Author Topic: How the ISS could have been built without the shuttle.  (Read 47111 times)

Offline Jim

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RE: How the ISS could have been built without the shuttle.
« Reply #20 on: 02/21/2008 09:49 PM »
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Lee Jay - 21/2/2008  3:11 PM

That included me, but not for building stations - for repairing JWST and other such operations, should the need arise, and even then a much smaller total system - a little arm for a single person (more like a fishing rod),

I believe the CEV is not needed for those missions.   Most spacecraft are not in reach of the CEV or there is no need to waste a manned mission on it (orbital express)

Offline Lee Jay

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RE: How the ISS could have been built without the shuttle.
« Reply #21 on: 02/21/2008 10:05 PM »
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Jim - 21/2/2008  3:49 PM

Quote
Lee Jay - 21/2/2008  3:11 PM

That included me, but not for building stations - for repairing JWST and other such operations, should the need arise, and even then a much smaller total system - a little arm for a single person (more like a fishing rod),

I believe the CEV is not needed for those missions.   Most spacecraft are not in reach of the CEV or there is no need to waste a manned mission on it (orbital express)

I agree, hence "should the need arise".

Offline pippin

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Re: How the ISS could have been built without the shuttle.
« Reply #22 on: 02/22/2008 12:19 AM »
Good thread.

So for my 2cts:

Skylab and the Russian stations show how a station might look if you design it to be launched on a traditional LV. There can't be any doubt, that space stations can be built without a shuttle type vehicle - it has been done several times. My feeling is, a lot of the station was designed for exactly the reason that this way it could utilize shuttle caps.

One thing: I believe that whatever paradigm you follow when building a station I think the limiting factor at some point will not be mass but volume and size. For some applications you need large structures. One indication to this is the effort Bigelow is putting into the "foldable" paradigm. And it shows that there are other approaches to this than the ISS one.
And for large structures a side-mount payload can be a good thing - you don't run into hight restrictions.

As for launching payload and cargo on the same flight: That's a classic case of simple theory and complex practice. You have less "top-level" items on your mission planning sheet with only one launch yet the details, especially regarding safety, have proven to be so much more complex that it eats up all advantages you dreamed up before.

One more thing: We do a lot of shuttle-bashing these days as in "all the bad decisions that were taken back then", "if we only had kept the Saturns" etc. We know that now, but probably we had to go through that experience to learn that the shuttle paradigm does not work. In retrospect you always know better. And don't tell me about people who have said it before. For each and every issue in the world you will find people who have predicted exactly that outcome from the beginning - the point is usually there will be as many who predicted the exact opposite.

Which, of course, doesn't mean one should repeat errors...

Offline iamlucky13

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Re: How the ISS could have been built without the shuttle.
« Reply #23 on: 02/22/2008 05:36 PM »
Very interesting post...I haven't seen too many people say the ISS couldn't have been built without the shuttle. However, I have seen plenty of comments that we should have abandoned the shuttle immediately after Columbia and just launched everything remaining on Titan IV's. None of these suggestions had any thought put into them, however, like the crew launch vehicles or the modifications to hardware that was already built.

Didn't the service module (Zvezda?) go up before the FGB (Zarya? I might have gotten the names backwards). I see these reversed in your list?

Would the SSRMS really need its own ICLV (flight 11)? Maybe stack together with something small like a PMA?

Does either the Logistics Transport Vehicle allow for significant return mass. Is such a capability even actually needed?

Does Soyuz assume a greater role in this scheme or are the short duration construction crews carried up by the CTV?

Offline Jim

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Re: How the ISS could have been built without the shuttle.
« Reply #24 on: 02/22/2008 07:03 PM »
Those are the minor details that I said would worked if this were real

It is not that  " too many people say the ISS couldn't have been built without the shuttle."  It is what are we going to do without "RMS, airlock, large crew and payload bay i.e. the "shuttle paradigm".  This exercise is to show that isn't needed.  I might put something together to show how the non ISS missions could be done without the shuttle.

Offline ASTUTE

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Re: How the ISS could have been built without the shuttle.
« Reply #25 on: 02/22/2008 07:35 PM »
Very interesting. I'd like to add that Roskosmos has known how it'll be building the ISS without shuttle. Roskosmos has had various plans. Of course without shuttle we'll get less benefit from the station.

Offline bobthemonkey

Quote
nacnud - 21/2/2008  8:01 PM

How about putting rails for the SSRMS cart out past the SARJ.

Wasn't this originally planned, then deleted due to cost overuns?

Offline pr1268

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RE: How the ISS could have been built without the shuttle.
« Reply #27 on: 03/01/2008 06:35 PM »
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vt_hokie - 21/2/2008  12:54 PM
As an aside, I seem to recall that the Skylab display at the Air & Space Museum is actual flight hardware.  Is that correct?

If you consider that two flight-quality Skylabs were built, and the "real deal" disintegrated into fragments over the Indian Ocean and Western Australia in 1979.  The 2nd (unused) Skylab is what you see at the Air & Space Museum.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skylab

Side note curiosity:  The Wikipedia page mentions that the town of Esperance, Western Australia "...fined the United States $400 for littering."  Anyone know whether the US ever paid the fine?  Thanks!
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Offline vt_hokie

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RE: How the ISS could have been built without the shuttle.
« Reply #28 on: 03/01/2008 06:38 PM »
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pr1268 - 1/3/2008  2:35 PM

The 2nd (unused) Skylab is what you see at the Air & Space Museum.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skylab


Yeah, that's what I meant.  It's a cool exhibit, but it's kind of a shame it wasn't actually used instead!

Offline The-Hammer

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RE: How the ISS could have been built without the shuttle.
« Reply #29 on: 03/01/2008 07:01 PM »
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pr1268 - 1/3/2008  2:35 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skylab

Side note curiosity:  The Wikipedia page mentions that the town of Esperance, Western Australia "...fined the United States $400 for littering."  Anyone know whether the US ever paid the fine?  Thanks!

According to something I watched on the History Channel (I think it was one of the History Rocks episodes on the 70's), the fine was never paid.
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Offline Maxim_NZ

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Re: How the ISS could have been built without the shuttle.
« Reply #30 on: 03/01/2008 07:11 PM »
Yeah skylab, some 75 tons in one launch! Always erks me when i see the payload stats on the next supply/assembly mission to the ISS. STS-122 took only 17,311 kg, but then you have to factor the weight of orbiter etc. Jim is right. Imagine the size of the beast that could be orbiting now if we have used 10 or more Saturn INT-21 launches! Such a waste to scrap the Saturn.

Offline Jorge

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Re: How the ISS could have been built without the shuttle.
« Reply #31 on: 03/02/2008 03:13 AM »
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pippin - 21/2/2008  7:19 PM

One more thing: We do a lot of shuttle-bashing these days as in "all the bad decisions that were taken back then", "if we only had kept the Saturns" etc. We know that now, but probably we had to go through that experience to learn that the shuttle paradigm does not work.

Regardless of the failure of the shuttle paradigm, the Saturn V was unaffordable. There is no way the production line could have been kept open on the lean NASA budgets of the mid-70s, even if the shuttle had not been developed.
JRF

Offline ckiki lwai

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RE: How the ISS could have been built without the shuttle.
« Reply #32 on: 03/02/2008 09:08 AM »
Another thing came to my mind yesterday: also during STS-120 they relocated the P6 truss.
It was first detached by the station arm, then given to the shuttle arm, then the station arm rode to the end truss to take the P6 back and put it in its place.
Apparently the P6 was too heavy to just drive on the SSRMS to the end of truss.

So I guess they would have needed two station arms.
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Offline modavis

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Re: How the ISS could have been built without the shuttle.
« Reply #33 on: 03/03/2008 01:48 PM »

And "failure of the shuttle paradigm" should always be qualified in two ways:

1) It "failed" as a version 1.0. No other complex transportation technology has ever come close to an operational/economic sweet spot in its first and only iteration. That we blame the shuttle for failing to do so says more about hyper-inflated expectations than it does about either the paradigm or the specific design.

2) It "failed" at the painfully low flight rates that were inevitable without sustained Apollo-or-higher budgets. (And by the standards of aviation even the upper reaches of Mathematica fantasy count as "painfully low"). It's fun and easy to tout the obvious economies of reusability ("if we threw away a jetliner after every flight...") It's painful and hard to accept just how many flights it takes for those economies to overcome the enormous up-front costs.

From where I sit, the only paradigm that demonstrably "failed" was that of "Here's a technology path that's inherently incremental, slow and very very expensive. We'll attempt it in one big jump, fast, and on the cheap. Then we'll spend 37 years second-guessing the design as if that were the heart of the problem."    

 

 


Offline nacnud

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Re: How the ISS could have been built without the shuttle.
« Reply #34 on: 03/03/2008 02:59 PM »
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Jorge - 2/3/2008  4:13 AM

Regardless of the failure of the shuttle paradigm, the Saturn V was unaffordable.

I have some vague memory of Griffin saying that for the cost of developing the Shuttle the Saturn V could have been kept going.

Offline Jorge

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Re: How the ISS could have been built without the shuttle.
« Reply #35 on: 03/03/2008 03:29 PM »
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nacnud - 3/3/2008  9:59 AM

Quote
Jorge - 2/3/2008  4:13 AM

Regardless of the failure of the shuttle paradigm, the Saturn V was unaffordable.

I have some vague memory of Griffin saying that for the cost of developing the Shuttle the Saturn V could have been kept going.

He is mistaken. As much as I disagree with Jeffrey Bell on most issues, he wrote a good article refuting Griffin's statements on Saturn affordability.
JRF

Offline William Barton

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Re: How the ISS could have been built without the shuttle.
« Reply #36 on: 03/03/2008 04:00 PM »
The whole issue of affordability ignores the relativism of the issue. Suppose you had a vehicle that could put 500 mT in LEO, and that the amortised cost of each launch (infrastructure, development, production, and payload costs) was $10bln. Let's say you wanted to launch one a month. How much Iraq War does that buy you? How much welfare entitlement? What percentage of the Federal budget is that? I could swear the deepest and most cherished desire of the American taxpayer is to see their hard-earned money wasted in as many ways as possible, and space exploration is just not sufficiently useless and wasteful.

Offline sandrot

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Re: How the ISS could have been built without the shuttle.
« Reply #37 on: 03/03/2008 04:35 PM »
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Jorge - 3/3/2008  11:29 AM

Quote
nacnud - 3/3/2008  9:59 AM

I have some vague memory of Griffin saying that for the cost of developing the Shuttle the Saturn V could have been kept going.

He is mistaken. As much as I disagree with Jeffrey Bell on most issues, he wrote a good article refuting Griffin's statements on Saturn affordability.

I believe Jorge is referring to the following article:

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/The_Griffin_Space_Fantasy_999.html
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Offline todd5ski

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Re: How the ISS could have been built without the shuttle.
« Reply #38 on: 03/03/2008 04:42 PM »
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modavis - 3/3/2008  8:48 AM

And "failure of the shuttle paradigm" should always be qualified in two ways:

1) It "failed" as a version 1.0. No other complex transportation technology has ever come close to an operational/economic sweet spot in its first and only iteration. That we blame the shuttle for failing to do so says more about hyper-inflated expectations than it does about either the paradigm or the specific design.

2) It "failed" at the painfully low flight rates that were inevitable without sustained Apollo-or-higher budgets. (And by the standards of aviation even the upper reaches of Mathematica fantasy count as "painfully low"). It's fun and easy to tout the obvious economies of reusability ("if we threw away a jetliner after every flight...") It's painful and hard to accept just how many flights it takes for those economies to overcome the enormous up-front costs.

From where I sit, the only paradigm that demonstrably "failed" was that of "Here's a technology path that's inherently incremental, slow and very very expensive. We'll attempt it in one big jump, fast, and on the cheap. Then we'll spend 37 years second-guessing the design as if that were the heart of the problem."    

 

 



Well said.

Offline Jim

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Re: How the ISS could have been built without the shuttle.
« Reply #39 on: 03/03/2008 05:29 PM »
"shuttle paradigm" for the context of this discuss is not the reusability nor flight rate aspects of the design but the design features wrt to payloads/missions (RMS, airlock, large crew and payload bay i)

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