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Everything posted by DDE


    Nope. I have serious doubt it'll reach the DST stage - DSG gives NASA room for backpedalling in the face of reality.
  2. So, this 1200-page monster covering Soviet rocketry from 1941 to late 1980s is actually available in English! http://history.nasa.gov/SP-4110/vol1.pdf http://history.nasa.gov/SP-4110/vol2.pdf http://history.nasa.gov/SP-4110/vol3.pdf http://history.nasa.gov/SP-4110/vol4.pdf
  3. Recovering upper stages - in orbit?

    Nitpick: no, Skylab was originally designed as a wet workshop, the only reason it ended up dry was because NASA had a spare Saturn V; they'd have gone with that if they had to, plus the manned Venus flyby project was a thing.
  4. Recovering upper stages - in orbit?

    For a small, dense package, as opposed to a massive rocket stage, the difference is much more miniscule, and you get to pick an arbitrary LZ.
  5. Likely not without compromising their ability to take care of themselves, similar to how people with no sense of pain keep injuring themselves until they die of sepsis.
  6. Recovering upper stages - in orbit?

    At which point the question is, why don't themselves do it themselves, Vulcan-style?
  7. Manned Mars mission poll

    It might work for a tiny, landlocked country; not for a thassalocracy like the United States. If the US gives up its 11-carrier fleet, its global network of military bases, and the force projection capability both of these afford, it would be effectively finished as a global power in general and a global economic power in particular. The United States CANNOT AFFORD being on a defensive footing; in order to retain its current standing, it must be able to conventionally annihilate anyone, anywhere and at any time. Hence the fascination with Prompt Global Strike and Hot Eagle, hence the - possibly misplaced - emphasis on carriers, hence the countless military bases encircling every even remotely potential adversary.
  8. Recovering upper stages - in orbit?

    It's a rather dubious plan. You're simply delegating the need for reusability to an even larger spacecraft, which will be transporting mostly vacuum. It's probably less efficient than the failure that the Space Shuttle was.
  9. Manned Mars mission poll

    Musk wants to borrow the VAB now, has reduced the diameter from 12 m to 9 m and may be reviewing the Mars landing mode. It remains to be shown that this sort of spending is any more worthwhile. Nor does reducing military spending lead to a reduction in objective military threats. Military spending is subject to the Prisoner Dilemma: lower it, miss out on the latest toys, and you end up exposed for decades to people from whom you should expect no mercy.
  10. https://ntrs.nasa.gov/search.jsp?R=20140008733 Props to @nyrath, as always. TL;DR 'Afterbuner' design with hydrogen injection into the exhaust of a dusty plasma reactor results in Isp=32000 sec, allowing for a single-stage trip from Earth to Mars orbit and back, hence a high degree of reusability.
  11. Manned Mars mission poll

    With the likely caveat that the consumers have to be spaceborne. Thus, there's only one way to jumpstart space settlement:
  12. I arrived to a similar conclusion, actually. Heck, the Baltic fleet's long-range reconnaissance teams during WWII (i.e. guys who spent months at a time camping out in wind-blasted, pedant-ridden mountains to report on steel and tungsten shipments out of Kirkenes) recruited people who were either Norwegian or submariner.
  13. NASA SLS/Orion/DSG/DST

    And they further wreck the ascent TWR with those skewed nozzles - I still recall that thesis on supersonic retro someone posted.
  14. @kerbiloid, these things are REALLY heavy.
  15. Manned Mars mission poll

    Yes, because NASA literally discards every bit of equipment after one year and totally doesn't have absurd fixed, non-material or mothballed assets, right?
  16. Manned Mars mission poll

    @NSEP, it's funny how the guy directly quotes Zubrin in the "Alpha Centauri by 2000" rant. Reveals certain sympathies.
  17. Manned Mars mission poll

    I think it's because non-kerbonauts have little to no idea of the magnitude of the challenges involved. The average normie's understanding of spaceflight is informed by Star Wars and Star Trek, not Apollo 13; their view on space policy is informed by usually misunderstood opportunities and not realistic possibilities. Actual space cadets are forced to learn to consider the costs and sacrifices.
  18. I think SpaceShipOne had such a design... and they immediately ran into cooling issues.
  19. Manned Mars mission poll

    1. Other If the mission ends up funded by NASA, it won't be anything like the NASA we're familiar with. Current NASA is more interested in finding or even making up new reasons for new R&D programs than actually going to Mars; it is culturally incapable of a major goal-oriented manned program anymore. Kill it with fire.
  20. Russian Launch Thread

    Between it being a UDMH-NTO design and using hot-staging with lower-stage retrorockets? Quite likely.
  21. How crew rotation works In real life?

    That's probably because each of those could come from a different cosmonaut corps - the Soviet Union sometimes had three-five different units with technically separate training (military pilots, Academy of Science, Korolev's engineers, the admittedly often-token female program, and the abortive Academy of Science science journalist corps).
  22. I hear you. Hm, can we Ploughshare the crap out of this thing with half a dozen shaped nuclear charges?
  23. I'm afraid large-scale storeables are the past and not the future, everyone's terrified of UDMH-NTO, let alone more... advanced combinations.