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(Gizmodo)   Unique photo shows the ridiculous size of America's first spaceships   (gizmodo.com) divider line 67
    More: Interesting, spacecrafts, Kennedy Space Center, mercury  
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10861 clicks; posted to Geek » on 02 Jun 2013 at 10:22 AM (45 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-06-02 10:11:00 AM
Where did they stow the Whoopi Goldberg to run the bar?
 
2013-06-02 10:28:19 AM
I saw a Mercury capsule (perhaps at the Air & Space Museum in DC or the Air Force Museum in Dayton, OH - both great places) & thought it was just a model mock up.  That thing is TINY, as in fit in the back of a pickup tiny.  I don't know how those guys managed to get into that thing with their giant balls.

It's absolutely incredible what they went through/what they risked.  It makes me ashamed that as their children/grandchildren we just turned our back on the whole thing & walked away a few years ago.
 
2013-06-02 10:33:18 AM

Recoil Therapy: It's absolutely incredible what they went through/what they risked. It makes me ashamed that as their children/grandchildren we just turned our back on the whole thing & walked away a few years ago.


I don't understand that. Coal miners risked a lot to power 19th century locomotives, do you also lament the passing of steam locomotives? The Space Age is a cold dead corpse, it's just having a few twitches now and then.

Things move on, haven't you noticed? No one needs the Concorde anymore either. It's DEAD. FINISHED.

MOVE
THE
fark
ON
 
2013-06-02 10:36:22 AM

Recoil Therapy: I saw a Mercury capsule (perhaps at the Air & Space Museum in DC or the Air Force Museum in Dayton, OH - both great places) & thought it was just a model mock up.  That thing is TINY, as in fit in the back of a pickup tiny.  I don't know how those guys managed to get into that thing with their giant balls.

It's absolutely incredible what they went through/what they risked.  It makes me ashamed that as their children/grandchildren we just turned our back on the whole thing & walked away a few years ago.


So putting people in mortal danger for no good farking reason is the way to go?

We weren't doing anything with the shuttle.  shuttle go up, shuttel go down.  That was it.  If we were actually working toward some goal,like we were in the 60s, it would be one thing, but we were flinging people up there to fling people up there.  Until someone is willing to pony up serious money and effort to reach some goal (or series of goals), putting people in danger for nothing isn't ballsy, it is sociopathic
 
2013-06-02 10:39:38 AM
BTW I want them to do stuff in space.  But until the NASA budget exceeds the Department of the Interior's bumwad budget for northern Idaho, it just ain't happening
 
2013-06-02 10:46:53 AM
*shrug* its actually the same size as the current Russian space craft.

...and their program is still active, so.....
 
2013-06-02 10:50:03 AM
Isn't every photo unique before it is copied?
 
2013-06-02 10:52:41 AM

Quantum Apostrophe: Recoil Therapy: It's absolutely incredible what they went through/what they risked. It makes me ashamed that as their children/grandchildren we just turned our back on the whole thing & walked away a few years ago.

I don't understand that. Coal miners risked a lot to power 19th century locomotives, do you also lament the passing of steam locomotives? The Space Age is a cold dead corpse, it's just having a few twitches now and then.

Things move on, haven't you noticed? No one needs the Concorde anymore either. It's DEAD. FINISHED.

MOVE
THE
fark
ON


howboutnobear.jpg
 
2013-06-02 10:57:45 AM

Quantum Apostrophe: Recoil Therapy: It's absolutely incredible what they went through/what they risked. It makes me ashamed that as their children/grandchildren we just turned our back on the whole thing & walked away a few years ago.

I don't understand that. Coal miners risked a lot to power 19th century locomotives, do you also lament the passing of steam locomotives? The Space Age is a cold dead corpse, it's just having a few twitches now and then.

Things move on, haven't you noticed? No one needs the Concorde anymore either. It's DEAD. FINISHED.

MOVE
THE
fark
ON


You sound... concerned.
 
2013-06-02 11:03:08 AM
Not as redic as strapping yourself to a 10XL ICBM...
 
2013-06-02 11:04:15 AM

Quantum Apostrophe: Things move on, haven't you noticed? No one needs the Concorde anymore either. It's DEAD. FINISHED.


The problem with the Concorde was the pesky environmentalists that kept on getting in the way.  They're the ones that got rid of an otherwise viable and useful aircraft.  Perhaps if these same environmentalists didnt NIMBY it out of existence, it would have been something the Rest of us could fly in versus something that only a few could afford.

As for the shuttle, that's a case of why budget constraints should not get in the way of space travel.  Kill something else instead of having everyone be shoved up in a Sequester-inspired design or some spacejunk from some company who wants to privatize space travel.


Recoil Therapy: I saw a Mercury capsule (perhaps at the Air & Space Museum in DC or the Air Force Museum in Dayton, OH - both great places) & thought it was just a model mock up. That thing is TINY, as in fit in the back of a pickup tiny. I don't know how those guys managed to get into that thing with their giant balls.


Unfortunately not great enough to get much more than simulator parts for the shuttle since we don't have enough internationals coming to the city (Curran's attraction of Chinese - to the detriment of Daytonians - to the University of Dayton aside).  That, and the capsule is about the next thing to come for design instead of a perfectly good Shuttle.
 
2013-06-02 11:09:50 AM

phalamir: We weren't doing anything with the shuttle. shuttle go up, shuttle go down. That was it. If we were actually working toward some goal,like we were in the 60s, it would be one thing, but we were flinging people up there to fling people up there. Until someone is willing to pony up serious money and effort to reach some goal (or series of goals), putting people in danger for nothing isn't ballsy, it is sociopathic


Yet it was the proverbial "daily driver" for going up to places like the ISS, and far better than the privatized solution.   It may not sit well with corner-cutters that think NASA is doing too much, but that's how it is.

Now if you're not being serious, welcome to my ignore list.
 
2013-06-02 11:12:14 AM
The only thing smaller than these spaceships is the new generation of 3D printers coming out.  Those things are tiny.  We could colonize Mars with a dozen of those.
 
2013-06-02 11:13:57 AM

Quantum Apostrophe: Recoil Therapy: It's absolutely incredible what they went through/what they risked. It makes me ashamed that as their children/grandchildren we just turned our back on the whole thing & walked away a few years ago.

I don't understand that. Coal miners risked a lot to power 19th century locomotives, do you also lament the passing of steam locomotives? The Space Age is a cold dead corpse, it's just having a few twitches now and then.

Things move on, haven't you noticed? No one needs the Concorde anymore either. It's DEAD. FINISHED.

MOVE
THE
fark
ON


Yeah, wormhole transporters are sooo much better than using vehicles to move from point to point.

Oh wait, we haven't gotten above needing vehicles to move people and objects around?  How could that be? We don't need trains or Concordes, therefore we don't need vehicles of any sort.

/Snark factor 5
 
2013-06-02 11:14:41 AM

phalamir: BTW I want them to do stuff in space.  But until the NASA budget exceeds the Department of the Interior's bumwad budget for northern Idaho, it just ain't happening


Even at its peak the entire Apollo budget was less then what American woman spent on make up in a year.
 
2013-06-02 11:16:33 AM

Quantum Apostrophe: I don't understand that. Coal miners risked a lot to power 19th century locomotives, do you also lament the passing of steam locomotives? The Space Age is a cold dead corpse, it's just having a few twitches now and then.

Things move on, haven't you noticed? No one needs the Concorde anymore either. It's DEAD. FINISHED.


You're just mad Mercury capsules are small enough to be 3D printed.
 
2013-06-02 11:24:54 AM
What's wrong with spending a godzillion dollars to better detect EMR from a pulsar 100,000 light years away?

alphaleon.files.wordpress.com
 
2013-06-02 11:38:35 AM
Many, many years from now people are going to look back on this and say, "Let me get this straight - they used to strap people on to the top of what was basically a 7,000,000 lb bomb, then literally blow them off the face of the Earth in a controlled explosion.  It's a wonder anyone ever lived."
 
2013-06-02 11:39:57 AM

SevenizGud: What's wrong with spending a godzillion dollars to better detect EMR from a pulsar 100,000 light years away?


Screw you for posting that photo just to exploit the child and the photographer to make a stupid point that requires a logical fallacy.
 
2013-06-02 11:42:57 AM

SevenizGud: What's wrong with spending a godzillion dollars to better detect EMR from a pulsar 100,000 light years away?

[alphaleon.files.wordpress.com image 700x466]


You are saying EMR from a pulsar causes food shortages in Africa?  I think the science on that is shaky at best.
 
2013-06-02 11:56:44 AM

sethstorm: phalamir: We weren't doing anything with the shuttle. shuttle go up, shuttle go down. That was it. If we were actually working toward some goal,like we were in the 60s, it would be one thing, but we were flinging people up there to fling people up there. Until someone is willing to pony up serious money and effort to reach some goal (or series of goals), putting people in danger for nothing isn't ballsy, it is sociopathic

Yet it was the proverbial "daily driver" for going up to places like the ISS, and far better than the privatized solution.   It may not sit well with corner-cutters that think NASA is doing too much, but that's how it is.

Now if you're not being serious, welcome to my ignore list.


Why is it better than the privatized solution? There's nothing particularly superior about the shuttle if you're just going to the ISS and back or launching satellites. Granted, you're not going to be repairing satellites from a capsule, but the cost-effectiveness of the shuttle as a repair vehicle is suspect at best.
 
2013-06-02 12:03:52 PM

SevenizGud: What's wrong with spending a godzillion dollars to better detect EMR from a pulsar 100,000 light years away?

[alphaleon.files.wordpress.com image 700x466]




You're right, the tax money is definitely being better spent on the drones that will eventually bomb that child.
 
2013-06-02 12:19:30 PM

hawcian: sethstorm: phalamir: We weren't doing anything with the shuttle. shuttle go up, shuttle go down. That was it. If we were actually working toward some goal,like we were in the 60s, it would be one thing, but we were flinging people up there to fling people up there. Until someone is willing to pony up serious money and effort to reach some goal (or series of goals), putting people in danger for nothing isn't ballsy, it is sociopathic

Yet it was the proverbial "daily driver" for going up to places like the ISS, and far better than the privatized solution.   It may not sit well with corner-cutters that think NASA is doing too much, but that's how it is.

Why is it better than the privatized solution? There's nothing particularly superior about the shuttle if you're just going to the ISS and back or launching satellites. Granted, you're not going to be repairing satellites from a capsule, but the cost-effectiveness of the shuttle as a repair vehicle is suspect at best.


The last place to want to discover that a spacecraft has a cost-driven design flaw is when it's in use.  Given the general lack of resources available to places like Space[junk]X, safety gets thrown out the airlock.  That and the designs coming from the "don't worry about the budget, just get it done" seem to favor people coming back more than the "budget-conscious" designs that crash and/or kill.

As for the Shuttle, cost effectiveness in space is trumped by the ability to get it done from start to finish.  That, and they come with all the necessary hardware to navigate themselves to a controlled safe landing (as opposed to aiming with a parachute and hoping the winds are favorable).  The capsule might be fine if you don't care about losing billions of dollars in the South Pacific that could have been flown down to California, Texas, Florida, or elsewhere.
 
2013-06-02 12:37:46 PM
Funny, Soyuz is still in use with an admirable safety record while the shuttle is gone but not before two of them blew up with all their crew. Soyuz is pretty small and cramped.

If you sent ME to space, I'd much rather go in a tiny tin can than in the shuttle. But maybe that's just me? Does it take balls of steel to choose the safer option?
 
2013-06-02 12:48:35 PM

adamatari: Funny, Soyuz is still in use with an admirable safety record while the shuttle is gone but not before two of them blew up with all their crew. Soyuz is pretty small and cramped.

If you sent ME to space, I'd much rather go in a tiny tin can than in the shuttle. But maybe that's just me? Does it take balls of steel to choose the safer option?


Not to mention, if I remember right, NASA did a study during the Skylab years in preparation for the shuttle, about space adaptation sickness and operating space. Seems larger operating spaces correlate very strongly to the chance of getting, and the symptom strength, of space sickness. I couldn't point out the study to you if I tried; the last I read about it was in Packing for Mars by Mary Roach.
 
2013-06-02 12:58:51 PM

sethstorm: hawcian: sethstorm: phalamir: We weren't doing anything with the shuttle. shuttle go up, shuttle go down. That was it. If we were actually working toward some goal,like we were in the 60s, it would be one thing, but we were flinging people up there to fling people up there. Until someone is willing to pony up serious money and effort to reach some goal (or series of goals), putting people in danger for nothing isn't ballsy, it is sociopathic

Yet it was the proverbial "daily driver" for going up to places like the ISS, and far better than the privatized solution.   It may not sit well with corner-cutters that think NASA is doing too much, but that's how it is.

Why is it better than the privatized solution? There's nothing particularly superior about the shuttle if you're just going to the ISS and back or launching satellites. Granted, you're not going to be repairing satellites from a capsule, but the cost-effectiveness of the shuttle as a repair vehicle is suspect at best.

The last place to want to discover that a spacecraft has a cost-driven design flaw is when it's in use.  Given the general lack of resources available to places like Space[junk]X, safety gets thrown out the airlock.  That and the designs coming from the "don't worry about the budget, just get it done" seem to favor people coming back more than the "budget-conscious" designs that crash and/or kill.

As for the Shuttle, cost effectiveness in space is trumped by the ability to get it done from start to finish.  That, and they come with all the necessary hardware to navigate themselves to a controlled safe landing (as opposed to aiming with a parachute and hoping the winds are favorable).  The capsule might be fine if you don't care about losing billions of dollars in the South Pacific that could have been flown down to California, Texas, Florida, or elsewhere.


So you're prejudiced against private companies because you believe they'll sacrifice safety to drive down the price. You do realize the company's profits are entirely dependent on making a reliable vehicle, right? Also, it's a strange argument; NASA does not have an unlimited (or even particularly large) budget. It does everything it can to drive down costs just like anyone else would, including ignoring problems it knows about.
 
2013-06-02 01:29:30 PM

sethstorm: The problem with the Concorde was the pesky environmentalists that kept on getting in the way.  They're the ones that got rid of an otherwise viable and useful aircraft.  Perhaps if these same environmentalists didnt NIMBY it out of existence, it would have been something the Rest of us could fly in versus something that only a few could afford.

As for the shuttle, that's a case of why budget constraints should not get in the way of space travel.  Kill something else instead of having everyone be shoved up in a Sequester-inspired design or some spacejunk from some company who wants to privatize space travel.


The shuttle was an amazing vehicle, and served us well, but it had flaws. The problem was at the time of its conception political leaders would only fund the project if they built a very complicated vehicle that was supposed to do everything, where instead we should have built several different more specialized systems that would have been more safe and cost less to maintain and operate. It looks like that's where we're headed now, and that's a good thing, though I do wish we had the national will and less farktarded political leadership which would fund space projects much better.

Regardless of what some would say (like our one very predictable commenter here), space programs are invaluable to our future. The technologies we develop and science we move forward have a myriad of benefits for us going forward, just as they have in the past up until now. The old space programs had their naysayers, as has every human exploration benefit..... Not everyone thought sending exploratory expeditions to the "edge of the world", or later across our own continent, would benefit us in any way and would do anything but waste resources. So much of our modern lives would be impoverished compared to now had we listened to those people throughout the ages.
 
2013-06-02 01:36:10 PM
I sat (laid?) in a Gemini capsule at the rocket garden at KSC a few years back.  You wouldn't have wanted to be a very big guy.
 
2013-06-02 01:53:19 PM

phalamir: shuttle go up, shuttel go down.


You can't explain that.
 
2013-06-02 01:56:35 PM

unyon: I sat (laid?) in a Gemini capsule at the rocket garden at KSC a few years back.  You wouldn't have wanted to be a very big guy.


Yuri Gagarin was 5'2.
 
2013-06-02 01:58:43 PM

mongbiohazard: The shuttle was an amazing vehicle, and served us well, but it had flaws. The problem was at the time of its conception political leaders would only fund the project if they built a very complicated vehicle that was supposed to do everything, where instead we should have built several different more specialized systems that would have been more safe and cost less to maintain and operate


Plus bits had to be made in every state that key politicians came from, otherwise no vote. That's arguably, is the root cause of the first shuttle disaster. The O rings were only there because the booster had to be built in sections so it could travel to a factory in Utah.
 
2013-06-02 01:59:02 PM

dragonchild: Man, considering how benign the article AND headline were, I'm a bit baffled as to why this thread was inexplicably targeted for some really passionate trolling.  Slow Sunday?


This, I'm as much of a space nut as you'll ever find and the article/picture weren't all that interesting.
 
2013-06-02 02:00:41 PM

unyon: I sat (laid?) in a Gemini capsule at the rocket garden at KSC a few years back.  You wouldn't have wanted to be a very big guy.


The height limit for astronauts in Gemini was 6' -- up from 5'10" in the Mercury program...
 
2013-06-02 02:03:46 PM

Flint Ironstag: Plus bits had to be made in every state that key politicians came from, otherwise no vote. That's arguably, is the root cause of the first shuttle disaster. The O rings were only there because the booster had to be built in sections so it could travel to a factory in Utah.


I suspect that trying to cast such a large solid booster in one piece would have a higher failure rate...
 
2013-06-02 02:37:32 PM

Flint Ironstag: phalamir: BTW I want them to do stuff in space.  But until the NASA budget exceeds the Department of the Interior's bumwad budget for northern Idaho, it just ain't happening

Even at its peak the entire Apollo budget was less then what American woman spent on make up in a year.


Yes, but the moon was ridiculously easy compared to even the next closest body to visit, i.e. Mars.  To Mars and back is something like 3-3 1/2 years.  You cannot put 3 guys in a tin can with 4 blocks of spam and a jug of tang and call it a day.  You are going to need several dozen people, at least.  Because you can be pretty much assured that 10 or so will die, minimum.  And, unless you exclusively send one gender or the other, you are going to have 4-5 babies born on the trip, minimum.  You're sending a minor colonization effort (albeit a temporary one), because the group has to possess all the skills needed to get to Mars and set up and run a working biodome for 2 years, and deal with all the medical crap that will come along, and have enough "spare" members for when people inevitably die from something or another, etc, on a planet where there is effectively no magnetosphere, so 24/7 chest X-rays all around.  And we don't even have working methods to do even half this stuff, so you are going to have to sink a lot of effort into making a series if systems you feel comfortable shipping all these people off with.  And considering our methods for landing stuff on Mars has been bouncyballs and the world's most Rube Goldberg skycrane, there might also needs be some effort put into making a lander a wee bit bigger than for Apollo.

And that's the easy mission. Maybelline  doesn't sell that much lipstick.
 
2013-06-02 03:57:41 PM
For those who don't know why the Mercury and Gemini capsules were tiny by todays standards - and small compared to the early Russian capsules - the answer is quite simple: Americans were very good at building compact, lightweight nuclear warheads. Small warhead means small missiles - and when you re-purpose those missiles to launch people into space, that means you can only orbit so much weight... The Russians on the other hand wasn't so good at building small bombs, so they had to have huge missiles - which means their spacecraft could be huge in comparison.

The Mercury spacecraft had a design-weight of 3000 lbs.
The Vostok complex (re-entry vehicle and service module) weighted in at roughly 10500 lbs.
The Mercury was still probably the safer of the capsules.

For those interested, I recommend reading This New Ocean [http://history.nasa.gov/SP-4201/cover.htm] and On the Shoulders of Giants [http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/SP-4203/toc.htm].
 
2013-06-02 04:05:46 PM
"Failure Is Not an Option" describes how two astronauts were locked into Gemini 7 utterly unable to move for over a week. Awful. They were tough guys.
 
2013-06-02 04:08:31 PM
You came in that thing?  You're braver than I thought...
 
2013-06-02 04:22:34 PM

Quantum Apostrophe: Recoil Therapy: It's absolutely incredible what they went through/what they risked. It makes me ashamed that as their children/grandchildren we just turned our back on the whole thing & walked away a few years ago.

I don't understand that. Coal miners risked a lot to power 19th century locomotives, do you also lament the passing of steam locomotives? The Space Age is a cold dead corpse, it's just having a few twitches now and then.

Things move on, haven't you noticed? No one needs the Concorde anymore either. It's DEAD. FINISHED.

MOVE
THE
fark
ON


To what, in your humble opinion?
 
2013-06-02 04:40:38 PM
phalamir:

It may be prudent to develop technology to sustain life on the moon, and develop a launch site, before moving on to the next frontier.
 
2013-06-02 04:42:04 PM
If they were anything bigger than what is absolutely necessary then they would be ridiculous from the engineering point of view.

You are stupid and your blog sucks.
 
2013-06-02 05:42:02 PM
I have no problem believing the small size of the capsules.. I've seen them (the aforementioned Dayton's USAF Museum and other places), and weight was at a premium. Consider the size of the Saturn V rocket that was required to send the Apollo missions up. Those capsules are also extremely cramped, but they only had to handle a relatively short duration in space.
 
zez
2013-06-02 05:43:48 PM
Maybe because I'm from the hometown of McDonnell Douglas (the company that built them) but I didn't think it was so odd to not see them or know of their size, we have a few in our science center.

photos.visualjourney.com
 
2013-06-02 05:47:31 PM

SevenizGud: What's wrong with spending a godzillion dollars to better detect EMR from a pulsar 100,000 light years away?

[alphaleon.files.wordpress.com image 700x466]


Taking a photo of a kid with a $4000 camera instead of giving them a sandwich?
 
2013-06-02 06:01:02 PM

Skywolf the Scribbler: phalamir:

It may be prudent to develop technology to sustain life on the moon, and develop a launch site, before moving on to the next frontier.


I concur. Possibly with a permanent orbiting docking station so that there can be regular flights from moon surface to orbit to deliver resources. Then a drop to surface and return is not needed by the final craft. The mun must have some resources that would make it worthwhile, if only a low gravity and no atmosphere.

Once you are in orbit, you are halfway to anywhere...
 
2013-06-02 06:11:29 PM

dready zim: SevenizGud: What's wrong with spending a godzillion dollars to better detect EMR from a pulsar 100,000 light years away?

[alphaleon.files.wordpress.com image 700x466]

Taking a photo of a kid with a $4000 camera instead of giving them a sandwich?


I read somewhere that the photographer that took that picture committed suicide!

I'll search and post a link.
 
2013-06-02 06:14:17 PM

torquestripe: dready zim: SevenizGud: What's wrong with spending a godzillion dollars to better detect EMR from a pulsar 100,000 light years away?

[alphaleon.files.wordpress.com image 700x466]

Taking a photo of a kid with a $4000 camera instead of giving them a sandwich?

I read somewhere that the photographer that took that picture committed suicide!

I'll search and post a link.


Here it is.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_Carter
 
2013-06-02 06:21:02 PM
There's more room on the inside.
 
2013-06-02 06:42:02 PM

sethstorm: phalamir: We weren't doing anything with the shuttle. shuttle go up, shuttle go down. That was it. If we were actually working toward some goal,like we were in the 60s, it would be one thing, but we were flinging people up there to fling people up there. Until someone is willing to pony up serious money and effort to reach some goal (or series of goals), putting people in danger for nothing isn't ballsy, it is sociopathic

Yet it was the proverbial "daily driver" for going up to places like the ISS, and far better than the privatized solution.   It may not sit well with corner-cutters that think NASA is doing too much, but that's how it is.

Now if you're not being serious, welcome to my ignore list.


The space shuttle program was a massive step backwards in space exploration. It was more expensive than the Apollo program with less capability and reliability. Instead of putting money into developing cheaper, better rockets or an actual workable space space plane we screwed around with that pos for decades. It was a triumph of bad design, marketing, politics and pork spending over innovation, engineering and common sense.
We need a heavy lifter like the Saturn v to do anything useful and innovative in space, which NASA is finally getting back around to. As to the space shuttle being a "daily driver" you are ignoring the relative cost and complexity of a shuttle launch vs a rocket launch. Just because it looks like an airplane doesn't mean it has similar logistics.
 
2013-06-02 07:14:02 PM

phalamir: Because you can be pretty much assured that 10 or so will die, minimum.  And, unless you exclusively send one gender or the other, you are going to have 4-5 babies born on the trip, minimum.


Thats pants on head retarded.
 
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