Nooooooo... if Artemis pivots to Mars we will never get anywhere.
Artemis; twin sister of Apollo and Goddess of the Moon. A Martian project should be called Ares, at least.
For the National Team, the hydrolox in the Blue Moon lander seems problematic. I suppose they could pitch cryocoolers to prevent boil-off, or transit/storage with water/ice to be electrolyzed and cryocooled upon arrival of the crew. But both of those sound more risky than simply delivering a lander fully fueled (which is also a better backup, when your primary plan is making fuel for a Starship).
For the Dynetics team, the horizontal tank layout seems terrible for ascent through a planetary atmosphere. Perhaps they should switch to a conventional vertical engines/tanks/cabin stack, and keep the methalox propellant and drop-tanks.
Yes, NASA should start working on a plan for a joint human mission to Mars with SpaceX using Starship.
... If they can't figure out how to support(both physically and monetary) a colony/base on the surface of the moon......Mars is a lost cause. The amount of money and know how goes up to the ^ power going to Mars compared to the moon.
...No, NASA should not pivot to Mars wholesale, getting to the Moon is hard enough both technically and politically, adding Mars at this stage will just be a distraction.
Yes, NASA should start working on a plan for a joint human mission to Mars with SpaceX using Starship. It's a bit early to bet everything on Starship, but I think that date is fast approaching.
NASA should realize, even though it can't say right now, Starship is the only hope NASA can get astronauts to Mars in the foreseeable future, it's time to start acting like it.
This may sound premature, but should NASA pivot Artemis towards Mars?By this, I don't mean they should abandon the Lunar landings and Lunar base construction. However I would argue that instead of merely paying lip-service to a future Mars mission, they should dictated that the Artemis mission would be used to test systems which are designed for Mars.To some extent, the previously targeted 2024 date caused a very near-sighted focus on the Moon, which frankly broke any symbiosis for a future Mars mission. ... snip
This may sound premature, but should NASA pivot Artemis towards Mars?
By this, I don't mean they should abandon the Lunar landings and Lunar base construction. However I would argue that instead of merely paying lip-service to a future Mars mission, they should dictated that the Artemis mission would be used to test systems which are designed for Mars.
Of course the very large rockets required for Mars can also service the Moon...
The use of smaller, commercial launchers coupled with orbital depots eliminates the need for a large launch vehicle. Much is made of the need for more launches- this is perceived as a detriment. However since 75% of all the mass lifted to low earth orbit is merely propellant with no intrinsic value it represents the optimal cargo for low-cost, strictly commercial launch operations. These commercial launch vehicles, lifting a simple payload to a repeatable location, can be operated on regular, predictable schedules. Relieved of the burden of hauling propellants, the mass of the Altair and Orion vehicles for a lunar mission is very small and can also be easily carried on existing launch vehicles. This strategy leads to high infrastructure utilization, economic production rates, high demonstrated reliability and the lowest possible costs.
Tell me: has the 'Exploration Upper Stage' design been finalized and it's budget been set yet? No? Then with only the Delta IV-H upper stage only in place; it isn't going to send anything anywhere that masses much more than 20 metric tons...
Quote from: su27k on 01/10/2021 03:16 amYes, NASA should start working on a plan for a joint human mission to Mars with SpaceX using Starship.It would be interesting to see the terms of a joint plan like this. On the one hand SpaceX will need a host of diverse technologies beyond Starship to make a trip possible (e.g., nuclear power, propellant production/storage/handling, long-term life support systems) and getting NASA or other subcontractors to pitch in could give Musk more R&D bandwidth. On the other hand if NASA gets involved then they dictate the timeframe, and suddenly you're at the mercy of Congress and how much you need to spread things around to appease them.The bold move would be to flip the idea of competitive bidding: SpaceX provides transport, and the US and China compete to deliver components X, Y, Z for the mission. The first to come through gets the first manned trip to Mars. Turn it into an actual space race.