2 thoughts on “Congressional Rocket Follies”

  1. I think the idea of sticking the Orion crew capsule on top of the old external tank with twin solids is somewhat interesting, but won’t they need to get the weight of the Orion up to about 200,000 pounds so they don’t accelerate too quickly and undergo extremely large dynamic pressures during launch?

    The Orion and its service module weigh almost 50,000 pounds, so adding another 150,000 lbs shouldn’t be too hard. Converting this problem to metric units, the Orion needs an extra 68,000 kg and has a habital area of 8.95 cubic meters, so if we fill the crew cabin up with solid steel at a density of 7,600 kg/m^3, the system should perform nicely. It would need bigger parachutes, though.

    I do wonder if it would be easier to trim a little bit of weight out of the Orion and just launch it from the Shuttle payload bay, or perhaps just use bright orange spray paint to put “SLS” on the side of the Shuttle, hoping the Senate doesn’t catch on.

  2. COTS and CCDEV have to be two of the best things to ever happen for NASA. Hopefully, the dual track approach to pork and progress can be sustained.

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