Author Topic: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans  (Read 20645 times)

Offline Chris Bergin

NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« on: 09/11/2018 05:09 pm »
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/09/nasa-lunar-gateway-plans/

- By Philip Sloss.

Awesome 3,000 word overview, with something for everyone here, from SLS to Orion, to ULA, to SpaceX and Blue Origin, etc.

Renders by Nathan Koga for NSF/L2

Offline JonathanD

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #1 on: 09/11/2018 05:32 pm »

Well done article!  They certainly have a lot of plans, I'm still not clear on the purpose, though.

On NASA's website they state, "together with the Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion, the gateway is central to advancing and sustaining human space exploration goals, and is the unifying single stepping off point in our architecture for human cislunar operations, lunar surface access and missions to Mars."

I'm having a really hard time understanding how a small space station in a highly elliptical orbit around the moon furthers these goals.  dV requirements from the Gateway to the lunar surface would be greater than going direct, and other than being a hardware demonstrator I don't see how it has anything to do with Mars.  Crew duration capability is not long enough to have meaningful relevance for a Mars mission, and other than maybe radiation tests, I don't see the grand opportunity for science beyond what we can already do on ISS.  I'm not trying to be negative, but what am I missing?  The cynic in me says this is all just a program put together to justify building SLS, but I'd be happy to be wrong about that if folks could explain why this is our best next step to further human exploration.

Online RotoSequence

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #2 on: 09/11/2018 05:37 pm »

Well done article!  They certainly have a lot of plans, I'm still not clear on the purpose, though.

On NASA's website they state, "together with the Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion, the gateway is central to advancing and sustaining human space exploration goals, and is the unifying single stepping off point in our architecture for human cislunar operations, lunar surface access and missions to Mars."

I'm having a really hard time understanding how a small space station in a highly elliptical orbit around the moon furthers these goals.  dV requirements from the Gateway to the lunar surface would be greater than going direct, and other than being a hardware demonstrator I don't see how it has anything to do with Mars.  Crew duration capability is not long enough to have meaningful relevance for a Mars mission, and other than maybe radiation tests, I don't see the grand opportunity for science beyond what we can already do on ISS.  I'm not trying to be negative, but what am I missing?  The cynic in me says this is all just a program put together to justify building SLS, but I'd be happy to be wrong about that if folks could explain why this is our best next step to further human exploration.

Space hotel for astronauts to sit in and wait for a lander, cycler, or fuel truck to arrive?

Offline Cherokee43v6

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #3 on: 09/11/2018 05:59 pm »
Interesting the vagueness of the number of propulsion unit contracts.  It makes me wonder if there might be a behind the scenes push to have a SEP 'tug' to possibly move some of the later elements rather than rely on the Orion to act in that role.
"I didn't open the can of worms...
        ...I just pointed at it and laughed a little too loudly."

Offline TripleSeven

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #4 on: 09/11/2018 06:06 pm »
all they need is money

(OK a mission and a reason would be good but just send money)

Offline Phil Stooke

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #5 on: 09/11/2018 06:15 pm »
"I don't see the grand opportunity for science beyond what we can already do on ISS. "

Teleoperation on the lunar far side and in polar craters cannot be done from ISS.  So that gives us sample return, radio telescope deployment, rover traverses, volatile prospecting, pre-crew infrastructure buildup... yes indeed, lots to do that can't be done on ISS.

Offline TripleSeven

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #6 on: 09/11/2018 06:26 pm »
"I don't see the grand opportunity for science beyond what we can already do on ISS. "

Teleoperation on the lunar far side and in polar craters cannot be done from ISS.  So that gives us sample return, radio telescope deployment, rover traverses, volatile prospecting, pre-crew infrastructure buildup... yes indeed, lots to do that can't be done on ISS.

why can it not be done on ISS?  the Chinese are about to do it from the Earth.

Offline freddo411

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #7 on: 09/11/2018 06:52 pm »
Looks like "Flags and Floating", or "Flags and no Footprints".

Very little propulsion, very little volume, very little life support,  refueling to the PPE only.

The PPE envisioned is "basically... a commercial satellite bus augmented with electric propulsion”.   Sounds like a pretty ordinary piece of kit.   https://spacenews.com/largest-all-electric-satellite-to-date-completes-orbit-raising-in-record-time/

Can anyone articulate a reason to fly a very small, very expensive and quite complicated camper to a high lunar orbit?
Why would you go there repeated, for not very long, and not very frequently?   Why would you go to that location, at all? Even once?

I thought that SLS being a very big rocket would allow for large structures, negating the need for assembly of modules.  Huh, guess that argument was specious.

Online RotoSequence

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #8 on: 09/11/2018 07:10 pm »
Looks like "Flags and Floating", or "Flags and no Footprints".

Very little propulsion, very little volume, very little life support,  refueling to the PPE only.

The PPE envisioned is "basically... a commercial satellite bus augmented with electric propulsion”.   Sounds like a pretty ordinary piece of kit.   https://spacenews.com/largest-all-electric-satellite-to-date-completes-orbit-raising-in-record-time/

Can anyone articulate a reason to fly a very small, very expensive and quite complicated camper to a high lunar orbit?
Why would you go there repeated, for not very long, and not very frequently?   Why would you go to that location, at all? Even once?

I thought that SLS being a very big rocket would allow for large structures, negating the need for assembly of modules.  Huh, guess that argument was specious.

Test-bed or make-work would be my guess.

Offline Torbjorn Larsson, OM

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #9 on: 09/11/2018 07:35 pm »

Well done article!  They certainly have a lot of plans, I'm still not clear on the purpose, though.

On NASA's website they state, "together with the Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion, the gateway is central to advancing and sustaining human space exploration goals, and is the unifying single stepping off point in our architecture for human cislunar operations, lunar surface access and missions to Mars."

I'm having a really hard time understanding how a small space station in a highly elliptical orbit around the moon furthers these goals.  dV requirements from the Gateway to the lunar surface would be greater than going direct, and other than being a hardware demonstrator I don't see how it has anything to do with Mars.  Crew duration capability is not long enough to have meaningful relevance for a Mars mission, and other than maybe radiation tests, I don't see the grand opportunity for science beyond what we can already do on ISS.  I'm not trying to be negative, but what am I missing?  The cynic in me says this is all just a program put together to justify building SLS, but I'd be happy to be wrong about that if folks could explain why this is our best next step to further human exploration.

It will have some obvious support value, besides the international and ISS analog cooperation:
- Study Sun and its interactions; support interplanetary manned missions.
- Lunar backside communication node.
- Sterile sample transfer from both Moon and Mars (penciled in on the article plan images)

And I believe I read somewhere here that a Mars return will use Earth-Moon gravity assist for braking, and can use Moon as staging for the last return leg with Orion. Dunno if its valid or the Moon orbit is necessary, but I'll put it up for for the time being.

Online Coastal Ron

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #10 on: 09/11/2018 07:45 pm »
It's good they are refining their plans, and having dates in mind are critical to developing a budget.

However Congress has stated that they won't provide beyond the current $500M allocated for this effort until they get a detailed budgetary plan from NASA, so we'll see if NASA provides one or Congress decides to make the Lunar Gateway another open-ended program like the SLS and Orion.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Online ncb1397

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #11 on: 09/11/2018 07:54 pm »
It's good they are refining their plans, and having dates in mind are critical to developing a budget.

However Congress has stated that they won't provide beyond the current $500M allocated for this effort until they get a detailed budgetary plan from NASA, so we'll see if NASA provides one or Congress decides to make the Lunar Gateway another open-ended program like the SLS and Orion.

If you mean the budget profile, it is in the fy 2019 budget request...

2019: 504.2 million
2020: 662 million
2021: 540 million
2022: 558.9 million
2023: 459.1 million
https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/fy19_nasa_budget_estimates.pdf

This would be the costs to design and build the 3-4 components that are U.S. provided excluding launch costs. It is more or less in line with ISS construction costs. For instance, ESA spent ~2.6 billion in 2020s money on Columbus which is a similar mass to the U.S. hab. As far as PPE, a TDRS satellite costs about $300 million and weighs about half as much which would suggest a PPE cost in the neighborhood of $600 million. Adding in the U.S. utilization element at half the hab costs, and we get a sum total of 4.5 billion which would be this programs budget profile through around 2027. The schedule here puts launch of the U.S. hab around 2026. 
« Last Edit: 09/11/2018 08:09 pm by ncb1397 »

Offline Prettz

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #12 on: 09/11/2018 08:14 pm »
It will have some obvious support value, besides the international and ISS analog cooperation:
- Study Sun and its interactions; support interplanetary manned missions.
- Lunar backside communication node.
- Sterile sample transfer from both Moon and Mars (penciled in on the article plan images)
You're kidding right? A satellite around the moon can do the first two, and the second isn't happening (there is no manned lunar landing).

Online Coastal Ron

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #13 on: 09/11/2018 09:07 pm »
It's good they are refining their plans, and having dates in mind are critical to developing a budget.

However Congress has stated that they won't provide beyond the current $500M allocated for this effort until they get a detailed budgetary plan from NASA, so we'll see if NASA provides one or Congress decides to make the Lunar Gateway another open-ended program like the SLS and Orion.

If you mean the budget profile, it is in the fy 2019 budget request...

2019: 504.2 million
2020: 662 million
2021: 540 million
2022: 558.9 million
2023: 459.1 million
https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/fy19_nasa_budget_estimates.pdf

This would be the costs to design and build the 3-4 components that are U.S. provided excluding launch costs.

From what I understand (and I don't have the document handy) Congress wanted detailed cost estimates for the program. What you provided are top level spending estimates, which not only don't show any detail, but only go thru 2023. Congress wants a commitment from NASA on how much the entire program will cost, and how much each element will cost.

Quote
It is more or less in line with ISS construction costs. For instance, ESA spent ~2.6 billion in 2020s money on Columbus which is a similar mass to the U.S. hab. As far as PPE, a TDRS satellite costs about $300 million and weighs about half as much which would suggest a PPE cost in the neighborhood of $600 million. Adding in the U.S. utilization element at half the hab costs, and we get a sum total of 4.5 billion which would be this programs budget profile through around 2027. The schedule here puts launch of the U.S. hab around 2026.

In other words everything NASA is using is estimates. Which is fine for getting a feel for how much money a program will need, but so far the most detailed actual budget numbers come from RFI's, not RFQ's.

Congress wants budget numbers from NASA in order to set a spending limit. That was never done for the SLS and Orion, but is done for just about every other program. I think NASA will need to get RFQ responses in order to get valid numbers, and also to get commitments from commercial transportation service providers that NASA wants to share the burden - but NASA doesn't have commitments on what that means yet.

I think we're a long way from knowing how much this program will cost, and Congress doesn't seem to be in a rush to fund it
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 Hauerg

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #14 on: 09/11/2018 09:08 pm »
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/09/nasa-lunar-gateway-plans/

- By Philip Sloss.

Awesome 3,000 word overview, with something for everyone here, from SLS to Orion, to ULA, to SpaceX and Blue Origin, etc.

Renders by Nathan Koga for NSF/L2

Except that one system is not even mentioned: BFR/BFS to Luna would make ALL of this look like a joke.

Offline TripleSeven

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #15 on: 09/11/2018 09:19 pm »


It will have some obvious support value, besides the international and ISS analog cooperation:
- Study Sun and its interactions; support interplanetary manned missions.
- Lunar backside communication node.
- Sterile sample transfer from both Moon and Mars (penciled in on the article plan images)

And I believe I read somewhere here that a Mars return will use Earth-Moon gravity assist for braking, and can use Moon as staging for the last return leg with Orion. Dunno if its valid or the Moon orbit is necessary, but I'll put it up for for the time being.

the first one can be done by uncrewed probes.  the second can be done from uncrewed probe/s

we are no where close to the third thing

Offline tesla

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #16 on: 09/11/2018 09:35 pm »
Great article! SLS and Orion will be enormous vehicles.

What a time to be alive!

Go SLS
Go Orion
Go NASA
Go SLS and Orion! God bless America.

Online ncb1397

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #17 on: 09/11/2018 10:01 pm »

From what I understand (and I don't have the document handy) Congress wanted detailed cost estimates for the program. What you provided are top level spending estimates, which not only don't show any detail, but only go thru 2023. Congress wants a commitment from NASA on how much the entire program will cost, and how much each element will cost.


I believe you are talking about the house committee report.

Quote
As noted elsewhere in this report, while the Committee is supportive of these efforts, NASA shall submit a long-term plan, with yearly milestones and required budgets, to ensure that the program is executable with clear goals to gauge progress and improve adherence to budgets. The Committee expects NASA to examine how the Commercial Crew and Commercial Cargo programs can support the Platform.
https://docs.house.gov/meetings/AP/AP00/20180517/108330/HRPT-115-HR.pdf

The senate report has no similar language. It should be noted the committee reports don't have the force of law as they are not voted on by both the Senate and House and signed by the president (or even by either the full Senate or House). Regardless, my interpretation is annual top level budget numbers fulfill the "yearly milestones and required budgets" clause. And, as shown in this article, the yearly milestones have also been fleshed out.
« Last Edit: 09/11/2018 10:04 pm by ncb1397 »

Offline speedevil

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #18 on: 09/11/2018 10:43 pm »
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/09/nasa-lunar-gateway-plans/

- By Philip Sloss.

Awesome 3,000 word overview, with something for everyone here, from SLS to Orion, to ULA, to SpaceX and Blue Origin, etc.

Renders by Nathan Koga for NSF/L2

Except that one system is not even mentioned: BFR/BFS to Luna would make ALL of this look like a joke.

Pretty much any commercial heavy launcher, with propellant transfer in orbit, or payload transfer is all that's required to dramatically beat SLS performance, you don't even need to go to BFR/S.

Practically speaking, the gravy train is not going to be cancelled quickly. I would be truly astonished - even if BFR begins doing test launches in 2021 and BFS has had a successful flawless test campaign up to then that LOPG/SLS actually get cancelled before there are BFS on Mars or the moon, quite possibly crewed.

If this happens, there could then be a truly horrible bonfire of NASA where much of it becomes largely irrelevant, and the support finally dries up.
I see no politically viable way for NASA to even attempt to pivot from an infrastructure geared to provide hardware at $100K/kg+ to the lunar surface, to producing hardware at ~$5K/kg.

A rational space agency would at least be funding small projects to work on  what this might look like.
There are some programs which bear on this - the CLPS project, for example, but these are vanishingly small.


« Last Edit: 09/11/2018 10:47 pm by speedevil »

Online Coastal Ron

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #19 on: 09/11/2018 11:08 pm »
I believe you are talking about the house committee report.

Quote
As noted elsewhere in this report, while the Committee is supportive of these efforts, NASA shall submit a long-term plan, with yearly milestones and required budgets, to ensure that the program is executable with clear goals to gauge progress and improve adherence to budgets. The Committee expects NASA to examine how the Commercial Crew and Commercial Cargo programs can support the Platform.
https://docs.house.gov/meetings/AP/AP00/20180517/108330/HRPT-115-HR.pdf

Yes, thanks for digging that up.

Quote
The senate report has no similar language. It should be noted the committee reports don't have the force of law as they are not voted on by both the Senate and House and signed by the president (or even by either the full Senate or House).

No, they don't. But that statement reflects normal budgeting process. We have to remember that starting a program WITHOUT a budget target is not normal - Congress does not like to let agencies have free reign over spending on programs. And the Lunar Gateway is destined to be a VERY expensive program, costing tens of $Billions over a decade or more.

Plus NASA has not validated their cost estimates, nor have they validated what participation, if any, commercial companies would have under Public/Private Partnerships (PPP). There are lots of assumptions about how much money companies will contribute, but until a contract is signed it's all fictitious.

Quote
Regardless, my interpretation is annual top level budget numbers fulfill the "yearly milestones and required budgets" clause. And, as shown in this article, the yearly milestones have also been fleshed out.

Maybe for a Republican-led Congress, but that may change with Democrats in charge of one or more parts of Congress.
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 speedevil

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #20 on: 09/11/2018 11:33 pm »
But that statement reflects normal budgeting process. We have to remember that starting a program WITHOUT a budget target is not normal - Congress does not like to let agencies have free reign over spending on programs. And the Lunar Gateway is destined to be a VERY expensive program, costing tens of $Billions over a decade or more.
I might almost wonder if this is an attempt to say to congress
Quote
You wanted SLS and Orion, here is an evolutionary use for them
, and see if Congress can come up with some other sensible plan.

Given support for SLS and Orion, and SLS and Orion being the implied mainstays of the program going foward - something very much like LOPG is pretty much all you can do.

Offline butters

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #21 on: 09/12/2018 01:04 am »
At the risk of damning with faint praise, I slightly prefer the gateway to the asteroid redirect mission, although it will undoubtedly be more expensive and deprive NASA of any hope of funding a manned lunar lander anytime soon.

Offline QuantumG

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #22 on: 09/12/2018 01:58 am »
At the risk of damning with faint praise, I slightly prefer the gateway to the asteroid redirect mission, although it will undoubtedly be more expensive and deprive NASA of any hope of funding a manned lunar lander anytime soon.

Why? Because yet-another-space-station made out of tin cans is better than doing something humanity has never done before?
Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Offline su27k

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #23 on: 09/12/2018 02:14 am »
At the risk of damning with faint praise, I slightly prefer the gateway to the asteroid redirect mission, although it will undoubtedly be more expensive and deprive NASA of any hope of funding a manned lunar lander anytime soon.

That's exactly why LOP-G is much much worse than ARM, ARM is mostly harmless.
« Last Edit: 09/12/2018 02:21 am by su27k »

Offline butters

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #24 on: 09/12/2018 03:19 am »
At the risk of damning with faint praise, I slightly prefer the gateway to the asteroid redirect mission, although it will undoubtedly be more expensive and deprive NASA of any hope of funding a manned lunar lander anytime soon.

Why? Because yet-another-space-station made out of tin cans is better than doing something humanity has never done before?

Because at worst it's an outrageously overpriced lunar communications relay satellite. They call this gateway program cancellation-proof, but it seems like there's an opportunity for the international partners to save face after their pair of small modules are launched on EM-3. That mission depends on Block IB, which isn't 100% certain to survive the next 5 years either.

It's conceivable that the PPE is all there will ever be of this gateway plan. I think that would be an excellent outcome if the objective is a human presence on the lunar surface. If there's some pressurized cans hanging off the side of it, well, then it will be a monument to the billions of dollars which have been wasted on SDLV and Orion while it functions as a communications relay satellite.

Offline QuantumG

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #25 on: 09/12/2018 04:11 am »
Because at worst it's an outrageously overpriced lunar communications relay satellite.

And what do you imagine the worst case of the asteroid mission was? Did ya just make the comparison for no reason?

Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Offline butters

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #26 on: 09/12/2018 05:42 am »
Because at worst it's an outrageously overpriced lunar communications relay satellite.

And what do you imagine the worst case of the asteroid mission was? Did ya just make the comparison for no reason?

The problem with the asteroid mission is the best-case scenario: it's a successful one-off mission, we pat ourselves on the backs, and... what's next?

Online ncb1397

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #27 on: 09/12/2018 06:12 am »
Because at worst it's an outrageously overpriced lunar communications relay satellite.

And what do you imagine the worst case of the asteroid mission was? Did ya just make the comparison for no reason?

The problem with the asteroid mission is the best-case scenario: it's a successful one-off mission, we pat ourselves on the backs, and... what's next?

The idea was you take the ARM spacecraft, scale it ~10x, replace the rock with a HAB and fly to mars orbit and back. Gateway is superior because it includes the hab portion and you either scale the propulsion bus or add some sort/number of propulsion stages(some subset of lunar landers would work) to do the ~4 km/s to Mars orbit and back to moon/earth orbit.
« Last Edit: 09/12/2018 06:17 am by ncb1397 »

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #28 on: 09/12/2018 01:53 pm »
{snip}
 Regardless, my interpretation is annual top level budget numbers fulfill the "yearly milestones and required budgets" clause. And, as shown in this article, the yearly milestones have also been fleshed out.

Milestones have an output that can be independently inspected. Since projects tend to be late NASA may find two milestones a year better so it always has some good news to report to Congress. The public reporting date for the milestone can be several months later than the internal expected completion date.

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #29 on: 09/12/2018 03:15 pm »
At the risk of damning with faint praise, I slightly prefer the gateway to the asteroid redirect mission, although it will undoubtedly be more expensive and deprive NASA of any hope of funding a manned lunar lander anytime soon.

That depends on how the project is managed. A manned lunar lander consists of three main parts - the propulsion system, the life support and the airframe. It may be possible to use items from the Lunar Gateway.

The propulsion system includes the motor, fuel tanks, legs, radar, long range communications and navigation system. A reusable man rated cargo lunar lander with a 5-10 tonne payload can act as the propulsion system for a manned lander. If Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) does not produce such a lander then the Lunar Surface Transportation Capability program may.
https://www.fbo.gov/index?id=c716b289ae9f6c82cea8b87d59966cd2

If the NextSTEP Habitation subproject has succeeded in producing a working Environmental Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS) then a version could be used in the lunar lander.
https://www.nasa.gov/nextstep/habitation

The airframe will have to be specially made. It would include the cabin, walls, door, windows, docking port, controls, computing, cameras, short range communications, toilet, beds, cooking facilities, cupboards, external ladder, incorporate the ECLSS and be both connected to and integrated with the propulsion system.

Offline redliox

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #30 on: 09/12/2018 03:31 pm »
Like the article, in part because it admits much is still up in the air without anything getting launched yet.

Among the upcoming named manned programs, which includes Gateway, Orion, and SLS, the only one I openly care for would be SLS since, like any rocket, the payload and destination can vary.  It isn't a perfect rocket but it is the HLV people were begging for after the Columbia disaster now a decade ago.  Orion at worst I loathe while at best I believe its service module should be reworked.  Gateway I see as a more mixed matter...

That depends on how the project is managed.

That's what it comes down to.  Like SLS, and perhaps NASA as a whole, I think Gateway lacks a dedicated function.  Right now the thing is stuck in a cloud of ambiguity; it will either be thrown out or molded by an interested party.  Just like Orion and ARM before, it currently exists only to give SLS a mission; a mission like Europa Clipper though is more clearly defined.  The optimal situation is to give Gateway a focus just as the 'Clipper's focus is Europa.

Beyond this point it's just my opinion...

I think the best use Gateway to be would be for spacecraft servicing.  The Gateway could, and to some extent should, be used for space sciences and communication but probes and satellites can do this more cheaply.  The greatest strength humans ever had in the extensive experience in LEO was synergizing with machines, i.e. repairing Hubble for instance.  Especially if its posted in some stable spot (LaGrange point or NRO, ect), Gateway could at simplest be a storage point for landers or, more ambitiously, be given robotic arms or even a service bay so it can refuel and repair other vehicles in Cislunar space.  A step further might be docking a fuel tank, which is another idea many advocate for putting an orbital station to use; I'm unsure on this although robotic arms have been proven to be an asset aboard crew vehicles.

We probably won't see a lunar lander anytime soon, but it would be more likely to expect more satellites and infrastructure in Cislunar.  While waiting for a lunar lander to materialize or for a more popular Mars mission to complete the Gateway could puts it time and location to use helping these.

Gateway, as is, is a lame idea...but it could be made useful in a literal sense.
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Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #31 on: 09/13/2018 12:03 am »
I like the Gateway. Where ever we are in space, we will need modules similar to those. I think that it is the first step in living and working in space.

Online Coastal Ron

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #32 on: 09/13/2018 12:37 am »
I like the Gateway. Where ever we are in space, we will need modules similar to those.

Well, at least until we perfect rotating space stations, since we know that as of today we can't mitigate the long-term effects of 0G, so if we plan to spend more than a year in space we better hope it's on an artificial gravity space station and not a 0G one. Plus Orion cannot last more than 3 weeks in space, so it's obviously not going to be the spacecraft to keep humans out in space for long periods of time.

Quote
I think that it is the first step in living and working in space.

You're actually the first person I've heard say that, because everyone else claims the Gateway is part of the path to returning humans to the surface of our Moon. Hence the name...  ;)
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 KelvinZero

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #33 on: 09/13/2018 01:19 am »
Because at worst it's an outrageously overpriced lunar communications relay satellite.

And what do you imagine the worst case of the asteroid mission was? Did ya just make the comparison for no reason?

The problem with the asteroid mission is the best-case scenario: it's a successful one-off mission, we pat ourselves on the backs, and... what's next?

The idea was you take the ARM spacecraft, scale it ~10x, replace the rock with a HAB and fly to mars orbit and back. Gateway is superior because it includes the hab portion and you either scale the propulsion bus or add some sort/number of propulsion stages(some subset of lunar landers would work) to do the ~4 km/s to Mars orbit and back to moon/earth orbit.

As with constellation becoming SLS, I suspect not that much has really changed. The same companies are building the same tech with slightly different rationalisations. There were several hints the ARM proponents wanted an ongoing mission, eg talk of keeping the captured asteroid long term, and I think of using the SEP technology beyond the asteroid mission. I expect that if we every build the DSH, the ARM portion will pop back again because it is comparatively cheap and transforms the DSH from the perception of a trip to the middle of nowhere.

Im optimistic. DSH+ARM could be the perfect boondoggle to get stuck in. Do nothing but that and you are practicing everything you need to colonise the solar system, starting with the asteroid belt, phobos etc instead of moon and mars. It would be FAR better for this goal than a one of visit to just one NEO.

My wish-list.
(1) REALLY master just floating. That is 99% of space travel. The only other thing you need is a push. Most of the time you are just floating a long long way from earth so you have to get really confident in this. The ISS never really worked to give us this confidence because its primary mission was to justify use of the shuttle: an awesome swiss army knife that you can use to solve almost any problem but only in LEO, and also awesomely expensive even if you don't use it.
(1a) Bone health. The ISS is unsuitable for centrifuges etc due to the emphasis on very delicate microgravity experiments.
(1b) Radiation. Apparently ISS does not tell us all we need to know about this. We don't need to answer this before taking a gamble on one-off BEO missions, but it would be very useful to resolve before major long term BEO projects are invested in.
 
(2) Make in-space tech development the primary goal. There is such a big risk with moon or mars goals that you never even get there, so never develop anything at all.
(2a) Actually begin ISRU. DSH+ARM was absolutely the fastest route to this, especially if you discount propellant ISRU. Im talking about actually living off the land. While floating in the middle of nowhere, you could have multiple cheap ARM missions gathering rock samples from all over. This is far better than a single NEO mission where you are only sampling one rock, and so much extra effort is being diverted to making sure the crew actually get home. So much easier to get home from a lunar orbit, and so much easier to just sit there and get rescued later if you miss your window.

(3) Modular construction that can be done at a distance. And recoverable modules. In the future we could use this to assemble and grow a base around Phobos, for example. Reliance on the shuttle created a horrible motivation to solve the reverse of the problem we should be solving IMO: how to assure our construction methods make a mobile manned garage and lots of spacewalks look vital.

Offline su27k

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #34 on: 09/13/2018 02:01 am »
I like the Gateway. Where ever we are in space, we will need modules similar to those.

Well, at least until we perfect rotating space stations, since we know that as of today we can't mitigate the long-term effects of 0G, so if we plan to spend more than a year in space we better hope it's on an artificial gravity space station and not a 0G one. Plus Orion cannot last more than 3 weeks in space, so it's obviously not going to be the spacecraft to keep humans out in space for long periods of time.

Also radiation protection. For gravity at least we have some ideas that can probably work around it, no such thing for radiation, unless you want to bring tons of extra mass along for shielding. LOP-G solves none of these important issues for long term stay in space.
« Last Edit: 09/13/2018 02:02 am by su27k »

Online ncb1397

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #35 on: 09/13/2018 02:41 am »
I like the Gateway. Where ever we are in space, we will need modules similar to those.

Well, at least until we perfect rotating space stations, since we know that as of today we can't mitigate the long-term effects of 0G, so if we plan to spend more than a year in space we better hope it's on an artificial gravity space station and not a 0G one. Plus Orion cannot last more than 3 weeks in space, so it's obviously not going to be the spacecraft to keep humans out in space for long periods of time.

Also radiation protection. For gravity at least we have some ideas that can probably work around it, no such thing for radiation, unless you want to bring tons of extra mass along for shielding. LOP-G solves none of these important issues for long term stay in space.

The strategy is to use stuff you would take with you anyways like food and water. See the Lockheed Martin mockup. There is a reason logistics carriers and potable water containers fill most of the surface area with minimal gaps (even under the floor boards).
« Last Edit: 09/13/2018 02:44 am by ncb1397 »

Offline Khadgars

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #36 on: 09/13/2018 02:45 pm »
Looks like "Flags and Floating", or "Flags and no Footprints".

Very little propulsion, very little volume, very little life support,  refueling to the PPE only.

The PPE envisioned is "basically... a commercial satellite bus augmented with electric propulsion”.   Sounds like a pretty ordinary piece of kit.   https://spacenews.com/largest-all-electric-satellite-to-date-completes-orbit-raising-in-record-time/

Can anyone articulate a reason to fly a very small, very expensive and quite complicated camper to a high lunar orbit?
Why would you go there repeated, for not very long, and not very frequently?   Why would you go to that location, at all? Even once?

I thought that SLS being a very big rocket would allow for large structures, negating the need for assembly of modules.  Huh, guess that argument was specious.

I really hate this type of phrasing of a space program.  Calling anything in lunar orbit that can house humans a camper is a gross understatement of the nth degree.  Simply because you don't find it interesting or worth while doesn't mean its not.

Offline TripleSeven

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #37 on: 09/13/2018 03:01 pm »

My wish-list.
(1) REALLY master just floating. That is 99% of space travel. The only other thing you need is a push. Most of the time you are just floating a long long way from earth so you have to get really confident in this. The ISS never really worked to give us this confidence because its primary mission was to justify use of the shuttle: an awesome swiss army knife that you can use to solve almost any problem but only in LEO, and also awesomely expensive even if you don't use it.
(1a) Bone health. The ISS is unsuitable for centrifuges etc due to the emphasis on very delicate microgravity experiments.
(1b) Radiation. Apparently ISS does not tell us all we need to know about this. We don't need to answer this before taking a gamble on one-off BEO missions, but it would be very useful to resolve before major long term BEO projects are invested in.
 


I dont agree with a or b.  ISS is going to have a microgravity flyer at some point. master radiation.  thats a construction issue

but what is "master floating"?  what can the lunar thing do that ISS cannot?

Offline TripleSeven

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #38 on: 09/13/2018 03:01 pm »
Looks like "Flags and Floating", or "Flags and no Footprints".

Very little propulsion, very little volume, very little life support,  refueling to the PPE only.

The PPE envisioned is "basically... a commercial satellite bus augmented with electric propulsion”.   Sounds like a pretty ordinary piece of kit.   https://spacenews.com/largest-all-electric-satellite-to-date-completes-orbit-raising-in-record-time/

Can anyone articulate a reason to fly a very small, very expensive and quite complicated camper to a high lunar orbit?
Why would you go there repeated, for not very long, and not very frequently?   Why would you go to that location, at all? Even once?

I thought that SLS being a very big rocket would allow for large structures, negating the need for assembly of modules.  Huh, guess that argument was specious.

I really hate this type of phrasing of a space program.  Calling anything in lunar orbit that can house humans a camper is a gross understatement of the nth degree.  Simply because you don't find it interesting or worth while doesn't mean its not.

calling it a camper is being kind.  its not even capable really of that

its not worth anything

Offline alexterrell

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #39 on: 09/13/2018 03:02 pm »
Quote
The two Hab modules, one provided by the United States and one provided internationally, would now provide at least 125 cubic meters of habitable volume. Those would be launched with Orion on separate SLS flights following the ESPRIT and Utilization modules on EM-3.

It seems from this that NASA is basically designing the hab modules and then getting someone to build this. And 2 hab modules risks this becoming like the ISS - an expensive observatory to watch BFS zooming by.

Can't they just ask for "at least 125 cubic metres, launched on whatever, fit for X people for long stay, and docking to .... (OK - maybe a dozen pages of requirements)"

Wouldn't this be the sort of requirement that a BA-330 could fulfill, perhaps with some extra storage and radiation shielding for high Earth orbit?

Offline TripleSeven

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #40 on: 09/13/2018 03:18 pm »
Quote
The two Hab modules, one provided by the United States and one provided internationally, would now provide at least 125 cubic meters of habitable volume. Those would be launched with Orion on separate SLS flights following the ESPRIT and Utilization modules on EM-3.

It seems from this that NASA is basically designing the hab modules and then getting someone to build this. And 2 hab modules risks this becoming like the ISS - an expensive observatory to watch BFS zooming by.

Can't they just ask for "at least 125 cubic metres, launched on whatever, fit for X people for long stay, and docking to .... (OK - maybe a dozen pages of requirements)"

Wouldn't this be the sort of requirement that a BA-330 could fulfill, perhaps with some extra storage and radiation shielding for high Earth orbit?

it would be more than a dozen pages, but yes they could do exactly as you asked, except thats not really their point.

the point is to crank back up the NASA build machine

Offline freddo411

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #41 on: 09/13/2018 04:19 pm »
Looks like "Flags and Floating", or "Flags and no Footprints".

Very little propulsion, very little volume, very little life support,  refueling to the PPE only.

The PPE envisioned is "basically... a commercial satellite bus augmented with electric propulsion”.   Sounds like a pretty ordinary piece of kit.   https://spacenews.com/largest-all-electric-satellite-to-date-completes-orbit-raising-in-record-time/

Can anyone articulate a reason to fly a very small, very expensive and quite complicated camper to a high lunar orbit?
Why would you go there repeated, for not very long, and not very frequently?   Why would you go to that location, at all? Even once?

I thought that SLS being a very big rocket would allow for large structures, negating the need for assembly of modules.  Huh, guess that argument was specious.

I really hate this type of phrasing of a space program.  Calling anything in lunar orbit that can house humans a camper is a gross understatement of the nth degree.  Simply because you don't find it interesting or worth while doesn't mean its not.

Tell me, what is happening at the gateway exactly?   This is a serious question.   


Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #42 on: 09/13/2018 04:57 pm »
Looks like "Flags and Floating", or "Flags and no Footprints".

Very little propulsion, very little volume, very little life support,  refueling to the PPE only.

The PPE envisioned is "basically... a commercial satellite bus augmented with electric propulsion”.   Sounds like a pretty ordinary piece of kit.   https://spacenews.com/largest-all-electric-satellite-to-date-completes-orbit-raising-in-record-time/

Can anyone articulate a reason to fly a very small, very expensive and quite complicated camper to a high lunar orbit?
Why would you go there repeated, for not very long, and not very frequently?   Why would you go to that location, at all? Even once?

I thought that SLS being a very big rocket would allow for large structures, negating the need for assembly of modules.  Huh, guess that argument was specious.

I really hate this type of phrasing of a space program.  Calling anything in lunar orbit that can house humans a camper is a gross understatement of the nth degree.  Simply because you don't find it interesting or worth while doesn't mean its not.

A space camper is what the LOP-G is. At least when the spacestation is upgraded with a toilet, washing facilities, galley and life support.

Campers are used when you have people staying in the open spaces away where there are no hotels. The movie industry is a big user of them. The stars each have their own trailer with vans to carry the cameras, lights, sound equipment, generator and field kitchen. The extras and crew are brought in on coaches and taxis.

Since NASA is doing more than making a film what is the function of the world's most expensive camper?

When its function is know what additional modules are needed to permit the LOP-G to perform that function?

Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #43 on: 09/13/2018 11:46 pm »
Quote
The two Hab modules, one provided by the United States and one provided internationally, would now provide at least 125 cubic meters of habitable volume. Those would be launched with Orion on separate SLS flights following the ESPRIT and Utilization modules on EM-3.

It seems from this that NASA is basically designing the hab modules and then getting someone to build this. And 2 hab modules risks this becoming like the ISS - an expensive observatory to watch BFS zooming by.

Can't they just ask for "at least 125 cubic metres, launched on whatever, fit for X people for long stay, and docking to .... (OK - maybe a dozen pages of requirements)"

Wouldn't this be the sort of requirement that a BA-330 could fulfill, perhaps with some extra storage and radiation shielding for high Earth orbit?

Most of the cost of ISS is actually commercial crew and cargo. That is why gateway will not permanently be crewed, doing so would increase its cost tremendously.
« Last Edit: 09/13/2018 11:47 pm by yg1968 »

Offline Eric Hedman

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #44 on: 09/14/2018 12:32 am »
Most of the cost of ISS is actually commercial crew and cargo. That is why gateway will not permanently be crewed, doing so would increase its cost tremendously.
Which is why bringing down the cost of spaceflight is still the biggest driver for any significant presence in space regardless of where we go.

Offline pathfinder_01

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #45 on: 09/14/2018 04:23 am »


Most of the cost of ISS is actually commercial crew and cargo. That is why gateway will not permanently be crewed, doing so would increase its cost tremendously.

While most of the cost of any station would be cargo and crew, the reason here is because SLS is unable to launch with enough frequency for a station to be permanently crewed. The current launch rate is projected to be 2 per year at best. Unless NASA wants six month stays the system can not support a permanent presence.

Offline freddo411

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #46 on: 09/14/2018 05:49 am »

Most of the cost of ISS is actually commercial crew and cargo. That is why gateway will not permanently be crewed, doing so would increase its cost tremendously.

Sure, that's a logical syllogism.   Manned spacecraft are so expensive when we launch men and supplies to them.
LOPG would be cheapest of all if we only launched the PPE and let it take pictures.

To me this paints the absurdity of LOPG; it isn't even important enough to want to spend the effort to man it more than a few days.

I'm not even sure your premise is true.   How heavy would 12 months of food/water/O2 and such be?  Compare that to the costs associated with launching Orion and the LOPG.   

Online ncb1397

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #47 on: 09/14/2018 06:22 am »

I'm not even sure your premise is true.   How heavy would 12 months of food/water/O2 and such be?  Compare that to the costs associated with launching Orion and the LOPG.

Most of the upmass(and by correlation, upmass cost) in the CRS program is not stuff related to keeping the crew alive, but is instead stuff related to the research activities on board. For instance, this was the CRS-14 manifest:

Quote
Science investigations: 1,070 kg (2,359 lb)
Crew supplies: 344 kg (758 lb)
Vehicle hardware: 148 kg (326 lb)
Spacewalk equipment: 99 kg (218 lb)
Computer resources: 49 kg (108 lb)
Russian hardware: 11 kg (24 lb)
External payloads: 926 kg (2,041 lb)
Atmosphere-Space Interactions Monitor (ASIM)
Materials ISS Experiment Flight Facility (MISSE-FF)
Pump and Flow Control Subassembly (PFCS)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SpaceX_CRS-14

Only 13% of the manifest was crew supplies. A single Cygnus launched and docked could provide crew supplies for about a year. And you will notice the crew stay times at LOP-G have tended to increase over time. At first, they were talking about 26-42 days. Now they are talking about 30-90 days. There is no hard limit.

Quote
Unless NASA wants six month stays the system can not support a permanent presence.

6 months isn't exactly unheard of.





« Last Edit: 09/14/2018 06:30 am by ncb1397 »

Offline su27k

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #48 on: 09/14/2018 07:48 am »
Most of the cost of ISS is actually commercial crew and cargo.

Incorrect. From FY2020 onward, ISS annual maintenance and research budget is $1.4B, while cargo/crew transportation annual budget is $1.8B, so 43% vs 57%, the latter hardly qualifies as "most".

Quote
That is why gateway will not permanently be crewed, doing so would increase its cost tremendously.

If you couldn't afford to use it, why do you build it in the first place?

Offline woods170

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #49 on: 09/14/2018 08:09 am »
If you couldn't afford to use it, why do you build it in the first place?

Because of this:

the point is to crank back up the NASA build machine

The very same reason why SLS and Orion are (still) being built.

Offline alexterrell

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #50 on: 09/14/2018 08:51 am »
If you couldn't afford to use it, why do you build it in the first place?

Because of this:

the point is to crank back up the NASA build machine

The very same reason why SLS and Orion are (still) being built.
... and that is the reason why the benefit of these projects is questionable. NASA builds then so that NASA can build them.

Offline TripleSeven

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #51 on: 09/14/2018 09:05 am »
If you couldn't afford to use it, why do you build it in the first place?

Because of this:

the point is to crank back up the NASA build machine

The very same reason why SLS and Orion are (still) being built.
... and that is the reason why the benefit of these projects is questionable. NASA builds then so that NASA can build them.

the only reason space "Places" have value is if they enable something past 1) building them and 2) occupying them

the problem with this design is that it does neither

the only time it can be visited is on construction efforts and those take about hwat 5-10 years.  in the meantime there is really nothing done at the statiton of any value but simply building it

there is no "private" hardware built which will allow "modification" of that hardware to a lander. 

so really what you have is a 1) build 2) construct and then at some point in the long future "do something whatever that is with" phase.  in the meantime what it accomplishes is nothing that a good relay satellite could not do

Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #52 on: 09/14/2018 07:49 pm »

Most of the cost of ISS is actually commercial crew and cargo. That is why gateway will not permanently be crewed, doing so would increase its cost tremendously.

Sure, that's a logical syllogism.   Manned spacecraft are so expensive when we launch men and supplies to them.
LOPG would be cheapest of all if we only launched the PPE and let it take pictures.

To me this paints the absurdity of LOPG; it isn't even important enough to want to spend the effort to man it more than a few days.

I'm not even sure your premise is true.   How heavy would 12 months of food/water/O2 and such be?  Compare that to the costs associated with launching Orion and the LOPG.

At a NAC meeting, Gerst said that missions to the Gateway could be longer in the future.

Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #53 on: 09/14/2018 07:52 pm »
Most of the cost of ISS is actually commercial crew and cargo.

Incorrect. From FY2020 onward, ISS annual maintenance and research budget is $1.4B, while cargo/crew transportation annual budget is $1.8B, so 43% vs 57%, the latter hardly qualifies as "most".

That is what I meant by most. I meant most as in the majority of the cost. I knew that it was slightly more than half. In hindsight, perhaps I should have used the words "the majority of the cost" in order to be clearer.
« Last Edit: 09/14/2018 07:56 pm by yg1968 »

Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #54 on: 09/14/2018 07:59 pm »
If you couldn't afford to use it, why do you build it in the first place?

Because of this:

the point is to crank back up the NASA build machine

The very same reason why SLS and Orion are (still) being built.
... and that is the reason why the benefit of these projects is questionable. NASA builds then so that NASA can build them.

That is why they call it the "proving ground". It will eventually "evolve" into a Mars transportation system.

Offline TripleSeven

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #55 on: 09/14/2018 08:00 pm »
If you couldn't afford to use it, why do you build it in the first place?

Because of this:

the point is to crank back up the NASA build machine

The very same reason why SLS and Orion are (still) being built.
... and that is the reason why the benefit of these projects is questionable. NASA builds then so that NASA can build them.

That is why they call it the "proving ground". It will eventually "evolve" into a Mars transportation system.

based on what? why would the gateway evolve and ISS not?

Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #56 on: 09/14/2018 08:02 pm »
If you couldn't afford to use it, why do you build it in the first place?

Because of this:

the point is to crank back up the NASA build machine

The very same reason why SLS and Orion are (still) being built.
... and that is the reason why the benefit of these projects is questionable. NASA builds then so that NASA can build them.

That is why they call it the "proving ground". It will eventually "evolve" into a Mars transportation system.

based on what? why would the gateway evolve and ISS not?

Based on prior NAC presentations, the Mars transportation system ressembled the gateway.

Offline Khadgars

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #57 on: 09/15/2018 01:17 am »
I find it astounding the way the comments continue to be on here.  I understand that most everyone is beyond cynical at this point, and for some good reasons for sure.  But listening to everyone state that what is essentially a mini ISS in lunar orbit that involves multiple space agencies has zero value?  I don't get it, even if you are not for government funded launch vehicles.


Online ncb1397

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #58 on: 09/15/2018 01:40 am »
If you couldn't afford to use it, why do you build it in the first place?

Because of this:

the point is to crank back up the NASA build machine

The very same reason why SLS and Orion are (still) being built.
... and that is the reason why the benefit of these projects is questionable. NASA builds then so that NASA can build them.

That is why they call it the "proving ground". It will eventually "evolve" into a Mars transportation system.

based on what? why would the gateway evolve and ISS not?

Based on prior NAC presentations, the Mars transportation system ressembled the gateway.

It isn't just a passing resemblance. The 320 KW Mars crew vehicle used the 40 KW system's subsystems and structures (just more of them).

Quote
In Section IV.C, a Block 1a SEP concept is described that extends the performance of the 40-kW Block 1 SEP stage described in Section IV.B while minimizing the number of systems that would need to be newly space qualified. Taking that approach one step further, a Block 2 SEP system concept was developed that uses the Block 1a structures and subsystems to provide 320 kW of power to the electric thrusters and integrates chemical thrusters to provide sufficient capability to transport four astronauts during a conjunction-class mission to the Mars surface
https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20160003683.pdf

Online Lemurion

Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #59 on: 09/15/2018 03:05 am »
I find it astounding the way the comments continue to be on here.  I understand that most everyone is beyond cynical at this point, and for some good reasons for sure.  But listening to everyone state that what is essentially a mini ISS in lunar orbit that involves multiple space agencies has zero value?  I don't get it, even if you are not for government funded launch vehicles.



I think the problem with the Gateway is that while it may offer certain benefits, it has enough drawbacks that offset its benefits that it may well end up with a net zero value.

It makes a return to the Moon objectively harder by increasing the delta-V requirements, and the argument has been made that it will take up enough of NASA's HSF budget that the agency won't really be able to afford to do anything else of any significance during its lifetime.

Offline freddo411

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #60 on: 09/15/2018 03:13 am »
I find it astounding the way the comments continue to be on here.  I understand that most everyone is beyond cynical at this point, and for some good reasons for sure.  But listening to everyone state that what is essentially a mini ISS in lunar orbit that involves multiple space agencies has zero value?  I don't get it, even if you are not for government funded launch vehicles.



Perhaps an analogy would be useful here.   

Imagine the Army corp of Engineers needs a project in order to stay gainfully employed.   So a mysterious process occurs where the it is decided that they should go to the geographic center of Kansas and build a giant, 5 billion dollar earthen wall 900 meters high by 10 km long -- the largest dam ever constructed ... except it is not actually holding back a river.

This is the most fantastic project ever!  It is the biggest!   It takes a great deal of work by talented engineers and builders from all 50 US states.   It is a marvel of engineering.

Is this wise?

Online Coastal Ron

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #61 on: 09/15/2018 04:18 am »
That is why they call it the "proving ground". It will eventually "evolve" into a Mars transportation system.

I think that there are many that don't see how the Lunar Gateway is a direct "proving ground" for going to Mars.

Sure, it's going to be a human habitat that is beyond LEO, but it's not meant for long-term occupation - which is probably the single most important attribute to be developed and tested for long-duration trips to places like Mars.

The Lunar Gateway would certainly be a progression from our LEO efforts. But at what cost? And while NASA talks about Public/Private Partnerships (PPP), which are laudable, PPP's require a business case for the private partners, and it's not clear what that business case is.

For instance, neither of the current PPP's, the Commercial Cargo and Commercial Crew programs, have been able to attract non-NASA business. So I would not be surprised if the private sector would be leery/cautious about assuming there would be a business case for investing their own money in a Lunar Gateway.

But a Lunar Gateway effort could just use the private sector in a straight contractor capacity, which is fine, but that should be delineated in the cost analysis for the Lunar Gateway. And, BTW, such a cost analysis has not been given to Congress, much less the public. So we don't know how this Lunar Gateway would compare to our current space station, the ISS - which is important, since the cost of the ISS is something that is debated as to whether it's worth the taxpayer money, so one would think knowing the cost of the Lunar Gateway would be important as a comparison.

It is clear that NASA has more to do on the proposal for the Lunar Gateway, so maybe the above questions will be addressed. More information would be helpful...
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 Prettz

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #62 on: 09/15/2018 04:30 am »
If you couldn't afford to use it, why do you build it in the first place?

Because of this:

the point is to crank back up the NASA build machine

The very same reason why SLS and Orion are (still) being built.
... and that is the reason why the benefit of these projects is questionable. NASA builds then so that NASA can build them.

That is why they call it the "proving ground". It will eventually "evolve" into a Mars transportation system.
Solar-electric propulsion has no role to play in manned missions to Mars.

Online MATTBLAK

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #63 on: 09/15/2018 04:49 am »
It would be useful to send 'cargo containers' or chemical propulsion modules (Earth return?) to Martian orbit. Or indeed, most anything you want. It all depends on one's chosen mission architecture.
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Online MATTBLAK

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #64 on: 09/15/2018 04:55 am »
I'm beginning to think the LOP-G overall is a $20 billion dollar waste of time and money. You could build a pretty good Lander for that kind of money - or at least get most of the way to one. Unless the facility was a dedicated Propellant Depot for a truly reusable Lunar Lander; and it would have to be in the best orbit possible for delta-vee benefits (L-1?). I would recommend L-1 because if a lunar farside radio astronomy rig is set up, a station constantly at L-2 could undermine the research.
« Last Edit: 09/15/2018 05:00 am by MATTBLAK »
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Offline speedevil

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #65 on: 09/15/2018 09:45 am »
It would be useful to send 'cargo containers' or chemical propulsion modules (Earth return?) to Martian orbit. Or indeed, most anything you want. It all depends on one's chosen mission architecture.
For a fully developed LOPG to be cheaper to do some mission architectures, and for that to be a valid justification for it implies some things that it seems a large stretch to be true.

In order for it to be useful to do that, you need to get the component to LOPG, which is most of the delta-v to Mars.
Once you add on the required Argon or whatever to get the tug to and back from Mars insertion, the total mass may well not have gone down, and additional requirements may have been added on to make it safe to approach LOPG.
If you're using the ion tug to bring it from earth, it is unclear why you'd move it through LOPG.

If you are sending (say) 100 tons total to Mars using a (by that time) $30B resource, and using as a primary justification that you've halved the cost of doing so (which may be true, for some sorts of launchers), you are implicitly valuing your cargo at some 600M/ton, and assuming that it is utterly impossible to do it cheaper.

I note that FH can launch stuff direct to Mars for of the order of $10M/ton, without any optimisation, so the above justification also implies that it is impossible to shrink cost of stuff going to Mars (not cost of launch) to much below $600M/ton.

It also implies wholesale failure of the efforts to get reusability working, and assumes that they have been delayed for more than a decade, and that assembly in orbit - even for docking - remains impossible for that decade, even in the face of a $30B investment as an alternative in those technologies.



Online MATTBLAK

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #66 on: 09/15/2018 09:53 am »
I did say 'depending on one's chosen mission architecture'. I was not explicitly advocating SEP cargo tugs. A combined chemical/SEP approach - under certain circumstances - could be a really efficient way to do things.
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Offline speedevil

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #67 on: 09/15/2018 10:06 am »
I did say 'depending on one's chosen mission architecture'. I was not explicitly advocating SEP cargo tugs. A combined chemical/SEP approach - under certain circumstances - could be a really efficient way to do things.

'Depending on one's chosen mission architecture' implies there is one mission architecture at least for which LOPG plays a key role.

Can you point to one?

Online TrevorMonty

Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #68 on: 09/15/2018 11:00 am »
I find it astounding the way the comments continue to be on here.  I understand that most everyone is beyond cynical at this point, and for some good reasons for sure.  But listening to everyone state that what is essentially a mini ISS in lunar orbit that involves multiple space agencies has zero value?  I don't get it, even if you are not for government funded launch vehicles.



I think the problem with the Gateway is that while it may offer certain benefits, it has enough drawbacks that offset its benefits that it may well end up with a net zero value.

It makes a return to the Moon objectively harder by increasing the delta-V requirements, and the argument has been made that it will take up enough of NASA's HSF budget that the agency won't really be able to afford to do anything else of any significance during its lifetime.
How does it increase DV to moon surface.?

 Staging in LLO is impossible with Orion.
Which is one of reasons why they choose this orbit.

Online MATTBLAK

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #69 on: 09/15/2018 11:06 am »
I did say 'depending on one's chosen mission architecture'. I was not explicitly advocating SEP cargo tugs. A combined chemical/SEP approach - under certain circumstances - could be a really efficient way to do things.

'Depending on one's chosen mission architecture' implies there is one mission architecture at least for which LOPG plays a key role.

Can you point to one?
No - there have just been notional discussions here and elsewhere. I've seen a Boeing PowerPoint somewhere that was around before LOP-G and the 'Deep Space Gateway'. Solar SEP ideas have been around since the asteroid retrieval concept and before that, too.
« Last Edit: 09/15/2018 11:09 am by MATTBLAK »
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Offline speedevil

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #70 on: 09/15/2018 11:17 am »
It makes a return to the Moon objectively harder by increasing the delta-V requirements, and the argument has been made that it will take up enough of NASA's HSF budget that the agency won't really be able to afford to do anything else of any significance during its lifetime.
How does it increase DV to moon surface.?

Staging in LLO is impossible with Orion.
Which is one of reasons why they choose this orbit.
That is only a justification for a program if all similar capability vehicles that might be purchased with equivalent funding share this limitation.
This is at least very arguable.

I think it also implicitly assumes that SLS with the EUS is delayed for the forseeable future, as with the EUS, Orion can get to LLO. (rough numbers I have not verified)

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #71 on: 09/15/2018 11:38 am »
Staging in LLO is impossible with Orion. Which is one of reasons why they choose this orbit.

Staging in LLO is possible with Orion, provided that the EUS can last the three days to the Moon and perform LOI. Orion then has enough delta-V to leave LLO on its own.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline pathfinder_01

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #72 on: 09/15/2018 04:34 pm »

In order for it to be useful to do that, you need to get the component to LOPG, which is most of the delta-v to Mars.
Once you add on the required Argon or whatever to get the tug to and back from Mars insertion, the total mass may well not have gone down, and additional requirements may have been added on to make it safe to approach LOPG.

The way it would work is that you would use an chemical rocket to escape earth orbit and SEP to speed the trip to Mars then use chemical again to get into orbit around Mars and use SEP or Chemical to return to Earth parking in an high earth orbit for reuse. The SEP would tend to shrink the total mass of the mission as most of the mass of an mars mission is propellant and you are departing from a high orbit. However I would agree that LOPG is not needed for this as the ship could be assembled anywhere and does not need LOPG for assembly. In fact many plans call for using SEP to push a craft into high Earth orbit from LEO( negating the need for SLS) and LOPG if assembled elsewhere could put built by currently operational rockets then moved to it's location.


Quote
If you're using the ion tug to bring it from earth, it is unclear why you'd move it through LOPG.

Reminds me of one of the selling points of the ISS that spacecraft could be assembled there for missions to the Moon or Mars and once the ISS is built, protecting the microgravity trumped that use.  Color me doubtful that NASA will build anything more after it gets LOP-G for budget reasons.



Quote
It also implies wholesale failure of the efforts to get reusability working, and assumes that they have been delayed for more than a decade, and that assembly in orbit - even for docking - remains impossible for that decade, even in the face of a $30B investment as an alternative in those technologies.

Nah it simply is a make work project for SLS/Orion. I like the SEP part but everything else is doubtful. SEP could reduce the cost of going to Mars under the right conditions but as currently presented I fear that LOPG will be more an hindrance than an help.

Online TrevorMonty

Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #73 on: 09/15/2018 08:21 pm »

In order for it to be useful to do that, you need to get the component to LOPG, which is most of the delta-v to Mars.
Once you add on the required Argon or whatever to get the tug to and back from Mars insertion, the total mass may well not have gone down, and additional requirements may have been added on to make it safe to approach LOPG.

The way it would work is that you would use an chemical rocket to escape earth orbit and SEP to speed the trip to Mars then use chemical again to get into orbit around Mars and use SEP or Chemical to return to Earth parking in an high earth orbit for reuse. The SEP would tend to shrink the total mass of the mission as most of the mass of an mars mission is propellant and you are departing from a high orbit. However I would agree that LOPG is not needed for this as the ship could be assembled anywhere and does not need LOPG for assembly. In fact many plans call for using SEP to push a craft into high Earth orbit from LEO( negating the need for SLS) and LOPG if assembled elsewhere could put built by currently operational rockets then moved to it's location.


Quote
If you're using the ion tug to bring it from earth, it is unclear why you'd move it through LOPG.

Reminds me of one of the selling points of the ISS that spacecraft could be assembled there for missions to the Moon or Mars and once the ISS is built, protecting the microgravity trumped that use.  Color me doubtful that NASA will build anything more after it gets LOP-G for budget reasons.



Quote
It also implies wholesale failure of the efforts to get reusability working, and assumes that they have been delayed for more than a decade, and that assembly in orbit - even for docking - remains impossible for that decade, even in the face of a $30B investment as an alternative in those technologies.

Nah it simply is a make work project for SLS/Orion. I like the SEP part but everything else is doubtful. SEP could reduce the cost of going to Mars under the right conditions but as currently presented I fear that LOPG will be more an hindrance than an help.
There is no public plans by NASA to enable EUS to do this.

There is also issue with Orion radiators not supporting LLO operations. See page 19-20 from this report.

http://fiso.spiritastro.net/telecon/Whitley_4-13-16/

The current long term plan is mining polar water for fuel, hence choice of NRO. With surface refuelling landers only need a DV of 2.7km/s, then staging at EML1 or NRO is better option. As this reduces DV requirements of LEO-NRO trip.



Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #74 on: 09/17/2018 02:51 pm »
To me Gateway is exactly what NASA should be doing. NASA can leave transportation to commercial companies but building space infrastructure such as Gateway is still needed.

Online Coastal Ron

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #75 on: 09/17/2018 11:12 pm »
To me Gateway is exactly what NASA should be doing. NASA can leave transportation to commercial companies but building space infrastructure such as Gateway is still needed.

With the Lunar Gateway NASA is still in the space transportation business - how do you think the crew get to/from the Lunar Gateway? The NASA SLS and Orion.

And building space infrastructure is also a transportation task, which is also being done by the SLS.

Taking that into account commercial companies don't really have much to do other than deliver some occasional cargo.
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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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #76 on: 09/18/2018 02:39 am »
Yes, I know but my point was that the Gateway would still work with BFR or some other commercial rocket.
« Last Edit: 09/18/2018 02:40 am by yg1968 »

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #77 on: 09/18/2018 02:54 am »
Yes, I know but my point was that the Gateway would still work with BFR or some other commercial rocket.

In theory insert some electric propulsion modules in place of the "after cargo" modules in the BFR. Then you can have an orbiting BFS in any Lunar orbit you wanted by about 2024 if the SpaceX schedule holds for the cost of booking a few BFR flights and leasing a BFS.  ;D

It appears that the current LOP-G (Gateway) concept is superseded by current events at Hawthorne.

Online Coastal Ron

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #78 on: 09/18/2018 03:02 am »
Yes, I know but my point was that the Gateway would still work with BFR or some other commercial rocket.

Why would you need the Lunar Gateway if the BFS can take you to the surface of the Moon for far less than the SLS/Orion?

As of today the U.S. Government is hoping that the private sector will be willing to partner with NASA on the Lunar Gateway, but in reality there really isn't much that the private sector can partner on.

For instance, the U.S. Government is not asking for the private sector to participate in the conceptual design and what the goals will be (i.e. their needs) - those have already been decided. The SLS and Orion will perform all of the major transportation tasks, and what is left is unlikely to lead to an opportunity that the private sector will want to spend their own money on, which is why I think private sector support missions will be a simple contractor arrangements.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Online ncb1397

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #79 on: 09/18/2018 04:43 am »

For instance, the U.S. Government is not asking for the private sector to participate in the conceptual design ...

There is more than one private sector company out there. See attachment.

Quote
The SLS and Orion will perform all of the major transportation tasks

20% of construction flights are currently slated for a launch vehicle other than SLS. If there was an alternative vehicle, that percentage might change. Cargo flights are slated to go on other launchers than SLS, with the caveat if there is extra performance on SLS crew flights, it will be used. 100% of crew flights are slated to go on SLS, but that percentage could change if there is an alternative vehicle (which there isn't currently).

Quote
which is why I think private sector support missions will be a simple contractor arrangements.

So?

Quote
Why would you need the Lunar Gateway if the BFS can take you to the surface of the Moon for far less than the SLS/Orion?

1.) BFS can't do anything currently. The farthest it has is a few hundred feet off of a barge
2.) NASA is developing electric propulsion systems that BFS doesn't satisfy. Travel times would be on the order of 2 months to 15 months to Mars, which, on the high performance end is far superior to anything BFS is capable of and requires far less IMLEO (like 150 tons for a single ship). If the government hadn't supported chemical rockets 50 years ago, it is entirely possible that they wouldn't have progressed to the point currently where BFR was acheivable.
« Last Edit: 09/18/2018 04:47 am by ncb1397 »

Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #80 on: 09/18/2018 06:01 pm »
Yes, I know but my point was that the Gateway would still work with BFR or some other commercial rocket.

Why would you need the Lunar Gateway if the BFS can take you to the surface of the Moon for far less than the SLS/Orion?

In my opinion, cislunar space is a destination just as much as the Moon or Mars.

In hindsight I wish that hadn't mentionned BFR. For the time being NASA is assuming that BFR may or may not happen and I think that is the right approach since the funding ($5B) for BFR may or may not materialize. But I think that NASA should plan on using FH (and its competitors) for the gateway since it exists.
« Last Edit: 09/18/2018 06:02 pm by yg1968 »

Offline Wudizzle

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #81 on: 09/18/2018 06:28 pm »
Yes, I know but my point was that the Gateway would still work with BFR or some other commercial rocket.

Why would you need the Lunar Gateway if the BFS can take you to the surface of the Moon for far less than the SLS/Orion?

In my opinion, cislunar space is a destination just as much as the Moon or Mars.

In hindsight I wish that hadn't mentionned BFR. For the time being NASA is assuming that BFR may or may not happen and I think that is the right approach since the funding ($5B) for BFR may or may not materialize. But I think that NASA should plan on using FH (and its competitors) for the gateway since it exists.

Being concerned that $5B may not materialize to fund a system 10x more capable than the one you're currently spending $30B+ on is a REALLY good description of why Lunar Gateway exists and gives great insight into its likely utility.

Removing comparisons to other still-notional architectures altogether, I still can't find what function Lunar Gateway provides, save giving SLS somewhere to go.

Offline Proponent

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #82 on: 09/18/2018 06:31 pm »
For the time being NASA is assuming that BFR may or may not happen and I think that is the right approach since the funding ($5B) for BFR may or may not materialize.

If there is a serious possibility that a much cheaper and more capable rocket will be available, would it not be rational to investigate the possibility and, if it seems sufficiently secure, firm it up by contracting SpaceX (or Blue Origin or ULA) to build it?  Rational, that is, if going to cis-lunar space really is the objective.  If the real objective is to build a particular rocket in a particular place, then it's not rational at all.

Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #83 on: 09/18/2018 08:12 pm »
For the time being NASA is assuming that BFR may or may not happen and I think that is the right approach since the funding ($5B) for BFR may or may not materialize.

If there is a serious possibility that a much cheaper and more capable rocket will be available, would it not be rational to investigate the possibility and, if it seems sufficiently secure, firm it up by contracting SpaceX (or Blue Origin or ULA) to build it?  Rational, that is, if going to cis-lunar space really is the objective.  If the real objective is to build a particular rocket in a particular place, then it's not rational at all.

I agree but it's unlikely to happen. The government has decided to fund its own HLV and that HLV is SLS. My own view is that SLS will be cancelled once BFR becomes operational but I have some doubts as to how Musk will find the required $5B to develop BFR. $5B is not a trivial amount and NASA is not going to give SpaceX that money. 
« Last Edit: 09/18/2018 08:14 pm by yg1968 »

Online ncb1397

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #84 on: 09/18/2018 11:24 pm »
NASA is developing electric propulsion systems that BFS doesn't satisfy. Travel times would be on the order of 2 months to 15 months to Mars, which, on the high performance end is far superior to anything BFS is capable of and requires far less IMLEO (like 150 tons for a single ship). If the government hadn't supported chemical rockets 50 years ago, it is entirely possible that they wouldn't have progressed to the point currently where BFR was acheivable.

Developing electric propulsion systems is the easy part - now how do you power them, and what do they run on?
If you are launching at 8km/s or so, at ISP=1500, to halve the transit time to Mars, for a payload of a hundred tons, you have just used up the entire world production of Xenon for that synod.
(clearly, there are other propellants).


Did you do the math for how much Xenon there is in the atmosphere.

It is 0.0000087% by volume at 4.7x the mass of N2 or roughly 0.0000409% by mass. The mass of the atmosphere is 5.1480×10^18 kg. Meaning the amount of Xenon available is ~ 447,876,000,000 kg. Assuming a base vehicle used 100,000 kg. You could fuel ~4.5 million vehicles. Anyways, I didn't say anything about Xenon.

Quote
This is a ten megawatt solar panel. If this is 50kg/W, or another 200 tons. If this is built at typical NASA prices of $25/kg or so, up, you're looking at the thick end of ten billion dollars.

Dawn is 12.5 kg/KW or 125,000 kg for a 10 MW array. The baseline ROSA array for DSG is 150 watts/ kg or 6.7 kg/KW which would yield a mass of 67,000 kg. For the longer term, a goal of 3 kg/KW or 30,000 kg would be a reasonable target that I have seen written about as a future goal. With beamed power , which is a modular upgrade path for practically any solar power system, you can theoretically go much lower than 3 kg/ KW.

Certainly, the development costs and production costs of building only a few copies of new technology would be extensive and the pay off long term and uncertain, which is why the private sector won't do it. But you may find that the private sector will eventually "steal it" and run with it, just like SpaceX "stole" PICA from NASA mars landers, "stole" lithium-aluminum cryo tanks from NASA's space shuttle, "stole" cryogenic composite tanks from technology development activities at Marshall, "stole" rocket vertical landing from NASA LEM/DC-X, etc. 
« Last Edit: 09/19/2018 12:00 am by ncb1397 »

Online Coastal Ron

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #85 on: 09/18/2018 11:45 pm »
In my opinion, cislunar space is a destination just as much as the Moon or Mars.

The Lunar Gateway is not meant for all of "cis-lunar" space, just a specific orbit around the Moon. In fact it's location is determined by the limitations of the SLS and Orion.

Quote
In hindsight I wish that hadn't mentionned BFR.

No doubt, but mentioning it with respect to the current news (i.e. the billionaire paying to fly around the Moon on a BFS) highlights the large disconnect between what NASA is doing and what the private sector is doing.

Quote
For the time being NASA is assuming that BFR may or may not happen...

For purposes of the Lunar Gateway, they have never cared what the private sector is doing.

Quote
...and I think that is the right approach since the funding ($5B) for BFR may or may not materialize.

Funding to finish the SLS may or may not materialize. Let's be realistic here, the business case for the SLS is pretty small, and Congress has been known to fall out of love of big programs without too much notice.

Quote
But I think that NASA should plan on using FH (and its competitors) for the gateway since it exists.

I don't think NASA should be picking winners before the bids are submitted...  ;)

NASA should put out for bid as much as possible on the Lunar Gateway in order to make it affordable. However we don't know yet whether it is affordable, and Congress has still not fully funded the Lunar Gateway program.

The Lunar Gateway is not a fait accompli 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?

Offline Lar

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #86 on: 09/19/2018 12:33 pm »
We have a thread for the DEBATE of whether LOPG is a good idea or not. Thats off topic here
We have a thread for how BFS development gets funded. That's off topic here.
We have a thread for casting shade on SpaceX and BFS. That's off topic here.
We have a thread for casting shade on SLS. That's off topic here.

I'm sensing a theme. Moving all those off topic posts is a lot of work and I'm disinclined to move any in this case because I'm grumpy... so if we get more posts that are off topic I might swing my ax and get rid of all of them. Word to the wise.
« Last Edit: 09/19/2018 04:43 pm by Lar »
"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

Offline Khadgars

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #87 on: 09/19/2018 02:22 pm »
I find it astounding the way the comments continue to be on here.  I understand that most everyone is beyond cynical at this point, and for some good reasons for sure.  But listening to everyone state that what is essentially a mini ISS in lunar orbit that involves multiple space agencies has zero value?  I don't get it, even if you are not for government funded launch vehicles.



Perhaps an analogy would be useful here.   

Imagine the Army corp of Engineers needs a project in order to stay gainfully employed.   So a mysterious process occurs where the it is decided that they should go to the geographic center of Kansas and build a giant, 5 billion dollar earthen wall 900 meters high by 10 km long -- the largest dam ever constructed ... except it is not actually holding back a river.

This is the most fantastic project ever!  It is the biggest!   It takes a great deal of work by talented engineers and builders from all 50 US states.   It is a marvel of engineering.

Is this wise?

That is a very cynical, narrow view of Lunar Gateway.  Again, you believe nothing beneficial can come from a mini space station in lunar orbit.  I simply do not understand the amount of cynicism required to have that mind set, even if the money isn't going to your own personal favorite "project".

Offline spacenut

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #88 on: 09/19/2018 02:29 pm »
What existing rockets and payloads can reach NASA's proposed LOP-G location? 

Offline TripleSeven

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #89 on: 09/19/2018 02:41 pm »
Yes, I know but my point was that the Gateway would still work with BFR or some other commercial rocket.

Why would you need the Lunar Gateway if the BFS can take you to the surface of the Moon for far less than the SLS/Orion?

In my opinion, cislunar space is a destination just as much as the Moon or Mars.

In hindsight I wish that hadn't mentionned BFR. For the time being NASA is assuming that BFR may or may not happen and I think that is the right approach since the funding ($5B) for BFR may or may not materialize. But I think that NASA should plan on using FH (and its competitors) for the gateway since it exists.

in my view there are three things that would make this Lunar Gateway plan "useful"

first if the entire thing was a "private enterprise" stimulator, at least for all the money spent in the US.

second if part of that money being spent was designed to actually do some lunar exploration...

third if that lunar exploration was geared directly to setting up a lunar base (where the Gateway could in my view pay a role) and was also geared to allowing private enterprise access to on the ground resources

SpaceX, Blue, Bigelow, OSC, even the legacy contractors are going to have a hard time taking the "next step" without the same funding stream that took the first steps...commercial cargo/crew...and the local resource use is a natural for a national investment

none of the NASA plans do this, not the first ones, not this latest "thing".  its all about redoing teh space station...

this time mostly without the Russians...who NASA (and US policy makers) are having a harder and harder time dealing with; and who have no money....and second providing work for SLS and Orion

Offline Jimmy_C

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #90 on: 09/19/2018 03:29 pm »
Would it be beneficial to use BFS, if it comes online during the right time, for Platform resupply or as a habitation or augmented power module? It can provide a lot of upmass. However, its price might be too much for this usage. Is this unrealistic?

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #91 on: 09/19/2018 04:30 pm »
Would it be beneficial to use BFS, if it comes online during the right time, for Platform resupply or as a habitation or augmented power module? It can provide a lot of upmass. However, its price might be too much for this usage. Is this unrealistic?

The BFS may be reusable on Earth but I am not convinced that it can be reused on the Moon. I suspect the BFS needs a proper landing pad otherwise it blacks a hole in the ground and sandblasts itself. It may also hit rocks that have not been removed.

The BFS could deliver a team of people to the LOP-G that can then catch a lander. It may also be able to deliver heavy cargoes to KOP-G.

Offline pathfinder_01

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #92 on: 09/19/2018 04:38 pm »
What existing rockets and payloads can reach NASA's proposed LOP-G location?

FH, Vulcan, Delta IV heavy and Atlas can all send cargo to the proposed location. Something Cynus like could carry cargo. In terms of building if the modules would have their own propulsion system or the station constructed elsewhere then moved to it's location then those rockets would be capable of constructing it. The only thing they can't do is send crew in one shoot(FH might be able to send a Dragon here with crew).

Online ncb1397

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #93 on: 09/19/2018 09:36 pm »
What existing rockets and payloads can reach NASA's proposed LOP-G location?

FH, Vulcan, Delta IV heavy and Atlas can all send cargo to the proposed location. Something Cynus like could carry cargo. In terms of building if the modules would have their own propulsion system or the station constructed elsewhere then moved to it's location then those rockets would be capable of constructing it. The only thing they can't do is send crew in one shoot(FH might be able to send a Dragon here with crew).

The attachment below is what I got by querying the NLS performance tool with a c3 of -2 km^2/s^2[1]. The C3 can vary a bit based on launch date and trajectory duration.

Subtracting the ~4000 kg mass of a Cygnus and a variable fuel load to do the ~450 m/s NRHO insertion yields the following payloads.

Atlas V 421 - 148 kg
Atlas V 531 - 401 kg
Atlas V 431 - 667 kg
Atlas V 541 - 981 kg
Atlas V 551 - 1435 kg
Delta IV Heavy -  5074 kg

The -2 km/s query doesn't return Falcon 9 results, but -1 km^2/s^2 does. For that, the payloads are:

Falcon Heavy (Recovery) - 1903 kg
Falcon Heavy (Expendable) - 9137 kg

It seems to me the only two vehicles that make sense are Falcon Heavy (recovery), Atlas V 551 and Delta IV Heavy. You would need a lighter vehicle than the lightest current U.S. cargo vehicle to make use of Falcon 9, smaller Atlas variants, Delta IV, etc. Future near term vehicles would include Vulcan and New Glenn. Max fuel load for the deep space cygnus would be ~1500 kg.

[1] https://descanso.jpl.nasa.gov/monograph/series12/LunarTraj--05Chapter4TransferstoLowLunarOrbits.pdf

« Last Edit: 09/19/2018 09:41 pm by ncb1397 »

Offline Proponent

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #94 on: 09/20/2018 07:04 pm »
For the time being NASA is assuming that BFR may or may not happen and I think that is the right approach since the funding ($5B) for BFR may or may not materialize.

If there is a serious possibility that a much cheaper and more capable rocket will be available, would it not be rational to investigate the possibility and, if it seems sufficiently secure, firm it up by contracting SpaceX (or Blue Origin or ULA) to build it?  Rational, that is, if going to cis-lunar space really is the objective.  If the real objective is to build a particular rocket in a particular place, then it's not rational at all.

I agree but it's unlikely to happen. The government has decided to fund its own HLV and that HLV is SLS. My own view is that SLS will be cancelled once BFR becomes operational but I have some doubts as to how Musk will find the required $5B to develop BFR. $5B is not a trivial amount and NASA is not going to give SpaceX that money. 

If funding is the worry, I think Blue Origin is a better bet than NASA.  For starters, the budget deficit is now soaring during an economic upturn: imagine how ugly the budget picture will be when the next downturn arrives.  Plus, you can bet your booty that just as soon as a Democrat becomes president, Republicans will suddenly remember that theirs is the party of fiscal responsibility.  And sequestration is still the law and could come back to bite.
« Last Edit: 09/20/2018 07:08 pm by Proponent »

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #95 on: 09/20/2018 07:47 pm »
If funding is the worry, I think Blue Origin is a better bet than NASA.  For starters, the budget deficit is now soaring during an economic upturn: imagine how ugly the budget picture will be when the next downturn arrives.

This does not seem to be supported by the evidence.
Blue bars are budget for that year in adjusted dollars.
Post Apollo wind-down, the budget was more-or-less constant in dollar outlay until ISS ramped up.
Following several years of initial surge building up for ISS, it has  stabilised to a remarkable degree post 1995.

NASA has had continuing support through both flavours of administration, with the actual dollar amount spent not being slashed in bad years.

Might that change in the future - sure. Is it certain to - very far from it.
« Last Edit: 09/20/2018 07:49 pm by speedevil »

Offline Propylox

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #96 on: 10/20/2018 07:46 pm »
That is why they call it the "proving ground". It will eventually "evolve" into a Mars transportation system. -&- To me Gateway is exactly what NASA should be doing. NASA can leave transportation to commercial companies but building space infrastructure such as Gateway is still needed.
First, I'll point out that contradiction. Second, I'll refute the idea PPE/Gateway has any relevancy for future propulsion designs. Third, you can advertise it however you wish - it doesn't change what it is.

I find it astounding the way the comments continue to be on here. .. listening to everyone state that what is essentially a mini ISS in lunar orbit that involves multiple space agencies has zero value? ..
I doubt anyone here would object to a station or cooperation in principle, but this one just stinks. An argument can be made for a Lunar Orbital weighpoint, but this ain't that. An argument could be made for developing SEP toward cislunar cycling or BEO missions, but this ain't that. The only valid argument made for Gateway is appropriations and institutional justification, and that stinks.
I'm as astounded as you, but at the proposal and agency culture that could try and sell it.

Tell me, what is happening at the gateway exactly?   This is a serious question.
... and that is the reason why the benefit of these projects is questionable. NASA builds then so that NASA can build them.
I see no viable purpose for the existing Gateway, not even as a building program. It's spare parts compiled and sent into the void. Musk did the same with an old Roadster, the difference is his spare parts were cheaper and had no intentions to contract servicing of it afterward. Without a purpose to Gateway's destination, there's no reason to expand or develop it, to have a NASA building program or subsequent missions. It's just expensive spacejunk.

Offline Archibald

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #97 on: 10/21/2018 07:59 am »
Quote
n my view there are three things that would make this Lunar Gateway plan "useful"

first if the entire thing was a "private enterprise" stimulator, at least for all the money spent in the US.

second if part of that money being spent was designed to actually do some lunar exploration...

third if that lunar exploration was geared directly to setting up a lunar base (where the Gateway could in my view pay a role) and was also geared to allowing private enterprise access to on the ground resources

We have a winner here. Well, there are some encouraging signs on this front.
Lockheed big lander, for a start. Also Google lunar Xprize (or what's left of it) some teams may use the gateway as a waypoint.
Alternatively, Moon Express could drop some of their landers from the Gateway, to the lunar surface.
And of course SpaceX BFR/BFS.

Here is how I see things. While SpaceX is proceeding full steam ahead with BFR/BFS without any NASA involvement, other private companies are not so advanced or not so rich.

In this context, they may rally around a NASA Gateway as a "first foostep back into cislunar space".

Whatever SpaceX lunar plans, NASA still has an important role to play in the "human lunar return " game
- they have massive funding from the government - "massive" in the sense of a handful of billion of dollars
- only SpaceX and Blue Origin have more money than this
- and of course Apollo experience is still handy and precious, even after 50 years and counting.

In this context, a Gateway = a rally point.

Of course it would be better if NASA could get its "rally point" on the lunar surface (a Moon base !) rather than the libration point  Gateway, but hey, their present budget don't allow for it c'est la vie.

NASA flat budget is decades old and the issue is hardly new. Back in the 90's Dan Goldin was well aware of this and he really tried to get a human lunar return as *cheap* as possible, trying all kind of different tricks - lunar oxygen, the russians cheap boosters, using existing launchers like Titan IV or Ariane 5 , barebone landers... whatever Goldin flaws, this brought some interesting cost data later used by Augustine in 2009. Verdict: NASA flat budget can't do it.
http://space.nss.org/lunar-base-studies-1992-first-lunar-outpost-flo/

https://space.nss.org/lunar-base-studies-1993-early-lunar-access-ela/

http://space.nss.org/lunar-base-studies-1993-lunox/

http://space.nss.org/lunar-base-studies-1996-human-lunar-return/

That's the reason why they went for the Gateway in the first place: cheaper than lunar surface ops, yet still a strong signal / symbol "we are returning to the Moon, and this is an early step"
« Last Edit: 10/21/2018 08:13 am by Archibald »
...you have been found guilty by the elders of the forum of a (imaginary) vendetta against Saint Elon - BLAAASPHEMER !

Online Coastal Ron

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #98 on: 10/21/2018 06:51 pm »
In this context, a Gateway = a rally point.

Which sounds interesting for places here on Earth, but I think it remains to be seen if the concept works in space. And just to be clear, a "rally point" is not the same (to me) as a permanent installation of some type, and I don't see the proposed LOP-G as a permanent installation.

Quote
Of course it would be better if NASA could get its "rally point" on the lunar surface (a Moon base !) rather than the libration point  Gateway, but hey, their present budget don't allow for it c'est la vie.

We really don't know if the current flat budget profile would allow for the LOP-G to be effectively used. We may know how much is being spent to make the SLS and Orion operational, but so far NASA has not told the public or Congress how much the SLS and Orion will cost to operate. And transportation costs will be a significant part of the LOP-G budget.

I think we all remember how NASA used to claim the Shuttle only cost $500M per flight, but it wasn't until the end of the program that we learned that the real cost was more like $1.2B without accounting for DDT&E ($1.5B with). There will be lots more people paying attention to the SLS and Orion costs now.

Quote
That's the reason why they went for the Gateway in the first place: cheaper than lunar surface ops, yet still a strong signal / symbol "we are returning to the Moon, and this is an early step"

Just dealing with the facts of the hardware side of the SLS and Orion, the Orion as designed today cannot support lunar surface operations. So the orbit of the LOP-G is not in the most useful of locations for lunar study or supporting future lunar programs, but because of the limitations of the Orion.

But everyone knows there are alternatives to using the Orion and the SLS, so it's really a matter of political priorities - what is the government willing to spend to leave LEO with humans?
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Online ncb1397

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #99 on: 10/30/2018 05:26 pm »

If funding is the worry, I think Blue Origin is a better bet than NASA.  For starters, the budget deficit is now soaring during an economic upturn: imagine how ugly the budget picture will be when the next downturn arrives.  Plus, you can bet your booty that just as soon as a Democrat becomes president, Republicans will suddenly remember that theirs is the party of fiscal responsibility.  And sequestration is still the law and could come back to bite.

I believe the debt load is actually decreasing. Debt to GDP for 2017 was 105.4%[1] in 2017 while current debt to GDP according to the debt clock is 105.23%[2]. This would be the second year in a row where debt to GDP has fallen. It passes a gut check as the federal deficit was $779 billion in FY2018[3] with the economy in 2017 at $19,387 billion[4]. With real gdp growth at 3% and inflation at 2.5-3%, that is a nominal gdp growth of 1.08 trillion+ for 2018 (i.e. faster than deficit expansion). This is roughly what you want, a gradual decline rather than rapid deleveraging that could risk economic growth.

[1] https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/government-debt-to-gdp
[2] http://www.usdebtclock.org/
[3] https://www.cnbc.com/2018/10/15/us-budget-deficit-expands-to-779-billion-in-fiscal-2018-as-spending-surges.html
[4] https://www.statista.com/statistics/188105/annual-gdp-of-the-united-states-since-1990/
« Last Edit: 10/30/2018 05:29 pm by ncb1397 »

Offline Lar

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #100 on: 10/30/2018 09:21 pm »
I might be confused but I think talking about the debt, GDP, etc is maybe not exactly on topic for this thread. And maybe kind of a little bit political. So maybe not so much of that and more lunar gateway[1]?

1 - That is consultantese[2] for "you're off topic, stop now"
2 - I'm a consultant...
"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
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Offline AncientU

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #101 on: 11/15/2018 10:54 pm »
Quote
Mike Griffin was highly critical of NASA's proposed Gateway today. Almost shockingly so, from a senior administration official. Full comments within:
Quote
Former NASA administrator says Lunar Gateway is “a stupid architecture”
https://twitter.com/SciGuySpace/status/1063192808113270785

Full article:
https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/11/former-nasa-administrator-says-lunar-gateway-is-a-stupid-architecture/

I don't normally agree with "Apollo on Steroids" Griffin, but what he and others 'advisors' said was pretty spot on.
« Last Edit: 11/15/2018 10:55 pm by AncientU »
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Offline Hog

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #102 on: 11/15/2018 11:31 pm »
Quote
Mike Griffin was highly critical of NASA's proposed Gateway today. Almost shockingly so, from a senior administration official. Full comments within:
Quote
Former NASA administrator says Lunar Gateway is “a stupid architecture”
https://twitter.com/SciGuySpace/status/1063192808113270785

Full article:
https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/11/former-nasa-administrator-says-lunar-gateway-is-a-stupid-architecture/

I don't normally agree with "Apollo on Steroids" Griffin, but what he and others 'advisors' said was pretty spot on.
I thought the pivot to the "Moon First" policy is to develop and practice methods/hardware for Mars, it sure seems that LOP/G really hurts the quick return to Luna. 
From the article
Griffin says,
"China could strike a geopolitical blow by landing humans on the Moon before the United States gets back there—a large and visible accomplishment that would signal Chinese ascendance in the eyes of non-aligned countries."

Nothing like a little competition to stoke the fires.
Paul

Offline QuantumG

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #103 on: 11/16/2018 12:54 am »
I thought the pivot to the "Moon First" policy is to develop and practice methods/hardware for Mars, it sure seems that LOP/G really hurts the quick return to Luna. 

Which should really tell ya about the methods/hardware they intend to use for Mars.

i.e., whatever costs the most and takes the longest :(
Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Offline su27k

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #104 on: 11/16/2018 01:44 am »
Quote
Mike Griffin was highly critical of NASA's proposed Gateway today. Almost shockingly so, from a senior administration official. Full comments within:
Quote
Former NASA administrator says Lunar Gateway is “a stupid architecture”
https://twitter.com/SciGuySpace/status/1063192808113270785

Full article:
https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/11/former-nasa-administrator-says-lunar-gateway-is-a-stupid-architecture/

I don't normally agree with "Apollo on Steroids" Griffin, but what he and others 'advisors' said was pretty spot on.

It could be worse though, I bet Griffin's alternative to LOP-G would be ditching the ISS and pay the usual suspects $4B per year for a cost-plus lunar lander. So, while LOP-G is a "stupid architecture", it's not the worst plan out there...

In retrospect, I wish ARM had survived, a lot of people didn't like it, but comparing to LOP-G it would have less baggage and make it easier for NASA to transition to commercial cis-lunar transportation in the 2020s.

Online robertross

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #105 on: 11/16/2018 01:48 am »
NASA wants Canadian boots on the moon as first step in deep space exploration

"The head of the U.S. space agency said today he wants to see Canadian astronauts walking on the moon before long — part of a first step toward the farther reaches of space.

Jim Bridenstine, administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, said he wants Canada's decades-long space partnership with the U.S. to continue as NASA embarks on the creation of its new Lunar Gateway."

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/nasa-canada-moon-orbit-1.4905039

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Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #106 on: 11/16/2018 05:33 am »
Is there any difference in the payload mass an SLS can land on the Moon if the lander is based at EML-1 rather than NRHO?

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #107 on: 11/16/2018 06:06 am »
Griffin also says the schedule of a landing of 2028 is too slow. I thought 2028 was very optimistic, considering the convoluted method of getting there using the Gateway and limited fixed yearly funding. If NASA ditches the Gateway and just uses Block IB, it might be possible to put boots on the Moon by 2028.

Corrected from 2018 to 2028.
« Last Edit: 11/16/2018 04:34 pm by Steven Pietrobon »
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline woods170

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #108 on: 11/16/2018 08:50 am »
Griffin also says the schedule of a landing of 2018 is too slow. I thought 2018 was very optimistic, considering the convoluted method of getting there using the Gateway and limited fixed yearly funding. If NASA ditches the Gateway and just uses Block IB, it might be possible to put boots on the Moon by 2018.

You do know that 2018 is this year right? As in, the year that is already mostly over?


Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #109 on: 11/16/2018 10:02 am »
Griffin also says the schedule of a landing of 2018 is too slow. I thought 2018 was very optimistic, considering the convoluted method of getting there using the Gateway and limited fixed yearly funding. If NASA ditches the Gateway and just uses Block IB, it might be possible to put boots on the Moon by 2018.

You do know that 2018 is this year right? As in, the year that is already mostly over?

2028 was stated in the Ars Techica article.

But using the Block 1B for an Apollo like mission profile is still about $3B to $5B per flight if you include Orion, SLS Block 1B & some sort of lander. Never mind the development cost of the EUS upper stage and the unspecified lander.

IMO think it is too late for NASA to field any sort of large manned Moon lander by 2028, if NASA is running the development.

Offline AncientU

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #110 on: 11/16/2018 12:17 pm »
With the mentioned 5% budget cut in FY2020, the Admin says we're not going at all.  Time to drop the lead boots model we are using and get on with existing and newly-developing rocketry.  Take a direct-to-the-surface approach. 

The gateway is a great place to start cutting.
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Offline Proponent

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #111 on: 11/16/2018 03:03 pm »
Quote
Mike Griffin was highly critical of NASA's proposed Gateway today. Almost shockingly so, from a senior administration official. Full comments within:

Griffin, who was speaking as a guest of the Space Council's Users' Advisory Group got the headlines, but members of the Group themselves criticized the gateway as well.
« Last Edit: 11/16/2018 03:03 pm by Proponent »

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #112 on: 11/16/2018 04:35 pm »
You do know that 2018 is this year right? As in, the year that is already mostly over?

Oops, I meant 2028!
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Online ncb1397

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #113 on: 11/16/2018 05:13 pm »

IMO think it is too late for NASA to field any sort of large manned Moon lander by 2028, if NASA is running the development.

ESA service module was signed in late 2012 and delivered in later 2018. And it is actually super close to what a lunar lander would be. In fact, if you put a 4700 kg mass equivalent to a LEM ascent stage on top of it, technically the delta-v would be ~2200 m/s. LEM was also 6 years from funding to deployment. 6 years appears to be the average for similar types of equipment. SLS is tracking for delivery in 9 years, which was a bit harder task.
« Last Edit: 11/16/2018 05:18 pm by ncb1397 »

Offline freddo411

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #114 on: 11/16/2018 05:28 pm »
Quote
"The architecture that has been put in play, putting a Gateway before boots on the Moon is, from a space-systems engineer's standpoint, a stupid architecture," he said. "Gateway is useful when, but not before, we are manufacturing propellant on the Moon and shipping it up to a depot in lunar orbit. We should be, with all deliberate speed, returning to the Moon and learning how to utilize the resources of our nearest Earth-orbit object."

Wow.  I never anticipated hearing such clarity out of anyone in the upper echelons of Space Policy.   That is fantastic.

A surface base is a worthy goal.   The usual partners can and will come along excitedly.   

Commercial resupply can be had.   It's time to stop ignoring the soon to be reality of BFR and New Armstrong.

It's time to stop stupid, and work on worthy goals.

Online TrevorMonty

Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #115 on: 11/16/2018 05:49 pm »
There is lot be said for focusing on ISRU. Exploration and pilot plant van be done with existing commercial LVs and landers.

The other thing that needs work is in orbit refuelling of cryo fuels, plus their storage and transport. ISRU is useless without these technologies


Offline Proponent

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #116 on: 02/18/2019 11:02 pm »
I believe the debt load is actually decreasing. Debt to GDP for 2017 was 105.4%[1] in 2017 while current debt to GDP according to the debt clock is 105.23%[2]. This would be the second year in a row where debt to GDP has fallen. It passes a gut check as the federal deficit was $779 billion in FY2018[3] with the economy in 2017 at $19,387 billion[4]. With real gdp growth at 3% and inflation at 2.5-3%, that is a nominal gdp growth of 1.08 trillion+ for 2018 (i.e. faster than deficit expansion). This is roughly what you want, a gradual decline rather than rapid deleveraging that could risk economic growth.

The CBO sees deleveraging neither now nor in the future (scroll down and click "... read more").  And it assumes, rather optimistically, that there will be no recessions.
« Last Edit: 02/18/2019 11:14 pm by Proponent »

Offline Lar

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Re: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans
« Reply #117 on: 02/18/2019 11:37 pm »
General info about the debt is ... Off topic.
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