Author Topic: Cislunar station gets thumbs up, new name in Presidentís budget request  (Read 46327 times)


Offline Ronsmytheiii

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Great article! Launch vehicles get all the press, but this deep space station is building the blocks that will carry humans beyond Earth orbit. Seems very much like the NASA/Deep-space version of the venerable TKS spacecraft.
And this is a good reminder that just because one of your fellow space enthusiasts occasionally voices doubts about the SpaceX schedule announcements or is cautious about believing SpaceX has licked a problem before actually seeing proof that's true, it doesn't mean they hate SpaceX.

Offline speedevil

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Great article! Launch vehicles get all the press, but this deep space station is building the blocks that will carry humans beyond Earth orbit. Seems very much like the NASA/Deep-space version of the venerable TKS spacecraft.

Launch vehicles get all the press - the more important part is what you put in them.
As noted over in the ULA/vulcan section by AncientU - 2020 is shaping up to have new suppliers in the GTO launch market, with New Glen coming on line, Vulcan, as well as well-proven FH, and F9, which is likely to have done closing on a hundred missions uncrewed by then.

At a couple of billion, for a mission that can be launched for $80M or so, is starting off spending twenty times your launch cost really the sensible way to go, to get the building blocks of things that will carry people beyond LEO - even assuming BFR never exists.

Especially if, due to increasing supply, it is at least plausible launch at that time will be cheaper, and overruns will make CLS more expensive?

It at least made some sort of coherent picture, when you're arguing that SLS is needed, that the payload should be mass reduced as heavily as possible.
Now it's on commercial launch, ...
I really hope the draft solicitation for this is sufficiently wide to permit radical alternatives.
« Last Edit: 03/16/2018 03:55 PM by speedevil »

Offline RonM

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Launching PPE on a commercial rocket and moving the Hab to EM-2 is a great idea. Use commercial launch when possible, such as resupply missions, and leave the excess SLS capacity for modules that compliment Orion missions.

Silly aside: LOP-G is a terrible name. Putting gateway first yields the improved acronym GLOP. :)

Offline BrightLight

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Wonderful article!
I have been following and periodically reporting on the "Gateway" for several years in various threads. The first incarnation of the Gateway was to use excess ISS modules, then to use ISS sized modules.  Analysis from MSFC indicated that ISS sized modules were too small for the mission, as quoted to me by MSFC staff, also another reason not to use them was that they are no longer being produced in Italy (this appears to be a red-hearing).  Later documents, some posted on FISO supported using SLS sized (8m) components for a "Skylab V2" Cis-Lunar space station.  With the co-manifest plan, MSFC and other centers moved back to ISS sized modules in various configurations but... the Mars Transit Hab would use larger - 5.2m diameter module for 1000 day missions, the first to be tested independently in conjunction with the Gateway. I am glad to see serious forward progress on this aspect of the space exploration program.

Offline raketa

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SpaceX maybe reconsiders F9H qualification for human launches.
F9H and D2 will be a great system for crew/cargo delivery vehicle and could be ready for 2022.

Offline Joffan

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I hope this concept is getting closer to reality, but the mission triangles on the time line slide are still quite a way off.

I'd like to see this either include or be associated with a variable gravity lab, which always struck me as a great idea.
Max Q for humanity becoming spacefaring

The threads speculating and debating which commercial launch vehicle will be used is gonna prove to be interesting... Only thing yet said on that is the winning bidder to build the PPE gets to make the call on launch provider.

Offline Jim

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The threads speculating and debating which commercial launch vehicle will be used is gonna prove to be interesting... Only thing yet said on that is the winning bidder to build the PPE gets to make the call on launch provider.

or the task could be assigned to LSP.

Offline Caleb Cattuzzo

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Happy but I'm disappointed that the DSG got taken off the EM-2 manifest
There is no strife,no prejudice,no national conflict in space as yet.Its hazards are hostile to us all.

Offline Coastal Ron

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Launching PPE on a commercial rocket and moving the Hab to EM-2 is a great idea. Use commercial launch when possible, such as resupply missions, and leave the excess SLS capacity for modules that compliment Orion missions.

This is not yet a given, since it's unlikely that any payloads will be offloaded from the SLS launch schedule unless the SLS launch schedule is becoming a gating item. Remember the SLS has to launch no-less-than every 12 months once operational in order to keep a safe launch tempo, so it is highly unlikely that a commercial rocket will be used when an SLS launch opportunity exists.

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Silly aside: LOP-G is a terrible name. Putting gateway first yields the improved acronym GLOP. :)

Since there are no other plans for any other "gateway", everyone should just refer to the "Lunar Orbital Platform Ė Gateway" as "the Gateway". Calling it "LOP-G" would be a communications failure for NASA.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline Darkseraph

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LOP-G is indeed a terrible name. Sounds like the verb lop, as in to cut off.

Call it Lunar Gateway or Deep Space One (DS1) or anything other than LOP-G.
"For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled." R.P.Feynman

Offline mike robel

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While this is somewhat interesting, I am a little disappointed.  I like the idea of the Gateway as a first step in an interplanetary manned spacecraft, but this plan has some faults as I see it.


*So it's back to the moon.  But only periodically for relatively short periods of time in orbit.
*So it's abandon the ISS which provides a permanent presence in LEO for a periodic manned outpost in Lunar Space.
*So we can expect another change when the White House or Congress changes control.
*So we still seem to lack a long term plan.


It seems to me, (again, I know) the real goal here would be to place into orbit a spacecraft that is configured for a crew of 4 - 6 for at least 12 months of operation without any crew rotation or resupply - perhaps in high Earth orbit to see if we can design a craft that can go to and from Mars without any outside assistance.  That would provide useful information for both NASA -and maybe SpaceX - who are both seeking to develop systems from a still unflown short duration manned capsule to a long term functional spacecraft capable of supporting of a "few" to tens of people for an extended period time at extended distances beyond Earth.


Offline A_M_Swallow

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While this is somewhat interesting, I am a little disappointed.  I like the idea of the Gateway as a first step in an interplanetary manned spacecraft, but this plan has some faults as I see it.


*So it's back to the moon.  But only periodically for relatively short periods of time in orbit.
*So it's abandon the ISS which provides a permanent presence in LEO for a periodic manned outpost in Lunar Space.
*So we can expect another change when the White House or Congress changes control.
*So we still seem to lack a long term plan.


It seems to me, (again, I know) the real goal here would be to place into orbit a spacecraft that is configured for a crew of 4 - 6 for at least 12 months of operation without any crew rotation or resupply - perhaps in high Earth orbit to see if we can design a craft that can go to and from Mars without any outside assistance.  That would provide useful information for both NASA -and maybe SpaceX - who are both seeking to develop systems from a still unflown short duration manned capsule to a long term functional spacecraft capable of supporting of a "few" to tens of people for an extended period time at extended distances beyond Earth.



Will the Bigelow XBASE provide these LEO facilities?
It will need an operational budget.

Offline Rocket Science

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Thank you for the meaty article Philip with Nathan's inspiring renders! 8)
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob: Physics instructor, Aviator, Vintage auto racer

Offline tea monster

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I don't see in the article where it says that that the ISS is to be abandoned.

Offline JazzFan

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Another great article.  As an ex-DOD employee, I have to marvel that each leader has to change the name of the initiative to create their brand.  I guess I'm too focused on capability and sometimes overlook the marketing and funding aspect.  Launching PPE in four years is a huge endeavor even if using any COTs components.  Still, very excited about anything that pushes human spaceflight beyond LEO. 

Offline TrevorMonty



While this is somewhat interesting, I am a little disappointed.  I like the idea of the Gateway as a first step in an interplanetary manned spacecraft, but this plan has some faults as I see it.


*So it's back to the moon.  But only periodically for relatively short periods of time in orbit.
*So it's abandon the ISS which provides a permanent presence in LEO for a periodic manned outpost in Lunar Space.
*So we can expect another change when the White House or Congress changes control.
*So we still seem to lack a long term plan.



They are not abandoning LEO just losing expensive to maintain ISS ($3B? year) and leasing space on lower cost commercial station.


Offline Proponent

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LOP-G is indeed a terrible name. Sounds like the verb lop, as in to cut off.

Possibly the worst name since Dyna-Soar.
« Last Edit: 03/17/2018 02:25 PM by Proponent »

Offline Coastal Ron

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They are not abandoning LEO...

I wouldn't call it "abandoning", but it has been the plan since the last administration to end USG LEO operations when NASA no longer needs the ISS.

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...just losing expensive to maintain ISS ($3B? year)...

You imply $3B is an expense where I would call the $3B an investment in doing science that can't be done anywhere else.

And how much are we going to spend on the LOP-Gateway? Likely more than $3B per year for a much smaller - and less capable - facility science-wise.

Quote
...and leasing space on lower cost commercial station.

The current plan is not to splash the current ISS and then assume the private sector will create a new commercial space station. The hope is that the private sector will take over operations of the existing ISS. Whether that's likely to happen is unknown as yet.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

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