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  NASA names moon landing program Artemis

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Author Topic:   NASA names moon landing program Artemis
Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-13-2019 10:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
NASA names new moon landing program Artemis after Apollo's sister

Half a century after NASA sent men to the moon under project "Apollo," the space agency is now working to land men — and women — on the lunar surface as part of its "Artemis" program.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine revealed the new moniker on Monday (May 13) during a call with reporters that was primarily focused on the budget for the newly-named moon program.

"It turns out that Apollo had a twin sister, Artemis. She happens to be the goddess of the moon," said Bridenstine, referring to Greek mythology. "Our astronaut office is very diverse and highly qualified. I think it is very beautiful that 50 years after Apollo, the Artemis program will carry the next man — and the first woman — to the moon."

Blackarrow
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posted 05-14-2019 05:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"Project Artemis" - I like the sound of that. I know there is a lot of scepticism about the time-scale, but for something to succeed there must first be a desire to do it; then a decision to do it; then the money to do it. ("No bucks, no Buck Rogers.") Let's see what the U.S. Congress makes of the $1.6 billion proposed supplement to the NASA budget.

Is there any sign of a name for the "Space Launch System" rocket? "Artemis 6" would be reasonable, referring to the four main engines and two boosters, but I'm still suggesting "Prometheus" the Titan who gave man the gift of fire.

star61
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posted 05-15-2019 08:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for star61   Click Here to Email star61     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Whatever the pros and cons for the way this latest shot at the Moon is developing, one thing seems absolutely certain. The next American crew to land on the Moon will definitely have a female contingent. For those current female astronauts that makes the odds of lunar mission pretty interesting.

Delta7
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posted 05-15-2019 05:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Delta7   Click Here to Email Delta7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm wondering if NASA will create an "Artemis" branch of the astronaut office. With astronauts dedicated exclusively to that program and not involved with the ISS. Especially with the aggressive time frame. One could assume the next lunar landing would be by members of such a group.

SpaceAholic
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posted 05-15-2019 05:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The name brings me back to "Wild Wild West."

Blackarrow
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posted 05-15-2019 06:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by star61:
The next American crew to land on the Moon will definitely have a female contingent.
That's a rather troubling statement, although it seems a reasonable interpretation of official announcements. In a crew of four, does that really mean that if the most obviously qualified four astronauts are all men, at least one will be sidelined to make way for a less-qualified woman? Would that be in keeping with a public body's duty of care to its employees?

The same argument would apply if the best four happen to be women. Laws have changed, so references back to selection issues 50 years ago really don't help.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-15-2019 06:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The astronaut office has been running for some now under the general rule that if you aren't qualified to fly, it is your time to leave the corps.

And just as most people agree today that any Apollo astronaut could fly any Apollo mission, the same is true today; it is not an issue of being less or more qualified.

Blackarrow
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posted 05-15-2019 09:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You might say that in an astronaut office where everyone is qualified to fly, the first person selected is "primus inter pares." The problem arises if the 21st century Deke Slayton, doing his best to pick the best crew of four, decides that the best woman in the office is "fifth among equals."

Although I felt that changes in laws and social attitudes meant that direct comparisons with 50 years ago might not be helpful, I think it worth responding to your final paragraph by suggesting that few people would agree that (say) Donn Eisele would have been as good a choice to fly on Apollo 11 as those who actually did.

I agree that any astronaut in a given group will be (by reason of having been selected) as qualified as any other astronaut in that group, but two equally-qualified astronauts might not put in the same effort in training, resulting in one being better prepared for the mission, and at that point the modern Deke Slayton is entitled to say: "A and B started off equally qualified, but B put in the hours, has trained better and has earned the selection."

The problem then arises if the honest conclusion of the modern Deke Slayton is that out of the equally-qualified pool of astronauts for the next moon landing, the four who have trained the hardest and have the best grasp of the mission requirements all happen to be men.

lspooz
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posted 05-15-2019 09:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lspooz   Click Here to Email lspooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
HA! What if the problem is that the best qualified are ALL women? This is certainly possible given that the current female astronauts have overcome decades of old-school mentality in their schools and careers, so have arguably overcome greater obstacles and may be more qualified than a man with the identical resume.

Furthermore, with the female superiority for spaceflight (fewer consumables and oxygen need, lower mass, better tolerance of physiologic stress, no significant concerns for vision loss, etc) such an outcome must be considered...

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-15-2019 10:03 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 Blackarrow:
...and have the best grasp of the mission requirements
The mission requirements, as defined by the White House, are that the United States' return to the lunar surface includes the first woman to walk on the moon. So the crew most qualified for the mission includes a woman. Problem solved (assuming there was a problem).

As Jim Bridenstine said (correctly), "Our astronaut office is very diverse and highly qualified."

oly
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posted 05-15-2019 11:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for oly   Click Here to Email oly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Blackarrow:
"the four who have trained the hardest and have the best grasp of the mission requirements all happen to be men."
I would like to believe that anyone selected for training for such missions already have an excellent grasp of "Astronauting". That the right people for the job make the cut prior to the investment of time and money, and that training for mission specific requirements build or reinforce practices and procedures until they become second nature.

I also like to believe that debating over gender strengths, weaknesses, and abilities to do specific tasks should have gone the way of the Dodo last century.

star61
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posted 05-16-2019 07:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for star61   Click Here to Email star61     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
One would like to say, "politics aside," the best crew goes. But we all know politics does often cloud things somewhat. STS-51L was an obvious case in point. And that is in no way meant to be disparaging of any one on that mission.

So a woman will be on the next moon landing mission and I'm confident that woman or women, will do a stellar job.

Fra Mauro
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posted 05-16-2019 09:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The mission is the item we should be pleased about. Who makes up the crew is not that important — they will be astronauts who will represent their country as best they can. Hopefully the nation won't look at the crew makeup as a political stunt or take away from the actual landing.

Blackarrow
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posted 05-16-2019 11:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by oly:
I also like to believe that debating over gender strengths, weaknesses, and abilities to do specific tasks should have gone the way of the Dodo last century.

I agree 100%. But Ispooz is absolutely right that a level playing field selection process could result in an all-female crew (as I indicated in my earlier post). However, the official announcement by NASA suggests that an all-female crew would be no more acceptable than an all-male crew, so the playing field, as defined by NASA, is not actually level. So be it.

I'm just glad we are in a position, at long last, to discuss the next (China permitting!) moon landing.

oly
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posted 05-17-2019 04:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for oly   Click Here to Email oly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Blackarrow:
I'm just glad we are in a position, at long last, to discuss the next moon landing.
I totally agree. I hope that this gains enough traction to make Artemis a household name and becomes a program that pushes further and higher.

cspg
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posted 05-17-2019 06:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"Discussing" has been going on for decades. Anything new today? No. It's not even a Trump program, it's a Pence one.

328KF
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posted 05-17-2019 10:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by cspg:
It's not even a Trump program, it's a Pence one.
The policy is actually that of the Trump administration. With Vice President Pence being the head of the Space Council, we have seen him make a majority of the speeches regarding the new program, which might give one that impression.

Unfortunately, as you say, so far it's just talk. Funding for it from Congress will likely be a tough road simply because of the political divide we have in the U.S. today.

issman1
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posted 05-17-2019 04:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by cspg:
"Discussing" has been going on for decades. Anything new today? No.

I don't think we on the other side of the Atlantic should criticize the Americans on this issue.

After all the European Space Agency has been a passenger in human spaceflight for far too long. Here in the UK, we may have the know-how but our political class have zero interest in taking a leading role.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-17-2019 04:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
To ESA's credit, it is the only international entity that has been trusted to be in the critical path for the United States' lunar plans with the provision the Orion service module.
quote:
Originally posted by cspg:
Anything new today?
I can think of one thing new: the number of countries and private organizations that are pursuing lunar exploration. Whether that will translate to a different outcome is still to be seen, but the interest level in the moon by direct stakeholders is at the highest it has ever been.

oly
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posted 05-18-2019 03:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for oly   Click Here to Email oly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by issman1:
Here in the UK, we may have the know-how but our political class have zero interest in taking a leading role.

We have a similar situation here, with the addition that our government being slow to invest in anything related to technology through being over-cautious, and an avoidance to introduce any program that may take longer than the current time between elections.

The U.S. administrations latest plan has potential, if not the ideal plan. At this time, any plan is better than no plan, and if nothing else, it may rattle the cages of those involved with the SLS by publicly stating that it is unacceptable things taken too long. The job is now convincing the powers that be that additional investment is worth the risk.

cspg
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posted 05-18-2019 03:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by issman1:
I don't think we on the other side of the Atlantic should criticize the Americans on this issue.
Not criticizing, merely stating a fact, unfortunately.
quote:
Originally posted by issman1:
Here in the UK, we may have the know-how but our political class have zero interest in taking a leading role.
When it comes to human spaceflight, the US does not lead either. The US reacts. Again, unfortunately.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-20-2019 12:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA's full Artemis plan includes 37 launches and a lunar outpost deployed over the course of a decade, reports Ars Technica.
Last week, an updated plan that demonstrated a human landing in 2024, annual sorties to the lunar surface thereafter, and the beginning of a Moon base by 2028, began circulating within the agency. A graphic, shown below, provides information about each of the major launches needed to construct a small Lunar Gateway, stage elements of a lunar lander there, fly crews to the Moon and back, and conduct refueling missions.

This decade-long plan, which entails 37 launches of private and NASA rockets, as well as a mix of robotic and human landers, culminates with a "Lunar Surface Asset Deployment" in 2028, likely the beginning of a surface outpost for long-duration crew stays. Developed by the agency's senior human spaceflight manager, Bill Gerstenmaier, this plan is everything Pence asked for — an urgent human return, a Moon base, a mix of existing and new contractors.

One thing missing is its cost. NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine has asked for an additional $1.6 billion in fiscal year 2020 as a down payment to jump-start lander development. But all of the missions in this chart would cost much, much more. Sources continue to tell Ars that the internal projected cost is $6 billion to $8 billion per year on top of NASA's existing budget of about $20 billion.

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