Topic: Space Shuttle Question  (Read 98 times)

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Offline knightstorm

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Space Shuttle Question
« on: November 02, 2018, 06:38:26 pm »
The Space Shuttle's heat shield was the program's Achille's heal.  It was fragile, and time consuming to repair and maintain.  The need to manually inspect each tile after each mission caused the space shuttle operations to drop from an initially planned one mission per week to a point where NASA struggled to have one mission per month.  Since the limitations of the system began to become apparent before the first shuttle mission even flew,  and since we're talking about something on the outside, that could theoretically be replaced without tearing the entire shuttle apart, does anyone know if there was any consideration to developing a replacement within the shuttle's lifetime?

Offline Tus-XC

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Re: Space Shuttle Question
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2018, 03:37:27 am »
I don't know about that.  What i can say based on what i remember from some readings was that the shuttle itself was never supposed to be the size that it ultimately became.  If you look at the X-37b, and about double its size that would have been the original shuttle.  What we got was the result of needing more money for the project, so NASA opened up the project to the DOD (the Air Force), and it would have been only funded with them if it had the heavy lift capability.   With that in mind, the shuttle grew in size to support.

IF the shuttle were smaller, one could wager that the tile issue wouldn't have been so great as the surface area needed to cover would have been much less. 

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