Saturday, February 28, 2009

Astronauts and missiles

I had the opportunity on Wednesday to attend a talk given by Captain Steve Bowen, NASA astronaut (STS-126) and the first submariner in space, at the Submarine Force Library and Museum in Groton, CT. He gave an interesting talk on his mission; of particular note was a slide show of the Shuttle / ISS docking sequence. Afterwards, I was able to shake his hand and get his autograph.

He's the second astronaut I've met; the other was Captain Dan Burbank. Capt. Burbank works at the US Coast Guard Academy where I've participated in math competitions; during one I had the opportunity to meet him. He's been on two missions - STS106 and STS115 - and he's in the astronaut band Max Q.

Outside the museum are 4 subs, including a Japanese mini-sub and a SEALs transport sub, and two missiles.

The one in front of the museum is ironically a French Exocet ship-to-ship missile; US subs may be able to carry and use them, though that's probably classified. Los Angeles-class subs can definitely carry similar Harpoon ship-to-ship missiles; though. It'd make a good scale model subject; you're free to use that image for scale data.

The other is a Polaris A3 sub-launched ballistic missile; George Washington-class subs could carry 16 of them. I think a GBU-24 Paveway III kit would make a good base for a scale model of it; obviously it'd require clear plastic fins of carefully balanced canted motors to spin-stabilize it.

Posted by Picasa

No comments: