Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.
CNN commenters - clearly energized about the promise of a new, privately developed space shuttle - are buzzing about winged spacecraft versus capsule-based vehicles like Dragon, which SpaceX used for its historic visit to the space station last month.
A commenter called "gregory" points out the Skylon space plane project in the UK. The theory behind space planes is they would be able to take off from a runway, rocket into low orbit, and then fly to a landing on a runway.
Gregory suggests that space planes are preferable because their engines would be designed to "breathe air like a jet at lower speeds" and then "switch to rocket mode in the high atmosphere." CNN reported on Skylon last year and one insider estimated development cost to be around $10 billion. NASA's program to fund private spacecraft development offers only a fraction of that amount - less than $400 million awarded so far.
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The model bears a marking likeness to another spacecraft. Specifically it is a "tricked-out" design of the Pan American Airways, "Orion" space shuttle, from "2001: A Space Odyssey" (1968).
219The poor should not be aoewlld to breed. Condoms should be airdropped to those who refuse to work and take care of there own families. You want the government to take care of you, MOVE TO NORTH KOREA. The real America is gone.Damn peopleNo American should have to support any other American who doesn't want to work. For those that want to work and are having a hard time,should get help. But for the majority that sit complain and whine,screw drink and sleep u r on ur own.
I'm very mentally tied to November 11th as Remembrance Day (Veterans Day in the States). I'd have to go with sohteming serious to commemorate appropriately. A word name, like Justice, Honour, or Liberty might be appropriate, perhaps as a middle name. The cutest I could go is Poppy. I'd also look for names of family members or local heroes who were/are veterans. According to behindthename, Zechariah means Yahweh remembers and Mnemosyne (ni-MAWS-?-nee) means rememberance. Unfortunately, the 11th letter of the English alphabet is K. I hope no one gives their child the initials KKK.
For transit to a relatively low orbiting space station, it sounds good. For Deeper missions to planets it probably would be too small and wings would just add to the craft's weight. Perhaps with a more advanced propulsion system ie. ion or similar drive, launched from a zero gravity base it might make landing back on earth easier and allow the craft to be recycled.
Thanks for the comment, Portland tony. Your post is the featured Comment of the Day today:
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July 19thAtlas V launch of US DOD MUOS-2 satellite, notable for large "551" config of Atlas
Aug 3rdJapanese HTV-4 flight to ISS on cargo supply mission
Aug 14thSpaceX launch of Canadian satellite in the first launch from their new Vandenberg facility, and first launch of upgraded Falcon 9 v1.1 launch vehicle
Aug 28thDelta IV Heavy launch of NROL-65 spy satellite
SeptemberSoyuz TMA-08M flight returning Expedition 36 crew from ISS to Earth (Kazakhstan)
Sept 12thOrbital Sciences maiden flight of Cygnus cargo vehicle on Antares rocket to ISS
Sept 25thSoyuz TMA-10M flight launching Expedition 38 crew to ISS
Dec 9thSpaceX Dragon launch by Falcon 9 v1.1 on CRS-3 cargo supply mission to ISS
recurringfirst powered test flights of Scaled Composites' SpaceShipTwo commercial vehicle, to be used by Virgin Galactic for sub-orbital tourism