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#176 2006-03-26 07:09:02

Mars_B4_Moon
Member
Registered: 2006-03-23
Posts: 594

Re: Glenn Criticizes Bush Space Plan - says direct-to-Mars is the way to go

Dr. Jeff Bell strikes again with detailed analysis of the CEV program.

Opinions on his commentary?

People who say that a manned moon mission could be assembled in LEO out of small pieces launched on existing boosters like the new EELVs are dead wrong. This option was never seriously considered by either the Red Team or the Blue Team back during the Moon Race. It vastly magnifies the chances of failure.

Clearly, someone at NASA HQ has added up the same numbers I have, and has decided that a Moon Base is impossible. My scientist friends have already been briefed by the Space Lords that there will be no Moon base in Plan Bush, and in fact no manned stays on the Moon longer than 14 days.

I think Bell like to bash but he also has a point there

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#177 2006-03-26 08:51:52

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

Re: Glenn Criticizes Bush Space Plan - says direct-to-Mars is the way to go

You've got to remember that its Jeffy Bell's mission to either force NASA to do PRECISELY as he says via public relations manipulation, or destroy NASA trying. Consequently, he says lots of things that aren't true

"...the Soyuz "headlight RV" design seems to be based on one of the rejected Apollo proposals. There is no possibility that a significantly better shape could be found today. The only reason to develop a different "mold line" for CEV is public relations."

This is an extraordinarily stupid statement:

-NASA hasn't ever built a Soyuz-style vehicle. They have built an Apollo-shaped one, and NASA needs this capsule sooner rather then later.

-CEV/Apollo capsules are more reuseable then Soyuz style ones, since they don't ditch the expensive manned section in orbit, only the service module which is a relativly simple piece of hardware

-Soyuz style capsules are narrow and long, and their volume divided by a tiny hatch, and is hence worth less. Apollo/CEV's volume will be contiguous and roomy.

"If the CEV is to be parked for long periods in space or on the Moon, its avionics need to withstand an intense solar flare like the one last November that knocked out three modern unmanned spacecraft and damaged many others. Modern microelectronics is much more vulnerable to solar particle damage than those old Apollo transistors. Heavier rad-hardened computers must be developed."

And the 100s of satelites up in GEO orbit around the Earth, well above the protective Van Allen belts didn't get knocked out, why doesn't Jeffy mention this? Plus, the CEV capsule will have the bennefit of a pressure hull to mitigate the radiation. The USAF already knows how to make rad-hard computer chips I bet too. This is simply a red-herring.

"Peroxide monopropellant thrusters are much less efficient than bipropellant systems, so fuel weight will be much higher."

Say, maybe thats why NASA isn't going to use monopropellants, but rather alcohol and peroxide.

"We also can't use fuel cells in the CEV Service Module because of the same space-storage requirement. All CEV concepts show big Soyuz-style solar panels and batteries for dark periods."

If the thing is being stored, it probobly doesn't need that much power. Satelites orbit for years just fine with batteries while still being light weight, why is this a problem?

"Those super-light advanced materials wrecked the X-33 program because they were developed for airplanes, not spacecraft. They are also so expensive that they are used mostly in super-expensive military planes. As I will show below, CEV needs to be cheaper than Apollo."

Jeffery Bell is d**n liar!

The tank material for the X-33 wasn't a conventional composite! It was an experimental honeycomb laminate that hadn't ever been used for cryogenic tanks of that size before. Since the CEV capsule won't be full of liquid oxygen, even this stuff should work. If not, conventional solid composites are available and superior to metals. Some boats (even whole ships in European navies), private planes, laptop chassis, golf club shafts, hiking equipment, and so on are made of carbon composites, and they aren't "super expensive."

"Maybe we could cut out the middlemen and give the CEV contract directly to Energia? Sorry, that's illegal."

See? He's a NASA-hater

"X-30/NASP cost about $7.5B in current dollars"

...And wasn't a NASA program, and was building something completly new that nobody had ever tried before. A space capsule exactly the same shape as Apollo isn't in the same ballpark of complexity, and Bell knows this.

"there has been little discussion about the other key element of Plan Bush: a heavy-lift booster capable of sending an enlarged CEV to the Moon"

That would be because NASA hasn't settled on a design. Absense of press conferances over it is not a sign of ineptitude.

"So where is the money in the Bush Plan to develop "Saturn VB"? Well, it seems to be off in the nebulous area of the budget chart after 2010."

That would be the $4-5Bn/yr that Shuttle sucks up

"living in flimsy aluminum tanks (rather like ISS modules) or even inflatable plastic tents (rather like the cancelled TransHab). It seems that people have been working on ISS so long they can't even imagine anything else."

They aren't flimsy, Bell is bulls***ing again, and a 12m diameter single-story "pancake" TransHab isn't what I would see as "cramped," and it would be easy to cover with loose, powdery Lunar soil.

"The second thing will be a nuclear reactor to power the base since solar power won't work in those shadow zones at the poles... It will take a lot of flights by Saturn Vbs before our lunar filling station can start making later flights cheaper."

...Which they won't need if the base is in one of the eternally lit regions of the Moon, and not in the bottom of a hypothetical snow crater. And by "alot of flights" with a vehicle as powerful as the CaLV, two, maybe three to start a LOX factory.

"you quickly come up with something is actually more complicated than ISS"

Again, bulls***. The Lunar base won't be a hodge-podge of foreign modules clamped together sailing around in zero gravity. It will be a half a dozen big, monolithic componets connected only by wires and hoses.

"The Augustine Commission"

Whoa there d***head, you mean the liars and frauds that came up with the Bush-I Space Exploration Initiative? The SEI "battlestar galactica" etc etc? They intentionally cooked up a unworkable $500Bn plan so their budget figures would be unacceptable, so NASA could keep flying Shuttle and build their space station, there is no other explanation for the debacle.

The whole SEI plan was formed for just one reason: protect the Shuttle status quo. Come on Jeffy, you sound like a student of history, it would be swell if you at least tried to act like one.

"Clearly, someone at NASA HQ has added up the same numbers I have, and has decided that a Moon Base is impossible. My scientist friends have already been briefed by the Space Lords that there will be no Moon base in Plan Bush"

Thats thinking awfully highly of yourself Jeffy, and I think you are full of crap. And of course, you wouldn't keep any "scientist friends" that didn't agree with you, your personality wouldn't tollerate it... The fact of the matter is, that a small Lunar base is not hard to build, and could be accomplished with 6-8 cargo loads. Griffin's choice to use Hydrogen for the LSAM gives it a large payload and is able to move big packages of base componets.

"the existing NASA budget actually sums up to about $500B"

Which is half that in 1990 dollars that he's comparing to (the SEI pricetag), Bell is playing games with gullible readers by ignoring inflation.

"Plan Bush just proves what a lot of us space critics have been saying for years: The whole idea of a big government space exploration program based on 1950s throw-away ICBM technology is an obsolete relic..."

Versus building Shuttle-II and assembling everything in bits and pieces? Thats exactly what you have condemned in the past! NASA can do no right in his eyes.
___________________________________________

It is clear that Bell just loves to hear the sound of his own voice, and hates NASA to the core, nobody should pay him any attention.


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

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#178 2006-03-27 14:33:09

EuroLauncher
Member
From: Europe
Registered: 2005-10-19
Posts: 299

Re: Glenn Criticizes Bush Space Plan - says direct-to-Mars is the way to go

See above...:

"1: We said we would to ESA/RSA/etc, we're already shorting them years of ISS duty by Nasa.

By showing disrespect for the science missions planned for ISS, havent we already damaged our relations with ESA/RSA whether or not we finish ISS reluctantly and with petulance? The above reason for finishing ISS simply strikes me as petulant - - like insisting that your former boyfriend/girlfriend accompany you to a concert or wedding, even after you have broken up.

To finish ISS while steadfastly proclaiming how stupid it is will destroy our relations with the ESA/RSA more thoroughly than making a clean break and offering amends in some other way. European rocket scientists are not stupid and may well be less politically naive than we US-ians. :;):

2: As nice as it would be to make Shuttle/ISS go away, simply pulling the plug is logisticly a near impossibility... politicly painful too, laying off thousands that keep Shuttle flying... Nasa will need to start narrowing down SDV designs in the mean time."

Actually, there is sense to this, especially if large numbers of the STS workforce will reach retirement age (or close to it) by 2010 or 2012. Thus, we will continue to flying shuttle so GWB doesnt lose votes in Florida. smile

Hey, that may be the best we can do. Still, its an awful lot of money to essentially do nothing.

Therefore, a January surprise (orbiter remains too unsafe to fly, even to ISS) seems a possible scenario, at least to me.

= = =

Why ISS and not Hubble? See first point. Why does Sean OKeefe get to make that final call? How does his claiming "the buck stops with me'' help build a consensus for space that will survive transitions in political power?

Yeah the Shuttle budget is really ugly but lets compare the Shuttle costs to some of the other big spenders, Katrina early estimates exceeded $75 billion but economic impact may be in the scale of $100-200 billion and still were not accounting for potential catastrophic damage inland due to flooding,  another US$400 billion  to be spent on defense, GW's 2005 tax cuts sum up to about $350 billion, another $220 billion has been allocated by the US Congress for Iraq, I also saw links to the deficit, pension, and rising debts. Some other poster had a link to the debt clock posted.

Somebody else was saying the VSE, Moon and Mars-trips will cost anything between $300Billion - 1,000Bn or as high as One-Trillion !! At the rate George is burning up US dollars, I think he will have the trillion spent long before the 2008 election

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#179 2006-03-27 14:41:33

Yang Liwei Rocket
Member
Registered: 2004-03-03
Posts: 993

Re: Glenn Criticizes Bush Space Plan - says direct-to-Mars is the way to go

yeah, the debts and Katrina costs are bad - here was the deficit chart for 2001
http://www.maravot.com/CBO.deficit.gif
I'm not sure where that big red deficit line is today ( it may have dropped off the chart altogether and fallen under the floor !  )


'first steps are not for cheap, think about it...
did China build a great Wall in a day ?' ( Y L R newmars forum member )

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#180 2006-03-27 16:34:50

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

Re: Glenn Criticizes Bush Space Plan - says direct-to-Mars is the way to go

"Somebody else was saying the VSE, Moon and Mars-trips will as high as One-Trillion

Thats a stupid scare number, and you'd have to be an idiot to believe it, and you thoughtlessly parrot it like that, EuroLauncher?

The US debt is a large number, but again, compared to what?. The real measure is the size of debt versus economic strength, which is usually measured with the GDP, and is infact no higher then it was under Clinton or other past administrations.

And if you look closely at the graph that you likewise uncritically parrot from Reuters Yang, you would notice that the figures are just raw dollars, they are not corrected for inflation, so of course they are a bigger number, it would take a miracle to trim it back to even what it was 20yrs ago if you are just counting dollar.


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

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#181 2006-03-29 15:37:44

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

Re: Glenn Criticizes Bush Space Plan - says direct-to-Mars is the way to go

Very well put!

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#182 2006-03-29 15:49:25

Mars_B4_Moon
Member
Registered: 2006-03-23
Posts: 594

Re: Glenn Criticizes Bush Space Plan - says direct-to-Mars is the way to go

Yeah the Shuttle budget is really ugly but lets compare the Shuttle costs to some of the other big spenders, Katrina early estimates exceeded $75 billion but economic impact may be in the scale of $100-200 billion and still were not accounting for potential catastrophic damage inland due to flooding,  another US$400 billion  to be spent on defense, GW's 2005 tax cuts sum up to about $350 billion, another $220 billion has been allocated by the US Congress for Iraq, I also saw links to the deficit, pension, and rising debts. Some other poster had a link to the debt clock posted.

Somebody else was saying the VSE, Moon and Mars-trips will cost anything between $300Billion - 1,000Bn or as high as One-Trillion !! At the rate George is burning up US dollars, I think he will have the trillion spent long before the 2008 election

The trillion number is a lie or at least, highly exaggerated. The Moon rocks and Mars won't cost a trillion

for a debate on the cost see this topic
200 Billion for a Moon Trip ?

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#183 2006-09-04 10:00:37

Mars_B4_Moon
Member
Registered: 2006-03-23
Posts: 594

Re: Glenn Criticizes Bush Space Plan - says direct-to-Mars is the way to go

I get the impression that most think the SDV or HLLV could be made in a couple of years, so why not wait until after the ISS is complete? Even if it's finished by 2012, there's plenty of time left to produce the SDV, or HLLV, and still retain the exsisting Shuttle infrastructure.

Here is the catch. PlanBush proposes to transfer STS money to Constellation. That is how we pay for exploration.

But unless you lay off shuttle workers there really is no money to transfer. But if you lay off the shuttle workers standing army who will keep Pad 39 from rusting away? And who will we hire 10-12 years later when we want HLLV again?

2020 arrives and where are the trained workers who know how to build main tanks at Michoud? We start from scratch.

DeltaIV Super Heavy or Delta V or Atlas VI? We will need to build new launch pads and handling gear. 

Zubrin designed Ares like he did so Pad39 could be used WITHOUT modification. Maybe SDV isn't the best HLLV we can imagine but we can use SDV without re-building Pad 39 infrastructure.

= = =

To keep what existing HLLV infrastructre we now have, we must use it. As you correctly point out.

This means that PlanBush proposed return to moon by 2015-2020 is just too slow to keep America in the game.

Metaphor time - aircraft have stall speeds. Go too slow and you can't stay airborne. If slow and steady is TOO slow, all that happens is a crash.


Layoffs Hit Kennedy Space Center
http://www.cfnews13.com/StoryHeadline.aspx?id=18305
"In an exclusive report, David Waters at Central Florida News13 has learned that in a cost cutting move, one of NASA's contractors will be laying off workers at the Space Center. This move comes just days before another scheduled launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis. 75 NASA contractors will lose their jobs. They work for SGS, a contractor that keeps the infrastructure of the space center running. The contractor fought to keep some jobs, but now have to tell those 75 employees, they'll no longer have a job at the space center."

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#184 2006-09-04 11:10:21

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

Re: Glenn Criticizes Bush Space Plan - says direct-to-Mars is the way to go

Yeah the Shuttle budget is really ugly but lets compare the Shuttle costs to some of the other big spenders, Katrina early estimates exceeded $75 billion but economic impact may be in the scale of $100-200 billion and still were not accounting for potential catastrophic damage inland due to flooding,  another US$400 billion  to be spent on defense, GW's 2005 tax cuts sum up to about $350 billion, another $220 billion has been allocated by the US Congress for Iraq, I also saw links to the deficit, pension, and rising debts. Some other poster had a link to the debt clock posted.

Somebody else was saying the VSE, Moon and Mars-trips will cost anything between $300Billion - 1,000Bn or as high as One-Trillion !! At the rate George is burning up US dollars, I think he will have the trillion spent long before the 2008 election

The trillion number is a lie or at least, highly exaggerated. The Moon rocks and Mars won't cost a trillion

for a debate on the cost see this topic
200 Billion for a Moon Trip ?

It is a bit of intellectual dishonesty. Instead of coming right out and saying he doesn't want a trip to Mars, he instead uses his expert opinion to say going to Mars will cost too much.

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#185 2006-09-18 14:51:52

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

Re: Glenn Criticizes Bush Space Plan - says direct-to-Mars is the way to go

Why not convert it into a space hotel and sell it to private industry as a target for space ships to dock with? Bigelow is already developing one space hotel, why not another one? What about the Solar Panels, one could experiment with a microwave transmitter to see if you could transmit power to the ground, and test the feasibility of SPS satellites.

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#186 2006-09-20 14:27:57

Admiral_Ritt
Member
From: Imperial Capital of the Pacifi
Registered: 2005-03-09
Posts: 64

Re: Glenn Criticizes Bush Space Plan - says direct-to-Mars is the way to go

The ISS has a limited Life expentancy simply due to the Wearing of
components by hard vaccum /day/night  heat stress.

Now I assume that the ISS modules have a redundant inner shell,
that helps,  but  even that 2nd meta hulll will be weakened by the pressure
differentials & cosmic Rays. 

Unless you "reupolster" the older modules somehow the Hotel Idea would
only last 10 years or so.

And On the subject of Bigelow,  His modules would have to be replaced too
eventually, difference is obcourse his would cost a fraction of what One
ISS module might cost to replace.

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#187 2006-09-20 23:43:34

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

Re: Glenn Criticizes Bush Space Plan - says direct-to-Mars is the way to go

10 years is all it needs, this will be an incentive to develop launch vehicles to cheaply ferry passengers to the ISS to maximise profits. once cheaper launc systems are developed, the modules can be gradually replaced with others, perhaps of the inflatable bigalow types. I think after all the trouble we went through to orbit the thing, deorbiting it is such a waste, most likely the aluminum could be recycled and recast into new modules. It is so expensive to launch the thing that deorbiting it would be such a crime, at the very least it should serve as a monument to the expensive effort. Just keep adding more modules over time, using the proceeds of space tourism to pay for them, the mass will steadily increase and provide greater stability as it grows larger and larger. The inhabited section could be just a fraction of the entire mass.

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#188 2006-09-21 07:52:57

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

Re: Glenn Criticizes Bush Space Plan - says direct-to-Mars is the way to go

No no, the ISS is the worst option to use as a nucleus of a space hotel; there are parts of it that are just too old and too difficult to fix, swapping out old modules for new simply isn't worth it. You can't even add much to the ISS, since the torque between sections would prevent the station from rotating to orient its solar arrays, plus do recall that the ISS orbit is highly inclined (~10% payload penalty) and crosses orbital debries belts (magnifying debries risk). And what good is the ISS? A perpetually broken half-recycling life support box, solar pannels half cooked from years of radiation, gyros with worn bearings, batteries spent from a decade of 90min cycles, hull weakend from micrometeoroid impacts, airlocks with empty high pressure tanks, and modules stuffed with research gear and garbage not hotel rooms.

Please, please you must abandon this "depression era thrift impulse" with spaceflight, such as nonsense about "its there, we have to use it" or some business, which is a terrible awful thing. Why? The cost of trying to DO anything in space is so high, that it really does cost less to just build new on the ground over again. It will cost much more to fix up and modify and tack onto than to construct purpose built, for the useful life you get from it. Its not a waste if its more trouble and expense to reuse than it is to start over. No! The real crime would be trying to keep the ISS in orbit one second longer than is required!

Smelting ISS aluminum on orbit!?? NO! Oh for cripes sakes no! NO!


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

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#189 2006-09-21 09:15:56

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

Re: Glenn Criticizes Bush Space Plan - says direct-to-Mars is the way to go

It might make for an interesting shipwreck for space suited tourists to explore, and you could have the real space hotel nearby. People dive underwater and explore shipwrecks all the time. The ISS, even if it doesn't work, still provides a place for astronaut tourists to go to and explore in their space suits. Deorbiting it, just robs them of a place to visit.

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#190 2006-09-21 10:46:48

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,578
Website

Re: Glenn Criticizes Bush Space Plan - says direct-to-Mars is the way to go

Riiiiight. ISS isn't even finished yet and you call it too old.

As for it's orbit, remember Skylab orbitted at 427km perigee x 439km apogee, at 50° inclination. The proposal to build an international space station from the backup Skylab would have put it in the same orbit. ISS has a nominal orbit of 407km at 51.6° inclination, but often falls lower than that before reboost. The current mean altitude is around 350km. (Spaceref - ISS altitude history) So what's the difference?

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#191 2006-09-21 10:55:40

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

Re: Glenn Criticizes Bush Space Plan - says direct-to-Mars is the way to go

The age of the newest component doesn't matter, the age of the oldest module does, and by the time the ISS is "finished" the antique quarter of the station will be just as old and about as broken down as Mir was.


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

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#192 2006-09-21 14:09:57

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,578
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Re: Glenn Criticizes Bush Space Plan - says direct-to-Mars is the way to go

Your idea of life expectancy is quite different than mine. I expect a station to last much longer than you do. Zarya will be 8 years on orbit by November 20. I expect a station to last decades. Things like computers must be replaceable, they become obsolete faster than that; but a metal hull is a metal hull. Same for windows, ventilation ducts, circulation fans, etc.

The reason Mir had trouble was the collision. It caused a leak in one module, destroyed one solar panel, a power surge that fried the computer enough to be unreliable, and shorted out power cables from the remaining solar arrays. This caused a cascade of problems, without power they couldn't run life support. The flakey computer couldn't maintain attitude so solar arrays didn't point to the sun. Russians ran air ducts and power cables inside hatches, which made assembly easy but closing a hatch required disconnecting all that stuff and getting it out of the way first. Once disconnected, they didn't have any access to instruments inside the module. They designed Mir to be self-assembling; they could launch modules on a Proton rocket, each has its own manoeuvring thrusters and rendezvous radar, and docking is just a matter of pushing the hatches together. Simple, easy, can be done without a shuttle. It was quite an accomplishment, but the cost was running stuff through hatches. Live and learn.

So you want to characterize Mir as old and broken down. I remember the CBC science reporter saying operating Mir was a learning experience. If you want to get into the business of space stations, you have to learn how to maintain it. The ISS would be just as old very quickly, if you don't learn with Mir you will have the same problems with ISS. ISS isn't 14 years old yet, but you're already throwing out the accusation of old? I knew I would be saying “I told you so”, but I thought that would be after some equipment failure on the station, not this early. You for one haven't learned anything.

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#193 2006-09-21 20:31:34

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 22,264

Re: Glenn Criticizes Bush Space Plan - says direct-to-Mars is the way to go

Your idea of life expectancy is quite different than mine. I expect a station to last much longer than you do. Zarya will be 8 years on orbit by November 20. I expect a station to last decades.

Things like computers must be replaceable, they become obsolete faster than that; but a metal hull is a metal hull. Same for windows, ventilation ducts, circulation fans, etc.

If you want to get into the business of space stations, you have to learn how to maintain it.

Not alone on the life expectancy needing to be alot longer for the investment. Totally agree with the need to replace electronics as plug in modules and such as needed.

I find that the interest to use the station for science is a weak lame reason to have the station. It needs to have a complement of manufacturing capability to at least turn what would be garbage into useful items in order to make it grow in size, maybe repair or create shielding and to salvage junk for other uses.

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#194 2006-09-22 11:23:05

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

Re: Glenn Criticizes Bush Space Plan - says direct-to-Mars is the way to go

I expect a station to last decades (emphasis added)

Then you have reasonably expectations and wishes confused: is it possible to build a station to last for a long time? Sure, but the ISS? No, no way. Half the station is built the same way Mir was built, and by the time it is "finished" its oldest parts will be about as old as Mir was. Why will it not likewise be run-down and dangerously worn out? Can a station be made to last that long? Yes, but is this station made that way? No, no it isn't. The base metal structure of the ISS could last as long as you'd like (save perhaps for those pesky banging/creaking noises if they're hull damage), but as there is no practical way to gut the innards and "refurbish" modules then the station is stuck with non-replaceable decaying hardware just like Hubble.

I say that if you want a station to last a really really long time, that it has to be built to be maintained from the ground up; the ISS is not, so not only can't it be "maintained" like you wish it to be, but it also doesn't serve as a good testbed to learn how.

Mir's problems were not all due to the Progress collision either, for instance the radiator coolant leak into the module's atmosphere (poisoning one Cosmonaut), the jammed airlock hatch nearly resulting in two more deaths, and most famously (famously coverd up?) was the major oxygen generator fire that could have burned a hole right through the hull. Not to mention the general buildup of chemical and biological contamination that the ISS is not suited to dealing with any better.

You for one haven't learned anything.
___________________________________________________________

It needs to have a complement of manufacturing capability to at least turn what would be garbage into useful items in order to make it grow in size, maybe repair or create shielding and to salvage junk for other uses.

No, because the garbage isn't worth much. The trouble of reprocessing it into useful materials is so difficult that it would be much easier just to launch new stuff. Alot of it is stuff like plastic bags, small bits of equipment, and that sort of thing. It just doesn't weigh enough to be worth salvaging, it would cost less to build on Earth and send to the station per-mass than the negligible masses you'll be tacking onto the station.


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

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#195 2006-09-22 16:00:22

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,578
Website

Re: Glenn Criticizes Bush Space Plan - says direct-to-Mars is the way to go

The visitor center at the Johnson Space Center has a full-size mockup of the US Habitation module. It has one side cut out so you can see the inside; it's a display model. The demonstrator made a point of showing an entire rack can be unclipped from the ceiling and swung away from the hull. He said you can store more stuff behund the rack. However, I keep thinking that permits you to unclip the entire rack, then take it through those square hatchway doors. You should be able to replace an entire rack.

When I attended the Humans In Space conference, they had full-size operational examples of science racks. It wasn't a mock-up, it was the same as on-orbit hardware. This conference was for scientists who develop the experiments. Again, entire racks can be unbolted from the hull. There were a lot of cables between racks, but you could unplug those. They made a point of saying how the computer was old and was to be replaced in a then to be soon shuttle mission. I don't know if it happened.

I noticed life support equipment in the US modules were installed in standard racks, similar to science or habitation racks. All that can be gutted and replaced. The European ATV has a Russian style docking adapter, but that permits fuel transfer. MPLM carried by the Shuttle has a square hatch, permitting entire racks. One requirement for Orion was a cargo version; will it have a square hatch? If so, there's your ability to gut and refurbish.
ATV cutaway541kB JPG
ATV factsheet (pdf)

Is Zvezda maintainable? Don't know, not enough data. Of course my answer is "launch the US Habitation module".

Garbage: food garbage, toilet waste, or surplus science experiments are not worth it. However, surplus satellites are big. They could be reworked. However, that would require an on-orbit tug to bring a satellite to the station, and a whole module to remanufacture into something. A workshop module; good idea. Let's see, Canada was going to provide a satellite service module for Space Station Freedom until it was cancelled. Then with no tug, they didn't reinstate it for ISS.

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#196 2006-09-22 22:10:45

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

Re: Glenn Criticizes Bush Space Plan - says direct-to-Mars is the way to go

Well hey, what a shame that all those nice rack modules are for science experiments, and not space station systems like the life support in the Russian module... and undoing many meters of wiring is easy enough on Earth, but what about in zero-G?

There are other components too, ones on the outside of the station (gyros, US batteries, cooling system, solar panels) that likewise wear out too, and aren't readily replaceable since we won't have Shuttle anymore. Solar cells for instance will lose 30-40% of their output over their design life due to radiation-induced breakdown, what about for another decade? Will there even be power to run the lights? Batteries don't last forever, and we know gyros are certainly limited too. Infact Shuttle is bringing up extra gyros that will be clamped to the outside, but what happens when those wear out?

As far as I know, the cargo-centric version of the CEV has been canceld as a cost cutting measure, due to the... dubious worth of the ISS. So no more rack modules; the ISS and the Shuttle were always two sides of the same coin, and now without one the other will not persist either. The US habitation module, and pretty much any additional US module, is not happening. NASA has more important things to do than literally go in circles like we've been doing the last thirty years, and so spending one cent more on the ISS than we have to is not going to happen.

Satellite refurbishing? Nonsense! I bet most of them can't even retract their solar pannels to fit in any sort of mega-airlock, not to mention their fuels are very toxic and easily ignited too. Even with an ion-powerd tug, the cost to lift and deliver the propellant plus amoratizing tug replacement due to radiation damage (Van Allen belts!) or engine electrode erosion will be a signifigant chunk of the satellite's cost. Then you have the trouble of getting parts from suppliers that may no longer exist, installing them in space, and then you have to send the thing back out for a second soak in Earth's radiation belts.

And for what? By the time most satellites reach the end of their design life, their electronics/sensors are obsolete, and if you are going to build and launch upgraded parts, you might as well just launch a new satellite, which will be purpose built and more efficient with the more advanced hardware. Expendable satellites are the best option.


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

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#197 2006-09-23 20:56:12

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 22,264

Re: Glenn Criticizes Bush Space Plan - says direct-to-Mars is the way to go

It needs to have a complement of manufacturing capability to at least turn what would be garbage into useful items in order to make it grow in size, maybe repair or create shielding and to salvage junk for other uses.

No, because the garbage isn't worth much. The trouble of reprocessing it into useful materials is so difficult that it would be much easier just to launch new stuff.

Whats one of the items we are constantly needing for the station, you guessed it rocket fuel to reboost it.

You may recall this: Bacteria Eat Human Sewage, Produce Rocket Fuel

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#198 2006-09-24 02:11:53

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,578
Website

Re: Glenn Criticizes Bush Space Plan - says direct-to-Mars is the way to go

Whats one of the items we are constantly needing for the station, you guessed it rocket fuel to reboost it.

You may recall this: Bacteria Eat Human Sewage, Produce Rocket Fuel

From that same article:

But don't expect the bacteria to supply NASA with rocket fuel to launch a spacecraft.

"It costs [the bacteria] a lot of energy, and they get return on their investment by consuming it again," Strous explained. "They are dependent on it, so it can't be removed."

From Wikipedia

Methanogenesis or 'biomethanation' is the formation of methane by microbes. This is an important and widespread form of microbial metabolism. In most environments, it is the final step in the decomposition of organic matter.

The two best described pathways involve the use of carbon dioxide and acetic acid as terminal electron acceptors:
[tex:7df31ca266]CO_2 + 4 H_2 \rightarrow CH_4 + 2H_2O[/tex:7df31ca266]
[tex:7df31ca266]CH_3COOH \rightarrow CH_4 + CO_2[/tex:7df31ca266]

This means you can use normal anaerobic bacteria in a digester. To burn methane in rocket engines, you'll need oxygen. You can split [tex:7df31ca266]CO_2[/tex:7df31ca266] to recover oxygen, direct [tex:7df31ca266]CO_2[/tex:7df31ca266] electrolysis will only convert 80% into CO and oxygen so you'll need something better. A little hydrogen in RWGS can convert [tex:7df31ca266]CO_2[/tex:7df31ca266] into water and carbon soot, then split water with water electrolysis. Use the oxygen for rocket fuel, recycle the hydrogen. Even if the process is 100% efficient, it'll only produce 1 molecule of oxygen for every molecule of methane. Burning [tex:7df31ca266]CH_4[/tex:7df31ca266] requires 2 molecules of [tex:7df31ca266]O_2[/tex:7df31ca266] to produce 1 [tex:7df31ca266]CO_2[/tex:7df31ca266] and 2 [tex:7df31ca266]H_2O[/tex:7df31ca266]. You're short oxygen, and the equipment is complex. Is it worth it?

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#199 2006-09-24 19:45:37

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 22,264

Re: Glenn Criticizes Bush Space Plan - says direct-to-Mars is the way to go

Researchers Find New Pathway To Making Methane

Developed by Berndt and Juske Horita of the chemical and analytical sciences division of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the new process produces methane from bicarbonate ions and hydrogen at temperatures up to 400 degrees C. The catalyst for the conversion was an iron-nickel alloy found in certain parts of the oceanic crust. Berndt said the methane produced was chemically difficult to distinguish from organically produced methane.

Ceramic Microreactors Developed For On-Site Hydrogen Production

reforming of hydrocarbon fuels, such as propane, into hydrogen for use in fuel cells and other portable power sources. When reforming hydrocarbons such as propane, temperatures above 800 degrees Celsius prevent the formation of soot that can foul the catalyst surface and reduce performance.

At this point the Elektron system once the oxygen is removed from the waste water is expelled out of the station as being of no value.

There may even be other ways of doing this.

The other materials being plastic can be used on the moon for making steel if they were sent to its surface. We have a thread I think under technology for this as I recall.

While the expense may not be justifiable getting to technology to advance makes the effort to prove them and to use them as intended allows for a continual progress towards one day having it ready for Mars.

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#200 2006-10-27 13:04:45

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

Re: Glenn Criticizes Bush Space Plan - says direct-to-Mars is the way to go

Interesting.

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