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  #21  
Old 19 June 2018, 09:30 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrRocket View Post
Or Starship Troopers.
I think Spaceballs is closer.
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  #22  
Old 20 June 2018, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Psihala View Post
If memory serves, there is a "Blue Gemini" capsule of some description on display in San Diego(?).

Though the former was sort of Space Shuttle-ish, it was no X-Wing or TIE fighter.

~Psihala
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Originally Posted by jimmy101_again View Post
I think Spaceballs is closer.
So we're going to see Space Winnebagos?

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  #23  
Old 20 June 2018, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WildaBeast View Post
That's what Trump really wants -- a satellite that that can shoot a giant laser beam ant any target instantaneously, just like a Bond villain.
I'm thinking more like the laser in Real Genius.
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  #24  
Old 20 June 2018, 05:14 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alarm View Post
So we're going to see Space Winnebagos?

Only if the Russians will help the US launch them into space. (BTW, according to Google, "виннебаго" is Winnebago in Russian.)
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  #25  
Old 20 June 2018, 05:35 PM
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The Falcon9 from SpaceX has enough lift capability to get a fully loaded Winnebego Ellipse Ultra into low earth orbit. The Falcon Heavy can lift the whole thing into geosynchronous orbit.
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  #26  
Old 20 June 2018, 05:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy101_again View Post
Only if the Russians will help the US launch them into space. (BTW, according to Google, "виннебаго" is Winnebago in Russian.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
The Falcon9 from SpaceX has enough lift capability to get a fully loaded Winnebego Ellipse Ultra into low earth orbit. The Falcon Heavy can lift the whole thing into geosynchronous orbit.
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  #27  
Old 20 June 2018, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy101_again View Post
I think Spaceballs is closer.
How many @$$holes we got in this administration, anyhow?
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  #28  
Old 20 June 2018, 06:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
We are all assuming the worst about Trump. Maybe he wants to create Space Force because, in microgravity conditions, his crippling bone spurs will no longer prevent him from serving in the armed forces.
Well if that's the case, then he can spend some time on the ISS.
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  #29  
Old 20 June 2018, 10:02 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
The Falcon Heavy can lift the whole thing into geosynchronous orbit.
The Falcon Heavy hasn't actually been launched yet has it?
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  #30  
Old 20 June 2018, 10:18 PM
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Once... on February 6 of this year.

~Psihala
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  #31  
Old 21 June 2018, 12:16 PM
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Heard on local FM station last evening: so Trump wants to start a space force; well that explains the heavy breathing! (Darth Vader sound played)
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  #32  
Old 25 June 2018, 08:53 AM
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Teacher Gemini, Blue Gemini, Gemini B, and Big Gemini. Oh my! (Hijack and long post warning.)

I don't post as much as I used to but this thread encouraged me since it it touches and space program and local history. First, I need to clarify some terms.

I see these terms, particularly Gemini B and Blue Gemini, confused all the time on various websites even though they refer to separate programs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Psihala View Post
If memory serves, there is a "Blue Gemini" capsule of some description on display in San Diego(?).
Good that you put that in quotes. From the Wikipedia article about Blue Gemini (emphasis mine):
Quote:
In December 1963 [Secretary of Defense Robert] McNamara likewise approved the development of a Manned Orbital Laboratory (MOL) which was essentially a revived MODS [(Manned Orbital Development System)]. Blue Gemini should not be confused with the Gemini B spacecraft that was developed for MOL. Gemini B included a tunnel through its heat shield to enable the astronauts to reach the MOL spacecraft.

Because Blue Gemini was only a paper project that was canceled before NASA started any Gemini flights, no Blue Gemini hardware was constructed.
My favorite historian of the space program, Dwayne A. Day, wrote this article in The Space Review about the Blue Gemini program.

Quote:
The Blue Gemini vehicle would essentially be an off-the-shelf NASA vehicle, although the later missions might require modifying the vehicle by replacing one of the astronauts with a payload. In addition, approximately 90 kilograms could be added to a 0.85-cubic meter volume in the adapter section at the expense of some maneuvering capability. Removing a man and his associated equipment freed up 0.85 cubic meters and an additional 270 kilograms of payload.

{snip }

Almost simultaneously McNamara killed both MODS and Blue Gemini. They had been two of thirteen new space programs that the Air Force had proposed in January 1963 and McNamara had rejected all thirteen of them.

{ snip }

Blue Gemini only existed for about five months.
There is, however, a Gemini B capsule intended for the MOL program at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at Wright-Patterson AFB.

After the cancelation of MOL and Big Gemini never going beyond the proposal stage that was the end of Gemini. The nearly-complete SLC-6 pad at Vandenberg AFB was then converted to by used for space shuttle missions.
Quote:
n February 1985, NASA and the Pentagon announced the crew of STS-62A — the maiden shuttle flight from Vandenberg. Discovery would be commanded by four-time shuttle astronaut Bob Crippen, with pilot Guy Gardner and mission specialists Mike Mullane, Jerry Ross and Dale Gardner. They would be joined by payload specialists Pete Aldridge, the covert National Reconnaissance Office director and under secretary of the Air Force, and Brett Watterson, a military spaceflight engineer.

After repeated delays in construction and numerous technical problems, launch was targeted for the summer of 1986.

{ snip }

62A was a Defense Department mission, albeit not a classified one, to launch an experimental satellite called Teal Ruby and run tests on military sensor packages in the payload bay.
(On a personal note I got to see the shuttle Enterprise at Vandenberg back in the '80s, although from quite a distance.)

After the Challenger accident In January 1986 all shuttle missions from Vandenberg were canceled. And after many false starts it has been used since June 2006 for the Delta IV launch vehicle.

Brian
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  #33  
Old 25 June 2018, 10:26 AM
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Thanks for finding that Space Review article! The Gemini B capsule as it looked in Fig. 3 is the one I remember. I must be confusing its location (and specific purpose) with something else.


~Psihala
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  #34  
Old 25 June 2018, 01:04 PM
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Totally off-topic, but I worked on Vandenburg for a few years, and got to walk around space shuttle setup at SLC-6 before it was demolished. It was incredible, since there were three huge buildings that all moved. It had been abandoned for about 12 years when I was there, but it was still impressive. I recall REALLY wishing we could play paintball there (which means that the site would have been used for SOMETHING, at least.)
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  #35  
Old 25 June 2018, 01:41 PM
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The Wikipedia article on Blue Gemini says "Gemini B included a tunnel through its heat shield to enable the astronauts to reach the MOL spacecraft." The MOL article says essentially the same thing. How could the capsule return to Earth if it didn't have a complete heat shield?
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  #36  
Old 25 June 2018, 02:12 PM
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Personally I would, in the short term, rig up the X-37/OTV to drop guided kinetic bombardment weapons, a slight update on the project THOR concept. At least that would allow you to claim some-type of space-force without actually breaching the treaties about putting WMDs in space, probably.
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  #37  
Old 25 June 2018, 03:57 PM
Meka Meka is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChasFink View Post
The Wikipedia article on Blue Gemini says "Gemini B included a tunnel through its heat shield to enable the astronauts to reach the MOL spacecraft." The MOL article says essentially the same thing. How could the capsule return to Earth if it didn't have a complete heat shield?
The MOL article includes a picture of the modified heat shield:


The hatch looks to be made of the same or similar material as the rest of the heat shield. A couple sources I've checked also note that the Gemini B - the very spacecraft pictured in fact - was tested on an unmanned suborbital flight, in part to check that the modified heat shield would still function as intended.
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  #38  
Old 25 June 2018, 04:01 PM
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Still seems a bad way to do it. It adds enormously to the precision required when manufacturing the heat shield. It also introduces potential cracks in the shield, especially as the shield and hatch cover could have different expansion properties when heated since their underlying structures are almost certainly different.
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  #39  
Old 25 June 2018, 04:36 PM
Meka Meka is offline
 
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True. Perhaps the purpose of the rings of lighter colored material is to expand to seal any gaps? In any case, the impression I've gotten is that it was deemed to be the least complex and/or failure-prone of the solutions considered at the time the craft was designed - the first EVA was still in the future, as was the first spacecraft docking (which would have required an even more extensive redesign of the capsule for astronauts to use the nose section as a passageway). Some of the other alternatives considered are mentioned in this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLsoHWx-yIA
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  #40  
Old 25 June 2018, 04:58 PM
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Also, if you have a spacecraft that was designed from the start to dock at the nose, how do you figure the best place to exit the craft is the opposite end? I know that the nose was never designed for egress, but it seems odd that they wouldn't use the end that can already dock as the starting point for docking and personnel transfer.
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