Perhaps, the best and most rewarding thing about working in a Think Tank is when ideas and concepts get floated that stop and make you think. And these ideas can be anything as simple as a new way of looking at things to a very complex thought with quantum mechanics and particle physics. For instance, just the other day Charles “Chuck” Weeman came up with a more than intriguing idea of what to do with the used space shuttles. Right now, as it stands they are scheduled to go into museums around the nation.
Yet, Chuck Weeman had a much better idea, and asked; “Has Anyone thought of taking a return module up in a last flight for the shuttles [and] parking the them [space shuttles] at the space station as not only added space but as a way to return or deal with debris, like defunct satellites. How much extra spare parts, fuel and oxygen is there flouting around waiting to hit something out there? It could be salvaged for the station. Not sure if it is designed for it but two shuttles could move it to a moon orbit.”
Charles goes on to ask dubious questions such as “how much are these space shuttles really worth sitting in a museum?” and “why shouldn’t they remain in space for emergencies?” In fact Charles notes that these space shuttles are completely self-contained and in the event of an emergency, they could be safe habitats until things were fixed. After all, remember the things we’ve learned with Mir and Skylab.
As, I considered all that Chuck had brought forth and considered the concept – I thought to myself, “Makes perfect sense to me, not sure why we are going to park those old space shuttles in museums? We can make mock-ups for the museums. May as well park them up there and yes, we could use them for something later, plus as you say extra space, lots of it actually. You could have a telescope in one, and like he said parts, and extra safety redundancy in case needed. It’s a good idea.
Here is another thought – take the old booster rockets – then when they are empty use them for habitats. Have the insides with stairways and bulk-heads, then clean them out and use them for modules, or later take them to the moon for colony habitats, at some later date. And, by the way, I am very much interested in the re-usable booster rocket, those which come back to land robotically which the USAF and NASA are contemplating.
Now then, with regards to Charles Weeman’s idea to use the shuttles to drive the ISS to the moon, well, that would take a lot more fuel, but it is feasible. Or if you just wanted to move the ISS around slowly or take it somewhere – ISS propulsion solution using space shuttles could work, they could have additional fuel delivered via robotic space-craft to attach. We could put a “Y” on one of the ends and attach the Space Shuttles that way, as long as they do not block the sun for the solar panels.
Well, maybe this thought will get some traction out there in cyber space, but either way, you have to admit this was an intriguing concept, and a worthy idea to contemplate. Lots of details to make it work, sure, aren’t there always, but worthy of consideration nevertheless. Please think on it.
Source by Lance Winslow