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#1 2005-07-13 15:53:56

BWhite
Member
From: Chicago, Illinois
Registered: 2004-06-16
Posts: 2,635

Re: Early retirement for orbiter?

Possible proposal to retire Discovery in 2007 and Atlantis in 2009 and begin conversion of Pad39A to SDV in 2007.

ISS is either curtailed or finished with other launchers.

Haven't I have heard that idea somewhere else, before?

= = =

Sorry for the link error - - should be fixed now.

Edited By BWhite on 1121291741


Give someone a sufficient why and they can endure just about any how

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#2 2005-07-13 16:35:03

Commodore
Member
From: Upstate NY, USA
Registered: 2004-07-25
Posts: 1,021

Re: Early retirement for orbiter?

They can't finish the ISS with two shuttles.


"Yes, I was going to give this astronaut selection my best shot, I was determined when the NASA proctologist looked up my ass, he would see pipes so dazzling he would ask the nurse to get his sunglasses."
---Shuttle Astronaut Mike Mullane

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#3 2005-07-13 16:57:44

GCNRevenger
Member
From: Earth
Registered: 2003-10-14
Posts: 6,056

Re: Early retirement for orbiter?

Depends on the flight rate. If NASA can only manage three or four flights a year with all three orbiters, then they will need all of them for about all the time between now and 2010. If NASA can get back up to like five flights a year, then early retirement is possible.


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#4 2005-07-13 17:00:39

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,253

Re: Early retirement for orbiter?

Or... this is the prelude to the final death knell to the ISS.

We need to rush the CEV so we can send people to the ISS on our own, only to develop a plan that will curtail functional use of the ISS which makes sending people to the ISS a waste of time.

Brilliant.

Griffin is not impressing me.

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#5 2005-07-13 17:04:44

GCNRevenger
Member
From: Earth
Registered: 2003-10-14
Posts: 6,056

Re: Early retirement for orbiter?

Or... this is the prelude to the final death knell to the ISS.

We need to rush the CEV so we can send people to the ISS on our own, only to develop a plan that will curtail functional use of the ISS which makes sending people to the ISS a waste of time.

Brilliant.

Griffin is not impressing me.

Its not Griffin's choice, dear... Bush specifically instructed NASA to finish the Space Station, and so that is what Griffin is going to do.

In all probability, Congress will not accept simply pulling the plug on the ISS after its finished either, and so to maintain even superficial involvement we need a way to get there that doesn't involve Shuttle.

And, NASA really doesn't have a future other then VSE, and so it makes sense just on that account to try and minimize the gap between Shuttle and CEV.


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#6 2005-07-13 17:04:58

srmeaney
Member
From: 18 tiwi gdns rd, TIWI NT 0810
Registered: 2005-03-18
Posts: 976

Re: Early retirement for orbiter?

Australia will probably have to pitch in for a new Shuttle just to finish the ISS. The Commonwealth nations could probably afford the pay on a single new shuttle but it would bankrupt our science budget.

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#7 2005-07-13 17:11:25

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,253

Re: Early retirement for orbiter?

Finishing it one thing, gutting the ability to make the ISS even partially useful and meaningful is another.

I know your opinion on ISS, and I respect it. You have legitimate and valid points why that white elephant should go the way of the dodo.

However, there are valid points to keep it, and expand it. I don't want to get into it here, but there are a lot of people who had plans that could only be conducted on ISS. People have dedicated and invested decades of their scintific lives waiting for the opportunity that only ISS could provide.

Now that is going away, and maybe, *maybe*, in some unknown future date, ten years down the line, they will get another chance.

With this plan, we really are saying that the last 30 years have been an utter waste.

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#8 2005-07-13 17:13:11

GCNRevenger
Member
From: Earth
Registered: 2003-10-14
Posts: 6,056

Re: Early retirement for orbiter?

Huh? New Shuttle? You mean like build a brand new copy of the current Orbiter? There is no way America could build a new space shuttle for any amount of money in a reasonable length of time, the old factory and literally hundreds of subcontractors are long gone I'm sure.


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#9 2005-07-13 17:19:47

GCNRevenger
Member
From: Earth
Registered: 2003-10-14
Posts: 6,056

Re: Early retirement for orbiter?

Finishing it one thing, gutting the ability to make the ISS even partially useful and meaningful is another.

I know your opinion on ISS, and I respect it. You have legitimate and valid points why that white elephant should go the way of the dodo.

However, there are valid points to keep it, and expand it. I don't want to get into it here, but there are a lot of people who had plans that could only be conducted on ISS. People have dedicated and invested decades of their scintific lives waiting for the opportunity that only ISS could provide.

Now that is going away, and maybe, *maybe*, in some unknown future date, ten years down the line, they will get another chance.

With this plan, we really are saying that the last 30 years have been an utter waste.

"However, there are valid points to keep it, and expand it."

But there isn't! The science that can be done even on the essentially full version of the ISS Is. Not. Worth. It.

Period!

The gigantic cost of getting this little useless dribble of comparitively trivial science just isn't worth the money, and thats all there is to it. Yes its an awful shame that these poor scientists will be out of luck, but the currency of emotion over them is not legal tender when tallying the cost/bennefit analysis.

"With this plan, we really are saying that the last 30 years have been an utter waste."

Bingo. Thats because it actually has been an utter waste.


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#10 2005-07-13 17:20:21

Commodore
Member
From: Upstate NY, USA
Registered: 2004-07-25
Posts: 1,021

Re: Early retirement for orbiter?

Depends on the flight rate. If NASA can only manage three or four flights a year with all three orbiters, then they will need all of them for about all the time between now and 2010. If NASA can get back up to like five flights a year, then early retirement is possible.

That would mean a turn around rate that the Shuttles have never achieved. With 2 shuttles they'd have do 2-3 missions per shuttle per year.


"Yes, I was going to give this astronaut selection my best shot, I was determined when the NASA proctologist looked up my ass, he would see pipes so dazzling he would ask the nurse to get his sunglasses."
---Shuttle Astronaut Mike Mullane

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#11 2005-07-13 17:29:59

srmeaney
Member
From: 18 tiwi gdns rd, TIWI NT 0810
Registered: 2005-03-18
Posts: 976

Re: Early retirement for orbiter?

More than likely a new version shuttle. If it comes down to an unmanned reusable and an occasional russian launcher, the NASA kids will jump to their deaths from the launch tower...

The Basic Shuttle was optimal for Mars Colonization. All they needed was to make the entire habitat/flight deck into a lander that could detatch in Mars orbit, extend fuel tanks into most of the cargo bay.

Oh well, suppose you are right. USA can mothball its entire space program, fund better education, and cure Poverty...

PS. They could have done more with the Apollo Missions by cutting the human presence entirely sending up telerobotic rovers and send the landers back with five ton samples of lunar rock and soil.

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#12 2005-07-13 17:33:12

GCNRevenger
Member
From: Earth
Registered: 2003-10-14
Posts: 6,056

Re: Early retirement for orbiter?

More than likely a new version shuttle. If it comes down to an unmanned reusable and an occasional russian launcher, the NASA kids will jump to their deaths from the launch tower...

The Basic Shuttle was optimal for Mars Colonization. All they needed was to make the entire habitat/flight deck into a lander that could detatch in Mars orbit, extend fuel tanks into most of the cargo bay.

Oh well, suppose you are right. USA can mothball its entire space program, fund better education, and cure Poverty...

Ummmm. Most everything you have said in this post is nonsense.

-NASA isn't building a new shuttle any time soon, and even if it were, it would never be ready in time to make much of a difference with the ISS.

-The Space Shuttle is the worst possible vehicle for doing ANYTHING, and is as far from optimal for Mars flights as you can get.

-NASA is not going to close up shop just because it doesn't have a shuttle-like vehicle anymore.


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#13 2005-07-13 17:51:29

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 5,880
Website

Re: Early retirement for orbiter?

Ok. Can they finish ISS using SDV/Orbiter combination flights as I described before? Convert 1 pad to SDV. If they could be ready for the first SDV flight with payload by January 2006, they could have ISS complete by October 2006. By the way, NASA's fiscal year ends in 2006. Actually, the minimum ISS configuration would be complete by May 2006; I included lone orbiter flights in July and September for Node 3 and the U.S. Habitation module. That schedule doesn't include the 6 orbiter missions with MPLM to carry stuff for the interior of ISS, and it doesn't include the Japanese HTV. I would tell Japan to launch HTV themselves on their H2 rocket; after all, HTV is supposed to be an unmanned cargo vehicle so why carry it in the Shuttle's cargo bay? Some of the MPLM missions could be replaced by Russian Progress or European ATV, but I don't know what stuff those missions would carry so I don't know how many could be replaced. This manifest would constitute 8 Shuttle orbiter missions including Discovery's current mission and Atlantis' planned mission, Hubble Service Mission 4, Node 3 and US Hab, but not including HTV or MPLM flights. This wouldn't reduce ISS at all, and would restore the US Hab. Scientists want a full compliment of 7 astronauts; that can be done with life support of Node 3 and US Hab together with emergency escape for 3 cosmonauts using Soyuz and 4 astronauts using the LEO configuration of CEV.

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#14 2005-07-13 18:05:52

GCNRevenger
Member
From: Earth
Registered: 2003-10-14
Posts: 6,056

Re: Early retirement for orbiter?

"If they could be ready for the first SDV flight with payload by January 2006"

What are you talking about Robert? They're talking about several years before even Shuttle-C could be ready, ,much less the axial SDV, not six months. Where did you get this absurdly short figure?

"they could have ISS complete by October 2006"

This is absurd too, even if you could cram two ISS payloads onto each HLLV. Fifteen Shuttle flights or their equivilent bare absolute minimum are required, and thats for the strip-down three person ISS. Twenty Five preferably.

Edit: Oh, and

"Some of the MPLM missions could be replaced by Russian Progress or European ATV"

You can't. The hatches are too small to move equipment through. The Soyuz hatch is a mere 80cm wide! Not that Progress could carry much stuff anyway.


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#15 2005-07-13 18:14:27

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,253

Re: Early retirement for orbiter?

This plan is essesentially a plan for ending ISS.

Look at it this way, if Discovery runs into problems (god forbid), what are the chances of two Shuttles finishing ISS?

SDV will not be ready until after the 2010 time frame, and we are planning to abandon ISS involvement in 2016-17. There is little point.

Like I said, I don't want to get into it here about the merits of ISS. The fact remains that this plan is about ending ISS. It is about ensuring that the Shuttle goes to the grave.

Look at the scenerio: 2007, we retire a shuttle. That leaves two shuttles to finish ISS construction. One goes up, another gets refurbished. If there is any problem, we will not be able to pull ol betsy out of retirement. This plan is about limiting capability to ensure that the Shuttle is retired and that ISS involvement is curtailed.

But doing this to the ISS under cuts the rationale for speeding up development of the CEV. We needed to speed up development to get to the ISS. Well, what's he point of that if the ISS has no useful purpose due to construction cut-backs?

My money is on the fact that this little point will be lost in the discussion.

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#16 2005-07-13 18:19:38

GCNRevenger
Member
From: Earth
Registered: 2003-10-14
Posts: 6,056

Re: Early retirement for orbiter?

"But doing this to the ISS under cuts the rationale for speeding up development of the CEV. We needed to speed up development to get to the ISS. Well, what's he point of that if the ISS has no useful purpose due to construction cut-backs?"

-International agreements that were signed years ago.

-Congress likes the ISS. It brings money to their states.

-Saves face, abandoning the ISS outright soon would be a sign of failure.

None of the above are good reasons, but they are reason enough for Bush, Congress, and by extension (or decree) NASA.

Yes it is a plan to make sure the ISS is never very useful, but that apparently doesn't matter.


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#17 2005-07-13 18:21:20

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 5,880
Website

Re: Early retirement for orbiter?

"If they could be ready for the first SDV flight with payload by January 2006"

What are you talking about Robert? They're talking about several years before even Shuttle-C could be ready, ,much less the axial SDV, not six months. Where did you get this absurdly short figure?

"they could have ISS complete by October 2006"

This is absurd too, even if you could cram two ISS payloads onto each HLLV. Fifteen Shuttle flights or their equivilent bare absolute minimum are required, and thats for the strip-down three person ISS. Twenty Five preferably.

Never forget, even the Shuttle-C configuration with recoverable engine pod and existing ET and 4-segment SRBs it can still lift to ISS 4.65 times as much as a Shuttle orbiter. That's the full 407km orbit, not the lower orbit that ISS has fallen to since Shuttle stopped flying. The 8 mission manifest I'm talking about includes 3 combination missions, so that's 8 orbiter plus 3 SDV launches. If all 6 MPLM flights must be flown, that adds up to 14 orbiter missions; but I suspect many if not all of them can be done by Progress and/or ATV.

Now you're beginning to understand one reason I favour Shuttle-C. An axial SDV requires more development time. A stretched ET and 5-segment SRBs could increase Shuttle-C lift capacity. Finish ISS fast, develop the axial SDV right after.

Edit: Oh, and

"Some of the MPLM missions could be replaced by Russian Progress or European ATV"

You can't. The hatches are too small to move equipment through. The Soyuz hatch is a mere 80cm wide! Not that Progress could carry much stuff anyway.

::Edit:: You keep talking about racks, not drawers or equipment that goes into racks. Much of the equipment does not come in whole refrigerator-size racks that don't fit in Soyuz. Think of it this way: rather than sending a dresser with full drawers, send drawers. Science drawers will fit through the hatch, science racks go up once and stay there. So send the US Hab module with rack frames already installed. If lift capacity doesn't permit sending all the drawers then send drawers separately in Progress/ATV.

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#18 2005-07-13 18:26:40

srmeaney
Member
From: 18 tiwi gdns rd, TIWI NT 0810
Registered: 2005-03-18
Posts: 976

Re: Early retirement for orbiter?

I Agree,

The shuttle as it met the requirements of the DOD moved it too far away from being a space plane for people transportation. Boeing pushed an unmanned cargo pod for a long time in the approach to the Shuttle. The concept was useful in that it would have served the Space program had they said:"We are building a space station for ten thousand people!" If they had gone with a smaller crew shuttle and multiple unmanned component launchers it would have been better (and mission specific). Thirty years would have culminated in a very big Space colony and they would be strip mining the moon for rocks to cut.

If there had been no shuttle, All the science they did with the shuttles would have been delayed by thirty years, it would have pushed back space technology and the Soviets would probably be landing their first colonists on Mars about now.

-NASA is not going to close up shop just because it doesn't have a shuttle-like vehicle anymore

Atlantis and the defence space program is the only Manned program left after the Shutdown of the Space Shuttle and the ISS. That falls in the Military budget and does not require NASA (only the used components of it).

I bet that the ISS will be the last manned NASA project in space that isn't Military controlled for the next fifty years.

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#19 2005-07-13 18:27:42

BWhite
Member
From: Chicago, Illinois
Registered: 2004-06-16
Posts: 2,635

Re: Early retirement for orbiter?

Like I said, I don't want to get into it here about the merits of ISS. The fact remains that this plan is about ending ISS. It is about ensuring that the Shuttle goes to the grave.

Well maybe okay. So what?

Getting Discovery into the Air & Space Museum at Dulles by 2007 (ISDC had a COOL dinner party there) best assures whoever is President in 2009 doesn't try to extend the 2010 retirement date.

That January 2004 plan to go FULL SPEED with STS/ISS until 2010 and then just STOP, walk away and change direction was just goofy, from the beginning.


Give someone a sufficient why and they can endure just about any how

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#20 2005-07-13 18:32:08

GCNRevenger
Member
From: Earth
Registered: 2003-10-14
Posts: 6,056

Re: Early retirement for orbiter?

"the Shuttle-C configuration with recoverable engine pod and existing ET and 4-segment SRBs it can still lift to ISS 4.65 times as much as a Shuttle orbiter"

By mass. Your turn to remember: less then double Shuttle by volume. Shuttle-C's number one, and I do mean the primary singular drawback, is lack of payload volume.

EIGHT orbiter flights by May 06? Out of the question completly, NASA probobly can't even do that by the end of 2006 if Discovery launched tomorrow.

"If all 6 MPLM flights must be flown, that adds up to 14 orbiter missions; but I suspect many if not all of them can be done by Progress and/or ATV."

The ISS requires alot of supplies and misc. equipment Robert, and your plan does not solve this. ATV cannot fly very often because its takes so long to build one (and an Ariane-V), and Progress is a pitiful toy with so little practical volume or payload mass. MPLM can carry double what ATV can, and many times what Progress can.

"Now you're beginning to understand one reason I favour Shuttle-C. An axial SDV requires more development time. A stretched ET and 5-segment SRBs could increase Shuttle-C lift capacity."

And I'm saying your ultra-short development time is absurd, and that the extra development needed for axial SDV is worth the expense, since you can use the axial SDV for Mars, but not Shuttle-C.

"Finish ISS fast, develop the axial SDV right after"

NO! Absolutely not! There is no commonality between the two vehicles, and the development for one vehicle would go completly to waste! Since Shuttle-C can't launch Mars ships, its not an option, and thats all there is to. Wern't you harping about the evils of the "when you can buy two for twice the price" business?


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#21 2005-07-13 18:38:03

BWhite
Member
From: Chicago, Illinois
Registered: 2004-06-16
Posts: 2,635

Re: Early retirement for orbiter?

RobertDyck & GCNRevenger,

I predict that soon after Discovery radios "wheels stopped" Griffin will announce a plan to either finish or shrink ISS.

The SRB CEV was deemed "impossible" because of high-gee escape tower issues until we realized you just blow a hole in the side. We at NewMars didn't see that.

I have a hunch Mike Griffin has an ISS plan up his sleeve using launchers other than orbiter. I may be wrong but it is my hunch. The Planetary Society report does drop hints of this, by the way.

= = =

Orbiter is like a vampire. The sooner it is dead, dead, dead, the better.


Give someone a sufficient why and they can endure just about any how

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#22 2005-07-13 18:41:55

GCNRevenger
Member
From: Earth
Registered: 2003-10-14
Posts: 6,056

Re: Early retirement for orbiter?

I really don't see how the ISS could be curtailed beyond 15 flights to even feign to call it "finished"

I never said that was a showstopper about the SRB launcher Bill, actually you said it was. It just didn't like it since I thought it was risky... infact, it probobly will still have the same high G-loading, or at least a high-G mode, in case the booster puncture fails.

"using launchers other than orbiter"

Ya huh. How?


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#23 2005-07-13 19:05:07

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 5,880
Website

Re: Early retirement for orbiter?

Do you want me to post my little manifest with which current flight it replaces? The schedule is one mission every 2 months. NASA already does that.

Didn't you argue that NASA DRM with 2 launches for each Mars vehicle is better than Mars Direct? If you assemble a Mars vehicle in LEO (1 launch for vehicle, 1 for TMI stage) then you can use a launch vehicle optimized for LEO. That means Shuttle-C. An axial SDV only makes sense for direct throw.

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#24 2005-07-13 19:07:03

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,253

Re: Early retirement for orbiter?

Getting Discovery into the Air & Space Museum at Dulles by 2007 (ISDC had a COOL dinner party there) best assures whoever is President in 2009 doesn't try to extend the 2010 retirement date.

It also opens the door to spending the next 15 years trying to get humans back into space.

Remember the doom and gloom and worry involved with a 4 year absence of humans to space?

Without ISS, we no longer have the same compelling reason to keep funding NASA as is (at least as far as human exploration is concerned).

I didn't see this one coming, and I think it will change things...

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#25 2005-07-13 19:25:02

GCNRevenger
Member
From: Earth
Registered: 2003-10-14
Posts: 6,056

Re: Early retirement for orbiter?

Do you want me to post my little manifest with which current flight it replaces? The schedule is one mission every 2 months. NASA already does that.

Didn't you argue that NASA DRM with 2 launches for each Mars vehicle is better than Mars Direct? If you assemble a Mars vehicle in LEO (1 launch for vehicle, 1 for TMI stage) then you can use a launch vehicle optimized for LEO. That means Shuttle-C. An axial SDV only makes sense for direct throw.

I think that it has pretty much settled that such a flight rate isn't going to happen. We're going to see about three flights a year, maybe four, tops on average. Not six. Its very unlikly that NASA can be this pins-and-needles with only three orbiters and fly that often. Griffin of all people very much wants to ditch the ISS I bet, and if he can't get it below 15 flights worth of stuff, then its not happening.

Drawers on expensive ATVs or ticking off the Japanese with their cargo ship or otherwise... and "just ship up rack frames" isn't happening, they aren't just metal scaffolds, and that amount of construction on orbit isn't practical I bet.

"That means Shuttle-C. An axial SDV only makes sense for direct throw."

NO, no it doesn't... Its really very very simple, that Shuttle-C can't handle payloads larger then about 7m in diameter, but NASA-DRM requires nine meters aproximatly. And the axial version very well does make sense for LEO, you just use a smaller kick stage instead of a big escape stage. I bet you could adapt them from the Delta-II off the shelf even. In fact, this is probobly what will happen for the Moon missions, a large Boeing-sized lander rides up with a BIG TLI stage, CEV w/ TEI mates, and off to the Moon.


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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