Thursday, July 14, 2011

Shuttle C

I've been listening to Dennis Wingo on the Space Show.  He was on the show a few days ago.  One thing that got my attention was that he said that Constellation was pretty much doomed from the start.  He also said that NASA could have had heavy lift which could have provided a seamless transition from the Shuttle system that we now are retiring.

He may have been referring to the Shuttle C concept, which I recall from the 80's.
This configuration would have used the Shuttle components as is, but without a Shuttle, of course.  It might have even flown concurrently with the Shuttles until recently.  In the meantime, NASA could have developed the Ares I  in order to continue with manned flights after the retirement of the Shuttle.   The Constellation was built in order to have a BIG rocket, which really isn't necessary.  The consequence of this decision, to scrap the Shuttle C in favor of Ares V ( the big cargo carrier) was the loss of capability.  Wingo blames NASA for this.  Now there isn't any heavy lift nor manned spaceflight capability.  If budget cuts go deep enough, it may get even worse.

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