Artemus Manned Lander Funding

Jan 10, 2020
85
44
60
NASA has applied to Congress for funding approval for manned landers. To date it has not been forthcoming. re: the Blue Origin/ Lockheed Martin/ Rockwell proposal Lockheed Martin has said that they need to be starting work on the hardware right now if they are to meet the 2024 deadline. Has it become political? Do democrat congress people want Trump saying "I have made America great again, look we are even back on the moon" at the end of his second term (assuming he gets a second term). SLS could end up a launch system without a purpose. After spending $30 plus billion dollars developing it seems crazy slowing up final $1 billion for lander development.
 
Feb 1, 2020
159
82
660
SLS has funding. Such funding is given on a year by year basis. SLS is also not a rocket NASA wanted. It was mandated by Congress. Trump wants to use it to establish moon bases and perhaps colonies eventually. well he has little choice there really. He has to use it for something. That's not new. Bush 2 and for that matter Bush 1 both wanted to establish bases on the Moon. Both of those got shot down due to cost issues. Clinton knew better than to ask. The funding just wasn't there. Obama wanted to fetch an asteroid back to earth. That's both easier and harder than establishing a base on the Moon. It's easier because the Moon is closer. It's harder because usable asteroids are much farther away. The asteroids large enough to be useful are too large for current technology to move in realistic time frames. Those smaller can be moved, but are too small to be really useful.

So SLS is something we appear to be stuck with. It was begun under Bush 2, but most of the development was carried out under Obama. So it is doubtful that Mr. Trump will be able to claim credit for the project though all Presidents do claim credit for anything good that happens, whether because of or in spite of their efforts. That is true for every President back to at least Herbert Hoover. Most of the official press is pro Democrat in the US, so they can be relied upon to point out that these programs have been running in low gear for decades. Werner von Braun actually started all this out in the 1950's.
Artemus is not a new program, only a new name. As we advance (slowly) it is getting less expensive to do these things. Shuttle was supposed to be an order of magnitude less expensive than Apollo. That didn't turn out to be true. Whether SLS and Artemus will work out remains to be seen.
 
Last edited:
Jan 10, 2020
85
44
60
SLS is something we are stuck with. "As we advance slowly it is getting less expensive to do things". I agree to some extent. The biggest issue is that there is no need to advance slowly. Now that SpaceX and Blue Origin can propulsively land boosters, building the SLS is a bit like building a Zeplin with modern technology when a modern airliner should be built.
 
Feb 1, 2020
159
82
660
SLS is something we are stuck with. "As we advance slowly it is getting less expensive to do things". I agree to some extent. The biggest issue is that there is no need to advance slowly. Now that SpaceX and Blue Origin can propulsively land boosters, building the SLS is a bit like building a Zeplin with modern technology when a modern airliner should be built.
SpaceX Falcon 9 isn't enough rocket for anything beyond orbit. Falcon Heavy can, but barely. It actually competes with the Delta IV Heavy, which is now obsolete. It's more rocket than SpaceX can currently market.
SLS is the rocket that Space Buffs love to hate, true, but it is near to ready for launch. next year it will be an available rocket for moon missions.
Unfortunately, the heavy SpaceX rocket, the Starship isn't ready. The orbiter is not ready for test launches yet and most likely won't be for another few months. They haven't even started work on the Heavy, the first stage booster Starship needs to reach orbit or anywhere else off the ground.
Blue Orgin has nothing that is ready for orbital flight either. New Shepard is strictly sub-oribital. New Glenn has nothing beyond the motors and one half of a faring actually produced. It's months at least away from being able to launch, and it's also strictly orbital, like the Falcon 9. The New Armstrong isn't even that far along. Those are the best rockets on Earth for these proposed missions.
So we are stuck with using non reusable rockets for missions beyond low Earth Orbit for a few more years.
Elon Musk is currently promising sometime in late 2021 for the Starship assembly. Like many others, I note that he sometimes makes rather hopeful promises, so I won't count on anything before 2022. But if 2022 pans out, then yeah, I would gladly pay a tenth of the price for twice the rocket.
Sorry, but the "Zeppelin" rockets are all we've got. The "Airliner" rockets simply don't exist yet.
 
Jan 10, 2020
85
44
60
I agree with everything you have said. My replies have been more a criticism of past NASA decision making. Years ago perhaps NASA should have changed course re: SLS when it first became apparent that spaceX could successfully return boosters. If SLS lower stage were a large returnable booster this would have reduced operating costs and perhaps also turn around time. However it is all too late, as you say, we are stuck with what we have. I hope New Glen is more than a few rocket engines and half a fairing. Blue Origin are fairly secretive however I understand that New Glen was planned to test fly next year. Also it is planned for New Glen to transport the first element of the lunar gateway, the power and propulsion system. Time will tell.
 
Jan 10, 2020
85
44
60
Falcon Heavy cannot get the large Orion capsule to lunar orbit, only SLS can. However Falcon Heavy is powerful enough to get a crew dragon to lunar orbit and return. The issue is that crew dragon has no internal storm shelter and not suitable for long duration trips beyond low earth orbit. Falcon heavy has been approved by NASA to deliver a new expendable dragon re-supply craft (Dragon XL) to the gateway after 2024, this will give Falcon Heavy one extra launch per year.
 
Jan 10, 2020
85
44
60
I forgot to mention. "Falcon Heavy is more rocket than SpaceX can currently market". Falcon Heavy was a strategy to ensure SpaceX became one of the preferred launch contractors for the U.S. military. I believe that SpaceX hope to obtain military payloads for the system soon.
 
Feb 1, 2020
7
0
10
I believe that Elon at one time said that Starship would have the ability to independently reach LEO, but with a much reduced payload. I don't know whether he will attempt that, but it seems reasonable. The last pressure supported rocket design, the Atlas, could do that and did.

Also, I don't believe that enough credit is being given to the F9H. It has almost the capacity of the current version of the SLS. and has already put a significant payload into solar orbit. Even being used at its max payload to LEO(non-reusable), it is far cheaper per kilo to orbit. It can put 16,000 kilos to lunar orbit and a little more headed to Mars.
 
Feb 1, 2020
159
82
660
Falcon Heavy cannot get the large Orion capsule to lunar orbit, only SLS can. However Falcon Heavy is powerful enough to get a crew dragon to lunar orbit and return. The issue is that crew dragon has no internal storm shelter and not suitable for long duration trips beyond low earth orbit. Falcon heavy has been approved by NASA to deliver a new expendable dragon re-supply craft (Dragon XL) to the gateway after 2024, this will give Falcon Heavy one extra launch per year.
Falcon Heavy can do moon missions by launching peices and assembling them in orbit. It's a rather messy system, but is should work. That was the whole reason for the Gemeni Program. If Saturn V hadn't panned out, that was von Braun's fall back. NASA hasn't forgotten that. So you can view Falcon Heavy as a NASA fall back. It's not the first nor the best choice, but it is possible, and it does exist. but yes, the Orion Capsule is larger than the Falcon faring. So using the FH we would either have to re-design the Orion or use a Dragon. But an around-the-moon only mission would be a waste. It's been done and it wouldn't actually accomplish anything. When we next do a moon mission we will need a lander. The Artemis mission there is just a shake-down cruise. Crew Dragon will have it's Shakedown cruise going to the ISS
 
Feb 1, 2020
159
82
660
Fal
I forgot to mention. "Falcon Heavy is more rocket than SpaceX can currently market". Falcon Heavy was a strategy to ensure SpaceX became one of the preferred launch contractors for the U.S. military. I believe that SpaceX hope to obtain military payloads for the system soon.
Falcon Heavy has launched only three times in two almost three years. There simply aren't very many payloads that need that much boost. That's why SpaceX can't market it effectively. Falcon 9 can do nearly all that the current market asks.

I believe that as we go along, designers will design larger and larger space vehicles. So there will come a time when the FH will have a sweet spot for space launches. Though by that time, Elon Musk clearly hopes to have the Starship cargo variant available for the same price. I hope he succeeds.
 
Feb 1, 2020
159
82
660
I agree with everything you have said. My replies have been more a criticism of past NASA decision making. Years ago perhaps NASA should have changed course re: SLS when it first became apparent that spaceX could successfully return boosters. If SLS lower stage were a large returnable booster this would have reduced operating costs and perhaps also turn around time. However it is all too late, as you say, we are stuck with what we have. I hope New Glen is more than a few rocket engines and half a fairing. Blue Origin are fairly secretive however I understand that New Glen was planned to test fly next year. Also it is planned for New Glen to transport the first element of the lunar gateway, the power and propulsion system. Time will tell.
Mr. Bezos appears to believe in building slowly and carefully with full testing at each step along the way. So we don't really know how far along his company Blue Origin actually is. But what has been shown to date is limited to some engines (which he is selling to a competitor) and a single faring. There may be more, but it's under wraps. Still, selling some of those powerful engines does give this little rocket company a cash flow, so it's not all just spending his Amazon Stock.
I don't expect to see New Glen fly for at least another year. New Armstrong in maybe five. It's been five now since New Shepherd started it's flights.
If New Glenn lives up to it's spec's, it will lift more than a FH (Falcon Heavy) to orbit. By the time it does launch, there just might be enough demand to market the rocket. I hope so. Maybe a fuel depot in orbit. That would drastically extend our reach out to the Moon, Mars and the asteroids. I hope it portends good times ahead.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Catastrophe

ASK THE COMMUNITY

Latest posts