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Pawelk198604

Does Lunar program like Apollo is cheaper now than it was in 60''s

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I wonder does building lunar capable rocket with spacecraft and Lunar Lander for LOR type mission is cheaper than it was in the past. I wonder does private company, like M$, Google, or Apple can fund such mission, or only big countries like USA, Russia, China can do this?

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The inflation adjusted cost for the apollo missions was approximately $130 billion. Some of the top companies are worth more than this, but I don't think any that that kind of money lying around. They'd have to save for a long time or sell all their assets.

The main cost is developing a new ultra-heavy launch vehicle. You can't just build another Saturn V because that was made with 1960's manufacturing techniques which nobody use anymore.

If you want to do it cheaply, you'll have to do an earth-orbit-rendezvous. NASA considered doing this before opting for the lunar-rendezvous plan. You'd use 2-3 existing heavy launch vehicles like the Delta IV to put your lander, command module and transfer stage into earth orbit, and then dock them together before flying the whole lot to the moon.

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Theres a cheaper side to this and then theres an expinsive side.

We could reduce part of the S5's mass that was used in the 60s with new technology and remove select parts or replace them with parts that can do that and more!... But heres the catch-

No single company that doesn't outright dedicate itself to such technology (SpaceX being a specific name of one who would)- but other than that no company would... I've heard word that Google had a prize for someone who could design a probe lander that would land on the moon and travel 500m. So they may pay for others to do it but outside of that no one will actually do it BECAUSE...

Even with EVERYTHING stripped off the S5- No electrical-No CSM/LM-No control-

Just fuel tanks- structure and the fuel would ALONE would be enough to be DOUBLE the price of buying the electrical/CSM/LM portion!

Its AMAZINGLY expensive. Even with today's current cash inflation and technology.

Edited by ZooNamedGames

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Also- I will cover this in my science lectures in my (soon to be made) Apollo vs Orion which will talk about the differences and the costs blah blah of Orion and the Apollo program. Might be worth following if you want to learn more.

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I bet you could to something like that with 3 Falcon Heavy launches once FH is flying, and use commercial crew Dragon for the Command Module. You'd have to develop a totally new lander/lunar module still, though, and improve Dragon's life-support endurance and probably communications and delta-v capacity (or give it an outright Service Module).

I think it would still be vastly cheaper than Apollo though. Apollo had to develop pretty much everything from scratch. Dunno how much it would cost for SpaceX to develop a lunar lander, but they seem to be good at doing things cheaply.

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That'd require three falcon heavy pads though. That wouldn't be at all cheap.

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I bet you could to something like that with 3 Falcon Heavy launches once FH is flying, and use commercial crew Dragon for the Command Module. You'd have to develop a totally new lander/lunar module still, though, and improve Dragon's life-support endurance and probably communications and delta-v capacity (or give it an outright Service Module).

I think it would still be vastly cheaper than Apollo though. Apollo had to develop pretty much everything from scratch. Dunno how much it would cost for SpaceX to develop a lunar lander, but they seem to be good at doing things cheaply.

Well I assume we're referring to a specific circumstances as to how much is a launch... not development which could be far more expensive than the single launch.

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That'd require three falcon heavy pads though. That wouldn't be at all cheap.

I don't see why it should. If the lunar lander (and service module if it exists) use storable propellants (which seems likely as Draco/SuperDraco do and it would probably save development just to use a SuperDraco for the lunar lander), why can't they wait in orbit for a month or so before the crew/Command Module arrive?

EDIT: And making new pads would be expensive, but SpaceX is doing it now and I doubt they have more than a couple of billion at the absolute outside to spend. We're still talking enormously cheaper than Apollo.

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If NASA had used EOR and the Gemini capsule docked to a Centaur, we could have gone to the moon in mid to late 1966. For cheaper.

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If NASA had used EOR and the Gemini capsule docked to a Centaur, we could have gone to the moon in mid to late 1966. For cheaper.

Before or after the EVA tests, apogee record, and manual docking?

You've got a pretty long row to hoe here if you really want to convince anyone that NASA could have done a lunar landing in 1966. Especially since a Gemini landing using an EOR required the existence of a space station. Are you suggesting that a space station capable of providing the infrastructure for lunar landing could have been built between September and December of 1966 based on a single docking test AND that all of the modifications to the Gemini capsule could have been performed, tested, and proofed at the same time?

That's a bit of a stretch mate. If you were saying that the EOR plan for Gemini would have gotten us there maybe a year sooner, I might be willing to take you seriously. But 1966? Come on. As for cheaper, you are probably right.

Edited by xcorps

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I'm assuming you mean Dragon V2 for the crew capsule.

So that's something like a 7510 kg max payload?

I just did some calculations on a SpaceX mission to Lunar orbit and back, and it looks promising.

I can't seem to find the fuel/oxidizer ratio for the SuperDraco, though. Or the mass of the tanks, or the propellant density.

Can someone help me with this?

Edited by meve12

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Before or after the EVA tests, apogee record, and manual docking?

You've got a pretty long row to hoe here if you really want to convince anyone that NASA could have done a lunar landing in 1966. Especially since a Gemini landing using an EOR required the existence of a space station. Are you suggesting that a space station capable of providing the infrastructure for lunar landing could have been built between September and December of 1966 based on a single docking test AND that all of the modifications to the Gemini capsule could have been performed, tested, and proofed at the same time?

That's a bit of a stretch mate. If you were saying that the EOR plan for Gemini would have gotten us there maybe a year sooner, I might be willing to take you seriously. But 1966? Come on. As for cheaper, you are probably right.

Going to the moon =/= landing. Maybe I should have specified. Going to orbit the moon.

Yes, it would require developments. But even so, they could have planned for a Gemini lunar-orbit mission in 1966, and if they had devoted resources to a lander, they could have landed in mid to late 1967. The mission would be similar to Russia's "Podsaka" except they don't EVA to the transfer craft. And from then on it would be similar to the N-1 lunar landing flight after the rendezvous in orbit.

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Apollo program was not a "go to the Moon" affair, but just a part of Lunar military competition of 1960s, and just one of alternative projects.

Those projects weren't developed to "investigate the tempting space depth", but just to build a military forpost. Or, yes, and make some science, btw.

http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB479/

http://www.thelivingmoon.com/45jack_files/02archives/Lunex_Intro.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunex_Project

So, as currently nobody (probably) has a project of an "infantry platoon lunar base" built with dozens of heavy rockets launch, the purpose and economical significance of Saturn-V analogs is not very clear.

Probably just due to this, we now can see no Saturn-V / Apollos.

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If NASA had used EOR and the Gemini capsule docked to a Centaur, we could have gone to the moon in mid to late 1966. For cheaper.

Even if we did the Gemini plans to me were sketchy- a 1 man lander descending to the lunar surface? I don't trust it- that's too much on one single man. It's why we sent three- its safer and your not hounding a single astronaut to do a million things.

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Probably just due to this, we now can see no Saturn-V / Apollos.

Wait what? Your saying there is no Apollo equipment in the world I can see as a civilian? Well whoever told you that was lying I've seen both a Apollo Capsule AND Saturn V built to spec.

If your talking about a USED Saturn V/Capsule there are two issuses- One- the S5 isn't reuseable so everything is dropped into the ocean or is burned up on re-entry so ofc theres nothing left to see HOWEVER I do know submarines have found the F-1 engines of the Saturn V sitting on the bottom of the ocean so they still exist but in pieces.

And there are used Apollo Capsules every where. The KSC has both a real Saturn V AND a used Apollo capsule... so whoever told you that you can't see them told you a cold hard LIE.

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Guys guys guys calm the hell down, this is not a place for a pissing contest.

EDIT:....I think the cuss filter is broke.

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That could be a good measure of "hidden" progress in rocketry. Hidden because no one is actually doing this stuff so we can't directly compare. But we could use (realistic) contemporary apollo style mission cost estimates compared do the inflation adjusted cost of the actual apollo program as a measure of how or whether our technology has advanced from 1960's. The only problem I see in this, is, that today's project costs tend to be extremely underestimated, so we would have to adjust for that.

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Every single used Apollo capsule is on display except the one from Apollo 1 (which is in bits in a warehouse somewhere in Marshall). Same for remaining spare LMs and S-V stages.

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Before or after the EVA tests, apogee record, and manual docking?

You've got a pretty long row to hoe here if you really want to convince anyone that NASA could have done a lunar landing in 1966. Especially since a Gemini landing using an EOR required the existence of a space station. Are you suggesting that a space station capable of providing the infrastructure for lunar landing could have been built between September and December of 1966 based on a single docking test AND that all of the modifications to the Gemini capsule could have been performed, tested, and proofed at the same time?

That's a bit of a stretch mate. If you were saying that the EOR plan for Gemini would have gotten us there maybe a year sooner, I might be willing to take you seriously. But 1966? Come on. As for cheaper, you are probably right.

This is also an issue, apollo was also about developing a lot of technology but also train for docking and other procedures who is pretty standard today.

That we miss today is an lunar lander and a transfer stage to take the lander and an dragon or better orion into moon orbit with the lander.

SLS or falcon heavy would work as an heavy lifter if you used two.

Might even be an idea to launch the lander towards moon first, the lander has to be able to operate in space for a week anyway, but the transfer stage would not use storable propellant, you then dock with the lander in moon orbit, lander would need extra dV to get into moon orbit, then you do the manned mission who dock and then decent, go back and then home. Benefit is that you would manage with two smaller transfer stages and lifters.

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Going to the moon =/= landing. Maybe I should have specified. Going to orbit the moon.

Yes, it would require developments. But even so, they could have planned for a Gemini lunar-orbit mission in 1966, and if they had devoted resources to a lander, they could have landed in mid to late 1967. The mission would be similar to Russia's "Podsaka" except they don't EVA to the transfer craft. And from then on it would be similar to the N-1 lunar landing flight after the rendezvous in orbit.

I would agree that we could have done a manned lunar orbit using Gemini in 1967, and possibly a landing in 1968 ~IF~ all the EOR infrastructure was designed and tested perfectly. (Certainly a possibility). There are a lot of reasons why the Gemini capsules were superior to the Apollo capsules. There were some compelling arguments for EOR. There are also some very compelling reasons why Apollo capsules were the better approach. It can be a really nifty debate, but ultimately the engineering aspects are trumped by the political pursestrings.

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Wait what? Your saying there is no Apollo equipment in the world I can see as a civilian?

I haven't said any of that.

But the main target of both sides in 1960s space race was not a "charming space depth", but to win the military competition. Nothing bad in it, just a fact.

The first satellite and the first man in space were launched with a modified ICBM, and every second orbital station had some military purpose.

USA space program has been started first with cruise missiles (Jupiter, Corporal, Thor), then continued with ICBMs: Titan, Atlas.

Soyuz has been developed first as a simple lunar ship, then as an analog of US "Manned Orbital Laboratory" military project.

When MOL was cancelled, Soyuz has been frozen in state we curently know (there were several well-known military modifications).

One of sole Space Shuttle Orbiter aims was an ability to inspect and/or deorbit any satellite, including hostile ones - and that caused a gun-armed version of Salyut.

Also, "Dyna Soar" and a dozen of similar projects.

Main purpose of Orion project were so-called "Deep Space Bombardment Force".

So, the primary goal of lunar missions was, as you can see in several projects such as LUNEX (there were two or three more) was a military forpost. And Saturn was just one of them.

Apollo itself, of course, was not a military ship. It was, say, a basical multi-purpose crew capsule for Moon and Venus expeditions.

But Apollo would not be designed without Saturn, and monstrous Saturn was designed to deliver thousands tons of cargo to Moon, not for plant-a-flag mission.

The first Saturn-like Energiya payload was a military satellite (launch was unsuccessful).

As now there are no such great Moon Fortress plans, nobody has a real interest in Saturn-class lunch vehicles, that's all.

Edited by kerbiloid

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The Saturn 1, 1B, and 5 were all dedicated space launchers. The Saturn 1 was the first ever...

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Btw, Horizon project

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Horizon

Project Horizon was a study to determine the feasibility of constructing a scientific / military base on the Moon. On June 8, 1959, a group at the Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA) produced for the U.S. Department of the Army a report entitled Project Horizon, A U.S. Army Study for the Establishment of a Lunar Military Outpost. The project proposal states the requirements as:

"The lunar outpost is required to develop and protect potential United States interests on the moon; to develop techniques in moon-based surveillance of the earth and space, in communications relay, and in operations on the surface of the moon; to serve as a base for exploration of the moon, for further exploration into space and for military operations on the moon if required; and to support scientific investigations on the moon.

The permanent outpost was predicted to cost $6 billion and become operational in December 1966 with twelve soldiers.

Wernher von Braun, head of ABMA, appointed Heinz-Hermann Koelle to head the project team at Redstone Arsenal.

Plans called for 147 early Saturn A-class rocket launches to loft spacecraft components for assembly in low Earth orbit at a spent-tank space station.

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