The constellation program.

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by YM, Aug 23, 2009.

  1. YM

    aa YM LVL100 YM

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    For those that don't avidly keep up to date with NASA's goings on you may be interested to know that the space shuttle that's become such an icon of space travel is being retired in 2010, after just a handful more missions (next one launches tomorrow)

    They're replacing the shuttle with the ares series rocket, these are much more like the original saturn rockets in the fact that they're long, thin (they're taller and thinner than the saturn rockets) but they can carry vastly more payload, and they have two 5 segment solid booster rockets to help them on their way (the current shuttle has a 4 segment solid booster rocket)
    The ares rocket's house a little re-entry capsual for any people being transported, much like the original moon missions, only the capsual is 150% the size and can take four people instead of just three. They have a separate rocket planned for cargo so when they go back to the moon in a decade from now they can take a heck of a lot more stuff when they go.

    Nasa tweet quite a lot, they post a lot of boring crap but sometimes they post fantastic pictures like this one of the ares IX rocket in the VAB (Vehicle assembally building). the first time a new rocket has stood in there for a quarter of a century.

    Emotive stuff. Incase you hadn't guessed already My dream (other than going and working for valve) is to become one of the first four astronauts sent back to the moon (the constellation program)
    :)
    The only real obstacles in my way are: having to get through Uni and get my degree, Moving to America, and becoming an American citizen (preferably marrying one within 3 years of my arrival so I can apply for citizenship after 3 years instead of the normal 5). I can make it before the schedualed return to the moon in 2019 just but it's gunna be a heck of a challenge!!

    At the moment you can see Jupiter clear in the sky in the northern hemisphere, I can't count the number of times I've got out the binoculars and counted it's visible moons, pity I can't go there in my lifetime though.


    I have shared a passion of mine with you; that is all.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2009
  2. NovaSilisko

    aa NovaSilisko L42: Life, the Universe and Everything

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    It's rather surprising it's taken THIS long to get back to the moon.
     
  3. The Political Gamer

    aa The Political Gamer

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    If they ever get the money for it. :V
     
  4. StoneFrog

    StoneFrog L6: Sharp Member

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    Wow. There's more to you than I used to think. Every day I learn more and more about the other good people on this forum, and I find it easier and easier to sympathize with other users as their human traits become more apparent. I wish you best of luck in pursuing your dreams, Youme.

    What motive do they have for going back there? Besides it being totally awesome.
     
  5. YM

    aa YM LVL100 YM

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    I think it's less apparent to our generation nova why we've not gone back, you have to remember the last few missions to the moon were scrapped due tofunding being cut and the public losing intrest in them. It does cost a fantastic amount of money to get a man to the moon, and for what real purpose?

    The new program will have four men staying around a week, much longer than before (a day tops iirc? first time was only two hours, poor buzz/neil) and with the next few missions they aim to get a small base on the moon and ultimately hop to mars. The altair lander has two varients, the 7 day trip one that takes four men and the cargo one that can take large ammounts of equipment to set up a base that should be able to sustain a 180 day stay on the moon. And I'm determined to get there!!
     
  6. Terr

    aa Terr Cranky Coder

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    I too, had Astronaut dreams, until I realized how seldom they actually spent up there. (This was before the ISS.)

    The problem with going to the moon is that it's basically a desert. Once we find a reason to go somewhere else, then we'll become interested in returning to the moon as a stepping-stone.

    It's high time Michael Collins got some love too. Poor guy. So close and yet so far.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2009
  7. Bockagon

    Bockagon L3: Member

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    I often wonder why it's taking so much planning to get us back to the moon as well. The original Apollo craft that brought Buzz and Neil to the moon was about as powerful as your average playstation 2. So why now, with our exponentially greater technology, i it taking so much time to develop a program? I guess a lot of it has to do with economics and public interest.

    I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors, Youme.
     
  8. Sgt Frag

    Sgt Frag L14: Epic Member

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    Astronaut, quite a lofty goal Youme. Good luck with that pursuit.

    I think the only real reason to go to the moon would be to set up a permanent base that would be a starting point for further exploration.
    If they could get one built that could maintain itself they could save alot of time/money/energy trying to overcome gravity everytime they wanted to explore.

    I think having a solid/stationary base on the moon would probably be more efficient than an orbiting base like we have now.
     
  9. Micnax

    aa Micnax I maek map

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    You should totally do a moon map with the space rocket, saying "youme was here" and a large footprint.

    Just a suggestion, y'know.
     
  10. Psy

    aa Psy The Imp Queen

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    Instead of funding something so important to the whole of the human race that is space travel, the governments would rather fund a pointless war.
     
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  11. YM

    aa YM LVL100 YM

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    Well with the new NASA budget of Feb 1st 2010 my goal has been temporarily put on hold against my will. The constellation program has been cancelled to allow proper research into other, more cost effective and innovative ways of travelling in space. It seems Mr Obama (who is no longer my favourite US president) Has decided that the technology that took us to the moon 40 years ago isn't really good enough for a repeat mission.

    I have to agree with him, however much I hate the fact this program has been cancelled. New projects like airborne launches can now be researched that might be vastly cheaper than the ground based fireworks we currently use, and have been using for decades. Airborne launches are just one option NASA never considered because they were too busy with the Apollo program and wiping the floor with the Russians' space program. (After a slow start)

    I can look at this positively however, the research to be done before any Lunar/Martian missions may increase their viability and frequency a lot, and I'm confident we'll return to manned celestial exploration before I'm too old to participate. The new budget extends the leeway for the shuttle to spill into 2011 and increases the life of the ISS well into 2020 and probably further. I highly doubt NASA will stop sending astronauts there, the only drawback is as of 2011 there will be no way to get them there without the Russian Soyuz rockets now that the constellation program has been cancelled.

    Massive amounts of money have been awarded to Boeing and Sierra Nevada to research new ways of getting crew and heavy lifting into low earth orbit and further, their programs are probably my best bet for "foot-in-the-door"ness for becoming an astronaut. Finish my degree here in the UK and since of the three, I think only NASA requires American citizenship to become an employee, the new delay in human exploration could give me enough time to become an American citizen long before NASA start actively looking for astronaut candidates, having both an mphys degree and having worked on space travel research should really help.

    Its nice to explain this all to someone that isn't bored by it.
     
  12. Penguin

    aa Penguin Clinically Diagnosed with Small Mapper's Syndrome

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    The Obama dissapoints again.
     
  13. Nineaxis

    aa Nineaxis Quack Doctor

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    Last time I checked Congress was in charge of funding government programs, not Obama.
     
  14. Furex

    Furex L4: Comfortable Member

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    Was reading the other day they are gonna launch tourist to space, from here in Sweden :D They will use [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SpaceShipTwo"]SpaceShipTwo[/ame] and it will reach the magic height of 110km, so the tourists will feel the weightlessness! It says here it will cost $200,000 at the beginning, but hopefully it will drop in price fast if it becomse popular...

    Hope you reach the moon sometime Youme, im satisfied if I get 110km above earth, feeling weightless :D

    Just wanted to share something to this interesting thread!
     
  15. Randdalf

    aa Randdalf

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    They should start funding superluminal research projects instead. Go at warp speed, meet some Vulcans, etc.
     
  16. YM

    aa YM LVL100 YM

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    Its not the height that dictates when you feel weightlessness like you imply furex, it's the fact you're falling at exactly the same speed towards the Earth as the ship around you instead of being pulled down more than it like normal. Go jump off a table and you can experience weightlessness for yourself, all though you'll only feel it for a second or so.

    Its the view of the curved horizon, being able to see the blue blur of the atmosphere and being able to see more of the Earth than almost anyone who has ever lived. After all, only 30 or so men have left low earth orbit (~200km where the ISS is)

    There's something in particular I want to do, Tom Hanks does it in Apollo 13, I can only guess if the real Jim Lovell did it too, he puts his thumb over the moon from his back yard the day of the first moon landing, then as he orbited the moon, looking back at the Earth (about the same size in the sky) he blots out the entire planet with his thumb.
     
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  17. zpqrei

    aa zpqrei Theme Changer Extraordinaire

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    DOOOOO EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET

    </10doeeets>
     
  18. Terr

    aa Terr Cranky Coder

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    For everyone wondering how you can be "weightless" in orbit, I've found this the easiest explanation:

    Imagine you fire a bullet parallel to the ground. Eventually it drops and ploughs a furrow in the dirt. Now if you fire the bullet fast enough (and ignore friction) it'll "fall" down at the same rate that it finds the spherical planet is curving away from it. It'll go around the world and hit you from behind.

    So that's how orbits work: You feel weightless because you--and your ship or satellite--are constantly falling, but with enough sideways movement that you--as Douglas Adams put it--"missing the ground".
     
  19. The Political Gamer

    aa The Political Gamer

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    More liked the cancelated program to me!
    >.>
    <.<
     
  20. Numerous

    Numerous L4: Comfortable Member

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    Since I'm here, and we're talking about astronomy, I'm going to link to a random, mildly relevant xkcd comic.
    [​IMG]

    Now, I'm going to go get me a proxy that I can use, after Youme IP bans me for my crimes against scientific accuracy.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2010