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#51 2013-05-27 22:52:51

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

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

My opinion is that NASA's commercial spaceflight program has the solution to making us a spacefaring species:

Saturday, May 18, 2013
On the lasting importance of the SpaceX accomplishment, Page 3: towards European human spaceflight.
http://exoscientist.blogspot.com/2013/0 … pacex.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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#52 2013-05-31 06:27:03

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 cost to NASA for lunar or other BEO missions can be cut drastically, perhaps by three orders of magnitude, by following a combination of four cost-cutting approaches.

1.)Commercial space approach. SpaceX and now Orbital Sciences have shown that as much as 90% off of the development cost can be cut by the cost-sharing of the commercial space approach.

2.)Go small. NASA’s SEV weighs about a third that of Orion. Orbital’s Cygnus weighs about a quarter. Imagine how small, and low cost, your lunar mission could be if you only had to transport a quarter of the mass to the Moon.

3.)Use existing components. The huge development costs for the Apollo program and of Constellation were because they had to use all newly developed components. Those costs would be reduced greatly if you only had to adapt already existing components. No Saturn V, Ares V, or SLS, and their huge development costs, required.

4.)Use international partners. The cut in development cost by engaging in cost-sharing is already included in the commercial space approach. However, the cost to NASA can be cut even further by sharing development costs with our international space partners such as the ESA and Japan.

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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#53 2013-06-02 07:29:16

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

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

Bravo,  Bob Clark!!  I saw these same 4 points on your blog,  too.  Dead nuts on!

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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#54 2013-06-07 06:52:55

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:

Bravo,  Bob Clark!!  I saw these same 4 points on your blog,  too.  Dead nuts on!

GW


  Thanks for that.

The National Research Council is soliciting input from the public about what direction NASA
should take regarding human spaceflight:

NRC Committee on Human Spaceflight Needs Input.
Posted by Marc Boucher Posted June 4, 2013 8:30 AM

The National Research Council Committee on Human Spaceflight Needs is looking for input
from communities interested in human exploration. The deadline for submissions is July 9.
http://spaceref.com/exploration/nrc-com … input.html

Now's the time for all good space advocates to come to the aid of their space program!


  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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#55 2013-09-24 22:52:59

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:

Interesting articles:

NASA MSFC Says That SLS Performance Specs Fall Under ITAR.
http://spaceref.com/news/viewnews.html?id=1697

Report: NASA in Huntsville won't release performance specifications for new rocket.
By Lee Roop | ****@al.com
on January 25, 2013 at 3:23 PM, updated January 25, 2013 at 3:51 PM
blog.al.com/breaking/2013/01/report_nas … _wont.html

  Rand Simberg suggested to me the reason why NASA keeps saying the Block 1 version of the SLS will only have a payload of 70 mT, same as for the Block 0, is to maintain the pork of the expensive upper stage.
Citing ITAR for the current Block 1 version makes no sense since they were willing to give the 70 mT capability of the Block 0. Also, another conclusion you can draw from this is the payload capability of the Block 1 will not really just be 70 mT otherwise they would have just given this number again for the FOIA request.
My guess about why NASA kept giving the 70 mT number of the Block 0 and not the real number of the Block 1 was because they just didn't take the time and effort to do the analysis on the capability of the upgraded rocket. It was easier to just cite 70 mT because they knew the new version would at least reach this. But now I'm beginning to think perhaps Simberg was right.
Certainly the cite of the ITAR restrictions just raises more questions.

Finally someone at NASA acknowledges that the Block 1, first version of the
SLS to launch in 2017 will have a 90+ mT payload capacity not the 70 mT
always stated by NASA:

SLS Dual Use Upper Stage (DUUS).
http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi. … 013757.pdf

This is important since it means we will have the capability to do manned
lunar landing missions by the 2017 first launch of the SLS:

SLS for Return to the Moon by the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11, page 5: A
90+ metric ton first launch of the SLS.
http://exoscientist.blogspot.com/2013/0 … -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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#56 2013-09-28 12:12:56

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

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

Opening ourselves up to alternative ways of doing things may lead us back to the Moon:

Saturday, September 28, 2013
Free your mind, and the rest will follow.
http://exoscientist.blogspot.com/2013/0 … ollow.html

   Bob Clark

Last edited by RGClark (2013-09-29 07:23:22)


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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#57 2013-10-02 09:17:57

GW Johnson
Member
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 quite agree with Bob.  There's no reason a return to the moon should cost $100M's and require all-new government vehicles and a giant launch rocket no one else needs.  Bob knows more than I do about the specs and characteristics of items like the Centaur upper stage.  You can trust his numbers.

But,  I did a generic / clean-sheet-of-paper bounding calculation to show that we could land up to 7 men and many tons of stuff for about a 2 week stay,  all with commercially-available rockets and capsules that should or could be flying in a year or two.  The price would be closer to $1-2B than $50B.  It would be robust enough to credibly start the construction of something permanent,  not a flags-and-footprints reprise. 

As Bob has said on his site,  you have to free your mind of a lot of preconceptions,  in order to succeed in designing something that would work and yet not break the bank.  My study is posted over at "exrocketman",  for those interested.

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2013-10-02 09:18:31)


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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#58 2013-10-02 10:15:19

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

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

What about landing them for 3 months - and beginning fuel mining and depots?


"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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#59 2013-10-02 17:22:10

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.

No reason why not.  It means more of the cargo mass is life support supplies. 

Plus,  it would make sense to build a radiation shelter.  Sooner or later there will be a lethal solar flare.  These years are solar max after all. 

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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#60 2014-01-05 16:16:14

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

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

On another forum it was mentioned Dave Masten of Masten Space Systems in a SpaceVidcast video discussed adapting a Centaur upper stage to serve as a lunar lander. In the video he estimates it to cost in the range of only $50 million(!)

The discussion on the lunar lander takes place about 15 minutes into the one hour video. Masten also mentions this modified Centaur could transport 6 metric tons between a Lagrange point, L1 or L2, and the lunar surface. Such a lander could also be used between low lunar orbit and the lunar surface, as for a manned mission from Earth.

If true, then it is unconscionable that NASA claims a return to the Moon can’t be done because a lander would cost ca. $10 billion, when it can actually be done two orders of magnitude more cheaply than that. In any case NASA needs to do a study to see if this conversion of a Centaur to a lander can actually be done so cheaply.

A (mostly) commercial architecture for solar system exploration
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzlJd3Pbpxg

  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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#61 2014-01-05 20:02:19

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.

Hi Bob:

There's nothing magic about the form factor of the Centaur tankage.  The magic is the pressurized balloon approach,  which is why it is as lightweight,  and as cheap,  as it is.  Same idea could fit a variety of L/D form factors.  It's just manufacturing tooling design.  It would suffer long-term boiloff problems,  but that's another issue. 

There's nothing magic about the venerable old engine Centaur uses either.  ULA has teamed up with XCOR to explore a lower-cost / same-performance LOX-LH2 engine.  They just did their first subscale burn test a couple of weeks ago.  The baseline design is 25,000 lbth,  just like the "stock" engine,  but expandable to 50,000 lbth.  I believe it uses XCOR's piston-pump technology,  not turbopumps. 

So,  I don't see why the basic Centaur stage design couldn't be adapted pretty readily into a lunar lander (or a Mercury lander,  for that matter),  with the potential to be very inexpensive,  and very long-life reusable.  Combined with an entry capsule,  you have a reusable Mars lander pretty easily that way,  too.

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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#62 2014-01-05 20:23:13

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,301

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

The lunar centaur was on concept put in by lookheed http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2007/04/ … -concepts/

This is from constellation cIclops posted the image
http://newmars.com/forums/viewtopic.php?id=4713

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#63 2014-01-28 20:29:36

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,301

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

I know that I meantioned Resolve in a thread but can not remeber which one.

NASA Planning for Mission To Mine Water on the Moon

ROxygen_NASA4X3.jpg

The heart of the proposed Resource Prospector Mission (RPM) is the Regolith and Environment Science and Oxygen & Lunar Volatile Extraction (RESOLVE) payload, a technology development initiative that predates its official start two years ago in NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate’s Advanced Exploration Systems Division.

Notionally targeted for launch in 2018, RPM would be NASA’s first attempt to demonstrate in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) beyond Earth. The agency has spent just north of $20 million on the project to date, but expects its investment to top out around a quarter of a billion dollars.

RESOLVE, as well as a second ISRU payload slated to fly on NASA’s 2020 Mars rover, are intended to pave the way toward incorporating use of space resources into mission architectures.

“Even though [RESOLVE] is a lunar mission to look at water ice on the poles, it has ties to what we might also want to do on Mars,” said Bill Larson, the former head of NASA’s ISRU program at the Kennedy Space Center.

NASA intends to cap RPM costs at $250 million, including the launch vehicle, which has not yet been selected. Additional contributions are expected from international partners and potentially commercial firms as well. Discussions with Canada for a rover are underway, Crusan said.

The idea is to have the rover scout for areas with high concentrations of subsurface hydrogen then drill out samples for heating and analysis. The big payoff would be water, although RESOLVE also will be equipped to extract oxygen from the lunar regolith and process it with hydrogen to make water.

“Water is just huge in anything. It’s life-support, but it’s also propulsion and propulsion is the big bang for the buck for ISRU,” Larson said.

“The Moon is 42 percent oxygen by mass in the regolith itself. In the minerals, there is oxygen,” said Jacqueline Quinn, RESOLVE project manager at the Kennedy Space Center.

“We can take the sample, heat it to over 900 degrees Celsius and pass hydrogen over it in a reducing environment. Then we liberate the oxygen from the granular material and it joins with hydrogen and creates water,” she said.

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#64 2014-02-09 01:50:38

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.

Elon Musk discusses possibly doing a loop around the Moon or even a lunar landing after American return to space to prove capability prior to launching a Mars mission.

This would certainly cost far less than the multi-billion dollar missions NASA estimates for a manned lunar return. A Falcon Heavy could do a circumlunar mission alone carrying a Dragon capsule. And possibly one or two launches of the FH could do a lunar landing with the Xeus lander that Dave Masten is developing. The time frame could even be within a decade.

Elon Musk on state of U.S. space exploration: Being at Putin's mercy "not a good thing"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U44geuM6iQ0


  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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#65 2014-03-01 23:11:45

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:

Elon Musk discusses possibly doing a loop around the Moon or even a lunar landing after American return to space to prove capability prior to launching a Mars mission.

This would certainly cost far less than the multi-billion dollar missions NASA estimates for a manned lunar return. A Falcon Heavy could do a circumlunar mission alone carrying a Dragon capsule. And possibly one or two launches of the FH could do a lunar landing with the Xeus lander that Dave Masten is developing. The time frame could even be within a decade.

Elon Musk on state of U.S. space exploration: Being at Putin's mercy "not a good thing"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U44geuM6iQ0


  Bob Clark

  Elon's comment seems even more valid now:

American access to space could be a casualty of the Ukraine crisis.
March 1, 2014
http://www.examiner.com/article/america … ine-crisis

And Congress limiting funding to NASA's commercial crew program seems increasingly foolish. It simply increases the time we have to be beholden to Putin for space access.


     Bob Clark

Last edited by RGClark (2014-03-01 23:28:57)


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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#66 2014-03-02 08:42:36

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

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

Or, SpaceX could accelerate their manned space program, leading to a gap of maybe a year or two, during which I would expect that the US modules would be loaned to other members (Europe? Japan?).


"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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#67 2014-03-02 11:18:14

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.

You have to understand Putin and his ruling clique in Russia to understand the seemingly-strange things they do.  Putin formerly was a high official in the old Soviet KGB,  for which THE enemy was always first and foremost the US.  He still thinks exactly like that today,  people rarely change in any fundamental ways. 

His dream is to restore the old Soviet empire to power and glory,  and win (if he can) over the US in every way possible.  Simple.  Once you understand that,  you understand why Putin's Russia does things in geopolitics to oppose the US,  even when it hurts them.  Ukraine is a "shooting war" example of opposing the US no matter how bad it will hurt Russia.  And this will,  long-term for sure.

From the US side of the fence,  depending on Putin's Russia for manned access to space is beginning to look the the crazily-stoopid (stupid with two O's) idea that it always was.  But when you are managed to optimize politics,  instead of by common sense,  the emperor can be quite naked,  yet no one hears the few who stand up to say he's got no clothes on.  That's how we got here,  and there really isn't much of a way out.

There's the Boeing capsule,  Spacex's Dragon,  and Dreamchaser.  Hard to pick a winner.  You can crash all three projects at great expense,  or just crash one at less expense and risk not picking a winner.  Rock-and-a-hard place for "politics-as-management".  Change that management style and we could probably fly either of the two capsules in a year,  and maybe 2 years for Dreamchaser (capsules are simply easier to do than spaceplanes). 

Don't forget something about Dragon:  unlike the Boeing design,  its heat shield was designed for a free return entry from Mars.  You might risk two returns from the moon on a heat shield like that,  and several flights back from LEO.  Spacex hasn't done that yet,  probably not to embarrass NASA over its overbureaucratized way of doing things. 

Now,  if they did start reflying capsules,  it would be immediately apparent to the general public that there is no reason not to install the Super Draco thrusters and fly manned "right now".  But,  Musk will make more money doing it NASA's way.  He's no fool,  for sure. 

As I said,  there's no good way out of this.  Not even the "status quo" is any good.  In every organization I have ever seen,  it is management style that resists change to-the-last-breath. 

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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#68 2014-03-04 12:03:30

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.

There is one other misconception creeping into a lot of news items:  that Dragon can't be manned until it has an escape tower like everybody else (meaning Boeing capsule and NASA's Orion).  I saw this hinted-at in an Oberg (edit:  might have been Boyle,  not sure) article a couple of days ago,  and I have seen it before from several other sources.  But,  it's simply wrong. 

Dragon will NEVER have an escape tower,  it will have the large Super Draco thrusters in addition to the Draco attitude maneuvering thrusters.  The Super Draco's are "thrusty" enough to provide abort from the pad to orbit insertion,  something you lose before orbit insertion with tower jettison. 

And another thing:  escape towers are inherently one-shot throwaway devices.  Propulsive thrusters on the capsule are not.  Once you start reflying capsules,  you are inherently reflying / reusing your crew escape system.  I like that,  it's simply a better idea. 

They've been testing Super Draco's for some time now at the McGregor test facility.  Technical issues are not holding this back,  NASA over-bureaucracy is.  Given the funding "now" instead of dribbled-out over time,  I doubt it would take a year to install the Super Draco's,  test them a couple of times in space,  and fly a company astronaut or two.  NASA's schedule stretches this out to 2017.  Which is ridiculous.

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2014-03-05 09:22:57)


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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#69 2014-03-07 23:07:29

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

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

SpaceX has already said that with funding they can make manned launches by 2015. I found this earlier article from 2012 that said with funding Boeing could also launch their CST-100 spacecraft by 2015:

Boeing anticipates CST-100 orbital flight tests in 2016.
BY STEPHEN CLARK
SPACEFLIGHT NOW
Posted: April 11, 2012
Quote:
...The appropriation forced NASA to revise its forecast for the beginning of operational commercial crew missions from 2016 to 2017. The start of commercial crew service would come after a series of test flights by the spacecraft's private operators.
Even a $500 million award likely would delay Boeing's flight test program beyond 2015, according to Mulholland.
"With appropriate funding, we still can support a 2015 entry into service. I would say, and I can't be real specific on it, to hold the 2015 date, we would need, it appears, slightly more than the $300 million to $500 million in the base period," Mulholland said.
http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1204/11cst100/

Cuts to NASA's commercial crew program forced the agency to push back manned launches to 2017. Recent events however have now given impetus to re-accelerate the program. Achieving U.S. launch independence is of such importance that sufficient funding should be provided to reach the original 2015 launch date.

I would not favor just having SpaceX as the only provider. Experience with the shuttle has shown how damaging that can be when that single provider for manned launches goes down. Also, last year Orbital Sciences had to make a cargo supply launch to the ISS in place of SpaceX when SpaceX couldn't launch in time.

The Atlas V over dozens of launches has been proven to be highly reliable. This is something the Falcon 9 at this point does not yet have. The Atlas V also has the flexibility to launch either the CST-100 or Dreamchaser, whichever is ready and available.

The preferred route then should be to have at least two independent launch providers for manned launches.


  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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#70 2014-03-08 09:47:52

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

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

Hi Bob:

My own opinion is that all three projects should get "crash" funding,  so that we end up with three different working manned spacecraft for LEO operations,  not obtained from Russia (or China).  But there is a fourth item:  we need a domestic engine for Atlas-V.  The current Russian engine makes us susceptible to Russian blackmail over that launcher.

My own guess is that if money were no object,  and the companies' criteria were used for readiness instead of NASA's,  that manned Dragon could fly in 6 months to a year,  Boeing's CST in not more than a year,  and Dreamchaser in about 2 years.  (Dreamchaser is a spaceplane,  and they're still harder to do than a simple capsule.) 

Given proper adapter hardware,  either Atlas-V or Falcon-9 could launch any of the three.  Actually,  so could Delta-IV.  So those sets of adapter hardware are a 5th item needed fast funding.  That would give us any of 3 spacecraft atop any of 3 launchers.  We're not currently headed there,  but we should be. 

I think the track record for Falcon-9 is pretty good so far.  It does appear that they did a very good job designing-in both basic reliability and fault tolerance.  I'm a lot less concerned about "Falcon-9 being too new to be considered safe",  than I am Russian antagonism (Putin actually) screwing things up,  now that Cold War 2 seems to be breaking out. 

I am concerned about the breadth of our stable of commercial launch providers.  There are really only two entities:  ULA (Boeing + Lockheed-Martin) and Spacex.  Orbital Sciences cannot yet routinely launch payloads of that size,  although their Cygnus cargo vehicle may lead them to that capability.  Until Spacex forced its way in,  ULA was a monopoly,  and acted and priced like it. 

The government launch business is still biased toward ULA,  the "favorite" contractor,  really just because of how long the government has known and done business with those companies.  All that needs to change to provide a level playing field and more competitors.  Only two providers is too dangerous,  for any of a number of very good reasons. 

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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#71 2014-05-28 09:01:37

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

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

A reusable lunar lander can also be used as a Mars lander. Then designing lunar return missions can help with accomplishing a manned Mars mission:

Towards a low cost lander for the Moon - and Mars.
http://exoscientist.blogspot.com/2014/0 … n-and.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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#72 2014-05-28 10:42:27

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 5,898
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Re: A Return to the Moon by the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary.

Bob, attempts to return to the Moon resulted in Orion. That was described as "Apollo on steroids". But Apollo could carry 3 to the Moon, or 5 to Skylab. And an Apollo rescue capsule with 5 seats was prepared once during a Skylab mission, although not launched. Orion is capable of carrying 4 to the Moon, or 6 to ISS. So only 1 more astronaut. Big cost, minimal advantage. But NASA discovered the Apollo command module itself is not optimal. That was discovered after Gemini, remember the overall design for Apollo was sketched on paper in 1960, before the first suborbital flight of Mercury, and before JFK's famous speech at Rice University. JFK ensured NASA could do it before he gave his speech; very wise man. But the design from 1960, with a squat cone capsule, with stainless steel outer hull, was obsolete before Apollo 11 even landed. But it was too late to start over; if they did then they would never have landed on the Moon. Or at least not before the Russians. But Orion has exactly the same side wall angle, an angle optimized for a stainless steel hull. Side walls closer to hot gasses coming around the heat shield are possible if you use titanium alloy. Not only can titanium handle higher temperature, but it's lighter. Orion has a titanium hull, but still has the side wall angle optimized for stainless steel. Orion was obsolete before it was even designed. Apollo was a wonderful achievement for the 1960s, but today it's obsolete. The Model T Ford was a wonderful achievement for its time, it was the first mass produced automobile, and the first to use interchangeable parts. But I don't see anyone driving a Model T Ford today. Orion is a Model T Ford with an iPod strapped to its dashboard.

Dragon carries 7 crew, and is lighter. Dragon has about the same side wall angle as Gemini. Orion has the same heat shield material as Apollo, barely able to handle atmospheric re-entry from the Moon. Dragon has the new heat shield material developed by NASA, able to handle direct atmospheric entry from Mars. Notice plans by Inspiration Mars to send a human flyby, plan to have crew fly past Venus before returning to Earth. One big reason is so they will fall "up" from the Sun when returning to Earth. That's to reduce speed, so Orion can handle atmospheric entry. The Orion heat shield couldn't handle atmospheric entry if coming directly from Mars.

Dragon does not actually have any new innovations. Instead Dragon has all the lessons learned by NASA. State-of-the-Art. It's a lot more efficient.

But even Dragon has problems for Mars. A trip to Mars is 6 months. Restricting crew to zero-G for 6 months? In a vehicle with the same interior volume as a cargo van? Expect crew to be so badly de-conditioned when they arrive that they can't get out of their seat. If they screw up the strength to get up, and miracle of miracles, don't break a bone, then they won't be in any condition to do heavy manual labour. Shannon Lucent showed 6 months in zero-G is possible, she did it on Mir and walked around the Shuttle upon returning. However, to do that she exercised vigorously every day. Was that one or two hours per day? How do you get every crew member to do that, every day for 6 months, in a capsule the size of Orion or Dragon?

As Robert Zubrin said many years ago, if you design equipment for Mars, it can be adapted for the Moon. But if you design equipment for the Moon, it can't be used on Mars.

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#73 2014-05-28 12:10:31

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.

Orion has the same cone angle as Apollo for a cost-saving and shorter development time (although no time was ever really saved,  it seems like Orion has been going on forever now).  Being a 1:1 scale-up of the Apollo shape,  they did not need to re-do all the wind tunnel testing for a new shape,  they just used all the Apollo data,  including the real flight data.  Not sure,  but I think Dragon's cone angle is actually less than Mercury/Gemini.  Close to 10 degrees,  while they were nearer 20 degrees. 

RobertDyck,  you are absolutely correct to dismiss the notion of a crew riding in cramped quarters for 6 months one-way.  That's utter nonsense and a death sentence,  knowing what we know now about microgravity diseases.  The crew will need around 90 cubic meters (or more) free open space per person.  That's truly open space,  not filled with equipment.  They will need some of that where they can congregate,  and some of that where they can be alone.  BTW,  do NOT mount equipment on the pressure shell surfaces,  keep that in a core up the middle.  The crew will need access within seconds to the pressure shell in the event of a meteor puncture. 

Much of the daily life support issues,  and all of the microgravity disease problem,  are addressed if there is spin artificial gravity.  Not needed for the moon,  needed for Mars unless we get something new that flies very much faster.  Like days-to-Mars,  not weeks.  A spinning baton of docked modules would be (1) easier to spin-up and de-spin,  and more reliable to control than a cable-connected approach,  and (2) would be far more tolerant of meteor damage. 

You would take along a Dragon or an improved Orion to use as the crew return capsule,  hopefully not a free return,  but necessarily capable of it.  The capsule is not the long-duration crew habitat,  any more than the Soyuz docked to the ISS is a working module of the ISS.  Nonsense to have considered otherwise.  So,  you are looking at assembling a bunch of modules into your crew transit vehicle.  That effectively means LEO assembly,  not direct-to-Mars.

Why launch and assemble all this stuff,  and then throw it all away after one use?  That's also utter nonsense,  because the very same crew transit vehicle good for Mars is good enough for NEO's Venus,  Mercury,  and perhaps even the Main Asteroid Belt.  Build it once,  use it for all of those missions.  Update it with better propulsion and other items as they come to be available.  A century from now,  our descendants will wonder why we ever considered doing it otherwise. 

Yet,  there is good sense to using the moon as a testing ground for the Mars lander.  Even more sense for a Mercury lander (both being airless).  We don't need landers for Venus or any but the very largest asteroids. 

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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#74 2014-05-28 14:49:13

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

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

RobertDyck wrote:

Bob, attempts to return to the Moon resulted in Orion. That was described as "Apollo on steroids". But Apollo could carry 3 to the Moon, or 5 to Skylab. And an Apollo rescue capsule with 5 seats was prepared once during a Skylab mission, although not launched. Orion is capable of carrying 4 to the Moon, or 6 to ISS. So only 1 more astronaut. Big cost, minimal advantage. But NASA discovered the Apollo command module itself is not optimal. That was discovered after Gemini, remember the overall design for Apollo was sketched on paper in 1960, before the first suborbital flight of Mercury, and before JFK's famous speech at Rice University. JFK ensured NASA could do it before he gave his speech; very wise man. But the design from 1960, with a squat cone capsule, with stainless steel outer hull, was obsolete before Apollo 11 even landed. But it was too late to start over; if they did then they would never have landed on the Moon. Or at least not before the Russians. But Orion has exactly the same side wall angle, an angle optimized for a stainless steel hull. Side walls closer to hot gasses coming around the heat shield are possible if you use titanium alloy. Not only can titanium handle higher temperature, but it's lighter. Orion has a titanium hull, but still has the side wall angle optimized for stainless steel. Orion was obsolete before it was even designed. Apollo was a wonderful achievement for the 1960s, but today it's obsolete. The Model T Ford was a wonderful achievement for its time, it was the first mass produced automobile, and the first to use interchangeable parts. But I don't see anyone driving a Model T Ford today. Orion is a Model T Ford with an iPod strapped to its dashboard.

Dragon carries 7 crew, and is lighter. Dragon has about the same side wall angle as Gemini. Orion has the same heat shield material as Apollo, barely able to handle atmospheric re-entry from the Moon. Dragon has the new heat shield material developed by NASA, able to handle direct atmospheric entry from Mars. Notice plans by Inspiration Mars to send a human flyby, plan to have crew fly past Venus before returning to Earth. One big reason is so they will fall "up" from the Sun when returning to Earth. That's to reduce speed, so Orion can handle atmospheric entry. The Orion heat shield couldn't handle atmospheric entry if coming directly from Mars.

Dragon does not actually have any new innovations. Instead Dragon has all the lessons learned by NASA. State-of-the-Art. It's a lot more efficient.

But even Dragon has problems for Mars. A trip to Mars is 6 months. Restricting crew to zero-G for 6 months? In a vehicle with the same interior volume as a cargo van? Expect crew to be so badly de-conditioned when they arrive that they can't get out of their seat. If they screw up the strength to get up, and miracle of miracles, don't break a bone, then they won't be in any condition to do heavy manual labour. Shannon Lucent showed 6 months in zero-G is possible, she did it on Mir and walked around the Shuttle upon returning. However, to do that she exercised vigorously every day. Was that one or two hours per day? How do you get every crew member to do that, every day for 6 months, in a capsule the size of Orion or Dragon?

As Robert Zubrin said many years ago, if you design equipment for Mars, it can be adapted for the Moon. But if you design equipment for the Moon, it can't be used on Mars.

Maybe they ought to try a manned orbital mission around Venus first. The astronauts would stay in orbit, control drones on the surface of Venus and its atmosphere, ten return to Earth with a whole crew waiting to take care of their deconditioned bodies. I think if your going to test a manned interplanetary vehicle, perhaps the equivalent of Apollo 8 ought to be tried first at the closest planet, Venus. Just a manned orbital mission. Rovers can't last long on the surface of Venus anyway, so real time control would be a bonus to make maximum use of limited time there. So what do you think, could an Orion or Dragon be adapted for Venusian Orbit?

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#75 2014-05-28 14:51:58

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

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

GW Johnson wrote:

...

Yet,  there is good sense to using the moon as a testing ground for the Mars lander.  Even more sense for a Mercury lander (both being airless).  We don't need landers for Venus or any but the very largest asteroids. 

GW

The landers would be unmanned, yet controlled by astronauts in orbit around Venus, the astronauts would return the Earth, the unmanned landers would be left behind on the surface of Venus.

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