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View Full Version : NASA plan on marking Apollo's 50th with 4 astronauts ?



Launch window
2005-Aug-02, 09:17 AM
So where is this return to the Moon and manned mission to Mars going ? It appears the 50th anniversary of Apollo will be marked by just 4 astronauts ? Already we have seen former Astronaut Glenn criticizes the Space Plan to the Moon and Mars. Seems Congress and NASA want to create a few Apollo flashbacks and perhaps waste even more resources on foot prints, flags - Yahoo, AFP and spacedaily are reporting it. This is all 'according to NASA documents published by a US newspaper'. Many folks have already questioned the advisability of using the moon as a stepping stone to Mars. There is no real EELV or HLLV/SDV coming yet and Griffin already said the updated Delta and Atlas won't cut it as he needs 30 plus tonnes for lift off.

Maybe the small budget ESA, and Russians are more serious about Space exploration. It seems Soyuz is soon to lift off from Kourou, does anyone think the Chinese or India will beat us on the return to the Moon, and are NASA manned Mars missions becoming science fiction ?

kucharek
2005-Aug-02, 09:24 AM
The only thing that makes sense would be a program that would build up some real infrastructure to make manned flights to Moon and Mars something more normal. Another flag planting stunt would be a big waste of ressources. I think, if the Europeans would have more money, they could do a better program. The good thing about a multinational program is, that it can't be killed that quickly once its under way.

formulaterp
2005-Aug-02, 01:18 PM
Maybe the small budget ESA, and Russians are more serious about Space exploration. It seems Soyuz is soon to lift off from Kourou, does anyone think the Chinese or India will beat us on the return to the Moon, and are NASA manned Mars missions becoming science fiction ?

How exactly are the ESA/Russians/Chinese/Indians more serious about space exploration? Yes, Soyuz might launch from Kourou, all the way to low earth orbit. The ESA has no manned flight capability whatsoever, but they might fund the development of Kliper, so they can go all the way to low earth orbit. The Chinese have launched an impressive total of 1 manned flight, all the way to low earth orbit. The Indians have barely launched a handful of satellites .. guess where?

And NASA plans to go to the Moon, and then onto Mars. Yes, there are a ton of obstacles in the way, not the least of which is funding. If NASA can't get the funding to do this, do you really think any of the aforementioned countries will? Personally, I'm not even a supporter of going to Moon/Mars anytime soon, as I see very little purpose in it. But to suggest that these other space agencies are more serious about space exploration? Come on, be a bit more serious.

Launch window
2005-Aug-02, 02:43 PM
The Apollo missions have to be some of the greatest missions of all time by the USA, and some of makinds most fantastic exploration of Space.
I have yet to see the real design for EELV or HLV and now knowing the foam is still falling off of the ET and a need to minimize the expense for getting started for moon missions with the CEV. So NASA says we're going back to the Moon and after all these decades, 50 years it will take for a second lunar project to get moving ! At Le Bourget - Paris Air show was a scale model, that of the future Soyoz launch complex being built in French Guiana showing that Roskosmos-Russia may soon be launching Soyuz flights from French Guiana - South America, and the ESA are looking at Klipper this joint partnerhsip would give Europe new capabilities, most significantly the ability to carry its own astronauts into space. There are now some new space programs being proposed by the US, ESA, Japan, Russia, China. There may be new lauchers ready soon, the Angara types, Ariane-5 ECA, the Proton design, Long March, Energia...
http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/cznlv504.htm
The world economics have started to change, while the cost of Iraq and deficts are weighing on the US economy. There are now other big players since the growth of China and 15 new nations joined the Euro zone, here are some of the big players GDP 1 EU $11,100,00,200,000 is a big player next a number 2 is the U.S $ 10,200,500,000,000
3 China $ 5,800,500,700,000 and 4 Japan with $ 3,350,800,000,000

India has plans for the moon and China is eyeing a new HL. The Chinese want this new heavy launcher, primarily for Luna missions, 25MT to LEO is not to be sniffed and they will have thier Space lab by 2010 I would say that ESA seems to do an awful lot in proportion to its Space budget. The last NASA graduating astronauts have been told not to expect to fly anytime soon, STS Shuttle is to be retired by 2010 and there will be a period 2010-2015 where no manned US rockets will be flown. By 2013 NASA's CEV will be absorbing maximum funding with an operational vehicle or not, NASA has plans to spend nearly a quarter of a Trillion dollars developing the capability to send astronauts to the moon in little capsules but will they get to return there before Chinese ?

Some say a lot of waste happened in Apollo because a lot of the missions were done for political racing the Soviets reasons rather than pure science and helping build the first Space Colony, like a flag planting mission and a game of Moon golf ?
http://lifesci3.arc.nasa.gov/SpaceSettlement/spaceresvol4/images/lunaroutpost1.JPG
http://vesuvius.jsc.nasa.gov/er/seh/moongolf.avi
Apollo was great, it was one of the best space journey's ever made by the United States and was mankinds greatest adventures. Yet a lot of Apollo was wasted, making a movie of Astronauts playing golf on the Moon rather than a Lunar colony ? Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi said "I have considered coming home on the Russian Spacecraft (Soyuz)" when asked about the severity of the TPS damage.
Ariane-M (http://www.marssociety.de/html/index.php?module=Static_Docs&type=user&func=view&f =Marsinfos/Bemannt/european.html&menuID=M4130000000000000000)
http://uplink.space.com/attachments//128767-ArianeMoverview.JPG
There are reports that the Kliper is to be launched from either of Russia's two space centers Baikonur in Kazakhstan and Plesetsk in northern Russia as well as from the Kourou site, which is in French Guiana. Ariane-M would be the European Very Heavy Launcher, ArianeM would lift 120 tonnes in Leo. China aims to send a spacecraft to the Moon in three years' time as well as building their own orbiting space station

jt-3d
2005-Aug-03, 02:43 AM
The Apollo missions have to be some of the greatest missions of all time by the USA, and some of makinds most fantastic exploration of Space.


Oh come on. Apollo was the greatest exploration of space. Dare to make a bold claim. Nothing has topped it.

You sure make a big deal out of whaking one golf ball. That took maybe two minutes. The rest of the time was scheduled. It's not like the astronauts were wandering around looking for stuff to do and just decided not to build a colony on the moon. They were told what to do and when to do it.
And now all that science is freely available to any country that wants to try their own trip to the moon but no matter what, we done did it.

I'd also venture to say that any other country that does manage a moon mission will find out just how expensive it is. No body is going to build a moon colony alone. Infact, I'd say that as long as it takes money, no body will build a colony at all. No, we'll never see colonies on the moon or anywhere else. Star Trek will never happen. :(

CalabashCorolla
2005-Aug-03, 03:43 AM
No body is going to build a moon colony alone. Infact, I'd say that as long as it takes money, no body will build a colony at all. No, we'll never see colonies on the moon or anywhere else. Star Trek will never happen. :(

I agree with that, somewhat. The spirit of the scientific community is willing but the budget is weak. Convincing the taxpaying populace that space colonization is worth close to a trillion dollars is probably the most daunting challenge of the whole deal. However, people tend to care more when they can see and appreciate the results of all that funding...and, on that note, thank god there were tons of pretty pictures from the MERs to keep the public satiated during the shuttle hiatus...

So here are some ideas: NASA develops a crew-only transfer vehicle to replace that function of the shuttle, while relegating cargo transfer to the big dumb boosters (hell, they got Skylab into orbit in one piece...). In the meantime, they stick to robotics, going whole hog on the MCO mission and maybe even sending a similar recon orbiter to the Moon, in case we really want to go there.

Expand crew return capability on the ISS to at least six, via either a CRV built by NASA or an extra Russian/Chinese capsule (this would be a good springboard for China's program). Get some actual science done there, for a change.

In the meantime, watch the private sector. There are some firms investigating how to actually put people in honest-to-goodness orbit without government money, and along with the Average Joe suborbital shot potential, this should at least make space more accessible and relevant to the good taxpayers. If anything, NASA should start to feel the pinch from constituents starting to ask, "why can't YOU do that?"

And finally, get some more international cooperation together on a brand new orbital space platform, one that could service and launch Moon and Mars missions, thus negating the need for the biggest, dumbest boosters.

As in other ventures, competition from other countries will be good for the overall Moon/Mars plan. It need not be this grandioise America By God venture that we have to set a deadline for. Real space colonies may be pretty far off, but perhaps not totally out-of-the-question just yet.