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Boeing Delta IV Heavy Achieves Major Test Objectives in First Flight

12/22/2004 12:00AM

Boeing Delta IV Heavy Achieves Major Test Objectives in First Flight

ST. LOUIS, Dec. 22, 2004 – The Boeing [NYSE: BA] Delta IV Heavy made its first flight today achieving the major test objectives despite placing its demonstration satellite in a lower than expected orbit.


  • jsc3iii [John Cronin]
  • 12/22/2004 11:12AM
This Delta IV heavy lifter still only has a fraction of the power of the old Saturn V. The Saturn V put out about 160,000,000 horsepower, versus the 51,000,000 horsepower for the Delta IV. The Delta IV is probably more efficient, but think about where the Saturn V (or VI, or whatever) might be today after another 30 years of development. I am not knocking the Delta IV, just lamenting the Saturn V.<br><br>For those who don't know, the Saturn V was killed by politics, to ensure that the Space Shuttle was the only way to go. Now the space shuttle is grounded and the space station crew is hungry.<br><br>I remember the old Skylab space station, which is huge compared to the Russian Mir (I am not sure how it compares to the International Space Station). The way we put Skylab up was to strap the whole thing on top of a single Saturn V and blast the whole thing into space at one go. When I watched how they had to bring the ISS up piece-meal it made me want to cry - two or three Saturn V launches could probably have got most of it up there pretty quickly, and more of the assembly could have been done on the ground.
Some good points there, but the reality of life is where we are now. What do you propose now? I doubt the ISS would survive launch in an assembled condition (at least as it is currently designed). The troubles with the Shuttle are not simple, nor is any one solution a slam dunk.<br><br>Saturn V could be reproduced, or some variation of it, but will it solve the problem? The shuttle got funded at least in part because the existing launch systems were too boring. Funding was cut and only replaced when something "better" was offered.<br><br>The Saturn V will not get funded, so... what is the next "better" system that will?<br><br>-Guy<br>