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Captain Kidd
2003-Dec-03, 08:38 PM
Full article here. (http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/powell200312030858.asp)

The National Review Online says that on Dec. 17, President Bush, while giving a speech over the century of heavier-than-air flight, will "proffer a bold vision of renewed space flight, with at its center a return to the moon, perhaps even establishment of a permanent presence there"

Hopefully this isn't some reporter getting his info crossed.

AKONI
2003-Dec-03, 08:39 PM
Funny. We posted the same thing a minute apart.

Captain Kidd
2003-Dec-03, 08:44 PM
Virtually the same name too. :)

It also says that he's expected to mention a manned mission to Mars, but that it'll be downplayed for the immediate goal of the moon. That being a 'stepping stone' for Mars.

Again, I hope so. It also said he's not going to expand NASA's budget all that much either so they'll have to do it with almost what they're making now. So, the question to those here who know, is it doable with current funding without major cutbacks on other projects (ISS) or skimping on safety?

SciFi Chick
2003-Dec-03, 08:46 PM
So, the question to those here who know, is it doable with current funding without major cutbacks on other projects (ISS) or skimping on safety?

It seems to me if it was, it already would have been done.

Lycus
2003-Dec-03, 08:50 PM
I wonder if we would be designing a new craft, or would it be better to use the old Apollo design with updated computer equipment?

What sort of preparation would it take before we could start using a reusable spacecraft for trips back and forth to the Moon?

Captain Kidd
2003-Dec-03, 08:58 PM
A runway on the moon you mean? Probably could go with VTOL. Put the in natural craters or man-made berms so any explosion is focused upward. (We're going to have an accident at some point, statistics pretty much rule we will.)

To go with an Apollo, we'd have to also upgrade/rebuild the delivery system. I'd say almost as cheap to just make a new one, but the Apollo is 'tried and true.' Huh donno, it'll be interesting, I, sadly, vote it'll get stuck in red tape and die. Especially if a different president is elected next year and they decide it's too costly/what's the point.

somerandomguy
2003-Dec-03, 09:41 PM
"No one takes seriously [the ISS'] claims to be a platform for real science."

I read this opinion a lot. Is it really borne out by the scientific community? True or false?

TriangleMan
2003-Dec-03, 10:07 PM
Since the speech is on the 17th we'll have to wait and see. I speculate that the rumours about going back to the Moon could be to counter the Chinese Moon-program. That way US voters don't think "If the Chinese are going why isn't the USA going back there?".

Pure speculation though (and from a non-American). :)

(edited to add: was referring to the opening post, not the post above mine)

Kebsis
2003-Dec-04, 04:08 AM
Well it is exciting, the prospect of going to the moon again, but I'm skeptical. Still, if it happens then I'm that much closer to fufilling my life-long dream of being a space pirate. Now, which one of you guys is gonna be the space-cop that tries to take me down? 8)

sarongsong
2003-Dec-04, 04:14 AM
...To go with an Apollo, we'd have to also upgrade/rebuild the delivery system. I'd say almost as cheap to just make a new one, but the Apollo is 'tried and true.' Huh donno, it'll be interesting, I, sadly, vote it'll get stuck in red tape and die.---Captain Kidd
Weren't there 20 Apollo Missions originally planned---were all built?
Agree with the red tape assessment even if it does get funded.
Keep in mind this is an election year.

beck0311
2003-Dec-04, 05:46 AM
Weren't there 20 Apollo Missions originally planned---were all built?
Agree with the red tape assessment even if it does get funded.
Keep in mind this is an election year.

Yes, there were 3 more missions planned. Of the 3 remaining Saturn V rockets, I have seen one laying on its side at the rocket garden at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama. I have been told that another one is at Johnson. I have no idea as to the wherabouts of the 3rd (if it exists). I am not sure if it is realistic to refurbish them, but at least they were not scrapped.

The fact is that this article (from a publication I personally find highly suspect) is similar to a lot of articles out there. So far there is a lot of speculation, even within the agency, about where we will go next.

Personally, I would love to work on a bold new space program, but if it is just going to be a warmed over attempt to relive past glories (now let's beat the Chinese to the moon-just like we did the Russians, who's with me?) then it seems like a waste of money. My fear is that a political decision will be made that will result in some big program that will require NASA's budget to be "streamlined" and some of the lower profile, but very important, work of NASA will get cut to make way for an Apollo sequel. A lot of the work at places like Langley, Dryden and Ames Research Centers would probably be cast aside, and that would a shame.

RBG
2003-Dec-04, 06:20 AM
There is definitely one laying on its side at the Cape in Florida at the Kennedy Space Center (I think it is called.)

Cool thing there (among one or two other things :) ): a small piece of the moon you can actually touch with your fingers.

RBG

Captain Kidd
2003-Dec-04, 12:26 PM
What type is on I-65 just over the Alabama border coming from Tennessee?

[edited to add:]
Hmm, shoulda googled first, it's a Saturn 1B.

kucharek
2003-Dec-04, 12:48 PM
IIRC, such speeches happened every 10 years or so in the last 30 years.

If you go back to the moon, then with an infrastructure so it will not be another stunt. Build heavy launchers for LEO. Crew transporters for LEO. Cislunar/interplanetary ferry craft. Lunar lander craft.
Of course, everything reusable.
Make the ISS a maintenance workshop for the ferry and lander crafts.
Problem with reusability is, you need some frequency so reusability pays off.

Harald

Andromeda321
2003-Dec-04, 03:03 PM
Wasn't one of the old Saturn V rockets used to make Skylab? That might be the missing one...

Swift
2003-Dec-04, 03:05 PM
It also said he's not going to expand NASA's budget all that much either so they'll have to do it with almost what they're making now. So, the question to those here who know, is it doable with current funding without major cutbacks on other projects (ISS) or skimping on safety?
If Bush is going to propose a return to the moon, but not actually allocate any more money to do so, then this is just a political talk to counter what China is saying, IMHO. It will not lead to any serious effort. I suspect if there were any cuts to support this moon effort, it would not be on the ISS, which has exposure in the general press, but in the science missions that only us geeks would scream about (such as the Pluto mission).

Even if there is old Apollo hardware around, I can't believe that would be the way we would do it. It is over 40 years old. Even if it made sense from an engineering stand point, how would that look politically for both NASA and Bush to say we are using 40 year old technology to return to the moon. Yeah, we'll show China!

In this case, my signature sums up my opinion exactly.

ZaphodBeeblebrox
2003-Dec-04, 03:07 PM
Wasn't one of the old Saturn V rockets used to make Skylab? That might be the missing one...

I don't know about it being the missin' one, but yes, that it is what was used.

So, I guess here are the three places:

1. At the Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama
2. At the Kennedy Space Center in Florida
3. And strewn about amoung the rocks and dirt, of The Australian Outback.

kucharek
2003-Dec-04, 03:17 PM
One is at the Cape in the Saturn V center and one at JSC. The one standing in Huntsville is amock-up, but they have various parts around of the real one.
Australia got only hit by Skylab. That time, the prime minister of Oz suggested tongue-in-cheek a trade be made of Skylab wreckage in return
for higher Australian beef export quotas to the US market

Harald

ZaphodBeeblebrox
2003-Dec-04, 03:27 PM
Yeah, but wasn't a Saturn V used to make Skylab?

Or am I missing something?

Glom
2003-Dec-04, 03:31 PM
Yeah, but wasn't a Saturn V used to make Skylab?

Or am I missing something?

Skylab was a decked out S-IVB and thus, rather cool.

ZaphodBeeblebrox
2003-Dec-04, 03:33 PM
Yeah, but wasn't a Saturn V used to make Skylab?

Or am I missing something?

Skylab was a decked out S-IVB and thus, rather cool.

Thank.

Yeah, it sounds it.

Snowdog
2003-Dec-04, 03:33 PM
Nor would it be entirely necessary to revamp the old delivery systems, as I imagine we could reduce the weight of any payload quite substantially in comparison to what was sent 30 years ago.

As was mentioned above, this balloon is floated every odd decade or so to determine whether or not the 'public' will back the idea politically (and make no mistake, if a politician is suggesting it, it's probably for political purposes :wink: ) The reality is that there isn't much tangible to be gained in such a venture unless it's the beginning of a truly grandiose undertaking. Establishing a 'permanent base' on the moon sounds intriguing, but not if all we're going to do is send some folks up to play cards for a few months...

What our exploration program needs is vision combined with purpose. Each step taken should be a predecessor to a further step that we want to take.

russ_watters
2003-Dec-04, 03:34 PM
Again, I hope so.... And I hope NOT. I share the opinion of a great many scientists that manned spaceflight is the single greatest HINDERANCE to space exploration. Think of what we could do for the Origins program with the hundred billion dollars that it would cost just to get back to the moon once. The Origins program should be the primary focus of NASA. It is THE question of human existence.
I read this opinion a lot. Is it really borne out by the scientific community? True or false? Yes. Robert Park, spokesman for the American Physical Society testified before Congress that the program should be scrapped because it lacks scientific merrit and takes money away from programs that have scientific merrit.

tofu
2003-Dec-04, 03:36 PM
Make the ISS a maintenance workshop for the ferry and lander crafts.


Would you do trans lunar ejection from the ISS? If I recall correctly it's in a pretty high inclination orbit, one that makes it convenient to reach for both the US and Russia. I'm pretty sure it's unrealistic to build a ship with enough fuel to start at the ISS and do a long burn to change the orbital alignment before trans lunar burn, so that means if you want to start at the ISS you have go directly to the moon. In other words, your ejection burn is going to throw you way up out of the ecliptic. It might still be possible to do a hoffman transfer that way. I just don't know, that's why I'm asking.

Oh, just thought of something else. If you want to come back to the ISS (again without saving fuel for an alignment burn) you absolutely have to wait for the moon to cross one of the ISS's orbital nodes. That means, you have to wait 15 days for a launch window from the moon.

So, maybe someone else can speak to the feasibility of going directly from the ISS to the moon.

Avatar28
2003-Dec-04, 03:38 PM
Yeah, but wasn't a Saturn V used to make Skylab?

Or am I missing something?

Skylab was a decked out S-IVB and thus, rather cool.

Specifically, wasn't it one of the fuel tanks for it?

Glom
2003-Dec-04, 03:40 PM
Specifically, wasn't it one of the fuel tanks for it?

No, it was the entire booster with tanks removed. The idea of using fuel tanks has been explored, but wasn't used in this case because of the fact they had a Saturn V available.

Captain Kidd
2003-Dec-17, 01:00 PM
And then again maybe not.

News this morning said that it has been decided to not make that statement after all...

Oh well, guess we'll find out in a few hours.

Lunnalkann
2003-Dec-17, 09:02 PM
Again, I hope so.... And I hope NOT. I share the opinion of a great many scientists that manned spaceflight is the single greatest HINDERANCE to space exploration. Think of what we could do for the Origins program with the hundred billion dollars that it would cost just to get back to the moon once. The Origins program should be the primary focus of NASA. It is THE question of human existence.
I read this opinion a lot. Is it really borne out by the scientific community? True or false? Yes. Robert Park, spokesman for the American Physical Society testified before Congress that the program should be scrapped because it lacks scientific merrit and takes money away from programs that have scientific merrit.

I have heard this often, that the manned programme took away from the "science" missions. But if the manned programme never happened, would the government really spend money on something space related? I'd suspect they'd funnel it into something else, and the "science" missions would be at the same place as they are now, with the same funding. Why on earth would politicians divert money to unmanned exploration when they can spend it on something else which will get them more votes? Scientists aren't exactly the biggest voting bloc to woo.

Swift
2003-Dec-17, 10:31 PM
I have heard this often, that the manned programme took away from the "science" missions. But if the manned programme never happened, would the government really spend money on something space related? I'd suspect they'd funnel it into something else, and the "science" missions would be at the same place as they are now, with the same funding. Why on earth would politicians divert money to unmanned exploration when they can spend it on something else which will get them more votes? Scientists aren't exactly the biggest voting bloc to woo.
I agree. Its nice to think that Congress would give NASA x dollars to divide up as they decide but I doubt it works that way. We end up with the pro-manned versus pro-un-manned folks fighting over the couple of crumbs that get tossed to us. We should all just get together and demand proper support of our space program. Wouldn't it be nice to have a government that thinks beyond the next election, but looks at the long term benefits of things. But who am I kidding.

Tuckerfan
2003-Dec-18, 04:48 AM
Again, I hope so.... And I hope NOT. I share the opinion of a great many scientists that manned spaceflight is the single greatest HINDERANCE to space exploration. Think of what we could do for the Origins program with the hundred billion dollars that it would cost just to get back to the moon once. The Origins program should be the primary focus of NASA. It is THE question of human existence.
I read this opinion a lot. Is it really borne out by the scientific community? True or false? Yes. Robert Park, spokesman for the American Physical Society testified before Congress that the program should be scrapped because it lacks scientific merrit and takes money away from programs that have scientific merrit.Actually, the greatest hinderance to the space program is that we're not launching enough stuff. (http://www.fourmilab.ch/documents/rocketaday.html)
If we launch one a day our total vehicle budget will be US$475 million per year--comparable to a single shuttle flight (no, I don't want to re-open that debate again; let's just say it's the same order of magnitude, OK?). If our mass produced LH2/LOX launcher equals the performance of the Delta 6925 by placing 3900 kg in LEO, the cost to LEO is US$333/kg; if we achieve better throw-weight, this figure goes down accordingly. If we build the thing so cheap, dumb, and heavy that its payload is only 1000 kg--one metric ton--the cost rises to US$1300/kg, which is still a factor of ten lower than the comparable cost to LEO for Ariane, Atlas, Delta, and Titan.

I've read some of Mr. Park's arguments against the space program, and frankly, I'm not impressed. He sounds more like a spoiled brat who's angry because he can't have his way than anything else.

sarongsong
2003-Dec-18, 06:36 PM
"... Bush talked exclusively about the achievements of the Wright Brothers and other aviation heroes and dispelled rumors by making no announcement of a new manned-space program..."
---AvWeb Newsletter 12/18/03

kilopi
2003-Dec-20, 05:35 PM
"... Bush talked exclusively about the achievements of the Wright Brothers and other aviation heroes and dispelled rumors by making no announcement of a new manned-space program..."
---AvWeb Newsletter 12/18/03
Well, the speech did not occur at the centennial--but Dennis Powell, the author of that paper in the OP, suggested that it'll come yet, maybe in the State of the Union address late in January. Maybe a more national audience is needed? Maybe they haven't finished the focus groups?

beck0311
2003-Dec-20, 10:53 PM
I have been following this whole thing on NASA Watch. Some indications are that even the State of the Union address will be too soon. Most recently NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe has said that the new space initiative would be practical and pragmatic. The only thing that is really known is that the US space program is being looked at and a panel exists to come up with recommendations.