Author Topic: LIVE: Discussion on Removing Barriers to Deep Space Exploration - Nov. 12, 2013  (Read 16834 times)

Offline jongoff

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Meanwhile, you've got people like Tito/McCallum who have now done all the math and found out you really do need SLS to go to Mars.

Knowing some of the backstory on what's been going on with Inspiration Mars from a few sources, this is a bit of a misrepresentation of the situation... They are definitely focusing at the moment on SLS approaches to go to Mars, but not because of the "math", but because of what one could euphemistically call non-technical external factors.

~Jon

Without violating any confidences, can you elaborate on that... what sorts of political factors[1] are we talking about ?

1 - if I incorrectly de-euphemized, please correct!

Well, not just political factors, some fundraising related ones too...But probably best for an offline discussion. I was just frustrated with OpsAnalyst painting iMars' interest in SLS as being based solely on "doing the math". I normally respect her opinions a lot, but disagree with her on that point.

~Jon

Offline QuantumG

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Raising private investment for space ventures always tends to run into the question of "why isn't NASA doing it?"

Trying to get some sort of NASA buy-in to your program is a good way to get around that road block.
I hear those things are awfully loud. It glides as softly as a cloud. What's it called? Monowhale!

Offline jongoff

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Inspiration Mars is not raising much money. Tito made that clear awhile ago, and I've heard it on the grapevine as well. The fact that they're even talking about getting NASA funding (have they noticed that the U.S. government's budgeting system is broken?) is an indication of how desperate they are.

As you like to say, it's more complicated than that.

~Jon

Offline muomega0

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This "divide and conquer - from within" mentality feeds fragmentation of the political coalition funding space exploration, period.

Meanwhile, you've got people like Tito/McCallum who have now done all the math and found out you really do need SLS to go to Mars.

Knowing some of the backstory on what's been going on with Inspiration Mars from a few sources, this is a bit of a misrepresentation of the situation... They are definitely focusing at the moment on SLS approaches to go to Mars, but not because of the "math", but because of what one could euphemistically call non-technical external factors.
~Jon

OpsAnalyst brings up a very important point on divide and conquer.   Of course, this was not the theme with the Moon first hidden in VSE strategy to retain HLV and Orion over the last decade and ignoring the Technology Challenges with the 2010 lock out specs.   Consolidating the program into the space states is another example.    Is there anyway to have Congress any many NASA leaders follow the advice?

I think its important to read keith cowling's entire summary of the Inspirational Mars Plan, but a few points:

Quote from: Cowling
What the Paper Is
The paper is basically an interesting mission analysis based on the Patel et. al. paper coupled with a good discussion of the ECLSS system. It shows a possibility of a mission based around existing systems, not requiring a behemoth launch vehicle or a large crew module like Orion. It is a Spartan mission with the vision of capturing the imagination of the public. Inspiration Mars is a concept that goes beyond what many of the newly public enterprises have and as it is done as a non profit, many of the psychological barriers (business plan credibility) that many of the recent for profit exploration companies have to overcome do not exist.....
What the Paper Is Not
This paper is not an architecture and it is not really even a systems design as the unknowns are large, the assumptions are many, and many critical issues are not discussed.....
So clearly only having a few folks do all the math does not a program make!  Nor does a low cost IMLEO service, though much appreciated.  What is the next step to turn advanced propulsion into the SOA?

IMHO, both the Inspirational Mars and Aldrin Cycler are mostly about retaining HLV/Orion, especially when depots are pushed out a few decades and are to be developed by China and EP is left in the dust.

IOW:  Why is it so difficult to recognize a BFR basically provides an upper stage that can inject a larger payload BEO, but the same upper stage could be filled up in LEO with a smaller LV to provide the exact same payload?  We would be launching all the time!.   This is SO important.

So the result is Options for Reducing the Deficit: 2014 to 2023 Office: Eliminate Human Space Exploration Programs

HSF does something really really simple: it provides (mostly) exciting flight rate- do not ever forget that.

The answer is simple:  flexible path.   Most of your *leaders* COMPLETELY missed the boat.   L2, Asteroids, Lunar with a focus on Mars as the budget allows.  Unfortunately, SLS and Orion need not apply.   However, there is a tremendous amount of challenging work ahead, just read the Space Technology Challenges.

Quite the exciting future :)

Offline Proponent

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Meanwhile, you've got people like Tito/McCallum who have now done all the math and found out you really do need SLS to go to Mars.

I finally got around to listening to the discussion.  Inspiration Mars' interest in SLS was mentioned as evidence that heavy lift is the way to go.

That NASA would seek to justify SLS on the basis of interest shown by the sponsors of one highly marginal proposed mission struck me as really odd.  I mean, think about it.  Here's the greatest space agency in the world talking up its big new rocket.  Instead of presenting engineering studies done by its own capable people of why SLS is the way to go for missions NASA's likely to perform in coming years, it refers us to Dennis Tito and his long-shot idea.  And we don't even know that the interest of Tito, McCallum et al. in SLS isn't just because they hope to get a free launch on it.  The Inspiration Mars technical paper, after all, mentions SLS only as one of four options, the other three involving Atlas V, Delta IV Heavy and Falcon Heavy.

It would be one thing if in the presentation (or elsewhere) NASA had presented trade studies showing why SLS is superior to the alternatives for plausible exploration programs.  Then this reference to Inspiration Mars would be merely an anecdotal aside.  But (correct me if I'm wrong) NASA has not presented such studies.

EDIT: "struck" -> "struck me"
« Last Edit: 01/22/2014 10:51 AM by Proponent »

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