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  Exploration: Asteroids, Moon and Mars
  Pence: 'Return astronauts to moon by 2024' (Page 2)

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Author Topic:   Pence: 'Return astronauts to moon by 2024'
Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-02-2019 10:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
On Wednesday (May 1), NASA began distributing a document titled "Why Gateway?" summarizes why NASA thinks a space station near the moon is critical to human exploration. It was first shared internally by the Gateway program office at Johnson Space Center in Houston. The document can be read here via Ars Technica.
NASA is developing a two-phased approach to quickly return humans to the Moon and establish a sustainable presence in orbit and on the surface. The two phases run in parallel, and both have already begun.

Phase 1 is driven exclusively by the administration’s priority to land the next American man and the first American woman on the Moon by 2024. In this phase, NASA and its industry partners will develop and deploy two Gateway components: the Power and Propulsion Element (PPE) that will launch in 2022, and a minimal habitation capability that will launch in 2023. Both will launch on commercial rockets. This initial Gateway configuration represents the beginning of its capability buildup, and the primary components required to support the first human expedition to the lunar South Pole.

Phase 2 is focused on advancing the technologies that will foster a sustainable presence on and around the Moon – a lasting and productive presence enabled by reusable systems, access for a diverse body of contributing partners, and repeatable trips to multiple destinations across the lunar surface.

While the Gateway is the first of its kind to be funded, the concept has been proposed for decades as a necessary and foundational capability for a sustainable return to the Moon, and a port for vehicles embarking to farther destinations. It supports every tenet of Space Policy Directive 1 and the infrastructure it provides is critical to an accelerated return to the Moon.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-13-2019 04:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From President Donald Trump on Twitter:
Under my Administration, we are restoring NASA to greatness and we are going back to the Moon, then Mars. I am updating my budget to include an additional $1.6 billion so that we can return to Space in a BIG WAY!
From NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine on Twitter:
Big NASA news! The President has submitted an FY2020 budget amendment that provides an increase of $1.6 billion for our Moon 2024 efforts. We are going.

This is the down payment NASA needs to move forward with design, development and exploration. It includes funding for:

  • Human lunar landing system
  • SLS and Orion
  • Exploration technologies
  • Robotic exploration of the Moon's polar regions
While there are many steps ahead in the budget and appropriations process, this is an exciting time to be a part of the NASA family!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-13-2019 05:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
America to the Moon by 2024

NASA's FY 2020 Budget Amendment Summary

The President challenged NASA to land the first American woman and next American man at the South Pole of the Moon by 2024, followed by a sustained presence on the Moon by 2028.
This FY 2020 budget amendment provides an increase of $1.6 billion above the President's initial $21 billion budget request to accelerate our return to the lunar surface. This additional investment is a down payment on NASA's efforts to land humans on the Moon by 2024, and is required to achieve that bold objective. It's the boost NASA needs to move forward with design, development and exploration.
For 60 years, American investment in NASA has yielded innumerable returns through advances in science, technology, medicine, education and industry. Exploring the Moon helps us create a vibrant future:

  • Establishes American leadership and strategic presence
  • Proves technologies, capabilities and new business approaches for future missions to Mars
  • Leads groundbreaking science about the Moon and the solar system
  • Inspires a new generation, and encourages careers in STEM
  • Drives development of technologies of the future
  • Expands U.S. global economic impact; and
  • Grows U.S. industry and international partnerships.
Budget Amendment Breakdown

This is a good budget amendment for NASA, on top of a strong initial budget request. It adds funding for deep space exploration, science and technology. Outside of descoping Gateway capabilities, no NASA programs were cut:

  • Human Lunar Landing System: This budget includes $1 billion to enable NASA to begin supporting the development of commercial human lunar landing systems three years earlier than previously envisioned to bring humans to the Moon's surface by 2024.
    • This acquisition strategy will allow NASA to purchase an integrated commercial lunar lander that will transport astronauts from lunar orbit to the lunar surface and back.

    • Focusing Gateway development on capabilities needed to support a lunar landing of 2024 allowed a scope reduction of $321 million. This budget amendment shifts potential development of additional Gateway capabilities into the future.

  • Space Launch System Rocket and Orion Spacecraft: With an additional $651 million for SLS and Orion, this budget supports the most powerful rocket in the world and our new spacecraft to ultimately take the astronauts to the staging point for reaching the lunar surface, the Gateway in lunar orbit.

  • Exploration Technology: An additional $132 million for technologies that will support NASA to advance key precursor capabilities on the lunar surface. This includes various exploration technologies like solar electric propulsion and a demonstration converting polar ice to water.

  • Science: An augmentation of $90 million to enable increased robotic exploration of the Moon's polar regions in advance of a human mission.
We Are Going Together

To land American astronauts on the Moon by 2024, we are working through the acquisition approach for the various projects. Our efforts will include new work at NASA centers to provide the key technologies and scientific payloads needed for the lunar surface, adding to efforts already underway across the country.

To achieve our goals, we will not go forward alone. Strong commercial partnerships will accelerate our human exploration plans. International partners also remain a vital part of our lunar plan and will contribute to the goal of creating a sustained lunar presence by 2028.

Going forward, additional funds will be required in the 2020s, and a refined estimate will be submitted as part of the FY 2021 President's budget request.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-13-2019 10:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Trump administration is hoping to shift money for Pell Grants for college education to fund new spending, including $1.6 billion for NASA, reports the Associated Press.
Officials insisted the re-allocation of the Pell Grant money would have no impact on those receiving grants, which help low-income students pay for college.

"This does not cut any spending for Pell Grant programs as the budget continues to ensure all students will get their full Pell Grant and keeps the program on sound fiscal footing," Office of Management and Budget spokesman Wesley Denton said in a statement.

LM1
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posted 05-26-2019 07:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM1   Click Here to Email LM1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I hope that VP Pence is correct. I would like to see a return to the Moon in my lifetime. I also would like to see China succeed with their plans. It is only 60 months from now.

Has Buzz Aldrin commented on the 5-year plan to return to the Moon?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-26-2019 09:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Aldrin supported Pence's goal while calling for a renewed push towards Mars in a May 1, 2019 op-ed for The Washington Post:
Last month, Vice President Pence announced that we are headed back to the moon. I am with him, in spirit and aspiration. Having been there, I can say it is high time we returned. When Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and I went to the moon 50 years ago this July, we did so with a mission. Apollo 11 aimed to prove America's can-do commitment to space exploration, as well as its national security and technological superiority. We did all that. We also "Came in Peace for all Mankind." More of that is needed now.

Today, many nations have eyes for the moon, from China and Russia to friends in Europe and Middle East. That is all good. The United States should cooperate — and offer itself as a willing team leader — in exploring every aspect of the moon, from its geology and topography to its hydrology and cosmic history. In doing so, we can take "low-Earth orbit" cooperation to the moon, openly, eagerly and collegially.

Meanwhile, another looming orb — the red one — should become a serious focus of U.S. attention. Mars is waiting to be discovered, not by clever robots and rovers — though I support NASA's unmanned missions — but by living, breathing, walking, talking, caring and daring men and women.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-07-2019 01:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
And then again, maybe not...

From President Donald Trump on Twitter today (June 7):

For all of the money we are spending, NASA should NOT be talking about going to the Moon - 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!
(If you're wondering why Trump would tweet such a thing, he was watching Fox.)

Steven Kaplan
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posted 06-07-2019 02:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Steven Kaplan   Click Here to Email Steven Kaplan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
...including Mars (of which the Moon is a part)
Can any of our members explain this comment? Thank you.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-07-2019 02:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As noted, he was watching Fox and presumably badly paraphrased NASA chief financial officer Jeff DeWit's comments about the moon being part of NASA's efforts to send humans to Mars.

Headshot
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posted 06-07-2019 03:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Headshot   Click Here to Email Headshot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
But he still wants us to land, presumably on Mars now, by 2024. Right?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-07-2019 05:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine's response to the President (via Twitter):
As the President said, NASA is using the moon to send humans to Mars! Right now, Curiosity and InSight are on Mars and will soon be joined by the Mars 2020 rover and the Mars helicopter.

oly
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posted 06-07-2019 08:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for oly   Click Here to Email oly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't think this clarification helps much.

We do not get FOX, or know how this shapes the context of these statements, I will leave it to others to explain to me what this all means. Is the trip back to the moon still on?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-07-2019 08:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From SpaceNews:
Trump’s tweet took the space community by surprise. There was no indication prior to that tweet that the White House was reconsidering the goal of returning humans to the moon by 2024, or at all. A human lunar return has been national policy since President Trump signed Space Policy Directive 1 in December 2017...

A White House official, speaking on background, argued that Mars has always been the long-term goal of the administration. "We have asked Congress for additional resources to get to the Moon by 2024, which will enable us to get to Mars roughly a decade after creating a sustainable presence on the lunar surface," the official said.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-13-2019 08:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA will need an estimated $20 billion to $30 billion over the next five years for its moon project, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine told CNN Business on Thursday (June 13).
That would mean adding another $4 billion to $6 billion per year, on average, to the agency's budget, which is already expected to be about $20 billion annually.

Bridenstine's remarks are the first time that NASA has shared a total cost estimate for its moon program, which is called Artemis (after the Greek goddess of the moon) and could send people to the moon for the first time in half a century...

The $20 to $30 billion cost estimate is less expensive than some had predicted — though they're not necessarily the final figures. Bridenstine acknowledged that spaceflight can be dangerous and unpredictable, so it's practically impossible to settle on an accurate price tag.

"We're negotiating within the administration," he said. "We're talking to [the federal Office of Management and Budget]; we're talking to the National Space Council."

Chuckster01
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posted 06-23-2019 09:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Chuckster01   Click Here to Email Chuckster01     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have an issue with NASA and it goes something like this:

On September 12, 1962, John F. Kennedy made his famous we are going to the moon speech. At that time we had nothing to get there. No flight hardware, no launchpads, no vehicle processing facilities, no rocket engines powerful enough to lift the payload, no lander to get us to the surface, no computers to help with the design and most of all no proven science to rely on for any of this, It was all new.

With the total lack of all hardware, software and support facilities it took the USA less then 8 years to develop all of this and to land a man on the moon and return him safely to Earth.

Now we are going back to the moon. We have everything listed above built, either flight tested or undergoing testing and almost ready to go. With almost no development needed, no infrastructure to build for launch operations, there is only habitat and lunar logistics to consider. NASA has been working on lunar operations for many years and we have super powerful computers to aid in our designs. With most of our issues solved our hardware built, our designs well underway, NASA now says it will take 10 years and 30 billion dollars to accomplish this task.

I am sorry but the only rationale that I can come up with is mismanagement, waste and utter incompetence. SLS is years behind and billions over budget. We need management that can run an efficient operations and delegate operations to qualified and capable people, that can keep development and construction on track, that can see the problem during development and not far after the failure. We need contractors that return to quality manufacturing and be held to account when they fail and most of all a country that stands behind the idea of space exploration.

I am 100% for our return to the moon and missions to Mars but without competent management were just pissing away money with no results.

SpaceAholic
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posted 06-23-2019 10:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In today's dollars the Apollo effort would cost well north of $100 billion. It's not so much mismanagement but rather lack of sustained, committed fiscal resources to achieve a more aggressive timeline.

As for the hardware, only a portion of it exists (lunar architecture the primary gap); all need to be integrated as a man rated operational system (not just plug an play of various off the shelf technologies).

oly
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posted 06-24-2019 12:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for oly   Click Here to Email oly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Apollo had been set a goal, land a man on the moon and return him safely to Earth, and a timeline, by the end of the decade. These two simple instructions were enough to set in play an engineering and science juggernaut that was justified as a way of beating the Soviets to the moon.

The Apollo program overcame some serious setbacks and disasters, including the Apollo 1 fire and crew loss, to successfully achieve the goal set upon it within the timeline laid down. Many of the interviews with the people involved with the Apollo program state that they felt that they were doing their part in a grand plan, and everybody knew what the goal was.

The programs in place today have happened from former programs and plans. Consecutive administrations laid out dreams and wish lists of what could be, however many of these schemes were fashioned to prevent job losses, maintain some kind of ability to conduct large spaceflight programs, and maintain the United States ability to lead the field of science and technology within the space industry.

While the space shuttle program was a fantastic engineering achievement, it missed a lot of marks and was never allowed to evolve as a system. I could rattle off a huge list of what should or could have happened if the shuttle flew before Skylab re-entered, of what may have been if the Saturn series of rockets had been maintained. All of these systems perhaps should have been allowed to evolve as designs and benefit from improvements and advancements made in materials and technology.

The SLS rocket has occurred because the space shuttle system retirement, with instructions to strip the old program of as many useable assets as possible, maintain some of the workforce and capability, and plod along at a rate that allows technology to overtake the design between missions.

There has not been a concise directive about what form NASA's next generation of development should take form consecutive administrations, and a failure to do so has left the industry scrambling to be a part of whatever was on the table.

A layman would have difficulty understanding why it is so problematic to take the fuel tank and solid rocket motors from the space shuttle, make them bigger, and still not have them ready to fly a decade after the NASA Authorization Act of 2010 was signed. Part of this act stated to "Provide a sustainable space exploration program to incorporate new technologies and in-space capabilities." However, no program came to fruition within the 2016 timeline laid down. People familiar with the concept of the Apollo era heavy-lift rocket may have a hard time figuring out what is so difficult getting a heavy lift rocket into service without being aware of the intricacies of government budgets, programs, management.

I often wonder why the SLS rocket is allowed to continue development along the same path, while technology has overtaken the architecture of the time SLS was shoehorned into being.

The original intent of the service and propulsion module for Orion has been changed, delayed, taken off the table, or abandoned, and Orion has been designed to do many things well, but none of them great. The Apollo command module was designed for a specific purpose, and nothing more. This simple approach resulted in mission success, and it rode upon a service module overengineered and overpowered for propose (a module that also worked for LEO missions).

Questions about what directions need to be issued to enable NASA to manage the next phase of the journey further from Earth can be easily defined. The recent mixed messages being transmitted from Washington about going to the Moon seem to confuse the public and the space industry management about what level of commitment and intent any program in play will receive. Asking a dozen companies to put forward schemes and ideas on how to achieve things indicates that there is not a solid plan at play, and support of any potential program will wane without an enthusiastic public and industry to let the administers know what they want.

The technology to fly a crew to the Moon, land, walk around, drive around, and come home, exists. The technology to fly a vehicle to Mars, land it autonomously, and drive it remotely exists. The technology to launch and fly back a first stage rocket exists and the environment of the lunar surface is understood. Long duration spaceflight in LEO has established what type of questions need to be asked about extended time in space, and the hazards of radiation and other environmental factors can be addressed or reduced.

This leaves the unknowns and the risk, combined with the cost, as a counterbalance on the scale used to measure the feasibility of any program. Fear of any of these renders the whole thing moot, and programs will plod along touting benefits and advantages without achieving the mission objective.

Some of the children who watched Apollo land on the Moon now have grandchildren of their own. A generation of people grew up without seeing humans venture further from home, and government commitment to any program only continues while the governors believe that there is either something in it for them, of that that the program is what the people want.

The resultant from all this has equated in where we are today. A program without a clear destination or timeline. Every program that is delayed or stalled cost additional funds, and continually moving the goalposts has led many fans to pack up and leave. The risk-averse have filled the grandstands.

I do not have an issue with NASA per se, my issue is with the lack of specific direction and support for any program, a lack of accountability for failed or undelivered enterprise, and constant failure to enable design evolution and development of the existing design. There is no one administration or party to blame for this lack of motivation. The decline has been in force for many decades through many administrations. I put some slight hope in the 'Return astronauts to the moon by 2024' announcement made by Pence, and I admit that a part of me felt excitement over a new program of action.

Recovering an asteroid and towing it somewhere to study can only yield results that boffins and scientists understand or care for. Today's public wants spacecraft with cameras showing every angle of a launch or mission, with surround sound and immersive experiences that cater to everybody. The next people to walk on the Moon, whatever nation they are from, better take some time out to shine a spotlight back on earth, so that the neigh Sayers have something new to discuss. NASA needs to provide the public with the entertainment so that they receive the support needed.

Like many others, I am disheartened over missed opportunities and changed plans, and hope that something good comes from this latest scheme.

perineau
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posted 09-19-2019 03:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for perineau   Click Here to Email perineau     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My concern here is that SpaceNews is reporting that Congress has not appropriated the additional funding necessary for the goal of a lunar landing in 2024; not to mention that Orion, commercial crew and SLS programs are all behind schedule, which doesn't bode well for NASA's reputation.

Additionally, when we see that Soyuz missions have been cut to two next year instead of four, I wonder if there is really a political will to pursue manned space exploration in the immediate future.

TobiasC
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posted 09-19-2019 03:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for TobiasC     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well I agree with you on the other stuff, but the number of Soyuz missions is being cut down because that’s when the Starliner and Crew Dragon will start ferrying crew members to the ISS, so not as many Soyuz will be needed every year.

perineau
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posted 09-19-2019 09:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for perineau   Click Here to Email perineau     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Point taken, except that if you look at spacefacts.de under the heading "launch schedule," you'll see a lot of question marks concerning Dragon and Starliner launch dates!

issman1
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posted 09-19-2019 01:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Seems to an outsider like myself that Artemis is going the same direction of Constellation.

If that aspirational date of 2024 is to be realised then it will take a miracle of epic proportions.

What is most telling is that none of Trump's contenders have gone on record to back Artemis other than pay lip service to its gesture and identity politics angle: that of sending the first woman and next man on or to the moon.

p51
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posted 09-19-2019 06:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by oly:
A layman would have difficulty understanding why it is so problematic to take the fuel tank and solid rocket motors from the space shuttle, make them bigger, and still not have them ready to fly a decade after the NASA Authorization Act of 2010 was signed.
Agreed. The layman wouldn't have a clue how many corners were cut (either through "go fever," arrogance over thinking they had everything figured out, or sheer ignorance of the dangers of going to the Moon and back and being lucky that nobody died on Apollo missions after the fire), either.

Once one really looks into Apollo, knowing how many things NASA really didn't "get" even during the program, it becomes amazing we sent astronauts there and had them all come back from those launches.

Simply put, without such a high-speed and pressing mandate to go to the Moon, supported politically for a little while, we never would have landed people there. Losing the orbiters Challenger and Columbia slapped America back to reality more so than the Apollo 1 fire had, in my opinion. After that, the laymen SURELY understood the risk and the cost of going into space.

Accordingly, in a risk-adverse world we live in now where even those in the military are practically bubble-wrapped for combat (seriously, nobody wore bullet proof armor when I served in the 90s and early 2000s), nobody wants to accept the risks that NASA took send people to the Moon in the 1960s.

This is why you cannot draw a parallel between this mandate and JFK's. I still can't say if we'd landed a man on the moon before 1970 if JFK hadn't been shot (most historians agree that we wouldn't have gotten into 'Nam, so the money argument wouldn't have been made if we'd never fought there). But the idea that we can do what the country did in the 60s now, in an era where everything has to be uber safe and not accepting any risks, is laughable.


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