AMSOIL300CDT - 9/28/2005 1:54 PM
the problem with the shuttle isn't that its a BAD design, but an OLD one......
...the government wont spend the money on it
It did not used to be that way.
BTW, I posted a while back on Safe, Simple and Soon. This project has been accepted and will be used in the interim before the next best thing.
Check it at http://www.safesimplesoon.com/
This program reuses technology from the Apollo missing (Saturn J2E engine, a 6 occupant capsule design circa 1960s), the Shuttle's boosters, the shuttle's large tank for large payloads, etc...
Anyway, it reminded me of an anecdote.
The Apollo missions used a pen
that could write in near zero gravity (capilarity alone will not work)
A pen had been designed by Mr. Fisher (can be purchased today at http://www.spacepen.com/usa/index2.htm
The same requirements were met by the russians using HB2 pencils (which were used by Mercury and Gemini astronauts btw...)
The Apollo 11 mission benefited greatly from this. The master switch that ignited the pyrotechnics that send back the upper portion of the LEM in orbit was malfunctioning, Mission Control advised Neil Armstrong and Buzz Lightyear Aldrin to use the pin on from the pen to activate and create an electrical contact. A pencil would not have worked.
In case of an impossibility to return to lunar orbit, Mission Control's instructions were to shut down all communications with the two men and return the Command module immediately. Apparently, there is no black pill...