post Constellation plans

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job1207

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"Check back in a couple of years. That's when new technology should be developed enough to answer that question, Garver said. President Barack Obama plans to divert billions of dollars from the Bush moon plan toward developing better rocketry.

"The best way to get anywhere ... is really invest in technologies that will reduce the cost, reduce the time, reduce the risk and so forth," Garver said.

Some of those technologies seem like science fiction. The possibilities noted by experts inside and outside of NASA include the equivalent of an in-orbit gas station, electric-hybrid rockets, nuclear thermal rockets, inflatable parts for spaceships, and methods of beaming power between Earth and space.

Former astronaut Franklin Chang-Diaz, who has developed a new type of electric propulsion engine called VASIMR that the NASA leadership mentions specifically, said this new emphasis is especially welcome because six years ago NASA killed its advanced rocket technology program.

"We clearly need the technology leap if we really want to go to Mars," Chang-Diaz said. "We are not going to Mars on chemical rockets." "

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... sec-nation
 
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MeteorWayne

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As this refers to neither a Mission or a Launch, move to Space Business and Technology.
 
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job1207

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surprised that this did not get any responses. This IS the future of NASA. I find it interesting that they are NOT cutting funding. They are just spending it on NEW technologies, instead of REINVENTING the Saturn V.
 
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hipar

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So the plan is to forgo the design of the heavy lift rockets required to get 'big stuff' up there until these miracle engines are demonstrated on the test stand. I'll check back in two years.

--- CHAS
 
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Valcan

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Doubt we wont be building a heavy lift rocket.

The whole point of the commerical field is that we dont need to build a small to medium lift rocket. Heavy and super heavy are great i think ares V was a great idea. But ares I was just redundent and a waste.

Man ratting rockets drives prices very high. Just building a super heavy 250,000 to 400,000lbs :eek: like ares V was supposed to be.

One thing that has bugged me is the fact that though we can spend 500billion (ok its more like 800billion) on bailouts we can find another 5 billion for the space program....seriously wtf. :evil:
 
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missionunknown

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I can't help but think that not enough real and substantial stuff would be achieved by the constellation program anyway, so maybe obama is right, unfortunately. (Plus there's the whole economy thing)
 
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edkyle99

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job1207":229e4nkt said:
surprised that this did not get any responses. This IS the future of NASA. I find it interesting that they are NOT cutting funding. They are just spending it on NEW technologies, instead of REINVENTING the Saturn V.
Keep in mind that the proposed NASA budget is just that - only a proposal. NASA could end up with *reduced* budget. Since Constellation is being canceled, that outcome, it seems to me, is probable.

Also keep in mind that while Obama's budget proposal gives NASA a bump next year and the year after, it drastically reduces NASA's budget (compared to prior plans) after that. In current dollar terms, Obama has proposed a dramatic shrinking of NASA by the end of the decade.

Think of this R&D funding as the remains of a kill in the desert. The scavengers (ATK, PWR, SpaceX, ULA, Orbital, etc.) now get to fight over the carcass. A few will eat. Others will starve.

- Ed Kyle
 
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Polishguy

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job1207":1zq2egh1 said:
surprised that this did not get any responses. This IS the future of NASA. I find it interesting that they are NOT cutting funding. They are just spending it on NEW technologies, instead of REINVENTING the Saturn V.
You do realize that the new funding is so that NASA can watch global warming happen, right?

Without a new Heavy Lift Booster, we are stranded in earth orbit for the forseeable future. I agree that Bigelow and VASIMR should get funding, but why should we stop building giant rockets for the sake of that? Back during the sixties, we built a giant rocket (Saturn V), 3 different space capsules (Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo), small computers, lunar landers, nuclear reactors, and other things. Now we have to pick and choose?

We aren't even investing in the proper rocket motor. Sure, VASIMR promises 39 day Mars transit time, but look at their own PDF files. VASIMR's builders say that to have 39 day transit, you need 600 tonnes in low earth orbit first! Even Ares V would have delivered less than 200, and Saturn V delivered only 120. If we're serious about a VASIMR mission to Mars, we'd build both VASIMR and giant rocket.

If we wanted to increase a Moon or Mars mission payload, we'd invest in resurrecting the NERVA program. Low propellant mass (compared to VASIMR), twice the ISP of chemical systems, and based on proven technology. That's what needs funding first.

What we need is some sort of Mars Prize. Give $50 Billion to the first corporation to put a team on Mars for 500 days, collect many samples, and return to earth. If you want cost-cutting, that's the way to go. Maybe $5 Billion for each successive flight.
 
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Gravity_Ray

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edkyle99":1p28e49v said:
Also keep in mind that while Obama's budget proposal gives NASA a bump next year and the year after, it drastically reduces NASA's budget (compared to prior plans) after that. In current dollar terms, Obama has proposed a dramatic shrinking of NASA by the end of the decade.

Think of this R&D funding as the remains of a kill in the desert. The scavengers (ATK, PWR, SpaceX, ULA, Orbital, etc.) now get to fight over the carcass. A few will eat. Others will starve.

- Ed Kyle
Ed I hope you eat the caramel popcorn before you get your information from Cracker Jack boxes. Dude where do you get this stuff from? Why don’t you try and do some research next time before you start typing. What you wrote here is wrong.

NASA is getting a top line increase of 6.0 Billion dollars over the next 5 years (FY 2011-2015). Let me break it down for you: FY 2010 +5.3%, FY 2011 +1.5%, FY 2012 +2.4%, FY 2013 +2.6%, FY 2014 +3.2%, FY 2015 +1.9%.

Source Obama Administration for NASA budget.

http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/420990main_FY_2 ... b_2010.pdf

At least check the NASA website before you open mouth and insert foot again.
 
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edkyle99

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Gravity_Ray":1t9twh8a said:
edkyle99":1t9twh8a said:
Also keep in mind that while Obama's budget proposal gives NASA a bump next year and the year after, it drastically reduces NASA's budget (compared to prior plans) after that. In current dollar terms, Obama has proposed a dramatic shrinking of NASA by the end of the decade.

Think of this R&D funding as the remains of a kill in the desert. The scavengers (ATK, PWR, SpaceX, ULA, Orbital, etc.) now get to fight over the carcass. A few will eat. Others will starve.

- Ed Kyle
Ed I hope you eat the caramel popcorn before you get your information from Cracker Jack boxes. Dude where do you get this stuff from? Why don’t you try and do some research next time before you start typing. What you wrote here is wrong.

NASA is getting a top line increase of 6.0 Billion dollars over the next 5 years (FY 2011-2015). Let me break it down for you: FY 2010 +5.3%, FY 2011 +1.5%, FY 2012 +2.4%, FY 2013 +2.6%, FY 2014 +3.2%, FY 2015 +1.9%.

Source Obama Administration for NASA budget.

http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/420990main_FY_2 ... b_2010.pdf

At least check the NASA website before you open mouth and insert foot again.
The proposed budget increase only amounts to a bit more than $1 billion per year, and only for five years. After that the budget flat-lines. Keeping Constellation would have required an extra $3 billion per year according to Augustine, and annual increases would have been required on top of that to keep up with inflation. The original ESAS "sand chart" showed NASA's budget more than *doubling* to get astronauts to the Moon.

So yes, it is a budget cut (compared, as I wrote, to prior plans), written out to look like an increase in order to fool the gullible.

If you don't believe me, keep your eyes open over the next few months. If you pay attention, you will see vultures circling.

- Ed Kyle
 
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neutrino78x

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So, if the idea is that NASA will now focus on Deep Space, that is to say, beyond LEO, an idea with which I agree, do they already have a design for a capsule which can be put on a heavy lift booster to go to, for example, an asteroid?

The President still needs to announce plans for the next destination for astronauts beyond the ISS. Men on an asteroid would do fine, then manned lunar outpost, then Mars.

Regardless of who is operating LEO taxis, there still needs to be a direction for the astronaut program..

I think Mars should be the ultimate goal, colonizing Mars. We should have a "flexible path" program that can put men on an asteroid with one mission, then men on Mars the next.

We also need to fix the Outer Space Treaty so objects in space, beyond Earth orbit, but which orbit the Sun, can be claimed, for mining and colonization, just as European powers claimed parts of North America. Although not exactly the same, as there are no sentient beings already living there who would have an ownership claim. Space should be analogous to the High Seas; you can't own part of International Waters, but you can own an island therein.

--Brian
 
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Gravity_Ray

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OK Ed I got you now. So compared to what "could’ve", "would’ve", "should’ve" this is a small budget, I guess reality is a bummer. The prior plans you are talking about were a pipe dream from the previous administration that wanted to make their faltering administration gain some public brownie points and make trouble for the next incoming administration. I don’t make that much money, so to me and other gullible people an increase of over 1 Billion dollars a year appears to be nice, especially in a time where many government programs are getting budget cuts.

Also I am glad that we didn’t give Constellation an additional raise of 3 Billion per year, talk about a money pit. But I will keep my eyes open; I mean what the heck I have been watching NASA closely since 1982, so a couple of more months shouldn’t be too hard.


Neutrino78x I personally am hoping that they keep the Orion for beyond LEO. Or maybe an Orion light version.
 
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Swampcat

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edkyle99":3vnfzvty said:
The original ESAS "sand chart" showed NASA's budget more than *doubling* to get astronauts to the Moon.

So yes, it is a budget cut (compared, as I wrote, to prior plans), written out to look like an increase in order to fool the gullible.

If you don't believe me, keep your eyes open over the next few months. If you pay attention, you will see vultures circling.

- Ed Kyle
Smoke and mirrors, Ed.

The ESAS "sand chart" represented NASA requirements under Constellation. It required a very unrealistic increase for ESMD alone from $3.3B in 2006 to $15.4B in 2025. It was also not set in stone. It was a projection...no more reality-based than I suspect Obama's budget will end up being after Congress gets through passing out the pork during their deliberations.

But to call Obama's plan a budget cut is just spin.
 
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edkyle99

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Swampcat":2nnrltfa said:
The ESAS "sand chart" represented NASA requirements under Constellation. It required a very unrealistic increase for ESMD alone from $3.3B in 2006 to $15.4B in 2025. It was also not set in stone. It was a projection...no more reality-based than I suspect Obama's budget will end up being after Congress gets through passing out the pork during their deliberations.

But to call Obama's plan a budget cut is just spin.
Unrealistic? This is what it costs to go to the Moon! More money than NASA currently has, which is why a budget increase was absolutely needed. Congress can talk all it wants about "saving" Constellation, but nothing will be saved unless Congress is willing to *allocate*.

As for NASA ending up with a real budget cut in the long term, just watch.

- Ed Kyle
 
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Swampcat

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edkyle99":1nrbrmkj said:
Unrealistic? This is what it costs to go to the Moon!
No, Ed, it's what it will cost NASA to develop the Constellation program. I believe that's what I wrote. Going to the Moon is a piece of that, but there's more to this story than that. Think pork.

More money than NASA currently has, which is why a budget increase was absolutely needed. Congress can talk all it wants about "saving" Constellation, but nothing will be saved unless Congress is willing to *allocate*.

As for NASA ending up with a real budget cut in the long term, just watch.

- Ed Kyle
Could you give me the name of your crystal ball supplier? Mine doesn't seem to be working as well as yours :)

I have no doubt that Obama's budget proposal will be modified by Congress. That's a given as far as I'm concerned. We'll just have to wait for the details.
 
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edkyle99

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Swampcat":25azog8i said:
edkyle99":25azog8i said:
Unrealistic? This is what it costs to go to the Moon!
No, Ed, it's what it will cost NASA to develop the Constellation program. I believe that's what I wrote. Going to the Moon is a piece of that, but there's more to this story than that. Think pork.
It isn't pork. It is physics.

I watched NASA go to the Moon once. It cost more money for that effort than Constellation was proposed to cost, and yet people were appalled even by this reduced cost. If the public isn't ready to pay for it, then so be it - on to ISS for the duration.

In my opinion, the idea that NASA, or anyone, could go to the Moon "on the cheap" is fantasy.

- Ed Kyle
 
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Swampcat

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edkyle99":d9jvjr3a said:
It isn't pork. It is physics.
Smoke and mirrors again, Ed. Physics has nothing to do with how politician's slice up NASA's budget. Constellation isn't required by the laws of physics.

I watched NASA go to the Moon once. It cost more money for that effort than Constellation was proposed to cost, and yet people were appalled even by this reduced cost. If the public isn't ready to pay for it, then so be it - on to ISS for the duration.

In my opinion, the idea that NASA, or anyone, could go to the Moon "on the cheap" is fantasy.

- Ed Kyle
I watched NASA astronauts land on the Moon six times. That period of time was unique. There is no Cold War now to provide the motivation to spend such a large percentage of the US Treasury to send a few humans on a sight seeing trip to the Moon just to boost our collective egos. As you say, if the public won't pay for it, it won't happen. There's the motivation to try a different approach. Trying to hang on to old, too expensive ways of doing things is counterproductive. If we can't come up with less expensive ways of accomplishing this goal, then maybe we deserve to be stuck in LEO.

And nobody's suggesting "cheap." That's a strawman.
 
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Tritium

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Swampcat":1hhh58a2 said:
edkyle99":1hhh58a2 said:
It isn't pork. It is physics.
Smoke and mirrors again, Ed. Physics has nothing to do with how politician's slice up NASA's budget. Constellation isn't required by the laws of physics.

I watched NASA go to the Moon once. It cost more money for that effort than Constellation was proposed to cost, and yet people were appalled even by this reduced cost. If the public isn't ready to pay for it, then so be it - on to ISS for the duration.

In my opinion, the idea that NASA, or anyone, could go to the Moon "on the cheap" is fantasy.

- Ed Kyle
I watched NASA astronauts land on the Moon six times. That period of time was unique. There is no Cold War now to provide the motivation to spend such a large percentage of the US Treasury to send a few humans on a sight seeing trip to the Moon just to boost our collective egos. As you say, if the public won't pay for it, it won't happen. There's the motivation to try a different approach. Trying to hang on to old, too expensive ways of doing things is counterproductive. If we can't come up with less expensive ways of accomplishing this goal, then maybe we deserve to be stuck in LEO.

And nobody's suggesting "cheap." That's a strawman.
I have a question .We want to go to the moon and establish a base,a mining,production colony there,near the pole where we discovered water.Why can't we basically upgrade the old Saturn Apollo technology that has already gotten us there several times and back in the past?What is wrong with doing that,using vastly improved systems technology?And why not improve on our already existing Shuttle Program at the same time?We have a working Space Trucking system that can get preassembled modules into LEO,where they could be assembled to establish a refueling station,and other assemblies could be boosted into L5,as a way station between Earth and Moon.Once we had all of this in place,building a ship large enough and fast enough to carry a crew and provisions to Mars would be accomplished at the Way-station,using hardware ,supplies,fuel,and manpower from both the Earth and the Moon.Inflatables will help us throughout the entire range of efforts,from lightweight modules for habitat,to clear domes which can be used for crop production.Excuse me for being simplistic.It is all here.It is all do-able.I am wanting us to use our American "can do" attitude once again,and push the frontier forward.

I am aware that the problem is funding.That is why I suggest taking existing technology and upgrading it with our best materials and newest technological advancements.We already have the mousetrap.We just need to make a new version which is safer,stronger,faster,and more efficient.The automotive industry does this every year.They are able to do so by making subtle design modifications which incorporate the latest advances in technology without having to spend so much that they go broke.OK bad analogy.Ford did it,and continues to succeed with proper management.

So,perhaps it is a question of management.How to take what we have,and use it to it's maximum potential.Revise NASA to use all of it's existing knowledge in concert with the private companies to produce a hybrid which is able to get these projects accomplished.There has to be ongoing ,active manned spaceflight by the United States.We did it before,and we can do it again.
 
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Gravity_Ray

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Tritium

Good questions and let me answer some of them.

We here at this forum want to go to the Moon and establish a base (and some scientist and engineers too), but we the American people do not want that. Most Americans are busy with their lives and don’t know a Moon base from a Moon sandwich. Frankly they are easily swayed by one liners like “why spend money on the Moon when you can buy sandwiches for hungry people" or some such nonsense.

There is nobody that will disagree that Apollo got us to the Moon, but at what cost? Do you know that NASA was spending something like 5% of the federal budget to get to the Moon and that was just a boots and flags program. Right now, NASA budget is around 0.5% of the budget and the Congress still cuts them whenever possible. Cant blame them, they are trying to get re-elected by the people that want to buy sandwiches for hungry people.

The problem with the Space Shuttle is not funding, although it is amazingly expensive to get 7 people into space with some hardware per flight. The problem is that the Shuttle is side mounted on a tank that sheds ice and damages the tiles of the Shuttle. The shuttle is a very complex system and has a failure rate of 2%. Imagine if you sit in your car or a plane and 2% of the time you are going to die! And these shuttles are expensive so its not you can just buy another plane or another car.

The United States still has a can do attitude. But that attitude like you said comes more from the car manufacturers or the airline industry, not from the government. So the right choice now is to move most of this lifting to LEO to private companies instead of NASA and let NASA do the harder research. As the se private companies get better at LEO and a small market develops (from getting NASA to LEO, or from getting paid customers to LEO, or even point to point travel through sub-orbital flights) they will get better and cheaper; exactly like the airline industry or the car industry.

NASA is a well managed government organization, they are very good at what they do, but they have to dance to the tune of a Immoral and Crazy Congress that changes its mind at a drop of a dime or a vote.

Lets give private industry a chance here, and see how they are doing. I have been watching NASA since the late 70s and because of budget issues they are still in LEO. If the private companies cant cut it, then what do we lose? I mean the Constellation program wasn’t going to get anybody to the Moon until around 2030 anyway.
 
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edkyle99

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Swampcat":2wjtpg7j said:
There is no Cold War now to provide the motivation to spend such a large percentage of the US Treasury to send a few humans on a sight seeing trip to the Moon just to boost our collective egos. As you say, if the public won't pay for it, it won't happen. There's the motivation to try a different approach. Trying to hang on to old, too expensive ways of doing things is counterproductive. If we can't come up with less expensive ways of accomplishing this goal, then maybe we deserve to be stuck in LEO.

And nobody's suggesting "cheap." That's a strawman.
Nobody's suggesting any alternative that won't end up costing roughly the same. A lunar mission that requires a certain landed mass requires a certain launched mass. Until someone invents a Star Trek transporter, launched mass converts to lots of dollars. If the people don't want to pay, fine. But don't try to fool people into believing there is a less expensive way to go to the Moon.

- Ed Kyle
 
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DarkenedOne

Guest
edkyle99":13yya8vi said:
Nobody's suggesting any alternative that won't end up costing roughly the same. A lunar mission that requires a certain landed mass requires a certain launched mass. Until someone invents a Star Trek transporter, launched mass converts to lots of dollars. If the people don't want to pay, fine. But don't try to fool people into believing there is a less expensive way to go to the Moon.

- Ed Kyle
Yes people are suggesting alternatives will be cheaper. That is why NASA is looking into these so called "transformative or game changing technologies." They are game changing because they offer significant benefits over traditional technologies and methods.

There are a great deal of technologies that if developed and if they work will dramatically decrease costs. I will go through some of them for you.

ISRU promises to reduce launch costs by gathering needed resources from the local environment thus reducing the necessary amount mass that needs to be shipped.

VASIMR promises to decrease costs by increasing payload capacity and decrease fuel requirements thus reducing cost.

Closed air-loop life support promises to reduce human consumption thus reduce the size of spacecraft, and resupply mass thus reducing cost.

Inflatable habitats promise to provide habits that are larger and cheaper than the aluminium ones that NASA built the space station with.

Fuel Depots promise to allow NASA to stockpile fuel provided by low cost already developed commercial launchers without the need for high cost super heavy launch vehicles.

I could go on, but yes the idea is to pursue these technologies that have largely been neglected in favor of traditional methods such as Constellation and Apollo to get us to these locations more affordably.
 
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Polishguy

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DarkenedOne":13uwz6eo said:
edkyle99":13uwz6eo said:
Nobody's suggesting any alternative that won't end up costing roughly the same. A lunar mission that requires a certain landed mass requires a certain launched mass. Until someone invents a Star Trek transporter, launched mass converts to lots of dollars. If the people don't want to pay, fine. But don't try to fool people into believing there is a less expensive way to go to the Moon.

- Ed Kyle
Yes people are suggesting alternatives will be cheaper. That is why NASA is looking into these so called "transformative or game changing technologies." They are game changing because they offer significant benefits over traditional technologies and methods.

There are a great deal of technologies that if developed and if they work will dramatically decrease costs. I will go through some of them for you.

ISRU promises to reduce launch costs by gathering needed resources from the local environment thus reducing the necessary amount mass that needs to be shipped.

VASIMR promises to decrease costs by increasing payload capacity and decrease fuel requirements thus reducing cost.

Closed air-loop life support promises to reduce human consumption thus reduce the size of spacecraft, and resupply mass thus reducing cost.

Inflatable habitats promise to provide habits that are larger and cheaper than the aluminium ones that NASA built the space station with.

Fuel Depots promise to allow NASA to stockpile fuel provided by low cost already developed commercial launchers without the need for high cost super heavy launch vehicles.

I could go on, but yes the idea is to pursue these technologies that have largely been neglected in favor of traditional methods such as Constellation and Apollo to get us to these locations more affordably.
VASIMR will not reduce fuel needs. If you actually read Ad Astra corporation's PDF files, a 39 day VASIMR flight to Mars requires 600 tonnes of fuel in earth orbit. A chemical flight, while taking 6 months, requires just 90 tonnes of fuel.

Bigelow Aerospace's inflatable habs can be tested during a constellation program! NASA can use a BA 330 on the lunar surface, for example. There's no need to cancel a program just to study this. We can also use a BA 330 as an Aldrin Cycler space station.

As for closed loop life support, this sort of thing can be tested on the moon, where it's needed. On other celestial bodies (like Mars, the asteroids, or Jupiter's moons), we can mine water and other useful substances (fertilizer from the nitrogen in comets) from the ground beneath us. Closed loop life support is not necessary if you have ISRU, which we can test with our first manned Mars mission.
 
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menellom

Guest
As I recall Polish, plans for a lunar base, even under the Constellation Program, have been more or less scrapped in favor of short Apollo-redux sorties, even before the President's new proposal. So no, Constellation wouldn't have provided an opportunity for testing inflatable habitats or closed loop life support systems.
 
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DarkenedOne

Guest
Polishguy":3h9d0mma said:
VASIMR will not reduce fuel needs. If you actually read Ad Astra corporation's PDF files, a 39 day VASIMR flight to Mars requires 600 tonnes of fuel in earth orbit. A chemical flight, while taking 6 months, requires just 90 tonnes of fuel.
Yes that is in its low impulse, high thrust mode.

If you wanted to travel there economically you would put it into high impulse, low thrust mode.

I do not know the specifics about a Mars transfer vehicle, but I do about the moon. Constellation planned to ship about 34 metric tones to lunar orbit on their expendable Earth Departure Stage using about 60 metric tones of fuel. The lunar orbital transfer vehicle that the company eventually hopes to build will use 5 of the 200kW VASIMR engines to transport the same mass into lunar orbit using only 8 metric tonnes of fuel. It is also a fully reusable vehicle that only needs to be refueled after each trip, unlike the EDS that would be discarded after every mission. Of course it would take VASIMR about three weeks whereas the chemical EDS will take about 5 days. So that saves NASA the expensive of completely rebuilding the EDS and launching all 60 metric tones of it into orbit after every use. That is a big cash saver.

It is really just like the shipping something in the mail. Faster you want it to go the more it is going to cost you.



Polishguy":3h9d0mma said:
Bigelow Aerospace's inflatable habs can be tested during a constellation program! NASA can use a BA 330 on the lunar surface, for example. There's no need to cancel a program just to study this. We can also use a BA 330 as an Aldrin Cycler space station.


As for closed loop life support, this sort of thing can be tested on the moon, where it's needed. On other celestial bodies (like Mars, the asteroids, or Jupiter's moons), we can mine water and other useful substances (fertilizer from the nitrogen in comets) from the ground beneath us. Closed loop life support is not necessary if you have ISRU, which we can test with our first manned Mars mission.[/quote]
 
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