Saturday, February 25, 2006

CEV Development Continues Despite Flaws

(Photo Credit: NASA/John Frassanito and Associates)

Work is progressing on the next generation NASA spacecraft, also known as the Crew Exploration Vehicle. Utilizing parts currently in use by the Space Transport System (shuttle program) engineers are developing systems for launching cargo and crew as separate units. A derivative of the shuttle main engines and the solid rocket boosters will also likely be used in the concept.

Wind tunnel testing has been ongoing for weeks and more testing is planned. Unfortunately little effort has been made to create a re-usable launch system. At this time almost all components are disposable, meaning more costs and less efficiency in the space program. A point of contention, and a "built-in flaw" for many space enthusiasts.

It also bears mentioning, it has taken NASA two years to progress to mock-up wind tunnel testing, about the same amount of time Scaled Composites engineers needed to design, build and successfully launch SpaceShip One to win the Ansari X-Prize.

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