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Manned L point Shuttle

A new shuttle idea
 
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My idea is for a small light weight shuttle (about 1/5 or 1/8 the size of the American one) that serves as a craft that can repair geostationary satellites or ones that are out as far as the L- points (ex: SOHO) it wouldent have the abilty to bring massive things into orbit with it..its max payload would be about.. 500kg.. but it makes up for it by the distance it could travel, instead of making a totally custom launch system ( like the space shuttle ) it could use a Titan IV or a Araine 5 to get to the L points or to geo sync orbit, it would look alot like the shuttle but at the end of it there would be a 4th stage engine (to kick it towards the L point or to kick it back towards earth) and attached to the would be a solar array to provide the power, instead of having carbon filters there would be types of grass growing in special plates in certian areas of the ship, all that would be needed to be brought up would be water. as for the reentry it would be just like the american shuttles, reentry tiles. the shut its self doesnt have any engines so its turn around time isnt all that long, as soon as another ELV is made it can launch again.
OpaqueKitsune, Apr 16 2003

Oxy-Generation http://www.halfbake...idea/Oxy-Generation
A similar idea [FloridaManatee, Oct 06 2004]

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       You had me there till you started talking about grass.   

       But you have a good point. We need to have another look at the shuttle program and decide what the most economically appropriate system is.   

       The shuttle's economic concept was for multiple re-use of the engines, systems, and infrastructure to cut launch costs and turnaround time to maintain a constant traffic into space. However, the shuttle is no longer considered the cheapest, or even the safest vehicle for its task and perhaps its time to move on.   

       Personally, I favor a high-altitude winged lifter and a booster-powered orbiter. There's nothing to prevent smaller craft from being used. If we must continue sending humans into space (fundamentally a bad idea if you ask me), perhaps we could send them up one or two at a time. They don't need to have toilets, exercise machines, and other junk sent up with them - extended stays could be based on the International Space Station.   

       Likewise, missions requiring forrays to manually fix satellites could be done with a special orbiter that is based on the ISS and is never used for re-entry.   

       I believe there are very few missions where it is more economical to retrieve, repair on earth and then relaunch a satellite, than abandon it, so the excessive capability of the current shuttle is simply extravagance.
FloridaManatee, Apr 16 2003
  

       Wouldn't this potentially give them moral "high"-ground?
silverstormer, Apr 16 2003
  

       Wasn't that <reverb>Pigs in Space</reverb>, [Rods]?
PeterSilly, Apr 16 2003
  

       Well my shuttle idea wouldent retrive the satelite then relaunch it, it would just bring the parts needed and would go to it, the crew is only two people, the pilot and the Mission specialist, and the araine costs like...170million ? i think thats alittle better than the 500 million dollar (I think) cost to launch the shuttle and it doesnt have to reenter the atmopsphere, it coudl simply redock with the ISS, but it would have to reenter sometime to get another 4th stage to do its manuvering, the shutle is only about..2 suv's wide and 3-4suv's long, not counting the wings, also it could be used as a life raft if something ripples the station and they have to get otu of the station fast.
OpaqueKitsune, Apr 16 2003
  

       Why is the grass confined to special plates? I protest! Grass freedom! Let the grass grow to cover the entire interior of the shuttle. If you never mowed it, it could cushion bumpy landings as well. And might I point out another use: zero G putting green! One problem might be that without the guiding force of gravity, the shuttle might develop painful ingrown grass.
bungston, Apr 16 2003
  

       Algae would work much better than grass. I remember high school experiments with germinating seeds that showed that sprouts grow upwards and roots grow downwards. This is because seeds germinate at ground level and roots must dig down and sprouts must find light and air. While light intensity is a factor, primarily the mechanism is plant auxins (hormones) that are affected by gravity and create a chemical gradient that affects cell division.   

       Put the seed on a vertically rotating mount and you can cause spiral growth. Plants such as grass will grow in space, but it's not the vigorous well-ordered growth you'd see on earth.   

       What you need are single or multi-cell alginates that are water-borne, produce lots of O2, bind carbon and amonium compounds and are easy to circulate around the system so that the high intensity solar radiation is efficiently used and doesn't scorch the plant-life.
FloridaManatee, Apr 16 2003
  

       The concept's not bad. However, you'd better make that 4th stage so that it can go to the L point AND come back from it, not OR come back from it. Otherwise there's going to be a slight problem....
Madcat, Sep 14 2003
  
      
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