Author Topic: Basic and Focused Human Nasa Mission Objective Best  (Read 7666 times)

Offline Jim

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Re: Basic and Focused Human Nasa Mission Objective Best
« Reply #40 on: 04/18/2012 11:13 AM »

Flying Grandpa to Sydney doesn't advance scientific and technological knowledge bases. It doesn't accelerate and foster many different advancements in many different areas. It doesn't create thousands of jobs. It doesn't unite a nation or nations with a singular vision of a grand dream. It doesn't inspire our youth to dream big, to innovate.

As a matter of fact, I wonder how many things on Grandpa's hypothetical plane ride to Sydney came from NASA-related roots?

It's not the destination- it's the journey and how we learn along the way.


the journey does nothing of what you say. 

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Basic and Focused Human Nasa Mission Objective Best
« Reply #41 on: 04/18/2012 12:34 PM »
Just to clarify; neither Granpa's journey, nor the journey to orbit Mars does any of that.

A counter argument would say that doing the Mars thing advances technology, and that aspect would be true; but it would be an advance necessary for a lunar base as well, and better applied to the proximate destination.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline rusty

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Re: Basic and Focused Human Nasa Mission Objective Best
« Reply #42 on: 04/19/2012 07:43 AM »
OP - "The hunter who chases two rabbits catches neither"
1st reply - ...With a Gateway Station and propellant depots, a lot of options open up...
That addresses the very problem mentioned by the OP by repeating it. The 'Gateway Station at EML' is a task and program without destination, only location. The claim of going 'anywhere' is not a means to achieve goals, but in reality a Flexible Path to Nowhere.

Offline Warren Platts

Re: Basic and Focused Human Nasa Mission Objective Best
« Reply #43 on: 04/19/2012 08:04 AM »
OP - "The hunter who chases two rabbits catches neither"
1st reply - ...With a Gateway Station and propellant depots, a lot of options open up...
That addresses the very problem mentioned by the OP by repeating it. The 'Gateway Station at EML' is a task and program without destination, only location. The claim of going 'anywhere' is not a means to achieve goals, but in reality a Flexible Path to Nowhere.

Arguably an orbital mission to Mars is a mission to Nowhere...

The reality is that the Gateway station is the only short term goal/destination that has the political virtue of placating both Mars First!ers and Moon First!ers. The real debate will begin once that's close to completion...
"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."--Leonardo Da Vinci

Offline DarkenedOne

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Re: Basic and Focused Human Nasa Mission Objective Best
« Reply #44 on: 04/20/2012 04:09 PM »
The best basic and focused objective should be to reduce the costs of human spaceflight. 

We should not focus on any specific destination because we are not interested in a single destination.  We are not interested in only going to Mars or the moon and forgetting about the rest of the universe. 

If our true objective is to explore and utilize space, and perhaps in the future colonize it then we need infrastructure and technology that will accomplish this goal.

With human spaceflight the primary obstacle to anything is cost.  Why do we not have a moon base?  Why do we not have a presence on Mars?  Why do we send robots to Mars, but not humans?  Why do we not have bigger space stations?  The answer to all of these questions is the cost.  Eliminating this barrier will help us in all of our objectives. 


Offline Warren Platts

Re: Basic and Focused Human Nasa Mission Objective Best
« Reply #45 on: 04/21/2012 06:50 PM »
The best basic and focused objective should be to reduce the costs of human spaceflight. 

We should not focus on any specific destination because we are not interested in a single destination.  We are not interested in only going to Mars or the moon and forgetting about the rest of the universe. 

If our true objective is to explore and utilize space, and perhaps in the future colonize it then we need infrastructure and technology that will accomplish this goal.

With human spaceflight the primary obstacle to anything is cost.  Why do we not have a moon base?  Why do we not have a presence on Mars?  Why do we send robots to Mars, but not humans?  Why do we not have bigger space stations?  The answer to all of these questions is the cost.  Eliminating this barrier will help us in all of our objectives. 

Reducing the cost of spaceflight is an admirable goal. But if you really want to do that, there is only one actual spaceflight mission that can do that, and that is a mission to the Moon in order to get Lunar rocket fuel.

Sure, there are other things we can do to reduce the cost of spaceflight, like spending billions and billions on RLV's and SEP's, but none of those projects actually require spaceflight to achieve.

That said, I'm all for pursuing those avenues; but in the meantime, let's actually do some spaceflight, and if we are going to do spaceflight, then let's channel that spaceflight into a mission that has some promise to reduce the cost of spaceflight itself: go to the Moon for ISRU propellant.

That way we get a 2-for-1: we get our spaceflight jollies off, and we get a chance to reduce the cost of spaceflight. Going on a Mars orbital mission, while somewhat cool, would not in itself do much to reduce the cost of actual spaceflight.
"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."--Leonardo Da Vinci

Offline spectre9

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Re: Basic and Focused Human Nasa Mission Objective Best
« Reply #46 on: 04/22/2012 05:10 AM »
It's a good goal to have but it's not the first marker post NASA is aiming for.

Near Earth Asteroids are a good target.

This demonstrates deep space exploration capabilities and matures the technologies required for longer stays in space and going a long distance from the Earth and coming back.

The big gravity well and needing to wait for a conjunction to return to Earth make Mars more difficult.

Going straight to Mars orbit is too big a first step.

Playing around on the moon is too small a first step.

Developing DSH and SEP to take Orion to an asteroid seems like a good deal to me. Do a few missions like this and the technology being used should mature quickly.

Next visit Phobos obviously needing the most capability without landing at Mars.

The first people to view the Red planet from orbit will be very lucky. I don't think I'll be that bothered they will not be landing.

Then develop a MAV. ISRU ascent stage. Possible technology demonstrators on sample return missions.

Of course you could go chemical and not the SEP but the mass penalty will be totally unaffordable. Even ISP at 450 is low and requires your IMLEO to be huge. Or IMLLO?  :P

I know Warren will say Lunar hydrogen is better but I don't believe that.

Electric propulsion is awesome just needs bucket loads of money thrown at it to up scale for human exploration needs. The investment is worth it because it allows mass efficient transport to Mars for crew and cargo. The same engines can be used with nuclear reactors for even deeper space missions.

Offline gbaikie

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Re: Basic and Focused Human Nasa Mission Objective Best
« Reply #47 on: 04/22/2012 08:25 AM »
The best basic and focused objective should be to reduce the costs of human spaceflight. 

We should not focus on any specific destination because we are not interested in a single destination.  We are not interested in only going to Mars or the moon and forgetting about the rest of the universe. 

If our true objective is to explore and utilize space, and perhaps in the future colonize it then we need infrastructure and technology that will accomplish this goal.

With human spaceflight the primary obstacle to anything is cost.  Why do we not have a moon base?  Why do we not have a presence on Mars?  Why do we send robots to Mars, but not humans?  Why do we not have bigger space stations?  The answer to all of these questions is the cost.  Eliminating this barrier will help us in all of our objectives. 

Reducing the cost of spaceflight is an admirable goal. But if you really want to do that, there is only one actual spaceflight mission that can do that, and that is a mission to the Moon in order to get Lunar rocket fuel.
...

I would say the only way to lower cost of spaceflight is creating markets and that ultimately these markets are providing goods/services for earthlings.

A market for rocket fuel in space is fundamental and allow other markets to develop.

In order to mine lunar water, the Moon needs to be explored. In my opinion the exploration of the Moon up to the present point in time is not adequate to start lunar water mining.
The amount of additional lunar exploration is something I can't quantify, but at this point it seems, that if private interests were interested in mining lunar water, rather beginning with some mining operation, they should have as the first phase exploration of the Moon to find areas most minable or at least areas in which they can determine that some particular location is minable. And not only finding a particular location, but having enough knowledge of the location to allow planning of how might be the best way to mine the lunar water.

Other than the exploration the Moon in enough detail, another helpful aspect would to already have an existing market of rocket fuel in space. So before mining lunar water, it would better if there was a market somewhere in space for rocket fuel. There should fuel depots and spacecraft that can use such depots.
In addition one is adding some confident to idea of there some need of future rocket fuel made by mining lunar water and splitting the water into rocket fuel. Having existing rocket depots should lower the cost, of establishing the infrastructure on the lunar surface that mine and process water into rocket fuel.

Having existing depots at LEO and/or L-1 increases the value of lunar rocket fuel at the lunar surface. Or said in different way it lowers cost of using rocket fuel at the lunar surface- one can have more "recycling" or reuse of a rocket. If one *had* to choose between LEO or L-1, having fuel depot at L-1 is probably better. And if rocket fuel is sold at L-1 [because it is shipped from Earth] one can know what the price of rocket fuel is in L-1. And knowing that will help any lunar water in terms whether it is minable because at some point one will sell lunar rocket fuel at L-1.

Having rocket fuel at lunar surface [regardless of whether rocket fuel was made on the Moon] will allow other markets on the Moon. If one can buy rocket fuel at lunar surface, one could probably ship lunar samples back to earth and sell them.
Also if there rocket fuel at lunar surface, the task sending people to the moon is far easier. If one needs to put the return rocket fuel with the crew, the mass landing on the Moon is 3 times larger than compared to already having rocket fuel on the surface.
This means that there about 4 different kinds of rockets [Delta IV, Atlas V, Arianne V- Proton and perhaps even Sea Launch{- and the Falcon Heavy when it's ready}] existing on earth, today, which can land crew on the lunar surface. With the addition depots in orbit, and one can include Falcon 9, and Soyuz, and other medium launchers.

So first destination should be establishing fuel depots, followed by NASA or other party lunar exploration, followed by commerical mining on the Moon, followed by other activities on the Moon [which also could include private exploration for specific types of resources].
« Last Edit: 04/22/2012 08:36 AM by gbaikie »

Offline Warren Platts

Re: Basic and Focused Human Nasa Mission Objective Best
« Reply #48 on: 04/23/2012 01:52 PM »
It's a good goal to have but it's not the first marker post NASA is aiming for.

Near Earth Asteroids are a good target.

This demonstrates deep space exploration capabilities and matures the technologies required for longer stays in space and going a long distance from the Earth and coming back.

The big gravity well and needing to wait for a conjunction to return to Earth make Mars more difficult.

Going straight to Mars orbit is too big a first step.

Playing around on the moon is too small a first step.

Developing DSH and SEP to take Orion to an asteroid seems like a good deal to me. Do a few missions like this and the technology being used should mature quickly.

Next visit Phobos obviously needing the most capability without landing at Mars.

The first people to view the Red planet from orbit will be very lucky. I don't think I'll be that bothered they will not be landing.

Then develop a MAV. ISRU ascent stage. Possible technology demonstrators on sample return missions.

Of course you could go chemical and not the SEP but the mass penalty will be totally unaffordable. Even ISP at 450 is low and requires your IMLEO to be huge. Or IMLLO?  :P

I know Warren will say Lunar hydrogen is better but I don't believe that.

Electric propulsion is awesome just needs bucket loads of money thrown at it to up scale for human exploration needs. The investment is worth it because it allows mass efficient transport to Mars for crew and cargo. The same engines can be used with nuclear reactors for even deeper space missions.

A big problem with NEO's as a primary initial focus is that a suitable one only comes around like once a decade. We can go to the Moon, and still do a little side mission to an asteroid every now and then if we want.

Also, while I admit that it is premature to say exactly how much Lunar materials will be worth, it is equally premature to say that they won't be worth anything. What would suck is if the US were to blow off the Moon and then have its potential unlocked by Chinese and Indian players. The the US will be faced with the choice of realigning its space program in order to play catch up, or else simply face up to the fact that it will be a second-tier player for the foreseeable future.
"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."--Leonardo Da Vinci

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Basic and Focused Human Nasa Mission Objective Best
« Reply #49 on: 04/23/2012 04:07 PM »
(1) The best basic and focused objective should be to reduce the costs of human spaceflight. 

(2) We should not focus on any specific destination because we are not interested in a single destination.  We are not interested in only going to Mars or the moon and forgetting about the rest of the universe. 

(3) If our true objective is to explore and utilize space, and perhaps in the future colonize it then we need infrastructure and technology that will accomplish this goal.

With human spaceflight the primary obstacle to anything is cost.  ...  Eliminating this barrier will help us in all of our objectives. 

(1) Reducing the cost of spaceflight is an admirable goal. But if you really want to do that, there is only one actual spaceflight mission that can do that, and that is a mission to the Moon in order to get Lunar rocket fuel.

Sure, there are other things we can do to reduce the cost of spaceflight, like spending billions and billions on RLV's and SEP's, but none of those projects actually require spaceflight to achieve.

That said, I'm all for pursuing those avenues; but in the meantime, let's actually do some spaceflight, and if we are going to do spaceflight, then let's channel that spaceflight into a mission that has some promise to reduce the cost of spaceflight itself: go to the Moon for ISRU propellant.

...

Reducing the cost of spaceflight is more than an admirable goal.  It may be the most imprtant goal at the moment.  For purposes of this brief comment, I'd divide HSF into two broad categories.  Earth to LEO and LEO to everywhere else.

For the first, Earth to LEO, launch costs can be reduced by reducing both manufacturing and operations costs.  For the second, I also believe that the major cost reduction will be to manufacture propellant from lunar sources.

(2) The meme of forgetting other destinations is totally incorrect; the distant destinations will not be forgotten while the proximate destinations are mastered.

The various proponents for the distant destinations willfully move the goalposts while ignoring the benefits that could be ascribed to having lower propellant delta-v costs between LEO and everywhere else.

(3)  While it is true that space based infrastructure is needed, it is also true that the infrastructure needs to be built in the right order.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline go4mars

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Re: Basic and Focused Human Nasa Mission Objective Best
« Reply #50 on: 04/23/2012 07:46 PM »
Some points in here.
I think the chance favor Musk building a 70 ton launch vehicle before NASA builds it's 70 ton launch vehicle.
I think it's reasonable question that the public could have is why is NASA building a 70 ton launch vehicle costing the tax payer billions of dollars per year which will cost 1 billion dollars per launch, when we could use a American rocket which cost tax payer nothing to develop and could be half the launch cost per launch.
A dull person could blame Musk for building such a rocket...
Good so far.  But a couple things I'd like to note in your next bit:

But the plan appears to build on this failure to then building on this failure to build the 130 ton rocket.
But no one else in the world will have a 130 ton rocket. There is no reason why anyone would build such a rocket.

This 130-metric ton rocket evolution will not debut until the 2030s."

So NASA is planning on spending +18 years on extremely easy mission of making a rocket.

Actually, there are 6 uses off the top of my head that say there is likely to be a rocket that is even more capable than SLS ready in the next 18 years (none of which require government support).  You list the first and largest one.
Musk wants colonies on Mars by 2030s.

There is an untapped market of unknown size here.  Musk needs a BFR to do justice to his dream, and he's a determined billionaire who has an impressive track record for tackling big problems. 

2) BA-2100 and future competitors.

3) Really big satellites.

4) Billionaires are setting up a space mining business.

5) Tourism demand

6) Hypersonic transportation will need a really big reusable booster.

Separately, these may or may not be considered justified on their own.  Together, the case gets improves.  Add in potential uses by governments and universities, and things improve further. 
Elasmotherium; hurlyburly Doggerlandic Jentilak steeds insouciantly gallop in viridescent taiga, eluding deluginal Burckle's abyssal excavation.

Offline spectre9

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Re: Basic and Focused Human Nasa Mission Objective Best
« Reply #51 on: 04/24/2012 02:11 PM »

A big problem with NEO's as a primary initial focus is that a suitable one only comes around like once a decade. We can go to the Moon, and still do a little side mission to an asteroid every now and then if we want.

Also, while I admit that it is premature to say exactly how much Lunar materials will be worth, it is equally premature to say that they won't be worth anything. What would suck is if the US were to blow off the Moon and then have its potential unlocked by Chinese and Indian players. The the US will be faced with the choice of realigning its space program in order to play catch up, or else simply face up to the fact that it will be a second-tier player for the foreseeable future.

Here's one.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2010/01/nasas-flexible-path-2025-human-mission-visit-asteroid/

There's also a few more NASA are looking at. I'll attach a document I just found.

A Venus orbit NEO watcher similar to wise can be used to find even more targets.

Lunar materials will only be worth something when the cost of humans getting at them is much lower.

If cheap access to the moon is somehow possible there might be some investments made.

All possible claims over the cold traps are still theoretical. It might still be an option to keep such areas pristine for the science.

I guess there's only one way to find out for sure.

Global Lunar surface access.

Although I wouldn't agree NASA needs such a capability in the short term nobody has landed on the moon in my lifetime (born in the 80s) and it would be kinda cool to see.
« Last Edit: 04/24/2012 02:12 PM by spectre9 »

Offline Warren Platts

Re: Basic and Focused Human Nasa Mission Objective Best
« Reply #52 on: 04/24/2012 03:04 PM »
Lunar materials will only be worth something when the cost of humans getting at them is much lower.

If cheap access to the moon is somehow possible there might be some investments made.

Going to asteroids isn't going to be cheap. It will require long-term habitation and somehow the radiation issue will have to be tackled.

Quote
All possible claims over the cold traps are still theoretical. It might still be an option to keep such areas pristine for the science.

LCROSS directly confirmed the theoretical predictions. As for keeping such areas pristine for science, some will, some won't.

Quote
I guess there's only one way to find out for sure.

Global Lunar surface access.

If you ever want to go to Mars, it would be a good idea to build a Lunar lander sooner rather than later, in order to work out the kinks and get the reliability up before that first Mars landing.
"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."--Leonardo Da Vinci

Offline spectre9

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Re: Basic and Focused Human Nasa Mission Objective Best
« Reply #53 on: 04/24/2012 03:08 PM »
I mean possible legal claims.

LCROSS did change Luna forever. Why no robotic precursor planned here?

Offline Proponent

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Re: Basic and Focused Human Nasa Mission Objective Best
« Reply #54 on: 04/25/2012 01:31 AM »
Actually, LRO/LCROSS was a robotic precursor:  it was paid for by the HSF people at NASA, though it was turned over to the scientists after a year's operation.

Next year's LADEE mission might be regarded as having originated as a robotic precursor.

Additional robotic missions were planned.
« Last Edit: 04/25/2012 01:34 AM by Proponent »

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