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Thread: The Donald Trump Admin Space Exploration Policy

  1. #121
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    I especially like Musk's response to Everyday Astronaut asking him whether he thinks Starship would be ready before 2024:

    "I think so. For sure worth giving it our best shot! Would be great to have a competitive, commercial program to build a moon base that is outcome-oriented (not cost-plus), so you only get paid for safe delivery of cargo."

    Even though he'd be on the receiving end, he doesn't want cost-plus. Of course, without cost-plus structure, his position against Boeing is even better.

  2. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    I especially like Musk's response to Everyday Astronaut asking him whether he thinks Starship would be ready before 2024:

    "I think so. For sure worth giving it our best shot! Would be great to have a competitive, commercial program to build a moon base that is outcome-oriented (not cost-plus), so you only get paid for safe delivery of cargo."

    Even though he'd be on the receiving end, he doesn't want cost-plus. Of course, without cost-plus structure, his position against Boeing is even better.
    This is probably a whole separate discussion, but I think commercial space flight is going to have to eventually get to outcome-oriented and not cost-plus pricing, if it is to become a real, commercial concern. The majority of the business world works that way; you are paid for deliverables, not for a set profit above your costs.
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  3. #123
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    Certainly. It's just that you'd expect the push to step away from cost-plus would first come from those who pay for it, not from those who receive it.

  4. #124
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    The next post has a bit of everything about US - China relationships in space - more specifically, all the area between earth and the moon from a military and commercial view point.

    https://spacenews.com/congressional-...ace-ambitions/

    Are the United States and China inevitably headed to a war in space? That was the central question posed by members of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission at a hearing on Thursday on Capitol Hill.

    In testimony, experts provided ample evidence of China’s space ambitions and cited the already well documented achievements of the Chinese space program. But while the professional consensus is that China is a rising space power with a growing arsenal of anti-satellite weapons, a future war in space is not a foregone conclusion, these experts argued.

    The commission was created by Congress in 2000 to investigate the national security implications of trade and the economic relationship between the United States and the People’s Republic of China.
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  5. #125
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    The proposed cut to SLS got me riled up.
    https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/11/1...lock-1b-europa

    "The request effectively cancels the development of a more powerful version of the SLS."

    Errr.

  6. #126
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    ars technica latest issue, pours cold water, on the US new target to have US astronauts on the moon by 2024.

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2019...-moon-landing/

    It was only a little more than one month ago that Vice President Mike Pence gave NASA a bold new direction—a goal of landing humans back on the Moon by 2024. Be urgent, he told the space agency. Work with purpose. We can, and must, do better as a nation in space, he said.

    But in the weeks since Pence's speech in Huntsville, Alabama, the reality of space policy has begun to settle in. For starters, it won't be cheap to return to the Moon. Moreover, elements of NASA's bureaucracy have already begun to resist the accelerated schedule and pressure the White House to hew to existing plans. And politically, the goal may well be a non-starter in a divided Congress.
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  7. #127
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    NASA have come out with a plan to achieve a 2024 manned landing on the moon. One area where it is short on details is cost of doing it.

    https://spacenews.com/nasa-outlines-...lunar-landing/

    While the administration continues to work on a revised budget request for carrying out the new goal of landing humans on the moon in 2024, the technical plan for doing so is starting to take shape.

    In a presentation at a joint meeting of the Space Studies Board and Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board here April 30, Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA associate administrator for human exploration and operations, outlined the agency’s current thinking about how it could land people on the moon in 2024, albeit in a minimalistic approach.

    “We’re off building that plan, and it fits on paper,” he said. “But I will tell you it is not easy and it is not risk-free.”
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  8. #128
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    NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine still says that landing on the moon can be done by 2024 with existing technology. He has refused to give a rough estimate of costs but says it would be lees then a budget increase of 8 billion a year.

    https://spacenews.com/bridenstine-pl...-moon-landing/

    NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine told Senate appropriators May 1 that while the administration is not yet ready to release a revised budget that accommodates an accelerated human lunar landing program, the costs will not be as high as some rumors.

    During a hearing of the commerce, justice and science subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee, members sought details about how much it will cost to achieve the goal announced by Vice President Mike Pence March 26 of landing humans on the south pole of the moon in the next five years.
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  9. #129
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    NASA is start filling thr details on how they are going to do it. Still no details oncost.

    http://www.thespacereview.com/article/3708/1

    Some time in 2024, a Space Launch System rocket will lift off from the Kennedy Space Center, carrying an Orion spacecraft. That mission, just the third for the SLS/Orion combination, and only the second with astronauts on board, will send the Orion to the vicinity of the Moon. There, it will dock with a vehicle with the grandiose name Gateway, but consisting of just a power and propulsion module and a docking node. Astronauts will then transfer to a lunar module already docked to the Gateway, and from there head down to the south pole of the Moon, becoming the first astronauts to step on the lunar surface since Gene Cernan and Jack Schmitt in 1972.

    That is, at least, the plan that is taking shape at NASA to achieve the new goal, announced nearly six weeks ago by Vice President Mike Pence, of landing humans on the south pole of the Moon within five years (see “Lunar whiplash”, The Space Review, April 1, 2019). While it wasn’t a surprise that Pence sought to accelerate previous NASA plans, whose 2028 date for a human return was criticized for being too slow, few expected Pence to bring forward the deadline by that much. Surely NASA must have a plan for achieving that goal, right?

    So the space industry, as well as members of Congress, waited to see that plan, and its corresponding budget. And waited, and waited some more. It wasn’t until last week until NASA started providing some of the details about how it could pull forward a human lunar landing by four years.

    “We’re off building that plan,” said Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA associate administrator for human exploration and operations, during a presentation last Tuesday at a joint meeting of the Space Studies Board and Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board of the National Academies. “It fits on paper and it looks like it’s something we can go do, but I will tell you it is not easy and it is and it is not risk-free.”
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  10. #130
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    Instead of SLS, using rockets reusable rockets, could reduce the cost of going to the moon.

    http://www.thespacereview.com/article/3706/1

    In the 1960s, President Kennedy successfully challenged us to land an American on the Moon and return him safely to the Earth within a decade. Today, President Trump and Vice President Pence have issued a much greater challenge: do the same in five years, but in a manner that supports “long-term exploration and utilization,” or, in NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine’s words, “this time to stay.”

    It is quite a challenge. But, it can be done, and for much less than we spent in the ’60s.

    What’s the cause of the paradigm shift in cost? It’s the new availability of reusable rockets costing about five times less, like the whole world witnessed again on April 11 with the successful return of the three Falcon Heavy booster cores. This technology will allow for payloads not before even considered due to their very high costs. It has revolutionized our ability to go to Moon, Mars, and beyond.

    Here’s how: The rockets would dock in space, in low Earth orbit, multiple times. To do this there is already a good option that is currently available. Four flights of SpaceX Falcon Heavy, costing about $500–600 million, can take 25 tons to the lunar surface and have enough propellant left over for the journey back of the capsule. Of the four upper stages that would land on the surface, tanks of all but one can be used for future habitats, while one would be used for sending the capsule back to Earth. These tanks left on the surface, after the fuel inside them is expended, are large enough—at 3.5 meters in diameter and 6 to 8 meters in length—for astronauts to live in, walk around, and sleep in comfortably. If inflatable habitats from companies like Bigelow aerospace are placed inside, it would make for a comfortable environment. They could be covered in lunar regolith or placed inside lava tubes to reduce the radiation hazard.
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  11. #131
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    We now know how much extra money we need this year to land humans on the moon by 2024 - an extra US$1.6B - but no figures for the next 4 years. We also know the mission will be called Artemis, Twin sister of Apollo and "goddess of the moon" in Greek mythology.

    https://www.al.com/news/2019/05/nasa...d-artemis.html

    NASA leaders said today the White House will seek $1.6 billion in extra funding from Congress this fiscal year to meet its ambitious goal of sending a man and a woman to the Moon’s surface in 2024, a program now officially named "Artemis” for the sister of Apollo, namesake of the original Moon mission program.
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  12. #132
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    The Planetary Society's verdict on the extra $1.6B - not enough.

    http://www.planetary.org/blogs/casey...-proposal.html

    Today's announcement lacked details regarding the long-term cost of the accelerated program. It did not even detail how much additional funding would be required over the next 5 years, which is the standard planning period for NASA programs.

    In the weeks leading up to this announcement, I spoke with an experienced aerospace engineer and manager who is intimately familiar with NASA. I asked them, what's a good gut-check budget for landing on the Moon by 2024?

    They and I independently estimated that it would require $4 to $5 billion per year for 5 years, or between $20 billion and $25 billion total, to get NASA astronauts to the lunar surface by 2024. Eric Berger at ArsTechnica reported that some internal estimates at NASA were upwards of $40 billion. This supplemental budget, assuming it represents the start of an annual commitment that grows at 1% per year (consistent with NASA's previous budget proposal), suggests that the White House is willing to add a mere $9 billion over 5 years to achieve this accelerated goal. That's not nothing, but a return to the Moon in 2024 it ain't.
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  13. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    Instead of SLS, using rockets reusable rockets, could reduce the cost of going to the moon.
    That actually may not be the case:
    http://www.thespacereview.com/article/3678/1

    "That alternative approach would likely cost **more** money, (emphasis mine) although Bridenstine didn’t provide an estimate in his testimony. 'There are options to achieve the objective, but it might require some help from the Congress,' he said."
    And Bridenstine seems anti-SLS.

    Some stumbling blocks to commercial space:

    https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2019...h-without-sls/

    "The other option is to launch both ICPS and Orion on a single launch. This would avoid the need to develop rendezvous and docking capability, as well as the need for a quick turnaround of Falcon Heavy’s launch pad. NASA LSP estimated that five years to plan the integration of Falcon Heavy, ICPS, Orion, and the LAS would be needed before such a vehicle could come to fruition.... L2 simulations showed that ICPS could get Orion about halfway to the moon from Low Earth Orbit."

    Look at the NASASPACEFLIGHT article above to see a comparison shot of the EELV size Falcon Heavy and what a true HLLV looks like.

    Some other thoughts from The Space Review
    http://www.thespacereview.com/article/3675/1

    "When I think this plan can be improved upon, I’ll say so. When commercial launchers are ready to take over for SLS, I’ll say it’s time it should be done."

    "We all knew that Ralph Kramden wasn’t ever going to launch his wife Alice to the Moon. He was just expressing his frustration over his issues. Usually, by the end of every episode he said to Alice, 'Baby, you’re the greatest.' The space enthusiasts have often been frustrated with the pace of advancement with human spaceflight. That probably will never completely go away. But if NASA and the international partners pull off this return to the Moon, many of us frustrated enthusiasts will say, NASA you’re the greatest."
    Last edited by publiusr; 2019-May-18 at 08:17 PM.

  14. #134
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    Here we go again - now it is back to Mars

    https://www.cnbc.com/2019/06/07/trum...weeks-ago.html

    President Donald Trump on Friday said NASA should focus on going to Mars, not the moon, weeks after he proclaimed his support for a lunar mission.

    “NASA should NOT be talking about going to the Moon,” Trump tweeted. “We did that 50 years ago. They should be focused on the much bigger things we are doing, including Mars (of which the Moon is a part), Defense and Science!”
    Last edited by selvaarchi; 2019-Jun-08 at 11:04 AM.
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  15. #135
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    Here we go gain - now it is back to Mars

    https://www.cnbc.com/2019/06/07/trum...weeks-ago.html

    Moon part of Mars? We’re going to need new textbooks.
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  16. #136
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    It's like watching a tennis match - but with only one player.

  17. #137
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    So many very infractable comments I could make...
    The greatest journey of all time, for all to see
    Every mission makes our dreams reality
    And our destiny begins with you and me
    Through all space and time, the achievement of mankind
    As we sail the sea of discovery, on heroesí wings we fly!

  18. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    So many very infractable comments I could make...


    Just think it to yourself, as loudly as you like.

    Be a heck of a thing to get in trouble for!
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  19. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    So many very infractable comments I could make...
    Yes, Iíll refrain from the infractable comments as well.
    As above, so below

  20. #140
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    Anyway, back to the tennis game.

    ...Any clues as to what (or who) that $1.6B would go to?
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  21. #141
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Anyway, back to the tennis game.

    ...Any clues as to what (or who) that $1.6B would go to?
    Not do, more likely. Trump must have been shown, what the bill will be to land man on the moon by 2024 He then found a way, to pull the plug on the proposal.
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  22. #142
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    Not do, more likely. Trump must have been shown, what the bill will be to land man on the moon by 2024 He then found a way, to pull the plug on the proposal.
    About the decision making process regarding NASA missions....

    ...Well, how about that local sports team?
    Last edited by Noclevername; 2019-Jun-08 at 01:40 PM.
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  23. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    About the decision making process regarding NASA missions....

    ...Well, how about that local sports team?
    I’m looking forward to watching SailGP in New York in a few weeks. I guess Team USA is my “local” team, and they seem to be improving a lot over the course of the season. But personally my favorite is Team Japan.
    The greatest journey of all time, for all to see
    Every mission makes our dreams reality
    And our destiny begins with you and me
    Through all space and time, the achievement of mankind
    As we sail the sea of discovery, on heroesí wings we fly!

  24. #144
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampyankee View Post
    Moon part of Mars? We’re going to need new textbooks.
    He may have confused Mars with "Moon being part of Earth", as in Theia (a Mars sized object) colliding with early Earth to form the moon........but I'm not his official translator.

  25. #145
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    They should be focused on the much bigger things we are doing, including Mars (of which the Moon is a part)
    Maybe interpreting generously, "the bigger things we are doing" means Moon missions in support of ("part" of) a Mars landing? Like, practice?
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  26. #146
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    I sort of agree that in this case it may be a case of poor writing rather than ignorance. Itís hard to imagine that someone could think that the moon is part of Mars...


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    As above, so below

  27. #147
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Maybe interpreting generously, "the bigger things we are doing" means Moon missions in support of ("part" of) a Mars landing? Like, practice?
    That would be consistent with this presidentís manner of speech.

  28. #148
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    That's how I read it too: the return to the moon is part of the effort in getting people to Mars, not an end goal in itself this time.

  29. #149
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    To borrow a famous movie quote, show me the money.
    There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.
    ó Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi (1883)

  30. #150
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    Well the Moon being part of Mars made me giggle. I suppose the explanation that the Moon is one step towards Mars is reasonable. I'm still giggling.

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