Author Topic: Eight year Moon mission. What can we do?  (Read 21118 times)

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: Eight year Moon mission. What can we do?
« Reply #20 on: 05/29/2016 11:48 PM »


Leave landers to ULA and SpaceX.

You mean Boeing, LM, ORB-ATK, NG, Spacex, etc.  And, that is who NASA would contract anyways, just like Orion.

If NASA is contracting just like Orion, eight years will get us zip, zero, nada.  See Orion.

CCDev (Commercial Crew Development) will have taken 6-8 years to produce 2 flying spacecraft. So a mixture of Space Act Agreements (SAA) and fixed price FAR 15 contracts may work.

Online ncb1397

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Re: Eight year Moon mission. What can we do?
« Reply #21 on: 05/30/2016 12:24 AM »
8 years? Some sort of Orion derived lunar lander is feasible. It just needs an SM that holds about ~60,000 kg of MMH/NTO vs the current ~10,000 kg...and landing legs. Would be fueled in lunar orbit by an SM derived SEP logistics drone to do LLO -> surface -> LLO in one stage. 4 astronauts on the surface for 2 weeks. 3 launches for the first mission and 2 for each subsequent mission.

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: Eight year Moon mission. What can we do?
« Reply #22 on: 05/30/2016 01:31 AM »
8 years? Some sort of Orion derived lunar lander is feasible. It just needs an SM that holds about ~60,000 kg of MMH/NTO vs the current ~10,000 kg...and landing legs. Would be fueled in lunar orbit by an SM derived SEP logistics drone to do LLO -> surface -> LLO in one stage. 4 astronauts on the surface for 2 weeks. 3 launches for the first mission and 2 for each subsequent mission.

Since the Orion's sensors were designed to dock the top of it rather than vertically land the bottom adding the lidar hardware developed by the AL HAT project to the stretched Service Module may help.
See http://alhat.jpl.nasa.gov

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Eight year Moon mission. What can we do?
« Reply #23 on: 05/30/2016 01:47 AM »
I heard today that Trump asked Newt to consider the VP position... So if Hillary blows it, you never know since Newt was for a Moon colony... I'm not advocating you vote for him, just saying what I heard...

EDIT: to add
« Last Edit: 05/30/2016 02:00 AM by Rocket Science »
"Remember the victims of Manchester"

Online okan170

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Re: Eight year Moon mission. What can we do?
« Reply #24 on: 05/30/2016 05:27 PM »
CCDev (Commercial Crew Development) will have taken 6-8 years to produce 2 flying spacecraft. So a mixture of Space Act Agreements (SAA) and fixed price FAR 15 contracts may work.

Actually this seems like the most likely course of action.  It seems incredibly unlikely that congress would actually put it's money where it's mouth is and seriously pay for development of those landers and surface elements under traditional methods, making a partially commercial approach one big way to satisfy their requirements while not taking as much money as the traditional model (and still expanding the commercial market).
« Last Edit: 05/30/2016 05:28 PM by okan170 »

Offline guckyfan

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Re: Eight year Moon mission. What can we do?
« Reply #25 on: 05/30/2016 05:41 PM »
Is it really conceivable that Congress would fund another endeavour like Commercial Crew? It took a lot of bartering SLS vs. CC to get that through.

If it happens then with a contract to Lockheed Martin or Boeing, I could imagine. But in 8 years?

Offline nadreck

Re: Eight year Moon mission. What can we do?
« Reply #26 on: 05/30/2016 06:05 PM »
Is it really conceivable that Congress would fund another endeavour like Commercial Crew? It took a lot of bartering SLS vs. CC to get that through.

If it happens then with a contract to Lockheed Martin or Boeing, I could imagine. But in 8 years?

I think it is possible that projects like CRS and CC become easier and easier for NASA (and later maybe other government agencies/offices/departments as programs like CRS and CC leave in their wake a growing inventory products/services that are very biddable and comparable). Just look how Sierra Nevada was able to bring a partly funded project back to full funding with CRS-2.  If we imagine that there is a lunar orbital station commissioned for the 2020's and long before the first piece is launched, a lander program like CRS/CC starts up for maybe 2 types of lander (one way cargo, two way personel). It is easier to administer, approve and specify because of experience with the former ones from the NASA side. The industrial partners though find it easier than previous ones and can bring to bear elements that they used previously. The next step might be for Mars Landers. Again, some of the same submitters as the lunar lander might leverage their work for that.

Now another possibility that might overtake the potential for that, is that 2 or 3 companies actually move beyond/ahead of what NASA is asking for (BO and SpaceX are both in a big way trying to do this now and many smaller companies with more niche or scaled down projects are as well).
It is all well and good to quote those things that made it past your confirmation bias that other people wrote, but this is a discussion board damnit! Let us know what you think! And why!

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: Eight year Moon mission. What can we do?
« Reply #27 on: 05/30/2016 07:56 PM »
Is it really conceivable that Congress would fund another endeavour like Commercial Crew? It took a lot of bartering SLS vs. CC to get that through.

If it happens then with a contract to Lockheed Martin or Boeing, I could imagine. But in 8 years?

Several people have said on this site that NASA's budget has been flat for decades. If so replacement projects for the development money will be needed when SLS and Commercial Crew development come to an end.

Big projects may need a political owner to look after them. Such as the president or committee chairmen in the Senate.

The initial studies for new projects can be approved as a task on projects approaching completion.

Space Act Agreements (SAA) tend to last about 2 years. Senators are re-elected every 6 years and Members of the House of Representatives every 2 years - so need regular campaign contributions. Since projects can last a decade, and therefore need to contain several sets of SAA, I suspect that the similarity in timescales mat not be a coincidence.

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: Eight year Moon mission. What can we do?
« Reply #28 on: 05/30/2016 08:24 PM »
{snip} But in 8 years?

Under the Constitution US Presidents can be elected for two 4 years terms. To prevent them from becoming dictators, as happens in many third world countries, this limit is strongly enforced. So any project that lasts longer than 8 years will need approval from two presidents and 5-6 sets House of Representatives = high political risk of cancellation.

The 8 years is not an absolute limit. 16 or 12 year projects could be broken up into 4-6 stages. At each stage a useful product is delivered; plus some parts for the next stage. Each stage can have its own sub-project name but that needs careful planning.

At the start of Apollo the USA could only just send a man into orbit. Now NASA has its own launch vehicles, decades of space experience, working life support and has developed automatic landing guidance systems. Doing something awesome in the next 8 years should be possible.

Online su27k

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Re: Eight year Moon mission. What can we do?
« Reply #29 on: 05/31/2016 03:11 AM »
Is it really conceivable that Congress would fund another endeavour like Commercial Crew? It took a lot of bartering SLS vs. CC to get that through.

If it happens then with a contract to Lockheed Martin or Boeing, I could imagine. But in 8 years?

Several people have said on this site that NASA's budget has been flat for decades. If so replacement projects for the development money will be needed when SLS and Commercial Crew development come to an end.

After SLS/Orion is finished, they would need billions to keep the standing army and facilities ($3B per year from the document I saw), so there won't be much development money left. If Congress has its way, Commercial Crew money will be used to develop a habitat, and what we can do in 8 years is a habitat around the Moon and one flight to it via Orion per year. Awesome? I think not...

(8 years is not a lot of time for traditional contractors, just see how long it has taken and will take to complete Orion, nearly 20 years!)

Offline wannamoonbase

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Re: Eight year Moon mission. What can we do?
« Reply #30 on: 06/07/2016 08:22 PM »
A lander and ISRU do seem like viable options within eight years - but so does a habitat if you derive the pressure vessel off current or near-current hardware, such as Bigelow tech, Cygnus, ISS modules, the list of options go on. Space suit is also necessary if you want to use any of the above in a useful manner.

Why not do a commercial competition? You'll see progress within those eight years at the minimum, and even if if every element isn't on schedule, they will be far enough along to make program cancellation extremely difficult.

Exactly!

An 8 year time frame with SLS and Orion in place gives enough time to get on to the surface.  Being productive once there and not just collecting rocks is important.

Start building up a south or north pole base with tele-operated landers and ISRU.  Up close imaging and maping of the landing zone.  Site selection, navigation beacon, each landed load provides raw materials. 

I think a series of competitions that develop ISRU technology, not just for oxygen, but trace elements, metals and other feed stocks that could be produced for 3D printers to create more capability.

Let the commercial sector compete for transport and landing of cargo and depot facilities.  If it takes months to get cargo to lunar orbit with an ion drive who's going to argue.

Unlike the do nothing go no where ISS, if 20 years of deliveries to the moon were done there would be considerable materials to work with and an increasing capability.  Instead we have a big ISS lump that's going in the ocean one day.

As for foreign partners, let them join if they can keep up. But not rely on them for anything critical.  The US should go ahead on it's own.  Larger groups take too long to make decisions.  JAXA, ESA and CSA are okay, but Russia is unreliable and shouldn't be critical path.
« Last Edit: 06/07/2016 08:36 PM by wannamoonbase »
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Offline Lar

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Re: Eight year Moon mission. What can we do?
« Reply #31 on: 06/07/2016 08:39 PM »
A lander and ISRU do seem like viable options within eight years - but so does a habitat if you derive the pressure vessel off current or near-current hardware, such as Bigelow tech, Cygnus, ISS modules, the list of options go on. Space suit is also necessary if you want to use any of the above in a useful manner.

Why not do a commercial competition? You'll see progress within those eight years at the minimum, and even if if every element isn't on schedule, they will be far enough along to make program cancellation extremely difficult.

Exactly!

An 8 year time frame with SLS and Orion in place gives enough time to get on to the surface.  Being productive once there and not just collecting rocks is important.

Start building up a south or north pole base with tele-operated landers and ISRU.  Up close imaging and maping of the landing zone.  Site selection, navigation beacon, each landed load provides raw materials. 

I think a series of competitions that develop ISRU technology, not just for oxygen, but trace elements, metals and other feed stocks that could be produced for 3D printers to create more capability.

Let the commercial sector compete for transport and landing of cargo and depot facilities.  If it takes months to get cargo to lunar orbit with an ion drive who's going to argue.

Unlike the do nothing go no where ISS, if 20 years of deliveries to the moon were done there would be considerable materials to work with and an increasing capability.  Instead we have a big ISS lump that's going in the ocean one day.

As for foreign partners, let them join if they can keep up. But not rely on them for anything critical.  The US should go ahead on it's own.  Larger groups take too long to make decisions.  JAXA, ESA and CSA are okay, but Russia is unreliable and shouldn't be critical path.
You think ISS is do-nothing/go-nowhere but you think SLS is a good way to get to the moon?  Really?
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Offline pietro

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Re: Eight year Moon mission. What can we do?
« Reply #32 on: 06/07/2016 09:14 PM »
Cargo and astronaut transport seems to be a solved issue to me in this timeframe: Red/Blue Dragon (or probably MCT??). Why reinvent the wheel? Focus on the rest of the issues. Habitat: hopefully Bigelow. The rest: ?

Offline ThereIWas3

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Re: Eight year Moon mission. What can we do?
« Reply #33 on: 06/07/2016 09:38 PM »
In 8 years Elon time, humans will be landing on Mars.  I think SpaceX would view any such lunar efforts as a distraction.
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Offline pietro

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Re: Eight year Moon mission. What can we do?
« Reply #34 on: 06/07/2016 10:00 PM »
In 8 years Elon time, humans will be landing on Mars.  I think SpaceX would view any such lunar efforts as a distraction.

It is financing for the SpaceX Mars Colonisation Initiative (or SMaCI).

Online Space Ghost 1962

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Re: Eight year Moon mission. What can we do?
« Reply #35 on: 06/07/2016 10:32 PM »
A change of mind on a grand scale.

Apollo/Saturn forced a fundamental flaw that persists. Actually worsened. That we wield "soft power" through massive public investment, where the overspending "waste" is channeled through aerospace industry primes to achieve large vision exploration as a global "circus act" transient event that lacks conviction. On the scale of "interstate highway system" funds, which are all about conviction, every penny.

However/whoever changes launch, such that it is no longer all about funneling resources into launch as the prime consumer of them. This is the crisis.

So, by taking away that consumer of resources, America (and its partners/rivals) have to ask the question: do we continue to wield "soft power" through space exploration, and if so, how if not in the "launch"?

And in that resolution of that crisis, partnerships and opportunity create a dynamic for going forward, what ever it is, and how ever it evolves beyond launch.

It's not that fundamentally things can or cannot be done, its that you can't use fiat as before, where no one actually has the gumption to admit to the scope of damage incurred as the price that was paid detracts from the success obtained in exploration. In a word, "pride". That pride locked in this flaw. That's what must be undone.

If afterward we continue to do "soft power" space exploration, its because the fiat doesn't just wastefully force the effort/event/opportunity, but is used more deftly by leveraging developing strengths to reach beyond where we thought we could expect, to a higher skilled application that we then could attempt.

Public budgets will always be some form of return to regional economies, through political favoritism. How that does so, degree, and level of commitment remains to be seen. If any.

Three private commitments of varying degrees have been made. SX's generic to Mars, and specific of lander to any body. ULA's hydrolox inspace propulsion generic. BO's heavy industrialization of space generic.

But first we need to see significant change followed through on launch. It is not enough to recover vehicles like BO and SX, nor limited relaunch. And given SX's quiet non-discourse about static fires, engine issues, and steady pace to orbital reflight, from a frequently bellicose firm, suggests that getting to "aircraft like operations" won't be a casual undertaking for them. Or others.

Will it need to work at a larger (BFR) scale? Do compromises in payload/LV capacity/performance slow the agenda?

Or, like SX's CRS-7 LOM, and ULA's OA-6 RD-180 mixture valve anomaly, take significant time to revise/prove to bring the original program back on course to deliver as promised.

Even if right now, FH was lofting 30+ tons and all three boosters RTLS repeatedly for relaunch back to 39A, it would take significant effort to change the above mentioned "flaw" of exploration funding intent. We are now used to expending money on rarely used HLV under the pretext of exploration, simply to use its high labor costs to divert funds politically. Many don't want this use of funds to vanish.

For your eight year mission to end up even partially funded by Congress, its not the components that are the issue by far. As is, it is self-defeating. One must get beyond this.

The issue is a) getting to the crisis, b) articulating goals/means, c) having the political will to get through the crisis, and d) doing so.

Then, you can assemble the components given the partners and the budgets. Horse, cart - not cart, horse.

Which perhaps isn't as much fun for those who post here. But a lot more fun for a few of us. ;)

edit: clarity.
« Last Edit: 06/08/2016 12:06 AM by Space Ghost 1962 »

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: Eight year Moon mission. What can we do?
« Reply #36 on: 06/07/2016 10:48 PM »
The financial year 2017 Budget for the US Government contains wording that suggests NASA should target the Moon. Since each president has his own views on missions to the Moon or Mars IMHO there may only about 8 years before this changes again. NASA may get a small budget but a big one is unlikely.

What can we do in these 8 years?

Finally come to the realization that the U.S. Government should NOT be directly involved in lunar mining or lunar colonization.  At least not until some sort of "National Imperative" comes along that merits sending government employees to the Moon.

Picking a destination and then trying to figure out how to justify it so we can spend gobs of U.S. Taxpayer money is a bad idea.  Let's not do it...
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 wannamoonbase

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Re: Eight year Moon mission. What can we do?
« Reply #37 on: 06/08/2016 03:15 PM »
You think ISS is do-nothing/go-nowhere but you think SLS is a good way to get to the moon?  Really?

I didn't say I liked or thought SLS was a good vehicle, just that it would be in place.

It's a beast created by congress to maximize jobs in districts. 

I'd prefer if NASA provided specs for payloads, just as mass and dimensions and contracted industry to put them in place.  Let the market sort out the rocket.
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Offline wannamoonbase

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Re: Eight year Moon mission. What can we do?
« Reply #38 on: 06/08/2016 03:24 PM »
In 8 years Elon time, humans will be landing on Mars.  I think SpaceX would view any such lunar efforts as a distraction.

1) Who cares what SpaceX thinks, if there are contracts for launches and cargo delivery SpaceX would be all over it  like a cheap suit.
2) You hit the nail on the head with 'Elon time'. I'd comfortably bet everything I own now or in the future that humans to Mars in 2024 has a 0.000000% likelihood of happening.
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Offline Lar

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Re: Eight year Moon mission. What can we do?
« Reply #39 on: 06/08/2016 03:30 PM »
In 8 years Elon time, humans will be landing on Mars.  I think SpaceX would view any such lunar efforts as a distraction.

1) Who cares what SpaceX thinks, if there are contracts for launches and cargo delivery SpaceX would be all over it  like a cheap suit.
2) You hit the nail on the head with 'Elon time'. I'd comfortably bet everything I own now or in the future that humans to Mars in 2024 has a 0.000000% likelihood of happening.


That's a lot of decimal points, what odds are you offering? :) (I have been known to take the short end of really long odds bets, and I actually hit one once at 100:1)
"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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