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End of the Space Shuttle?

  1. May 28, 2006 #1
    I heard somewhere that NASA is going back to the old days with space capsules and such because of the expense and other problems that the space shuttle is having. is that true?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 28, 2006 #2
    It is true. I am an engineer working on one of the two larger industry teams that is bidding on the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV). NASA is the one dictating what the shape (Outer Mold Line or OML) is going to be. But it is going to be a much larger capsule than Apollo.

    There is little doubt that a capsule has a higher factor of safety in bringing a human home to the earth over a flyable shuttle. But the flyable shuttle offers a benefit that the capsule does not: High Lift-to-Drag ratio, which equates to a greater ability to provide lateral (crossrange) maneuvers. What all this mumbo jumbo equates to is an increased FLEXIBILITY of available places to land.

    You have to be a lot more precise with trajectory predictions when you use a (ballistic) capsule because you have less aerodynamic capability to correct trajectory errors.

    Make sense?
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