Soviet era rockets no longer fit for purpose?

A2_Matelot

LE
Book Reviewer
A few years ago there was a thread which iirc looked at a mission to Mars. A lot of this ⬆ looks very like my solution. Preposition stuff in orbit around Earth and Mars, preposition kit on the surface generating fuel for the return journey, etc. My plan can't have had too many flaws.
NASA may have been listening

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Delivered by the then interim Director of NASA, lots more but you get the gist.
 
I don't understand how they'd be incinerated with parachutes but not ejector seats?.
They can only bail out before the shuttle speed exceeds Mach 1. Bailing from a supersonic aircraft is almost invariably fatal.

The shuttle is only subsonic for a short period while it's ascending. During this period the motors are running. The crew would bale out into the rocket exhaust and die.

IIRC there was some idea to have a telescopic pole extend outwards and downwards from the escape hatch. The fleeing astronauts would attach themselves to the pole and jump, being carried away from the shuttle instead of just down into the burning exhaust.

Not sure if it was ever tested but it all sounds a bit dodgy.

Having sat in Orion very recently
Be very careful Matelot. If you're a good fit for the capsule NASA's in house press gang will have you tagged as a potential test pilot. You'll get a knock on the head in the pub one night and you'll wake up wearing a space suit and with the countdown running.
 
I don't understand how they'd be incinerated with parachutes but not ejector seats? Anyway, as I understand it bail out/emergency egress from the orbiter was either at the tower or from altitudes of up to 30,000ft, so either parachutes or ejector seats would have sufficed.

Enterprise did, initially, have ejection seats for the pilots as it was used for a lot of the initial in orbit testing. However when the orbiter started to be used more and routinely and had 6-7 crew, given the small flight deck the rest were one deck down and there was no option to put ejection seats in for them. Columbia may have initially had two ejection seats but thereafter all of these were removed.

Also the Russians looked at ejection seats for BURAN (to a max of 20-25Km), but for a crew of 2-6 (look carefully at the design and work out where crew members 3-6 were?) there were no options, although they mooted lateral ejection - which is just incredible. Either way the Russians never really went ahead with this, lots of conjecture about stress of ejection, aerodynamics and the inevitable potential for injury if a crew member wasn't positioned perfectly upon firing.

Having sat in Orion very recently I can tell you its not at all based upon the Apollo capsule (I know what you meant - capsule...). It may be a "capsule" but therein ends any comparisons. Glass cockpit, ergonomic and not at all claustrophobic, with masses of redundancy and backups for safety too. The Service Module it will be mated too is European, developed by ESA and ABDS (lots of UK work). Ultimately the capsule design is in many ways safer as well - the launch pad egress and inflight separation/emergency using the Launch Abort System up to 91Km!

If NASA are still holding to the plan there will be three Orion launches on SLS:

Exploration Mission -1 (EM-1). The three-week, uncrewed test flight will see Orion fly 280,000 miles from the Earth, orbit beyond the Moon, and then return home safely.

Exploration Mission-2 (EM-2) Will be the first time astronauts will fly aboard Orion. Orion will perform a series of checkout orbits around the Earth and then depart for the Moon. It will swing around the back side of the Moon passing about 4,800 miles above the surface and then return to Earth over the course of between eight and 21 days. This will be the first time astronauts will have gone into deep space since 1972.

Exploration Mission-3 (EM-3) preliminary mission design has Orion launching on an SLS rocket into a unique near-rectilinear halo orbit around the Moon. The crewed mission will last approximately 16-26 days and will have Orion transport the habitat module of the lunar Gateway into orbit around the Moon and mate with the pre-launched Power and Propulsion Element. Orion and the crew will then return safely home to Earth.

EM-3 is key for future Lunar missions and then, potentially an in-orbit stepping stone for inter-stellar travel. NASA has some good slides on how their plan, with other countries, inc UK, builds up to this. I might have some on my phone still. Will check.
Perhaps, with so many opportunities for things to go wrong, we should be concerned that the missions are designated EM 1-n. What's that, a wisp of purple smoke drifting up from the launch pad?
 
The shuttle is only subsonic for a short period while it's ascending. During this period the motors are running. The crew would bale out into the rocket exhaust and die.

IIRC there was some idea to have a telescopic pole extend outwards and downwards from the escape hatch. The fleeing astronauts would attach themselves to the pole and jump, being carried away from the shuttle instead of just down into the burning exhaust.

Not sure if it was ever tested but it all sounds a bit dodgy.
The shuttle was, as far as I remember, the only launch vehicle that had a crewed first flight. I think it was the Pilot and Co-Pilot only and both their stations have bang seats. This is significant as the parachute escape pole thing was to be used by the remainder of the crew while pilot and co pilot controlled the descending orbiter which would have seperated from the remainder of the stack on abort. Last jumper out and they are free to bang out.

I think I have seen video of the system being tested on a TV show a long time ago. Not clear on the details though.
 
The shuttle was, as far as I remember, the only launch vehicle that had a crewed first flight. I think it was the Pilot and Co-Pilot only and both their stations have bang seats. This is significant as the parachute escape pole thing was to be used by the remainder of the crew while pilot and co pilot controlled the descending orbiter which would have seperated from the remainder of the stack on abort. Last jumper out and they are free to bang out.

I think I have seen video of the system being tested on a TV show a long time ago. Not clear on the details though.
Found something. Pole deployment is about a minute in. I recall its function is to direct the jumper below the wing as the airlockdoor is located forward of the wing.

 
They can only bail out before the shuttle speed exceeds Mach 1. Bailing from a supersonic aircraft is almost invariably fatal.

The shuttle is only subsonic for a short period while it's ascending. During this period the motors are running. The crew would bale out into the rocket exhaust and die.

IIRC there was some idea to have a telescopic pole extend outwards and downwards from the escape hatch. The fleeing astronauts would attach themselves to the pole and jump, being carried away from the shuttle instead of just down into the burning exhaust.

Not sure if it was ever tested but it all sounds a bit dodgy.



Be very careful Matelot. If you're a good fit for the capsule NASA's in house press gang will have you tagged as a potential test pilot. You'll get a knock on the head in the pub one night and you'll wake up wearing a space suit and with the countdown running.
Wasn’t the “pole egress” just for post re entry?
 
Top tip, read what I posted. I did specifically mention that NASA used oxygen as it was lighter and simpler to install before switching after the Apollo 1 fire to a safer oxygen, nitrogen atmosphere.

NASA could have abandoned pure oxygen after the Gemini fire, they didn’t for political, not engineering reasons. When they came under political pressure, it was no big issue to switch for the moon shots.

As the Apollo 1 report said, they simply didn’t bother to investigate the actual mechanics of an oxygen fire, they just assumed it would self extinguish, despite a number of fatal accidents in ground tests with pure oxygen.
Lower pressure oxygen also meant that the space suits would be more flexible.

With partial pressure oxygen instead of a full 1 bar of ox/nitrogen.
1 bar ox/nitrogen would have been far too stiff a suit.

The wearer would have had to “pre breath” 100% oxygen to get rid of the nitrogen in their system to prevent the “bends.”
 

A2_Matelot

LE
Book Reviewer
They can only bail out before the shuttle speed exceeds Mach 1. Bailing from a supersonic aircraft is almost invariably fatal.

The shuttle is only subsonic for a short period while it's ascending. During this period the motors are running. The crew would bale out into the rocket exhaust and die.
Interesting Wiki I'd rarely reference a Wiki, but this has some good content from reasonable references. The safe limits for the ejection seats compare with the SR71 ejection profiles, so whilst not being a good ride, it looks like NASA had done some work on survivable ejections.

IIRC there was some idea to have a telescopic pole extend outwards and downwards from the escape hatch. The fleeing astronauts would attach themselves to the pole and jump, being carried away from the shuttle instead of just down into the burning exhaust.
I suspect it's either escape on pad, or past 30,000 ft when the 2 solid rockets have separated, I knew it was a pole that allowed them to egress away from the port wing but not a lot else. The videos I link below show the idea, not sure I'd want to try but if it was that or a roman candle.....

Orbiter escape procedure Interesting article on orbiter egress

Bail out videos: Training Inflight tests static training

Be very careful Matelot. If you're a good fit for the capsule NASA's in house press gang will have you tagged as a potential test pilot. You'll get a knock on the head in the pub one night and you'll wake up wearing a space suit and with the countdown running.
I suspect I'd be a bit too tubby, i'm short enough though ;-) Might have to start looking behind me.
 
This thread has given me an idea for extracting money from adrenaline junkies with more money than sense....

1. Charge loads of money - including a good insurance premium
2. Fit victim/customer with suit - including helmet and national markings
3. Fit victim/customer/passenger into nose of steam rocket (see 'Flat Earth Rocketry' thread)
4. Launch to 1000 ft ASL (SI measurements also exist)
5. Recover with parachute

The Ultimate adrenaline ride. What could possibly go wrong? Please PM me if you want to invest.

We now return you to your normal programming......
 

mercurydancer

LE
Book Reviewer
The shuttle was, as far as I remember, the only launch vehicle that had a crewed first flight. I think it was the Pilot and Co-Pilot only and both their stations have bang seats. This is significant as the parachute escape pole thing was to be used by the remainder of the crew while pilot and co pilot controlled the descending orbiter which would have seperated from the remainder of the stack on abort. Last jumper out and they are free to bang out.

I think I have seen video of the system being tested on a TV show a long time ago. Not clear on the details though.
The first flight of the shuttle was atmospheric and commanded by Apollo 13 veteran Fred Haise.

The first orbital mission was commanded by the inimitable John Young and co pilot Bob Crippen.
 
The first flight of the shuttle was atmospheric and commanded by Apollo 13 veteran Fred Haise.

The first orbital mission was commanded by the inimitable John Young and co pilot Bob Crippen.
An important distinction.

EDIT Especially if fuel is involved.

I meant Young/Crippen BTW.

Not that the first glide of winged brick is a trivial issue.
 

mercurydancer

LE
Book Reviewer
An important distinction.

EDIT Especially if fuel is involved.

I meant Young/Crippen BTW.

Not that the first glide of winged brick is a trivial issue.
Indeed. The thinking was that it was a waste of a shuttle to send it up without human input. It may have been impossible for the shuttle to land automatically at that time. Certainly John Young realised that.

Fred Haise did fly the shuttle from the back of a 747, but with no fuel it was going to be difficult.

What Young and Crippen did was to take a fully fuelled stack, with o rings, cryogenic panels waiting to come off, and did it. Exponentially more dangerous.
 
In flight footage showing that the failure of a bolt mechanism resulted in one of the 1st stage booster failing to detach properly from the remaining spacecraft. the part was damaged either during assembly or even in production

The still partially attached and flailing 1st stage booster tore a gash in the 2nd stage booster. The 2nd stage booster then vented oxygen fuel propellant and structural failure occured.

The rocket was then in the process of breaking up and the abort system activated since the rocket was now pointing off its directional axis at an unacceptable limit.

The capsule then followed a ballistic arc as a result of the velocity it had built up thus far building up to 7G, and landing the crew safely
 
While many of us are celebrating the successful recovery back to terra firma for this pair I had a wry smile at the thought of Juliane Koepcke seeing this and thinking 'wussies, they had a capsule for protection'

If you don't know who is look her up, she went through a rare and bizarre situation.


Juliane Koepcke, age 17, was sucked out of an airplane in 1971 after it was struck by a bolt of lightning. She fell 2 miles to the ground strapped to her seat and survived-she had to endure a 10-day walk through the Amazon Jungle before being rescued by a logging team.
The Incredible Story Of Juliane Koepcke, The Teenager Who Fell 10,000 Feet And Trekked The Jungle For 11 Days
 
The Russians had a rather blase attitude towards safety sometimes.

Graphite debris from a pencil could float off into the spacecraft electrical systems in a micro gravity environment possibly resulting in electrical shorting.

NASA had a very good reason to design such a device
It's an urban myth anyway. And the space pen was designed for many environments, not just freefall
 

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