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#1 2012-10-30 10:40:23

RGClark
Member
From: Philadelphia, PA
Registered: 2006-07-05
Posts: 501
Website

A Return to the Moon by the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary.

Argues the SLS as early as 2017 can be used to launch manned lunar lander missions:

SLS for Return to the Moon by the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11.
http://exoscientist.blogspot.com/2012/1 … -50th.html


  Bob Clark


Nanotechnology now can produce the space elevator and private orbital launchers. It now also makes possible the long desired 'flying cars'. This crowdfunding campaign is to prove it:
Nanotech: from air to space.
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/nano … 13319568#/

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#2 2012-10-31 07:38:28

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,648

Re: A Return to the Moon by the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary.

RGClark wrote:

Argues the SLS as early as 2017 can be used to launch manned lunar lander missions:

SLS for Return to the Moon by the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11.
http://exoscientist.blogspot.com/2012/1 … -50th.html


  Bob Clark


I am expecting Space X to link up with Virgin Galactic in about 5 years.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#3 2012-10-31 15:01:08

Koeng
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Registered: 2012-09-05
Posts: 48
Website

Re: A Return to the Moon by the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary.

louis wrote:
RGClark wrote:

Argues the SLS as early as 2017 can be used to launch manned lunar lander missions:

SLS for Return to the Moon by the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11.
http://exoscientist.blogspot.com/2012/1 … -50th.html


  Bob Clark


I am expecting Space X to link up with Virgin Galactic in about 5 years.


Probably. Virgin Galactic has better publicity because of their airplanes. SpaceX will take over if they get their reusable rockets to work though.

-Koeng


Lets terraform today!

www.terraformingforum.com

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#4 2012-11-04 09:24:32

RGClark
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From: Philadelphia, PA
Registered: 2006-07-05
Posts: 501
Website

Re: A Return to the Moon by the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary.

RGClark wrote:

Argues the SLS as early as 2017 can be used to launch manned lunar lander missions:

SLS for Return to the Moon by the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11.
http://exoscientist.blogspot.com/2012/1 … -50th.html

The argument for why this is doable is rather simple. The Early Lunar Access(ELA) proposal of the early 90's, which deserves to be better known actually, suggested that by using a lightweight 2-man capsule and all cryogenic in-space stages that a manned lunar lander mission could be mounted with only 52 mT required to LEO, half that previously thought necessary.
The only technical complaint about its feasibility was that it required a crew capsule of only 3 mT empty weight. But the kicker is NASA is planning a Space Exploration Vehicle(SEV) at that same low 3 mT empty weight. So the SLS at a 70 mT payload capability will be able to launch such a mission using the SEV as crew capsule following the ELA architecture with plenty of margin.


   Bob Clark


Nanotechnology now can produce the space elevator and private orbital launchers. It now also makes possible the long desired 'flying cars'. This crowdfunding campaign is to prove it:
Nanotech: from air to space.
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/nano … 13319568#/

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#5 2012-11-05 10:46:45

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 3,819
Website

Re: A Return to the Moon by the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary.

Falcon-Heavy is listed as 53 metric tons to LEO out of Canaveral.  It's supposed to fly for the first time out of Vandenburg next year.  Why not do the same mission even sooner with the rocket we already will soon have in hand,  and at far lower launch cost? 

Check prices:  at full load,  Falcon-Heavy is projected at $1000/lb ($2200/kg).  Do you really think a government rocket will ever be that cheap?  I don't.  Titan-IV was not.  Atlas (originally an ICBM) and Delta (originally the old Thor IRBM) had to be extensively "reworked" in the commercial launch business to be as cheap as they are today (full load about $2500/lb for 18-25 ton payloads to LEO out of Canaveral). 

Just a thought.

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#6 2012-11-06 10:54:17

RGClark
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From: Philadelphia, PA
Registered: 2006-07-05
Posts: 501
Website

Re: A Return to the Moon by the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary.

GW Johnson wrote:

Falcon-Heavy is listed as 53 metric tons to LEO out of Canaveral.  It's supposed to fly for the first time out of Vandenburg next year.  Why not do the same mission even sooner with the rocket we already will soon have in hand,  and at far lower launch cost? 

Check prices:  at full load,  Falcon-Heavy is projected at $1000/lb ($2200/kg).  Do you really think a government rocket will ever be that cheap?  I don't.  Titan-IV was not.  Atlas (originally an ICBM) and Delta (originally the old Thor IRBM) had to be extensively "reworked" in the commercial launch business to be as cheap as they are today (full load about $2500/lb for 18-25 ton payloads to LEO out of Canaveral). 

Just a thought.

GW

I agree the Falcon Heavy could do it much more cheaply. The problem is I don't think NASA would fund it because it would undercut NASA's own BEO programs.
If there were a way to fund such lunar flights privately that would be ideal. One possible way it could happen would be if the companies planning on lunar mining after a robotic survey mission found high concentrations of valuable metals or minerals then you could have such manned missions being privately financed.


  Bob Clark

Last edited by RGClark (2012-12-17 04:07:36)


Nanotechnology now can produce the space elevator and private orbital launchers. It now also makes possible the long desired 'flying cars'. This crowdfunding campaign is to prove it:
Nanotech: from air to space.
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/nano … 13319568#/

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#7 2012-11-06 15:45:08

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 3,819
Website

Re: A Return to the Moon by the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary.

I think you're probably right about NASA's choice between SLS and Falcon-Heavy.  Too bad little gets done that actually makes sense.

I found and posted a plot using NASA's own best cost projections for SLS last month over at "exrocketman".  I think the article is dated 9-13-12.  They look like $2-4 K/lb when anything else in that payload mass range,  built and operated the way the commercial launchers are,  would be well under $1000/lb. 

It's all in the simplicity and small logistical tail.  I've never dealt with any government lab anywhere that really understood those two things.  Although,  I never dealt with NASA JPL.  Maybe they do. 

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#8 2012-11-17 20:28:47

JoshNH4H
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From: Pullman, WA
Registered: 2007-07-15
Posts: 2,526
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Re: A Return to the Moon by the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary.

Of course there is a lot more to RTTM (Return To The Moon) than the launcher, but I think that a pair of Falcon Heavies should be able to do the job.  With 106 tonnes to orbit, they're relatively comparable to a Saturn V.  If one were to launch crew and the return capsule separately aboard a F9-Dragon, the payload would be almost exactly comparable.  I see no reason why a mission couldn't be put together fairly easily.  In fact, using a combination of inflatable Bigelow modules, Dragons, and off-the shelf propulsion technology I'm not sure it would even take that long.  All we need is the will, and perhaps an economic incentive or two.


-Josh

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#9 2012-11-22 07:18:18

RGClark
Member
From: Philadelphia, PA
Registered: 2006-07-05
Posts: 501
Website

Re: A Return to the Moon by the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary.

RGClark wrote:
GW Johnson wrote:

Falcon-Heavy is listed as 53 metric tons to LEO out of Canaveral.  It's supposed to fly for the first time out of Vandenburg next year.  Why not do the same mission even sooner with the rocket we already will soon have in hand,  and at far lower launch cost? 

Check prices:  at full load,  Falcon-Heavy is projected at $1000/lb ($2200/kg).  Do you really think a government rocket will ever be that cheap?  I don't.  Titan-IV was not.  Atlas (originally an ICBM) and Delta (originally the old Thor IRBM) had to be extensively "reworked" in the commercial launch business to be as cheap as they are today (full load about $2500/lb for 18-25 ton payloads to LEO out of Canaveral). 

Just a thought.

GW

I agree the Falcon Heavy could do it much more cheaply. The problem is don't think NASA would fund it because it would undercut NASA's own BEO programs.
If there were a way to fund such lunar flights privately that would be ideal. One possible way it could happen would be if the companies planning on lunar mining after a robotic survey mission found high concentrations of valuable metals or minerals then you could have such manned missions being privately financed.


  Bob Clark

Just saw this:

Exploration Alternatives: From Propellant Depots to Commercial Lunar Base.
November 15th, 2012 by Chris Bergin

NASA managers have since created an option for a return, listed as a Lunar Surface Sortie (LSS) mission via the Exploration Systems Development Division (ESD) Concept Of Operations (Con Ops) document (L2), allowing it to become a Design Reference Mission (DRM) alternative, potentially at the expense of a NEA mission in the early to mid 2020s.
While this option remains on the cards, source information acquired by L2 this week revealed plans for a “game-changing” announcement as early as December that a new commercial space company intends to send commercial astronauts to the moon by 2020.
According to the information, the effort is led by a group of high profile individuals from the aerospace industry and backed by some big money and foreign investors. The company intends to use “existing or soon to be existing launch vehicles, spacecraft, upper stages, and technologies” to start their commercial manned lunar campaign.
The details point to the specific use of US vehicles, with a basic architecture to utilize multiple launches to assemble spacecraft in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). The details make direct reference to the potential use of propellant depots and fuel transfer technology.
Additional notes include a plan to park elements in lunar orbit, staging a small lunar lander that would transport two commercial astronauts to the surface for short stays.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2012/11/ … unar-base/

I first thought the commercial plan was going to follow the Early Lunar Access (ELA) proposal because it mentioned landing two commercial passengers on the Moon. ELA was a lightweight architecture that used a small two-man capsule:

Encyclopedia Astronautica.
Early Lunar Access. http://www.astronautix.com/craft/earccess.htm

But it is unlikely in the commercial plan they mean the passengers are to fly alone without one or more professional pilots. And also the article mentions the commercial plan is to use on orbit assembly. But by using the Falcon Heavy or the SLS you could launch the ELA architecture with a single launch.

Still, using two launches of the Delta IV Heavy both at its maximum payload to orbit of 25 mT we could launch the ELA architecture. Even if the Delta IV Heavy is not man rated, we could use separate launchers to take the astronauts to orbit and transfer them to the Moon vehicle after it is assembled.

For the NASA proposal, the article mentions the Lunar Surface Sortie (LSS) proposal. But this was still to use a 4 man capsule, which likely means the large, heavy Orion. It also would involve a separate lunar crew module, also at variance with the lightweight ELA architecture.

This lunar lander of the LSS proposal would then likely be akin to the large, expensive Altair lunar lander. So this proposal would be similar to the Constellation program whose high expense caused it to be cancelled. Better would be if NASA went small following the ELA architecture to use a single, small capsule that would carry the astronauts all the way from LEO to the lunar surface and back again. This would allow a NASA return to the Moon with a proportionally small additional cost above that of the SLS itself, and in less than a decade.

These commercial or NASA missions, if carried through, would allow a return to the Moon by the 50th anniversary of the Apollo missions if not of Apollo 11 itself.


   Bob Clark


Nanotechnology now can produce the space elevator and private orbital launchers. It now also makes possible the long desired 'flying cars'. This crowdfunding campaign is to prove it:
Nanotech: from air to space.
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/nano … 13319568#/

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#10 2012-11-22 07:24:02

RGClark
Member
From: Philadelphia, PA
Registered: 2006-07-05
Posts: 501
Website

Re: A Return to the Moon by the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary.

Just saw this article by legendary Apollo manager Chris Kraft mentioned on the NasaSpaceFlight.com forum:

Space Launch System is a threat to JSC, Texas jobs
By Chris Kraft and Tom Moser | April 20, 2012 | Updated: April 20, 2012 8:20pm

We are wasting billions of dollars per year on SLS. There are cheaper and nearer term approaches for human space exploration that use existing launch vehicles. A multicenter NASA team has completed a study on how we can return humans to the surface of the moon in the next decade with existing launch vehicles and within the existing budget. This NASA plan, which NASA leadership is trying to hide, would save JSC and create thousands of jobs in Texas.

http://www.chron.com/opinion/outlook/ar … 498836.php

Since Kraft is opposed to the SLS and he says this plan uses existing launch vehicles, it can't use the SLS or the Falcon Heavy. It must then use something similar to the Early Lunar Access plan that uses orbital assembly, perhaps using two launches of the Delta IV Heavy.
Like the suppressed report that suggested orbiting propellant depots could accomplish the goals of the SLS at lower cost, this report will eventually also come out. So whose got the inside scoop?


   Bob Clark


Nanotechnology now can produce the space elevator and private orbital launchers. It now also makes possible the long desired 'flying cars'. This crowdfunding campaign is to prove it:
Nanotech: from air to space.
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/nano … 13319568#/

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#11 2012-11-23 01:48:12

bobunf
Member
From: Phoenix, AZ
Registered: 2005-11-21
Posts: 223

Re: A Return to the Moon by the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary.

It would be helpful for the uninitiated, such as myself, if some explanation were given for the acronyms.  I think I've got NASA, ICBM and LEO down pretty well, but what is

BEO - Banquet Event Order?
SLS - Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons?
LSS - Lutheran Social Services?

Then there's all the other stuff, even though it's defined once, one has to construct a glossary to keep tract: ELA, SEV.  Fortunately RTTM was used just once and defined at the time. 

Do you guys also have a secret handshake?

Last edited by bobunf (2012-11-23 01:49:40)

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#12 2012-11-23 17:44:23

RGClark
Member
From: Philadelphia, PA
Registered: 2006-07-05
Posts: 501
Website

Re: A Return to the Moon by the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary.

bobunf wrote:

It would be helpful for the uninitiated, such as myself, if some explanation were given for the acronyms.  I think I've got NASA, ICBM and LEO down pretty well, but what is
BEO - Banquet Event Order?
SLS - Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons?
LSS - Lutheran Social Services?
Then there's all the other stuff, even though it's defined once, one has to construct a glossary to keep tract: ELA, SEV.  Fortunately RTTM was used just once and defined at the time. 
Do you guys also have a secret handshake?


BEO is beyond low earth orbit. SLS is the Space Launch System, NASA's new heavy lift vehicle. LSS is Lunar Surface Sortie, described in the article I quoted above by Chris Bergin as a proposal by NASA to return to the Moon using the SLS.


  Bob Clark


Nanotechnology now can produce the space elevator and private orbital launchers. It now also makes possible the long desired 'flying cars'. This crowdfunding campaign is to prove it:
Nanotech: from air to space.
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/nano … 13319568#/

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#13 2012-11-24 11:04:13

RGClark
Member
From: Philadelphia, PA
Registered: 2006-07-05
Posts: 501
Website

Re: A Return to the Moon by the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary.

This article by Amy Shira Teitel about the Chris Kraft piece discusses and links to a NASA report showing propellant depots can allow BEO missions without the SLS, saving billions:

EX-FLIGHT DIRECTOR URGES NASA TO KILL NEXT ROCKET SYSTEM.
Analysis by Amy Shira Teitel
Wed Apr 25, 2012 01:00 PM ET
http://news.discovery.com/space/mercury … 20425.html

So this is probably the report referred to by Chris Kraft:

"Propellant Depot Requirements Study Status Report"
http://images.spaceref.com/news/2011/21.jul2011.vxs.pdf

The report discusses several scenarios for lunar, asteroidal, or Mars missions without using heavy lift vehicles by using propellant depots. It does discuss use of the Falcon Heavy in some scenarios, but others use the Delta IV Heavy. About this last, it's interesting they give the max payload of the Delta IV Heavy as 28 mT. But the highest I ever read it having was 25 mT. Anyone know what modifications to the Delta IV Heavy would allow it to have this high a payload capability?
A disadvantage of the approaches discussed however is the large number of launches required even for the lunar missions, 6 for the Falcon Heavy and 10 for the Delta IV Heavy. This is because the scenarios use the large, heavy Orion capsule, the service module, and a separate, large lunar lander, likely akin to the Altair lunar lander.
On the other hand if instead the Early Lunar Access (ELA) architecture were used it could be done with a single launch of the Falcon Heavy or two with the Delta IV Heavy:

Encyclopedia Astronautica.
Early Lunar Access.
http://www.astronautix.com/craft/earccess.htm


  Bob Clark

Last edited by RGClark (2012-11-24 11:06:01)


Nanotechnology now can produce the space elevator and private orbital launchers. It now also makes possible the long desired 'flying cars'. This crowdfunding campaign is to prove it:
Nanotech: from air to space.
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/nano … 13319568#/

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#14 2012-11-24 20:00:27

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,648

Re: A Return to the Moon by the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary.

I've been banging on about that for the last few years! 

I am sure it can't have escaped Elon Musk that he could mount such a mission. The only question is whether he views it as a diversion.




RGClark wrote:

This article by Amy Shira Teitel about the Chris Kraft piece discusses and links to a NASA report showing propellant depots can allow BEO missions without the SLS, saving billions:

EX-FLIGHT DIRECTOR URGES NASA TO KILL NEXT ROCKET SYSTEM.
Analysis by Amy Shira Teitel
Wed Apr 25, 2012 01:00 PM ET
http://news.discovery.com/space/mercury … 20425.html

So this is probably the report referred to by Chris Kraft:

"Propellant Depot Requirements Study Status Report"
http://images.spaceref.com/news/2011/21.jul2011.vxs.pdf

The report discusses several scenarios for lunar, asteroidal, or Mars missions without using heavy lift vehicles by using propellant depots. It does discuss use of the Falcon Heavy in some scenarios, but others use the Delta IV Heavy. About this last, it's interesting they give the max payload of the Delta IV Heavy as 28 mT. But the highest I ever read it having was 25 mT. Anyone know what modifications to the Delta IV Heavy would allow it to have this high a payload capability?
A disadvantage of the approaches discussed however is the large number of launches required even for the lunar missions, 6 for the Falcon Heavy and 10 for the Delta IV Heavy. This is because the scenarios use the large, heavy Orion capsule, the service module, and a separate, large lunar lander, likely akin to the Altair lunar lander.
On the other hand if instead the Early Lunar Access (ELA) architecture were used it could be done with a single launch of the Falcon Heavy or two with the Delta IV Heavy:

Encyclopedia Astronautica.
Early Lunar Access.
http://www.astronautix.com/craft/earccess.htm


  Bob Clark


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#15 2012-12-01 16:22:12

RGClark
Member
From: Philadelphia, PA
Registered: 2006-07-05
Posts: 501
Website

Re: A Return to the Moon by the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary.

The “Golden Spike” commercial return to the Moon plan will have its unveiling at a news conference at the National Press Club on Dec. 6th

Golden Spike to Unveil Plans Next Thursday.
Posted by Doug Messier on December 1, 2012, at 5:27 am in News
http://www.parabolicarc.com/2012/12/01/ … -thursday/

Bob Clark


Nanotechnology now can produce the space elevator and private orbital launchers. It now also makes possible the long desired 'flying cars'. This crowdfunding campaign is to prove it:
Nanotech: from air to space.
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/nano … 13319568#/

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#16 2012-12-02 10:20:11

RGClark
Member
From: Philadelphia, PA
Registered: 2006-07-05
Posts: 501
Website

Re: A Return to the Moon by the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary.

Proposes using the unmanned test flights of the Falcon Heavy to test low cost BEO missions to the lunar surface, near Earth asteroids, and the Lagrange points:

SpaceX Dragon spacecraft for low cost trips to the Moon, page 3: Falcon Heavy for BEO test flights.
http://exoscientist.blogspot.com/2012/1 … -cost.html

Bob Clark


Nanotechnology now can produce the space elevator and private orbital launchers. It now also makes possible the long desired 'flying cars'. This crowdfunding campaign is to prove it:
Nanotech: from air to space.
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/nano … 13319568#/

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#17 2012-12-08 11:54:21

RGClark
Member
From: Philadelphia, PA
Registered: 2006-07-05
Posts: 501
Website

Re: A Return to the Moon by the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary.

"Golden Spike" revealed their architecture for a commercial return to the Moon this week:

How Golden Spike's Moon Landing Plan Works (Infographic )
http://www.space.com/18805-golden-spike … aphic.html

They estimated development costs in the $7 to $8 billion dollar range, less than 1/10 the cost of the Apollo or Constellation programs. However, even these numbers may be over inflated. The origin of the presented cost numbers were from NASA guys using NASA costing models. However, SpaceX has shown by following a commercial approach development costs can be cut by 1/5th to 1/10th that of NASA’s.

So what I think Golden Spike should do is bring SpaceX on board. With the development costs reduced to this extent, then we would have the really exciting possibility of the flight costs being brought down perhaps to the $200 million range, especially if using the Falcon Heavy launcher. This clearly would have a major impact on the prospect of profitability.

The only problem might be is that Elon appears to have no interest in the Moon, being focused on Mars as the ultimate goal. However the profitability motive may sway him. There is also the fact that these missions could serve to prove the capabilities of the Dragon even for BEO missions. It could also serve to prove the value of the Falcon Heavy for launching large payload at low cost, something Elon definitely wants for getting Air Force contracts.

As I discussed here the importance of what SpaceX has accomplished is that it will make clear that manned space flight can be accomplished at a fraction of what was thought necessary, thus making manned space flight routine world-wide. Combining this with small, low cost approaches to BEO flight, suggests such missions can also happen on a regular basis.

We are returning to the Moon, this time to stay.

Bob Clark


Nanotechnology now can produce the space elevator and private orbital launchers. It now also makes possible the long desired 'flying cars'. This crowdfunding campaign is to prove it:
Nanotech: from air to space.
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/nano … 13319568#/

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#18 2012-12-08 15:19:37

Terraformer
Member
From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,225
Website

Re: A Return to the Moon by the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary.

First thing we ought to do is a sample return mission from the poles using propellent produced in-situ. Though, that will probably be the second thing, since we need to locate the propellent sources first with a rover. If we can demonstrate a functioning fuel production system there, we can send up a human mission without needing to resupply them with fuel, probably using a Falcon Heavy to launch a booster stage and a Falcon 9 to send up a Dragon - or rather, plus another Falcon Heavy to add in a lander, though the two launch architecture should be sufficient for a lunar flyby.

It would be even better if we send up a lunar base and set it up automatically, before sending any crew, such that we only need to send them in a transfer craft and lander.

Then, once we've got that... fuel stations at EML1 and LEO...


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#19 2012-12-08 18:13:04

JoshNH4H
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From: Pullman, WA
Registered: 2007-07-15
Posts: 2,526
Website

Re: A Return to the Moon by the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary.

Though it's ultimate place in the interplanetary economy will be defined by events as much as anything else, there are a couple basic functions where the use of lunar resources is of obvious benefit.  In the short term, fuel production is if not a necessity something that well be of tremendous benefit in terms of cost reductions in transportation.  Additionally, the establishment either of a mining infrastructure or a full industrial capacity there will be of great benefit to everyone.  I trend to favor mining on the moon and industry at EML 4/5 because it is easier to transport the products to other locations from there, and because some kind of non-rocket launch system can be established on the moon.  In the longer term, the moon van also be established as a minor residential location.

So, there's money on the moon, for sure.  Long term, automation may make it possible to eliminate terrestrial industrial production with resources from space.


-Josh

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#20 2012-12-09 07:45:21

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,648

Re: A Return to the Moon by the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary.

I've argued many times before here that we were a lot closer to a lunar economy than people realised.

I think Space X will be able to offer real lunar tourism before long, maybe hitching up with Virgin Galactic who look set to become the leaders in space tourism.

There are plenty of opportunities for lunar commercial activity as well.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#21 2012-12-09 10:22:32

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 3,819
Website

Re: A Return to the Moon by the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary.

My impression of public opinion is that there might be some support for a base of some kind on the moon,  if it can be tied to going to Mars.  That's an easy enough connection to make,  since a lot of the same equipment and techniques work on both the moon and Mars.  But,  once you actually have such a base or bases,  two opportunities arise. 

One is to expand the experimental scope of the base or bases.  There's a lot of science to be done there,  and,  there's the possibility of open-plume testing of nuclear engines there,  which might prove cheaper and more practical than closed/captured-plume nuclear engine testing down here.  When you look at the expense of building plume-capture test facilities down here,  shipping engine components and thrust stand parts to the moon doesn't look quite so expensive after all,  even when we are restricted to rockets like Falcon-Heavy. 

The other opportunity is to add the positive-economy things like mining or fuel manufacture to that base.  This is a way to boot-strap into creating that infrastructure and economy that ensures a permanent presence on the moon.  You'll simply never do it tax-supported as a direct colony proposal.  You have to sneak it past all the nay-sayers,  by piggy-backing it later onto something that they will let you do initially.  The nay-sayers outnumber us,  and thus generally out-vote us. 

I have never seen a consortium of private interests that might take on doing real bases anywhere in space,  much less actual colonies.  There is only Spacex,  and Musk's resources are too finite for him to go it alone.  That's why he deals with NASA,  to get paid for doing things he wants to do anyway. 

That being the case,  any moon missions (or missions to any other places),  are going to be initially government-funded exploration voyages of one kind or another.  That's not a bad thing,  actually.  That's the most successful of the voyaging models used 300-500 years ago here. 

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#22 2012-12-09 15:11:20

louis
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From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,648

Re: A Return to the Moon by the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary.

GW,

How much do you think a base could be built for?

I'm thinking we can probably do it with a launch of 200 tonnes to Earth orbit. Maybe $1billion?  Apply a multiplier of two for the complexity of managing the programme and getting the base built.  Most of the development costs are covered in terms of rocketry and the Dragon capsule. Maybe another $1 billion for transit craft and landers? Add $500 million for contingencies...$3.5billion in total.

You could service that debt at about 3% - or $105million per annum.  Operational costs would depend on what we were doing. Clearly they need to be covered.

I think return of lunar dust and meteorites together with space agency payments would cover operational costs and servicing of the debt.





GW Johnson wrote:

My impression of public opinion is that there might be some support for a base of some kind on the moon,  if it can be tied to going to Mars.  That's an easy enough connection to make,  since a lot of the same equipment and techniques work on both the moon and Mars.  But,  once you actually have such a base or bases,  two opportunities arise. 

One is to expand the experimental scope of the base or bases.  There's a lot of science to be done there,  and,  there's the possibility of open-plume testing of nuclear engines there,  which might prove cheaper and more practical than closed/captured-plume nuclear engine testing down here.  When you look at the expense of building plume-capture test facilities down here,  shipping engine components and thrust stand parts to the moon doesn't look quite so expensive after all,  even when we are restricted to rockets like Falcon-Heavy. 

The other opportunity is to add the positive-economy things like mining or fuel manufacture to that base.  This is a way to boot-strap into creating that infrastructure and economy that ensures a permanent presence on the moon.  You'll simply never do it tax-supported as a direct colony proposal.  You have to sneak it past all the nay-sayers,  by piggy-backing it later onto something that they will let you do initially.  The nay-sayers outnumber us,  and thus generally out-vote us. 

I have never seen a consortium of private interests that might take on doing real bases anywhere in space,  much less actual colonies.  There is only Spacex,  and Musk's resources are too finite for him to go it alone.  That's why he deals with NASA,  to get paid for doing things he wants to do anyway. 

That being the case,  any moon missions (or missions to any other places),  are going to be initially government-funded exploration voyages of one kind or another.  That's not a bad thing,  actually.  That's the most successful of the voyaging models used 300-500 years ago here. 

GW


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#23 2012-12-10 19:54:04

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 3,819
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Re: A Return to the Moon by the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary.

Louis:

I don't seem to miss it very far by computing direct launch costs from published launch prices,  and then multiplying by 3-to-5 for overall program costs.  Somebody efficient like a Spacex corresponds closer to the 3,  somebody not so efficient like a ULA corresponds to the 5. 

A typical completely-government-run program (like NASA would usually do) would be closer to factor-10-higher-than-direct-launch,  and that would be for their in-house launch price,  which is factor 4-or-so larger than commercial launch costs. 

I've got a curve for launch costs published over at "exrocketman",  dated 5-26-12,  titled "Revised, Expanded Launch Cost Data".   It looks to be pretty close.

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#24 2012-12-17 06:10:06

RGClark
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From: Philadelphia, PA
Registered: 2006-07-05
Posts: 501
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Re: A Return to the Moon by the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary.

Reading the "Golden Spike" paper now:

http://goldenspikecompany.com/wp-conten … ockets.pdf

It gives several different architectures and types of missions. But on page 8 it gives the payload capability of the Falcon 9, presumably the new version, as 16,700 kg. However, on the SpaceX site it's given as 13,100 kg:

http://www.spacex.com/falcon9.php#launch_and_placement

Interestingly at the 16 mT number you can do a manned circumlunar mission on a single Falcon 9 + Dragon, even including a LAS, by using a half-size Centaur as the in-space stage. But at the 13 mt number it becomes much more iffy.

Such a mission would be very important to accomplish. Recall the Apollo 8 mission was a manned lunar flyby that served as the prelude to the Apollo 11 mission. It is regarded then as being a part of the very costly Apollo program, requiring the expensive Saturn V launcher.

The skepticism among many about the Golden Spike plan or other commercial lunar plans is that idea it would require large, hugely expensive Saturn V class launchers. However, if the manned flyby could be done by a single launch by what is still just a medium size launcher in the Falcon 9 v1.1 it would show that by going small and following a low cost, commercial approach, that a low cost return to the Moon is feasible.

The Falcon 9 v1.1 will cost in the $60 million range, and we might estimate the half-size Centaur to be in the $15  million range. So the launch cost for such a mission might be in the $75 million range.

As I mentioned  before in regards to using the first test flights of the Falcon Heavy for unmanned BEO test flights, the test flights of the Falcon 9 v1.1 could serve for unmanned test flights for this lunar flyby. Since SpaceX needs to do such tests anyway most of the cost of the Falcon 9 and Dragon capsule would be borne by SpaceX. Then you could have Golden Spike only paying ca. $15 million for the half-size Centaur.

There would be some development cost of course beyond that for this half-size Centaur. For one thing you would have to make the cryogenic propulsion undergo less boiloff for 1 to 2 week missions. ULA has done studies on this so should be doable but still it has to be carried out in practice. An advantage of this would be that this half-size Centaur is about the size you need for the lander. So the lander could be derived from this, and the development cost for the two stages could be reduced.


Bob Clark


Nanotechnology now can produce the space elevator and private orbital launchers. It now also makes possible the long desired 'flying cars'. This crowdfunding campaign is to prove it:
Nanotech: from air to space.
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/nano … 13319568#/

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#25 2012-12-20 13:55:08

RGClark
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From: Philadelphia, PA
Registered: 2006-07-05
Posts: 501
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Re: A Return to the Moon by the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary.

Detailed discussion of the fact that with the higher payload capability of the Falcon 9 v1.1 we can do circumlunar missions on a *single* launch of the Falcon 9 v1.1 + Dragon:

"Golden Spike" circumlunar flights.
http://exoscientist.blogspot.com/2012/1 … ights.html

  Bob Clark


Nanotechnology now can produce the space elevator and private orbital launchers. It now also makes possible the long desired 'flying cars'. This crowdfunding campaign is to prove it:
Nanotech: from air to space.
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/nano … 13319568#/

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