|Mini Shuttle smaller than the X37|
|Overall design with cargo bay|
We're not sure why the electric machine Big Brain wants one of these. Perhaps it's to carry up a space telescope and parts, to study new machines in space, to assemble something, help save the Earth, rescue an astronaut, act as a life boat for the ISS Space Station, or make trips to the Moon.
The illustrative design is originally based on the X-37 from NASA and the recent X-37b from the USA Air Force. While the X37b is secretive, the proposed mini shuttle would operate for the Big Brain directive. The proposed MS would be substantially smaller than depicted here.
Of course the Experiment bay would be outfitted with astronaut seating, the control panel would be designed for a pilot, and supplies would stow under the seating.
|Reentry with fire resistant fabric|
Suggestions for enhancing the mini space shuttle craft include solar panels for extended stays in
|Docking with the Space Station|
|Equipped for passengers|
|Deploying solar panels|
Another design is for rescue. Maneuvering thrusters enable the craft to go to retrieve an astronaut flung out into space
It's also determined the craft space could be configured the same size as a small Japanese or Chinese apartment with all spartan yet efficient amenities for longer stays living in space. The craft could also conduct limited space tours of orbital Earth and the Moon, plus offer spectacular sky views in space for not only tourism but scientific research.
|Astronaut EVA out of the mini shuttle|
Photo Credits: NASA,
iTunes APP Astronaut Spacewalk by Jorge Hernandez
|Dream Chaser concept|
"Dream Chaser – which is a reusable lifting body vehicle based on the form of NASA Langley’s HL-20 spaceplane concept from the 1980s – can land on a conventional runway, unlike all of its capsule-based competitors. The plan is for Dream Chaser to land at the Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) at KSC." NASA
The Dream Chaser is a crewed suborbital and orbital vertical-takeoff, horizontal-landing (VTHL) lifting-body spaceplane being developed by Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) Space Systems. The Dream Chaser is designed to carry up to seven people to and from low Earth orbit. The vehicle would launch vertically on an Atlas V rocket and land horizontally on conventional runways. Wikipedia