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Proposals by Boeing etc. for the Bush Plan

Posted by: Ekkehard Augustin - Sat Nov 20, 2004 3:49 pm
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Proposals by Boeing etc. for the Bush Plan 
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Post Proposals by Boeing etc. for the Bush Plan   Posted on: Sat Nov 20, 2004 3:49 pm
At the website of the germen section of the Mars Society there are at least two articles about the ideas several firms like Boeing have worked out to make the Bush Plan reality.

All these ideas include not only vehicles but a whole infrastructure. These infrastrutures are consiting of vehicles of several kinds and at least one space station - Boeing for example would place a station at L1 between Earth and moon.

But the infrastructure requires much more than vehicles and stations only. So the quetion is: can a single firm like Boeing manage such an infrastructure really? Is the government able to do that really? I'm doubting.

May it be that there are no financial barriers for private space travels? May it be that private space travles are the only chance to realize ideas like that of Boeing financially?



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Post    Posted on: Sun Nov 21, 2004 10:07 am
I don't understand, why wouldn't they be able to?


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Post    Posted on: Mon Nov 22, 2004 6:02 pm
An infrastructure isn't a simple structured assemblance of vehicles and stations - an infrastructure includes logistical concepts and maintenance concepts. Propellant has to be provided at stations and spaceports, atmosphere has to be provided at stations, vehicles and planets, food has to be provided. And - very important - a repair service has to be installed.

All this is quite different to constructing and placing stations and vehicles - economically at least.

Look - for example at usual terrestrian infrastructure like the road net - it's easy for a constructor of roads to make a road and too to place gasoline stations. But the delivery of gasoline to the stations is allways done by quite other companies, the water supply too. And so on. And the constructor don't do the maintenance of the road of his own - it's required to ordere him to do a repair. For simple reasons - what way for example the constructor of the road could know when repairs are required? He cannot know that. Someone has to control the road for the detection of damages. This is a sevice done by different firms specialised to that.

I make a break here - if you want I will continue later. Infrastructures are a very interesting but detailed and complex topic. So it's better if you and other control the direction the discussion should go to.



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Post    Posted on: Mon Nov 22, 2004 8:30 pm
Oh, I see your point.

I dunno, I'd imagine that it would be slow going up there until we get at least some semblance of an infrastructure in place, and though boeing might be able to do it, they probably won't do it well. Not as well as several smaller companies working independently of eachother, anyway.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Nov 26, 2004 3:23 pm
I still think the 13th man on the moon will be a Chinese, after the Olympics and 3-gorges dam, they can spend big money on a project like this.
US economy is too weak for a programme like that, in my point of view and Russia/ESA
got a long way to go with the extension of the Kourou base for future Sojuz launches.

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Post    Posted on: Mon Nov 29, 2004 9:15 am
A chinese project will be more expensive than a real infrastructure governed by market economy and including private companies, private users as well as government agencies and governmental users - like the common infrastructures in the US and other free countries too.

A chinese lunar project will be less expensive than the Apollo programme but it will be more expensive than an US project developing and using a free infrastructure.



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Post    Posted on: Tue Nov 30, 2004 4:51 am
The Chinese would however be able to learn from our mistakes in methods of implementation.


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Post    Posted on: Tue Nov 30, 2004 8:02 am
Yes, agreed - they are able to learn from those errors and mistakes not only, they are really doing so.

But they may be restricted and bound by there ideology - ideology not in the sense of "Communism", "Socialism" etc. but in the sense of "space mission has to be governmental only" or something similar.

In China there is a very old very fundamental "ideology" at work - the idea of China as the center of the world with its government (the emperor in ancient China) as the highest erthian authority everyone has to obey to. And this idea has to be based on solid fundamentals. In ancient China it was the emperor's authority to order engineers to make safe that the rivers don't drown the acres, cows and men, to make bridges and roads and to force tributes from non-chinese countries (once in the nineteenth or eighteenth century a chinese emperor ordered the UK to pay taxes to China...! He did that by a letter.)

From this history and tradition the Chinese never will base there space activities significantly on private spacecrafts. I wouldn't wonder if they would restrict all private space activities.

If they would remove such restrictions we soon would see a lot of chinese people and enterprises go into the orbits and to the moon I suppose. The Mars would follow one or two decades later only. All the private chinese space entrepreneurs would easyly create an infrastructure in space - more easyly than western entrepreneurs. It would be done by personal connections etc.



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Post    Posted on: Tue Oct 30, 2007 9:38 am
What the article "Space Gas Station Would Blast Huge Payloads to the Moon" ( www.popularmechanics.com/science/air_space/4224660.html ) gaetanomarano is referring to in the Technology section is reporting about is the first part of an infrastructure and space logistics.

Interestingly Boeing seems to being thinking about a reasonable libertarian concept that allows for trade by everyone - und thus seems to be acting as if they are aware of that they aren't experts of handling and maintaining such an infrastructure:

Quote:
Anyone can make propellant, and anyone can deliver it. The orbital reservoir will allow for different quantities from tanker vehicles both small and large. The payload itself is cheap, so even low-reliability launchers could potentially be used.

If one provider doesn’t deliver, another can pick up the slack, whether it’s based in the U.S. or overseas. It’s an ideal means to provide a large market for a variety of launch providers, driving the competition necessary to reduce launch costs. And the lower the propellant costs get, the lower the cost of per-pound lunar payload delivery gets—space economics at its finest.


The infrastructure-nature is underlined also by

Quote:
Down the road, Boeing’s gas station could provide even more benefits than an improved lunar payload. Communications companies could improve their satellite payloads to geostationary orbit and beyond.


This might keep such deliveries and depot-costs per kg of propellant cheap because of economies of scale at more than one aspect of the concept.

I'll keep an eye on it because it may be of meaning for the Lunar Siyuz-thread (and three others also).



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