Shuttle - Deployable Wings?

  • Thread starter mheslep
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  • #36
LURCH
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Right, that's why I specified ram-air rather than circular chutes like the military use (or the Mercury and Gemini capsules). But the scale of the thing is still somewhat daunting. As has been mentioned, the airfoil for the x-38 is referred to as the "largest in the world," and the one I linked to from paraflite is for 10-ton payloads, and will be the new record, I believe. Making one big enough to fly the Shuttle (minus its wings) is truly a new realm. I don't know if simply "scaling up" the current forms would function. But if it did, it would be lighter and cheaper than building the Shuttle with wings.
 
  • #37
DaveC426913
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I'm a bit confused. Will these ram-air chutes work to slow the shuttle from orbital velocity? The Mercury and Gemini capsules had a very large heat-shield surface compared to their size and mass, enough for aero-braking from orbit.

Without wings, the shuttle will be a very heavy missile moving at Mach 25.
 
  • #38
mheslep
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I'm a bit confused. Will these ram-air chutes work to slow the shuttle from orbital velocity? The Mercury and Gemini capsules had a very large heat-shield surface compared to their size and mass, enough for aero-braking from orbit.

Without wings, the shuttle will be a very heavy missile moving at Mach 25.
The idea proffered here was to use the old Apollo/Gemini style, but simple, large monolithic heat shield to brake from orbital velocity, perhaps jettison the shield, and then pop the chutes. I was thinking of some kind of large elliptical or rectilinear shape, a single piece that would be easy/cheap to construct, would not have to accommodate any complex or movable flight surfaces, and would not be exposed to debris strikes during ascent.
 

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