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#1 2017-07-06 20:52:35

Oldfart1939
Member
Registered: 2016-11-26
Posts: 781

VP Pence calls for return to Moon and Boots on Mars.

Trump's vision is larger than NASA alone, stated VP Pence in a speech today at KSC.

https://www.space.com/37411-nasa-moon-m … pence.html

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#2 2017-07-06 20:55:56

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 10,024

Re: VP Pence calls for return to Moon and Boots on Mars.

I posted about this in polotics as it could turn up quite that way. I suspect this is another ploy and just a toy to keep him occupied....
adding in my post from politics:

SpaceNut wrote:

The science division of the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) was unstaffed as of Friday as the three remaining employees departed this week. Science division of White House office left empty as last staffers depart all three employees were holdovers from the Obama administration. The science division was staffed with nine employees who led the charge on policy issues such as STEM education, biotechnology and crisis response.

The president signed an executive order Friday to revive a council last in place in 1993.
President Donald Trump is forming a National Space Council to be led by Vice President Mike Pence.
Trump says the announcement sends a clear signal to the world about the United States' leadership in space. He says space exploration would help the economy and national security.

Members of the council are to include the secretaries of state, defense, commerce, transportation and homeland security, as well as the head of NASA, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the national security adviser and the director of national intelligence. The council will also draw on insights from scientists and business leaders.

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#3 2017-07-07 09:25:06

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 10,024

Re: VP Pence calls for return to Moon and Boots on Mars.

Oldfart1939 wrote:

I'm hoping (but not holding my breath) that resurrection of the National Space Council will better direct U.S. efforts than in the recent past. The speech yesterday by VP Pence seemed to indicate a higher interest level in space than in the 3 previous administrations. At least the stupid asteroid retrieval mission has been cancelled. smile

Yes while the past forms of this council was productive its got to have funding to make some of it happen to which in the past that was not the case. I do feel that getting Nasa out of the building with pork is a must but then again we need the companies in the business to design what we will use and not wait around for the hand outs to come....

While the asteroid mission cut is a good thing the apparent attempts for a L1 or lunar space station also should be nixed....

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#4 2017-07-07 09:46:22

Oldfart1939
Member
Registered: 2016-11-26
Posts: 781

Re: VP Pence calls for return to Moon and Boots on Mars.

SpaceNut-

I agree that the L.1 station and lunar orbiting station need to be nixed. These are simply some bad 'wet dreams' of groups within NASA which need to be ruthlessly rooted out and eliminated. This is the sort of garbage they heaped on Bush I and resulted in congressional death to the "90 Day Plan." These are the dreams of fantasyland.

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#5 2017-07-07 10:40:58

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 10,024

Re: VP Pence calls for return to Moon and Boots on Mars.

It to bad that we are not rich men as we seem to know what they do not....Such as the ISS needs to be turned into a construction zone making use of the older modules to build up that platform for the commercial industry to take ownership of. Leaving the newer modules for the science that still needs to be done. Such that if you send it up you own it to make use of as the means for bigelow to leverage his inflateables. For ATK to send up expansion modules and so on...Getting Nasa to start to get out of the way. Yes the rich will start with the followup men working for there ticket ect....

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#6 2017-07-07 13:43:07

kbd512
Member
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 1,063

Re: VP Pence calls for return to Moon and Boots on Mars.

SpaceNut wrote:

Its stuff like this that I question.. ability to read.

SpaceNut,

I don't question your ability to read or write, but I've seen enough spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors in your posts to know when the pot is calling the kettle "black".  Liberals will take any and every opportunity that presents itself to snipe at President Trump and his administration, but it's not helping their cause at all except in their heads.  Is it just some sort of cathartic thing?

Turning your nose up in the air at everyone you have an ideological disagreement with confers no special superiority of thought to anyone, anywhere, ever.  If former VP Biden had done the same thing, I would've thought nothing of it.  The reality of the situation is that VP Pence touched a piece of aluminum.  Since it was hardware for the Orion space capsule and everyone here has stated they want to axe that program, maybe he was not-so-surreptitiously trying to do everyone a favor.

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#7 2017-07-07 13:56:38

Oldfart1939
Member
Registered: 2016-11-26
Posts: 781

Re: VP Pence calls for return to Moon and Boots on Mars.

I will add to kbd512's post, that criticism leveled at the chairman of the Space Council, Vice President Pence, does no one any favors. Let's allow the performance to be judged after the fact, with no political sniping beforehand.

Last edited by Oldfart1939 (2017-07-07 13:57:32)

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#8 2017-07-07 14:34:31

kbd512
Member
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 1,063

Re: VP Pence calls for return to Moon and Boots on Mars.

All,

In case it's not clear to anyone else on these forums, SpaceNut's input and insight is no less valuable because of a few spelling mistakes.  He's offered up quite a bit of material for anyone interested in these topics to read, he has quite a bit of technical knowledge of batteries and solar panels, and none of the mistakes made detract from the knowledge shared with other people.

Of all places, you'd think that in space we would be purely focused on furthering exploration, knowledge from that exploration, and ensuring humanity's ultimate survival.  Political motives and objectives should be reserved for political forums.  This is just the opinion of this member, but I find far more utility in the science and engineering of space flight than in any particular tangentially related political objective.

Humans to Mars will be the absolute greatest technological undertaking we've ever achieved and political in-fighting will detract from the success of that mission and may ultimately cause needless failures and diversions away from what would otherwise be the pinnacle of human technological achievement.

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#9 2017-07-07 14:42:07

Oldfart1939
Member
Registered: 2016-11-26
Posts: 781

Re: VP Pence calls for return to Moon and Boots on Mars.

I made the OP of this thread, and it was meant as a strictly informational post. No politics implied. I really avoid getting embroiled politically in something as important to me as "getting our asses to Mars!"

Added in edit: I came to this forum BECAUSE it seemed to be apolitical, and was dedicated to one of the most important undertakings of our lifetimes.

This just my final "two cents worth" on the topic, and no more will be said by me.

Last edited by Oldfart1939 (2017-07-07 14:51:15)

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#10 2017-07-07 18:55:53

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 10,024

Re: VP Pence calls for return to Moon and Boots on Mars.

Removed content and I hope apology will be enough OldfART1939 & kBD512 for off topic image as it was not intended to be political...
Sorry about grammar and spelling as its not one of my strong points considering backwoods education level.
Thanks you kbd512 for the kind reply as it is about how do we get to mars...

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#11 2017-07-07 19:45:48

Oldfart1939
Member
Registered: 2016-11-26
Posts: 781

Re: VP Pence calls for return to Moon and Boots on Mars.

SpaceNut-

Thanks but the apology was unnecessary. I have sometimes inadvertently gone over the line myself.
This IS a very friendly forum.

Last edited by Oldfart1939 (2017-07-07 19:46:39)

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#12 2017-07-07 20:04:45

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 10,024

Re: VP Pence calls for return to Moon and Boots on Mars.

Then you will like this as AIAA Looks To Support Reestablished National Space Council

This is the current bench mark to where we are in the work as Government Spending in Space Programs Reaches $62 Billion in 2016

With Nasa not contributing it all but rather the US, by far the world's largest space spender with $35.9 billion estimated in 2016

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#13 2017-07-15 09:14:17

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 10,024

Re: VP Pence calls for return to Moon and Boots on Mars.

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#14 2017-07-15 09:55:12

GW Johnson
Member
From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 2,524
Website

Re: VP Pence calls for return to Moon and Boots on Mars.

I wonder how many years it will take this new council to figure out that at $1B+ per launch,  with SLS they cannot afford to go back to the moon,  much less on to Mars?

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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#15 2017-07-15 11:30:49

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 10,024

Re: VP Pence calls for return to Moon and Boots on Mars.

Nah they will keep comparing it to the Apollo inflation numbers and say its ok.....

The nasa contracts and its contractors are to blame for this overpriced rocket.

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#16 2017-07-15 11:54:39

Oldfart1939
Member
Registered: 2016-11-26
Posts: 781

Re: VP Pence calls for return to Moon and Boots on Mars.

The "cost-plus" contracts are paying for an awful lot of internal accounting in these companies. There needs to be a new "achievement-oriented" contracting introduced.

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#17 2017-07-15 14:33:22

RobertDyck
Member
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 4,841
Website

Re: VP Pence calls for return to Moon and Boots on Mars.

I have the first edition of "The Case for Mars" written by Robert Zubrin, published 1997. I bought it in the spring of 1998. In that book he estimated the cost for Mars Direct at $20 billion US dollars in 1990 dollars for research, development, construction of infrastructure, and the first human mission to Mars. Subsequent missions would cost $2 billion each, with one mission every 26 months. Infrastructure wouldn't be much because the Ares launch vehicle was designed to launch from the same launch facilities as Shuttle: Vehicle Assembly Building, launch pad, crawler, Mobile Launch Platform. The VAB was called "Vertical Assembly Building" during Apollo, but was renamed for Shuttle. Those costs were in 1990 dollars; a simple inflation calculator would make it today $37.5 billion for the first mission, plus $3.75 billion for each subsequent mission. I thought those costs were calculated by NASA's budget office, but when I talked to Dr. Zubrin at a Mars Society convention, he said he came up with those estimates himself. He was interested to hear the budget office came up with something. But I thought he wrote they did. Oh, well. My misunderstanding.

Those costs were well within NASA's budget. During the Shuttle era, many Mars Society members campaigned to cancel Shuttle with intention to redirect that money to Mars. It didn't happen; that money went to Constellation instead. Now many of the same corporate executives and middle managers who deliberately overpriced Shuttle until NASA cancelled it, are currently working on SLS. They're pricing SLS so high that there's no money left for payload. No money for the spacecraft, science, or anything else.

Saturn V cost $185 million per launch in 1969-1971. The same simple inflation calculator makes that $1,118.93 million today. Round off to $1.1 billion. I think SpaceNut is right: corporate executives for contractors working on SLS are deliberately trying to ensure SLS costs that much. But if we're to compare to Saturn V, that would be for SLS block 2, not 1 or 1B! A cost estimate for block 1 in 2012 was $500 million per launch. That same inflation calculator makes that $533.45 million today. I doubt corporate executives will allow it to stay there; it'll increase.

According to Wikipedia, project cost for SLS from 2014 through 2018 was estimated in 2014 to be $7 billion. In 2011 the estimated project cost through 2025 (including all launches) was $35 billion. Remember Robert Zubrin's estimate for all of Mars Direct, including the Ares launch vehicle (essentially SLS block 2) was $37.5 billion in today's dollars. That included the first human mission to Mars.

My point is work is far too slow, and costs are out of control. But it isn't so far out of control that it can't be fixed. It can be fixed.

When Donald Trump had a reality TV show, his slogan was "You're Fired!" Well, he needs to fire some people working on SLS. When he asked NASA to send a human to Lunar orbit in 2019, and humans to Mars in 2024, NASA's response was "No". They even delayed the first unmanned test of SLS block 1 from 2018 to 2019. That's just a slap in Trump's face. Why do Trump and his team put up with this? And if you read NASA's report explaining why, there's a lot of verbiage, double-speak, and obfuscation, but if you can wade through that the key word is "Appropriations". Before Trump made that request, those working on SLS claimed that to speed up development would cost even MORE money. One reason for speeding it up was to reduce the length of time we have to pay salaries of those working on it, so speed up development to cut cost. But executives working on it refused to do so, they demanded even MORE money. After Trump said to speed it up, they postponed the first unmanned test launch from 2018 to the date Trump wanted the manned mission: 2019. When SLS was first announced, the original schedule for the first unmanned test launch was late 2017; it was already delayed to 2018. Now when Trump asked them to speed it up, they delayed another year. No actual technical reason, they're just holding SLS hostage for more money.

Falcon Heavy costs $90 million per launch, according to the SpaceX website. However, they don't say if that includes recovered first stages. And performance is now listed as 63,800 kg to LEO, however there is small print that states performance is only for fully expendable vehicle. Price is quoted as "standard payment plan (2018 launch)", and "Modest discounts are available, for contractually committed, multi-launch purchases." spaceflight101.com lists Falcon Heavy as "$90M (<8.0mT), [$130M (>8.0mT)]". That means it costs $130 million for a fully expendable launch. SLS block 1 can lift 70 tonnes to LEO for $500M. Falcon Heavy is now listed as 63.8t instead of 53t or 54.4t, so it's getting close. But if it takes 2 Falcon Heavy launches (expendable) to replace one SLS block 1B, then we're looking at $260M competing with $500M. Yea, I know, block 1B uses EUS instead of ICUS, and no adjustment for inflation, but I'm trying to pressure them to keep cost down. That $500M figure is from a 2012 NBC News article with an interview with SLS deputy project manager, and he didn't say which block it refers to.

Last edited by RobertDyck (2017-07-16 10:57:07)

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#18 2017-07-16 07:37:35

Oldfart1939
Member
Registered: 2016-11-26
Posts: 781

Re: VP Pence calls for return to Moon and Boots on Mars.

http://eheadlines.com/nasa-too-broke-fo … s-mission/

Now, NASA is claiming to be "too broke" to go to Mars. What a load of Bravo Sierra! If NASA simply cancelled the SLS, and cut back on the ISS, in addition to curtailing several other more fanciful programs, funds would be available to do a partnership with SpaceX and Orbital ATK that would actually accomplish something. Done as a consortium of Blue Origin, SpaceX, and Orbital ATK, we could have a manned Mars landing as early as 2026. Oh, and yeah---Bezos has enough loot to finance it himself.

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#19 2017-07-16 16:28:00

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 10,024

Re: VP Pence calls for return to Moon and Boots on Mars.

So Nasa needs to get contractors and its own books in order to figure out where its bleeding the cash....

48 years after moon landing, Buzz Aldrin rolls out red carpet for Mars

Aldrin, 87, has raised more than $190,000 for his nonprofit space education foundation, ShareSpace Foundation. Aldrin believes people will be able to land on Mars by 2040, a goal that NASA shares. Sounds like kicking the can down the road with this funding problem....

"When Buzz says, 'Get your ass to Mars,' it's not just about the physical part of getting to Mars. It's also about that commitment to doing something big and audacious,"

Sure a consortium of those that could fund and build what is need will take a bit but its that kind of shove that nasa is needing it would seem.

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#20 2017-07-17 10:09:17

Oldfart1939
Member
Registered: 2016-11-26
Posts: 781

Re: VP Pence calls for return to Moon and Boots on Mars.

It seems to me that NASA has an unholy alliance with ULA, and tends to go with the "cost plus" contracting in their case. I'm pretty disgusted about the delays in the SLS program, as well as the reluctance to send the first mission around the moon as manned. Risk aversion in it's extreme? Get their asses out of LEO! To somewhat paraphrase Buzz Aldrin. I'm hopeful that the Space Council lights a fire under the self-serving bureaucrats headquartered in Houston.

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#21 2017-07-17 20:00:53

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 10,024

Re: VP Pence calls for return to Moon and Boots on Mars.

ULA = Shuttle personel retirement home....

The Space Review article At last, a National Space Council. Now what?

The Executive order formally reestablishing the National Space Council provided yet another reminder of the relative importance of space in the grander political scheme. The National Space Council after it was—has been—dormant almost 25 years.
https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-of … ce-council

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#22 2017-07-17 23:57:15

kbd512
Member
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 1,063

Re: VP Pence calls for return to Moon and Boots on Mars.

Now the Space Council needs the tools to hold NASA's feet to the fire on exploration goals.  We need hard time tables for mission accomplishment.  We must force NASA to scrap the SLS / Orion disaster by using the time table to kill these endless development projects.  Available funding needs to be directed towards design, development, construction, and test of an Interplanetary Transport Vehicle.

I think SpaceX's ITS is the right vehicle for the job because it eliminates precursor and orbital assembly missions as a function of limited TMI capabilities of existing rockets.  However, an ISRU demonstrator mission must locate a source of ice on Mars.  I would use RS-25's in conjunction with Zero Boil-Off (ZBO) technologies in the upper stage.  The RS-25's not thrown into the Atlantic can power a pair of ITS spaceships.  The new Raptor engines can power the boosters.  The upper stage will be 1,500t lighter as a result and provide performance equivalent to the all-methalox solution from SpaceX.  Ice drilling, water distillation, and water electrolysis is the extent of the technology development required for sourcing propellant from Mars.

The Orion life support and avionics technologies must be incorporated into ITS.  That means triple or quadruple redundant CAMRAS, IWP, ISS water electrolysis, and rad-hard avionics systems.  Development of the new MegaFlex array needs to be fast-tracked by re-winging ISS with the new arrays for testing.  The crewed portion of ITS will have radiation protection features that incorporate nonstructural BNNT panels for GCR protection along with water tanks for CME / SPE protection.  The vastly improved TMI capability means contingency provisions and up to a dozen astronauts can be delivered.

Surface power should be provided by ten KiloPower fission reactors to eliminate any possibility of power loss, thus ISRU loss, as a result of dust storms or wherever the best ice source happens to be located.

We're leaving Mars with everything but the ice drills and fission reactors, so we have fairly complete re-usability from the first exploration mission and later for colonization.

Most importantly, we'd finally have a real spaceship capable of taking humans anywhere within the inner solar system that we'd want to visit.

Use the favored contractors to develop the technologically challenging but narrowly defined pieces of equipment like life support, avionics, radiation protection, upper stage engines, cryogen storage, etc.  SpaceX can serve as the prime contractor and systems integrator.  Elon Musk is far more interested in simply getting the job done than the favored contractors are, so it's a safe bet there won't be any endless development and test cycles.

We don't need ion engines, nuclear engines, megawatt solar arrays, or any other science fiction technology to get the job done.  Everything required is well within our technological capabilities and development of the required hardware could be completed in 5 years, followed by 2 years of testing.  Someone just has to decide that they're tired of talking about things and they want to actually do something worthwhile.

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#23 2017-07-18 09:40:46

Oldfart1939
Member
Registered: 2016-11-26
Posts: 781

Re: VP Pence calls for return to Moon and Boots on Mars.

kbd512 wrote:

We don't need ion engines, nuclear engines, megawatt solar arrays, or any other science fiction technology to get the job done.  Everything required is well within our technological capabilities and development of the required hardware could be completed in 5 years, followed by 2 years of testing.  Someone just has to decide that they're tired of talking about things and they want to actually do something worthwhile.

Well stated, and I agree completely. The key, but unstated component of your hypothesis, is elimination of cost-plus contracts. Milestone payments are made for previously stated and agreed upon goals.

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#24 2017-07-18 09:46:19

Oldfart1939
Member
Registered: 2016-11-26
Posts: 781

Re: VP Pence calls for return to Moon and Boots on Mars.

I would expect that $100 Billion spread over 10 years could get a permanently manned Mars base set up and running. If NASA would cut to the chase and drop the crap, it's within their existing budget. The current ISS project is a very expensive blind alley and a dead end. Drop this stupider than stupid "Deep Space gateway" garbage which does nothing more than expose the astronauts to zero g conditions and lots of GCR.

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#25 2017-07-18 11:44:39

GW Johnson
Member
From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 2,524
Website

Re: VP Pence calls for return to Moon and Boots on Mars.

NASA's problem is more congress than its own management,  bad as that is.  SLS/Orion is a congressional mandate.  That plus operating ISS is just too much in the way of a money pit.  ISS I see some use for,  SLS/Orion,  not so much. 

Name even one senator or congressman competent to be making decisions about what should be built,  much less where and by whom.  Micromanagement by congress for pork-barrel politics is the main problem at NASA.  And it won't go away until the pork barrel is gone. 

GW

PS -- Actually there are activities where cost-plus contracting is quite appropriate.  That would be speculative R&D where not only is the outcome unknown,  but the path to follow is also unknown.  There are no reliably-identifiable milestones.  You just fling a level-of-effort budget at it and see what you get.  Best done as smaller-scope items. 

However,  adapting existing designs into new vehicle designs does not qualify as that kind of speculative R&D.  None of the big rocket efforts qualify.  Nor do any of the hypersonic craft,  although some of them come closer.  Maybe a new variable-geometry inlet concept (done by itself separate from a vehicle program),  or something like that,  might qualify.

Last edited by GW Johnson (2017-07-18 11:52:21)


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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