Saturday, January 16, 2010

Side Mount Out And In-Line In?

NASA's search for a new heavy lift booster seems to be coming into sharper focus. The Side Mount design, which we looked at last June, looks like it's headed for the sunset, while an in-line design, a more DIRECT descendant of current shuttle hardware than the Ares V, is now under close review. According to an article on NasaSpaceFlight.com:
"NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden will review the findings of his “special team” – which he set up to evaluate all Heavy Lift alternatives to the current plan – on Friday. Pre-empting the overview, Exploration Project officials all-but ruled out the Sidemount HLV, whilst noting a couple of In-line heavy lifters – one of which appears to be a DIRECT Jupiter launch vehicle – made it through to the Bolden meeting."
Hmmm, "a more DIRECT descendant of current shuttle hardware." Seems like we've seen this design somewhere before. Well anyway, if NASA opts for something other than Ares V, what do you think we should call it? Well, Saturn has already been used, so why not call it "Jupiter."