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  1. You heard it here first, folks! {snip] All you aeronautical engineers bow down to some guy on the internet. Clearly spaceplanes are stupid, that's why the USSR made one too?
  2. Precisely. The first humans were launched into space on missiles designed to bring nuclear armageddon. I'm simply trying to say that my armchair quarterback take on spaceplanes can turn out vastly different than the evidence we have today...just like how when someone was asked to design a missile to nuke Moscow, they didn't think it was gonna orbit John Glenn.
  3. I know exactly what you are getting at, including why the space shuttle had wings the size it did, but to be totally fair, I don't think cross-range capability has ever been utilized. Although having said that, not a single ICBM has been launched in anger, and they are probably the biggest boon to peaceful spaceflight, As a thought excercise, I am deeply curious to what spaceflight would look like today had the space shuttle never been built. In any case, to keep it on topic, I'm hoping Dreamchaser is successful, if for no other reason than to show the general public that spaceflight can be "routine." SpaceX is doing this also, but your regular person isn't looking at a Falcon 9 first stage and thinking "wow, reusable, just like my car"
  4. I wasn't even considering air-breating engines...thanks for bringing some legitimacy to what is basically a 13 year-olds fantasy!
  5. Mathematically it is inefficient to drag a plane around with you into space but I have to admit, they are sooooo cool!
  6. Well, to be fair, they don't "matter" on the way down either unless you give them angle of attack.
  7. No, that's a great example of why you should turn of the LAS after an abort. It was programmed to fire automatically if it detects inertially a certain deflection from vertical an the earth rotated beyond that parameter. Clearly the Soviets knew the Earth rotates. That example sounds like bureaucracy...and we are led right back to NASA, so maybe I agree with you in a round about way?
  8. This "creation" would still have to be like a dodecacopter to lift that much. I can't imagine the transmission system since in an engine out situation, all rotors are geared together so there is equal (but lesser) lift.
  9. Ok, tractor beams are fine in sci-fi, but in real life are kinda stupid. They still have to impart the same delta v a burn would...why would you bring whatever fuels your tractor beam runs on instead of just bringing fuel? Also Newtons Laws being you'd suck yourself into your target and all that.
  10. Ok, but someone is gonna have to pay for the release mechanism, all related hardware and associated R&D? Or you can send it on one that is already certified. Edit: I missed your solar panels bit...same deal though....who is paying for that? Like I know SpaceX wants to be a bus service as they have done to LEO, but right now, they can't exactly open a profitable line to Earth-Moon L2. Like its not some untapped market nobody can reach, its just not useful for lots of purposes.
  11. In theory, yes, but you still have to certify a new type. Like they aren't sending something like the JWST on an untested, expendable variant "just cuz" the reusable one worked. But In hindsight, they are making the HLS...so maybe? I guess we need to see how big the new satellites are.
  12. My point is that the fact of the matter is that if the US wants a solid propellant ICBM, they get it, regardless of what the civil space program is doing. If you haven't noticed, most civil rockets are adapted from military ones, not the other way around. Edit: just to stop the pedants...yes, recently this is shifting, but when they were developing the SRBs for the space shuttle, they had thousands of solid-fueled missiles pointed at what the US called enemies in the cold war. They were NOT waiting for the STS program to develop solid fuel missiles....same boosters as are on SLS, to keep it on topic.
  13. Wait, are you under the impression that the USA needs an excuse to produce ICBM's? Like the same USA that had the cold war with the Soviets?
  14. I say this totally in jest, but perhaps this is why Boeing currently seems to be plagued with being late? Full disclosure, I've worked in flight test, and @mikegarrison is correct; it is standard practice to not leave anything to chance, such as a situation where low lighting levels could impact operations. SpaceX seems to really want to re-write all the rules here! Fingers crossed it doesn't end up biting them in the butt!
  15. True, but if every smartphone owner donated just one dollar, we would be two-thirds the way to a second JWST or similar. Sorry its a bit off-topic, but @kerbiloid brings up a good point. Namely that space really isn't that expensive, it only is when one expects a handful of parties to foot the entire bill for something everyone on the planet benefits from. I dunno, I'm impressed we can even see it so well. I imagine this was taken after the sunshield was deployed and we are seeing reflected Sun's rays?
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