Author Topic: Tourist trips to the Moon based on NASA hardware?  (Read 10771 times)

Offline Yegor

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.
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Offline Yegor

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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

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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

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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

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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]
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"...all the Universe or nothing." Oswald Cabal
["Shape of Things to Come" U.K. 1936  (Dir. William Cameron Menzies)]

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