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NASA Space Science

NASA's Orion Moon Craft Unveiled 179

Velcroman1 writes "Lockheed Martin on Tuesday unveiled the first Orion spacecraft, a part of what NASA had planned as the sprawlingly ambitious Constellation project that would offer a replacement for the space shuttle — and a means to ferry humans into outer space and back to the moon. Orion and the companion Ares heavy-lift rocket were part of Constellation, a program cancelled under President Barack Obama's 2011 budget proposal."
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NASA's Orion Moon Craft Unveiled

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  • Re:Baby puke green? (Score:4, Informative)

    by BJ_Covert_Action ( 1499847 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2011 @02:16PM (#35576488) Homepage Journal
    Most paints applied to spacecraft are chosen due to their thermal properties. Some paints will give higher reflective indexes, while others will absorb more energy, and still others are designed to let a certain amount of energy through the paint and into whatever surface it is covering. I don't know which paint, specifically, has the "baby puke green" color that you are referring to, but I would wager that the entire body of this spacecraft was coated in that paint specifically to control the thermal pathways through the spacecraft body.

    It's worth noting that one of the most difficult and most important aspects of spacecraft design involve the energy management within the spacecraft. Spacecraft are subject to high levels of radiation, high and low temperature extremes, and house multiple boxes of electronics that cannot be cooled via typical convective methods as they are on the ground. Thus, to keep a spacecraft operating effectively, a full analysis must be done to take into account all energy (thermal or otherwise) sources in a spacecraft and redirect energy to appropriately sized energy sinks (radiators, heat-pies, etc.). This is one aspect of spacecraft design that many folks fail to take into account when discussing how simple it would be to build a spacecraft that does [insert theoretical task here].
  • Re:Back to Apollo (Score:4, Informative)

    by 0123456 ( 636235 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2011 @03:20PM (#35577582)

    It also goes along the line of why not utilize the previous designs for the shuttle and improve on it rather than making a whole new launch system?

    Because the shuttle is a flawed design created by committee to meet numerous contradictory requirements?

  • by 0123456 ( 636235 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2011 @03:23PM (#35577626)

    Fairly significant, actually. Kistler's original launcher design was an 'SSTO' which would have launched from a platform lifted to around 100,000 feet; they reckoned that made the difference between viable and non-viable for that design.

    There are two main benefits: you don't have to worry about aerodynamic drag, and you can use engines optimised for vacuum operation which are more efficient than engines optimised for sea-level operation.

  • by divisionbyzero ( 300681 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2011 @03:47PM (#35578070)

    Excuse me... would you mind telling me where the "dig" is at the President?

    The only passage I see that references our President is "Orion and the companion Ares heavy-lift rocket were part of Constellation, a program cancelled under President Barack Obama's 2011 budget proposal."

    That is a statement of fact. It is in no way biased, skewed or twisted. It's just about as plain a statement as one can make.

    But I guess it must be hard to notice these details when you've got to read over such a highly-held nose.

    Um, you do realize that selective statement of fact is one of the best ways to manipulate people, right? But given your reaction maybe you don't.

    The story could have also said that "President Obama chose to replace the Constellation program with one focused on fostering the development of the technology for accessing Low Earth Orbit in the private sector." But of course that would insinuate that our "Socialist" President actually believes in the ability of the private sector to innovate rather than handing out pork to the industries in various politicians home states. That of course would be counter to their narrative and so they didn't. Instead they give the impression the President gutted the space program. It's not about holding your nose high. It's about being able to read between the lines.

"I'm not afraid of dying, I just don't want to be there when it happens." -- Woody Allen