Space News
space history and artifacts articles

Messages
space history discussion forums

Sightings
worldwide astronaut appearances

Resources
selected space history documents

Websites
related space history websites

  collectSPACE: Messages
  Exploration: Asteroids, Moon and Mars
  Pence: 'Return astronauts to moon by 2024' (Page 1)

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search


This topic is 2 pages long:   1  2 
next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   Pence: 'Return astronauts to moon by 2024'
Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 41874
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-26-2019 12:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
NASA to land astronauts on moon within 5 years, says VP Pence

Citing a new space race against complacency and the need for a renewed sense of urgency, Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday (March 26) announced that it is now United States' policy to return astronauts to the surface of the moon by 2024 using "any means necessary."

Pence, speaking at the fifth meeting of the National Space Council while standing under an Apollo Saturn V rocket at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, said that landing astronauts at the moon's south pole within the next five years is "the next giant leap" for America.

"Fifty years ago, one small step for man became one giant leap for mankind," said Pence. "Now has come the time for us to make the next giant leap and return American astronauts to the moon, establish a permanent base there and develop the technologies to take American astronauts to Mars and beyond."

Headshot
Member

Posts: 808
From: Streamwood, IL USA
Registered: Feb 2012

posted 03-26-2019 03:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Headshot   Click Here to Email Headshot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hope that Pence adds the all-important, "...and return these astronauts safely to Earth."

p51
Member

Posts: 1607
From: Olympia, WA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 03-26-2019 05:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
So, how many times in recent years have we been promised this, only to have it shot down by the following administration?

Seriously, I've lost count.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love it to be true this time...

David C
Member

Posts: 970
From: Lausanne
Registered: Apr 2012

posted 03-26-2019 05:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for David C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
And the rest of the plan is? Sounds good but I'll believe it when I see it.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 41874
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-26-2019 06:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by p51:
So, how many times in recent years have we been promised this...
There have been no deadlines of this type set by anyone since Kennedy's "before this decade is out." That is what makes this newsworthy.

Past administrations have set time frames and others have set the moon as a goal (in fact, the moon was already the goal before today's speech), but none have made it all about a date until today.

That does not mean the date is realistic or that success is a given (let alone likely), but it does distinguish it from past proclamations. Now the ball is in NASA's court to respond.

datkatz
Member

Posts: 175
From: New York, NY
Registered: Mar 2009

posted 03-26-2019 06:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for datkatz   Click Here to Email datkatz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What makes this newsworthy is that he's set a date to achieve a goal we met a half-century ago, and it is highly unlikely we'll achieve that goal now.

Imagine for a moment a world in which we'd pissed away so much computer technology we were unable today to build a machine as capable as, say, an IBM 360.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 41874
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-26-2019 06:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
Now the ball is in NASA's court to respond.
The following is a statement from NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine:
Today, I joined leaders from across the country as Vice President Mike Pence chaired the fifth meeting of the National Space Council. Vice President Pence lauded President Donald J. Trump's bold vision for space exploration and spoke to NASA's progress on key elements to accomplish the President's Space Policy Directives.

Among the many topics discussed during our meeting at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, was to accelerate our return to the Moon:

  • NASA is charged to get American astronauts to the Moon in the next five years.
  • We are tasked with landing on the Moon's South Pole by 2024.
  • Stay on schedule for flying Exploration Mission-1 with Orion on the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket next year, and for sending the first crewed mission to the lunar vicinity by 2022.
  • NASA will continue to 'use all means necessary' to ensure mission success in moving us forward to the Moon.
It is the right time for this challenge, and I assured the Vice President that we, the people of NASA, are up to the challenge.

We will take action in the days and weeks ahead to accomplish these goals. We have laid out a clear plan for NASA's exploration campaign that cuts across three strategic areas: low-Earth orbit, the Moon, and Mars and deeper into space.

I have already directed a new alignment within NASA to ensure we effectively support this effort, which includes establishing a new mission directorate to focus on the formulation and execution of exploration development activities. We are calling it the Moon to Mars Mission Directorate.

Earlier today I was also at Marshall Space Flight Center for an all-hands to reinforce our commitment to SLS with the workforce. We discussed my recent announcement that NASA would consider all options to fly Orion around the Moon on schedule. I shared the analysis we conducted to assess flying the Orion on different commercial options. While some of these alternative vehicles could work, none was capable of achieving our goals to orbit around the Moon for Exploration Mission-1 within our timeline and on budget. The results of this two-week study reaffirmed our commitment to the SLS. More details will be released in the future.

There's a lot of excitement about our plans and also a lot of hard work and challenges ahead, but I know the NASA workforce and our partners are up to it. We are now looking at creative approaches to advance SLS manufacturing and testing to ensure Exploration Mission-1 launches in 2020. We will work to ensure we have a safe and reliable launch system that keeps its promise to the American people.

I know NASA is ready for the challenge of moving forward to the Moon, this time to stay.

328KF
Member

Posts: 1212
From:
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 03-26-2019 06:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
Now the ball is in NASA's court to respond.
I believe the ball, more practically, is in Congress's court to fund this. In recent weeks, Bridenstine has lamented the lack of progress on SLS, delayed development of the EUS, and began a study to use an alternate rocket for EM-1.

Now he is being tasked, quite boldly, to not only solve those problems but also go off and design, build, test and pay for a new lunar lander. Not a small feat under the current budget, let alone one which allows this schedule to be accelerated.

The target landing area is interesting too. Does this mean the Gateway will be situated in a lunar polar orbit? While that would allow exploration of countless locations, what implications does this have for upmass from the surface?

I applaud what was directed today, and what has happened over the past two years with the NSC revival and the course they have charted. I really hope Congress backs this new program, but recent history shows us that the politics of D.C. override even the best intentions of lawmakers' proposals.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 41874
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-26-2019 07:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
With regards to Congress, Bridenstine will be testifying before the House Committee on Appropriations on Wednesday (March 27) and the House Science, Space and Technology Committee on April 2, where this is sure to be discussed. The hearings are focused on NASA's FY2020 budget.

randy
Member

Posts: 2092
From: West Jordan, Utah USA
Registered: Dec 1999

posted 03-26-2019 09:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for randy   Click Here to Email randy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Like David C said, I'll believe it when I see it.

Grounded!
Member

Posts: 351
From: Bennington, Vermont, USA
Registered: Feb 2011

posted 03-26-2019 09:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Grounded!   Click Here to Email Grounded!     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nothing would please me more than to see man (and hopefully woman) walk on the moon again in my lifetime, and to sit in front of the TV and witness the event with by grandsons by my side, as I did with my grandfather so many years ago.

The youth in this country could use a good dose of national pride.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
Member

Posts: 3429
From: Toms River, NJ
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 03-26-2019 10:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
There have been no deadlines of this type set by anyone since Kennedy's "before this decade is out." That is what makes this newsworthy.
"I believe that before Apollo celebrates the 50th anniversary of its landing on the moon, the American flag should be planted on Mars." - President George Bush, May 1990.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 41874
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-26-2019 10:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I classify that more as a time frame than a date-driven goal, given that Bush was clear that Mars would only come after space station Freedom and the moon were achieved. The Space Exploration Initiative was about a three-step approach, where the preceding steps were not constrained by any hard deadline (though Bush suggested the best way to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Apollo 11 was to have the space station in orbit).

SkyMan1958
Member

Posts: 840
From: CA.
Registered: Jan 2011

posted 03-26-2019 11:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
2024. Uh-huh. Ummm, did I just miss the President's most recent NASA budget request... for less money, and nothing in it about a Moon lander?

As many here have stated, to quote that well known supporter (cough, cough) of the space program Walter Mondale (or actress Clara Peller), "Where's the Beef?"

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 41874
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-27-2019 06:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The FY2020 budget request was based on a 2028 moon landing, but it did include an increased budget for the early development of a human-capable lunar lander.

NASA's Advanced Cislunar and Surface Capabilities program is focused on developing "a reusable human lunar landing architecture utilizing innovative public-private partnerships." Under the budget request, the program would receive $363 million in 2020, but looking at the out-year projections, the program would grow to $2.36 billion by 2024.

That growth will now need to be accelerated, as well as restoring the funding for the SLS Exploration Upper Stage as Bridenstine told Vice President Pence at the National Space Council meeting. There will also need to be new funding for a surface-capable spacesuit and other equipment needed to support a moon landing.

jimsz
Member

Posts: 609
From:
Registered: Aug 2006

posted 03-27-2019 07:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jimsz   Click Here to Email jimsz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'd love for NASA to actually move forward but the days of bold achievements in manned space exploration by the USA are gone until China or Russia places a man on the moon. Then and only then will the people who control the budgets maybe get a clue.

ejectr
Member

Posts: 1724
From: Killingly, CT
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 03-27-2019 10:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"No bucks....no Buck Rogers..."

perineau
Member

Posts: 179
From: FRANCE
Registered: Jul 2007

posted 03-27-2019 01:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for perineau   Click Here to Email perineau     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"Where's the beef"? Oops, I meant to say Lunar Lander!

spaceheaded
Member

Posts: 144
From: MD
Registered: Feb 2003

posted 03-27-2019 08:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceheaded     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Aha! The REAL reason they lowered LM-9 to the floor at Saturn V Center!

Hart Sastrowardoyo
Member

Posts: 3429
From: Toms River, NJ
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 03-28-2019 12:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, Cradle of Aviation has said LM-9 was going to be refurbished for Apollo 18 and LM-13 was for Apollo 19...

David C
Member

Posts: 970
From: Lausanne
Registered: Apr 2012

posted 03-28-2019 04:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for David C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We still have LM trained guys too. How about crews of McDivitt/Schweickart and Haise/Engle?

Grounded!
Member

Posts: 351
From: Bennington, Vermont, USA
Registered: Feb 2011

posted 03-28-2019 07:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Grounded!   Click Here to Email Grounded!     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'll bet they could do it! Might have to modify the ladder though...

Hart Sastrowardoyo
Member

Posts: 3429
From: Toms River, NJ
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 03-28-2019 10:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
At last, Buzz gets to be the first out the hatch.

Headshot
Member

Posts: 808
From: Streamwood, IL USA
Registered: Feb 2012

posted 03-28-2019 10:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Headshot   Click Here to Email Headshot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Any idea what the status is of any potential lunar surface space suits? Was a design contract ever let? I know that research has determined that lunar regolith is amazingly abrasive, but I hope we are not just regurgitating the old Apollo suit design constructed of modern fabrics.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 41874
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-28-2019 10:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There are only internal studies at this point; no request for proposals or contract has been issued. (There had been a contract for a lunar capable suit as part of the Constellation program, but that expired a number of years ago, well before reaching any type of prototype stage.)

SpaceAholic
Member

Posts: 4357
From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-28-2019 11:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
ESA has Pextex ongoing.
On 17 January 2019 ESA signed a study contract with Comex and its partners DITF and OeWF. Pextex is a two-year project to identify materials and textiles that could be used for future lunar mission space suits.

The project aims to develop solutions that could be based on existing space suit materials, but also identify novel types of textiles with self-healing functions or repulsing lunar dust and smart textiles for example.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 41874
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-28-2019 06:24 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 will hold a town hall with the space agency's employees on Monday, April 1 at 1:30 p.m. EDT. The event will be broadcast on NASA TV.
Please join the Administrator for this important discussion on our Moon to Mars plans.

SkyMan1958
Member

Posts: 840
From: CA.
Registered: Jan 2011

posted 03-28-2019 06:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
While I REALLY hope the US lands humans on the Moon within 5 years, I can't help but notice that April 1 is April Fools Day...

oly
Member

Posts: 805
From: Perth, Western Australia
Registered: Apr 2015

posted 03-28-2019 08:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for oly   Click Here to Email oly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
With China’s mission to the lunar far side surface currently underway, and other space agencies indicating an interest in lunar missions, it is inevitable that the US make some current notice of intent that they want in on the action.

Should the SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft be the platform used for this type of mission, at this time, the number of flights will be restricted by the number of available rocket motors and engines.

Such an announcement could be the impetus to direct funding into development of the SLS system and a more forward for the larger, heavy lift version. But as pointed out above by others, the funding does not reflect the words being touted.

It may be a case where one hand does not know what the other is doing, in this case, a return to the moon budget and a mission to Mars budget, are considered two different buckets of federal money. It may not be until all the players in the US space program want the same thing that any real movement happens.

I hope this latest statement is not just saber rattling and does, in fact, lead to a well defined and scheduled plan of attack for future spaceflight.

Imagine if all the funding that went into the X-33, the Constellation program, and other killed off programs could be funneled into the one bucket.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 41874
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-01-2019 01:47 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, speaking at a NASA town hall on Monday (April 1), acknowledged that more money would be needed to reach the moon by 2024, but did not say how much more was needed.

He said that he is going to meet with the White Office Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to work out the funding, but that NASA has the support of the President to fund the program as needed. Bridenstine said the question is then if Congress will support the same and he will be briefing members of Congress about what appropriations will be needed.

SpaceAholic
Member

Posts: 4357
From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-08-2019 10:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's why NASA's audacious return to the Moon just might work, from Ars Technica.
...this new proposal holds some promise. Pence, as well as NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, have adopted a clear goal for the agency and promised enduring political support. Moreover, they have said the "end" matters more than the "means." This suggests that whatever rockets and spacecraft NASA uses to reach the Moon, the plan should be based on the best-available, most cost-effective technology. In short, they want to foster a healthy, open competition in the US aerospace industry to help NASA and America reach its goals.

At a town hall meeting Monday [April 1] for space agency employees, Bridenstine characterized the Moon 2024 initiative as a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for NASA." This may be a tad hyperbolic, but it does represent a rare chance for the sprawling bureaucratic federal agency — whose human exploration programs have been adrift for decades—to embrace a brighter future.

Therefore, this marks an important, if uncertain, moment in US spaceflight. To understand how we got here and where we're going, Ars has talked with a dozen well-placed sources in the aerospace industry, from new space companies and large aerospace contractors to senior NASA leaders and political insiders. Most of them are not named due to their sensitive positions; many of them see challenges ahead.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 41874
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-08-2019 07:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mark Sirangelo, formerly of Sierra Nevada Corporation, will be NASA Adminstrator Jim Bridenstine's special assistant to support planning for a return to the moon.
In this role, Mark will have broad responsibility to work across the Mission Directorates to further develop the agency's plans for the Exploration Campaign. This includes a strategy to meet the Administration's policy to return astronauts to the lunar surface by 2024. He will also lead the planning for the proposed agency restructuring to create the Moon to Mars Mission Directorate that will manage the programs to develop the Gateway, human rated lander and surface systems to return to the moon and establish a permanent presence. The new proposed Directorate will also manage the Exploration Research and Technology programs to enable capabilities required for exploration of the moon, Mars and beyond.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 41874
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-26-2019 12:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
New Spaceflight Awareness poster:

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 41874
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-01-2019 09:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In a presentation at a joint meeting of the Space Studies Board and Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board on April 30, NASA associate administrator for human exploration and operations Bill Gerstenmaier outlined NASA's current thinking about how it could land people on the moon in 2024, reports SpaceNews.
He said that, in a best-case scenario, EM-1 would launch in late 2020, "but probably more than likely some time in 2021." A crewed test flight, EM-2, would follow in 2022, a date he said likely would not be affected by the EM-1 schedule. EM-3 would then carry out the initial lunar landing mission.

...the plan also makes use of a minimal version of a lunar Gateway. Gerstenmaier said NASA was moving ahead with the Power and Propulsion Element, evaluating proposals submitted by industry in November. A selection, he said, should come this summer, with the unit launched by the end of 2022.

The only other element of the Gateway planned prior to a 2024 lunar landing is "some kind of docking/habitation small module," he said. "That is all that is needed to essentially support a lunar landing."

...Gerstenmaier said that the approach for a human lunar landing in 2024 is minimalistic. "I would say, for the initial 2024 landing, it's going to be pretty Spartan," he said when asked about the development of spacesuits for lunar excursions. "We're looking at what the minimum is we need for suits to go out and do things. We're going to keep that as small and as lean as we can."

"It's not pretty. There will not be a ton of time on the surface on this first flight," he said. "You're going to see a pretty minimalist kind of mission for that 2024 mission because of the constraints."

p51
Member

Posts: 1607
From: Olympia, WA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 05-01-2019 05:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The only other element of the Gateway planned prior to a 2024 lunar landing is "some kind of docking/habitation small module," he said. "That is all that is needed to essentially support a lunar landing."
SOME kind?

Okay, the Orion capsule launched without a human crew about ten years after it was announced with no date known when (or even if) it will be manned.

Does anyone here really believe that we'll see humans bound off a modern LM onto the surface, a craft that doesn't exist on paper yet?

2024? I wouldn't bet we'll see a manned Orion capsule LEO mission by then!

oly
Member

Posts: 805
From: Perth, Western Australia
Registered: Apr 2015

posted 05-01-2019 07:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for oly   Click Here to Email oly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It is difficult not to make comparison against the Apollo program given that the goal is the same, without the "end of the decade" requirement.

With this in mind I do not get why there is a need to re-invent the wheel regarding the lander at this stage, and why an upgraded version of the 1960's Grumman vehicle is not under consideration.

Taking a design that has been flight tested in Earth orbit, has made six successful lunar landings, and been used as a life boat for three crew members, surely must count in favor for this design.

Upgrading the instrumentation, computers and navigation systems, using modern structural materials, and using modern tools and machinery to streamline construction methods would be a faster and more cost effective route, rather than going down the clean sheet design path.

The inclusion of the Gateway is a great idea. Gateway enables missions to any region of the lunar surface, while also acting as a safe haven. With several countries showing interest in achieving a South Lunar Pole landing, Gateway is a necessary element for NASA's plan.

However, if a lunar landing is planned for the third SLS flight, NASA would not have many main engines or solid rocket boosters left in its inventory to make subsequent flights or launch a rescue mission.

Using a new design lunar lander on its maiden flight, crewed, to attempt a landing at a lunar pole site, and incorporating Gateway into such a plan would be a great engineering feat. Crews who agree to ride on such a mission would definitely be made from the "right stuff." But today, risk assessment matrix and review boards may well hinder such a bold move.

Using a known design may lower the risk level slightly.

Mike Dixon
Member

Posts: 1347
From: Kew, Victoria, Australia
Registered: May 2003

posted 05-01-2019 08:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mike Dixon   Click Here to Email Mike Dixon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You'd have to wonder how much weight a 21st century LM would be compared to the 60s and 70s Grummans.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 41874
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-01-2019 09:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by oly:
Using a known design may lower the risk level slightly.
Almost any lunar lander design that is going to be advanced today is going to be based, at least in part, on the Apollo lunar module design.

NASA's focus though, as defined by the White House, is to have an architecture that is sustainable, i.e. reusable. So the ascent stage may need a transfer vehicle of some type to move it between low lunar orbit and where the Gateway will be staged.

It also may mean needing it to be a more robust spacecraft, capable of withstanding extended periods docked with the Gateway.

That is, if the priority is going to the moon to stay. If the goal is only to meet a certain politically-driven date, then the end result may be something that looks like Apollo-lite, with even less capability than we had 50 years ago.

oly
Member

Posts: 805
From: Perth, Western Australia
Registered: Apr 2015

posted 05-02-2019 01:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for oly   Click Here to Email oly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Mike Dixon:
You'd have to wonder how much weight a 21st century LM would be compared to the 60s and 70s Grummans.
Given that the Apollo lunar module design was an engineering exercise in weight saving, the structure itself may not allow much in weight reduction. The use of new composite structures may well result in a vehicle structure that weighs about the same, but could be a more rigid and robust vehicle.

Weight savings would be found in the instrumentation, electrical and avionics systems as well as reduced pressure vessel weights via the use of composite cylinders.

The landing gear design may also benefit via the use of composite materials, and modern battery technology and the use of solar panel technology could also allow for longer duration visits. Lessons learnt from the ISS environmental control systems could be adapted to also allow longer duration missions.

The weight of the equipment carried along could be reduced somewhat, many of the instruments and equipment left on the lunar surface could be made lighter today.

quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
It also may mean needing it to be a more robust spacecraft, capable of withstanding extended periods docked with the Gateway.

Much of this technology has been developed for ISS, including long duration docking capability. The Bigelow module could be adapted as a means of providing additional volume, and the internal pressure could be decreased during uninhabited periods to reduce structural loading.
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
That is, if the priority is going to the moon to stay. If the goal is only to meet a certain politically-driven date, then the end result may be something that looks like Apollo-lite, with even less capability than we had 50 years ago.
NASA is quoted as stating that it wants to develop long duration missions, However, the noises being made, including considering removing the SLS green run test, indicate that there is now some urgency to get back there by 2024. Is this a politically-driven date?

I welcome any movement that may lead to new spaceflight missions and programs. Many former Mercury, Gemini and Apollo era astronauts and support staff, many no longer with us, have stated many times that they believe NASA should be expanding the exploration frontier. I hope this all results in the next step forward.

Is there any news regarding the manufacture of additional main engines or boosters?

Headshot
Member

Posts: 808
From: Streamwood, IL USA
Registered: Feb 2012

posted 05-02-2019 07:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Headshot   Click Here to Email Headshot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Don't know if a direct comparison is practical. After all, a next generation LM is supposed to accommodate a crew of four, not two. Also, if the landing area is in a permanently shadowed area, additional instrumentation may be required to assist the landing's final approach as visual cues might be absent. Also, windows might not be needed.

I am concerned that if Shakleton Crater is the target, we have no direct knowledge of what the lunar regolith is like in a permanently shadowed area. Sending an unmanned spacecraft to test the soil there would be a wise move. That way the spacesuits could be designed for an environment different than that encountered during Apollo.


This topic is 2 pages long:   1  2 

All times are CT (US)

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | The Source for Space History & Artifacts

Copyright 2019 collectSPACE.com All rights reserved.


Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.47a





advertisement