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Thread: Lunar Gateway Outpost thread

  1. #1
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    Exclamation Lunar Gateway Outpost thread

    Equipment and instruments are being selected now for the LGO.

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  2. #2
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    Gateway no longer needed, but could still be built. Would this not be an excellent starting point for a large spacecraft, such as one going to Mars, to test out its survivability?

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    I don’t see the point. If you want to do radiation tests or whatever, put the experiments on much less expensive unmanned spacecraft. If you want to test human factors, there is the ISS, or just build your prototype interplanetary spacecraft and test that. I have never understood what the point was for the Lunar Gateway in its current form. As I said in another thread, I could imagine a lunar space station could be used to lower operating costs for ongoing lunar landing operations, but I have never seen an indication NASA was actually trying to do that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    I don’t see the point. If you want to do radiation tests or whatever, put the experiments on much less expensive unmanned spacecraft. If you want to test human factors, there is the ISS, or just build your prototype interplanetary spacecraft and test that. I have never understood what the point was for the Lunar Gateway in its current form. As I said in another thread, I could imagine a lunar space station could be used to lower operating costs for ongoing lunar landing operations, but I have never seen an indication NASA was actually trying to do that.
    At some point, you have to do an all-up test with everyone and everything aboard, and keep it in orbit until you've fixed the issues.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    At some point, you have to do an all-up test with everyone and everything aboard, and keep it in orbit until you've fixed the issues.
    Which would mean building the actual spacecraft, not another space station designed for a different purpose. What is the point of the lunar space station?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    Which would mean building the actual spacecraft, not another space station designed for a different purpose. What is the point of the lunar space station?
    Hmm. Have to think about this again. Maybe I was getting too excited.
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

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    I’m not taking an absolute position on this - there might well be a really good argument for the Lunar Gateway station, and if there is, I would love to hear it, but the ones I have heard so far haven’t impressed me. Docking spacecraft is easier and more automated than it was in the ‘60s. And the standard Artemis lander and the Orion CSM don’t seem to be reusable so I don’t know what the station gives us aside from some minor increase in mission flexibility, but with a lot of added cost and complexity. If there were a fuel depot and a reusable lander and Earth-Moon shuttle, perhaps getting fuel from a lunar mining station, I would be all for it. That would represent a major expansion of capability.

    And of course, if SpaceX works out the details with Starship (with refueling and reusability) this would instantly become hopelessly obsolete.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

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  8. #8
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    I see things the same. If you want to test a Mars spacecraft, test the Mars spacecraft. The "Gateway" gains nothing, it's just another thing to spend time and money on instead of the thing you're supposedly developing. And stopping there is more expensive than just going to Mars, so it's useless for staging the actual Mars mission. "Toll booth" is more accurate.

    As for using it as a staging point for lunar exploration, or for shelter in case of emergency...such a foothold location makes sense, but put it on the moon. A lunar base is a suborbital hop from any other landing site on the moon, the "Gateway" might no be in position for days and will likely take a day or more to rendezvous with. The lunar base will also have about half the radiation (due to the moon blocking half the sky), with lots of material for added shielding. And of course, has the advantage of actually being located on the body you're there to explore.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    I’m not taking an absolute position on this - there might well be a really good argument for the Lunar Gateway station, and if there is, I would love to hear it, but the ones I have heard so far haven’t impressed me. Docking spacecraft is easier and more automated than it was in the ‘60s. And the standard Artemis lander and the Orion CSM don’t seem to be reusable so I don’t know what the station gives us aside from some minor increase in mission flexibility, but with a lot of added cost and complexity. If there were a fuel depot and a reusable lander and Earth-Moon shuttle, perhaps getting fuel from a lunar mining station, I would be all for it. That would represent a major expansion of capability.

    And of course, if SpaceX works out the details with Starship (with refueling and reusability) this would instantly become hopelessly obsolete.
    Frankly if I were a betting man I would risk a modest wager on SpaceX doing exactly that before SLS/Artemis gets out of Earth orbit. The fundamental issue is that the real battle here seems to be how big a piece of the pie the usual suspects get given by Congress and as usual actually getting anything done as far as manned missions to the Moon or Mars goes is irrelevant.

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    NASA Awards Artemis Contract for Gateway Logistics Services to SpaceX
    https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/n...stics-services
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  11. #11
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    I wonder if Gateway is really an attempt at building a Mars ship on the sly.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr View Post
    I wonder if Gateway is really an attempt at building a Mars ship on the sly.
    Maybe they are sneakily trying to get this built:

    Nautilus-X

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