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Everything posted by SunlitZelkova

  1. Agreed. All I was saying was that “it was never intended” to be used in-atmosphere is incorrect. As you can see, that dates from 1965, after the PTBT but before the OST. Here is the surface launched Orion from prior to 1963- http://www.astronautix.com/o/orionplanetary.html Again, to be clear, I am not saying it actually could have worked- just that it existed, and “Orion was never intended to be launched from the surface” is incorrect. For the purposes of a sci-fi story/world if one really wants to they can probably make Orion fly from the surface if they really want to. Of course, this would mean abandoning a “hard sci-fi” intention.
  2. HERMES IS BACK BABY And is that an electric space tug I spy? On a more serious note, it is just a “concept”, and likely exists alongside a semi-reusable (Orion) or Dragon-style capsule somewhere. But who knows? If DreamChaser is going to be a thing, why not new Hermes? Especially if new Hermes might not require throwing away anything, unlike a capsule’s service module. On an even more serious note, I wonder how realistic these “visions” are. Hermes died amidst economic troubles in the early 90s and the convenient appearance of Russia as a partner. The latter could arguably have been replaced by SpaceX while the situation isn’t exactly peachy with the former. It will depend on just how far this “being a peer competitor with other large nations” goes, I suppose.
  3. @Spacescifi The early concepts involved launching from the surface, while the Soviet counterparts, PK-3000 and PK-5000, were lofted into the upper atmosphere by conventional boosters before then switching to NPP. A cursory look was given at the damage that could be done to the environment, but it was the 1950s, so I don’t know if their conclusions are valid. Orion was perfectly legal up until the signing of the Partial Test Ban Treaty in 1963. After this and the simultaneous appearance of the Saturn C-5 as a vehicle for orbital assembly, studies switched to assembly in orbit- but then the Outer Space Treaty came along in 1967 and completely killed the concept for good. Edit- To be clear, regardless of what is actually physically possible, this is what was considered at the time.
  4. I think throwing out SLS and replacing it with a semi-reusable Starship would make more sense. It would be rather crude, but something like this- 1. Upper stage developed by old space to satisfy Congress (pork) 2. Throw out the ESM and replace it with a more powerful service module made in the USA, again for the purposes of satisfying Congress (pork). ESA wants to look at a European crewed spacecraft anyways and can have ESM “back” 3. The economy isn’t great anyways and it should be understandable to Congress that we don’t need such an expensive rocket to nowhere when the debt is how it is. We need post-Apollo frugality, of all things. Gateway and Orion are somewhat reasonable as “bones” for US prestige (as opposed to getting rid of crewed space exploration altogether, as was probably on some politicians minds after Apollo 11), but SLS is just dumb now that Starship has come along. Even if it blows up like the N1, surely with the experience SpaceX has with Falcon 9 they can make some sort of functioning HLLV with Raptor and the tanks they have. A “smart SLS” was something that needed to be decided upon after Constellation got canceled. Invite famous astronauts and scientists onto a commission, come up with a proto-Artemis, all of your mission requirements, and let the designing begin according to those requirements. The Reagan administration actually tried to do this in the 80s with a commission with the likes of Neil Armstrong and Chuck Yeager among its ranks. Instead… I haven’t read much about SLS’ early days, but I am aware of a picture of Bill Nelson pointing at an SLS graphic at some meeting. Was it really just “designed by committee” in the name of randomly doing something after the Shuttle was retired? But back to my original point- “smart SLS” needed to happen in 2009-2012, not in 2022. People made bad decisions or no decisions at all and here we are. It’s too late for SLS. And that’s nothing to be ashamed of. Energia was the first fully functioning SHLV* since the Saturn V but got canceled after just two flights. The ISS and continued human presence through Soyuz was way cooler than keeping Energia on standby for an eventual lunar program 30 years later though. Sometimes really awesome looking things just need to go away. *In the context of this sentence, I don’t treat the Shuttle as an SHLV because for it to be considered an SHLV the orbiter needs to be included in the payload. The actual functioning payload is only considered in my sentence. Energia could launch a lunar lander to the Moon for rendezvous with an Energia-launched crew vehicle, Shuttle-launched vehicles would need refueling at a station to do this.
  5. Wouldn’t it be though? The New Glenn launch date is always “moving” further away.
  6. The last sentence is this is an interesting comment, as it would basically bring us back to the SEI lunar architecture of the early 90s. One problem would be that tacking Starship on to the ISS for checkout and refurbishment might affect experiments that require microgravity. Adding such a module as part of the Axiom station would be neat though. Such a scenario would be similar to SEI in other ways, too. IIRC SEI’s Mars lander was based on the lunar lander but with a jettisonable heat shield. Just what exactly might constitute a Mars transfer vehicle is open to discussion IMO, but using Starship as a lander- whether it be met in orbit by a propulsively braked MTV or the crew actually ride in it all the way- makes sense given that the Moon lander is Starship. Now I know where Space Force got the idea for their Moon lander from lol.
  7. “Expansion” in their plans means tagging something new on to the ISS for a little while, then detaching it later and having it fly on its own. The actual US Orbital Segment itself will go down in 2030 if it survives that long.
  8. It could still be useful. They could put it into GEO and use it for calibrating ground-based space surveillance systems. Or use it as a target for testing co-orbital ASAT fire control systems. Or maybe Starship will be available to disassemble it so it can be moved to a purpose built museum. In such a scenario, those buying it up would be random billionaires. We would just have to hope it goes to a public museum instead of ending up in some dude’s garage. Auctioning off the modules would be way better than using taxpayer money to deorbit it. Fun fact: Lunokhod 2 is owned by the son of astronaut Owen Garriott.
  9. Even if it is “expensive”, it will probably still be far better than SLS and be an actually functioning SHLV with a decent cadence.
  10. Explaining why Apollo was bad was meant to demonstrate why it is not necessarily to be imitated in Artemis as per the OP's argument. I don't think a sustainable lunar architecture in the Apollo era was possible at all. A lunar landing with no constant nagging and raised eye brows from Congress in the "ideal" world I described wouldn't come around until the 1980s or 1990s. Extended stay missions referred to the J-class missions with slight improvements to the LM, those were the 3 day maximum ones. What I was talking about was the LM Shelter/Early Lunar Shelter. These would last two weeks to a month. If they wanted to, I don't think it would have been too economically outlandish to do the LM Shelter instead of Skylab. Apollo would end with a two week mission to the Moon in 1972 instead of another J-class mission. No Skylab though, which might make justifying Space Station Freedom- and thus the ISS- harder in the future. I disagree that the lack of a decadal goal would have led to delays. X-15 and Mercury are examples of programs that did fine without a date as a goal. In the "ideal" world I described, there would still be a drive to do things before or to match the Soviets, just with no date. ------ Btw, when I say "ideal" I don't mean it is something I think should have happened, merely that it would have been more "sustainable" than Apollo. I describe this alternate world to point out the problems Apollo had. Of course, these are only problems only as long as one desires for "newer stuff" to happen in space exploration.
  11. I meant in terms of sustainability. It was technically sound and had great performance but was not made to be palatable to the Congress of the 1960s. That’s on Congress too though, not just Apollo. Ideally NASA would have gotten their way with starting with advanced LEO flights, then a space station, then using the LEO vehicle for circumlunar flights, then a landing. Perhaps we might have landed humans on Mars in 2021 if that had been the case. This would require people to care about spaceflight as much as they do any other government-funded research program though. ITER comes to mind as an equivalent example. Parts of it could have been good (in terms of sustainability). Using Saturn IBs and CSMs for a space station program akin to how Salyut went was a possibility. Based on an estimate from 1967, a Saturn IB would cost 700 million some dollars in 2011, but I wonder if that could have been reduced. Why was Proton so cheap? At least in 2010, it was 110 million or so. I wonder whether funding Skylab B and launching one of the remaining Saturn Vs would have been cheaper than developing the Shuttle.
  12. What I am saying is Apollo was not good, not that Artemis is good.
  13. These are cool schematics! I am actually working on a story about the IPP and didn’t realize there were concrete OPD designs, thanks! I don’t understand the “not always” though. When I said NASA had that problem then, I meant they then solved it. Apollo is a horrible example. They chose which ever mission mode would get it done before 1970. Sustainability and efficiency in the long term was not a factor at all, nor performance in terms of a lunar base. Using two Saturn Vs for a lander and then the crew transport wouldn’t really have been a “better” Moon mission per se. What was considered was launching a habitat with a 90 day endurance, and then launching an improved CSM called the XCSM and a three man LM to have all of the crew stay on the surface. A simpler two week mission using an LM based hab was proposed to occur before this. Surveyor 7 landed with 3 kilometers of its targeted landing site. The Lunar Orbiters photographed Apollo landing sites in detail. That was the whole point of them. Mariner 4 flew by Mars at 10,000 some kilometers altitude. For comparison, a GEO satellite flys at 35,000 or so kilometers. This was far better than “reasonably close”. Direct ascent landers are better because they don’t need a plane change to reach their target. Someone has probably done the math before, but I think Starship HLS or Starship itself could work as one. Crew ride in Crew Dragon to Starship waiting in LEO, then fly to the Moon, enter polar LLO, and then land. Instead of having to rely on Orion and Gateway in NRHO, which severely restricts abort windows. Someone correct me if I am wrong, but once on the surface, in this mission profile Starship shouldn’t have to wait at all to abort and could return to Earth at any time.
  14. Is that a backup Tianhe I see? Or are these mock-ups? Nice! Kind of reminds me of how DOS-8 was a Mir Core Module backup, but was later modified and became the Zvezda module of the ISS. Assuming this is a modification of the rumored backup Tianhe.
  15. Not entirely related, but NASA faced a similar problem with the Reusable Nuclear Shuttle they were planning for in the immediate post-Apollo era. The RNS would refuel at a propellant depot that would hold some 1,200 tons of LH2 in at least eight modules. These would be brought in by a Space Shuttle 25 tons at a time. To prevent boiloff, the propellant depot would have two nuclear reactors for active cooling, and be covered in “super-insulation”. As for Artemis, what propellant depot? I swear I thought Starship HLS was refueled directly by the tankers. Also should this discussion should be merged with the Artemis thread @Vanamonde?
  16. This isn’t entirely correct. A tumbler doesn’t necessarily have to have tethers. The NASA IPP Mars mission (von Braun’s from 1969) was elongated enough so that if the two craft that would fly it were docked at the front, it could tumble to generate meaningful artificial gravity.
  17. Yup! Except I misremembered. It was an MPD thruster vehicle, not BNTR. In case you are interested, here it is- https://ntrs.nasa.gov/api/citations/20030063128/downloads/20030063128.pdf
  18. This is a huge issue in real life. A 2003 NASA study of a crewed mission to Callisto examined having a bi-modal NTR spacecraft turn end over end for artificial gravity, but at a certain point there wouldn’t be enough fuel to maintain the CoM for it- so the crew would have to spend a full year or so in microgravity on the return voyage.
  19. @JoeSchmuckatelli Quoting you from the thread about SETI data… I’m on mobile and it won’t let me insert an empty quote box. ” Tangentially related: Neil deGrasse Tyson, "We can launch a probe from one moving, rotating planet and land on a COMET... we can measure, via LIGO, a wiggle less than the width of a photon... and yet Congress spends its time and money because someone saw a Tic-Tac on the screen of a Navy jet in a restricted airspace??? That's your best evidence for 'little green men'??? C'Mon!" ” It is the media and UFO enthusiasts who conflate the UAPs with UFOs… not in the normal definition of “an aerial object we do not know the nature of” but instead the “extraterrestrial spacecraft” UFOs. Congress/DOD’s interest is more open minded, considering things like the possibility of it being some ultra high tech foreign reconnaissance asset, among other things. In general the US defence establishment’s tendency is to treat every possible threat seriously, because the last time military intelligence got little bits of pieces of evidence, and even warnings, but shrugged it off as “silly” and “impossible”, Pearl Harbor got bombed. Not sure about nowadays, but the Soviet defence establishment had the same problem throughout almost the entire Cold War because of their traumatic experience with the Great Patriotic War. Which makes me wonder… do we have any idea of what other countries think of these “UAPs”? All I know at the moment is that Japan set up reporting guidelines for UAPs for its military around the time the DOD released its first report. ——— By the way, as UAPs don’t necessarily have anything to do with extraterrestrials, I don’t think that ND-GT quote is applicable to the SETI thread. SETI is searching for radio signals from distant celestial bodies, UAPs only relate to unidentified aerial objects as the name implies, not alien craft. The UAPs = aliens is something media and UFO enthusiasts are assuming, not something the UAP investigators themselves have said. And as UAPs are not inherently extraterrestrial, they certainly have no relation to SETI. Also SETI is not funded by the US government, also making the taxpayer funded UAP investigation irrelevant to SETI.
  20. Yes. Kind of like how Grand Central Station in NYC is capitalized even though there are other central stations that are grand. A nice example of why you should read the full article at some point instead of reading the headline and thinking you are informed.
  21. Is this the main “those UFO/UAPs from the last five years recorded by militaries” thread? NASA is joining… that auto-corrected to “joking”, lol… the UAP train. If not I think this belongs here anyway in case it ignites discussion in the Science News thread.
  22. If William Nelson is “Ballast Bill”, can we call Rogozin “Deadweight Dmitry”? EDIT- Nope. This is what happens with low sleep
  23. @Vanamonde @Gargamel Clean up on Isle Russian Launch and Mission thread The discussion of ROSS has veered into blatantly off-topic stuff. We might benefit from another explanation of just how far "space policy" discussion can go, and maybe even about what constitutes respectfully sharing opinions and what doesn't.
  24. I guess a lot of [email protected] participants lived in China lol. I don't think UFOs can be conflated with SETI and the SETI Institute. SETI at least focuses on actually reasonably possible things (radio signals from distant celestial bodies) as opposed to blurry balls of light filmed by bumpkins. No offense to bumpkins by the way, but objects captured on an F/A-18's FLIR are certainly worth more investigation than a 15 second video from a Nokia.
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