_Augustus_

NASA SLS/Orion/Payloads

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1 hour ago, tater said:

Interesting.

Using already flow vehicles? That pretty much means a Centaur based lander, which is not that far-fetched.

Except that Centaur's balloon tanks might not withstand entry/re-entry, and it might not have a high enough TWR.

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Yeah, they are super high Isp hydrolox engines (RL-10), but for Mars perhaps they add a higher thrust variant. Unsure what else it could be though.

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25 minutes ago, tater said:

Yeah, they are super high Isp hydrolox engines (RL-10), but for Mars perhaps they add a higher thrust variant. Unsure what else it could be though.

They could do ACES-based with something to the effect of "I'm SURE ACES will be flight-proven and existing by the 2030s!"

 

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21 hours ago, _Augustus_ said:

Except that Centaur's balloon tanks might not withstand entry/re-entry, and it might not have a high enough TWR.

And they further wreck the ascent TWR with those skewed nozzles - I still recall that thesis on supersonic retro someone posted.

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On 9/20/2017 at 3:32 PM, _Augustus_ said:

They could do ACES-based with something to the effect of "I'm SURE ACES will be flight-proven and existing by the 2030s!"

 

Is this the same thread that said there's nothing of value in TLI launches? All of these things are starting to blend together. Regardless, ACES is a long duration bigger version of Centaur and ULA makes it sound like it's specifically for TLI and other beyond earth orbit missions. 

I guess there's no reason it couldn't be used on shorter duration missions since IVF is really what gives it the capability for long duration. Plus IVF is a cost reduction and big complexity reduction from current Centaur systems.

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:(

About two years ago I was in eight grade and found out that the SLS would first fly in 2018, towards the end of my sophomore year. Now, it's looking like this beast will not fly before I'm out of high school. I mean, I expected delays, but when these delays take up a significant fraction of your life...

Being a space geek is tough. Everything happens so slowly.

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^^ that's why older guys like some of us are harshly realistic, and it seems like we're negative sometimes. We used to be you.

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I've been reading about Mars colonies since the 1970's. Landing on Mars has always been 20 years away.

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On 9/23/2017 at 2:11 AM, Nibb31 said:

I've been reading about Mars colonies since the 1970's. Landing on Mars has always been 20 years away.

How often has NASA been able or willing to commit near its full budget over a long enough period of time to be able to land a human on Mars?

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NASA hasn't, and will never commit all its budget to that goal.

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1 hour ago, tater said:

NASA hasn't, and will never commit all its budget to that goal.

Hence, no Mars in the past 40 years.

Its been said several times that whats throttling NASA's Mars landing is its budget, and something I've noticed hasn't been responded to is that it wouldn't take much to give them a budget they could work with to get to Mars in a realistic timescale.

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It would be in fact impossibly difficult to give them such a budget, which is why it has not happened. 

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1 hour ago, tater said:

It would be in fact impossibly difficult to give them such a budget, which is why it has not happened. 

And this is pessimism, not realism as you like to claim. If you were realistic you'd just say it was unlikely it would happen, which I can agree with. Because then its just a matter of whether you want to push for it or not.

Not to steer too much into politics but if the 2016 election teaches us anything, its that giving NASA a workable budget is not anywhere near impossible. 

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38 minutes ago, G'th said:

And this is pessimism, not realism as you like to claim. If you were realistic you'd just say it was unlikely it would happen, which I can agree with. Because then its just a matter of whether you want to push for it or not.

Not to steer too much into politics but if the 2016 election teaches us anything, its that giving NASA a workable budget is not anywhere near impossible. 

No, it's impossible. Anyone who has been paying attention for the last 50 years knows this as the certainty it is. The US government budget has remained fairly constant WRT GDP for decades, and NASA's share has likewise been fairly constant. You are delusional if you think it will change over Mars. I've been consciously paying attention for over 30 years, how about you?

It is not "pessimism," this is realism. There is no reason for Mars to dominate NASA's budget, there is no will to do so, and that will not change. Programmatic spending dominates, and grows automatically. The remaining discretionary fraction is the only place where they buy time by slowing growth, ever. I suggest you read up on the US Federal budget, the CBO has historical budget data you can read if you like. Apollo was an anomaly that will not recur.

Edited by tater

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1 hour ago, tater said:

No, it's impossible. Anyone who has been paying attention for the last 50 years knows this as the certainty it is. The US government budget has remained fairly constant WRT GDP for decades, and NASA's share has likewise been fairly constant. You are delusional if you think it will change over Mars. I've been consciously paying attention for over 30 years, how about you?

It is not "pessimism," this is realism. There is no reason for Mars to dominate NASA's budget, there is no will to do so, and that will not change. Programmatic spending dominates, and grows automatically. The remaining discretionary fraction is the only place where they buy time by slowing growth, ever. I suggest you read up on the US Federal budget, the CBO has historical budget data you can read if you like.

Lol ok. Keep hiding behind your "realism" facade. You know its okay to just say you're pessimistic. 

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Just now, G'th said:

Lol ok. Keep hiding behind your "realism" facade. You know its okay to just say you're pessimistic. 

It's not "pessimism" to be realistic. I have decades of data supporting my argument, plus all US politics, ever. What's your evidence aside from wishful thinking, exactly?

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Realistically, you'd need to double the current budget to the value of the height of the Shuttle program, except all of it would have to go for Mars. That's simply not going to happen.

BTW, that's for the sole goal of flags and footprints---a PR stunt.

 

 

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1 hour ago, tater said:

It's not "pessimism" to be realistic. I have decades of data supporting my argument, plus all US politics, ever. What's your evidence aside from wishful thinking, exactly?

It is pessimism because you're hinging your argument on past data and trends which have little bearing on whats possible or impossible, just whats likely to happen. Literally no one who seriously supports manned Mars exploration is ignoring that previous government administrations have gave NASA nothing to seriously engage in this activity, nor indeed that NASA itself hasn't seriously committed itself to said goal (after all, NASA also played a large part in getting the Space Shuttle approved) regardless of its budget.  But we do know that all its going to take is to get people on board with it. 

Ive shown several times now the cost of a manned Mars program is going to cost a pitiful amount compared to what we spend on something like the military, so cost is a non-issue presuming everything else is running as efficiently as a government operation can. All that leaves is the political, and thus public support. And that is, plain and simple, not impossible to get. Unlikely sure, but not impossible. Saying its impossible is pure pessimism. As I said, last election proved that. 

Call it semantics if you must, but the fact that you keep using the term "impossible" when it is factually, impossible for this to be impossible, is very telling of how you actually feel about this.

1 hour ago, tater said:

Realistically, you'd need to double the current budget to the value of the height of the Shuttle program, except all of it would have to go for Mars. That's simply not going to happen.

BTW, that's for the sole goal of flags and footprints---a PR stunt.

And no one seriously pushing for humans on Mars expects or wants us to just repeat Apollo, and any feasible program wouldn't even be able to justify doing that anyway. It'd be akin to using a Saturn V to launch Hubble for what you'd get out of that and what you could have done with the hardware. Mars missions would likely be long stays upwards of months or years. And mind you even during Apollo, which was a PR stunt for the most part, we still didn't just send them up there to stand around for pictures, and when we got good at it we did quite a bit despite the short stay times and mission compression.

And regardless, the PR aspects are inherent to any kind of Mars program, its not nor does it need to be a goal of a manned Mars mission.

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33 minutes ago, G'th said:

the cost of a manned Mars program is going to cost a pitiful amount compared to what we spend on something like the military

Comparing anything to a military budget is simply ridiculous. Especially comparing the US space programs to the US military. Why? Well, for starters, the worldwide space programs would not exist without the military. Second, at the height of space program spending, everything had direct military significance. Does putting a man on the moon have military strategy? No, but all of the technology developed to do so did. Does the Space Shuttle building and servicing a continuously manned laboratory have a military advantage? No, but the Space Shuttle itself wasn't designed only for that purpose and was specifically designed for military payloads, hence DoD dollars going directly to the development. 

On the flip side, congress and the military aren't stupid. The US has many enemies and at the same time has probably the single best military R&D and manufacturing capability in the world, it would be foolish to stop investing in it. Congress knows this and the military knows this.  But this capability is not just for domestic R&D and production but also for export capability. I.e. to countries that are friendly to the US but don't have the R&D or manufacturing capability. If approved by congress, of course. 

This post has gotten too political. Suffice it to say, comparing NASA's budget to the DoD budget is like comparing apples and oranges. They might both be fruit, they might both be healthy foods, but they are different foods for different purposes. As far as NASA's Mars budget goes; sure, they could they could do something crazy and inspiring like spending all of their money on a manned Mars mission. But they would have to sacrifice many other things that offset the cost of pure science missions. This is on top of the fact that (to use another food metaphor) they would be putting all of their eggs in one basket for a comparatively low science return. 

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PR is 100% of a manned Mars mission. All science would be more cost-effectively done by robots. People is only for the PR, and secondarily because "exploration" has value for the "human spirit." That is something we might all agree on, but that doesn't pay the bills, the budget comes from PR, nothing else.

The defense budget will stay what it is, ~20% of Fed spending. The bulk will remain social programs (~2/3 of all Fed spending). This will also increase due to an aging population (Medicare explosion). NASA will be lucky to stay at ~0.5% of spending (0.01% of GDP).

If this forum is still here in 10 years, and the NASA budget has doubled in constant dollars, and the bulk is being spent on Mars, I'll paypal you enough money for a nice dinner out. I'm more likely to be hit by a meteor than to have to buy you dinner, frankly.

Wonder if SLS will still exist in 10 years? (just to stay on topic)

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43 minutes ago, tater said:

Wonder if SLS will still exist in 10 years? (just to stay on topic)

Nope. I have serious doubt it'll reach the DST stage - DSG gives NASA room for backpedalling in the face of reality.

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2 hours ago, tater said:

Wonder if SLS will still exist in 10 years?

Imho, it would if were created simultaneously with the Shuttle itself, just due to the parts unification (KSP-style). Unlikely with Orion (which in turn has  not so many clear tasks).

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11 hours ago, tater said:

Apollo was an anomaly that will not recur.

Would a new space race with China not be motivation for another such anomaly? I don't think anyone would be keen on another country holding a monopoly on an entire planet. Especially that planet. :P

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