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Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,194
# 80
01-08-2013, 06:26 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by danqueller View Post
(we are going back to capsule spacecraft, for crying out loud!)
We certainly shouldn't be. Space planes are being developed: the Skylon is in development, as are others. NASA's own X-33 got cancelled because of a design flaw, but it was later discovered that this could be fixed. But instead of reviving the project, they decided to go back to the sixties and do another capsule rocket. It's just a souped-up Saturn V that does nothing to reduce the cost-per-pound of getting stuff to orbit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by danqueller View Post
The technical and engineering challenges inherent in a ship like a Constitution class ship are just too great for the current time.
I don't agree. I think that we're fully capable of doing it if we set our minds to it. Pretty much all the technology needed for it already exists; we just need to scale it up appropriately.

Quote:
Originally Posted by danqueller View Post
We can't even operate a Shuttle program, or appropriate the kind of resources this would need without people in Congress chomping at the bit to grab to cancel it in favor of things to boost their own nest. And the Shuttle program is/was the first step required for this kind of in-orbit building, and a small fraction of what it would take to build something like this.
The shuttle could be called an early space plane prototype. With the new ones like the Skylon coming in, we should be able to bring stuff to space a lot more cheaply than before.

Quote:
Originally Posted by danqueller View Post
Just look at the ISS, how long it took just to build, how many resources it took from multiple nations, and that it's a fraction of the size of what is proposed here. And that is just for a Station that doesn't have to go anywhere.
Considering they had a very limited budget, it's no wonder it took so long. If they had more money to work with - and even better rockets like the Sea Dragon, which would have been able to lift 550 metric tons per launch at $600 per kilogram - it could have been done a lot quicker.

Quote:
Originally Posted by danqueller View Post
Even if you manage to build it, that's only the first step. You have to -maintain- it. That means fuel, atmosphere, food, water, spare parts, ect. on a continual basis. Just look at the operational requirements for something like an aircraft carrier, and you might get an idea the kind of logistics we're talking about here, multiplied by a thousand for the need to get it all up into orbit instead of just running a truck out to it.
Considering the potential gains, I think it's acceptable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by danqueller View Post
And that assumes the people building it do so to the highest standards. Space is an unforgiving environment, where mistakes don't result in the need to replace parts, but the loss of the entire ship and everything on her (and possibly more if it happens to involve other spacial objects or come down on Earth somewhere). Do you really think the people involved in building a ship like this with such huge costs wouldn't cut corners somewhere? That the technologies involved would not fail or have unforseen faults? All of which would result in at least ship-threatening conditions? Just look at the various space programs and the numbers and types of accidents to get a pretty good idea how much Murphy loves spaceflight done on a budget or with technology not fully done.
That's always going to be a problem, in any large project. All we can really do is set firm guidelines and enforce them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by danqueller View Post
I'm all for building a ship like this, but not before we are ready to do so. And right now, this petition isn't being done on the basis of readiness, but on the desire to see a favorite fictional ship made real. We aren't ready, and may never be, and using the petition system for something like this smacks of simple personal gratification and a desire to have fun with the system of Government. This isn't a game....you are exersizing sovereign franchise when you invoke this mechanism, and people's lives will be on the line because of it.
The petition isn't asking them to build it. Just to investigate the feasibility. If it passes that test, we have something that could work. If it doesn't, the design will be refined until it is.

If the petition doesn't make the deadline, or if it gets dismissed, then we'll just keep refining the concept ourselves. We can even do a private study if we have to.
Please fix the Foundry lag!

Last edited by psycoticvulcan; 01-08-2013 at 06:29 AM.