Author Topic: NASA Aims to Land Astronauts Back on Moon in 5 Years  (Read 13812 times)

Offline RonM

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Re: NASA Aims to Land Astronauts Back on Moon in 5 Years
« Reply #140 on: 04/14/2019 01:50 pm »
... unless you have lots of money to waste.

So what are you saying here?  That you would keep your Tesla in your garage rather than sling it around the inner solar system?

 ???

What John is trying to say is that Elon Musk does have lots of money to waste.

Musk started SpaceX, Tesla, Solar City, The Boring Company, Starlink, etc. to develop the technologies need for his dream of settling Mars. Other investors will make a profit from their parts of the companies and Elon will use his profit to fund going to Mars. Seriously, what do you do with your money after the first $10 million?

Getting back on topic, NASA's problem is it has to work on what Congress funds. Unless Congress gives NASA more money NASA is not going to land astronauts on the Moon. Since Congress is politically divided and this seems to be VP Pence's pet project, it's not is going to happen.

Offline Oli

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Re: NASA Aims to Land Astronauts Back on Moon in 5 Years
« Reply #141 on: 04/14/2019 02:15 pm »
What John is trying to say is that Elon Musk does have lots of money to waste.

With lots of money I mean something in the order of 0.5% of GDP (what Musk once suggested). Even if Musk were to become as wealthy as Bezos (which is unlikely, since the markets Musk operates in aren't as prone to monopolization), he couldn't fund such a colonization effort for more than a year.

But this is kind of OT.
« Last Edit: 04/14/2019 02:24 pm by Chris Bergin »

Offline spacenut

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Re: NASA Aims to Land Astronauts Back on Moon in 5 Years
« Reply #142 on: 04/14/2019 02:48 pm »
When Starship succeeds, it will open a lot of eyes.  No-one believed Musk could get a rocket to the ISS, he did.  No-one believed he could land a booster, he did.  No-one believed he could land 3 boosters and recover the fairings, he did.  Doubters were in business, other competitors, even here.  He says he wants to colonize Mars.  How, not just his own funds and companies, but when he does get to Mars, other nations, NASA, congress, etc, will join to help pay for modules, etc to take to Mars or the moon to get things going.  Obviously Starship has to succeed to open people's eyes to the possibilities.  Right now he is using his own money to avoid the long bureaucratic delays of working with NASA, like with Dragon II.

His ways of making money includes his profits from Tesla, Solar City, Starlink (near future could be billions), and launching satelites, humans to ISS, etc with SpaceX.  Then throw in NASA paying for payloads and astronauts, other nations wanting a module or two to the moon or Mars.  Things start getting done. 

Starship as well as New Glenn and Falcon Heavy, will lower costs of getting stuff into space so much, all nations wanting to do something on the moon or Mars will gladly pay for a ride or rocket.  It opens lots of possibilities. 

Offline jak Kennedy

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Re: NASA Aims to Land Astronauts Back on Moon in 5 Years
« Reply #143 on: 04/14/2019 03:13 pm »
Probably the quickest and cheapest option would be a government prize, i.e. bypassing NASA.
Say $1-5 billion for a successful uncrewed landing followed by a crewed landing.

Offline yoram

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Re: NASA Aims to Land Astronauts Back on Moon in 5 Years
« Reply #144 on: 04/14/2019 03:21 pm »
Well I think technically there are faster and easier ways than Starship, but whether NASA's efforts will lead anywhere is a different question of course.  :D

So what would you do instead of Starship?

Offline woods170

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Re: NASA Aims to Land Astronauts Back on Moon in 5 Years
« Reply #145 on: 04/14/2019 03:24 pm »
Likewise, SpaceX does whatever Elon Musk says. So, everybody has masters. If he told them to build a monty python inspired brick tower, they would (and did).

Yes, and it is a kick-ass one. :)

Offline woods170

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Re: NASA Aims to Land Astronauts Back on Moon in 5 Years
« Reply #146 on: 04/14/2019 03:27 pm »
What John is trying to say is that Elon Musk does have lots of money to waste.

With lots of money I mean something in the order of 0.5% of GDP (what Musk once suggested). Even if Musk were to become as wealthy as Bezos (which is unlikely, since the markets Musk operates in aren't as prone to monopolization), he couldn't fund such a colonization effort for more than a year.

But this is kind of OT.

Musk himself is the one who said that SpaceX will enable going to Mars and let others do the actual colonization. So, what's your problem?

[sarcasm]
Also, you seem to have a wonderful insight into what SpaceX can and cannot fund. And that for someone who doesn't actually work for SpaceX.
[/sarcasm]

Offline Lar

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Re: NASA Aims to Land Astronauts Back on Moon in 5 Years
« Reply #147 on: 04/14/2019 04:05 pm »
Be excellent to each other. Even if they're wrong.
"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 Oli

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Re: NASA Aims to Land Astronauts Back on Moon in 5 Years
« Reply #148 on: 04/14/2019 04:11 pm »
So what would you do instead of Starship?

A simple lander? But it's more about what is politically feasible. I think NASA should do a competition for the transportation of a crew from the gateway to the surface and back. SpaceX can compete with Starship or any other design.

Musk himself is the one who said that SpaceX will enable going to Mars and let others do the actual colonization. So, what's your problem?

Talk about kicking the can down the road.

Also, you seem to have a wonderful insight into what SpaceX can and cannot fund. And that for someone who doesn't actually work for SpaceX.

I didn't pretend to have any insight, nor is it required. I made an assumption (0.5% of GDP) and went with it.

Offline yoram

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Re: NASA Aims to Land Astronauts Back on Moon in 5 Years
« Reply #149 on: 04/14/2019 05:37 pm »
So what would you do instead of Starship?

A simple lander? But it's more about what is politically feasible. I think NASA should do a competition for the transportation of a crew from the gateway to the surface and back. SpaceX can compete with Starship or any other design.

From Bridenstine's comments it sounded to me like that was exactly what NASA was planning? Or did I miss something?


Online rakaydos

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Re: NASA Aims to Land Astronauts Back on Moon in 5 Years
« Reply #150 on: 04/14/2019 09:05 pm »
Starship  will be a powerful tool because it can carry exploration sized useful payloads, and refuel to reach destinations that traditionally would require an even larger rocket, while having a much lower cost of entry than the 1970s era rockets we've gotten used to.

SpaceX is using their first mover advantage on reuse to make a rocket that can do EVERYTHING, albet inefficently- a jack of all trades with enough muscle to outperform specialists. But even as "inefficent" as it is, reuse makes it far cheaper that even semi-expendables, let alone full expendables. And being able to cover ANY mission with the same rocket gives SpaceX an economy of scale that specialized rockets will never match.

A two man moon lander that's built twice for a dozen flights just cant compete with a rocket that, by the time the lander missions are complete, will have already been back from mars, sent up two dozen satelite constelation missions, and can still land on the lunar pole with a hundred tons of cargo.

Online notsorandom

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Re: NASA Aims to Land Astronauts Back on Moon in 5 Years
« Reply #151 on: 04/16/2019 02:46 pm »
The SpaceX Starship effort being high risk but high reward is leading to two schools of thought here. One that argues that because it will be so capable and inexpensive that no other hardware and architecture make sense. The other that argues that itís so risky and untried that it isn't a realistic option to count on. I'm sympathetic to both arguments.

SpaceX has already resolved many showstoppers but there are many more that need to be solved if Starship will be successful. They have to solve them while still being financially viable in a highly political industry that hasn't traditionally been a much of a money maker. The core part of their business has been GEO satellites, a market which is drying up at least for the next several years.

On the other hand, if they can pull this off and it works as well as Mr. Musk thinks then nothing else will matter. Not only will every other launch vehicle become an order of magnitude more expensive by comparison but every beyond LEO between here and Mars will become not only reachable but reachable by human crews. That would be nice, wouldn't it?

If it turns out to be successful then there is nothing else we could discuss that would even be comparable to Starship. If Starship were an assured thing then we could end every discussion about human space flight before it starts because Starship could do practically everything so much cheaper that it the only option that makes sense. In my opinion that would make for a pretty boring discussion. It is fun to talk about this sort of stuff though. So, for the sake of an enjoyable discussion we may occasionally, just for the sake of argument, assume that Starship will not materialize as promised.

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: NASA Aims to Land Astronauts Back on Moon in 5 Years
« Reply #152 on: 04/16/2019 02:55 pm »
So what would you do instead of Starship?

A simple lander? But it's more about what is politically feasible. I think NASA should do a competition for the transportation of a crew from the gateway to the surface and back. SpaceX can compete with Starship or any other design.

From Bridenstine's comments it sounded to me like that was exactly what NASA was planning? Or did I miss something?
I heard "bait and switch" from him and Pence...
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob: Physics instructor, Aviator, Vintage auto racer

Offline Proponent

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Re: NASA Aims to Land Astronauts Back on Moon in 5 Years
« Reply #153 on: 04/16/2019 04:02 pm »
The SpaceX Starship effort being high risk but high reward is leading to two schools of thought here. One that argues that because it will be so capable and inexpensive that no other hardware and architecture make sense. The other that argues that itís so risky and untried that it isn't a realistic option to count on. I'm sympathetic to both arguments.

I think it's something of a false dichotomy.  NASA could likely nail down the riskiness of Starship or other outside-of-the-box schemes simply by requesting proposals from American industry and, as is standard practice, evaluating those proposals according to technical risk, among other criteria.  It's possible that SpaceX would not respond to such a request for proposals or would respond with Dragon/Falcon Heavy-based architecture, but it doesn't make sense to just throw one's hands up in despair and say "it's too risky."

If Vice President Pence's objective really were to reach the lunar South Pole in 2024 "by any means necessary," NASA would now be requesting broad-ranging proposals, not merely Orion/SLS-based ones. 

Offline Eric Hedman

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Re: NASA Aims to Land Astronauts Back on Moon in 5 Years
« Reply #154 on: 04/16/2019 05:15 pm »
If Vice President Pence's objective really were to reach the lunar South Pole in 2024 "by any means necessary," NASA would now be requesting broad-ranging proposals, not merely Orion/SLS-based ones.
"By any means necessary" is still limited by political reality considering where approval for the funding has to come from.

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