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NASA Space Science Technology

Suggesting Innovative Uses For Retired Space Shuttles 127

Posted by timothy
from the would-make-an-awesome-closet dept.
coondoggie writes "It was a sad event when the iconic NASA Space Shuttle program ended last week with the landing of Atlantis. After the last mission the flying shuttles will all be assigned to museums where millions will admire them as static displays. But wouldn't it be cool if they were put to use in places where you might not expect?" (Best viewed with the slide-show consolidating software of your choice.)
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Suggesting Innovative Uses For Retired Space Shuttles

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  • This article is... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by amstrad (60839) on Sunday July 24, 2011 @12:42PM (#36863326)
    useless, uninformative and not even funny. So perfect for Slashdot?
    • by OzPeter (195038) on Sunday July 24, 2011 @12:45PM (#36863348)

      useless, uninformative and not even funny.

      And tacky.

      Feel free to add your own adjectives

    • by Cwix (1671282) on Sunday July 24, 2011 @12:57PM (#36863422)

      I'll be the first person to tell someone to stfu when they complain about relevance, or editorial mistakes. This was crap though. Complete and utter crap. The link is nothing more then a slideshow of ten very poorly photoshopped pictures.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        That'll teach me for actually trying to RTFA for once. Never again!

    • Re: Lame! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by taiwanjohn (103839) on Sunday July 24, 2011 @01:20PM (#36863560)

      In fact, I think this takes the cake. Can anyone remember a lamer story ever appearing on this site before? Granted, the competition is stiff, but this has got to be the numero uno.

      • Agreed. I'm glad the users here all see it, because I'm losing faith quickly.

      • by Ritchie70 (860516)

        Not that wasn't in idle. Which is where this belongs.

      • by elrous0 (869638) *

        Can anyone remember a lamer story ever appearing on this site before?

        Obviously you haven't been here on on every April 1st since ever. Tis a dark day best avoided by all slashdotters.

    • by GregC63 (1564363) on Sunday July 24, 2011 @02:08PM (#36863872)

      That was the stupidest fsking thing I have ever seen.

      An absolute insult to NASA and the shuttle program.

      I can't beleive the web page space was wasted on /.

      • by Chrisq (894406)

        That was the stupidest fsking thing I have ever seen.

        An absolute insult to NASA and the shuttle program.

        I can't beleive the web page space was wasted on /.

        I'd put it second to describing Islam as the religion of peace.

    • We need to stop linking to Network World, their content tends to be HuffPo-esque rehashes of press releases and garbage "listicles" like this.

      Network World: Just say no.

    • Yup, I was expecting uses that were "innovative", with at least halfway-serious suggestions. Can the /. editors please make sure to make it obvious when an article is humor instead of trying to lead us to believe it's serious?

    • by Chrisq (894406)

      useless, uninformative and not even funny. So perfect for Slashdot?

      I've got a much better idea.

  • One question (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lennier1 (264730) on Sunday July 24, 2011 @12:44PM (#36863342)

    How did bullshit like that even make it onto the front page???

  • by Phantasmagoria (1595) <loban.rahman+sla ... m ['ail' in gap]> on Sunday July 24, 2011 @12:47PM (#36863366)

    That was the most stupid slideshow ever. Any random "Top Ten" in http://cracked.com/ [cracked.com] is better than this drivel. Lame!

  • The sad part is... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by emc (19333) on Sunday July 24, 2011 @12:48PM (#36863370)

    none of them are witty or clever.

    The ideas are lame, and the photoshops are particularly bad.

    Too bad, it could've been funny if some thought was put into it.

    • by Tablizer (95088)

      Come on, the water-park idea is cool. You hafta give them kudos for that one.

      • by kbrosnan (880121)
        Except that the engines were the Saturn V stage one [wikipedia.org]. All I can say is that was a piece of shit article. I feel dumber for even looking at it.
      • by Coren22 (1625475)

        That one was pretty good. I also liked the suggestion of the airshow tour, that makes good use of the shuttle, and allows it to generate revinue...sort of. I imagine the fuel costs for moving the shuttle would dwarf anything coming in from the show.

        I can just see a pool being put in the cargo area...that would be a big damn pool. It could even be used for the space suit training stuff.

  • Then post your better suggestions here. My idea is to use them as airport shuttles.
  • Jesus Christ, that's not even Fark worthy.
  • by Baloroth (2370816) on Sunday July 24, 2011 @12:54PM (#36863400)

    Pretty much none of these are actually "cool", except perhaps for the idea about traveling around air show circuits together with the 747. Fake sets of the Space Shuttle would work better for pretty much all of them, although I do have to say using them to line the road would be interesting. Better would be to as one as advertising displays for an Air and Space museum (you know, how they put a fake fighter on a pole. An actual space shuttle would be kinda cool.)

    I know it would be impractical/too expensive, but what would be really cool would be launching them into space empty, and putting them into permanent orbit. That would be cool. Perhaps they could even serve as impromptu space stations, but just having them orbiting the Earth forever would be a very fitting retirement. I know, we don't need even more garbage in space, orbits decay, etc. Otherwise, these thing belong in museums, not some kind of advertising for commercial ventures. I mean, come on, a giant Starbucks? Starbucks contributed nothing to space exploration. It would be a horrible abuse of the iconic image for commercial profit to use a shuttle that way.

    Now, as part of corporate headquarters for SpaceX... that'd be kinda fitting.

  • One of the things I've deeply enjoyed about /. was NO TOP TEN LISTS. True this is an arty outside of /. but still...

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Space shuttles which were built for science. Feel free to call me boring but NO, I don't think turning them into megacorp-feeding commerce icons, hotels or strip clubs is a cool idea. I think it's utterly disrespectful to the time and effort that the people at NASA devoted to them, not to mention distasteful towards the families of the Challenger crew. And I'm not even American. Also, bonus points to the person that rightfully pointed out that picture 4 wasn't a shuttle but a Saturn V.

  • I want the last 30s of my life back.. what a waste of computrons.

  • Who made it through all 12? I could only get to 3, then bleah. Crap, crap, crap.
    • by Sulphur (1548251)

      Who made it through all 12? I could only get to 3, then bleah. Crap, crap, crap.

      You missed the Orangopithicus then.

      Don't they know not to let pictures of Big OJ out?

      Genetically Modified foodstuff is not to be publicized.

  • ...I'm sorry, but I would just HAVE to try and start it.

    • Exactly... start it, fly it, and use it as an orbiter or even a spacecraft.

      Can't we just launch it one last time, and use it as a vehicle to get to Mars or something? It seems perfectly suited for the job. It has a cargo bay for a lander. It is big enough to live in (astronauts do that all the time, although not for many months at a time).
      I know this isn't as easy as I make it sound... but hell, if you already have a space shuttle in orbit, isn't it just a matter of taking enough fuel with you?

      The external

  • Weeeee (Score:3, Funny)

    by Ihmhi (1206036) <i_have_mental_health_issues@yahoo.com> on Sunday July 24, 2011 @01:16PM (#36863540)

    They have wheels, rocket engines, and drag parachutes. I say we take Atlantis and Endeavor out to Utah and have the world's most bitchin' drag race.

  • they are going to museums. Damn, that slideshow was shitty.
  • by vlm (69642) on Sunday July 24, 2011 @01:31PM (#36863632)

    The Russians used their copy to try and hold up the roof of a collapsing warehouse... that didn't work out so well.

    Honestly the most useful thing they could do would be a heck of a lot of destructive testing. You could argue they've already been doing that for the past 30 years, at least twice to failure (along with lots of non-mission impacting single engine failures, leaks, etc). I'm talking a little more extreme, for example, chop the wings up and analyze the heck out of them for the effect of orbital radiation on metal fatigue development patterns, etc. The skin runs at a ridiculously high pressurization, like 15 PSI, everything else in aerospace runs 8 psi max, so chop up the crew cabin and analyze that for pressurization related metal fatigue.

    You know how civil / mech engineers are supposedly given iron rings made from "X collapsed bridge" at graduation to remind them not to build stupid things, maybe aerospace engineers (or more appropriately, MBAs) should be given o-ring and ceramic tile necklaces?

    • The Russians used their copy to try and hold up the roof of a collapsing warehouse... that didn't work out so well.

      Honestly the most useful thing they could do would be a heck of a lot of destructive testing. You could argue they've already been doing that for the past 30 years, at least twice to failure (along with lots of non-mission impacting single engine failures, leaks, etc). I'm talking a little more extreme, for example, chop the wings up and analyze the heck out of them for the effect of orbital radiation on metal fatigue development patterns, etc. The skin runs at a ridiculously high pressurization, like 15 PSI, everything else in aerospace runs 8 psi max, so chop up the crew cabin and analyze that for pressurization related metal fatigue.

      You know how civil / mech engineers are supposedly given iron rings made from "X collapsed bridge" at graduation to remind them not to build stupid things, maybe aerospace engineers (or more appropriately, MBAs) should be given o-ring and ceramic tile necklaces?

      They are doing exactly that. One of the big complaints by the receiving museums is that they aren't getting the full Shuttles. The engines, the Reaction Control System [nasa.gov] and a lot of just nuts / bolts / sheet metal ARE going to get analyzed carefully. The museum grade Shuttles will be significantly mockup grade... There was a fairly big argument that at least one of the Shuttles should be left mostly intact (minus the things that are poisonous and / or explosive) but I don't think it went that far.

    • by pz (113803)

      One of the most insightful posts on Slashdot, ever. Destructive testing -- brilliant! I wish people at NASA were listening.

  • I know the space shuttle couldn't be used as a ship for interplanetary travel with a crew, but could an unmanned shuttle serve any purpose -- say as a permanent space station/orbiter around the moon, Mars or some more distant location like Io?

    I'm sure there's a lot to count against it, but in their favor, they are paid for -- any retrofit costs would be the only expense, and without the crew and life support requirements the shuttle would lose weight, making it easier to launch beyond earth orbit. But beca

    • he other idea that occurred to me, why not leave one permanently attached to the ISS? With a crew habitat module, it could have added a lot of extra space to the ISS without the cost of adding another module.

      I think this one at least has been already put forward, and the answer is "not possible" because hull pressure wasn't engineered to be the same as the ISS and furthermore, the shuttle leaks air too fast (by design) compared to the ISS. It isn't a problem for 2 weeks missions, but it's a liability for becoming part of a station designed to spend years up there as air tight as possible.

    • If there's no one on it, it can be so much lighter that it makes sense to make something else. All that fuel we spend to send the thing into orbit costs a fortune.

  • I always liked the idea of taking a whole shuttle stack, gutting the rocket and fuel-carrying bits out of it, sticking it on a launch platform and locking it down as a permanent exhibit. Build a gift shop and museum into the exhaust vents- looks big enough to support a sizable shop. I know I'd love to see the shuttle as though it were ready to take to the skies.

  • Hell, they're almost perfect containers for hydroponics experiments, and we could start developing horticultural panels for space (well, I've alread done that but getting it to work on shuttle power is another story.)

  • ...and whichever politician we vote for gets one to use as a suppository?

  • How about we use them to launch things into orbit? Since, you know, we could really use something like that.

    • How about we use them to launch things into orbit? Since, you know, we could really use something like that.

      Because if you spend the billion dollars to launch a shuttle, you aren't spending a billion dollars to do anything else.

  • Here are the titles, verbatim, for their ten "ideas" (I use the term loosely, since these seem to me more like the brain's equivalent of vomiting). The parenthetical statements are my summaries for when their titles may not be sufficient to understand what they meant.

    1) A shuttle hotel
    2) A gigantic Starbucks
    3) SpaceWorld water park
    4) Cadillac ranch (stand them on their nose in a line for display)
    5) Stunts-R-Us (hire it out as a stunt plane)
    6) Corporate team leader (pay former astronauts to do team building

  • Agreed that this story was fluff but what I found most interesting and possibly useful is the "slide-show consolidating software." I was not aware of such a tool.

    Before anyone has a kneejerk lmgtfy response, I tried already -- the majority of hits for "slide-show consolidating software" on the first page refer back to this slashdot article (actually, I used google instead of lmgtfy). If such a thing exists and works with flash slideshows as well the other types (html, javascript, others?) that would be the

  • It's clearly an advertisement submission by Michael Cooney, Online New Editor for Network World, Inc. I hope /. at least got paid for posting this drivel. In over 10 years of reading /., this has to be the lamest story I've ever seen.
  • Sell off little pieces for collectors of the space shuttle at 50$ for a piece.....certified by NASA, and let them get back major money for all the expenditures they have done over the years on it. Include all the spare parts that they no longer need, they could actually get a fair bit of money back....so technically could even help other projects they might have needing some funding.

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