Topic: =/\= STS133. the last ISS docking by a shuttle, mars return craft wanted  (Read 2537 times)

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Offline stoneyface

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greetings all,

today is a sad day for me as the last space shuttle docking to the ISS has happened. discovery docked with the station today as part of the final mission of this iteration of an orbital craft. at approx. 1:15pmEST the shuttle docked and continued it's mission. a sad day as i hope the space program continues instead of just fizzling out and never seen again. article here: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/02/26/shuttle-discovery-closing-space-station-saturday-arrival/

next is an interesting look at the possible future of our space program. today NASA chose three companies to design the return craft for the proposed mars mission. the three companies; Alliant Techsystems, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman will all submit designs for approval. read the article here: http://www.networkworld.com/community/blog/nasa-wants-spacecraft-designed-mars-return-tr
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Offline TAnimaL

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Re: =/\= STS133. the last ISS docking by a shuttle, mars return craft wanted
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2011, 10:40:52 pm »
Just a minor point - there are still 2 more shuttle missions to the ISS - STS134 by Endeavour, April 19, and STS-135 by Atlantis, June 28, both to deliver logistics modules and supplies, This is just the last mission to ISS by Discovery.

(And I think that Commdr Kelly's joke about how long it took Discovery to get on station was a reference to it's 3 month lauch delay...)

http://www.space.com/10968-shuttle-discovery-space-station-final-docking.html

Offline stoneyface

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Re: =/\= STS133. the last ISS docking by a shuttle, mars return craft wanted
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2011, 01:55:17 am »
thanks for pointing that out. i didn't make it very clear
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Offline Sirgod

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Re: =/\= STS133. the last ISS docking by a shuttle, mars return craft wanted
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2011, 01:25:20 pm »
Today is such a good to watch Space Cowboys again.

The End of an era is fast closing. Soon we will be back to sticks and stones.

Stephen
"You cannot exaggerate about the Marines. They are convinced to the point of arrogance, that they are the most ferocious fighters on earth - and the amusing thing about it is that they are."- Father Kevin Keaney, Chaplain, Korean War

Offline TAnimaL

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Re: =/\= STS133. the last ISS docking by a shuttle, mars return craft wanted
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2011, 03:22:11 pm »
I too am saddened by the end of the shuttle program and think there should be a manned launch vehicle that just says "NASA" on the side; but I was thinking over the weekend, that we knew this day was coming. The news coverage about Discovery seems to bury some of the lead to me -  a 30-year spacecraft! Almost 150 million miles on it! We built that! Most likely the most complicated flying machine ever, and there were 5 of them... Maybe it's too bad we didn't start continue building new ones (even Endeavour is nigh on 20 years old) in the 90's and the 00's, but the STS has always been a sorta red haired stepchild - amazing machine that never quite lived up to expectations... so perhaps their time has passed.

So I'm trying to see these missions as a new beginning  - multiple new launch systems being built and launched, including commercial/private companies for passenger flights (been waiting for that since seeing Kubrick's PanAm stewardesses :) ), the X37, a permanently manned spacestation.; and there's the other link stoneyface put up, about designing a Mars return vehicle....

I hear what you're saying Sirgod. Just trying to be optimistic.

Offline stoneyface

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Re: =/\= STS133. the last ISS docking by a shuttle, mars return craft wanted
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2011, 04:43:58 pm »
i personally have felt that we should model our space program more like the russians. now hear me out. the main problem with the shuttles is that they were the most complicated craft ever made. i think it is way to expensive to and technically difficult to try to build a machine that will "do" everything. i believe we should build several different craft to do specific things. we should have a launch vehicle (rocket technology is tried and true but a space elevator needs to be built pronto), an orbiter, a space station, and finally an interplanetary vehicle (mars mission). we can then focus on a manned mission to mars and after that, we can start working on extra-solar vehicles.
simpler designs are easier to design, build, and run. they also have less things that can go wrong. a thin rubber sealing ring when faulty is enough to take out a shuttle and it's rocket assist and kill the entire crew. when you have this many things that can go wrong, simpler is better.
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Offline TAnimaL

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I think there's a lot to be said for having many tools in your toolbox, and there's plenty of need for Big Dumb Boosters, manned and unmanned. I got a little sick standing next to the Saturn V lying on it's side outside the Houston Space Center like the broken toy of a missing giant.

Offline Sirgod

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Oh how I miss the Sat V.

I know the exact spot you speak of TAnimaL. I used to visit there in the summers of my youth. 

Stephen
"You cannot exaggerate about the Marines. They are convinced to the point of arrogance, that they are the most ferocious fighters on earth - and the amusing thing about it is that they are."- Father Kevin Keaney, Chaplain, Korean War

Offline stoneyface

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heh i tagged that saturn V once ;) 
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"Sic gorgiamos allos subjectos nunc" - we gladly feast on those who would subdue us...

DMT = Load Universe into Cannon. Aim at Brain. Fire.   -Nietzsche was pietzsche-