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Sigmetnow

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Exploring Our Moon
« on: October 26, 2021, 03:58:01 AM »
—- Several Small- to Medium-sized landers are due on the moon soon
NASA has contracted six Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) missions, each carrying multiple payloads, with targets as soon as Q1 2022. Four will launch on Falcon 9 rockets, and a fifth on a Falcon Heavy.  (Peregrine Mission One wants to launch on a Vulcan rocket in Q1 2022, but Vulcan is still awaiting its BE-4 engines from Blue Origin).

Commercial Lunar Payload Services - Wikipedia
Quote
Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) is a NASA program to contract transportation services able to send small robotic landers and rovers to the Moon's south polar region mostly with the goals of scouting for lunar resources, testing in situ resource utilization (ISRU) concepts, and performing lunar science to support the Artemis lunar program. CLPS is intended to buy end-to-end payload services between Earth and the lunar surface using fixed priced contracts.

NASA's Science Mission Directorate operates the CLPS program in conjunction with the Human Exploration and Operations and Space Technology Mission Directorates. NASA expects the contractors to provide all activities necessary to safely integrate, accommodate, transport, and operate NASA payloads, including launch vehicles, lunar lander spacecraft, lunar surface systems, Earth re-entry vehicles and associated resources. …
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commercial_Lunar_Payload_Services

—- News:
Firefly completes design of Moon mission, aiming for 2023 launch
Eric Berger - 10/25/2021
Quote
Although Firefly Aerospace is only a few weeks removed from its first-ever launch attempt, the Texas-based space company is already making good progress toward its first mission to land on the Moon.

Firefly said Monday that it has completed the "critical design review" phase of its program to develop a lunar lander. This means the company can now proceed to build and order components for the "Blue Ghost" spacecraft and begin its assembly. Firefly aims to launch the spacecraft as the primary payload on a Falcon 9 rocket in the fall of 2023.

NASA is sponsoring the mission as part of its Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program, through which it pays private companies to deliver scientific experiments to the Moon. NASA is paying $93.3 million for this Blue Ghost mission, which will carry 10 payloads down to the Mare Crisium lunar basin in September 2023.

"We got through the critical design review process in eight months, which is a very fast pace for sending something to the surface of the Moon," William Coogan, Blue Ghost's chief engineer, told Ars.

The lander is sized like a large person, about 2 meters tall, and capable of carrying 155 kg of payload to the Moon's surface. From the time that NASA ordered the mission, Firefly will have had about 2.5 years to design and build the lander, Coogan said.

He is most excited about the spacecraft's potential to stream high-definition video from the surface of the Moon at 10 megabits per second. One camera, at the top of the spacecraft, will be set to track to Earth as it* moves over the Moon, and its** eclipse as it** sets over the horizon. Coogan said he is eager to share such a view of our home planet with the entire world. …
https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/10/firefly-completes-design-of-moon-mission-aiming-for-2023-launch/
*the spacecraft
**the Earth

⬇️ Image below: Rendering of the Blue Ghost lander.
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Neven

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2021, 07:48:51 AM »
It's not our Moon. It's the Moon.
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Aluminium

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2021, 12:03:57 PM »
62 years ago.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2021, 09:06:00 PM »
It's not our Moon. It's the Moon.

But there are so many moons! We’re exploring the moons of Jupiter and Saturn.  I think the nearest astronomical body, trapped in the gravity well caused by the planet we reside on, can rightfully be described as “our moon,” just as we refer to Earth as “our planet,” or, “our continent”, or “our region.”  It does not necessarily imply ownership, if that is your complaint.  Merely familiarity.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2021, 09:14:13 PM by Sigmetnow »
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Neven

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2021, 10:16:01 PM »
My complaint is that you display a way of thinking (and doing it again with your second comment) that is rampant. And wrong.

But otherwise an interesting topic, exploring the Earth's Moon. Much better than the Mars exploration con that Elon Musk is fond of.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2021, 10:26:37 PM »
My complaint is that you display a way of thinking (and doing it again with your second comment) that is rampant. And wrong.

But otherwise an interesting topic, exploring the Earth's Moon. Much better than the Mars exploration con that Elon Musk is fond of.

Your belief that Musk’s Mars plans are a con is wrong. That’s your way of thinking.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2021, 03:14:42 AM »
—- NASA gives Artemis Moon landing update
NASA delays Moon landings, says Blue Origin legal tactics partly to blame
"We've lost nearly seven months in litigation."
Eric Berger - 11/9/2021, 7:34 PM
2024 no more —
Quote
Senior NASA officials on Tuesday provided an updated timeline for returning humans to the Moon under the agency's Artemis Program, and they discussed costs and other issues related to it. The biggest news came in the form of NASA's formal acknowledgement that a human landing on the Moon in 2024 is not possible, but there were plenty of other noteworthy tidbits.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson led the briefing with space reporters, which came five days after the US Court of Federal Claims ruled against Blue Origin's lawsuit against NASA for its selection of SpaceX to build a lunar lander for the Artemis Program. Previously, Nelson had promised to provide an update on the Artemis Program following the lawsuit, and on Tuesday he made good on that.

He came out guns blazing at Blue Origin. "We've lost nearly seven months in litigation and that likely has pushed the first human landing likely to no earlier than 2025," Nelson said, pinning the delay in NASA's return to the Moon firmly on Blue Origin and its lawyers. During the legal process, NASA was forbidden from working or even talking with SpaceX regarding the Human Landing System (HLS) program. The agency was also unable to provide milestone payments.

"I spoke last Friday with Gwynne Shotwell," Nelson said, referring to the president and chief operating officer of SpaceX. "This is the first contact we've been able to have about the HLS program, and we both underscored the importance of returning to the Moon as quickly and safely as possible."


"Let me just point out right now there's only one rocket that's capable of doing this, and this is SLS and Orion on top," Nelson replied. "And that's stacked we speak, and it's going to launch next February. So we're going with what we got. And if anybody comes up with another alternative, we're glad to look at any other alternative."

The Space Launch System rocket is indeed finally stacked, and it probably will launch during the first half of 2022. But SpaceX is also finalizing its Starship launch system, and pending launch-site approval from the Federal Aviation Administration, it also will attempt an orbital test flight early in 2022.

The bottom line is that, for Artemis to be a success, Starship must now also be a success. And if Starship is a success, it will almost certainly be an exponentially more efficient launch vehicle than NASA's SLS rocket.
Nelson may be glad to look at "alternatives" when they come to pass, but will Congress?
https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/11/nasa-delays-moon-landings-says-blue-origin-legal-tactics-partly-to-blame/


—- Who got there first? ;)
Quote
Elon Musk
Yup, even the moon
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1455800444505178112
⬇️ Vikings meme below.

< I think you'll find the Vikings in fact landed on Mars.
https://twitter.com/robxlynx/status/1455947413609353221
⬇️ Pic of NASA Viking Mars lander
 
Elon Musk
Haha true
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2021, 05:01:26 AM »
SpaceX: While we’re waiting for the first uncrewed Starships we launch to arrive on Mars, we’ll be landing other Starships on the Moon in the next few years.  Get cracking on that science experiment equipment (no need for them to be ultra-small or ultra-light, because Starship can carry tons of payload, to the moon and back) — and lobby Congress and NASA to provide quicker funding. 
Also, start rounding up people to be in the first astronaut groups!  They’ll live in Starships, until other habitats are built.

From the whitepaper:
Quote
Crewed Starships will have on the order of 1100 m3 forward space (most of which will be pressurized for human habitation), an 800 m3 liquid oxygen (LOX) tank, and a 600 m3 methane tank. Both tanks have a stainless-steel primary structure, and may be repurposed later as pressurized living space on the surface of the Moon or Mars.

The SpaceX Starship system fundamentally changes the paradigm for NASA science, technology development and testing, and human exploration of space. Starships flown to the Moon and Mars will provide opportunities to deliver massive cargos and large numbers of people to enable sustained and self-reliant human off-world presence. In addition, the return of many tons of samples from the Moon and Mars to Earth for scientific analysis will be enabled. The types of payloads that might be used to achieve SMD, HEOMD, and STMD objectives could be much different than those designed for traditional NASA flight opportunities with their stringent mass and volume constraints. In addition, broader segments of the community (including international partners) will have the opportunity to participate in spaceflight opportunities (both human and robotic) since more flights with more payload will be flying to the Moon and Mars than ever before. NASA could actively expand the roster of flight mission PIs and team members to include more early career professionals as well as marginalized and underrepresented groups.

In order to take advantage of the impending Starship flights to the surface of the Moon and Mars, NASA will need to develop a new funding program consistent with the mission timelines for rapid flights planned by SpaceX. To be most effective, planning should begin immediately to prepare for payloads on the first uncrewed Starship flights, likely first to the Moon and then for Mars. Starship missions to the lunar surface can be an important stepping stone for reaching Mars both technically and programmatically. The Moon can be a testbed and demonstration platform for ISRU technologies as well as Starship operations.
The white paper (8 pages, pdf):
http://surveygizmoresponseuploads.s3.amazonaws.com/fileuploads/623127/5489366/111-381503be1c5764e533d2e1e923e21477_HeldmannJenniferL

SpaceX details plan to build Mars Base Alpha with reusable Starship rockets
By Eric Ralph November 18, 2021
Quote
…  Further, confirming what’s been assumed to be the plan for years, “humans will likely live on [Starships] for the first few years until additional habitats are constructed” and “the first wave of uncrewed Starships can also be relocated and/or repurposed as needed to support the humans on the surface,” serving as “valuable assets for storage, habitation, [scientific laboratories], and a source of refined metal structures and resources.” The paper also states that “SpaceX is aggressively developing Starship to…conduct initial test flights to Mars…as soon as 2022 [or 2024]” and even raises the possibility of SpaceX launching the first Starship(s) to Mars before the rocket’s first lunar mission but then launching a separate lunar mission and landing a different Starship on the Moon while the Marsbound ship or ships are still in transit.

The whitepaper marks the first time that SpaceX (or those familiar with the company’s plans) has properly fleshed out the basics of its first crewed and uncrewed Starship missions to Mars and confirms a great deal of well-informed speculation. Namely, SpaceX appears to intend to pack even the very first Mars-bound ships with supplies. But even if they don’t bring much, the first Martian immigrants – launched in batches of “10-20 people” alongside “100+ metric tons” (~220,000+ lb) of cargo – will reuse all surviving Starships as pre-emplaced habitats, storage tanks, and raw material feedstock. Early cargo will focus on power, water, and propellant production, as well as shelters, radiation shielding, and the construction of prepared landing pads. Unsurprisngly, early residents will likely make the Starships that carry them to Mars their first homes on the surface of the Red Planet, taking advantage of an ~1100m³ (~39,000ft³) pressurized volume already outfitted to keep dozens of people alive and healthy in deep space for months at a time.
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-starship-mars-base-alpha-construction-plan/
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