Author Topic: Tourist trips to the Moon based on NASA hardware?  (Read 11150 times)

Offline Yegor

  • Regular
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 404
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Tourist trips to the Moon based on NASA hardware?

Is it possible? How much would they cost?

NASA is very sensitive about commercial spaceflight but what if the trips would be organized by some third party that will use the hardware designed for NASA? In the same way as "Space Adventures, Ltd." organizes tourist trips to space based on the hardware designed for Roscosmos?

Tourist trips to the Moon could be of three types:
- a flight around the Moon without going to the Moon orbit;
- a flight around the Moon with staying sometime in the Moon orbit;
- a flight to the surface of the Moon.

« Last Edit: 02/01/2009 01:26 PM by Yegor »


Offline Yegor

  • Regular
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 404
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Tourist trips to the Moon based on NASA hardware?
« Reply #1 on: 02/01/2009 01:34 PM »
Space Adventures sells a flight around the Moon without going to the Moon orbit for $100 million on the Soyuz spacecraft. With the two tourists the cost of the whole mission is $200 million.

http://www.spaceadventures.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=Lunar.Details
« Last Edit: 02/01/2009 02:01 PM by Yegor »


Offline Ben the Space Brit

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7126
  • A spaceflight fan
  • London, UK
  • Liked: 646
  • Likes Given: 759
Re: Tourist trips to the Moon based on NASA hardware?
« Reply #2 on: 02/01/2009 02:26 PM »
I think, Yegor, that this one is still a long way off. 

Space Adventures claims to the contrary should be taken with a very large pinch of salt.  Soyuz has no beyond-LEO flight tcapability.  Its' EDS (developed for the Zond program) was cancelled in the early 1970s.  The cost of re-starting the production line (including either recreating the tools or creating new ones) would be immense and would make the entire project non-viable.

Additionally, there is the issue of safety.  Current 'space tourist' flights are restricted to flights to the ISS.  This is a fixed destination with an acceptable level of safety and escape pods, in the form of the Soyuz spacecraft, that can get people back on solid ground in less than a day.  You have the convenient presence of Earth's magnetosphere to keep lethal radiation out.  Even then, the risks are high.

In a trans-lunar pleasure flight, the paying customer would have to fly through seven days and half a million miles of hard vacuum without the protection of Earth's magnetic field and no possible rescue until the vehicle returns to Earth at the end of its free-return transfer orbit.  There would be very little in the way of escape or survival options available which are at least available in a small scale on the ISS.  Flying to the moon is dangerous enough for highly-trained professionals (see Apollo 13) let alone for a group of semi-trained pleasure-trippers.

Then there is the issue of comfort.  Soyuz is a small vehicle and I really don't think that someone willing to shell out approximately $75 million would be willing to be cramped into such a tiny vehicle for the entire duration of such a flight.

Lunar tourism of any kind will not happen until there are some backup facilities on site.  There would be the NASA outpost at the south pole (assuming the vehicle had landing capability) and, possibly, a transfer station at EML-1, which would have an Orion and a fully-reusable Altair on-station at all times to give at least some rescue capability. 

In reality, though, tourism beyond LEO is unlikely until a new generation of larger spacecraft with greater failure tolerance than the current craft come into existence.  Even LEO tourism will not be more than the current occasional event until there are more destinations in LEO and a greater competition for crew vehicles.  Dragon and DreamChaser, if they ever materialise in their ultimate form, will be vital as will Bigelow pursuing their own space station.

I suspect that Dragon, with a little work, could be turned into a trans-lunar shuttle of sorts.  However, until there is something to do during those long, long seven days, I don't think that there is going to be much interest.

Costs, lack of available technology, safety and lack of a clear destination or purpose.  These are the chorus of ruin for this concept until we are a lot further into the lunar era of human spaceflight.
« Last Edit: 02/01/2009 02:42 PM by Ben the Space Brit »
"Oops! I left the silly thing in reverse!" - Duck Dodgers

~*~*~*~

The Space Shuttle Program - 1981-2011

The time for words has passed; The time has come to put up or shut up!
DON'T PROPAGANDISE, FLY!!!

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32377
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 11065
  • Likes Given: 329
Re: Tourist trips to the Moon based on NASA hardware?
« Reply #3 on: 02/01/2009 02:37 PM »
Tourist trips to the Moon based on NASA hardware?

1.  Is it possible? How much would they cost?

2.  NASA is very sensitive about commercial spaceflight but what if the trips would be organized by some third party that will use the hardware designed for NASA?

3. In the same way as "Space Adventures, Ltd." organizes tourist trips to space based on the hardware designed for Roscosmos?


1.  Not really possible
2.  NASA owns the facilities (launch site, MCC, etc) that will operate Ares and Orion.  There are many NASA people involved with the these operations
3.  It isn't the same.  Roscosmos is not quite like NASA.  RSC Energia basically runs the Russian manned space program

Offline Bill White

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2019
  • Chicago area
  • Liked: 5
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Tourist trips to the Moon based on NASA hardware?
« Reply #4 on: 02/01/2009 02:54 PM »
Tourist trips to the Moon based on NASA hardware?

1.  Is it possible? How much would they cost?

2.  NASA is very sensitive about commercial spaceflight but what if the trips would be organized by some third party that will use the hardware designed for NASA?

3. In the same way as "Space Adventures, Ltd." organizes tourist trips to space based on the hardware designed for Roscosmos?


1.  Not really possible
2.  NASA owns the facilities (launch site, MCC, etc) that will operate Ares and Orion.  There are many NASA people involved with the these operations
3.  It isn't the same.  Roscosmos is not quite like NASA.  RSC Energia basically runs the Russian manned space program

Sooner or later ideas like this will need to flourish because the taxpayers do not offer the most secure of revenue streams.

If there is to be a future with robust and expanding human presence in space finding additional revenue streams that do not originate from taxes would seem essential.

But yes, Russia could be a better venue to initiate such attempts.

= = =

Once ISS permanent crew is increased to six, Space Adventures is going to need a new destination.
EML architectures should be seen as ratchet opportunities

Offline Bill White

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2019
  • Chicago area
  • Liked: 5
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Tourist trips to the Moon based on NASA hardware?
« Reply #5 on: 02/01/2009 03:06 PM »
Soyuz can use Proton Block D as its EDS.

Anyway, finding ONE tourist willing to pay several hundred million dollars to suffer through a week or ten days crammed into a Soyuz has proven difficult. After 4 1/2 years I see no signs (that have surfaced in the media) of any seriously interested purchasers of that a lunar free return Soyuz mission. Unfortunate, since that is a terrific proposal, IMHO.

But what about TWO flights? Run at the same time, as a race? With competing sponsors?



EML architectures should be seen as ratchet opportunities

Offline Yegor

  • Regular
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 404
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Tourist trips to the Moon based on NASA hardware?
« Reply #6 on: 02/02/2009 02:42 AM »
Tourist trips to the Moon based on NASA hardware?

1.  Is it possible? How much would they cost?

2.  NASA is very sensitive about commercial spaceflight but what if the trips would be organized by some third party that will use the hardware designed for NASA?

3. In the same way as "Space Adventures, Ltd." organizes tourist trips to space based on the hardware designed for Roscosmos?


1.  Not really possible
2.  NASA owns the facilities (launch site, MCC, etc) that will operate Ares and Orion.  There are many NASA people involved with the these operations
3.  It isn't the same.  Roscosmos is not quite like NASA.  RSC Energia basically runs the Russian manned space program

Still a third party can contract NASA (NASA as a contractor - sound unusual) to perform a lunar mission - a third party will buy an LV from ULA, rent Orion from NASA and contract NASA to provide a launch and mission support to perform a lunar mission. And yes, a third party will pay for everything so not a dime of taxpayer's money will go to it.

Sound unusual? Yes.

But why not?
1. It will create jobs.
2. It will increase export. It is not a big number but still it is a number. USA has a negative export ratio for many years.

Yes, there are risks involved but if people want to fly and want to pay with their money why not? They totally understand what they are doing. They have been informed of the risks. Still they want to do it. People want to climb mount Everest although it is dangerous still nobody stops them. People do skydiving and scuba diving. There are lots of dangerous but legal things people do. In my opinion flying to the Moon is the same thing but it is better. NASA should not prevent it but vice versa should help make it happen. Because if it happens the companies will start to seek way to make it less expansive. In the end NASA will benefit from this and not just NASA - NASA's and human's abilities to perform a space exploration will increase. Wow - I did not know that I will come to this conclusion :) NASA's mission is to explore universe - so they should fulfill their mission - they should do everything that helps the exploration.



Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32377
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 11065
  • Likes Given: 329
Re: Tourist trips to the Moon based on NASA hardware?
« Reply #7 on: 02/02/2009 03:41 AM »
Still a third party can contract NASA (NASA as a contractor - sound unusual) to perform a lunar mission - a third party will buy an LV from ULA, rent Orion from NASA and contract NASA to provide a launch and mission support to perform a lunar mission. And yes, a third party will pay for everything so not a dime of taxpayer's money will go to it.


No it can't.  NASA can't work as a contractor.

Offline Antares

  • ABO^2
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5201
  • Done arguing with amateurs
  • Liked: 368
  • Likes Given: 226
Re: Tourist trips to the Moon based on NASA hardware?
« Reply #8 on: 02/02/2009 04:06 AM »
Still a third party can contract NASA (NASA as a contractor - sound unusual) to perform a lunar mission - a third party will buy an LV from ULA, rent Orion from NASA and contract NASA to provide a launch and mission support to perform a lunar mission. And yes, a third party will pay for everything so not a dime of taxpayer's money will go to it.
No it can't.  NASA can't work as a contractor.

I disagree.  The Space Act allows NASA to do a lot of stuff like that.  But, in the scenario provided, I'm not sure what NASA would need to do anyway.  ULA would provide both LV and LS.  LockMart might sell an Orion "service"; I wonder if the contract prevents that.  I wonder if LM has the infrastructure to support an entire mission without going using JSC Building 30.  Then, if the only smallish things left to surmount were TDRS/DSN and other support services, NASA wouldn't have much of a leg to obstruct on.
« Last Edit: 02/02/2009 04:07 AM by Antares »
If I like something on NSF, it's probably because I know it to be accurate.  Every once in a while, it's just something I agree with.  Facts generally receive the former.

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32377
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 11065
  • Likes Given: 329
Re: Tourist trips to the Moon based on NASA hardware?
« Reply #9 on: 02/02/2009 11:31 AM »
Still a third party can contract NASA (NASA as a contractor - sound unusual) to perform a lunar mission - a third party will buy an LV from ULA, rent Orion from NASA and contract NASA to provide a launch and mission support to perform a lunar mission. And yes, a third party will pay for everything so not a dime of taxpayer's money will go to it.
No it can't.  NASA can't work as a contractor.

I disagree.  The Space Act allows NASA to do a lot of stuff like that.  But, in the scenario provided, I'm not sure what NASA would need to do anyway.  ULA would provide both LV and LS.  LockMart might sell an Orion "service"; I wonder if the contract prevents that.  I wonder if LM has the infrastructure to support an entire mission without going using JSC Building 30.  Then, if the only smallish things left to surmount were TDRS/DSN and other support services, NASA wouldn't have much of a leg to obstruct on.

I over looked ULA and was thinking Ares I

Offline Yegor

  • Regular
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 404
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Tourist trips to the Moon based on NASA hardware?
« Reply #10 on: 02/02/2009 02:10 PM »
Some theoretical price estimates:

1. 1 pilot + 5 tourists to LEO:
Delta 4H - $180 million per launch. The cost per person: $180m / 5 = $36m
The cost of mission per person: $36m + Orion service + Mission support service.

2. 1 pilot + 5 tourists to Moon free return trajectory:
I wonder if Delta 4H can do the job? The new Delta 4H can deliver 14.57 metric tons to GTO. How much can it deliver to TLI? What Orion weight should be for Moon free return trajectory?
Delta 4H - $180 million per launch. The cost per person: $ 180m / 5 = $36m
The cost of mission per person: $36m + Orion service + Mission support service.

3. 1 pilot + 5 tourists to LLO:
Jupiter-120 + Delta 4H upper stage. $160m + $40m?(D4H US) per launch. The cost per person: $ 200m / 5 = $40m
The cost of mission per person: $40m + Orion service + Mission support service.

4. 1 pilot + 5 tourists to Lunar surface:
I wonder if single Jupiter-232/231 can do the job? What is single Jupiter-232/231 performance to TLI? About 45 metric tons? We do not need to go to a hard to reach point of the Moon. Can it be enough? 
Jupiter-232/231 - $250m per launch. The cost per person: $ 250m / 5 = $50m
The cost of mission per person: $50m + Orion service + Lunar Lander (this is going to be a big one) + Mission support service.

I have assumed that Delta 4H and Jupiter yearly fixed cost are covered by DoD and NASA because they need them anyway to support their missions. So the cost of LVs is the cost of building additional ones.

I think that these prices should be close to what is now offered by Space Adventures (about $25 millions in Russian crammed Soyuz to LEO) and can actually attract customers.
« Last Edit: 02/02/2009 05:08 PM by Yegor »


Offline Yegor

  • Regular
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 404
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Tourist trips to the Moon based on NASA hardware?
« Reply #11 on: 02/02/2009 05:08 PM »
What are the cost of an additional Orion flight and Altair Lunar Lander flight would be assuming that yearly fixed cost are covered by NASA as part of VSE?


Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32377
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 11065
  • Likes Given: 329
Re: Tourist trips to the Moon based on NASA hardware?
« Reply #12 on: 02/02/2009 05:24 PM »
The plan can't use Ares.  Only EELV's, Commercial Orions and a commercial MCC and no NASA astronauts

Offline Will

  • Member
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 902
  • Liked: 17
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: Tourist trips to the Moon based on NASA hardware?
« Reply #13 on: 02/02/2009 05:35 PM »
Some theoretical price estimates:

1. 1 pilot + 5 tourists to LEO:
Delta 4H - $180 million per launch. The cost per person: $180m / 5 = $36m
The cost of mission per person: $36m + Orion service + Mission support service.


Figure on spacecraft cost being at least equal to launch cost. That immediately puts you about twice the price of Soyuz.

Offline Yegor

  • Regular
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 404
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Tourist trips to the Moon based on NASA hardware?
« Reply #14 on: 02/02/2009 05:42 PM »
The plan can't use Ares.  Only EELV's, Commercial Orions and a commercial MCC and no NASA astronauts

I understand that Ares cannot compete on the commercial market but when we are talking about a mission to LLO or to a Lunar surface commercial LVs are simply not feasible right now. Yes it is possible to do an EELV multi-launch mission in this case but it becomes so much more expensive that I am afraid that it will not find customers. I think that it should be an exception in this case to use Ares/Jupiter. But as soon as a US commercial operator declares that it will go to the LLO/Lunar surface then it will have the right to pull Ares/Jupiter from the market.

At the end we all want Space Exploration to grow so we should try to find ways that help it to grow.


Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32377
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 11065
  • Likes Given: 329
Re: Tourist trips to the Moon based on NASA hardware?
« Reply #15 on: 02/02/2009 05:50 PM »

1.   Yes it is possible to do an EELV multi-launch mission in this case but it becomes so much more expensive that I am afraid that it will not find customers.

2.   I think that it should be an exception in this case to use Ares/Jupiter.

3.  At the end we all want Space Exploration to grow so we should try to find ways that help it to grow.

1.  Therefore, it shouldn't be done either way.  Market forces have to be the determining factor. 

2.  That isn't a good enough reason

3.  Not by using the gov't in place of commercial companies.  Especially for joy rides or tourist visits
« Last Edit: 02/02/2009 05:51 PM by Jim »

Offline Yegor

  • Regular
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 404
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Tourist trips to the Moon based on NASA hardware?
« Reply #16 on: 02/02/2009 05:59 PM »
Some theoretical price estimates:

1. 1 pilot + 5 tourists to LEO:
Delta 4H - $180 million per launch. The cost per person: $180m / 5 = $36m
The cost of mission per person: $36m + Orion service + Mission support service.


Figure on spacecraft cost being at least equal to launch cost. That immediately puts you about twice the price of Soyuz.

Yes, it is what I heard but Orion is going to be a reusable spacecraft when Soyuz is not. I hope that it will cut Orion flight price by half.
$36m + $18m + Mission support service = $54m + Mission support service
Still it is quite more expensive that what Russians can do but when we start talking about Moon it starts to become commercially feasible.

« Last Edit: 02/02/2009 06:00 PM by Yegor »


Offline kraisee

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10483
  • Liked: 414
  • Likes Given: 19
Re: Tourist trips to the Moon based on NASA hardware?
« Reply #17 on: 02/02/2009 06:04 PM »
I don't think there will be any sort of commercial Lunar access using NASA assets.

However, that isn't to say that 'tourists' of a sort won't ever go.

There have been multiple instances where foreign dignitaries and even politicians have managed to wangle their way onto a Shuttle mission.   The common euphemism for invited guests on Shuttle missions is "Payload Specialist", although some of these folk are actually there for a real reason too.   I can think of at least half-dozen instances of this 'back scratching' straight off the top of my head.

I would fully expect that sooner or later, the exact same thing will also be true of future missions to the moon as well.


The exception to this would be, IMHO, if something like the DIRECT "fuel for seats" Propellant Depot architecture were ever fielded.   At that point seats would be available to whoever can afford to lift ~60mT of propellant to orbit.   We can see foreign governments being very interested, but we also see some of the larger corporate organizations possibly wishing to conduct their own research on the moon and paying for the odd seat that way too.

In that scenario, who cares whether the guy paying for the seat is a tourist or not?   Of course, we believe that one of the requirements for actually taking the seat itself will be *FULL* astronaut training.   I'm not just talking about a few months primer course into 'don't touch anything', but I'm talking about whoever is to be sent will require 2 years of full-time intensive training so that they will be able to fully assist with the mission's objectives.   Few mere 'tourists' will be willing to put their lives on hold for 2 years to do that, so that will instantly whittle out the really 'serious' ones from the 'sight-seers'.

With full training, they will be a valuable and productive member of the crew and would not simply be ballast.   That's the sort of worthwhile 'tourist' we should welcome aboard.

Ross.
« Last Edit: 02/02/2009 06:11 PM by kraisee »
"The meek shall inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars"
-Robert A. Heinlein

Offline Will

  • Member
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 902
  • Liked: 17
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: Tourist trips to the Moon based on NASA hardware?
« Reply #18 on: 02/02/2009 06:05 PM »
Some theoretical price estimates:

1. 1 pilot + 5 tourists to LEO:
Delta 4H - $180 million per launch. The cost per person: $180m / 5 = $36m
The cost of mission per person: $36m + Orion service + Mission support service.


Figure on spacecraft cost being at least equal to launch cost. That immediately puts you about twice the price of Soyuz.

Yes, it is what I heard but Orion is going to be a reusable spacecraft when Soyuz is not. I hope that it will cut Orion flight price by half.



Don't get your hopes up. ESAS figured that reusability might save something like 15%, and that's back when they were planning on land recovery. If they dunk it in salt water reusability savings will decrease.

Offline Yegor

  • Regular
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 404
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Tourist trips to the Moon based on NASA hardware?
« Reply #19 on: 02/02/2009 07:42 PM »
Some theoretical price estimates:

1. 1 pilot + 5 tourists to LEO:
Delta 4H - $180 million per launch. The cost per person: $180m / 5 = $36m
The cost of mission per person: $36m + Orion service + Mission support service.


Figure on spacecraft cost being at least equal to launch cost. That immediately puts you about twice the price of Soyuz.

Yes, it is what I heard but Orion is going to be a reusable spacecraft when Soyuz is not. I hope that it will cut Orion flight price by half.


Don't get your hopes up. ESAS figured that reusability might save something like 15%, and that's back when they were planning on land recovery. If they dunk it in salt water reusability savings will decrease.

15% savings, is it Orion hardware only or Orion hardware + Mission support?


Offline Yegor

  • Regular
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 404
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Tourist trips to the Moon based on NASA hardware?
« Reply #20 on: 02/03/2009 12:01 AM »
I don't think there will be any sort of commercial Lunar access using NASA assets.

However, that isn't to say that 'tourists' of a sort won't ever go.

There have been multiple instances where foreign dignitaries and even politicians have managed to wangle their way onto a Shuttle mission.   The common euphemism for invited guests on Shuttle missions is "Payload Specialist", although some of these folk are actually there for a real reason too.   I can think of at least half-dozen instances of this 'back scratching' straight off the top of my head.

I would fully expect that sooner or later, the exact same thing will also be true of future missions to the moon as well.


The exception to this would be, IMHO, if something like the DIRECT "fuel for seats" Propellant Depot architecture were ever fielded.   At that point seats would be available to whoever can afford to lift ~60mT of propellant to orbit.   We can see foreign governments being very interested, but we also see some of the larger corporate organizations possibly wishing to conduct their own research on the moon and paying for the odd seat that way too.

In that scenario, who cares whether the guy paying for the seat is a tourist or not?   Of course, we believe that one of the requirements for actually taking the seat itself will be *FULL* astronaut training.   I'm not just talking about a few months primer course into 'don't touch anything', but I'm talking about whoever is to be sent will require 2 years of full-time intensive training so that they will be able to fully assist with the mission's objectives.   Few mere 'tourists' will be willing to put their lives on hold for 2 years to do that, so that will instantly whittle out the really 'serious' ones from the 'sight-seers'.

With full training, they will be a valuable and productive member of the crew and would not simply be ballast.   That's the sort of worthwhile 'tourist' we should welcome aboard.

Ross.

Suppose you you get a whole crew of tourists that will pay for the whole mission. Why would they need to go through a full 2 years training? They want to be just tourists, they want to go 'sight-seeing'. Why not? It does not cost taxpayers a dime but 1) it creates jobs; 2) it improves economy; 3) it accelerates NASA's flight experience; 4) it encourages businesses to invest into space travel and make it less expensive.


Offline Yegor

  • Regular
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 404
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Tourist trips to the Moon based on NASA hardware?
« Reply #21 on: 02/03/2009 01:03 AM »

1.   Yes it is possible to do an EELV multi-launch mission in this case but it becomes so much more expensive that I am afraid that it will not find customers.

2.   I think that it should be an exception in this case to use Ares/Jupiter.

3.  At the end we all want Space Exploration to grow so we should try to find ways that help it to grow.

1.  Therefore, it shouldn't be done either way.  Market forces have to be the determining factor. 

2.  That isn't a good enough reason

3.  Not by using the gov't in place of commercial companies.  Especially for joy rides or tourist visits

First of all US commercial LVs are build largely on government money. Even the latest ones Atlav 5 and Delta 4 are built with the help of government money. Why Ares should be different?

Yes, I understand that there were significant commercial investments into Atlas V and Delta 4 therefore if they or some other commercial companies (SpaceX) are ready to take the market then they should be free to do it. But since they cannot find customers who can afford their service (they do not even try to do it) it should be possible to use Ares LV for Lunar missions. I think that it would be good for everyone including Boeing and Lockheed Martin since it will jump start the market that does not exist now in the USA.


Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32377
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 11065
  • Likes Given: 329
Re: Tourist trips to the Moon based on NASA hardware?
« Reply #22 on: 02/03/2009 01:07 AM »
First of all US commercial LVs are build largely on government money. Even the latest ones Atlav 5 and Delta 4 are built with the help of government money. Why Ares should be different?


because they are not operated the same way.  Atlas 5 and Delta 4 can be operated independent of the US gov't.  Ares needs gov't facilities and personnel (not contractors but civil servants) to exist.  That is why it is not a good idea.

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32377
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 11065
  • Likes Given: 329
Re: Tourist trips to the Moon based on NASA hardware?
« Reply #23 on: 02/03/2009 01:11 AM »

 It does not cost taxpayers a dime but 1) it creates jobs; 2) it improves economy; 3) it accelerates NASA's flight experience; 4) it encourages businesses to invest into space travel and make it less expensive.

Yes it would, 1. no it doesn't. it doesn't change the flight rate enough 2.  gov't work doesn't always do this.
4. No way it does that. They will only do this if there is no risk

Offline Jorge

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6180
  • Liked: 32
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Tourist trips to the Moon based on NASA hardware?
« Reply #24 on: 02/03/2009 01:26 AM »

Suppose you you get a whole crew of tourists that will pay for the whole mission. Why would they need to go through a full 2 years training? They want to be just tourists, they want to go 'sight-seeing'. Why not?

Because if the mission fails, NASA will be blamed, period. Doesn't matter if the tourists pay for the whole thing or not.

From NASA's point of view, there is no upside to this, and a whole lot of downside. They will never go for this.
JRF

Offline mduncan36

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 215
  • Liked: 1
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Tourist trips to the Moon based on NASA hardware?
« Reply #25 on: 02/03/2009 01:58 AM »
NASA's mission is to explore universe - so they should fulfill their mission - they should do everything that helps the exploration.

NASA's mission is indeed exploration but that is not tourism. You also need to consider costs that go far beyond just the hardware. Training the tourists, the enormous ground support for a lunar mission, liability issues, etc. What about setting standards for tourists and deciding who gets to go? NASA is one little office of an enormous beauracracy and believe me, the Depts. of Transportation, Commerce, and others I haven't thought of would want or need to be involved. I can also hear congress howling about how all this taxpayer money that went into developing the space infrastructure was being diverted from its real purpose to send leisure junkets to the moon. NASA would not be allowed to keep any funds that might be generated. Any income would go to the treasury because NASA is not a money making enterprise.

No way, uh-uh, not gonna' happen.

Offline Ben the Space Brit

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7126
  • A spaceflight fan
  • London, UK
  • Liked: 646
  • Likes Given: 759
Re: Tourist trips to the Moon based on NASA hardware?
« Reply #26 on: 02/03/2009 11:01 AM »
I read somewhere that LM were working with a third party concern on a spaceplane LEO orbiter called the Dreamchaser.  If my understanding is correct, what is the crew capacity and could it be modified for beyond-LEO (such as trans-lunar free-return joyrides)?

Onto a different matter, it is a brain-bug of mine that there should be a universal docking and mating archetecture so that you could have a multiple-provider archetecture.  Say... Space Adventures buying Dragon-Evolved (good for beyond-LEO) from Space-X and a Falcon-9 as a CLV, a Centaur EDS and Atlas-VH as a CaLV from LM and a ATV/habitat module launched by Arianne-5 from Ariannespace.  As the modules will all have a common berthing mechanisms and will have compatible control cybernetics, it would just be a matter of mating them all together in LEO and setting off.

The commercial application is immediately plain, if enforced by rigorous-enough anti-trust laws.  The various companies would be in a competition to develop the cheapest, most cost-effective and most comfortable components for tour providers to buy for their flights.

I know that, in real life, it would be somewhat more complex than as I outlined.  However, if the technology were originally developed in an effort to further internationalise manned space exploration, it would also lead to commercial applications such as those I have suggested above.
"Oops! I left the silly thing in reverse!" - Duck Dodgers

~*~*~*~

The Space Shuttle Program - 1981-2011

The time for words has passed; The time has come to put up or shut up!
DON'T PROPAGANDISE, FLY!!!

Offline Yegor

  • Regular
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 404
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Tourist trips to the Moon based on NASA hardware?
« Reply #27 on: 02/04/2009 01:39 PM »
Onto a different matter, it is a brain-bug of mine that there should be a universal docking and mating archetecture so that you could have a multiple-provider archetecture.  Say... Space Adventures buying Dragon-Evolved (good for beyond-LEO) from Space-X and a Falcon-9 as a CLV, a Centaur EDS and Atlas-VH as a CaLV from LM and a ATV/habitat module launched by Arianne-5 from Ariannespace.  As the modules will all have a common berthing mechanisms and will have compatible control cybernetics, it would just be a matter of mating them all together in LEO and setting off.

The commercial application is immediately plain, if enforced by rigorous-enough anti-trust laws.  The various companies would be in a competition to develop the cheapest, most cost-effective and most comfortable components for tour providers to buy for their flights.

I know that, in real life, it would be somewhat more complex than as I outlined.  However, if the technology were originally developed in an effort to further internationalise manned space exploration, it would also lead to commercial applications such as those I have suggested above.

When the time comes I think that it will not be a problem - they do assemble ISS internationally now.


Offline Yegor

  • Regular
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 404
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Tourist trips to the Moon based on NASA hardware?
« Reply #28 on: 02/04/2009 02:32 PM »

Suppose you you get a whole crew of tourists that will pay for the whole mission. Why would they need to go through a full 2 years training? They want to be just tourists, they want to go 'sight-seeing'. Why not?

Because if the mission fails, NASA will be blamed, period. Doesn't matter if the tourists pay for the whole thing or not.

From NASA's point of view, there is no upside to this, and a whole lot of downside. They will never go for this.

It is what NASA thinks right now but I do not think that it is a right way of thinking:
1. The flight is not going to be operated by NASA but by some third party commercial company. It will be not a NASA idea to operate tourist flight in fact NASA will warn and inform public and a commercial company about risks involved in a human spaceflight. So NASA "hands" are clean.
2. Eventually failures happen. And you are right since NASA's hardware will be involved some people will try to blame NASA. But it does not matter if a failure happens during a tourist flight or a NASA exploration flight. People will try to find a reason for a failure. And again NASA warned everyone about the risks involved prior to a flight.
3. Millionaire's are people too. They also pay taxes. And taxes is what finance NASA. Are they not eligible to use what they pay for? In addition they are willing to be a space pioneers because they are willing to take the risks of the human space flight of our day. Is not it commendable?

In conclusion it would be totally unfair to blame NASA.

But there are upsides:
1. Tourists flights would help NASA to accumulate experience of human space flight.
2. It would help US economy.
3. It would help to reduce NASA's costs.
4. It helps space exploration too since tourists will bring some rocks from the Moon too and for which they would pay with their own money.


Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32377
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 11065
  • Likes Given: 329
Re: Tourist trips to the Moon based on NASA hardware?
« Reply #29 on: 02/04/2009 02:43 PM »

It is what NASA thinks right now but I do not think that it is a right way of thinking:
1. The flight is not going to be operated by NASA but by some third party commercial company. It will be not a NASA idea to operate tourist flight in fact NASA will warn and inform public and a commercial company about risks involved in a human spaceflight. So NASA "hands" are clean.
2. Eventually failures happen. And you are right since NASA's hardware will be involved some people will try to blame NASA. But it does not matter if a failure happens during a tourist flight or a NASA exploration flight. People will try to find a reason for a failure. And again NASA warned everyone about the risks involved prior to a flight.
3. Millionaire's are people too. They also pay taxes. And taxes is what finance NASA. Are they not eligible to use what they pay for? In addition they are willing to be a space pioneers because they are willing to take the risks of the human space flight of our day. Is not it commendable?

In conclusion it would be totally unfair to blame NASA.

But there are upsides:
1. Tourists flights would help NASA to accumulate experience of human space flight.
2. It would help US economy.
3. It would help to reduce NASA's costs.
4. It helps space exploration too since tourists will bring some rocks from the Moon too and for which they would pay with their own money.

You have made some incorrect conclusions

Both of your #1's are mutually exclusive.  If a third party is operating the hardware, then NASA isn't involved and there does not gain experience

But most so, there can't be just a 3rd part operating the hardware.  It is NASA's and it is NASA's facilities.  NASA people and contractors are involved and hence NASA is liable.

Also a few flight do not reduce NASA's costs.  They would be the same, just like whether the shuttle flies or not, the cost to NASA is the same.  Additionally, the "benefit" to the economy is minor.

There are no upsides and huge downsides

This is not a good idea

Offline Vacuum.Head

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 154
  • Still in the Cradle
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Tourist trips to the Moon based on NASA hardware?
« Reply #30 on: 02/04/2009 10:46 PM »

Onto a different matter, it is a brain-bug of mine that there should be a universal docking and mating archetecture so that you could have a multiple-provider archetecture.

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=8659.msg267119#msg267119
I also note with interest that the IBDM was also considered in the OASIS RASC study.
"Docking rings are located at each end of the HPM to enable mating with other OASIS elements and the ISS. These rings serve as the connection between the International Berthing and Docking Mechanism (IBDM, figure 5-8) [p71 OASIS RASC Final Report]
----------------------------------------
"...all the Universe or nothing." Oswald Cabal
["Shape of Things to Come" U.K. 1936  (Dir. William Cameron Menzies)]

Tags: