Author Topic: MoonX  (Read 3277 times)

Online Aussie_Space_Nut

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MoonX
« on: 03/11/2018 12:03 am »
SpaceX has been able to bring about a revolution in the Space Launch Industry. Even if it went bust today we would all look back fondly on what it has achieved in such a short time. Why? The vision/authority of 1 man, Elon Musk. He has the go/nogo authority for any technology or technique. With his goal in mind, when a challenge arises, he tries to discern the most cost efficient & technically safe & sound approach. He is within the company decisions side of things free from political influence. If he wants to use liquids or solids he can. If he wants a shuttle or a capsule he can. If he wants 2, 3 or 4 stages he can. It seems to be the exact opposite of "Designed by Committee" thinking.

Obviously there are political considerations outside the company, regulations etc. that must be adhered to. But within the company itself he is free to choose the approach for any given situation.

With that same "free to choose the approach" mentality in mind, what would a company like MoonX look like? What would be its goals?
« Last Edit: 03/11/2018 02:12 am by gongora »

Offline speedevil

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Re: MoonX :-)
« Reply #1 on: 03/11/2018 12:16 am »
Obviously there are political considerations outside the company, regulations etc. that must be adhered to. But within the company itself he is free to choose the approach for any given situation.

With that same "free to choose the approach" mentality in mind, what would a company like MoonX look like? What would be its goals?
Firstly, your most important priority is to get launch costs to the moon way, way down. At $1M/kg payload, lunar missions can only be laughably tiny, or hideously fragile, or both. (counting as payload only crew and experiments and long-lasting habitation, not vehicles). Apollo had payloads of around a ton.

There is nothing meaningful you can do that can reduce launch costs significantly from the architecture SpaceX has proposed with BFR.

It can get cargo to the moon well under $1000/kg.
We have no idea at all how to make human habitation or construction equipment at prices comparable to that.

This is the most important thing they can be doing - researching how to retrofit construction equipment so it will last a day on the moon. Simple garages for construction equipment so it lasts more than a day.
Working on teleoperation in a limited manner.

Come up with a set of several standard bits of construction equipment lightly modified that let you sink standard shipping containers (or something closely resembling them) in a wide variety of terrain, or just ways to stack them and then fill the outside ones with dirt.
Basic stupid stuff that we take for granted on earth, but nobodies done it for the Moon or Mars because you start out with the assumption everything has to be optimised to the last gram.

Online Aussie_Space_Nut

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Re: MoonX :-)
« Reply #2 on: 03/11/2018 12:47 am »
Lets break it down. (Perhaps I can keep editing this post as decisions are made.)

CEO's "Human" Assumptions,
-Humans require 1g for good health. Therefore until proven otherwise long stays "off Earth" must be at 1g.
-Humans can tolerate Artificial Gravity achieved by rotation speeds of up to 5 RPM without significant long term problems. (However they may get motion sickness in the first few days or when they become ill.)
-Humans cannot tolerate radiation higher than "Earth normal levels" for long stays "off Earth". Therefore until proven otherwise long stays "off Earth" must be at "Earth normal levels".
-Humans can tolerate higher radiation than "Earth normal levels" for very short stays "off Earth". Therefore until proven otherwise short stays "off Earth" of up to 120 hours (5 days) are acceptable so long as there are no more than 4 of these very short stays per year.
CEO is determined to provide a safe living environment for humanity "off Earth".

Goals.
1 Earth to LEO as cheap as possible.
CEO decides to leave Earth to LEO up to the experts, SpaceX.

2 LEO to Moon Orbit as cheap as possible.
CEO decides to use a Earth/Moon Cycler with the following attributes.
Short Term Goals,
-Radiation shielding such that exposure will be limited to the same as you would get on Earth.
-Sell time on cycler to mitigate costs. (Both science & tourism.)
-As Earth to Moon travel time is so short Artificial Gravity is not required for Cycler Passenger health.
-However, working out what level of AG is required for long term "off Earth" good health is absolutly critical given that the requirement impacts heavily on habitat design.
Long Term Goals,
-Must be refeulled using "in space" resources.
-Must have a dedicated space tug that can secure a malfunctioning crewed ship.

3 Moon Orbit to landing on the Moon as cheap as possible.
for Crew.
for Cargo.
CEO at this early stage is agnostic about LEO to Moon Surface being combined into 1 "ship" or it being broken down into a dedicated "ship" for each stage of travel.

4 Modular Moon Standard Construction Equipment.
CEO is determined to avoid specialised equipment. Think of a tractor able to attach different implements.

5 Modular Moon Standard Buildings.

6 Modular Moon Standard Systems.
CEO is absolutly determined to have nothing "Built In".

7 Everything designed in such a way that it is easily repairable on the moon.

8 Rocket Fuel must be created on the moon using the Moons resources.

9 Given that Gravity on the Moon is only 1.62 m/s2 and that it will most likely not be enough for long time human stays, a way to generate Artificial Gravity (AG).
CEO is determined that until Moon gravity is proven safe for humans stays will be short or extended using AG.

10 While in transit radiation exposure will be limited to the same as you would get on Earth.
11 While on the Moon radiation exposure will be limited to the same as you would get on Earth.
CEO is determined to provide a safe environment for humanity on the Moon.
« Last Edit: 03/12/2018 01:50 am by Aussie_Space_Nut »

Offline speedevil

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Re: MoonX :-)
« Reply #3 on: 03/11/2018 01:40 am »
8 Rocket Fuel must be created on the moon using the Moons resources.

9 Given that Gravity on the Moon is only 1.62 m/s2 and that it will most likely not be enough for long time human stays, a way to generate Artificial Gravity (AG).

We have no data at all on the second. It may be quite managable with resistance equipment, or just vigorous sports, or even doing nothing.

On the first - carefully check your assumptions.

In order for the propellant to make much difference, it has to make your operations significantly cheaper, while not costing much to operate.

The relative cost of launch and labour and hardware on the moon, and where you put the propellant depot is a complex trade.


Online Aussie_Space_Nut

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Re: MoonX :-)
« Reply #4 on: 03/11/2018 01:41 am »
Question. If SpaceX were agreeable, would there be any technical reason why MoonX could not accumulate spent Falcon 9 2nd stages for reuse in whatever way MoonX needs? Intention is reuse in one way or another between LEO and the Moons surface.

Offline speedevil

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Re: MoonX :-)
« Reply #5 on: 03/11/2018 01:46 am »
Question. If SpaceX were agreeable, would there be any technical reason why MoonX could not accumulate spent Falcon 9 2nd stages for reuse in whatever way MoonX needs? Intention is reuse in one way or another between LEO and the Moons surface.

Spent F9 upper stages are in assortment of orbits that cannot be controlled for more than a few hours without significant investment.
SpaceX are required to put them in a safe disposal orbit.
In principle, you could put them in some common location such as L1 or L2 not dangerous to earth, but almost without exception they can't get there.

Online Aussie_Space_Nut

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Re: MoonX :-)
« Reply #6 on: 03/11/2018 01:50 am »
8 Rocket Fuel must be created on the moon using the Moons resources.

9 Given that Gravity on the Moon is only 1.62 m/s2 and that it will most likely not be enough for long time human stays, a way to generate Artificial Gravity (AG).

We have no data at all on the second. It may be quite managable with resistance equipment, or just vigorous sports, or even doing nothing.

On the first - carefully check your assumptions.

In order for the propellant to make much difference, it has to make your operations significantly cheaper, while not costing much to operate.

The relative cost of launch and labour and hardware on the moon, and where you put the propellant depot is a complex trade.

Agreed about AG. We just don't know. Point is until we do know we work safely either with short stays or AG. The ISS has proven beyond any doubt that though 0g negative effects can be somewhat mitigated they can not be stopped. Humans must return to 1g to maintain good health longterm.

Propellant is extremely expensive to lift out of Earths gravity well. Therefore our CEO has set the goal of becoming self sufficient with respect to propellant as soon as possible using the Moons resources. (Or I suppose resources in space, capture an icy comet perhaps?) How do we go about this in a cost effective manner?

Online Aussie_Space_Nut

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Re: MoonX :-)
« Reply #7 on: 03/11/2018 01:53 am »
Question. If SpaceX were agreeable, would there be any technical reason why MoonX could not accumulate spent Falcon 9 2nd stages for reuse in whatever way MoonX needs? Intention is reuse in one way or another between LEO and the Moons surface.

Spent F9 upper stages are in assortment of orbits that cannot be controlled for more than a few hours without significant investment.
SpaceX are required to put them in a safe disposal orbit.
In principle, you could put them in some common location such as L1 or L2 not dangerous to earth, but almost without exception they can't get there.

So, IF we had a "spaceship".
And.
IF we had fuel.

We could theoretically collect 20 second stages / year. That is a significant resource.

Online john smith 19

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Re: MoonX :-)
« Reply #8 on: 03/11/2018 09:22 am »
Agreed about AG. We just don't know. Point is until we do know we work safely either with short stays or AG. The ISS has proven beyond any doubt that though 0g negative effects can be somewhat mitigated they can not be stopped. Humans must return to 1g to maintain good health longterm.
And in fact that some of those changes (like how muscles reestablish themselves after prolonged 0g) are permanent. Nor do know what level of gravity, how long or frequently we need to be exposed to it. Once a day? Once a week?. No idea, as Dr James Longan pointed out in his Mars lecture (on YT and on a thread here). this presentation also gives how much Lunar regolith you need to give radiation protection equal to Earths atmosphere (which is the big shielding effect, more so than the magnetic field). It's something like 3metres of dirt, which was why I liked the whole "Asteroid redirect" concept. Why drag tonnes of shielding up hill when you've 100s of cubic meters in each NEO.

Quote from: Aussie_Space_Nut
Propellant is extremely expensive to lift out of Earths gravity well. Therefore our CEO has set the goal of becoming self sufficient with respect to propellant as soon as possible using the Moons resources. (Or I suppose resources in space, capture an icy comet perhaps?) How do we go about this in a cost effective manner?
With difficulty.  IIRC the Space Studies Institute has done ongoing work on Lunar ISRU.

So, IF we had a "spaceship".
And.
IF we had fuel.

We could theoretically collect 20 second stages / year. That is a significant resource.
I thought most of them burnt up in the atmosphere.

Assuming they don't you'd probably want some sort of uncrewed work vehicle, essentially that hoary old SF trope the "space tug."
Are you planning to take them to LEO for processing or to the Moon to land/crash them? You'll want a vehicle that's mostly fuel and some kind of engine. Being uncrewed would mean you could use an ion thruster and spiral through the Van Allan belts as many times as needed to get up the speed (provided you have rad hard avionics, which can be a bit expensive). 
BFS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP structured A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of flying in Earth and Mars atmospheres. BFR. The worlds biggest Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP stainless steel structured booster for BFS. First flight to Mars by end of 2022. Forward looking statements. T&C apply. Believe no one. Run your own numbers. So, you are going to Mars to start a better life? Picture it in your mind. Now say what it is out loud.

Offline rakaydos

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Re: MoonX
« Reply #9 on: 03/11/2018 05:39 pm »

Invest in a hundred tons of M5 honeycomb polymer ribbon.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_space_elevator

L1 height: 56,000,000m
-L1 height and a 50% expansion for counterweight: 84,000,000m
Ribbon dimentions: 30mm (0.03m) by .023mm (0.000023m)
Ribbon density: 1700 kg/m^3

84,000,000 x 0.000023 x 0.03 x1700

84 x 23 x 3 x17

=98,532 kg
=98.532 Tonnes

Online Aussie_Space_Nut

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Re: MoonX :-)
« Reply #10 on: 03/12/2018 02:40 am »
Agreed about AG. We just don't know. Point is until we do know we work safely either with short stays or AG. The ISS has proven beyond any doubt that though 0g negative effects can be somewhat mitigated they can not be stopped. Humans must return to 1g to maintain good health longterm.
And in fact that some of those changes (like how muscles reestablish themselves after prolonged 0g) are permanent. Nor do know what level of gravity, how long or frequently we need to be exposed to it. Once a day? Once a week?. No idea, as Dr James Longan pointed out in his Mars lecture (on YT and on a thread here). this presentation also gives how much Lunar regolith you need to give radiation protection equal to Earths atmosphere (which is the big shielding effect, more so than the magnetic field). It's something like 3metres of dirt, which was why I liked the whole "Asteroid redirect" concept. Why drag tonnes of shielding up hill when you've 100s of cubic meters in each NEO.

I just decided to work out the mass of a minimum radius oneil cylinder. I modelled a cross section 5 metres wide.
"Floor" level at 36 metre radius.
"Soil" 3 metres thick. (Used concrete for mass calcs.)
External Structure 3 metres thick. I modeled a disk 3m thick then shelled it to 150mm wall thickness. (Used Aluminium for mass calcs.)
Impact Protection 500mm thick. (Used plastic for mass calcs.)
Modelled some modest centre structure.
So, a 5 metre wide slice of my minimum radius ONeil Cylinder came in at over 10000 Metric Tonnes!!!!!!!!!

Definitly won't be using an ONeil cylinder for the cycler anytime soon.

(Pic shows just 1/4 of the section. Mass calcs are for the full circle.)
« Last Edit: 03/12/2018 02:50 am by Aussie_Space_Nut »

Online john smith 19

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Re: MoonX :-)
« Reply #11 on: 03/12/2018 08:14 am »
I just decided to work out the mass of a minimum radius oneil cylinder. I modelled a cross section 5 metres wide.
"Floor" level at 36 metre radius.
"Soil" 3 metres thick. (Used concrete for mass calcs.)
External Structure 3 metres thick. I modeled a disk 3m thick then shelled it to 150mm wall thickness. (Used Aluminium for mass calcs.)
Impact Protection 500mm thick. (Used plastic for mass calcs.)
Modelled some modest centre structure.
So, a 5 metre wide slice of my minimum radius ONeil Cylinder came in at over 10000 Metric Tonnes!!!!!!!!!

Definitly won't be using an ONeil cylinder for the cycler anytime soon.

(Pic shows just 1/4 of the section. Mass calcs are for the full circle.)
OTOH a couple of small NEO are 10s of metres across. Hollowed out they could easily give you 3m of solid rock and artificial gravity.

A lot of people disliked the NASA asteroid redirect mission, calling it irrelevant to going anywhere.

Hollow out an asteroid, stick a cluster of ISS modules inside and a rock on the end and you've got a lot of volume and all the radiation protection you need to take as long as you like to go anywhere.

But a spaceship built like that looks like a rock with stuff bolted to it, not like a vision of the future.
A cargo vessel (with a full galley, individual cabins, regular showers and laundry) Vs an Americas Cup contender (where you sleep on a hammock)  :(
BFS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP structured A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of flying in Earth and Mars atmospheres. BFR. The worlds biggest Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP stainless steel structured booster for BFS. First flight to Mars by end of 2022. Forward looking statements. T&C apply. Believe no one. Run your own numbers. So, you are going to Mars to start a better life? Picture it in your mind. Now say what it is out loud.

Offline spacenut

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Re: MoonX
« Reply #12 on: 03/12/2018 01:28 pm »
Water can be radiation protection.  Someone calculated 1' or 1/3 meter of water offers enough radiation protection.  People will need water for drinking and washing.  So an O'Neil cylinder would be fine with water in the walls and floor of a station.  Water can be brought up in tanker flights. 

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Re: MoonX
« Reply #13 on: 03/12/2018 03:12 pm »
Water can be radiation protection.  Someone calculated 1' or 1/3 meter of water offers enough radiation protection.  People will need water for drinking and washing.  So an O'Neil cylinder would be fine with water in the walls and floor of a station.  Water can be brought up in tanker flights.

You do realize that one cubic meter of water is one metric ton. So even the BFS could only bring up 150 cubic meters of water per flight to LEO. You are talking about lots of water in the multi megaton range for an O'Neil cylinder. ::)

Offline spacenut

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Re: MoonX
« Reply #14 on: 03/23/2018 12:43 pm »
Water may be heavy, but water can be broken down for rocket fuel, or other uses, like making hydrocarbons.  An O'Neil cylinder would be huge anyway to have artificial gravity produced, like 1,000' or about 330m in diameter. 

Water could be stored in locations for sheltering during a solar flare or such, no over the entire cylinder.  If a solar flare is headed their way, they would have a few minutes to get into a water lined shelter until the threat passed. 
« Last Edit: 03/23/2018 12:45 pm by spacenut »

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