End of a Space Shuttle Era – What Next?

By Tom
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space shuttle endeavour atlantis NASA Dassault Systemes

Photo Credit: NASA/Tom Farrar and Tony Gray.

I think most people will have that nostalgic feeling about the Space Shuttle program and its thirty years of history. It’s had its fair share of ups and downs: from the Columbia and Challenger disasters to the Hubble telescope project success; those moments in time are fixed in our memory.

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So what now? The dramatic images of Atlantis touching down for the last time led most people to ask what NASA and the US space program plan to do next. The good news is they’re already working on something new. :D

Several solutions to replace the space shuttle have been suggested and the most interesting part is that many of these new rockets are from the private industry, rather than a government organization. The majority of the solutions favor an “Apollo style” re-entry capsule. This style of spacecraft will be launched atop a rocket (like the Falcon 9) and land with a splashdown in the ocean.

Abaqus Unified FEA from SIMULIA has the built-in Multiphysics capabilities to successfully predict how that splashdown will happen and the ability to accurately predict physical effects the impact will have on the capsule. Just to prove Abaqus is up to the job – check out this tech brief and video we’ve put together:

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You can also browse for more examples— Tech Briefs, Conference Papers and Customer References— on how SIMULIA’s solutions can solve real-world challenging problems at the SIMULIA Resource Center.

In the words of one very famous spaceman – “To infinity, and beyond!” :wink:



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3 responses to “End of a Space Shuttle Era – What Next?”

  1. Kyle Indermuehle says:


    Can you simulate the “splashdown” of that famous “spaceman” you quoted?!?

  2. Tom says:

    Kyle – Are you volunteering to simulate his splashdown?!

  3. Remi says:

    I’ll bring my camera! :P

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