[FPSPACE] NASA's plans for CEV and heavy lift launcher
raoul.lannoy at pandora.be
Mon Jul 4 15:04:00 EDT 2005
There is a common denominator for both Challenger and Columbia tragedies:
The shuttle (with its thousands of fragile tiles) is attached alongside the
external tank and the solid rocket boosters. That's the shuttle's greatest
New designs put the crewed vehicle on top of the rocket, away from the
effects of an ET or SRB failure, and with a launch escape system.
Even in case of a catastrophic failure, astronauts would have more chances
to escape from death, also because the crewed vehicle would be much smaller
and compact than the shuttle. .
Rockets are going to fail sooner or later: it is better to give the crew a
chance to escape from it, using a tested and known design even if it had
failed before (and we do learn from failures-the SRBs have been redesigned)
than to rely on a totally new, untested design, with the "belief" or "faith"
that such a design will be far more reliable than the current one.
> Several articles (e.g. http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewnews.html?id=1040)
> have discussed NASA's plans for the CEV and for a heavy launch vehicle to
> launch payloads for the VSE. I'm disturbed at the direction these are
> An example of the thinking and justifications that have gone into this is
> viewable at http://www.safesimplesoon.com/faq.htm, a web site set up by
> "an advanced weapons and space systems company" (Thiokol and Honeywell are
> in their family tree). In their FAQ justifying the design of launchers
> on shuttle-derived components, they say:
More information about the FPSPACE