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Artemis Moon Program

Grey Havoc

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Why do I get the nasty feeling that there is going to be a bait and switch here?
 

Flyaway

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Flyaway

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Grey Havoc

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Deino

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Guys ... I'm lost and need some help, probably since I'm stuck too deep into Chinese matters, but what consequences does this have for the Artemis project?
 

Archibald

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It's very complicated, as is the entire Artemis program. But it is quite a smart move by NASA. They have now endorsed the SpaceX (Mars launching) system if only for lunar cargo. It amounts to a tacit acknowldgement of Orion-SLS being an Apollo-era dinosaur and relic, to go extinct probably in the next decade. Yet it was forced, rammed into NASA by Congress Shuttle lobby 10 years ago, so they are using it, seemingly making it the nucleus of Artemis.
The reality (check Lori Garver tweet about that development) is that NASA has now jumped into the Starship bandwagon, and sooner or later, will fully embrace it in place of Orion-SLS.
 

Deino

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It's very complicated, as is the entire Artemis program. But it is quite a smart move by NASA. They have now endorsed the SpaceX (Mars launching) system if only for lunar cargo. It amounts to a tacit acknowldgement of Orion-SLS being an Apollo-era dinosaur and relic, to go extinct probably in the next decade. Yet it was forced, rammed into NASA by Congress Shuttle lobby 10 years ago, so they are using it, seemingly making it the nucleus of Artemis.
The reality (check Lori Garver tweet about that development) is that NASA has now jumped into the Starship bandwagon, and sooner or later, will fully embrace it in place of Orion-SLS.


Thanks a lot!
 

Archibald

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a fascinating reading and a good start to try and understand what's happening.

Here is my gut feeling about it.

To over-simplify things: by 2030 there will be kind of three major manned spaceflight programs in the USA.

- NASA lunar orbit Gateway (Artemis)
- NASA lunar surface (Artemis)
- SpaceX Mars plans

The Gateway was created by NASA to use Orion on SLS. Just like Asteroid Redirect Mission before it.
They have no other choice than flying SLS and using it, because it was rammed on them in 2010 by Congress "Shuttle infrastructures & jobs programs" lobby.
And so they created the Gateway as a) a destination for Orion-SLS and b) a continuation of ISS legacies - international partners (ESA, Canada) and also COTS partners (SpaceX Dragon XL...).

Now, lunar surface is something entirely different. And there, NASA is going fully private and more efficient.
They have first enlisted a whole bunch of small, robotic exploration lunar landers build by startups.
And yesterday, they added SpaceX on top of that for massive crew and cargo delivery to the lunar surface: the south pole.

Meanwhile SpaceX is going to Mars without waiting for NASA: fueled by Elon $200 billion net worth, plus SpaceX, Tesla and Starlink cash cows.

In a sense, NASA and SpaceX have made an unofficial "gentleman agreement". NASA is going to the Moon, enlisting SpaceX for Artemis, twice: Dragon XL for the Gateway cargo, and Starship-HLS to the surface.

Meanwhile, SpaceX is going to Mars grand scale, in a whole new way much more efficient than the old Von Braun / Apollo / Paine / SEI / Stephen Baxter "Voyage" paradigm. The Starship way.
 
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Archibald

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It's very complicated, as is the entire Artemis program. But it is quite a smart move by NASA. They have now endorsed the SpaceX (Mars launching) system if only for lunar cargo. It amounts to a tacit acknowldgement of Orion-SLS being an Apollo-era dinosaur and relic, to go extinct probably in the next decade. Yet it was forced, rammed into NASA by Congress Shuttle lobby 10 years ago, so they are using it, seemingly making it the nucleus of Artemis.
The reality (check Lori Garver tweet about that development) is that NASA has now jumped into the Starship bandwagon, and sooner or later, will fully embrace it in place of Orion-SLS.


Thanks a lot!

Be my guest !
 

Grey Havoc

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Regarding NASA/Astrobotic Technology's Mission One, which includes among other things the Peregrine lander with Spacebit's Asagumo rover. Mission One is an important part of NASA's Commercial Lunar Payload Services program.
Another Mission One payload, the M-42 long term lunar surface radiation monitor from Germany's DLR.

 

Archibald

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Musk said a Starship could deliver 200 metric tons of payload to the Moon, in a one-way trip.
This is no exaggeration from him: the maths work.

Takes a Starship: tanks full: 1400 mt
Empty tanks: early variants: 200 mt, improved later variants: 120 mt hopefully.
So let's say 160 mt
Raptor 380 seconds in vacuum
Sooo
9.81*380*ln((1400+200)/(160+200)) = 5560 m/s

Now, going from LEO (refueling) to Moon surface in a one-way trip takes
a) a TLI = 3.2 km/s
b) a direct descent to the surface (no LLO) = 2.4 km/s

So there you are (or very close !) 5.6 km/s : 5600 m/s

Of course it would need a complete refueling in LEO: 1400 / 150 = 9.33 so 10 refueling flights (or only 7 if the tanker can bring 200 mt)

Still, 200 mt to Moon surface is completely awesome.
 

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Here's hoping that the protest either fails early (Blue Origin didn't have much of a chance of winning given their bid price), or that any redo of the competition is quick; Artemis landing humans in 2024 is already dubious, hopefully this isn't the straw that breaks the camel's back in terms of schedule.
 

Flyaway

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And here’s another protest to the award:

Dynetics confirms it is also filing a GAO protest over the NASA HLS award to SpaceX, saying it has “issues and concerns” with the acquisition process and NASA’s technical evaluation of its proposal.

View: https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1387037669868412929/

View: https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1386789740859564041


I’ve been told that Jeff Bezos is livid about this, and views overturning the HLS award as a top priority for Blue Origin.
View: https://twitter.com/wapodavenport/status/1386854755742490627?s=21
 
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Moose

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The technical evaluation protest is mostly face-saving, IMO, because that's among the least likely grounds to find for the plaintiff. GAO's not going to do a deep technical audit of a competitor's bid, at most they might find NASA's methodology in reviewing the technical merits of the bids wasn't optimal.

The evaluation of the protest overall should be interesting. NASA basically said "this program was designed around budgets we know we're not getting, so here's what we're doing with the money we believe we'll have." It makes sense, but the losing teams have a point when they say "this isn't what you said when this competition kicked off." The thing is, NASA's budget issues were as clear to the competitors as they are to us, and there's no indication of unfair advantage being given to Spacex. Their energy would better be spent lobbying their legislators for more budget.
 

Flyaway

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Eric Ralph has been pulling apart the Blue protest, thread starts here:

View: https://twitter.com/13ericralph31/status/1386891084379299850


Flattened thread here:



View: https://twitter.com/13ericralph31/status/1386963208624230400


The arrogance/overconfidence is truly astounding
 

Flyaway

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Unlike Blue Origin Dynetics are keeping their protest private beyond their press statement.
 

TomcatViP

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What is the most surprising in this protest is the absence of heavy involvement from Blue despite the large sum of money budgeted by NASA. I mean look at the hidden number for the program full time equivalent or total burn time for their BE-7: 25 minutes total burn in 3/4 years and a two digits staff (equivalent)... (Doc is quoted below)
That includes science engineering, CFD and test engineers, design engineers, drafters, manufacturing teams, assembly and the testing team. Add the necessary build-up in infrastructure with contractors, the management team, the supporting team, the marketing team (probably one of the biggest) and that leaves a fairly light inprint for something that should be a massive industrial endeavor at the end...

As a reference, someone working extra hours 6 days a week can clock close to 2 equivalent full time in a year for a solid, ill-conceived, late on time and under-budgeted project...
Look at SpaceX's Boca Chica site with their abundance of helmet adorned workers. Or ULA's workshop.

Either NASA was right to pull the carpet under their feet as those guys must be terminally exhausted, dead buried in the desert or, more hopefully, something is wrong in this doc.

additively manufactured pathfinder thrust chambers in 2018, and BE-7 hardware testing at NASA MSFC
in June 2019. Blue Origin now has more than 25 minutes of cumulative run time on the BE-7 thrust
chamber, has had more than[ [xx] full-time equivalent persons working on the program, signed more than
of reimbursable Space Act agreements with NASA MSFC, and has signed an additional set of
agreements worth about with the U.S. Air Force to upgrade an existing vacuum test facility for use
through 2034.
 
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Grey Havoc

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TomcatViP

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I don't see any reason to doubt of it. If the time-line is tight, only innovation plays a role. And at that game, the West outperforms lonely China in that domain.

The danger comes from innocent sciences sharing.
 

tequilashooter

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space race to what? the article states their only achievements is landing a rover to moon and having a joint project with Russia. The real space race looks this https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/spacetech/nuclear-propulsion-could-help-get-humans-to-mars-faster https://spacenews.com/general-atomi...uclear-reactor-to-power-missions-to-the-moon/
https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/threads/russian-nuclear-propulsion-spacecraft-nuklon.35350/ projects to the moon dont give that oohh and aahh compared to projects trying to reach different planets and different planets's moons. The definition of space race regarding lunar and earth orbit stations just dont Wow me enough for my taste. I might be asking too much of what a space race is but things like flying a drone on a different planet like Mars, manned missions to different moons and planets, launching deployable balloons to Venus atmosphere, launching submersible drones to liquid planets, etc would make a good definition of a space race.
 

TomcatViP

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The race has entered its mass age. The goal today is to build an economic system on the moon that could have a synergistic momentum with military needs.
Once there is a viable economy on the moon, most orbital systems will be lunar launched leaving only time sensitive application launched directly from earth surface.
It's all the Space ways b/w moon and earth that is now subject to competition. See earth's moon has the "high grounds" of tomorrow's epic battles.
 

Dragon029

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On Wednesday, Sen. Maria Cantwell (D) of Washington state, where Blue Origin is headquartered, came through, introducing legislation that calls for NASA to do just that. The legislation, which passed as an amendment to another bill, would authorize but not appropriate an additional $10 billion to the Artemis program through fiscal 2026. It also calls for NASA to pick a second winner for the contract.
The catch is that very little has been appropriated so far for the Human Lander System as part of Artemis, and this $10 billion is being stretched over 5 years, extending past the intended conclusion of the HLS Option A contract (which is for the R&D and procurement of a lander for the first crewed mission down to the surface). Over the same time period, the NASA OIG stated that they'd need about $16 billion for two landers, so this extra funding still comes up short, while forcing NASA to take this more expensive route regardless. This in turn means that unless they can secure extra additional funding, NASA will have to take money from some of their other programs.
 

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