Author Topic: Keeping SOMETHING Alive  (Read 1487 times)

Offline Danderman

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Keeping SOMETHING Alive
« on: 09/02/2009 02:21 PM »
When most NASA programs are canceled, well, that's it, works stops on everything, the plans going into storage or the trash, and everyone moves on to other projects. Given the possibility that Exploration may be canceled, rather than lose everything, so that the next time that a President calls for a return to the Moon, are there some aspects of the program that could be affordably maintained? For example, if NASA had kept some capability to churn out Apollo capsules, would that have been of use during the Bush 41 SEI? Or the LM?

My feeling is that the key piece of the current Exploration project is the launch capability, but it would cost too much to keep the SRB system and the launch pads around, plus all the other launch infrastructure. However, the lunar lander may be affordable to maintain, in some early development stage. After all, any future lunar program is going to need a lander, and so having a two or three year headstart on developing a lander may be useful.

Offline jml

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Re: Keeping SOMETHING Alive
« Reply #1 on: 09/02/2009 04:09 PM »
The lander right now is nothing more than concept art and powerpoints. Doesn't cost much to keep that around, but doesn't get you much benefit either. I'd guess that Orion (which has reached PDR) is the most obvious item worth keeping from Constellation at this point. Of course, working systems like LC-39, 4-seg SRB's, SSMEs, MAF's manufacturing capabilities and so on would be really nice to preserve.

Gee, I wonder what sort of follow-on project directly after STS could do that?
« Last Edit: 09/02/2009 04:10 PM by jml »

Tags: NASA