Author Topic: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers  (Read 1182617 times)

Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4260 on: 12/04/2023 04:38 pm »
It's hard for Congress to fund something that was never actually proposed in a budget.

[cough, cough] SLS [cough, cough]

The fundamental problem is that NASAís human space exploration effort is captured by old STS interests.  Theyíre driven by STS workforce employment, not lunar return (or NEOs or Mars or anything else).

We can blame the Obama Administration for failing to alter that trajectory.  But at least they tried.  The choice of destination is a second order issue.

I wasn't talking about SLS. I was talking about the fact that the Obama Administration never proposed a lunar lander in any of their budgets or in their Journey to Mars plans.

In any event, the Obama Administration accepted SLS and Orion as a compromise for Congress funding commercial crew. The Obama Administration tried to alter course (i.e., going away from Ares V and Orion) in the FY11 Budget but they gave up, a few months later when the 2010 NASA Authorization bill was passed.

No, Orion was several hundred m/s short of the dV necessary to enter and leave LLO independently way back in 2006 under Griffin/ESAS/Constellation.  See the chart and narration around the 19-minute mark in this video:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5OWUsMfCVWY&feature=youtu.be

Ares Iís inability to meet its payload requirements reduced the mass and capability of the SM further, and decisions on the European SM a bit more.  But the choice to make Orion incapable of independently accessing LLO was baked in by Griffin/ESAS/Constellation, not by anything the Obama Administration did.

Thanks for the video link, it was interesting.

The Obama Administration may have inherited a heavy Orion capsule from Constellation but they could have asked ESA to build a more capable service module (SM). Interestingly, Tim Dodd says that it would be possible to have a better service module with Block 1B of SLS.

Quote from: Tim Dodd
Lastly, Destin was quick to rightfully point out why Artemis is using NRHO (Near Rectilinear Halo Orbit) because Orion isn't capable of getting into Low Lunar Orbit, but he didn't dive into the even bigger problem of why Orion can't. The simple answer is SLS doesn't have the performance to send any more mass to the moon than Orion with its small, undersized service module. If NASA were to wait to develop a lunar system and Gateway until SLS Block 1B was at least flying with the Exploration Upper Stage, they could stretch the service module by 10 tonnes, so potentially nearly doubling the propellant capacity, it would be able to achieve a much lower lunar orbit. This doesn't change the size / scale / refueling requirements of the current SpaceX HLS lander at all, but it at least gets rid of the potential 6+ day rendezvous from the surface of the moon to the Orion capable which is required to get a crew home safely.

https://twitter.com/Erdayastronaut/status/1731502010908750135
« Last Edit: 12/04/2023 05:06 pm by yg1968 »


Offline Jim

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4262 on: 12/04/2023 05:33 pm »
"Refresh my memory. Which major NASA projects have come in on schedule?"

Apollo

Not really.  It beat a deadline but it was behind its original schedule and 3 lives were lost.

Offline VSECOTSPE

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4263 on: 12/04/2023 08:07 pm »
I wasn't talking about SLS.

Your argument was ďItís hard for Congress to fund something that was never actually proposed in a budget.Ē

SLS proves that argument to be false.  SLS wasnít in any Obama or Bush II budget before Congress funded it.

Congress has the power of the purse.  The 2010 NASA Authorization Act retained the Moon as an objective of NASA exploration efforts.  Appropriators could have funded a lander if they wanted.  They didnít.  For most of two decades.  Why?  Cause theyíre interested in preserving local STS dollars and jobs.  A lander doesnít help with that.  The Obama Administration is not to blame for centuries of appropriator parochialism and decades of capture by STS interests. 

The space cadets in us argue ďif they just chose my destinationĒ or ďif they just chose my architectureĒ and expect everything about to fall into place after that.  Those arenít real problems.  Theyíre secondary or tertiary concerns.  The principal obstacle to getting NASA back in the human space exploration game in a meaningful way is the poor deployment of a 30K-person workforce and $5 billion in taxpayer funds annually to preserve the STS infrastructure.

The Obama Administration may have inherited a heavy Orion capsule from Constellation but they could have asked ESA to build a more capable service module (SM).

No offense, but this is silly.  No one wants White Houses (including me and I worked at OMB) dictating capsule dV requirements to NASA.  Itís bad enough Congress dictated payload, workforce, and contractor requirements for Orion/SLS.

Quote
Interestingly, Tim Dodd says that it would be possible to have a better service module with Block 1B of SLS.

Not directed at you or even Dodd, but this another bad idea like EUS.  Every time someone wants to adjust Orion/SLS, itís a multi-billion dollar proposition and years of delays,  Weíre already going the Gateway route to address Orionís dV problems.  And ESA wants its Euros going to independent human space flight access, not polishing the ATV-derived apple.  And a bigger SM doesnít solve the insanely high cost and ridiculously low mission rate issues that Orion/SLS is imposing on Artemis.  If/when there are billions available for improving Artemis, they should be spent on alternatives that could get Artemis off the Orion/SLS crazy train, not hanging more of that albatross around the lunar programís neck.
« Last Edit: 12/04/2023 08:11 pm by VSECOTSPE »

Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4264 on: 12/04/2023 09:48 pm »
The Obama Administration may have inherited a heavy Orion capsule from Constellation but they could have asked ESA to build a more capable service module (SM).

No offense, but this is silly.  No one wants White Houses (including me and I worked at OMB) dictating capsule dV requirements to NASA.  Itís bad enough Congress dictated payload, workforce, and contractor requirements for Orion/SLS.

I meant the Obama Administration as in the executive branch under Obama. NASA is part of the executive branch. From what I recall this decision was made by Gerst. Obviously that decision should be made by NASA, not by Obama himself or his cabinet. But Gerst's decision may have been influenced by the fact that there was no intent to go back to the Moon in 2013 (Obama's "been there done that" comment from his 2010 KSC speech was very clear).

I wasn't talking about SLS.

Your argument was ďItís hard for Congress to fund something that was never actually proposed in a budget.Ē

SLS proves that argument to be false.

It doesn't prove it to be false. I said that it's hard, I didn't say that it was impossible. Furthermore, SLS was proposed in various Appropriations bills after the 2010 NASA Authorization bill was passed. In any event, the fact that Congress didn't propose a lander either at that time doesn't excuse the Obama Administration from not doing it either. No offense but this argument is silly. If a lander isn't proposed in a budget, it has less chances of ending in an Appropriations bill and you know that.
« Last Edit: 12/05/2023 01:00 pm by yg1968 »

Offline Phil Stooke

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4265 on: 12/04/2023 09:57 pm »
"    "Refresh my memory. Which major NASA projects have come in on schedule?"
    Apollo
Not really.  It beat a deadline but it was behind its original schedule and 3 lives were lost."


The deaths were extremely regrettable but not related to schedule.  And what schedule are you thinking of?  "Before this decade is out" is the original schedule.   Calling that a deadline so another schedule can be substituted is ... revisionist.

Offline VSECOTSPE

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4266 on: 12/05/2023 08:17 am »
It doesn't prove it to be false. I said that it's hard, I didn't say that it was impossible.

It wasnít hard for Congress to create and fund SLS.  They did so over the course of a summer despite White House opposition, forget not requesting  such an HLV.

If Congress could do that with SLS, they could have created and funded a lunar lander.  Why not?  Not because the White House didnít ask for one.  Because Congress didnít want to.  A lander had nothing to do with preserving the STS budget, workforce, and institution.  SLS did.

Itís specious and silly to argue that Congress was somehow crippled in asking for System X because the White House didnít ask for System X when, at the same time, Congress is creating and funding System Y that the White House did not ask for.

Think about it.  Do you really think if the White House had asked for billions for a lander that appropriators would have funded a lander over the billions needed to keep STS dollars and jobs in their states and districts?

CímonÖ letís not be so naive.

Quote
In any event, the fact that Congress didn't propose a lander either at that time doesn't excuse the Obama Administration from not doing it either.

The White House didnít write the 2010 NASA Authorization Act.  The White House didnít write the associated appropriations.  The responsibility for creating and funding an HLV and capsule absent any architecture and systems necessary to make that HLV and capsule useful lies with Congress, not with the White House.  Orion/SLS was Congressís bridge to nowhere, not the White Houseís.
« Last Edit: 12/05/2023 02:12 pm by VSECOTSPE »

Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4267 on: 12/05/2023 01:22 pm »
Think about it.  Do you really think if the White House had asked for billions for a lander that appropriators would have funded a lander over the billions needed to keep STS dollars and jobs in their states and districts?

CímonÖ letís not be so naive.

Congress probably wouldn't have funded a lander in 2011 but they would have later on. The proof of that is that they eventually did, once that it was actually included in a budget request.

Quote
The White House didnít write the 2010 NASA Authorization Act.  The White House didnít write the associated appropriations.  The responsibility for creating and funding an HLV and capsule absent any architecture and systems necessary to make that HLV and capsule useful lies with Congress, not with the White House.  Orion/SLS was Congressís bridge to nowhere, not the White Houseís.

You are trying to rewrite history. Although it is Congress that initially proposed it, the Obama Administration owned SLS and Orion as soon as Obama signed the 2010 NASA Authorization bill. SLS and Orion became a bridge to nowhere because of the Journey to Mars and the Asteroid redirect mission which had no need for a lunar lander. You can obviously blame SLS and Orion mostly on Congress but the Journey to Mars and the Asteroid redirect mission fiascos can only be blamed on the Obama Administration.
« Last Edit: 12/05/2023 01:49 pm by yg1968 »

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4268 on: 12/05/2023 01:54 pm »
Asteroid Redirect was a good mission.
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 yg1968

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4269 on: 12/05/2023 02:01 pm »
Asteroid Redirect was a good mission.

I knew that you would say that! I don't think that it was a bad mission but Congress may have accepted it if was an interim mission and that the next missions were lunar missions. But because, it seemed to be the end goal, Congress never bought into it.

Offline Jim

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4270 on: 12/05/2023 02:28 pm »
"    "Refresh my memory. Which major NASA projects have come in on schedule?"
    Apollo
Not really.  It beat a deadline but it was behind its original schedule and 3 lives were lost."


The deaths were extremely regrettable but not related to schedule.  And what schedule are you thinking of?  "Before this decade is out" is the original schedule.   Calling that a deadline so another schedule can be substituted is ... revisionist.

It was schedule pressure that made for a shoddy construction.  If Apollo 1 flew, the landing would have been earlier.

Offline VSECOTSPE

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4271 on: 12/05/2023 02:49 pm »
Asteroid Redirect was a good mission.

Offline VSECOTSPE

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4272 on: 12/05/2023 02:54 pm »
Congress probably wouldn't have funded a lander in 2011 but they would have later on.

An entire decade later!  Címon...

Quote
You are trying to rewrite history. Although it is Congress that initially proposed it, the Obama Administration owned SLS and Orion as soon as Obama signed the 2010 NASA Authorization bill.

To get Commercial Crew.  Not to ďownĒ Orion/SLS.

Quote
SLS and Orion became a bridge to nowhere because of the Journey to Mars and the Asteroid redirect mission which had no need for a lunar lander.

No, Orion/SLS was a bridge-to-nowhere from the get-go in the 2010 Act because Congress didnít provide any other elements or funding for their bridge ó for a decade!  The Obama Administration tried to fix that by coming up with a destination and mission that could use Orion/SLS.  Just because the Administration didnít pick your favorite destination doesnít mean that theyíre responsible for the bridge-to-nowhere.

If I build half of something and then quit before itís useful, and then you come along and try to make it useful, that doesnít mean that youíre responsible for my quitting halfway.

The problem is not a White House trying to make lemonade out of lemons.  Itís Congress buying lemons in the first place.

Asteroid Redirect was a good mission.

Unfortunately, Goldilocks ruled ó the population of NEAs that fit a Venn diagram where they are in accessible orbits, not spinning too fast, and the right size is vanishingly small.

Offline Paul451

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4273 on: 12/05/2023 05:36 pm »
Asteroid Redirect was a good mission.
Unfortunately, Goldilocks ruled ó the population of NEAs that fit a Venn diagram where they are in accessible orbits, not spinning too fast, and the right size is vanishingly small.

Would the calculus on asteroid rendezvous (not redirect) have been different if Congress had supported Obama's original proposal? Ie, no SLS/Orion. Instead, orbitally-fuelled deep-space vehicle, similar to LM's proposed space-tug for Blue Origin's HLS.

[Which would have left a lot of infrastructure existing or under development if the next President said "Back to the Moon!" LEO refuelling, deep-space tug, deep-space crew module, commercial crew, etc. Greatly reduces the number of "new things" needing to be developed for a lunar lander.]

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4274 on: 12/05/2023 06:36 pm »
Asteroid Redirect was a good mission.

Unfortunately, Goldilocks ruled ó the population of NEAs that fit a Venn diagram where they are in accessible orbits, not spinning too fast, and the right size is vanishingly small.
Öon the contrary, there are still plenty of NEAs. We may hope for even more convenient orbits to visit, but the existing population is just fine, actually. But a convenient excuse to dismiss the program.
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 OTV Booster

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4275 on: 12/05/2023 09:39 pm »
It doesn't prove it to be false. I said that it's hard, I didn't say that it was impossible.

It wasnít hard for Congress to create and fund SLS.  They did so over the course of a summer despite White House opposition, forget not requesting  such an HLV.

If Congress could do that with SLS, they could have created and funded a lunar lander.  Why not?  Not because the White House didnít ask for one.  Because Congress didnít want to.  A lander had nothing to do with preserving the STS budget, workforce, and institution.  SLS did.

Itís specious and silly to argue that Congress was somehow crippled in asking for System X because the White House didnít ask for System X when, at the same time, Congress is creating and funding System Y that the White House did not ask for.

Think about it.  Do you really think if the White House had asked for billions for a lander that appropriators would have funded a lander over the billions needed to keep STS dollars and jobs in their states and districts?

CímonÖ letís not be so naive.

Quote
In any event, the fact that Congress didn't propose a lander either at that time doesn't excuse the Obama Administration from not doing it either.

The White House didnít write the 2010 NASA Authorization Act.  The White House didnít write the associated appropriations.  The responsibility for creating and funding an HLV and capsule absent any architecture and systems necessary to make that HLV and capsule useful lies with Congress, not with the White House.  Orion/SLS was Congressís bridge to nowhere, not the White Houseís.
IIUC, a hostile Congress was doing everything in its power to hamstring anything and everything Obama proposed. The guy had to pick his fights.
We are on the cusp of revolutionary access to space. One hallmark of a revolution is that there is a disjuncture through which projections do not work. The thread must be picked up anew and the tapestry of history woven with a fresh pattern.

Offline OTV Booster

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4276 on: 12/05/2023 10:00 pm »
Asteroid Redirect was a good mission.
Unfortunately, Goldilocks ruled ó the population of NEAs that fit a Venn diagram where they are in accessible orbits, not spinning too fast, and the right size is vanishingly small.

Would the calculus on asteroid rendezvous (not redirect) have been different if Congress had supported Obama's original proposal? Ie, no SLS/Orion. Instead, orbitally-fuelled deep-space vehicle, similar to LM's proposed space-tug for Blue Origin's HLS.

[Which would have left a lot of infrastructure existing or under development if the next President said "Back to the Moon!" LEO refuelling, deep-space tug, deep-space crew module, commercial crew, etc. Greatly reduces the number of "new things" needing to be developed for a lunar lander.]
AIUI, perhaps imperfectly, Senator Sphincter (I forget his name) from Alabama publicly pulled Jim Bridenstine over the coals literally for uttering the word "refueling". The R&D for refueling and a space tug would have risked spreading the SLS pork in other directions. Wasn't gonna happen. The Sphincter had too much suck.
« Last Edit: 12/05/2023 10:00 pm by OTV Booster »
We are on the cusp of revolutionary access to space. One hallmark of a revolution is that there is a disjuncture through which projections do not work. The thread must be picked up anew and the tapestry of history woven with a fresh pattern.

Offline Paul451

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4277 on: 12/05/2023 10:15 pm »
Asteroid Redirect was a good mission.
Unfortunately, Goldilocks ruled — the population of NEAs that fit a Venn diagram where they are in accessible orbits, not spinning too fast, and the right size is vanishingly small.
Would the calculus on asteroid rendezvous (not redirect) have been different if Congress had supported Obama's original proposal? Ie, no SLS/Orion. Instead, orbitally-fuelled deep-space vehicle, similar to LM's proposed space-tug for Blue Origin's HLS.
AIUI, perhaps imperfectly, Senator Sphincter (I forget his name) from Alabama publicly pulled Jim Bridenstine over the coals literally for uttering the word "refueling". The R&D for refueling and a space tug would have risked spreading the SLS pork in other directions. Wasn't gonna happen. The Sphincter had too much suck.

I'm aware of that. I was just asking about the hypothetical: without the down-suck of SLS limiting everything, could a refuelling-based architecture have expanded the pool of viable targets enough to make the original asteroid-rendezvous proposal viable. Is there a viable target that requires less travel time than, say, the moons of Mars, with lower delta-v requirements?

[Shelby, BTW. But he wasn't the only one, Nelson was right there with him.]
« Last Edit: 12/05/2023 10:17 pm by Paul451 »

Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4278 on: 12/05/2023 10:27 pm »
Congress probably wouldn't have funded a lander in 2011 but they would have later on.

An entire decade later!  Címon...

It hadn't been proposed before under the Obama Administration. Why did it take almost decade (in FY2020) to fund the landers? Because the Obama Administration never actually proposed it! As soon as the Trump Administration proposed it in 2019 in the FY20 Budget, it got funded by Congress (the landers got $600M in FY20).

Quote
To get Commercial Crew.  Not to ďownĒ Orion/SLS.

I know that but that's the deal that they made. The Obama Administration deserve a lot of credit for commercial crew but they also deserve the blame for accepting SLS and Orion as part of the 2010 NASA Authorization. Having said that, I think that is the best deal that they were going to get from Congress. So I don't blame them for accepting this deal.   

Quote
No, Orion/SLS was a bridge-to-nowhere from the get-go in the 2010 Act because Congress didnít provide any other elements or funding for their bridge ó for a decade!  The Obama Administration tried to fix that by coming up with a destination and mission that could use Orion/SLS.  Just because the Administration didnít pick your favorite destination doesnít mean that theyíre responsible for the bridge-to-nowhere.

The Obama Administration didn't really pick a destination, that's the problem. The Journey to Mars was a Journey to Nowhere. They never proposed anything concrete in a budget proposal that would have gotten us to Mars. From a policy point of view, there was nothing wrong with the Asteroid redirect mission except that it should have been presented as an interim mission in a larger Moon to Mars program. There was some good ideas in the FY2011 Budget including technology development and commercial crew but there was also a lot of bad ideas that were never going to be accepted by Congress. The idea of studying HLV for 5 years was silly. They should have just announced a Moon and Mars program with a commercial HLV option.

Artemis inherited SLS and Orion because of the deal that the Obama Administration made when it signed the 2010 NASA Authorization bill, that's just a fact. The reason that Congress wanted SLS and Orion in the first place in 2010 was because they wanted to save Constellation, so you can certainly also blame Mike Griffin for SLS and Orion. But the Bush II Administration is not the only one that should be blamed for SLS and Orion, the Obama Administration should get some of it too.

Having said all of that, the commercial crew program was a huge success which paved the way for other public-private partnerships programs such as HLS. So I am thankful that the Obama Administration pushed hard for commercial crew. They deserve a lot of praise for that program.
« Last Edit: 12/06/2023 12:50 am by yg1968 »

Offline yg1968

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