Author Topic: NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans  (Read 20035 times)

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?

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