Author Topic: NASA reviews progress of habitat development for deep-space exploration  (Read 97784 times)

Online Chris Bergin

Awesome article by Chris Gebhardt on the status of BEO Habs:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/11/nasa-progress-habitat-development-deep-space-exploration/

With some sexy renders from Nathan added into the mix. :)

(Hosting in the Orion section, but leaving a placeholder in Commercial Crew - which may seem strange, but "commercial" partners and they are going to host "crew")

Online Chris Bergin

We can use this thread as the latest main thread for the NASA BEO Habs - following on from this thread that was started in 2012:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=28481.0

Offline Eric Hedman

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 766
  • Liked: 186
  • Likes Given: 157
Another outstanding article Chris.  I am looking forward to how these possible habitats evolve and the plans that will follow.

Offline redliox

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1719
  • Arizona USA
  • Liked: 323
  • Likes Given: 54
Out of the companies listed in the recent article, I hope the best for Boeing AND Bigleow. Their ideas offer the most volume. Cygnus from OrbitalATK is great experience, but even for a single astronaut a module based from that is a little small. Still I'm sure any of those 3 companies will generate a good idea. I favor the larger, single module, Skylab 2 plans to minimize launch needs.
"Let the trails lead where they may, I will follow."
-Tigatron

Offline Raj2014

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 233
  • United Kingdom
  • Liked: 8
  • Likes Given: 14
Awesome article by Chris Gebhardt on the status of BEO Habs:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/11/nasa-progress-habitat-development-deep-space-exploration/

With some sexy renders from Nathan added into the mix. :)

(Hosting in the Orion section, but leaving a placeholder in Commercial Crew - which may seem strange, but "commercial" partners and they are going to host "crew")

Hello Chris, do you have a full image of the first picture that non-L2 people can see? Thank you for the article Chris Gebhardt.
« Last Edit: 11/14/2015 11:36 AM by Raj2014 »

Offline atomic

  • Member
  • Posts: 17
  • Fort Myers, FL
  • Liked: 10
  • Likes Given: 20
Great article Mr. Gebhardt!

Offline KelvinZero

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3527
  • Liked: 466
  • Likes Given: 122
It would be interesting to see a rough breakdown of the budget for the various projects mentioned in this article. Some things are clearly not negligible, such as the BEAM to ISS next year but after that I get a bit hazy. What level of NASA commitment right now is there to build a DSH? If so, on what timeline?

Great article and great to be reminded that stuff is actually happening.

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31277
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 9562
  • Likes Given: 299
NASA has no commitment on DSH.

Offline yg1968

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9136
  • Liked: 1158
  • Likes Given: 771
It would be interesting to see a rough breakdown of the budget for the various projects mentioned in this article. Some things are clearly not negligible, such as the BEAM to ISS next year but after that I get a bit hazy. What level of NASA commitment right now is there to build a DSH? If so, on what timeline?

Great article and great to be reminded that stuff is actually happening.

The NextStep funding is not a lot of money. See this post for Bigelow:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=30850.msg1415400#msg1415400

Offline pospa

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 101
  • Pardubice, CZ
  • Liked: 107
  • Likes Given: 342
Btw, here is the HOEMD AES presentation from 11/4/15

http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/files/3-Status_of_AES.pdf
« Last Edit: 11/16/2015 07:44 AM by pospa »

Offline ncb1397

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 720
  • Liked: 320
  • Likes Given: 3


NASA has no commitment on DSH.

They are publically saying in front of congress that their goal is to put a man on Mars. How are they going to do that without eventually building some sort of DSH? I'm pretty sure lying in front of Congress is illegal. NASA has made a commitment to attempt to land a person on Mars in the 2030s to justify their funding. Not actually taking steps to do that would be like the DoD not attempting to defend the U.S. if it was under attack.

Offline cro-magnon gramps

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1470
  • Very Ancient Caveman
  • Ontario, Canada
  • Liked: 624
  • Likes Given: 4558


NASA has no commitment on DSH.

They are publically saying in front of congress that their goal is to put a man on Mars. How are they going to do that without eventually building some sort of DSH? I'm pretty sure lying in front of Congress is illegal. NASA has made a commitment to attempt to land a person on Mars in the 2030s to justify their funding. Not actually taking steps to do that would be like the DoD not attempting to defend the U.S. if it was under attack.
The Short Answer: Your wrong!!  :o

The Long Answer: If Mike what's his name could lie to Congress and not go to jail, then lying to Congress isn't illegal...

What NASA can do is propose ideas, and hope to God that Congress will approve them based on what benefits the Congressional Members constituents... end of story...

NASA has little room to maneuver when it comes to appropriations... that's why we see so many power point presentations, and studies coming out of the depths of NASA... looking for ways forward that Congress may or may not fund...

NASA is like a boy who goes up to his mother and says, "Can I start a baseball team in our 2 acre back field!" and gets a thick ear when the costs come up... so what's a boy with a dream goin' to do... well, our boy NASA, goes to his friends and says, "hey, I've got this 2 acre field that we could turn into a great baseball field, anyone interested?"
    Well, turns out there are a lot of kids in the neighbourhood who are... James' father can build the club house, Bill's is willing to put up the stands, Cathy's mom is great at making uniforms, while her dad has a construction firm that can level and turf the field... and soon it all comes together! There's even Jonathan's family who have contacts with a team in Wallonga, that will join with them to create the start of a league... so our boy NASA now goes back to his Mom, and what's her reaction goin' to be...

    That's what NASA has been doing these past 5 years, since the end of Constellation, and the beginning of SLS... consolidating a team around them, that will build on NASA's abilities... it hasn't been lying to Congress... just quietly going about it's own business while making contacts and moving forward... what will be the reaction when it goes to Congress within the next 5-10 years... well, stay tuned for the next incredible installment of "NASA Goes To Mars". It's guaranteed to knock you off your sofa and perhaps injure your knee on the coffee table...


edit, ooops I forgot The President, "Big Daddy" ... my bad... Thanks Coastal Ron ;-)
« Last Edit: 11/15/2015 03:49 PM by cro-magnon gramps »
"Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but it has not solved one yet." Maya Angelou
 Tony Benn: "Hope is the fuel of progress and fear is the prison in which you put yourself."

Offline Coastal Ron

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3407
  • I live... along the coast
  • Liked: 2168
  • Likes Given: 2674
NASA has no commitment on DSH.

They are publically saying in front of congress that their goal is to put a man on Mars.

Mars has been a goal, if not the goal for humans, for decades.  Nothing has changed recently.

Quote
How are they going to do that without eventually building some sort of DSH?

Depending on how we eventually go, a Deep Space Hab may not be required.

Quote
I'm pretty sure lying in front of Congress is illegal.

NASA is not lying by saying it wants to go to Mars.  But NASA doesn't have the authorization to go to Mars yet - that comes from Congress and the President.  All NASA is doing today is studies and preliminary development that would be useful for more than just sending humans to Mars.

Quote
NASA has made a commitment to attempt to land a person on Mars in the 2030s to justify their funding. Not actually taking steps to do that would be like the DoD not attempting to defend the U.S. if it was under attack.

NASA is a small agency within the U.S. Government, and reports to the President.  The President, not NASA, determines what NASA will ask for from Congress, and Congress, not NASA, decides what NASA will get funded to work on (I'm simplifying, since the President has to sign or veto legislation).

The point is that NASA does what our elected officials tell it to do, or allow it to do.  NASA does not operate independently, and cannot make commitments on it's 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 the_other_Doug

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2484
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Liked: 1518
  • Likes Given: 2676
I think Jim's point was that, since NASA has no approved or funded program to actually mount a manned Mars expedition (despite the rhetoric), none of the elements of such a mission have a NASA commitment to being developed, built or flown.  Without a funded program, you can't have a commitment.

Again, though, as I have pointed out many times, unless you want to mount an Apollo-type program wherein you must develop all elements of your mission concurrently, such that all are ready to go exactly at the same time and by a specific date, in our real flat-budget environment you have to develop things one element at a time.  NASA and Congress have decided they can get behind developing the needful HLV first, and will begin to design and fund most of the spacecraft it will loft later.  This is really no different from the original plan to develop Shuttle first, get it flying, and then fund and develop a LEO station for the Shuttle to build, visit and provision.

And as with that original Shuttle/Station vision, some money was spent in preliminary designs and study contracts on an American-only station (Freedom), much of which carried over into the ISS that actually got funded and developed.  As of right now, we're in the exact same stage with a Mars expedition -- the workhorse booster is being developed (in a flawed fashion, not allowing for possibly needful flight rates), and a lot of study contracts and concurrent JSC/MSFC in-house studies going on around the eventual development of the mission modules.  Tell me that's not exactly where we were in re Shuttle/Station 35 to 40 years ago...
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

Offline ncb1397

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 720
  • Liked: 320
  • Likes Given: 3
NASA has no commitment on DSH.

They are publically saying in front of congress that their goal is to put a man on Mars.

Mars has been a goal, if not the goal for humans, for decades.  Nothing has changed recently.

Quote
How are they going to do that without eventually building some sort of DSH?

Depending on how we eventually go, a Deep Space Hab may not be required.

Quote
I'm pretty sure lying in front of Congress is illegal.

NASA is not lying by saying it wants to go to Mars.  But NASA doesn't have the authorization to go to Mars yet - that comes from Congress and the President.  All NASA is doing today is studies and preliminary development that would be useful for more than just sending humans to Mars.

Quote
NASA has made a commitment to attempt to land a person on Mars in the 2030s to justify their funding. Not actually taking steps to do that would be like the DoD not attempting to defend the U.S. if it was under attack.

NASA is a small agency within the U.S. Government, and reports to the President.  The President, not NASA, determines what NASA will ask for from Congress, and Congress, not NASA, decides what NASA will get funded to work on (I'm simplifying, since the President has to sign or veto legislation).

The point is that NASA does what our elected officials tell it to do, or allow it to do.  NASA does not operate independently, and cannot make commitments on it's own.

The president has said that the goal is Mars. As you say, NASA is obligated to abide by both the law and the executive head. They are obligated to attempt to accomplish what they have been assigned to do. Whether that is financially, legally or technically possible is another matter. If they are saying this is what they will do, but aren't actually committed to accomplishing that goal within the constraints placed upon them, then there is at least an ethical problem. I think that NASA has been doing a disservice by not actually explaining to Congress what is required to get to Mars. And yes, having a place for astronauts to live while in transit between Earth and Mars is required in every architecture. They've been assigned a task and if there are any legal constraints that are preventing them from accomplishing their task, they should at least be pointing this out to the people that can fix it. Don't think they showed up at the last house hearing.

Anyways. NASA has made a commitment to the extent that they are able to commit to anything. Obviously, they don't have complete free agency to do whatever they want.
« Last Edit: 11/15/2015 04:17 PM by ncb1397 »

Offline redliox

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1719
  • Arizona USA
  • Liked: 323
  • Likes Given: 54
Regarding the roles a DSH could play, assuming the next U.S. President and NASA administrator get it planned in more detailed writing, I see 3 of them:

1) Prototype testbed for long term life support and radiation shielding.
2) Waypoint space station for international Lunar expeditions.
3) Become the Mars Transit Vehicle itself through upgrades and longevity.

Current administrator Bolden said, echoing Obama's "we've been there before" speech, that a Lunar vehicle is just too expensive to build.  However a Lunar space station, so long as managed more properly than the ISS' nearly 30-year birthing process (space station Freedom et al), might be in a better price range while offering some usefulness.  Assuming the DSH is modular and as long-lasting as the ISS has been, I wager it may have the option of being retrofitted for Mars duty - an upgrade the ISS by comparison was never meant for.
"Let the trails lead where they may, I will follow."
-Tigatron

Offline A_M_Swallow

  • Elite Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8173
  • South coast of England
  • Liked: 254
  • Likes Given: 106
Regarding the roles a DSH could play, assuming the next U.S. President and NASA administrator get it planned in more detailed writing, I see 3 of them:

1) Prototype testbed for long term life support and radiation shielding.
2) Waypoint space station for international Lunar expeditions.
3) Become the Mars Transit Vehicle itself through upgrades and longevity.

Current administrator Bolden said, echoing Obama's "we've been there before" speech, that a Lunar vehicle is just too expensive to build.  However a Lunar space station, so long as managed more properly than the ISS' nearly 30-year birthing process (space station Freedom et al), might be in a better price range while offering some usefulness.  Assuming the DSH is modular and as long-lasting as the ISS has been, I wager it may have the option of being retrofitted for Mars duty - an upgrade the ISS by comparison was never meant for.

If a working spacestation exists and is doing things for the Moon it will be easier to build a second one with a similar design for Mars.

Offline redliox

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1719
  • Arizona USA
  • Liked: 323
  • Likes Given: 54
Regarding the roles a DSH could play, assuming the next U.S. President and NASA administrator get it planned in more detailed writing, I see 3 of them:

1) Prototype testbed for long term life support and radiation shielding.
2) Waypoint space station for international Lunar expeditions.
3) Become the Mars Transit Vehicle itself through upgrades and longevity.

Current administrator Bolden said, echoing Obama's "we've been there before" speech, that a Lunar vehicle is just too expensive to build.  However a Lunar space station, so long as managed more properly than the ISS' nearly 30-year birthing process (space station Freedom et al), might be in a better price range while offering some usefulness.  Assuming the DSH is modular and as long-lasting as the ISS has been, I wager it may have the option of being retrofitted for Mars duty - an upgrade the ISS by comparison was never meant for.

If a working spacestation exists and is doing things for the Moon it will be easier to build a second one with a similar design for Mars.

Most likely, but we may be talking about an agency that cuts corners on a budget.  Also think about it: if it can sit outside of the Earth's magnetic field with a fully enclosed life support and support four to six for as long as they have food supplies...well you're already talking about 95% of what a MTH is doing right there.  That last 5% would amount to a Mars-specific propulsion module that's tacked on next.
"Let the trails lead where they may, I will follow."
-Tigatron

Offline Coastal Ron

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3407
  • I live... along the coast
  • Liked: 2168
  • Likes Given: 2674
The president has said that the goal is Mars.

So did Bush 43, and many Presidents to come will probably say the same thing.  However a goal is not legally binding.

Quote
As you say, NASA is obligated to abide by both the law and the executive head. They are obligated to attempt to accomplish what they have been assigned to do.

What assignment?  Can you point to a bill that was introduced into Congress that authorizes a NASA program to land humans on Mars?

No.

Congress has refused to fund the proposed ARM program so far, so no BEO missions are authorized.  So far NASA has only been authorized to work on pieces and parts of what will eventually be needed to place humans on Mars and return them safely.  This effort on the Deep Space Hab is one of those pieces and parts, but even so it's only funded for study, not development and operational deployment.

Quote
Anyways. NASA has made a commitment to the extent that they are able to commit to anything.

I think you should look at NASA's budget in detail so that you can understand how little discretionary spending ability they have.  From what I can tell this effort is being funded in the budget as part:

NASA Budget > Exploration > Exploration Research and Development > Advanced Exploration Systems

For the FY2016 budget, the President requested $231.4M for the Advanced Exploration Systems portion, although that was requested to increase significantly in future years.

Keep in mind though that there are other activities within that part of the budget that have to be funded too besides the DSH work, so overall it's not a very big pot of money.  And anything human related in space will be very expensive to develop and field when that time comes.

Quote
Obviously, they don't have complete free agency to do whatever they want.

They work for the President and they get funded by Congress.  So no, they don't have complete free agency to do anything.
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

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3527
  • Liked: 466
  • Likes Given: 122
NASA has no commitment on DSH.
I suspect you mean something along the lines of "there is no item in the budget to build a DSH".

I meant "What level of NASA commitment right now is there to build a DSH" in as general way as possible. Just the fact that there was some sort of review of milestones means to me there is more than zero commitment. I would also include factions or politicians applying any pressure in this direction as some level of commitment. I would even accept entirely indirect arguments, such as that existing lobbies must eventually support it.

I was also intending to ask what form of commitment/motivation/etc exists for it. For example what is the process and who are the parties involved in this review? What lobbying power do they have? Do they have a chance?

Tags: