Author Topic: Rumour Shuttle Fleet to be retired affectively immediatly?  (Read 7692 times)

Online Chris Bergin

Well this rumour died pretty fast, which is never a bad thing.

Offline Shuttle_Sucks

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RE: Rumour Shuttle Fleet to be retired affectively immediatly?
« Reply #21 on: 08/22/2005 06:03 pm »
I hope this rumor will yet prove to be true. I know the shuttle looks cool, but even a junior engineer like myself can see it is a poor design.

Offline Space101

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RE: Rumour Shuttle Fleet to be retired affectively immediatly?
« Reply #22 on: 08/22/2005 06:05 pm »
I think it's been said the rumour isn't true as it had no legs.
Let's go and explore space.

Offline NASA_Twix_JSC

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RE: Rumour Shuttle Fleet to be retired affectively immediatly?
« Reply #23 on: 08/22/2005 06:09 pm »
Quote
Shuttle_Sucks - 22/8/2005  1:03 PM

I hope this rumor will yet prove to be true. I know the shuttle looks cool, but even a junior engineer like myself can see it is a poor design.

It does the job and it's all we've got. Get over it.

Offline halman

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RE: Rumour Shuttle Fleet to be retired affectively immediatly?
« Reply #24 on: 08/23/2005 07:10 am »
Quote
Shuttle_Sucks - 22/8/2005  11:03 AM

I hope this rumor will yet prove to be true. I know the shuttle looks cool, but even a junior engineer like myself can see it is a poor design.

A poor design is one which fails repeatedly, does not perform the task it was meant for, or otherwise does not meet design criteria.  Considering that the present shuttle bears almost no resemblance to what was originally proposed, being changed drastically to meet Air Force requirements, which forced the addition of the External Tank, which was too heavy for the orbiter to lift, so liquid fueled reusable boosters were designed to lift the ET, but those were too expensive, so we got the Solid Rocket Boosters, instead, I think that the design has worked out remarkably well.  Especially when one considers that this is a prototype vehicle, to prove that bringing something this big back from space was possible.

The failures that have occured are not a result of the design of the orbiter, they have been the result of informed decisions by management to compromise the safety of the crews for the sake of politics.

The Lockheed L-1011 was a poor design.  The Titanic was a poor design.
What you are is what you want to be.  Be what you want to be!

Offline discovery_fan

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RE: Rumour Shuttle Fleet to be retired affectively immediatly?
« Reply #25 on: 08/23/2005 10:55 am »
"I know the shuttle looks cool, but even a junior engineer like myself can see it is a poor design."

The STS is in my opinion not a poor design for a LEO Spacecraft, but the best we (as mankind) have today.

Did you ever realize what the capacities of the shuttle really are?

The STS has a takeoff weight of more than 2000000kg, that is 4 times the weight of an Airbus A-380 (the new "super jumbo"). Think about  that - four of those jumbos, taking off with three Gs of accelaration near vertically into space. The A380 needs about half an hour to reach e.g. FL340, the STS needs 8 minutes to reach earth orbit.
The STS can lift loads up to 28800kg into space, with a payload bay that is 4.5 x 18m. Compare that to a C-130 Hercules - it can transport 19000kg, with 12.3 x 2.7m.
Therefore the STS is the only way to transport large bulky and fragile cargo into space (like the chandra X ray telescope or ISS parts).
So the STS is a spacecraft that can transport 7-8 astronauts and a payload that large that you need the largest available transport aircraft to ferry that load to the KSC.
And it can bring very large payloads down to earth. In a reentry vehicle - the orbiter - that is of the size of an airliner (e.g. a DC-9)

That is a unique capability.

Let me compare it to another great spacecraft - the Soyuz Tm.
The soyuz tm is a fantastic and reliable spacecraft, but it is not anywhere near the STS in its capabilities.
The soyuz tm is about 7.5m long, with a reentry vehicle that is 2.5 m long. It can carry 3 Cosmonauts, and a cargo of 30 kg. That is great, but not anywhere near the shuttle.
Here a picture to illustrate that:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/photos/get-photo.asp?photoid=118
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/photos/get-photo.asp?photoid=118'>




















Now how about safety?
The shuttle did 114 flights, with two disasters. That sounds not good. But spaceflight is not safe. It never was, it never will be.
It's not routine either. As far as I know, there have been 241 human spaceflight - we are just in the first steps of learning here.
Human spaceflight  is still just barely possible.
It is often said that Soyuz is much more safe and reliable compared to the STS.
I do not know how one comes to that conclusion.
There where 92 soyuz missions in total (that are completed to date, latest landing Soyuz TMA-5 in April 2005).
They had 2 fatal disasters, 3 barely survived accidents, and 8 severe incidents (with potential for disaster).
See the image for illustration:

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/photos/get-photo.asp?photoid=119

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/photos/get-photo.asp?photoid=119'>









































I can not see where the soyuz statistic is better then the STS statistic.
Both are good and reliable spacecraft. The best mankind created to date. Earlier designs had a calculated accident rate of 1:7 - 1:10 (possibility for disaster). Most not-human-rated rockets still have about that reliability (a 90% rate of success is afaik a good rate for a rocket; but that means 1 in 10 not successful).

One thing I want to add about the Soyuz TM / STS comparison.
The Soyuz TM, beeing a capsule, is somewhat less critical in re-entry regarding its heat shield.
But it also lacks the ability to land like an aircraft. Its landing is rough to say the least, and it has a landing accuracy of about 30km.
That is a huge difference. And all capsules sometimes miss their landing site by a larger ammount (more than 30km), when some minor glitch happens.
US and USSR capsules sometimes missed their landing sites more then 400 km. That makes a landing just pure luck.
Because anything could be at the landing site in that case (a steep mountain, a city, canyons whatever).

The STS transported 1.4 million kg of cargo and 600 persons into space. That is a fantastic record, and not sign of a poor design.

I hope that the STS program goes on as planned, with all the missions till 2010. It is the best thing we as mankind have, and I don't know if we will ever get something better.

Spaceflight is all about optimism. You need a lot of optimism to do spaceflight and exploration. With a pessimistic mindset you get nowhere. That is why the US spaceprogram did so well over the years. That is also the key to the US economical success.
European countries lack the much needed optimism. We europeans allways find 1000 reasons why something will not work. Thereby we miss the one reason why it could work. That is our main problem. That is why we have double the ammount of suicides compared to the USA. We are concentrated on the negative sides of everything.

 I really do hope we can overcome that in europe, and the the U.S. does not tap into the "negativism/pessimism" trap. With all the shuttle bashing, and the "only bad news is good news" spin of the media I fear for the worst. Once the US population looses its overall optimistic mindset, the world will be a poorer place to live in....

I'm looking forward to STS-121, I hope to be at the launchviewing site in march.

stefan

PS:
please excuse my poor english language

PPS: In what aspect was the L1011 (the tristar you mean?) a poor design?
AFAIK it was an aircraft that was ahead of its time (from a technologic point of view), with a very, very good safety record.
It was a somewhat economic failure to rely on one engine manufacturer (RR) only, but that does not make it a poor design.  


Offline nacnud

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RE: Rumour Shuttle Fleet to be retired affectively immediatly?
« Reply #26 on: 08/23/2005 11:38 am »
Yes the STS and Soyuz bost very different and capable systems, however an STS launch costs around 20 times that of a Soyuz launch over the life of the program.

STS costs

Russians make Soyuz offer to NASA (for $65m)

Not bashing just trying to make comparing apples to oranges easier.

Offline Jason Sole

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RE: Rumour Shuttle Fleet to be retired affectively immediatly?
« Reply #27 on: 08/23/2005 02:29 pm »
Thing is, one can't compare the two. STS is a 18 wheeler truck. Soyuz is a Mini Metro

Offline rhwinger

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RE: Rumour Shuttle Fleet to be retired affectively immediatly?
« Reply #28 on: 08/23/2005 05:50 pm »

Discovery fan:

No need to apologize for your English.  You managed to convey some technical information in an interesting, clear and concise manner.  Most newspapers in the US are written at the 8th grade level.  You have done a better job than most - in a foreign language.


Offline realtime

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RE: Rumour Shuttle Fleet to be retired affectively immediatly?
« Reply #29 on: 08/24/2005 05:21 am »
Good rebuttal.  Waiting for the reply.

It's hard to keep perspective with all the negativity.  As with all engineering endeavors, there were some flaws in the shuttle's execution and design.  Some more serious than others.

Execution: tile loss, foam shedding, general TPS fragility
Design: side-mount not inline configuration, O-ring flange
Conceptual: generalism chosen over specialization (combined human with cargo transport)

But that's the human condition.  I think we're learning from the past.  The side-mount will likely go away in favor of inline, except maybe for automated cargo.  For safety and efficiency, man-rated vehicles will tend to go on top the stack.

I think we will see much better designs than the shuttle, simpler and safer, though probably not as big.  We'll see a lot of capsule designs because of specialization, but there'll also be winged or lifting-body designs despite the weight penalty.  Better materials will make the RCC and tiles obsolete.  Someday there'll be a 3000 C TPS material that's as tough and light as kevlar.

It'll happen.  Count on it.  Just don't make me guess when. ;)


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