DailyDirt: I'm Leavin' On A Space Plane, Don't Know When I'll Be Back Again….

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

NASA’s space shuttle program is winding down, but it seems like there’s some growing interest in going to space. SpaceShipOne won the $10 million Ansari X Prize in 2004, and even though it only touches the edge of space, it’s still a pretty remarkable achievement. But it’s about 6 years later, and trips to space aren’t exactly tickets you can buy on Orbitz (or Priceline or Expedia, etc). Here are a few interesting links on space travel and traveling in the future (not to the future).

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Companies: boeing, orbital sciences corporation

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Comments on “DailyDirt: I'm Leavin' On A Space Plane, Don't Know When I'll Be Back Again….”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Capsule AND Wings

“Space plane versus capsule designs… I’d bet the capsules will win, but there’s no denying the coolness factor of a winged spaceship.”

The advantage of a capsule is that you don’t have to protect wings during flight phases that don’t use wings, such as ascent, orbiting, reentry, etc., i.e. everything but the last bit of the return after reentry.

The advantage of wings is that you can guide the return.

My solution: Paragliding. Keep the paraglide chute stowed until after reentry, and then guide the return. The advantages of both.

Lawrence D'Oliveiro says:

Winged Space Planes

Apparently the only reason the Shuttle has wings is to give it ?cross-range? capability?that is, it can reenter the atmosphere in one place and still have the ability to maneouvre during its glide onto a landing strip some distance away. This was done in order to get the support of the military, who might want to carry classified cargoes, that they didn?t want to bring down at any old landing strip.

In the end, this capability has never been used.

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