autumnalequinox

Simpsons: Deep Space Homer and Strange Space Plane?!

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I've been watching re-runs of the Simpsons, you know, reliving my youth.  After re-watching "Deep Space Homer" I noticed they use a weird space plane called "Corvair".  I'm not sure what it's based on but it launches like the X-37  was supposed to, strapped onto what looks like a modified Saturn-V with 4 SRBs.  I know it's just a cartoon but it had Buzz Aldrin as a guest and there are were some die hard science geeks running the show back then.  Basically, it's not a standard "silly" launch system so much as something plausible and near-future sci-fi.  So any ideas what it could be based on?  Scroll down for images of the space craft on the launcher.

Mostly I wonder if NASA ever had a concept for this system or if it's just entirely imaginative.  There's something awesome about the idea of an early shuttle concept that launches on top of a 2 stage Saturn-II with 4 boosters (seems like overkill :D)

latest?cb=20100329140131 nasa-shuttle-launch-deep-space-homer-sim

Edited by autumnalequinox
clarification

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There was this...

No solid boosters, and its on the side rather than on top. but cool non the less.

Edited by Rhomphaia

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From that pic it vaguely resembles DreamChaser, while the LV looks like an SLS with 4 SRB's. I wonder if they could actually build an SLS 4B...

DreamChaser visualization:

dreamchaser-dockingiss.jpg

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I know of three designs along those lines: Boeings X-20 Dyna-Soar from the late 1950's. The French Hermes from the late 1980's. And the current Dreamchaser by NASA.
None of them were actually built and launched ... yet.

And there are about a dozen more lifting body designs. Some of them never left the drawing board, others made actual test flights dropped from high altitude planes. But none of them are as large as the one shown in The Simpsons and carried people into space.

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Weren't early tests of the SLS black and white like Saturn?

What year was that cartoon made?

 

edit yes it was:

SLS_on_MLP_at_night.jpg 

 

cartoon was made in 1994, the shuttle was still flying, not sure why they made that up.

Edited by Brainlord Mesomorph

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On 8/23/2016 at 8:55 AM, Brainlord Mesomorph said:

Weren't early tests of the SLS black and white like Saturn?

What year was that cartoon made?

 

edit yes it was:

SLS_on_MLP_at_night.jpg 

 

cartoon was made in 1994, the shuttle was still flying, not sure why they made that up.

Yeah it's weird right?!  I really wonder why they did that.  Challenger happened long ago (as far as news cycles are concerned), and Columbia hadn't happened yet.  It's like one of the writers had some awesome concept for a hybrid spacecraft and just wanted it on screen.  I've dug and dug and can't find where it came from.  

I mean the episode basically made fun of NASA, but had Buzz Aldrin on as a guest (who enjoyed himself apparently).  So he was in on it to some degree (after reading a behind the scenes).  And it's especially weird that it's called "Corvair" which is not a silly name or anything.  Actually it's a cool name I may use myself.  

And the ship's name isn't Corvair, it's referred to as the "Corvair spacecraft".

I also can't find any concepts NASA had for anything like this at the time.  Besides the Dyna soar and the resemblance to the SLS (which I don't think was even in anyone's imagination at that point).

Maybe they had a NASA consultant who wanted his stuff shown for fun?  Who knows. :D

Maybe Jeb was the consultant.

Edited by autumnalequinox
whoopsie

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13 hours ago, autumnalequinox said:

And the ship's name isn't Corvair, it's referred to as the "Corvair spacecraft".

"Corvair" is probably a play on Convair.

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23 hours ago, Bill Phil said:

There we go!  I think that's it.  Thank you so much.  I just KNEW it was based on some concept that was at least conceptualized.  The time frame fits and so does the design (excluding the huge SPS-style engine bell on the SImpsons version).

6 hours ago, Rhomphaia said:

More probably a reference to the Chevrolet Corvair. a car so unsafe it got a chapter to itself in Unsafe at Any Speed: The Designed-In Dangers of the American Automobile

That so seems like a Simpsons thing.  I'm going with this.  Especially being how the ship itself was a disaster in the episode. (although this was mostly Homer's fault, excluding a fragile airlock handle)

I was impressed by how the show made a point of saying that having an unsealed airlock would result in destruction on re-entry.  Alot of people wouldn't think of that (most think re-entry is friction based and common sense says "how could a side door far from the belly cause problems?").  But that plasma sheath would have penetrated the door quickly and torn the spacecraft apart.

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