# Launch of space shuttle

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.

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

stoned said:
would be much better idea to send shuttle into the space on 4th of july, but we have never enough of fireworks.
that is uncalled for.

cronxeh
Gold Member
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

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

Ivan Seeking
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
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.

Pengwuino
Gold Member
stoned said:
will space shuttle blow up again ? would be much better idea to send shuttle into the space on 4th of july, but we have never enough of fireworks.
Wow, what a disgusting human being.

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

BobG
Homework Helper
stoned said:
for the price of one shuttle launch they could easilly design and build good reusable automatic launch system.
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.

Pengwuino
Gold Member
stoned said:
for the price of one shuttle launch they could easilly design and build good reusable automatic launch system.
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

BobG
Homework Helper
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.

Clausius2
Gold Member
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!!!

Moonbear
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Clausius2 said:
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!!!
You know, it's just not as much fun when you're just outright asking for a whoopin'! :grumpy:

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

BobG
Homework Helper
Moonbear said:
You know, it's just not as much fun when you're just outright asking for a whoopin'! :grumpy:
A whoopin'? A WHOOPIN'?

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

The spectators were really hopin' for a whuppin'

NateTG
Homework Helper
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.

Moonbear
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
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.

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russ_watters
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.

Ivan Seeking
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
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

Moonbear
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
russ_watters said:
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 ).
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?"

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.
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.

If I had the chance, I'd be on that shuttle.
I wouldn't, but then, I won't even agree to join Zz on The Tower of Terror.

Ivan Seeking
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
russ_watters said:
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.
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.

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BobG
Homework Helper
Ivan Seeking said:
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.
As a space truck, 1/100 would be darn good. Most boosters have a reliability somewhere in the mid 90's. The shuttle's reliability is comparable to other boosters (even a little better). A little higher success rate is desired for manned missions, but obviously not that easy to obtain. Like Russ said, there's a risk involved, but it's one hard to pass up given the unique opportunity to travel in space.

russ_watters
Mentor
Ivan Seeking said:
I remember that as well, but 2/113 is not 1/100.
Of course it is! Catastrophic failures can only occur in integer values, so those two rates are in the same range of significant digits. Ie, you cannot extrapolate that 2/113 to be 4/226, 8/452, etc. "Real" odds can only be calculated on sample sizes large enough to eliminate the small, random fluctuations. The Challenger blew up on the 25th launch, the Columbia on the 113th.

Besides - I did say "ballpark" to avoid arguing this issue. Whether its 1/100 or 1/50, that's still the same ballpark in my book.

The exact same(opposite, really) problem exists with cacluating airline travel risks: In a most years (recently, anyway), there are no deaths at all from domestic, commercial airline crashes. So the calculated fatality rate would be 0/100,000 departures. Obviously, a meaningless number.

Along the same lines, while no one died on a spaceflight any of the first three space programs (mercury, gemini, apollo). That 0/~20 perfect failure rate cannot be taken to mean that those programs were safer. They were not. In fact, engineers were almost shocked that no one died in those programs. Those astronauts strapped themselves into rockets thinking they had somewhere on the order of a 10-20% chance of dying that day.

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saltydog
Homework Helper
Just wish to state for the record that I'm very optimistic about the success of this suttle mission and wish very much I could be there to see it take off.
God speed crew.

dduardo
Staff Emeritus
The launch has been delayed indefinitely.

Thats a shame, but better to wait untill there 100% sure.