Author Topic: NASA Advisory Council: Select a Human Exploration Destination ASAP  (Read 7806 times)


Offline Rocket Science

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So say we all! ;D

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2012/03/nac-select-human-exploration-destination-asap/
Great and timely article Chris! We were just having a similar discussion about the NEA roadmap. I agree with the NAC...
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Offline robertross

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Online Robotbeat

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Just don't let it be a lunar base in case Romney gets elected. Because he'd fire you all.

I'm just saying that to point out that announcing a "grand plan" right now (i.e. with more fanfare than the existing plan) may will have negative consequences on the public support front. It's easy for enthusiasts like me (and presumably NAC) to say that "if only we had a big grand plan, everyone would be excited," but the real public perception of such an announcement right now would be immense skepticism and even mocking (Newt and Mitt proved that) because of the huge focus on budget-cutting these days (something I think is very misplaced, but that's the 'reality' of public perception right now).

(All that to say that I'd like such a grand plan ala Newt's, if I thought it had any chance of not having a negative public reaction like Newt's did.)
« Last Edit: 03/27/2012 02:22 AM by Robotbeat »
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Offline robertross

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Just don't let it be a lunar base in case Romney gets elected. Because he'd fire you all.

I'm just saying that to point out that announcing a "grand plan" right now (i.e. with more fanfare than the existing plan) may will have negative consequences on the public support front. It's easy for enthusiasts like me (and presumably NAC) to say that "if only we had a big grand plan, everyone would be excited," but the real public perception of such an announcement right now would be immense skepticism and even mocking (Newt and Mitt proved that) because of the huge focus on budget-cutting these days (something I think is very misplaced, but that's the 'reality' of public perception right now).

I actually think you bring up a plausible scenario.

Cutting to the chase: vote for Obama  ;)  :)

Seriously though, there HAS to be a plan of some kind to advance the program, to give it focus, and build some momentum. If people are serious about space, well, they'll just have to fight this hurdle (as congress has in the past) when the time comes. They did it with SLS, they can do it with the choice of destination (after all, they will be providing the funding for it).
Remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our rights & freedoms, and for those injured, visible or otherwise, in that fight.

Offline Chris Bergin

Didn't realize this is political. Suppose it is! (Thanks to the report to mod).

Offline Ronsmytheiii

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Of course they can pick an EM-1/2 gateway as the initial destination, still leaving flexibility for NEA's or lunar mission. At the very least, you start getting biological data for humans ectb in deep space.  A good, logical starting point, and utilizes SLS block 1A and Orion for deep space flights immediately.

The current plan, well see my signature below:
« Last Edit: 03/27/2012 01:53 AM by Ronsmytheiii »
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Offline deltaV

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Of course they can pick an EM-1/2 gateway as the initial destination, still leaving flexibility for NEA's or lunar mission.

IMHO an EML-1/2 gateway is not a meaningful exploration destination because there's nothing there to explore. Instead I'd view an EML-1/2 as a capability, just like SLS, MPCV, propellant depots, ISS, and a solar-electric tug.

My view is that our primary exploration destination should be Phobos, with NEOs as a planned warmup. A little thought should be put into making sure the Phobos architecture is extensible to a Mars landing, but that's not a priority since a level of funding sufficient for a Mars landing is speculative.

Offline KEdward5

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Was just saying on another thread, the last time Mr Shannon's group spent this amount of time on a study we got that amazing 726 page presentation on Sidemount, published in L2.

Chris wrote some articles for it:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2010/06/sd-hlv-assessment-highlights-post-shuttle-solution/

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2010/07/lunarbeo-sd-hlv-commercial-international-architecture/

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2010/06/sd-hlv-review-iss-transport-reliability-of-design/

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2010/07/sd-hlv-early-sps-demonstration-risk-assessment/

This 180 day report could be historic!
« Last Edit: 03/27/2012 03:08 AM by KEdward5 »

Offline simpl simon

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We should stop referring to EM-L1/L2, NEA's, the Moon, or Mars Moons as destinations. The destination is Mars. All the other places or locations in space are stepping stones on our journey to Mars. Reaching these stepping stones will give us confidence we can go further. Whether we make use of all of these stepping stones or only some, or in which order, is not yet decided.
And why should it be decided now, when we do not yet have the capabilities to go beyond Earth orbit? Since budget will continue to be a principal constraint, there are still many trades to be made to ensure we make the most cost-effective choices.

Offline spectre9

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NASA is trying to figure out exactly what they can do with just the Block 1A SLS.

At this point it doesn't seem like much.

I'm assuming a Lunar Lander can't be done without Block 2 because of stuff I've seen on L2.

The destination is most likely going to be NEA around 2025 using 2x Block 1A vehicles.

Offline Warren Platts

Just don't let it be a lunar base in case Romney gets elected. Because he'd fire you all.

I'm just saying that to point out that announcing a "grand plan" right now (i.e. with more fanfare than the existing plan) may will have negative consequences on the public support front. It's easy for enthusiasts like me (and presumably NAC) to say that "if only we had a big grand plan, everyone would be excited," but the real public perception of such an announcement right now would be immense skepticism and even mocking (Newt and Mitt proved that) because of the huge focus on budget-cutting these days (something I think is very misplaced, but that's the 'reality' of public perception right now).

(All that to say that I'd like such a grand plan ala Newt's, if I thought it had any chance of not having a negative public reaction like Newt's did.)

There's a difference between a "grand plan" and a "grandiose" plan. Newt was saying he wanted a colony with 10,000 people and wanted to turn the Moon into the 51st US state. Of course everyone laughed at it. So did I.

Thus it's really unfair for you to lump sensible Lunar base ideas like President Bush's VSE into the same category as a 10,000 person, 51st state. The VSE was the product of a lot of sober reflection. The main idea is to take a first stab at bringing the resources of space into the economic sphere of Earth. Making money is an idea Rmoney can get behind. Of course to do that, you've got to go back to the Moon.

Seriously, there HAS to be a plan of some kind to advance the program, to give it focus, and build some momentum. If people are serious about space, well, they'll just have to fight this hurdle (as congress has in the past) when the time comes. They did it with SLS, they can do it with the choice of destination (after all, they will be providing the funding for it).

They already did it with the choice of a destination: the VSE was overwhelmingly passed by Congress more than once.

Of course they can pick an EM-1/2 gateway as the initial destination, still leaving flexibility for NEA's or lunar mission.

IMHO an EML-1/2 gateway is not a meaningful exploration destination because there's nothing there to explore. Instead I'd view an EML-1/2 as a capability, just like SLS, MPCV, propellant depots, ISS, and a solar-electric tug.

My view is that our primary exploration destination should be Phobos, with NEOs as a planned warmup. A little thought should be put into making sure the Phobos architecture is extensible to a Mars landing, but that's not a priority since a level of funding sufficient for a Mars landing is speculative.

lol! That's funny! You don't get the irony at all, do you? You set the destination as Phobos, you will have to spend decades at EML-1/2 in order to make sure everything you need works before you can safely send people to Phobos!

We should stop referring to EM-L1/L2, NEA's, the Moon, or Mars Moons as destinations. The destination is Mars. All the other places or locations in space are stepping stones on our journey to Mars. Reaching these stepping stones will give us confidence we can go further. Whether we make use of all of these stepping stones or only some, or in which order, is not yet decided.
And why should it be decided now, when we do not yet have the capabilities to go beyond Earth orbit? Since budget will continue to be a principal constraint, there are still many trades to be made to ensure we make the most cost-effective choices.

simpl, setting the destination as Mars is the same as setting no destination at all. In fact, that's the present situation we find ourselves in now. Hence the need to pick a destination....

Quote from: spectre9
NASA is trying to figure out exactly what they can do with just the Block 1A SLS.

At this point it doesn't seem like much.

I'm assuming a Lunar Lander can't be done without Block 2 because of stuff I've seen on L2.

The destination is most likely going to be NEA around 2025 using 2x Block 1A vehicles.

That's funny too! Those NEA's are very cooperative. I'm sure they are fighting each other to be first in line to be ready for our convenience in 2025!
« Last Edit: 03/27/2012 04:23 AM by Warren Platts »
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Online Robotbeat

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Just don't let it be a lunar base in case Romney gets elected. Because he'd fire you all.

I'm just saying that to point out that announcing a "grand plan" right now (i.e. with more fanfare than the existing plan) may will have negative consequences on the public support front. It's easy for enthusiasts like me (and presumably NAC) to say that "if only we had a big grand plan, everyone would be excited," but the real public perception of such an announcement right now would be immense skepticism and even mocking (Newt and Mitt proved that) because of the huge focus on budget-cutting these days (something I think is very misplaced, but that's the 'reality' of public perception right now).

(All that to say that I'd like such a grand plan ala Newt's, if I thought it had any chance of not having a negative public reaction like Newt's did.)

There's a difference between a "grand plan" and a "grandiose" plan. Newt was saying he wanted a colony with 10,000 people and wanted to turn the Moon into the 51st US state. Of course everyone laughed at it. So did I.
...
Nope, he only said he'd establish a lunar base by his second term.

He also mentioned that he'd get the process in place for allowing a lunar colony to become a state at some point considerably in the future, but that was a separate point, and it was something he had done well in the past.

Of course, everyone forgot about that immediately and started mocking the whole idea, suddenly saying that Newt had claimed he'd establish the Moon state by the end of his second term. Even you, as much as you support lunar exploration and utilization, apparently bought into that misrepresentation. And that's my point. Right now, being "tough" on any sort of interesting government project is popular. If 'Bama had talked about going to Mars in the sort of grand way that some want, he'd be mocked in just the same manner, and all sorts of people (even those who consider themselves well-informed) would be joining right in.
« Last Edit: 03/27/2012 04:54 AM by Robotbeat »
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Offline OpsAnalyst

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So say we all! ;D

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2012/03/nac-select-human-exploration-destination-asap/

Great article, Chris.  As are the rest of in this series. 

(Love the BSG reference, BTW)

Online Robotbeat

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So say we all! ;D

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2012/03/nac-select-human-exploration-destination-asap/

Great article, Chris.  As are the rest of in this series. 

(Love the BSG reference, BTW)
Agreed! :)

(And thanks, Chris, as usual. :) )
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline Chris Bergin

Thanks guys! :)

I suppose if we get a roadmap, we can at least praise the Lords of Kobol. ;D

Offline Robert Thompson

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The destination is the grey matter between the ears of the Leno constituency.

Offline Warren Platts

Just don't let it be a lunar base in case Romney gets elected. Because he'd fire you all.

I'm just saying that to point out that announcing a "grand plan" right now (i.e. with more fanfare than the existing plan) may will have negative consequences on the public support front. It's easy for enthusiasts like me (and presumably NAC) to say that "if only we had a big grand plan, everyone would be excited," but the real public perception of such an announcement right now would be immense skepticism and even mocking (Newt and Mitt proved that) because of the huge focus on budget-cutting these days (something I think is very misplaced, but that's the 'reality' of public perception right now).

(All that to say that I'd like such a grand plan ala Newt's, if I thought it had any chance of not having a negative public reaction like Newt's did.)

There's a difference between a "grand plan" and a "grandiose" plan. Newt was saying he wanted a colony with 10,000 people and wanted to turn the Moon into the 51st US state. Of course everyone laughed at it. So did I.
...
Nope, he only said he'd establish a lunar base by his second term.

He also mentioned that he'd get the process in place for allowing a lunar colony to become a state at some point considerably in the future, but that was a separate point, and it was something he had done well in the past.

Of course, everyone forgot about that immediately and started mocking the whole idea, suddenly saying that Newt had claimed he'd establish the Moon state by the end of his second term. Even you, as much as you support lunar exploration and utilization, apparently bought into that misrepresentation. And that's my point. Right now, being "tough" on any sort of interesting government project is popular. If 'Bama had talked about going to Mars in the sort of grand way that some want, he'd be mocked in just the same manner, and all sorts of people (even those who consider themselves well-informed) would be joining right in.

No nope. Newt Gingerich has his head in the clouds farther than John Fornaro. There is no way you can compare Gingerich's off the cuff remarks from the detailed policy developed at the Bush White House other than that both have something to do with the Moon. You're painting with way too broad of a brush, probably because it suits your own personal agenda.

The VSE was not an attempt at a Lunar land grab: it specifically required that we bring in international partners as much as possible. And settlement was not the goal; the goal was geocentric: use the resources of the Moon to enhance economic growth on Earth. Starting with getting rocket fuel from Lunar ice. It was a sensible, down-to-Earth plan. It was authorized by Congress several times.

In fact, the VSE is still the program of record, since it was never superceded by any further acts of Congress. The 2005 NASA Authorization Act requires NASA to place a human on the Moon by 2020. That's still the law of the land, despite the President's weak claim that "we've been there, done that".

"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."--Leonardo Da Vinci

Online MATTBLAK

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Yes, Warren: If only more people got that!! CXP could have been saved by cutting the bloat (Ares 1 & the 10-meter Ares V). John Shannon's first group produced a viable set of options and mission architectures using the big Side-Mount. The lander would have been a bit smaller, yes, SRBs would have been used for a lot more years, yes, Side-Mount is generally inferior to Inline, yes.

But cost and schedule are King when sustaining the whole shebang across several Presidential terms. But although Bush & Obama didn't support CXP, it seems that several bi-partisan Congresses and Senates at least would have (probably) carried forward a sensible 'CXP-Lite' that could have evolved into something better: building up an Interplanetary Transportation System and modus operandi that could have eventually brought in International involvement and Private Industry. PrivateSpace; once the 'training wheels' of low Earth orbit operations had been removed could've really taken off.

"Oh, but you don't know that!" some are going to say. Others will say; "But the economy is no good, the deficits' too big - now's not the time!"

If not now - When?!
********************************

My pick for BEO operations and Destinations: EML-2, preparing for Phobos & Deimos. With the moons of Mars firmly in the our sights, much of the technology for going to Mars - all the way - will be in place. Developing a Martian Lander/Hab will probably be a $50 billion dollar project - so defer that cost. Prepare everything else, then make the Lander/Hab a true International project. The Orion is coming, SLS is (probably) coming and Deep Space Habitat and propulsion technology can be based on ISS & off-the-shelf technology. It IS Rocket Science; but its stuff that is mostly around now, or very soon will be.

Check the launch windows, but I reckon the Moons of Mars can be reached by 2025. Why? Well, its not much more than a dozen years from now. Not Apollo pace, of course - but with tight budgets and technology challenges - I believe it can still be done in that timeframe. Without doubling NASA's budget, it cannot be done quicker (sorry), so let's leave unrealistic expectations behind and hope John Shannon and his team agree with me on this firm destination.
« Last Edit: 03/27/2012 10:25 AM by MATTBLAK »
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Offline JohnFornaro

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Back to Luna to stay.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

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