Author Topic: NASA's Artemis Program Updates and Discussion Thread 5  (Read 186507 times)

Offline VSECOTSPE

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Re: NASA's Artemis Program Updates and Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #280 on: 03/23/2023 10:11 pm »

Thank you for the correction.

Afer correction:
Latest Growth              0.1    0.0    0.1    0.1    0.1    0.2
(FY24 Minus FY23)

A fuller accounting... Orion/SLS budget growth over the past half-decade:

          ($B)                 FY18   FY19   FY20   FY21   FY22   FY23   FY24   FY25  FY26   FY27   All Years

FY20 Minus FY19     0.5       0.4      (0.4)     (0.4)    (0.2)    0.0                                                    (0.1)

FY21 Minus FY20                 0.0      1.2       0.6      0.5       0.3      0.1                                         2.7

FY22 Minus FY21                            (0.1)     0.5      0.5      0.3      0.4       0.3                             1.9

FY23 Minus FY22                                        0.0      0.0       0.3      0.2      0.2       0.0                  0.7

FY24 Minus FY23                                                   0.1       0.0      0.1      0.1       0.1       0.2      0.6

Total                           0.5       0.4      0.7      0.7      0.9       0.9      0.8      0.6       0.1       0.2      5.8

There’s a consistent bow wave of ~$0.5B to ~$1.0B in total growth in each fiscal year from FY18 thru FY25.  I suspect that will continue after FY25.  Based on past experience with United Space Alliance and United Launch Alliance, I don’t see any reason to believe that Orion/SLS contract consolidation will reduce costs, especially in the absence of any competition.

Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA's Artemis Program Updates and Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #281 on: 03/23/2023 10:16 pm »
In a year or so, Artemis III will be out in 2026+ and the pressurized rover will have slipped over the planning horizon.

The pressurized rover will be provided by JAXA, NASA has no plans for its own pressurized rover. However, NASA does have plans for a LTV (lunar terrain vehicle) for a which a draft RFP has been issued.

Offline VSECOTSPE

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Re: NASA's Artemis Program Updates and Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #282 on: 03/23/2023 11:04 pm »
The pressurized rover will be provided by JAXA, NASA has no plans for its own pressurized rover. However, NASA does have plans for a LTV (lunar terrain vehicle) for a which a draft RFP has been issued.

Of course.  That doesn’t make it immune from delays in the ostensible 9/31 launch date for Artemis VII or development issues at JAXA.

My opinion, but LTV, while necessary, doesn’t justify a ~$100 billion investment in Artemis over a decade or so.  If the program isn’t putting some fundamentally new surface capabilities — like a pressurized rover or a habitat — within the planning horizon, I don’t see the point behind such an expensive, slow Apollo retread.  There’s a lot better things the nation could apply those taxpayer dollars and that technical workforce towards. 

YMMV...

Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA's Artemis Program Updates and Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #283 on: 03/24/2023 12:33 am »
The pressurized rover will be provided by JAXA, NASA has no plans for its own pressurized rover. However, NASA does have plans for a LTV (lunar terrain vehicle) for a which a draft RFP has been issued.
Of course.  That doesn’t make it immune from delays in the ostensible 9/31 launch date for Artemis VII or development issues at JAXA.

The Pressurized rover will be delivered by HDL (HLS-cargo). As it stands, HDL would be part of the services phase of HLS (i.e. after Artemis IV or V). The pressurized rover depends more on the budget of HLS/HDL than the budget of SLS and Orion. In other words, the pressurized rover might be ready before or after Artemis VII.

Offline VSECOTSPE

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Re: NASA's Artemis Program Updates and Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #284 on: 03/24/2023 12:49 am »
The Pressurized rover will be delivered by HDL (HLS-cargo). As it stands, HDL would be part of the services phase of HLS (i.e. after Artemis IV or V). The pressurized rover depends more on the budget of HLS/HDL than the budget of SLS and Orion. In other words, the pressurized rover might be ready before or after Artemis VII.

Of course.  But the point of a manned rover is to put a crew in it.  Even when other elements are delivered separately, crew transport is the pacing for most everything in a program like this, and Artemis unfortunately has to rely solely on Orion/SLS for the crew transport function.

Offline VSECOTSPE

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Re: NASA's Artemis Program Updates and Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #285 on: 03/24/2023 12:50 am »

Quote
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson claims proposed spending reductions for fiscal year 2024 could have “devastating and potentially unrecoverable” effects on NASA programs, delaying or canceling many missions.

In a March 19 letter to Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee, Nelson outlined the effects on NASA of two budget-cutting scenarios being considered by House Republican leadership. DeLauro published the letter this week along with similar letters she requested from other federal agencies.

One scenario considered rolling back discretionary spending across the board to fiscal year 2022 levels, which for NASA would mean $24 billion, $1.4 billion less than what NASA received in 2023. A second scenario proposed exempting defense spending from that cut, requiring deeper reductions for non-defense discretionary agencies. NASA estimated in that scenario its budget would be cut by 22% from 2023 levels to about $19.8 billion...

That cut, according to documents provided in the letter, would “significantly restructure or terminate” various elements of Artemis 4, including the upgraded version of the Space Launch System and lunar Gateway elements. That would, NASA stated, “threaten [the] ability to fly Artemis IV and defer lunar exploration beyond Artemis IV.” [emphasis in original]...

The other scenario, with NASA funding cut to 2022 levels, had less severe effects. It would “substantially delay” Artemis 4 and also cancel a procurement for a second Artemis lunar lander.

https://spacenews.com/nasa-warns-of-devastating-impacts-of-potential-budget-cuts/

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: NASA's Artemis Program Updates and Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #286 on: 03/24/2023 01:14 am »

Quote
As an example, the Artemis IV mission would be “substantially delayed” if NASA was capped at FY2022.

Alternatively, if the agency was cut 22 percent, NASA would have to “restructure or terminate currently ongoing major development work for Artemis IV” including Gateway, SLS Block 1B, Mobile Launcher-2 and the second SpaceX Human Landing System contract, and prioritize continuation of Artemis II and Artemis III “with potential delays to those flights.”

https://spacepolicyonline.com/news/nelson-details-devastating-impacts-if-nasa-funding-capped-at-fy2022-level-or-less/
Man… they’re almost making me agree with a budget cut when they talk about it like that. I think SLS IB and ML-2 and Gateway are unnecessary mistakes… if Artemis IV ended up being just a slightly refined version of Artemis III, it wouldn’t bother me…


…but ideally I’d want the money to spent on increasing mission cadence and maybe a surface base and a second lander
« Last Edit: 03/24/2023 01:20 am by Robotbeat »
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Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA's Artemis Program Updates and Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #287 on: 03/24/2023 01:43 am »
Interestingly, a High-Level Advisory Group has suggested in its report released today that ESA create its own Artemis program using public-private partnerships in order land humans on the Moon within 10 years. At the press conference, ESA Director General, Josef Aschbacher seemed supportive of the report.

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=58504.msg2469014#msg2469014
« Last Edit: 03/24/2023 01:54 am by yg1968 »

Offline Paul451

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Re: NASA's Artemis Program Updates and Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #288 on: 03/24/2023 07:21 am »
Quote
NASA would have to “restructure or terminate [...] Gateway, SLS Block 1B, Mobile Launcher-2 and the second SpaceX Human Landing System contract,
Man… they’re almost making me agree with a budget cut when they talk about it like that. I think SLS IB and ML-2 and Gateway are unnecessary mistakes… if Artemis IV ended up being just a slightly refined version of Artemis III, it wouldn’t bother me…

Nelson isn't naming those things because they are good or bad, he's specifically naming those things because they are the most politically protected. It's a message: "Unless you fight for our budget, we'll cut your preferred thing." The fact that he chose that list is a good indicator that we aren't getting closer to Congress recognising the failure of SLS/etc.

[The real-world compromise (such as the one we saw under Constellation) is that Congress will keep the protected stuff in return for cutting a bunch of things that aren't politically protected. Tech dev, science (especially Earth science), and all the ancillary development for Artemis such as ground infrastructure, cargo-flights, rover(s), and science instruments. They might also figure out a way to put pressure on the Starship HLS budget in order to protect the second HLS.]

Offline woods170

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Re: NASA's Artemis Program Updates and Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #289 on: 03/24/2023 07:51 am »

Quote
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson claims proposed spending reductions for fiscal year 2024 could have “devastating and potentially unrecoverable” effects on NASA programs, delaying or canceling many missions.

In a March 19 letter to Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee, Nelson outlined the effects on NASA of two budget-cutting scenarios being considered by House Republican leadership. DeLauro published the letter this week along with similar letters she requested from other federal agencies.

One scenario considered rolling back discretionary spending across the board to fiscal year 2022 levels, which for NASA would mean $24 billion, $1.4 billion less than what NASA received in 2023. A second scenario proposed exempting defense spending from that cut, requiring deeper reductions for non-defense discretionary agencies. NASA estimated in that scenario its budget would be cut by 22% from 2023 levels to about $19.8 billion...

That cut, according to documents provided in the letter, would “significantly restructure or terminate” various elements of Artemis 4, including the upgraded version of the Space Launch System and lunar Gateway elements. That would, NASA stated, “threaten [the] ability to fly Artemis IV and defer lunar exploration beyond Artemis IV.” [emphasis in original]...

The other scenario, with NASA funding cut to 2022 levels, had less severe effects. It would “substantially delay” Artemis 4 and also cancel a procurement for a second Artemis lunar lander.

https://spacenews.com/nasa-warns-of-devastating-impacts-of-potential-budget-cuts/


Cautionary note: don't accept Nelson's words as gospel. The man has a history of exaggerating and over-dramatizing things to get his way. He is a former politician afterall.
« Last Edit: 03/24/2023 07:55 am by woods170 »

Offline woods170

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Re: NASA's Artemis Program Updates and Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #290 on: 03/24/2023 07:54 am »
Interestingly, a High-Level Advisory Group has suggested in its report released today that ESA create its own Artemis program using public-private partnerships in order land humans on the Moon within 10 years. At the press conference, ESA Director General, Josef Aschbacher seemed supportive of the report.

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=58504.msg2469014#msg2469014

Four words: show me the money.


Prediction: ESA won't get the required additional funding from its member states. The next 5 years will IMO see most of the lofty goals of the High-Level Advisory Group end up in the waste bin.

Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA's Artemis Program Updates and Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #291 on: 03/24/2023 12:38 pm »
Interestingly, a High-Level Advisory Group has suggested in its report released today that ESA create its own Artemis program using public-private partnerships in order land humans on the Moon within 10 years. At the press conference, ESA Director General, Josef Aschbacher seemed supportive of the report.

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=58504.msg2469014#msg2469014

Four words: show me the money.


Prediction: ESA won't get the required additional funding from its member states. The next 5 years will IMO see most of the lofty goals of the High-Level Advisory Group end up in the waste bin.

The High Level Advisory Group didn't ask for a specific amount of money. They didn't feel that that they had the expertise or the mandate to do so. But Cedric O from the advisory group did say during the press conference that, if it cost $10B, that sounds like a lot but if you spread that out over ten years, it's not as bad ($1B per year). The $10B example that he gave is interesting because that is probably the cost of the development of Starship (Musk had said between $1B and $10B but it is obvious now that it is closer to $10B).

But I think that the key message of the Revolution Space Report is that ESA needs to do more public-private partnerships if it wants European companies to compete with SpaceX, Blue Origin, etc. If they are able to do more of these public-private partnerships, that would be a huge accomplishment in and of itself.

In any event, it's interesting that the High-Level Advisory Group wants to go to the Moon through public-private partnerships. It reinforce the point that SLS and Orion are not the way to go and ESA and their advisory group indirectly acknowledge that through this report.

Speaking of public-private partnerships, I am hoping that the evolution of crewed Starship will eventually encourage NASA to have a commercial crew to NRHO program to increase the cadence of missions to the Moon to at least 2 per year. I think that this commercial crew to NRHO option will be hard to ignore once that Polaris 3 and the Dear missions missions fly. In a way, the HLS program is indirectly contributing to this option already by funding HLS-Starship. To the extent that the development of Starship costs $10B, the $4B from NASA for Options A & B helps a lot.
« Last Edit: 03/24/2023 02:02 pm by yg1968 »

Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA's Artemis Program Updates and Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #292 on: 03/24/2023 02:04 pm »
Quote
NASA would have to “restructure or terminate [...] Gateway, SLS Block 1B, Mobile Launcher-2 and the second SpaceX Human Landing System contract,
Man… they’re almost making me agree with a budget cut when they talk about it like that. I think SLS IB and ML-2 and Gateway are unnecessary mistakes… if Artemis IV ended up being just a slightly refined version of Artemis III, it wouldn’t bother me…

Nelson isn't naming those things because they are good or bad, he's specifically naming those things because they are the most politically protected. It's a message: "Unless you fight for our budget, we'll cut your preferred thing." The fact that he chose that list is a good indicator that we aren't getting closer to Congress recognising the failure of SLS/etc.

[The real-world compromise (such as the one we saw under Constellation) is that Congress will keep the protected stuff in return for cutting a bunch of things that aren't politically protected. Tech dev, science (especially Earth science), and all the ancillary development for Artemis such as ground infrastructure, cargo-flights, rover(s), and science instruments. They might also figure out a way to put pressure on the Starship HLS budget in order to protect the second HLS.]

On your last point, both Option B and Appendix P have been drafted with a number of optional milestones that will only be exercised if there is sufficient budget for them.

Offline VSECOTSPE

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Re: NASA's Artemis Program Updates and Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #293 on: 03/24/2023 04:06 pm »
Cautionary note: don't accept Nelson's words as gospel. The man has a history of exaggerating and over-dramatizing things to get his way. He is a former politician afterall.

No doubt.  I’m just the messenger/copy-paster.  It’s not going to be as bad as Nelson (or his budget staff) wrote.  But it’s going to be a bad budget year, and folks should be aware of that.

Four words: show me the money.

Four more:  No more juste retour.

The pamphlet (I hesitate to call is a report) really calls for four big changes:

1) An independent European human space flight program

2) That reaches the Moon in a decade

3) Using public-private partnerships

4) That create new industry competitors.

The first two require billions of euros in funding that European governments have never been willing to put into human space flight.  It’s hard to see LEO stations and lunar missions from governments that historically balked at even a small crewed spaceplane.  European governments have never seen the same value in human space flight as the United States (and the Europeans may be right).  It’s hard to see how this pamphlet changes that.

The third requires a complete change in how ESA does business.  The principle that European nations get back in contracts what they contribute in taxpayer dollars to ESA is as old as ESA (and other pan-European institutions) itself.  I don’t see that changing, and unless it does, the system is unlikely to produce a European SpaceX or two.  (I also don’t see any Musk- and Bezos-type bazilllionaires in Europe with the deep pockets, nerdy goals, and high risk acceptance needed to partner with ESA, but that may just be my ignorance.)

The fourth requires big firms like Arianespace and Thales Alenia to sit on their hands and allow start-ups to eat their lunch.  I don’t see that happening, either.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’d love to see a more muscular and efficient ESA.  But I think this pamphlet is tilting at windmills.  The public-private partnership “revolution” (for lack of a better term) in human space flight started with a small ISS cargo backup program (COTS) that no one was paying attention to.  I think ESA would be better off trying a couple pilot programs than a top-down restructuring.  In fact, to get around juste retour and other issues above, this pamphlet might be better directed at the national space agencies.  Germany and France are probably in a better position to run pilots than ESA. 

Quote
Prediction: ESA won't get the required additional funding from its member states. The next 5 years will IMO see most of the lofty goals of the High-Level Advisory Group end up in the waste bin.

That was certainly my experience with the VSE and my observation regarding any number of other well-meaning reports (Augustine et al.) on reforming NASA human space flight.

Even then, I find some of the economic arguments in this pamphlet specious.  Comparing the potential of private human space flight to internet and AI markets strikes even a space cadet like myself as goofy.  No applications like that have come out of two decades of ISS work, and the private human space flight market consists of a couple enthusiastic bazillionaires.  That doesn’t mean it won’t grow to something more, but comparisons to gigantic IT markets are a real stretch, at best.  If there are ginormous space markets in the coming decades, they’re in mega-LEO constellations, satellite-to-iPhone, ubiquitous remote sensing, etc., not human space flight or on the Moon.

Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA's Artemis Program Updates and Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #294 on: 03/24/2023 04:30 pm »
Four words: show me the money.

Four more:  No more juste retour.

The pamphlet (I hesitate to call is a report) really calls for four big changes:

1) An independent European human space flight program

2) That reaches the Moon in a decade

3) Using public-private partnerships

4) That create new industry competitors.

The first two require billions of euros in funding that European governments have never been willing to put into human space flight.  It’s hard to see LEO stations and lunar missions from governments that historically balked at even a small crewed spaceplane.  European governments have never seen the same value in human space flight as the United States (and the Europeans may be right).  It’s hard to see how this pamphlet changes that.

The third requires a complete change in how ESA does business.  The principle that European nations get back in contracts what they contribute in taxpayer dollars to ESA is as old as ESA (and other pan-European institutions) itself.  I don’t see that changing, and unless it does, the system is unlikely to produce a European SpaceX or two.  (I also don’t see any Musk- and Bezos-type bazilllionaires in Europe with the deep pockets, nerdy goals, and high risk acceptance needed to partner with ESA, but that may just be my ignorance.)

The fourth requires big firms like Arianespace and Thales Alenia to sit on their hands and allow start-ups to eat their lunch.  I don’t see that happening, either.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’d love to see a more muscular and efficient ESA.  But I think this pamphlet is tilting at windmills.  The public-private partnership “revolution” (for lack of a better term) in human space flight started with a small ISS cargo backup program (COTS) that no one was paying attention to.  I think ESA would be better off trying a couple pilot programs than a top-down restructuring.  In fact, to get around juste retour and other issues above, this pamphlet might be better directed at the national space agencies.  Germany and France are probably in a better position to run pilots than ESA. 

Quote
Prediction: ESA won't get the required additional funding from its member states. The next 5 years will IMO see most of the lofty goals of the High-Level Advisory Group end up in the waste bin.

That was certainly my experience with the VSE and my observation regarding any number of other well-meaning reports (Augustine et al.) on reforming NASA human space flight.

Even then, I find some of the economic arguments in this pamphlet specious.  Comparing the potential of private human space flight to internet and AI markets strikes even a space cadet like myself as goofy.  No applications like that have come out of two decades of ISS work, and the private human space flight market consists of a couple enthusiastic bazillionaires.  That doesn’t mean it won’t grow to something more, but comparisons to gigantic IT markets are a real stretch, at best.  If there are ginormous space markets in the coming decades, they’re in mega-LEO constellations, satellite-to-iPhone, ubiquitous remote sensing, etc., not human space flight or on the Moon.

Concerning the juste retour (geo-return), ESA is already starting to change that. See the message linked below:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=58504.msg2468970#msg2468970

I think that the advisory group is looking at the value of SpaceX which is worth a lot. That is the value that they are looking at, not the value of helium 3. They want to be part of this commercial space industry. They say in the report, you either have a seat at the table or you are on the menu...  There is no doubt that NASA contributed to SpaceX becoming what they are today and public-private partnerships helped in that respect which is why they are recommending that ESA engage in more of these.

I imagine that Arianespace and Thales Alenia would be allowed to bid on these public-private partnerships (PPP) but ideally, they should ensure to have at least two companies to ensure that these PPP contracts don't only go to these large European companies. As you know, Elon Musk wasn't a billionaire in 2006 when SpaceX won a COTS award.
« Last Edit: 03/24/2023 04:42 pm by yg1968 »

Offline clongton

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Re: NASA's Artemis Program Updates and Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #295 on: 03/24/2023 04:42 pm »
If there are ginormous space markets in the coming decades, they’re in mega-LEO constellations, satellite-to-iPhone, ubiquitous remote sensing, etc., not human space flight or on the Moon.

Agreed. Looking back, the United States was not really interested in space per se, until the Soviets launched Sputnik in 1957. I remember that day well, and my dad (WWII Navy carrier pilot)'s nervous reaction. Even then the interest wasn't space, it was the ability to rain nuclear bombs down on an enemy from half way around the world. Interest in space didn't begin until corporations (and the legislators that funded them) realized the enormous profit implications demonstrated by the Apollo program. Future space-based markets are going to be dependent on realistic expectations of billions of dollars in profit, because that will require billions of dollars of up-front investment. That will involve being ballsey enough to shoulder enormous risk. Short of ultrarich billionaires with a driving vision, like Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos for example, I don't see that happening anytime soon. I personally believe that the potential is real, but the capitalization it'll take to bring that to fruition is not likely to be forthcoming from national governments, or even most corporations or other NGOs anytime soon. It's just too huge a nut to crack. But believers like me can always hope.
« Last Edit: 03/24/2023 04:45 pm by clongton »
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Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA's Artemis Program Updates and Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #296 on: 03/24/2023 07:46 pm »
Some of the highlights of the Revolution Space report: [...]

Quote from: page 31 of the report
Europe should design and implement a European Space Mission to establish an independent European presence in Earth orbit, lunar orbit, on the Moon, and beyond, including a European Commercial LEO Station, Cargo and Crew Capabilities for the Gateway and the Moon, and sustained presence on the lunar surface.

[...]

https://esamultimedia.esa.int/docs/corporate/h-lag_brochure.pdf

P.S. Interestingly, the High-Level Advisory Group spoke to Scott Pace (see page 38 of the Report).

Interesting that the High Level Advisory Group is essentially proposing a commercial crew to NRHO/Gateway program. A number of people on this forum including me have proposed this idea before. However, I have proposed it in addition to SLS and Orion in order to get 2 lunar surface missions per year because I don't think that SLS and Orion are getting cancelled any time soon.
« Last Edit: 03/24/2023 07:46 pm by yg1968 »

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: NASA's Artemis Program Updates and Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #297 on: 03/24/2023 08:22 pm »
Well that would be kind of interesting. Crew sharing with ESA would allow doubling the frequency of Artemis missions and would potentially provide enough missions to justify two lunar landers (at just one per year, a single lander provider is the best you could hope for, but double that and maybe a second provider can squeak in there… especially if Orion/SLS are sunsetted & replaced by a cheaper U.S. commercial deep space crew capability to help pay for the second lander).
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Offline VSECOTSPE

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Re: NASA's Artemis Program Updates and Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #298 on: 03/24/2023 09:02 pm »
I think that the advisory group is looking at the value of SpaceX which is worth a lot. That is the value that they are looking at, not the value of helium 3.

If that’s the case, then Europe doesn’t need an independent human lunar or even human space flight program.  It just needs to refocus and contract differently for what it already does.  Maybe stop building one expensive service module for Orion every year or two and contract COTS-style for a couple complete payload delivery services to lunar orbit instead.  That doesn’t guarantee a European SpaceX, but Europe doesn’t need an entire human lunar/human space flight program to create the kind of opportunity that saved SpaceX and allowed it to complete F9.

SpaceX is really valued now by the potential of StarLink.  European space agencies and militaries should probably be looking at the Space Development Agency model for incentivizing those kinds of mass-produced LEO constellations.

Still have to get around the problems of just retoure and entrenched interests.  But there’s no need to raise additional 10x billions for a separate human space flight program.

Interesting that the High Level Advisory Group is essentially proposing a commercial crew to NRHO/Gateway program. A number of people on this forum including me have proposed this idea before. However, I have proposed it in addition to SLS and Orion in order to get 2 lunar surface missions per year because I don't think that SLS and Orion are getting cancelled any time soon.

If ESA leapfrogged NASA with commercial lunar crew transport capabilities, I would stand and applaud.

Offline TheRadicalModerate

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Re: NASA's Artemis Program Updates and Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #299 on: 03/24/2023 09:39 pm »
Interesting that the High Level Advisory Group is essentially proposing a commercial crew to NRHO/Gateway program. A number of people on this forum including me have proposed this idea before. However, I have proposed it in addition to SLS and Orion in order to get 2 lunar surface missions per year because I don't think that SLS and Orion are getting cancelled any time soon.

If ESA leapfrogged NASA with commercial lunar crew transport capabilities, I would stand and applaud.

I'm wondering if this could be a political fig leaf used to de-emphasize SLS/Orion.  If ESA contracted for services to send crews to NRHO, could NASA contribute in-kind hardware and services the same way that ESA contributes them to NASA?  I'm thinking specifically of HLS services and propellant launches.

I'm guessing you're going to tell me that the authorizing legislation and acquisition process for providing such in-kind services would be exactly the same is if NASA sponsored the project themselves.  But would it muddy the waters enough that people who'd like to back slowly away from SLS/Orion could do so?

PS:  Could you explain the "just retoure" policy?

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