Author Topic: ASAP on board with NASA's DSG as stepping stone to Mars  (Read 13306 times)

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: ASAP on board with NASA's DSG as stepping stone to Mars
« Reply #80 on: 06/25/2017 07:54 PM »
Just because the U.S. Government may not want to send U.S. Government employees back to our Moon doesn't mean we are "ceding" our Moon to anyone. Just like we didn't "own" our Moon after landing on it, neither will anyone else.

So you thing the USG with a bigger space budget than the rest of the world will just sit this one out?

I'm not sure what there is to "sit out", since the solar system is a pretty big place.

For instance, a medium-sized private company in California is planning on colonizing Mars. Does that mean if China doesn't have plans for sending humans to Mars that China is planning to "sit this one out"?

Plus, China has currently only landed a 140 kg rover on our Moon using expendable rockets and spacecraft, so in order for them to scale up to something that is truly meaningful they will have to be dedicating $Billions more per year for decades to come. And other than "science", I'm not sure exactly what they will be doing on our Moon that will cause concern within our U.S. Government.

People tend to confuse space exploration with prestige, mainly because of the Apollo program. But Apollo was an effort to help win a political problem, which was the Cold War, and we lack such a motivator today here on Earth that can be solved by sending humans out into space.

Fast forward to today and NASA's primary skill set is in doing "science", both with robotic systems and in learning how humans can survive in space. But otherwise the U.S. Government does not have plans to use NASA to compete in some sort of "Space Race". Even this Deep Space Gateway (DSG) is kind of a muddled program that tries to get NASA closer to Mars while using the Congressionally-mandated SLS and Orion.

But as we see with the current Trump Administration proposed budget, Trump does not think we need MORE government-funded science, but LESS. So if the only goal for the DSG/DST are "science", then that is shaky ground to build a program on...
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 ncb1397

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Re: ASAP on board with NASA's DSG as stepping stone to Mars
« Reply #81 on: 06/25/2017 08:15 PM »
But as we see with the current Trump Administration proposed budget, Trump does not think we need MORE government-funded science, but LESS. So if the only goal for the DSG/DST are "science", then that is shaky ground to build a program on...

You are making a mountain out of a molehill.

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Space science, which includes missions to study Earth, other planets in the solar system, astrophysics, solar physics and space weather, would receive $5.7 billion under the Trump administration’s budget request, about $53 million less than in the enacted FY ’17 budget.
https://spaceflightnow.com/2017/05/23/trumps-nasa-budget-request-reduces-earth-science-eliminates-education-office/

The Obama administrations FY 2017 budget request had a notional 2018 spending amount of 5408.5 million. So, this is almost $300 million more than Obama's notional out year funding profile submitted over a year ago.
« Last Edit: 06/25/2017 08:19 PM by ncb1397 »

Offline The Amazing Catstronaut

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Re: ASAP on board with NASA's DSG as stepping stone to Mars
« Reply #82 on: 06/25/2017 10:03 PM »
China doesn't have a national impetus for exploration on this level, whilst for the US it's more of a cultural need. USA has unquestionable global media and economic reach, China will compete on those terms, not on slinging stuff into the solar system.  To think national competitiveness is the reason to go to space will just result in a pointless repeat in the moon landings. A federal government impelled equivalent of masturbatory competitive project with taxpayers dollars won't solve the underlying issue of space being as untouchable and distant as ever.

People need better reasons to act in space than just pandering to insecurity. Granted, science is not enough, but prestige should be a result, not the reason.

China would doubtless fill the void if America left that void unfilled, but it isn't unfilled yet.
« Last Edit: 06/25/2017 10:05 PM by The Amazing Catstronaut »
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Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: ASAP on board with NASA's DSG as stepping stone to Mars
« Reply #83 on: 06/25/2017 10:48 PM »
But as we see with the current Trump Administration proposed budget, Trump does not think we need MORE government-funded science, but LESS. So if the only goal for the DSG/DST are "science", then that is shaky ground to build a program on...

You are making a mountain out of a molehill.

Actually I'm just pointing out that no one should assume the molehill will to turn into a mountain...  ;)

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Space science, which includes missions to study Earth, other planets in the solar system, astrophysics, solar physics and space weather, would receive $5.7 billion under the Trump administration’s budget request, about $53 million less than in the enacted FY ’17 budget.

I certainly didn't expect any big changes in this transition budget, from either Presidential candidates, so small movement up or down really doesn't tell us much today.

But in order for the DSG and DST to happen within the next decade there needs to be not only a commitment to the effort from Trump, but Congress has to increase NASA's budget substantially in order to get the program going.

That has to happen soon (i.e. FY2019) since the Deep Space Gateway is a major program, not only because it is supposed to be an international program (i.e. Secretary of State has to be involved) with multiple new human-rated hardware elements (reusing elements is good, but they are being used in new ways), but also because it requires the start of serial production for the SLS and Orion.

It will be interesting to see if V.P. Pence pushes for this in the soon-to-be-reconstituted National Space Council, which should be our first indication of whether the DSG/DST proposal will make it to reality.
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 UltraViolet9

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Re: ASAP on board with NASA's DSG as stepping stone to Mars
« Reply #84 on: 06/26/2017 01:34 AM »
The Obama administrations FY 2017 budget request had a notional 2018 spending amount of 5408.5 million. So, this is almost $300 million more than Obama's notional out year funding profile submitted over a year ago.

But less than the prior year's enacted.  It's an increase over a projection but a cut from last year's actual budget.

And a fraction of what something like DSG will need, which isn't in the Administration's FY18 request.

As happens with most transitions, FY18 a placeholder NASA budget for the current Administration -- they didn't have leadership in place on the 9th floor or in the White House (whether National Space Council or something else) when the FY18 request was formulated.  And they won't for some time to come.

Planetary science, DSG, SLS/Orion, etc. are all angels on a pin until some leadership with known positions are place (at least), and even then, we'll want to wait until they put out a budget request to see where they really come down.

Offline ncb1397

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Re: ASAP on board with NASA's DSG as stepping stone to Mars
« Reply #85 on: 06/26/2017 11:10 PM »

But in order for the DSG and DST to happen within the next decade there needs to be not only a commitment to the effort from Trump, but Congress has to increase NASA's budget substantially in order to get the program going.

That has to happen soon (i.e. FY2019) since the Deep Space Gateway is a major program, not only because it is supposed to be an international program (i.e. Secretary of State has to be involved) with multiple new human-rated hardware elements (reusing elements is good, but they are being used in new ways), but also because it requires the start of serial production for the SLS and Orion.

SLS and Orion already are producing as if it was serial production. They plan to start building serial number 3 hydrogen tank for instance. There is no reason to think their budget needs to increase for serial production. It could actually decrease. I believe that Orion/CEV funding peaked around 2009/2010 for instance. Obviously, serial production is expensive, but development is also expensive as well. Which is more so? My educated guess is that for 1 flight/year, it is development that is more expensive than serial production.

And there are other significant pieces of NASA's budget that are in transition period where it is not optimized and efficient. For instance, 3 providers are being paid for LEO crew rotation, but only 1 is currently delivering that service. So, I really think that DSG/DST doesn't require any actual increase to NASA's budget beyond annual inflation adjustment.
« Last Edit: 06/26/2017 11:25 PM by ncb1397 »

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: ASAP on board with NASA's DSG as stepping stone to Mars
« Reply #86 on: 06/27/2017 01:48 AM »
SLS and Orion already are producing as if it was serial production. They plan to start building serial number 3 hydrogen tank for instance.

There are clear lines that delineate between development and production. You can use production tooling, and you can build parts that may not be changing between development and production, but until program management, engineering, and the production folks sign off that a particular SLS configuration is ready for production, it's not yet in production.

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There is no reason to think their budget needs to increase for serial production. It could actually decrease.

Absolutely. You normally don't need as many engineering resources for sustaining production as you do for development, so overhead changes like that are normal. Keep in mind though that SLS development is not ending anytime soon, since Block 1B and Block 2 are still in development for many years to come.

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I believe that Orion/CEV funding peaked around 2009/2010 for instance.

When development spending peaked has no relationship to what a production version of the SLS or Orion will cost on a yearly basis. Plus, production costs are divided up between procurement costs and production & test costs, with procurement being committed years before production occurs.

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Obviously, serial production is expensive, but development is also expensive as well. Which is more so? My educated guess is that for 1 flight/year, it is development that is more expensive than serial production.

My post was not about the difference in cost between development and production. And what has not been decided on yet is how the SLS and Orion material will be procured, which has a significant effect on the per/unit cost for both.

For instance in 2002 NASA announced a contract extension for the Shuttle SRM's, bringing the contract value up to $2.4B for 70 motors (35 flight sets) for use through 2007. That works out to $69M per set, but that was based on decades of serial production and building on average of 7 sets per year. Congress has not yet determined what the flight rate for the SLS will be, but chances are it will be between 1-1.5/year, so the per unit cost of a set of SRM's will not be anywhere near what the Shuttle SRM costs were due to the low production volume.

What NASA is waiting for from Congress is authorization to start full-up production, which will also define what the planned production rate will be. It could only be a year-to-year authorization, which is the most expensive way to buy & build, or it could be a multi-year authorization. But so far Congress has only authorized some - some - long lead material, like the RS-25 engines.

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And there are other significant pieces of NASA's budget that are in transition period where it is not optimized and efficient. For instance, 3 providers are being paid for LEO crew rotation, but only 1 is currently delivering that service. So, I really think that DSG/DST doesn't require any actual increase to NASA's budget beyond annual inflation adjustment.

You are talking about the ISS program, which is not related to the DSG/DST program, and does not share (at this time) any transportation elements. So the DSG/DST program is going to be IN ADDITION TO the ISS program, and not a 1:1 replacement of it. At least for part of the life of both programs.

And again, I'm not talking cost per se, just pointing out that at this point the SLS and Orion programs are only authorized for development, and no authorization has been provided by Congress for serial production. No one outside of NASA, not even Congress, knows what the production costs will be (NASA has not shared them with Congress yet), so there will need to be some discussion within Congress about the total proposed costs for the DSG/DST proposed program (station costs, installation costs, support costs, etc.).

When will that happen? I think we'll have to wait for V.P. Pence to push that forward - if the Trump Administration wants to back this proposal...
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 redliox

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Re: ASAP on board with NASA's DSG as stepping stone to Mars
« Reply #87 on: 07/03/2017 12:25 AM »
Japan is apparently declaring it's intention to get to the Moon by 2030, in the process agreeing to assist with the DSG:
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/07/01/national/science-health/jaxa-reveals-plans-put-japanese-moon-2030/#.WVkO3ojyjIW
http://www.astrowatch.net/2017/07/japan-plans-to-land-astronauts-on-moon.html
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The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has ambitious plans to put an astronaut on the moon sometime around 2030, according to new proposals from the space agency.

This is the first time JAXA has publicly explored sending astronauts anywhere beyond the International Space Station, a JAXA spokeswoman said Friday.

The idea is to first join a NASA-led mission in 2025 to build a space station in the moon’s orbit — part of a longer-term effort by NASA to reach Mars.

Tokyo hopes that contributing to the multinational mission and sharing Japanese technology will land it a coveted spot at the station, from which it could eventually put an astronaut on the moon, the spokeswoman said.
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Offline TrevorMonty

They need a manned lunar lander
and probably a partner (ESA?) to help with R&D costs.
« Last Edit: 07/03/2017 02:34 AM by TrevorMonty »

Offline calapine

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Re: ASAP on board with NASA's DSG as stepping stone to Mars
« Reply #89 on: 07/03/2017 12:43 PM »
An ESA-JAXA co-operation would be a very nice start to a "Moon renaissance". 

Offline Khadgars

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Re: ASAP on board with NASA's DSG as stepping stone to Mars
« Reply #90 on: 07/03/2017 09:07 PM »
An ESA-JAXA co-operation would be a very nice start to a "Moon renaissance".

I agree, except it all starts with NASA DSG including SLS/Orion which we all know how everyone on here feels about.

Offline TrevorMonty

An ESA-JAXA co-operation would be a very nice start to a "Moon renaissance".

I agree, except it all starts with NASA DSG including SLS/Orion which we all know how everyone on here feels about.
Speak for yourself, I think DSG great idea. Back to moon would be better but endup being cancelled because high cost. DSG is achievable on current NASA budget. Once in place the next step from DSG to moon is not so big or expensive.

Offline Propylox

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Re: ASAP on board with NASA's DSG as stepping stone to Mars
« Reply #92 on: 07/04/2017 04:50 AM »
"... NASA expected to publish individual documents for each system, such as environmental control and life support, power, data, storage, etc., that would contain voluntary standards rather than requirements, with the hope that both international and industry partners would be able to develop hardware and software that could easily be incorporated into the overall architecture, per the overview to the ASAP.
... In terms of basic functionality, the DSG is being planned to support multiple NASA, commercial, and international objectives,” added the overview. “It would be designed for the deep space environment and would support a crew of 4 for total mission durations of up to 42 days with the Orion vehicle attached."


A multi-year continuous ECLSS test can easily be done via ISS, so why run it in DSG? This is the whole problem with this DSG plan. If you want to test long term ECLSS then just focus on ECLSS ...
There's no reason for DSG development to be hamstrung by the requirement for a long-term ECLSS. Initial operation could be achieved via an Enhanced Cygnus; outfitted with external airlock, additional propellant for station keeping, CO2 scrubbers, communications, etc. Effectively, it creates a 'rest stop' in LLO to begin positioning and assembling DSG build-up. The 42-days with Orion vehicle attached is all that's needed initially, not a full-fledged ECLSS.

I used to think a Mir/Zvezda core module attached to an ISS multi-docking Node would make a good Deep Space Gateway station. It has proven life support systems and refuelability and with improved thermal and radiation shielding could handle the constant sunlight of Cislunar space well.
If not the actual, above configuration - then something similar. There is no need to build another ISS scale station, this time in deep Cislunar space. ...
In complete agreement, and this is the build-up. Initially just a tin can (Cygnus), the day a DOS (Salyut) arrives - with it's permanent ECLSS and substantial SKD/DPO engines - is the day we'll have a functioning DSG. While the ISS continued packing on lbs, a DSG composed of DOS, Cygnus (with backup ECLSS/propulsion, primary airlock and storage space), a docking node and maybe a truss/arm for supply docking is complete and capable of all Lunar or Deep Space ambitions for decades to come as well as future ECLSS or teleoperation development.

SLS/Orion always seemed much more a 'Moon Rocket' and spaceship to me. A lunar gateway station, with or without any Mars endgame in sight could be a good place to base and service/refuel a reusable lunar lander craft. If the Lander is a Commercially-competed craft or a joint venture between NASA and it's partners... Seems to me a better way of doing things than the purely Constellation modus-operandi.

Commercial space entities could compete for cargo deliveries to the Gateway station, as they did to ISS.
...
Absolutely a DSG could and should be the staging point for surface missions, but I don't see a Commercial role for landers. Sure, some X-Prize contestants may try to hawk their wares, but the surface and DSG should be international undertakings. As to lander specifics; I'd use Russian engines, thrusters, fuel systems, etc while the rest can be debatable international sourcing.

I wouldn't bother asking International or Commercial partners for specific deliveries to DSG. People require rapid transport from LEO to LLO, but not infrastructure, supplies or fuel. Those can be slowly transported (SEP tug) with considerably less fuel. As DSG would be the only buyer for an SEP tug it's best run by those operating the DSG while organizing and purchasing payload to LEO from Commercial providers. ie; A Falcon Heavy with reusable boosters, but expendable core lofts 37mT to LEO(?) which becomes ~29mT in LLO using a tug. That's more than adequate for anything conceivable.

... even though you could do Mars with DSG, Gerstenmaier indicates that it really is just a test bed for a better craft down the line(DST). The engines and solar panels at the very least need to be tested long duration in the relevant environment. Wear levels on the solar panels in the precise radiological environment is something that needs to be 100% understood. NASA's Space Radiation Laboratory(NSRL) is only an approximation.
   ...
Aerojet Rocketdyne, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AJRD), has signed a $67 million cost-plus fixed fee (plus performance incentive) contract with NASA to develop a high-power electric propulsion system that will enable key elements of NASA's plans for exploration of cis-lunar space and Mars.
Under the Advanced Electric Propulsion System (AEPS) contract, the Aerojet Rocketdyne team will develop, qualify and deliver five 12.5 kilowatt Hall thruster subsystems including thrusters,

http://www.rocket.com/article/aerojet-rocketdyne-signs-contract-develop-advanced-electric-propulsion-system-nasa
ECLSS, surface missions, automated docking, communications, etc should all be significantly advanced by the design and operation of DSG, but propulsion development would be DSG's greatest benefit. Just running a SEP tug is a big step, but seeing what wears out and the difference between 'real space' and laboratory approximation cannot be accomplished any other way.
Frankly, AR's 12.5kw HET isn't even enough for tugs. But 30kw to 50kw HET arranged into grids could work and the only way to know if grids even DO work is testing them in space.

Beyond tugs, DSG could run larger or developmental systems (including nuclear) around the Moon for years, then allow them to be inspected and parts replaced to refine the design. Again, no place else is this kind of development possible. Lastly; Lunar orbit is an exceptional place to put telescopes, especially if they could be visited once every month from DSG with quick orbital maneuvers in case of failure or upgrades.
« Last Edit: 07/04/2017 05:16 AM by Propylox »

Tags: DSG JAXA