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posted by Fnord666 on Saturday April 06 2019, @02:39AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the been-there-done-that dept.

Here's why NASA's audacious return to the Moon just might work

Speaking in front of a high-fidelity model of the Apollo program's Lunar Module spacecraft, Vice President Mike Pence charged NASA with accelerating its Moon plans last week. Instead of 2028, Pence wanted boots on the ground four years earlier, before the end of 2024. This marked the rarest of all moments in spaceflight—a schedule moving left instead of to the right.

Understandably, the aerospace community greeted the announcement with a healthy dose of skepticism. Many rocket builders, spaceship designers, flight controllers, and space buffs have seen this movie before. Both in 1989 and 2004, Republican administrations have announced ambitious Moon-then-Mars deep space plans only to see them die for lack of funding and White House backing.

And yet, 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.

[...] Pence directed NASA to land humans at the lunar south pole by 2024. Most likely, this would be a two- or four-person crew that would include the first woman to visit the Moon. Landing near the poles is significant because the Apollo missions half a century ago stayed relatively close to the Moon's equator, and NASA would like to understand whether water ice resources truly exist in abundance near the poles in shadowed craters.

[...] It is politically expedient to keep the SLS rocket, however, because it is based at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama. Bridenstine understands that there is no way he is getting NASA to the Moon by 2024 over the opposition of the Alabama delegation both in the House and Senate, which remains dead set against side-lining the rocket for cheaper commercial options.

So the administrator appears to be making the one play available to him: giving the SLS rocket a chance to succeed while also putting the program on notice. Bridenstine has told senior NASA engineers to take needed steps to give the rocket its best chance to launch in 2020, even to the point of waiving a traditional but time-consuming test firing of the core stage at a Mississippi center. He has also told the rocket's primary contractor, Boeing, that this is probably their last chance to execute on a contract that has cost NASA billions of dollars. In a year or two, if SLS continues to slip, Bridenstine will be able to say he tried.

Related: How to Get Back to the Moon in 4 Years, Permanently
President Trump Signs Space Policy Directive 1
After the Falcon Heavy Launch, Time to Defund the Space Launch System?
2020s to Become the Decade of Lunar Re-Exploration
White House Budget Request Would Move Launches from SLS to Commercial Providers
NASA Chief Says a Falcon Heavy Rocket Could Fly Humans to the Moon


Original Submission

Related Stories

How to Get Back to the Moon in 4 Years, Permanently 56 comments

Howard Bloom has written a guest blog at Scientific American addressing the Trump Administration's plan to return to (orbit) the Moon. That mission would use the Space Launch System rocket and Orion capsule, which have cost $18 billion through 2017 but are not expected to launch astronauts into space until around 2023. Bloom instead proposes using private industry to put a base on the Moon, using technology such as SpaceX's Falcon Heavy (estimated $135 million per launch vs. $500 million for the Space Launch System) and Bigelow Aerospace's inflatable habitat modules:

[NASA's acting administrator Robert] Lightfoot's problem lies in the two pieces of NASA equipment he wants to work with: a rocket that's too expensive to fly and is years from completion—the Space Launch System; and a capsule that's far from ready to carry humans—the Orion. Neither the SLS nor the Orion are able to land on the Moon. Let me repeat that. Once these pieces of super-expensive equipment reach the moon's vicinity, they cannot land.

Who is able to land on the lunar surface? Elon Musk and Robert Bigelow. Musk's rockets—the Falcon and the soon-to-be-launched Falcon Heavy—are built to take off and land. So far their landing capabilities have been used to ease them down on earth. But the same technology, with a few tweaks, gives them the ability to land payloads on the surface of the Moon. Including humans. What's more, SpaceX's upcoming seven-passenger Dragon 2 capsule has already demonstrated its ability to gentle itself down to earth's surface. In other words, with a few modifications and equipment additions, Falcon rockets and Dragon capsules could be made Moon-ready.

[...] In 2000, Bigelow purchased a technology that Congress had ordered NASA to abandon: inflatable habitats. For the last sixteen years Bigelow and his company, Bigelow Aerospace, have been advancing inflatable habitat technology. Inflatable technology lets you squeeze a housing unit into a small package, carry it by rocket to a space destination, then blow it up like a balloon. Since the spring of 2016, Bigelow, a real estate developer and founder of the Budget Suites of America hotel chain, has had an inflatable habitat acting as a spare room at the International Space Station 220 miles above your head and mine. And Bigelow's been developing something far more ambitious—an inflatable Moon Base, that would use three of his 330-cubic-meter B330 modules. What's more, Bigelow has been developing a landing vehicle to bring his modules gently down to the Moon's surface.

[...] If NASA ditched the Space Launch System and the Orion, it would free up three billion dollars a year. That budget could speed the Moon-readiness of Bigelow's landing vehicles, not to mention SpaceX's Falcon rockets and could pay for lunar enhancements to manned Dragon 2 capsules. In fact, three billion dollars a year is far greater than what Bigelow and Musk would need. That budget would also allow NASA to bring Jeff Bezos into the race. And it would let NASA refocus its energy on earth-orbit and lunar-surface refueling stations...plus rovers, lunar construction equipment, and devices to turn lunar ice into rocket fuel, drinkable water, and breathable oxygen. Not to mention machines to turn lunar dust and rock into building materials.

An organization that Howard Bloom founded, The Space Development Steering Committee, has been short one member recently (Edgar Mitchell).


Original Submission

President Trump Signs Space Policy Directive 1 100 comments

No more sending humans to an asteroid. We're going back to the Moon:

The policy calls for the NASA administrator to "lead an innovative and sustainable program of exploration with commercial and international partners to enable human expansion across the solar system and to bring back to Earth new knowledge and opportunities." The effort will more effectively organize government, private industry, and international efforts toward returning humans on the Moon, and will lay the foundation that will eventually enable human exploration of Mars.

"The directive I am signing today will refocus America's space program on human exploration and discovery," said President Trump. "It marks a first step in returning American astronauts to the Moon for the first time since 1972, for long-term exploration and use. This time, we will not only plant our flag and leave our footprints -- we will establish a foundation for an eventual mission to Mars, and perhaps someday, to many worlds beyond."

The policy grew from a unanimous recommendation by the new National Space Council, chaired by Vice President Mike Pence, after its first meeting Oct. 5. In addition to the direction to plan for human return to the Moon, the policy also ends NASA's existing effort to send humans to an asteroid. The president revived the National Space Council in July to advise and help implement his space policy with exploration as a national priority.

President's remarks and White House release.

Presidential Memorandum on Reinvigorating America's Human Space Exploration Program

Also at Reuters and New Scientist.

Previously: Should We Skip Mars for Now and Go to the Moon Again?
How to Get Back to the Moon in 4 Years, Permanently
NASA Eyeing Mini Space Station in Lunar Orbit as Stepping Stone to Mars
NASA and Roscosmos Sign Joint Statement on the Development of a Lunar Space Station
Bigelow and ULA to Put Inflatable Module in Orbit Around the Moon by 2022


Original Submission

After the Falcon Heavy Launch, Time to Defund the Space Launch System? 57 comments

An op-ed written by Lori Garver, a former deputy administrator of NASA, suggests cancelling the Space Launch System in favor of Falcon Heavy and BFR:

SpaceX could save NASA and the future of space exploration

The successful launch of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket is a game-changer that could actually save NASA and the future of space exploration. [...] Unfortunately, the traditionalists at NASA — and their beltway bandit allies — don't share this view and have feared this moment since the day the Falcon Heavy program was announced seven years ago.

The question to be answered in Washington now is why would Congress continue to spend billions of taxpayer dollars a year on a government-made rocket that is unnecessary and obsolete now that the private sector has shown they can do it for a fraction of the cost? [...] Once operational, SLS will cost NASA over $1 billion per launch. The Falcon Heavy, developed at zero cost to the taxpayer, would charge NASA approximately $100M per launch. In other words, NASA could buy 10 Falcon Heavy launches for the coat of one SLS launch — and invest the remainder in truly revolutionary and meaningful missions that advance science and exploration.

While SLS may be a "government-made rocket", the "beltway bandits", also known as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Orbital ATK, and Aerojet Rocketdyne, are heavily involved in its development. The United Launch Alliance (Boeing + Lockheed Martin) have also shown that they can build their own expensive rocket: the Delta IV Heavy, which can carry less than half the payload to LEO of Falcon Heavy while costing over four times as much per launch.

NASA's marketing of how many elephants, locomotives and airplanes could be launched by various versions of SLS is a perfect example of the frivolity of developing, building and operating their own rocket. NASA advertises that it will be able to launch 12.5 elephants to LEO on Block I SLS, or 2.8 more elephants than the Falcon Heavy could launch. But if we are counting elephants — the planned Block II version of SLS could launch 30 elephants, while SpaceX's BFR could launch 34. Talk about significant.

Wait, what? 70 metric tons (SLS Block 1) / 63.8 metric tons (Falcon Heavy) = ~1.09717868339. 1.097 * (12.5 - 2.8) = ~10.6 elephants lifted by SLS Block 1 versus 9.7 for Falcon Heavy.

NASA documents list 12 elephants for SLS Block 1 (70 metric tons), and 22 for SLS Block 2 (130 metric tons). The author might have lifted some numbers from a Business Insider article that (incorrectly) estimates that 12.5 elephants can be lifted by Falcon Heavy, while SLS Block 2 can lift 30 elephants, and 34 for BFR. Perhaps we are dealing with a mix of adult and juvenile elephants?

2020s to Become the Decade of Lunar Re-Exploration 56 comments

NASA is going back to the Moon, perhaps permanently, as seen in a new road map (image):

Four months after President Trump directed NASA to return to the Moon, the agency has presented a road map to meet the goals outlined in Space Policy Directive-1. The updated plan shifts focus from the previous "Journey to Mars" campaign back to the Moon, and—eventually—to the Red Planet.

"The Moon will play an important role in expanding human presence deeper into the solar system," said Bill Gerstenmaier, associate administrator of the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate at NASA, in a release issued by the agency.

While the revamped plan may share the same destination as the Apollo program, NASA said it will approach the return in a more measured and sustainable manner. Unlike humanity's first trip to the Moon, the journey back will incorporate both commercial and international partners.

To achieve this, NASA has outlined four strategic goals:

  • Transition low-Earth orbit (LEO) human spaceflight activities to commercial operators.
  • Expand long-duration spaceflight activities to include lunar orbit.
  • Facilitate long-term robotic lunar exploration.
  • Use human exploration of the Moon as groundwork for eventual human missions to Mars and beyond.

This may be the best outcome for the space program. Let NASA focus on the Moon with an eye towards permanently stationing robots and humans there, and let SpaceX or someone else take the credit for a 2020s/early-2030s manned Mars landing. Then work on a permanent presence on Mars using cheaper rocket launches, faster propulsion technologies, better radiation shielding, hardier space potatoes, etc.

Previously: President Trump Signs Space Policy Directive 1

Related:


Original Submission

White House Budget Request Would Move Launches from SLS to Commercial Providers 49 comments

NASA budget proposal targets SLS (Space Launch System)

The White House's fiscal year 2020 budget request for NASA proposes to delay work on an upgraded version of the Space Launch System and would transfer some of that vehicle's payloads to other rockets.

The proposal, released by the Office of Management and Budget March 11, offers a total of $21 billion for the space agency, a decrease of $500 million over what Congress appropriated in the final fiscal year 2019 spending bill signed into law Feb. 15.

A major element of the proposal is to defer work on the Block 1B version of the SLS, which would increase the rocket's performance by replacing its existing Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage with the more powerful Exploration Upper Stage. The budget "instead focuses the program on the completion of the initial version of the SLS and supporting a reliable SLS and Orion annual flight cadence," the OMB budget stated. The first SLS/Orion mission, without a crew, is now planned for the "early 2020s," according to the budget, an apparent slip from the planned 2020 launch of Exploration Mission 1.

NASA had previously planned to use the Block 1B version of SLS to launch elements of its lunar Gateway, using a "co-manifesting" capability enabled by the rocket's greater performance. Instead, according to the budget document, those components will be launched on "competitively procured vehicles, complementing crew transport flights on the SLS and Orion."

[...] The budget proposal would also remove one non-exploration payload from the SLS manifest. The proposal offers $600 million for the Europa Clipper mission, enabling a launch in 2023. However, NASA would instead seek to launch the mission on a commercial launch vehicle rather than SLS, a move it claims "would save over $700 million, allowing multiple new activities to be funded across the Agency." The fiscal year 2019 budget request also proposed a commercial launch of Europa Clipper, but Congress placed into law in the final funding bill the requirement to use SLS for that mission.

Are we nearing a good timeline?

Related: After the Falcon Heavy Launch, Time to Defund the Space Launch System?
House Spending Bill Offers NASA More Money Than the Agency or Administration Wanted
NASA Administrator Ponders the Fate of SLS in Interview
SpaceX's Falcon Heavy Could Launch Japanese and European Payloads to Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway
Northrop Grumman Exec Warns of Coming "Affordability" in the Space Launch System's Future
Impact of the Midterm Elections May be Felt at NASA
When Space Science Becomes a Political Liability


Original Submission

NASA Chief Says a Falcon Heavy Rocket Could Fly Humans to the Moon 24 comments

Submitted via IRC for Bytram

NASA chief says a Falcon Heavy rocket could fly humans to the Moon

[...] Until now, it was thought that only NASA's Space Launch System could directly inject the Orion spacecraft into a lunar orbit, which made it the preferred option for getting astronauts to the Moon for any potential landing by 2024. However, [NASA Administrator Jim] Bridenstine said there was another option: a Falcon Heavy rocket with an Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage built by United Launch Alliance.

[...] This plan has the ability to put humans on the Moon by 2024, Bridenstine said. He then emphasized—twice—that NASA's chief of human spaceflight, William Gerstenmaier, has yet to bless this approach due to a number of technical details. His reservations include the challenge of integrating the Falcon Heavy rocket in a horizontal position and then loading Orion with fuel in a vertical configuration on the launchpad. The Falcon Heavy would also require a larger payload fairing than it normally flies with. This would place uncertain stress on the rocket's side-mounted boosters.

"It would require time [and] cost, and there is risk involved," Bridenstine said. "But guess what—if we're going to land boots on the Moon in 2024, we have time, and we have the ability to accept some risk and make some modifications. All of that is on the table. There is nothing sacred here that is off the table. And that is a potential capability that could help us land boots on the Moon in 2024."


Original Submission

Artemis: NASA to Receive $1.6 Billion for 2024 Manned Moon Landing 47 comments

Trump adds $1.6 billion to NASA budget request to kick start 'Artemis' moon mission

The Trump administration is adding an additional $1.6 billion to NASA's $21 billion 2020 budget request to kick start plans to return American astronauts to the moon in 2024, four years earlier than previously planned, NASA announced Monday. In a surprise announcement, agency Administrator Jim Bridenstine said the revitalized moon program will be named Artemis after the Greek goddess of the moon.

[...] According to a NASA fact sheet, the new budget request includes $1 billion "to enable NASA to being supporting the development of commercial human lunar landing systems three years earlier than previously envisioned. 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."

Gateway development will be limited to what is needed to make the station a viable staging base for trips to the surface. That will free up $321 million for other moon spending. An additional $651 million is earmarked for the Space Launch System — SLS — heavy lift rocket and Orion spacecraft. Lunar surface technologies and propulsion systems would receive an additional $132 million with $90 million going to robotic exploration and research near the moon's south pole.

[...] The same day Bridenstine talked of the challenge of landing on the moon, Amazon-founder Jeff Bezos unveiled a lunar lander called Blue Moon that could put 6.5 metric tons on the surface of the moon. He said Blue Moon, carrying an ascent stage, could meet NASA's schedule for landing astronauts on the surface by 2024.

Previously: NASA Chief Says a Falcon Heavy Rocket Could Fly Humans to the Moon
Here's Why NASA's Audacious Return to the Moon Just Might Work
Lockheed Martin Proposes Streamlined Lunar Gateway for 2024 Manned Lunar Landing


Original Submission

Project Artemis: Return to the Moon to Cost Another $20-30 Billion 32 comments

Bridenstine estimates Artemis cost at $20–30 billion

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a television interview June 13 that it will cost the agency an additional $20 billion to $30 billion to return humans to the moon, the first range of costs given by the agency for the program.

In an interview with CNN, Bridenstine said that estimate would be above earlier projections for costs of existing elements of what's now called the Artemis program, such as the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft.

"For the whole program, to get a sustainable presence on the moon, we're looking at between 20 and 30 billion dollars," he said. "When we talk about the 20 to 30 billion dollars, it would be 20 or 30 billion on top of the normal NASA budget but, of course, that would be spread over five years."

[...] The lack of cost estimates for Artemis had become a point of frustration for members of Congress. "For us in Congress to be able to grapple with these things, we need some idea of how much of a cost is expected to be incurred over the next five years," said Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) during a June 11 hearing by the House Science Committee's space subcommittee on NASA's science program where he sought, unsuccessfully, to get a cost estimate like the one Bridenstine provided in the interview.

Also at The Verge.

Previously: Here's Why NASA's Audacious Return to the Moon Just Might Work
Lockheed Martin Proposes Streamlined Lunar Gateway for 2024 Manned Lunar Landing
Artemis: NASA to Receive $1.6 Billion for 2024 Manned Moon Landing
NASA Orders First Segment of Lunar Station for 2024 Artemis Moon Mission


Original Submission

Lockheed Martin Proposes Streamlined Lunar Gateway for 2024 Manned Lunar Landing 12 comments

Lockheed Martin offers architecture for 2024 human lunar landing

Lockheed Martin says it has developed an approach to achieving the goal of landing humans on the south pole of the moon by 2024, but warns that construction of essential hardware would have to start soon to meet that deadline.

In a briefing at the 35th Space Symposium here April 10, company officials said they can make extensive use of existing hardware to develop components like a scaled-down version of the lunar Gateway and a two-stage lunar lander on an accelerated schedule.

While many details have yet to be worked out, the basic elements of the plan, Lockheed argues, demonstrates that the ability to meet the 2024 deadline established March 26 by Vice President Mike Pence in a National Space Council speech is at least technically feasible, if challenging.

[...] Lockheed's plan would diverge from NASA's old approach after Exploration Mission (EM) 1, an uncrewed test of the Orion spacecraft launched by the Space Launch System in 2020. The company proposes launching a "Phase 1" Gateway in 2022 consisting of just the Power and Propulsion Element (PPE) and a small habitation module with docking ports. NASA expects to issue awards for the PPE in May, while the habitation module could be adapted from ongoing studies that are part of NASA's Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships, or NextSTEP, program.

Also at Space.com.

See also: Falcon Heavy's first commercial flight is 'huge' as 'an inflection point' for SpaceX, banker says

Previously: Is the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway the Right Way to the Moon?
Canada Will Contribute to the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway
Here's Why NASA's Audacious Return to the Moon Just Might Work


Original Submission

New Head of Human Exploration at NASA Committed to Reaching the Moon by 2024 18 comments

After shocking leadership shakeup at NASA, new head of human exploration says moon 2024 is doable:

Less than 24 hours after being named head of human exploration at NASA, former astronaut Ken Bowersox said the agency is trying to speed up decision-making in its quest to reach the moon by 2024.

"The key is we need to fly when we're ready, but if we don't shoot for 2024 we have zero chance," Bowersox said Thursday at the American Astronautical Society's John Glenn Memorial Symposium. "Our attitude is to get as much of this going as we can — to move as fast as we can, as long as we can."

Bowersox' brief remarks in Cleveland follow the shocking announcement Wednesday night that Bill Gerstenmaier — a pillar in NASA's human exploration operations since 2005 — was out as the agency's associate administrator for the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate.

The announcement was made in a Wednesday email to NASA employees from Administrator Jim Bridenstine. "As you know, NASA has been given a bold challenge to put the first woman and the next man on the Moon by 2024, with a focus on the ultimate goal of sending humans to Mars," he wrote. "In an effort to meet this challenge, I have decided to make leadership changes." He then named Bowersox — a 62-year-old veteran of five space shuttle flights — as Gerstenmaier's replacement.

The decision — which surprised many in the space community — comes as NASA continues a years-long struggle to keep its human exploration plans on track. Projects such as the Space Launch System rocket being built to launch humans to the moon and the commercial crew program, meant to alleviate the country's reliance on Russia for transportation to the International Space Station, are years behind schedule.

See also: To the Moon and beyond

Related: 2020s to Become the Decade of Lunar Re-Exploration
NASA Chief Says a Falcon Heavy Rocket Could Fly Humans to the Moon
Here's Why NASA's Audacious Return to the Moon Just Might Work
Lockheed Martin Proposes Streamlined Lunar Gateway for 2024 Manned Lunar Landing
Artemis: NASA to Receive $1.6 Billion for 2024 Manned Moon Landing
NASA Orders First Segment of Lunar Station for 2024 Artemis Moon Mission
Project Artemis: Return to the Moon to Cost Another $20-30 Billion


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Saturday April 06 2019, @03:05AM (3 children)

    by fustakrakich (6150) on Saturday April 06 2019, @03:05AM (#825246) Journal

    Think... *LunarMax*!

    --
    Ok, we paid the ransom. Do I get my dog back? REDЯUM
    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 06 2019, @03:15AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 06 2019, @03:15AM (#825247)

      If Trump and Pence would just volunteer I'm sure that NASA could manage to send them to Mars tomorrow. Trump could even get away from Mueller.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 07 2019, @05:54AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 07 2019, @05:54AM (#825673)

        60% of Americans AND Mexico will pay for it.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 06 2019, @03:23AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 06 2019, @03:23AM (#825254)

      https://www.nicekicks.com/tag/nike-lunarmax/ [nicekicks.com]

      Or did you mean something else?

  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday April 06 2019, @03:16AM (2 children)

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday April 06 2019, @03:16AM (#825248) Journal

    But to accomplish this, we must redouble our efforts here in Huntsville and throughout this program. We must accelerate the SLS program to meet this objective. But know this: The President has directed NASA and Administrator Jim Bridenstine to accomplish this goal by any means necessary.

    Vice President Pence wasn't tying himself rigidly to the SLS, but it's still a rather high profile support for a program that is the latest in a chain of failures from NASA. My take is that SLS is so bad at present, it alone will be sufficient to keep the US from achieving Pence's goal.

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by jmorris on Saturday April 06 2019, @03:20AM (8 children)

    by jmorris (4844) on Saturday April 06 2019, @03:20AM (#825251)

    Before, these plans always involved a timetable that the President "boldy" announcing it knew he wouldn't be held accountable to because he would be gone. Assuming, as all the oddsmakers and historians, that Trump is reelected, Trump will be President in 2024 and we can assume launching Pence to the Republican nomination as his hand picked successor. The keeping, or failure to keep, this promise will directly be an issue for President Trump and a campaign issue Mr. Pence will have to either answer for or claim as an accomplishment.

    Of course it also means a lot of people on the Left, who otherwise would be supporting the project, will be attempting to scuttle the attempt to score a marker. The #resistance is more important!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 06 2019, @03:28AM (7 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 06 2019, @03:28AM (#825258)

      > ..Trump will be President in 2024

      Ok that's your prediction.

      Mine is that Trump will be removed from office for mental incompetence (ranting/raving/incoherence/dementia), well before that date.

      Prepared to put any money on this? (said the AC with a grin)

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 06 2019, @03:37AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 06 2019, @03:37AM (#825263)

        It's not hard to make anon bets using crypto. Or just use predictit.com.

      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Saturday April 06 2019, @04:11PM (5 children)

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Saturday April 06 2019, @04:11PM (#825415) Journal

        That's your prediction.

        Mine is that Trump will not leave office voluntarily during his 2nd, 3rd or 4th term.

        --
        While in an airport, never use the word "balm".
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 06 2019, @06:11PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 06 2019, @06:11PM (#825446)

          Which Trump? There are many Trumps slated for the presidency until 2046.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 06 2019, @08:20PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 06 2019, @08:20PM (#825497)

          You mean like you predicted with JWB?

          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday April 06 2019, @11:02PM (1 child)

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday April 06 2019, @11:02PM (#825538) Journal
            Who is JWB? I gambled that you might be referring to Jeb Bush. I didn't see anything when I googled for that and DannyB. He doesn't have anything in his journals either.
            • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Monday April 08 2019, @01:36PM

              by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 08 2019, @01:36PM (#826141) Journal

              I was going to ask JWB who? JWB doesn't ring any bells for me.

              --
              While in an airport, never use the word "balm".
        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday April 06 2019, @10:50PM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday April 06 2019, @10:50PM (#825533) Journal

          Mine is that Trump will not leave office voluntarily during his 2nd, 3rd or 4th term.

          Sounds like a fine betting opportunity. How much are you willing to bet that Trump does that once? And what are the odds?

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 06 2019, @03:21AM (18 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 06 2019, @03:21AM (#825253)

    Guessing Pence and/or some of his "donors" / cronies stand to make a mint by this worthless project. And, it takes even more money away from social programs, so bonus!

    These Nazi scum are going to bankrupt our nation, while raping every worthwhile program / agency our taxes currently fund.

    • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 06 2019, @03:27AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 06 2019, @03:27AM (#825257)

      How retarded do you need to be to think Trump is a Nazi? His biggest funder is a huge zionist and he's trying to get Herman Cain on the federal reserve board.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by Ethanol-fueled on Saturday April 06 2019, @03:31AM (16 children)

      by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Saturday April 06 2019, @03:31AM (#825260) Homepage

      I think it has more to do with the fact that America can now actually put people on the moon, unlike that hoax that happened decades earlier.

      First principles: If we had the ability to land people on the moon in those days, then we'd already have been exploiting the moon for a decade or two at least. That bitch would have been mined so goddamn hard that it'd be a fraction of its current size and tides and surfers would be banished to the dustbin of history and the lyrics of Beach Boys albums.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 06 2019, @03:54AM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 06 2019, @03:54AM (#825267)

        If we had the ability to land people on the moon in those days, then we'd already have been exploiting the moon for a decade or two at least.

        We have been. If you go around the back side, you'll see it's all hollowed out and all the scaffolding holding up the facade facing us. It is a paper moon

        • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 06 2019, @03:57AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 06 2019, @03:57AM (#825270)

          No, it's because they found evidence the sun goes nova every 5-15k years and it scared the crap out of them. The surface had evidence of widespread geologically recent melting.

          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday April 06 2019, @04:09PM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday April 06 2019, @04:09PM (#825414) Journal

            No, it's because they found evidence the sun goes nova every 5-15k years and it scared the crap out of them.

            No evidence of that on Earth which would also be affected. Let's think about it. Start with how hot things must get in order for melting to occur. 500 C is a basic minimum [hypertextbook.com].

            "Depending on it's composition, some glass will melt at temperatures as low as 500 °C (900 °F), others melt at 1650 °C (3180 °F)"

            Current lunar peak temperatures observed were somewhere around 130 C. Let's convert those into Kelvin by adding 273 to the Celcius numbers. Roughly, 770 K versus present day 400 K. For a black body which the Moon reasonably approximates, the heat radiated is the fourth power of the surface temperature in Kelvin ( (770/400)^4 ~13). To maintain that temperature for any length of time requires a solar influx that increases by roughly an order of magnitude. Even a short exposure (but long enough to melt rock on the Moon) is going to absolutely fry the Earth's land surface and start to boil away the oceans.

      • (Score: 1, Troll) by jmorris on Saturday April 06 2019, @04:00AM (2 children)

        by jmorris (4844) on Saturday April 06 2019, @04:00AM (#825273)

        Nah, we did the moon landing but it was a pointless PR stunt. Look at the cost, there was nothing there to justify a tenth of the expense. We did it with stone knives, bearskins, balls of steel and Sagan's of cash. One can make the argument it was worth it to beat the Soviets there in the sense of it being a front in the Cold War, but once that was achieved there was nothing to justify spending that kind of money just for more bags of rock.

        Now we are on the edge of having the tech to have legit business up there; especially if we find ice. We could have a moonbase in my lifetime! Hopefully at least one of the original men who walked there will live to see us return.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 06 2019, @04:11AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 06 2019, @04:11AM (#825277)

          It's cheaper because we are reaping the benefits of research into dark matter.

          • (Score: 2, Disagree) by Gaaark on Saturday April 06 2019, @04:20AM

            by Gaaark (41) on Saturday April 06 2019, @04:20AM (#825284) Journal

            Ah! My evil twin/arch enemy posting AC!

            --
            --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Immerman on Saturday April 06 2019, @04:04AM (2 children)

        by Immerman (3985) on Saturday April 06 2019, @04:04AM (#825275)

        Getting there, and getting there cost effectively, are two rather different things. Not to mention that we're finally beginning to have the technology necessary to at least envision profitable exploitation. Rocket science is easy compared to robotics, long-term semi-closed ecosystem management, etc.

        • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 06 2019, @03:57PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 06 2019, @03:57PM (#825412)

          Getting there, and getting there cost effectively, are two rather different things.

          What cost effectiveness? What could possibly generate a profit on the moon that can't be done with a greater profit on earth? If going to moon were to cost $1000, it would be a waste of 1000 dollars.

          The only value the moon business produces is the money kept from arms forces and manufacturers and the incidental scientific and engineering developments occurring while presuming its exploration. It's a symptom and a symbol for our corrupt way of life. The Emperor's life elixir. Branded and delivered to every household.

          You know what would be cost-effective? Taking all that moon money and putting it into the infrastructure or education or anything really that doesn't involve Star Trek reruns.

          Fuck the moon.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 06 2019, @09:46PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 06 2019, @09:46PM (#825514)

            Here's what's cheaper - and more useful. Put money into figuring out how to create living spaces in the ocean. It's horrifically expensive and difficult but at least 100 times easier and more comfortable than the moon. The fucking moon, give me a break. Things like air and water and temperature are ridiculous luxuries there. Get real morans.

      • (Score: 3, Funny) by Gaaark on Saturday April 06 2019, @04:17AM (5 children)

        by Gaaark (41) on Saturday April 06 2019, @04:17AM (#825282) Journal

        I think it's also a 'worry' thing: what ARE the Chinese doing over there on the dark side where 'we' can't see them?

        AND, we're losing face: we gotta go back and do something REAL.

        --
        --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
        • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 06 2019, @04:32AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 06 2019, @04:32AM (#825291)

          The Chinese are checking for glass. NASA only checked on one hemisphere, so it is not known if the entire surface has been melted or just the half facing the sun at the time. If it is the entire surface that confirms it must be a relatively common occurrence, happening at least twice in the last 30k years.

          • (Score: 3, Funny) by Gaaark on Saturday April 06 2019, @05:13AM

            by Gaaark (41) on Saturday April 06 2019, @05:13AM (#825297) Journal

            Checking for glass...AND MAKING Nucular bombies to drop on Murica!

            Maybe. :)

            --
            --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 06 2019, @03:17PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 06 2019, @03:17PM (#825395)

          The threat of China claiming the moon like they claimed the South China Sea is the ONLY thing that can Motivate America to get get there and get there on a credible timetable.

          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by bob_super on Saturday April 06 2019, @05:59PM (1 child)

            by bob_super (1357) on Saturday April 06 2019, @05:59PM (#825442)

            The threat of China winning with focused, central, long-term planning is the motivation.
            Can't let people start believing that this socialist shit might be worth a damn!

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 06 2019, @09:48PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 06 2019, @09:48PM (#825516)

              I say give it to them. Most expensive white elephant EVARRRRR.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 06 2019, @04:52AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 06 2019, @04:52AM (#825293)

        I think it has more to do with the fact that America can now actually put people on the moon, unlike that hoax that happened decades earlier.

        I know, right? Have you seen this documentary [wikipedia.org]? It's quite enlightening! And it's not just on YouTube either! It's got a whole Wikipedia page to itself, so you know it's on the up and up!

  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 06 2019, @05:38AM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 06 2019, @05:38AM (#825302)

    So, sure, we will go to the moon, and those other things, that JFK referred to, but Kennedy was not a Christian, he was a Catholic, and this is why Mike Pence cannot be in a room, alone, with a woman or astronomical body that is not his wife, because he might try to fuck it. My Gawd, these evangelicals are ever more perverted that Muslins who have to keep women's hair covered so they don't rape them. At least in America, these people drive for Uber. But, now, let's get back to the point. Mike Pence would probably fuck you, if you were left alone in a room with him. What do you think he plans on doing with the Moon? Which, BTW, is only 6,000 years old. Do not touch that panel, Pence! Do not! Oh, crap.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 06 2019, @05:49AM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 06 2019, @05:49AM (#825304)

      The hilarious thing is that customs like that develop due to stuff like the fake accusations we saw against Kavanaugh.

      • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 06 2019, @06:59AM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 06 2019, @06:59AM (#825310)

        Kavanaugh fucked my dog. I would not trust him with anything with an orifice.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 06 2019, @07:04AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 06 2019, @07:04AM (#825311)

          Eventually you end up with sharia law. Muslims don't have dogs either.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 06 2019, @04:58PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 06 2019, @04:58PM (#825429)

            The goats however, seem to be thriving

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 07 2019, @01:18AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 07 2019, @01:18AM (#825581)
      The Catholics were believing in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour a thousand and a half years before them Johnny come lately evangelicals.
  • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 06 2019, @03:22PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 06 2019, @03:22PM (#825396)

    It's only work if there's displacement. If the only objective is to put some schmuck on the moon to have their photo taken before sending them back they might as well just save everyone the money and use Photoshop.

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