Author Topic: NASA Exploration Roadmap: A return to the Moonís surface documented  (Read 32809 times)

Offline 93143

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2720
  • Liked: 102
You seem to be seriously ok with the suggestion you made.  That after launching the $11B Ares rocket empty, in a redux of an unmanned, empty Mercury flight, NASA should consider designing, building, and launching a rocket that was deliberately "never intended to accomplish anything"?

I didn't suggest anything of the kind.  I was merely pointing out that while a J-130 could have been designed to evolve into a J-246 and be a moon rocket, Block 0 was intended to evolve into a J-140SH first, which made the initial configuration pointless.  So NASA wisely dumped it.  (One could argue about which configuration ought to have been dumped, but one or the other had to go.)

Also, NASA didn't spend anything like $11B on Ares I, never mind Ares I-X.  The oft-quoted ~$10B number (which I'm assuming is equivalent to yours) was all of CxP.

Quote
So, John, can I interpret your position as opposition to prioritizing the advanced boosters over an EDS and lander?
He can be taught!

Okay, I think we're pretty much done here.

I had gotten the impression from your somewhat stylized rhetoric that you were unclear on what the actual situation was; what exactly the baseline was and what the upgrades entailed.  I hope I have been able to help alleviate any excess confusion.

Quote
The 70 ton rocket will do the job, if only we had it to use.  What's missing?  Not the booster, the EDS!  And then what? The P-word!

All that other so-called "evolution", the part that's blind and only profit based, could be actually be "intelligently designed"  [I know, taboo term] for actual accomplishment on a restricted budget.  While they work on reducing launch costs by actually [gasp] launching payloads!  There's no real rush to build the BFR.

I'm with you here.  I'd like to see the advanced boosters, but I'd like to see an L2 station servicing a growing moon base more.

Offline HappyMartian

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2710
  • Liked: 12
  • Tap the Moon's water!
  • Asia
....

I'm with you here.  I'd like to see the advanced boosters, but I'd like to see an L2 station servicing a growing moon base more.


93143, an L1 or L2 space station is not about human Lunar polar ISRU missions.

Direct and efficient polar ISRU mission planning is the key task NASA faces.



From: NASAís Exploration Systems Architecture Study Pages 14,15, and 685. November 2005
At: http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/news/ESAS_report.html

"1.3.2.1 Option Analysis Approach
The lunar mission mode option space considered the location of ďnodesĒ in both cislunar space and the vicinity of Earth. The study originally considered cislunar nodes at the Earth-Moon L1 libration point, in LLO, and on the lunar surface. Respectively, these translate to Libration Point Rendezvous (LPR), LOR, and Lunar Surface Rendezvous (LSR) mission modes. The study also considered Earth-orbital staging locations in LEO, higher-inclination ISS orbits, and raised-apogee HEOs. In all three cases, elements brought together in any type of Earth orbit were generically termed an EOR mission mode."

And, "LPR was eliminated early from the mission mode trade space. Recent studies performed by NASA mission designers concluded that equivalent landing site access and 'anytime abort' conditions could be met by rendezvous missions in LLO with less propulsive delta-V and lower overall Initial Mass in Low Earth Orbit (IMLEO). If used only as a node for lunar missions, the L1 Earth-Moon LPR is inferior to the LOR mission mode[/b].

And, "In support of the lunar architecture mission mode trade studies, several options were identified to vary the rendezvous locations for the CEV and lander. The initial rendezvous could either occur in Low Lunar Orbit (LLO) per the EIRA assumptions or they could initially rendezvous in LEO. The LEO rendezvous was preferable from an operational, safety, and reliability perspective because any problems with the rendezvous would occur in close proximity to the Earth and would allow better contingency options. The second major rendezvous occurs when the lander returns from the surface of the Moon. In the EIRA, the lander returns from the lunar surface and rendezvous with the CEV in LLO. Another option is to take the CEV to the lunar surface; then the return to Earth does not require a rendezvous at all."

And, "The lunar direct-return cost was much lower due to the elimination of the habitable volume and crew systems on the lander ascent stage. These were replaced by the CEV going all the way to the lunar surface. The ascent stage of the lander was also eliminated by using the SM capabilities for ascent propulsion from the lunar surface. These cost advantages were offset by reduced safety and reliability due to the loss of the redundant habitable volume provided by the lander. Having both the CEV and the lander as separable crew habitation space was desirable from a crew survival perspective and for operational flexibility."


I added the bold.


Are our international space exploration partners eager to have their astronauts hanging around at an L1 or L2 space station to serve as GCR experimental subjects while twiddling their thumbs far away from the surface of the Moon?

Our international space exploration partners want to see their scientists, geologists, engineers, tourists, and business folks busy doing Lunar propellant ISRU from a polar ice deposit, exploring, and building the basic infrastructure needed for a permanent and international human presence on the Moon.

Obviously, we need a Lander far more than we need a costly and unneeded L1 or L2 space station.

The President doesn't want to spend any money on a Lander as he has friends elsewhere that need money, so instead during a time of flat or declining NASA budgets, we get empty rhetoric about some unfunded L1 or L2 space station, asteroid missions, Mars missions, and also no serious plans to do Lunar ISRU, and no serious plans to follow the law and put astronauts back on the surface of the Moon.

An L1 or L2 space station would add mass, delta-v, complexity, risk, radiation exposure, and cost to doing human Lunar missions. Lunar bound cargo missions won't do a costly and delta-v adding detour to L1 or L2, and there isn't a logical reason for human missions to make such out of the way detours either. 

And in a time of flat or declining NASA budgets, the President trying to add an L1 or L2 space station's inefficiency and cost to legally required human Lunar surface missions probably won't make much sense to Congress.


Edited.
« Last Edit: 03/23/2013 08:16 AM by HappyMartian »
"The Moon is the most accessible destination for realizing commercial, exploration and scientific objectives beyond low Earth orbit." - LEAG

Online JohnFornaro

  • Not an expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8563
  • Liked: 429
  • Delta-t is the salient metric.
  • Planet Eaarth
    • Design / Program Associates
You seem to be seriously ok with the suggestion you made.  That after launching the $11B Ares rocket ...

I didn't suggest anything of the kind ... NASA wisely dumped it.  (One could argue about which configuration ought to have been dumped, but one or the other had to go.)

Also, NASA didn't spend anything like $11B on Ares I...

I choose my words carefully, believe it or not, yet still I miss conveying all that I might want to convey.  Of course you didn't suggest anything of the sort.  Admittedly, my use of the disclaimer, "you seem to be OK with it", is fairly weak, since people around here say "seem" and "with all due respect" to excess, and the true meaning of the terms is not always clear.  In fact, the latter term is more like a shot of disrespect across the bow, but I digress.

There is nothing "wise" about NASA "dumping" the 70 ton SLS.  The legislation, very sensibly, I thought, made it clear that the 70 ton version was satisfactory for our future puposes of HSF; corporate insiders, however, have successfully seen to it that the final version will become the first useful version.

To most of us, who are effectively powerless to prevent this multi-decadal waste of time and effort, it seems certain that any human boots on the ground, even at Mars, is not likely.

I will acknowledge that maybe the bankers are actually engineering a widespread global economic recovery, where the larger LV makes sense economically.  The Liquid Dice Agitator suggests that "signs point to no".  [translation: most people do not see widespread economic recovery, but rather an increasing continuation of resource scarcity.]

The 70 ton SLS could construct an L-point base in roughly 30 ton chunks, and a lunar base in roughly 20 ton chunks.  It could also assemble a 140, 210, or x times 70 ton Mars mothership in LEO.  Over time, as launching becomes more routine, bolstered by a string of successes, and an honest industry effort to reduce costs, we could intelligently design a larger LV, perhaps even a good bit larger than the 130 ton version.

The legislation did not mandate immediate "evolution".  The legislation mandated intent to engineer a larger version.  Literally, they don't need to do any manufacturing whatsoever on that evolution to 130 ton.

The appropriate design approach is to launch early and often, and let experience inform the design process.

So, John, can I interpret your position as opposition to prioritizing the advanced boosters over an EDS and lander?
Quote from: JF
[Yes, more or less.]

Quote from: 93
Okay, I think we're pretty much done here.

I had gotten the impression from your somewhat stylized rhetoric that you were unclear on what the actual situation was; what exactly the baseline was and what the upgrades entailed.  I hope I have been able to help alleviate any excess confusion.

Those of us who would speak truth to power find it necessary to use "stylized rhetoric".

Your description of the baseline and the upgrades, if accurate, clearly points to the shell game being played by NASA, Congress, and their corporate minders. 

While I may not understand the subtleties of the situation, I have a good idea of the chances of the pragmatic execution of the "situation" as it stands.

As Ares and Constellation have proven, beyond any reasonable doubt, there is no mandate whatsoever to actually build a functioning launch system; thus literally, no guarantees that there will even be a rocket at the end of this development cycle.

The confusing nomenclature implies a consistency between "models" that does not exist; the throw weights themselves literally do not add up; there is no pressing need to increase the size so quickly, since there is no mission profile of any substance; funding instability is more likely to continue than not; it's hard to see a positive outcome by 2030, at this rate, with these constraints and illogicalities.

Quote from: JF
The 70 ton rocket will do the job, if only we had it to use.  What's missing?  Not the booster, the EDS!  And then what? The P-word!

All that other so-called "evolution", the part that's blind and only profit based, could be actually be "intelligently designed"  [I know, taboo term] for actual accomplishment on a restricted budget.  While they work on reducing launch costs by actually [gasp] launching payloads!  There's no real rush to build the BFR.

Quote from: 93
I'm with you here.  I'd like to see the advanced boosters, but I'd like to see an L2 station servicing a growing moon base more.

Good.

With a little bit of luck, we'll start using liquid boosters.  The core doesn't know whether the boosters are solid or liquid; only the politicans know.

The fact that I cannot personally perform the engineering to make this change to the 70 ton LV, does not prove that such engineering cannot be done, in principle.

Again, it's proper prioritization, not political prioritization, which is what is needed.  Thanks for the history lesson.  But:

Where's the EDS? And where's the L-point station? And where's the lander?
« Last Edit: 03/23/2013 12:45 PM by JohnFornaro »
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline HappyMartian

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2710
  • Liked: 12
  • Tap the Moon's water!
  • Asia
.....

Again, it's proper prioritization, not political prioritization, which is what is needed.  Thanks for the history lesson.  But:

Where's the EDS? And where's the L-point station? And where's the lander?


John, let's forget the costly and unneeded "L-point station" in an unstable and distant orbit. The L1 and L2 stuff was mainly just part of the Presidential asteroid and Mars smokescreen that he used to help end CxP.

Despite the smokescreen and delays we are going back to the Moon. CxP is in the process of being greatly updated, but the basic realities that led to the initial creation of CxP have only improved with the discovery of additional evidence of frozen water and other valuable resources in the Lunar polar regions. 

But don't be disappointed, we might assemble a space station in a stable polar low Lunar orbit. It would have quite a view.



Constellation program   Wikipedia
At: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constellation_program

"The Constellation Program (abbreviated CxP) was a human spaceflight program within NASA, the space agency of the United States. The stated goals of the program were to gain significant experience in operating away from Earth's environment, develop technologies needed for opening the space frontier, and conducting fundamental science.[1]"

And, "Constellation began in response to the goals laid out in the Vision for Space Exploration under NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe. It had already begun development, under several proposals.[2][3] After Sean O'Keefe's retirement, his successor Michael D. Griffin ordered a complete review, termed the Exploration Systems Architecture Study, which reshaped how NASA would pursue the goals laid out in the Vision for Space Exploration. With the NASA Authorization Act of 2005 formalizing the findings of the Exploration Systems Architecture Study, work began on this revised Constellation Program to send astronauts first to the International Space Station, then to the Moon, and afterward to Mars and other destinations beyond.[4]

And, "Subsequent to the findings of the Augustine Committee that the Constellation Program could not be executed without very substantial increases in funding, on February 1, 2010, President Barack Obama announced a proposal to cancel the program, effective with the U.S. 2011 fiscal year budget,[5][6][7][8] but later announced changes to the proposal in a major space policy speech at Kennedy Space Center on April 15, 2010. Obama signed the NASA Authorization Act of 2010 on October 11 which shelved the program,[9] with Constellation contracts remaining in place until Congress acts to overturn the previous mandate.[10][11] The program has been replaced by the U.S. National Space Policy of the Barack Obama administration. NASA announced that it had selected the design of the Space Launch System in September 2011.[12]"

And, "Ares V would have had a maximum payload capacity of about 188 metric tons (414,000 lb) to low earth orbit (LEO), compared to the Space Shuttle's capacity of 24.4 metric tons, and the Saturn V's 118 metric tons. The Ares V would have carried about 71 metric tons (157,000 lb) to the Moon, versus the Saturn V's 45 metric tons moon payload.[24][25]"

And, "The Orion Mars mission plan for NASA's Constellation program is a manned mission with the intent to land humans on Mars in the 2030s. Originally the ultimate goal of NASA's Apollo Applications Program (AAP) in the 1960s, the Orion Mars Mission would utilize the hardware, primarily the Orion spacecraft (or a variation based on the Orion), and the Ares V cargo-launch vehicle, along with methods of carrying out the mission, which would be developed on board the International Space Station and the planned Lunar Outpost which is to be set up on the surface of the Moon after 2020.[59]"


I added the bold.


Right now it seems like the push for LRBs on the SLS could put us on the path of having a large Ares V equivalent SLS launcher.  Ares V could "have carried about 71 metric tons (157,000 lb) to the Moon, versus the Saturn V's 45 metric tons moon payload."

This SLS with LRBs could enable direct one launch based human Lunar polar ISRU missions.

A two launch human Lunar polar mission that uses the Delta IV Heavy for orbiting the Orion and Lunar mission Service Module, and makes good use of a low Earth rendezvous with the SLS launched large Lander, would also be quite doable.

John, you and everyone else should keep on asking your critical question, "And where's the lander?"
"The Moon is the most accessible destination for realizing commercial, exploration and scientific objectives beyond low Earth orbit." - LEAG

Offline spectre9

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2361
  • Liked: 14
  • Australia
There's no lander because Luna isn't the destination.

That's still up in the air.

The next POTUS will either decide on a new destination or more likely just stick to the "unknown asteroid in 2025" so he/she doesn't have to increase funding.

Offline HappyMartian

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2710
  • Liked: 12
  • Tap the Moon's water!
  • Asia
There's no lander because Luna isn't the destination.

That's still up in the air.

The next POTUS will either decide on a new destination or more likely just stick to the "unknown asteroid in 2025" so he/she doesn't have to increase funding.


A POTUS may blather, but it is Congress that funds human spaceflight.

The polar areas of the Moon are the only destinations that makes any sense at this time. Exploration missions to Lunar polar areas are affordable, doable, and where our international space partners want to go.

The President blathered about Mars and tried to cancel both the SLS and the Orion spacecraft.

A bipartisan Congress thought very differently than POTUS and has funded the building of the SLS and the Orion spacecraft.

For folks who haven't noticed, the SLS is a great Moon rocket and the Orion spacecraft was designed specifically to do Lunar missions. And there is an excellent reason to go to the Moon. Note:


LCROSS Finds Water on the Moon
At: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2009/13nov_lcrossresults/

"November 13, 2009: The argument that the Moon is a dry, desolate place no longer holds water."

"At a press conference today, researchers revealed preliminary data from NASA's Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS, indicating that water exists in a permanently shadowed lunar crater. The discovery opens a new chapter in our understanding of the Moon."

And, "'Multiple lines of evidence show water was present in both the high angle vapor plume and the ejecta curtain created by the LCROSS Centaur impact,' says Colaprete. 'The concentration and distribution of water and other substances requires further analysis, but it is safe to say Cabeus holds water.'"



International missions will go to the Lunar polar surface to mine ice and produce the large supply of affordable hydrolox propellant that is needed for fast, robust, routine, and frequent spaceflights to the surface of Mars.

And we do want frequent human Mars spaceflights, don't we?

Or would it be better to support to the unfunded blather of a POTUS that isn't really interested in human BLEO spaceflight?
"The Moon is the most accessible destination for realizing commercial, exploration and scientific objectives beyond low Earth orbit." - LEAG

Online Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 17988
  • Liked: 937
  • Minnesota
Mars and asteroids may not be the destinations you like, but it isn't just blathering.
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

Online JohnFornaro

  • Not an expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8563
  • Liked: 429
  • Delta-t is the salient metric.
  • Planet Eaarth
    • Design / Program Associates
There's no lander because Luna isn't the destination.

That's still up in the air.

The next POTUS will either decide on a new destination or more likely just stick to the "unknown asteroid in 2025" so he/she doesn't have to increase funding.

If anything's up in the air, it would be that asteroid.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline HappyMartian

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2710
  • Liked: 12
  • Tap the Moon's water!
  • Asia
Mars and asteroids may not be the destinations you like, but it isn't just blathering.

Without funding and strong political support, it is cheap and misleading political blather and a 'kicking the can down the road' process that indicates a lack of Presidential leadership of NASA.

The SLS and Orion are being built despite the efforts of the President to cancel them. Congress wants and is funding the preparations needed for spaceflights to explore the Moon, yet the President maintains his firm anti-Moon policy for human spaceflight.

The President's odd anti-Moon policy has resulted in major NASA planning confusion and paralysis in creating a NASA Exploration Roadmap and trying to figure out affordable, sustainable, and international missions to the Moonís surface.

Many others have noted the President's problem in following American space law and getting astronauts back on the Moon.



"The U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Space recently held a hearing on a proposal to change how the NASA Administrator is selected and the agency is monitored."

And, "Although many details of this proposal remain obscure, I find the motivation for it interesting.  Clearly, it stems from a belief that the current direction of the agency is aimless, unacceptable and in need of independent oversight.  Moreover, I take the proposal for a committee-nominated administrator as a not-so-subtle rebuke to the current management of the agency.  How and why did we arrive at this sorry state of affairs?"

And, "To recap that episode, one of the principal objectives of the VSE was to return to the Moon to learn how to use it to create new space faring capability (this ďmissionĒ was clearly articulated in the Presidential speech given at NASA Headquarters in January 2004).  But by the summer of the same year, that original objective mostly had been forfeited, morphed by the agency into a ďtouch-and-goĒ on the Moon in support of an Apollo-style Mars effort."

And, "Given that the agency had changed the direction of the VSE, the conclusions of this effort were entirely foreseeable Ė we were going on (what they thought was) the wrong path (i.e., the notion that lunar return was simply a repeat of Apollo Ė confusion caused by the agencyís re-direction of the VSE had become the perception) and without the necessary funding (so they told us) to reach it."

And, "Now, several highly questionable decisions later, we have arrived at the current pitiful ďgoing nowhereĒ state of the U.S. civil space program."

And, "The agencyís misdirection and lack of focus have irreparably destabilized our national space program.  Other space faring countries recognize that the U.S. program is adrift and floundering.  They are offering their astronauts Chinese language classes and actively (and very publicly) courting involvement and association with Chinaís space program and leadership."

And, "China has moved steadily toward the goal of manned lunar access while America has retreated from that arena, content with fantasizing about a human Mars mission that wonít occur for many decades, if then.  Rather than facilitating a strong American presence in space, our current administration has sent the world a strong message Ė that they are fine with the ongoing atrophy of national capabilities in human spaceflight."

And, "American space leadership has left the building and Congress is arriving late in the game in calling for legislation to preserve it."

Spudis Lunar Resources  Whatís Our Vector, Victor?
Posted on March 3, 2013 by Paul Spudis
At: http://www.spudislunarresources.com/blog/



It is indeed unfortunate that the President and NASA's leadership are not making any serious plans to get American astronauts on the Moon in a manner that minimizes LOM (Loss of Mission) and LOC (Loss of Crew). The President and NASA's leadership are not interested in following the American law that requires NASA to put astronauts on the Moon.

The reality is that simply blathering about unfunded L2 based asteroid and Mars missions is a whole lot cheaper than going directly to the Moon to tap its resources and learn how to 'live off the land.'

But we are not going to Mars or an asteroid prior to 2016, or even 2026, or maybe not even 2036.

And if the anti-Moon policies of this administration continue after 2016, the Moon is going to belong to, and its resources be exploited by, other folks who are more focused and sensible than us. And that is fair. Those who go to the Moon fully deserve the benefits from their Lunar risks and investments.

So where are the NASA plans for a Lander for direct and efficient American spaceflights from low Lunar orbit to the Moon's surface? Are those plans permanently lost in the White House between L2 blatherland and asteroid fantasyland?



"The lunar surface is no longer a target for NASA human exploration missions."

From page 2 of: An Architecture for Lunar Return Using Existing Assets
By James R. French, S. Alan Stern, Max Vozoff, Taber McCallum, and Charles Deiterich       Golden Spike Company       December 3, 2012
At: http://goldenspikecompany.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/French-et-al.-Architecture-Paper-in-AIAA-Journal-of-Spacecraft-and-Rockets.pdf


Since the President and NASA's leadership are obviously incapable of following American space law in devising an affordable Exploration Roadmap with A return to the Moonís surface, maybe Congress needs to put James R. French, S. Alan Stern, Max Vozoff, Taber McCallum, and Charles Deiterich in charge of that particular Moon project.


Edited.
« Last Edit: 03/26/2013 10:20 PM by HappyMartian »
"The Moon is the most accessible destination for realizing commercial, exploration and scientific objectives beyond low Earth orbit." - LEAG

Online JohnFornaro

  • Not an expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8563
  • Liked: 429
  • Delta-t is the salient metric.
  • Planet Eaarth
    • Design / Program Associates
Despite the smokescreen and delays we are going back to the Moon.

I hope so.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline HappyMartian

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2710
  • Liked: 12
  • Tap the Moon's water!
  • Asia
Despite the smokescreen and delays we are going back to the Moon.

I hope so.


Going to the surface of the Moon is difficult and dangerous. L1 or L2 based Lunar missions would add unjustifiable risks, mass, delta-v, and costs to Lunar missions.

Russian and proposed private spaceflights to the Lunar surface do not first go to L1 or L2. An L1 or L2 space station would be an unjustifiable diversion of scarce money to fund an unneeded and out of the way and risk adding destination.

Anytime anyone from NASA's leadership or the White House starts to blather about an L1 or L2 space station and asteroid and Mars missions, ask them to show you where the money is going to come from.

Low cost, direct, and affordable international missions to the Lunar polar surface to do ISRU are doable by NASA if the organization is led by folks who want to follow American space law instead of the anti-Moon whims of the President.

Hope is good. NASA Exploration Roadmap: A return to the Moonís surface that is based on reality, instead of the President's anti-Moon whims, is needed for hope to become reality. 
"The Moon is the most accessible destination for realizing commercial, exploration and scientific objectives beyond low Earth orbit." - LEAG

Offline HappyMartian

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2710
  • Liked: 12
  • Tap the Moon's water!
  • Asia
Despite what some folks may think, we are not preparing for a limited and paltry 4 to 6 crewed missions to Mars orbit between 2030 and 2050. Instead we are preparing to make Mars the third large sphere that humans call home.

A limited number of missions to the Moon with nothing for five or maybe six decades afterwards and many lost human BLEO space capabilities was a foolish and short-sighted NASA space policy that should not be in NASA's Exploration Roadmap or anyone's space policy plans as we eventually head off to Mars. We are going to the Moon to stay there. We are going to Mars to stay there. And we are going to Ceres to stay there. 

Congress wants to spur the economic development of cislunar space. That goal in and of itself will take a very large and always increasing amount of Lunar ISRU propellant because most likely cislunar development will include Lunar tourism on commercial and privately owned spaceships, and also a large and growing international Lunar polar base where many of the astronauts and science folks stay for one or more years per visit.

Fully exploring the Moon and its resources by doing hop missions will also take a large and continually increasing amounts of ISRU propellant.

Sustainable, affordable, robust, fast, and international human missions to Deimos, Phobos, Ceres, Vesta, and Mars will require the skill of setting up ISRU propellant facilities on those very distant celestial bodies. We will first learn how to do ISRU propellant production in the polar regions of the Moon.

Our international space exploration partners can afford to participate and have the launchers and other technology needed for human Lunar surface missions. And they want to get their people on the Moon doing ISRU, not sitting at L1 or L2 and twiddling their thumbs.

Our international partners fully understand that Mars will come after we are running a Lunar ISRU propellant facility.

Our international partners cannot afford and do not want very sporadic and skimpy human Mars orbit or asteroid missions, and to be blunt, with NASA's budget most likely staying flat or slightly increasing or decreasing, we cannot afford anything but direct missions, that carefully share costs with our space exploration partners, to the Moon's polar regions

As to the safety aspects of an L2 space station, it is nonsense.

L2 simply adds unneeded risk, mass, complexity, maintenance issues, and costs to Lunar missions. Anytime return is doable from low Lunar orbit if there is propellant stored in a frozen polar orbit which would be accessible from the polar Lunar base every two hours.

Other than the polar regions, we should not be going anywhere else on the Lunar surface until we have an ISRU propellant production facility going full speed

Why?

Because Lunar exploration missions with propellant imported from Earth are costly, lack robustness, and are much more riskier than robust Lunar exploration missions that are readily resupplied with Lunar polar ISRU propellant and have an available Launch on Need Lunar Lander that is based at the polar base and capable of quick rescue missions.

Time is usually in very short supply on a rescue mission. L2 is simply too far away to be useful. 

Once Lunar derived propellant is available, many options open up for exploring all of the Lunar surface.

And best of all, once Lunar derived propellant is widely available in cislunar and beyond cislunar space, and ISRU propellant production is replicated on Mars and Ceres, the likelihood of any President being able to significantly impede NASA, the space agencies of other countries, and private companies and individuals from sending folks to Mars, and various asteroids, will be greatly diminished or even reduced to zero.

Recent experience should have taught us that without Lunar propellant ISRU, all human BLEO human spaceflights, including missions to the Martian surface, are dependent on the mercurial whims of future Presidents and the soundness of economic policies often devised by folks that should probably be sitting in prison rather than sitting on the boards of large banks and huge international corporations.

Build the Martian Stack in low Lunar orbit. Load up with relatively cheap Lunar propellant. Test the hydrolox engines by flying to a high Lunar orbit or L2. Meet up with Lunar based tankers that top off your propellant tanks and give you the delta-v push needed for your long dive towards the Earth.

Do a large delta-v perigee burn 150 miles above the Earth and head off to Mars.

Reliable access to relatively low cost Lunar and Martian ISRU propellant is what enables lots of affordable and fast human Mars missions. 


Please note:

"Mission/Trajectories
Initially the OTV transfers the lander from Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to Low Lunar Orbit (LLO). For maximum efficiency, the Earth-Moon transfer will be performed during the nodal alignment of LEO with the Moon's orbit. From a stable 200 km lunar polar parking orbit, the lander will wait for the orbit to align with the landing site longitude and then descend to the desired position on the Moon to deliver the payload."

"After the lander unloads the payload, it returns to the same polar orbit to await the arrival of another payload from an OTV. The total źV required for one mission is 3.594 km/s."

From: Lunar Lander By Ruwan Arseculeratne, et. all      May 9, 1991
At: http://www.tsgc.utexas.edu/archive/design/lunar_lander.html



"1.3.2.1 Option Analysis Approach
The lunar mission mode option space considered the location of ďnodesĒ in both cislunar space and the vicinity of Earth. The study originally considered cislunar nodes at the Earth-Moon L1 libration point, in LLO, and on the lunar surface. Respectively, these translate to Libration Point Rendezvous (LPR), LOR, and Lunar Surface Rendezvous (LSR) mission modes. The study also considered Earth-orbital staging locations in LEO, higher-inclination ISS orbits, and raised-apogee HEOs. In all three cases, elements brought together in any type of Earth orbit were generically termed an EOR mission mode."

And, "LPR was eliminated early from the mission mode trade space. Recent studies performed by NASA mission designers concluded that equivalent landing site access and 'anytime abort' conditions could be met by rendezvous missions in LLO with less propulsive delta-V and lower overall Initial Mass in Low Earth Orbit (IMLEO). If used only as a node for lunar missions, the L1 Earth-Moon LPR is inferior to the LOR mission mode.

And, "In support of the lunar architecture mission mode trade studies, several options were identified to vary the rendezvous locations for the CEV and lander. The initial rendezvous could either occur in Low Lunar Orbit (LLO) per the EIRA assumptions or they could initially rendezvous in LEO. The LEO rendezvous was preferable from an operational, safety, and reliability perspective because any problems with the rendezvous would occur in close proximity to the Earth and would allow better contingency options. The second major rendezvous occurs when the lander returns from the surface of the Moon. In the EIRA, the lander returns from the lunar surface and rendezvous with the CEV in LLO. Another option is to take the CEV to the lunar surface; then the return to Earth does not require a rendezvous at all."

And, "The lunar direct-return cost was much lower due to the elimination of the habitable volume and crew systems on the lander ascent stage. These were replaced by the CEV going all the way to the lunar surface. The ascent stage of the lander was also eliminated by using the SM capabilities for ascent propulsion from the lunar surface. These cost advantages were offset by reduced safety and reliability due to the loss of the redundant habitable volume provided by the lander. Having both the CEV and the lander as separable crew habitation space was desirable from a crew survival perspective and for operational flexibility."

From: NASAís Exploration Systems Architecture Study Pages 14,15, and 685. November 2005
At: http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/news/ESAS_report.html
"The Moon is the most accessible destination for realizing commercial, exploration and scientific objectives beyond low Earth orbit." - LEAG

Offline tnphysics

  • Regular
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1070
  • Liked: 0
One of the advantages of using EML2 is that there is a powered lunar flyby trajectory that requires less delta-V than a normal LOI. The same is true for the return to Earth.

Offline HappyMartian

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2710
  • Liked: 12
  • Tap the Moon's water!
  • Asia
One of the advantages of using EML2 is that there is a powered lunar flyby trajectory that requires less delta-V than a normal LOI. The same is true for the return to Earth.


Time is money. Time is risk. Unneeded complexity is risk.

Why don't you provide a total mission delta-v, mass, time, LOM numbers, LOC numbers, radiation risks, and cost elements for everything involved in Lunar surface missions?

Try using Apollo/LEM, Orion/Altair, and L2 based Orion/Lander scenarios.

Don't forget all the building costs, time, and maintenance requirements and costs of the lovely L2 based space station.

Note the increased delta-v, mass, and propellant requirements of an L2 based Lander.

Don't forget to factor into that analysis the risks of space walks to maintain the L2 space station in a high GCR environment. And since the L2 based mission flight time is much longer add in the costs and mass requirements for additional insulation, cryogenic coolers, boil-off, complexity, and whatever else that is required for the L2 based Lunar missions that use hydrolox.

Where is the space station's massive GCR shielding coming from? How much is that shielding going to cost?

Or do you simply buy into the idea of putting astronauts in a high GCR environment without adequate GCR protection? Do you really think you can sell such an idea to the radiation adverse Europeans and Japanese? Oh, we don't want to involve the Europeans and Japanese in our Moon and Mars missions? Really? That's brilliant!

Oh and don't forget the costs of all the computers and robots needed to safe and maintain and prep the big and costly Lander after it returns to the L2 space station and no humans are there to do that work.

And make sure your comparative mission analysis has the explanation of how you are going to convince Congress, the Russians, the Europeans, and the Japanese of why they should pay for an unneeded and risk and cost adding L2 space station. That should be interesting.

Yep, let's all just forget about the BLEO mission's legal requirement of "pay as you go" and simply buy into the L2 space station blather. Listening to unfunded blather is certainly cheaper and more fun than actually going to the Moon, isn't it?
"The Moon is the most accessible destination for realizing commercial, exploration and scientific objectives beyond low Earth orbit." - LEAG

Offline Warren Platts

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3669
  • Liked: 22
  • Pinedale, Wyoming
Unfortunately, actually going to the Moon is unfunded blather and will remain so for the foreseeable future, at least as far as the USA is concerned. You'd probably be better off channeling your energies trying to convince the Chinese of the wisdom of Lunar ISRU.
"Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.Ē--Leonardo Da Vinci

Tags: