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We need more giant leaps for mankind
Newsday ^ | 07/25/05 | BRUCE MURRAY

Posted on 07/25/2005 7:10:57 PM PDT by KevinDavis

How significant is NASA's delay of the launch of Space Shuttle Discovery?

Certainly NASA can be expected to be especially cautious when trying to return to flight for the first time since Columbia and its intrepid crew were lost during re-entry in February 2003. This tragedy came 17 years after Challenger suffered a similarly televised demise with the violent loss of another seven crew members.

But no amount of engineering caution can make space flight perfectly safe. The speeds and heating rates are extreme, and the technology is unavoidably pushed close to its limits. Every human flight carries a potentially deadly risk. Thus, every human space flight must pursue mission objectives worth dying for.

(Excerpt) Read more at newsday.com ...


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: nasa; shuttlediscovery; space; thefuture
There will be more accidents down the road. Life is about taking risks and chances.. We can't play it safe forever...
1 posted on 07/25/2005 7:11:00 PM PDT by KevinDavis
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To: RightWhale; Brett66; xrp; gdc314; anymouse; RadioAstronomer; NonZeroSum; jimkress; discostu; ...

2 posted on 07/25/2005 7:11:51 PM PDT by KevinDavis (the space/future belongs to the eagles, the earth/past to the groundhogs)
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To: KevinDavis
That is true Kevin, but it would be helpful if the next catastrophic failure doesn't involve something NASA knew for certain was a problem in months, weeks or even days prior to the launch.
3 posted on 07/25/2005 7:15:25 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (US socialist liberalism would be dead without the help of politicians who claim to be conservative.)
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To: DoughtyOne

I agree..


4 posted on 07/25/2005 7:16:27 PM PDT by KevinDavis (the space/future belongs to the eagles, the earth/past to the groundhogs)
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To: KevinDavis

I appreciate your threads. Thanks again.


5 posted on 07/25/2005 7:18:41 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (US socialist liberalism would be dead without the help of politicians who claim to be conservative.)
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To: KevinDavis

I wish I were waking at midnight and suiting up!


6 posted on 07/25/2005 7:19:59 PM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: KevinDavis

I think one of mankind's greatest, under-reported space leaps was just a few months ago. Back when Burt Rutan and Co. captured the X-Prize. His genius designs got his ship up into the "wild black yonder" with a proportionally small budget and no heat tiles for the return. Was a stunning thing to behold.


7 posted on 07/25/2005 7:20:13 PM PDT by myheroesareDeadandRegistered (Ann Coulter/ Mark Levin tag team in '08)
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To: KevinDavis
Challengers

8 posted on 07/25/2005 7:23:36 PM PDT by Prime Choice (Thanks to the Leftists, yesterday's deviants are today's "alternate lifestyles.")
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To: KevinDavis
once bitten, twice shy, man. We don't have enough of those shuttles to afford atomizing another one - let alone losing another crew of the best this planet has to offer.

Anyone know if we have plans to build a non-atari powered shuttle in the near future? I know of the mission to the moon/mars and a space worthy C130 is certainly in order if we are to populate the moon.

9 posted on 07/25/2005 7:24:50 PM PDT by kerryusama04 (Walkin' the tightrope between the lost and found.)
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To: myheroesareDeadandRegistered
I think one of mankind's greatest, under-reported space leaps was just a few months ago. Back when Burt Rutan and Co. captured the X-Prize.

I think what they did was great for an exclusive private venture, but what they did would have been impossible had NASA not paved the way through its innovations over the past 40 years.

In short, Rutan went to incredible heights...but only because he stood on the shoulders of giants.

10 posted on 07/25/2005 7:25:06 PM PDT by Prime Choice (Thanks to the Leftists, yesterday's deviants are today's "alternate lifestyles.")
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To: myheroesareDeadandRegistered

Hear, hear. If NASA was serious at all it would put Rutan in charge of its spacecraft program.


11 posted on 07/25/2005 7:28:38 PM PDT by thoughtomator (How many liberties shall we give up to maintain the pretense that we are not at war with Islam?)
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To: Prime Choice

That's a great shot of Columbia at liftoff. Columbia was the only orbiter that had the photo pod on the tail fin.

Good luck and Godspeed to the crew of STS-114 Discovery.


12 posted on 07/25/2005 7:39:59 PM PDT by NCC-1701 (ISLAM IS A CULT!!!!! IT MUST BE ERADICATED FROM THE FACE OF THE EARTH.)
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To: thoughtomator
If NASA was serious at all it would put Rutan in charge of its spacecraft program.

Bah. Rutan has only recently done what NASA did 40+ years ago with 1960s technology.

Let me know when Rutan gets a man on the moon and returns him safely to the Earth. Then we'll have something worth talking about.

13 posted on 07/25/2005 7:51:30 PM PDT by Prime Choice (Thanks to the Leftists, yesterday's deviants are today's "alternate lifestyles.")
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To: Prime Choice

Yeah, but what did Rutan spend vs. what NASA spent?


14 posted on 07/25/2005 7:52:54 PM PDT by thoughtomator (How many liberties shall we give up to maintain the pretense that we are not at war with Islam?)
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To: thoughtomator
Yeah, but what did Rutan spend vs. what NASA spent?

So you're telling me the latecomers who follow what the inventors and developers did are on par with those who actually did it first?

So, in your book, anyone who understands the theory of Relativity is as much a genius as the man who first conceived the idea?

As I've said before: Rutan only went as high as he has because he stood on the shoulders of giants. If NASA hadn't paved the way, he wouldn't have been able to skateboard on it.

15 posted on 07/25/2005 7:57:50 PM PDT by Prime Choice (Thanks to the Leftists, yesterday's deviants are today's "alternate lifestyles.")
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To: kerryusama04
a non-atari powered shuttle

It appears there will be two derivative vehicles based on Space Shuttle tech to a degree, but both would be far more robust than the Space Shuttle. One would be man-rated and would carry crew to and from orbit and also to the moon and return. The other would be an unmanned freighter with a large throw weight.

16 posted on 07/25/2005 7:59:08 PM PDT by RightWhale (Substance is essentially the relationship of accidents to itself)
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To: Prime Choice
As I've said before: Rutan only went as high as he has because he stood on the shoulders of giants. If NASA hadn't paved the way, he wouldn't have been able to skateboard on it.

It can also be said that NASA stood on the shoulders of giants. The big deal with Rutan is speed, efficiency, innovation, and enthusiasm.

17 posted on 07/25/2005 8:03:50 PM PDT by Moonman62 (Federal creed: If it moves tax it. If it keeps moving regulate it. If it stops moving subsidize it)
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To: Moonman62
It can also be said that NASA stood on the shoulders of giants.

Which giants? Name them.

The big deal with Rutan is speed, efficiency, innovation, and enthusiasm.

Yeah...and going from earthbound to landing on the moon in eight short years is the work of slackers. Sure...

18 posted on 07/25/2005 8:11:49 PM PDT by Prime Choice (Thanks to the Leftists, yesterday's deviants are today's "alternate lifestyles.")
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To: Prime Choice

Let's talk about what they are doing now. NASA spends its time flying a 35-year-old spacecraft that probably costs as much just to launch as it would take Rutan to build one of similar capability from scratch.

If NASA intends to be the world's elite space program, it needs as many Rutans as it can find. Another shuttle launch doesn't give much confidence that they're on the right track.


19 posted on 07/25/2005 8:16:41 PM PDT by thoughtomator (How many liberties shall we give up to maintain the pretense that we are not at war with Islam?)
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To: Prime Choice
Goddard, all the German rocket scientists, and everyone that worked on ICBM's.

I didn't say NASA didn't have a great accomplishment with the Apollo program. It did. It also had a blank check and all the resources of the country. As I stated in my post, Rutan's achievement was done in a different way.

20 posted on 07/25/2005 8:18:37 PM PDT by Moonman62 (Federal creed: If it moves tax it. If it keeps moving regulate it. If it stops moving subsidize it)
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To: Moonman62
Goddard, all the German rocket scientists, and everyone that worked on ICBM's.

Yes, Goddard's work was original and inspiring and it was by Goddard's white papers that Wernher von Braun based his work. This is openly acknowledged by...gee...naming a NASA center after Goddard (GSFC).

But it was von Braun's genius that made the Saturn V possible. This was above and beyond Goddard's work and the suborbital nature of ICBMs.

Rutan's achievement was done in a different way.

I don't discount Rutan's achievement...but claiming he should be heading up the space agency because he was able to reach an altitude of 377,000 feet is nonsense.

21 posted on 07/25/2005 8:29:29 PM PDT by Prime Choice (Thanks to the Leftists, yesterday's deviants are today's "alternate lifestyles.")
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To: thoughtomator

"...put Rutan in charge of its spacecraft program."

I'd like to see what that fellow could do with a larger checkbook. :)


22 posted on 07/25/2005 8:47:00 PM PDT by myheroesareDeadandRegistered (Ann Coulter/ Mark Levin tag team in '08)
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To: Prime Choice

"Let me know when Rutan gets a man on the moon and returns him safely to the Earth. Then we'll have something worth talking about."

First, let me say that I've always stood in awe with what NASA has pulled off. The achievements boogle the mind if you get into the nuts and bolts. I was trying to focus some attention where it was lacking. Toward Rutan. Sure NASA has sent all kind of manned craft up and back again. Most, if not all, has had to have heat tile to survive reentry. Rutan's brilliant design got a three man payload up and back without the big burn in. His feathering mechanism not only kept the reentry temps down, it made the return self righting. At that point the pilot doesn't even have to touch the controls. Just that little detail is a pure, beautiful (and cost effective) thing. NASA has it's giants, but I'd put Rutan up against any one of them.


23 posted on 07/25/2005 9:06:49 PM PDT by myheroesareDeadandRegistered (Ann Coulter/ Mark Levin tag team in '08)
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To: Moonman62

"The big deal with Rutan is speed, efficiency, innovation, and enthusiasm."

Amen to that.


24 posted on 07/25/2005 9:07:53 PM PDT by myheroesareDeadandRegistered (Ann Coulter/ Mark Levin tag team in '08)
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To: myheroesareDeadandRegistered; Prime Choice; Moonman62; RightWhale

Burt Rutan was able to use the data from the billions of dollars spend by the NACA, NASA, USAF, and private contractors over more than 50 years to achieve what he did. I am certainly not dissing Rutan. NASA cheered him on like everyone else did. However a suborbital up and down is not the same as achieving orbit with a payload capability that the Shuttle has.

myheroesareDeadandRegistered - "and no heat tiles for the return."

The Delta-V required for orbit is quite different for a suborbital up and down. Rutan's ship was not designed to withstand an atmospheric entry from orbit.


25 posted on 07/26/2005 1:05:04 AM PDT by RadioAstronomer (Senior member of Darwin Central)
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To: RadioAstronomer
However a suborbital up and down is not the same as achieving orbit with a payload capability that the Shuttle has.

No it's not, but I don't recall anyone downplaying Alan Shepard's suborbital flight.

26 posted on 07/26/2005 5:03:37 AM PDT by Moonman62 (Federal creed: If it moves tax it. If it keeps moving regulate it. If it stops moving subsidize it)
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To: Moonman62

I wasn't downplaying anything. However, that flight reached an altitude of 115 miles.


27 posted on 07/26/2005 5:06:46 AM PDT by RadioAstronomer (Senior member of Darwin Central)
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To: RadioAstronomer

But Shepard had to land on the water and wait for someone to pick him up like a helpless kitten.


28 posted on 07/26/2005 5:30:20 AM PDT by Moonman62 (Federal creed: If it moves tax it. If it keeps moving regulate it. If it stops moving subsidize it)
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To: Moonman62
RA is talking about speed, I believe.

Rutan's bird flew along at many hundreds of miles per hour. He didn't need to worry about bleeding off much airspeed at all (by comparison). Let's say it flew at 750 and landed at 150. Then his delta-V is 600. Thus he didn't have the heat problems that an orbital reentry vehicle does.

In order for a vehicle to orbit the earth, it must attain a speed of around 17,000 miles per hour and is dependant on the elevation of the orbit (I think. I'm probably wrong on the number, but it is fast. Very fast). To de-orbit, you have to somehow brake from orbital velocity (17,000 mph or so at orbit) to whatever reasonable speed is required for landing. I understand this is done via atmospheric friction. If you orbit at 17,000 and land at 150, your delta-V is now 16850. That's a lot of heat to have to deal with.

Whoever does make an orbital vehicle will have to address this problem.
29 posted on 07/26/2005 8:51:54 AM PDT by El Sordo
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To: El Sordo

Actually, Rutan did have to deal with heat. Not as much as as a vehicle that went higher, or faster, but the problem was there. Rutan's success was that he did just enough to allow him to accomplish his goal, and that along with his innovation is why he came in first, and why people are so impressed.


30 posted on 07/26/2005 8:58:53 AM PDT by Moonman62 (Federal creed: If it moves tax it. If it keeps moving regulate it. If it stops moving subsidize it)
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