Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

NYT/AP: NASA Plan for Moon Rocket Includes Foam (that endangered shuttles)

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Latest Breaking News Donate to DU
 
DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 10:10 PM
Original message
NYT/AP: NASA Plan for Moon Rocket Includes Foam (that endangered shuttles)
NASA Plan for Moon Rocket Includes Foam
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: August 3, 2006

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) -- Engineers designing the new U.S. moon rocket said Thursday they plan to cover part of it with the same type of foam that doomed Columbia and has been a problem throughout the space shuttle program.

The dense, brittle foam will likely fall off the new rocket just like it has from the shuttle's external fuel tank, they said. But NASA doesn't expect it to pose any safety concerns.

Used as insulation for tanks that hold super-cold rocket fuels, foam has been falling off the shuttle's huge, orange tank since the earliest flights.

A piece of foam the size of a briefcase hit one of Columbia's wings during liftoff in 2003, causing a hole that resulted in the orbiter burning up on re-entry and killing seven astronauts. Foam also came off during the subsequent flight of Discovery.

Part of the new manned rocket, called Ares I, will include a section similar to the shuttle external tank. So it, too, needs the foam, according to upper stage project manager Danny Davis.

But unlike on the shuttle, astronauts will ride in a six-person capsule that sits atop the rocket. That means any falling foam won't hit the crew compartment, said Don Krupp, chief of the vehicle analysis branch at Marshall Space Flight Center....

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/us/AP-NASA-Lunar-Spacec...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
bronxiteforever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 10:16 PM
Response to Original message
1. we will be lucky if our space program has Estes rockets
after Bush is finished blowing all the money on Iraq and tax cuts for millionaires
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ThoughtCriminal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 10:49 PM
Response to Original message
2. I don't think it's a problem
Actually, the problem wasn't that foam was hitting the crew compartment, it was from hitting the heat shield. In a vertically stacked booster, that's not an issue.

One thing that bothers me though is that the insulation on the outside might prevent the upper stages from being used as construction material (like Skylab). It seems a shame to pay the cost to get the mass up to orbit and not use it. I seem to recall that the loose outside insulation was one of the main problems with some very cool station designs that utilized the shuttle ET (David Brin).
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 07:41 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. What if it was designed to fall away from the rocket in two pieces...
a second or two before lift-off?

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
cobalt1999 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 08:26 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. I agree, it's a misleading article.
In a staged rocket not only foam falls off, but huge stages! It doesn't matter if you are above the material.

I didn't think about the use of stages for construction material though, that's a logical and cool idea.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Vidar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 12:30 AM
Response to Original message
3. Apparently our supply of balsa wood is running low.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
soothsayer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 08:20 AM
Response to Original message
5. Russia manages to turn out less expensive rockets that actually
work. Why don't we consult with them?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
wuushew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 08:37 AM
Response to Original message
7. why is this moonshot rocket called "Ares"?
I could support this if the rocket had the capability for launching manned Mars missions. I am of the opinion that there is absolutely no reason PR or otherwise to return men to the moon, it is the same place it was in 1969.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
patcox2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 09:51 AM
Response to Original message
8. Idiotic scare-mongering headline.
Its like saying "New Building to be built with same kind of steel used in World Trade Center."
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
meldroc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 11:30 AM
Response to Original message
9. To be fair to NASA, the foam worked better in the last launch.
Not perfect, (a few pieces were still spotted falling off) but better. Inspection of the shuttle revealed far fewer dings in the reentry shielding tiles this time.

I'll bet that reformulating the foam would help with this problem. Ideally, when it fails, instead of breaking off in huge, damaging chunks, it'll crumble to dust.

Also, the replacement for the Shuttle will put the payload on top of the tank, instead of attached to the side like the current Shuttle orbiter, which means that any foam breaking off will likely not hit anything.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
NoodleyAppendage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 03:39 PM
Response to Original message
10. What military contractor makes the foam? That's the answer to NASA's use.
That foam is attached to a huge military/industrial contract and sweetheart deals, one would surmise.

J
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Wed Apr 23rd 2014, 07:28 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Latest Breaking News Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC