Re. (...) Economic Role of Manned Space Stations
Tue, 20 Jul 1999 09:20:42 -0700 (PDT) wrote:
>I was talking about using a _preexisting_ space technology. Note the word

I really don't understand what you're talking about here: first you say you were, as I implied, talking about using the preexisting shuttle, then you say that actually you'd have to alter it substantially.

>Obviously the shuttle, as is, is not an ideal interplanetary
>craft, but there are a number of modifications that could make it worth a
>lunar flight.

And, previously you said:
>>a retrofitted Shuttle would make an ideal vehicle for shipping
>>hardware to the Moon

Ok, you rip off the wings, you rip off the tail, you replace the life support system with something which can operate for longer, you throw away the SSMEs and replace them with something like RL-10s, you fill the cargo bay with fuel tanks, you rip out the wheels and install landing legs, you fit more engines underneath for landing, you rip off the tiles, you remove the toilet because it can't be serviced in space, you take it apart and rebuild it with less strengthening because it doesn't need to handle 3g acceleration any more, etc, etc. You end up with a vehicle which bears almost no resemblance to the Shuttle, and probably costs far more and is far less useful than a new vehicle designed from scratch.

And in your universe, this is "an ideal vehicle for shipping hardware to the Moon." Right.

>And don't call me a Mars Face "believer." I don't "believe" anything about
>the Mars Face; I _think_ that it deserves more attention.

Look, the 'Mars Face' is a rock, and a pretty dull and ordinary rock at that. The only reason it's getting the slightest bit of attention is because in the early low-resolution photos it looked a little bit like a face because of the low resolution and the lighting angle and the foo freaks jumped on that as support for their bizarre beliefs. If we'd seen it first in the current high-resolution photos no-one would have given it the slightest thought. The Mars Smiley Face and the Io Rubber Chicken are far more convincing than anything Hoagland and his followers have come up with.