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Guest_ianbe_*

Could The Space Shuttle Go To The Moon

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With all the Apollo 11 anniversary stuff at the moment, I just wondered:

Could the space shuttle (with minimal modifications) do a TLI and leave earth orbit, or would this require more fuel than the payload could hold?

We know the shuttle can stay up in space for well over a week. That's plenty of time to get to the moon, go round it a few times and come back again. The shuttle is also pretty manoeuvrable, so it could probably (in theory) perform all the necessary burns that such a mission would require. Or would radiation be a problem?

If this was possible, could the rest of the payload hold a small 'lunar module' style craft for descending to the surface?

No.

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No,

You need to go 25K mph to get into the right orbit pattern. It can't go that fast

17K for earth orbit, 25K to get out of ours and get caught by the moon's gravity.

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No sweat, I'm six foot tall.

But back to original question. Is it worth the UK buying up the shuttles when they're retired next year?

I'm working on a speech for Dave C about putting a Brit on the moon before the end of the next decade.

I think I'm on to something.

We could launch them from the new aircraft carriers.

They would provide us with unlimited spacefaring capability, and we could use them to drop bombs on people from enormous heights.

How much do you reckon the Yanks would want for them ? After all, if we don't buy them they'll only end up in some museum somewhere...

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With all the Apollo 11 anniversary stuff at the moment, I just wondered:

Could the space shuttle (with minimal modifications) do a TLI and leave earth orbit, or would this require more fuel than the payload could hold?

We know the shuttle can stay up in space for well over a week. That's plenty of time to get to the moon, go round it a few times and come back again. The shuttle is also pretty manoeuvrable, so it could probably (in theory) perform all the necessary burns that such a mission would require. Or would radiation be a problem?

If this was possible, could the rest of the payload hold a small 'lunar module' style craft for descending to the surface?

that this question is continually posed is testament to the nasa hype of a continuing "space" program following apollo. aiui, where the shuttle knocks about is so low that it's hardly space at all. those saturn 5 launchers were big for a reason.

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why don't they build a TLI vehicle that never re-enters the atmosphere - ie goes between the ISS and moon orbit and back again? Or is ISS in too low an orbit?

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Will they get to see "Topless darts on the moon ?

Topless darts on the moon would be bad news. The chumba wumbas would float up in front of the participants faces and they would not see the dartboard.

Also a stray dart could puncture the space suit.

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Guest Skinty

Why would you want to send the shuttle to the moon?

Although you could ask why you would want to build the shuttle in the first place but I just assume that someone had been watching too much Star Wars.

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....you could ask why you would want to build the shuttle in the first place but I just assume that someone had been watching too much Star Wars.

I always thought they built the shuttle because they needed a re-usable craft to go repeatedly up there and deliver a few extra bits for the space station each time.

They sent up a whopping Saturn 5 for each Apollo mission and only the little cone on the top came back at the end of it. Everything else was ditched. They even built a new one of those each time, as far as I know.....

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With all the Apollo 11 anniversary stuff at the moment, I just wondered:

Could the space shuttle (with minimal modifications) do a TLI and leave earth orbit, or would this require more fuel than the payload could hold?

We know the shuttle can stay up in space for well over a week. That's plenty of time to get to the moon, go round it a few times and come back again. The shuttle is also pretty manoeuvrable, so it could probably (in theory) perform all the necessary burns that such a mission would require. Or would radiation be a problem?

If this was possible, could the rest of the payload hold a small 'lunar module' style craft for descending to the surface?

My question main is "What would be the point?"

Next question is, "How do you get into a high enough orbit around Earth to then perform your TLI"

Next question is, "How do you do the TLI burn, and then the TEI (to leave the moon) when the main engines are only designed to take fuel from a main fuel tank that is now at the bottom of the Atlantic?"

Next question is "Given that the shuttle's two OMS engines together are less powerful than the command module engine on the smaller, lighter Apollo craft, how do you plan to even try to use these for TLI or TEI"?

I would say it's stuck in Earth orbit, and a low one probably, unless you can escape the Earth's and Moon's gravity in a fairly heavy, short, fat airliner. I can't see there being enough thrust unless you can get those main engines going again.

Any rocket engineers about?

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great speeds could be achieved from two spacecraft going in the opposite direction.

Say they weigh 100 tonnes each and throw a satellite of 5tonnes between them.

It would be like two big guns firing at each other and catching the bullet. They gain speed by firing the bullet and also catching the bullet.

I recon we could achieve speeds 100x greater that the fastest spacecraft so far using this method which would equal about 1% the speed of light.

A rail gun could achieve these speeds and even recapture a lot of the energy for the next shot.

However I don’t think we have the materials capable to that short of acceleration. I suppose the gun firing between the two could have a long barrel which could make it possible.

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The space shuttle is pretty dead now anyway since the second one blew up they've basically been wanting to retire it - but who knows how soon they'll manage to get the replacement 'Orion' out - they're trying to go back to the moon with that though!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orion_(spacecraft)

A load of foam has apparently just fallen off the shuttle that is in orbit atm, so all flights have been canceled until further notice.

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Interestingly the cost of getting an object of 1000kg to 10% of the speed of light would be about $7.5B !!!!!!

And that’s assuming a cost of 3 cent per kWh that goes into KE which is roughly achievable on earth but not even close in space.

Seems like we will not even attempt speeds >1% of light at least by conventional means

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They sent up a whopping Saturn 5 for each Apollo mission and only the little cone on the top came back at the end of it. Everything else was ditched. They even built a new one of those each time, as far as I know.....

In today's money a Saturn V launch cost about $2.5 billion and put about 120 tons into orbit. A shuttle launch costs about $1.2 billion and puts 30 tons into orbit. Not exactly a win.

Columbia was the biggest object put into space at the time it was launched, heavier even than Skylab (admittedly the newer shuttles are lighter) and mostly wings and fuselage that has to come back to Earth every time; so it's not surprising that it's a very inefficient way to put things into space.

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Speaking as a rocket scientist I can confirm that the Space Shuttle could go to the moon.

Returning would be the problem because the wheel would get stuck in the cheese during take-off.

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A load of foam has apparently just fallen off the shuttle that is in orbit atm, so all flights have been canceled until further notice.

Linky please

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The space shuttle is pretty dead now anyway since the second one blew up they've basically been wanting to retire it - but who knows how soon they'll manage to get the replacement 'Orion' out - they're trying to go back to the moon with that though!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orion_(spacecraft)

When I saw Orion I thought that this is what you had in mind.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Orion...ear_propulsion)

That would have been cheap space travel. Read 'Project Orion' by George Dyson.

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Interestingly the cost of getting an object of 1000kg to 10% of the speed of light would be about $7.5B !!!!!!

Why don't they outsource it to Chindia for 20% of the price. Then they can build 2 and go for a 50% success rate.

They would still save enough (4Billion?), or enough to bail out another bank (maybe?)

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This moon stuffs all pretty interesting. How about the following facts I found on the internet ?

That its possible to p*ss so far on the moon that one astronaut inadvertently gave his co pilot a golden shower.

That some astronauts played golf on the moon, but one cheated so badly that further planned games of basketball and pool were banned by NASA.

That its possible to fart your way into moon orbit, assuming you can supply a constant source of methane.

And other more dubious statements :

That the mooncraft were so full of vomit and other nasty stuff from space sickness that some of the people who opened the hatch when it landed back on earth were physically sick.

That the Apollo 13 nuclear reactor that powered the spacecraft to the moon is at the bottom of the pacific ocean.

That due to the laws of physics a mars bar has the same mass on the moon as on earth ?

Truth or fiction - you decide.

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And other more dubious statements :

That due to the laws of physics a mars bar has the same mass on the moon as on earth ?

Truth or fiction - you decide.

A Mars bar has the same MASS anywhere. Even Gordon Brown has the same mass anywhere.

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Guest anorthosite
That the mooncraft were so full of vomit and other nasty stuff from space sickness that some of the people who opened the hatch when it landed back on earth were physically sick.

A frogman had a bad experience in that regard when Apollo 8 landed, but then the commander, Frank Borman had been puking for some of the outward journey.

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