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).

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2011 @ 5:49pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    trilobug, Feb 1st, 2011 @ 6:04pm

    Someday Perhaps...

    It would be cool to go out and look back on that little blue pebble we all call home - that would be a sight. Sigh...I guess until then I have Google Earth.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. icon
    Michael Ho (profile), Feb 1st, 2011 @ 6:25pm

    Re: Capsule AND Wings

    I like the idea of a capsule design that has a paragliding chute... but I assume paragliding isn't quite as versatile as actually having a solid wing.

    Perhaps there's a way to "catch" a capsule as it's floating down -- like a reverse WhiteKnight design from SpaceShipOne.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Feb 2nd, 2011 @ 1:17am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Pork King, Feb 2nd, 2011 @ 4:52am

    Muslims in space

    Turkish astronauts on a space shuttle? Turkey would use them to spread Islam, tell all of the aliens to convert or die. Brilliant.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2011 @ 8:53am

    Re: Re: Capsule AND Wings

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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