The currently flying version of the Merlin engine is the 1C, while this glasshopper variant is the 1D. Th e1D has a throttle capability (1C does not), and the 1D is heading for use on the Falcon Heavy.
11 posts • joined 13 Jan 2011
Stuart- the answer is that getting pas the first step ("design, test and build") is what holds them up. No one plans better than NASA. The reams of paper generated by the various plans developed since the 1990s is simply staggering. To build a test article and build the damned thing, that's where they lack the fortitude to follow through, that is what is lacking. If they did step two or three, they'd be committed to something, and NASA does not want to be committed to anything. That's why taking the reins out of their hands and giving them to someone like SpaceX or Orbital, is such a great idea.
Well, the reusable shipping containers brought to orbit multiple times (named after Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles) were all built by Italian engineers, and one of them is permanently attached to the ISS, so I guess my answer is that I would. I think they also built most of the connector modules. Not sure what they'd be called in the world of Legos.
Team Musk with Bigelow (the space hotel folks), and you've got a winning combination that would have a space big enough to make the trip enjoyable, and give the landing team a nice space to spend their time. Orbital module, hotel space, and a cottage to visit. Hell, I'd go too.
Elon Musk fully intends to man rate the current Falcon 9 so he can use his capsule to boost crew to the ISS and other stations by 2015-16. Once the new Bigelow module is added to the ISS in two years, that will serve as an advert for all of these companies and programs to ramp up their goods and services, and we'll really see a rise in the number of manned launches by the end of the decade.
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