Next Generation Space Planes


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26 May 2006
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...These were NASA's original concept ideas for what would eventually become Constellation. I remember them quite well because of a rather snotty response I'd gotten from some bimbo who was a project coordinator of some sort who for a brief time was made the main contact for any info requests. I'd asked about what program was used to design the meshes, and whether they'd be made available for use in publications. Her reply, and I quote:

"They're concept drawings, and that's all you need to know."

...Needless to say, I had a buddy of mine who works for the IG's office at NASA pass on a complaint about her response, but by the time it made it through the channels she'd already been "replaced" as part of the fallout from Columbia. Apparently she was also a buddy of Linda "Deer Caught In Headlights" Ham, who we all know from those tragic post-Columbia days six years ago yesterday. Still, I'd love to have copies of the OBJ files, as I tend to collect meshes like I do stamps, and use them for occasional personal artwork when I can get ahold of them.
it's clearly said that these are NASA OSP (orbital space plane) program concepts from 2003, that were post-ACRV, pre-CEV

The initial plans for the International Space Station envisaged a small, low-cost 'Assured Crew Return Vehicle' which would provide emergency evacuation capability; the X-38 was the prototype of this. Following cancellation of the ACRV in 2002, the program led to the more capable Orbital Space Plane concept.

The first variant of the Orbital Space Plane was designed to serve as a crew rescue vehicle for the ISS; this replaced the previous plans for a dedicated station Crew Return Vehicle, which had been sidelined by budget cuts.

This early version of the plane had been expected to enter service by 2010
...Speaking of Orbital:



...Note the absence of the tailfin on this iteration of the design.
OM said:

Yes, I mentioned it in another thread at,11301.msg110919.html#msg110919 as Virgin Galactic are interested in marketing it as a potential orbital space tourism vehicle (along with SNC's DreamChaser). Not sure how likely to happen in practice that is; not clear to me that the funding will be available.

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