Author Topic: Will NASA actually return mankind to the moon?  (Read 17658 times)

Offline Roo

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Will NASA actually return mankind to the moon?
« on: 11/23/2009 09:40 PM »
Dear all,

A simple question really, but is it genuinely likely that NASA will push ahead with the Constellation program given all the recent problems?

I'd be very interested to hear the views from any NASA engineers.

Roo.

Offline Orbiter

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Re: Will NASA actually return mankind to the moon?
« Reply #1 on: 11/23/2009 09:48 PM »
I personally think they will, just not in 10 years. More like 15-20.

I'm not a NASA engineer though, just a space flight enthusiast.

Orbiter.
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Offline kraisee

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Re: Will NASA actually return mankind to the moon?
« Reply #2 on: 11/23/2009 10:01 PM »
They need a *lot* more money than they are getting to have any chance at all.   The USA is in an economically difficult time, so more money is very unlikely.   The gargantuan deficit means this economically difficult time will take an extremely long time to get out of.

Ross.
« Last Edit: 11/23/2009 10:03 PM by kraisee »
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Offline Lee Jay

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Re: Will NASA actually return mankind to the moon?
« Reply #3 on: 11/23/2009 10:45 PM »
They need a *lot* more money than they are getting to have any chance at all.   The USA is in an economically difficult time, so more money is very unlikely.   The gargantuan deficit means this economically difficult time will take an extremely long time to get out of.

Ross.

Not if we want to (I don't think we really do).  The deficit in 1992 was about 5% of GDP.  In 1998 we had a nearly 1% of GDP surplus.  We currently have a larger deficit than that but that's because of two one-time spending programs, the TARP and the ARRA.  Once those run their course, our deficit won't be much higher (if at all) than 5%.

But like I said, I don't think we (as a whole) really want to fix it like we did in 1993.  And remember, the fix cost the in-power party their hold on both houses of Congress.

Offline Danny Dot

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Re: Will NASA actually return mankind to the moon?
« Reply #4 on: 11/24/2009 12:22 AM »
I agree that the key question is money.   If there is no good reason to go back to the moon, I don't think the money will "appear".  But I am thinking something strange is happening with the moon and we may want to take a closer look.  Wait and see.

Danny Deger
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Offline LC39tech

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Re: Will NASA actually return mankind to the moon?
« Reply #5 on: 11/24/2009 12:34 AM »
But I am thinking something strange is happening with the moon and we may want to take a closer look. 

Danny Deger
NASA Engineer, Retired

A monolith perhaps?

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Offline kkattula

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Re: Will NASA actually return mankind to the moon?
« Reply #6 on: 11/24/2009 02:36 AM »
Water thrown up by LCROSS is causing unseasonally heavy rain in Thailand, according to a local news story.

Clearly this needs to be stopped!  ;)

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Re: Will NASA actually return mankind to the moon?
« Reply #7 on: 11/24/2009 01:39 PM »
NASA in a mono-national effort like Project Apollo? No.  NASA as one of several co-operating agencies in a multi-national effort? Far more likely. 

I also think that Orbiter is probably right that it will be more than 10 years.  The basic vehicles may be up and being tested by the end of the ISS in 2020, but the first landings would struggle to be by that point.  However, A flyby or even orbiter mission is possible within ten years, IMHO.
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Offline bad_astra

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Re: Will NASA actually return mankind to the moon?
« Reply #8 on: 11/24/2009 03:07 PM »
It can't be a nostalgia tour, doing things the same old way, revisiting old landing sites, etc. If we do go back, it needs to be a program that follows the water.
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Offline gospacex

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Re: Will NASA actually return mankind to the moon?
« Reply #9 on: 11/24/2009 04:05 PM »
NASA in a mono-national effort like Project Apollo? No.  NASA as one of several co-operating agencies in a multi-national effort? Far more likely.

You mean, it is not bureaucratic enough as it is, need to add a few more layers?

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Will NASA actually return mankind to the moon?
« Reply #10 on: 11/24/2009 04:15 PM »
Our deficits are pretty high:

http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/federal_deficit_chart.html

Lee Jay forgot to add the health care deficits to his list.

Anyhow, I sure hope we go back!
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline Downix

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Re: Will NASA actually return mankind to the moon?
« Reply #11 on: 11/24/2009 05:55 PM »
Our deficits are pretty high:

http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/federal_deficit_chart.html

Lee Jay forgot to add the health care deficits to his list.

Anyhow, I sure hope we go back!
You are aware that the health care bills of both houses show a cost surplus rather than deficit, yes?  One of the first things enacted with the new admin was a ressurection of the Bush I era PAYGO, which is the program that resulted in the surplusses of the 1990s.
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Offline robertross

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Re: Will NASA actually return mankind to the moon?
« Reply #12 on: 11/24/2009 06:54 PM »
Our deficits are pretty high:

http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/federal_deficit_chart.html

Lee Jay forgot to add the health care deficits to his list.

Anyhow, I sure hope we go back!
You are aware that the health care bills of both houses show a cost surplus rather than deficit, yes?  One of the first things enacted with the new admin was a ressurection of the Bush I era PAYGO, which is the program that resulted in the surplusses of the 1990s.

Well let's not go too deep into what could be a hotly debated (and deleted post) issue. Suffice to say, nothing is guaranteed on spending, budgets, surpluses, and cuts.
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Offline Downix

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Re: Will NASA actually return mankind to the moon?
« Reply #13 on: 11/24/2009 08:35 PM »
Our deficits are pretty high:

http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/federal_deficit_chart.html

Lee Jay forgot to add the health care deficits to his list.

Anyhow, I sure hope we go back!
You are aware that the health care bills of both houses show a cost surplus rather than deficit, yes?  One of the first things enacted with the new admin was a ressurection of the Bush I era PAYGO, which is the program that resulted in the surplusses of the 1990s.

Well let's not go too deep into what could be a hotly debated (and deleted post) issue. Suffice to say, nothing is guaranteed on spending, budgets, surpluses, and cuts.
Oh quite agreed there.  I was more trying to point out the return of PAYGO and making emphesis as this not being of one party or the other, but instead a sound financial policy for the country regardless as to what color your ballot is.
chuck - Toilet paper has no real value? Try living with 5 other adults for 6 months in a can with no toilet paper. Man oh man. Toilet paper would be worth it's weight in gold!

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Re: Will NASA actually return mankind to the moon?
« Reply #14 on: 11/25/2009 09:58 AM »
NASA in a mono-national effort like Project Apollo? No.  NASA as one of several co-operating agencies in a multi-national effort? Far more likely.

You mean, it is not bureaucratic enough as it is, need to add a few more layers?

I'm afraid it isn't happening otherwise; it costs too much.  I think that China's economy is the only one likely to have that 'oomph' for the next 30 years or so to go it alone and I don't think that HSF exploration is of much interest to them.

At least the ISS proves that it can be done, once everyone is reading from the same page. 
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Offline khallow

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Re: Will NASA actually return mankind to the moon?
« Reply #15 on: 11/25/2009 01:27 PM »

I'm afraid it isn't happening otherwise; it costs too much.  I think that China's economy is the only one likely to have that 'oomph' for the next 30 years or so to go it alone and I don't think that HSF exploration is of much interest to them.

At least the ISS proves that it can be done, once everyone is reading from the same page. 

Eh, you can say that, but that doesn't make it true. My view is that lunar exploration isn't that expensive, there are at least three economies (the EU, US, and China's) that can separately do this. Much lower costs of space launch would greatly widen the pool of prospective explorers to include commercial and non profit entities.

And frankly the ISS demonstrated that international cooperation isn't ready for projects of the scale of the ISS.
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Offline robertross

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Re: Will NASA actually return mankind to the moon?
« Reply #16 on: 11/25/2009 01:49 PM »


And frankly the ISS demonstrated that international cooperation isn't ready for projects of the scale of the ISS.


Isn't or wasn't?

A LOT has changed & been learned with our international partners to date. That's not to say mistakes & issues won't happen again, but 'hopefully' those same ones won't.
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Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Will NASA actually return mankind to the moon?
« Reply #17 on: 11/25/2009 01:59 PM »
"...the health care bills of both houses show a cost surplus..."

There's no place like home...
[Taps red shoes together]
There's no place like home...
[Taps red shoes together]
There's no place like home...

[Taps red shoes together, a little more emphatically]

Are we there yet?
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline HIPAR

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Re: Will NASA actually return mankind to the moon?
« Reply #18 on: 11/25/2009 02:04 PM »
The deficits don't matter.  Just fold the moon shot costs into those multi-trillion (and growing) deficit's and nobody will notice.  It's more a matter of national leadership and actually doing vs lip-service.

I don't see it happening at NASA.

---  CHAS

Offline Danny Dot

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Re: Will NASA actually return mankind to the moon?
« Reply #19 on: 11/25/2009 03:41 PM »
snip

Much lower costs of space launch would greatly widen the pool of prospective explorers to include commercial and non profit entities.

And frankly the ISS demonstrated that international cooperation isn't ready for projects of the scale of the ISS.


And everyone up to this point has intentionally been designing overly expensive launch systems to get rid of excess cash from their banking systems.  The reason all the launch systems in the world cost a lot is because it cost a lot to make a launch system. 

Now you throw a scram jet that doesn't even exist on an spaceship, and even then only goes from Mach 5 to Mach 10 and call it a launch system (NASP) and congress will assume it really is a launch system and give you billions of dollars to prove you actually have to go from Mach 0 to Mach 25 to have a launch system.

I am sorry to pass on the bad news, but rockets are expensive.  We need to just add the cost into the budget to explore the solar system and tell congress it costs this much.   If we can't afford the rockets, we can't afford to explore.  Congress is not happy with NASA right now and I don't blame them one bit.  We spend $100,000,000,000 on a perfectly good space station, then want to put it on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean the day it is finished.  Senator Nelson pointed this out about 5 times in committee a couple of months ago.

Danny Deger
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