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Sci-Fi Space Science

Nautilus-X: the Space Station With Rockets 121

astroengine writes "So we have a space station, now what? We've heard some rather outlandish ideas, but this is one concept a research group in NASA is taking seriously. By retrofitting the ISS with rockets, Nautilus-X will act as an interplanetary space station of sorts, including room for 6 astronauts, an artificial gravity ring, inflatable habitats and docking for exploration spaceships. When can we take a luxury cruise to Mars? 2020 by the project's estimate. It all sounds very 2001, but the projected costs of retrofitting the space station seem a little on the low side."
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Nautilus-X: the Space Station With Rockets

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  • Re:Neat (Score:5, Informative)

    by Mr.Intel ( 165870 ) <> on Tuesday February 22, 2011 @04:31PM (#35283332) Homepage Journal

    It's a damned cool idea. Probably won't happen, but still, an awesome second life for the ISS, and one that has an actual point to it.

    Yes, a very cool idea. The only catch? Increased costs for resupplying the thing. Even at Earth-Moon L1, it's out much further than GEOsats, which are orders of magnitude further out than the ISS is currently at LEO. Funding the retrofit is one thing, funding resupply and ferrying in/out inhabitants is quite another. Besides, that thing would have to live outside the earth's magnetic field. Water shield or not, I'd hate to be out there during a CME or X-class flare.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 22, 2011 @04:36PM (#35283362)

    Actually, the Nautilus -X plan doesn't propose fitting "the" space station rockets and sending it to other planets (which would require making a goddamn huge rocket!), it proposes building "a" space station with rockets and sending it to other planets. The idea is to use a modular system that's actually built in space like the ISS to go to other worlds. Pay attention.

  • not reusing the ISS (Score:4, Informative)

    by buback ( 144189 ) on Tuesday February 22, 2011 @04:53PM (#35283546)

    they aren't going to actually reuse the ISS, btw. They just put that in the article for people with no imagination, for which every modular spacecraft looks like the ISS.
    A truss, with a VASIMR and a bunch of Bigalow inflatable modules attached is what they are proposing, as a lunar transfer ferry.

    That might (probably will) happen SOME day, but i doubt by 2020.

  • by cratermoon ( 765155 ) on Tuesday February 22, 2011 @04:56PM (#35283592) Homepage

    Bad summary of what Nautilus-X is about, but the article itself fails in the opening paragraphs as well.

    A better summary of the idea from physorg of the Multi-Mission Space Exploration Vehicle [].

    The idea is NOT about taking the existing ISS and strapping rockets to it. Nautilus-X IS about building something that would ride permanently in space out of technologies similar to what was used in ISS, along with inflatable modules such as Bigelow Aerospace's expandable space habitats. Separate crew modules would provide the ability to land and lift off from planets.

    About the only part ISS itself would play is hosting a demonstration version of the ring centrifuge.

    Pretty much the "real" interplanetary spacecraft as it has been discussed for decades, but Nautilus-X would be built with mostly known technologies.

  • Re:Back-ronym (Score:4, Informative)

    by LateArthurDent ( 1403947 ) on Tuesday February 22, 2011 @06:06PM (#35284500)

    That's just a standard acronym, not a backronym. Backronyms use the acronym as a word in the full phrase. For example: WINE: WINE Is Not an Emulator.

    No. Backronyms are acronyms where the phrase was created such that it fits whatever the acronym they desired happened to be, instead of actually appropriately naming something and then figuring out what the acronym is.

    What you're thinking of is a recursive acronym. You can also have recursive backronyms.

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