Space rocket launches and ISS docking news

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48 minutes ago, BradinBayern said:

The question was - should we try to bring back the Concorde.  My answer was - no, we should not for all of the reasons I mentioned.  Let the super rich buy and pay for their own toys if they wish.  Who is stopping them?

A burst tire should not take down an aircraft.  A tire had burst and penetrated the fuel tank of a Concorde n 1979 (but didn't cause a crash) so the engineers were aware of the problem. After the crash, they spent millions in upgrades to the tires and the fuel tanks.  I would call that a technical defect.  

 

BA and Air France paid for the repairs, money they got from the passengers ( before the crash), not the government. After Concorde was sold to the Airlines, no further Government money was provided.

 

If enough 'rich' people, can afford to pay to fly on Concorde then why not bring it back on the Atlantic route ?

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, BradinBayern said:

So why did the same thing happen in 1979 if it wasn't a design error?  Why did they bother to upgrade the planes if it was simply pilot/flight engineer error?  

Aircraft tyres are not like car tyres, they have a very short life between replacement, secondly they are remoulded regularly, I forget how often but it's at least half a dozen times. Burst tyres on aircraft happen far more often then you realise, probably everyday, somewhere in the world, will an aircraft tyre burst.

 

As for what happened in 1979, I can't say but every accident is different and what they found this time is that the piece of debris from the previous aircraft had cut the tyre along its edge, it acted like a knife, you can try and protect against most things, but there's always something that hasn't been thought of and this accident was a case of the coming together of so many different factors at the same time. The accident itself wasn't just a case of human error, it was a combination of things that came together.

 

Perhaps you ought to focus on the fact that since its first commercial flight in 1976 I believe until this accident, there were no Concorde crashes. In the same timescale a number of 747's, 737's DC10's, Airbuses and other commercial aircraft had crashed. The only aircraft that had a safer record was the VC10 which had two crashes between 1964 and 2013

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2 hours ago, yesterday said:

...

 

If enough 'rich' people, can afford to pay to fly on Concorde then why not bring it back on the Atlantic route ?

 

 

 

 

 

I heard, it would take more than 1 Billion GBP to bring the aircraft back into service due to recertification requirements. (this was told by a former Concorde engineer on a visit to Duxford a few years ago).

 

And it won't solve the problem of it being uneconomical, which is why it was withdrawn from service.

It is such an old aircraft with such old technology that only requires more and more time, effort, and money being spent on it to keep it airworthy.

 

One of the biggest problems was also parts.  As it is a unique aircraft then many of the parts are also unique, so the cost to produce them also becomes very expensive.  Airbus used to do this but wanted to stop already for some time as it was not worthwhile for them to keep doing it.

 

BA always made a lot of money with Concorde.  Air France on the other hand did not, and would either break even or lose money and only kept it for prestige.  As Air France struggled with financial problems then they could not longer afford to do this, this meant that only BA would by flying the aircraft and the cost for one airline to maintain a single type of aircraft is then even higher.

 

The cost of Concorde was approx twice that of first class.  Which means taking into account all of the above it would be even higher today.  So although the mega-rich might be able to afford to fly it, even at these extremely high costs.  They often wouldn't because why would they pay so much more money for what is a fairly small seat (by today's standards) to fly, when you can fly in your own private jet which flies according to your timetable, direct to/from your destination, in pure luxury.  Especially if you have a whole entourage with you. 

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33 minutes ago, dj_jay_smith said:

 

 

I heard, it would take more than 1 Billion GBP to bring the aircraft back into service due to recertification requirements. (this was told by a former Concorde engineer on a visit to Duxford a few years ago).

 

Yes, and there are more and other first class options that are slower, but much more luxurious than the Concorde was.

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51 minutes ago, French bean said:

Aircraft tyres are not like car tyres, they have a very short life between replacement, secondly they are remoulded regularly, I forget how often but it's at least half a dozen times. Burst tyres on aircraft happen far more often then you realise, probably everyday, somewhere in the world, will an aircraft tyre burst.

The problem was not the tires, but the fuel tanks were not properly protected.  How do I know?  Because The tanks were changed after the crash to protect them better.  Why would they do that if there wasn't a problem with the fuel tanks?  

I am not saying that the Concorde was the most dangerous airplane.  I was reacting to the comment that the crash was not due to a technical defect when a technical defect clearly played a role.  

 

I was wrong about the 1979 incident, though.  It actually happened much more frequently.  In total there were 70 tire blow outs resulting in 7 punctured fuel tanks.   https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2000/aug/17/concorde.world   It seems that dumb luck was the reason that there weren't more tragedies due to this very clear TECHNICAL DEFECT:  

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4 hours ago, BradinBayern said:

A burst tire should not take down an aircraft.

 

3 hours ago, French bean said:

It wasn't just the burst tyre,

 

If you listen to John Hutchinson (retired BA Concorde captain) the cause was due to a string of things (as is often the case), starting with the

faulty re-assembling of the main left-hand undercart.  The missing part was found on the shelf...

 

 

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Think of what happens when there's a technical defect on a car and the manufacturer issues a recall. After a defect is reported on a aircraft, especially one that has safety implications then a similar process happens only it is far more stringent. This is issued by the Aviation authority of the country where the defect was recorded, the CAA in the UK and the FAA in the US. Tyre blow outs does suggest a technical problem and a repair instruction or a safety bulletin would have been issued to deal with that particular problem. Now post crash the work carried out was fitting rubber self sealing inner tanks, As far as I'm aware, Concorde was the only civil aircraft to have these inner tanks fitted. These are normally only on military aircraft because they are naturally at more risk of tanks being punctured. Now the programme mentioned by HEM actually made reference to previous tyre problems and I think certain things were done, but unfortunately as previously said, you cannot engineer out every eventuality otherwise it wouldn't fly because of weight and no one would buy it because of cost,

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The CAA and FAA, both thought is was safe to fly again, as they gave it permission to fly, it was a commercial decision to stop flying as a result of the after effects of 9/11.

 

Yes, of course you get better seats etc in first class on other airplanes, and you can fly when and where you want if you have a private jet. But Concorde, offered the possible to arrive, before you set off ( when flying west ), you can fly west and catch the day back, you are sitting at almost 60,000ft ( old definition of where space starts) - from where you can see the earths curvature, you can fly from London to NY in less than 3 hours. Yes, Ok, Concorde was expensive, but without it, the next best thing is Virgin Galactic, at 250,000 dollars a seat, and then the prices go up from there - so really your ticket was not the worst value for money - and it carried 2.5M people to place that cannot be accessed ( by semi or normal people ) by any other means.

 

Because of the 'love'; of this airplane, various ex-engineers would world for free to get this thing in the air again, in fact there are several groups trying now.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-34301689, although this seems late.

 

There should be enough spare parts lying around on the remaining concords, to get one or 2 flying again

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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As much as I would love to see her fly again, that article is from 2015 and said flying by 2019.  And as yet they still haven't started the work needed.

 

But you know as well as I do, that flying again would be a massive effort but getting her in commercial service is a whole other ball game (as per posts above), and that is not going to happen.

 

Look at the Vulcan.  They managed to get it flying again, but it was so expensive to keep in the air, and they simply could not raise enough money every year to do it.

 

You would need a mulit-billionaire who decides to do this as a hobby instead of buying a football club!  So not impossible, but unlikely for the foreseeable future.  

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28 minutes ago, dj_jay_smith said:

Look at the Vulcan.  They managed to get it flying again, but it was so expensive to keep in the air, and they simply could not raise enough money every year to do it.

 

The did have enough money to keep it flying - albeit due to a lot of effort.

 

The Vulcan XH558 ceased flying at the end of 2015 due to the third party companies responsible for maintaining it withdrawing their support.

By that time it had 10% more flying hours than any other Vulcan.  They had also used up all the spare engines originally available.

 

(I grew up close to Woodford aerodrome where the Vulcan was built & maintained).

 

 

 

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14 minutes ago, HEM said:

 

The did have enough money to keep it flying - albeit due to a lot of effort.

 

The Vulcan XH558 ceased flying at the end of 2015 due to the third party companies responsible for maintaining it withdrawing their support.

By that time it had 10% more flying hours than any other Vulcan.  They had also used up all the spare engines originally available.

 

(I grew up close to Woodford aerodrome where the Vulcan was built & maintained).

 

 

 

 

 

I thought that was also because of the cost of need to actively try and find potential problems was becoming too expensive.  But looking again then maybe I am reading too much between the lines.

 

When I was a kid,  we had family in Lincoln and would travel up to visit them often.  Just south was RAF Waddington where they were based and I would sometimes see them out and about.  I loved the sound of their engines!

And of course north of Lincoln is the base for the Red Arrows.  Not that you saw them very often.  But I still get a spine tingle when I see them fly over Lincoln Cathedral.

 

I also love this video (I thought you said it was loud!)

 

 

 

 

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Thought I'd plonk this here:

 

"Hubble telescope delivers stunning 30th birthday picture"

 

The portrait features the giant nebula NGC 2014 and its neighbour NGC 2020

 

Quote

It's 30 years ago to the day that the Hubble telescope was launched - and to celebrate its birthday, the veteran observatory has produced another astonishing image of the cosmos.

 

This one is of a star-forming region close to our Milky Way Galaxy, about 163,000 light-years from Earth.

 

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-52106420

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Space X Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon Demo 2 to (hopefully) launch today.  The first manned spaceflight for Space X (and for a private company) and the first manned spaceflight since the Space Shuttle to leave from US soil.  

 

https://www.spacex.com/launches/

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1 hour ago, BradinBayern said:

Space X Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon Demo 2 to (hopefully) launch today.  The first manned spaceflight for Space X (and for a private company) and the first manned spaceflight since the Space Shuttle to leave from US soil.  

 

https://www.spacex.com/launches/

The promise of spaceflight was that nations work together to conquer space and move humanity out into the solar system. At least that´s the way it should have been as seen from the sixties and seventies.

What happened to that dream, here in the 2020´ies where we can just about reach low earth orbit?

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1 hour ago, slammer said:

The promise of spaceflight was that nations work together to conquer space and move humanity out into the solar system. At least that´s the way it should have been as seen from the sixties and seventies.

What happened to that dream, here in the 2020´ies where we can just about reach low earth orbit?

The space programs were always military driven, but somehow NASA sold us that it was a civilian scientific endeavor.

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3 hours ago, slammer said:

The promise of spaceflight was that nations work together to conquer space and move humanity out into the solar system. At least that´s the way it should have been as seen from the sixties and seventies.

What happened to that dream, here in the 2020´ies where we can just about reach low earth orbit?

You get what you pay for:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budget_of_NASA#/media/File:NASA-Budget-Federal.svg

 

Of course we also still have robots active on Mars, which is pretty cool. 

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@BradinBayern, it is very clear now that NASA has become pork barrel source. So you don´t get what you pay for any longer.

If it weren´t for SpaceX, we would be making paper rockets for the next 50 years. Hopefully SLS will be cancelled and funds diverted to companies like SpaceX. But most likely they will just reduce the budget.

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28 minutes ago, MikeMelga said:

@BradinBayern, it is very clear now that NASA has become pork barrel source. So you don´t get what you pay for any longer.

If it weren´t for SpaceX, we would be making paper rockets for the next 50 years. Hopefully SLS will be cancelled and funds diverted to companies like SpaceX. But most likely they will just reduce the budget.

There was a discussion way back that NASA should only be for exploration and science and that companies should commercialize space. At some point we are going to have to become a space fairing species and that in my opinion can only be achieved when there is a profit to be made.

I am just disappointed that it is taking so long.

 

By the way, is anybody else looking forward to Netflix´s "space force" series?

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There are 3 things you can make money in space with:

  • primary sector; mining
  • Secondary sector: manufacturing of 0-g items, life fiberoptics
  • Tertiary sector: tourism, satellite communications, satellite launch, satellite servicing, government services

 

I think mining will come in 10 years.

Manufacturing can come in 5 years. high end fiberoptics looks to be profitable even with a cargo Dragon.

Surprisingly, tourism cannot generate that much revenue. 

Satellite launch has also hard limitations. 

But internet by satellite is a huge and profitable area.

 

To make mining and manufacturing profitable, we need to scale up launches to reduce costs per kg. My guess is that new satellite constellations will provide this boost.

 

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