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#1 2007-11-10 14:21:59

Terraformer
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From: Ceres
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,531
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Re: Shipyard?

How about... ...turning the ISS into a shipyard? Originally there was supposed to be a module for repairing damaged satellites but that's to hard (very few satellites are on the same orbit.) So instead it could be used for building spacecraft. It would be the biggest module we can get up there with present tech so it can build reasonable sized craft. Unmanned (or manned, if we have no unmanned cargo craft, or just manned to start with) cargo craft would take the raw materials up which would then be turned into ships. It would make the ISS less of a drag (increase public support.) A moon craft could be built there. The CEV and other such craft could be scaled back as they'd only have to be used to ferry people and supplies up to the ISS.


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#2 2007-11-10 15:00:29

JoshNH4H
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From: Pullman, WA
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Re: Shipyard?

It seems like you are a big fan of getting something out of the 150 Bn the world has put into the ISS.  But about 5 years after it's done, it's orbit will decay, and it will fall back to earth.  A shipyard would best be built in L4 or L5, or lunar orbit, to take advantage of the moon's smaller gravity well, and abundant resourses.


-Josh

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#3 2007-11-10 15:03:37

Terraformer
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From: Ceres
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Re: Shipyard?

The Wikipedia entry must be wrong or the ISS fell out of the sky years ago.


"I'm gonna die surrounded by the biggest idiots in the galaxy." - If this forum was a Mars Colony

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#4 2007-11-10 15:34:51

Terraformer
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From: Ceres
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Re: Shipyard?

If we could strip the Progress modules of anything usful - ie. life support, the outside solar cells - it would supplement the stuff already sent up.


"I'm gonna die surrounded by the biggest idiots in the galaxy." - If this forum was a Mars Colony

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#5 2007-11-10 16:55:44

JoshNH4H
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From: Pullman, WA
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Re: Shipyard?

it does periodic burns, or else it would have, but my info is from wikipedia as well.  Generally this is a bad idea.


-Josh

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#6 2007-11-11 05:44:39

Terraformer
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From: Ceres
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Re: Shipyard?

Then carry on doing periodic burns. Generally this is a good idea.


"I'm gonna die surrounded by the biggest idiots in the galaxy." - If this forum was a Mars Colony

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#7 2007-11-11 06:05:06

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

Re: Shipyard?

How about... ...turning the ISS into a shipyard? Originally there was supposed to be a module for repairing damaged satellites but that's to hard (very few satellites are on the same orbit.) So instead it could be used for building spacecraft.

What would be the advantage? Assembling spacecraft is risky, time consuming and expensive.

It's required for the Moon mission, but that is just a docking of two spacecraft (Orion & Lunar Lander/EDS). ISS is in the wrong orbit for Moon or Mars missions, it's much better to assemble at 28° for NASA missions. Any assembly much more complex than docking will require EVA, and that adds more cost and risk. It's much better to not assemble at all!

Maybe one day when launch costs are much lower, inspace assembly will have advantages and with enough demand such a shipyard will make sense. One day.


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#8 2007-11-11 06:18:19

Terraformer
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From: Ceres
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Re: Shipyard?

Yah, no-one has selected the last poll option!

Then surely NASA could spare two or three shuttle flights (less if the Russians agree to help) to construct a small shipyard in the right orbit consisting of one living module and one construction module. The first ship constructed would be able to salvage junked satellites for materials to reduce missions needed down to the bare minimum. All the stuff needed from Earth would be stored in more modules so every time a mission comes the shipyard grows bigger.

What are the major changes I'd need to make to my plan? And I'm suprised you're even advocating going to Mars.


"I'm gonna die surrounded by the biggest idiots in the galaxy." - If this forum was a Mars Colony

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#9 2007-11-11 06:36:43

cIclops
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Registered: 2005-06-16
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Re: Shipyard?

Then surely NASA could spare two or three shuttle flights (less if the Russians agree to help) to construct a small shipyard in the right orbit consisting of one living module and one construction module. The first ship constructed would be able to salvage junked satellites for materials to reduce missions needed down to the bare minimum. All the stuff needed from Earth would be stored in more modules so every time a mission comes the shipyard grows bigger.

What are the major changes I'd need to make to my plan? And I'm suprised you're even advocating going to Mars.

NASA hasn't any Shuttle flights to spare. There's experiments ready and waiting to go to orbit such as AMS that can't be fitted into the manifest before Shuttle retires. One Shuttle launch costs about $1 billion, building new modules takes a lot of time and money.

Maybe your space yard could be constructed for several billion dollars, then having spent the entire exploration budget for two or more years, how does this save any money? The cost of retrieving a satellite is far more than its worth. Furthermore, most of its components will be out of service life and obsolete. Reusing them would require an enormous amount of crew time and specialized equipment that would cost far more than any value they may have.

Going to Mars is what this site is about, building a space yard will delay it several years.

Good idea? No.


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#10 2007-11-11 06:52:05

Terraformer
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Re: Shipyard?

Going to Mars is what this site is about, building a space yard will delay it several years.

It may delay it but in the long run it will be better. You lack vision and focus way too narrowly on Mars. Is there an Asteroid society, Neptune society, Venus society around?


"I'm gonna die surrounded by the biggest idiots in the galaxy." - If this forum was a Mars Colony

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#11 2007-11-11 22:21:38

Martian Republic
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From: Haltom City- Dallas/Fort Worth
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Posts: 855

Re: Shipyard?

Going to Mars is what this site is about, building a space yard will delay it several years.

It may delay it but in the long run it will be better. You lack vision and focus way too narrowly on Mars. Is there an Asteroid society, Neptune society, Venus society around?

I am very progressive myself and I don't see it either. Because all the resources for the ship yard have to come from the earth and there isn't enough junk orbiting the earth that could serve as raw material to make it a viable project. You would have to have a large on site labor forces and resources to support that ship yard for building those ship in space. Without also having a few mining ships to supply that orbital ship yard with resource from asteroids or possibly the moon, it would be a waste of money and resources to do such a project. Then you would also have to refine those raw materials and then manufacture them into usable products for use on those space ship we are building.

Since none of this is doable at this time, it would be a bad idea.

Larry,

Larry,

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#12 2007-11-12 10:04:47

Tom Kalbfus
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Posts: 4,401

Re: Shipyard?

Then surely NASA could spare two or three shuttle flights (less if the Russians agree to help) to construct a small shipyard in the right orbit consisting of one living module and one construction module. The first ship constructed would be able to salvage junked satellites for materials to reduce missions needed down to the bare minimum. All the stuff needed from Earth would be stored in more modules so every time a mission comes the shipyard grows bigger.

What are the major changes I'd need to make to my plan? And I'm suprised you're even advocating going to Mars.

NASA hasn't any Shuttle flights to spare. There's experiments ready and waiting to go to orbit such as AMS that can't be fitted into the manifest before Shuttle retires. One Shuttle launch costs about $1 billion, building new modules takes a lot of time and money.

Maybe your space yard could be constructed for several billion dollars, then having spent the entire exploration budget for two or more years, how does this save any money? The cost of retrieving a satellite is far more than its worth. Furthermore, most of its components will be out of service life and obsolete. Reusing them would require an enormous amount of crew time and specialized equipment that would cost far more than any value they may have.

Going to Mars is what this site is about, building a space yard will delay it several years.

Good idea? No.

But it the launch date is 2031, you might want to have a ship yard for staging the orbital components to assemble interplanetary spaceship, and also to overhaul the spaceships once they return from their missions. It kind of bothers me to launch 6 Ares V rockets for every Mars mission, that seems like such a waste of hardware and it is all thrown out except for the reentry Orion capsule in the end. A more sustainable interplanetary presence would have a spaceship that only expends fuel and reaction mass to go from Low Earth orbit to Low Mars Orbit and back again, refuel at Phobos Station, and then head back to Earth to the Shipyard for overhaul and maintenance. Atmospheric braking can be used to save fuel.

Nuclear spaceships are probably the best. The nuclear fuel doesn't weigh that much compared to the reaction mass, and perhaps the reaction mass can be scooped up from the fringes of Earth's and Mars' atmosphere without fully deorbiting.

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#13 2007-11-12 10:27:53

SpaceNut
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Re: Shipyard?

The end of Moon build should be around 2026 and if the start of mars launchings are 2031 then there is some fund during those years to make use of but at what delay to starting mars?

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#14 2007-11-12 10:39:39

naitsabes
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Re: Shipyard?

NASA plans to start building the moon base in 2024, so no way it´ll be done in just 2 years.

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#15 2007-11-12 10:43:41

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

Re: Shipyard?

But it the launch date is 2031, you might want to have a ship yard for staging the orbital components to assemble interplanetary spaceship, and also to overhaul the spaceships once they return from their missions. It kind of bothers me to launch 6 Ares V rockets for every Mars mission, that seems like such a waste of hardware and it is all thrown out except for the reentry Orion capsule in the end. A more sustainable interplanetary presence would have a spaceship that only expends fuel and reaction mass to go from Low Earth orbit to Low Mars Orbit and back again, refuel at Phobos Station, and then head back to Earth to the Shipyard for overhaul and maintenance. Atmospheric braking can be used to save fuel.

There is no point wasting fuel and money launching a "spaceyard" to assemble components for a Mars mission, it would be far safer to dock them in free space. As few components as possible, more components means more interfaces, mass and risk.

DRM 5.0 needs six Ares V because that's what it takes to put enough mass into LEO, there's no other way right now other than using a smaller launcher then the number of flights, risk and cost goes way up.

Nothing will be coming back from Mars other than the crew capsule and the MTV. Slowing down the MTV will require propellant and a heavier heatshield (Earth reentry is double the velocity of Mars = 4x energy). The MTV is just empty tanks and pressurized volume for crew and supplies, an engine and maybe a used heatshield. The cost of getting it into LEO will be much more than it's worth, it will also be 3 years old and a new better one will be used for the next voyage.

One day when there's a mature transportation system, it may well use reusable vehicles, then a spacedock may make sense. That day is far away.


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#16 2007-11-12 11:56:24

Grypd
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From: Scotland, Europe
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Posts: 1,872

Re: Shipyard?

If it comes down to it the ISS is simply in the wrong orbit for it to be useful as a spaceport for mating various components sent from the Earth. It was originally planned to have this purpose but this was removed from its configuration and even the orbit was shifted so Russian progress and Soyuz vehicles could reach it.

If we have a need for an orbital construction depot then the ISS is not it. It would be cheaper to simply create a new spacestation. This one specialised outpost could be sent up in one or two launches and it would be placed where the US launch sites could reach it easily. It would save money and since it would be a lot simpler to operate as it is nothing like as complicated it will have a much longer life.

Still this assumes that we will need to make something that takes more than one or two launches to construct.


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#17 2007-11-12 14:41:57

Tom Kalbfus
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Re: Shipyard?

But it the launch date is 2031, you might want to have a ship yard for staging the orbital components to assemble interplanetary spaceship, and also to overhaul the spaceships once they return from their missions. It kind of bothers me to launch 6 Ares V rockets for every Mars mission, that seems like such a waste of hardware and it is all thrown out except for the reentry Orion capsule in the end. A more sustainable interplanetary presence would have a spaceship that only expends fuel and reaction mass to go from Low Earth orbit to Low Mars Orbit and back again, refuel at Phobos Station, and then head back to Earth to the Shipyard for overhaul and maintenance. Atmospheric braking can be used to save fuel.

There is no point wasting fuel and money launching a "spaceyard" to assemble components for a Mars mission, it would be far safer to dock them in free space. As few components as possible, more components means more interfaces, mass and risk.

DRM 5.0 needs six Ares V because that's what it takes to put enough mass into LEO, there's no other way right now other than using a smaller launcher then the number of flights, risk and cost goes way up.

Nothing will be coming back from Mars other than the crew capsule and the MTV. Slowing down the MTV will require propellant and a heavier heatshield (Earth reentry is double the velocity of Mars = 4x energy). The MTV is just empty tanks and pressurized volume for crew and supplies, an engine and maybe a used heatshield. The cost of getting it into LEO will be much more than it's worth, it will also be 3 years old and a new better one will be used for the next voyage.

One day when there's a mature transportation system, it may well use reusable vehicles, then a spacedock may make sense. That day is far away.

2031 is not "soon" by most people's way of reconing things except NASA's. If we are going to wait 24 years to launch our mission to Mars, we might as well in the meantime get something worthwhile accomplished. 24 years is plenty of time to get a reliable space transportation system from ground to orbit established and constuct a space dock.

It would be pretty foolish to launch 6 Ares V rockets to assembly our Mars ship in the era of scramjet orbiters for instance.

I think a good 24 year program to get men to Mars would start by building a scramjet orbiter and then by designing pieces of the Mars ship to fit into that orbiter and pieces of the space dock to fit into the same orbiter. The orbiter would have to be fairly robust and reliable, able to launch from a runway in all kinds of weather and on a weekly schedule with regular maintenance on the ground inbetween.

Give 8 years to design and build the Scramjet orbiter,
8 years to build the space dock,
and 8 years to construct the interplanetary vessel in orbit at space dock.

That is how I'd do it.

I'm sure a well funded program an incorporate a scramjet into a reliable orbiter in 8 years is adequate.

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#18 2007-11-12 19:42:00

Martian Republic
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From: Haltom City- Dallas/Fort Worth
Registered: 2004-06-13
Posts: 855

Re: Shipyard?

But it the launch date is 2031, you might want to have a ship yard for staging the orbital components to assemble interplanetary spaceship, and also to overhaul the spaceships once they return from their missions. It kind of bothers me to launch 6 Ares V rockets for every Mars mission, that seems like such a waste of hardware and it is all thrown out except for the reentry Orion capsule in the end. A more sustainable interplanetary presence would have a spaceship that only expends fuel and reaction mass to go from Low Earth orbit to Low Mars Orbit and back again, refuel at Phobos Station, and then head back to Earth to the Shipyard for overhaul and maintenance. Atmospheric braking can be used to save fuel.

There is no point wasting fuel and money launching a "spaceyard" to assemble components for a Mars mission, it would be far safer to dock them in free space. As few components as possible, more components means more interfaces, mass and risk.

DRM 5.0 needs six Ares V because that's what it takes to put enough mass into LEO, there's no other way right now other than using a smaller launcher then the number of flights, risk and cost goes way up.

Nothing will be coming back from Mars other than the crew capsule and the MTV. Slowing down the MTV will require propellant and a heavier heatshield (Earth reentry is double the velocity of Mars = 4x energy). The MTV is just empty tanks and pressurized volume for crew and supplies, an engine and maybe a used heatshield. The cost of getting it into LEO will be much more than it's worth, it will also be 3 years old and a new better one will be used for the next voyage.

One day when there's a mature transportation system, it may well use reusable vehicles, then a spacedock may make sense. That day is far away.

2031 is not "soon" by most people's way of reconing things except NASA's. If we are going to wait 24 years to launch our mission to Mars, we might as well in the meantime get something worthwhile accomplished. 24 years is plenty of time to get a reliable space transportation system from ground to orbit established and constuct a space dock.

It would be pretty foolish to launch 6 Ares V rockets to assembly our Mars ship in the era of scramjet orbiters for instance.

I think a good 24 year program to get men to Mars would start by building a scramjet orbiter and then by designing pieces of the Mars ship to fit into that orbiter and pieces of the space dock to fit into the same orbiter. The orbiter would have to be fairly robust and reliable, able to launch from a runway in all kinds of weather and on a weekly schedule with regular maintenance on the ground inbetween.

Give 8 years to design and build the Scramjet orbiter,
8 years to build the space dock,
and 8 years to construct the interplanetary vessel in orbit at space dock.

That is how I'd do it.

I'm sure a well funded program an incorporate a scramjet into a reliable orbiter in 8 years is adequate.

You realize that your plan would cost 50 to 100 billion dollars to design and build. Other than that, I have no problem with your plan and it probably along the lines that we should be looking and what we should be trying to accomplish in those twenty four years too. But, if we intend to have a scamjet shuttle, we will need a much bigger space station with a quasi ship yard in the right orbit that we need to accomplish our intended goals. We would probably need 10 to 20 Saturn V or cargo shuttle launches to send up the space station and ship yard with all the equipment to make it operational. I was thinking using 10 to 14 Bigelow habitats in a circle when finished, will be able to hold between 100 to 200 people. We will need to be able to put up that many people to support both the lunar base and make our Mars launch manning the space station and running the ship yard. The deep space space ship needs to be a fission or fusion powered rocket. If it a fission powered craft, it will need to flip end over end to generate the effects of artificial gravity. If we are able to build a fusion powered craft by that time, then it will be powered space craft all the way to Mars. In either case, those space craft would have to dock with the space station to get provision to make the next trip to either the moon or Mars. Which means that we should discontinue the chemical rockets of going to the moon or Mars and use re-usable shuttle for moon too.

This is ultimately where your plan would have to go if we were to implement it. It would be a whole lot more expensive than the current moon project, but would also eventually replace the Orion Moon Mission space ship with these new space ship. Although it would cost more in the beginning build it, it would be cheaper to run it and to get more people with the resource into space after it been put into place. But, if this were to be done this, it would still be expensive to do it, but it would bring down going to Mars by 90%, because we have the infrastructure already in place to go all the way to Mars. The only thing that we would need then would the the lander, the Martian habitats, power stations, etc. to complete the job.

It would be nice, but I don't see it happening.

Larry,

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#19 2007-11-12 20:14:02

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,004

Re: Shipyard?

The end of Moon build should be around 2026 and if the start of mars launchings are 2031 then there is some fund during those years to make use of but at what delay to starting mars?

NASA plans to start building the moon base in 2024, so no way it´ll be done in just 2 years.

Welcome to newmars naitsabes.

This is where it may be confusing in that the lunar outpost thread has the first landing in 2018 to 2020 time frame with 6 month missions planned for the base construction of completion around 2024.

I would hope that there is no huge delay in building once first landing have happened as that is a huge waste...

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#20 2007-11-13 00:53:29

Tom Kalbfus
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Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Shipyard?

You realize that your plan would cost 50 to 100 billion dollars to design and build. Other than that, I have no problem with your plan and it probably along the lines that we should be looking and what we should be trying to accomplish in those twenty four years too. But, if we intend to have a scamjet shuttle, we will need a much bigger space station with a quasi ship yard in the right orbit that we need to accomplish our intended goals. We would probably need 10 to 20 Saturn V or cargo shuttle launches to send up the space station and ship yard with all the equipment to make it operational. I was thinking using 10 to 14 Bigelow habitats in a circle when finished, will be able to hold between 100 to 200 people. We will need to be able to put up that many people to support both the lunar base and make our Mars launch manning the space station and running the ship yard. The deep space space ship needs to be a fission or fusion powered rocket. If it a fission powered craft, it will need to flip end over end to generate the effects of artificial gravity. If we are able to build a fusion powered craft by that time, then it will be powered space craft all the way to Mars. In either case, those space craft would have to dock with the space station to get provision to make the next trip to either the moon or Mars. Which means that we should discontinue the chemical rockets of going to the moon or Mars and use re-usable shuttle for moon too.

This is ultimately where your plan would have to go if we were to implement it. It would be a whole lot more expensive than the current moon project, but would also eventually replace the Orion Moon Mission space ship with these new space ship. Although it would cost more in the beginning build it, it would be cheaper to run it and to get more people with the resource into space after it been put into place. But, if this were to be done this, it would still be expensive to do it, but it would bring down going to Mars by 90%, because we have the infrastructure already in place to go all the way to Mars. The only thing that we would need then would the the lander, the Martian habitats, power stations, etc. to complete the job.

It would be nice, but I don't see it happening.

Larry,

The Design Reference Mission is a complete throw-away. In the end yo9u get nothing but a pile of Mars rocks and a used Orion capsule to show for it all. Six Ares V rockets and one Ares I rocket are expensive and you throw all that hardware away to get the astronauts to Mars, keep them alive and bring them back to Earth, and in the process you throw away parts of their space ship that our country has so expensively built and launched into orbit, and after the mission, we have to build another six Ares V rockets and One Ares I rocket if we are to have another mission to Mars, that's the equivalent of launching six Moon missions every two years. Government bean counters are going to look long and hard at this program if all were getting out of it is piles of Mars rocks and lots of space junk in orbit around the Sun. Scramjet Space Shuttles are useful for other things besides assembling space docks and Mars ships in orbit. The Design Reference Mission is useful if we are going to send people to Mars in the next ten years, that would be how we would do it using "off the shelf" technology, but for the year 2031, it makes no sense to use today's "off the shelf" technology. If someone said our goal was to land men on Mars in 24 years, then we should be doing something different than if someone said to do it in 10 years. If it was going to take 24 years to put together the Design Reference Mission, then we would have to be dragging our feet. Such a slow pace in implementing "off the shelf" technology is not reasonable. You wouldn't take 24 years to build an Aircraft carrier, because it would be obsolete by the time it was finished!

I just got the Special Edition 2001 A Space Odyssey, it seems to me that we can actually build stuff like that by 2031. That opening sequence after the Ape-men scene shows a winged orbiter that might be a scramjet, it shows a double-wheel shaped Space Station that is still under construction, it showed Lunar Shuttles, a Moonbase, and the Spaceship Discovery. All the spaceships shown in the film were meant to be reused rather than thrown away. I think we should try to get to the point where our spaceships and space stations resemble somewhat the ones in the movie at least in terms of usability and functionality. We should get beyond the age of throwaway spaceships, the Space Shuttle was one such attempt, it was a miserably failure, but that does not mean that the underlying goal wasn't a worthy one. I think we should try to build a replacement for thatr shuttle, but not the same way we built that shuttle. The methodology we used for building those shuttles was flawed, we should instead provide incentives for private industry to build the next generation Space Shuttle. I think sending people to MArs would be a worthy goal for the next ten years. The way I think about it, life is too short, we should try to operate within human time scales, try to do something within the next ten years with anticipated technology. I think from the Word "Go!" we should try to have people on Mars in ten years. Having a 24-year plan just doesn't make much sense, if such is the case, the first 14 years should be spend doing research to widen our technological options for getting to Mars, things like the Scramjet, and perhaps also research on space elevators as a good alternative hedge, the actual implementation of the mission should be done within the last ten years of the program and we must then be prepared to spend the money to get there or else not go.

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#21 2007-11-13 17:04:12

Martian Republic
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From: Haltom City- Dallas/Fort Worth
Registered: 2004-06-13
Posts: 855

Re: Shipyard?

Tom Kalbfus, I agree with most of what you are saying except the part of letting the private sector develop the scram jet and the ten years to get to Mars part. The current shuttle was designed, because it was suppose to be everything to everybody and they had a price concern also that they had to meet. As a result of that, we got a shuttle that nobody wanted and didn't do what everybody wanted it to do for there needs. Instead of building something that we could really use, they built the cheapest thing that they could build to try an include what everybody said they wanted. I seriously question whether we could do it in ten years. And if we did try to do it in ten years, I seriously doubt that those astronaut could survive or if they did, they would have chronic sickness as a result of there Mars Mission for life. Other than that, I agree with you. All I am saying is, is that it going to be very expensive to develop those technologies and to build infrastructure that your talking about. But, the logistic of supporting that moon colony once those things have been built and put into place we will probably be ten times better being able to do that. If we are serious about going into space or colonizing Mars then those scram jet / shuttle with those nuclear powered rockets for deep space travel are an absolute must to get the job done. We would also want to put nuclear processing plant on the Moon to support those nuclear powered space ship too once we had a base on the moon. You make a great point about it needing to be re-usable and any long term goal of maintaining a long term present in space, we need to go in that direction.

All I am saying is that it going to be a whole lot more expensive than the future Moon Mission and base on the base on the Moon. Matter of fact, I am a proponent developing those technologies and then using them to go to Mars and even maybe build a city there too while we are on the subject.

Larry,


Larry,

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#22 2007-11-14 00:44:18

Tom Kalbfus
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Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Shipyard?

I think you have lowered your expectations too much. Are you telling me that 10 years is not a long time? The human lifespan is around 80 years, yet you toss around decades like they were nothing. Frankly I'm tired of NASA going around in circles, wasting money and accomplishing nothing ever since they went to the Moon. I think something has got to change as the "business as usual" model is not working. Are you telling me that "more of the same" is going to get us to the Moon and Mars, while over the past 40 years "more of the same" has not gotten us anywhere.

The most productive time in the history of NASA was the first ten years, after that NASA just coasted to the Moon and gave us "more of the same" and accomplished very little afterwards. Frankly the Mars Direct and Mars Semi-direct both accept that space travel will remain hideously expensive for the forseeable future, I just don't feel we should concede that point and give up on space travel except for the elite with the "Right Stuff" and "gray hairs" that NASA pays for. I'm tired of the future of Space Travel being utterly dependent on how much Congress appropriates for NASA. I think we should work on making space travel cheaper, and I don't mean a token effort of a spinning of the wheels just so we can say we are doing something about it. The Space Shuttle was a failure because NASA and Government in general suffers from "Attention Deficit Disorder" They were unable to keep their focus on Shuttle Economics and got distracted by "What's in it for my District?" or "How many jobs will it produce?" The criterion that government programs should produce jobs goes against the criterion for making they program economical. I think private industry is concerned about profits, not in "creating jobs" which under private sector parlance goes under the heading of "expenses" and "costs". The entrepreuner wants to create as few jobs as possible when making his investments, because each job he creates is another expense that comes out of his pocket, he's always asking, "Is this job really necessary?" "Maybe there is a way to build this so that it saves labor and I don't have to pay for this additional salary." The

Congressman however says, "A thousand new jobs for my community, cool! This really ought to help my constituents out, they will appreciate what I'm doing for them and will then reelect me." Congressmen and Senators love big complexes with thousands of government workers and hired contractors all gainfully employed, and going home, spending money and thereby boosting the local economy at the Federal Government's expense. The private company that lays off workers because their work is no longer needed is not so popular with Congressmen and Senators.

There is pressure on Government Contractors not to be so efficient, don't improve efficiency, throw some money around and we'll make sure your company meets its bottom line, wink wink, nudge nudge. Then what eventually happens is that some other Senator of Congressman who doesn't have NASA installations hin his district gets jealous and says, "What a waste of money this is, buying all this equipment and throwing it all away just to obtain rocks from another planet when all this money can better be spent to help out the poor. That is basically what happened to the Apollo program, and since the Apollo Program had no self-sustaining basis, it was easy for Congress to pull the plug.

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#23 2008-01-25 07:40:02

Terraformer
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From: Ceres
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,531
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Re: Shipyard?

Energia? I'm all for hauling it out of, well, not retirement, it didn't last long enough. Could that launch the modules for a Shipyard? Then a scaled down shuttle (crew only) could be used. A refinary and factory could be placed next to the shipyard (maybe part of it) to process Lunar/Asteroid materials. It would be dependent on Earth for resources (supplemented with satellites) until it gets a regular cargo ship going between the moon and the refinary. It could get an extra source of income by building satellites to sell.


"I'm gonna die surrounded by the biggest idiots in the galaxy." - If this forum was a Mars Colony

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#24 2008-02-07 23:13:13

samy
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From: Turku, Finland
Registered: 2006-01-25
Posts: 180
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Re: Shipyard?

I do not think there would be any noticeable benefit out of incorporating ISS into a new shipyard. Indeed, as others have pointed out, trying to grow a shipyard out of ISS' side would *hamper* the new shipyard, not the least because of the gimped location on low orbit rather than a Lagrange.

No, a shipyard would be better off built as an entirely separate project. It'd need to be 100 times the size of ISS anyway, so it'd be silly to gimp such a large project by the need to be compatible with some piddly little cramped canister.

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#25 2008-02-08 15:48:40

Terraformer
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From: Ceres
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,531
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Re: Shipyard?

Bigelow modules?


"I'm gonna die surrounded by the biggest idiots in the galaxy." - If this forum was a Mars Colony

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