abandoned projects

FAN FILM FRIDAY: Tell us about your own failures!

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Last week we showcased a presumably-dead Star Wars fanfilm called "Tyderium," and a few weeks back I talked about my own experiences with failed fanfilm projects.

Thing is: What you get onscreen is really only half the story with this kind of thing, and the stories of how these projects fall apart is generally every bit as interesting - and quite a bit more common - than when they go right. For every Cawley who can effortlessly put together a high-quality production, there's a million people like me who....ehm....can't.

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THIS USED TO BE THE FUTURE: The Manned Orbiting Laboratory, or The USAF gets screwed by NASA again...

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Happy October, everybody. Last month I told you about how NASA screwed the USAF out of their super-cool X-20 project, in the process setting back hypersonic research by a decade, and condemning themselves to use their halfassed space shuttle for a generation. This was not the last time NASA went crying to mama (Congress) to complain about their mean older brother.

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THIS USED TO BE THE FUTURE: The Spiral 50/50

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Yesterday we talked about the USAF's abandoned space plane, the X-20 DynaSoar. Not to be outdone, the USSR wanted a one-man fightery space plane thingie, too. Their entry is below the jump. The CGI footage at the beginning comes from the old Dan Roam website, "Deep Cold." the rest is mostly archival Soviet footage of Spiral drop testing.

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THIS USED TO BE THE FUTURE: Proto-space shuttles

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Yesterday we talked about the abandoned Soviet lunar program. Today we'll talk about a needlessly-abandoned American space project. There's tons more interesting info under the jump, so stick with me. Now, contrary to popular belief, the Space Shutte is *not* the first reusable space craft. That honor and distinction go to the X-15, but you need to click through the jump to find out more.

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Great Big Sexy Rockets No One Ever Built

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On Saturday I posted a review of Stephen Baxter's brilliant hard-science Alternate History novel, "Voyage." In that book, he came up with the very clever idea of attaching Shuttle-styled Solid Rocket Boosters to the old Saturn V moon rockets, so as to get more bang for their buck. Baxter avoids specifics when discussing the superattenuated Saturn Vs, but makes some offhand comments about them being able to carry twice as much cargo as a 'real' Saturn.

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