Apollo All over again?... Aug 14, 2006 20:35:22 GMT -6
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Aug 14, 2006 20:35:22 GMT -6
NASA is borrowing ideas from the Apollo
Jim Snoddy and other NASA engineers didn't just go to the drawing board or a warehouse when they needed ideas - and parts - for America's next lunar rocket. They went to space museums.
Facing tight deadlines and uncertain budgets as it works on President Bush's plan to send astronauts. Snoddy, a manager at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, has been removing valves and other parts from Apollo exhibits as he oversees construction of the upper-stage engine on the new moon rocketmuseums
The move makes sense: The new engine Snoddy is working on, a J-2X, is an updated version of the J-2 engine that powered the third stage of the 363-foot Saturn V rocket during Apollo. "We've gone back to the days of simplicity. You can get more complicated, but why bother?" Snoddy said.
Don Krupp, chief of the vehicle analysis branch at Marshall, said it is unlikely any of the antique parts will actually fly in space; instead, they will be used for research and development.
As part of the effort to draw on NASA's past, space executives visited the state-owned U.S. Space and Rocket Center museum in Huntsville to borrow an Apollo operations manual from 1969, and an engineer working on a new lunar
The same thing is going on at the Smithsonian Institution and Space Center Houston, where exhibits manager Paul Spana said he has had about a dozen visits this year from young NASA engineers and contractors trying to figure out how their predecessors sent people to the moon. They were particularly surprised to see the tight squeeze inside the lunar lander, he said.
"They say they have documents, but they feel more comfortable coming in and putting their hands on things," Spana said. Some old Apollo engineers are even being brought back on a contract basis to work with the young folks, some of whom were not even born when the Saturn V was flying lunar missions.
More here: www.physorg.com/news74786119.html
Did we perfect space crafts in the 1960"s? Is there nothing else, any new innovations or another way of human space flight?
Not complaining, maybe we did with Apollo.