To the moon

Tuckerfan wrote:

From the sci.space FAQ, part 10:

"Despite a widespread belief to the contrary, the Saturn V blueprints have not been lost. They are kept at Marshall Space Flight Center on microfilm. The Federal Archives in East Point, GA also has 2900 cubic feet of Saturn documents. Rocketdyne has in its archives dozens of volumes from its Knowledge Retention Program. This effort was initiated in the late '60s to document every facet of F-1 and J-2 engine production to assist in any future re-start.

**The problem in re-creating the Saturn V is not finding the drawings, it is finding vendors who can supply mid-1960’s vintage hardware (like guidance system components), and the fact that the launch pads and VAB have been converted to Space Shuttle use, so you have no place to launch from.

By the time you redesign to accommodate available hardware and re-modify the launch pads, you may as well have started from scratch with a clean sheet design.**"

Tuckerfan:

You are the Coolest Person In The World for today for that quip. I was certain that I had imagined that show, since nobody else seemed to remember it.

Bah. We’ve done more exploration than ever. We just haven’t had to incur the extra expense involved in keeping people alive in space while we do it. Voyager, Pioneer, Mariner, Galileo, Hubble, Mars Odyssey, NEAR Shoemaker, Lunar Prospector, Chandra . . . space exploration expands at an enormous rate every year. Manned missions are not the be-all and end-all of space exploration. For most of the things we’re trying to learn, manned missions would be positively superfluous.

Who says it has to be public funds? I wouldn’t mind a few sponser logos on a ship if it meant going back to the moon. Space purists would hate it, but private funds and businesses would be far more capable of starting a mission than the government. It would probably be a less-than-a-decade project. The only government oversite would be for safety and permission from the FAA. There is bound to be far less red tape with this approach.

Why bother with Apollo? Build something better and more up to date!

Savage Garden will take you to the moon and back…

If you’ll be their baby.

Fricken’ PC crash ate the best damn post I’ve written in ages! :mad: Here’s a hurried attempt to redo it.

1.) pldennison, there was a recent thread about “Salvage One” not too long ago.

2.) Why reuse the Apollo computers? A pocket calculator has more computing power than Apollo had!

3.) If we build Saturn V’s using modern materials, the thing’ll weigh less and it’ll be able to haul more stuff.

4.) Let NASA auction off the Moon rocks it brings back.

5.) “Buzz” Aldrin has worked out a pretty cheap system for getting to the Moon called “The Cycler.” I’m sure he’d be willing to help.

6.) Do more than just sell ad space on the side of the rocket. The Japanese want to put a robot on the Moon and charge people per minute to be able to drive it while wearing VR gear. No reason NASA can’t do the same.

7.) Give the new director of NASA a copy of Heinlein’s The Man Who Sold the Moon, that’ll show 'em ways to run the space program and make a profit.

Wasn’t there a booster designed for launching space probes from the shuttle payload bay? I’m wanting to say it was the “Centaur” system, but www.astronautix.com doesn’t say.

Ranchoth

Boeing makes the IUS - Inertial Upper Stage - that can do that.

just nit picking here but, as has already been mentioned, advances in both computers and material sciences should allow a significant reduction in weight even if you were to more or less follow the original Apollo designs. I mean just think of the sheer size that 60s era computers were.
But heck, why not just use one of the existing designs? Or incorporate the technologies at least. Look at the DC-XA. Some serious testing has already been done on that, so a lot of time would be saved right there. Even if that particular design is not viable, you should be able to use the technology already learned.

If you were going to do it at all, you’d want to design new hardware from scratch rather than try to shoehorn everything into an ill-fitting Apollo mold. For example, the crew can be returned to Earth on the space shuttle, so you don’t really need a reentry system; as someone pointed out earlier, it might be feasible to have some kind of platform in a permanent figure-8-shaped orbit to carry things to and from the moon on a weekly basis; it may also be possible to create a reusable lander.

But again, the problem isn’t technical or financial, but political. NASA’s vision of manned space exploration is extremely backward-looking – do we really need to invest in a second-generation space shuttle that adds substantially nothing to our existing capabilities?

An aggressive Chinese exploration program may be just the kick in the ass they need to start looking in the other direction.

Quoth Philster:

I don’t think that anyone else has addressed this yet, but for a slingshot, you need at least two big objects (in addition to your spacecraft). Once you can get from the Earth to the Moon, you can start talking about using the Moon for a slingshot, but it won’t get you out of low Earth orbit.