Poll

Do you like NASA's New Mars Human Exploration Plans?

Like it
27 (31%)
Could use improvements
34 (39.1%)
Don't Like it
26 (29.9%)

Total Members Voted: 87


Author Topic: New NASA Mars plans  (Read 5431 times)

Offline Eric Hedman

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New NASA Mars plans
« on: 04/12/2017 09:47 PM »
NASA's new plans for the Deep Space Gateway and Deep Space Transport have been out for a short time.  I think it is time to get an initial poll of what people think.

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: New NASA Mars plans
« Reply #1 on: 04/12/2017 10:05 PM »
I guess I don't see the Deep Space Gateway as Mars-specific, especially since one of it's primary uses is envisioned to support lunar operations.

As for the Deep Space Transport, it too is probably not Mars specific, at least at this point, since an interplanetary spacecraft could go to nearby asteroids first, or even visit Venus.

So I don't really see creating the DSG and DST as a Mars plan, just more of a NASA "what we could do next with what we got" plan.
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 Robotbeat

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Re: New NASA Mars plans
« Reply #2 on: 04/12/2017 11:24 PM »
Skip the gateway, go for the transport. Do some initial tests in cislunar space with it, but don't spend billions (tens of billions?) on something that will still leave you stuck at 1AU.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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Offline Phil Stooke

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Re: New NASA Mars plans
« Reply #3 on: 04/12/2017 11:54 PM »
Skip the transport, go for the gateway. Do some initial tests in cislunar space, then down to the surface, but don't spend billions (tens of billions?) on something that will still leave you stuck at 1AU while purporting to take you to Mars.

Offline savuporo

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Re: New NASA Mars plans
« Reply #4 on: 04/13/2017 02:27 AM »
Skip the transport, go for the gateway. Do some initial tests in cislunar space, then down to the surface, but don't spend billions (tens of billions?) on something that will still leave you stuck at 1AU while purporting to take you to Mars.

Launch the gateway on an Atlas V, ASAP. Build a few spares while you are at it.

EDIT: and oh. https://www.nasa.gov/missions/solarsystem/vision_concepts.html

« Last Edit: 04/13/2017 05:06 AM by savuporo »
Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: New NASA Mars plans
« Reply #5 on: 04/13/2017 02:39 AM »
Skip the transport, go for the gateway. Do some initial tests in cislunar space, then down to the surface, but don't spend billions (tens of billions?) on something that will still leave you stuck at 1AU while purporting to take you to Mars.
A transit vehicle could go from LEO to LLO, from EML1/2 to SEL1/2 to Mars orbit to Phobos and Deimos (just need a jet pack or long rope to get to the surface), to various asteroids (would be nice to see Ceres and Vesta up close), etc. or you could just use it to hang out in cislunar space if you're afraid of being truly spacefaring. :)
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline RocketmanUS

Re: New NASA Mars plans
« Reply #6 on: 04/13/2017 03:12 AM »
Voted
Don;t like it

Some issues-
requires over priced and extremely low flight rate SLS
opens up more delays in getting crew to Mars surface
Deep Space Gateway is a distraction , not a benefit for crewed Mars missions

Some of what is needed and could have a robotic sample return-
in-space propellant transfer
reusable tankers ( also the 2nd stage for the launcher )
descender and ascender for crew
crew size rover

Needs no later than 2030 for 1st crew landing.

Edit:
What NASA and Country needs-
1 ) Commercial crew CST-100 and Dragon 2
2 ) Vulcan/ACES to replace Atlas V and Delta IV
3 ) In-space refueling for ULA and SpaceX
In that order.

Falcon, Vulcan with in-space refueling is what can bring in crewed BLEO exploration and science.
No need for a larger vehicle that is only used once in a while with a separate fixed overhead that does not support other launches that are done monthly.
Vulcan with it's wide body could launch anything needed for Mars and Falcon with reuse for lower cost for tankers.
« Last Edit: 04/15/2017 01:46 AM by RocketmanUS »
Mars and beyond, human exploration
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Offline GWH

Re: New NASA Mars plans
« Reply #7 on: 04/13/2017 05:00 AM »
I like some things:
- Gives SLS/Orion some reasonable justification  as a "safe path" that COULD allow for commercial development into deep space (we all knew Orion was NEVER going to Mars)
- Minimal launch rate of SLS, deep space gateway modules are within realm of lift for commercial heavy lifters
- Allows for some pretty open ended international involvement
- Can serve as a staging point for lunar OR near Earth asteroid missions or re-positioned if the need comes to it
- Commercial resupply is a part of the plan
- Using SLS to fly a single deep space craft for orbiting to Mars

Don't like some others:
- Needs more docking ports to allow for multi-user growth
- Retains ownership of the SEP tug for DSG that is then lifted by SLS.  If this were instead procured from a purely commercial and competitive process then perhaps others can find uses for the tech after?  NASA already funded development efforts to multiple companies
- So far no mention of the NextStep habs.  Are these planned?  Will it be a competitive and experimental (cheaper but risky) program?
- No soliciting (that is visible) of commercial users and demonstrated vision.  ULA's cislunar1000 and prop depots? I bet  Deep Space Industries and Planetary Resources would love an opportunity to stage from or return samples to a platform far out of the gravity well that is manned and has regular cargo flights to/from. 

Last thought:
- if NASA or an international partner does field a module or a node, it would be nice to see one based internally to the Universal Stage Adapter rather than wasting all that mass that has been sent through TLI

Offline redliox

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Re: New NASA Mars plans
« Reply #8 on: 04/13/2017 05:34 AM »
I think it could use improvement, but is a practical and, more to the point, only option NASA can afford to do without another 20 year derailment.

The gateway is mainly a benefit for Lunar exploration, although if periodically moved to L2 it may help Mars.  It's main use is testing out life support systems required for Martian trips; I have to admit ensuring some hardware can manage to function steady for 2 years (or at least 8 months straight) with minimal replacement parts is on the side of wisdom.  It isn't really needed for the sake of exploration itself, but it is more affordable with more applications toward exploring rather than biology experiments ala ISS.

I've since learned we can't repeat Apollo without an Apollo budget.  Not expecting pie-in-the-sky when NASA only has crumbs to work with.
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Offline TomH

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Re: New NASA Mars plans
« Reply #9 on: 04/13/2017 05:40 AM »
Nope. Quit throwing good money after bad. Cancel the 2 albatrosses. Focus on facilitating commercial companies who have their eyes on Mars and are focused on use of cutting edge technology rather than legacy antiquated tech that is really just a pork portal.

Offline llanitedave

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Re: New NASA Mars plans
« Reply #10 on: 04/13/2017 09:16 PM »
It could always use improvements, but as a first draft, I think it's a good start.  I like it.
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Online Steven Pietrobon

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Re: New NASA Mars plans
« Reply #11 on: 04/14/2017 07:47 AM »
The plan has a big problem.

Phase 1. Develop Deep Space Gateway and Deep Space Transport.
Phase 2. ?
Phase 3. Humans on Mars!
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline blasphemer

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Re: New NASA Mars plans
« Reply #12 on: 04/14/2017 08:48 AM »
Skip the gateway, go for the transport. Do some initial tests in cislunar space with it, but don't spend billions (tens of billions?) on something that will still leave you stuck at 1AU.

Cost and complexity of the Gateway will be very small compared to any Mars mission. If you cant afford the Gateway, then you surely cant afford Mars.

In all likelihood, we are either going to both Moon and Mars, or we are not going to Mars at all.

I see this Moon vs. Mars dichotomy often, and I think it is fallacious. Its like asking if we are going to walk or run. You cant run without walking first. There is plenty of deep space experience to be gained in cislunar space and on lunar surface that will be applicable not just to a Mars mission, but any deep space goal.
« Last Edit: 04/14/2017 08:50 AM by blasphemer »

Offline Dalhousie

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Re: New NASA Mars plans
« Reply #13 on: 04/14/2017 11:20 AM »
Nope. Quit throwing good money after bad. Cancel the 2 albatrosses. Focus on facilitating commercial companies who have their eyes on Mars and are focused on use of cutting edge technology rather than legacy antiquated tech that is really just a pork portal.

Boeing and LM have their eyes on Mars.
"There is nobody who is a bigger fan of sending robots to Mars than me... But I believe firmly that the best, the most comprehensive, the most successful exploration will be done by humans" Steve Squyres

Offline spacenut

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Re: New NASA Mars plans
« Reply #14 on: 04/14/2017 01:30 PM »
Give up NASA plans.  Give up SLS.  Give matching fund money to SpaceX for Mars plans. Give matching fun money to BO for lunar plans/manufacturing plans.  Give ULA matching funds to develop Vulcan/ACES and modules/habs for both Mars and Lunar expeditions.  Use a COTS style program for other companies to develop modules/habs/mining/construction equipment.  NASA would become the funding agency by having matching funds available for Space developers.  That way, twice the money at least, would be spent on Space related stuff.  Half government, half private companies.  As equipment and things are developed, then pay for rides.   This could be a public/private/foreign assisted partnerships to get things down in space. 

Offline whitelancer64

Re: New NASA Mars plans
« Reply #15 on: 04/14/2017 01:39 PM »
Give up NASA plans.  Give up SLS.  Give matching fund money to SpaceX for Mars plans. Give matching fun money to BO for lunar plans/manufacturing plans.  Give ULA matching funds to develop Vulcan/ACES and modules/habs for both Mars and Lunar expeditions.  Use a COTS style program for other companies to develop modules/habs/mining/construction equipment.  NASA would become the funding agency by having matching funds available for Space developers.  That way, twice the money at least, would be spent on Space related stuff.  Half government, half private companies.  As equipment and things are developed, then pay for rides.   This could be a public/private/foreign assisted partnerships to get things down in space.

Good luck convincing Congress to authorize any of that...
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
"There are lies, damned lies, and launch schedules." - Larry J

Offline spacenut

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Re: New NASA Mars plans
« Reply #16 on: 04/14/2017 02:02 PM »
NASA did well with COTS program.  Trump is wanting to do the same with the infrastructure.  Public/private.  It will be like toll roads and bridges.  Private companies recouping their private investment money with tolls.  With NASA, You have two billionaires who want to do things, but they can only move so fast without a little kick start.  COTS for the moon, COTS for Mars, etc.  Let's see everyone's plans, which is the least expensive?  Which is the most practical?  Which gives the most bang for the buck?  Even if it is the most expensive, it would be the least expensive and get the most done in the long run. 


Offline whitelancer64

Re: New NASA Mars plans
« Reply #17 on: 04/14/2017 02:25 PM »
NASA did well with COTS program.  Trump is wanting to do the same with the infrastructure.  Public/private.  It will be like toll roads and bridges.  Private companies recouping their private investment money with tolls.  With NASA, You have two billionaires who want to do things, but they can only move so fast without a little kick start.  COTS for the moon, COTS for Mars, etc.  Let's see everyone's plans, which is the least expensive?  Which is the most practical?  Which gives the most bang for the buck?  Even if it is the most expensive, it would be the least expensive and get the most done in the long run.

Yes, there will be commercial supply contracts for whatever NASA does, whether Moon or Mars. That has been part of NASA's plans for some time now.
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
"There are lies, damned lies, and launch schedules." - Larry J

Offline su27k

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Re: New NASA Mars plans
« Reply #18 on: 04/15/2017 11:26 AM »
Based on the IG report, even the cheapest SLS/Orion plan would require annual HSF budget to increase by 2.4% every year, I don't see how this is sustainable. Unless this new plan magically solves the funding issue, going down this path is pure insanity.

Offline Proponent

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Re: New NASA Mars plans
« Reply #19 on: 04/15/2017 11:42 AM »
Based on the IG report, even the cheapest SLS/Orion plan would require annual HSF budget to increase by 2.4% every year....

And that's 2.4% above inflation.  The NRC study commissioned by Congress told us almost precisely the same thing in 2014.

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