Poll

If NASA were directed to return to the moon, how should they do it?

Constellation
Boeing SLS proposal
ACES
Golden Spike
Direct (70t SLS)
Spudis/Lavoie
ELA
Cannot select one of the above.

Author Topic: Best NASA lunar architecture for today  (Read 31219 times)

Offline KelvinZero

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Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« on: 06/03/2013 04:40 AM »
For this poll I am hypothesizing that NASA has been directed to return to the  moon. Im limiting the options to proposals which I could clearly identify eg with a name or document, and that someone has spent a bit of money researching.

Im avoiding wider questions such as is the moon preferable to another goal or whether commercial bodies should be able to return to the moon without NASA money. Nevertheless I am including Golden Spike because, after all, NASA could decide to become simply a customer and there are at least some details of the architecture available.

 I have attempted to find articles on this site or failing that gone to the internet in general. Im not claiming to have found the most appropriate links. I assume I can add better ones later.

( 1 ) Constellation: http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2008/02/altair-project-buying-into-orion-lessons-for-development-process/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constellation_program
Consider this option "Constellation updated for today". I imagine it would use the 130t SLS, Orion, and no EML2 base.

( 2 ) Boeing plan:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/01/boeing-discusses-sls-robust-lunar-program/

( 3 ) ACES: http://www.ulalaunch.com/site/docs/publications/AffordableExplorationArchitecture2009.pdf
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Common_Evolved_Stage

( 4 ) Golden Spike: http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/01/golden-spike-northrop-grumman-lunar-lander/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Spike_Company
http://goldenspikecompany.com/

( 5 ) Direct: http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2006/11/second-guessing-nasa-vse/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DIRECT

( 6 ) Paul Spudis and  Anthony Lavoie, "Using the resources of the Moon to create a permanent, cislunar space faring system.":
http://www.spudislunarresources.com/Bibliography/p/102.pdf

( 7 ) Early Lunar Access
Summary here
http://www.nss.org/settlement/moon/ELA.html

( 8 ) Cannot select one of the above options.
Chose this if you feel there is a problem with the options presented that prevents you selecting one. This is not the anti-moon option, nor is voting for one of the other options to be interpreted as pro-moon. You are still allowed an opinion on what is the best lunar architecture even if you are opposed to the moon as a destination in general, or a NASA funded approach.

(edited to add wiki references where I could find them)
« Last Edit: 06/03/2013 09:29 AM by KelvinZero »

Online QuantumG

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #1 on: 06/03/2013 05:04 AM »
I chose Spudis and Lavoie, as it at least builds something that makes future spaceflight better.
I hear those things are awfully loud. It glides as softly as a cloud. What's it called? Monowhale!

Offline Andrew_W

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #2 on: 06/03/2013 05:14 AM »
Also a vote for Spudis and Lavoie, It's the only architecture that gives at least a nod to permanent and progressive development of lunar resources.
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Offline savuporo

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #3 on: 06/03/2013 05:20 AM »
The ones that follow 39th law of Akin's spacecraft design.
Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Offline PlanetStorm

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #4 on: 06/03/2013 05:27 AM »

At first, I was torn between Spudis/Lavole and ACES, which I've admired for a long time; but in the end, I decided Spudis was much better if we are in it for the long term (and if we aren't, I don't believe we should be doing it at all).

Offline muomega0

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #5 on: 06/03/2013 02:26 PM »
You missed the best lunar architecture, a thread that fills almost 100 pages:

L2 Gateway +  ZBO LH2 depot centric architecture

originally conceived as a A Halo-Orbit Lunar Station By ROBERT W. FARQUHAR is the basis for the "An Alternative Lunar Architecture" thread.

It is one of the reason why Sorensen pitched the alternative lunar architecture proposed by Robert Farquhar in 1972, since low polar lunar orbits are limited to 14 day windows, and would basically be used for communications and a lunar surface safehaven.  This plan was modified to include a L2 gateway to test advanced GCR mitigation hardware in case the 1500 kgs of plastic/water do not work out for Orion/habitat for the one year trip to Mars in micro-g.   The key is to demonstrate cost effectively that the crew and hardware can stay one year in deep space and the moon does not offer the proper environment nor is within the current budget.

The L2 Gateway then serves as the cis-lunar staging point and backup for for missions to the moon, Mars, and deep space missions (e.g. asteroids).  EP can cycle from L2 and beyond  rather than return to earth and avoid the long return trip back to L2.


The major benefit of a LEO Zero Boiloff LH2 Depot is Amplification Factor which allows up to 15 times more payload to the moon.

"Boeing’s plan is to build the depot in pieces like a stripped-down International Space Station, only in modules based on the upper stage of the Delta launch vehicle. Two depots would provide redundancy...And while many of the necessary parts and operations (i.e., orbital cryogenic storage and transfer) still have to be developed and matured, they’re plausible—and critical for a space-faring civilization anyway.

Anyone can make propellant, and anyone can deliver it. The orbital reservoir will allow for different quantities from tanker vehicles both small and large. The payload itself is cheap, so even low-reliability launchers could potentially be used.

Boeing’s gas station could provide even more benefits than an improved lunar payload. Communications companies could improve their satellite payloads to geostationary orbit and beyond. NASA might be able to combine the dual launches in its moon program, or make its lunar landing vehicle reusable, with another depot using propellants produced on the moon. Because most of the mass necessary to get to the moon is propellant (though Boeing would never say so), a space gas station might even eliminate the need for a heavy-lift launcher altogether, increasing the launch rate of smaller, cheaper vehicles, which in turn could cut costs for getting to the moon and, eventually, Mars.
"

----
How does the L2 Gateway+ LEO ZBO Depot architecture differ from the other approaches?

A LEO Zero Boiloff Depot is a key cornerstone to the architecture (see
LH2 versus methane versus hypergolic transfer stages for details)

The differences between L2 Gateway +LEO ZBO depot  and the other approaches is quite clear:

The LEO ZBO depot can significantly reduce the LV size required and increase flight rates to reduce $/kg, and also solves the boiloff issues with a rather simple solution, allowing the highest ISP to minimize average annual mass to orbit requirements, further reducing costs.

The smaller fleet and IP tankers provide the propellant for extreme cost and schedule flexibility.   

The differences with the (3) ULA approach is that it does not focus only on transfer of propellant and dumping the boiloff overboard to be inefficiently used for attitude control, power, and LOX cooling.  Many of the common building block from the ULA approach are applicable in the evolving architecture, especially the LH2 lander to save costs.

An alternative approach is to skip the depot and launch a refuelable transfer stage filled by tankers.  Because of boiloff, one has to reduce transfer payload mass fraction with insulation. Falcon and Delta heavy configurations refueled on orbit have been suggested for missions to the moon, but missions to the moon distract from the objective of Mars per Sqyres.

Unlike, Boeing and ULA's approach, the Zero Boiloff depot adds about 10 kWe of electrical power, attitude control, and cryocoolers to maintain the 90K LOX and 20K LH2 tanks to ZBO, which avoids disposing of long life, expensive equipment, allows the transfer stages to be launched empty with minimum passive insulation to improve payload mass fraction, and allows tankers to be made as simple as possible by placing AR&D on the depot and can be weight optimized for a short duration delivery.

If the DSH is surrounded with 20 g/cm2 of passive shielding (~20 mT), it will protect a male for less than 300 days in deep space from GCR, based on current requirements and certainty levels.  Orion has 2-4 g/cm2.

A comparison of the L2 Gateway with the limitations of the rest of the plans shows NASA is ignoring its Technology Challenges (cosmic radiation shielding, bone loss mitigation (1/3 g vs mill-g trip), ability to land heavy objects on Mars,...

---
It should be of no surprise that the HLV architecture was all about going to the moon, had nothing to do with Mars, was not about finding the right missions for the right size budget, and "does not feature a depot".

Since ESAS, NASA's focus has only been the moon per Doug Stanley, with a *limited* focus on Mars

Per Shannon during Augustine, the hypergolic lunuar lander drove Ares V to 140 mT, so clearly any LV driving to this size is only considering decades old, poorer performance and cost hypergols.
---

Advantages of the L2 Gateway and ZBO Depot with EP

NASA Long Term Strategy Consists of a Flexible Path, Depot Centric, Architecture and the LEO ZBO depot and L2 Gateway are the first stepping stones

In the alternative lunar architecture, the L2 gateway/LEO ZBO depot is part of an elegant flexible path approach to economically provide
-  a stepping stone to longer duration asteroid missions--a stepping stone to Mars
-  a stepping stone to the lunar surface
-  increased flight rate vs lunar sorties, thereby providing a "commercial" market for propellant + LEO cargo/crew
-  develops and tests active GCR mitigation hardware, subscale first--a critical exp. facility increasing the flight rate
-  test ISRU telecommunications--conducted from earth if GCR protection is not in place
-  demonstrate in-space transport between LEO & L2 prop. depots with economical vs expedient trajectories
-  demonstrate common hardware for GCR protection, depots and ISRU
-  provides a stepping stone location for the economical depot centric architecture and SEP
-  study milli-g, Mars transient health strategies once demonstrated in LEO
-  provide cash for other NASA Space Technology Challenges
-  Mitigate risk by incrementally increasing the time the crew can spend BEO w/o protection from moon
-  prepares for an L2-asteroid for an eventual L2-Mars and beyond EP architecture, which may include a L2 depot

Most importantly, the L2 Gateway LEO ZBO depot meets all the criteria proposed by Squyres for NASA Exploration Plans forward

Squyres also provides rationale for the recommentations.

Quote from: Squyres

My key recommendations to this committee today are as follows:

• Affirm that Mars is and will continue to be NASA’s long-term goal for human exploration of space.

• At all future milestones on the road to Mars, direct the Agency to focus narrowly on activities that clearly serve the goal of landing humans on Mars, operating there, and returning them safely to Earth.

• Adopt cis-lunar space as the next milestone, whether ongoing studies show that it is possible to redirect a small asteroid there or not.

• Dictate no milestones beyond cis-lunar space without first assuring ample funding to achieve them.
« Last Edit: 07/26/2013 12:56 PM by muomega0 »

Offline Mark S

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #6 on: 06/03/2013 03:29 PM »
I chose Spudis/Lavoie too. Mainly because (A) It's a plan that someone spent more than 15 minutes thinking up, (B) it builds for the future, and (C) it's a good mixture of using current technology and driving technology development.

Reason (A) is significant in that there currently is no plan for NASA HSF what-so-ever. And no, hauling a 5m rock into lunar orbit for no particular reason other than "because we want to" doesn't count as a plan for me.

Reason (B) eliminates CxP's approach, which was "let's plant some more flags and get the heck out of here and on to Mars".

Reason (C) shows that the authors realized that the vehicles used are a means to an end, not the end in themselves. Although they do recognize that heavy lift would definitely be a great benefit to their plan.

Mark S.

Offline kkattula

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #7 on: 06/03/2013 07:34 PM »
None of the above.

Something similar in scale and schedule to Spudis/Lavoie, but I think they're building too many different types of landers, and I'm not sure about water depots.

Online Lar

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #8 on: 06/03/2013 08:13 PM »
Spudis/LaVoie as WHAT should be done. It's the most sustainable.

As I said in the predecessor thread that does not say HOW to do it. For that I favor ACES upper stages and DTAL landers. In an ideal world these would be launched on the cheapest launchers available. But would ULA work with SpaceX or  Blue Origin or whomever? I honestly don't know. Maybe license the tech since theoretically ULA are not primarily (at all :) ) in the lander business....
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Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #9 on: 06/04/2013 12:46 AM »
I think Spudis' plan is pretty good, but I like mine better, because it has fewer pieces.  Cain't select.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline KelvinZero

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #10 on: 06/09/2013 01:26 AM »
This is sort of embarrassing.. I voted Spudis/Lavoie and at the same time am wondering if it should be removed so an actual architecture can be voted on ;)

It is almost more of a clarification of the VSE than an architecture. Thing is, it sort of has to be on that list because it can't simply be implemented with one of the other approaches. It starts unmanned so it doesn't need any new launcher. It is best if it can be kept in the "Whatever we can scrounge up" permanently. Sure you could implement it with ACES or 70t SLS, so long as you have a plan to keep going even if these are withdrawn.

It is very low on concrete details, but no one disputes we have sufficient choice of launchers to begin unmanned landings right now.

ACES would probably have been my second vote. The Spudis/Lavoie plan points out a small problem with ACES though, at least to my mind. What if we went to the moon, started doing ISRU and then concluded methane from lunar volatiles was a much more convenient, safer fuel? This is just one reason why I think we should have a solid ISRU mission going before locking into an expensive architecture that may have a flaw we cannot fix without starting from scratch. Another probably even more important to start ISRU immediately is that it would avoid politicians suddenly getting confused about what it is all for when the money gets short, and they have to choose between achieving anything or their favorite launcher.

« Last Edit: 06/09/2013 01:49 AM by KelvinZero »

Offline KelvinZero

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #11 on: 06/09/2013 01:44 AM »
The number of "cannot reply" answers is also interesting. I think every poll should include that option.

I chose only options that were "on the table" in some sense, ie recent, with some professional study and some following. Perhaps I could of clarified this in the wording somehow. It was not "Is this the best possible architecture", but the best choice that could possibly be rallied behind.

Online Lar

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #12 on: 06/09/2013 03:30 AM »
Spudis/LaVoie outpolls[1] all the others combined except "can't decide". I think that's because this readership gets that it's not just about launchers and landers, it's about what to DO with them.

Would that the general populace got that. And that it's raining soup if you want it. Finally, that any kind of bucket will work, if you can just get it up there.

1 - as of this writing
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline Warren Platts

Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #13 on: 06/09/2013 07:11 PM »
Should be able to pick more than one. E.g., a combination of Golden Spike (for affordable human precursor missions) ULA/ACES (because of their heavy landers, big 3rd stages, and passively cooled depots), and Spudis and Lavoie (because of the emphasis on ISRU.) IMHO opinion, while each of them is a step in the right direction, to really get where we need to be, we need to take the best aspects of all three IMHO.
"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

Online Lar

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #14 on: 06/09/2013 07:31 PM »
Should be able to pick more than one. E.g., a combination of Golden Spike (for affordable human precursor missions) ULA/ACES (because of their heavy landers, big 3rd stages, and passively cooled depots), and Spudis and Lavoie (because of the emphasis on ISRU.) IMHO opinion, while each of them is a step in the right direction, to really get where we need to be, we need to take the best aspects of all three IMHO.

Yes, for sure!!! my point too!!! ...but the poll writer specified it has to be a published plan :) So get writing :)
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline spectre9

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #15 on: 06/09/2013 10:43 PM »
I'm voting Boeing plan.

It took me a while to come around to the idea of gateway and to have it taken away/forgotten about/swept under the carpet after finally warming to it was a kick in the guts.

Offline Warren Platts

Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #16 on: 06/10/2013 12:49 AM »
Should be able to pick more than one. E.g., a combination of Golden Spike (for affordable human precursor missions) ULA/ACES (because of their heavy landers, big 3rd stages, and passively cooled depots), and Spudis and Lavoie (because of the emphasis on ISRU.) IMHO opinion, while each of them is a step in the right direction, to really get where we need to be, we need to take the best aspects of all three IMHO.

Yes, for sure!!! my point too!!! ...but the poll writer specified it has to be a published plan :) So get writing :)

Well, of course the best architecture is the Platts Whipple Crater Gold Mine architecture. Am writing it up as we speak! ;)
"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 joek

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #17 on: 06/10/2013 12:57 AM »
Well, of course the best architecture is the Platts Whipple Crater Gold Mine architecture. Am writing it up as we speak! ;)
Cool!  Can't wait to see it!  Sounds like the perfect vehicle for an NSF article.

Online Lar

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #18 on: 06/10/2013 02:09 AM »
Well, of course the best architecture is the Platts Whipple Crater Gold Mine early ISRU and we all get rich architecture. Am writing it up as we speak! ;)

Fixed that for ya! (early ISRU because it seems key to your plans based on what I've seen of them elsewhere, and we all get rich because... well just because!)

Well, of course the best architecture is the Platts Whipple Crater Gold Mine architecture. Am writing it up as we speak! ;)
Cool!  Can't wait to see it!  Sounds like the perfect vehicle for an NSF article.

It would be an awesome article, but even better, a great VC presentation :)
« Last Edit: 06/10/2013 02:10 AM by Lar »
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline Andrew_W

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #19 on: 06/10/2013 03:42 AM »
Well, of course the best architecture is the Platts Whipple Crater Gold Mine architecture. Am writing it up as we speak! ;)
Cool!  Can't wait to see it!  Sounds like the perfect vehicle for an NSF article.

Is there a thread around here someplace for otherwise unpublished plans?
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Online Lar

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #20 on: 06/10/2013 04:00 AM »
Well, of course the best architecture is the Platts Whipple Crater Gold Mine architecture. Am writing it up as we speak! ;)
Cool!  Can't wait to see it!  Sounds like the perfect vehicle for an NSF article.

Is there a thread around here someplace for otherwise unpublished plans?

I've seen people start a thread for their plan and get some crowdsourced feedback. At least once since I started hanging out here recently. Maybe more in the past.
« Last Edit: 06/10/2013 04:02 AM by Lar »
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline RocketmanUS

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #21 on: 06/10/2013 04:45 AM »
Voted # 8 "Cannot select one of the above."

NASA to have all hardware though American commercial companies.
Gets commercial ready to take over latter.

1a ) propellants depots ( gas stations in space )
1b ) Lunar ISRU with Morpheus lander or like.
2 )   OTV ( Orbital Transfer Vehicle )
3 )   Reusable Lunar lander from LLO and EML1/2 capable. Fueled on Lunar
       surface, LLO, and EML1/2.
4 )   Build up propellant ISRU automated operations on the moon.
5 )   Launch crew and cargo to LEO.
       From LEO using OTV's to EML1/2 or LLO depending on the sortie
       need.

This would help for a sustainable future exploration. This would then set up for Mars, NEA, and beyond. The cost effective RLV to LEO would be also needed for sustainable NASA exploration and also commercial operations.

Why propellant depots ( gas stations )?
Allows us to use lower cost launch vehicles ( around the world ). HLV's don't see high enough flight rates to keep their cost down. If a HLV is grounded for a given period or it can't use it's launch site ( weather ) then there would most likely not be a back up provider unlike the smaller launchers.

Offline Andrew_W

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #22 on: 06/10/2013 05:20 AM »
Well, of course the best architecture is the Platts Whipple Crater Gold Mine architecture. Am writing it up as we speak! ;)
Cool!  Can't wait to see it!  Sounds like the perfect vehicle for an NSF article.

Is there a thread around here someplace for otherwise unpublished plans?

I've seen people start a thread for their plan and get some crowdsourced feedback. At least once since I started hanging out here recently. Maybe more in the past.

I was looking for a thread where people here can put down and compare their ideas, Warren's got a plan, John Fornaro says his is better than the plans listed above, I've got my ideas.

At the moment 23% vote "Cannot select one of the above", so what would these people select?
I confess that in 1901 I said to my brother Orville that man would not fly for fifty years.
Wilbur Wright

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #23 on: 06/10/2013 06:20 AM »
At the moment 23% vote "Cannot select one of the above", so what would these people select?

I was one of the ones who chose "Cannot select one of the above".  That's because I would go for a COTS/CRS-style program: have NASA determine the goals that must be met and then open it up to competitive bidding for firm fixed-price, milestone-based, pay-for-performance contracts with multiple companies.

Offline KelvinZero

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #24 on: 06/10/2013 09:04 AM »
Should be able to pick more than one. E.g., a combination of Golden Spike (for affordable human precursor missions) ULA/ACES (because of their heavy landers, big 3rd stages, and passively cooled depots), and Spudis and Lavoie (because of the emphasis on ISRU.) IMHO opinion, while each of them is a step in the right direction, to really get where we need to be, we need to take the best aspects of all three IMHO.

Sorry about that, yeah I should have.

There are some options to 'edit poll' but apparently not that one.

Never mind, the large number of "cannot vote" votes suggest it would be worth redoing the poll in the future, if we can figure out the right additional options to say cut that number in half.

Still.. Im happy to see discussion of named plans which was part of my goal.

Offline Warren Platts

Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #25 on: 06/10/2013 05:38 PM »
Well, of course the best architecture is the Platts Whipple Crater Gold Mine architecture. Am writing it up as we speak! ;)
Cool!  Can't wait to see it!  Sounds like the perfect vehicle for an NSF article.
It would be an awesome article, but even better, a great VC presentation :)

Sure, why not? Start my own power point company, and travel around the country giving spiffy presentations, schmooze with people in the space scene, raise just enough money to keep the tour going. It'd be better than having a real job! Only one problem--I'm not as good looking as Chris Lewicki! ;)
"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: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #26 on: 06/10/2013 06:41 PM »
The number of "cannot reply" answers is also interesting. I think every poll should include that option.

I chose only options that were "on the table" in some sense...

You see, young Paduan, but you do not comprehend.  The only ideas on the table are the ones "invented there".  They have been "pre-decisionally" rigorously examined, and have been put out for public consumption.

One is "free enough" to propose one's own approach, some of these companies have done, with their independent funding source.

If you're expecting your tax dollars to make a useful proposal to the OP, your expectations will not be met in this cultural milieu.

Quote from: Kelvin, in his previous post
What if we went to the moon, started doing ISRU and then concluded methane from lunar volatiles was a much more convenient, safer fuel?

Which is a valid question, but it in turn depends on an assay of the mineral content of those craters.

At the moment 23% vote "Cannot select one of the above", so what would these people select?

As was mentioned up-thread:  Those of us with the capacity for abstract thought are votin' for "yose truly":


Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline gbaikie

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #27 on: 06/11/2013 07:52 AM »
*If NASA were directed to return to the moon, how should they do it? *

I think NASA should be going to Mars.
I think NASA on longer term should be working towards providing
Earth with energy from Space.
I think NASA should encourage/begin a market of rocket fuel
and energy market in space.
And all the above is related to need of lowering the cost of going
into space.

I don't personally care too much about NASA manned Mars. I could get as excited if the destination was Mercury, so I am not a Mars fan- in my opinion biggest thing going for it is it seems to have public support.

Biggest problem of going to Mars is there is no viable plan of doing it,
and it will cost a lot of time and cost a lot of tax dollars.

Despite there not being what what I regard as a viable plan to do Manned
Mars, chances highly favor that lots of rocket fuel will be needed to go to Mars, and therefore fuel depots will be needed. And using fuel depots
isn't something NASA does currently.

So requirement for Manned Mars will almost certainly require fuel depots.
Fuel depots in addition to allowing one to go to Mars also enable going to
any other destinations. And most importantly, fuel depots are market for
rocket fuel in space.

It is only thru competitive markets that lower costs of going into space can be achieved. And as it seems that if we did not have a satellite market, the cost of getting into space would much higher than it is currently- without satellite market the robotic/orbital missions to other planets would not exist or be far more expensive [making them more unlikely to occur].

I think NASA should explore the Moon to determine whether there is minable water and I think to get to the Moon, NASA should use fuel depots. It seems to me that NASA should have a higher priority to explore the Moon then anywhere else, because by exploring the moon
NASA can lower the costs of getting into space. NASA can lower the costs by doing the exploration needed to determine whether there is minable lunar, and if there is minable water, this can be a new market in space.

With a new markets and competition, costs of getting into space will be lowered.
In near term the costs aren't going to lower because lunar rocket fuel is cheaper, but because lunar water can mined and sold at a profit.
Just as satellite can launched at cost low enough to make them viable- and the services are not too high for the market to bear.

Said differently if lunar rocket fuel can shipped to High Earth orbit for about the same price/cost as rocket fuel can be shipped from Earth, this isn't necessarily significantly affecting the price rocket fuel at High Earth orbit. If suppose rocket fuel at high Earth is $6000 per lb, lowering costs of getting into space isn't about lower this $6000 lb price.
It's bit silly, because we don't  even know what the price is or would be would be, so either $3000 to $9000 is not what important about lower costs to get into space.
But rather you have investment money which getting a return on investment, and what follows is more investment dollars going into it or related activity.
You have trajectory of increasing investments and competition seeking ways to lower costs and gaining more market share.

Which is exactly what you would NOT have if NASA were mining lunar water. NASA mining lunar water is waste of money and time.

If NASA goes to Mars [or Mercury, if sudden shift in public opinion] then NASA could be a potential buyer for lunar rocket fuel. So NASA going to Mars, can be part of lowering the costs of getting into space. They can be one customer. In a way the fact that doing Mars will take decades is
good aspect in terms of lowering costs. And also a good thing because NASA could be enabled to spend enough time to adequately explore Mars.

Settlements in space are not too important- but settlements would indication that there is market activity in space and settlement are a market. Settlements are good symptom- rather than causal.
Some define settlement as raising children somewhere. I don't there is a need to raise children somewhere to be a settlement. It will occur eventually but we could decades of what I would call settlements which lack any children being born there.
Where children are born, isn't something we need to plan on.
Instead the focus should be lower costs to get to places like Mars.
Where children maybe born, or a pregnant martian woman might want to return to Earth to have a child. One woman might choose to stay on Mars and other woman might want to leave Mars.
Some people like raising children in the country than the city. Others might want to do the opposite. Maybe there be nursery and kindergarten on an artificial gravity settlement- not really an issue.
But there is no shortage of energy in space, so eventually, getting to or from Mars could as easy as moving to another town.
It's non-issue in the long term.

So my lunar architecture is go the Moon with robots and then crew, find minable water. Leave the Moon, then go to Mars.
The question of whether after this NASA Lunar exploration, it will be commercially mined, is question best answered once the Moon has been explored.
« Last Edit: 06/11/2013 08:37 AM by gbaikie »

Offline Spaniard

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #28 on: 06/11/2013 08:25 AM »
My choice is to industrialize space massively.

http://data.spaceappschallenge.org/aerospace.pdf

Because there is reasons to think that launch costs won't lower enough.
But robotics advanced without doubt. So, if we want real colonization, our best choice is to use local resources massively.
The Moon offer the best path for this, because we could use telepresence on near real time.
If we want a manned program, perhaps some missions to Moon and Mars coulb be build on a Apollo or Mars Direct style. But full colonization can not be done with this approach.

So... if budget allows it, two parallel programs. Massive robotics to the Moon, and austere manned program to Moon and Mars.

If we suffer budget constraints, massive robotics only (and manned to LEO, to only maintain the manned programs "frozen") , because the capacity of space manufacturing will flourish to some point enough to drop the costs of supplies beyond LEO, to drop the costs of the manned programs.

A only manned program would lead inevitably to a dead end by costs overruns.

But massive robotics need a different approach that now we have. A lot of similar machines deliveried on the same place oriented to industrialization, not exploration.

The document I linked at first is the basic idea.

Offline gbaikie

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #29 on: 06/11/2013 11:03 PM »
My choice is to industrialize space massively

http://data.spaceappschallenge.org/aerospace.pdf

Because there is reasons to think that launch costs won't lower enough.
But robotics advanced without doubt. So, if we want real colonization, our best choice is to use local resources massively.
The Moon offer the best path for this, because we could use telepresence on near real time.
If we want a manned program, perhaps some missions to Moon and Mars coulb be build on a Apollo or Mars Direct style. But full colonization can not be done with this approach.

It seems to me that it's NASA task to explore space so that any industrialization of space can occur [sooner]. And that industrialization of space will be related energy production in space- as industrialization of Earth is also dependent upon energy production.
I believe energy production in space will related to current energy demands in space- which are largely related to chemical energy of rocket fuel.
In our solar system we have lots of water and lots of solar energy and
water is relatively easy to mine.
It seems that in comparison to Earth's use of energy, if there was tiny amount energy available in Space- such as to equal 100 to 1000 tons of rocket fuel per year this would significantly effect the costs of getting into space.
Considering such small quantities, and the Moon possibly having millions of tons of minable water with a gross worth of hundred billions of dollar.
The Moon seems like good location as beginning of the industrialization of the space environment.

On Earth 1 million ton of water is insignificant- a small lake, a swamp, amount water flowing down a river in one day. A cubic km of water is
a billion tons. We live on water planet with massive amount of water falls from the sky and even areas which have a drought of water, water is relatively cheap commodity.
There is a lot of water on Earth, very little on the Moon, and though Mars has hundreds of times more water than the Moon, Mars is very parched planet in comparison to Earth. But of the space rocks inside Jupiter's orbit, there is probably more water than all the oceans of Earth- and in our entire solar system thousands of Earth oceans of water.

So probably enough water on the Moon for the beginning of a industrial
process which result in the cost of getting into space being expensive
but at a price range which the middle class could afford. So access to space by middle class, instead space being accessible by billionaires and governments.

So NASA job is not to industrialize space. NASA job is to explore space
in such a manner that it will lead to industrialization of space. Or NASA's
job is to do things which develop markets in space which lead to an ever
increasing level of industrialization- or said differently, an ever increasing production of energy in space.

So exploring the Moon to determine if and where there is minable water is
something which is NASA's duty to do. As finding minable water, provides an opportunity for this water to be mined and sold as rocket fuel to anyone who needs it.
Since the Moon is close to Earth, it seems teleoperation will be used as part of NASA exploration of the Moon, and for the steps towards increasing levels of industrialization of the Moon. Which would begin with mostly, being about making easier to get to the Moon.

What draws into development in regions on Earth is access to enough electrical energy and at a reasonable cost. With Moon if one gets price of electrical power as low, so it's only about 10 times the typical electrical costs on Earth, this will significantly increase the access to the Moon.

Quote
So... if budget allows it, two parallel programs. Massive robotics to the Moon, and austere manned program to Moon and Mars.
When talking about NASA and budget of +15 billion dollars per year, austere programs are not so much attempts estimate costs as it has to
with years that NASA is engaged in doing it.
So a major lunar robotic program prior to and leading to the Manned Lunar program. And from start to finish of both lunar robotic and Manned finished within a decade {so roughly 1/2 total money 75% years being robotic or more than "normal" weighed in robotics. And also Mars might be around 1/2 and 1/2}.

Edit: Fuel depots could/should be considered as mostly robotic- if add in fuel depots in terms of time of lunar program- then about 15 year in total and depots should be started now, as in started yesterday.
So, 2013 + 15, by 2028, NASA being done with it's lunar exploration program- or sooner.
PS: if one has a major robotic program- fuel depots would be more easily seen as part of robotic program. You use fuel depots for robotic as well as manned- and of having such a thing as manned fuel depot is not the direction to go in [it's like imagining Manned GEO satellites].


Mars is much further away than the Moon. It has limited times in which anything can sent there. And compared to the lunar polar region, vast amount of area to explore. Or all this adds up to requiring more time to explore Mars.
So an idea of exploring Mars within a decade of time, just means flags and footprint- mostly a stunt. With very little exploration done per total dollar spent.
So less than 10 years is mostly a waste of money and time.
So if going to explore Mars, it should be something done over decades and it will be expensive- more expensive than any other NASA program, and that includes the Shuttle program.

« Last Edit: 06/12/2013 09:31 AM by gbaikie »

Offline Rhyshaelkan

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #30 on: 07/06/2013 07:48 PM »
In the end I voted for Spudis & Lavoie. The plan is great and flexible. The only issue I have with it is it is based on a political system with a short shelf-life.

While no NGO or private group has stepped up yet, I see them as the true future for making mankind an extraterrestrial species.


In the end it comes down to ISRU. Using space resources for space needs. Instead of launching everything from Earth. Build industry in space to manufacture what you need from space resources. However you cannot put the cart before the horse. So you need a step by step plan. This is handily done with the Spudis & Lavoie plan.
I am not a professional. Just a rational amateur dreaming of mankind exploiting the universe.

Offline HappyMartian

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #31 on: 07/07/2013 10:59 AM »
I chose Spudis and Lavoie, as it at least builds something that makes future spaceflight better.



Amen!
"The Moon is the most accessible destination for realizing commercial, exploration and scientific objectives beyond low Earth orbit." - LEAG

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #32 on: 07/07/2013 01:14 PM »
If NASA goes to Mars [or Mercury, if sudden shift in public opinion] ...

Good point.  As I've mentioned, the public needs to know if the fish on Mercury contain Earth.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline rusty

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #33 on: 07/08/2013 01:00 PM »
Cannot select one. If there was one as a starting point, it would be --

Early Lunar Access: LEO rendezvous followed by direct to surface landing of equipment and Hab followed by manned missions. Establishes a reusable Lunar Base camp, but Crew Vehicle is single use.

-- except I would include a LLO depot (highly elliptical, precessing polar orbit) and reusable lander, similar to --

Boeing: EML2 or HLO Station and Depot with fully reusable Lander.

-- Unmanned supplies, fuel and surface equipment would be brought to the depot from LEO via solar electric and transported to the surface using the same lander devoid of habitat module. At a later date and at polar locations in situ production begins, similar to --

Spudis and Lavoie: Establish LEO Depot. Begin teleoperated robotic mining, refining and storage operation near the poles for water and propellant. Lunar Base landed and robotically assembled. Manned missions follow to determine feasibility of increasing production, agriculture, construction and/or production using local materials.

-- This includes eventually using the same solar tugs that carry supplies to LLO, to transport propellant to LEO for manned missions.

=======================================================

Of the plans I consider nonviable, I'd group together the flags and footprints --

Constellation: Apollo Grande repeated one and done missions.
DIRECT: Apollo Nuevo essentially the same as Constellation.
Golden Spike: Apollo Pico using LLO rendezvous of 2man Capsule and Lander.

-- and completely dismiss the space industry welfare without a mission --

ACES: Two Depots in LEO and at EML2 with regular, multiple fuel transfers. Reusable surface/ascent Hab parked at EML2, but single use Lander. Significant waste through extra systems (engines, tanks, etc) and low efficiency design.

Offline rusty

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #34 on: 07/09/2013 05:24 AM »
FYI: I went into greater detail, including design, masses and delta-V of my above lunar architecture over a year ago on page20 of the Altair Alternatives thread.
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=19189.0

It received no responses other than the predictable "EML/Gateway or bust", but I still believe it, including LLO staging and full reuse, is not only best, but only option for sustainable Lunar presence.

Offline KelvinZero

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #35 on: 07/09/2013 08:06 AM »
Hi Rusty,
Here is a link to your first post on page 20. (you can can r-click a message title and select "copy link address", then paste it)
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=19189.msg874979#msg874979

Offline ciscosdad

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #36 on: 07/09/2013 11:09 PM »
I Selected option 8.
(I'd actually be happy if they just adopted ANY of them).
I think they should contact Elon and tell him and Golden Spike to implement a program. Then just leave them to it (after we tell congress to butt out..)


Yeah I know. Never going to happen.




Offline HappyMartian

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #37 on: 07/10/2013 05:19 AM »
I Selected option 8.
(I'd actually be happy if they just adopted ANY of them).
I think they should contact Elon and tell him and Golden Spike to implement a program. Then just leave them to it (after we tell congress to butt out..)


Yeah I know. Never going to happen.


"Never"?

Congress controls the money and has already politely told the BTDT anti-Moon President "to butt out.."

See: National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2010 also known as PUBLIC LAW 111–267—OCT. 11, 2010
At: http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/649377main_PL_111-267.pdf.

Congress has in the past seen the Moon as valuable for the development of cislunar space and has put that perspective into American law. Elon and Golden Spike should be very busy if all of cislunar space is developed as per public law. We are a nation that follows the law, aren't we?

The President makes speeches but doesn't control the money.

Mars is far away and far more costly than international Lunar missions. The Moon is where we are going, one way or another. 
"The Moon is the most accessible destination for realizing commercial, exploration and scientific objectives beyond low Earth orbit." - LEAG

Offline rusty

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #38 on: 07/11/2013 11:22 AM »
Hi Rusty, Here is a link to your first post on page 20.
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=19189.msg874979#msg874979

Thanks for that, but a few things should be pointed out.
a) There's two weeks of posts missing predating mine, notable by me quoting one from Clongton that no longer exists. Another was my own mentioning polar LLO is accessible all the time, not every two weeks, and the link to stable orbits.
b) It's been a year and I'm a tinkerer, so the masses and delta-v's do not apply to my current iteration.

b1) As mentioned above, I've gone to an elliptical orbit to reduce inclination change delta-v / increase possible inclination change. From either the 86 or 76 degree inclination proposed both poles, the Apollo 15 site and equatorial far side remain accessible, but much more of the surface as well now.
b2) I've increased the mass and function of the tunnel airlock incorporated into the lander. While before it was for docking and emergency ascent, now it can be used regularly for descent and ascent allowing habs to be left on the surface and retrieved later.

Other than that the design remains the same including the three top-mounted, removable tanks containing +15mt propellant total and the removable hab or cargo hung below. As the tanks are mostly reused, the ability to disconnect the hab and return with only one functional tank is a major safety benefit, as well as scaling the number of tanks to sortie.
« Last Edit: 07/11/2013 11:25 AM by rusty »

Offline floss

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #39 on: 07/15/2013 10:56 AM »
How does placing three Bigalo BA 2100 at L1 and renting out space to satellite maintenance companies , fuel depot  companies and foreign states .

A cots style program to provide supplies . And leave the lunar lander till much later.

Offline HappyMartian

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #40 on: 07/15/2013 11:34 AM »
How does placing three Bigalo BA 2100 at L1 and renting out space to satellite maintenance companies , fuel depot  companies and foreign states .

A cots style program to provide supplies . And leave the lunar lander till much later.


That's not really a Best NASA lunar architecture for today and you might have trouble convincing NASA Lunar mission planners of its long-term utility. The President might buy into L1, but then again he'd most likely buy into anything that doesn't involve NASA human missions to the Lunar surface, and that anything might even include cows jumping over a captured small NEO. Maybe he just doesn't like the Moon.

According to NASA mission designers equivalent landing site access and anytime abort conditions could be met by rendezvous missions in LLO with less propulsive delta-V and lower overall Initial Mass in Low Earth Orbit (IMLEO) than the L1 basing which is inferior to the LOR mission mode for Lunar missions.

But why listen to NASA mission designers, right?
"The Moon is the most accessible destination for realizing commercial, exploration and scientific objectives beyond low Earth orbit." - LEAG

Offline floss

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #41 on: 07/15/2013 11:51 AM »
How does placing three Bigalo BA 2100 at L1 and renting out space to satellite maintenance companies , fuel depot  companies and foreign states .

A cots style program to provide supplies . And leave the lunar lander till much later.




That's not really a Best NASA lunar architecture for today and you might have trouble convincing NASA Lunar mission planners of its long-term utility. The President might buy into L1, but then again he'd most likely buy into anything that doesn't involve NASA human missions to the Lunar surface, and that anything might even include cows jumping over a captured small NEO. Maybe he just doesn't like the Moon.

According to NASA mission designers equivalent landing site access and anytime abort conditions could be met by rendezvous missions in LLO with less propulsive delta-V and lower overall Initial Mass in Low Earth Orbit (IMLEO) than the L1 basing which is inferior to the LOR mission mode for Lunar missions.

But why listen to NASA mission designers, right?


Yup but NASA have a limited objectives the more users the better anywhere  else there will only be NASA .Remember that the ISS would be preparing for deorbit by now if only the US was running it .It is the international partners that kept that station flying .
« Last Edit: 07/15/2013 11:51 AM by floss »

Offline RocketmanUS

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #42 on: 07/15/2013 05:58 PM »
How does placing three Bigalo BA 2100 at L1 and renting out space to satellite maintenance companies , fuel depot  companies and foreign states .

A cots style program to provide supplies . And leave the lunar lander till much later.




That's not really a Best NASA lunar architecture for today and you might have trouble convincing NASA Lunar mission planners of its long-term utility. The President might buy into L1, but then again he'd most likely buy into anything that doesn't involve NASA human missions to the Lunar surface, and that anything might even include cows jumping over a captured small NEO. Maybe he just doesn't like the Moon.

According to NASA mission designers equivalent landing site access and anytime abort conditions could be met by rendezvous missions in LLO with less propulsive delta-V and lower overall Initial Mass in Low Earth Orbit (IMLEO) than the L1 basing which is inferior to the LOR mission mode for Lunar missions.

But why listen to NASA mission designers, right?


Yup but NASA have a limited objectives the more users the better anywhere  else there will only be NASA .Remember that the ISS would be preparing for deorbit by now if only the US was running it .It is the international partners that kept that station flying .
This is were the t/Space CEV concept come in. All of it can be launched on today's world launch vehicles. With an HLV the needed propellants could be launched in one launch when we get an HLV.

With refueling in Lunar orbit before landing or surface refueling they can have anytime return.

With some modifications large mass and volume payloads can be sent to the Lunar surface.

The station to service these CEV's ( OTV's ) is kept in LEO were we already have much experience with crew working in for months at a time. So no issues with having crew out at EML1/2 or it's added cost for Lunar landings. 

Offline floss

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #43 on: 07/15/2013 11:00 PM »
Yup but the problem is a hostile government .A way to get to the moon with as many ventured interests as possible is the only way to go.

Offline CNYMike

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #44 on: 07/18/2013 10:26 PM »
I voted for SLS because it's in the works now and could be used in lunar missions without major disruption. 
"I am not A big fat panda.  I am THE big fat panda." -- Po, KUNG FU PANDA

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Offline HappyMartian

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #45 on: 07/19/2013 07:20 AM »
Yup but the problem is a hostile government .A way to get to the moon with as many ventured interests as possible is the only way to go.


Yep. 'Stack' the Lunar mission lander, Orion, and drop tanks near the ISS.
"The Moon is the most accessible destination for realizing commercial, exploration and scientific objectives beyond low Earth orbit." - LEAG

Offline floss

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #46 on: 07/19/2013 10:52 AM »
Yup but the problem is a hostile government .A way to get to the moon with as many ventured interests as possible is the only way to go.


Yep. 'Stack' the Lunar mission lander, Orion, and drop tanks near the ISS.

Damn right ISS has one  great value you can get to it from many launch sites, open a commercial contract for the fuel to the ISS and just  go direct to the moon use what we have and dont reinvent the wheel.

Offline HappyMartian

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #47 on: 07/21/2013 10:00 AM »
Yup but the problem is a hostile government .A way to get to the moon with as many ventured interests as possible is the only way to go.


Yep. 'Stack' the Lunar mission lander, Orion, and drop tanks near the ISS.

Damn right ISS has one  great value you can get to it from many launch sites, open a commercial contract for the fuel to the ISS and just  go direct to the moon use what we have and dont reinvent the wheel.


Use Lander's engines and big drop tanks for Earth departure and low Lunar orbit insertion.

See:

1. Advanced Common Evolved Stage   Wikipedia
At: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Common_Evolved_Stage

2. Robust Lunar Exploration Using an Efficient Lunar Lander Derived from Existing Upper Stages    AIAA 2009-6566   By Bernard F. Kutter, Frank Zegler, Jon Barr, Tim Bulk, and Brian Pitchford    United Launch Alliance   Denver, CO
"The Moon is the most accessible destination for realizing commercial, exploration and scientific objectives beyond low Earth orbit." - LEAG

Offline floss

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #48 on: 07/21/2013 10:51 AM »
Perfect now were to find the cash we will need a pro space US president  who can sell the idea to the US senate and congress .

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #49 on: 07/21/2013 09:42 PM »
Perfect now were to find the cash we will need a pro space US president  who can sell the idea to the US senate and congress .
Can a president get elected or reelected if they choose to spend their political capital on space? Obama is a lightning rod. Because he's black and not Republican and spent a lot of his political capital getting healthcare reform pushed through an oppositional Congress. The next president will probably be spending their political capital on something else other than space. Even Kennedy didn't care about space for its own sake.
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 floss

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #50 on: 07/21/2013 10:04 PM »
Perfect now were to find the cash we will need a pro space US president  who can sell the idea to the US senate and congress .
Can a president get elected or reelected if they choose to spend their political capital on space? Obama is a lightning rod. Because he's black and not Republican and spent a lot of his political capital getting healthcare reform pushed through an oppositional Congress. The next president will probably be spending their political capital on something else other than space. Even Kennedy didn't care about space for its own sake.

True maybe if one of the Kelly brothers takes up office in the senate and Chelsey Clinton as first female president .There might be a chance .The more pro space politicians the better.

Offline HappyMartian

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #51 on: 08/10/2013 02:55 AM »
...

The more pro space politicians the better.

Especially in Congress. Inattentative Presidents can push very goofy space policies. Presidents, and their foolish and wise policies, come and go like the wind.

Folks in Congress and their staff can be around for a long time. Congress controls NASA's money. The focus for devising the Best NASA lunar architecture for today needs to be on having conversations about the many benefits of Lunar ISRU with members of Congress and the individuals on their staff.

Tapping the Moon's water, and other types of Lunar resources, is quite doable and what our international space explorations partners want.

Since a nuclear powered Curiosity Rover is widely accepted as doing great exploration work on Mars, then there doesn't seem to be any logical reason that nuclear powered rovers, ISRU units, and nuclear hydrogen/water/CO2 rocket engines on a universal horizontal Lander for the Moon, Phobos, Mars, and Ceres should be a big issue.

Exploring beyond low Earth orbit without nuclear power and ISRU is doable but quite costly.

If you really want to explore space you fully use nuclear power, ISRU, and other advanced technology. Solar power is also quite useful, but it currently does have some real limits and is not the answer for everything we need to do.

Be willing to point out to the folks in Congress and other politicians that Russia, China, Japan, India, Europe, Iran, North Korea, and many other places are quite capable of developing and using nuclear powered rocket technology to develop the resources of the Moon and Mars.

Be blunt in letting folks know that if America continues to have a confused mixed message, wandering, anti-Moon, and basically paralyzed beyond low Earth orbit human space exploration plan, other nations will correctly decide it is in their best interest to proceed with human beyond low Earth orbit exploration missions without us.

Leaders lead or they get left behind. That is just the way it is. 

In talking with politicians and many other folks it may be useful to quote Gbaikie's comment of 06/01/2013:

"It simply beyond stupid to imagine that the Moon has been explored to any great degree. So the reason to do a low cost manned lunar program is to get beyond Earth."

The ISS, SLS, and Orion spacecraft represent a wise American investment in reducing the risks of human space exploration.

For humans to afford Lunar ISRU and greatly expand space exploration beyond low Earth orbit, NASA needs to be able to use all of our best management, businesses, international relations, robots, ISRU options, forms of nuclear power, high and low technology, and other assets in cooperating with all the nations on our planet. That is how we will devise the Best NASA lunar architecture for today and the Best NASA Solar System human spaceflight architecture for tomorrow.


Edited. 
« Last Edit: 08/10/2013 08:50 AM by HappyMartian »
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Offline KelvinZero

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #52 on: 08/10/2013 03:57 AM »
Hmm.. the poll outcome seems to have changed since I last checked. Boeing is now ahead of ACES.

HM, Obama's plan included a lunar precursor budget, including an ISRU package that would have happened during his term.

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #53 on: 08/10/2013 08:06 AM »
Hmm.. the poll outcome seems to have changed since I last checked. Boeing is now ahead of ACES.

HM, Obama's plan included a lunar precursor budget, including an ISRU package that would have happened during his term.




KelvinZero, why spend scarce money on robotic Lunar missions when, "There’s a lot more of space to explore, and a lot more to learn when we do"?

Maybe you don't remember what his predecessor said,

"Also, the moon is home to abundant resources. Its soil contains raw materials that might be harvested and processed into rocket fuel or breathable air. We can use our time on the moon to develop and test new approaches and technologies and systems that will allow us to function in other, more challenging environments. The moon is a logical step toward further progress and achievement."

From: President Bush Announces New Vision for Space Exploration Program  Remarks by the President on U.S. Space Policy   January 14, 2004  At: http://history.nasa.gov/Bush%20SEP.htm



And President Obama's anti-Moon 'Space exploration Plan' was noted here:

"Now, I understand that some believe that we should attempt a return to the surface of the Moon first, as previously planned. But I just have to say pretty bluntly here: We’ve been there before. Buzz has been there. There’s a lot more of space to explore, and a lot more to learn when we do. So I believe it’s more important to ramp up our capabilities to reach -- and operate at -- a series of increasingly demanding targets, while advancing our technological capabilities with each step forward."

REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT ON SPACE EXPLORATION IN THE 21ST CENTURY   April 15, 2010   John F. Kennedy Space Center Merritt Island, Florida   
At: http://www.nasa.gov/news/media/trans/obama_ksc_trans.html


Perhaps Congress wants American astronauts to land on the Moon and has some say about America's space plans.

Perhaps our international space exploration partners have the final say in what and where they are willing to invest their scarce space budgets.

Perhaps the President's anti-Moon speech implied that after we have gone six times to Mars there would be no need to continue to go to Mars.

Perhaps the President's anti-Moon speech implied that after we have gone six times to Ceres there would be no need for more missions to Ceres.

Perhaps the President's space speech has become largely ignored because Congress, whose members have listened many times to a lot more testimony from experts on space exploration than the President has, subsequently insisted on America building the SLS Moon rocket and the Orion Moon spaceship.

Perhaps, if a President ignores a much researched logical step by step program to reduce the many risks in developing America's beyond low Earth space exploration capabilities and says things that don't make much logical sense about human space exploration, no one should listen to what he or she says. After all, everyone makes foolish mistakes at one time or another.

Partisan Presidential overreach and ignoring Congress can create political problems for a President.

The Best NASA lunar architecture for today is really not a part of the President's odd political agenda because he, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, and NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver have made it quite clear they don't want any of NASA's staff making any real plans about America going back to the Lunar surface and using the Moon's "abundant resources" to reduce the costs and risks of future human beyond low Earth space exploration.

And yes KelvinZero, I'm just as disappointed about NASA's complete lack of logical and effective planning for beyond low Earth human spaceflight as you are.

So I post my own limited ideas while strongly wishing that instead I was smiling while reading an article by Chris Bergin about how NASA was planning to lead international human and robotic missions to tap the Moon's resources and use those many resources for enabling far more distant voyages.

Such is life.


Edited.   
« Last Edit: 08/12/2013 02:23 PM by HappyMartian »
"The Moon is the most accessible destination for realizing commercial, exploration and scientific objectives beyond low Earth orbit." - LEAG

Offline HappyMartian

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #54 on: 08/10/2013 09:33 AM »
Hmm.. the poll outcome seems to have changed since I last checked. Boeing is now ahead of ACES.


Base the Boeing plan in a stable frozen low Lunar orbit and it may be useful.

L1 and L2 add unneeded risk, complexity, costs, delta-v, radiation, and mission length to Lunar exploration plans. Compare Boeing's loss of mission and loss of crew numbers with those of Constellation and maybe you'll realize that Constellation was a pretty good way to get to the Moon.

We are posting about the Best NASA lunar architecture for today, right? Maybe considering the lowest risk and cost is a smart idea if you don't want to see NASA BLEO human spaceflight shut down for 5 decades.

Maybe some folks just have Mars fever and don't really care about the risks on Lunar missions, but Presidents don't like to have NASA astronauts in trouble or die during their shift.


"According to Logsdon, Nixon had been 'traumatized' by the near-tragic accident of Apollo 13, which turned him away from the idea of return trips to the Moon."

From: Nixon Legacy: Space Exploration as "Normal" Part of National Life
At: http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/nixon-legacy-space-exploration-as-normal-part-of-national-life



The Constellation Program wasn't perfect, but if we want Congressional and Presidential support through good times and bad times we had best have loss of mission and loss of crew numbers equal to what they were aiming for with the Constellation Program. Otherwise, our Best NASA lunar architecture for today is simply setting NASA up for failure and is really about Mars or bust. And since both the Moon and Mars are really difficult, bust is what we'll most likely get.


Edited.
« Last Edit: 08/16/2013 12:20 PM by HappyMartian »
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Offline KelvinZero

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #55 on: 08/10/2013 09:54 AM »
Thank you HM, that post was on topic and in my opinion is a totally valid point of view.

Offline Archibald

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #56 on: 08/10/2013 01:24 PM »
HappyMartian, master of trolling, an one hell of a broken record.

Quote
L1 and L2 add unneeded risk, complexity, costs, delta-v, radiation, and mission length to Lunar exploration plans. Compare Boeing's loss of mission and loss of crew numbers with those of Constellation and maybe you'll realize that Constellation was a pretty good way to get to the Moon.

your thinking is a frozen as the lunar orbits you mention over and over and over and over.

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=28380.msg1033169#msg1033169

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=23160.msg1005011#msg1005011

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=1337.msg997897#msg997897

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=19189.msg994098#msg994098

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=30465.msg1003084#msg1003084

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=30806.msg1001384#msg1001384

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=15735.msg994793#msg994793

Bollocks, bollocks and more bollocks: why is it so hard for you to understand that L1 / L2 (unlike the frozen lunar orbits) offers anytime access without a fuel guzzling, huge plane change ?
 
If only you red the first page of that thread instead of TROLLING it...
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=1337.0

Quote
One of the key points made by Farquhar, and reinforced in the ESAS report, and understood by Apollo planners, is when you go to a "global-access" strategy on the Moon, lunar-orbit rendezvous loses a great deal of its advantages, because of the requirements for plane change for rendezvous and/or trans-Earth injection.  You'll note in the ESAS report that they have to carry ~1400 m/s of DV for plane change.  That's a lot more than lunar-orbit insertion (~900 m/s) or trans-Earth injection (~900 m/s).

But of your don't care, because that doesn't fit your ISRU silly agenda.
...you have been found guilty by the elders of the forum of a (imaginary) vendetta against Saint Elon - BLAAASPHEMER !

Offline floss

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #57 on: 08/10/2013 05:15 PM »
To have any chance of success any lunar mission must go on a single launch all ISRU, and fuel depots  can come after, getting booths on the surface is the goal .


Offline HappyMartian

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #58 on: 08/10/2013 05:20 PM »
Please note:

"Recent studies performed by NASA mission designers concluded that equivalent landing site access and 'anytime abort' conditions could be met by rendezvous missions in LLO with less propulsive delta-V and lower overall Initial Mass in Low Earth Orbit (IMLEO). If used only as a node for lunar missions, the L1 Earth-Moon LPR is inferior to the LOR mission mode."

From: National Exploration Systems Architecture Study 1. Executive Summary Pages 14 and 15


"The single-launch mission option scored the highest reliability overall, owing mainly to it requiring only a single launch. Of the missions that provide the full lunar landing site access and return capabilities, EOR–LOR 1.5-launch modes were nearly equal to the single-launch option. Specifically, the EOR–LOR 1.5-launch option using the LOX/hydrogen lander descent stage engines scored the lowest P(LOM) among the full-up mission options. Interestingly, this same mission mode and propulsion technology combination scored the lowest P(LOC) as well."

From: National Exploration Systems Architecture Study 1. Executive Summary Page 21


Orion/Altair would have used low Lunar orbit, not L1 or L2.

Apollo used low Lunar orbit, not L1 or L2.

It would be interesting if anyone could show some real numbers that prove the National Exploration Systems Architecture Study was wrong and that L1 or L2 based human lunar surface missions have lower loss of mission and lower loss of crew numbers than the low Lunar orbit based Orion/Altair missions. 
"The Moon is the most accessible destination for realizing commercial, exploration and scientific objectives beyond low Earth orbit." - LEAG

Offline floss

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #59 on: 08/10/2013 05:53 PM »
Cheapest moon mission straight to lunar surface one way .No rendezvous needed send the return vehicle ahead first and land beside it .An inflatable with an airlock at the base and an inflatable heat shield on top  . 

Falcon heavy , sls block 1 or up rated delta can launch this the more launchers the better .
Round about 75 tons to leo should be enough .

Offline HappyMartian

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #60 on: 08/11/2013 04:13 PM »
Cheapest moon mission straight to lunar surface one way .No rendezvous needed send the return vehicle ahead first and land beside it .An inflatable with an airlock at the base and an inflatable heat shield on top  . 

Falcon heavy , sls block 1 or up rated delta can launch this the more launchers the better .
Round about 75 tons to leo should be enough .



Having significant delta-v and other potentially useful emergency options aboard the Lander that travels docked to the Orion is considered an important risk reduction feature. Remember Apollo 13.

A lightweight and efficient horizontal single stage Lander is quite doable if you stage from low Lunar orbit. There are several different and convenient stable low Lunar orbits that Farquhar was probably unaware of when he pushed the idea of L2.

Some L1 or L2 supporters will get real annoyed with the idea of the Orion and Lander, or even a propellant tanker, in a stable low polar Lunar orbit because they really badly want Mars missions and they may refuse to accept the various real disadvantages of unstable L1 and L2 orbit based Lunar missions. Such is life. L1 or L2, if useful for Mars, will be used later. However, there may be many useful orbits for staging Mars missions.

Stack Lunar missions at the ISS and, as you previously noted, all the Earth's major launch sites can potentially contribute to the various types of Moon missions. Remember that international cargo flights will also be important. Hopefully we'll have Landers of various sizes.

For the big picture, note Hernalt's excellent reference today to:

Moon, Mars, or Asteroids, Which is the Best Destination for Solar System Development? Dennis Wingo June 19, 2013
http://spaceref.com/exploration/moon-mars-or-asteroids-which-is-the-best-destination-for-solar-systemdevelopment.html


Edited.
     
« Last Edit: 08/11/2013 04:15 PM by HappyMartian »
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Offline floss

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #61 on: 08/11/2013 04:44 PM »
Cheapest moon mission straight to lunar surface one way .No rendezvous needed send the return vehicle ahead first and land beside it .An inflatable with an airlock at the base and an inflatable heat shield on top  . 

Falcon heavy , sls block 1 or up rated delta can launch this the more launchers the better .
Round about 75 tons to leo should be enough .



Having significant delta-v and other potentially useful emergency options aboard the Lander that travels docked to the Orion is considered an important risk reduction feature. Remember Apollo 13.

A lightweight and efficient horizontal single stage Lander is quite doable if you stage from low Lunar orbit. There are several different and convenient stable low Lunar orbits that Farquhar was probably unaware of when he pushed the idea of L2.

Some L1 or L2 supporters will get real annoyed with the idea of the Orion and Lander, or even a propellant tanker, in a stable low polar Lunar orbit because they really badly want Mars missions and they may refuse to accept the various real disadvantages of unstable L1 and L2 orbit based Lunar missions. Such is life. L1 or L2, if useful for Mars, will be used later. However, there may be many useful orbits for staging Mars missions.

Stack Lunar missions at the ISS and, as you previously noted, all the Earth's major launch sites can potentially contribute to the various types of Moon missions. Remember that international cargo flights will also be important. Hopefully we'll have Landers of various sizes.

For the big picture, note Hernalt's excellent reference today to:

Moon, Mars, or Asteroids, Which is the Best Destination for Solar System Development? Dennis Wingo June 19, 2013
http://spaceref.com/exploration/moon-mars-or-asteroids-which-is-the-best-destination-for-solar-systemdevelopment.html


Edited.



     

Total agreement now how to fund lunar development is now the problem .
« Last Edit: 08/11/2013 04:54 PM by floss »

Offline HappyMartian

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #62 on: 08/16/2013 11:35 AM »
...

Total agreement now how to fund lunar development is now the problem .


It could be useful to look for leaders and companies that actually like to use words such as 'Lunar orbit' and 'Moon'. 

"Athena II can lift up to 3,775 lbs. (1,712 kg) to low Earth orbit. Utilizing a 92-inch diameter payload fairing, the vehicle accommodates a wide range of satellites and missions designed to launch government defense and civil related orbital satellites, including a proven capability to launch satellites into lunar orbit."

From: Athena 
At: http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/products/athena.html


Also, a moderately sized solar powered reusable space tug that uses ion thrusters, and xenon propellant that gives a specific impulse of 3,100 seconds, could turn many medium sized LEO launchers into machines capable of doing the important first leg of a high delta-v Lunar surface mission.

The space tug would dock in low Earth orbit and use the newly launched spacecraft's tank of xenon to take both vehicles to low Lunar orbit where the spacecraft would leave its still partially full tank of xenon with the tug which would return to LEO and dock with another newly launched spacecraft.

When we eventually have leaders serious about developing the Moon's resources, then using technology, reusable spacecraft, and ISRU to significantly reduce the high costs of getting supplies to the surface of the Moon will be quite doable.

Edited.       
« Last Edit: 08/16/2013 11:41 AM by HappyMartian »
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Offline HappyMartian

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #63 on: 08/18/2013 08:28 AM »
"NASA recently issued an “RFI” – a Request for Information – a method used by the agency to solicit concepts from various companies and gauge their ability to fulfill a future anticipated need.  In this case, the need is for a small robotic lander, one capable of delivering two classes of payloads to the lunar surface: small (from 30 to 100 kg) and medium (from 250 to 450 kg)."

From: Good Things Delivered in Small Packages  By Paul D. Spudis  August 17, 2013
At: http://blogs.airspacemag.com/moon/2013/08/good-things-delivered-in-small-packages/



Paul D. Spudis is a major contributor to one of the plans we voted on for this thread. Its always interesting and useful to learn what he is writing about concerning the Moon.
"The Moon is the most accessible destination for realizing commercial, exploration and scientific objectives beyond low Earth orbit." - LEAG

Offline Archibald

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #64 on: 08/18/2013 04:04 PM »
Quote
A lightweight and efficient horizontal single stage Lander is quite doable if you stage from low Lunar orbit. There are several different and convenient stable low Lunar orbits that Farquhar was probably unaware of when he pushed the idea of L2.

(blood boiling with rage)
WTF ??!!! You didn't even red the Alternative lunar architecture thread, just trolled it. Try at least to read the five first pages.
You don't care of course you damn frozen orbits takes a HUGE PLANE CHANGE or MANY DAYS OF LOITERING to match L1 / L2 inherent flexibility.
...you have been found guilty by the elders of the forum of a (imaginary) vendetta against Saint Elon - BLAAASPHEMER !

Offline HappyMartian

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #65 on: 08/21/2013 06:30 AM »
Quote
A lightweight and efficient horizontal single stage Lander is quite doable if you stage from low Lunar orbit. There are several different and convenient stable low Lunar orbits that Farquhar was probably unaware of when he pushed the idea of L2.

(blood boiling with rage)
WTF ??!!! You didn't even red the Alternative lunar architecture thread, just trolled it. Try at least to read the five first pages.
You don't care of course you damn frozen orbits takes a HUGE PLANE CHANGE or MANY DAYS OF LOITERING to match L1 / L2 inherent flexibility.




Please go argue with NASA, not me.
 

Please note:

"Recent studies performed by NASA mission designers concluded that equivalent landing site access and 'anytime abort' conditions could be met by rendezvous missions in LLO with less propulsive delta-V and lower overall Initial Mass in Low Earth Orbit (IMLEO). If used only as a node for lunar missions, the L1 Earth-Moon LPR is inferior to the LOR mission mode."

From: National Exploration Systems Architecture Study 1. Executive Summary Pages 14 and 15


"The single-launch mission option scored the highest reliability overall, owing mainly to it requiring only a single launch. Of the missions that provide the full lunar landing site access and return capabilities, EOR–LOR 1.5-launch modes were nearly equal to the single-launch option. Specifically, the EOR–LOR 1.5-launch option using the LOX/hydrogen lander descent stage engines scored the lowest P(LOM) among the full-up mission options. Interestingly, this same mission mode and propulsion technology combination scored the lowest P(LOC) as well."

From: National Exploration Systems Architecture Study 1. Executive Summary Page 21


Orion/Altair would have used low Lunar orbit, not L1 or L2.

Apollo used low Lunar orbit, not L1 or L2.

It would be interesting if anyone could show some real numbers that prove the National Exploration Systems Architecture Study was wrong and that L1 or L2 based human lunar surface missions have lower loss of mission and lower loss of crew numbers than the low Lunar orbit based Orion/Altair missions. 


I added the bold. Maybe some of the "(blood boiling with rage) WTF ??!!!" L1/L2 club members should chill out and do some research and show us that NASA mission planners were wrong.

Anyone know where I can join the Low Lunar Orbit Organization?
"The Moon is the most accessible destination for realizing commercial, exploration and scientific objectives beyond low Earth orbit." - LEAG

Offline HappyMartian

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #66 on: 08/21/2013 01:19 PM »
The below considerations should hopefully compliment the Best NASA lunar architecture for today.

If devising the lowest possible risk missions for human Lunar exploration is the critical issue, and given that the Cold War is long over it most likely is, then aggressively reducing risk has to be central to our successful Lunar exploration architecture. See: http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/nixon-legacy-space-exploration-as-normal-part-of-national-life

The least complex and shortest spaceflight mission designs to the Lunar surface have lower risk than more complex and long spaceflight mission designs. This means that the complex and excessively long L1/L2 staged Lunar missions are not relevant at this time.

A specific polar area that robotic rovers have proven that it has useful ice and volatile deposits, and almost continuous solar power 24/7 all year, needs to be explored and quickly developed by robots and humans.

Why?

Efficiently concentrating our robotic and then human missions at one optimal ice rich polar site allows the prepositioning and rapid buildup of supplies, robots, equipment, regolith shielded facilities, and imported propellant that offer rich survival options if a crew is stranded or has other significant emergencies on the Lunar surface.

This ISRU site will be overflown every two hours by the Orion spacecraft in a low polar Lunar orbit and thus both the ISRU site's location and low Lunar rendezvous with Orion minimize risk by offering every other hour a quick three day emergency spaceflight access to Earth and its hospitals. This minimization of the return flight time to Earth lowers risks for the astronauts on early surface missions.

The need for quick success at Lunar ISRU and the reduction of risks and costs that would be enabled after successful propellant production at the polar site mean human ISRU missions to the carefully chosen ice deposit have the second highest priority after the staging of missions from low polar Lunar orbit.

Why?

Without demonstrated proof that Lunar ISRU can work and has immediately started to significantly reduce the risks and costs of our high risk and very costly beyond low Earth orbit space transportation system, Lunar Exploration could, or will, be easily halted and delayed for several decades if the President, Congress, or some of our international partners prematurely decide Lunar ISRU and exploration is too risky, costs too much, isn't going to get any safer and cheaper, and obviously some other issue on Earth is much more important.

Quick success with modest ISRU propellant production would then offer low cost surface propellant depots and tankers servicing Landers in low Lunar orbit.

Propellant production would also enable robust Lander hop exploration and long-distance surface vehicle missions because they both would have backup launch on need Landers and tankers available at the polar ISRU site that could quickly reach stranded Lander or surface vehicle crews. ISRU propellant production immediately begins to both reduce risks and encourage extensive low cost Lunar exploration.

Staging Lander missions from low Lunar polar orbit is both the lowest risk mission design and the highest priority. Modest ASAP polar ISRU propellant production would significantly lower both risks and costs for subsequent human and cargo spaceflight missions. Successful ISRU propellant production is also critical in minimizing the ongoing risks of a political shutdown of human beyond low Earth missions. 


OK folks, now show me where I'm wrong.



Edited. Erased low delta-v.   
« Last Edit: 08/23/2013 04:36 PM by HappyMartian »
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Offline Archibald

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #67 on: 08/21/2013 01:19 PM »
please, try reading kfsorensen posts on this page. You'll see why libration point rendezvous is superior to low lunar orbit, even on the frozen orbits you mentions.
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=1337.60
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Offline HappyMartian

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #68 on: 08/21/2013 03:44 PM »
please, try reading kfsorensen posts on this page. You'll see why libration point rendezvous is superior to low lunar orbit, even on the frozen orbits you mentions.
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=1337.60


I was actually reading that page a few hours ago. I'm planning to read or reread that whole thread.

Note one of the comments on that page:

The architecture shown was an interesting one but it had a lot of complexity and was not very extensible in my opinion. 

...


I'm pushing hard for lowest risk and that means LLO and the least complex mission. Conveniently enough, a low polar lunar orbit over an ice deposit where we need to go first to do risk and cost reducing ISRU also gets us access to a quick and risk reducing 3, or maybe 4, day emergency return to Earth that is available every two hours.

I want to encourage the best options for NASA's success. I do not want to set NASA up for failure.

The risk minimization, cost reduction, ISRU, and national and international political support issues all have to be properly aligned for success. Failure is not an option. A costly and risky Mars mission is not currently a real option for NASA.

Maybe L1/L2 will become useful down the road a bit for Mars missions. But if so, I suspect L2 will be used for an ISS/LEO built Mars ship that tests its engines by flying to L2 to meet up with a Lunar tanker or two. After loading up with propellant, the Mars bound ship does its long dive towards Earth and a large delta-v perigee burn and heads off fast towards Deimos or Phobos.   

The propellant the ship uses at Deimos or Phobos to reduce its delta-v will have previously been in a cluster of five long large conformal tanks that in their normal full or almost full condition provide very significant GCR protection for the habitat, Orion, and Lander. And yes, there would also be an outer set of large cylindrical tanks whose propellant is used for the Earth and Mars departure burns.

If you want success, you always take excellent care of your crew.

The ship will immediately load up its outer tanks and conformal GCR shielding tanks with prepositioned propellant at Deimos or Phobos and proceed with its mission to a low Martian orbit and where it will undock the Lander and...

Anyway, Mars missions are difficult, and very costly and risky. Maybe some taxpayers or leaders would be happy with just a Mars flags and footprints mission and then nothing for several decades, but that risky attempt could simply set NASA up for a big gamble, failure, and the real risk of politicians cutting off money for beyond cislunar and maybe even beyond LEO missions.

Sustainable Mars exploration is unlikely to happen for a long or very long time unless NASA, our international partners, space companies, and NGOs have some significant initial and ongoing success with reducing both the risks and costs of tapping the resources of the Moon.

If space transportation risks and costs can be quickly lowered with  Lunar propellant and robust reusable spacecraft, cislunar development could grow fast and lots of folks will start thinking real seriously about developing Mars and Ceres.

Obviously, I'm not an expert on anything. But I am enjoying my life and space exploration articles and posts. In my own extremely limited way I do try to encourage space cadets and other folks to avoid trouble and failure. I've seen more than enough of trouble and failure in this world. Success on Earth and space is much more fun.

And I really like this quote:

"There are no passengers on spaceship Earth. We are all crew."
-- Marshall McLuhan, 20th-century Canadian philosopher
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Offline Archibald

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #69 on: 08/21/2013 04:18 PM »
Ok, ceasefire. I've tracked down the exact post I wanted to quote over the LLO vs L1/L2 controversy.
(may that save you some time while reading the thread, which admittedly is 80 pages long or more)

Most interesting information is between page 1 and page 10.

Look here and at the next page. There are tons of informations there.
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=1337.msg97478#msg97478
...you have been found guilty by the elders of the forum of a (imaginary) vendetta against Saint Elon - BLAAASPHEMER !

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #70 on: 08/22/2013 12:05 PM »
I voted for the Boeing proposals.  It has several clear advantages:

1. It is 'launcher neutral' to a certain extent.  If SLS is canned, it can be flown using a fairly straightforward upgrade path on the EELVs and using an unmodified Falcon Heavy.

2. It has a clear, step-by-step development path that can be refocussed on whatever ultimate mission is involved, be it lunar exploration or a flight to Mars.

3. Most of the other proposals require beginning again in some way.  This proposal has the advantage of delivering considerable capability from a starting point not dissimilar to our current position.
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Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #71 on: 08/23/2013 03:32 AM »
I voted for the Boeing proposals.  It has several clear advantages:

1. It is 'launcher neutral' to a certain extent.  If SLS is canned, it can be flown using a fairly straightforward upgrade path on the EELVs and using an unmodified Falcon Heavy.

2. It has a clear, step-by-step development path that can be refocussed on whatever ultimate mission is involved, be it lunar exploration or a flight to Mars.

3. Most of the other proposals require beginning again in some way.  This proposal has the advantage of delivering considerable capability from a starting point not dissimilar to our current position.
+Like.

It makes the most sense, has the most continuity, encourages reuse and improved logistics, and can survive a change of capsule, of launcher, and of beyond-LEO destination.

It relies on the infrastructure (both diplomatic and managerial) we use for ISS right now, so that counts as a huge advantage.
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Offline HappyMartian

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #72 on: 08/23/2013 10:11 AM »
I voted for the Boeing proposals.  It has several clear advantages:

1. It is 'launcher neutral' to a certain extent.  If SLS is canned, it can be flown using a fairly straightforward upgrade path on the EELVs and using an unmodified Falcon Heavy.

2. It has a clear, step-by-step development path that can be refocussed on whatever ultimate mission is involved, be it lunar exploration or a flight to Mars.

3. Most of the other proposals require beginning again in some way.  This proposal has the advantage of delivering considerable capability from a starting point not dissimilar to our current position.
+Like.

It makes the most sense, has the most continuity, encourages reuse and improved logistics, and can survive a change of capsule, of launcher, and of beyond-LEO destination.

It relies on the infrastructure (both diplomatic and managerial) we use for ISS right now, so that counts as a huge advantage.



Risk and cost comparisons between the Boeing proposal and the Orion/Altair low Lunar orbit staged mission architecture would be interesting and useful to see, wouldn't they?

Some curious folks may wonder exactly where Boeing has published those numbers. NASA CxP mission planners put out some risk numbers for the global access Orion/Altair low Lunar orbit staged missions a few years ago, you know, before the President decided Mars was more important.

Maybe these days risk and cost numbers don't mean much, or maybe they mean more than some folks want to admit. Japan, Russia, the Europeans and other sensible folks just might shy away from any human Lunar mission architecture that doesn't minimize risks and costs, right?
"The Moon is the most accessible destination for realizing commercial, exploration and scientific objectives beyond low Earth orbit." - LEAG

Offline KelvinZero

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #73 on: 08/23/2013 10:16 AM »
Woohoo! Boeing takes the lead!

BTW I was thinking of two changes to this poll,
(1) To be able to change your vote,
This makes more sense if I add a new option now, but I think is better in other ways.

and (2) How about allowing two votes?
You could just have two favorites, but also sometimes we are trying to choose between two things that are not even exclusive.

You can choose these options when starting a poll, but I dont think I can edit them in, so I might need to restart it.

Thoughts?

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #74 on: 08/23/2013 06:23 PM »

(snip)

and (2) How about allowing two votes?
You could just have two favorites, but also sometimes we are trying to choose between two things that are not even exclusive.

You can choose these options when starting a poll, but I dont think I can edit them in, so I might need to restart it.

Thoughts?

Just ask yourself which one would you choose if you were told you could only have the one or the other and never the other?
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Offline KelvinZero

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #75 on: 08/23/2013 11:40 PM »

(snip)

and (2) How about allowing two votes?
You could just have two favorites, but also sometimes we are trying to choose between two things that are not even exclusive.

You can choose these options when starting a poll, but I dont think I can edit them in, so I might need to restart it.

Thoughts?

Just ask yourself which one would you choose if you were told you could only have the one or the other and never the other?
That is a big factor when choosing an option, but doesn't prevent you considering two such plans as both acceptable. I personally much prefer plans which do not rule out all other directions for the next two or three decades. The Spudis plan can be slotted alongside almost anything else, Robotbeat points out the Boeing plan may be adaptable, and also I think it is on the 'flexible path'. The direct, apollo-like plans probably do have this issue, which should be taken into consideration.

Offline M129K

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #76 on: 08/24/2013 04:35 PM »
I'll have to pick the Boeing proposal too. Very versatile, makes great use of SLS but can be adapted for other vehicles easily. Also provides some stepping stones to make a mission to Mars easier and quicker, namely the L2 station and the lander.

Offline KelvinZero

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Re: Best NASA lunar architecture for today
« Reply #77 on: 08/26/2013 11:10 AM »
Hi everybody,

The new version of the poll is here
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=32662.0

So please dont use this one anymore.

I made the votes changeable, and put the options in order of date, which I think is more suitable for an ongoing discussion where new options may be introduced over time.

(I had considered making it two vote, but then thought why that number? Only because I had two I would have liked to vote for. Hey if you really want to spread your vote maybe you could just cycle it between your favorites now ;) )

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