Re: The crash of NASA's culture
Hi Damian, thanks for answering to my message.
What I (and other friends) think about shuttles was expressed in a service
titled "Shuttles forever?" published on TdF in 2001
In brief: the Shuttle fleet is the result of a bad strategy, that threw away
all the experience made with X15 (200 flights up to 100 kms) during the
'60s, in order not to disturb the market of the expendable rockets industry.
They only built 5 unic pieces, and they never run an industrial line, which
had assured the needed technological evolution, and lowering of costs as
I think it's a miracle that 3 on 5 of those machines are still in conditions
to fly (do they?).
The hard truth is that, if it were not for the Russian Soyuz, we had lost
the ISS, or we had been constrained to fly the shuttles anyway, 6 mounths or
so after the Columbia disaster.
Now the question is: is the Soyuz safe and reliable enough for other 5
If yes, I'd vote for:
- accelerate the production of the new fully reusable machines (a passengers
'car' and an heavy cargo, at least)
- collaborate with the Russian agency, in order to assure the due
maintenance to Soyuz
- retire what it remains of the shuttles fleet now, because 2 total failures
on 5 machines is an intolerably high failure rate
- make the revamping of the shuttles (that anyway is going on since two
years) safe enough to allow flying them until the new machines will be ready
- accelerate the production of the new fully reusable machines anyway
All the best
ANDROMEDA s.r.l. - High Leverage Real-Time Systems, Technologies,
Methodologies for Astronautics and Infrastructures
web: www.andromeda-srl.com - e-mail: adriano.autino@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Technologies of the Frontier - www.tdf.it - adriano.autino@xxxxxx
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