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The Red Shuttle

Posted by: gaetanomarano - Thu Nov 25, 2010 2:22 am
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The Red Shuttle 
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Post The Red Shuttle   Posted on: Thu Nov 25, 2010 2:22 am
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The Red Shuttle ... http://x.co/Ka0w

could China develop soon its own Space Shuttle?


Image

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Post Re: The Red Shuttle   Posted on: Thu Nov 25, 2010 9:32 am
Of course they can. Although why they would want to is another question. The Shuttle isn't a particularly effective mechanism for getting stuff in and out of space (is there a need for bring equipment down?) and was always a compromise. There are better ways of doing it given current tech. The Dragon capsule comes to mind. Cargo and man rated (eventually).

If I were China I would stick with capsules.

Of course they might want to make one just for political reasons (See Buran), but I am not so sure they are that easily swayed.


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Post Re: The Red Shuttle   Posted on: Thu Nov 25, 2010 12:37 pm
JamesHughes wrote:
The Dragon capsule comes to mind.


real numbers say that one ton of cargo sent to the ISS with a Dragon will cost up to FIVE TIMES than a ton sent with the "expensive" Shuttle

and a chinese Shuttle could do that at 10-15 times LESS the price-per-ton of the "commercial" CRS program

also, a modern designed Shuttle, can be easier to manage and cheaper, so, the price-per-ton launched with a Red Shuttle may fall to 1/20th the Dragon or less especially if China will use (as I believe) reusable liquid fly-back boosters

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Post Re: The Red Shuttle   Posted on: Thu Nov 25, 2010 8:34 pm
I'll agree with you there. A modern shuttle could easily be designed with half the weight and build/operating cost of the original STS.

Of course, it would look a lot like a Scaled Composites product, which I'm sure would give you endless heartburn. :wink:

The Chinese are rather conservative and not particularly innovative. I would not expect to see anything new from them, unless they've taken some Western ideas and technologies and run with them.


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Post Re: The Red Shuttle   Posted on: Thu Nov 25, 2010 9:22 pm
JamesG wrote:
The Chinese are rather conservative and not particularly innovative.


today's chinese space technology is Soyuz derived and is born in '80s, not now

it's like a generation of TVs made using transistors

but now China develops and produce the best TVs, PCs, smartphones, etc.

China isn't a democratic country, so, it doesn't need to reveal everything about its hidden military and civil space programs

well, I believe that we will soon see big surprises from China...

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Post Re: The Red Shuttle   Posted on: Fri Nov 26, 2010 3:51 pm
gaetanomarano wrote:
today's chinese space technology is Soyuz derived and is born in '80s, not now it's like a generation of TVs made using transistors


If you look at all active space lift systems, including the "new" commercial systems, they are all derivations of same technology developed in the 50s with only minor refinements.
We are still building our space ships with "vacuum tubes".

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but now China develops and produce the best TVs, PCs, smartphones, etc.

The Peoples Republic of China builds electronics to spec for companies who developed the technology elsewhere. Taiwan does develop electronics, but if you will notice, only refinements of what was developed elsewhere.

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well, I believe that we will soon see big surprises from China...


There is the possibility of that, but its unlikely. What is more likely is the application of significant resources to achieve parity or even superiority in space capacity with other countries. But it will be done in a very recognizable way.


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Post Re: The Red Shuttle   Posted on: Fri Nov 26, 2010 6:17 pm
gaetanomarano wrote:
real numbers say that one ton of cargo sent to the ISS with a Dragon will cost up to FIVE TIMES than a ton sent with the "expensive" Shuttle

I'd like to know where you dig up these real numbers.

SpaceX have signed a contract with NASA to provide 12 flights to the ISS for $1.6 billion. That works out at 133 million per flight. Each flight will carry 6000kg of cargo for a total cost of $22.2 million per ton (1000kg). My numbers come from the contract that was signed between SpaceX and NASA.

The maximum payload of the space shuttle is 25000kg. There are a number of ways to calculate the cost of a shuttle launch and depending on how you work the numbers or who you ask, the cost is usually quoted as being between $500 million and $1.3 billion. So the shuttle costs between $20 million and $52 million per ton of cargo to the ISS by my calculations. That's way off the five times cost difference you mentioned and it looks like the Falcon9/Dragon will be much more cost effective than the shuttle.

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Post Re: The Red Shuttle   Posted on: Sun Nov 28, 2010 6:38 pm
Could they? Probably yes
Would they be willing to? I don't think so.

Chinese space program seems to be going in direction of building upon existing Soyuz/Shenzou platform, and not towards development of new spacecraft.

There is a large potential in Chinese space program, but I don't think much (if any) effort will be directed towards a Shuttle/Buran like platform.


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Post Re: The Red Shuttle   Posted on: Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:42 am
JamesG wrote:
I'll agree with you there. A modern shuttle could easily be designed with half the weight and build/operating cost of the original STS.

Of course, it would look a lot like a Scaled Composites product, which I'm sure would give you endless heartburn. :wink:

The Chinese are rather conservative and not particularly innovative. I would not expect to see anything new from them, unless they've taken some Western ideas and technologies and run with them.


I'd agree with that. But the cost would be HUGE if done by governement. Look at VentureStar which is really what we are talking about, well, perhaps not given that was SSTO, but you get the drift. Didn't even get to the prototype stage.

Also, with regards to Chinese design - another commenter is correct, they copy, and do that very well, but most of the stuff made in China is designed elsewhere.


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Post Re: The Red Shuttle   Posted on: Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:41 am
VentureStar suffered the same fate as NASP, a combination of immature technologies (or not working long enough on it), competing "conventional" programs, and no serious political push to get the projects done.

We can only hope the the Chinese are as equally divisive.


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Post Re: The Red Shuttle   Posted on: Thu Dec 02, 2010 10:00 am
I'm not really bothered whether the Chinese overtake the USA or others - as long as someone on the planet keeps spending on R&D in the launcher area, and people keep coming up with novel ideas. Doubt the Chinese will come up with novel ideas though.


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Post Re: The Red Shuttle   Posted on: Sun Dec 05, 2010 10:29 pm
@johno
Also SpaceX is actively working to lover their costs even further, by recovering the first stage, if successful this could lover the costs a great deal!
Elon Musk is probably one of the best things that happened to the human race in quite some time. :-) (Huge fan of his, as you might have guessed ;-))


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