their design. Unless there's some impressive shit going on inside, I'm not impressed with their's either.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Boeing-CEV-Conc ept.jpg [wikipedia.org]

Re:One or two questions related to these articles: (4, Insightful)

StarKruzr (74642) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435472)

Right, because Apollo didn't work at all.

We didn't use it to get to the moon, and certainly didn't use it to rendezvous with Skylab or the Russians. It didn't prove itself to be a fabulously versatile spacecraft at all; nope, not one iota.

Has it occurred to anyone that maybe there was NOTHING WRONG with the capsule design in the first place, and that the only reason the Shuttle has wings is so that the Air Force could have warm fuzzies about it?

Re:One or two questions related to these articles: (1, Interesting)

sTalking_Goat (670565) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435613)

You're absolutely right. Apollo worked, but so does the turboprop engine. Horses work too.Even coal burning locomotives. So why aren't they still in wide use?

Because someone found something that works better. Its called progress. Better, faster, cheaper.

I've no problem with sticking with what works, but do we just to stop looking when we think we've found it?

Re:One or two questions related to these articles: (1, Insightful)

aklix (801048) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435615)

Maybe it's a psychological thing. After all, would you rather be fired out of a cannon or fly on an airplane? The wings make it look likes it's supposed to fly.

Re:One or two questions related to these articles: (4, Interesting)

dslbrian (318993) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435639)

Has it occurred to anyone that maybe there was NOTHING WRONG with the capsule design in the first place, and that the only reason the Shuttle has wings is so that the Air Force could have warm fuzzies about it?

Mabye people like shuttles because they don't leave a trail of trash from here to the moon. Or mabye because less material resources are expended in recycling something that you know already works. Or perhaps because they don't smash into the ground like a meteor if the parachutes fail.

The various shuttles have flown a LOT more than the Saturn V ever has, so I would venture to say there is nothing wrong with a shuttle design. Perhaps one should try focusing on the real problem with NASA, which is the bureaucracy.

Re:One or two questions related to these articles: (4, Insightful)

big-giant-head (148077) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435546)

I think this is more a return to sanity, than a great evolution in space craft. After all the basic tech hasn't changed all that much.

The shuttle was too big and expensive and had to be basically rebuilt after every mission.

What nasa needs is a reliable, relativly cheap modular space craft(s) that can be bolted to gether for different missions. Orbit, Moon Mars .... really all the CEV is a way for folks to get to and from orbit. the lunar and Mars space craft will undoubtly be assembled in orbit from modules, and carry along a CEV docked on the side to the astronauts can return to earth after it's over.

So it probably will be nothing impressive, the big thing will be reliablility and operational costs ( or less of them).

Re:One or two questions related to these articles: (0)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435386)

Wow, did you even RTFA!? The design is the lockheed design. Boeing is going for a capsule based design.

Re:One or two questions related to these articles: (2, Insightful)

nizo (81281) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435681)

Actually I think they see huge piles of $$$ too, which isn't a good basis for new designs.

Re:One or two questions related to these articles: (1)

fbody98 (881072) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435310)

It seems like the operative word of the day would be 'Budget Constraints'... at least in reference to the time frame under which they're operating. I would suspect that in relative terms the 6.6 billion dollars that they've been allocated over the next several years to accomplish there is substantially less than was spent to reach the moon the first time, hence the extended time frame. I think everyone's gut instinct is that it should be cheaper and easier, but increased complexity and mission objectives means greater potential for failure (anyone ever wonder why the shuttle still used 8086 processors for their main systems and didn't upgrade every cycle?) the increased failure potential can only be aleviated by increased testing, and endlessly self perpetuating cycle that doesn't seem likely to come to any conclusion soon.

8086 processors (1)

StarKruzr (74642) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435511)

It's actually 5 6502s, 4 of which operate in parallel and 1 as a backup or tie-breaker.

Re:One or two questions related to these articles: (3, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435319)

Is it just me, or does that design look a lot like the Big Gemini [wikipedia.org] ? I was amazed at how similar the designs looked, and then I saw this line:

The CEV is not designed to glide upon re-entry like the shuttle; rather, it will be equipped with parachutes and airbags to set down on land or water. Interchangeable computer systems will increase adaptability between modules.

I'm thinking it *is* a Big Gemini. In which case...

Way to go Lockheed! Reusing proven technology rocks! (Maybe they actually listened to my comments on reusing the design? ... Nah.)

Re:One or two questions related to these articles: (1, Troll)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435323)

"In short: Just what, exactly, is going on here?"

NASA have to find some way to spend $16,000,000,000. It's not as if you could find any another way to spend that kind of money on space is it?

Re:One or two questions related to these articles: (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435327)

bleh, this is NOT the CEV that is going to the mars. Also, if you didn't notice, the CEV docks to a hab module in the back, so the hab module could in effect be parked nearby the ISS, or somewhere in orbit and reused.

Re:One or two questions related to these articles: (4, Funny)

Joe the Lesser (533425) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435356)

No, you see, this time we're going to the moon for real!

Well (2)

StarKruzr (74642) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435370)

I don't understand the orbital rendezvous thing either. If I was to guess, I'd say I think it might make the vehicle as a whole more flexible in terms of fuel and cargo space requirements.

The craft does not appear to use ceramic tiles. They mention a carbon-carbon heat shield. Also, it would appear to be reusable. Capsules are limited in terms of maneuverability - this design appears to have some control over its descent into the atmosphere.

And it makes sense to use the same craft for LEO as well as Moon and Mars for the same reason it makes sense to use the orbital rendezvous requirement - modularity.

This craft is clearly intended to be a general-purpose "mission operations and habitat" spacecraft.

I actually really like this design - it reminds me of the equally sensible Russian Kliper design.

As for the lunar timeline, I expect this time around we will be establishing something closer to a permanent presence on the Moon.

Watch for international squabbles over Lunar resources like He-III to start cropping up.

Re:One or two questions related to these articles: (5, Insightful)

macpeep (36699) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435380)

The benefit of a lifting body (or winged vehicle) is that you have more cross-track navigation control. Also, the g-loads on people inside the craft are much lower that way, which is good when they are coming back from a two year trip to Mars in zero gravity (or very low gravity while on Mars). Even for a long trip to the moon, it will be very helpful.

Orbital rendezvous is good for a number of things. It allows you to have modularity so you can assembler larger crafts, add special modules later on that you haven't even thought of now (as more advanced technology becomes available 10 years down the road), use it to dock with the International Space Station, use it to dock with possible rescue crafts, etc.

This is a vehicle for carrying people. It's not the full set of technologies needed to get to and land on Mars.

And it's taking 15 years because there's no Soviet Union that's making everyone piss in their pants in fear.

Re:One or two questions related to these articles: (4, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435518)

Orbital rendezvous is good for a number of things. It allows you to have modularity so you can assembler larger crafts, add special modules later on that you haven't even thought of now (as more advanced technology becomes available 10 years down the road), use it to dock with the International Space Station, use it to dock with possible rescue crafts, etc.

I think the big point of it will be to either:

a) Dock with new engines for the trip from LEO to the moon

b) Dock with a specialized moon courier to transfer the passengers.

Isn't it intersting, one of the primary goals of the Gemini program was to develop space docking technology? Then they design a much larger version just before the end of the program. Now we're getting a craft 50 years later that looks like the Big Gemini design but with a new body. Coincidence?

Re:One or two questions related to these articles: (4, Funny)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435600)

Ironically, in the nations of the former Soviet Union, they also use the excuse that development is slower now because there's no Soviet Union that's making everyone piss their pants in fear.

Re:One or two questions related to these articles: (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435675)

"Also, the g-loads on people inside the craft are much lower that way, which is good when they are coming back from a two year trip to Mars in zero gravity (or very low gravity while on Mars)"

Mars is only a miniscule amount smaller than Earth, maybe by at the maximum (according to calculations done from a 7 year old astronomy book) 7% smaller. Gravity would not be that much of an issue. Now, while they are there on Mars, true, they'll become accustomed to that lower gravity if they stay there longer than a couple of weeks. But, even that tiny amount of gravitational difference would be nearly equivalent to your gravitational pull on the earth, when you're standing on Mt. Everest. There shouldn't be any problem at all with the minor differences in G-force changes, upon leaving earth, or re-entering earth.

Re:One or two questions related to these articles: (1)

ReverendLoki (663861) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435400)

Why use a shape like this which, I presume, requires the use of failure-prone ceramic tiles for reentry protection instead of a tried-and-proven heat sheild when you're planning to use parachutes to land the thing anyhow?

According to the linked Wiki article: "Its airplane-shaped design makes it far easier to navigate during high-speed returns to Earth than the capsule-shaped vehicles of the past, according to Lockheed Martin."

Whether this makes sense or not, I don't know, but there's the answer to one of your questions.

Re:One or two questions related to these articles: (5, Interesting)

JhohannaVH (790228) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435439)

RTFA man.... and all you other commenters. Not only does it use a thermal shield instead of tiles, there IS a backup Carbon-Carbon shield.

Also, this is not the final design, this is the one that Lockheed submitted for consideration in the competition. Final one to be chosen in 2008 with manned flights by 2014.

I think that it's 'taking us so long to go go the moon' because the moon is most assuredly dead. It seems that the focus of everything is looking for life, which is great. Either that, or long-term bases on Luna, which is also great. If it's the latter, well, damn skippy it should take more than 15 years!!!! We've never tried to exist on another solar body, let alone one without supportive water or atmosphere.

So, in answer to your question, this design is a stop gap measure to longer-term and better technically advanced systems to further our goal of living, flourishing and colonizing space and other bodies.

Re:One or two questions related to these articles: (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435441)

"what's our goal in going back to the moon in the first place instead of concentrating on the much-more-promising Mars"

Other than even more welfare under a different name and more big government sponsorship of high tech R&D, what is "much-more-promising" about going to Mars? What does it give us other than a hideously expensive pissing competition?

Re:One or two questions related to these articles: (5, Interesting)

stlhawkeye (868951) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435457)

And perhaps most of all, why is it going to take us fifteen years to get back to the moon when we got there from scratch in less than ten the first time around? Heck, what's our goal in going back to the moon in the first place instead of concentrating on the much-more-promising Mars? Did we miss something the last time around?

We didn't go to the moon for science and exploration, we went there to give the Reds a big fat middle finger.

Further, NASA was a part of the United States Air Force at the time, not a separate entity with its own (very limited ) budget.

Third, the Apollo project cost over $25 billion. In modern dollars, that's aover $100 billion. And believe or not, government spending was more efficient back then. Environmental impact studies weren't necessary, the cost of doing business was lower, the bidding process was simpler and cheaper. NASA's entire budget for this year is under $17 billion.

You can't just reproduce the Saturn V and fly it. The Saturn V was too big for the launch facilities and it had to be assembled with its own tower and hauled out to the launch site.

The Apollo program was also cut short. We'd made our point: America can reach the moon, and the Soviets can't. Neener neener neener. The last three moon missions were cancelled due to budget cuts.

So why will it takes 15 years to get back there? Because none of our current technology is appropriate for the task, the old technology is not only unavailable (there's no more Saturn V's left that could fly) but updating it to modern standards and safety requirements (not to mention refocusing the moon landing to a science mission more than thumbing our nose at the Eastern Bloc) would probably cost as much or more than just starting from scratch.

What's going on: I have no idea, but I honestly don't think they'll even hit the moon in 15 years unless some thing major changes about how NASA or the government does business.

Re:One or two questions related to these articles: (1)

mapmaker (140036) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435575)

why is it going to take us fifteen years to get back to the moon when we got there from scratch in less than ten the first time around?

Inflation?

first (-1, Offtopic)

Stryyp (806146) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435241)

first post

Re:first (1)

Stryyp (806146) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435267)

failed ;_;

Couple LocMart Links (4, Interesting)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435246)

A few links right to locmart:

Main CEV Page [lockheedmartin.com] Has the graphics shown in the other articles, etc.

Couple Page PDF Early on stuff about CEV [lockheedmartin.com]

Interesting.... [lockheedmartin.com] This page doesn't say much but what it does say is this, "The Space Exploration Vision Center is now open in Washington D.C. This facility showcases the latest developments in space exploration, concepts and technologies for NASA's Crew Exploration Vehicle program, including a full-scale cockpit simulator. Government tours and meetings are available five days a week." I want on one of those tours.

But... (-1, Offtopic)

hoka (880785) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435247)

Will it run Longhorn?

Re:But... (5, Funny)

PenguinBoyDave (806137) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435273)

No. The new shuttle replacement will go back to an older, more stable system: Commodore 64

Re:But... (1)

StarKruzr (74642) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435587)

The current shuttle runs on the equivalent of 5 C64s.

What does "yet-released" mean? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12435272)

Nice editing. I'd like my money back...oh wait.

Re:What does "yet-released" mean? (1)

fallendove (875598) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435342)

I don't know what a "scematic" is, but if it can take us to the moon, I'm all for it.

curious... (3, Insightful)

wcitech (798381) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435277)

are there any obvious oppurtunities for advancement here? There are going to be billions in production costs, so we can -=go to the moon=- in 2015-2020. I'm going to be a little more than upset if we spend this much money to accomplish something that will have happene already almost 70 years prior. Can we at least shoot to that red one next door?

50 years is bad enough (1)

benhocking (724439) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435403)

The first lunar landing was July 20, 1969, so that will make this almost 50 years after the original (not 70), which is bad enough. No need to exaggerate the problem. ;)

Re:curious... (4, Funny)

stinkyfingers (588428) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435405)

// begin conspiracy

Maybe we have to get to the moon to put footprints and flag up before some other country finds out the truth. We can always *make* more money.

// end conspiracy

Re:curious... (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435411)

Yeah there definetly should be. The design being shown in the article is a Re Entry Vehicle with a small habitation module + propulsion module. A Mars version would probablly have a large Propulsion module and Habitation module. As far as landing on the moon goes, I dunno how lockmart wants to do it.

Re:curious... (1)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435560)

Obviously this supports its primary design specification: The Pencil Pusher Pension Preservation Program. Now as to REAL space advancement, I would advice taking the one giant leap of.....Learning Chinese...

Sa y hello to the new kid, same as the old kid (3, Insightful)

Watersharer (209011) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435283)

Since the early days of the space program, lives have been wasted and money shoveled down the gaping maw of the 'status-quo' machine.

We should/could have been out there by now. There are overwhelming reasons, political and economic, to get this freaking horse to run already.

So now they give us a 'new and improved' assbox that has limited mission goals, is incapable of leaving orbit, and cant get itself to space. Whats new in that?

Shields! (3, Funny)

Lugor (628175) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435284)

3 Micro-Meteoroid and Orbital Debris protection shield

One step closer to Ionized Hullplates, then real Shields!!

Before everyone goes crazy (4, Informative)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435287)

This is a lifting body, it does NOT have wings like the shuttle's. Where the "wings" are on the LM CEV,LOX/Fuel Cells/and other avionics equipment is stored there.

Also, this is NOT the CEV that is going to be going to Mars. The Mars mission isn't until past 2020 and when that happens, the CEV will have been updated quite a bit.

So now, lets have a Capsule vs Lifting body debate!

Imagine that ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12435290)

Imagine that. Man on the moon. I can hardly wait. Wow!

Where's the CRV? (3, Insightful)

wiredlogic (135348) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435308)

Now if we can get a Crew Return Vehicle turned back back on we have a chance of fully populating the ISS. It would be a nice bonus if such a vehicle was a striped down (toilet-less, stowable) CEV that could use the same launch system.

Re:Where's the CRV? (1)

hoka (880785) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435366)

I don't see why any return vehicle should be specialized to be "stripped down", if anything goes up there it should be able to work independantly and be lived in if it was isolated. That sort of redundancy is really necessary up there, where if something goes wrong (think Apollo 13) the crew can manage to utilize another system to live and return safely.

Re:Where's the CRV? (3, Insightful)

wiredlogic (135348) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435480)

The CRV was designed to be a Soyuz replacement and needs to be able to stay attached to the ISS for months at a time. This requires a vehicle that is designed for extended stays in space. CRV systems need better radiation hardening and need added reliability for sitting in low power, cold storage until the vehicle is needed. The shuttle can't do this since if is only designed for ~2 week missons and all critical systems are kept running all the time. As it is, the Soyuz escape craft docked to ISS have to be replaced periodically during long missions because they have a limited service life (I think the batteries die out).

Not again! (2, Insightful)

Baldrson (78598) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435315)

Oh God, not again!

Hasn't the space shuttle program done enough damage to the pioneering heritage of the US already?

First, NASA delivers a space transportation system with a cost per lb to leo that is an order of magnitude higher than it promised.

Then, NASA stomps out private investment in launch service companies because it would dilute the monopoly value of the bad technology NASA produced.

Then when grassroots space enthusiasts try to get NASA to stop stomping out privately financed space transportation companies, and passed legislation requiring NASA to follow the Reagan policy of purchasing commercial launch services whenever possible [geocities.com] , NASA thumbs its nose at the taxpayers most interested in space and launches the Advanced Communications Technology Satellite via the Shuttle [nasa.gov] .

Then when grassroots space enthusiasts, totally fed up with NASA's lawlessness and detemination to destroy the pioneering spirit of the US, start offering [geocities.com] their [xprize.org] own [space-frontier.org] launch technology prizes, NASA waits until one of them embarrasses it before providing even lip-service to the prize award concept.

Finally, a private entrepreneur is offering $50 million of his own money [bigelowaerospace.com] as an incentive for other private investors to create a de facto replacement for the Space Shuttle* and NASA responds by trying to pump taxpayer money into the same good old boy network that has so effectively destroyed hope among pioneering peoples that they can embark on a new age of exploration to escape the burgeoning bureaucracies that proclaim themselves the hope of mankind while destroying its spirit.

Kill NASA before it kills the human spirit.

*An exploding myth.

Re:Not again! (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435358)

...

you're being completely illogical here.

Also Let's not forget the CEV is designed to go to the moon and mars, not just LEO.

Re:Not again! (2)

Joe the Lesser (533425) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435510)

Indeed, when all is lost and humanity buckles under it's own weight, and we listlissly go through the motions of our meaningless lives, the blame will lie on NASA.

Re:Not again! (1)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435524)

Well, I'm really not comfortable with encouraging corporations to develop and launch what are, in essence ICBMs, outside of the strict regulation of the government.

I'm not comfortable with development of ICBMs under the auspices of governments either, but that is, to me, preferable to the "grassroots" weapons development that is being marketed as "private space exploration".

Re:Not again! (3, Interesting)

Androk (873765) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435601)

the delta clipper http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/x-33/dc- xa.htm [nasa.gov] would have been a great replacement for the shuttle. It took a ground crew of 6 and demonstrated quick turn-aroud launches (on the 1/3 scale prototype). McDonnall Douglas made many successful test launches, Nasa crashed it the first time, and the project was cancelled. Androk

That Old Rock (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12435335)

They better get it right this time. Pick one system. Metrics would be better.

On another note, why are we beating the hell out of Mars? haven't tests come back inconclusive already for any life forms?

Re:That Old Rock (0, Troll)

fallendove (875598) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435367)

'cause there isn't much of a point landing on the moon again.

I can see it all now... (5, Funny)

StuffJustHappens (869989) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435340)

I haven't RTFA (hey, this is Slashdot!), but based on my observations of the shuttle landings - ie: like a 'regular' passenger plane, I can see how this all pans out:

1. Moonbase 1 is built with a modern, high-tech arrivals terminal for the new craft.

2. First craft arrives and personnel enter the arrivals lounge.

3. Crew awaits baggage only to discover it's been sent to Mars.

LockMart? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12435343)

If they win the contract, I hope they have their budget firmly in place before they build anything.

They are notorious for delivering under spec'ed products many millions above budget.

Lockheed vs. Boeing (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435346)

Grumman is teamed up with Boeing on theirs. So if this goes anything like the JSF contest Lockheed will win over the pregnant space guppy.

Re:Lockheed vs. Boeing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12435542)

I work for Boeing. I would probably be working on JSF right now if we had won it. A small part of me is glad LM won, 'cause ours was just fugly. :D

Re:Lockheed vs. Boeing (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435555)

Yeah - I've got family that work for both companies. Neither worked on JSF stuff but we talked it over a lot. We all agree-- Don't try to sell the military an ugly fighter.

old design, made new again? (3, Insightful)

mbancsu (881336) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435371)

this design isn't new!? these are images from shuttle prototype designs that were made back in 1991. Maybe the technology is finally available, hence the release of this material/info to the public/media?

Bring back the Saturn rockets! (4, Interesting)

creimer (824291) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435373)

Why don't we just re-use an updated version of the Saturn rocket and capsule design if we're going back to the moon? It won't have the sex appeal of a new sports space shuttle but it would work.

Re:Bring back the Saturn rockets! (1)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435532)

You mean Like This? [nuclearspace.com]

Re:Bring back the Saturn rockets! (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435654)

Takes me back to the first time I read Rocketship Galileo [scifi.com]

Crappy Name (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12435409)

So we're exploring the crew now?

Re:Crappy Name (1)

TrippTDF (513419) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435493)

Kind of... NASA is raising funds by producing space porn. You'd be amazed what silicon implants look like in zero grav. (Actually, they look just the same).

Too many technical details! (4, Funny)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435434)

The most anticipated--if least glamorous--advancements will include a means to generate power for long-duration stays in space and a diagnostic safety system to troubleshoot problems.
Wow, that's way to complicated... could you please explain that in layman's terms?

Re:Too many technical details! (3, Funny)

t_allardyce (48447) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435454)

A backup hampster wheel and a colour instruction manual with space to write notes.

windows (1, Troll)

sreid (650203) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435448)

it has windows [slashdot.org] , not a good sign

Re:windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12435477)

see here instead [wikipedia.org]

Tin moon syndrome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12435450)

"and will eventually go to the moon (between 2015 and 2020)."

(carefully puts on tin-foil hat and laughs ominously, if not a bit hysterically and says)

"So they -say-! SO THEY SAY!!"

Isn't the mission module tiny? (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435466)

Compared to the shuttle, I mean.

So -- I'm guessing this means a whole new operational strategy, reliying on the presence of large permanent space station for orbital research facilities and unmanned launches to get big stuff up there?

Re:Isn't the mission module tiny? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12435536)

Dude, that was just a drawing. The real module is going to be much bigger!

Re:Isn't the mission module tiny? (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435605)

The CEV would contain the living quarters and facilities for the crew, the mission module would be catered specifically to the mission, so you dont have to cater to the crew too much.

Uh, cargo space? (1, Insightful)

kc01 (772943) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435482)

While the drawings look interesting, it has nowhere near the amount of cargo space that the space shuttle has. There's no way the vehicle in the drawing could launch a satellite of any size. Perhaps they plan on a family of these things?

Re:Uh, cargo space? (4, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435631)

That's because shipping cargo on the Space Shuttle was a dumb idea. Humans have very special needs (e.g. safety, atmosphere, low G tolerance, etc.) that cargo doesn't usually have. As a result, it's usually more cost effective to split manned missions and cargo missions into two seperate craft.

With that in mind, we've already got the cargo craft in the form of the Delta, Atlas, and Titan rockets. Now all we need is a human capable craft that doesn't haul 80 metric tons of (mostly) useless material into orbit.

Re:Uh, cargo space? (4, Informative)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435641)

Thats the whole point, the cargo is sent up seperately, maybe in a mission pod designed to be a cargo launcher. This way, if anything goes wrong, you jetison the CEV and leave the cargo to be destroyed. On missions that dont have heavy payloads like satillites, you arent carrying all that weight of a largely empty cargo bay up. The shuttle couldnt really be reconfigured to save weight, the CEV will be.

Titanium?! (1)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435489)

I'm just curious if anyone else noticed this one element that kept comming up.

The titanium crew module

Thats some really expensive material. But now NASA can have that titanium shuttle they always wanted. Maybe they can just melt down some old russian subs for salvage?

Re:Titanium?! (2, Interesting)

ciroknight (601098) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435590)

I think there are plenty SR-71's out there that are no longer in service which could commit a few tonnes of raw titanium to the project.

Secondly, who the fuck cares? Wouldn't it be cheaper to use carbon fiber composites and stronger steal alloys where needed. Sure it'll be heavier, but it's definitely a lot more cost effective. Unless NASA has the power to make the government turn over a few decommissioned SR's to them.

Size Matters (3, Interesting)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435496)

So they say it could be used for longer missions - but is it big enough. From the diagram it looks like the crew has a place to sit. For any missions, especially long term, the crew really needs a place to move around.

Space capsule with show wings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12435512)

It doesnt glide down, it comes down with parachutes. What is reusable? Sounds like an Apollo capsule with some pretty wings. Crew size is bested, but Apollo didn't take multiple flights to get all the pieces in orbit. What the fuck have we improved on given the last couple of decades?

Everyone is missing the obvious here. (2, Insightful)

pair-a-noyd (594371) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435538)

This thing looks like it can't carry much of a payload.

What about schoolbus sized satellites?

This looks like a simple space taxi, not a space truck...

Waste of money..

I think we need to go back to basics and use the simple rockets to lift huge payloads, like the Russian Energia.

The Russians space program is pretty basic and could be very effective..

First step is to keep meddling politicians out of it all...

Re:Everyone is missing the obvious here. (2, Insightful)

Manhigh (148034) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435678)

Its not the space shuttle, nor is it intended to be.

The space shuttle can launch 20ish tons to LEO. But what if youre just going to the space station for a crew transfer? Its about as economical as taking a semi-truck down to the drugstore instead of a 4-cylinder coupe.

We dont always needs huge payloads. The other interesting idea with this concept is that this vehicle is being designed to be launch from current launch vehicles. Given the current budgetary situation, doing more with less is vital.

NOS! (1)

HepCatA (313858) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435549)

This thing has got to work. I mean, according the pic they have in the PM article, it has NOS! (see Nitrous-oxide mono-propulsion system)

Put a Type R sticker on it and I'll bet it'll get another 15hp at the rear, uh, wheels!

One small step for man... (1)

part_of_you (859291) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435562)

One giant leap for the fuel overlords. This appears to be one of those things that fills the space for our belief in our system, all the while serving it's purpose to perpetuate it's existance.

I say this because we already have a way of using hydrogen as fuel. We just don't. And with all the inovations in the car industry, why would we want to?

The CEV is a step back (3, Interesting)

Bruha (412869) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435563)

If the device cannot land like a plane it has no hopes of recovering anything from space.

Still has to survive re-entry so losing the ability to land like a plane is a great loss. While it makes it possible to land anywhere I dont believe our money is best put to use in this fashion.

Re:The CEV is a step back (2)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435665)

How many times has the Shuttle been used to return large payloads from space - from what I can tell, never! It was sold on that idea (stealing enemy sats) but never used.

Holy crap -- that's MY LEGO set! (4, Funny)

IronChefMorimoto (691038) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435574)

I swear to God that photo on the Popular Mechanics website and Wikipedia article looks like a damned LEGO set.

At least NASA won't have to put much engineering into future spacesuits, what with the limited arm/leg mobility of LEGO peeps.

IronChefMorimoto

who cares?? (3, Funny)

eestar (874541) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435581)

why do we care?? I mean seriously why do i care what we are going to do in space? Why are we geeks and why do all geeks have interests in the same geeky stuff? Lets make slashdot cool together. Lets talk about American Idol... I cant, do it. I like space more than pretty pop singers. whats wrong with us??

X-33!?!? VentureStar!?!? (5, Insightful)

jzarling (600712) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435586)

What about the X-33 and the VentureStar? Couldn't we just restart that program? The design is already worked out and the protoype of the X-33 was well on it way to completion.

Dildo (0, Troll)

hardcorebuttsecks (871562) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435614)

The new space shuttle should be a giant dildo, so I can shove it up my ass!

Articles missing something (0, Redundant)

zymano (581466) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435625)

Where is the lifting rocket for the CEV ? Can't find images.

NEWFLASH (1)

Nerd Cooties (823179) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435634)

In response to the shuttle replacement design, the DOD is announcing retirement all of its jets and replacement with biplanes.

For the Nth time (4, Funny)

Ars-Fartsica (166957) | more than 9 years ago | (#12435637)

How many times have we seen "shuttle replacements"??? And Popular Mechanics/Science has just turned into military industrial porn. Do even 1% of their "artist renderings" of nuclear fighter aircraft or nanotube-hulled destroyers or hypersonic submarines (yes, all improbable/impossible, that is my point) ever make it even into the clay mockup phase?

New Shuttle = Small! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12435648)

Looks kinda cramped.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?