Author Topic: Trump Admin. Return-to-Moon Efforts & Shake-ups  (Read 32232 times)

Offline Coastal Ron

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Trump Admin. Return-to-Moon Efforts & Shake-ups
« on: 03/22/2019 06:39 pm »
It's becoming more apparent that the Trump Administration, is focused on sending humans back to our Moon, and not just around the Moon. While Trump is in office, not afterwards.

To kick off the discussion of what the latest return-to-Moon efforts are, here is an article that talks about the frustration the Trump administration is having, and what some possible changes might be:

Vice President may tell NASA to accelerate lunar landings | Ars Technica

We already have topic threads for EM-1 and the Lunar Gateway, but this one should be focused on the Trump administrations efforts to return humans to the surface of our Moon.

Some relevant quotes from the article:

Quote
One of the panelists who will appear at a National Space Council meeting next Tuesday said to expect "a few fireworks" during the discussion, which will focus on NASA's efforts to return humans to the Moon.

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Pence is being encouraged to go faster by confidants, too. In November, an advisory group to the National Space Council received an earful from former NASA Administrator Mike Griffin, who now holds a senior position in the Department of Defense and remains influential in space policy.

"I think 2028 is so late-to-need that it doesn't even need to be on the table," Griffin said of NASA's Moon plans.

Thoughts?
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 Steve G

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Re: Trump Admin. Return-to-Moon Efforts & Shake-ups
« Reply #1 on: 03/22/2019 06:42 pm »
How can Trump get funding to land on the moon when he can't even get the funding for his border wall?

Offline speedevil

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Re: Trump Admin. Return-to-Moon Efforts & Shake-ups
« Reply #2 on: 03/22/2019 07:03 pm »
Humans on the moon and returning them  by 20 Jan 2021 - some 22 months from now would require crash programs, even worse if it needs to launch by 1 Nov 2020.

It could certainly be done.

But - given the financial reality of having to actually get congressional approval, not unless he burns all his political capital on this one topic, and even then probably not.
Unless it's buyable off-the-shelf (SpaceX gets BFS up and working way quicker than anyone expects).

1 Nov 2024 might sort-of-be-doable 'normally', with extreme 'conventional' political manuoverings and involvement of traditional contractors.

It becoming in part or whole a personal investment would in theory be possible, but this seems to be as unlikely as the first scenario.
« Last Edit: 03/22/2019 07:06 pm by speedevil »

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: Trump Admin. Return-to-Moon Efforts & Shake-ups
« Reply #3 on: 03/22/2019 07:54 pm »
Another related article:

Space Council seeks urgency in NASA exploration plans - SpaceNews.com

Quote
The National Space Council will likely press NASA at its upcoming meeting to speed up its plans to return humans to the moon as the agency continues to study alternative approaches for the next flight of its Orion spacecraft.

There are a number of discussions going on besides getting humans back on the Moon - EM-1 alternative launcher, Lunar Gateway options, lunar lander options, etc. Whether all of these form into a cohesive plan is still TBD though, but they are getting air time.
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 Rocket Science

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Re: Trump Admin. Return-to-Moon Efforts & Shake-ups
« Reply #4 on: 03/22/2019 09:26 pm »
Vanity project...
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob: Physics instructor, Aviator, Vintage auto racer

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: Trump Admin. Return-to-Moon Efforts & Shake-ups
« Reply #5 on: 03/22/2019 09:49 pm »
If the end goal is getting footprints on the Moon no later than 2024 starting from US soil.

Then the only high probability option is SpaceX. Since they are the only one who might get a heavy crewed Lunar lander (aka Starship) operational in that time frame.

There was a slight chance that ULA & Masten could have fielded a Xeus lunar lander if ULA's parents had throw some profit margin back to ULA. It might still doable IMO with a lot of funding and not be choosy about the launcher.

NASA's Moon plans seems to be getting a man on the Moon in about twelve years with a schedule slippage of almost a year annually IMO.

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Trump Admin. Return-to-Moon Efforts & Shake-ups
« Reply #6 on: 03/22/2019 11:17 pm »
If the end goal is getting footprints on the Moon no later than 2024 starting from US soil.

Then the only high probability option is SpaceX. Since they are the only one who might get a heavy crewed Lunar lander (aka Starship) operational in that time frame.

There was a slight chance that ULA & Masten could have fielded a Xeus lunar lander if ULA's parents had throw some profit margin back to ULA. It might still doable IMO with a lot of funding and not be choosy about the launcher.

NASA's Moon plans seems to be getting a man on the Moon in about twelve years with a schedule slippage of almost a year annually IMO.
The question is what part of the agency is he going to try to "squeeze" to get the money for it...
« Last Edit: 03/22/2019 11:19 pm by Rocket Science »
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
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Offline punder

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Re: Trump Admin. Return-to-Moon Efforts & Shake-ups
« Reply #7 on: 03/23/2019 12:08 am »
Is there absolutely nothing that can't be turned into a Bad Thing because Trump is President?    ???

Offline ulm_atms

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Re: Trump Admin. Return-to-Moon Efforts & Shake-ups
« Reply #8 on: 03/23/2019 12:32 am »
If Trump really wants to accelerate getting to the moon...he should put his money where his mouth is.  If he were to ask that the money he wants for the wall be shifted to NASA for this, I would lean towards believing him.  NASA just doesn't have the budget for what he is asking...period.

Otherwise:

Vanity project...

Offline Rocket Science

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« Last Edit: 03/23/2019 06:12 am by Rocket Science »
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob: Physics instructor, Aviator, Vintage auto racer

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: Trump Admin. Return-to-Moon Efforts & Shake-ups
« Reply #10 on: 03/23/2019 01:26 am »
Is there absolutely nothing that can't be turned into a Bad Thing because Trump is President?    ???

I'm suspect of any efforts that smack of politics, and are not part of a well defined goal that advances our national interests for far longer than any single President.

Unlike the Apollo program, which had a very specific goal, we don't yet have a specific goal for returning humans to our Moon. There are many unanswered questions, and all we seem to see today is an unorganized attempt to do something, though we don't really know what, when, how, or why.

Maybe we'll starting hearing some of that detail at the National Space Council meeting next Tuesday?
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Trump Admin. Return-to-Moon Efforts & Shake-ups
« Reply #11 on: 03/23/2019 03:24 am »
How can Trump get funding to land on the moon when he can't even get the funding for his border wall?
Congress already effectively agrees with going to the Moon, but didn't for the border wall. Congress holds the purse strings. It's the Constitution's separation of powers.

Sometimes I wish the President *could* unilaterally control the budget, but ultimately it's for the best that Congress does.
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 Coastal Ron

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Re: Trump Admin. Return-to-Moon Efforts & Shake-ups
« Reply #12 on: 03/23/2019 03:40 am »
Congress already effectively agrees with going to the Moon...

What has the 116th Congress, which started on January 9th of this year, done to show that?

We should not confuse funding partial pieces and parts of things as "full funding", nor should we think that talking about returning humans to our Moon means that there are goals and plans - because so far we have neither.

All we appear to have right now is lots of interest to do something in the near-term, which is what is driving the Administration to consider doing something politically challenging - reducing the need for the SLS.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Trump Admin. Return-to-Moon Efforts & Shake-ups
« Reply #13 on: 03/23/2019 03:51 am »
Nothing yet. But they also havenít voiced extreme opposition to the idea.
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 Rocket Science

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Re: Trump Admin. Return-to-Moon Efforts & Shake-ups
« Reply #14 on: 03/23/2019 06:16 am »
Nothing yet. But they also havenít voiced extreme opposition to the idea.
Only from the usual "self interested" individuals, but that's a given...
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
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Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Trump Admin. Return-to-Moon Efforts & Shake-ups
« Reply #15 on: 03/23/2019 06:21 am »
Some relevant hardware updates since GS was first proposed: FH has flown, Crew Dragon has flown and DEC is almost ready for it's debut...
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
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Offline HeartofGold2030

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Re: Trump Admin. Return-to-Moon Efforts & Shake-ups
« Reply #16 on: 03/23/2019 10:50 am »
I don't get why the motivation matters, any attempt to accelerate America's return to the moon is welcome. Apollo was a glorified vanity project as well, but nobody ever complains about that...

Offline speedevil

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Re: Trump Admin. Return-to-Moon Efforts & Shake-ups
« Reply #17 on: 03/23/2019 12:23 pm »
I don't get why the motivation matters, any attempt to accelerate America's return to the moon is welcome. Apollo was a glorified vanity project as well, but nobody ever complains about that...
Any attempt is not welcome by all.
I do not (supposing for the moment I was an american voter) support the creation of projects that will result in vanity projects.
This includes something that will end up as "Apollo II" - at least in terms of the current plans for DSG.
Launching billion+ dollar sub-ISS modules on billion dollar launchers to end up with a partially habited station that does not particularly actually help in making lunar exploration cheaper, ...

Launching billion dollar modules on $50M reusable rockets is not a notable improvement.

Offline HeartofGold2030

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Re: Trump Admin. Return-to-Moon Efforts & Shake-ups
« Reply #18 on: 03/23/2019 01:39 pm »
I don't get why the motivation matters, any attempt to accelerate America's return to the moon is welcome. Apollo was a glorified vanity project as well, but nobody ever complains about that...
Any attempt is not welcome by all.
I do not (supposing for the moment I was an american voter) support the creation of projects that will result in vanity projects.
This includes something that will end up as "Apollo II" - at least in terms of the current plans for DSG.
Launching billion+ dollar sub-ISS modules on billion dollar launchers to end up with a partially habited station that does not particularly actually help in making lunar exploration cheaper, ...

Launching billion dollar modules on $50M reusable rockets is not a notable improvement.

None of what you've mentioned has anything to with the administration, they are simply working with the tools which NASA and Congress have provided; those tools being the SLS and Gateway, which both predate the current administration. The vanity part of this project is the White House trying to accelerate the schedule by cutting corners, in order to achieve a massive spaceflight spectacle within the first term, in the form of EM-1.

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Trump Admin. Return-to-Moon Efforts & Shake-ups
« Reply #19 on: 03/23/2019 01:59 pm »
I don't get why the motivation matters, any attempt to accelerate America's return to the moon is welcome. Apollo was a glorified vanity project as well, but nobody ever complains about that...
A vanity project for "the nation" to demonstrate what "a free democracy" and superiority of western civilization values is capable of during the Cold War; not for an "individual's self aggrandizement"...
« Last Edit: 03/23/2019 02:30 pm by Rocket Science »
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
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