Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Lockheed Martin Submits Design for Crew Exploration Vehicle

Lockheed Martin's submission is based around a lifting body design which the company argues would allow for more down range control than a capsule, facilitating land touchdown in addition to water sites. This of course ignores the fact that the Russian Soyuz capsules always touch down on land without incident. They also claim that a lifting body would help minimize the g-forces associated with Moon and Mars missions. Of course this makes no sense. For such missions, the craft could be shaped like a giant horse in space and the g-forces would be the same. To give them the benefit of the doubt, statements could be a misunderstanding on the part of the author of the article.

I still have my suspicions about Lockheed Martin's ability in light of the 1999 Mars Climate Observer foul-up. To be fair I am a CalTech grad, so I may be a bit biased.

Actually, I think this is tremendously good start. I hope that NASA has the sense to go ahead and end manned Shuttle flights and focus it's energies on getting the CEV in place as soon as possible.