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NASA SLS/Orion/Payloads

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I'm sorry for just posting a wall of these updates but this one is a must see. Especially for anyone who's a Shatner-lover.

Which leads me to a few answers to my questions-

 

Earlier I asked "how serious are they about staying"- and well this seems to show the answer- very. Which is good news is my eyes.

A second point is their direct answer that the moon is in fact a testing ground and not a final destination. Which I'm glad to hear that they haven't given up on the moon and are doing what we should- which is regain our knowledge and experience with deep space and more importantly surface operations. As others have said on this thread- all of the knowledge and experience from Apollo has been lost, so stopping back at the moon for testing and experiments, can only benefit us in the long run and I appreciate that the moon can continue to be explored as NASA moves onto Mars, since LOP-G and any commercial developments for it. So neither Mars nor the moon can be neglected in this plan (though Venus will forever remain alone, despite being a better place for deep space habitation using the airship design, but that's just my opinion).

Another point of interest is the fact that our previous estimates on orbital ability from LOP-G might be a bit skewed- as we need to remember that LOP-G isn't a stationary target like the ISS. LOP-G with the assistance of the PPE, will be capable of adjusting and changing it's orbit independently. Which means it could reduce it's orbit over multiple orbits to get closer to the surface and then reorbit. This would really only be an issue if the station has high traffic or traffic arriving faster than the PPE can adjust it's orbit. Before you say- yes, I know the PPE is likely going to be used for station keeping, and that orbital changes are not stated, but it's only reasonable that with that ability, and enough time, that the station, especially when without crew, or large additional payloads (like landers, deep space exploration vehicles and whatnot) that it could be feasible that LOP-G could move for the science or need of a mission.

Also, it quite clearly shows that the investigation into a FH launched EM-1 went nowhere, least from what I'm seeing as they are pushing SLS as much as they can.

I'm quite happy with Bridenstine's commitment. This is slowly proving to be more than just a political flex, as there's actual followthrough, planning, funding, and support for this goal. I'm really hopeful for NASA and it's commercial partners, as this is a big goal. There's still a lot of big questions- like how NASA plans on keeping schedule with SLS not flying until 2021 based on current proposals, or if NASA has some trick up it's sleeve to keep the 2020 launch date despite pushing through with the B2 test stand tests, which I support they do, but also regret the delay it'll cause.

Either way, exciting times ahead.

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The FH for EM-1 went nowhere because it wasn't meant to go anywhere. It was about EM-1, which is simply too soon to cobble together a commercial option, though Bridenstine in fact said FH could work with more time (and honestly, they didn't bother with looking into distributed launches for FH as far as I can tell). The video is an SLS commercial. They mention "commercial partners," then show only Delta IV H as the other LV, for example.

The lesser Gateway makes sense, as Gateway is kinda dumb anyway.

Long poles?

Lander.

Tug.

New spacesuits (seriously).

The lander and tug need to be bending metal pretty much this year, or they are not a thing, and this doesn't work, IMO. Apollo tested everything---not just on the ground, in space. Tug? Needs to be sent up and tested. Ditto lander (including descent abort).

What doesn't seem to be on the table ever? Orion being capable of docking by itself. How could they design a modern spacecraft without this capability as a given?

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43 minutes ago, tater said:

Tug.

If Orion goes directly to LOP-G, do we need a tug? It's efficient for trips from LEO to the moon but right now only the ISS is a compatible place for crews to travel to, and I don't know if it can handle such a large vehicle for the time between missions. How will that effect station drag? Risk for potential FOD damage? Direct using Orion seems pretty seasonable.

46 minutes ago, tater said:

What doesn't seem to be on the table ever? Orion being capable of docking by itself. How could they design a modern spacecraft without this capability as a given?

To be fair, the space shuttle, the last manned American spacecraft and NASA's most recent also didn't directly dock. It instead rendezvoused and was captured using the robotic arm then pulled in for docking. Which seems vastly more efficient and easier than designing docking thrusters which need to be more precise than typical attitude thrusters. Not to mention the addition of translational thrusters as well. 

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6 minutes ago, ZooNamedGames said:

If Orion goes directly to LOP-G, do we need a tug? It's efficient for trips from LEO to the moon but right now only the ISS is a compatible place for crews to travel to, and I don't know if it can handle such a large vehicle for the time between missions. How will that effect station drag? Risk for potential FOD damage? Direct using Orion seems pretty seasonable.

A tug is required for lunar landing architectures that use Gateway.

Orion can't get to LLO and back. Orion must meet a lander at Gateway, and either the lander can do a RT to the surface and back with 2 stages, or there is a third stage.

No one has yet to propose a RT lander that can do it alone (and if they did, what could launch it, Starship?).

6 minutes ago, ZooNamedGames said:

To be fair, the space shuttle, the last manned American spacecraft and NASA's most recent also didn't directly dock. It instead rendezvoused and was captured using the robotic arm then pulled in for docking. Which seems vastly more efficient and easier than designing docking thrusters which need to be more precise than typical attitude thrusters. Not to mention the addition of translational thrusters as well. 

CST-100 and Crew Dragon disagree.

If a spacecraft can dock with crew aboard (Orion can do this), then it's bizarre that it's not able to be maneuvered by the flight computer. Orion has docking thrusters, after all.

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1 hour ago, ZooNamedGames said:

To be fair, the space shuttle, the last manned American spacecraft and NASA's most recent also didn't directly dock. It instead rendezvoused and was captured using the robotic arm then pulled in for docking.

The Space Shuttle did not use the robotic arm to dock to the ISS.

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3 minutes ago, Brotoro said:

The Space Shuttle did not use the robotic arm to dock to the ISS.

No, the ISS' docking arm did.

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22 minutes ago, ZooNamedGames said:

No, the ISS' docking arm did.

Nope.

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23 minutes ago, ZooNamedGames said:

No, the ISS' docking arm did.

The arm was on standby in case it was needed, but the Shuttle (crew) docked itself.

From https://www.quora.com/How-do-space-shuttles-dock-themselves-at-the-ISS

Quote
Robert Frost, works at NASA
Answered Aug 2, 2014 · Author has 7k answers and 144.7m answer views
 
Velocity is relative.  Yes, the ISS is traveling at around 7.7 km/s (17,500 mph), but once the Space Shuttle reached the same altitude it too was naturally moving at 7.7 km/s.  So from the perspective of the Space Shuttle (Orbiter) crew, neither vehicle was moving - unless the Orbiter crew fired its RCS jets.

The Orbiter would approach the ISS from the rear and then circle under the ISS at a distance of around 200 meters (600 ft).  Once it was directly in front of the ISS it would slow its velocity by 0.1 m/s (4 inches per sec) to close the distance.  The crew would focus on a target that was attached to the ISS docking mechanism to ensure proper alignment.  Once contact was made, hooks would engage to hold the two vehicles together.

 

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1 hour ago, ZooNamedGames said:

To be fair, the space shuttle, the last manned American spacecraft and NASA's most recent also didn't directly dock.

It did.

1 hour ago, ZooNamedGames said:

It instead rendezvoused and was captured using the robotic arm then pulled in for docking.

It didn't.

1 hour ago, ZooNamedGames said:

Which seems vastly more efficient and easier than designing docking thrusters which need to be more precise than typical attitude thrusters. Not to mention the addition of translational thrusters as well. 

You seem to be misinformed about many things.

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Posted (edited)

Orion is designed to dock, but the system won't be ready in time for EM-1, so it will be flying without it.

Edited by jadebenn

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5 minutes ago, jadebenn said:

Orion is designed to dock, but the system won't be ready in time for EM-1, so it will be flying without it.

Yeah, but it seems like adding the capability to dock by itself should not really be terribly difficult.

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Just now, tater said:

Yeah, but it seems like adding the capability to dock by itself should not really be terribly difficult.

From what I've heard, it's a combined software/hardware issue. They're having trouble getting the docking software to play nice with the various sensor and propulsion subsystems onboard the Orion.

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Sounds like an issue for another mission. EM-1/2 don't necessitate the docking program so it could be left on the backburner until EM-3 in 2024 (according to Wikipedia, and even if currently correct, would likely see a change to it's mission plan to meet their current #ShootForTheMoon goals) when they deliver the utilization modules to LOP-G.

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A recent interview with Bridenstine:

https://www.theverge.com/2019/5/17/18627839/nasa-administrator-jim-bridenstine-artemis-moon-program-budget-amendment

Big points:

  • EM-1, EM-2, etc. are now renamed Artemis 1, Artemis 2, etc. The naming scheme doesn't seem to officially apply to non Orion launches. I think this is great, we need more poetic mission names and not just acronyms (CRS, STS, HTV, DM, USCV, etc.).
  • NASA wants to launch two separate redundant landers of different architectures for Artemis 3, with 2 or 3 pieces each, based on current estimates, and just 2 modules of Gateway, the utilization module and the PPE.
  • This means that there will be potentially eleven Artemis related launches before the landing (3 SLS, 6 lander, 2 Gateway) not counting lander test flights.
  • The 1.6 billion isn't completely secured but support for the program by politicians seems high.
  • Part of the reason they are trying to go so quickly is that the longer it takes to land on the moon, the more likely the program is to be cancelled by politics.

I don't want to be too optimistic about this, or get my hopes up, but it seems that Artemis is more likely to happen than any other recent lunar proposals. I definitely wouldn't give it a 100% chance of happening, but I think it's got a good shot.

Given the scope of this project, should we create a new thread for Artemis, as it encompasses more than SLS? Or should we wait a bit and see if they continue to be serious? Or should we keep this thread and possibly rename it?

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I think BO working on their landers regardless of NASA funding is a bigger help to any possible success than anything else.

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I thnk part of the reason for the sudden rush to the moon is that the Chinese have expressed interest in landing taikonauts on the Moon. A little competition sparks wonders....

And yeah, I don't see how the US could have hoped to pull it off in that timeline without BO already being three years into the development of BM, as well as Starship proceeding rapidly, albeit unproven.

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33 minutes ago, StrandedonEarth said:

I thnk part of the reason for the sudden rush to the moon is that the Chinese have expressed interest in landing taikonauts on the Moon. A little competition sparks wonders....

And yeah, I don't see how the US could have hoped to pull it off in that timeline without BO already being three years into the development of BM, as well as Starship proceeding rapidly, albeit unproven.

Not until the 2030s, though.

 

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9 minutes ago, tater said:

Not until the 2030s, though.

 

Yes, but expect NASA's schedule to slip a few years, and then to have a proper presence there instead of more flags and footprints means setting goals in Elon time.

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before launch orion for Falcon heavy rocket had use dummy simulation orion/esm/ICPS for aerodynamic testing when if ok

would be launch Falcon heavy rocket on moon orion and icps to moons

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4 hours ago, Wirelex said:

before launch orion for Falcon heavy rocket had use dummy simulation orion/esm/ICPS for aerodynamic testing when if ok

would be launch Falcon heavy rocket on moon orion and icps to moons

This is not coherent and I have no idea what you're trying to say.

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Posted (edited)

All you need to know about SLS is contained in this tweet, which shows what they consider to be a feature, not a bug:

 

Edited by tater

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40 minutes ago, tater said:

All you need to know about SLS is contained in this tweet, which shows what they consider to be a feature, not a bug:

 

"Did you know, that the US governments pork distribution scheme reaches millionaires in all 50 states with a ridiculously convoluted and difficult to trace supply system?" 

There you go, fixed it for you! 

But yeah, there are many logistics experts crying tonight, at this tweet. 

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To quote a user on reddit: "If the bar for "jobs program" is "a public official said it created jobs", then I have bad news for you about literally everything publicly funded."

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