Question Are SpaceX helping NASA to get to the moon?

Jun 6, 2020
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Hi there, so i know that NASA are working in partnership with SpaceX and Boeing for the manufacturing of space craft to carry NASA astronauts to the ISS. But i want to know why NASA have decided to build the space craft "orion" and "gateway" them selfs in order to get to the moon in 2024. How come they chose to sub-contract out the designing and manufacturing of space craft to fly to the ISS but have opted to go to the moon alone and design and manufacture space craft them selfs?
 

tariqmalik

Editor-in-Chief
Space.com Editorial
Oct 24, 2019
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Hi dsimpson682,

Thanks for this question. NASA has actually tapped SpaceX to help its Artemis program on two fronts.

1) SpaceX has been selected to fly cargo missions to NASA's planned lunar Gateway space station, which will orbit the moon and serve as a basecamp for future trips to the lunar surface. SpaceX is expected to develop a new, cylindrical space tug based on its current Dragon systems for that project.

2) On April 30, NASA picked SpaceX as one of three companies (a Blue Origin-led team and Dynetics were the others) to build the moon landers its astronauts will need to land on the moon. SpaceX will use its Starship design for crewed moon landings under that plan.

I do hope this helps and thanks for asking!

Sincerely,
Tariq
 
Jun 6, 2020
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Hi dsimpson682,

Thanks for this question. NASA has actually tapped SpaceX to help its Artemis program on two fronts.

1) SpaceX has been selected to fly cargo missions to NASA's planned lunar Gateway space station, which will orbit the moon and serve as a basecamp for future trips to the lunar surface. SpaceX is expected to develop a new, cylindrical space tug based on its current Dragon systems for that project.

2) On April 30, NASA picked SpaceX as one of three companies (a Blue Origin-led team and Dynetics were the others) to build the moon landers its astronauts will need to land on the moon. SpaceX will use its Starship design for crewed moon landings under that plan.

I do hope this helps and thanks for asking!

Sincerely,
Tariq
Great, thankyou for your response. This has finally answered my question. Great response
 
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May 31, 2020
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markjohnstone.co.uk
Hi everyone,

I agree with Tariq.

NASA Orion spacecraft will support the lunar missions which are being planned under project Artemis.
Project Artemis is designed to lay the foundations for a lunar base. The Lunar Gateway will orbit the moon in order to provide a base for the lunar landers. Space Dragon XL capsule will provide logistical support for the lunar gateway and these could be docked with the lunar gateway for some time. Countries are interested in the moon because of its resources, Fusion Power is being developed and nations are looking for a fuel source (H-3)

The most interesting part of SpaceX technology isn’t the Dragon capsule, it’s the falcon 9 reusability and its automated landing system. Years ago, NASA built a technology demonstrator called the DC-X Delta Clipper that had the ability to land vertically (DC-X Delta Clipper). This technology could be used in the new NASA lunar landers.

SpaceX are planning on landing one of the Starships on the moon, that`s a great name for a spacecraft. I personally think that these spacecraft might be too large for a landing, but they would be great solar system exploration craft or even a liner cruising between the moon and the earth.

Regards

Marc
 
Nov 19, 2019
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Hi there, so i know that NASA are working in partnership with SpaceX and Boeing for the manufacturing of space craft to carry NASA astronauts to the ISS. But i want to know why NASA have decided to build the space craft "orion" and "gateway" them selfs in order to get to the moon in 2024. How come they chose to sub-contract out the designing and manufacturing of space craft to fly to the ISS but have opted to go to the moon alone and design and manufacture space craft them selfs?
The government funds the CCDev program under NASA's guidance so apparently they don't want to do the same for Orion and Gateway. NASA's budget is decided by Congress and they generally direct them on what programs to use the money on.
I think Elon Musk wants the Starship to go to the moon but that still has a long way to go and I don't know if it will be used for anything other than tourism.
 
Feb 1, 2020
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The government funds the CCDev program under NASA's guidance so apparently they don't want to do the same for Orion and Gateway. NASA's budget is decided by Congress and they generally direct them on what programs to use the money on.
I think Elon Musk wants the Starship to go to the moon but that still has a long way to go and I don't know if it will be used for anything other than tourism.
NASA and Musk's current plans are for the cargo variant to go to the Moon. This would take up to twenty tons at a time, perhaps more. Of the three selected, it's the heavy hauler.

For the Lunar orbital station, the plan is to supply them with something like the current Dragon Cargo but with a larger transport module. For that they might actually need Falcon Heavy to reach the Moon.

Of course these plans seem to change monthly.
 
May 31, 2020
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markjohnstone.co.uk
NASA and Musk's current plans are for the cargo variant to go to the Moon. This would take up to twenty tons at a time, perhaps more. Of the three selected, it's the heavy hauler.

For the Lunar orbital station, the plan is to supply them with something like the current Dragon Cargo but with a larger transport module. For that they might actually need Falcon Heavy to reach the Moon.

Of course these plans seem to change monthly.
The moon is back on the radar which i think is good. I agree, the Falcon heavy will be need. But in general the artemis lunar gateway is an interesting concept. This is an interesting video. The Orion capsule seems to spend a lot of time moving between docking ports.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4YMFP9O-as
 
Nov 16, 2019
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It's good to dream (again) but let's be honest NASA isn't going back to the moon by 2024.... political turnover and other political agendas will almost certainly derail any progress, not to mention you should likely double or triple any estimate from Boeing. I'd be surprised if there are NASA boots on the moon by 2030, unless they are carried by SpaceX Starship.
 
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Feb 14, 2020
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I agrre with Tarik's original June 10 posting as a reply.
hope NASA does not restrict SpaceX or other agencies missions to achieve lunar gateway and landing options.
It looks like moon could be a gateway towards human interplanetary space missions?
Regards,
NASA Apollo Achievement Award Recepient
 
Oct 23, 2020
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Hi there, so i know that NASA are working in partnership with SpaceX and Boeing for the manufacturing of space craft to carry NASA astronauts to the ISS. But i want to know why NASA have decided to build the space craft "orion" and "gateway" them selfs in order to get to the moon in 2024. How come they chose to sub-contract out the designing and manufacturing of space craft to fly to the ISS but have opted to go to the moon alone and design and manufacture space craft them selfs?
That sounds very interesting. I think it might be successful and the achievement can be spectacular too. Just imagine these three giants working together and having the same project. This thing sounds like plot for a new Hollywood movie :)
 
Feb 14, 2020
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Tariq will likely clarify further.



I was part of Human Space Flight Program Studies (OMSF_NASA HQ) in 1968-72 timeframe that had various proposed strategies, plans and Phase B Designs to achieve lunar landings.
In those days Station around the moon as parking/orbiting place did not figure high but did figure somewhere in the list. Space Tug had Capability to go in Earth-Moon trajectories of future.
The Human Ferrying Space Tug was almost ready to be built primarily to haul Satellites and spacecraft from ISS like LEOs to at least Geostationary Orbits. Human presence there posed radiation related long term exposure issues.

It is heartening to see practical pathways to Lunar Orbiting and Landing Capabilities. Pioneering SpaceX will hopefully surely be a player.

Let us not be fooled by what appears small now.


I was responsible in part to train Chinese Space Engineers in late 1990s at Hughes in Earth imaging satellites and ground infrastructures. They are very quick learners and today can launch multiple remote sensing payloads 3 at a time as demonstrated. These types of leaps resulted in Chiang on the farside of Moon. Who knows they might have their own agenda for Human Lunar exploration?
Another interesting opening to note is that India is allowing Foreign Companies to build and launch satellites and use its launch facilities. These options can bring down costs over a decade and make some affordable progress.


My interest was Moon during Apollo and Post Apollo (Apollo Achievement Award from NASA) periods and Yesterday's NASA announcement on more lunar water availability in areas other than permanently shadowed southern polar regions of Moon has further opened possibilities.

In the end one of the advantages of stations in lunar orbits would be energy dynamics for farther space targets in the interplanetary space that can effectively start from assemblies built on these stations, travel thus becomes easier in logistics and also modular even though total cost of payload in lifecycle has Earth and Lunar based costs before we reach orbiting stations around Moon and Earth as effective launching pads!
 
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Nov 3, 2020
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It seems to me that NASA will be the leader in space exploration for a long time. NASA has a head start of several decades of research and development. But in today's reality, the chances are high that younger companies will bypass NASA. The question is purely about ambition, potential and competition. Although it also requires a huge amount of money.
 
Oct 23, 2020
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It seems to me that NASA will be the leader in space exploration for a long time. NASA has a head start of several decades of research and development. But in today's reality, the chances are high that younger companies will bypass NASA. The question is purely about ambition, potential and competition. Although it also requires a huge amount of money.
Space X is the future of space traveling. With those rockets and engine they build they show us that they are ready to the great openings.
Talking about NASA, the investments of this company in space exploration are endless and they still working hard to succeed in them. I really respect NASA for everything they have done and for the heritage they left behind, but the future is with Space X ;)
 
Feb 14, 2020
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NASA and other countries' space agencies are changing roles. Instead of specifying details of design and development in detail for every step of execution of a strategic goal, they are becoming energizers and agents of change and are allowing entrepreneurs to achieve those goals by their own development paths. Privatization has always been there, our team who made Apollo happen had approximately 140k people who came together from industry and academia but worked on NASA designs.



SpaceX and others will execute those goals with their own innovative designs. Till industry self-sustains or becomes profitable Government funding will be necessary, especially for pathmaking journeys such as Mars Human Settlements.



Strategy, roadmap and goals by NASA and Space agencies will be the new role while the entrepreneurs and industries will do the detailed execution.

Time only will tell how private partnerships will work, hoping ISS will be a beacon for global sensible collaboration when II wave of human and satellite explorations result in hopefully peaceful sharing of resources from outer space!
 
Oct 23, 2020
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I am looking forward to NASA, Space X and Boeing collaboration in 2024 ``Artemis`` mission to the Moon. It`s really interesting for me to get to know how these three giants will cooperate together and how they will accomplish their goals.
But I guess it would be beneficial from scientific point of view.
 
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Feb 1, 2020
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It's good to dream (again) but let's be honest NASA isn't going back to the moon by 2024.... political turnover and other political agendas will almost certainly derail any progress, not to mention you should likely double or triple any estimate from Boeing. I'd be surprised if there are NASA boots on the moon by 2030, unless they are carried by SpaceX Starship.
Triple the cost. I see that you are an Optimist.

Some appear to be shooting to be back on the Moon by 2050. It isn't well defined yet. We will see over the next couple of months.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Sep 2, 2020
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Orion and Getaway will be produced by ESA according to the contract they signed. Anyway, NASA doesn't have a budget for developing spacecraft and lunar station on their own and they are looking for collaborators.
 

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