Author Topic: NASA's New Direction  (Read 53315 times)

Offline Star One

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Re: NASA's New Direction
« Reply #40 on: 12/29/2016 05:45 PM »
Could fly around the Moon, if you used the iCPS again and sped up Orion's systems.

Dragon2/FH should be able to do an Apollo 8 style mission long before then.
Could even fly a mix crew - NASA-SpaceX - to demonstrate the new way of doing business.

But will not as this isn't Space X's goal. The Moon is a more appropriate target for Orion/SLS or Vulcan.
« Last Edit: 12/29/2016 05:46 PM by Star One »

Offline clongton

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Re: NASA's New Direction
« Reply #41 on: 12/29/2016 05:53 PM »
Could fly around the Moon, if you used the iCPS again and sped up Orion's systems.
Dragon2/FH should be able to do an Apollo 8 style mission long before then.
Could even fly a mix crew - NASA-SpaceX - to demonstrate the new way of doing business.
But will not as this isn't Space X's goal. The Moon is a more appropriate target for Orion/SLS or Vulcan.

The moon is a great goal if NASA wants to pay for it. Remember, SpaceX actually IS in business.

Don't forget that while the moon is not SpaceX's goal, EM has said that it could be used to test out some capabilities. So it is not off his radar.
« Last Edit: 12/29/2016 05:53 PM by clongton »
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Offline Rocket Science

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Re: NASA's New Direction
« Reply #42 on: 12/29/2016 08:08 PM »
Presidential historian Douglas Brinkley on CNN about the PE making some noise about a Moon Shot for NASA for the upcoming 50th anniversay. When pressed for more he wasn't sure what he meant by it. I guess I'm not the only one who doesn't understand "Trumpian"... ;D

Having looked at several of these reports, it looks like Trump told the historian that he (Trump) wants a presidential address with big themes, and he referenced Reagan and JFK. And he asked, or was told, about JFK announcing the lunar goal. So I think that the discussion was in terms of what a past president did, not an indication that the future president is interested in the Moon.
The PE said it had to specifically to do with NASA...motivating the nation...for the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing... FWIW....

This is the original article and quote.

Quote
“He went on and on about Reagan and how much he admires him. But it wasn’t all about Reagan. He spoke about Kennedy and how he was able to get the country motivated, to go to the moon. He’s thinking about both men as he starts to write the speech, which is something he’s now taking the lead on,” the person said.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2016/12/28/trump-tells-visitors-hes-drafting-his-inaugural-speech-with-reagan-and-kennedy-in-mind/?utm_term=.bbfd05b6f899
Thanks for the article; however that it not what I "heard" Brinkey say about specifically about the PE plans for NASA when pressed by the CNN news anchor...
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"

Online AncientU

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Re: NASA's New Direction
« Reply #43 on: 12/29/2016 08:41 PM »
Could fly around the Moon, if you used the iCPS again and sped up Orion's systems.

Dragon2/FH should be able to do an Apollo 8 style mission long before then.
Could even fly a mix crew - NASA-SpaceX - to demonstrate the new way of doing business.

But will not as this isn't Space X's goal. The Moon is a more appropriate target for Orion/SLS or Vulcan.

July 20, 2019 might see an inaugural flight of SLS/Orion and/or Vulcan, but both will be years from a manned Lunar mission.  An unmanned Lunar fly-by by NASA would be the opposite of good publicity on the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 landing.


From SpaceX's Falcon Heavy page:
Quote
Falcon Heavy was designed from the outset to carry humans into space and restores the possibility of flying missions with crew to the Moon or Mars.
http://www.spacex.com/falcon-heavy
« Last Edit: 12/29/2016 09:43 PM by AncientU »
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Offline Robotbeat

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Re: NASA's New Direction
« Reply #44 on: 12/29/2016 08:52 PM »
There are two ways to speed up SLS/Orion launch around the Moon. Only one will do it by July 2019 that I can tell.
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Offline clongton

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Re: NASA's New Direction
« Reply #45 on: 12/29/2016 09:13 PM »
Could fly around the Moon, if you used the iCPS again and sped up Orion's systems.

Dragon2/FH should be able to do an Apollo 8 style mission long before then.
Could even fly a mix crew - NASA-SpaceX - to demonstrate the new way of doing business.

But will not as this isn't Space X's goal. The Moon is a more appropriate target for Orion/SLS or Vulcan.

July 20, 2019 might see an inaugural flight of SLS/Orion and/or Vulcan, but both will be years from a manned Lunar mission.  An unmanned Lunar fly-by by NASA would be the opposite of good publicity on the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 landing.

Quote
Falcon Heavy was designed from the outset to carry humans into space and restores the possibility of flying missions with crew to the Moon or Mars.
http://www.spacex.com/falcon-heavy

AncientU that's not my quote. Please fix your post. Thanks
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Online AncientU

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Re: NASA's New Direction
« Reply #46 on: 12/29/2016 11:45 PM »
Chuck, your quote is:
Quote
Dragon2/FH should be able to do an Apollo 8 style mission long before then.
Could even fly a mix crew - NASA-SpaceX - to demonstrate the new way of doing business.

Star One's:
Quote
But will not as this isn't Space X's goal. The Moon is a more appropriate target for Orion/SLS or Vulcan.

See Reply #40 which I quoted...
So, I think the attributions are correct.

Sorry if I'm being dense.
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
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Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA's New Direction
« Reply #47 on: 12/31/2016 03:24 AM »

Offline Proponent

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Re: NASA's New Direction
« Reply #48 on: 12/31/2016 12:00 PM »
So, what about the possibility of more joint projects with Russia?

To begin with, it's notable that a decade of increasing frostiness in Russo-American relations has not harmed the ISS collaboration.

The incoming US president appears to want to be Putin's best friend.  His choice for Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, is a bona fide Russophile, having been awarded Russia's Order of Friendship by Putin himself.  Trump's pick for national security advisor, Michael Flynn, is also known for relatively pro-Russian views.  Conservatives as a whole, who would have been expected to oppose deeper co-operation with Russia, seem to be following Trump's lead and warming up to Russia at a "dizzying" pace (and it's not just in the US, either; for example, French conservative presidential candidate François Fillon is keen on Russia too [BTW, he has since won the primary mentioned in the link]).

On top of that, my guess is that Russia's economy will improve in the coming years, increasing Russia's ability to contribute to a co-operative project.  I expect this for two reasons.  First of all, the aforementioned Russophilia may reduce economic sanctions.

Secondly, I'll bet that the price of oil is going to go up, and that strongly benefits Russia.  A reason for expecting more expensive oil is Trump's cabinet picks, some of whom are very oil-friendly.  Rex Tillerson, for a start, is currently CEO of Exxon Mobil.  Trump's pick for the Department of Energy is former Texas governor Rick Perry, who, just by virtue of being a big time Texas pol, likely has lots of buddies in the oil business.  Ditto for Oklahoma attorney general Scott Pruitt, who's been nominated to run the EPA.*  On top of that, Trump seems quite likely to get into some fights in the Middle East, and that kind of thing always raises the price of oil.  For a parallel, consider what happened when Messrs. Bush & Cheney, both former oilmen, came to power: a dust-up in the Middle East ensued and oil prices rose considerably.

Anyway, the point of that long-winded preamble is to suggest that the political environment may be right for more co-operation with Russia, and that Russia may have a bit more money to spend on space.  What form would such co-operation take?  Maybe a co-operative cis-lunar station?  NASA's FY2017 budget is likely to formally include a cis-lunar hab.  A co-operative project would allow Russia to leave LEO  on an equal footing with the US, without the US being able to look down it's collective nose and say "Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt."

I've not posted this in the thread for 2017 predictions, because I doubt much of this will happen in 2017.  But I think there may be movement in this direction, with the first concrete steps taking place in 2018 or 2019.



* I'm not suggesting that these men will abuse their positions to help their friends in oil make money.  What I am proposing is that their reference groups, the people they talk to and bounce ideas off of, will tend to include many who tend to view a higher price of oil as a good thing.
« Last Edit: 01/01/2017 11:36 AM by Proponent »

Offline deltaV

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Re: NASA's New Direction
« Reply #49 on: 01/01/2017 03:55 AM »
The way I see it Trump has the opportunity to relive America's former glory in space, thus fulfilling his commitment to "make america great again" if he refocuses NASA back to landing on the Moon. 

We have to remember that it was only 9 years between when Kennedy was elected in 1960 and and the first landing occurred in 1969.  In 1960 NASA had no heavy lift vehicles and had only just succeeded in putting astronauts in LEO.

Matching 1969 capabilities 50+ years later wouldn't demonstrate renewed greatness. For a more interesting yet achievable goal I would set a goal to have a manned mission depart for a Martian moon within 10 years of Trump's hypothesized speech, i.e. no later than the launch window in fall 2026. There would probably be a test flight departing in the previous window, which would be a few months before the end of Trump's second term.

Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA's New Direction
« Reply #50 on: 01/01/2017 03:22 PM »
GOP Rep. Jim Bridenstine Seen as Top Choice for NASA Chief:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/gop-rep-jim-bridenstine-seen-as-top-choice-for-nasa-chief-1483213187

Quote from: Pasztor
Rep. Jim Bridenstine, an Oklahoma Republican with a record supporting both commercial space ventures and traditional manned exploration programs, appears to be the leading candidate to become the next NASA administrator, according to people familiar with the matter. [...]

Boeing and other legacy contractors have rallied behind Doug Cooke, a former senior NASA official under President George W. Bush, people with knowledge of the situation say. Mr. Cooke is known as a critic of some commercial initiatives. [...]

By contrast, champions of commercial space interests, including supporters of billionaire Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. and Blue Origin LLC, a closely held rocket-making company run by Amazon.com Inc.’s founder and chairman Jeff Bezos, favor less federal direction and more public-private partnerships, people with knowledge of the situation say. They have pushed hard for Mr. Bridenstine as a likely change agent, and at this point seem to have the upper hand, the people added.
« Last Edit: 01/01/2017 03:29 PM by yg1968 »

Offline deltaV

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Re: NASA's New Direction
« Reply #51 on: 01/02/2017 01:28 AM »
GOP Rep. Jim Bridenstine Seen as Top Choice for NASA Chief:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/gop-rep-jim-bridenstine-seen-as-top-choice-for-nasa-chief-1483213187

Here are a few more quotes from the article:
"Mr. Bridenstine has a history of backing commercial space tugs and taxis to ferry cargo and eventually U.S. astronauts to the international space station. But he also is considered a proponent of existing exploration programs backed by Boeing Co., Lockheed Martin Corp. and other legacy contractors.

Trump transition leaders want to meld elements of each approach to reduce overall acquisition costs and more-effectively manage civil and military launch programs.”

"Along with senior transition officials, Mr. Bridenstine doesn’t foresee current NASA strategies paving the way for effective exploration of the Red Planet. He has, however, underscored the importance of moon missions as steppingstones to manned deep-space probes.”

It sounds like Trump’s NASA will try to use both acquisition approaches in its exploration program. ISTM the most natural way to do that would be to have commercial-style contracts for launch, Earth departure, and the return capsule since all of those can leverage existing commercial assets used for CRS, Commercial Crew, and military and commercial satellite launch. Unfortunately launch and capsule are precisely the pieces that NASA already has large programs for. So what will Trump’s team do? Cancel one or both programs? Use commercial-style procurement for a lunar lander despite the fact that a non-NASA market for lunar landers is even more speculative than the non-NASA market for sending capsules to LEO space stations?

Offline clongton

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Re: NASA's New Direction
« Reply #52 on: 01/02/2017 10:21 AM »
So what will Trump’s team do? Cancel one or both programs? Use commercial-style procurement for a lunar lander despite the fact that a non-NASA market for lunar landers is even more speculative than the non-NASA market for sending capsules to LEO space stations?

Breaking the ice, paving the way. That should be precisely what NASA's role should be wrt the lander. There is no non-NASA market - as of yet - for a lunar lander. So it should be NASA that develops the lander. Once the lander is available, commercial and private concerns will come around and use it. Commercial will initially use that lander as-is. But it won't be long before commercial is "adapting" that lander, or improving it, or designing their own based on what that lander has shown them. It is not NASA's charter to explore or colonize. But it is NASA's charter to pave the way. The lander part of the equation is precisely what NASA should be doing.
« Last Edit: 01/02/2017 10:24 AM by clongton »
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Offline Star One

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Re: NASA's New Direction
« Reply #53 on: 01/02/2017 02:17 PM »
So what will Trump’s team do? Cancel one or both programs? Use commercial-style procurement for a lunar lander despite the fact that a non-NASA market for lunar landers is even more speculative than the non-NASA market for sending capsules to LEO space stations?

Breaking the ice, paving the way. That should be precisely what NASA's role should be wrt the lander. There is no non-NASA market - as of yet - for a lunar lander. So it should be NASA that develops the lander. Once the lander is available, commercial and private concerns will come around and use it. Commercial will initially use that lander as-is. But it won't be long before commercial is "adapting" that lander, or improving it, or designing their own based on what that lander has shown them. It is not NASA's charter to explore or colonize. But it is NASA's charter to pave the way. The lander part of the equation is precisely what NASA should be doing.

I would have thought it was precisely in their remit to explore, otherwise what are all these probes out in the solar system doing.

Online Coastal Ron

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Re: NASA's New Direction
« Reply #54 on: 01/02/2017 04:35 PM »
So, what about the possibility of more joint projects with Russia?

To begin with, it's notable that a decade of increasing frostiness in Russo-American relations has not harmed the ISS collaboration.

As is usual in global politics, cooperation happens when needs, wants and desires overlap.  Doing things in space is something of national pride for Russia, and being one of the ISS partners is the least expensive way to do that.

Quote
The incoming US president appears to want to be Putin's best friend...

On top of that, my guess is that Russia's economy will improve in the coming years, increasing Russia's ability to contribute to a co-operative project.  I expect this for two reasons.  First of all, the aforementioned Russophilia may reduce economic sanctions.

Secondly, I'll bet that the price of oil is going to go up, and that strongly benefits Russia...

Anyway, the point of that long-winded preamble is to suggest that the political environment may be right for more co-operation with Russia, and that Russia may have a bit more money to spend on space.

No doubt much of that is right, but:

1.  Russia is in a deep financial hole, and they are unlikely to be able to afford to do much during the first Trump term.

2.  Russia's aerospace industry, as it relates to doing things in space, is morbid.  Functional, but only in doing what it's been doing for decades.  They have had a steady stream of announcements about new things they planned to do over the years, but none have materialized.  So they will need to spend a lot of time and money to refresh their capabilities.

Count me as skeptical that anything new with Russia that is space related will actually happen during Trump's first term.
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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Re: NASA's New Direction
« Reply #55 on: 01/02/2017 04:50 PM »
So what will Trump’s team do? Cancel one or both programs? Use commercial-style procurement for a lunar lander despite the fact that a non-NASA market for lunar landers is even more speculative than the non-NASA market for sending capsules to LEO space stations?

Breaking the ice, paving the way. That should be precisely what NASA's role should be wrt the lander. There is no non-NASA market - as of yet - for a lunar lander. So it should be NASA that develops the lander. Once the lander is available, commercial and private concerns will come around and use it.

This is the opposite of Commercial Cargo & Crew, and I don't think it will have the effect you think it will.  In fact this is the Shuttle model, just on the Moon, and that certainly did not work as an incentive for the private launch market, since who can compete with free/subsidized government services?

If anything NASA has already shown everyone how to land on the Moon, and most of the vertical landing systems being built today that could be used on the Moon are being done in the private sector.  So other than a checkbook, NASA is not providing anything that isn't already available in the private sector.

Before we commit to anything big in space we should have a discussion with a lot of stakeholders on what the role of the government is with regards to doing things in space with humans.  I don't think there is any question about NASA's role in robotic missions, and there is currently no interest in the private sector to take over what NASA is doing.  But humans in space is different.

I would argue that the U.S. Government's goal should be to be the lead partner on sustainable systems that allow humans to live and work in space, but that once those systems have been proven that the government ends up being just another customer.  That will ensure that our pace of expansion is tempered by the knowledge that there isn't unlimited government money, which means the private sector will be smarter about what they do.

This approach would not result in the fastest pace of expansion, but the fastest pace is not likely sustainable, and I think a sustainable approach is not only the most financially efficient, but will not cause us to retreat like we've done with other temporary excursions.

My $0.02
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 yg1968

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Re: NASA's New Direction
« Reply #56 on: 01/02/2017 05:30 PM »
Congressman Jim Bridenstine on why the Moon matters:
http://bridenstine.house.gov/blog/?postid=772

Quote from: Rep. Bridenstine
Fortunately, the Space Launch System and Orion are close to being developed and will start testing in 2018.  This system, with a commercial lander, could quickly place machines and robots on the moon to begin the cis-lunar economy.  With the right presidential guidance, humans could return in short order as well…this time, to stay.
« Last Edit: 01/02/2017 05:33 PM by yg1968 »

Offline clongton

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Re: NASA's New Direction
« Reply #57 on: 01/02/2017 06:47 PM »
There seems to be some confusion exactly what NASA should and should not be doing. Some have superimposed their view of what they want NASA to do and suggested that is what NASA is supposed to do. May I respectfully suggest that we re-read  NASA's charter of 1958, as Amended, which spells out the purpose of the agency and defines what the agency should and should not be doing.

To directly answer a couple of comments above, NASA should not be engaged in direct exploration, it should be developing spacecraft for the transport of people thru space (not into space) and it should be gathering information about the bodies in our solar system (probes and planetary spacecraft).

As for the rest, and there is a lot, I offer for your reading enjoyment a link to the official charter of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

http://history.nasa.gov/spaceact-legishistory.pdf
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Online Coastal Ron

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Re: NASA's New Direction
« Reply #58 on: 01/02/2017 07:55 PM »
There seems to be some confusion exactly what NASA should and should not be doing. Some have superimposed their view of what they want NASA to do and suggested that is what NASA is supposed to do. May I respectfully suggest that we re-read  NASA's charter of 1958, as Amended, which spells out the purpose of the agency and defines what the agency should and should not be doing.

To directly answer a couple of comments above, NASA should not be engaged in direct exploration...

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -
Isn't exploration part of Sec. 102. (c):

"(1) The expansion of human knowledge of phenomena in the atmosphere and space;"
-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Or are you meaning exploration for the ultimate goal of commercial gain?

Quote
...it should be developing spacecraft for the transport of people thru space (not into space)

I think the relevant references are:

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -
(c) The Congress declares that the general welfare of the United States requires that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (as established by title II of this Act) seek and encourage, to the maximum extent possible, the fullest commercial use of space.

(d) The aeronautical and space activities of the United States shall be conducted so as to contribute materially to one or more of the following objectives:

(2) The improvement of the usefulness, performance, speed, safety, and efficiency of aeronautical and space vehicles;

(3) The development and operation of vehicles capable of carrying instruments, equipment, supplies, and living organisms through space;

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

I don't read that to mean NASA has to build and operate their own transportation systems.  If anything that bolsters the argument that NASA should be a partner and/or customer, not an builder/operator.

Quote
and it should be gathering information about the bodies in our solar system (probes and planetary spacecraft).

Which is definitely supported by:

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -
(1) The expansion of human knowledge of the Earth and of phenomena in the atmosphere and space;

(4) The establishment of long-range studies of the potential benefits to be gained from, the Opportunities for, and the problems involved in the utilization of aeronautical and space activities for peaceful and scientific purposes;

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

We, as a nation, are certainly at a point where we need to identify what the outcomes are we want for spending U.S. tax dollars on space related activities.  Pure science has always been supported, so let's assume robotic observations and explorations of our solar system continue as they are.  But what about human activity in space?

I would argue that we need to have a more specific guiding philosophy for helping us to understand what the U.S. Government wants to fund NASA to do.  I take inspiration from NASA's predecessor, NACA, whose goal was to undertake, promote, and institutionalize aeronautical research.  From that the U.S. became an aeronautical leader, and having a space version of that focus could help U.S. industry push out into space - without NASA having to be a owner/operator again.

And that is supported by the current NASA charter.
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 clongton

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Re: NASA's New Direction
« Reply #59 on: 01/02/2017 08:23 PM »
Coastal Ron:
Direct exploration as in "boots on the ground" - is not part of the charter.*
Exploration as in probes, satellites and landers is part of the charter.

Thanks for actually reading it. Much appreciated.

*Apollo was a specific mission to accomplish a political goal to demonstrate Capitalism superior to Communism. As such it fell under "in the interests of the United States". No other manned missions to the moon, Mars or anywhere else have been so defined and therefore are not sanctioned by the Charter. Here is where we agree: That charter badly needs upgrading - again.
« Last Edit: 01/02/2017 08:24 PM by clongton »
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