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Thread: NASA's moon exploration ambitions

  1. #151
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    Orion readying for Artemis I launch to the Moon

    https://scitechdaily.com/orion-space...-preparations/
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  2. #152
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    "Innovative Concepts Focus on Moon Exploration"

    https://www.leonarddavid.com/innovat...n-exploration/

    The NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program has unleashed a new volley of creative concepts, selecting study efforts that receive Phase I, Phase II and Phase III funding.

    A number of the just announced NIAC-funded initiatives focus on Moon exploration objectives.

    NIAC’s role is to nurture visionary ideas that could transform future NASA missions with the creation of breakthroughs — radically better or entirely new aerospace concepts — while engaging America’s innovators and entrepreneurs as partners in the journey.
    I am because we are
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  3. #153
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    Orion readying for Artemis I launch to the Moon

    https://scitechdaily.com/orion-space...-preparations/
    Of course the multi-billion dollar question has to be, is the SLS ready, or are there some Boeing bugs lurking in the hardware or software?

  4. #154
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
    Of course the multi-billion dollar question has to be, is the SLS ready, or are there some Boeing bugs lurking in the hardware or software?
    And can we really afford it?
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  5. #155
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    And can we really afford it?
    It probably won’t happen, but it occurred to me recently that this could be an opportunity: Boeing needs a bailout, so why not get something for it? Expand their role in getting us back to the moon and beyond, but light their feet on fire: SLS gets done soon and is done right or there is a penalty. Anything else they do follows the same rules. We get new inspiring space missions, they get their money, and hopefully they stop sleepwalking too.

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  6. #156
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    It probably won’t happen, but it occurred to me recently that this could be an opportunity: Boeing needs a bailout, so why not get something for it? Expand their role in getting us back to the moon and beyond, but light their feet on fire: SLS gets done soon and is done right or there is a penalty. Anything else they do follows the same rules. We get new inspiring space missions, they get their money, and hopefully they stop sleepwalking too.
    Basically move them from a cost-plus basis to the fixed price and milestones model used for COTS. It's what should happen but Boeing is so politically connected and involved in so many programs for the military that I suspect the money will just be shovelled in with few if any strings attached.

  7. #157
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    "NASA is visiting the largest valley on the Moon five decades after Apollo 18 was originally supposed to land on the Grand Canyon-sized formation"

    https://www.businessinsider.in/scien...w/75136145.cms

    The National Aeronautics and Space Agency’s (NASA) Apollo 18 mission may have been cancelled but it still has plans to visit the largest valley on the Moon, five decades later. This time, it will be hitching a ride onboard a private lunar lander developed by Intuitive Machines called Nova-C.
    I am because we are
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  8. #158
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    NASA's Artemis crewed lunar lander selections under the Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program,,

    Dynetics

    Blue Origin "National Team" (+ Lockheed Martin, Northrop-Grumman and Draper Labs)

    SpaceX Starship (lunar crew variant)

    Once again, Boeing was totally shut out.

    Winners
    IMG_20200430_141408.jpg

    Dynetics
    IMG_20200430_143241.jpg

    Blue Origin "National Team"
    IMG_20200430_143324.jpg

    SpaceX Starship
    IMG_20200430_133215.jpg IMG_20200430_133329.jpg

  9. #159
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    How is SpaceX's version NOT supposed to fall over? It's also even worse for astronaut falls than the original CSM/LM Apollo for direct ascent.
    Last edited by Roger E. Moore; 2020-May-01 at 12:57 PM.
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  10. #160
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    NASA's moon exploration ambitions

    Re: Starship on the moon.

    Sometimes I think Musk is just having a giant leg pull on humanity.

  11. #161
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    Thing is if you are planning on anything like a moonbase you will need something capable of flying a lot more payload than the Blue Origin or Dynetics proposals. Also that Blue Origin proposal looks pretty tall and doesn't even have a window washing cradle to lower the crew.

  12. #162
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    How is SpaceX's version NOT supposed to fall over? It's also even worse for astronaut falls than the original CSM/LM Apollo for direct ascent.
    After landing with just return props aboard it has an extremely low center of gravity, think Roly-Poly doll. The payload section is 2 mm steel, the lower section (tanks) are 4 mm steel, and the bottom rings, dome & thrust structure laminated layers of 4 mm steel. Now add 6 Raptor engines, the LOX headed tank attached to the lower dome, residual props, landing gear, etc.

    The elevator platform shares features with industrial elevators used in construction.
    Last edited by docmordrid; 2020-May-01 at 09:56 PM.

  13. #163
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    Quote Originally Posted by docmordrid View Post
    After landing with just return props aboard it has an extremely low center of gravity, think Roly-Poly doll. The payload section is 2 mm steel, the lower section (tanks) are 4 mm steel, and the bottom rings, dome & thrust structure laminated layers of 4 mm steel. Now add 6 Raptor engines, the LOX headed tank attached to the lower dome, residual props, landing gear, etc.

    The elevator platform shares features with industrial elevators used in construction.
    That elevator will need to work in a vacuum and must also contend with regolith dust, which is very abrasive.

  14. #164
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    Quote Originally Posted by schlaugh View Post
    That elevator will need to work in a vacuum and must also contend with regolith dust, which is very abrasive.
    Lockheed Martins 2018 lander proposal, which shares features with the Blue Origin Artemis proposal, also uses a form of high-mount jib crane. A jib's mechanism would be inside Starship, with the wheel/cable contact up high. In vacuum I don't see how lunar regoith stays aloft long enough to get in the works.

    Crewed-Lunar-Lander-concept_high-sun_2048.jpg
    Last edited by docmordrid; 2020-May-01 at 10:50 PM.

  15. #165
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    Quote Originally Posted by docmordrid View Post
    Lockheed Martins 2018 lander proposal, which shares features with the Blue Origin Artemis proposal, also uses a form of high-mount jib crane. A jib's mechanism would be inside Starship, with the wheel/cable contact up high. In vacuum I don't see how lunar regoith stays aloft long enough to get in the works.

    Crewed-Lunar-Lander-concept_high-sun_2048.jpg
    And there's all manner of industrial machinery on Earth that has to deal with dusty, abrasive environments it's not like making it work requires radical technical breakthroughs. Frankly though I think if you are talking about a 2024 landing I think the Dynetics offering looks like the best bet.

  16. #166
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    Quote Originally Posted by docmordrid View Post
    Lockheed Martins 2018 lander proposal, which shares features with the Blue Origin Artemis proposal, also uses a form of high-mount jib crane. A jib's mechanism would be inside Starship, with the wheel/cable contact up high. In vacuum I don't see how lunar regoith stays aloft long enough to get in the works.
    Crewed-Lunar-Lander-concept_high-sun_2048.jpg
    Looks like the Moon has sandy beaches instead of rocky, crater-covered, regolith-everywhere landscapes. Apollo 11's Eagle came close to crash-landing from a boulder field. I understand marketing, though.
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  17. #167
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    Quote Originally Posted by docmordrid View Post
    Lockheed Martins 2018 lander proposal, which shares features with the Blue Origin Artemis proposal, also uses a form of high-mount jib crane. A jib's mechanism would be inside Starship, with the wheel/cable contact up high. In vacuum I don't see how lunar regoith stays aloft long enough to get in the works.

    Crewed-Lunar-Lander-concept_high-sun_2048.jpg
    I suspect static charge is part of the nuisance, it is in vacuum work generally.
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    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
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  18. #168
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    Risks in SpaceX lander concept identified by NASA.

    https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/05/0...nder-proposal/
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  19. #169
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    Obligatory Scott Manley video.

    I really like the Dynetics concept.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  20. #170
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    Risks in SpaceX lander concept identified by NASA.

    https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/05/0...nder-proposal/
    Yes, that makes sense. Personally, my main issue with SpaceX has always been their overly ambitious time estimates. I’ve been very impressed how they have managed to pull off technical hurdles before, and it isn’t like they are as slow as Boeing, but they still have a habit of underestimating how long things will take. In this case, they are breaking new ground in multiple areas which always leaves open the possibility they will hit a showstopper somewhere, or at least hit things that will take longer than expected to resolve.

    Also, they are doing it on a relatively modest budget. I doubt Boeing would even try without 50 billion dollars funding (although they might only ask for 20 billion to start but ask for more as they go along).

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  21. #171
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
    And there's all manner of industrial machinery on Earth that has to deal with dusty, abrasive environments it's not like making it work requires radical technical breakthroughs. Frankly though I think if you are talking about a 2024 landing I think the Dynetics offering looks like the best bet.
    There's dust and then there's lunar dust. Which is basically pulverized regolith and which has never been weathered so the grains are sharp. And it was a non-trivial problem with the Apollo missions.

    Apollo 17 commander Gene Cernan expressed similar thoughts in a technical debrief following his mission, which was the last human sojourn to the moon. "I think dust is probably one of our greatest inhibitors to a nominal operation on the moon. I think we can overcome other physiological or physical or mechanical problems except dust," he said.
    So troublesome is the dust issue, a meeting [in 2020] focuses on the impact of lunar dust on human exploration.

    The workshop is being organized and chaired by Joel Levine, research professor in applied science at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, and consultant to the NASA Engineering and Safety Center in Hampton, Virginia.

    "One of the major unexpected discoveries of the Apollo program was the deleterious impact of lunar dust on the astronauts and their equipment, including their spacesuits," Levine told Space.com.
    And apparently lunar dust can be suspended by electrostatic charges.

    NASA scientists have figured out why dust particles on the Moon are floating several centimetres above the surface, despite the fact that there’s no wind or flowing water to propel them up there.

    The discovery could not only explain how these dust particles are transported across vast distances on the Moon - they could also describe processes that are occurring in many airless environments, including the rings of Saturn.

    "This new ... model resolved a fundamental mechanism of dust charging and transport, which has been puzzling scientists for decades," said one of the team, Xu Wang, from NASA’s Ames Research Centre in California.

    Scientists have known about these levitating particles for over five decades now, and they’ve been used to explain the Moon’s strange 'horizon glow' - a phenomenon first observed by the Apollo astronauts and NASA’s Surveyor probes in the 1960s.

  22. #172
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    Boeing has caIled out its pet Democrats in the House. Imagine that

    Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX, Dallas), Chair of the Committee on Science and Technology

    Rep. Kendra Horn (D-OK, Oklahoma City), Chair of the Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics

    https://science.house.gov/news/press...ontract-awards

    Marcia Smith @SpcPlcyOnline (Space Policy Online)
    Find out why Reps. Johnson and Horn are unhappy with the HLS awards and Jim Bridenstine's response. Key House Democrats “Disappointed” with HLS Awards https://spacepolicyonline.com/news/k...e7LbCo.twitter
    |
    Steve Goyette @steveg3215
    I would have also mentioned in the article that what Horn and Johnson are advocating suspiciously was only being proposed by Boeing. Doing it their way would leave all the other commercial companies left out.

    https://twitter.com/steveg3215/statu...40610099585029
    Last edited by docmordrid; 2020-May-02 at 05:44 PM.

  23. #173
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    Quote Originally Posted by schlaugh View Post
    There's dust and then there's lunar dust. Which is basically pulverized regolith and which has never been weathered so the grains are sharp. And it was a non-trivial problem with the Apollo missions.
    Mining equipment everywhere has to deal with unweathered rock dust. It's an annoyance, not an insurmountable obstacle. You include it in the requirements and design the equipment to deal with it.

  24. #174
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    Quote Originally Posted by docmordrid View Post
    Boeing has caIled out its pet Democrats in the House. Imagine that

    Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX, Dallas), Chair of the Committee on Science and Technology

    Rep. Kendra Horn (D-OK, Oklahoma City), Chair of the Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics

    https://science.house.gov/news/press...ontract-awards

    Marcia Smith @SpcPlcyOnline (Space Policy Online)
    Find out why Reps. Johnson and Horn are unhappy with the HLS awards and Jim Bridenstine's response. Key House Democrats “Disappointed” with HLS Awards https://spacepolicyonline.com/news/k...e7LbCo.twitter
    |
    Steve Goyette @steveg3215
    I would have also mentioned in the article that what Horn and Johnson are advocating suspiciously was only being proposed by Boeing. Doing it their way would leave all the other commercial companies left out.

    https://twitter.com/steveg3215/statu...40610099585029
    The clearest illustration possible of everything that's plagued manned spaceflight in the US since Apollo. Given their recent track record no one could think that Boeing is a safe pair of hands to build the lander, but hey its far more important to protect some jobs and its not like it will ever actually fly anyway right?

  25. #175
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    Quote Originally Posted by docmordrid View Post
    NASA's Artemis crewed lunar lander selections under the Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program

    Dynetics
    IMG_20200430_143241.jpg
    They hit that one between the uprights.

    One problem.
    On the radio—the announcer called it “Dianetics.”

    I turned blue—I tells ya.

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    I just about choked.

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    This before the Tom Cruise to ISS news.

    Oh, in case any other celebrities read this, have Elon’s secretary take a letter...

    Dear Greta Thunberg,

    All of us who work for Elon are a big fan of yours— he has given the Earth the first real electric car.
    Those of us in SpaceX feel that all genetic research should be done off planet—in case something really does break out of a lab.
    Moreover, we at SpaceX also feel that all fissile materials should also be moved away off Earthside.

    Please use your great wisdom and influence to make sure that we environmentalists at SpaceX receive the next round of federal stimulus checks

    Insert Reinfield laugh here...

  28. #178
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    Changing the rules for mining the Moon. Where will this lead us?

    https://www.livescience.com/us-chang...on-mining.html
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  29. #179
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    More details on the legalities of mining the Moon, including past treaties.

    https://nationalinterest.org/feature...sources-154746
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  30. #180
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
    The clearest illustration possible of everything that's plagued manned spaceflight in the US since Apollo. Given their recent track record no one could think that Boeing is a safe pair of hands to build the lander, but hey its far more important to protect some jobs and its not like it will ever actually fly anyway right?
    And it turned that person was Douglas Loverro...

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