NASA’s new fleet of spacecrafts

800px-Saturn-V_Shuttle_Ares-I_Ares-V_comparison_(06-2006).jpg (44 KB)

NYT Animated

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    16 Responses to NASA’s new fleet of spacecrafts

    1. Didn’t look at the animation, but from everything else I’ve read, the upcoming vehicles are smaller, boring and uninspired when compared to the ambitious shuttle program.

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    2. See, the problem with NASA is that we keep on trying to make small smart computer-controlled rockets. Look at the Russians. What do they use? Big, dumb rockets. Have they had a space shuttle explode on re-entry recently? No. Because they use the right type of rockets. It’s the same reason that the Apollo, Gemini, and Mercury missions were successful. They used big, dumb rockets, instead of that high-tech computer controlled shit.

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    3. No, the problem is that humans die to easily. I mean seriously, sheets of proteins? WTF IS THIS SHIT. I demand we evolve into either pure energy beings or we develop a metal covering.

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    4. NASA (and the pentagon) lost the design commandment: Keep It Simple, Stupid. There will be less that can go wrong.
      @thelotuseater725: But I like the sensations that being sheets of proteins offers me.

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    5. @MalcoveMagnesia- the shuttle program was more than ambitious, it was also horribly designed. They combined their crew delivery lauch vehicle with a heavy lifter design. Why? Because the military wanted it that way. Does it make any sense? Heck no, that means you have to lauch a heavy lifter every time you want to resupply or reman the ISS.

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    6. @Sticky: Except the Buran completed an unmanned space flight and landing. In 1974. And didn’t explode.

      Then the Soviet program ran out of money and a hangar collapsed on it in 2002.

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    7. The Russians win because they keep thing simple yet effective

      one thing the USA will never live down, is that they spent $$$ making a pen that would work in space, and the russians just took pencils, cheaper and does a comparable job

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    8. The problem with NASA started in 1969. Prior to 1969, they had a clear mission: put men on the moon. Then they did it. They did it FAST. It took 7 years to do it. But after they did it, what was their mission? They didn’t have one. “to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before” is NOT

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    9. a mission statement, damnit.

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    10. @KommissarKvC:

      ‘There is a well-known anecdote about the effort that NASA put into solving the problem of writing in weightlessness, where ink does not flow spontaneously toward the tip of a pen. NASA’s approach, it is claimed, was to spend millions of dollars to invent a pressurized pen. The proverbially simple-and-straightforward approach of the Russian space program was to use pencils.

      The anecdote is amusing and certainly points out authentic differences in the technical mindset of the two space administrations, but is not true. Both Russian cosmonauts and American astronauts used pencils. The pressurized space pen was invented by Paul Fisher, who paid for its development from his own pocket and gave it to NASA for $2.95. The pen was also used by Russian cosmonauts.’

      www.attivissimo.net/antibufala/biro_spaziale/biro_spaziale.htm

      www.snopes.com/business/genius/spacepen.asp

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    11. @KommissarKvC: Meanwhile, we all, now have a pen that can write in space for $2.95. Fuck Yeah!

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    12. @KommissarKvC:
      Indeed, I hate to add to the list of posts decrying your comment, but I think the truth of the matter is that there are pros and cons for each way of thought.

      If you ever compared the complexity of early Russian nuclear subs to early American nuclear subs you’ll see that while the Russians did make vastly simpler machines, they also did not have the redundancy that American subs had.

      They worked, and worked simply, but that was about it. If you look at the evolution of automotive industry as late as three decades or so ago, you’ll see the opposite trend. Imports tended to rely heavily on technology, while domestic US vehicles relied simple mechanics and greater displacement to develop power.

      However the imports tended to be much more reliable, despite their added complexity. Of course nowadays this is no longer the case, as over the last two decades, displacement has taken a back seat to technological advancement, but there are many examples where simpler is not necessarily better.

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