I was thinking about why the shuttle can only orbit earth. Why can't it go to the moon once in awhile and orbit that? How much more extra fuel would it really take to get there?
enigma said:It takes a huge expenditure of fuel to get anything from Earth orbit to Lunar orbit.
I'm shooting from the hip here, but if the shuttle's cargo bay was completely filled with fuel it _might_ be able to make it there, but I don't think it would be able to make it back.
So, if money were not an issue and we HAD to go to the moon, matter of life and death, just like in the movies, and we had 3 years to jury rig 2 ships.....
Wardw said:I'm an electrical engineer doing some research for a book, which is how I found myself here, (like it so much I just might stay) and you guys are looking at just the question I am asking.
So, if money were not an issue and we HAD to go to the moon, matter of life and death, just like in the movies, and we had 3 years to jury rig 2 ships.....what could we do that would be half believably plausible??
Strap it to a Saturn V??? Could we get enough thrust to achieve transfer??
Forget human risk, the President has just chosen several fine men for the task, survival is optional.
Alternate power plants??? what could we use?? Save the SSMEs just for the trip home. Let's brainstorm into the realms of vague possibility.
What about interfacing with a smaller rocket already positioned in low earth orbit to provide additional power. We know we do linkups very well, experience dating back to early Apollo. And for that matter, why not have one also in lunar orbit to supply juice for the trip home??.
Any absurd thoughts will be well received.
(PS) There will be cargo to be returned to terra firma if the good guys win, weight not yet calculated.
Much though I love Sci-fi, after Azimov what is there.
Mission to Mars for instance, fantastic, as many of the concepts were real and based on current research
Francis M said:if constructive, as no-one has even yet theorized on the insane possibility of linking up to a loaded candle already placed in orbit above terra firma. Could we do it? who knows, would we do it IF we could? Not unless we HAD to.
I don't see why it couldn't be done. It'd be kind of wasteful using fuel to put fuel into orbit but I suppose in an act of desperation it could be done. I also don't see why in an act of desperation our space program wouldn't try and knock the dust of of some of the Apollo program equipment they still have around? just to get a "few more well deserving men" away from whatever hazzard your plot has. Of course I hope these good folks in your plot can handle 3+ g's of accelleration
If you wanted to use the shuttle, I'd think you'd use it as something of a way station.
Mikeb213 said:Why couldn't you strip down the shuttle to get the least amount of weight in it? Tie it up to one of the Saturn V rockets and send it on it's marry way? It may not be grace full, but think of this. Why would the shuttle need any recovery gear? Such as landing gear, parachute. For that matter, would they need the robotic arm that is in the bay? IF the only thing they are doing is going to the moon, why would they need any of the avionics, IE flaps, alerons things that are required for atmospheric flight? Think of all the weight that would be saved if all we needed were a few thrusters to do small adjustments.
Are you nuts?! It would explode backing into its parking space on the platform. :tongue:LunchBox said:Well... if money weren't an option, you could put a '72 Pinto Hatchback into orbit, to the moon, or to the stars...
Lord Flasheart said:This looks promising.
Indeed, the elimination of the orbiter vehicle itself seems to be quite an advantage. With the SRBs you have a nice Apollo-esque man-rated launcher, not to mention heavy lift capability that rivals the Saturn V.
Is it just me or did Luna and Mars just get closer?
ray b said:I donot see why anyone would want to drag a shuttle or even a reentry capsule to the moon and back now that we have a space station in orbit
a LEM type lander and rocket is all that is needed that would need even less fuel/mass then the original apollo that needed the capsule to go along
dock the shuttle and use a heavy lifter to get the LEM + fuel up in orbit by the station
tranfer crew and go to the moon, land and come back to the station to reboard the shuttle or russian reentry capsule to land
The ISS orbit offers few, if any,
advantages for orbital assembly of future
exploration vehicles due to the payload
penalty incurred when launching to its high
inclination, as well as the penalty exacted by
this orbital inclination when departing to
other destinations. But the Station's
intelligent use and evolving partnerships
greatly improve the prospects for the success
of the first human expeditions beyond Earth-