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No more US manned launchers?

Posted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 8:58 am
by brian livesey
Now that the shuttles are being decommissioned, NASA has, apparently, no launchers for manned flights and will use Russian rocketry as a stop- gap.
Why doesn't NASA use Atlas and Delta rockets for manned flights? These rockets are capable of lifting heavy loads into orbit. :?

Re: No more US manned launchers?

Posted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 9:35 pm
by Davej
brian livesey wrote:Now that the shuttles are being decommissioned, NASA has, apparently, no launchers for manned flights and will use Russian rocketry as a stop- gap.
Why doesn't NASA use Atlas and Delta rockets for manned flights? These rockets are capable of lifting heavy loads into orbit. :?
Hi Brian,

NASA have been considering the two rockets you mentioned.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/227921/t ... _next.html

All the best
Dave

Posted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 3:48 pm
by brian livesey
Thanks Dave. The article describes throwaway rockets as being "more efficient" than shuttles.
How can they say this when most of the shuttle components are recoverable, while the throwaways are left to litter the seabed? NASA might only be thinking of cost-per-launch here, but, to my mind the real inefficiency is in throwing most of the launch vehicle away, as with conventional rockets.
True, the Shuttle is an inherently dangerous stack, but did it need to be manned? Russia's crewless "Buran" was tested in orbit by remote control. Sophisticated robots could probably be designed to substitute for crew members on spaceplanes. Of course, it would require a different approach to operating and work procedures once in orbit.

Posted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 9:07 pm
by Cliff
Dear Brian and Davej
I have some mixed feelings about humans venturing into space.
I cann't comment about the merits of re-usable space craft or disposables.
However, just to mention that according to " New Scientist" (16 July) thaere is now an influential group of US politicians moving to cut NAS's budget even more and if the US does go down that route the James Webb Space Telescope is likely to be killed off.
Apparently the JWST is already billions of dollars over budget and years behind schedule.
The good news perhaps is that for those deep cuts to be implimented requires the approval of the entire house and Senate as well as President Barack and is already getting a chilly reception from some members of Congress.
If as is suggested the JWST is way over budget and behind schedule then it does seem there may be some justification \ reason for some people wanting the project to be abandonned.
Best wishes from Cliff
Best wishes from Cliff

Posted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 8:27 am
by Mogget
If they hadn't spent hundreds of billions of dollars on a space station that was built for the sole purpose of giving the Space Shuttle something to do, they would have had masses of money available for all sorts of interesting telescopes and missions.

Posted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 9:06 am
by Davej
Hi Mogget,
Each to their own opinion but I don't believe for a minute that the ISS was built for the sole purpose of giving the Space Shuttle something to do.
All the best
Dave

Posted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:09 am
by brian livesey
It's difficult to imagine America not having an independent manned presence in space, if only for military reasons.

Posted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:34 am
by David Frydman
They are probably flying around in in foo fighter space planes at this very moment.
Regards, David

Posted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:36 am
by Davej
Hi,
Let's not forget it's not all about America, after all it is an International Space Station.

http://www.esa.int/esaHS/ESAH7O0VMOC_iss_0.html

All the best
Dave

Posted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 1:28 pm
by Tim Chamberlain
Dave - Interesting to read the legal stuff, esp. the bit about national jurisdiction - made me wonder what would happen if two of the partner nations (although unlikely) went to war?

But, back to the OP ... seems to me that the Soyuz is the ultimate winner of the space race, for now at least.

Posted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 4:16 pm
by David Frydman
Tim,
Interesting though a bit silly film just finished on channel 31 freeview.
'Astronaut Farmer' 2006 in which Billy Bob Thornton builds an orbital rocket and capsule.
Fun launches, don't try this at home.
Regards, David