New Mars Forums

Official discussion forum of The Mars Society and MarsNews.com

You are not logged in.

Announcement

Announcement: We've recently made changes to our user database and have removed inactive and spam users. If you can not login, please re-register.

#1 2006-11-23 08:44:14

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Armstrong Lunar Outpost - status

As NASA are promising the Lunar Architecture study next month, it's time to consider another element of the ESAS besides the space vehicles - the Lunar Outpost.

Although the design for the Outpost is not expected to be baselined until the middle of next year, some details may be given at the Exploration conference next month. The Outpost is considered a "Mars forward" system to demonstrate technologies such as ISRU, methane/H2 fuels, long-term cryo storage, radiation protection, dust mitigation and closed-loop life support as well as crew adaptation to another planetary surface. Missions at the Outpost are expected to last six months.

Once again Doug Stanley (ESAS team leader) has provided more details saying that the Outpost will be a high priority for the Lunar program. He also mentioned the reuse of LSAM components for the Outpost such as solar panels, pieces of the habitat or airlock, and tanks/dewars and insulation for fluid storage.

A new Lunar rover called ATHLETE is in development, this will support the construction and maintenance of the Outpost.


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

Offline

#2 2006-11-23 09:17:41

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,658

Re: Armstrong Lunar Outpost - status

Maybe ATHLETE merits its own topic?


ExoMars' launcher's 2nd stage is probably en route to Mars. Unsterilised... yikes

Offline

#3 2006-11-23 09:43:24

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Armstrong Lunar Outpost - status

Maybe ATHLETE merits its own topic?

Done smile


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

Offline

#4 2006-12-04 15:09:12

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Armstrong Lunar Outpost - status

outpostlayout3nd9.jpg
Ripped from Dec. 4, 2006 Briefing Charts (1.2 MB PDF)

The Outpost will now be built first when NASA returns to the Moon by 2020 - this was announced today on NASA TV by  Deputy Administrator Shana Dale.

It will probably be constructed on the rim of Shackleton crater at the south pole. The main reasons for this were the availability of solar power, a more moderate thermal environment, low delta V and the likely availability of hydrogen and other volatiles in the nearby permanently dark craters.

An outline of the architecture of the Outpost shows four habitation modules joined together with solar power and storage units. An ISRU module and a surface mobility carrier (ATHLETE?) would be provided together with pressurized and unpressurized rovers. The base modules would be situated more than a kilometer from the landing zone.


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

Offline

#5 2006-12-04 15:50:30

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Armstrong Lunar Outpost - status

The Lockheed Martin Lunar architecture study (March 2005) claimed several disadvantages to locating a base at the poles compared with the equator:

o 500 m/sec delta V penalty for anytime abort
o only 3 out of 60 top scientifically interesting sites compared with 41
o communications infrastructure required
o near constant solar power only on top of 5km mountains!

Landing on the 5 kms high mountainous rim of a permanently shadowed crater will be  spectacular ... imagine that in real time HD TV !


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

Offline

#6 2006-12-05 07:42:16

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 15,793

Re: Armstrong Lunar Outpost - status

Digging deeper into NASA's moon plans

NASA plans permanent moon base by 2024

While NASA has yet to design the permanent camp, last July officials at the Johnson Space Center took reporters on a tour of possible lunar habitats to come.

The mock-ups were built of plywood and plastic, and had the crowded feel of a FEMA trailer. They addressed problems that NASA engineers expected astronauts living on the Moon to encounter.

Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville to help develop the lunar lander that will double as a moon construction truck.

Marshall will be responsible for the descent, or landing, stage of the lunar lander, which will be used to place crews, supplies, living and work modules on the moon's surface.

By 2025, NASA intends to have a manned outpost of significant size operating on the lunar surface, and will ideally be prepared to start the implementation of manned Mars missions.

The lunar poles were identified as the most ideal base site due to a relatively benign thermal environment, abundant solar power, and the possibility of water being available in shadowed craters.

Detailed plans for constructing this lunar base at Shackleton crater at the south pole are described, and ultimately will include an Observation Zone, Resource Zone, Habitation Zone, Power Production Zone, and Landing Zone. Initially, a power-providing LSAM lands in 2019 with an unpressurized rover and a solar power unit and is left on the surface.

This is joined in 2020 by two more LSAMs that connect to the first power LSAM, each of which carry additional solar power units and unpressurized rovers, in addition to a single surface mobility carrier 'truck' to move large payloads.

In 2021, two habitation modules (described as ISS-like) are brought to the surface, along with two power storage units and an additional solar power unit. A third habitation module is added in 2022, with another flight later in 2022 bringing another solar power unit and two more power storage units to the surface. In 2023, a fourth habitation module, a logistics unit, and an initial ISRU plant are added to the rapidly growing base.

With the addition of two more logistics units and an unpressurized rover early in 2024, six-month missions can start at the outpost later in the year. A pressurized rover is not slated for delivery to the base until 2027.


I find that it is interesting that we have gone from first flights to the moon in 2018 to only starting a base in the 2024.

Offline

#7 2006-12-05 08:14:42

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Armstrong Lunar Outpost - status

I find that it is interesting that we have gone from first flights to the moon in 2018 to only starting a base in the 2024.

The announcement yesterday said that the Outpost would be started on the first landing, that date is not fixed but NASA are committed to doing it by 2020 as set out in the VSE. With full funding an accelerated schedule could see the first landing even before 2018. It's early days for the program, hey it's still only 2006!

How long the base will take to complete clearly depends on its complexity. Hopefully it will continue to grow and expand far into the future. The decision to not use the first flights for exploratory sorties is good from the point of view of preparation for Mars missions. One concern was that Lunar exploration would dominate the program and Mars would be pushed even further back.


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

Offline

#8 2006-12-05 21:36:37

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 15,793

Re: Armstrong Lunar Outpost - status

To say that a big lesson NASA learned about ISS is that a great way to create program sustainability is to have international partners is a double edged sword if you play the "we have international commitments" card to ensure or insure that the Lunar program would survive the domestic political cycles due to the decades to get it all going. But this card can only be played if the partners actually have something to show a stake in this project with, habitat module or something.. This can only happen thou if they also can launch as in the ISS case since we all know the status of the shuttles all to well for ISS construction.

Offline

#9 2006-12-07 01:59:05

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Armstrong Lunar Outpost - status

Yes and ISS also showed the advantage of having a redundant transportation system, without Soyuz and Progress the ISS would have been abandoned in 2003. The Lunar Architecture is open and NASA want other agencies or *commercial* partners to provide surface modules/rovers etc etc and supply services.


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

Offline

#10 2006-12-09 19:35:43

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 15,793

Re: Armstrong Lunar Outpost - status

Offline

#11 2006-12-11 03:11:44

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Armstrong Lunar Outpost - status

NASA Seeks Help To Build Lunar Base (Aviation Week)

Once the site is selected, the notional concept for planting a base envisions two missions a year. The first mission will be an unmanned test of the lander, but it will deliver a solar power unit and an unpressurized rover that will be used to connect the growing lunar power grid as more missions arrive. The test lander will also carry an ascent module that will be sent back to lunar orbit to rendezvous with the Orion crew exploration vehicle that accompanied it to the Moon.

The first four-member crew will arrive for a seven-day stay, with the first habitation element for the base. A second human landing in the first year will deliver two more power units and a crawler/carrier that will allow the following mission to connect the original habitat with a second one that it will bring.

"And there we have the beginnings of the outpost," Lavoie says, noting that the concept--designated 5A--is already out of date as plans evolve.

The second mission in the second year brings more power elements, each able to deliver about 6 kw. when the Sun is shining. When it isn't, the base will use 2-kw. power-storage units. The first launch in the third year would deliver another habitation element, and the addition of more power units later that year would allow stays of 14 days. In the fourth year, crews would deliver a fourth habitation element, and a module for ISRU experiments.

"We intend to be aggressively pursuing this capability because it is really attempting to break the supply chain to Earth," Lavoie says.

Crews could stay as many as 30 days in the fourth year, and by the end of the fifth year, six-month stays would be possible, matching the nominal duration of an ISS expedition today.


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

Offline

#12 2006-12-11 07:04:39

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 15,793

Re: Armstrong Lunar Outpost - status

The first mission will be an unmanned test of the lander, but it will deliver a solar power unit and an unpressurized rover that will be used to connect the growing lunar power grid as more missions arrive.

I would hope that they design this to be the cargo lander, in order to increase the payload to the surface to its maximum since it is unmanned. This would be best since Nasa plans to build the base before manning it.

The test lander will also carry an ascent module that will be sent back to lunar orbit to rendezvous with the Orion crew exploration vehicle that accompanied it to the Moon.

So great we test the ascent modules return but why not have it do a sample return rather coming back empty.

Offline

#13 2006-12-11 10:56:30

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Armstrong Lunar Outpost - status

I would hope that they design this to be the cargo lander, in order to increase the payload to the surface to its maximum since it is unmanned. This would be best since Nasa plans to build the base before manning it.

<snip>

So great we test the ascent modules return but why not have it do a sample return rather coming back empty.

It's a test flight to check out the crew lander, but it can leave behind some cargo. The current plan is to put a solar power unit and an unpressurized rover at the site as the first piece of the Outpost.

It is very important to checkout the whole system before people use it, namely: descent, landing, ascent and LOR with Orion. Orion will probably be crewed. It will also test the automatic landing functionality that will be necessary for the cargo lander.  Modifying the ascent vehicle so it can interface with a sample rover is probably a very expensive thing to do, and what would be the point? Within a few months crew will land at the same site and then select and prepare their own samples to take back to Earth.


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

Offline

#14 2006-12-11 12:28:22

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 15,793

Re: Armstrong Lunar Outpost - status

All true but did the apollo LM program "namely: descent, landing, ascent and LOR with Orion" much in the same way as a waste of a vehicle?

Offline

#15 2006-12-11 13:18:09

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Armstrong Lunar Outpost - status

Apollo "wasted" three lunar landers (LEMs) in test flights before the first one landed on Moon. In this program it seems that the very first one will contribute towards the Outpost. It's still very early in the architecture definition so a lot may change.


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

Offline

#16 2006-12-11 18:40:06

Commodore
Member
From: Upstate NY, USA
Registered: 2004-07-25
Posts: 1,021

Re: Armstrong Lunar Outpost - status

So does this suggest that every manned flight is going to one site?

I realize that base sites are limited to polar regions for a while, but shouldn't we look around a little first?


"Yes, I was going to give this astronaut selection my best shot, I was determined when the NASA proctologist looked up my ass, he would see pipes so dazzling he would ask the nurse to get his sunglasses."
---Shuttle Astronaut Mike Mullane

Offline

#17 2006-12-11 20:20:30

GCNRevenger
Member
From: Earth
Registered: 2003-10-14
Posts: 6,056

Re: Armstrong Lunar Outpost - status

If we get a base going with oxygen supplies for rocket fuel, then a Lunar suborbital hopper would let you visit about as many sites I bet as you would if every mission spread out. The catch is, time at a site might be limited and you couldn't cover the whole moon. Its not a bad tradeoff though, base and lots of sites for the cost of just the base and the hopper.


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

Offline

#18 2006-12-12 04:23:13

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Armstrong Lunar Outpost - status

It seems that Sorties (separate landings) to more remote sites will happen later. For example the other pole and farside. It's important to focus on the Mars forward purpose of the base, too much lunar exploration will use resources needed for NEO and Mars exploration.

The current architecture says that the base will be built over 5 years, if it can get started in 2018 that will be 2022. During that time the MTV and MSAM should be developed and a Mars mission possible in say 2025.


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

Offline

#19 2006-12-13 07:18:11

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 15,793

Re: Armstrong Lunar Outpost - status

The biggest problem for Nasa getting started on the Lunar base building is not just funding or rockets it is the cooperation of partners to build items needed to get the base built with.

A stumbling block thou for funding may be how Nasa has presented the base as “an open architecture” that other nations and commercial interests could add to “in order to evolve and allow the journey to continue to Mars and to other destinations.” This makes it difficult for congress to signup to the plan since they need fixed dollars to place a number into there budget bills.

Offline

#20 2006-12-13 09:08:26

Grypd
Member
From: Scotland, Europe
Registered: 2004-06-07
Posts: 1,847

Re: Armstrong Lunar Outpost - status

cooperation will be a problem but so will the viewpoints of the other space agency partners. There has been a lot of designs by these agencies how they would go the Moon and a lot of research into how this should be done. Using Japan as an example there Moon plans are heavily into robotics and this is something that can be reasonably fitted into the NASA plans. But other agencies like Russia are more into putting money back into the corporation and this they will do likely by selling private seats to the Moon and actively looking for commercial interests on the Moon.


Chan eil mi aig a bheil ùidh ann an gleidheadh an status quo; Tha mi airson cur às e.

Offline

#21 2006-12-14 19:41:09

RedStreak
Member
From: Illinois
Registered: 2006-05-12
Posts: 541

Re: Armstrong Lunar Outpost - status

It seems that Sorties (separate landings) to more remote sites will happen later. For example the other pole and farside. It's important to focus on the Mars forward purpose of the base, too much lunar exploration will use resources needed for NEO and Mars exploration.

Maybe, but the Moon's purpose shouldn't be underestimated either.  And I certainly wouldn't abandon the Lunar Outpost for the sake of putting attention on even Mars missions in 2020+.

Trade-off is Mars has resources, large distance, and contamination issues.  Luna has limited resources, short distance, but no contamination issues.

One hope I have would be companies like Biglow, once a base is established, will get the courage to, and incentive from NASA, ect., to expand the human presence there commercially.  Space hotels are nice but the view from a Lunar Hotel includes Earth, the stars, and a whole landscape to endulge.  People will get dissapointed quick if all they can do is float around or just a 15-minute jaunt.  I'd suggest a month-long visit to the Moon if possible.

In time the moon will go commercial while Mars is given due attention.  Until then however I remind you all to count your blessings NASA is returning to the Moon and not burning up another hapless crew in a decrepid orbiter.

Offline

#22 2006-12-20 21:19:27

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 15,793

Offline

#23 2006-12-22 15:56:42

publiusr
Member
From: Alabama
Registered: 2005-02-24
Posts: 682

Re: Armstrong Lunar Outpost - status

I think this is using EELV sized segments? Not smart.

Offline

#24 2007-01-05 01:54:52

TwinBeam
Member
From: Chandler, AZ
Registered: 2004-01-14
Posts: 144

Re: Armstrong Lunar Outpost - status

Looks to me like they're focusing on the means (landers, power modules, habs, etc) instead of designing it around goals that are valuable in themselves.

They'll probably run into huge cost over-runs, repeatedly scale back the concept, eventually settle for sending up a few scientists at a time to keep the lights on and do "moon science" and just manage to get the drastically scaled back "moon base" finished in time to abandon it.  Instead of complaining about the space program "going in circles for 30 years", it'll be "the space program has been sitting on a dead end moon for 30 years".

They should start from the objective of mining lunar resources, design the most efficient approach to do that, and then figure out what "lunar science" they really need to do to make that work, and what that'll require.

Offline

#25 2007-01-15 10:40:36

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Armstrong Lunar Outpost - status

Webcast of the Lunar Exploration Strategy and Architecture Status from the 2nd Exploration conference (6 Dec 2006)

    *  Doug Cooke, Deputy Associate Administrator, NASA ESMD

    * Mr. Jeff Volosin, Exploration Systems Mission Directorate, NASA HQ

    * Mr. Tony Lavoie, Lunar Architecture Team Lead, NASA MSFC


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

Offline

Board footer

Powered by FluxBB