Author Topic: ESA leading us back to the Moon  (Read 38443 times)

Offline gbaikie

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Re: ESA leading us back to the Moon
« Reply #20 on: 05/03/2015 09:37 PM »
While it is true that Roscosmos has had it's share of delays and failures they are still making progress on their program of record, the Angara rocket and the large crew capsule which is comparable to the pace of progress being made in the SLS/Orion, so they should both be available at around the same time.   And while unmanned Roscosmos equipment fails regularly they have not had a lose of life in manned space flight in ages, a point the ESA would value highly.   Remember ESA astronauts are already being trusted to Soyuz launches and the new capsule may be the Russian ride to ISS briefly which would get the Europeans riding on it.  On the other hand their is a long history of attempted partnerships between ESA and Roscosmos that have fallen through so it is by no means assured.

Epic agree there.  There will be a paradigm shift the moment administrations change, and if everyone insists on the Moon NASA will meekly nod in that direction, possibly while still claiming "it's still the path to Mars!"

Presidents don't control the Space Program, and even if they did the same party might retain the White house which should presumably result in no change.  I think the change of the administration AND the party are both irreverent.

What I expect is that Congress gets all worried about 'losing Americas leadership position in Space' and actually ponies up the money for a lunar lander or lets NASA do some kind of lunar COTS program, and instructs NASA to partner with other nations in returning to the moon.

Note that is it not the idea of the Chinese or the Russians or even ESA landing on the moon individually that is goigng to scare people, that can always be dismissed as a 'rehash' of Apollo, it's the idea that they all might start cooperating together with any one of the three being the new 'leader' of that join venture.  That's a pattern America would be very worried about because it would be a clear signal that the US is not the one and only possible leader of any international endeavour.
It's seems pretty obvious it would not worry Obama. And it's unclear whether it would concern Clinton- or Clinton didn't say much about Obama's foreign policy.
But not sure I would worry about it. Or my reaction could be to strengthen the existing cooperation with ISS and lead in space exploration.
And lead would be to determine if there is minable lunar water, and then go to Mars.
 
« Last Edit: 05/03/2015 09:37 PM by gbaikie »

Online redliox

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Re: ESA leading us back to the Moon
« Reply #21 on: 05/03/2015 10:32 PM »

Essentially you're saying the only way ESA will get to the Moon is if NASA takes them there?  How is that an ESA Moon program?

Somehow I don't think that's what ESA is thinking about doing...

ESA has 3 major choices:

1. All European mission that will land on the Moon in about 30 years time. Build the capsule first and then the lander. All that development work will be expensive.

2. All European mission that will land on the Moon in about 15 years time. Build the capsule and lander simultaneously, Apollo style. Cost so high that in these austere times that pensions will have to be cancelled - expect riots.

3. Mixed mission that will land on the Moon in about 15 years time. Build the lander and obtain transport to LEO from the Americans and/or Russians. About half the cost of option 2.

I suspect that ESA will go for the quickest and cheapest option which is option 3.

My thoughts exactly.  They'll want to exploit their partnerships with NASA, Russia, ect. to achieve a significant goal at a reasonable price.
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Offline Impaler

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Re: ESA leading us back to the Moon
« Reply #22 on: 05/03/2015 11:22 PM »
Isn't ESA going to get a capsule or vehicle of some kind to launch people in regardless?  They have speculated on this for so long with Klipper, man-rated ATV concepts etc etc.  It now looks like Dream Chaser might be their vehicle and naturally they would put it on Ariane V.  It dose not look like gaining this capability will break the bank as they are only looking to do a LEO-taxi type vehicle and they already have the launch vehicle to put it on.

ESA is also doing the Service Module for Orion, but my understanding is that these are essentially ATVs with the cargo section chopped off (minimal development cost) AND these modules are being bartered to the US in exchange for ISS usage, the same thing ATV did.  So the production of these service modules doesn't earn ESA trips on Orion to BLEO.

Online guckyfan

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Re: ESA leading us back to the Moon
« Reply #23 on: 05/04/2015 11:47 AM »
ESA is also doing the Service Module for Orion, but my understanding is that these are essentially ATVs with the cargo section chopped off (minimal development cost) AND these modules are being bartered to the US in exchange for ISS usage, the same thing ATV did.  So the production of these service modules doesn't earn ESA trips on Orion to BLEO.

It is just like SLS. "Based on" but with enough changes to make sure the development effort is bigger than buiding from scratch. >:(

And you can bet on no development money from ESA for Dream Chaser.

Online woods170

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Re: ESA leading us back to the Moon
« Reply #24 on: 05/04/2015 01:14 PM »
What's with all the silly posts here that assume that ESA would even have a remotely realistic chance of pulling off a manned lunar base on their own?

Not gonna happen, at least not on their own and not even with Russia involved. I would even say: particularly not with Russia involved.
ESA is very much big-space-styled and will need a several mammoth tanker-loads of Euros to pull off a lunar base. That money isn't there

Then why is it that the new DG pitches a lunar base? Simple: a lunar base is seen (from ESA perspective) as more affordable and less of a risk than going to Mars. The new DG making this pitch is just sending a message to NASA.
 
« Last Edit: 05/04/2015 01:20 PM by woods170 »

Offline Jim

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Re: ESA leading us back to the Moon
« Reply #25 on: 05/04/2015 02:02 PM »
1.  Isn't ESA going to get a capsule or vehicle of some kind to launch people in regardless?  They have speculated on this for so long with Klipper, man-rated ATV concepts etc etc.  It now looks like Dream Chaser might be their vehicle and naturally they would put it on Ariane V.  It dose not look like gaining this capability will break the bank as they are only looking to do a LEO-taxi type vehicle and they already have the launch vehicle to put it on.

2.  ESA is also doing the Service Module for Orion, but my understanding is that these are essentially ATVs with the cargo section chopped off (minimal development cost) AND these modules are being bartered to the US in exchange for ISS usage, the same thing ATV did.  So the production of these service modules doesn't earn ESA trips on Orion to BLEO.

1.  DC is not their vehicle.  That was just some talk

2.  No, the Orion SM is not just a ATV SM.  It is a complete redesign.  The key words are "based on" the ATV

Offline IRobot

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Re: ESA leading us back to the Moon
« Reply #26 on: 05/04/2015 02:54 PM »
ESA might simply partner with Russia to do this. 
And ESA has a good working relationship with Roscosmos and other up and coming space agencies may also come on-board.
A project like this would require public support and right now Europeans do not want anything to do with Russians, due to the Ukranian crisis.

Offline The Amazing Catstronaut

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Re: ESA leading us back to the Moon
« Reply #27 on: 05/04/2015 03:52 PM »

3. Mixed mission that will land on the Moon in about 15 years time. Build the lander and obtain transport to LEO from the Americans and/or Russians. About half the cost of option 2.

I suspect that ESA will go for the quickest and cheapest option which is option 3.

If this happens, it will be Europe going with the Americans, I'm sure of it. Considering that Europe is a lot closer politically to the USA than our geographical noisy neighbour who occasionally accuses us of naziism and state failure in dedicated propaganda. If this had been possible 10 years ago, it would have been a lot more ambiguous and we would have been a lot more open to collaboration.

Edit:
Quote from:  woods107
What's with all the silly posts here that assume that ESA would even have a remotely realistic chance of pulling off a manned lunar base on their own?

Whilst I wouldn't say the posts are silly as such, I would agree that it's unlikely to occur, not because the ESA doesn't have enough money, but due to too many organisational/political issues. I would say the best shot of man going back to the moon would be any (American) cis-lunar mars preparation program evolving into a dedicated moon base program by way of policy changes.
« Last Edit: 05/04/2015 03:57 PM by The Amazing Catstronaut »
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Offline German Space Fan

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Re: ESA leading us back to the Moon
« Reply #28 on: 05/04/2015 07:03 PM »
Mr Wörner has at least a vision in terms of European human space exploration, that´s quite rare among European space politicians. But let´s remember he´ll be only the chief of ESA. A manned European lunar programme would be really great, but also need strong political support from ESA´s member states. I´m afraid but I don´t see this happen too soon.


Offline Rocket Science

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Re: ESA leading us back to the Moon
« Reply #29 on: 05/04/2015 07:18 PM »
I guess they could alway give Golden Spike a call...
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Online Coastal Ron

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Re: ESA leading us back to the Moon
« Reply #30 on: 05/04/2015 09:27 PM »
3. Mixed mission that will land on the Moon in about 15 years time. Build the lander and obtain transport to LEO from the Americans and/or Russians. About half the cost of option 2.

I suspect that ESA will go for the quickest and cheapest option which is option 3.

What do the Russians have that the Europeans don't have transportation-wise?  Ariane 5/6 can loft more than Proton, and from what I can tell Angara A5 too.

And we already know from studies that ULA has released that ULA feels that establishing an enduring presence on the Moon can be done with existing launchers in the 20mt to LEO range (i.e. Atlas 5, Delta IV Heavy, Arian 5/6, Proton, etc.).  No doubt the Europeans are aware of that study too.

The challenge with depending on the U.S. is that they have been burned before with a waffling U.S. Congress.  Plus, not to debate this, but no one knows how long the SLS will be around, and the Europeans would be concerned with building any hardware that could be orphaned due to decisions made out of their hands.

So to me I think if they are serious about going to the Moon that they will initially focus on what it would take to do it using existing launchers, and specifically with the launchers they own.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline gbaikie

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Re: ESA leading us back to the Moon
« Reply #31 on: 05/04/2015 11:48 PM »
3. Mixed mission that will land on the Moon in about 15 years time. Build the lander and obtain transport to LEO from the Americans and/or Russians. About half the cost of option 2.

I suspect that ESA will go for the quickest and cheapest option which is option 3.

What do the Russians have that the Europeans don't have transportation-wise?  Ariane 5/6 can loft more than Proton, and from what I can tell Angara A5 too.

And we already know from studies that ULA has released that ULA feels that establishing an enduring presence on the Moon can be done with existing launchers in the 20mt to LEO range (i.e. Atlas 5, Delta IV Heavy, Arian 5/6, Proton, etc.).  No doubt the Europeans are aware of that study too.

The challenge with depending on the U.S. is that they have been burned before with a waffling U.S. Congress.  Plus, not to debate this, but no one knows how long the SLS will be around, and the Europeans would be concerned with building any hardware that could be orphaned due to decisions made out of their hands.

So to me I think if they are serious about going to the Moon that they will initially focus on what it would take to do it using existing launchers, and specifically with the launchers they own.

As general metric, it seems before landing a lunar base, one would would start by landing robotic mission to the lunar surface. Or the Chinese in this respect are leading.

But perhaps before landing robotic missions one think about increasing the size of the payload one get to Lunar surface. In that regard, the US is in the lead.

If one plans to have lunar base and one planning  to rocket with 20 ton to LEO or less than 10 ton to high earth orbit, then it seems one needs at least have LEO docking, so have two or more 20 ton to LEO rockets which are mated to then go to high earth orbit. Or something like Gemini, ie, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Gemini#Lunar_landing
Or one makes a depot in LEO.
It seems to me that having a re-usable launch vehicle is quite an advantage in regard to a depot in LEO.
Though I guess if one just had depot in higher earth, it could also be supplied by re-usable launch vehicle.

So options are docking spacecraft to spacecraft, or having depot at LEO in which spacecraft dock. Or having depot only at say EML-1. Or depot at LEO and high earth orbit. And in regard to any of these options, other then experience with space station operations, no nation has done preliminary activity needed for this, which would be needed prior to establishing a lunar base.

Now way I could see ESA being involved in having a lunar base, would be related to NASA exploring the Moon to determine if and where there is commercial minable lunar water.

And I would have NASA first begin this lunar exploration program, by starting a robotic exploration subset program of the Lunar program- which is what NASA did with Apollo- but of course we in the 21 century so we have more robotic capability- as compared to then. So as part of Lunar exploration start with a lot robotic missions to the Moon.
But also  NASA should develop depot operational capability, which going to used for Lunar and Mars exploration program. And the operation of depot will involve robotic docking.
So have depot at KSC inclination, and what the rocket fuel at depot would start out being used for is refueling robotic missions which are beyond LEO. So for Moon or Mars or large telescopes and missions not going to either of these destinations.
And once one does a few years of lunar robotic exploration of the moon, one completes the lunar exploration with crew going to lunar surface. Then one starts the Mars program [robots and crew going to Mars surface].
So ESA with knowledge of where the best locations to get lunar water, could plan to have lunar base near
such a location.
Now with NASA lunar program it lasts for 10 years, with say up to 8 years of which starts with robotic lunar exploration, and 2 years of crewed exploration.
And 5 year into the NASA lunar program, ESA may be started with it's program which involves having lunar base.
The purpose of having a lunar base could be numerous reasons.
Perhaps it's research and develop technology of lunar mining- water, iron, glass, etc. It could longer term goal of making solar panels on the Moon, so mining being something test first, with idea going towards such a goal. Or perhaps the focus could be more relate making "bases" or living areas from lunar material.
Or exploration of the Moon in more detail- such lunar surface is record of solar activity. Or say making lunar telescopes.
It could be a host of things, but it could also have some particular focus or two.

So if ESA seriously starts lunar base program five year or more after NASA starts it's lunar program, NASA could already have developed depots in LEO. And so ESA also build depots at it's inclination. Or could instead could build depot at high earth orbit. Or both.
And anyhow once the Moon has explored for 5 year already, then one could have better idea of where and what kind base one wants, and plus other countries would also be interested in having lunar bases. Of course this also applies to the private sector in general.
« Last Edit: 05/05/2015 08:45 AM by gbaikie »

Online Coastal Ron

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Re: ESA leading us back to the Moon
« Reply #32 on: 05/05/2015 06:37 AM »
And I would have NASA first begin this lunar exploration program, by starting a robotic exploration subset program of the Lunar program- which is what NASA did with Apollo- but of course we in the 21 century so we have more robotic capability- as compared to then. So as part of Lunar exploration start with a lot robotic missions to the Moon.

Why do we need to send a whole new fleet of robotic explorers before sending humans?  Have we lost all of the data from dozens of robotic and manned missions to the Moon over 57 years?

We don't need repeat Apollo to go to the same destination.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline KelvinZero

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Re: ESA leading us back to the Moon
« Reply #33 on: 05/05/2015 07:32 AM »
I think there should be an investigation of the lunar poles and of propellent storage before choosing the fuel for your lunar lander. Methane may be better than hydrogen for example, or maybe it is all to hard and we should go with hyrazine delivered to lunar orbit with SEP. Starting unmanned is a good way to not lock youself into a bad design right from the beginning.

My preferred approach is "Lander first" instead of HLV first. Of the different components such as Launcher, Command module, Lunar lander and lunar ascent, the lander is the thing that can potentially be used immediately, in an unmanned cargo only mode. Being unmanned you can send it on slower routes and do not need to send and return the command module, so you probably do not need an HLV. It might involve developing a SEP tug but imo it would be silly to delay that.

This makes the lander and the articles it lands central to the mission, rather than the situation in the US where the mission is merely whatever justifies the SLS, and actually getting to the moon only a nice-to-have.

If the lander ends up being all you get, at least you get an ever growing teleoperated robotic base with progress on rovers and ISRU and science. This is much better than getting a launcher and no money for missions.
« Last Edit: 05/05/2015 10:02 AM by KelvinZero »

Offline gbaikie

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Re: ESA leading us back to the Moon
« Reply #34 on: 05/05/2015 08:20 AM »
And I would have NASA first begin this lunar exploration program, by starting a robotic exploration subset program of the Lunar program- which is what NASA did with Apollo- but of course we in the 21 century so we have more robotic capability- as compared to then. So as part of Lunar exploration start with a lot robotic missions to the Moon.

Why do we need to send a whole new fleet of robotic explorers before sending humans?  Have we lost all of the data from dozens of robotic and manned missions to the Moon over 57 years?

We don't need repeat Apollo to go to the same destination.
Lunar polar region is quite dissimilar to Apollo which was the near side and not anywhere near the poles.

I would say we need to explore both poles. Not necessarily both poles equally, but I don't think one should start out before any exploration is done by excluding either pole. So one roughly say that takes two landing missions of some sort.
And roughly I think a landing in dark crater, a rim, and not in a crater or rim.
Could have impactor type probes. Beacon/relay for dark crater and/or any exploration not in line of sight of earth. Could robotic lander as related later to Manned landing. Robotic includes depot operations and orbiter type missions.
And how many can one make in less than 8 years?? though probably many of them can be quite small.
So anyhow more than 4 probably and could be dozens which have many smaller missions from one launcher.
Or say in total mass landed could be around 20 tons [as guess], or in terms of total payload mass to LEO say around 100 tons or more. Or roughly equal to 1 or 2 Saturn V launches.
But I think the main constraint making so many robotic missions in a relatively short time period.
But with Apollo and dealing with about same time period, one had Ranger series, and Explorer series.
Wiki:
"Ranger was originally designed, beginning in 1959, in three distinct phases, called "blocks". Each block had different mission objectives and progressively more advanced system design. ...
Total research, development, launch, and support costs for the Ranger series of spacecraft (Rangers 1 through 9) was approximately $170 million."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranger_program
And:
The Surveyor program was a NASA program that, from June, 1966 through January, 1968, sent seven robotic spacecraft to the surface of the Moon.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surveyor_program
They should have much better success rate as compared to these programs. And could be much more capable. Or it can in sense can be as simple and crude and/or smaller.
I am not going try to give a detail list them, but broadly there can many small and a few large robotic lunar missions.
Whatever is needed to get information that is needed is answer the question, is there minable lunar water and what locations are better places to mine lunar water?
 And don't care about some broadly speaking survey, but rather type region one is looking for are the size of football field or looking for small region in which 100,000 tons of water can be mined in 10 or 20 year period of time.
Or one is probably not going to start out with mining region larger than 5 km square [25 square km] rather it's probably going to be confined to less than 1 square km.
Or that is my assumption, though lunar exploration might indicate otherwise.
« Last Edit: 05/05/2015 08:52 AM by gbaikie »

Offline mikes

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Re: ESA leading us back to the Moon
« Reply #35 on: 05/05/2015 08:36 AM »
And you can bet on no development money from ESA for Dream Chaser.

(Putting aside for the moment Jim's information that it won't be DC)

Why would you expect ESA to provide development money for Dream Chaser? It wouldn't be built in Europe, nor would it benefit European industry. If they were to use DC, it would be as a paying customer.

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: ESA leading us back to the Moon
« Reply #36 on: 05/05/2015 10:04 AM »
Mr Wörner has at least a vision in terms of European human space exploration, that´s quite rare among European space politicians. But let´s remember he´ll be only the chief of ESA. A manned European lunar programme would be really great, but also need strong political support from ESA´s member states. I´m afraid but I don´t see this happen too soon.

I don't think it really counts as a "vision" if it's completely unrealistic and obvious -- completely unrealistic because there's nowhere close to enough money available in ESA and obvious because it's an obvious plan to come up with if there were huge amounts of money.

Offline simpl simon

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Re: ESA leading us back to the Moon
« Reply #37 on: 05/05/2015 04:54 PM »

Offline The Amazing Catstronaut

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Re: ESA leading us back to the Moon
« Reply #38 on: 05/05/2015 08:25 PM »
ESA has published an exploration strategy

http://esamultimedia.esa.int/multimedia/publications/ESA_Space_Exploration_Strategy/

Excellent! Now that's what we like to see!  :D

Good work.
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Offline The Amazing Catstronaut

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Re: ESA leading us back to the Moon
« Reply #39 on: 05/05/2015 08:31 PM »
The scantily outlined details for getting to the moon seem to involve heavy collaboration with the United States. The article implies Europeans on Orion (which was probable anyway if the flight rate gets up).
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