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If Altair fails, the Eagle might land..?

Im sure you’re well aware of NASA’s plans to Return to The Moon around 2020, using the shuttle replacement “Orion” Crew Exploration Vehicle, and the next generation lunar lander, “Altair”.

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Plans are pretty well advanced on these programs, test flights are being scheduled and everything… and yet…

Not everyone in NASA – or the wider space exploration community – is happy with, or about, the whole “Constellation” program that includes Orion and Altair. Some experts are convinced the Ares rocket won’t fly because of vibration problems and other technical issues. And then there’s the cost…

So, behind the scenes, various groups and parties are busy working out alternatives to parts of or even the whole Constellation program. In a very interesting post on NASAWATCH today, one of those alternatives is shown in great detail. Here’s a screengrab of a proposed “reusable lunar lander”, taken from the PDF file you can view on or download from the post…

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That looks interesting… HANG ON!! It looks very familiar too!! Whoever “came up”ย with this revolutionary design seems to have been “inspired” by the classic Gerry Anderson sci fi series SPACE 1999, which featured what is quite probably the Best Science Fiction Spacecraft Ever…

eagle

The Eagle Transporter! ๐Ÿ™‚ Isn’t that a gorgeous ship?! I LOVED that ship when it was flying from Moonbase Alpha in the series. Ok, so the series itself was cheesier than the Cheddar counter in ASDA, with some of the worst acting, poorest storylines and laughable aliens ever seen on TV, but there was a kind of so-bad-it’s-brilliant charm about it, and the technology was convincing, practical, and way ahead of its time, and that made it very appealing for a space mad kid like yours truly…

And it looks like I wasn’t the only one who fell in love with the design, doesn’t it? ๐Ÿ™‚

Will this Eagle fly? Probably not; there’s far too much time, money and political power invested in Constellation already, but hey, you never know. But in a perfect world, we’d be seeing this scene at the Kennedy Space Centre already…

shuttleeagle

(LOVE that faked photo! Found it via a Google search)

Good old Gerry Anderson, see? Way ahead of his time. Now all we need is for Richard Branson to build a full size version of Fireball XL5 to take crews to the ISS, and we’re away… ๐Ÿ™‚

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