# Launch of space shuttle

1. Jul 11, 2005

### stoned

will space shuttle blow up again ? would be much better idea to send shuttle into the space on 4th of july, we have never enough of fireworks and stuff exploding.

Last edited: Jul 12, 2005
2. Jul 11, 2005

if it did, NASA would have to finally just give up. it's dying anyway, but htis would expedite the proccess.

that is uncalled for.

3. Jul 11, 2005

### cronxeh

nah it cant blow up.. an alumnus from my school is going up there and they will have a triple heart attack if he dies

4. Jul 12, 2005

### Kakarot

i havnt seen a launch in a while so ill be sure to see this one

5. Jul 12, 2005

### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
My sense of things is that they're afraid of it now. That's why it was considered too dangerous to rescue the Hubble. And its not surprising, after all, the design is nearly 40 years old. I suspect that we are just biding time and getting by until more reliable systems can be put into place. And you can be sure that any more serious problems will mark the end of the Space Shuttle program.

6. Jul 12, 2005

### Pengwuino

Wow, what a disgusting human being.

7. Jul 12, 2005

### stoned

for the price of one shuttle launch they could easilly design and build good reusable automatic launch system.

8. Jul 12, 2005

### BobG

I don't think so. The reusable part is what makes the shuttle so expensive and problematic.

You could design a good expendable (one time use only) launch vehicle that would do the job much cheaper than the shuttle - cheaper per launch, not just overall cost. The Russians do it, but, then again, they can build better, cheaper launch vehicles than the US, in any event.

It's kind of a sad state of affairs when the cheapest solution for one of the US's two biggest launch vehicles, the Atlas V, was to import Russian made RD-180 engines.

To be fair, the other American heavy lifter, the Delta IV, uses the first new American rocket engine to be designed in over 25 years, Rocketdyne's RS-86.

For comparison, each shuttle launch costs an estimated $760 million (there are huge fixed costs in building each shuttle and there haven't been as many launches as predicted, so that's not really the cost of each launch -$380 million is budgeted for each launch), the Delta-IV costs about $254 million per launch, the Atlas V about$138 million per launch. Among the foreign competition, Ariane 5 launches run about $180 million per launch, while the Russian's Proton runs around$75 million per launch and the Ukrainian's Zenit about \$45 million per launch.

9. Jul 12, 2005

### Pengwuino

For one, like someone just said, no they cant. 2, its nasa, itd be 3x the target price and take 2 years longer then it should :D

10. Jul 12, 2005

### BobG

Regardless of the cost, the shuttle launch does provide an interesting viewing opportunity. Once in a great while, you can actually see both the shuttle and the ISS flying in a neat little formation (I've caught this once, since the ISS and shuttle have to pass overhead at just the right time and the skies have to be clear).

It's something worth watching for. The shuttle launches on the 13th and docks with the space station on the 15th. The easiest and most predictable way to catch them both in formation is to look up the visibility times for the ISS at Heavens-Above. They try to put out visibility times for the shuttle, but those are a little unreliable since the shuttle makes a couple of maneuvers during the trip.

11. Jul 12, 2005

### Clausius2

It is impossible a success, cause the spacecraft is commanded by a woman.... :rofl: If they didn't know how to drive a car, how the hell are they going to know how to command a spacecraft??? :tongue2:

Come'on girls!! All over me right now!!!

12. Jul 12, 2005

### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
You know, it's just not as much fun when you're just outright asking for a whoopin'! :grumpy:

13. Jul 12, 2005

### mapper

I dont know why they just dont go up in the UFO's they have at area 51 and fly around all the time.

14. Jul 12, 2005

### BobG

A whoopin'? A WHOOPIN'?

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

The spectators were really hopin' for a whuppin'

15. Jul 12, 2005

### NateTG

Well, the russian vehicles aren't exactly the most reliable.

That said, I think the first thing that has to be adressed is whether it makes sense to send people into space. Without the idea of establishing something on the Moon, or sending people to Mars, the case for doing that is very weak.

Regarding the launch on the 4th of July:

If NASA announced plans for a one-way manned mission to Mars, they would have no shortage of qualified volunteers. Strapping yourself to a large tank of rocket-fuel, and then setting it off in a (semi) controlled fashion is dangerous. Entering the atmosphere from space at orbital speeds is dangerous. The people who climb on the Space Shuttle are well aware of the risks they are taking.

The notion of the Space Shuttle as a firework isn't all that far fetched. People have F-16 fighter plane flyovers in many places - why not have a 4th of July Space Shuttle Launch? Even a succesful launch makes plenty of noise and smoke.

16. Jul 12, 2005

### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
Ut oh! I just heard on the news they broke something on the shuttle. They were removing a protective cover from the windows/windshield and it fell and hit a cover on some sort of control all the way at the other end and broke it. They are working on fixing it now, but don't know yet if it will delay the launch.

Edit: Just got an update...they fixed it. Launch is still planned to be on schedule.

Last edited: Jul 12, 2005
17. Jul 12, 2005

### Staff: Mentor

The general public is far too squeamish about risks in general. They just plain don't understand the concept (an aunt an uncle of mine used to take separate planes when they had to fly together ). I rember reading once that the risk of catastrophic failure had been calculated at around 1:100 early on in the shuttle's development. The actual failure rate has been ballpark close to that. Astronauts who sign up know the risk and accept it. I'm certain the astronauts going up tomorrow are perfectly comfortable with the level of risk they are taking.

If I had the chance, I'd be on that shuttle.

18. Jul 12, 2005

### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
I was listening to an interview with the deputy shuttle program manager, Wayne Hale, who stated that the shuttle's systems have been tested in "the most engineeringly rigorous way". :surprised

19. Jul 12, 2005

### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
See, I'd take the opposite approach. I'd want to travel together; if something happened, I don't think I could handle the guilt of being on the "right" flight while knowing traveling apart sent my spouse to his death. I'd be thinking, "What if we'd travelled together on the 'right' flight?"

Certainly, nobody forces them into it, they have to want to go. Nobody knows the risks more than they do, and if they are prepared to take the risk, then it's their decision.

I wouldn't, but then, I won't even agree to join Zz on The Tower of Terror.

20. Jul 12, 2005

### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
I remember that as well, but 2/113 is not 1/100.

Really, it is amazing to me that the odds of 1:100 were considered to be acceptable given that the shuttle was intended to be a space truck.

Last edited: Jul 13, 2005