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Orion Crew Exploratin Vehicle - Image courtesy NASA

Orion Logo - Image courtesy collectSPACE.com
Project Orion will land Americans back on the moon by 2020

NASA made officially announced the name of its moon vehicle yesterday -- a week ahead of schedule. The reason for the early reveal was because an American astronaut on the international space station let the name slip over an open radio channel. "We've been calling it the crew exploration vehicle for several years, but today it has a name... Orion," said astronaut Jeffrey Williams. NASA officials denied the Orion name shortly after the leak, but later confirmed the name.

It should be noted that the name "Orion" will be the official project name for NASA's missions to the international space station and to the moon. Orion will also be the name of the four-man crew exploration vehicle (reminiscent of the old Apollo capsule). The Orion capsule is 16.5 feet in diameter and has a mass of 25 tons. It also has 2.5 the internal volume of the old Apollo capsules.

"Many of its stars have been used for navigation and guided explorers to new worlds for centuries. Our team, and all of NASA - and, I believe, our country - grows more excited with every step forward this program takes. The future for space exploration is coming quickly," said Orion Project Manager Skip Hatfield.

Orion will succeed the space shuttle as NASA's primary astronaut ferry and its first flight will take place before 2014. Orion's first trip to the moon should take place no later than 2020. If Orion does touchdown on the moon by 2020, it would represent a 50 year spread since the first time an American stepped foot on our nearest neighbor in space.



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RE: Back?
By wingless on 8/24/2006 12:51:02 PM , Rating: 3
COST! Between the global economy and conflicts, going into space isnt the best use of money. Space exploration is expensive (because we dont do it a lot ironically) and its not cost effective to pursue it. If mankind can get rid of our wars and hate for one another then maybe we can get some extraordinary things done. The first time we went to the Moon they spent the money only because it was the COLD WAR and they wanted to prove a point by getting there first. Space exploration is only done for selfish reasons usually. Silly ass reasons to do it IMO....


RE: Back?
By imaheadcase on 8/24/2006 1:57:27 PM , Rating: 2
You are correct.

The moon missions is just a way to get public opinion back in favor of nasa. Going to the moon does NOTHING but to say "i've been there again".

The whole idea of traveling in space is to explore or learn. This is just like the Space Station, it was all public relation's with other countries. They are complete wastes of money.

Want to know the sad part? China and India are actully doing the BEST space stuff currently and in the future. They plan to actully do stuff americans should of been doing long ago, colonize, explore, and mine.

Its actully a disgraceful thing the way NASA is doing business.


RE: Back?
By imaheadcase on 8/24/2006 1:59:03 PM , Rating: 2
You are correct.

The moon missions is just a way to get public opinion back in favor of nasa. Going to the moon does NOTHING but to say "i've been there again".

The whole idea of traveling in space is to explore or learn. This is just like the Space Station, it was all public relation's with other countries. They are complete wastes of money.

Want to know the sad part? China and India are actully doing the BEST space stuff currently and in the future. They plan to actully do stuff americans should of been doing long ago, colonize, explore, and mine.

Its actully a disgraceful thing the way NASA is doing business.


RE: Back?
By boobot on 8/24/2006 3:50:25 PM , Rating: 2
This is just the first path to our planned trip to Mars. It is a baby step and allows us to use all of the new technologies. So NO it's not just a public opinion job


RE: Back?
By imaheadcase on 8/24/2006 5:12:59 PM , Rating: 2
Yes it is a public opinion job, they are spending 3x more to go to the moon again. 3x the budget one would think they would make a purpose out of it than to say "yeah, we did it again".


RE: Back?
By Tsuwamono on 8/25/2006 12:44:43 AM , Rating: 1
1. Inflation, so you cant say its 3x more

2. They are doing it as practice for Mars missions. Lets not forget that in 2000 before the accident with the shuttle NASA had planed to start a series of launches for MARS in 2008. Starting with an unmaned one which would contain robots programed to inflate a small presurized facility and mine for minerals used for making rocket fuel. 3 Months later NASA would send actual Astronauts to stay there for a 1-2 month period(i forget which or if its even more) and then come home.

We need to make these steps to get to Mars. And since we might actually be able to use the moon as a steping stone, to me it seems like a good idea to start there.


RE: Back?
By rushfan2006 on 8/25/2006 8:39:42 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
TextYes it is a public opinion job, they are spending 3x more to go to the moon again. 3x the budget one would think they would make a purpose out of it than to say "yeah, we did it again".


No I believe it is YOUR OPINION that its just a public opinion job. Meanwhile if you thought it about some more and actually read the research a little bit into the project at large and NASA's future endeavors it's much more sensical and common sense even to assume you don't just "up and go" to a destination like Mars merely to appease people on Internet forums who haven't a speck of of the training and/or experience that those working at NASA have.

I'd think you'd want to test out your equipment a bit on more familiar "routine" (though nothing is really routine in such dangerous circumstances) trips. Not only that but testing out the pesonnel as well -- call it a field test if you will.

I have to believe the way you folks on these forums make it sound so simple and easy --- I bet if some NASA engineer that has poured his heart and soul into such far flung goals as the Mars for decades of his career read this stuff he'd be insulted by how folks such complex things down to such minial like tasks. "Oh come on already NASA its so easy to go to Mars do it already geez!"......

Go back to watching your sci-fi movies and reading your comic books...leave the NASA stuff to the big boys who know what the hell they are doing...albeit perhaps a little slower than we'd all like to see it done (including myself).



RE: Back?
By stromgald on 8/24/2006 4:00:27 PM , Rating: 2
There is water on the Moon. Using solar energy, water can be easily split into Hydrogen and Oxygen, which our most efficient bipropllant rockets run on. If done correctly, the moon can be a refueling station before the trip to Mars, which means smaller tanks, which leads to less weight, which leads to lower cost to get everything in orbit. Unfortunately, due to the schedule Bush put out, NASA has axed the idea of stopping by the moon for refueling before going to Mars . . . at least the first time around.


RE: Back?
By jon1003 on 8/24/2006 5:34:50 PM , Rating: 2
This is not political, but:

The @$*$'ed up thing is having ANY politician who knows little to nothing about science and technology making these decisions about timelines and exactly how scientists should get to mars.


RE: Back?
By TheDoc9 on 8/25/2006 4:56:53 PM , Rating: 2
I guess it's because the cost doesn't justify doing it. Just a ballpark figure here, but a station on the moon would probably cost 500 BILLION dollars or more. It's called pork, and it has to be cut from the budget.


RE: Back?
By Wwhat on 8/26/2006 1:19:29 AM , Rating: 2
Want to place a bet that NASA will fail to get to the moon this time? Let alone do something as ambitious as setting up plants, this is reality not a tv show and things are not as simple as all that.



RE: Back?
By Chernobyl68 on 8/25/2006 11:26:35 AM , Rating: 2
I dunno, I think they're spending a lot more in Iraq right now than they are on the space program...


RE: Back?
By Wwhat on 8/26/2006 1:17:09 AM , Rating: 2
they spend more per week in iraq than the whole moonlanding combined.


RE: Back?
By Viditor on 8/27/2006 1:36:15 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Space exploration is expensive (because we dont do it a lot ironically) and its not cost effective to pursue it


Not true! The Space Program is one of the only US Govt programs to turn a profit (and a BIG one at that)! Some things to come from the Space Program:

1. Velcroe
2. Teflon
3. Transistors (the basis of all modern electronics)
4. Satellites (this IS the Space Program, and gave us all of our modern communications, the ability to find minerals, weather detection, etc...)
5. Medicine (over 200 advances in medicine thanks to experiments conducted in zero gee)
6. So many other things that it would take an Encyclopedia to list them all...like MRIs, Sports Medicine, Dustbuster, Smoke alarms, etc...

For a full database, check at http://www.sti.nasa.gov/tto/

The point is that for the ~$55 Billion we've spent on the Space Program, we've made a profit that's measured in the $Trillions! I only wish I could get my portfolio to perform that well...


RE: Back?
By rushfan2006 on 8/28/2006 8:35:00 AM , Rating: 2
What standard is this based on? Is this a "six degrees of separation" kind of think -- in relation to NASA employees or something? For one I'm 100% sure the breakthrough that is the Communications satellite wasn't invented by NASA....and I'm nearly 90% sure NASA didn't invent the transistor as well or Teflon (wasn't that DuPont?).

Sure all three of those things may have had TESTING done by space program projects...but its kind of tacky to outright say the space program was responsible for them...fact is those products would STILL exist even w/o NASA...





RE: Back?
By Viditor on 8/28/2006 10:06:10 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
For one I'm 100% sure the breakthrough that is the Communications satellite wasn't invented by NASA


Satellites ARE the space program (or did you think we used a big rubberband to get them up there)? :)
Teflon was developed for the waste disposal systems, and transistors were invented directly under a NASA contract...
As to the transistor, I was wrong...it was mass-produced Integrated Circuits that were developed under contract for NASA.


RE: Back?
By Viditor on 8/28/2006 10:07:23 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
and transistors were invented directly under a NASA contract

Ooops...strike that


RE: Back?
By rushfan2006 on 8/28/2006 11:53:01 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Satellites ARE the space program (or did you think we used a big rubberband to get them up there)? :)


Wow you love bending words to make them sound like facts don't you....

You are talking about products as if they were INVENTED by NASA, but really you are talking about how NASA used them and/or (in the case of satellites) were responsible for their wide spread useage. The reply you gave mine exactly underscored my whole point to you in the first place ! LOL.

All I'm saying is clarify your point...NASA/The Space Program is NOT the reason these products were invented.

The Comm Sat was invented by Arthur C. Clarke and considering it was 1945 and he was at that time an RAF electronics officer and member of the British Interplanetary Society at the time he wrote the article first proposing the concept of manned satellites in 24 hour orbits high above the world...I don't think NASA was even on his mind.

As for Teflon that you again bend words in saying it was invented for the space program. It was first discovered in 1938 by Dr. Roy Plunkett at the DuPont research laboratories (Jackson Laboratory in New Jersey). Its scientific name, PTFE or polytetrafluoroethylene, it wasn't until 1945 that it was first marketed under the Dupont trademark of Teflon.

Correct my history, but I don't think the US had a space program in 1945, let alone 1938.


RE: Back?
By Viditor on 8/29/2006 1:38:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You are talking about products as if they were INVENTED by NASA

No I'm not (I think you are just twisting it that way...).
It was the contracts for NASA that produced them, just as any major corporation that hires an R&D team for a project is responsible for the development of that discovery...

quote:
All I'm saying is clarify your point...NASA/The Space Program is NOT the reason these products were invented

In our capitalistic society, making great inventions and discoveries is done as a process.
First the concept. This is usually inspired by an incentive or a goal (in this case it was the goal of pure discovery from JFK's mandate).

Second the R&D is funded by a financially robust group, either a corporation/investor, or in this case by the American people through a non-profit organization.

Third, exploitation...with a company, they reap the rewards directly. In the case of the Space Program, the discoveries made in attaining the goal were passed on to US businesses.

Without the backing of NASA, most all of these discoveries would not have had the backing to be developed, hence they would still be on the drawing board (or possibly developed by another country).

quote:
The Comm Sat was invented by Arthur C. Clarke

No, the Comm Sat was CONCEIVED by Dr. Clarke...just as the helicopter was conceived by Leonardo Da Vinci. I don't think we can credit either one of them (no matter how brilliant their concepts were) with the creation of the actual product.

quote:
As for Teflon that you again bend words in saying it was invented for the space program. It was first discovered in 1938 by Dr. Roy Plunkett at the DuPont research laboratories (Jackson Laboratory in New Jersey). Its scientific name, PTFE or polytetrafluoroethylene, it wasn't until 1945 that it was first marketed under the Dupont trademark of Teflon


I was referring to FEP (fluorinated ethylene propylene) Teflon, which is used for clothing and on the toilet system (as they are flexible tubes). It would hardly make sense to use PTFE in this application...


RE: Back?
By rushfan2006 on 8/30/2006 11:18:49 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
No, the Comm Sat was CONCEIVED by Dr. Clarke...just as the helicopter was conceived by Leonardo Da Vinci. I don't think we can credit either one of them (no matter how brilliant their concepts were) with the creation of the actual product.


The Comm sat wasn't developed or conceived by NASA, you are correct that Dr. Clarke is more correctly stated as the "conceiver" but my only point to begin with is still valid -- which is NASA wasn't responsible for the first sat. It wasn't hard for me to find that information either, which is why I'm a little shocked that you state otherwise.

quote:
It was the contracts for NASA that produced them, just as any major corporation that hires an R&D team for a project is responsible for the development of that discovery...


You are wrong sir, I'm not going to go back and forth for eternity with you here however I couldn't let false information stand. NASA contracts had nothing to do with the creation of either Teflon (OF ANY FLAVOR btw), the sat (as above), or transistors (which I know you corrected yourself on already, just putting it here for my point)..that's three things on your list that you state rather plainly so how can you say that's not what you meant, that you claim where direct results of NASA contracts that is dead wrong...PERIOD.

PFE teflon was not SOLELY used by NASA and NASA was not the first user of it -- so then how could a contract by NASA be responsible for its creation? Likewise the same goes for the satellite, how can a company (agency actually) who didn't have anything to do with the first one's production be credited with "Well it was NASA contracts that made it happen"....that's just absurd. That's what I mean...NASA played major rules with getting the sats UP THERE...and I never denied that part....but don't say their contracts made it possible for these things.

Your point was understood by me though, believe it or not I AGREE WITH YOU. The space program is critically important for the research and development of products, medicines and just the pure discovery of knowledge that can only be had with a space program......

But just like I can't let Al Gore take credit for the Internet, I'm not gonna let someone else give credit to someone/or some other organization for the creation of something that they don't deserve cred for.

It's that simple...I'm not in a contest or anything with you, just merely pointing out the facts of history nothing more, nothing less.


RE: Back?
By rushfan2006 on 8/28/2006 12:46:01 PM , Rating: 2
Btw you are dead wrong on the transistors too..they weren't invented under NASA contract (where do you get this stuff btw?)

June 23, 1949 John Bardeen, Walter Brattain, Joseph Becker and John Shive. That was the date and they were the original men invovled with the invention of the transistor. On that date it was announced to the US Military.

for a recap..when was NASA established...1958. ;)



RE: Back?
By Viditor on 8/29/2006 1:40:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Btw you are dead wrong on the transistors too


I know, and I posted that a few posts above...it was the mass-produced Integrated Circuit


RE: Back?
By lobadobadingdong on 8/29/2006 3:59:20 PM , Rating: 2
uh, wasn't teflon invented by 3m when they found out that the byproduct from making something else (nylon if I remember right) had intersting properties.


RE: Back?
By lobadobadingdong on 8/29/2006 4:03:36 PM , Rating: 2
I was wrong it was dupont.


RE: Back?
By lobadobadingdong on 8/29/2006 4:05:45 PM , Rating: 2
and it was refrigerant not nylon


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