As NASA prepares for the debut test flight of the first spaceship in more than 40 years to carry astronauts beyond Earth, a fleet of privately owned vehicles is in development to take over transportation services to and from orbits closer

本文摘要:As NASA prepares for the debut test flight of the first spaceship in more than 40 years to carry astronauts beyond Earth, a fleet of privately owned vehicles is in development to take over transportation services to and from orbits closer


As NASA prepares for the debut test flight of the first spaceship in more than 40 years to carry astronauts beyond Earth, a fleet of privately owned vehicles is in development to take over transportation services to and from orbits closer to home.40多年来美国宇航局打算首次首飞第一艘宇宙飞船将装载宇航员到地球之外,一家私人公司正在研发接管从地球到轨道的运输服务。Whether heading to the International Space Station, which flies about 260 miles above the planet, or other destinations, the journeys begin with rocket rides that have enough muscle to counteract Earths gravity and get their cargo traveling at speeds of at least 17,500 mph to achieve orbit.不管前往国际空间站然后在距地球约260英里处转动,或是转至他目的地,旅行从火箭升空起,必需有充足的力量来抵销地球引力发送到他们的货物以最少17500英里每小时的速度转入轨道。

NASA, for example, is using the biggest booster in the U.S. fleet, a Delta 4 Heavy, to shoot its Orion deep-space capsule as far as 3,600 miles from Earth during a test flight scheduled for Thursday. The key point of the test is to get Orion moving at about 20,000 mph before it slams into Earths atmosphere to test its heat shield.美国国家航空航天局(NASA),在周四将要用于美国私营公司仅次于的助推器(德而它斯重型火箭发动机),将把“猎户号深空探测器”太空舱发送到距离地球3600英里处。测试的重点是测试它的隔热板,就是让猎户座以20000英里每小时的速度激烈碰撞地球大气层。Even suborbital spaceships, such as Virgin Galactics SpaceShipTwo and XCOR Aerospaces Lynx space place, rely on rocket power to leave the atmosphere, though gravity quickly pulls them back to Earth. They dont necessarily have to launch from land, however.甚至亚轨道太空飞船,如维珍银河二号宇宙飞船和XCOR公司航空航天的山猫亚轨道飞船,依然依赖火箭离开了大气层,不过重力迅速把他们纳返地球。

他们不一定要从地面升空。SpaceShipTwo, for example, is carried by airplane and released mid-air to fire its rocket, a design also used by the experimental X-15 space plane in the 1960s. Air-launching uses smaller rockets than those needed for similar ground-based flights, eliminates the need for expensive launch pads and opens options for launch sites, since the planes can take off from commercial runways.例如,太空飞船二号是由飞机携载和火箭空中升空,用于的设计也在1960年代公布的一个实验性的前身航天飞机原形。空中升空火箭用于小型火箭而不必类似于有地面发射台的,不必须启动便宜的发射台升空站点,因为飞机可以从商业滑行道降落。

More diverse are the spacecraft designs the companies have chosen, reflecting not only different technical solutions to the challenges of flying people beyond Earth, but also their alternative visions of the future.更为多样化航天器设计公司精心自由选择结果,这体现了有所不同的技术解决方案来面临地球之外的挑战,而且这也转变着未来。FORM DICTATES FUNCTION结构影响功能NASA preceded its so-called Commercial Crew development effort with a program to buy flights for space station cargo. Two U.S. supply lines are now running, though one operator, Orbital Sciences Corp, is regrouping after a launch accident last month. The other company flying cargo for NASA is California-based Space Exploration Technologies, owned and run by technology entrepreneur Elon Musk.NASA为空间站货物出售航班的商业模式,是由两个美国供应链运营,不过一个运营商因为上个月升空事故而重组。

另一家是加州太空探寻技术基地,享有和经营的这家科技企业的是伊隆马斯克(Tesla的创始人)。From the start, SpaceX designed its Dragon capsule to not only fly cargo, but also crew. Cargo doesnt need windows, Musk quipped before the capsules first flight to the space station in 2012. Upgrades are underway to add life support equipment, seating and an escape system for crew, but SpaceX has even grander ambitions for its gumdrop-shaped Dragon. It isdesigned to fly people to Mars.从一开始,SpaceX公司设计了“龙”太空舱不仅飞货物,而且能飞船员。马斯克在太空舱2012年第一次飞抵国际空间站时开玩笑道:“货物不必须windows。

升级正在展开中,以加到生命反对设备、座椅和一个宇航员受困系统,但SpaceX 对于具备三层保护装置的太空舱有更大的维护。它的目的是带上人们飞抵火星。The long-term ambition of SpaceX is to develop the technologies to establish a self-sustaining civilization on Mars … Wings and runways dont really work if youre going somewhere other than Earth, Musk said at a Massachusetts Institute of Technology symposium in September.“从的长年来看SpaceX是要利用技术在火星上创建自己的文明…没了地球你可以在其他地方生活,”马斯克9月在麻省理工学院的研讨会上说道。Boeing, too, chose a capsule design for its planned space taxi, known as the Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100. The conical shape is inherently stable as we re-enter the atmosphere, Chris Ferguson, Boeing director of Crew and Mission Systems, said in an interview with Reuters.波音公司也为自己的太空出租车计划自由选择了一个太空舱设计,称作船员舱运输(CST)-100。

“圆锥形状有利于我们转入大气层,”克里斯-弗格森,波音公司主管人员在拒绝接受路透专访时回应。The capsule, which parachutes to a splashdown in the ocean or a touchdown on land, is intended to improve astronaut safety, added Ferguson, a former NASA space shuttle pilot and commander.带着降落伞的太空舱倾倒大海之中或迫降在陆地上,目的提高宇航员安全性,弗格森补足道,前美国国家航空航天局航天飞机飞行员兼任指挥官。Boeing plans to modify the CST-100 if it wins a second NASA solicitation, currently underway, to fly cargo to the station. Cargo and crew would fly separately.如果夺得下一个NASA订单波音公司被迫停止cst - 100计划,因为货物和船员分别要开飞。

I lived through the (space shuttle) Columbia accident in 2003 and one of the conclusions … was that that including the payload with the people was not the wisest choice. We carried 50,000 pounds of payload (on the shuttle), which was incredible, and up to seven people. But to make the systems safe to carry passengers, you have to make a fairly large vehicle. We think it is a much better approach to have the people and the cargo travel in different vehicles, he said.“我经历过2003年哥伦比亚号(航天飞机)事故…,负荷过于多不是最明智的自由选择。我们摆放50000磅重量在航天飞机上,这是难以置信的一共个7人。所以要使系统安全载运乘客,你必需作出相当大的火箭。我们指出这是一个更佳的方法,人们在客船火箭中旅行而不是货船,”他说道。

THINGS WITH WINGS展翅飞翔Capsules may be simpler to fly and cheaper to build, but they do have limitations. Sierra Nevadas winged Dream Chaser, for example, resembles a miniature space shuttle, with an aerodynamically shaped body and wings so it can fly back from space, rather than make a ballistic plunge through the atmosphere like capsules.太空舱有可能是非常简单和低廉的飞行器,但它们显然有局限性。例如内华达山脉股份公司Sierra Nevada Corporation,全称SNC的有翼的追梦者号,就像一个享有翅膀和无阻力设计主体的迷你航天飞机,这样就可以从太空飞回来而不是靠穿过大气层的火箭。We come back with a significantly lower g-force during re-entry, said Sierra Nevada Vice President Mark Sirangelo, referring to gravity force or a measure of acceleration.Were about 2 gs and most capsules are 4- to 6. That protects returning experiments and crew, Sirangelo said in an interview.“回到过程是一个明显上升的较低重力过程,“内华达副总裁Mark Sirangelo说道,他所指的是“地心引力”或加速度的测量。“我们的大约是2 gs但是大多数太空舱是4 - 6(这是加速度单位,1Gs就是一倍的地球表面重力加速度)。

它更加有效地维护船员“Sirangelo在拒绝接受专访时回应。Like the space shuttle, Dream Chaser is designed for runway, not water, landings, though its small size means it can touch down on most commercial runways anywhere in the world.“The idea of being able to come home to Ellington Field in Houston with an experiment from the space station for Texas Medical Center and have them take if off the vehicle and get it in their labs in a half-hour is very useful,” Sirangelo said.像这种航天飞机,追梦者号是专用滑行道,不必须水和降落伞,它的小尺寸意味著它可以在大多数商业滑行道迫降在世界任何地方。


“这样的话得克萨斯州医学中心的空间站需要返回休斯顿的爱玲董菲儿的机场或者用半小时时间就把他们送往实验室是十分简单的,”Sirangelo说道。Sierra Nevada currently is protesting NASAs decision to proceed with a final round of development funds and flight services contracts to SpaceX and Boeing. A decision by the U.S. Government Accountability Office is due by Jan. 5. NASA also has an unfunded agreement to work with Jeff Bezos rocket company, Blue Origin.内华达目前抗议美国宇航局要求展开最后一轮发展基金并且与飞行器SpaceX公司和波音公司签定的服务合约。由联邦政府会计学总署要求(Government Accountability Office)累计日期是1月5日。

NASA也有短期协议与杰夫·贝佐斯的火箭公司(蓝源公司(BlueOrigin)是由亚马逊创始人杰夫·贝索斯(JeffBezos)创立的私人太空飞行初创公司,早已在2018无人任务开始前,顺利地测试了现有的氢燃料火箭)。In the meantime, Sierra Nevada is pursuing other contracts, including additional station resupply work for NASA that also is drawing bids from SpaceX, Orbital Sciences, Boeing and possibly other contenders.同时,内华达公司正在谋求其他的合约,还包括为美国国家航空航天局额外的空间站给养工作,还包括为SpaceX公司波音及其轨道科学公司画画图纸,当然有可能有其他的竞争者。

We call Dream Chaser a space utility vehicle for a reason. It can accomplish multiple purposes from the same core design, like an AC-130 aircraft. We can do repair missions, change altitudes. Capsules cant do that very easily. We can do construction, like the space shuttle did to build the space station. We can be an independent or co-dependent lab and stay in orbit for one year or longer conducting experiments. From the same basic design, we can contemplate all these missions, Sirangelo said.“我们叫追梦者“空间多功能飞行器”是有原因的。它可以同时已完成多个工作,像ac - 130飞机。我们可以自动已完成修缮任务甚至转变高度。


Sierra Nevada already may have landed one customer. Paul Allens Strato launch Systems, which is building a massive airplane to serve as an airborne rocket-launching platform, announced last month it is considering buying a smaller version of Dream Chaser for commercial passenger spaceflights. The space plane would be attached to the Strato launch mothership for a ride into the atmosphere and then released to fire its own rocket engines and catapult it into space. The system could be used to fly people to and from orbit, as well as for sub-orbital hops, including taking off and landing in different locations, so called point-to-point travel. Thats a service that Virgin Galactic, another space tourism startup owned by Richard Bransons Virgin Group, would like to offer as well.内华达公司有可能早已有一个客户了。保罗·艾伦的平流层发射系统公司,建构一个可观的飞机作为机载火箭升空平台,上月宣告它正在考虑到出售一个追梦者号较小的版本。航天飞机将可选到平流层发射系统母舰上然后熄灭火箭引擎转入太空。


For now, Virgin Galactics six-passenger, two-pilot space plane, called SpaceShipTwo, will be limited to sub-orbital flights that originate from and return to the same location. The companys first vehicle was destroyed during a fatal test flight inMojave, Calif., on Oct. 31. The second vehicle is under construction. Point-to-point suborbital travel would require a different design, such as a blunter shape to better handle the higher speeds and heat of atmospheric re-entry, and a more powerful rocket engine.目前,维珍银河的客载六人的双驾驶员航天飞机,被称作“宇宙飞船二号”将是受限次轨道飞行中。公司的第一架被毁在莫哈韦首飞期间,加州10月31日。第二个正在建设中。

点对点的亚轨道旅游必须一个有所不同的设计,如顿的形状更佳的掌控速度但是转入大气温度却很高必须一个更加强劲的火箭发动机。RISK AND REWARD风险和报酬Until the accident, SpaceShipTwo was on track to begin the worlds first commercial passenger spaceflight service in 2015 – 11 years after the prototype SpaceShipOne won the $10 million Ansari X Prize for demonstrating private manned spaceflight.Coincidentally, it was 11 years after Wilbur and Orville Wright flew the worlds first powered airplane in 1903 that a paying passenger sat in the open cockpit of a boat-shaped Benoist XIV biplane for a ride across Floridas Tampa Bay, the debut flight of the countrys first commercial airliner.再次发生事故到现在,太空飞船二号未来将会沦为世界上第一个商业客运航天服役(原型“2015 - 11年后夺得了1000万美元的安萨里X奖(2004年10月4日,由鲁坦(Burt Rutan)设计生产,微软公司合伙人保罗·艾伦(Paul Allen)投资的价值2500万美元的私人飞船“太空船一号”(SpaceShipOne),夺得了这项奖额1000万美元的安萨里X大奖))。凑巧的是,在威尔伯和奥维尔·赖特在1903年发明者世界上第一个动力飞机11年以后,敞开式座舱双翼飞机配备着乘客穿过佛罗里达的坦帕湾构建商业试飞。If you could have had a conversation with that person who bought the first ride and said, In your lifetime, youre going to be riding in air-conditioned comfort at 35,000 feet, traveling .8 Mach, watching a movie and talking to friends on the ground, that guy would have said, Whats a movie? The telephone, the jet … none of that had been invented, but all ofit came into being very, very quickly after the airplane, said Stu Witt, the chief executive and general manager of the Mojave Air and Space Port.“如果给你一个和第一个坐飞机乘客聊天机会,你不会说道“在你的一生中,可以在35000英尺高度享用电影空调视频聊天吗,“那个家伙不会说道,什么是电影?什么是电话,什么是飞机…因为那时这些没被发明者,但是自从有了飞机之后一切都发展的好慢“什哈维太空站负责人斯图威特说道So is commercial spaceflight similarly primed?那么,商业航天时刻不会来吗?You put enough humans with brains and eyes and ears and senses in new environments and somebody is going to think of something we havent thought of. The fashion industry will change. The entertainment industry will change. Something will come out of it that you and I shouldnt even be silly enough to try and forecast,” he said.“新的环境之中,时尚界将不会转变。




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