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Obama's Latest Vision

Posted by: sanman - Thu Apr 15, 2010 1:46 am
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Obama's Latest Vision 
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Post Obama's Latest Vision   Posted on: Thu Apr 15, 2010 1:46 am
Stung by the outburst of criticism against his "space vision", the Obama admin have now quickly come out with a new proposal for an amended space vision:

http://www.fastcompany.com/1615708/obam ... s-moonshot

A new heavy-lift rocket is proposed to be fast-tracked for development, to keep US human spaceflight going, and with an eye to developing newer-generation technologies for the goal of reaching Mars.

Hmm, whereas America's return to the Moon was announced with considerable fanfare through Constellation, Mars seems to have snuck in under the wire through a last-minute revision. Somehow it doesn't quite feel like a lump-in-the-throat moment, but hey, whatever works. I just hope the Whitehouse has the will to stay the course, so that time and money isn't wasted again.


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Post Re: Obama's Latest Vision   Posted on: Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:21 am
I hope they're considering the DIRECT project.

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Post Re: Obama's Latest Vision   Posted on: Thu Apr 15, 2010 1:35 pm
they wont, or if they do it wont be referenced as having anything to do with DIRECT.

to be honest,
the fact that the Obamanator's speach today was to a select, closed audience, and they aren't broadcasting it, just doesnt sit well with me.
the only reason he's having this change in attitude is because Texas and Florida Espesially are key election states. He realized he stepped on toes he shouldn't have and is having to backpedal.

In the end, i get the distict feeling that he is going to slip something into the works that will make it impossible for NASA to do their job, and make it seem like its NASA's fault they failed, giving him an excuse to gut them like he's been wanting to.


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Post Re: Obama's Latest Vision   Posted on: Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:00 pm
What is the point of developing an Orion lite as an excape capsule only?

The US will still have to pay fot transport to the ISS and even worse will have to replace these vehicles on a regular basis since it is unlikely that one will have to stay on orbit indefinetly.

This seems to me not much more than a sweetener to create some jobs for these politically startegic areas.

Surely designing a launch abort system for this capsule so it can be used as a LEO ferry shouldn't be not much more expensive. Why not design a cut down version of the one already designed for Orion?

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Post Re: Obama's Latest Vision   Posted on: Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:18 pm
i honestly have no expectation of NASA fielding a new vehicle worth mentioning for a long time, but i'm also fine with that. as long as they fund fundamental research, planetary science, and commercial space- they're doing their job, and a hell of a lot better than was being done under constellation. our capabilities are increasing pretty quickly, and not in areas that people look at and see all the time. LRO is super advanced and is providing some amazing science without having a lander. the Mars Science Lab will have the ability to detect specific organic molecules that are signs of life, and should revolutionize our understanding of Mars (or at least confirm/refute a bunch of theories). stuff like that is just as important as "starting to build" this heavy launch vehicle. i'd like to point out, for one, that i'm pretty sure when heavy launch is used in this context, they're thinking of something bigger than saturn V. rockets really don't scale that well - it's extremely difficult to build a 100mt launcher, and the fundamental research they're funding in this interim period of 5 years will really make a big difference as to which vehicle is actually selected. this is a case where it makes sense to do your homework before you pick the design, rather than picking a design and hoping it doesn't have a huge number of flaws like Ares I ended up having. so basically, do i have any expectation of there being a human mission to an asteroid by 2030? no, i don't. but, i think they are focusing on the right areas, and i have confidence that private space will fill in the gaps as needed.

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Post Re: Obama's Latest Vision   Posted on: Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:18 pm
Andy Hill wrote:
What is the point of developing an Orion lite as an excape capsule only?

Well one reason that I can think of is for returning zeroG experiments to Earth. That's gonna be a big problem when the shuttle is parked in the Smithsonian. The Russians could probably do it by launching 2 people in a Soyuz and leaving room for some cargo on the way back down. I don't think we'll see much of that happening though since the number of people going to and from the ISS is gonna be pretty low for the next few years. The ATV is going to have return capability in a few years, possibly before Orion-lite is finished.

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Post Re: Obama's Latest Vision   Posted on: Fri Apr 16, 2010 12:46 pm
Isn't Dragon supposed to have pressurized and unpressurized downmass as well though?


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Post Re: Obama's Latest Vision   Posted on: Fri Apr 16, 2010 1:57 pm
I thought it was just pressurised, I could be wrong though. If I'm right then the same logic applies as the Soyuz scenario I mentioned.

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Post Re: Obama's Latest Vision   Posted on: Fri Apr 16, 2010 3:14 pm
johno wrote:
The ATV is going to have return capability in a few years, possibly before Orion-lite is finished.


That is supposed to happen until 2015. But knowing ESA, their schedules and how hard it is to get proper funding for that kind of project (*cough* Galileo *cough*) I predict, that it will take a bit longer.

I don't know how long NASA/Boeing/LM will need for the "Orion-Lite", but without the need to man-rate the vehicle (and sufficiently test a launch abort system), I believe this should be something that can be done faster than we Europeans will need to develop the ARV (advanced reentry vehicle = ATV with heatshield-capsule).

Unless anything major goes wrong, Dragon will beat both options by years!

Could somebody explain to me what's the point about unpressurized DOWN-cargo? Once you land, you have atmospheric pressure anyway, so in order to keep something in a vacuum, you would have to store it in some kind of UNpressurized container. So unpressurized down-cargo isn't really necessary imho - as long as your experiment fits inside the capsule you can bring it home.

As far as I know, none of the 4 "contenders" (Soyuz, Dragon, Orion, ARV - in order of (predicted) availability) have any significant space for unpressurized down-cargo anyway.

edit:
Andy Hill wrote:
What is the point of developing an Orion lite as an excape capsule only?

Because as far as I know, "lite" only means without (immediate) launch capability. So you can finish Orion in every other aspect, stick it on a Delta IV, Atlas 5 or whatever is available and test it at the ISS as well as test its reentry performance - having it as an additional life-boat is just a neat bonus, not the objective. Once you want to leave LEO again, you have a fully operational CEV, and if you want, you can still develop a booster to launch it including astronauts. but please no more Ares I.

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Post Re: Obama's Latest Vision   Posted on: Sat Apr 17, 2010 11:45 am
.

The "exciting" new NASA plan: http://bit.ly/cgIjDv

.

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Post Re: Obama's Latest Vision   Posted on: Sat Apr 17, 2010 12:40 pm
gaetanomarano wrote:
.

The "exciting" new NASA plan: http://bit.ly/cgIjDv

.


I followed the link and it ended in another garish many coloured poke at the google lunar lander challenge, I of course navigated back before reading more than the title, I suggest anyone not wanting to waste their time do the same.:- you have been warned.

Andy

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Post Re: Obama's Latest Vision   Posted on: Sat Apr 17, 2010 8:23 pm
Andy Hill wrote:
gaetanomarano wrote:
.

The "exciting" new NASA plan: http://bit.ly/cgIjDv

.


I followed the link and it ended in another garish many coloured poke at the google lunar lander challenge, I of course navigated back before reading more than the title, I suggest anyone not wanting to waste their time do the same.:- you have been warned.

Andy


He hopelessly ouclasses me at the one thing I thought I was good at - narcissism.

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Post Re: Obama's Latest Vision   Posted on: Sun Apr 18, 2010 12:48 pm
Marcus Zottl wrote:
Andy Hill wrote:
What is the point of developing an Orion lite as an excape capsule only?

Because as far as I know, "lite" only means without (immediate) launch capability. So you can finish Orion in every other aspect, stick it on a Delta IV, Atlas 5 or whatever is available and test it at the ISS as well as test its reentry performance - having it as an additional life-boat is just a neat bonus, not the objective. Once you want to leave LEO again, you have a fully operational CEV, and if you want, you can still develop a booster to launch it including astronauts. but please no more Ares I.


I thought that the "lite" referred not only to capability but also weight as the full Orion capsule couldn't be put into orbit by a standard EELV, hence the need for Ares 1. As to having a capsule able to leave LEO, I think that some of the weight/capability stripped away means that it wont be able to take the extra loads and temperatures coming back from beyond LEO.

While I concede that this is a better proposal than just throwing everything away, it is still not very sensible.

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Post Re: Obama's Latest Vision   Posted on: Wed May 12, 2010 7:20 am
No I agree with you Andy, it's not sensible and so far as I can see, simply a jobs maintenance program. Suppose to be a lifeboat although the LAS test seemed to go well the other day.
Believe Soyuz is still the best option - add 2 if you're going to field 6 on the ISS at the same time. I believe the on-station time for a Soyuz is 6 months, might be possible to push this to 12 months but not sure of the constraints.
DragonLab is being developed for up to 2 years in orbit so looks like this vehicle will have capabilities beyond anything being considered by others.

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Post Re: Obama's Latest Vision   Posted on: Sun May 16, 2010 8:47 am
What I really dont understand is the Obama administrations willingness to give NASA extra money but not allow it to build a proper crew ferry to ISS.

I think I read somewhere that the ISS budget will still be over a couple of billion dollars a year even though no new modules are being developed/made and the Russian's are acting as a crew taxi. What are all these people going to do?

Still the signs are that congress is not going to give this policy an easy ride so he may need to go for the full Orion Lite with LAS to get the rest of Constellation canned.

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