Sunday, October 30, 2005

Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV)

My friend Andy told me about a cool space site, Lots of useful stuff and interesting discussions on the forums. The CEV (Crew Exploration Vehicle) is NASA's proposed next-generation spacecraft that will take crews to the ISS, the Moon, and perhaps even Mars. In one post, an Orbiter user (gladiator1332) showed some Orbiter images of a biconic CEV, commenting that Orbiter provides the means to visualize these next-generation craft in 3D (not to mention you can fly them!). Another application!

Biconic refers to a special crew capsule shape that would provide some controllable lift on reentry without the weight penalty of wings. Francis Drake developed an add-on for Orbiter using this shape, and it's really cool. I played with it a bit, and the picture shows it docked at the ISS (unusual through-the-heatshield docking port). I haven't yet installed the files to mate this to Simcosmos' prototype SRB-derived booster.

NASA's programs may be delayed by funding problems - but not in Orbiter!

1 comment:

francisdrake said...

Hi, you have a nice space blog here! I came to it from Simcosmos site.

I have a small correction on one of your comments: The docking tunnel of the biconic CEV-2 does not go through the heat shield.
This kind of vessel enters the atmosphere tip first, with a slight nose-up attitude controlled by the trim flaps.

The heat shield extends around the cone, is thicker in the front part, less in the rear.
There is no heat shield on the back of the cone, just the connection to the ressource module.

The docking tunnel extends through the ressource module, so you need to dock 'tail first' to the space station :-)