NASA to redesign space vehicles

Aug 02, 2005

NASA engineers reportedly will abandon the basic space shuttle design in the next generation of U.S. spacecraft to make them safer and more powerful.

The design would separate the jobs of hauling people and cargo into orbit and would put the payloads on top of the rockets, the New York Times reported Tuesday. That would keep space crews as far as possible from engines and falling debris, which caused accidents that destroyed the shuttle Challenger in 1986 and shuttle Columbia in 2003.

The plan, originated more than two years ago, is being detailed as attention is riveted on space shuttle Discovery, whose crew will make the first emergency spacewalk in history Wednesday to repair a potentially hazardous problem.

The plan for new vehicles will be officially announced later this month, the Times said. The project is already being questioned. Alex Roland, a former National Aeronautics and Space Administration historian, says the plan so far revealed has "the aroma of a quick and dirty solution to a big problem."

The three remaining space shuttles are to be retired by 2010 under the Bush administration's plan for space exploration, which includes sending humans to the Moon and eventually to Mars.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Discover the "X-factor" of NASA's Webb telescope

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Scientists watch tagged turtles from space

Jul 16, 2014

(Phys.org) —Millions of kilometres of protected marine parks covering vast tracts of ocean may not be enough to save some of the world's migrating sea life.

Recommended for you

Satellite galaxies put astronomers in a spin

1 hour ago

An international team of researchers, led by astronomers at the Observatoire Astronomique de Strasbourg (CNRS/Université de Strasbourg), has studied 380 galaxies and shown that their small satellite galaxies almost always ...

Video: The diversity of habitable zones and the planets

1 hour ago

The field of exoplanets has rapidly expanded from the exclusivity of exoplanet detection to include exoplanet characterization. A key step towards this characterization is the determination of which planets occupy the Habitable ...

Ultra-deep astrophoto of the Antenna Galaxies

1 hour ago

You might think the image above of the famous Antenna Galaxies was taken by a large ground-based or even a space telescope. Think again. Amateur astronomer Rolf Wahl Olsen from New Zealand compiled a total ...

Video: A dizzying view of the Earth from space

1 hour ago

We've got vertigo watching this video, but in a good way! This is a sped-up view of Earth from the International Space Station from the Cupola, a wraparound window that is usually used for cargo ship berthings ...

User comments : 0