Poll

Which company or team will be selected by NASA to build the Artemis V HLS lander, under NextSTEPs Appendix P?

The National Team (Blue Origin, LM, Draper, Astrobotics, Honeybee)
35 (38.5%)
Dynetics/NG
42 (46.2%)
Someone else
14 (15.4%)

Total Members Voted: 91

Voting closed: 05/19/2023 02:45 am


Author Topic: Who Will Be Selected to Build the Artemis V Lander (To Be Announced 5/19)  (Read 11825 times)

Offline jongoff

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According to press releases like this one (https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-to-select-second-lunar-lander-partner-for-artemis-moon-mission), NASA will be announcing a second company to build a "sustainable" lunar lander, under the NextSTEP Appendix P BAA. They'll be announcing the winner on Friday, 5/19 at 10am EDT. Who do you think it will be, and why?

So far we know for sure that two teams submitted bids: The National Team led by Blue Origin, and including LM, Draper, Astrobotic, and Honeybee Robotics, and a team led by Dynetics and Northrop Grumman. I don't know if we know explicitly that they're the only two in the running, or just the only two who've publicly stated they're in the running.

Voting for this one will only be open until Thursday evening.

~Jon

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

While I am slightly in favor of what Dynetics has presented (at least during the previous competition, there had been few updates for the whole competition of this contract) - the lower profile lander looks really useful for carrying cargo - I just can't see NASA not picking up the "New National Team" proposal. All those big companies on that (probably conservative) design have everything to lose if they dropped the ball again this time, and I'm sure they have worked to get just enough ticks for the lander to be picked.

I wonder if anyone else submitted a proposal, they probably would have bragged about this by now but...
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Online FutureSpaceTourist

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I went with the National Team too for the same reason: I don’t see them failing a second time and I think they have the greater resources to improve their bid more than Dynetics can from before.

Online lightleviathan

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I voted for Dynetics, mostly because I haven't seen the new design yet. However, I do see how the New National Team could win the bid.

Offline jongoff

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I voted Dynetics. I haven't seen Blue's updates, but I have seen some of Dynetics, and they were pretty impressive, and leaning into it pretty hard.

~Jon
« Last Edit: 05/17/2023 12:41 pm by jongoff »

Offline DeimosDream

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Dynetics, but that might be wishful thinking. Last time around they got dinged hard on negative mass, and also for having the highest bid price. The first has got to have been fixed. The second... we'll find out.

Honorable mention to "nobody: sorry, no budget."

Offline Lampyridae

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While I like the Alpaca, Dynetics loses cool points for not going full Space:1999 Eagle on the design.

I think Blue & co will get it due to having a suborbital rocket and a rocket engine launching almost aaaany day now and the usual space pork. By getting the award, this also strengthens Draper and Astrobiotics as separate cargo delivery services.

Online DanClemmensen

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The question is still imprecise. There is still at least the contractual potential for NASA to award zero, one, or more than one contract on 5/19 under Appendix P, and we won't necessarily know which one will be initially selected for Artemis V. After that, we won't know if any Appendix P lander will actually fly for Artemis V until much closer to the launch date. If things slip, NASA may choose to fly a version of Starship HLS on that mission and defer the Appendix P lander to a later mission.

Based on past events, either NASA will pick BO or congress will force NASA to do another "competition" for a third lander. The problem is that there are not enough planned lunar landings to make even the first lander (Starship HLS) profitable, and each additional lander reduces the number of landings for other landers.

Offline rcoppola

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I voted NT for the obvious reasons. Chief among them that JB will spend whatever $$ he needs to have BO associated with the Artemis program. With budgets looking constrained for the foreseeable future, I just don't see Dynetics being able to offer the financial flexibility that a BO bid can. And since nobody has a design that comes close to Starships capability, private funding allotments will be the arbiter of this decision.
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Offline punder

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Can’t make up my mind. This will be a politically motivated pick, based on corporate Congressional “representation.” (Unlike KL’s original reason-based pick, for which her club membership was duly cancelled.) So, LM vs NG. The NT has additional Congressional-district diversity in the form of Draper et al, so maybe they get the edge.

Am I being too cynical? Probably. Not.  :D

Online deadman1204

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Can’t make up my mind. This will be a politically motivated pick, based on corporate Congressional “representation.” (Unlike KL’s original reason-based pick, for which her club membership was duly cancelled.) So, LM vs NG. The NT has additional Congressional-district diversity in the form of Draper et al, so maybe they get the edge.

Am I being too cynical? Probably. Not.  :D
Not at all. The national team sold their bid based on how much congressional pork it produces. It may be sad, but 100% true.

Online theonlyspace

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Hope it is a lander that the crew can fly to a safe landing or manually abort if necessary. Also one where the crew module  is close to the ground not 100 feet in the air  Not Space X
« Last Edit: 05/17/2023 05:05 pm by theonlyspace »

Offline jongoff

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For fun, here was a poster Dynetics was showing at the LSIC workshop a few weeks ago.

~Jon
« Last Edit: 05/17/2023 05:13 pm by jongoff »

Offline arachnitect

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other: all bids rejected

Offline Robotbeat

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For fun, here was a poster Dynetics was showing at the LSIC workshop a few weeks ago.

~Jon
you can carry 21 tons of liquid oxygen back up to NHRO, but how much propellant does it need at NHRO to land on the Moon empty?

What is the wet mass and dry mass of the Dynetics lander?
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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Offline pochimax

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Voted for Dynetics / Grumman lander. I' m in love with the concept.

And with Grumman onboard there is a lot of pork barrel in place to satisfy Congress.

On the other hand:

Blue NT is a bit less NT,  but you forgot Boeing is now teaming with Blue.

I wonder if they are planning to lauch a full extra SLS for the Artemis V lander. (especulation)

Offline pochimax

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other: all bids rejected

no

"..., the agency will announce the company selected to develop a sustainable human landing system..."

Offline jdon759

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I don't know.   I hope ALPACA/LLAMA, but I'm afraid of NT's political power.  Also, I recall Blue hinting at a very different design from the initial proposal, which we haven't seen at all yet.

However, a surprisingly large number of people are voting "Other."  Is there something going on that most of us are unaware of?  Do I need to join L2 to find out?

Online jstrotha0975

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I chose the Blue origin team because they have more money and influence, though I prefer Dynetics.

Offline jongoff

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other: all bids rejected

Because NASA would totally setup a press conference teasing the next company to work on HLS landers just to say "Psych! We're going with none of the above!"...

Edit: I see someone else beat me to the punch on that one.

~Jon
« Last Edit: 05/17/2023 08:48 pm by jongoff »

Online DanClemmensen

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Voted for Dynetics / Grumman lander. I' m in love with the concept.

And with Grumman onboard there is a lot of pork barrel in place to satisfy Congress.

On the other hand:

Blue NT is a bit less NT,  but you forgot Boeing is now teaming with Blue.

I wonder if they are planning to lauch a full extra SLS for the Artemis V lander. (especulation)
Appendix P is a fixed-price bid for two missions: an uncrewed landing demo and a crewed landing. The bid would have to include the cost to the bidder of these two SLS launches. Even at a low-ball cost of $2 Billion/SLS this would make the price too high for NASA to award the contract. It would also put the lander at a prohibitive price disadvantage versus Starship HLS Option B, with which it must compete for landings beyond Artemis V. The SpaceX Option B award was $1.13 Billion for one launch (nominally Artemis IV), and that includes the incremental cevelopment costs from Option A and Option B.

Online whitelancer64

Voted Dynetics.

One thing I really like is that there's so much flexibility in the design. Crew or cargo delivery, rapid and easy surface access.

There is possible future synergy with SpaceX, particularly if lunar production of LOX happens at useful scale. They can bring LOX up from the lunar surface to the SpaceX lunar orbital propellant depot, and also refuel from the methane SpaceX brings there.
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Offline Gliderflyer

For fun, here was a poster Dynetics was showing at the LSIC workshop a few weeks ago.

~Jon

Thank you for posting this. I wish we would actually release some of the media we make.
I tried it at home

Offline jongoff

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Thank you for posting this. I wish we would actually release some of the media we make.

Glad to! I just wish Blue had posted updated info on their lander concept as well.

~Jon

Offline Hug

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you can carry 21 tons of liquid oxygen back up to NHRO, but how much propellant does it need at NHRO to land on the Moon empty?

What is the wet mass and dry mass of the Dynetics lander?

It's a very tight thing. I've set up some math which gets 21 tons of LOX back, but it needs ~18 tons of propellant at NRHO, so in fact, you're only getting ~3 tons back. Basically converting methalox into lox at a ratio of 1.2

For a single launch to be able to provide enough propellant, that indicates Starship is launching a Dynetics tanker utilizing the full mass capability of Starship. On a side note, this tanker would look very much like a third stage for those interested in that.

And also good to know that it has fully and rapidly reusable landing legs.

Offline punder

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Hope it is a lander that the crew can fly to a safe landing or manually abort if necessary. Also one where the crew module  is close to the ground not 100 feet in the air  Not Space X
Not SpaceX. A familiar refrain, unfortunately.

Yes, unabashed fan (boy) and becoming more so every day.

NASA is about to spend two or three times as much money as it gave SpaceX for the massive Starship HLS, on a second lander that would fit inside a Starship payload bay.
« Last Edit: 05/18/2023 02:04 am by punder »

Offline Zed_Noir

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Hope it is a lander that the crew can fly to a safe landing or manually abort if necessary. Also one where the crew module  is close to the ground not 100 feet in the air  Not Space X
Not SpaceX. A familiar refrain, unfortunately.

Yes, unabashed fan (boy) and becoming more so every day.

NASA is about to spend two or three times as much money as it gave SpaceX for the massive Starship HLS, on a second lander that would fit inside a Starship payload bay.
You should look at the "sustaining" HLS lander contract as a ransom payment to the Washington state Congressional critters. Since there will likely IMO only one under sized and very expensive lander getting funded. If it isn't prematurely canceled due to likely high development cost and likely schedule slips to the right. Especially when there should be a massive cheaper and mature alternative available that could be a Lunar surface habitat.

Offline Robotbeat

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you can carry 21 tons of liquid oxygen back up to NHRO, but how much propellant does it need at NHRO to land on the Moon empty?

What is the wet mass and dry mass of the Dynetics lander?

It's a very tight thing. I've set up some math which gets 21 tons of LOX back, but it needs ~18 tons of propellant at NRHO, so in fact, you're only getting ~3 tons back. Basically converting methalox into lox at a ratio of 1.2

For a single launch to be able to provide enough propellant, that indicates Starship is launching a Dynetics tanker utilizing the full mass capability of Starship. On a side note, this tanker would look very much like a third stage for those interested in that.

And also good to know that it has fully and rapidly reusable landing legs.
I think the argument might be that “hey, we’re landing this thing on the Moon to deliver cargo anyway, might as well haul up something useful while we’re at it, since we want to reuse the lander anyway.”

You probably need to stage the depot in LLO for it to actually be a useful way of providing a bunch of extra propellant.
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Offline uhuznaa

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For fun, here was a poster Dynetics was showing at the LSIC workshop a few weeks ago.

~Jon

What I don't like with this is the engines being so close to the ground for a single stage descend/ascend vehicle and with the four engines so far apart it looks there is no practical redundancy, any one of the four engines failing will mean a bad day. Well, maybe wide gimbaling and some serious thrust reserves could help with this.

But if NASA will be happy with this they should be happy with Starship HLS landing and launching with its center Raptors too.

Offline TrevorMonty

With fuel at each end it should in theory be capable of transporting crew between LEO -Gateway-LEO. Eliminating need for Orion and SLS. Whether that fuel comes from SS, Vulcan or lunar ISRU still going be lot cheaper than SLS+Orion.

Offline Dalhousie

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ALPACA seems to me the best thought out and most flexible of them all.
Apologies in advance for any lack of civility - it's unintended

Offline Kaputnik

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Voted NT, hope I'm wrong.
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Offline punder

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No livestream or public telecon?

Offline punder

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Here’s something…

Offline punder

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Chat says Blue Origin

Online lightleviathan

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It's Blue and the NT 😔

Offline AllenB

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Well, this is tough to get excited about.

That said, I'm ready and willing to become a BO fan. They've just got to start completing projects first.

Oh, and a little bit of openness wouldn't hurt either.

Offline GWH

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Would be neat to you.. actually see the lander... we all know what Blue Origin’s logo looks like...

Offline jongoff

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I have to say when they announced Blue, I was initially disappointed. My inner cynic grumbled something about the triumph of zipcode engineering or something like that. But when they started showing details about their lander (that I'm sure people have already been going into ad nauseum over in other parts of the forum), my opinion changed. I like the new architecture a ton more than the original approach. Bottomloader SSTOs are one of my favorite non-traditional architectures, and a reusable cisluner refueling tug sounds intriguing too. They still have to prove they can execute on complex projects and on time, but it looks like they've picked an architecture worth funding. One that should provide a decent fraction of the benefits I thought Dynetics' ALPACA had over Blue's old solution. Bravo for making me change my mind!

And congrats to the 39% of you that guessed correctly.

~Jon

Offline punder

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Bottomloader SSTOs are one of my favorite non-traditional architectures…
It’s Lunar Roton!  :D

(Posted before I saw your t/Space posts)
« Last Edit: 05/20/2023 12:11 am by punder »

Offline Robotbeat

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I have to say when they announced Blue, I was initially disappointed. My inner cynic grumbled something about the triumph of zipcode engineering or something like that. But when they started showing details about their lander (that I'm sure people have already been going into ad nauseum over in other parts of the forum), my opinion changed. I like the new architecture a ton more than the original approach. Bottomloader SSTOs are one of my favorite non-traditional architectures, and a reusable cisluner refueling tug sounds intriguing too. They still have to prove they can execute on complex projects and on time, but it looks like they've picked an architecture worth funding. One that should provide a decent fraction of the benefits I thought Dynetics' ALPACA had over Blue's old solution. Bravo for making me change my mind!

And congrats to the 39% of you that guessed correctly.

~Jon
Precisely the same as my thoughts.
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Offline punder

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I had a similar reaction. Was really surprised and encouraged by how much they improved the whole thing. Imho they thought they had the original bid in the bag, and were shocked out of their complacency when SpaceX won. It now looks like a great design.

Offline c4fusion

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Same here, I think in some ways this is better than the updated Dynetics lander since the thrust loading will always be in the same direction for take off and landing on the moon.  This makes the lander just a bit easier to build.

Hat’s off to blue.

Offline jongoff

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