Author Topic: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers  (Read 1182119 times)

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4240 on: 11/25/2023 05:22 am »
"Reduce CO2, produce green methane!"

Well, yes, but if you take CO2 out of the atmosphere to make methane, put in a rocket and burn it, it's back to CO2 again.  You have made no net difference.  Other approaches are needed to make a difference.

Well, in this case, some will end up in space and some on the moon.  Probably the most effective and expensive carbon capture scheme I've ever heard of!
(mainly replying to Phil Stoke) The discussion a few posts up was about the immense negative effect on global CO2 caused by "1000's" of StarShip launches. If exactly all methane used by starship was from CO2 taken from the atmosphere - then that part of the equation would exactly reduce StarShips CO2 footprint from immense to zero.
Then of course some is taken to orbit making it a slight net positive.

If such a large focus on CO2 to CH4 evolved a cost effective process and political will, then the same process could be used for other CH4 "needs", like plastic production, or replacing fossil CH4 for heating. So we now get an indirect net benefit.
Indeed, there's a startup called Terraform Industries which is doing just that. https://terraformindustries.wordpress.com/2022/07/24/terraform-industries-whitepaper/
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4241 on: 11/25/2023 02:51 pm »
See below. Stephen Jurczyk was Acting NASA Administrator when Starship-HLS was chosen.

Stephen G. Jurczyk, 61, of Fredericksburg, VA, passed away surrounded by his family on Thursday, November 23 (Thanksgiving Day) from pancreatic cancer.

He was acting NASA Administrator before Senator Nelson.

https://twitter.com/NASAWatch/status/1728142761600090399

https://twitter.com/SenBillNelson/status/1728409086654394453

https://twitter.com/SpcPlcyOnline/status/1728457198668276105
« Last Edit: 11/25/2023 04:18 pm by yg1968 »

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4242 on: 11/26/2023 12:31 am »
Oh man, I met him before. He was super nice.
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 #4243 on: 11/26/2023 07:08 pm »
Oh man, I met him before. He was super nice.
Only the good die young.


Edit to add: I'm getting old.  ;D   >:(
« Last Edit: 11/26/2023 07:10 pm by OTV Booster »
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Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4244 on: 11/30/2023 06:39 pm »
https://www.gao.gov/products/gao-24-106256

Quote
NASA Artemis Programs:
Crewed Moon Landing Faces Multiple Challenges

GAO-24-106256
Published: Nov 30, 2023. Publicly Released: Nov 30, 2023.

NASA is taking steps to return astronauts to the moon for the first time since 1972—in a mission called Artemis III.

NASA and its contractors made progress since our last report on the Artemis missions, but they are still facing challenges with developing the lunar lander and space suits. For example, some flight tests have been delayed, which could affect the timing of subsequent tests. And a significant amount of complex work remains. As a result, we found that the lunar landing mission is unlikely to occur in 2025 as planned.

In the course of our work, NASA stated it was reviewing the schedule for developing the lunar lander.

Highlights

What GAO Found

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is preparing to land humans on the moon for the first time since 1972 in a mission known as Artemis III. Since GAO's September 2022 report (GAO-22-105323), NASA and its contractors have made progress, including completing several important milestones, but they still face multiple challenges with development of the human landing system and the space suits. As a result, GAO found that the Artemis III crewed lunar landing is unlikely to occur in 2025. In July 2023, NASA stated that it is reviewing the Human Landing System schedule.

The current challenges that GAO identified include:

An ambitious schedule: The Human Landing System program is aiming to complete its development—from project start to launch—in 79 months, which is 13 months shorter than the average for NASA major projects. The complexity of human spaceflight suggests that it is unrealistic to expect the program to complete development more than a year faster than the average for NASA major projects, the majority of which are not human spaceflight projects. GAO found that if development took as long as the average for NASA major projects, the Artemis III mission would likely occur in early 2027.

Delays to key events: As of September 2023, the Human Landing System program had delayed eight of 13 key events by at least 6 months. Two of these events have been delayed to 2025—the year the lander is planned to launch. The delays were caused in part by the Orbital Flight Test, which was intended to demonstrate certain features of the launch vehicle and lander configuration in flight. The test was delayed by 7 months to April 2023. It was then terminated early when the vehicle deviated from its expected trajectory and began to tumble. Subsequent tests rely on successful completion of a second Orbital Flight Test.

A large volume of remaining work: SpaceX must complete a significant amount of complex technical work to support the Artemis III lunar landing mission, including developing the ability to store and transfer propellant while in orbit. A critical aspect of SpaceX's plan for landing astronauts on the moon for Artemis III is launching multiple tankers that will transfer propellant to a depot in space before transferring that propellant to the human landing system. NASA documentation states that SpaceX has made limited progress maturing the technologies needed to support this aspect of its plan.

Design challenges: Axiom is leveraging many aspects of NASA's prior work to develop modernized space suits, but significant work remains to resolve design challenges. For example, NASA's original design did not provide the minimum amount of emergency life support needed for the Artemis III mission. As a result, Axiom representatives said they may redesign certain aspects of the space suit, which could delay its delivery for the mission.

NASA plans to take multiple steps to determine whether SpaceX's and Axiom's systems meet its mission needs and are safe for crew. For example, NASA developed a supplemental process—one not required by its policies—to determine whether the contractors' systems meet requirements before the mission. Also, NASA's contracting approach to acquire the human landing system and space suits as services included insight clauses in the SpaceX and Axiom contracts. Program officials stated these clauses ensure that NASA has visibility into broad aspects of the contractors' development work, including anything that could affect the Artemis III mission or crew safety. Officials stated that this visibility extends to certain aspects of work SpaceX and Axiom are doing for their commercial endeavors. For example, this included SpaceX's activities leading up to the Orbital Flight Test, which flew a commercial variant of the human landing system.

Why GAO Did This Study

NASA is returning humans to the moon to maintain U.S. leadership in space exploration and prepare for future missions to Mars. NASA is implementing the Artemis missions to meet these goals. To accomplish the Artemis III mission as planned by December 2025, NASA needs to develop, acquire, and integrate several new systems. These include a system to transport crew to and from the lunar surface, and space suits for lunar surface operations. NASA is using a relatively new approach to acquire the human landing system and space suits that is intended to increase innovation and improve affordability. To develop the lunar lander, NASA awarded a contract option to SpaceX in 2021. To develop Artemis space suits, it awarded a contract to Axiom Space in 2022.

A House report includes a provision for GAO to review NASA's lunar programs. This is GAO's fourth report examining the Artemis enterprise.

This report describes the extent to which NASA has made progress in developing key systems needed to land humans on the moon in 2025, and has processes in place to ensure that those systems will meet NASA's needs and be safe.

GAO assessed NASA data, documentation, and policy; analyzed contract documentation, contractor risk charts, and technology maturation plans; and interviewed NASA officials and industry representatives.

Offline cplchanb

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4245 on: 12/01/2023 06:29 pm »
Nasa is reaping what they sowed... by throwing all their eggs into the space x basket they pinned all their hopes onto starship which currently is has yet to have a 100% successful test. the irony has come full circle as they were blaming SLS on artemis delays but now its starship, and the spacesuit that are the main holdbacks

Offline VSECOTSPE

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4246 on: 12/01/2023 06:45 pm »
Nasa is reaping what they sowed... by throwing all their eggs into the space x basket they pinned all their hopes onto starship which currently is has yet to have a 100% successful test. the irony has come full circle as they were blaming SLS on artemis delays but now its starship, and the spacesuit that are the main holdbacks

NASA did not throw all their eggs in with SX.  BO has an HLS contract, too.  NASA leadership consistently argued for enough funding for a second lander.  Congress dragged its feet in providing it.

As pointed out by the GAO report, the mistake NASA and Congress made was waiting so long to get any lander under contract.  It was unrealistic to expect any lander to be ready by 2025 when NASA couldn’t afford to make an award until 2021.  Orion has been sucking the oxygen out of the exploration budget since 2005 and SLS since 2011.  We’ve wasted 20 years — a whole generation — building an oversized capsule and a duplicative heavy lifter when what we needed most was a lander.

Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4247 on: 12/01/2023 07:39 pm »
Nasa is reaping what they sowed... by throwing all their eggs into the space x basket they pinned all their hopes onto starship which currently is has yet to have a 100% successful test. the irony has come full circle as they were blaming SLS on artemis delays but now its starship, and the spacesuit that are the main holdbacks

NASA did not throw all their eggs in with SX.  BO has an HLS contract, too.  NASA leadership consistently argued for enough funding for a second lander.  Congress dragged its feet in providing it.

As pointed out by the GAO report, the mistake NASA and Congress made was waiting so long to get any lander under contract.  It was unrealistic to expect any lander to be ready by 2025 when NASA couldn’t afford to make an award until 2021.  Orion has been sucking the oxygen out of the exploration budget since 2005 and SLS since 2011.  We’ve wasted 20 years — a whole generation — building an oversized capsule and a duplicative heavy lifter when what we needed most was a lander.

The other thing is that Obama didn't want to go back to the surface of the Moon in 2011 ("been there, done that"). Having said that, if the objective is to create a sustainable presence on the Moon, Starship is much more effective in doing that than Altair would have been. Blue's Appendix P proposal is also much better now than their 2020/2021 proposed lander. So perhaps that the delay in starting both lunar landers was a blessing in disguise.

Offline whitelancer64

Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4248 on: 12/01/2023 07:58 pm »
"Reduce CO2, produce green methane!"

Well, yes, but if you take CO2 out of the atmosphere to make methane, put in a rocket and burn it, it's back to CO2 again.  You have made no net difference.  Other approaches are needed to make a difference.

It's actually a small net negative, because some of it will be exported off Earth. Some will wind up deposited on the lunar surface, and eventually, some will go to Mars.
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
"There are lies, damned lies, and launch schedules." - Larry J

Offline Eric Hedman

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4249 on: 12/01/2023 10:13 pm »
Nasa is reaping what they sowed... by throwing all their eggs into the space x basket they pinned all their hopes onto starship which currently is has yet to have a 100% successful test. the irony has come full circle as they were blaming SLS on artemis delays but now its starship, and the spacesuit that are the main holdbacks

NASA did not throw all their eggs in with SX.  BO has an HLS contract, too.  NASA leadership consistently argued for enough funding for a second lander.  Congress dragged its feet in providing it.

As pointed out by the GAO report, the mistake NASA and Congress made was waiting so long to get any lander under contract.  It was unrealistic to expect any lander to be ready by 2025 when NASA couldn’t afford to make an award until 2021.  Orion has been sucking the oxygen out of the exploration budget since 2005 and SLS since 2011.  We’ve wasted 20 years — a whole generation — building an oversized capsule and a duplicative heavy lifter when what we needed most was a lander.
The problem with that is that a lander design started 20 years ago wouldn't likely have been anything as capable as it looks like we're going to get now.

Offline OTV Booster

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4250 on: 12/01/2023 10:24 pm »
Nasa is reaping what they sowed... by throwing all their eggs into the space x basket they pinned all their hopes onto starship which currently is has yet to have a 100% successful test. the irony has come full circle as they were blaming SLS on artemis delays but now its starship, and the spacesuit that are the main holdbacks
Refresh my memory. Which major NASA projects have come in on schedule?
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 DanClemmensen

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4251 on: 12/01/2023 11:06 pm »
Nasa is reaping what they sowed... by throwing all their eggs into the space x basket they pinned all their hopes onto starship which currently is has yet to have a 100% successful test. the irony has come full circle as they were blaming SLS on artemis delays but now its starship, and the spacesuit that are the main holdbacks
Refresh my memory. Which major NASA projects have come in on schedule?
But none of BO's orbital launches have failed, and BO has never had any orbital or BLEO spacecraft failure.

Offline Phil Stooke

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4252 on: 12/01/2023 11:20 pm »
"Refresh my memory. Which major NASA projects have come in on schedule?"

Apollo

Offline DanClemmensen

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4253 on: 12/02/2023 01:01 am »
Nasa is reaping what they sowed... by throwing all their eggs into the space x basket they pinned all their hopes onto starship which currently is has yet to have a 100% successful test. the irony has come full circle as they were blaming SLS on artemis delays but now its starship, and the spacesuit that are the main holdbacks

NASA did not throw all their eggs in with SX.  BO has an HLS contract, too.  NASA leadership consistently argued for enough funding for a second lander.  Congress dragged its feet in providing it.

As pointed out by the GAO report, the mistake NASA and Congress made was waiting so long to get any lander under contract.  It was unrealistic to expect any lander to be ready by 2025 when NASA couldn’t afford to make an award until 2021.  Orion has been sucking the oxygen out of the exploration budget since 2005 and SLS since 2011.  We’ve wasted 20 years — a whole generation — building an oversized capsule and a duplicative heavy lifter when what we needed most was a lander.
The problem with that is that a lander design started 20 years ago wouldn't likely have been anything as capable as it looks like we're going to get now.
In particular, NASA provided a nominal reference concept from 2018 called the "Advanced Exploration Lander"  as part of the HLS RFP. It was just barely able to meet the NASA requirements for the Artemis III HLS, and by comparison to Starship HLS it is a joke. NASA got really lucky with Starship HLS. SpaceX bid it as more or less the smallest modifications to their Starship that could meet the HLS requirements. That ended up being a hugely overcapable system. SpaceX appears to have picked its bid price to cover just its incremental costs plus a nice profit instead of loading a lot of the base Starship costs onto HLS. The result was a $3 Billion bid, as opposed to the BO bid of $6 Billion and the Dynetics bid of $9 billion for much less capable systems.

Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4254 on: 12/02/2023 12:50 pm »
Nasa is reaping what they sowed... by throwing all their eggs into the space x basket they pinned all their hopes onto starship which currently is has yet to have a 100% successful test. the irony has come full circle as they were blaming SLS on artemis delays but now its starship, and the spacesuit that are the main holdbacks

NASA did not throw all their eggs in with SX.  BO has an HLS contract, too.  NASA leadership consistently argued for enough funding for a second lander.  Congress dragged its feet in providing it.

As pointed out by the GAO report, the mistake NASA and Congress made was waiting so long to get any lander under contract.  It was unrealistic to expect any lander to be ready by 2025 when NASA couldn’t afford to make an award until 2021.  Orion has been sucking the oxygen out of the exploration budget since 2005 and SLS since 2011.  We’ve wasted 20 years — a whole generation — building an oversized capsule and a duplicative heavy lifter when what we needed most was a lander.
The problem with that is that a lander design started 20 years ago wouldn't likely have been anything as capable as it looks like we're going to get now.
In particular, NASA provided a nominal reference concept from 2018 called the "Advanced Exploration Lander"  as part of the HLS RFP. It was just barely able to meet the NASA requirements for the Artemis III HLS, and by comparison to Starship HLS it is a joke. NASA got really lucky with Starship HLS. SpaceX bid it as more or less the smallest modifications to their Starship that could meet the HLS requirements. That ended up being a hugely overcapable system. SpaceX appears to have picked its bid price to cover just its incremental costs plus a nice profit instead of loading a lot of the base Starship costs onto HLS. The result was a $3 Billion bid, as opposed to the BO bid of $6 Billion and the Dynetics bid of $9 billion for much less capable systems.

It wasn't luck. NASA changed their requirements, so that a one element lander such as HLS Starship could be proposed. In their initial RFI, NASA wanted a 3 element lander.

Offline DanClemmensen

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4255 on: 12/02/2023 01:32 pm »
Nasa is reaping what they sowed... by throwing all their eggs into the space x basket they pinned all their hopes onto starship which currently is has yet to have a 100% successful test. the irony has come full circle as they were blaming SLS on artemis delays but now its starship, and the spacesuit that are the main holdbacks

NASA did not throw all their eggs in with SX.  BO has an HLS contract, too.  NASA leadership consistently argued for enough funding for a second lander.  Congress dragged its feet in providing it.

As pointed out by the GAO report, the mistake NASA and Congress made was waiting so long to get any lander under contract.  It was unrealistic to expect any lander to be ready by 2025 when NASA couldn’t afford to make an award until 2021.  Orion has been sucking the oxygen out of the exploration budget since 2005 and SLS since 2011.  We’ve wasted 20 years — a whole generation — building an oversized capsule and a duplicative heavy lifter when what we needed most was a lander.
The problem with that is that a lander design started 20 years ago wouldn't likely have been anything as capable as it looks like we're going to get now.
In particular, NASA provided a nominal reference concept from 2018 called the "Advanced Exploration Lander"  as part of the HLS RFP. It was just barely able to meet the NASA requirements for the Artemis III HLS, and by comparison to Starship HLS it is a joke. NASA got really lucky with Starship HLS. SpaceX bid it as more or less the smallest modifications to their Starship that could meet the HLS requirements. That ended up being a hugely overcapable system. SpaceX appears to have picked its bid price to cover just its incremental costs plus a nice profit instead of loading a lot of the base Starship costs onto HLS. The result was a $3 Billion bid, as opposed to the BO bid of $6 Billion and the Dynetics bid of $9 billion for much less capable systems.

It wasn't luck. NASA changed their requirements, so that a one element lander such as HLS Starship could be proposed. In their initial RFI, NASA wanted a 3 element lander.
I'm glad that NASA was flexible and encouraged or allowed SpaceX to bid their concept. I agree, that part was not luck. They were still very lucky that there was a company out there already working on a launch system family that could be "easily" enhanced to create this HLS, and that the company was willing to do it. Had SpaceX not been in this position, the 2021 award would have been to BO for $6 billion and the first landing IMO would have slipped to beyond 2030. Nine years might have been enough for this new design from a company with no orbital spacecraft experience.

GAO does not think the first landing can occur before 2027 anyway. That's still a fairly aggressive six year schedule from contract award. It's a 3-year slip from the ludicrous nominal schedule, which is about the same as the 3-year slip in the ludicrous Crew Dragon schedule. Let's hope we don't see an eight-year slip like the ludicrous Starliner schedule.

Offline OTV Booster

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4256 on: 12/02/2023 06:21 pm »
"Refresh my memory. Which major NASA projects have come in on schedule?"

Apollo
Ya got me on that one. I stand corrected. We only need to look back 50+ years to find one.


Snark aside, doing new things can't be done to a schedule unless you have virtually unlimited resources - like Apollo. If a schedule can be successfully set, everything is known well enough it's not really new.
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 VSECOTSPE

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4257 on: 12/04/2023 01:07 am »
The other thing is that Obama didn't want to go back to the surface of the Moon in 2011 ("been there, done that").

The Bush II Administration set a lunar return goal in 2004 with the VSE rollout.  About a year later, Griffin killed that off by pouring so many resources into elements that weren’t needed for a lunar return, namely Orion/Ares I.  After wandering in that STS-derived wilderness for a half-decade, the Obama Administration tried to refocus NASA’s human space exploration efforts on technology and farther-term NEO/Mars goals starting with the budget rollout in February 2010.  But just eight months later, the Obama Administration failed/surrendered to Congress when the 2010 NASA Authorization Act was signed in October 2010.  That legislation sent NASA’s exploration efforts back into the STS-derived wilderness with Orion/SLS, and they’re still there 14 years later with an uncertain human lunar return landing years away.

It took NASA 17 years from the VSE to the first HLS award to get a human lunar lander under contract.  The vast bulk of that is due to institutional ossification, bureaucratic drift, and capture by parochial STS interests, not anything the Obama Administration did.  It’s the two decades and tens of billions of dollars blown on Orion/Ares I/SLS, not the tens of millions spent pursuing ARM, that have delayed the critical path lander element for a human lunar return.

Having said that, if the objective is to create a sustainable presence on the Moon, Starship is much more effective in doing that than Altair would have been. Blue's Appendix P proposal is also much better now than their 2020/2021 proposed lander. So perhaps that the delay in starting both lunar landers was a blessing in disguise.

The problem with that is that a lander design started 20 years ago wouldn't likely have been anything as capable as it looks like we're going to get now.

Although anything Griffin touched like Altair was an unsustainable mess, this kind of static architecture logic presumes that a less capable lander pursued earlier could not have been augmented or replaced by a more capable lander later on.  Had Griffin not come along and a lunar architecture been built around a lunar lander launching on EELVs or Falcons in the 2010-2020+ timeframe, Lunar Starship still could have been pursued and used in the 2020+ timeframe (just like COTS/CCDev capsules replaced STS for ISS).

FWIW...

Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4258 on: 12/04/2023 01:24 am »
It took NASA 17 years from the VSE to the first HLS award to get a human lunar lander under contract.  The vast bulk of that is due to institutional ossification, bureaucratic drift, and capture by parochial STS interests, not anything the Obama Administration did.  It’s the two decades and tens of billions of dollars blown on Orion/Ares I/SLS, not the tens of millions spent pursuing ARM, that have delayed the critical path lander element for a human lunar return.

It's not the money spent on ARM that was the issue, it's that there was no plans to fund a lander. The Journey to Mars did not include landing on the surface of the Moon. It's hard for Congress to fund something that was never actually proposed in a budget. Furthermore, the decision to go with an underpowered European service module (which can't get to LLO) was made in 2013 because the Obama Administration had no intention of going back to the Moon.
« Last Edit: 12/04/2023 01:29 am by yg1968 »

Offline VSECOTSPE

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Re: NASA HLS (Human Landing System) Lunar Landers
« Reply #4259 on: 12/04/2023 09:32 am »
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 NASA’s human space exploration effort is captured by old STS interests.  They’re 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.

Quote
Furthermore, the decision to go with an underpowered European service module (which can't get to LLO) was made in 2013 because the Obama Administration had no intention of going back to the Moon.

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 I’s 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.
« Last Edit: 12/04/2023 04:17 pm by VSECOTSPE »

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