Author Topic: Eight year Moon mission. What can we do?  (Read 43502 times)

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Eight year Moon mission. What can we do?
« Reply #60 on: 06/10/2016 05:31 pm »
I don't think there is money to support crew lander, habitat development/ deployment and ISRU. Robotic surveys is critical for ISRU and possible base location. This may even result in establishment of a robotic base.


Offline whitelancer64

Re: Eight year Moon mission. What can we do?
« Reply #61 on: 06/10/2016 07:08 pm »
"Dispense with precursor rover missions entirely, they really aren't needed. We've got good area maps and terrain elevation data from orbiters, including composition maps showing where various substances on the Moon are located. "

No, ground truth is wayyyy better that orbital remote sensing for composition.  Apart from anything else, orbital data are always an average of every grain in the area of regolith.  You need to get APXS or LIBS on individual rocks to get useful composition.  What we have now is only good enough to suggest very generally where interesting things might be, and much is completely unknown.  So if you want to understand lunar resources you need to get on the surface.  I would almost go so far as to say that orbiters have little purpose after LRO except for comm relay.

Whatever resource is intended to be harvested from the Moon will require the processing of tons of regolith to accomplish. General maps of composition is perfectly fine to get to an area rich in whatever it is you want.
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Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Eight year Moon mission. What can we do?
« Reply #62 on: 06/10/2016 07:19 pm »
You're going to want to ground-truth this.
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Offline mike robel

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Re: Eight year Moon mission. What can we do?
« Reply #63 on: 06/10/2016 09:08 pm »
The Lunar Module RFP, as every one knows, was issued in July 1962, awarded in and let in October 1962, and flew for the first time on Apollo 5 in January 68, first manned flight on Apollo 9 in March 1969, and the rest is history, and was completed in December 1972.

Assume the companies that bid on the contract were exploring concepts for at least a year if not 2 before the contract, so we have a total time of 10 - 12 years of development and flight effort.

This demonstrates a properly funded and managed effort could be accomplished within 2 or 3 presidential terms.

Since we are at the end of President Obama's term, there would probably need to have been signs that NASA was considering such an effort.  Given what is going on, I think there is a small (say 10% probability) that we can have a DSH flying at the end of 8 years (2024).   I say slim, because the SLS first flight in 2018 (likely to be delayed in my opinion), 1st manned flight in 2021 - 2023, will mean that perhaps the third SLS Mission could be used to place the initial DSH into orbit (somewhere) and the fourth, no earlier than 2024 - 2025 could be used to deliver crew.  Of course, Dragon, CST-100, or (ugh) Soyuz could be used to deliver crew to it if it is in Earth Orbit.

This time is extended if we fly the ARM or the Europa Missions with SLS.

So given funding and launch rates I don't see a path to a manned lunar lander in the next 8 - 10 years.

Over the years I have become increasingly pessimistic about our ability to manage such large projects.  F-22 late and over budget, F-35 late and over budget, RAH-66 late and over budget, KC-46 late and over budget (but its an FFP so Boeing is eating some money and penalties), SLS and Orion are glacially slow and keep moving to the right.  Various Army contracts Crusader Howitzer, The XM-8 light tank, RAH-66; the USMC advanced assault amphibian late, over budget were all cancelled, the Presidential Helicopter, the James Webb telescope, the Zumwalt Destroyer, the Littoral Combat Ship, and the USS Ford Aircraft Carrier, and probably others also show this disturbing trend.

These contracts are spread all around the major contractors (Northrop-Grumman, Lockheed-Martin, Boeing, and General Dynamics) so it is not strictly a company thing.  Of course, funding changes and a culture of customer requirements changing do not help.  One might reasonably think companies bid low in order to deliberately utilize the sunk cost gambit and extend the development out to make more money.

-------
Now switching focus from time and money I think we need to consider

Where do we want to go?
What do we want to do when we get there?  I have come to the conclusion the government could reasonably be expected to fund and execute a limited objective such as a lunar or martian research station.  I do not see establishing orbital bases around the moon or Mars, except as they support the establishment of these stations.  Anything else should be done, if at all, by commercial companies (their choice) as to whether they send people or not.
Why do we want to go there?
Must we send humans or can robots do the job?  If human's have to go, just exactly what do we want to accomplish and demonstrate when we get there?
HOW will we get there?

I think NASA and the Senate, and to an extent Space Fan Boys and other activist groups, have not carefully thought through and explained these questions to politicians and the public.

Jim, over the years, has affected me to the point where I only favor robotic and human scouting missions done at government expense (analogous to the Lewis and Clarke Expedition and actions by the US Army during the 18th and 19th Centuries) and perhaps not even that or research stations like we operate in the Antarctic.

But I still love watching boosters launching uphill to deliver their payloads.

 

Offline clongton

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Re: Eight year Moon mission. What can we do?
« Reply #64 on: 06/10/2016 11:39 pm »
Something that would interest the science community is getting some astronomical resources (optical, and particularly radio telescopes) on the far side.  These do not have to be manned full time once constructed, but do require some infrastructure work for power and for communications around the edge back to Earth.

You could do some interesting things with long-baseline interferometry between a few widely spaced facilities back there for pure research, SETI, and deep space radar looking for rogue asteroids.

You need a lander first. Nearly everything on this thread so far doesn't happen without a lander. Build the lander first.
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Re: Eight year Moon mission. What can we do?
« Reply #65 on: 06/11/2016 02:38 am »
"Dispense with precursor rover missions entirely, they really aren't needed. We've got good area maps and terrain elevation data from orbiters, including composition maps showing where various substances on the Moon are located. "

No, ground truth is wayyyy better that orbital remote sensing for composition.  Apart from anything else, orbital data are always an average of every grain in the area of regolith.  You need to get APXS or LIBS on individual rocks to get useful composition.  What we have now is only good enough to suggest very generally where interesting things might be, and much is completely unknown.  So if you want to understand lunar resources you need to get on the surface.  I would almost go so far as to say that orbiters have little purpose after LRO except for comm relay.

Whatever resource is intended to be harvested from the Moon will require the processing of tons of regolith to accomplish. General maps of composition is perfectly fine to get to an area rich in whatever it is you want.

Mining will require the equivalent of bulldozers, diggers, dump trucks and mobile cranes. These will have to be built on rugged lunar rover chassis. Get the rover chassis working first then we can add useful mining and surveying equipment.

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Re: Eight year Moon mission. What can we do?
« Reply #66 on: 06/11/2016 02:39 am »
Something that would interest the science community is getting some astronomical resources (optical, and particularly radio telescopes) on the far side.  These do not have to be manned full time once constructed, but do require some infrastructure work for power and for communications around the edge back to Earth.

You could do some interesting things with long-baseline interferometry between a few widely spaced facilities back there for pure research, SETI, and deep space radar looking for rogue asteroids.

You need a lander first. Nearly everything on this thread so far doesn't happen without a lander. Build the lander first.

Possibly by funding LunarCATALYST-2.

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: Eight year Moon mission. What can we do?
« Reply #67 on: 06/11/2016 11:08 pm »
Something that would interest the science community is getting some astronomical resources (optical, and particularly radio telescopes) on the far side.  These do not have to be manned full time once constructed, but do require some infrastructure work for power and for communications around the edge back to Earth.

You could do some interesting things with long-baseline interferometry between a few widely spaced facilities back there for pure research, SETI, and deep space radar looking for rogue asteroids.

You need a lander first. Nearly everything on this thread so far doesn't happen without a lander. Build the lander first.

The mission module for the mission commits you. Always.

The reason it hasn't been funded is that there is no stomach for funding such missions. Pure and simple.

The political capital is present to fund HLV w/o such missions. Because building a big rocket as a "confidence game" is good enough to the rubes to believe that it might actually be used for something. Totally cynical.

You want to land on something, you need a lander for that something. Many ways to get it there. People too.

Offline clongton

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Re: Eight year Moon mission. What can we do?
« Reply #68 on: 06/12/2016 01:22 am »
My opinion: Until SpaceX puts a lander on the lunar surface there will be no Americans on the moon. NASA is not going to do it - no money. Nobody else is going to do it - no money. Except the Chinese might do it. It's either going to be SpaceX or the Chinese. NASA's best days are behind them because of its funding profile. NASA is funded by people who don't give 2 craps about NASA. End of story.
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Offline raketa

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Re: Eight year Moon mission. What can we do?
« Reply #69 on: 06/12/2016 03:31 am »
NASA has army of employees to feed , no money to do Space exploration.
This army of bureaucrats spending billions, give just several millions  to creative people that do real research.
If congress give them more billions, they will have just more money to waste and no too much money will be used for real work.
Our only hope is Spacex, Elon is not hiring managers, but engineers.
I could see this disregard to engineers everywhere in establish companies. I am passionate developer IT developer and doing it for 30 years. I could decided 20 years to be manager and waste my experience and have great salary. Instead I do what I like and have engineer salary.
Not to much companies are able to award my experience and my innovation and how much money I save them to do project first time right.

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Re: Eight year Moon mission. What can we do?
« Reply #70 on: 06/12/2016 05:06 am »
My opinion: Until SpaceX puts a lander on the lunar surface there will be no Americans on the moon. NASA is not going to do it - no money. Nobody else is going to do it - no money. Except the Chinese might do it. It's either going to be SpaceX or the Chinese. NASA's best days are behind them because of its funding profile. NASA is funded by people who don't give 2 craps about NASA. End of story.

It does not have to be SpaceX. A company copying their can do attitude with a rich backer could do the same for the Moon.

Offline MATTBLAK

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Offline Phil Stooke

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Re: Eight year Moon mission. What can we do?
« Reply #72 on: 06/12/2016 06:42 am »
"Whatever resource is intended to be harvested from the Moon will require the processing of tons of regolith to accomplish. General maps of composition is perfectly fine to get to an area rich in whatever it is you want. "

Check that with a geologist.  The point is, as regolith is a mixture of materials, a pixel of the orbital remote sensing contains signals from all the materials merged together.  It's not 'general composition' in a useful sense, it is almost useless.  It's too general.  We will need to get on the surface, to put APXS or LIBS on individual rocks, to see what the actual composition is.  IR spectrometers might be good too, since on the surface they can resolve the individual chunks which they cannot do from orbit.

Case in point, the Ina-like mare features which might be signs of the last gasp of volcanism and might hint at non-polar volatiles.  Their floors often contain small bright spots.  We won't know what they are made of until we get on the ground.  Orbital data chiefly reveal that they are not very space-weathered, but don't help much with composition. 

The orbital data hint at where useful things might be, but ground truth will tell us what they are.

Offline clongton

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Re: Eight year Moon mission. What can we do?
« Reply #73 on: 06/12/2016 07:15 pm »
But you need a lander. NASA won't be building one anytime in the foreseeable future.
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I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

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Re: Eight year Moon mission. What can we do?
« Reply #74 on: 06/12/2016 07:55 pm »
But you need a lander. NASA won't be building one anytime in the foreseeable future.

Sort of.

NASA is cheer leading the Lunar CATALYST initiative. The entrants may produce small cargo landers.

These small cargo landers could be used to produce a robotic Moon Base. Although it would be smaller than I would like.

Masten Space and ULA were/are adding vertical landing vertical take-off (VLVT) rocket engines and legs to the upper stage of the Vulcan. Depending which upper stage the payload may be sufficient for a small manned cabin. ULA has publicly estimated 15 years.

So development of a lander has started. The major problem will be getting the project fully financed.

Online ncb1397

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Re: Eight year Moon mission. What can we do?
« Reply #75 on: 06/13/2016 01:26 am »
My opinion: Until SpaceX puts a lander on the lunar surface there will be no Americans on the moon. NASA is not going to do it - no money. Nobody else is going to do it - no money. Except the Chinese might do it. It's either going to be SpaceX or the Chinese. NASA's best days are behind them because of its funding profile. NASA is funded by people who don't give 2 craps about NASA. End of story.

The internet meme that NASA's funding is small irks me more than just about any other. NASA's funding is equal to the Austrialian Defense budget..an entire military. It is roughly equal to what the rest of the world spends on their space agencies combined. If NASA fails, it has more to do with cancelling projects before they are able to succeed than budget. You get 0 babies if you have 100 women but terminate the pregnacies before 9 months because it is taking too long. You are suggesting that having more money to support more women will lead to any other result...but abortion because you actually didn't want it in the first place is the real problem.NASA also had a tendency to try to accomplish technologically un-accomplishable goals because in doing so it MIGHT develop new technology thus making the goals accomplishable. There are no technological hurdles with a lander. There really isn't a budget hurdle either. It would cost ~1 billion per year over ~8 years which is 5% of NASA's budget. It is almost in the noise.
« Last Edit: 06/13/2016 01:34 am by ncb1397 »

Offline Lar

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Re: Eight year Moon mission. What can we do?
« Reply #76 on: 06/13/2016 02:51 am »
My opinion: Until SpaceX puts a lander on the lunar surface there will be no Americans on the moon. NASA is not going to do it - no money. Nobody else is going to do it - no money. Except the Chinese might do it. It's either going to be SpaceX or the Chinese. NASA's best days are behind them because of its funding profile. NASA is funded by people who don't give 2 craps about NASA. End of story.

The internet meme that NASA's funding is small irks me more than just about any other. NASA's funding is equal to the Austrialian Defense budget..an entire military. It is roughly equal to what the rest of the world spends on their space agencies combined. If NASA fails, it has more to do with cancelling projects before they are able to succeed than budget. You get 0 babies if you have 100 women but terminate the pregnacies before 9 months because it is taking too long. You are suggesting that having more money to support more women will lead to any other result...but abortion because you actually didn't want it in the first place is the real problem.NASA also had a tendency to try to accomplish technologically un-accomplishable goals because in doing so it MIGHT develop new technology thus making the goals accomplishable. There are no technological hurdles with a lander. There really isn't a budget hurdle either. It would cost ~1 billion per year over ~8 years which is 5% of NASA's budget. It is almost in the noise.

When you say "NASA does X"  what you really mean is "Congress directed NASA to do X".
When you say "NASA wasted money on X and didn't complete it" what you really mean is "Congress directed wasteful spending and then didn't complete it"

My view of NASA is that when they are allowed to do things, given good budgets, and aren't micromanaged to get the pork sliced up to the satisfaction of every influential congresscritter, they actually do things for reasonable cost in reasonable time.  The problem is they are never allowed to.

But we veer into space policy...
"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

Online guckyfan

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Re: Eight year Moon mission. What can we do?
« Reply #77 on: 06/13/2016 10:22 am »
When you say "NASA does X"  what you really mean is "Congress directed NASA to do X".
When you say "NASA wasted money on X and didn't complete it" what you really mean is "Congress directed wasteful spending and then didn't complete it"

My view of NASA is that when they are allowed to do things, given good budgets, and aren't micromanaged to get the pork sliced up to the satisfaction of every influential congresscritter, they actually do things for reasonable cost in reasonable time.  The problem is they are never allowed to.

I would like to agree with you. I usually do. However I don't forget that NASA destroyed singlehandely all on their own a chance for Mars by coming up with the Battlestar Galactica concept, that was designed to feed all NASA centers as prime objective.

Offline clongton

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Re: Eight year Moon mission. What can we do?
« Reply #78 on: 06/13/2016 07:19 pm »
When you say "NASA does X"  what you really mean is "Congress directed NASA to do X".
When you say "NASA wasted money on X and didn't complete it" what you really mean is "Congress directed wasteful spending and then didn't complete it"

My view of NASA is that when they are allowed to do things, given good budgets, and aren't micromanaged to get the pork sliced up to the satisfaction of every influential congresscritter, they actually do things for reasonable cost in reasonable time.  The problem is they are never allowed to.

I would like to agree with you. I usually do. However I don't forget that NASA destroyed singlehandely all on their own a chance for Mars by coming up with the Battlestar Galactica concept, that was designed to feed all NASA centers as prime objective.

Guckyfan I assume you are talking about the Senate Launch Vehicle (SLS). Don't forget that NASA was handed the specs to build it, without consultation. They had no choice but to do it except to deliberately disobey the law, in which case Congress would pull all the funding. Remember they came VERY close to holding the Administrator in Contempt of Congress because he was dragging his feet in getting the SLS going. NASA did not want to build SLS. They like to explain it as "we are going to Mars", when in reality it is a super ubber jobs program, not a space mission.
« Last Edit: 06/13/2016 07:23 pm by clongton »
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Online guckyfan

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Re: Eight year Moon mission. What can we do?
« Reply #79 on: 06/13/2016 08:18 pm »
No. I was talking about the Mars mission designed by NASA when asked by the elder president Bush.

From Wikipedia.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Direct

Quote
By December 1990, a study to estimate the project's cost determined that long-term expenditure would total approximately 450 billion dollars spread over 20 to 30 years.[3] The "90 Day Study" as it came to be known, evoked a hostile Congressional reaction towards SEI given that it would have required the largest single government expenditure since World War II.[4] Within a year, all funding requests for SEI had been denied.

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