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Space Science

Atlas 5 Launches 15

Rubyflame writes "As I write this, the Atlas 5 is just about to take off. Spaceflight Now for Mission Status. Atlas 5 is be the biggest Atlas rocket yet, and the first next-generation expendable launch vehicle."
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Atlas 5 Launches

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  • RD-180 (Score:2, Informative)

    by Kesha ( 5861 )
    Well, since I am Russian, I would like
    to take the opportunity to mention that
    Atlas 5 is powered by RD-180 engines,
    derived from the Russian RD-170 engines.
    I am proud.

    Paul.
    • Re:RD-180 (Score:2, Informative)

      by waldo2020 ( 592242 )
      Well, I'm German, and all the rockets the Americans AND Russians ever made were based on ones stolen from Germany- Werner Von Braun's V2 designs;) Even the yanks admit this was the major prize of WW2, on which their whole space programme, moonshot and nuke launchers were based. V2s are still around - as Russian/Iraqi SCUDS;) And I'm proud! As an aside, I caught a show on a few nights ago on PBS that claimed the paranoid yanks were buying up all the fine Russian engines to keep them off the black market and away from you know who in Iraq ;) These engines are more powerful than anything ever made stateside, and are picked up for a few million dollars a pop! NASA can't wipe it's shiny ass for a million dollars;) Despite poor workmanship and shoddy Russian materials, the engines are overdesigned and very reliable, moreso after cleanup and refurnbishment by the American aerospace contractor Pratt & Whitney... see http://www.spacedaily.com/news/launcher-russia-00j .html
      • Re:RD-180 (Score:3, Informative)

        by spike hay ( 534165 )
        I am USian. It would be safe to say that the U.S. would have been far behind Russia in our space program if it wasn't for German rocket scientists and the many captured V2's.

        Although the Russians did get some German scientists, we got the bulk and we got almost all of the V2's.

        The Russians were ahead of the U.S. in most technological areas and still are in some areas. (e.g. aerospace; The latest MiGs can go Mach 3, faster than our air superiority fighters. The next gen of MiGs will have plasma stealth and drag reduction technology)
        • Re:RD-180 (Score:2, Informative)

          by Kesha ( 5861 )
          Plasma stealth is nothing more than a rumor. The latest MiG is prototype I.42. As far as I know it is an underfunded and already obsolete design that is nowhere near Mach 3 capable. It is unclear how the plasma shield can be maintained in the air currents over the fuselage. It is unclear how the plasma shield defeats the radar. It is also unclear how plasma (hot ion gas), can be concealed from the infrared heat seekers.

          The only MiG that is Mach 3 "capable", is MiG-25, only due to the fact that the engines did not have an RPM speed limiter and tended accelerate uncontrollably when the plane exceeded Mach 2.83. As a result, a short flight at Mach 3 rendered the engines unusable, so I would not call this an operational Mach 3 capability, more like a last-hope capability.

          Anyway, if you are looking for a Russian airplane design to be impressed by, try Su-37 Super Flanker, or the S-37 prototype (newly dubbed Su-47), also known as "Golden Eagle". S-37 looks like a klingon bird of prey ;-)
          • Plasma stealth isn't a rumor. It's even been reported on by Jane's.

            Take a look at this Russian aeronautics article:here [aeronautics.ru]

            The super flanker looks impressive!
  • successful (Score:4, Interesting)

    by boarder ( 41071 ) on Wednesday August 21, 2002 @09:00PM (#4116010) Homepage
    I was able to watch the launch live at my company in
    Los Angeles. It was successful and without incident.
    The onboard camera kept a live feed from the rocket
    to the ground... watching the first stage seperate in
    space was spectacular.

It's fabulous! We haven't seen anything like it in the last half an hour! -- Macy's

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