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It was a good idea at the time
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>>1051966
Principal lesson learned from the space shuttle program: congress-critters can't into engineering & design
>>
NASA: So hey, we need a new heavy launch vehical.
USAF: We need the ability to retrieve huge objects from space and bring them back.
NASA: What? Why?!
USAF: Reasons.
NASA: That's going to cost eleventy billion dollars and make the engineering really complicated...
USAF: No really we need it.
NASA: *sigh* Fine.

*Many years later*

NASA: Look USAF, are you ever going to _use_ this thing?
USAF: ...huh? Us? Nah.
NASA: FFFffffffffffffffffff
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>>1051993
Could the shuttle really grab things in orbit and bring them back? Like ruskie sats or something?
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>>1051966
>It was a good idea at the time
No it wasn't and no-one genuinely believes it was.
>>1051993
That wasn't what made the design expensive and useless. The space plane concept in itself is completely daft. The USAF requirements could have been easily met with a deorbitable converted upper stage cargo bay from an existing rocket. "Just" add shielding, a deorbit burner and retardation. See how Skylab was constructed and launched.

The problem with the Shuttle concept was literally the Shuttle concept.
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>>1052001
The concept of reusing a spacecraft is good though
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Rip in pieces :(
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>>1052010
But it isn't reusing the spacecraft. It's making the capsule an order of magnitude larger than it has to be and mounting it in an awkward place both aerodynamically and structurally. Sure, reuse the capsule. Older capsules were also reusable, once you replaced the shielding - which you also have to do on the Shuttle. Except it's many times more expensive because it's both much larger and full of weird angles and shapes.
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>>1051966
At least endeavour didn't blow up
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>>1051996
>>1051993

The final product was a compromise. Translation: it didn't do it's job well for civies and military.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/carolpinchefsky/2012/04/18/5-horrifying-facts-you-didnt-know-about-the-space-shuttle/#3786454ff9d4
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>>1052010
Reusing is only good if it saves you resources. It didn't. The Shuttle was more expensive per launch than the Saturn V, and much, _much_ less capable. So, making something needlessly complicated, expensive and severely gimped just so some of the bloat can be ever so slightly reusable - no. Just no.
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>>1051966
>implying building a fucking spaceship is ever a bad idea
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>>1051966
It still kinda is.
We need a modernized version of the Space Shuttle
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>>1052055
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>>1052055
skylon will take years of material science to become an actual craft.
but yeah i agree
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>>1052058
GPS launches on the cheap.
Just cause it couldn't work then doesn't mean that the tech doesn't exist now to make reusable rocketry.

Heck imagine trying to sell today's iphone to somebody from 1981.
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>>1052071
>GPS launches on the cheap.
But the Shuttle was never capable of doing anything cheap. Launching small satellites is what it was worst at, of the short list such a craft is technically capable of. Disposable rockets have been putting up satellites for a fraction of the cost for ages.

Please don't conflate reusable rocketry with the Shuttle. The Shuttle concept is the space airplane. It is not a reusable rocket. A reusable rocket would be great, assuming it's actually cheaper than a disposable one. That will not always be true.
What we need is cheap launches. Reusability is a sometimes applicable means to an end.
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>>1052086
>The Shuttle concept is the space airplane
This is awesome
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>>1052102
A colony on Mars in 2010 would have been awesome. The Shuttle cost us that.
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>>1052103
The Russians and Americans should have worked together in space exploration after the cold war
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>>1052103
No it didn't dipshit. Ludicrous budget cuts for NASA from Congress as a % of GDP did.
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>>1051966
Building a space plane will always be a good idea
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File: DSCN4239.jpg (624 KB, 2198x1333)
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weEEEEHA!,
,lets keep in mind,, imnot only delusional,,, butstupid.,
,,,,,EVERY DAMN LAUNCH!, hiden,, so large itsinvisible!,, just call itrash,, we just "dumpit.
, the External Tank,, has its own orbital rockets,, pretested pressure vessel,, multichambers,, hatchs,, insulated, has oxegen,, SPACE FACTORYS!
,,,and how to deliver the goods?> SHUTTLE!
, bring large scale back to earth.
,, nowe have better.
>>
I get so DAMN conflicted when it comes to the Space Shuttle.

I grew up in Southern Florida, so the shuttle culture and pride was always big there. I went to as many launches as I could, had books on NASA, and pretended to fly around space in the shuttle with friends at the park.

I was like 5 or 6 when Columbia broke up and I remember our school broadcasting the memorial service and us setting up a mural for the astronauts.

This thing was just crazy iconic to me, and is still the first thing I think of when I hear "spaceship". Kinda blindly loved the thing until about last year when I watched documentaries and read some books that all outlined the reasons why the Shuttle was a complete failure. It's kind of like learning your childhood hero was actually a huge asshole.

It's a complete fuckup, but I still love it to no end.
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>>1052146
>Tripfags
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>>1052171
>It's kind of like learning your childhood hero was actually a huge asshole.

Or like when you find out your favourite actor is Jewish
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>>1052171
This reminds me of my wife's son
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>>1052173
>shitposting this badly
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>>1051996
Yes, and it did. The Long Duration Exposure Facility, for one. Also a communications satellite. Taking a Russian satellite down without their permission would a Bad Idea politically.
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>>1052001
>The problem with the Shuttle concept was literally the Shuttle concept.
I dunno, the DC-3 style shuttle (Pic) seems like it'd actually be half useful, if perhaps an engineering nightmare. The USAF rejected it because it's re-entry profile made it useless for military operations from Vandenberg AFB.

(Unless you're getting at the semi-reusable nature of the actual shuttle, diverging away from the hypothetical other reusable spaceplanes.)
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truefact: John Denver was almost on that spacebomb.
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>>1052171

>Conflicted

It's either you like it or you don't. Not like you have to make any decisions that have an effect on continuing the program.
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>>1051966
>good idea

Nope. You launch unmanned payloads with a booster sized for the payload. Expendable or reusable, whatever makes economic sense.

You launch astronauts on a very safe, redundant system, recoverable (maybe reusable) craft sized just right to carry them.

The few times astronauts need to work on the heavy payloads, you launch them separately on boosters optimized for their purpose and then rendezvous in space.
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>>1052146
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zef zone represent. io wasup? jos chiling
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>>1052071
>We need to move HUMAN BEINGS into space to perform a cheap GPS satellite launch
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>>1052058
Nicking China's satellites.
>>
No, it's wasn't.
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>>1052010
Communism is also good in theory.
>>
in the world of defense overruns, the shuttle isn't some uniquely bad program, but given the hindsight there is a lot of stuff we could have done better

>>1053932

spacefan my whole life, still learn new things erry day, thank you anon
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>>1054847
>Nicking China's satellites.

Really? I'm going to bring a craft into my cargo bay over which I have no control? China just sends a command to fire all the thrusters and my shuttle is toast.
>>
Srs question; why can't a plane just keep flying up into space?
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>>1057415
Yes, if it has powerful enough engines. But then it wouldn't need the wings in the first place.
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>>1057415
>plane that flies into space
pic related has flown to altitudes over 60 miles which qualifies as space flight
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>>1057415
Need oxygen to burn fuel, need atmosphere to provide lift.
>>
S P A C E S H I P
P
A
C
E

S
H
I
P
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>>1057441
I S S

S

S
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>>1057415
At about 60 miles of altitude, the speed you need to create lift with wings is the same as orbital velocity.
So you need to go as fast as a rocket anyway. And in space, all your air intakes, jet engines, wings and control surfaces are just dead weight.
It's much easier and cheaper to just leave all that shit at home and go vertical right from the start.

Basically, if you take a plane and optimize it to go to space, you end up with a rocket.
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>>1057438
>Need oxygen to burn fuel
Carry an oxidizer.
>need atmosphere to provide lift.
Not when you have engines. Wings are more efficient if you do have an atmosphere, but when you don't it's not point sulking over spilt milk. Just throttle up and go, boldly.
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>>1057511
>easier to go vertical from the start
this isn't necessarily true
you can save a ton of fuel and overall mass if you launch from higher up and already have some velocity

i think the ideal vehicle is a convential jet, something like a modified 747 that takes a rocket up to 20,000 feet or as high as it can go, then drops it

its been done a couple times, and if done well it could mean cheap, disposable rockets and a fleet of large jets that could easily be maintained at a convential airport
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>>1057630
Or build a mass driver and keep the big honking engine on the ground where it can be cheaply maintained and reused. The payload partly consist of a much smaller rocket to go the last bit to orbit and make orbit height adjustment.

You could basically do a way with the big, loud, expensive and dangerous two lower rocket stages.
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>>1057632
i love the idea of mass drivers, but i don't know that they'll ever be effectively implemented
atmosphere is so thick at sea level that it would be almost impossible to deal with drag
by the time conventional rockets go that fast they're already so high the air is pretty thin
also, since you're losing velocity to drag, your starting velocity has to be much higher than escape v

a mass driver on the moon or mars would work very well though
i think we need to base future space exporation off earth, maybe do it on the moon or from orbit
just get all the material to start off the ground with conventional heavy lift vehicles
fuck, just get saturn Vs to do the work, i'm sure there's still plenty laying around
then once we have a base off planet to work in we can mine comets for water and co2 and asteroids for metal
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>>1057630
The hard part isn't getting up there.
The hard part is going sideways fast enough to stay up.
A plane only adds about 300m/s Delta V, but it limits the size of your rocket and adds points of failure.
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>>1057645
You get all the heavy stuff to orbit with reusable rockets.
First stage burns out 90%, uses the remaining 10% to land on a barge, is repaired and refuelled.
Same with second stage further downrange.
Third stage stays up and is used as building material.
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>>1057645
>i love the idea of mass drivers, but i don't know that they'll ever be effectively implemented
>atmosphere is so thick at sea level that it would be almost impossible to deal with drag
It's not impossible. First of all you counter drag by upping speed and mass. You counter drag friction heat using the same heat shielding used today. You don't need to reach LEO with the mass driver alone, but you use it as a launch assist system. What is needed is political willpower and commitment to the large up front investment it would be. That's the major obstacle.
>To launch a space vehicle with humans on board, a mass driver's track would need to be several hundreds of kilometers long if providing almost all the velocity to Low Earth Orbit, though lesser length can provide major launch assist. Required length, if accelerating mainly at near a constant maximum acceptable g-force for passengers, is proportional to velocity squared.[14] For instance, half of the velocity goal could correspond to a quarter as long of a tunnel needing to be constructed, for the same acceleration.[14] For rugged objects, much higher accelerations may suffice, allowing a far shorter track, potentially circular or helical (spiral).[15] Another concept is a large ring design whereby a space vehicle would circle the ring numerous times, gradually gaining speed, before being released into a launch corridor leading skyward.
>>
Has there been a whisper of making an upgraded fleet?
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>>1057663
An orbiting mass driver would be spectacularly stupid. Law of opposing force and all that. Any energy you put into accelerating the payload would act equally to deorbit the driver - or launch it into space. Suddenly you need massive engines and copious amounts of fuel to keep the driver station stationary, which you could have used to just launch bigger rockets in the first place.
A driver on the moon would be neat. To get there, build a driver on earth first to supply the lunar colony building it.
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>>1057698
Of Shuttles? Not even the current administration is that far removed from reality.
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>>1057700
What happened to cool? Why go to the moon? Because it's cool.
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>>1057701
but all the money you spend on going to the moon doesn't go to israel and fighting proxy wars in the middle east
you racist
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>>1057701
>Shuttle
>Go the moon

Pick one.
>>
>>1057786
S P A C E
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>>1057663
>lands on a barge

You know the whole barge thing is just proof of concept, right? The only reason SpaceX has the Falcon land on a barge is so they can demonstrate the rocket is capable of a controlled landing on a land based pad without potentially killing hundreds of bystanders due to a failure of some sort.
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>>1057860
It lands on a barge because launches are made out away from land, and it's far easier for the booster to come back down near vertically with minimal maneuvering rather than trying to engineer it to maneuver its way back to somewhere that isn't covered in water.
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>>1057860
No, it saves fuel.
The stages can burn longer towards space and need less fuel to land if they can land where their ballistic flight curve takes them, which is at sea.
They can also detach sooner, flip around, fly back to base and land there, which is pretty fucking awesome, but it needs more fuel that can't be used to push the payload.




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