NASA's getting it right again! New spacecraft produced!

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oatmeal with raisins
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Check it out! An entirely new, innovative design from NASA!

Image

wired:
The new White Knight 2 mothership, says Whitehorn will have four jet engines and is a significant departure from the first White Knight.

The mothership is 70% complete and will be the largest all-carbon-composite airplane in the world. Test flights are expected to begin this summer.

Whitehorn is introducing film of the new ships being built. Film rolls of workers building the ships at Scaled Composites.

http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2008 ... wo-un.html

Er... uh... ok, so it's not NASA. It's that crazy "Virgin" Branson guy again.

Crazy like a fox.
dv
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How is this in any way like the spruce goose?
Jehannum 2 people shy of a threesome
Banned User(s)
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Shnicky-Poo wrote:
How is this in any way like the spruce goose?

They're both (or will be) the largest constructions of their particular materials.
oatmeal with raisins
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It's vaguely shaped like it. More than most other aircraft.
dv
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It was mostly the composites thing.

And I like to remember that not every revolutionary new aircraft design works as intended.

edit: i can't talk.

Last edited by dv on Thu Jan 24, 2008 1:20 am.

ukimalefu Rebel? resistance? why not both?
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Jehannum 2 people shy of a threesome
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Shnicky-Poo wrote:
hee hee

Are those grapes... sour?
Dan Airman Dan
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Except this is Virgin Galactic, not NASA.
oatmeal with raisins
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Dan wrote:
Except this is Virgin Galactic, not NASA.


That's kind of my tongue-in-cheek point. WTF are they doing over there at NASA? This isn't rocket science, you know.


... oh, wait. :eek:
Dan Airman Dan
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What are they doing at NASA? Waiting for Bush to get out of office so they can have a president that gives them directives other than "O HAI LETZ GO 2 MRS", hopefully something cool enough yet feasible enough to actually cause a resurgence of public interest in what was once America's crowning achievement in history.
SpacemanSpiff Resident Gimp
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What? NASA hasn't done anything since the Challenger blew up.

Oh... IMHO.
ukimalefu Rebel? resistance? why not both?
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Zapski Gaze into my eyes...
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SpacemanSpiff wrote:
What? NASA hasn't done anything since the Challenger blew up.

Oh... IMHO.



Sorry, let's just ignore the spectacularly successful Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity, which just celebrated their fourth anniversary of continuous operation for what was supposed to be a 90 day mission. Let us also ignore the Startust probe which returned to Earth particles of a comet. We can also ignore the wonderfully successful Cassini-Huygens mission which landed a probe on Titan, and is still orbiting Saturn and returning incredible amounts of data. Shall we also ignore the beleaguered Galileo probe, which despite having problems with its high-gain antenna expanded our knowledge of Jupiter and its moons immensely, making incredible discoveries and sending an atmospheric probe into Jupiter's atmosphere. And how can we not forget the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous which landed a probe on the surface of an asteroid? Not to mention Deep Impact, which slammed a probe into the surface of an asteroid to learn what they're made of. Of course, we must also forget Mars Pathfinder and Global Surveyor. We should wipe from our memories New Horizons on its way to Pluto, Messenger which recently sent us pictures of Mercuries un-photographed side, and Phoenix, due to land in spring of this year with the express mission of searching for life.

We'll also forget the dozens of space telescopes, Earth observing satellites, climate research, mapping the known universe, and oh yes, the ISS.

Nasa Current Missions
Nasa All Missions
Zapski wrote:
SpacemanSpiff wrote:
What? NASA hasn't done anything since the Challenger blew up.

Oh... IMHO.



Sorry, let's just ignore the spectacularly successful Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity, which just celebrated their fourth anniversary of continuous operation for what was supposed to be a 90 day mission. Let us also ignore the Startust probe which returned to Earth particles of a comet. We can also ignore the wonderfully successful Cassini-Huygens mission which landed a probe on Titan, and is still orbiting Saturn and returning incredible amounts of data. Shall we also ignore the beleaguered Galileo probe, which despite having problems with its high-gain antenna expanded our knowledge of Jupiter and its moons immensely, making incredible discoveries and sending an atmospheric probe into Jupiter's atmosphere. And how can we not forget the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous which landed a probe on the surface of an asteroid? Not to mention Deep Impact, which slammed a probe into the surface of an asteroid to learn what they're made of. Of course, we must also forget Mars Pathfinder and Global Surveyor. We should wipe from our memories New Horizons on its way to Pluto, Messenger which recently sent us pictures of Mercuries un-photographed side, and Phoenix, due to land in spring of this year with the express mission of searching for life.

We'll also forget the dozens of space telescopes, Earth observing satellites, climate research, mapping the known universe, and oh yes, the ISS.

Nasa Current Missions
Nasa All Missions


I can't help but notice those are all unmanned missions. Which is funny because the mostly useless manned (i.e. shuttle and ISS) programs still take up the lion's share of the budget.
Zapski Gaze into my eyes...
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Unmanned is less expensive and less risky, and gets less attention despite the great science.
I agree fully, I wish they'd ground the shuttles, abandon the space station and focus on unmanned missions.
Can't abandon the space station, promises to be kept. Ditto for the shuttles.

,xtG
.tsooJ
Promises to be kept? More like jobs in congressional districts to be maintained.
Zapski Gaze into my eyes...
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I think that manned space-flight is valuable, and I'd like to see a permanent presence on the Moon, plus a manned mission to Mars, regardless of cost.

NASA gets something like one-sixth of one percent of the national budget, so it's not like it's hugely expensive. I mean Hubble has cost over its entire lifetime about the same as it costs to crew and maintain one nuclear aircraft carrier for a year. Imagine what NASA could do if it got the Navy's budget! ;)
$100 billion for the ISS
$175 billion for the shuttle program

That's a whole lotta green.
Conner Of Gallifrey
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Indeed - that's like one stupid, worthless tax cut!
Interestingly Galaxy One is very similar to what NASA viewed as the ideal approach to the space shuttle which was dumped, citing complexity and cost, in favour of the current system.

And yet Virgin Galactic puts it together using private funds. and you just know that, once they get the kinks out, they'll eventually expand it to earth orbit.
Shnicky-Poo wrote:
Promises to be kept? More like jobs in congressional districts to be maintained.

You might have noticed that it's called the ISS, as in international space station? NASA can't pull out. Same for the shuttle: they agreed to undertake a certain number of maintainance flights to the ISS. Can't really back out of those, either.

,xtG
.tsooJ
Conner Of Gallifrey
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If there is anything the Iraq war has taught us, it's that there is NEVER ANY PULLING OUT ever.
Zapski Gaze into my eyes...
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Shnicky-Poo wrote:
$100 billion for the ISS
$175 billion for the shuttle program

That's a whole lotta green.


Those aren't annual costs and when put in perspective NASA's budget is tiny. Also keep in mind that NASA's annual budget was $16.5 billion in 2006 and the 2008 budget looks to be about $17 Billion.

Also, please remember that the wars we're waging now cost $15 Billion a Month.

Now that's a lotta green!
Zapski wrote:
Shnicky-Poo wrote:
$100 billion for the ISS
$175 billion for the shuttle program

That's a whole lotta green.


Those aren't annual costs and when put in perspective NASA's budget is tiny. Also keep in mind that NASA's annual budget was $16.5 billion in 2006 and the 2008 budget looks to be about $17 Billion.

Also, please remember that the wars we're waging now cost $15 Billion a Month.

Now that's a lotta green!


Regardless, the shuttle and ISS programs could have purchased a whole hell of a lot of unmanned missions (not to mention research).
Zapski Gaze into my eyes...
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Shnicky-Poo wrote:

Regardless, the shuttle and ISS programs could have purchased a whole hell of a lot of unmanned missions (not to mention research).


They sure could! :)

Nevertheless, I still think that there's value to a human presence in space.

Personally (and this is merely my opinion) I think it's a human imperative to leave Earth. I think that our desire to expand and grow our species is intrinsically linked with our ability to leave our home. Humans explore, it's one of the things that distinguishes us from animals, and if we can go, then by all means we should. So I think that it's all money well spent, and still is far less expensive than many of our other endeavors.

Though I wouldn't mind seeing $15 Billion a month expended to alternative and clean energy sources. I'd let the space program go for a bit if it got us out of Saudi Arabia's pants. ;)
Conner Of Gallifrey
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Shnicky-Poo wrote:
Zapski wrote:
Shnicky-Poo wrote:
$100 billion for the ISS
$175 billion for the shuttle program

That's a whole lotta green.


Those aren't annual costs and when put in perspective NASA's budget is tiny. Also keep in mind that NASA's annual budget was $16.5 billion in 2006 and the 2008 budget looks to be about $17 Billion.

Also, please remember that the wars we're waging now cost $15 Billion a Month.

Now that's a lotta green!


Regardless, the shuttle and ISS programs could have purchased a whole hell of a lot of unmanned missions (not to mention research).


Kind of reminds me of that bit in 'Trek in regards to "Why bother sending ships out into space if we can just send probes"...
Conner wrote:
Shnicky-Poo wrote:
Zapski wrote:
Shnicky-Poo wrote:
$100 billion for the ISS
$175 billion for the shuttle program

That's a whole lotta green.


Those aren't annual costs and when put in perspective NASA's budget is tiny. Also keep in mind that NASA's annual budget was $16.5 billion in 2006 and the 2008 budget looks to be about $17 Billion.

Also, please remember that the wars we're waging now cost $15 Billion a Month.

Now that's a lotta green!


Regardless, the shuttle and ISS programs could have purchased a whole hell of a lot of unmanned missions (not to mention research).


Kind of reminds me of that bit in 'Trek in regards to "Why bother sending ships out into space if we can just send probes"...


I think you just lost the thread.
Conner Of Gallifrey
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Seriously though, if your going to take the attitude like that - why bother with putting humans in space ever?
Isn't it sad that criticism of the shuttle program always ends up with an OMGSPACEHATR accusation.

But by all means, if you can find anywhere, at any time that I've ever expressed the idea that people shouldn't leave the earth, do please post it here.

Till then blow me.
Conner Of Gallifrey
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Your question is why put people in space, and my question is the exact same.
That's my question?
Conner Of Gallifrey
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I dunno, but it's more fun when I put words in your mouth.
Fair play, I guess, considering what I put in yours.
Conner Of Gallifrey
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Zapski Gaze into my eyes...
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Shnicky-Poo wrote:
But by all means, if you can find anywhere, at any time that I've ever expressed the idea that people shouldn't leave the earth, do please post it here.


Didn't think that at all. I was just clarifying my view. Overall I agree that the shuttle and ISS have been pretty poorly managed. Those shuttles should have been retired decades ago and we certainly could have figured out something better and cheaper by now.
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NASA's getting it right again! New spacecraft produced!

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