Author Topic: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers  (Read 1181772 times)

Offline woods170

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4300 on: 12/08/2023 08:04 am »
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.

Artemis ‘inherited’? Funny way to state that. “Artemis” was created to rationalize the existence of SLS and Orion, to provide a route by which NASA could traverse its nowhere bridge.

That's not true. Neither Bridenstine nor Pence thought that SLS was indispensable to Artemis, they were looking at commercial alternatives for the 2024 mission. Pence specifically refers to it in his March 2019 speech.
<snip>

It doesn't matter what the ideas of the former Vice President of the United States were. Neither does it matter what the ideas of the former NASA Administrator were.
They don't make those high-level decisions. U.S. Congress does. Courtesy of holding the purse strings.

You're old enough to remember what happened when Bridenstine came up with the "Orion on FH" suggestion. He got just one phone call from a (now former) senator from Alabama. And that phone call was enough to:
A. put a permanent ringing sound in Jim's right ear.
B. put Jim's "Orion on FH" idea in the waste bin.

Offline VSECOTSPE

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4301 on: 12/08/2023 01:23 pm »
The 2010 NASA Authorization Act favored the flexible path…

If we go with that interpretation, it still doesn’t absolve Congress of responsibility for funding their exploration plan, whichever route through the flexible path they favor.  If appropriators favored the NEA route, they should have properly funded the Administration’s proposal.  But they didn’t.  And if appropriators favored a lunar route, they should have funded a lander.  But they didn’t.

I sound like a broken record, but to me, it comes back to the harsh reality that appropriators and Congress have no priority for the human space exploration program beyond jobs and federal dollars in their districts/states.  They didn’t and won’t expend limited political capital over any real debate on destinations and architectures, and they didn’t and won’t spend significant/any limited discretionary dollars on actual exploration elements.  They are content with no or starving or incoherent exploration architectures as long as the STS/Orion/Ares/SLS workforce is taken care of.

No White House is to blame for this parochialism.  It’s baked into our system of government.  But if an Administration signs up for a particular destination, then they also have the responsibility to secure funding for it.  Bush II failed with respect to its lunar goal because it deferred decisions to Griffin, who went down the Orion/Ares I dry hole instead of leveraging existing launchers and getting on with a lander.  Trump Admin also fumbled the funding priorities for their lunar goal for several years, letting Orion/SLS zombie on with no lander until the end of that term.  Unlike the Obama Administration, the Bush II and Trump Administrations owned the lunar goal and have more culpability due to their repeated lack of follow-through on it.  Where I do criticize the Obama Administration is their strategic failure to address the Orion/SLS workforce issue.  But I have to give them credit for at least trying to fight Orion/SLA, which is more than I can say about the follow-through of the Bush II and Trump Administrations.

There’s a saying — budget is policy.  If a White House or Congress declares a lunar goal but fails to fund a lunar lander, the outcome is the same as a White House that says “been there, done that.”  For capital-intensive programs like NASA’s, words are just words without money.  In the end, it’s the dollars that matter.  Show me the money.

(For disclosure’s sake, I worked OMB and NASA HQ under Bush II and returned to NASA HQ for stretch under Obama.)

FWIW…

Offline dglow

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4302 on: 12/08/2023 01:29 pm »
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.

Artemis ‘inherited’? Funny way to state that. “Artemis” was created to rationalize the existence of SLS and Orion, to provide a route by which NASA could traverse its nowhere bridge.

That's not true. Neither Bridenstine nor Pence thought that SLS was indispensable to Artemis, they were looking at commercial alternatives for the 2024 mission. Pence specifically refers to it in his March 2019 speech.
<snip>

It doesn't matter what the ideas of the former Vice President of the United States were. Neither does it matter what the ideas of the former NASA Administrator were.
They don't make those high-level decisions. U.S. Congress does. Courtesy of holding the purse strings.

You're old enough to remember what happened when Bridenstine came up with the "Orion on FH" suggestion. He got just one phone call from a (now former) senator from Alabama. And that phone call was enough to:
A. put a permanent ringing sound in Jim's right ear.
B. put Jim's "Orion on FH" idea in the waste bin.

Yes. Speaking of historians, I wonder if time will reveal a transcript or tape of that conversation...  ::)

And IIRC, Bridenstine was only proposing a LV substitution for the uncrewed Orion flight, aka Artemis I, ostensibly to buy time for SLS to catch up and to make something "big" happen during Trump's time in office.

Shelby's (valid) fear was that once you 'break the seal' – demonstrating that Orion isn't intrinsically bound to launch on SLS – then eyes might be opened and questions asked.

How the hypothetical follow-on mission could have worked – with a crewed Orion atop a man-rated but untested SLS – is anyone's guess. Though we're about to find out when Artemis IV flies crew on a new and untested upper stage. Good times.
« Last Edit: 12/08/2023 01:32 pm by dglow »

Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4303 on: 12/08/2023 02:04 pm »
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.

Artemis ‘inherited’? Funny way to state that. “Artemis” was created to rationalize the existence of SLS and Orion, to provide a route by which NASA could traverse its nowhere bridge.

That's not true. Neither Bridenstine nor Pence thought that SLS was indispensable to Artemis, they were looking at commercial alternatives for the 2024 mission. Pence specifically refers to it in his March 2019 speech.
<snip>

It doesn't matter what the ideas of the former Vice President of the United States were. Neither does it matter what the ideas of the former NASA Administrator were.
They don't make those high-level decisions. U.S. Congress does. Courtesy of holding the purse strings.

You're old enough to remember what happened when Bridenstine came up with the "Orion on FH" suggestion. He got just one phone call from a (now former) senator from Alabama. And that phone call was enough to:
A. put a permanent ringing sound in Jim's right ear.
B. put Jim's "Orion on FH" idea in the waste bin.

This is speculation on my part but I wonder if the Trump Administration didn't get something in exchange for dropping the Orion on FH proposal (other than Bridenstine not getting fired). I am still surprised that Shelby accepted HLS-Starship as it is also a long term threat to SLS and Orion. I hope that John Logsdon does write about this period, it would be interesting to know how the Trump Administration managed to convince Shelby to go along with HLS (as opposed to a government lander). Obviously part of the reason that they manage to convince Shelby to go along with HLS is by putting the HLS program in Alabama at MSFC but perhaps there is more to it than that.

I think that it does matter what the administration proposes. The President (and NASA) proposes various things in a budget request and then Congress disposes. If the Trump Administration had not proposed a lander, I think that we would still be on the Journey to Mars/Nowhere path. The 2017 NASA Authorization bill was mostly a Journey to Mars bill (although, it left open the possibility of exploring the Moon first). Artemis only showed up in the 2022 NASA Authorization bill. So for Artemis, what the Administration proposed did actually matter, especially as it relates to the lander. Congress has various things that it needs to fund, if something isn't requested in a budget, they are less inclined to fund it.
« Last Edit: 12/08/2023 02:15 pm by yg1968 »

Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4304 on: 12/08/2023 02:09 pm »
This argument is precisely why I don't think future historians will come to any more accurate conclusions than people arguing now.  The words in these documents are interpreted different by people who are familiar with them.  There are also things that have gone on behind the scenes that aren't documented that have affected the outcome.  I am privy to a couple.  I doubt that they will turn up in any history books.

Anything that you can share?

Offline dglow

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4305 on: 12/08/2023 02:34 pm »
This is speculation on my part but I wonder if the Trump Administration didn't get something in exchange for dropping the Orion on FH proposal (other than Bridenstine not getting fired). I am still surprised that Shelby accepted HLS-Starship as it is also a long term threat to SLS and Orion. I hope that John Logsdon does write about this period, it would be interesting to know how the Trump Administration managed to convince Shelby to go along with HLS. Obviously part of the reason that they manage to convince Shelby to go along with HLS is by putting the HLS program in Alabama at MSFC but perhaps there is more to it than that.

I agree, the entire HLS decision and its timing are a fascinating confluence of events. It's hard to say how much say Shelby had in this matter as his time in Congress was coming to a close. At the time HLS was awarded I believe he had already announced his retirement.

More significantly let's recognize who was in charge at NASA, and why. Kathy Leuders was not the first pick for Associate Administrator of HEOMD. Her immediate predecessor had left his post on the back of a scandal involving the very same HLS award process. But this departure put into place a decision-maker with years experience with Commercial Crew, and therefore SpaceX.

At the time of the HLS award announcement we had no permanent NASA Administrator. Trump had been voted out, Bridenstine had resigned, and Acting Administrator Jurczyk (RIP) was holding down the fort. Nelson had not yet been appointed and confirmed.

Would Nelson have attempted to put a hand on the scale of the award had he been in place? No, and after the Loverro scandal certainly not. But he didn't leave Kathy in her role very long either, did he? And in a hypothetical where Nelson been in Bridenstine's shoes at the time, it's very doubtful to me that AA HEOMD would have gone to Leuders at all.
« Last Edit: 12/08/2023 02:34 pm by dglow »

Online Eric Hedman

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4306 on: 12/08/2023 03:49 pm »
This argument is precisely why I don't think future historians will come to any more accurate conclusions than people arguing now.  The words in these documents are interpreted different by people who are familiar with them.  There are also things that have gone on behind the scenes that aren't documented that have affected the outcome.  I am privy to a couple.  I doubt that they will turn up in any history books.

Anything that you can share?
No.

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4307 on: 12/08/2023 04:07 pm »
It doesn't matter what the ideas of the former Vice President of the United States were. Neither does it matter what the ideas of the former NASA Administrator were.
They don't make those high-level decisions. U.S. Congress does. Courtesy of holding the purse strings.

You're old enough to remember what happened when Bridenstine came up with the "Orion on FH" suggestion. He got just one phone call from a (now former) senator from Alabama. And that phone call was enough to:
A. put a permanent ringing sound in Jim's right ear.
B. put Jim's "Orion on FH" idea in the waste bin.

This is speculation on my part but I wonder if the Trump Administration didn't get something in exchange for dropping the Orion on FH proposal (other than Bridenstine not getting fired). I am still surprised that Shelby accepted HLS-Starship as it is also a long term threat to SLS and Orion.

The Starship is not a near-term threat to the SLS+Orion, and does anyone believe that the SLS+Orion will be around after the 10th flight of the SLS?

Besides, the SLS & Orion exist because of Congress, and they will continue to exist as long as Congress is more interested in spending money in the right places vs accomplishing stuff in space.

Quote
The 2017 NASA Authorization bill was mostly a Journey to Mars bill (although, it left open the possibility of exploring the Moon first). Artemis only showed up in the 2022 NASA Authorization bill...

Nothing Congress has funded is preparing NASA to go to Mars, and Congress is barely supporting NASA's effort to return to the Moon. Just putting the word "Mars" on legislation does not mean NASA suddenly can now go to Mars - let's not give in to irrational exuberance...  ;)
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4308 on: 12/08/2023 04:33 pm »
The 2010 Act clearly focused on the lunar surface over other destinations:
The 2010 NASA Authorization Act favored the flexible path (it is described as a pay-as-you-go approach in the bill). The first destination of the flexible path was cislunar space. More specifically, SLS and Orion were created to encourage exploration of cislunar space. As defined in section 3 of the bill, cislunar space doesn't include the surface of the Moon.

Me thinks you actually believe what is written by politicians (i.e. what they say), instead of actually looking at what the capabilities are that they authorized (i.e. what they are actually paying for).

If it hasn't become obvious by now, the SLS and Orion programs are excellent examples of how NOT to run a space exploration program, and how NOT to spend taxpayer money wisely.

More to your point though, the SLS+Orion are not viable candidates to support ANY human exploration beyond our Moon, because despite their tremendous mission costs, they can barely support sending four people to the region of the Moon - and only then is a highly elliptic 7-day orbit. They were not created to "encourage exploration of cislunar space", they were created to spend money in the right places. You know this and have acknowledged this, so let's drop the facade that the 2010 NASA Authorization Act was good for human exploration beyond LEO. It wasn't.

The Artemis HLS contract is a great contrast to the 2010 NASA Authorization Act, in that it shows what happens when NASA is allowed to use competition as the guide for what it should do, instead of being directed by politicians in Congress.

The SLS and Orion programs are the last vestiges of large program "Old Space" cronyism, and once they are gone there won't be clear options for Congress to impose their will on what space exploration approaches NASA should use for authorized programs. Congress can still starve programs, as they have been doing with the HLS program, but that is their prerogative. What we don't want Congress to do is to dictate who the contractors are, and what the designs will be - which is what they did with the SLS and Orion programs.

SLS prime contractor Boeing has declared they will no longer bid on fixed-price contracts, and they are already dropping out of such contract competitions, even when they should have natural advantages. So don't expect them to offer any serious ways to lower the cost of the SLS, and let's hope that by doing that Congress will FINALLY feel they can stop supporting this horrible use of taxpayer money.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4309 on: 12/08/2023 04:36 pm »
Nothing Congress has funded is preparing NASA to go to Mars, and Congress is barely supporting NASA's effort to return to the Moon. Just putting the word "Mars" on legislation does not mean NASA suddenly can now go to Mars - let's not give in to irrational exuberance...  ;)

I would argue that funding HLS is preparing NASA to go to Mars. Furthermore, there is also the issue of humans surviving the 6 month trip to Mars and the stay on Mars. That has already been funded by NASA through the ISS, to a certain extent but it will need more funding.

If an Administration is serious about Mars, they would create a public-private partnership Mars cargo transportation program. Until that happens, I agree that the Journey to Mars (or the Mars portion of the Moon to Mars program) is a Journey to nowhere.

Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4310 on: 12/08/2023 04:50 pm »
The 2010 Act clearly focused on the lunar surface over other destinations:
The 2010 NASA Authorization Act favored the flexible path (it is described as a pay-as-you-go approach in the bill). The first destination of the flexible path was cislunar space. More specifically, SLS and Orion were created to encourage exploration of cislunar space. As defined in section 3 of the bill, cislunar space doesn't include the surface of the Moon.

Me thinks you actually believe what is written by politicians (i.e. what they say), instead of actually looking at what the capabilities are that they authorized (i.e. what they are actually paying for).

If it hasn't become obvious by now, the SLS and Orion programs are excellent examples of how NOT to run a space exploration program, and how NOT to spend taxpayer money wisely.

More to your point though, the SLS+Orion are not viable candidates to support ANY human exploration beyond our Moon, because despite their tremendous mission costs, they can barely support sending four people to the region of the Moon - and only then is a highly elliptic 7-day orbit. They were not created to "encourage exploration of cislunar space", they were created to spend money in the right places. You know this and have acknowledged this, so let's drop the facade that the 2010 NASA Authorization Act was good for human exploration beyond LEO. It wasn't.

The Artemis HLS contract is a great contrast to the 2010 NASA Authorization Act, in that it shows what happens when NASA is allowed to use competition as the guide for what it should do, instead of being directed by politicians in Congress.

The SLS and Orion programs are the last vestiges of large program "Old Space" cronyism, and once they are gone there won't be clear options for Congress to impose their will on what space exploration approaches NASA should use for authorized programs. Congress can still starve programs, as they have been doing with the HLS program, but that is their prerogative. What we don't want Congress to do is to dictate who the contractors are, and what the designs will be - which is what they did with the SLS and Orion programs.

SLS prime contractor Boeing has declared they will no longer bid on fixed-price contracts, and they are already dropping out of such contract competitions, even when they should have natural advantages. So don't expect them to offer any serious ways to lower the cost of the SLS, and let's hope that by doing that Congress will FINALLY feel they can stop supporting this horrible use of taxpayer money.

I don't disagree with what you said. I was just pointing out that SLS and Orion were created to explore cislunar space based on the flexible path approach. That also explains why a lander wasn't funded at that time. I blame the Obama Administration for not proposing a lander later on in any of its budget request, VSECOTSPE blames Congress. I suppose that we are both right in a way but I expect the Administration to take the lead in proposing these things, so I blame the Administration a lot more than I blame Congress. 

Offline Lee Jay

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4311 on: 12/08/2023 05:27 pm »
It's practically impossible to create a billion tons of cryogenic synthetic methane every year.

I decided to do the math.

SS uses on the order of 1000 tons or 1 million kg of cryogenic CH4 per flight.
The conversion of electricity to synthetic methane and then to cryogenic CH4 is about 43% efficient.
A million flights per year works out to need around 7.5 times the energy of the entire US power grid.

Possible, but impractical and immensely costly.

Offline MickQ

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4312 on: 12/08/2023 08:08 pm »
I don’t know where this 1 million flights per year idea came from but think about it.

That’s more than 2700 flights per day.

114 launches per hour.

It just will not happen, people.
« Last Edit: 12/08/2023 08:45 pm by MickQ »

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4313 on: 12/08/2023 08:47 pm »
I don't disagree with what you said. I was just pointing out that SLS and Orion were created to explore cislunar space based on the flexible path approach.

The Augustine Commission coined that phrase in their October 2009 report, but if Congress meant to follow that recommendation they didn't explicitly say so, and if anything Congress is currently funding a "Moon First" plan, which was different from a"Flexible Path" approach.

But the Occam's razor version is that Congress initially was focused on keeping Boeing, Lockheed Martin, et al. working on something after the agreed upon cancellation of the Constellation program, and creating the SLS and Orion MPCV programs from the Ares I/V and Orion CEV programs was within their powers to do quickly. And Congress punted to future Congresses what to do, if anything, with those assets.

Quote
That also explains why a lander wasn't funded at that time.

No one in their right mind would build a transportation system without knowing what EXACTLY it will be used for. A lander wasn't defined because there wasn't a return to Moon program until the Trump Administration proposed one. Not Congress, but a President.

Quote
I blame the Obama Administration for not proposing a lander later on in any of its budget request, VSECOTSPE blames Congress.

Well, you are wrong, and apparently you have forgotten everything that the Obama Administration said and did regarding NASA. President Obama specifically DID NOT WANT to return to the Moon. Don't you remember when he said "We've been there before."?

Yet you are blaming Obama for not supporting an effort that did not officially exist? Because there was no "Return To Moon" program created by Congress during the Obama Administration, and Obama never proposed one. He wanted to put the U.S. on a path towards Mars.

Quote
I suppose that we are both right in a way but I expect the Administration to take the lead in proposing these things, so I blame the Administration a lot more than I blame Congress.

That conveniently forgets that it was Congress by itself that created the SLS and Orion programs WITHOUT attaching them to any programs that would require them. Which means EVERY decision about their designs were based on guesses, not actual needs. Dumb, very dumb.

And of course Congress defined the overall SLS and Orion programs, tying the hands of NASA so that they couldn't control those programs, which is part of the reason why both programs are grossly over any reasonable budgets, and have little chance of cost reduction in the future - especially with Boeing, since they have given up trying to manage their programs within a budget.

So again, the NASA HLS program should be looked at as a good point of comparison, even if it isn't perfect by any means. But it shows how defining a goal and using competition to meet that goal can result in far less costly programs that may also deliver better overall solutions.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4314 on: 12/08/2023 10:24 pm »
I don't disagree with what you said. I was just pointing out that SLS and Orion were created to explore cislunar space based on the flexible path approach.

The Augustine Commission coined that phrase in their October 2009 report, but if Congress meant to follow that recommendation they didn't explicitly say so, and if anything Congress is currently funding a "Moon First" plan, which was different from a"Flexible Path" approach.

I wasn't talking about the current Moon to Mars program. I was talking about the 2010 NASA Authorization bill which describes the flexible path/pay as you go approach as follows:

Quote from: 2010 NASA Authorization bill
301(a)(7) Human space flight and future exploration beyond low Earth orbit should be based around a pay-as-you-go approach. Requirements in new launch and crew systems authorized in this Act should be scaled to the minimum necessary to meet the core national mission capability needed to conduct cislunar missions. These initial missions, along with the development of new technologies and in-space capabilities can form the foundation for missions to other destinations. These initial missions also should provide operational experience prior to the further human expansion into space.


Well, you are wrong, and apparently you have forgotten everything that the Obama Administration said and did regarding NASA. President Obama specifically DID NOT WANT to return to the Moon. Don't you remember when he said "We've been there before."?

Yet you are blaming Obama for not supporting an effort that did not officially exist? Because there was no "Return To Moon" program created by Congress during the Obama Administration, and Obama never proposed one. He wanted to put the U.S. on a path towards Mars.

Yes but that's my point. By supporting an unrealistic Journey to Mars as opposed to a more realistic Moon to Mars program, the return to the Moon was delayed by many years by the Obama Administration. Skipping the Moon was a mistake and I blame them for making that decision. Furthermore, they never proposed anything in a budget that would get us to Mars either.

That conveniently forgets that it was Congress by itself that created the SLS and Orion programs WITHOUT attaching them to any programs that would require them. Which means EVERY decision about their designs were based on guesses, not actual needs. Dumb, very dumb.

Congress' argument in the 2010 NASA Authorization bill was that SLS and Orion were needed for exploration of cislunar space and for other BLEO destinations later on. Elements for other BLEO Destinations such as the Moon and Mars would be funded later. That was the flexible, pay as you go approach. Although to be fair to the Augustine committee, I think that they thought that the flexible approach would eventually lead to a Moon to Mars program, they didn't think that the Obama Administration would choose to skip the Moon entirely.
« Last Edit: 12/08/2023 10:53 pm by yg1968 »

Offline Proponent

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4315 on: 12/09/2023 09:07 pm »
This is speculation on my part but I wonder if the Trump Administration didn't get something in exchange for dropping the Orion on FH proposal (other than Bridenstine not getting fired). I am still surprised that Shelby accepted HLS-Starship as it is also a long term threat to SLS and Orion. I hope that John Logsdon does write about this period, it would be interesting to know how the Trump Administration managed to convince Shelby to go along with HLS (as opposed to a government lander). Obviously part of the reason that they manage to convince Shelby to go along with HLS is by putting the HLS program in Alabama at MSFC but perhaps there is more to it than that.

Shelby's not making a stink about HLS-Starship surprised me too. My hunch is it came down to risk and reward. And perhaps to his own shortened horizon since he was on the verge of retirement. Starship's low starting cost allowed SLS to carry merrily on as Shelby rode off into the sunset. While an SLS-launched lander of some sort would be better, its very high cost would have been a heavy lift (pun accidental, honestly). Why upset the apple cart when the status quo is so good?
« Last Edit: 12/09/2023 09:29 pm by Proponent »

Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4316 on: 12/15/2023 12:36 am »
At 1h15m and 1h16m of this video, Jeff Bezos was asked if he would like to walk on the Moon (or Mars). He says that he thinks that the Moon will be reserved for professional astronauts during his lifetime (he added that he hopes to be wrong but that would be his bet if they were making bets on it).  I was disappointed in that answer. I am not sure why Blue couldn't have private astronaut missions to the lunar surface. He said that we could have factories on the Moon that are automated.

https://twitter.com/lexfridman/status/1735360877312778404

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4317 on: 12/15/2023 02:46 am »
At 1h15m and 1h16m of this video, Jeff Bezos was asked if he would like to walk on the Moon (or Mars). He says that he thinks that the Moon will be reserved for professional astronauts during his lifetime (he added that he hopes to be wrong but that would be his bet if they were making bets on it).  I was disappointed in that answer. [...]

Fridman did an excellent job in this video getting Bezos to talk openly on a wide variety of subjects. He followed up his answer about seeing only professional astronauts undertake lunar surface missions by talking about the level of training that will be required to prepare astronauts to do the needed tasks. Implicitly Bezos was saying he didn't have the remaining "health span" to undertake the required career-long training. (At least that's what I heard being implied. YMMV.)
— 𝐬𝐝𝐒𝐝𝐬 —

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4318 on: 12/15/2023 03:00 am »
He could always buy a ticket on Starship. It'll probably start doing commercial surface missions after Artemis 3 and 4 and Dear Moon. ;)

I sort of joke, but honestly, if Starship works at all for HLS to NASA's satisfaction for Artemis 3 and 4 (which includes sustaining and probably implies reuse), the odds of SpaceX *not* also eventually doing commercial surface missions seems less than 50/50. After all, Dragon Crew Demo-2 was followed literally 16 months later by the commercial mission, Inspiration Four.

Anyway, I watched about half of the interview so far, and it was a great and inspiring interview. Lex generally is a fairly sympathetic interviewer, but the questions were good. And Bezos sounded like he had either prepared for the interview or had already thought of a lot of the answers to the questions ahead of time. Bezos definitely comes across well.

Most important: he acknowledged Blue was going too slow, and he determined to make Blue go much faster (and explained how he plans to do that). This is very bullish on Blue, IMO. Acknowledging the problem and being determined to fix it are fantastic, and I look forward to watching Blue's pace pick up!
« Last Edit: 12/15/2023 03:11 am by Robotbeat »
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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4319 on: 12/15/2023 03:26 am »
[Bezos] acknowledged Blue was going too slow, and he determined to make Blue go much faster (and explained how he plans to do that). This is very bullish on Blue, IMO. Acknowledging the problem and being determined to fix it are fantastic, and I look forward to watching Blue's pace pick up!

Total agreement.

I'm pretty certain Bezos said "professional" astronauts, rather than "NASA" astronauts. I'm betting he chose his words carefully. He may well live to see professional astronaut commercial missions, or even well trained semi-professional astronauts like Jared Isaacman....
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