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posted by martyb on Monday April 15 2019, @03:35AM   Printer-friendly
from the progress? dept.

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

Related Stories

Is the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway the Right Way to the Moon? 34 comments

Submitted via IRC for takyon

An article at SpaceNews.com asks Is the Gateway the right way to the moon? — the "Gateway" is The Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway.

This article originally appeared in the Dec. 17, 2018 issue of SpaceNews magazine.

Sometime in 2028, competing for attention alongside a presidential election and the return of the Summer Olympics to Los Angeles, NASA will return humans to the surface of the moon.

A lunar lander will depart the cluster of modules in an elliptical orbit around the moon, called Gateway, and descend. One stage will take the lander to a low lunar orbit and then separate, after which the descent module will handle the rest of the journey to the lunar surface. A crew of up to four will spend days — perhaps up to two weeks — on the surface before boarding the ascent module, which will take them back to the Gateway.

At least that’s NASA’s plan for now. A year after President Donald Trump formally directed NASA to return humans to the moon in Space Policy Directive (SPD) 1, the agency has developed the outlines of a plan to carry that out, while emphasizing the language in the policy to do so in a “sustainable” manner and with international and commercial partners. But as the agency describes two of the biggest elements of the plan, the Gateway and a “human-class” lunar lander, it’s still struggling to sell the proposal to its various stakeholders, including its own advisers.

[The somewhat long article is well worth a read. Notable members of NASA as well as former astronauts weigh in on their views of the pros and cons of such an approach as opposed to direct flights to and from the moon. To my eye, NASA was instructed to make the Deep Space Gateway happen so there was a destination for the Space Launch System (SLS) which currently costs something like $2 billion per year in launch and development costs. By comparison, I recall reading that SpaceX anticipates it can develop its next-generation Big 'Falcon' Rocket (BFR) and Big 'Falcon' spaceship (BFS) — now called "Super Heavy" and "Starship", respectively — for about $2 billion total. --martyb]


Original Submission

Canada Will Contribute to the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway 19 comments

Gateway Moon station: Canada joins Nasa space project

Canada will contribute US$1.4bn to a proposed Nasa space station that will orbit the Moon and act as a base to land astronauts on its surface.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the step would "push the boundaries of innovation".

The space station, called Gateway, is a key element in Nasa's plan to return to the Moon with humans in the 2020s.

As part of the 24-year commitment, Canada will build a next-generation robotic arm for the new lunar outpost.

"Canada is going to the Moon," Mr Trudeau told a news conference at Canadian Space Agency's headquarters near Montreal, according to AFP.

*Canada is going near the Moon.

Also at CBC and Popular Mechanics.

Previously: Russia Assembles Engineering Group for Lunar Activities and the Deep Space Gateway
China Will Focus on a Lunar Surface Station Rather than a Lunar Orbiting Station
SpaceX's Falcon Heavy Could Launch Japanese and European Payloads to Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway
Head of Russian Space Agency Roscosmos Wavers on Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway
Is the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway the Right Way to the Moon?

Related: Future of U.S.-Russian Space Cooperation in Doubt
ESA Plans to Send Mining Equipment to the Moon


Original Submission

Here's Why NASA's Audacious Return to the Moon Just Might Work 42 comments

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.

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

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, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 15 2019, @04:34AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 15 2019, @04:34AM (#829642)

    (1) convert 436 f-35s to dollar bills.
    (2) stack bills up
    (3) climb stack to moon
    (4) profit!

    * 240 million miles to moon
    * 150 million for an f-35
    * 0.0043 inches thickness of dollar bill
    * (240e6 * 5280 * 12 * 0.0043) / 150e6 = 435.92

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 15 2019, @04:49AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 15 2019, @04:49AM (#829654)

    Over NextSTEP.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 15 2019, @05:35AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 15 2019, @05:35AM (#829674)
      Trademarks work only in the same industry, plus or minus.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 15 2019, @07:20AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 15 2019, @07:20AM (#829719)

    Why would NASA keep aiming for Mars when the tech isn't ready and it's completely pointless? Why would they give awards and put out press releases for still-in-early-development tech... I knew it's pork related... Musk got away with dragging his feet on the whole heavy launchers thing... There was their own launch platform... But the numbers didn't add up considering the time table. But now it's clear: They were distracting other parties from competing against Lookheed for the real mission by making up all this fake plans they didn't intend to follow.

    Well played Lockheed.

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Monday April 15 2019, @02:08PM

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Monday April 15 2019, @02:08PM (#829818) Journal

      Real stream of consciousness stuff there.

      Why would NASA keep aiming for Mars when the tech isn't ready and it's completely pointless?

      This article is about the Moon. NASA is "aiming" for Mars, mostly by talking about it but not even close to doing it.

      Musk got away with dragging his feet on the whole heavy launchers thing... There was their own launch platform... But the numbers didn't add up considering the time table.

      What are you talking about? Falcon Heavy was delayed because Falcon 9 became much more powerful. BFR/Starship is their actual solution for getting to Mars, and a much more impressive super heavy-lift launch vehicle (maybe launchers in excess of 200 tons expendable payload should get their own category). Development is ramping up and ahead of schedule last time I checked.

      They were distracting other parties from competing against Lookheed for the real mission by making up all this fake plans they didn't intend to follow.

      Not sure if you mean NASA or SpaceX here. SLS is certainly not required to build or even man the "gateway".

      https://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=18/08/15/1416221 [soylentnews.org]
      https://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=19/04/02/0556243 [soylentnews.org]

      Don't drink and post.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 15 2019, @12:02PM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 15 2019, @12:02PM (#829767)

    i hope everybody is clear that universal outerspace STANDARDS have to be set (agreed on) by all fucking players. and not shit that changes every 1.5 years because of forced obsolence (and we need more profit so lets not be interoperable and change shit ... lets start with removing the head phone jack kinda-shit).
    lifes will be at stake and there might come a time that 2, 3 maybe even 4 spacecrafts are in moon or even mars orbit. and because lockhead didnt agree on the docking hatch standard their failing spacecraft will not be dockable with the russia or chinese or spaceX also in orbit and ready to help or provide a spare part (which wouldnt fit anyways) and all passengers will perish because ... "fuck universal standards(tm)".
    please feel.free to interchange "failing lockheed space ship" with "chinese", "russian" or anything else.

    for all sane people in the world: if this metric (no pun) of a universal standard is agreed on we can assume that space travel has become honest and a global endevour and not just national pride or show and profit. before this is achieved it's just nation against nation and corporation against corporation and space travel will be less then safe.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 15 2019, @01:09PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 15 2019, @01:09PM (#829790)

      Depending on how much is in the standard, that's easy or impossible.

      To save a crew, one could rendezvous and spacewalk.
      To couple two space craft, one expects structures and a sealed hatch, but it could go much further.
      Much further probably pushes to impossible. Consider:
      1) A common plan for moving electrical power.
      2) Connections for housekeeping like cooling and breathing
      3) Agreement on what fuel and how to transfer
      4) Agreement on data links and vehicle dynamics, and how to control the common spacecraft.

      For openers, you would like to see a single (androgynous?) docking interface.
      It would be a good sanity check to see how all these proposals deal with this aspect.
      There appears to have been some work in this direction, any clues as to how accepted or workable they are?

      https://web.archive.org/web/20131216200055/http://internationaldockingstandard.com/download/IDSS_IDD_Rev_C_11_22_13_FINAL.pdf [archive.org]

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 15 2019, @03:27PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 15 2019, @03:27PM (#829870)

        thanks for the link.
        i was just trying to point out that "some" might try to use the (renewed) spirit of space exploration for plain earthly gains.
        one easy way is to go proprietary.

        everybody can roll their own from scratch on earth. the resources are all under eachs feet. space is vast and monstrous in size.
        sure these facts might be tempting for some to proof they can go it alone. i guess some(one) will.

        others will realize that in this enormous space and the vaste distances interoperability vastly increases reliability, since the (life sustaining) spare part isn't just
        "under your feet" and a new one might be far far away but a 50% loaded one (shareable) is a few hours away?

        however, i think once resources really flow the other way, from space to earth not the other way around, the industry will demand a common standard.
        no more different units, different electrical system, in short no more snowflakes. get with the program.

        if i remember correctly, some satellit building companies (which don't interoperate) have a "common" frame onto which mission required equipment is bolted on?

        pipe mating, scew sizes etc etc we already have agreed on on earth. still need a "universal wall socket plug" when going travelling :) most ac/dc adaptors work 110/60 and 230/50 so there's that.
        computer (PC) stuff pretty much across manufacturers (ex. cpu socket and "better" generation RAM).

        i just hope not too many lives are lost in space exporation because of the "pride to go it alone" before the realization of the vastness of space firmly crushes the
        snowflake ideology of some meaty speke on this rock ^_^ (or, psssh, send them first)

        • (Score: 2) by PiMuNu on Monday April 15 2019, @04:50PM

          by PiMuNu (3823) on Monday April 15 2019, @04:50PM (#829926)

          It's not pride, it's $. The evil aim of "standardisation" is to get as much of $COMPANY tech into the standard so that $COMPANY can charge for licensing.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 15 2019, @06:09PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 15 2019, @06:09PM (#829960)

      if public dollars are used, then we should get blueprints, etc.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 15 2019, @02:48PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 15 2019, @02:48PM (#829843)

    I wonder if 3 new vehicles could to the job.
        Orion may be the crew capsule already?

    Lunar Lander crew plus assent stage (Functions of Apollo LEM upper half)

    Crew capsule and earth reentry (Functions of Apollo capsule or Orion?)

    Space propulsion module (Functions of Apollo CSM or LEM lower half, It will take 2 hopefully only slightly different versions.

    Big launch contract (First and second stage, fairings, and adapters to get above into space in 2 launches.)

    Sequence:

    Launch lander with the propulsion module 2.
    Launch crew capsule with propulsion module 1.
    Dock the 2 vehicles, use pm1 to get to the moon
    Use pm2 to land assent module with crew, then walk around, and leave with assent module.
    Dock and use pm1 to get back.

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