Proposed alternatives to the shuttle

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    What do you think? They need something that’s similar to the shuttle’s cargo hold, and the space planes they don’t have near perfect at all.
    Any thoughts which of the private firms proposals for an alternative RLV is going to be our next best bet????


    They had a great one, that graced the cover of Time magazine like 5 years ago.

    Dunno what ever happened to that one.

    The problem is NASA and the US Government don’t get along. The US feels it’s not important to spend the token money for space travel but we can double the amount spent on education towards war. Okay I just had to add that!

    But it really is the core issue. NASA is under tons of scrutiny at the moment, and they don’t have a clear plan for moving foward. Most feel the entire system should be rebuilt from the ground up to regain what was lost during the mid 60s during the latter Apollo flights. Mainly the Russians as a chief competitor.

    Since that time NASA has become too business like, and the equipment has become more important than the people and the relationships. As such contracts usually go to the lowest bidder, the person who will also generally make the cheapest part.

    And then we get disasters like in 86 and the most recent one ๐Ÿ™

    It’s going to be really interesting to see how NASA reorganizes, but to be perfectly honest Sidhecafe, unless the EU or another nation really starts to thrust out into space (pardon the pun) I don’t see American putting too much time and energy into it’s space program.

    But we will, as soon as there’s a demand for it from the public and we have someone to compete against.

    EDIT: I’m not implying the cheapness had anything to do with the disasters, meant it to be a chronological example.


    Looking a bit beyond the next generation of space shuttle, here’s NASA’s “Spaceliner”:

    STARSHIP 2040[/url]

    It’s actually a pretty cool site. Of course the whole presentation is skewed to the need to present this as a commercially viable enterprise with countless “practical” applications. God forbid we explore space for the pleasure of adding to our understanding of the universe. And to add to LL’s grumblings, with the deficits we’re building up, the funding for these projects is likely to disappear anyway ๐Ÿ˜•



    Good points on both your counts. I’m betting on the private sector myself, I mean the folks pushing the space tourist and the other companies that have programs in the works. And the EU has a Mars mission in the works now, and Japan launched a probe to investigate Mars’ asteroids a couple of months ago.

    Mars has been so difficult for us, I think it’s rather ambitious and hopeful that the EU Space Agency is STARTING with Mars….

    The main point now being the ISS. The 70’s design Russian crafts are the only thing we’ve got for that at the moment besides the shuttle.
    Space exploration won’t be in the hands of the American government….they’ll just be landlords for the launch pad.

    “Cape Canaveral, FOR RENT” They do that for all the commercial satelites that go up already.


    Forget the private sector. The private sector doesn’t have the raw resources or the determination, and there isn’t a return on the investment to keep them engaged. That’s just a fantasy from right wing lunatics who need to drop their pants to count to 11.

    It looks like the new frontiers in space will be reached by India and China, both of which have announced intentions to put a man on the moon within the next fifteen years. The Europeans and Russians remain potential competitors.

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