Alternative moon rockets to over-budget Constellation gaining traction
They have deemed some of these projects worthy of further study, including ideas written off by NASA engineers a few years ago as being underpowered, unsafe and unimaginative. One of them is being promoted by the head of NASA’s shuttle program. Another is the product of a group of freelance engineers â€” some of them NASA employees working on their own time â€” and rocket hobbyists calling themselves the Direct team.
Last week, the committee said it wants Aerospace Corp., an independent-research group, to analyze Direct’s Jupiter rocket, which would use the shuttle’s giant external fuel tank and two solid rocket boosters to launch a capsule instead of an orbiter.
“This should show our detractors that we can’t be dismissed as a bunch of people in tinfoil hats,” said Stephen Metschan, who leads Direct.
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