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Artemis Discussion Thread

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These plans will undoubtedly change, even disregarding schedule slippage, due to the nature of things. It even said "Predecisional" at the bottom. However, I do believe they are more serious about Artemis than they have been about pretty much any lunar landing program since Apollo. I don't think the schedule will stick, but if they can get that 1.6 billion in additional funding, their chance for success grows a lot immediately.

The T/V I believe is the tug vehicle. Due to Orion's IMO underpowered service module, it cannot reach low Lunar orbit with enough fuel to return. Thus, Gateway was designed to use an elliptical orbit. This means that one stage landers are pretty much out, and two stage landers would be pretty large, so they are going with a three stage system (or two stage, it depends on what system is picked). Each component launches separately on its own commercial rocket and are docked at Gateway, I think. There will be a descent stage, an ascent stage, and a tug to get the whole stack into LLO and probably also to get the ascent vehicle back to Gateway.

CLPS stands for Commercial Lunar Payload Services, a series of contracts designed to take experiments on small to medium unmanned landers to the moon. The acronyms beneath this are probably all related to those experiments.

  • NDL - Navigation Doppler LIDAR (I think it's a navigation beacon)
  • ISRU - if you're a KSP player you should know this
  • HPSC - High Performance Spaceflight Computing (better computers for spacecraft)
  • CFM - Cryogenic Fluid Management
  • TRN - Terrain Relative Navigation

AA-2 - Ascent Abort 2, an abort test of the Orion capsule

EM - Exploration Mission, a flight of the SLS. May be getting renamed to Artemis.

CLV - Commercial Launch Vehicle

PPE - Power and Propulsion Element, sort of the service module of Gateway

 

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4 hours ago, Ultimate Steve said:

However, I do believe they are more serious about Artemis than they have been about pretty much any lunar landing program since Apollo.

I'd say this is easily more credible than Constellation ever was, and Constellation itself was more credible than anything that came before it (excepting Apollo, of course). Very promising information.

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In another thread (which is in danger of being locked for political discussions, please don't pollute either thread) I pointed out that the "CLV" (previously called "CaLV" in Constellation, then Ares V as well) needs to be either a Falcon Heavy or a Delta-IV.  The Falcon Heavy can deliver twice the mass to GTO (and thus presumably LTI) but I'm fairly sure the Delta-IV has more generous envelope constraints.  Starship and New Glen are still paper, so can't meet this crash schedule.  Designing and building another rocket in addition to the SLS seems absurd.

I guess using a silhouette that resembles my two candidates would look too close to SLS (although both use three identical* boosters at ground level while SLS uses substantially different side and center ones).

Expecting an uncrewed flight from SLS in 2020 is a stretch, followed by a crewed flight in 2020 and a block 1B flight in 2024?  That's far, far faster development on SLS than we've ever seen from Boeing.  SpaceX would presumably have to build a few Falcon Heavy boosters to be ready to launch 18 flights including 4 in one year (I'd expect they'd have to share with Delta-IV anyway).  But I can't see ULA+Boeing building 18 Delta (especially Delta-IV Heavy) rockets *while* getting SLS back on schedule.

PS: I've always thought this is what NASA should have planned with post-Apollo 11 missions.  Use one Saturn V to deliver a much heavier lander to lunar (probably high lunar orbit for easier docking) orbit and use the other to bring the crew back and forth (it can be more spacious for the guy left in space thanks to not bringing along a lander).  Of course this means in hindsight that without a lander or means to perform an orbital insertion burn and dock with one, the crew of Apollo 13 would certainly die.

* not *quite* identical, but true enough for the purposes of a poster.

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Posted (edited)

Since the Artemis program seems to be rolling along, I have decided to model the program in Real Solar System - mission log  Artemis - To the Moon and Beyond.  Reviving this thread as the above comments are all still relevant and informative.

Some of the big questions:

  • Is the lunar landing site in Shacketon Crater, or nearby?  Speculation?
  • Will CPLS land a payload at the lunar south pole prior to human landing?  To map the terrain with LIDAR, act as a beacon?
  • How will NASA design the refueling systems for the first lunar landing if ESPRIT is delayed to Artemis 4?
  • Which payloads will go on the SLS, and which will be delivered by commercial carriers?
  • Big payloads on a single Falcon Heavy or Delta IV Heavy, or multiple smaller payloads on Falcon 9, Vulcan, Ariane6, etc.
  • How soon (if ever) will the New Glenn and SpaceX Super Heavy (BFR) get human rating to replace the SLS.
  • What is the "Lunar Surface Asset"?  Human habitation module?  Or ISRU facility?
Edited by jinnantonix

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Posted (edited)
On 5/22/2019 at 3:10 AM, wumpus said:

Expecting an uncrewed flight from SLS in 2020 is a stretch, followed by a crewed flight in 2020 and a block 1B flight in 2024?  That's far, far faster development on SLS than we've ever seen from Boeing.

Remember though that the SLS is just a stretched Space Shuttle Core tank, and Space Shuttle SRBs increased to 5 segment.  It's not all new technology, it is closely derived from a human rated rocket.  The Orion development is looking promising.  I think SLS will launch on time (but I am an optimist).

Quote

SpaceX would presumably have to build a few Falcon Heavy boosters to be ready to launch 18 flights including 4 in one year (I'd expect they'd have to share with Delta-IV anyway).  But I can't see ULA+Boeing building 18 Delta (especially Delta-IV Heavy) rockets *while* getting SLS back on schedule.

According to my estimated preliminary schedule, I count  9x SLS launches to cover the testing and crewed lunar landings, and 7x Falcon Heavy and/ or Delta IV Heavy launches over 7 years (2022 - 2029), or alternatively as many as 18x Falcon 9 or Vulcan launches.  Or a combination of "Heavy" and "Light" launches, whatever is lowest cost and risk.  I may be missing a few resupply missions (I am guessing at the proposed lunar surface payloads and life support) - these would involve launching a few Northrop Grumman Cygnus craft on a smaller launch vehicle.  There is also the CPLS missions, and there will be at least one launch on a Vulcan in support of the program.  All considered, the timescale seems quite feasible at the current rate of vehicle manufacture, although both SpaceX and ULA will be busy.  Perhaps the Atlas V may get a new lease on life to keep the program on track.

 

Edited by jinnantonix

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51 minutes ago, jinnantonix said:

I think SLS will launch on time (but I am an optimist).

On time was by the end of 2016. (just sayin')

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, tater said:

On time was by the end of 2016. (just sayin')

The SLS only entered full development In August 2014, with initial planned launch in September 2018.  This has slipped now to around June 2021, for the current schedule for a lunar landing in July 2024.  Remember, this is a human rated craft to lunar orbit, it's not easy.  SpaceX and Blue Origin are still working on human rating to suborbital flight.

Edited by jinnantonix

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On 5/21/2019 at 4:23 AM, Nightside said:

What do you make of this schedule? 

A postpone, as usually.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, jinnantonix said:

The SLS only entered full development In August 2014, with initial planned launch in September 2018.  This has slipped now to around June 2021, for the current schedule for a lunar landing in July 2024.  Remember, this is a human rated craft to lunar orbit, it's not easy.  SpaceX and Blue Origin are still working on human rating to suborbital flight.

It was funded, and required (by that same bill) to fly by the end of 2016.

SpaceX isn't working on suborbital flight at all.

https://www.nasa.gov/pdf/510449main_SLS_MPCV_90-day_Report.pdf

Quote

The Act also directs NASA to begin development of the SLS vehicle “as soon as practicable after the date of the enactment of” the NASA Authorization Act of 2010 and with the goal of achieving operational capability for the core elements not later than December 31, 2016.

 

Edited by tater

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Quote

It was funded, and required (by that same bill) to fly by the end of 2016.

Goes to show, you can't always believe wiki.

Perhaps by "operational capability for the core elements" does not mean launch?  Too cynical?

Quote

SpaceX isn't working on suborbital flight at all

Exactly.  So who is going to fly humans to the moon if not NASA on the SLS?

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31 minutes ago, jinnantonix said:

Goes to show, you can't always believe wiki.

Perhaps by "operational capability for the core elements" does not mean launch?  Too cynical?

Operational means launch. It got behind right away, though.

 

31 minutes ago, jinnantonix said:

Exactly.  So who is going to fly humans to the moon if not NASA on the SLS?

I'm not arguing that. Crew Dragon and Starliner are not able to do the mission (they might be able to with modifications (like much larger Service Modules)). Dream Chaser might be able to, as well, actually, but that's even further off (crew version). I'll believe the crew version of Starship when I see one.

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Posted (edited)

I need to believe that Artemis and the SLS will get off the ground, I have invested a lot in the videos:)

Lunar Orbital Platform

Crewed Lunar Landing

 

Edited by jinnantonix

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Spoiler

Now they simply must do it.
They should just refer to the ready-to-use videos every time when something is unclear.
Excuses are ludicrous.

 

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In mid 2025, the new re-usable Advanced Exploration Lander is launched on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy, and rendezvous with the LOP-G.  Soon after NASA launches the ESPRIT module, a crew of 4 aboard an Orion.  The crew completes  another exploration mission in Shackleton Crater. determining the resources that are available there for ISRU.

 

 

Edited by jinnantonix

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Artemis 5 - International Habitat Module and AEL Exploration Mission

  • May 2026      Falcon Heavy**                Artemis 5a         Uncrewed delivery of fuel resupply module and lunar descent vehicle
  • Jul   2026      SLS Block 1B Crew          Artemis 5           Crewed delivery of International Habitation Module and lunar landing

This mission launches a Falcon Heavy with a new expendable Lunar Descent Vehicle for integration with the Advanced Exploration Vehicle and additional supplies to the Gateway.  The SLS delivers the new International Habitat Module for the Lunar Orbital Platform.  While the lunar exploration mission continues to evaluate resources in Shackleton Crater, the crew on the Gateway establish the habitat for future missions.

 

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Artemis 6 - Gateway US Habitation Module and Lunar Landing

  • 2027      Falcon Heavy**                Artemis 6a         Uncrewed delivery of fuel resupply module and lunar descent vehicle
  • 2027      SLS Block 1B Crew          Artemis 6           Crewed delivery of US Habitation Module,  and lunar landing

 

Edited by jinnantonix

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Artemis 7 - Lunar Surface Asset Delivery to Gateway

  • 2028      Falcon Heavy**                 Artemis 7a        Uncrewed delivery of fuel resupply module and lunar descent vehicle
  • 2028      SLS Block 1B Cargo         Artemis 7          Delivery of "Lunar Surface Asset" (large lunar surface module) to LOPG

 

 

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Artemis 8 - Airlock Module and Lunar Surface Asset Deployment

2028      SLS Block 1B Crew           Artemis 8          Delivery of Airlock Module and lunar landing of crew and "Asset"

 

 

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Is this the Artemis thread of record?

Regardless:

 

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36 minutes ago, tater said:

Is this the Artemis thread of record?

Regardless:

 

I would imagine that would fall under the NASA thread, but if we want a specific Artemis thread I think we should start a new one seeing as the title might be misleading if this was a discussion thread.

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13 minutes ago, Ultimate Steve said:

I would imagine that would fall under the NASA thread, but if we want a specific Artemis thread I think we should start a new one seeing as the title might be misleading if this was a discussion thread.

Artemis doesn't belong in the SLS/Orion thread though, because unless it changes, it's currently mostly not-SLS in terms of launches (and payload mass, for that matter).

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Just now, tater said:

Artemis doesn't belong in the SLS/Orion thread though, because unless it changes, it's currently mostly not-SLS in terms of launches (and payload mass, for that matter).

True. I'd say create a new Artemis thread then or ask nightside to rename this one to something more appropriate for an Artemis discussion thread.

But you're the leading authority on space update threads here, not me, so I'll leave that up to you.

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10 minutes ago, Ultimate Steve said:

True. I'd say create a new Artemis thread then or ask nightside to rename this one to something more appropriate for an Artemis discussion thread.

But you're the leading authority on space update threads here, not me, so I'll leave that up to you.

@Nightside

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2 hours ago, tater said:

Artemis doesn't belong in the SLS/Orion thread though, because unless it changes, it's currently mostly not-SLS in terms of launches (and payload mass, for that matter).

I think Artemis is now larger than the sum of it's parts - if it keeps going like this it might well succeeds the ISS cooperation.

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