Here's One Way to Get People to Victory Park: Bring NASA's New Orion Spacecraft to Town

Categories: Science
TheOrion.jpg
NASA
The space shuttle's dead; long live the Orion Multi Purpose Crew Vehicle. That's the future of space travel -- the capsule that'll take astronauts deep, deep into the final frontier ... at some point in the near to very distant future. First orbital test flight's in 2014, depending on how far Zefram Cochrane gets on that whole warp drive thing.

Till then, the Orion's on wheels -- on its way from the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico (site of its 2010 launch-abort test flight) to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, with pit stops along the way in Oklahoma and Alabama. And Dallas: Says NASA, it rolls into Victory Park January 27-29, a weekend stop that make its perfect for the kiddos and those of us for whom The Right Stuff sound track is our constant companion. NASA promises: "Engineers, program officials, astronauts and NASA spokespeople will be available to speak with the media and the public." Very cool; my 8-year-old son wanted to skip school this morning just to look at photos on the NASA website. Now, if you'll excuse me.

Update at 2:27 p.m.: Josh Byerly, NASA's public affairs officer based out of the Johnson Space Center, took note of this morning's item and sends word: Shuttle astronaut Nick Patrick will be with the Orion Friday from 3 till 6 p.m., while Clay Anderson will be there 2 till 6 p.m. that Saturday. And Byerly will be around both days.
My Voice Nation Help
10 comments
ThreeOranges
ThreeOranges

It's not the Orion. It's not even a real test module.

It's a dummy module used in development of the test modules. It's a hollow metal shell with no internal workings. It might as well be a plywood model.

Not worth seeing at all. I know, because I was just there.

Aslansavz
Aslansavz

According to American Airlines - the Orion craft won't be available until 5:30 for Friday, and that the appearance by Astronaut Patrick is a private event.

Ed D.
Ed D.

Anderson and Patrick are both veterans of multiple Shuttle missions. It will be a genuine honor to meet them next weekend.

El Rey
El Rey

So NASA is going back to the old reliable design my parents grew up with? That's one giant step in the wrong direction, IMO.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

It may look that way, but the cost per pound to launch in to space is way lower for high-tech rockets than the shuttle. Plus Congress and the President didn't give NASA much of a choice after giant cuts in their funds.

And yeah, we really are biding our time until someone gets a feasible space elevator.

IfYouHadWings
IfYouHadWings

El Rey, don't let the shape of the spacecraft fool you into thinking this is Apollo all over again. The laws of physics haven't changed since then. This is the shape that works best for the job it's intended for. Inside and out, it will feature the most moden materials, computers, avionics, etc.

dallasmay
dallasmay

The International Space Station and the Hubble Telescope couldn't have been built without the shuttle. The shuttle was massive, and had a far larger cargo bay then anything else we have ever shot up there. The Russians have never come close. These rockets are fine for human exploration -what they are designed for- but we will eventually need another heavy lift vehicle again to replace the shuttles. 

Titus Groan
Titus Groan

The space elevator will never happen, because you can't put one inside the US or even Russia.  It would have to go somewhere like Ecuador to keep the structure from tearing itself apart as the earth rotates.  But then again, Ecuador is pretty darn close to a seismically active area (think Chile).  Even if that problem isn't insuperable, you have the politics of putting a multi-gazillion-dollar commercial bottleneck in a Third World country.  If the WTC was a tempting target for terrorists, just think about how tempting this would be.  I don't see it happening.

Phelps
Phelps

That's a job for a space elevator, not a flying bus.

dallasmay
dallasmay

 I wish. But, unfortunately, I don't think we are going to get to see the space elevators construction begin in our life time. Until then, we've got to take the bus. 

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...