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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, Insightful)

    by Intrepid imaginaut ( 1970940 ) on Tuesday February 22, 2011 @04:32PM (#35283342)

    Hrm. Took me aback as well, that might just work with some serious modifications. Of course I don't see much point in going to Mars right away, we'd be better off concentrating on the mineral wealth floating around near to earth and using that to build orbital manufactories and further survey ships. Once we have a significant orbital infrastructure we can populate that level and look at going much further out, in style.

    I mean I get the whole wonder of the mission and so on, but there's a reason man didn't go back to the moon. We need real economic incentives to build onwards and upwards, realistically. Once we're up there in force it's a whole lot easier to go anywhere else.

  • by mozumder ( 178398 ) on Tuesday February 22, 2011 @04:36PM (#35283364)

    for long distance human travel is if we already had massive space stations at destination orbits.

    You would only need to move human transport shuttles between stations, instead of transporting entire launch-shuttle-landing systems.

  • Back-ronym (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ruke ( 857276 ) on Tuesday February 22, 2011 @04:46PM (#35283474)
    The summary leaves out the most important part of the story: Nautilus-X is an acronym for "Non-Atmospheric Universal Transport Intended for Lengthy United States eXploration".
  • About time (Score:4, Insightful)

    by oic0 ( 1864384 ) on Tuesday February 22, 2011 @04:56PM (#35283594)
    I keep waiting for us to do something halfway exciting in space. Instead we blow our money on being world police. Screw all that. Cut the military budget in half and we could have a colony on mars.
  • Re:Money (Score:5, Insightful)

    by similar_name ( 1164087 ) on Tuesday February 22, 2011 @04:57PM (#35283608)

    I doubt we can afford this

    NASA's budget for 2010 was ~18 billion dollars of a 3.55 trillion dollar budget. Making up a mighty half a percent of our budget. We can certainly afford it, even in these rough times. Whether it's a priority or not is up for debate.

    I doubt if anyone will consider it seriously.

    You are probably correct.

  • Re:Neat (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 680x0 ( 467210 ) <vicky.steeds@com> on Tuesday February 22, 2011 @05:25PM (#35283876) Journal

    You do realize that despite the resemblance, this thing is not actually a Space Station. It's a space vehicle designed for interplanetary travel.

Where it is a duty to worship the sun it is pretty sure to be a crime to examine the laws of heat. -- Christopher Morley