Author Topic: Orionís crewed asteroid mission unlikely to occur prior to 2024  (Read 57030 times)

Offline Rocket Science

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http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2014/11/orions-em-2-unlikely-occur-prior-2024/

Or 2025, or later....
Thanks for the article Chris, even though it resulted with my morning coffee spat all over my keyboard...Gota go clean it up now... ;D
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Offline MP99



There's a couple of perfectly good asteroids/primordial rubble piles that can be reached with less delta-vee than the lunar surface - Deimos and Phobos. I really think the idea should be seriously revisited. I'm not joking. They are neither the 'been there done that' Moon (God, I hate that putdown) nor anywhere else mankind has been. They don't require tens of billions to get the 'Entry, Descent & Landing' of a 40 ton manned ship on the Martian surface.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2010/01/taking-aim-phobos-nasa-flexible-path-precursor-mars/

I think that's part of the Flexible Path, but supposed to be after visiting an asteroid out in the wild.

Cheers, Martin

Offline MP99

With luck Orion and SLS will survive the next round of political elections, including a new president, but I honestly never liked the whole ARM scheme.  Keep the rocket, lose the crazy idea.  Once the current administration leaves, I guarantee ARM goes on the chopping block...if not the shredder.

If they are insistent on asteroids before Mars, then they should change the mission to sending humans, not a bag-probe.  The whole point was to reach interplanetary space on a trip lasting from half a year to a full one as a test run for Martian expeditions that would last three times as long.  A near-Earth asteroid orbiting the sun suits the job.

Hell, yes.

Quote
How the heck NASA misinterpreted that is crazy, and why few people like ARM much.

It sure is why I don't like it.

Cheers, Martin
« Last Edit: 11/29/2014 01:14 PM by MP99 »

Offline Jim

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Sad. But not surprising. With that budget imagine what could be accomplished if it wasn't OldSpace doing it. Sorry for that tone but it's how I feel.

That is bovine excrement.  Nuspace isn't going to be any better.

Offline muomega0

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Quote
ďThe EM-1 flight will tell NASA a great deal about the system. EM-2 is about seven years away. The current thinking is that it will be the first crewed flight,Ē added the ASAP minutes. The changes may actually benefit SLS, given the rocket is continuing to promote her superior upmass capability for non-crewed missions. SLS managers have been busy working on fairing requirements to loft what is known as the ARRM (Asteroid Robotic Redirect Mission
The HSF components that would close the gap and take crew to the moon and mars, has now evolved into only one advantage:  carries more mass in one shot than a smaller LV and its only missions are without crew.  Fly a rocket, then wait 7 years and fly it with crew.  Where do folks sign up?

As I watch the program advance at the speed of maple syrup in January, I remember these words.

"Let it be clear--and this is a judgment which the Members of the Congress must finally make--let it be clear that I am asking the Congress and the country to accept a firm commitment to a new course of action, a course which will last for many years and carry very heavy costs: 531 million dollars in fiscal '62--an estimated 7 to 9 billion dollars additional over the next five years. If we are to go only half way, or reduce our sights in the face of difficulty, in my judgment it would be better not to go at all."
And
"We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too."["
The climate is, if anything, less supportive now than then.
Edit:  I'll be 71 in 2024, I was 16 in 1969.  I feel robbed and cheated.
LEO for decades, not since July.     What specifically would you cut at NASA to fund a mission that meets your dreams?  If folks did not hang on to old technology with better options available, would not a significant more number of crewed and uncrewed Exploration missions occur?   Why is it that every path forward is compromised with these two programs?   Here is  one outline of a budget plan to begin an asteroid trip by 2025, but it requires that both SLS/Orion be cancelled.

Let NASA build a depot and transportation infrastructure, while the Lunar Mission One heads to the moon at substantially less costs by 2025, while NASA travels BEO to an asteroid..will multiple flexible path missions within the budget with the chance of a plus up by 2025 meet your dreams?

There's a couple of perfectly good asteroids/primordial rubble piles that can be reached with less delta-vee than the lunar surface - Deimos and Phobos. I really think the idea should be seriously revisited. I'm not joking. They are neither the 'been there done that' Moon (God, I hate that putdown) nor anywhere else mankind has been. They don't require tens of billions to get the 'Entry, Descent & Landing' of a 40 ton manned ship on the Martian surface.
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2010/01/taking-aim-phobos-nasa-flexible-path-precursor-mars/
I think that's part of the Flexible Path, but supposed to be after visiting an asteroid out in the wild.
Perhaps some is in order.

Or how about exploring an asteroid or two already on a stable orbit and doing some Mars -related science at the same time?
And gathering valueable knowledge of performing crewed deep-space missions at the same time?
How about that...?
No need for landers, no need to choose asteroid OR Mars.
No need for giant doggybags for capturing asteroid and sending it to another trajectory/orbit.
How about that...?
What is the problem with Phobos/Deimos missions? Really, what...?  :o
Yes yes, delta-v & delta-t obviously, but if we'd really focus on Mars orbital missions, we would get 2 or 3 slam dunks at the same time.
Thousands of shipping-container-sized and larger asteroids pass almost as close as the Moon each year.  We need to find them far enough in advance, and abundant opportunities for crewed missions will open up  "A retrieval mission gets you one asteroid, but a survey gets you thousands that you could potentially visit.  ARM doesn't advance anything and the hardware is short of delta-V and delta-P."   Keep the "visit" work going.

quite a bit of challenging work for old+new space...Catch the wave...to Mars and beyond, with a new reuseable, LV independent architecture

Offline Endeavour_01

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Sad. But not surprising. With that budget imagine what could be accomplished if it wasn't OldSpace doing it. Sorry for that tone but it's how I feel.

That is bovine excrement.  Nuspace isn't going to be any better.

Exactly.

Sad. But not surprising. With that budget imagine what could be accomplished if it wasn't OldSpace doing it. Sorry for that tone but it's how I feel.

You mean the 0.5% of the federal budget that NASA gets and the around 0.2% that human spaceflight gets? New Space wouldn't be able to do much of anything with it either.

0.2% of the federal budget is $7 billion, if you add up all the SpaceX contracts with NASA it's about $5 billion, for that amount of money NASA got or will get a new launch vehicle that can compete in the international market, a cargo ship with down mass capability, a manned spaceship that can do vertical landing, 12 resupply flights to ISS, 6 crewed flights to ISS. Yeah, not much of anything indeed.

I was referring to doing anything BEO. SpaceX and others have done some remarkable things over the past couple of years that are worthy of a great deal of praise. I am happy and cheering for them! That is in LEO though. BEO is far more difficult. I also think it is important to note that our LEO program (Commercial Crew + ISS) actually gets more money than our BEO program.
I cheer for both NASA and commercial space. For SLS, Orion, Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy, Dragon, Starliner, Cygnus and all the rest!
I was blessed to see the launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour on STS-99. The launch was beyond amazing. My 8-year old mind was blown. I remember the noise and seeing the exhaust pour out of the shuttle as it lifted off. I remember staring and watching it soar while it was visible in the clear blue sky. It was one of the greatest moments of my life and I will never forget it.

Offline wannamoonbase

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This story doesn't want surprise me. The ARM has never seemed real. Almost like no one inside NASA is interested or believes in it.

A return to the moon to develop ISRU leading to a permanent presence, utilizing commercial cargo would be the best option for fostering interest, new technologies from space and providing an economic vehicle for commercial enterprises  to innovate.

The SLS mission to no where shows this administrations distain for NASA and Americas lack of interest in math and science. Not to mention a complete lack of imagination.
Excited to be finally into the first Falcon Heavy flow, we are getting so close!

Online Coastal Ron

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Sad. But not surprising. With that budget imagine what could be accomplished if it wasn't OldSpace doing it. Sorry for that tone but it's how I feel.

That is bovine excrement.  Nuspace isn't going to be any better.

If properly tasked and incentivized our aerospace industry (OldSpace and NewSpace) would be able to do more with the same amount of money than the government-controlled and non-compete situation we are in today.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Online Coastal Ron

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With luck Orion and SLS will survive the next round of political elections, including a new president, but I honestly never liked the whole ARM scheme.  Keep the rocket, lose the crazy idea.  Once the current administration leaves, I guarantee ARM goes on the chopping block...if not the shredder.

It is true that the current Mars study effort within NASA may not last after the next President takes office, but that ignores the fact that nothing is holding back Congress from pushing their own set of missions for the SLS and Orion.  Yet they haven't.  That is the more important indicator of support for the SLS and Orion than what the current President has proposed.

Quote
If they are insistent on asteroids before Mars, then they should change the mission to sending humans, not a bag-probe.  The whole point was to reach interplanetary space on a trip lasting from half a year to a full one as a test run for Martian expeditions that would last three times as long.  A near-Earth asteroid orbiting the sun suits the job.  How the heck NASA misinterpreted that is crazy, and why few people like ARM much.

I agree with this sentiment.  My interpretation of what Obama originally proposed was that visiting an asteroid would be part of showing that we could operate that far from Earth, and not that it was focused on the asteroid itself.  Kind of like for Apollo the science was secondary to the stated goal, which was to land a human on the Moon and return them safely to Earth.

That type of mission would also be in keeping with what the Augustine Commission suggested.

Quote
If they can't do an asteroid, some lunar science wouldn't be a bad alternative.  Testing out new deep space vehicles would be great too, such as the habitat module Orion would need to haul with for anything beyond the Moon.  Whatever happens, a new plan will be needed to fill the void.

If we're going to make a commitment to reaching Mars, then the Moon is a distraction because of the unique hardware that would be needed for the Moon.  If the goal is not Mars, then sure the Moon is a fine goal.  But neither really need the Orion, since it's unique capabilities are only needed when you are only sending four or less people to the Moon for a short trip.  Any trips of longer length or requiring more people won't use the Orion, and it's not flexible enough to be evolved into something useful for the future.  It's a short-term solution for a niche need.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Online Galactic Penguin SST

Sad. But not surprising. With that budget imagine what could be accomplished if it wasn't OldSpace doing it. Sorry for that tone but it's how I feel.

That is bovine excrement.  Nuspace isn't going to be any better.

If properly tasked and incentivized our aerospace industry (OldSpace and NewSpace) would be able to do more with the same amount of money than the government-controlled and non-compete situation we are in today.
True, but the problem won't be solved with your own solution of replacing the current plans with......vague and undefined "technology development" proposals either. Such plans, even if carefully designed, would be implemented poorly by Congress et al. given that there's no such "master plan" as planetary n' science reviews possible for "technology break-though in HSF".  ::) ::)

Alas, I just don't see a more concrete plan possible in BLEO operations, regardless of whether SLS/Orion is involved or not...
Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill

Offline redliox

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With luck Orion and SLS will survive the next round of political elections, including a new president, but I honestly never liked the whole ARM scheme.  Keep the rocket, lose the crazy idea.  Once the current administration leaves, I guarantee ARM goes on the chopping block...if not the shredder.

It is true that the current Mars study effort within NASA may not last after the next President takes office, but that ignores the fact that nothing is holding back Congress from pushing their own set of missions for the SLS and Orion.  Yet they haven't.  That is the more important indicator of support for the SLS and Orion than what the current President has proposed.

Quote
If they are insistent on asteroids before Mars, then they should change the mission to sending humans, not a bag-probe.  The whole point was to reach interplanetary space on a trip lasting from half a year to a full one as a test run for Martian expeditions that would last three times as long.  A near-Earth asteroid orbiting the sun suits the job.  How the heck NASA misinterpreted that is crazy, and why few people like ARM much.

I agree with this sentiment.  My interpretation of what Obama originally proposed was that visiting an asteroid would be part of showing that we could operate that far from Earth, and not that it was focused on the asteroid itself.  Kind of like for Apollo the science was secondary to the stated goal, which was to land a human on the Moon and return them safely to Earth.

That type of mission would also be in keeping with what the Augustine Commission suggested.

Quote
If they can't do an asteroid, some lunar science wouldn't be a bad alternative.  Testing out new deep space vehicles would be great too, such as the habitat module Orion would need to haul with for anything beyond the Moon.  Whatever happens, a new plan will be needed to fill the void.

If we're going to make a commitment to reaching Mars, then the Moon is a distraction because of the unique hardware that would be needed for the Moon.  If the goal is not Mars, then sure the Moon is a fine goal.  But neither really need the Orion, since it's unique capabilities are only needed when you are only sending four or less people to the Moon for a short trip.  Any trips of longer length or requiring more people won't use the Orion, and it's not flexible enough to be evolved into something useful for the future.  It's a short-term solution for a niche need.

Thanks for agreeing with my statements.

Regarding the Moon, don't totally dismiss it.  For starters, Congressmen would more readily agree to it than asteroids because it is a visible goal the Orion can reach at least in orbit.  Second, the 2 main differences the Moon has is in volatiles and day length versus Mars.  Otherwise, once the heatshield is jettisoned the Martian lander would look roughly the same as a lunar lander - you'll notice in the Mars Direct/Semi-Direct schemes the hab lander is an ungainly 'tuna can' with minimal aerodynamics sans the heatshield.  As for gravity, well frankly if landers are built to tolerate Earth's 1g then the 1/3 Martian and 1/6 Lunar gs matter little regarding structure strength.  And, even considering the power and thermal needs of Lunar night, both Mars and Moon require a mix of solar and nuclear energy to back each other up and resistance to temperatures well below Earth's norms.

The mission will be changed well before 2024, but hopefully the end goal of Mars in the 2030s.
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Online mike robel

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The mission will be changed well before 2024, but hopefully the end goal of Mars in the 2030s.

Well, since Mars is always 30 years in the future, the earliest we are looking is now 2044 - 45.

Online mike robel

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As I watch the program advance at the speed of maple syrup in January, I remember these words.

"Let it be clear--and this is a judgment which the Members of the Congress must finally make--let it be clear that I am asking the Congress and the country to accept a firm commitment to a new course of action, a course which will last for many years and carry very heavy costs: 531 million dollars in fiscal '62--an estimated 7 to 9 billion dollars additional over the next five years. If we are to go only half way, or reduce our sights in the face of difficulty, in my judgment it would be better not to go at all."


And

"We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too."["

The climate is, if anything, less supportive now than then.

Edit:  I'll be 71 in 2024, I was 16 in 1969.  I feel robbed and cheated.

LEO for decades, not since July.     What specifically would you cut at NASA to fund a mission that meets your dreams?  If folks did not hang on to old technology with better options available, would not a significant more number of crewed and uncrewed Exploration missions occur?   Why is it that every path forward is compromised with these two programs?   Here is  one outline of a budget plan to begin an asteroid trip by 2025, but it requires that both SLS/Orion be cancelled.

Let NASA build a depot and transportation infrastructure, while the Lunar Mission One heads to the moon at substantially less costs by 2025, while NASA travels BEO to an asteroid..will multiple flexible path missions within the budget with the chance of a plus up by 2025 meet your dreams?

I'm not even going to bother to state my dream and suggest a meaningless course of action, because I've done it elsewhere and to my representatives, and the site and this thread will have them.  But I will say that NASA has to demonstrate credible progress in their HSF program every two - four years and mount a better information campaign to keep what support they do have.

There is very little, if any hope of "Space State" congressman gathering together to fund 3 billion more dollars per year.

Face it, $3B is relatively small potatoes for the country, but that goal seems to be the minimum necessary to allow NASA to craft a well-defined path to future success.

Obviously they are unable to make a deal or it isn't that important even to them to even try.

Perhaps then, it would be best to "not to go at all".




Offline Steam Chaser

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As dysfunctional as they are, SLS and Orion probably still have too much support in Congress to dismantle.  However, it's even more obvious now than it was almost 10 years ago when they began in Ares/Orion form that they aren't on a course to do anything worth their cost.  Given the problems with Orion's schedule outlined in the article, resulting in what amounts to at most test missions for Orion before 2024 (i.e.: after 20 years of well-funded development) followed by the tamed asteroid mission that noone seems to want or expect, I'd suggest cancelling Orion.  This is more politically achievable than removing both the rocket and Orion as was attempted for FY2011.  SLS has much stronger politically than Orion, given its larger budget, associated ground systems budget, and well-placed Congressional backers.  Witness that the SM was successfully extracted from the U.S. Orion plate.  SLS and Orion are mutually supportive in Congress, so removing Orion would have to be done while genuinely helping SLS, not as a "divide and conquer" strategy.

The Orion yearly budget is over $1B.  Taken a piece of that and give it directly to SLS to soften resistance.

Take a bigger piece (maybe $400M/year or so) and fund some SLS launched robotic Planetary Science, Robotic Precursor, and Exploration Technology Demonstration missions like Europa Clipper, lunar sample return, lunar polar volatiles explorer, the robotic part of ARM, and/or Mars.  There's probably an Orion related company in Colorado that could help with robotic Mars missions.  Some of these missions already have potential funding sources (e.g.: Europa Clipper already gets ~80M/year for studies, LPVE could get Exploration Technology funding, lunar sample return is a contender for Planetary Science New Frontiers funding, ARM is already trying for a budget), so this might result in more missions than the slice of the Orion budget pie would imply.

Take a similar slice and use it for a BLEO transport capability with SLS participation for cargo and crew, and a BLEO hab/gateway/station capability, managed more like COTS than Constellation, using competition, skin in the game, and the rest of the COTS approach.  Competitors could leverage commercial
cargo and crew work (e.g.: Cygnus, CST-100, Dragon, Antares, Falcon, Dream Chaser, EELV crew capabilities, Blue Origin vehicle), other NASA partnerships (e.g.: BEAM), and even Orion itself for this.  One possibility would be for commercial crew vehicles to send crew to the SLS-launched BLEO hardware in LEO before it leaves, relieving SLS and the BLEO COTS effort of crew launch issues like LAS, strengthening the U.S. commercial launch industry, and strengthening the commercial crew business. With habitat capability, competitors might come up with a much smaller capsule than Orion like the Inspiration Mars approach.  As the commercial crew development or Soyuz crew operation budgets are replaced with a commercial crew operations budget that is hopefully smaller than those 2 combined, some additional funding might come from those budget pies for the later, more expensive development years of this "BLEO COTS".

Since Europe would no longer have Orion SM responsibility, they might be able to contribute something else to the picture.

It seems like this would support many factions without requiring more money overall: SLS, NewSpace, Planetary Science, Obama FY2011 robotic precursor and technology supporters, ISS (by strengthening commercial crew), etc.

Offline Avron

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Obviously they are unable to make a deal or it isn't that important even to them to even try.

Perhaps then, it would be best to "not to go at all".


Remember all of this is due to lobbing by the "contractors" , when  the last "attempt" was cancelled. Clearly its not about space-flight but $$$ This will be cancelled as well, as the mission is not HSF but redistribution of wealth. All the money is the world will just accelerate the wealth gain. There is more chance of getting to the moon etc via an Indian spacecraft than one where the driving force is "contractor" needs.

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A real NEA mission would have been risky. So no mission.
The plan WAS, NOT to have AresV/SLS and Orion. Now - or not so now - we have SLS and Orion. And no money left for the journey.
Great plan.

Offline jgoldader

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A real NEA mission would have been risky. So no mission.

Yep.

A couple billion dollars to launch a retrieval sat and a couple billion more to send astronauts up to carefully cut a hole in a plastic bag and pull out a handful of dirt isn't worth it. 

So is there some way to make lemonade from this mess?

Option 1: can the retrieval and dedicate the retrieval launch to general NEO study.  Launch a detection telescope to LEO or HEO and a bunch of m^3- sized flyby spacecraft to known NEOs.

Option 2: do the retrieval but explore the rock via remote operations.  How could it be impossible to do with the VR tech of today?  This could be a testbed for remotely-operated lunar rovers.  With Stardust and Hayabusa, we have recent experience with getting a small sample capsule back to Earth. (NASA could make the VR video public for Oculus Rift; there's some real public engagement for you!  Heck, I'd buy a unit for that, and I loathe Facebook.)

I KNOW both of those will cost money, but either seems easier, surely safer, and more productive than the crewed mission as currently envisioned.
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Offline MP99

One of my issues with ARRM is that the process of capture of the object will cause a lot of messing up the surface, when it is de-spun. While that's not directly an issue for picking up a boulder, Philae shows the possible issues with landing to achieve that.

But, that de-spin if they capture a whole small object will completely compromise the pristine-ness of the surface. Surely one of the most important reasons for visiting the object in the first place? :-(

Cheers, Martin

Offline sdsds

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The SLS mission to no where shows this administrations distain for NASA and Americas lack of interest in math and science. Not to mention a complete lack of imagination.

I disagree with this entirely when it is stated as a "black and white" issue. The SLS "mission to nowhere" shows exactly how much interest in math and science America has: some, but not much. It shows exactly how much Congress and the current administration want to fund NASA: some, but not much. Finally, the apparent opportunity to launch relatively tiny mission-specific modules underneath an Orion bound for "nowhere" shows how much imagination we have: some, but not much.

On the bright side it is possible that after the ARM concept is abandoned, this later launch date for Orion will allow incorporation of a mission module into the first crewed launch. Maybe a Cygnus? Maybe something else without a heat shield that could be assembled on the Orion tooling, as in the old "kissing Orions" proposal?

(EDIT to add, for those interested and unfamiliar with the proposal: Lockheed-Martin called "kissing Orions"  "Plymouth Rock." http://www.lpi.usra.edu/sbag/meetings/sbag2/presentations/PlymouthRockasteroidmission.pdf)
« Last Edit: 11/29/2014 06:11 PM by sdsds »
-- sdsds --

Offline Lar

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What is the opposite of a party thread? Bespoke handcrafting of Orion heat shield, maintaining the workforce to fly SLS once in a blue moon, and all culminating in a 30 day trip in 10 years time to a piece of wrapped asteroid. Don't get me wrong, as a geologist I like asteroids, but we already have a fair bit of that stuff down here, it falls down the gravity well by itself. Is this important enough to blow the budget of the next 10 years on?

Cue in Talking Heads 'Stop making Sense' album: We're on a way to nowhere... :'(
The asteroid mission has never made a lot of sense to me. By the mid 20's I expect PRI and DSI to be actively mining, or they will have failed. Further, Hayabusa 2 will get a lot more science accomplished, I expect, since it's staying at a C type asteroid for 18 months..



If you really want a worthwhile mission, Phobos and Diemos seem like good possibilities to me. SpaceX might already BE on Mars or on the way, by the mid 2020s, but they plan to bypass those moons. So, NASA, send a crew there.

Sad. But not surprising. With that budget imagine what could be accomplished if it wasn't OldSpace doing it. Sorry for that tone but it's how I feel.

That is bovine excrement.  Nuspace isn't going to be any better.

Someone else posted a nice summary of what 7B USD buys for SLS vs. what it got from SpaceX. Those numbers pretty much speak for themselves.
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

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