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Life After The Shuttle

Posted by: Andy Hill - Tue Apr 05, 2005 3:05 pm
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Life After The Shuttle 
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Post Life After The Shuttle   Posted on: Tue Apr 05, 2005 3:05 pm
What will happen when the shuttle retires (aside from space travel getting safer that is)?

At present there is going to be a gap between the shuttle retiring and the CEV being used how will the US keep its astonauts flying over this period?

There appears to be a number of options open to them, none of which seems likely at the moment.

1. Use Russian Soyuz craft. Given the present difficulties in buying services from the Russians this would require a major policy change, still stranger things have happened.

2. Use Commercially available Craft. The main problem with this is there arn't any and unless the pace of developement speeds up considerably (possibly with NASA's help using its resources and incentives such as centennial prizes) this option wont be around when the shuttle retires.

3. Extend shuttle flights. I would have thought that NASA would wish to avoid this due to the costs and drain on their budget which would slow down the CEV's development. Also if the shuttle infrastructure had already been reduced then this might not be possible. The attached article outlines some of the problems that will be surfacing with shuttle operations soon.

http://www.thespacereview.com/article/350/1

4. Design and fly a cheap crew only vehicle, possibly in collaboration with another agency. Aside from the cost of this option and the fact that it might take focus away from the CEV, I'm not sure NASA is capable of producing a cheap craft so this may be a non-starter.

5. Speed up the CEV programme. Not sure whether this is possible with the shuttle and ISS absorbing so much of the available funding but NASA's budget could be increased in future years.

6. The final option is that NASA does nothing. This is the most likely scenario I think and will leave the US without any manned space vehicle for a number of years following the shuttle's retirement.

What do other people think may happen?

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Post    Posted on: Wed Apr 06, 2005 3:12 pm
didnt the chinese craft have the same parts as the russian rockets so could it not get to the iss? maybe the US should stop beign gay and let them work together better for everyone, im also sure the russians will be very happy to let people buy rides with them! just bad organisaing that nasa has realy been so bloooming stupid sorting all of this out for the past decade!

sorry to sound so negative but who cares, bring on the private sector!

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Post    Posted on: Thu Apr 07, 2005 3:33 am
This shuttle is just ridiculous. It takes months to prep and its just too damn expensive!

There is so many delays with it, There all these reports on problems and how risky it is. It makes me think how far are we actually away from being able to go into space regularly without being extremely cautious about our every move. It seems like we are taking extremely small baby steps in building this ISS in orbit. The space shuttle just seems like sooo much hassle

I would love to see regular launches of atleast a launch per 1/2 months and even more if possible... maybe multiple lauunch of vehicles. We need to pick up the pace a bit in all of this. It seems extremely slow right now.

I just hope Private industry can make a big difference in the next 10 years to the feasability of regular space travel. cheap too..


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Post    Posted on: Sun Apr 17, 2005 1:39 pm
NASA really does need a better craft for their astronauts, the shuttle is just too dangerous. Look at this latest article on another problem with it, apparantly it is susceptable to sporadic firings of its reaction control system. While this was not seen as a problem when flown solo, there is a possibility that it could destroy the ISS if it happens while coupled to it.

http://www.flatoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/a ... 007/news02

I think that aside from not being able to fly the shuttle fleet without further problems constantly croping up, there is a good chance that they might loose another orbiter if they push to make the whole 28 flights by the end of 2010 so they can retire it.

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Post    Posted on: Mon Apr 18, 2005 4:29 am
Judging by Mike Griffin's comments, NASA may decide to speed up the development of the CEV to fill the current gap between the shuttle and it. According to space.com he mentioned at his confirmation hearing that the current four year gap between the two is absolutely unacceptable and alluded to the possibility of a faster development schedule for the CEV. This is entirely possible, but will require more money to be spent if it is done. NASA probably won't be getting much more than what has been alotted to it under Bush's VSE, if any more than that, so the money will have to be reprogramed from somewhere in NASA's current budget. Normally one might think that this is extremely unlikely considering their complacent keep-all-the-engineers-employed-whether-or-not-we're-using-them attitude, but Griffin is probably the perfect guy for the job. It is exceedingly unlikely that the shuttle will be used beyond 2010 because IIRC that will require a lengthy and costly recertification process for the three in the fleet. NASA has some difficult choices ahead of it, it will be interesting to see how they handle them.

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Post    Posted on: Tue May 03, 2005 9:27 am
It seems Lockheed unveiled its CEV design on Friday, did anyone see anything about this?

http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,141 ... 78,00.html

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Post    Posted on: Tue May 03, 2005 11:23 am
Quote:
Thus begins what could become a multibillion-dollar competition to build the next conduit to space.


Sigh....

At less the good side on is is that nasa only gives them three years. but since it will only be boeing and lockheed, this will still be a killer for the upcoming commercial space market. I'm sure they will be able to build a fine shuttle replacement. maybe they can lower the actual cost to use it to 400 million dollaer per flight....


/edit/
i think i've found a 'valid' reason why to hand this to lockheed and boeing

Quote:
At its peak, the CEV project could generate between 400 to 600 jobs in the Denver area, Underwood estimates. Those highly skilled jobs would include engineering positions, software system design and technical services located at the company's facilities in Jefferson County.

"For the kind of jobs they are taking about, you are in the $60,000-to-$80,000 salary range," said Preston Gibson, president and chief executive of the Jefferson Economic Council.

Typically, high-tech jobs create two to three "spinoff" jobs, he said. Five hundred new jobs at Lockheed Martin Space Systems, for example, could translate into 1,000 to 2,000 jobs with vendors and suppliers.


60k-80k is not much for such a job imo. Stupid politicians even 'earn' more.

Argh, whatever ;)


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Post    Posted on: Tue May 03, 2005 11:54 am
I agree by far - jobs may be a major reason to give it to Lockheed etc. Governments prefer huge companies that provide a lot of jobs. They do it for political reasons and because of employment policies - in Germany at least. I only cannot make up my mind if the US governments gets NASA involved in employment policies.



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Post    Posted on: Tue May 03, 2005 12:03 pm
How can you agree? Sure its good, but what kind of lousy product are they gonna produce. Its a fact that governments are not efficient with money, so i dont see how this could be good.


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Post    Posted on: Tue May 03, 2005 12:07 pm
I agree to you - not to the governments or to NASA... :wink:



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Post    Posted on: Tue May 03, 2005 12:15 pm
Lol, sorry :D

i love misreading ;)


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Post    Posted on: Tue May 03, 2005 12:25 pm
Wow. Ekke, you seem to be a hotbed of miscommunication recently...... :wink:

And yes, Stefan: the contracts that NASA awards are very greatly dependent upon where jobs are created.

Something about the fact that a perfectly good design can be killed because the parts aren't made in the right states just doesn't sit well with me....... :x

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Post    Posted on: Tue May 03, 2005 1:50 pm
You can also replace "states" with countries ;) But i get the point.


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Post    Posted on: Tue May 03, 2005 7:07 pm
When dealing with the EU, yes.

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Post    Posted on: Tue May 03, 2005 7:20 pm
Here are some details on Lockheed's CEV proposal.

http://space.com/businesstechnology/tec ... _nasa.html

Couldn't find anything on Lockheed's own site had to rely on space.com.

Interesting that they are going for the lifting body approach as opposed to a capsule, perhaps they wish to be seen as looking like a new design rather than being based upon Apollo. They also appear to be saying that they will fly the crew section only for the 2008 flyoff, would that meet NASA's requirement I wonder.

I wonder when Boeing will wheel their design out, they are under pressure now to produce something soon.

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