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The Space Shuttle flies again! Lego replica of iconic craft

Posted by: Rob Goldsmith - Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:15 pm
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The Space Shuttle flies again! Lego replica of iconic craft 
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Post The Space Shuttle flies again! Lego replica of iconic craft   Posted on: Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:15 pm
Just months after Atlantis made its final flight, the Space Shuttle has flown again, soaring high above the clouds 21 miles above the Earth.
The new, slightly smaller Lego version 'took off' from central Germany - and flew into the stratosphere courtesy of a helium balloon.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/ ... z1oLHIVvuq

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Post Re: The Space Shuttle flies again! Lego replica of iconic craft   Posted on: Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:19 pm
Cool! 8)

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Post Re: The Space Shuttle flies again! Lego replica of iconic craft   Posted on: Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:42 pm
LOL! Yeah!


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Post Re: The Space Shuttle flies again! Lego replica of iconic craft   Posted on: Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:29 pm
Yeah, that's pretty cool. Too bad they won't make any new ones. Honestly, there's nothing wrong with the system, it was just never intended to run for decades.

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Post Re: The Space Shuttle flies again! Lego replica of iconic craft   Posted on: Thu Mar 08, 2012 1:34 pm
Launching weather balloons with stuff dangling and/or launched off of them seems to be becoming a bit of a sport lately. Makes for cool pictures though, that's for sure. As for the real shuttle, there's only nothing wrong with it if you don't care about cost, launch rate or safety (and do care about coolness :-)). But perhaps you're saying that these were quite ok by early '70s standards? I'm not so sure that it wouldn't have been better off without wings even then.

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Post Re: The Space Shuttle flies again! Lego replica of iconic craft   Posted on: Fri Mar 09, 2012 10:08 am
Psiberzerker wrote:
Yeah, that's pretty cool. Too bad they won't make any new ones. Honestly, there's nothing wrong with the system, it was just never intended to run for decades.


Apart from being massively expensive to run, overly complicated, and having unnecessary cross range capability (i.e. heavy wings),and being a fairly dangerous way of getting in and out of space.


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Post Re: The Space Shuttle flies again! Lego replica of iconic craft   Posted on: Fri Mar 09, 2012 11:02 pm
JamesHughes wrote:
Apart from being massively expensive to run, overly complicated, and having unnecessary cross range capability (i.e. heavy wings),and being a fairly dangerous way of getting in and out of space.
Just for the sake of argument, the 5 craft flew hundreds of missions over 3 decades, with a grand total of 2 high profile failures. Considering the fact that they were rated to a maximum of 10 years, and 20 transatmospheric flights, I'd say they far exceeded expectations. When you slam into the atmosphere at 5 miles per second, any 1981 model is a Pinto.

What I'd propose for a follow-on vehicle would be to learn from those successes, and mistakes (Like continuing to fly a fleet a decades after the warrenty expired) and address the concerns you just mentioned. Make it simpler, cheaper, and more efficient with the technology we have now, and we might be lucky enough to get another era of maned spaceflight saving the money, and resources a brand new design would require.

I agree the wings need to be reduced a bit, but not removed completely. That "Useless cross-range capability) also comes with the glide landing, so it can come in safely even in the event of a power failure. There's a major difference between gliding, and plummeting when it comes to safety. And this type of mission will never be 100% safe, no matter what you say, or do.

Name one other transatmosphereic system with a record even close to 135 missions with only 2 failures. Oh wait, there aren't any other re-usable ones? Never mind.

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Post Re: The Space Shuttle flies again! Lego replica of iconic craft   Posted on: Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:42 am
But reusability shouldn't be a goal in itself. If it's cheaper to build a new one than to refurbish an existing craft, then (ecological issues aside) we should just build a new one. A chance of 1 in 70 of not surviving the trip doesn't sound too hot to me either. Granted 1.5B per launch total project costs is a tenth of what Apollo cost, but you can buy quite a few (highly overpriced) EELVs for that, at pretty much the same reliability rate.

By your numbers, the orbiters exceeded their design life by 35%, which is good, but not amazing; I'm also seeing a design life of 100 launches per vehicle though on Wikipedia and in that case the final achievement is not so good.

As for gliding, it requires continuous control of the craft. If something goes wrong with the GNC of a capsule during reentry, it'll just do a ballistic reentry. Not very healthy for the people inside, but it's been survived successfully a few times in the past couple of years. If you lose attitude control in a hypersonic glider...

The way I see it, F9/Dragon is the successor to STS. Everything in SpaceX's programme just makes sense.

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Post Re: The Space Shuttle flies again! Lego replica of iconic craft   Posted on: Sat Mar 10, 2012 3:47 pm
Just ignore the fact that we wouldn't have been able to complete as much of the ISS, nor all the orbital Observatories without the transatmospheric pickup trucks. Re-usability is practically a requirement, because of turnaround. The environmental concerns are less of an issue when you factor in the industry neccessary to produce those volumes of cryogenic fuel, and oxydizer. I'm not saying it was a perfect system, but it's the best we've developed to date. Any improvement would only make it better.

I believe that winged spaceplanes are the future of interorbital craft, because they allow lift which doesn't need to be provided by brute force with fuel. The wings will only pull their weight if they're also used in the launch stage, though. They're dead mass with the old launch trajectory straight up. I agree, it's a waste if just used for glide landing.

Even if you're gliding dead stick, it's safer than a dead drop at freefall speeds with a non-winged craft. Parachutes fail, and you're flying like a cartoon anvil. Even if you don't have avionic control you're still gliding at less than 10M/s/s, which gives you more time to recover control, or bail out (If that option were ever fitted.)

The program got nerfed by budget cuts. That's why they were never fitted with escape features, and they kept flying long after they were no longer safe. You wouldn't drive a 1981 F150 in the baja 500, because you'd probably die. That's what we did with the STS, only more so, in a performance envelope that was orders of magnitude more dangerous. That's why the second batch of Astronauts died.

Whatever we come up with, we'll have to treat it better.

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Post Re: The Space Shuttle flies again! Lego replica of iconic craft   Posted on: Sat Mar 10, 2012 7:29 pm
The ISS should never have been built. It is a waste of money.

[quote="Psiberzerker"]Just ignore the fact that we wouldn't have been able to complete as much of the ISS, nor all the orbital Observatories without the transatmospheric pickup trucks. Re-usability is practically a requirement, because of turnaround. The environmental concerns are less of an issue when you factor in the industry neccessary to produce those volumes of cryogenic fuel, and oxydizer. I'm not saying it was a perfect system, but it's the best we've developed to date. Any improvement would only make it better.

I believe that winged spaceplanes are the future of interorbital craft, because they allow lift which doesn't need to be provided by brute force with fuel. The wings will only pull their weight if they're also used in the launch stage, though. They're dead mass with the old launch trajectory straight up. I agree, it's a waste if just used for glide landing.

Even if you're gliding dead stick, it's safer than a dead drop at freefall speeds with a non-winged craft. Parachutes fail, and you're flying like a cartoon anvil. Even if you don't have avionic control you're still gliding at less than 10M/s/s, which gives you more time to recover control, or bail out (If that option were ever fitted.)

The program got nerfed by budget cuts. That's why they were never fitted with escape features, and they kept flying long after they were no longer safe. You wouldn't drive a 1981 F150 in the baja 500, because you'd probably die. That's what we did with the STS, only more so, in a performance envelope that was orders of magnitude more dangerous. That's why the second batch of Astronauts died.

Whatever we come up with, we'll have to treat it better.[/quote

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Post Re: The Space Shuttle flies again! Lego replica of iconic craft   Posted on: Thu Mar 29, 2012 7:44 pm
The entire ISS has approximately the same mass as Skylab did. It is a common argument that we needed the shuttle for ISS (and needed ISS for the shuttle to have a place to go, as the circular logic goes) but you could have launched a vastly larger inflatable station with one Saturn 5 launch and avoided spending the billions upon billions on the ISS/shuttle program.


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Post Re: The Space Shuttle flies again! Lego replica of iconic craft   Posted on: Fri Mar 30, 2012 10:42 am
According to Wikipedia, Skylab had ~ 77 (metric) tons and the ISS has ~450 (metric) tons!

But I still agree with you on the false ISS/Shuttle circular logic.

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Post Re: The Space Shuttle flies again! Lego replica of iconic craft   Posted on: Sat Mar 31, 2012 4:54 pm
Weird. I wonder where the hell I got that.

Even with that difference in mass, the ISS has less than three times the internal pressurized volume than the single launch of Skylab.

Edit: Ah, yeah, I was thinking habitable volume. It was less than that of Skylab until fairly recently in the ISS program.


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