Author Topic: Composite Materials in Launch Vehicle and Space Vehicle Structures  (Read 11610 times)

Offline GraphGuy

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In my opinion, NASA has lost the willingness to take big risks and doesn't follow thru with programs that don't have immediate success.

That is what happens when you don't have the money you need.  Also NASA needs to keep the shuttle workforce employed so I suppose if NASA had the money that they would have to also transition the Al-Li tank assembly workers to a carbon fiber plant or locate the plant next to the old Al-Li tank plant.  (I work in the private sector, I don't pretend to understand how NASA allocates resources so as to keep their congressional overlords happy)

Offline Kahuna

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NASA doesn't build anything for flight; it's all contracted out to suppliers. Their labs are filled with PhD's who do R&D to support activities and they have a jillion programmic folks to monitor contractors. When it comes to manufacturing/building, there is a lack of practical experienced people because most of the composite mfg is experiential and not taught in schools.
If you use Station or Shuttle as make-work program for minorities for diversification, and if these folks don't have a strong technical/experienced background to make sound decisions, you get dramatic problems.
When I started in the business 48 yrs ago, the technical bosses I worked for were the best I have ever seen. Super competent, could design from the seat of their pants, had a practical feel for what worked and didn't, and got work out quickly without trying to optimize every detail before choosing a direction. They were very innovative too, able to come up with solutions to problems because they worked closely in shops within the factory, not jobbed out 10,000 mi away. So you pattern yourself after these mentors and adopt that philosophy and when you see slow progress for no good reason, you lose patience and become critical. And that explains my opinions.

Offline Jim

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NASA doesn't build anything for flight; it's all contracted out to suppliers. Their labs are filled with PhD's who do R&D to support activities and they have a jillion programmic folks to monitor contractors. When it comes to manufacturing/building, there is a lack of practical experienced people because most of the composite mfg is experiential and not taught in schools.
If you use Station or Shuttle as make-work program for minorities for diversification, and if these folks don't have a strong technical/experienced background to make sound decisions, you get dramatic problems.
When I started in the business 48 yrs ago, the technical bosses I worked for were the best I have ever seen. Super competent, could design from the seat of their pants, had a practical feel for what worked and didn't, and got work out quickly without trying to optimize every detail before choosing a direction. They were very innovative too, able to come up with solutions to problems because they worked closely in shops within the factory, not jobbed out 10,000 mi away. So you pattern yourself after these mentors and adopt that philosophy and when you see slow progress for no good reason, you lose patience and become critical. And that explains my opinions.

which are skewed and has nothing to do with this thread.

Aside from the money sucking manned spaceflight part of NASA, the rest of NASA, which flies more spacecraft per year than the shuttle, relies on launch vehicles built by people with real experience and have been doing it for decades, ULA (Boeing and LM) and OSC.   NASA has great working relations with them

So don't throw the rest of NASA under the bus with your biased characterization

Offline MZ

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