Author Topic: Cislunar station gets thumbs up, new name in Presidentís budget request  (Read 38566 times)

Offline AncientU

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LOP-G is married to SLS/Orion... it was conceived and designed to give the launch system something to justify its existence.  The co-manifested payloads limitations confines this architecture arbitrarily, as does the SLS/Orion inability to get anywhere but DRO.

A fresh look, not confined to SLS/Orion and considering the new space directives, would not select the same architecture.  The ULA/Bigelow Lunar Base Camp(?) would be far preferable if you wanted an orbital station.  Something that goes directly to the surface would probably even be better.
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Offline Coastal Ron

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I think you are making my point for me. The specific costs of the LOP-G should be separate from SLS/Orion.

No. See below.

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As you correctly point out SLS/Orion are only the transportation system. If commercial alternatives with similar or greater lift/crew capacity are available then they should be able to launch/service the LOP-G in the same way SLS/Orion would.

No, the SLS/Orion are NOT the only transportation systems. NASA has not been allowed to compete out the design for the LOP-G total system, because if they did then alternatives that use commercial launchers would be bid instead of the SLS, and certain politicians don't want that to happen - even if it costs less money for the taxpayer.

I've pointed out before that ULA had proposed a commercially based lunar architecture that would take humans to the surface of our Moon, and they could do that using commercial launchers that exist today. Funny how LOP-G supporters tend to ignore proposals like that, even when they go further than what NASA is planning.

Which makes me think some LOP-G supporters only care about the SLS, and not the overall goal.

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So when determining whether to go with the LOP-G architecture its specific costs (modules, propulsion, ECLSS, etc.) are what counts. The fixed transportation costs will be the same regardless of the endpoint architecture. In other words LOP-G isn't necessarily married to SLS/Orion.

No, the transportation costs are not fixed. The development costs are "sunk costs", meaning they can't be recovered, but the operational costs are variable depending on many factors such as launch rate, launch configuration, manufacturing costs, etc. You can't spend taxpayer money and consider it "free".

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In other words LOP-G isn't necessarily married to SLS/Orion.

That will depend on how the mission architecture is designed. And if the LOP-G elements are built specifically for the SLS then that means the LOP-G will be locked into the SLS cost structure - which if it is too high, then if the SLS goes away the LOP-G could go away too. Such is life...
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 FinalFrontier

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Think instead if the SLS and Orion did not exist, and NASA contracted with the commercial sector for EXISTING transportation systems.


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For the SLS and Orion, they were not built specifically for the LOP-G. They are general transportation systems that COULD be used for the LOP-G, but could be used for many other uses too. So of course it makes sense to account for SLS and Orion costs when looking at the overall cost of the LOP-G program, especially since there are other alternatives that could cost far less.

I think you are making my point for me. The specific costs of the LOP-G should be separate from SLS/Orion. As you correctly point out SLS/Orion are only the transportation system. If commercial alternatives with similar or greater lift/crew capacity are available then they should be able to launch/service the LOP-G in the same way SLS/Orion would.

So when determining whether to go with the LOP-G architecture its specific costs (modules, propulsion, ECLSS, etc.) are what counts. The fixed transportation costs will be the same regardless of the endpoint architecture. In other words LOP-G isn't necessarily married to SLS/Orion.

You are making our points for us, namely that you have no idea what is going on here.

I am going to repeat this one more time. SLS+Orion are NOT A FUNCTIONING SYSTEM AT THIS TIME. They DO NOT EXIST in terms of lift capability. Their true cost per flight is UNKNOWN and will likely be highly variable even if they ever reach operational status since there are multi year stand downs between each flight that seem to be getting longer not shorter.

How in the blue blazes are you going to pay for LOP-G to be built and more importantly crewed and operated every year when we can't even pay for a yearly SLS flight? When we can't afford to human rate ICPS because the budget is gone already? When even at 23%+of the NASA budget this thing still can't fly yet or launch ANY payload at all besides Orion?

You keep repeating the same talking points over and over where you talk like SLS Orion is either already operational or will somehow have the same availability and flight rate as pre-existing EELVs do right now. This is totally ridiculous and out of touch with reality. Falcon Heavy exists now. ACES will exist shortly and ULA could bring a full proposal online very very rapidly. Blue already has the BE 4 engine. Meanwhile SLS is in multiple pieces and won't make a flight until 2020 at the earliest at the rate we are going, it could even be 2022 don't be at all shocked if we get that piece of news before the year ends.

Your arguments have absolutely no basis in reality. LOP-G if it ever gets built will not launch on SLS because SLS will not be available to launch it, and if it is it will cost $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ more than vehicles which exist right now and could also launch it. And no it will not mass 100 MT in a single chunk that is not happening no matter how aggressive NASA wants to be.

Stop talking like this rocket already exists or that it's going to have a high flight rate. It is almost as much of a paper rocket right now as Ares 1 was. Also stop acting like the flight rate is going to compete with any other vehicle on planet earth meaningfully. It won't. This vehicle will fly so little you won't have the thing when you need it.
« Last Edit: 07/01/2018 08:31 AM by FinalFrontier »
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Offline john smith 19

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Given that LOP-G would be a piece of infrastructure that NASA might be supporting to the tune of $3+ billion annually

Honest question Proponent. Where are you getting the $3 Billion annual number for LOP-G? ISS requires over $3 Billion a year but LOP-G should be smaller and (at least initially) not be crewed for a significant period of time.
I think it's pretty clear that some people expect ISS to be shut down and the funds released used to fund other things, Moon initially, ultimately Mars.

This may explain the long slow roll out of Commercial Crew.
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 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 FinalFrontier

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Given that LOP-G would be a piece of infrastructure that NASA might be supporting to the tune of $3+ billion annually

Honest question Proponent. Where are you getting the $3 Billion annual number for LOP-G? ISS requires over $3 Billion a year but LOP-G should be smaller and (at least initially) not be crewed for a significant period of time.
I think it's pretty clear that some people expect ISS to be shut down and the funds released used to fund other things, Moon initially, ultimately Mars.

This may explain the long slow roll out of Commercial Crew.

This is absolutely spot on. HOWEVER
The major mistake being made is that NASA managers and some in Congress think that the ISS budget being released to SLS LOPG ect would make a difference in timeline and flight rate. It won't, SLS is so god awful it won't make one iota of difference and none of the money would even reach LOPG.

What I am really hoping doesn't happen is a sudden axe dropping on ISS prior to its engineering EOM maximum date and we end up splashing it in a few short years for 0 returns. ISS is a massive achievement and it still has value at least until the late 2020s.
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Offline Coastal Ron

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I think it's pretty clear that some people expect ISS to be shut down and the funds released used to fund other things, Moon initially, ultimately Mars.

If Congress wants to keep NASA's budget steady over time, regardless what programs start or conclude, then that would be a good assumption.

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This may explain the long slow roll out of Commercial Crew.

Other than the slow-rolling of the funding at the beginning of the Commercial Crew program, I've seen no evidence of any interference in the program in the past few years. Just NASA being it's normal "thorough" self when it comes to human space travel...  ;)
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 Joseph Peterson

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The specific costs of the LOP-G should be separate from SLS/Orion.

Do you separate the cost of commercial cargo and crew from ISS?  I'll answer that for you using your own post, no.

Given that LOP-G would be a piece of infrastructure that NASA might be supporting to the tune of $3+ billion annually

Honest question Proponent. Where are you getting the $3 Billion annual number for LOP-G? ISS requires over $3 Billion a year but LOP-G should be smaller and (at least initially) not be crewed for a significant period of time.

Now if you were consistent and only considered the cost of new hardware being set to ISS, probably on the order of a couple hundred million per year but I've no exact figure, I could understand.  I don't understand the obvious apples to oranges comparison.

I also don't understand this notion that a station is somehow going to be cheaper because it isn't occupied full-time.  Summer homes in a harsh climate like Michigan's Upper Peninsula require extensive maintenance to secure for the winter and reopen in the summer, generally exceeding the maintenance cost of homes owned by locals that are used year round.  As long as we are limited by SLS/Orion's flight rate I'm not sure if we can keep crew on station long enough to cover station maintenance.
If ZBLAN can't pay for commercial stations, we'll just have to keep looking until we find other products that can combine to support humans earning a living in space.

Online Endeavour_01

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LOP-G is married to SLS/Orion... it was conceived and designed to give the launch system something to justify its existence.  The co-manifested payloads limitations confines this architecture arbitrarily, as does the SLS/Orion inability to get anywhere but DRO.

Not all the LOP-G payloads are currently planned to be co-manifested. The administration wants the PPE to be launched with a commercial rocket for example. Co-manifesting vs. launching separately for other LOP-G parts is still up in the air as far as I have heard (especially with the plan to launch up to four Block I's, which wouldn't have room for large co-manifested payloads).

Personally I think the LOP-G should be launched separately with SLS launching Orion missions or a lunar lander.

P.S. Since the PPE is capable of changing the station's orbit starting out in DRO or NRO is not that big of a problem if you need the orbit changed.

I am going to repeat this one more time. SLS+Orion are NOT A FUNCTIONING SYSTEM AT THIS TIME. They DO NOT EXIST in terms of lift capability.

I never said they were. I was talking about the future, which is what this thread is discussing.

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Their true cost per flight is UNKNOWN and will likely be highly variable even if they ever reach operational status since there are multi year stand downs between each flight that seem to be getting longer not shorter.

Well the plan to launch Block I's until the second ML is operational is a good step towards reducing time between launches and dealing with these issues.

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You keep repeating the same talking points over and over where you talk like SLS Orion is either already operational or will somehow have the same availability and flight rate as pre-existing EELVs do right now.

Stop putting words in my mouth. I never said that and you know it.

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ACES will exist shortly and ULA could bring a full proposal online very very rapidly.


Remember when you criticized me for supposedly acting like SLS is operational or very close to it? ACES isn't planned to be available until 2024. I wouldn't call that "shortly".

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Your arguments have absolutely no basis in reality. LOP-G if it ever gets built will not launch on SLS because SLS will not be available to launch it, and if it is it will cost $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ more than vehicles which exist right now and could also launch it.

I just made the point upthread that LOP-G doesn't have to married to SLS. That was the whole point of my previous post. Even if SLS/Orion are canceled LOP-G can still be a viable program (assuming SLS/Orion are canceled because commercial alternatives can meet or beat their performance (by whatever means) and LOP-G parts are not designed to require something only SLS/Orion can do).

You may mistake my arguments for keeping SLS around as a belief that SLS/Orion are the only way or that I don't think commercial alternatives will be able to deliver the same capability in the near future. That isn't true.

I just don't want all eggs in one basket. Humans have not left LEO for over 45 years and I don't want any system that could once again send humans beyond LEO and develop a foothold in deep space canceled without a secure alternative that is in place and flying. That is my opinion as a taxpayer who is paying for this program. You might disagree and that is completely fine.

Read my signature. I am cheering for everybody because even if only some of the ventures we are seeing today succeed space exploration will be pushed forward like never before and I will be a very happy person.

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It is almost as much of a paper rocket right now as Ares 1 was.

That is demonstrably false. If you read almost anything in the SLS update thread (or any SLS articles) you can see that SLS is much farther along than Ares I was. You are letting your hatred for SLS overcome the facts.

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Also stop acting like the flight rate is going to compete with any other vehicle on planet earth meaningfully. It won't. This vehicle will fly so little you won't have the thing when you need it.

I wasn't. Quit putting words in my mouth to justify your argument.
I cheer for both NASA and commercial space. For SLS, Orion, Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy, Dragon, Starliner, Cygnus and all the rest!
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Online Endeavour_01

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Do you separate the cost of commercial cargo and crew from ISS?  I'll answer that for you using your own post, no.

I did separate commercial crew, but not commercial cargo and Russian crew launches. You are correct that I should have discounted them in my post. If I am reading the budget numbers correctly ISS minus crew and cargo transportation costs around $1.4 Billion a year.

Still, I think it is important to separate "transportation" like SLS/Orion and commercial alternatives from "infrastructure" like LOP-G. If a piece of infrastructure can be served by say two equally reliable transportation options, whose only difference is cost, then the cheaper transportation option should be chosen. That is a separate decision from whether to have the piece of infrastructure in the first place.

Let me use an analogy. Lets say you and your family want to go to Disney World. You have researched the options for where to stay and have come up with the best solution. Then you have to decide which car to take, a vehicle that has 9 MPG or a vehicle with 29 MPG. Assuming all other variables are negligible you would pick the car with the higher MPG. Notice, however, that this is a separate decision from deciding whether or not to go to Disney World.

Now, some here seem to be arguing that LOP-G shouldn't be pursued because SLS/Orion are involved in transportation of crew/cargo. It seems as if the LOP-G is the only thing keeping SLS/Orion alive according to some of the posts here.

The thing is if SLS/Orion are still around in the 2020s it won't matter if LOP-G is pursued or not. The reasons for their existence (at least in the minds of the politicians) will still be there even if LOP-G isn't pursued. So in essence if SLS/Orion remain to the point where they can service the LOP-G they would have been there anyway without the LOP-G. The "transportation costs" are the same regardless of LOP-G's existence.

If on the other hand SLS/Orion are doomed like many here believe (and I admit to believing that their survival in the 2020s is suspect) it will be because the commercial sector can match most anything SLS/Orion can do. Therefore the LOP-G can be serviced with transportation costs that are lower than what is being considered by Proponent and others.

So the real question is are LOP-G's specific costs low enough and the reward high enough to pursue it?
I cheer for both NASA and commercial space. For SLS, Orion, Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy, Dragon, Starliner, Cygnus and all the rest!
I was blessed to see the launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour on STS-99. The launch was beyond amazing. My 8-year old mind was blown. I remember the noise and seeing the exhaust pour out of the shuttle as it lifted off. I remember staring and watching it soar while it was visible in the clear blue sky. It was one of the greatest moments of my life and I will never forget it.

Offline Joseph Peterson

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Do you separate the cost of commercial cargo and crew from ISS?  I'll answer that for you using your own post, no.

I did separate commercial crew, but not commercial cargo and Russian crew launches. You are correct that I should have discounted them in my post. If I am reading the budget numbers correctly ISS minus crew and cargo transportation costs around $1.4 Billion a year.

Still, I think it is important to separate "transportation" like SLS/Orion and commercial alternatives from "infrastructure" like LOP-G. If a piece of infrastructure can be served by say two equally reliable transportation options, whose only difference is cost, then the cheaper transportation option should be chosen. That is a separate decision from whether to have the piece of infrastructure in the first place.

Let me use an analogy. Lets say you and your family want to go to Disney World. You have researched the options for where to stay and have come up with the best solution. Then you have to decide which car to take, a vehicle that has 9 MPG or a vehicle with 29 MPG. Assuming all other variables are negligible you would pick the car with the higher MPG. Notice, however, that this is a separate decision from deciding whether or not to go to Disney World.  Transportation costs are most definitely a consideration, and can not be ignored.

Now, some here seem to be arguing that LOP-G shouldn't be pursued because SLS/Orion are involved in transportation of crew/cargo. It seems as if the LOP-G is the only thing keeping SLS/Orion alive according to some of the posts here.

The thing is if SLS/Orion are still around in the 2020s it won't matter if LOP-G is pursued or not. The reasons for their existence (at least in the minds of the politicians) will still be there even if LOP-G isn't pursued. So in essence if SLS/Orion remain to the point where they can service the LOP-G they would have been there anyway without the LOP-G. The "transportation costs" are the same regardless of LOP-G's existence.

If on the other hand SLS/Orion are doomed like many here believe (and I admit to believing that their survival in the 2020s is suspect) it will be because the commercial sector can match most anything SLS/Orion can do. Therefore the LOP-G can be serviced with transportation costs that are lower than what is being considered by Proponent and others.

So the real question is are LOP-G's specific costs low enough and the reward high enough to pursue it?

First, the Disney World analogy is flawed.  We are comparing two different destinations.  A better analogy would be my family deciding between going to Disney World and Euro Disney.  It's a long drive to Orlando from Pittsburgh, so my preference would be to fly.  Therefore, part of my consideration would be the cost of a domestic flight(~$200 average based on a quick check of current prices departing Pittsburgh International Airport) to the cost of a transatlantic flight(~$1000 average).  Transportation costs are a critical factor that can not be ignored.

You should subtract ISS's science budget since you aren't including science in your LOP-G costs.  This would take us down to ~$1.1 billion. 

You should also subtract ISS maintenance costs until you have estimated costs for LOP-G.  I'd love to see some numbers on this.  As I mentioned above, I am curious what the shutdown and startup costs are going to be for a partially crewed station.  I highly doubt it will be as simple as turning everything off, then having the next crew flip a switch to turn everything back on.  I wouldn't be surprised if maintenance costs for two crews of four staying 45 days once each year don't exceed what we currently spend on ISS.  I also wouldn't be surprised if this two man years on station per year isn't enough to maintain the station.  That said, I know I don't know what I need to create valid maintenance cost estimates.  Feel free to provide information that allows me to create said estimate.  At this time I see little chance that the costs of maintaining LOP-G will be less than the costs of maintaining ISS, especially once we consider the cost of getting maintenance personnel and hardware to the station.

Operations, the only area where we have an opportunity for benefits that we couldn't get cheaper from ISS, is another sticking point.  My problem is that I haven't seen any proposed LOP-G use cases that can't be done at least almost as well, for far lower costs, without LOP-G.  Yes, I've read hundreds of posts on NSF and every article I've come across elsewhere looking.  The station simply doesn't seem to have any economically rational use at this point in history.

Perhaps one day a trading post in cis-Lunar space will make economic sense.  The problem today is that there are zero potential trading partners outside of Earth that LOP-G can tie together, hence no comparative advantage for a station in that orbit.  I would much rather spend the limited NASA human spaceflight dollars available on, 1) research in LEO and, 2) robots searching for Lunar locations and/or near Earth asteroids that are worth sending people to.  Once we have technology like micro-gravity hospitals and highly reliable life support functioning in LEO, and a destination worth sending humans to, then we send humans where the resources are.  Investing tens if not hundreds of billions in tax dollars on a station whose best selling point is that Orion can make it there does not interest me.  Using the money to fund a national lottery so that Americans can win a 'free' vacation to ISS would be preferable(While I'd love to win, I think this is also a terrible idea).  Actually doing things like building and testing the life support and training micro-gravity doctors on ISS would be a far better investment.  Modifying BEAM and filling it with radiation shielding experiments, then tugging it into the inner Van Allen belt with a specially designed tug would make me ecstatic.

I would like to make it clear that I am not arguing LOP-G is a nascent boondoggle because merely SLS/Orion are involved.  If Congress is willing to pony up the cash private industry could build transportation systems to reach the orbit easily enough.  My argument is that LOP-G kind of makes sense if we are targeting human missions to multiple near Earth asteroids with the intent of actually building and maintaining some kind of production capacity.  When the target changed from asteroids to the Moon, DSG shouldn't have been renamed, it should have been cancelled along with ARM.  In the case of both near Earth asteroids and the Moon, a deep space human transport paired with SEP tugs for cargo, staging in medium Earth orbit, would be far more useful.

I also need to mention the elephants in the room, BFR, Blue Moon, and even Moon Direct.  Should we really be considering LOP-G when there is a good chance LOP-G is bypassed by the next generation(and the current generation in the case of Moon Direct) of rockets before construction is completed?  I would hate to waste time and money propping up a useless new station because Congress can't admit the sunk cost fallacy exists.  At the current rate of private sector advancement I would much rather be on the hook to maintain ISS for a few years after it is obsolete than to be on the hook to maintain LOP-G for decades.
If ZBLAN can't pay for commercial stations, we'll just have to keep looking until we find other products that can combine to support humans earning a living in space.

Offline Proponent

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To my knowledge, the only figures we've ever seen on the operating costs of Orion/SLS are ESD's "Budget Availability Scenarios."  Just launching Orion once a every other year on a Block 1 SLS (Case 1) is projected to cost about $3 billion annually.  Annual launches of the same (Case 2) come in at about $3.6 billion.

Expenditures for LOP-G itself would be in addition.

Okay so you are counting SLS/Orion costs against the LOP-G rather than saying LOP-G itself will cost $3+ Billion. I get your point but since SLS/Orion would be around regardless I don't think their costs should be counted when deciding whether LOP-G is a viable way forward. 

Many LOP-G supporters seem to feel it's worthwhile because it's a gateway to something better, say a return to the lunar surface.  But that means a lander and other surface elements would have to be developed while the full costs of LOP-G is borne.  That makes LOP-G's full cost -- including Orion and SLS -- need be taken into account.

This is why I doubt that LOP-G actually helps a return to the moon.  It's not a negative in and of itself, but its high operating cost likely makes it a net drain on such an effort.

Offline AncientU

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Chinese weigh in:
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Chinese space official seems unimpressed with NASA’s lunar gateway
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Overall, Pei does not appear to be a fan of NASA's plan to build a deep space gateway, formally known as the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway, at a near-rectilinear halo orbit. Whereas NASA will focus its activities on this gateway away from the Moon, Pei said China will focus on a "lunar scientific research station."

Another slide from Pei offered some thoughts on the gateway concept, which NASA intends to build out during the 2020s, delaying a human landing on the Moon until the end of the decade at the earliest. Pei does not appear to be certain about the scientific objectives of such a station, and the deputy director concludes that, from a cost-benefit standpoint, the gateway would have "lost cost-effectiveness."
https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/07/chinese-space-official-seems-unimpressed-with-nasas-lunar-gateway/
« Last Edit: 07/17/2018 04:31 PM by AncientU »
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Offline yg1968

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Canada seems interested in participating in the lunar gateway:

https://twitter.com/spaceleclerc/status/1019625472123133952

Quote from: Gilles Leclerc of the CSA
Other important missions where  Canada has opportunities to participate include the lunar Gateway, lunar rovers and the Mars Sample Return mission.

Offline yg1968

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I missed it when it came out on June 15th but ESA also wants in:

Link to ESA News

Quote from: the ESA Article
Consequently, Member States supported the Director Generalís plan to start:

-negotiating agreements covering the elements of potential ESA contributions to the Lunar gateway, including both transportation and infrastructure;
-negotiating agreement(s) covering potential European contributions to an international Mars Sample Return mission or other sample return missions;
-examining scenarios and mission concepts for lunar exploration missions supporting the objectives of the European scientific community;

with the aim of finalising the agreements in time for their eventual approval at the Ministerial Council  in 2019.
« Last Edit: 07/28/2018 12:09 AM by yg1968 »

Offline yg1968

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Full video from May 24th presentation at Marshall Space Flight Center about the Gateway.

youtube.com/watch?v=KBa26DqcH24

Here is the updated gateway plan from the presentation (about 14 minutes into the presentation):

« Last Edit: 07/28/2018 12:46 AM by yg1968 »

Offline yg1968

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One of the things that was mentioned in the gateway roadshow video above is that a logistic module would be provided by a commercial company once per year. The logistic module could bring cargo to the gateway and then do a science mission in lunar orbit prior to the spacecraft being disposed (kind of similar to what Cygnus is testing now at ISS).

SLS would also have one mission per year.

The Gateway will not be human-rated (only Orion will).
« Last Edit: 07/28/2018 04:01 AM by yg1968 »

Offline yg1968

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Full video from May 24th presentation at Marshall Space Flight Center about the Gateway.

It's a pity the video cuts out mid sentence at the end, at the one hour, 45 minute mark: when the second part of the presentation was still well underway! :(

It's actually the same video repeated a second time (not a second part).

Offline Coastal Ron

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The Gateway will not be human-rated (only Orion will).

That doesn't seem to make sense if humans are supposed to enter and/or occupy the LOP-G.

Was a reason given?
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 yg1968

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The Gateway will not be human-rated (only Orion will).

That doesn't seem to make sense if humans are supposed to enter and/or occupy the LOP-G.

Was a reason given?

I think that they said that if necessary, the crew could retreat Orion. But I suppose that it is similar to Dragon1 or Cygnus, it isn't human rated but astronauts can enter it. The question was concerning human-rated standards for lunar gateway.
« Last Edit: 07/28/2018 01:25 PM by yg1968 »

Offline Coastal Ron

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The Gateway will not be human-rated (only Orion will).

That doesn't seem to make sense if humans are supposed to enter and/or occupy the LOP-G.

Was a reason given?

I think that they said that if necessary, the crew could retreat Orion. But I suppose that it is similar to Dragon1 or Cygnus, it isn't human rated but astronauts can enter it. The question was concerning human-rated standards for lunar gateway.

My understanding is that there are different types of human ratings, and that Dragon Cargo is rated for human occupancy (entering, working, etc.), but not for human travel.
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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