Author Topic: Who invented/designed the Space Shuttle?  (Read 17002 times)

Offline Launch Fan

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Who invented/designed the Space Shuttle?
« on: 06/02/2008 01:32 PM »
Was there a Von Braun type engineer behind the design and development of the Space Shuttle vehicle?
« Last Edit: 06/02/2008 01:32 PM by Launch Fan »

Offline Jim

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Re: Who invented/designed the Space Shuttle?
« Reply #1 on: 06/02/2008 01:51 PM »
Was there a Von Braun type engineer behind the design and development of the Space Shuttle vehicle?

Urban legend. 
Von Braun did not invent or designed the Saturn vehicles.  he was just a team leader of the group that did and was a charismatic speaker.

However the designer of the Mercury capsule, Max Faget did produce some shuttle designs and had patents on them.  But the current shuttle was a industry designed vehicle.

Some say Faget was closer to a Korolyov type leader than von Braun.
« Last Edit: 06/02/2008 01:58 PM by Jim »

Online edkyle99

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Re: Who invented/designed the Space Shuttle?
« Reply #2 on: 06/02/2008 02:22 PM »
Urban legend. 
Von Braun did not invent or designed the Saturn vehicles.  he was just a team leader of the group that did and was a charismatic speaker.

However the designer of the Mercury capsule, Max Faget did produce some shuttle designs and had patents on them.  But the current shuttle was a industry designed vehicle.

Some say Faget was closer to a Korolyov type leader than von Braun.

H.H. Koelle was the leader of Von Braun's Preliminary Design Section (later called something like the Advanced Design Group or the Future Projects Office, etc.).  He, more than any other person I can identify, was the one responsible for the hundreds of design concepts that eventually coalesced to Saturn I, Saturn IB, and Saturn V.  Von Braun was deeply involved, of course, but at a "hands-on" managerial review level.

Saturn became a "design-by-committee" type machine after ABMA was folded into NASA.  The Silverstein Committee decided on a liquid hydrogen second stage, for example, even though Von Braun favored a kerosene second stage.  MSFC was, of course, the final arbiter of detailed designs.

Max Faget may have been the H.H. Koelle of the early Shuttle development effort, but a lot of ideas came from industrial contractors.  Grumman and Lockheed, for example, came up with the expendable tank idea to reduce development cost.  Grumman was also an early promoter of jettison-able boosters. 

 - Ed Kyle

Offline Gene DiGennaro

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Re: Who invented/designed the Space Shuttle?
« Reply #3 on: 06/02/2008 02:41 PM »
The smart alek in me says the space shuttle was designed by the Office of Management and Budget and its predecessor the Bureau of the Budget.

Online edkyle99

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Re: Who invented/designed the Space Shuttle?
« Reply #4 on: 06/02/2008 08:12 PM »
The smart alek in me says the space shuttle was designed by the Office of Management and Budget and its predecessor the Bureau of the Budget.

The history with first Saturn and then Shuttle shows that both of NASA's human launch vehicle designs departed substantially from the original engineering concepts when they met higher decision levels.  Saturn was altered first by Silverstein and then, for all practical purposes, by John F. Kennedy's "end of decade" call (prior to JFK's speech, NASA's Apollo plan involved Saturn C-1 and C-2).  NASA's Faget proposed a relatively small orbiter to be launch with a flyback booster, but that concept was quickly lost in the long bureaucratic struggle that led to what we see flying today.

It makes me wonder how Ares I and V will turn out.  Who will be remembered as the "designer" of these launch vehicles?

 - Ed Kyle

Offline Antares

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Re: Who invented/designed the Space Shuttle?
« Reply #5 on: 06/02/2008 10:38 PM »
Does anyone remember the designer of X-30 or VentureStar?

Exactly.  People don't remember the names of ones that don't get built.
If I like something on NSF, it's probably because I know it to be accurate.  Every once in a while, it's just something I agree with.  Facts generally receive the former.

Offline vt_hokie

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Re: Who invented/designed the Space Shuttle?
« Reply #6 on: 06/04/2008 05:58 PM »
Does anyone remember the designer of X-30 or VentureStar?

David Urie for the latter?  (I don't know...that's just a guess off the top of my head.)

Online edkyle99

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Re: Who invented/designed the Space Shuttle?
« Reply #7 on: 06/04/2008 08:41 PM »
Does anyone remember the designer of X-30 or VentureStar?

Exactly.  People don't remember the names of ones that don't get built.


NASA is going to have an Ares I.  There's no precedent for a NASA human space project like Ares I/Orion being canceled this far (three years) into the effort. 

 - Ed Kyle 


Offline Jim

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Re: Who invented/designed the Space Shuttle?
« Reply #8 on: 06/04/2008 08:58 PM »
NASA is going to have an Ares I.  There's no precedent for a NASA human space project like Ares I/Orion being canceled this far (three years) into the effort. 

 - Ed Kyle


X-33 is a perfect example.   Orion is not tied to Ares I.

Offline Antares

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Re: Who invented/designed the Space Shuttle?
« Reply #9 on: 06/04/2008 09:09 PM »
Regarding precedent: tell that to the folks at Stennis and MAF who used to say "Well, it survived Camille" before Katrina came through.

Or to the folks who said liberated ET foam was never a problem before STS-107.  I'd go further, but we're OT and retreading.
If I like something on NSF, it's probably because I know it to be accurate.  Every once in a while, it's just something I agree with.  Facts generally receive the former.

Online edkyle99

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Re: Who invented/designed the Space Shuttle?
« Reply #10 on: 06/04/2008 09:26 PM »
X-33 is a perfect example.   Orion is not tied to Ares I.

X-33 was an R&D program.  Orion/Ares I is a development program for a human launch system.  Precedent is Mercury/Atlas, Gemini/Titan, Apollo/Saturn, and Shuttle.

It appears that Orion could sport some features specific to Ares I.  There is talk of specific mods to dampen Ares I thrust oscillation, for example.   

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 06/04/2008 09:27 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline khallow

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Re: Who invented/designed the Space Shuttle?
« Reply #11 on: 06/04/2008 10:34 PM »
Regarding precedent: tell that to the folks at Stennis and MAF who used to say "Well, it survived Camille" before Katrina came through.

Or to the folks who said liberated ET foam was never a problem before STS-107.  I'd go further, but we're OT and retreading.

I agree. There's always precedent for precedent.
Karl Hallowell

Offline overby

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Re: Who invented/designed the Space Shuttle?
« Reply #12 on: 06/05/2008 01:27 AM »
Was there a Von Braun type engineer behind the design and development of the Space Shuttle vehicle?

"A lot of people".  I recommend listening to or watching this class:

http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/Aeronautics-and-Astronautics/16-885JFall-2005/LectureNotes/

 - Glen

Offline Launch Fan

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Re: Who invented/designed the Space Shuttle?
« Reply #13 on: 06/05/2008 01:30 AM »
Thanks for all the answers!

Offline phardacre

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Re: Who invented/designed the Space Shuttle?
« Reply #14 on: 07/19/2008 01:49 AM »
Was there a Von Braun type engineer behind the design and development of the Space Shuttle vehicle?

down load the university pod casts and all will be revealed
Roger Roll Atlantis

Offline Danny Dot

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Re: Who invented/designed the Space Shuttle?
« Reply #15 on: 07/19/2008 03:03 AM »
Does anyone remember the designer of X-30 or VentureStar?

Exactly.  People don't remember the names of ones that don't get built.


NASA is going to have an Ares I.  There's no precedent for a NASA human space project like Ares I/Orion being canceled this far (three years) into the effort. 

 - Ed Kyle 



I agree with this.  The US Congress is not going to have this nation operate without a manned space program when two other countries have manned programs. 
Danny Deger

Offline Orbiter

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Re: Who invented/designed the Space Shuttle?
« Reply #16 on: 07/19/2008 04:35 AM »
No one 'invented' the Space Shuttle. My Grandfather helped design the Hatch for the Space Shuttle. Many contractors and teams and idea's invented the Space Shuttle.
Attended space missions: STS-114, STS-124, STS-128, STS-135, Atlas V "Curiosity", Delta IV Heavy NROL-15, Atlas V MUOS-2, Delta IV Heavy NROL-37, Falcon 9 CRS-9, Falcon 9 JCSAT-16, Atlas V GOES-R, Falcon 9 SES-11, Falcon Heavy Demo.

Offline Orbiter

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Re: Who invented/designed the Space Shuttle?
« Reply #17 on: 07/19/2008 04:39 AM »
Infact, the Space Shuttle Desgin changed a lot, from something that would have most likely never worked, to the Space Shuttle.
Attended space missions: STS-114, STS-124, STS-128, STS-135, Atlas V "Curiosity", Delta IV Heavy NROL-15, Atlas V MUOS-2, Delta IV Heavy NROL-37, Falcon 9 CRS-9, Falcon 9 JCSAT-16, Atlas V GOES-R, Falcon 9 SES-11, Falcon Heavy Demo.

Offline CFE

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Re: Who invented/designed the Space Shuttle?
« Reply #18 on: 07/19/2008 05:40 AM »
In terms of coining the word "shuttle" for a reusable space vehicle, that honor probably belongs to Phil Bono.  He conducted a number of VTOL studies for Douglas Aircraft during the 60's, the largest of which was ROMBUS (Reusable Orbital Module Booster Utility Shuttle.)  They weren't truly single-stage because the hydrogen propellant was carried in drop tanks.  And they were clearly a far cry from the Space Shuttle we eventually got.
"Black Zones" never stopped NASA from flying the shuttle.