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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.
Il faut comparer, comparer, comparer, et cultiver notre jardin

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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Sigmetnow

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2021, 04:53:17 PM »
Quote
No one, presently, sees the Moon rotate like this. That's because the Earth's moon is tidally locked to the Earth, showing us only one side. But thanks to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, a high resolution virtual Moon rotation movie has been composed
12/14/21 https://twitter.com/rainmaker1973/status/1470717705468604416
 
Rotating Moon from LRO
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vox_mundi

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #9 on: December 25, 2021, 03:31:59 PM »
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― anonymous

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

Sigmetnow

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2022, 04:49:11 AM »
Chinese Rover Reaches Mysterious Moon Cube: It's a Rock
Quote
Last month, China’s Yutu-2 rover made a discovery on the far side of the Moon that captured the world’s imagination: a hazy cube-like object in the distance, which China National Space Administration-affiliated outreach blog Our Space playfully described as a “mystery hut.”



It was supposed to take months before Yutu-2 would reach the object and find out what it is. As outlined in a new blog from Our Space, Chinese scientists just couldn’t wait that long and developed new strategies for the rover to traverse the lunar surface faster and get to the “cube” ASAP. Now, Yutu-2 has gotten close enough to see what it is: a rock. Just a regular old Moon rock.

Even the scientists seemed disappointed. The cube appeared as tall as the Arc de Triomphe in the distance, the Our Space blog notes, but “turned out to be very short when approached, and the drivers couldn't help but feel a little disappointed.” Still, they gave it the nickname “Jade Rabbit,” and noted that the bits of rock around it look like the leftovers from a rabbit’s carrot feast. 

The discovery, while not as bombastic as discovering an alien complex, wasn’t entirely unexpected. When the “cube” was initially discovered, many speculated that it could be the rocky remnant of a meteor impact, because it appeared next to an impact crater. Now, the next step for Yutu-2 is to get in even closer to analyze the rock and its nearby crater.



The resolution of the mystery of the Moon cube isn’t a total wash, however, as the rover team developed some pretty innovative techniques to get the robot moving across the Moon’s surface faster. In fact, laying that process out makes up the bulk of Our Space’s blog. The blog refers to the new approach as “swaggering” and describes how drivers coaxed Yutu-2 into taking an extra precious step each day, and covering more ground with each movement while navigating tricky craters. The trip north to the rock took more than 30 days, six steps in total, covering nearly 60 meters of lunar surface.
https://www.vice.com/en/article/bvnvpv/chinese-rover-reaches-mysterious-moon-cube-its-a-rock
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2022, 09:01:38 PM »
Quote
Elon Musk
Back to the moon soon
1/18/22, 9:49 PM. https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1483632730298621954

—- CLPS missions — NET Feb 2022
Quote
Intuitive Machines will join NASA’s new era of lunar exploration with a robotic landing on the Moon under a contract award announced by NASA CLPS (Commercial Moon Landing Services). The lander will fly as many as five payloads to Oceanus Procellarum, a scientifically intriguing dark spot on the Moon.

Payloads: 1  Trans Lunar Injection

Falcon 9 Block 5 | Nova C
NET February, 2022
LC-39A, Kennedy Space Center, Florida, USA
https://nextspaceflight.com/launches/details/1915

More:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commercial_Lunar_Payload_Services

Quote
Intuitive Machines was one of nine contractor companies selected by NASA in November 2018 to submit bids for the Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program. Nova-C is one of three lunar landers that will be built and launched under that program.

The first Nova-C lander is manifested on the IM-1 mission in early 2022, with a second lander on the IM-2 mission later that year. The IM-3 mission is scheduled to launch in early 2024. All three landers will launch on SpaceX's Falcon 9 launch vehicle.

Another selected lander is the Peregrine by Astrobotic.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nova-C

—-
Quote
Dr. Phil Metzger
Here’s my concern: When we tell ourselves that something is super hard, an epic quest, we have turned it into the limit of what we will try to do.
We need humans on the Moon, but we need to see that this is one of the *easier* parts of what we are capable of doing in space.
https://twitter.com/drphiltill/status/1481987619366092801
 
Eric Berger
Spot on. The Moon is really hard, but after LEO it’s the lowest hanging fruit for human spaceflight. It is not the limit, but the next step.
1/15/22 https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1482402901679030274
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vox_mundi

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2022, 03:00:24 AM »
Toyota Heading to Moon With Cruiser, Robotic Arms, Dreams
https://apnews.com/article/space-exploration-technology-science-business-robotics-43addff6ee72bc7cf3b2bfcf9f3ab570



TOKYO (AP) — Toyota is working with Japan’s space agency on a vehicle to explore the lunar surface, with ambitions to help people live on the moon by 2040 and then go live on Mars, company officials said Friday.

The vehicle being developed with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency is called Lunar Cruiser, whose name pays homage to the Toyota Land Cruiser sport utility vehicle. Its launch is set for the late 2020’s.

The vehicle is based on the idea that people eat, work, sleep and communicate with others safely in cars, and the same can be done in outer space, said Takao Sato, who heads the Lunar Cruiser project at Toyota Motor Corp.

“We see space as an area for our once-in-a-century transformation. By going to space, we may be able to develop telecommunications and other technology that will prove valuable to human life,” Sato told The Associated Press

Gitai Japan Inc., a venture contracted with Toyota, has developed a robotic arm for the Lunar Cruiser, designed to perform tasks such as inspection and maintenance. Its “grapple fixture” allows the arm’s end to be changed so it can work like different tools, scooping, lifting and sweeping.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2022, 07:53:05 PM by vox_mundi »
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etienne

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2022, 08:24:51 AM »
Sounds like a vehicle that can be used to assess the situation after an industrial or nuclear disaster. Maybe they needed something like that at Fukushima a few years ago.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2022, 05:07:28 PM »
—- Falcon 9 on the moon ~March 4
Quote
Jonathan McDowell @planet4589
For those asking: yes, an old Falcon 9 second stage left in high orbit in 2015 is going to hit the moon on March 4. It's interesting, but not a big deal.
1/25/22 https://twitter.com/planet4589/status/1486057487027646466

Eric Berger
rude
Quote
The S-IVB hitting the moon was defiantly something, they left 30-40 meter diameter craters and Falcon will probably do the same
Image below is Apollo 17's S-IVB stage which created a 35 Meter diameter crater and triggered the seismometers left from previous Apollo missions
1/24/22  ➡️ https://twitter.com/matthew_cable12/status/1485809725749014530
2 images at the link.


—- Moon landers in the works
Quote
Japanese lunar lander startup ispace says its Mission 1 lander will enter final assembly and integration next month, with the mission's launch set for no earlier than the fourth quarter (Oct-Dec):
Mission 2 is delayed to 2024 from 2023.
1/25/22 ➡️ https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1486014949835128836
3 pics :o

Key Updates for HAKUTO-R Announced as Mission 1 Lander Prepares to Enter Final Stage of Integration
25 Jan, 2022
https://ispace-inc.com/news/?p=2168

——
Quote
Intuitive Machines
Intuitive Machines’ IM-1 mission launch is moving outside of Q1 2022 to later this year. We will provide updates as they become available.
1/26/22 https://twitter.com/int_machines/status/1486443848213610498
 
Eric Berger
Been thinking for awhile that NASA will be doing well to see one Commercial Lunar Payload Services mission to the Moon in 2022. It's down to IM… and Astrobotic (riding on Vulcan, which may or may not be ready).
   —
Such delays are not unexpected, especially with the relatively low cost NASA is paying to facilitate an entirely new means of delivering cargo and science experiments to the Moon. If these companies need a little more time to be confident in their landers, that seems reasonable.
1/27/22, 10:11 AM. https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1486718494590656526

 
——
Machine to melt Moon rocks and derive metals may launch in 2024
Eric Berger - 1/21/2022
Lunar Resources
Quote
In recent years, much has been said about mining water ice in shadowed craters at the Moon's South Pole for use as rocket propellant. Enthusiasm for this idea has led NASA to begin planning the first human missions of its Artemis Program to land near the South Pole instead of the mid-latitudes.

However, a Houston-based company says there is value in the gray, dusty regolith spread across the entire lunar surface. The firm, Lunar Resources, is developing technology to extract iron, aluminum, magnesium, and silicon from the Moon's regolith. These materials, in turn, would be used to manufacture goods on the Moon.


The technology to extract metals has its roots at NASA. It is called Molten Regolith Electrolysis, by which lunar regolith is heated to a temperature of 1,600 degrees Centigrade, melted, and then electrolyzed to produce oxygen and metals, such as iron and silicon. Although the composition varies by location, lunar soil is composed of about 40 to 45 percent oxygen, 20 percent silicon, and 10 percent aluminum, with smaller amounts of iron and titanium.

Longterm, the company's plan is to produce metals and use them to manufacture power systems on the Moon, Carol said. All the materials are there to produce silicon solar cells, transmission cables, power storage, and more to provide power to lunar settlements during the 14-day lunar night.

The company's initial reactor will measure about 1-meter in diameter and height and process scoops of lunar regolith delivered by a small rover. The goal is to process as much as 100 kilograms of lunar regolith during a 24-hour period. Lunar Resources is negotiating with NASA for a ride to the Moon on one of the agency's Commercial Lunar Payload Services missions, Carol said. This demonstrator would be a fairly large payload for such a mission, about one-half of a metric ton. "The challenge with demonstrating industrial technologies is that they're heavier than science payloads," Carol said.

In reality, proving out a technology like Molten Regolith Electrolysis in a laboratory is a very far cry from doing so in a vacuum on the harsh, dusty lunar surface, which has extreme fluctuations in temperatures. But no one said space is easy. And this is precisely the kind of experimental work that NASA's lunar payloads program should be supporting if the space agency is ever to find a pathway to sustainable deep space exploration.
https://arstechnica.com/science/2022/01/machine-to-melt-moon-rocks-and-derive-metals-may-launch-in-2024/
⬇️ Click to enhance.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2022, 02:27:53 AM »
Moon Shadow

Quote
Wow!
Cool, strange photo of the Earth and Moon.
China’s Longjiang-2 satellite caught the lunar farside with our Earth looking tiny in the background.
gizmodo.com/chinese-satell…
2/6/22 https://twitter.com/drfunkyspoon/status/1490488500273266688
⬇️ Photo below.

Quote
Cool satellite/mission, this. Here's an absolutely insane image of a total solar eclipse over South America taken by the same Longjiang-2 satellite in 2019 [Harbin Institute of Technology]
2/7/22 https://twitter.com/aj_fi/status/1490677388828676099
⬇️ Photo below.
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vox_mundi

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2022, 12:18:22 AM »
GITAI lunar robotic rover R1



-------------------------------------------
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― anonymous

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Sigmetnow

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2022, 03:50:45 AM »
Descriptions of future national and commercial lunar missions, by country.
—- Fly Me to the Moon: Worldwide Cislunar and Lunar Missions
Center for Strategic and International Studies

Download this report (and others) here:
 https://www.csis.org/analysis/fly-me-moon-worldwide-cislunar-and-lunar-missions

Quote
The crowning achievement of the notorious Space Race between the United States and the Soviet Union occurred in July 1969, when the first humans landed on the Moon. Prior to this, the United States and the Soviet Union sent several uncrewed missions to the lunar surface, culminating in an American crewed mission on the Moon. Now, over 50 years later, nations are looking toward the Moon as a goalpost of both national space capability and pride. To achieve these goals—and potentially go beyond the Moon to Mars—nations will need to build significant cislunar and lunar infrastructure. This open- source assessment aggregates and analyzes publicly available statements, documents, and sources describing these worldwide efforts in cislunar space.

This assessment begins with an evaluation of national and international definitions of cislunar space, as there is no commonly accepted definition across the international or technical community. It then evaluates national and commercial plans to send missions to cislunar space or the Moon. The analysis presents an overview of national civil, military, and commercial activity, as well as multinational activity, in or planned for cislunar space. Lunar missions are also included to showcase the demand signal of missions that will pass through cislunar space or be supported by satellites in cislunar orbits. The assessment concludes with key trends, possible future flashpoints, and recommendations for further analysis.

Many nations view lunar and cislunar investments as a means to advance their domestic space industrial capabilities and as the first step toward a greater presence in near-Earth space. The scientific and economic potential of a robust space presence and international partnerships in space drives many companies and countries to pursue lunar and cislunar missions. The opportunities lunar and cislunar missions present have caused nations to begin designing policies to regulate and promote celestial resource extraction and in situ resource utilization (ISRU)—or the production and manufacture of materials found on the Moon or other celestial bodies.

The rush to settle cislunar space or the Moon is motivated both by science and the important strategic value held by certain sites in cislunar space or on the lunar surface. For various sites, certain physical properties add value, such as stability on orbit or the prospect of water in the form of ice. For more detail on these high-value locations, see: Eyes on the Prize: The Strategic Implications of Cislunar Space and the Moon.
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vox_mundi

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #18 on: March 13, 2022, 12:14:57 AM »
'We Want to Be the UPS or FedEx of the Moon': A Startup's Big Moonshot
https://phys.org/news/2022-03-ups-fedex-moon-startup-big.html

Aerospace firm Venturi Astrolab Inc., better known as Astrolab, based in Hawthorn, California, is building an all-purpose truck that is intended to construct lunar infrastructure and also ferry astronauts around, enabling work that would make long-term settlement on the moon possible.

Founded in 2019 by former employees of NASA, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and SpaceX, Astrolab is building a rover capable of completing tasks such as construction, transporting supplies to build a lunar base, science and exploration, as well as ferrying astronauts around the moon's surface. The 15-person company is currently testing a prototype vehicle.

Unlike other rovers, which are often designed around a specific purpose, Astrolab's Flexible Logistics and Exploration rover is intended to be more versatile, said Jaret Matthews, company founder and chief executive.



On Wednesday afternoon in Hawthorne, Matthews demonstrated how the rover is able to roll over rocks, maneuver sideways and spin around and pick up and carry loads. He said the rover can carry twice the capacity of a Ford F-150 truck bed. The company eventually wants to build a fleet of rovers.

... Matthews said Astrolab's rover is different from other rovers in development because astronaut transportation is only one part of its job. The company is aiming to get a rover onto the moon before astronauts even arrive so it could set up ahead of time.

"Astronaut time is the most precious time in the world," he said. "The more we can do robotically … the better."
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vox_mundi

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #19 on: March 25, 2022, 01:48:53 AM »
NASA to Fund Universities and Bechtel to Develop Robot Construction on the Moon
https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/spacetech/strg/lustr/NASA_Selects_Three_US_Universities_to_Develop_Lunar_Infrastructure_Tech

NASA selected proposals from Colorado School of Mines, Missouri Science & Technology and Auburn University, and will fund their technology development up to $2 million over two years. Bechtel will be the industrial partner to the construction teams.

The three research teams' charges incluce:

Autonomous Construction - Humans living on the Moon will need structures like habitats and landing pads, which can be made more efficiently if they're constructed autonomously by robots. Colorado School of Mines, led by principal investigator Christopher Dreyer, will develop tools and methods for autonomous landing pad construction on the Moon's surface.

Extracting Resources - Supplies for lunar astronauts could be created from what's already on the lunar surface, a process called in-situ resource utilization. Missouri S&T,  led by principal investigator Leslie Gertsch, will use magnetic and electrostatic technologies to more efficiently separate calcium- and aluminum-containing minerals from the Moon's soil, called regolith, to extract materials suitable for construction on the lunar surface.

Extremely Cold Electronics - Without an atmosphere, temperatures during the lunar night plummet to hundreds of degrees Fahrenheit below zero. The Moon's rocky and cratered terrain also creates permanently shadowed regions that never see direct sunlight and continuously experience frigid temperatures that are too cold for conventional electronics. Auburn University, led by principal investigator Michael Hamilton, will take advantage of knowledge from recent lunar missions and other cold-temperature projects to create new electronics that are highly reliable and tolerant of low temperatures.
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vox_mundi

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #20 on: April 07, 2022, 10:22:12 PM »
Meet the Lunar Gateway’s Robot Caretakers
https://spectrum.ieee.org/lunar-gateway-robots

An integral part of NASA’s plan to return astronauts to the Moon this decade is the Lunar Gateway, a space station that will be humanity’s first permanent outpost outside of low Earth orbit. Gateway, a partnership between NASA, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), is intended to support operations on the lunar surface while also serving as a staging point for exploration to Mars.

... “The things that the crew does on the International Space Station will need to be handled by Gateway on its own,” explains Julia Badger, Gateway Autonomy System Manager at NASA’s Johnson Space Center.



To make this happen, NASA is developing a Vehicle System Manager, or VSM, that will act like the omnipresent computer system found on virtually every science-fiction starship. The VSM will autonomously manage all of Gateway’s functionality, taking care of any problems that come up to the extent that they can be managed with clever software and occasional input from a distant human. “It's a new way of thinking compared to ISS,” explains Badger. “If something breaks on Gateway, we either have to be able to live with it for a certain amount of time, or we’ve got to have the ability to remotely or autonomously fix it.”

... there was some discussion about whether Gateway’s hatches should open and close on their own and NASA ultimately decided to leave the hatches manually operated. But that doesn't necessarily mean that Gateway won’t be able to open its hatches without human assistance: it just means that there will be a need for robotic hands rather than human ones.



"Open the Pod Bay Doors Please Hal"

“I hope eventually we have robots up there that can open the hatches,” Badger tells us. She explains that Gateway is being designed with potential intra-vehicular robots (IVR) in mind, including things like adding visual markers to important locations, placing convenient charging ports around the station interior, and designing the hatches such that the force required to open them is compatible with the capabilities of robotic limbs.

... One of the goals of Gateway is to operate itself completely autonomously for up to three weeks without any contact with Earth at all, mimicking the three week solar conjunction between Earth and Mars where the sun blocks any communications between the two planets.

... “If we really want Gateway to be able to take care of itself for 21 days, intra-vehicular robots (IVR) is going to be a very important part of that. And having a robot is absolutely something that I think is going to be necessary as we move on to Mars.”

—Julia Badger, NASA JSC




... Canadarm3’s autonomous tasks on Gateway will include external inspection, unloading logistics vehicles, deploying science payloads, and repairing Gateway by swapping damaged components with spares.

"With Canadarm3, we realize that if we want to get ready for Mars, more autonomy will be required."

—Daniel Rey, CSA
« Last Edit: April 07, 2022, 10:27:19 PM by vox_mundi »
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morganism

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #21 on: April 13, 2022, 12:58:05 AM »
Differences between the Moon’s near and far sides linked to colossal ancient impact

New research shows how the impact that created the Moon’s South Pole–Aitken basin is linked to the stark contrast in composition and appearance between the two sides of the Moon.

A new study published in the journal Science Advances shows that the impact that formed the Moon’s giant South Pole–Aitken (SPA) basin would have created a massive plume of heat that propagated through the lunar interior. That plume would have carried certain materials — a suite of rare-Earth and heat-producing elements — to the Moon’s nearside. That concentration of elements would have contributed to the volcanism that created the nearside volcanic plains.

“We know that big impacts like the one that formed SPA would create a lot of heat,” said Matt Jones, a Ph.D. candidate at Brown University and the study’s lead author. “The question is how that heat affects the Moon’s interior dynamics. What we show is that under any plausible conditions at the time that SPA formed, it ends up concentrating these heat-producing elements on the nearside. We expect that this contributed to the mantle melting that produced the lava flows we see on the surface.”

https://www.brown.edu/news/2022-04-08/moonfaces

A South Pole–Aitken impact origin of the lunar compositional asymmetry

The formation of the largest and most ancient lunar impact basin, South Pole–Aitken (SPA), was a defining event in the Moon’s evolution. Using numerical simulations, we show that widespread mantle heating from the SPA impact can catalyze the formation of the long-lived nearside-farside lunar asymmetry in incompatible elements and surface volcanic deposits, which has remained unexplained since its discovery in the Apollo era. The impact-induced heat drives hemisphere-scale mantle convection, which would sequester Th- and Ti-rich lunar magma ocean cumulates in the nearside hemisphere within a few hundred million years if they remain immediately beneath the lunar crust at the time of the SPA impact. A warm initial upper mantle facilitates generation of a pronounced compositional asymmetry consistent with the observed lunar asymmetry."

https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.abm8475


edit: moved from astro thread

Sigmetnow

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #22 on: April 13, 2022, 03:12:07 AM »
Meet the Lunar Gateway’s Robot Caretakers
https://spectrum.ieee.org/lunar-gateway-robots  …

Considering there will only be about one SLS/Artemis mission to the moon a year, with crew spending only a week or two there, the Gateway will require a lot of autonomous and remote upkeep.  During the time that part of the crew visits the moon’s surface, the crew-members remaining on station will likely find their days filled with maintenance activities that the robots couldn’t handle.  It will be tough to keep the Gateway habitable.
 
From the article:
Quote
The relatively small size of Gateway is possible because the station won’t be crewed most of the time—astronauts may pass through for a few weeks, but the expectation is that Gateway will spend about 11 months out of the year without anyone on board.

This presents some unique challenges for Gateway. On the ISS, astronauts spend a substantial amount of time on station upkeep, but Gateway will have to keep itself functional for extended periods without any direct human assistance. …
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #23 on: April 21, 2022, 06:58:56 PM »
NASA is supporting some seriously risky missions to the Moon—it’s about time
"The entrepreneurial ecosystem is one of the core strengths of the United States."
Eric Berger - 4/20/2022
Risky business —
Quote
For more than three years, NASA has been intensely focused on the Artemis Moon program. This high-profile international effort, spearheaded by the US space agency at a cost of nearly $7.5 billion per year, seeks to return humans to the lunar surface in the mid-2020s and establish a sustainable presence in deep space.

But in recent years, NASA has been funding a second, much smaller-scale Moon program, at just 3 percent of the cost of Artemis. This is the "Commercial Lunar Payload Services" program, which seeks to use private companies to send small- and medium-size landers to the Moon's surface for primarily science-based missions. Its budget is about $250 million per year.

This program, known as CLPS, is showing some promising signs and will beat the Artemis program to the Moon by at least a couple of years. Moreover, it represents a bold new effort by NASA's Science division, which is seeking to leverage the emerging commercial space sector to radically increase scientific and exploration capabilities. If successful, the CLPS model of exploration could be extended to Mars and beyond.

But will it be successful? We're about to find out.


The VIPER pushback
It's one thing to take a chance with relatively modest scientific experiments; it's another thing to put major NASA missions on CLPS. But that's what Zurbuchen decided to do in June 2020 by awarding the VIPER mission to a CLPS provider, Astrobotic. The company received a $199.5 million contract to deliver VIPER—the Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover—to the south pole as early as late 2023. It is scheduled to fly there on the company's still-in-development Griffin lander.

This is an important scientific mission tasked with searching for ice at the south pole and using a one-meter drill to prospect for subsurface samples. The total value of the mission is $660 million, and it matters to scientists and NASA's human exploration division, which hopes to send astronauts to the south pole in the 2020s.

Because there was so much riding on VIPER, Zurbuchen has received pressure from within and outside of NASA, from scientists and politicians alike, to move to a more "traditional" delivery for VIPER. For a typical NASA science mission, this would mean that NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory would design the lander and then contract out its construction to a traditional contractor, most commonly Lockheed Martin.

In response to concerns about VIPER, Zurbuchen asked for an independent assessment of the top risks for the delivery of VIPER to the Moon. Astrobotic willingly cooperated in this process, he said, because they welcomed the technical assistance with their program.

Zurbuchen then asked his team to consider other options for putting the rover safely in Nobile Crater at the south pole of the Moon. When the costs and timelines came in, he realized that bypassing CLPS for VIPER would effectively kill the entire commercial lunar program by eating up its funding—not just for VIPER but for the next several deliveries after that. "It was clear to me that if we went with a traditional delivery, we would be abandoning all of CLPS," Zurbuchen said.

He was not willing to accept this. And after receiving buy-in from NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy and Associate Administrator Bob Cabana, Zurbuchen made the decision to keep VIPER on Astrobotic's Griffin lander. As part of this move, Astrobotic agreed to subject Griffin's propulsion system to more rigorous testing. Additionally, NASA decided to build a second set of instruments as a backup plan.

"With the other CLPS missions, I’m perfectly fine with a 50-50 chance," Zurbuchen said. "But with VIPER, the cost is higher, and as a taxpayer, I would like the government to put more effort in to increase its chance of success." …
https://arstechnica.com/science/2022/04/nasas-other-moon-program-is-about-to-take-center-stage/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #24 on: April 21, 2022, 07:23:34 PM »
Quote
NASA
Good things come to those who wait.
Teams will begin tapping one of the last unopened Moon rock samples acquired during Apollo 17, around 50 years ago. The goal is to learn more about the lunar surface in anticipation of upcoming @NASAArtemis missions …
 
< Why wait so long?
NASA
Great question! Most lunar samples brought back to Earth by Apollo astronauts have been opened and studied. But some samples collected on the Apollo 15, 16 & 17 missions were kept unopened and pristine, so they could be analyzed with more advanced technologies available today.
3/4/22 https://twitter.com/nasa/status/1499842380522045452

NASA Studies ‘New’ 50-Year-Old Lunar Sample to Prep for Return to Moon
Quote
Now, scientists are focusing attention on the sealed, lower segment of the core. The temperature at the bottom of the core was incredibly cold when it was collected, which means that volatiles (substances that evaporate at normal temperatures, like water ice and carbon dioxide) might have been present. They are particularly interested in the volatiles in these samples from the equatorial regions of the Moon, because they will allow future scientists studying the Artemis samples to better understand where and what volatiles might be present in those samples.  

The amount of gas expected to be present in this sealed Apollo sample is likely very low. If scientists can carefully extract these gases, they can be analyzed and identified using modern mass spectrometry technology. This technology, which has evolved to levels of extreme sensitivity in recent years, can precisely determine the mass of unknown molecules and use that data to precisely identify them. This not only makes for improved measurements, but also means the collected gas can be divided into smaller portions and shared with more researchers conducting different kinds of lunar science. …
https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nasa-studies-new-50-year-old-lunar-sample-to-prep-for-return-to-moon
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morganism

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #25 on: April 22, 2022, 10:41:37 PM »
 NASA’s astronauts aren’t ready for deep space

The space agency still hasn't developed the training or equipment — even the space suits — needed to live and work on the moon and beyond.

The space agency has yet to develop a specialized training program for the astronauts, lacks critical equipment such as new space suits to protect them against deadly levels of radiation, and is still pursuing a range of technologies to lay the groundwork for a more permanent human presence, according to NASA officials, former astronauts, internal studies and experts on space travel.

“This time you are going to need astronauts that are going to actually get out and start to live on the moon,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in an interview. “We’re going to build habitats up there. So you’re going to need a new kind of astronaut.”

The goal, said Nelson, is more ambitious than ever: to “sustain human life for long periods of time in a hostile environment.”

Yet as NASA’s Artemis project approaches liftoff, it is becoming increasingly clear that even if the new rockets and spacecraft it is pursuing remain on schedule, the program’s lofty goals may have to be lowered by the harsh limits of human reality.

“The Astronaut Office is in the process of developing a framework for Artemis training, but this framework has not been formally chartered nor have any Artemis crews been announced,” NASA’s Inspector General said in a recent report. “As such, specific mission-focused training for the Artemis II mission — the first crewed Artemis flight — has not yet begun.”

Training will ultimately be needed for a host of tasks — including operating different spacecraft and withstanding the physical and psychological rigors of the lunar environment.

“We are going to have new training modules and new training protocols to accommodate lunar missions,” Philip McAlister, who oversees missions to the space station at NASA, said in an interview. “Those missions might be shorter in duration, longer in duration, you might have a couple different spacecraft.”

That means learning how to land on the moon itself, which NASA has not done since the final Apollo mission in 1972.

“The equipment [that will be used on the Artemis missions] is what we should be practicing on the space station,” he said. “You could get five years of operational experience with a carbon dioxide machine or with the exercise equipment. The exercise equipment we have on the space station is not going to go to the moon or Mars because it’s gigantic.”

And depending on how long astronauts will have to live on the moon, another wild card is the potential psychological toll.

“We don’t know what the long term effects of spaceflight are because they’ve never provided retired astronauts with health care,” he said. “We don’t know if they get broken bones more often or if they get common colds more often. Or if they get Alzheimer’s more often or if they get cancer more often.”

“That would be a good piece of data to have before we send guys off to the moon or Mars,” he added. The Russians have the data. NASA doesn’t.”

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine is in the midst of a detailed survey for NASA of biological and physical sciences, with a focus on human spaceflight beyond low-Earth orbit. Its recommendations are not due until sometime in 2023, just before the Artemis mission is set to blast off for its month-long moon orbit."

https://www.politico.com/news/2022/04/14/nasa-artemis-moon-explorer-astronauts-00025099

vox_mundi

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #26 on: May 16, 2022, 03:28:24 PM »
Plants Can Grow in Lunar Soil, But They Suck at It
https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/335554-plants-can-grow-in-lunar-soil-but-they-suck-at-it

Lunar soil, or regolith, is a dusty byproduct of micrometeorites’ impact on the Moon’s surface. In samples obtained during the Apollo missions, the scientists planted seeds from Arabidopsis, a small flowering plant commonly used in biological experiments. The seeds sprouted within a week, but after that, confidence in their longevity waned.

“Our results show that growth is challenging,” reads the study, which was published in the journal Communications Biology this week. The plants grew slower and more erratically in the regolith than in a manufactured imitation soil referred to as JSC-1A; their leaves also took longer to unfurl. When the researchers removed most of the regolith seedlings from their containers, they found that the root systems were short, indicating stunted growth. This was not the case with the JSC-1A seedlings, whose root systems appeared generally healthy.

The plants grown in regolith also revealed their stress via genetic activity. Through transcriptome analysis, the researchers found that the regolith plants had activated genes related to nutrient metabolism, phosphate starvation, and aluminum toxicity.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s42003-022-03334-8#Abs1

... bring your own food or call Mark Watney

« Last Edit: May 16, 2022, 03:46:09 PM by vox_mundi »
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #27 on: May 16, 2022, 05:18:37 PM »
Quote
... bring your own food or call Mark Watney

Or just bring your own dirt.  Starship will be able to deliver tons of it to the surface of the Moon or Mars.  Growing plants in lunar regolith is an interesting experiment, but scientists are not thinking sufficiently forward.
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vox_mundi

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #28 on: May 16, 2022, 05:41:22 PM »
Aeroponics would be a better bet in that situation.

An advanced form of hydroponics, aeroponics is the process of growing plants with only water and nutrients. This innovative method results in faster growth, healthier plants, and bigger yields — all while using fewer resources.

Aeroponics is the process of growing plants in an air or mist environment without the use of soil or an aggregate medium. Aeroponic culture differs from both conventional hydroponics, aquaponics, and in-vitro (plant tissue culture) growing. Unlike hydroponics, which uses a liquid nutrient solution as a growing medium and essential minerals to sustain plant growth, or aquaponics, which uses water and fish waste, aeroponics is conducted without a growing medium.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aeroponics



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Sigmetnow

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #29 on: May 16, 2022, 06:24:18 PM »
Aeroponics would be a better bet in that situation. …

Yes.  Carefully applied water and fertilizer, with LED’s supplying the plants’ preferred light, should work well.

Starship could also deliver tons of water….
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #30 on: May 16, 2022, 06:34:05 PM »
NASA’s astronauts aren’t ready for deep space

If one looks solely at NASA’s Artemis program, this statement is quite true — as has been noted repeatedly in the SpaceX thread.  Though the effects of long-duration space flight continue to be studied — the most recent year-long ISS astronauts (NASA & Russian) returned to earth this March — questions remain about how the effects of living in the microgravity of space will differ from living under the reduced gravity of the Moon or Mars.

But the quoted article does not even mention SpaceX!  SpaceX is designing its own suits, without the cumbersome drag of government politics and budgets.  Beyond the Dragon’s safety suits, SpaceX is currently constructing EVA suits to allow the astronauts of the Polaris Dawn mission to experience the vacuum of space and venture outside of the Dragon capsule, a mission which will reach an orbit farther from Earth than any humans have reached since we went to the Moon 50 years ago. And it’s scheduled to launch later this year.  They are also working on suits for the Moon and Mars.

NASA knows the Artemis program will not lead to a sustainable presence on the Moon, let alone Mars, because it is currently stuck with the SLS rocket, which costs $4 billion dollars a launch and is thrown away after each use.  NASA now calls the Artemis moon missions merely “a stepping stone to Mars” because of the SLS’s many limitations. But NASA is also betting on SpaceX’s Human Landing System Starship  — without it, Artemis astronauts can’t get from lunar orbit to the surface of the Moon.  And Starship, with its ~100x increase in volume and mass deliverability, and its ~1/100th cost due to being reusable, will completely change space exploration from what it has been up to now.

As to not knowing all the effects of space travel on astronauts… well, duh.  We won’t know until we do it.  There are explorers willing to take that risk today, and that’s how we learn, the same as any other new adventure.  Jared Isaacman (who led the Inspiration 4 mission aboard a Dragon spacecraft) is leading the next commercial Dragon flight.  He is working closely with SpaceX to design his Polaris Dawn mission and future ones (including the first crewed Starship mission), so he knows as much as anyone what the danger entails.  The two women astronauts on the Polaris Dawn mission are SpaceX astronaut mission trainers, who may be even more knowledgeable than Isaacman in some regards. 

It’s an exciting time for the future of spaceflight.  Fear, Uncertainly and Doubt are reduced by learning more.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2022, 06:40:11 PM by Sigmetnow »
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vox_mundi

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #31 on: May 16, 2022, 09:12:53 PM »
Quote
... just bring your own dirt.

Soil!

Not dirt!

Remember: there is a difference between soil and dirt. Dirt is what you get on your clothes and hands while working in the soil. Soil is made up of elements that have been decomposing since the earth was created.

Soil Is Living. Soil is alive with living organisms such as worms, fungi, insects, bacteria, and organic matter. ...

Dirt Is Dead. Dirt is made up of sand, silt, and clay, and it may be rocky.

-------------------------------------------------

... Here endeth the lesson.

- The Untouchables (1987)
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― anonymous

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Sigmetnow

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #32 on: May 17, 2022, 03:38:22 AM »
Quote
... just bring your own dirt.

Soil!

Not dirt!


dirt
dûrt
noun
• Earth or soil.
• A filthy or soiling substance, such as mud or dust.
• Excrement.
 
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.
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interstitial

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #33 on: May 17, 2022, 04:16:52 AM »
sometimes there is a difference between technical and general definitions of words. I suspect this is the case for dirt.

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #34 on: May 17, 2022, 01:44:43 PM »
sometimes there is a difference between technical and general definitions of words. I suspect this is the case for dirt.

Agreed.
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kassy

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #35 on: May 17, 2022, 05:48:41 PM »
Quote
... bring your own food or call Mark Watney

Or just bring your own dirt.  Starship will be able to deliver tons of it to the surface of the Moon or Mars.  Growing plants in lunar regolith is an interesting experiment, but scientists are not thinking sufficiently forward.

Summary:
Scientists have, for the first time, grown plants in soil from the Moon. They used soil collected during the Apollo 11, 12 and 17 missions. In their experiment, the researchers wanted to know if plants would grow in lunar soil and, if so, how the plants would respond to the unfamiliar environment, even down to the level of gene expression.

...

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/05/220512121840.htm

They are thinking about practical things. You got to start somewhere.

PS: I think that in the end you need to build soil in some way just to have a nicer space to live in. Plus it helps if you want animals around. Hydroponics could start with that but you do need soil with the right critters in it to actually start cycling the nutrients. Some fast growing woods (to compose with the human waste). If you are into hauling freight figure out what is missing in the soil and how you can mix it in.

This would make an interesting space game.  :)

The Moon is a nice near lab so it would be interesting if we had a tiny lab there to check how things grow there in various mixes. Mars will be far away for a while.

Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #36 on: June 17, 2022, 02:16:20 AM »
—- Qi on the Moon:  Wireless charging for rovers
Quote
Wow, @astrobotic &  their partners developed a wireless charging system to help their rovers survive the 14-day lunar night. This is huge! Lunar night typically means the death of solar-powered rovers as they cannot keep their components warm to survive prolonged -183C.
  —
they recently completed a simulation to test the tech. "[it] proved it can transmit power in extreme hot and cold lunar temperatures... The analysis and final report, co-authored by @NASAglenn, maintains the wireless system out-performed its target requirements."
 —
Here you go:
https://mailchi.mp/472d462cad47/survivinglunarnightwwireless

< Where would the charger's energy come from tho?
 
the lander it docks to has solar arrays and batteries.
6/16/22  https://twitter.com/tj_cooney/status/1537421840913768453
⬇️ Image below; others at the link.


—- CAPSTONE orbit checkout mission
Quote
NASA Ames
LAUNCH UPDATE: We are currently targeting no earlier than June 25 for the launch of #CAPSTONE.

The latest on this ambitious mission flying a new path to the Moon: go.nasa.gov/3xONkTD 
6/14/22 https://twitter.com/nasaames/status/1536785805515149313
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #37 on: July 20, 2022, 08:29:31 PM »
It’s International Moon Day! Today marks the anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing – the first time that humans stepped on the surface of another world.
Quote
NASA
"The Eagle has landed."
On July 20, 1969—53 years ago today—⁦‪@NASA_Astronauts‬⁩ Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin touched down in the Sea of Tranquility, becoming the first humans ever to land on the Moon: nasa.gov/apollo11
7/20/22 https://twitter.com/nasa/status/1549794740174049283
 
Quote
This video from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter shows the astronauts' tracks, still there after all this time.
7/20/22 ➡️ https://twitter.com/nasamoon/status/1549787540147900417
20 sec. at the link.

Quote
NASA
To mark this milestone, we're broadcasting our original footage of the Apollo 11 moonwalk on NASA TV, starting at 5pm ET (21:00 UTC): ➡️ nasa.gov/live
 
...or take an in-depth look back at the mission on Apollo in Real Time: ➡️ apolloinrealtime.org/11/
#InternationalMoonDay
7/20/22 https://twitter.com/nasa/status/1549794745316253696
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #38 on: July 21, 2022, 09:15:11 PM »
—- Two NASA missions to the Moon are in jeopardy
 
• NASA delays the VIPER lunar South Pole rover mission by a year to November 2024
 
And
 
• Cash-strapped Masten Space Furloughs Employees, Moon Landing Mission at Risk
 
Details:
https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,2582.msg342471.html#msg342471


—- India’s next Moon lander being tested for 2023 mission
Quote
Chethan Kumar
@isro, which failed to soft-land Vikram (carrying Pragyan) in Sept 2019, is carrying out exhaustive tests for #Chandrayaan3. “Failure is not an option. Chairman has made it very clear that we need to test and retest until we are sure of everything,” a scientist said. …
7/19/22 https://twitter.com/chethan_dash/status/1549352016870195200 [/size][/quote]
More information at the link.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #39 on: July 30, 2022, 01:02:32 PM »
—- Moon Caves Are Comfy
Quote
NASA Moon
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter images of pits indicate that the Moon has caves. Could they become astronaut habitats?
 
Scientists have discovered that parts of the pits are always about 63°F (17°C), differing from extreme temperatures at the Moon's surface

7/26/22 https://twitter.com/nasamoon/status/1552010650116816896
  —       
Temperatures at the surface of the Moon vary widely, from 260 F (about 127 C) during the day to minus 280 F (about minus 173 C) at night. Hanging out at a stable 63 F (17 C) sounds much more pleasant.
7/26/22 https://twitter.com/nasamoon/status/1552011787469570048
 
< By computation?
Tyler Horvath
Correct! We used computational models to figure out what the temperatures would be, then used actual thermal camera images to back up the claim.

 
NASA’s LRO Finds Lunar Pits Harbor Comfortable Temperatures
Quote
NASA-funded scientists have discovered shaded locations within pits on the Moon that always hover around a comfortable 63 F (about 17 C) using data from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft and computer modeling.

The pits, and caves to which they may lead, would make thermally stable sites for lunar exploration compared to areas at the Moon’s surface, which heat up to 260 F (about 127 C) during the day and cool to minus 280 F (about minus 173 C) at night. Lunar exploration is part of NASA’s goal to explore and understand the unknown in space, to inspire and benefit humanity.

Pits were first discovered on the Moon in 2009, and since then, scientists have wondered if they led to caves that could be explored or used as shelters. The pits or caves would also offer some protection from cosmic rays, solar radiation and micrometeorites.

“About 16 of the more than 200 pits are probably collapsed lava tubes,” said Tyler Horvath, a doctoral student in planetary science at the University of California, Los Angeles, who led the new research, recently published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

“Lunar pits are a fascinating feature on the lunar surface,” said LRO Project Scientist Noah Petro of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “Knowing that they create a stable thermal environment helps us paint a picture of these unique lunar features and the prospect of one day exploring them.”

Lava tubes, also found on Earth, form when molten lava flows beneath a field of cooled lava or a crust forms over a river of lava, leaving a long, hollow tunnel. If the ceiling of a solidified lava tube collapses, it opens a pit that can lead into the rest of the cave-like tube.
Two of the most prominent pits have visible overhangs that clearly lead to caves or voids, and there is strong evidence that another’s overhang may also lead to a large cave.

“Humans evolved living in caves, and to caves we might return when we live on the Moon,” said David Paige, a co-author of the paper who leads the Diviner Lunar Radiometer Experiment aboard LRO that made the temperature measurements used in the study.
Horvath processed data from Diviner – a thermal camera – to find out if the temperature within the pits diverged from those on the surface.

Focusing on a roughly cylindrical 328-foot (100-meter)–deep depression about the length and width of a football field in an area of the Moon known as the Mare Tranquillitatis, Horvath and his colleagues used computer modeling to analyze the thermal properties of the rock and lunar dust and to chart the pit’s temperatures over time.

The results revealed that temperatures within the permanently shadowed reaches of the pit fluctuate only slightly throughout the lunar day, remaining at around 63 F or 17 C. If a cave extends from the bottom of the pit, as images taken by LRO’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera suggest, it too would have this relatively comfortable temperature.

The team, which included UCLA professor of planetary science David Paige and Paul Hayne of the University of Colorado Boulder, believes the shadowing overhang is responsible for the steady temperature, limiting how hot things gets during the day and preventing heat from radiating away at night.

A day on the Moon lasts about 15 Earth days, during which the surface is constantly bombarded by sunlight and is frequently hot enough to boil water. Brutally cold nights also last about 15 Earth days. …
https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2022/lro-lunar-pits-comfortable

⬇️ NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera has now imaged the Marius Hills pit three times, each time with very different lighting. The center panel, with the Sun high above, gives scientists a great view of the Marius Hills pit floor. The Marius pit is about 34 meters (about 111 feet) deep and 65 by 90 meters (approximately 213 by 295 feet) wide.
Credits: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University

⬇️ This is a spectacular high-Sun view of the Mare Tranquillitatis pit crater revealing boulders on an otherwise smooth floor. This image from LRO's Narrow Angle Camera is 400 meters (1,312 feet) wide, north is up.
Credits: NASA/Goddard/Arizona State University
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #40 on: August 01, 2022, 03:52:18 AM »
—- Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter, or KPLO, set for launch at 7:08 p.m. EDT (2308 GMT) Thursday, Aug. 4
[Watch for launch details in the SpaceX thread.]
KPLO
Thu Aug 4, 2022, 2308 GMT, 7:08 PM EDT
Launch site: SLC-40, Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter, or KPLO. This is South Korea’s first space exploration mission. The KPLO spacecraft carries science instruments to image permanently shadowed craters to search for signs of water ice, measure the composition of lunar regolith, and capture high-resolution images to map future landing sites. The Falcon 9’s first stage booster will land on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean

South Korean spacecraft fueled for ride from Cape Canaveral to the moon
July 30, 2022 Stephen Clark
Quote
The Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter, or KPLO, spacecraft is set for launch at 7:08 p.m. EDT (2308 GMT) next Thursday, Aug. 4, aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. Mission managers said earlier this week the launch was delayed two days to allow time for SpaceX to complete additional work on the Falcon 9 rocket.

The entire rocket will then roll out and will be raised vertical on pad 40 at Cape Canaveral. The KPLO mission is one of two launches currently scheduled next Thursday at the Florida spaceport. A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket with a U.S. military satellite is set to lift off about 12-and-a-half hours before the Falcon 9 rocket on the KPLO mission.

Part of the KPLO mission’s purpose is in its name. The mission is a pathfinder, or precursor, for South Korea’s future ambitions in space exploration, which include a robotic landing on the moon in the early 2030s. South Korea has also signed up to join the NASA-led Artemis Accords, and could contribute to the U.S. space agency’s human lunar exploration program.

KPLO will test a new South Korean spacecraft platform designed for deep space operations, along with new communication, control, and navigation capabilities, including the validation of an “interplanetary internet” connection using a disruption tolerant network.

The mission’s scientific objectives include mapping the lunar surface to help select future landing sites, surveying resources like water ice on the moon, and probing the radiation environment near the moon.

The $180 million (233.3 billion won) mission will launch toward the moon on a low-energy, fuel-efficient ballistic lunar transfer trajectory, a path being pioneered by NASA’s small CAPSTONE spacecraft, a tech demo mission that launched last month on a Rocket Lab mission and is scheduled to slip into orbit around the moon in November.

If KPLO launches in the first week of August, its arrival date at the moon is fixed on Dec. 16. The Falcon 9 will propel the spacecraft on a trajectory that will take it close to the L1 Lagrange point, a gravitationally-stable location nearly a million miles (1.5 million kilometers) from the daytime side of the Earth, some four times farther than the moon.

Gravitational forces will naturally pull the spacecraft back toward the Earth and the moon, where the Korean probe will be captured in orbit Dec. 16. A series of propulsive maneuvers with the spacecraft’s thrusters will steer KPLO into a circular low-altitude orbit about 60 miles (100 kilometers) from the lunar surface by New Year’s Eve.


After a month of commissioning and tests, the spacecraft’s year-long primary science mission should begin around Feb. 1. If the orbiter has enough fuel, mission managers could consider an extended mission beginning in 2024, Kim said.

One of the payloads on the KPLO, or Danuri, mission is a U.S.-built instrument named ShadowCam.
Derived from the main camera on NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, ShadowCam will peer inside dark craters near the moons poles, where previous missions detected evidence of water ice deposits. The NASA-funded ShadowCam instrument is hundreds of times more sensitive than LRO’s camera, allowing it to collect high-resolution, high signal-to-noise imagery of the insides of always-dark craters using reflected light.

NASA is also providing tracking and communications support for the KPLO mission through its Deep Space Network antennas in California, Spain, and Australia. KARI, South Korea’s space agency, also has its own deep space communications antenna, but it doesn’t offer the continuous coverage of NASA’s worldwide network.

South Korea began developing the KPLO mission in 2016 for a planned launch in 2020, but officials delayed the mission due after the spacecraft grew above its original launch weight, and engineers needed more time to complete detailed design work.
https://spaceflightnow.com/2022/07/30/south-korean-spacecraft-fueled-for-ride-from-cape-canaveral-to-the-moon/

Tesla owners’ photo mosaic will be sent to space in SpaceX flight KPLO
By Simon Alvarez July 31, 2022
Quote
In 2018, Tesla launched a novel reward as part of its updated referral program. The reward was simple but unique — new owners with one qualifying referral would have the chance to send a photo of their choice to space. The image would be launched in a Falcon 9 rocket from Elon Musk’s private space firm, SpaceX. …
https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-owners-photo-mosaic-spacex-flight-launch-date/


—- NASA taps Draper for first U.S. landing on far side of the moon
July 29, 2022
Quote
NASA has awarded Draper a $73 million contract to deliver science instruments to the far side of the moon on a commercial robotic lander in 2025, the eighth award through the agency’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services program. Officials with the companies flying the first two CLPS missions, Astrobotic and Intuitive Machines, said recently their commercial landers are scheduled to launch late this year or early next year.


Draper’s contract with NASA, valued at $73 million, covers the entire mission to the far side of the moon. As prime contractor, Draper is responsible for developing the lander system and procuring a launcher to send the spacecraft from Earth to the moon.

The SERIES-2 lander managed by Draper will attempt to land in Schrödinger Basin, a 200-mile-wide (320-kilometer) impact crater on the far side of the moon near the south pole. The only soft landing on the back side of the moon to date has been China’s Chang’e 4 mission, a robotic lander and rover that touched down on the lunar surface in January 2019.

“This lunar surface delivery to a geographic region on the moon that is not visible from Earth will allow science to be conducted at a location of interest but far from the first Artemis human landing missions,” said Joel Kearns, deputy associate administrator for exploration in NASA’s science mission directorate. “Understanding geophysical activity on the far side of the moon will give us a deeper understanding of our solar system and provide information to help us prepare for Artemis astronaut missions to the lunar surface.”


In response to a question from Spaceflight Now, Paceley said Draper has decided on a launch provider for the CLPS mission, but needs to finish paperwork on the deal before announcing it publicly.

NASA and industry officials have emphasized the high-risk, high-reward nature of the CLPS program. Many of the companies in NASA’s CLPS contractor pool have little experience in spacecraft development or operations, and NASA officials have said some of the landings could fail.

Asked about his concerns about the future of the CLPS program, Shea Ferring, a vice president at Firefly, identified NASA’s resilience to failures.

“Are they going to stick with it if the first few missions have problems within the first year?” Ferring said. “This is going to be easy three to five years from now, but until we get to that point, it’s not going to be easy, and we need NASA to stick with it and to be, effectively, our anchor customer.”

“I think the the basic tech to land a robotic lander on the surface of the moon and have it survive for 14 Earth days is there,” Hendrickson said. “But the challenge is in making sure that we steel ourselves as a nation to stomach when we do have a bad day.” …
https://spaceflightnow.com/2022/07/29/nasa-taps-draper-for-first-u-s-landing-on-far-side-of-the-moon/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #41 on: August 20, 2022, 09:37:37 PM »
Artemis III :  6.5 days on the Moon.
The light and shadows covering sites near the Moon’s South Pole change day by day (see first video below), which will add to the challenge of selecting the best site for an Artemis launch day.  The HLS Starship lander will have launched earlier, refueled in Earth orbit, flown to the moon and attained the SLS-specific NRHO orbit before Artemis/SLS is launched.
 
NASA Identifies Candidate Regions for Landing Next Americans on Moon
Quote
… Each of these regions is located within six degrees of latitude of the lunar South Pole and, collectively, contain diverse geologic features. Together, the regions provide landing options for all potential Artemis III launch opportunities. Specific landing sites are tightly coupled to the timing of the launch window, so multiple regions ensure flexibility to launch throughout the year.

The analysis team weighed other landing criteria with specific Artemis III science objectives, including the goal to land close enough to a permanently shadowed region to allow crew to conduct a moonwalk, while limiting disturbance when landing. This will allow crew to collect samples and conduct scientific analysis in an uncompromised area, yielding important information about the depth, distribution, and composition of water ice that was confirmed at the Moon’s South Pole.

The team identified regions that can fulfill the moonwalk objective by ensuring proximity to permanently shadowed regions, and also factored in other lighting conditions. All 13 regions contain sites that provide continuous access to sunlight throughout a 6.5-day period – the planned duration of the Artemis III surface mission. Access to sunlight is critical for a long-term stay at the Moon because it provides a power source and minimizes temperature variations. …
https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-identifies-candidate-regions-for-landing-next-americans-on-moon

Artemis III Landing Region Candidates - YouTube

2 min.  (No HLS Starship to be seen!)

Aug 19, 2022.  59 min.  Audio only.
Media Briefing: Artemis III Candidate Landing Regions - YouTube


See the SpaceX thread for notes from the teleconference on the SpaceX HLS lander:  https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,2582.msg345044.html#msg345044


⬇️ The Regions.  Click to enhance.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #42 on: August 23, 2022, 08:33:34 PM »
—- China’s Planned Moon Landing Sites
Ni hao! 
Quote
China 'N Asia Spaceflight 🚀🛰️🙏 @CNSpaceflight
Last week, NASA announced 13 candidate landing regions for future Artemis missions to the Moon. For comparison, I add landing sites proposed by CAST scientists for China's future lunar landing missions in this figure👇. Data from a paper published in 2020 jdse.bit.edu.cn/sktcxb/cn/arti…
8/22/22, 6:55 AM. https://twitter.com/cnspaceflight/status/1561668251511185408
⬇️ Image below.

During the NASA announcement, NASA said they weren’t concerned about China (or Russia’s) plans near the Moon’s South Pole.  “It’s a big place.”
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #43 on: September 07, 2022, 08:23:08 PM »
Tory Bruno, the CEO of ULA, proposes Ice Mining on the Moon to produce water (which when needed can be split into hydrogen & oxygen for propellant), to be stored in LEO, NRHO, Lunar Surface, & Mars orbit.
 
Creation of a U.S. Strategic Propellant Reserve
Abstract
This study proposes the creation of a Strategic Propellant Reserve using lunar-derived propellant that will drive the growth of a $3 trillion cislunar economy in the next 30 years. A U.S.-backed strategic reserve will ensure the continuation of America’s leadership in space in a time when space has become the newest warfighting domain. The ability to maneuver in space freely without the restraints of launch windows and vehicle availability, a benefit offered by such a reserve, is highly valued, particularly in case of a threat or conflict in cislunar space.

Studies have confirmed the need for space-based propellant for the large-scale crewed missions planned in the coming decades.¹ ² This report expands on the concept by recommending the U.S. government establish reserves in four key locations: low Earth orbit (LEO), near recti-linear halo orbit (NRHO), lunar surface (LS) and Mars orbit (MO). Based on the structure of the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the proposed propellant reserve would ensure a critical amount of propellant is available in cislunar space at all times. Customers of this propellant would begin with NASA crewed lunar missions and lead to commercial activities, for instance construction of on-orbit satellites, LEO and Lagrange 5 (L5) settlements, and solar power beaming stations.

With government investment of $15 billion to $26 billion over 30 years, significant space endeavors such as crewed NASA missions, important national security operations and commercial activities receive the benefit of reduced cost and technological risk, protected assets, and existing lunar infrastructure while enabling a thriving, trillion-dollar cislunar economy by 2050.


Technical Requirements
The baseline mining technique assumed in this study is one outlined in the 2019 paper “Ice Mining in the Lunar Permanently Shadowed Regions,” where water would be mined from the Moon’s PSRs.²² In this method, sunlight is reflected into the crater to heat the surface and sublimate the ice. The water vapor is then captured onto mobile cold traps. It is assumed that this process would be performed autonomously or from Earth. While this is one concept out of many, changing the mining technique would have a limited impact on the outcome of this study. As part of the analysis, the number of sublimation tents required was calculated while varying demand and assuming each tented could produce 1,600 MT of ice per year.²³ It was determined that anywhere from 1 to 12 tents would be required to support demand throughout the 30-year period of study.
[⬇️ Image below.]
 
Once extracted, the water would be stored in its liquid state until needed. Propellant processing (through electrolysis) would take place at each reserve location due to the difficulty of storing cryogenic (super cold) fluids. Current electrolysis methods are slow and inefficient, so new technology may need to be developed in order to keep up with demand. In this architecture, there would be liquid water storage and processing at each of the four reserve locations: LEO, NRHO, LS and MO.


Conclusion
The establishment of a Strategic Propellant Reserve will support customers from civil, military and commercial sectors that will become pillars of the space economy. Ensuring lunar derived propellant is consistently available will allow safe exploration past LEO, provide cost effective in-space transportation and encourage a variety of commercial space activities. By providing the startup capital for a lunar mine and discounting the cost of lunar based propellant, the USG would accelerate the growth of the cislunar economy.

This study recommends the reserve operates through a PPP [Public Private Partnership] where the private side takes on little risk and the public side provides capital expenditures in exchange for dramatic economic growth and an innovative new tool for national security operations. The Strategic Propellant Reserve will ensure the United States holds on to its position of preeminence allowing to lead the development of the legal frameworks of space and guide the growth of the cislunar economy.

The thermal mining concept suggested here is scalable enough to meet demand throughout the life of the reserve but requires continued focus to be ready for an operational mine in 2028. Stored propellant for two years of demand for all critical missions is recommended to protect the U.S. against supply interruptions. Propellant will be stored in reserves at the lunar surface, NRHO, LEO and Mars orbit.

An analysis of the mine and reserve business case determined it is possible for a private investor to generate an ROCE of 4.1% to 11.2%. Throughout the 30-year period of study, a USG investment of $15B to $26B is required. This investment will ensure propellant is available at a reduced cost to a variety of activities in cislunar space. The cost savings provided to reserve customers by discounting propellant are then reinvested and amount to $400B to $600B in economic growth. This is a return of $24.6 to $39 per dollar spent by the USG on the reserve. The Strategic Propellant Reserve represents an opportunity for the USG to ensure its continued dominance in space, provide a safety net for cislunar crewed activities and encourage growth of the entire cislunar economy.
 
https://medium.com/@ToryBrunoULA/creation-of-a-u-s-strategic-propellant-reserve-b111044887e8
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Human Habitat Index

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #44 on: September 08, 2022, 01:48:21 AM »
It's truly amazing that the manned moon landing was achieved with computer hardware and software at that time.

Has anyone here analysed the software used  ?
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oren

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #45 on: September 11, 2022, 01:24:25 AM »
Not sure what your angle is, but Wikipedia provides good information.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_Guidance_Computer

Quote
AGC software was written in AGC assembly language and stored on rope memory. The bulk of the software was on read-only rope memory and thus could not be changed in operation,[17] but some key parts of the software were stored in standard read-write magnetic-core memory and could be overwritten by the astronauts using the DSKY interface, as was done on Apollo 14.

The design principles developed for the AGC by MIT Instrumentation Laboratory, directed in late 1960s by Charles Draper, became foundational to software engineering—particularly for the design of more reliable systems that relied on asynchronous software, priority scheduling, testing, and human-in-the-loop decision capability.[18] When the design requirements for the AGC were defined, necessary software and programming techniques did not exist so it had to be designed from scratch.

There was a simple real-time operating system designed by J. Halcombe Laning,[19] consisting of the Exec, a batch job-scheduling using cooperative multi-tasking[20] and an interrupt-driven pre-emptive scheduler called the Waitlist which could schedule multiple timer-driven 'tasks'. The tasks were short threads of execution which could reschedule themselves for re-execution on the Waitlist, or could kick off a longer operation by starting a "job" with the Exec. The Apollo Guidance computer has been called "The fourth astronaut" for its role in helping the three astronauts who relied on it Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins.[21]

« Last Edit: September 11, 2022, 01:40:05 AM by oren »

Bruce Steele

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #46 on: September 11, 2022, 03:48:13 AM »
“The fourth astronaut” 
Kinda poetic

Sigmetnow

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #47 on: September 14, 2022, 10:08:37 PM »
—- CAPSTONE satellite launched in July suffers anomaly on the way to check out Artemis moon orbit
Advanced Space reports its CAPSTONE spacecraft en route to the moon suffered an unspecified anomaly Thursday night during a trajectory correction maneuver
  —
A much more detailed NASA update on the “safe mode” situation with CAPSTONE - the spacecraft is tumbling about in space and - until recently - was using more power than it was generating. A “detumble operation” is in the works to straighten things out as it continues moon-bound:

CAPSTONE Teams Continue Work to Resolve Spacecraft Issue
September 12, 2022
https://blogs.nasa.gov/artemis/2022/09/12/capstone-teams-continue-work-to-resolve-spacecraft-issue/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #48 on: September 17, 2022, 03:59:00 AM »
—- NASA update on the CAPSTONE mission
Quote
The spacecraft is still spinning and the propulsion system is too cold, but teams are communicating with it and evaluating data to create a recovery plan.
9/15/22, 4:27 PM. https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1570509738147815424

Teams Work Ongoing Recovery Efforts for CAPSTONE
September 15, 2022
Quote
The CAPSTONE team continues work on recovery efforts. The primary ongoing focus now is to heat the spacecraft’s propulsion system, which dropped below its operational temperature limit following the initial issue that put the spacecraft into safe mode on Sept. 8. Over the past few days, CAPSTONE’s power – though limited by the orientation of the spacecraft in its spin relative to the Sun – appears to be sufficient for heating of the propulsion system. Once the spacecraft propulsion system temperature has been at 41° F (5° C) for at least 12 hours, the team will further evaluate the system for use in the recovery operation. Communications with the spacecraft have also improved, providing mission teams with more data from the spacecraft. Teams are evaluating the data to determine the cause of the issue and design recovery procedures to avoid similar problems during the attempted recovery operation.    

Read the full update from Advanced Space, which owns CAPSTONE on behalf of NASA. Additional updates will be provided as available. 
https://blogs.nasa.gov/artemis/2022/09/15/teams-work-ongoing-recovery-efforts-for-capstone/
   —
CAPSTONE Mission: 15 September 2022 Update
https://advancedspace.com/capstone-15sep22-update/

—-
Update from the CAPSTONE team today: 
Quote
“Has NASA / the CAPSTONE team identified what
the "initial issue" was that put the spacecraft into
safe mode? If so, what is it?
 
While work is still ongoing reviewing data on the
exact root cause of the anomaly, we believe the
most likely cause of the spacecraft losing attitude
control and entering its current state originated
from an unexpected thruster firing at the end of the
planned Trajectory Correction Maneuver.”
9/16/22, 5:27 PM. https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1570887238384492544
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #49 on: September 17, 2022, 05:03:03 AM »
—- Astronauts
NASA Pursues Astronaut Lunar Landers for Future Artemis Moon Missions
Looking beyond Artemis III, NASA has requested proposals for "sustainable lunar lander development and demonstration," on-ramping additional crewed moon landers for Artemis — and specifically, more from SpaceX.
Quote
NASA’s existing contract with SpaceX includes both an uncrewed and a crewed lunar landing demonstration that is part of the Artemis III mission, marking humanity’s first return to the Moon in more than 50 years. The agency plans to exercise an option under this contract, known as Option B, asking the company to evolve its current Artemis III Starship Human Landing System design to meet an extended set of requirements for sustaining missions at the Moon and conduct another crewed demonstration landing.

These concurrent sustaining lander development efforts will meet NASA’s needs for recurring, long-term access to the lunar surface, such as the ability to dock with Gateway for crew transfer, accommodate an increased crew size, and deliver more mass to the surface. …
https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-pursues-astronaut-lunar-landers-for-future-artemis-moon-missions

 
—- Cargo
—- Intuitive Machines:  Providing transportation to the Moon’s surface, survivable conditions for spacecraft once they get there, and more
Separate from Starship’s multi-ton missions, NASA’s CLPS program seeks vibrant competition among smaller, less-affluent providers, to encourage sustainable commercial lunar activity.
 
Additionally, NASA has asked Intuitive Machines to land its IM-1 mission near the South Pole, instead of an equatorial region of the Moon. This has contributed to a slip in its launch on a Falcon 9 rocket to March 2023.
 
In a bid to expand its Moon business, Intuitive Machines will go public
"This really gives the financial resources to take the next steps."
Eric Berger - 9/16/2022
Quote
Altemus cited three primary areas in which Intuitive Machines seeks to grow beyond its initial business, which is placing scientific and commercial payloads up to 130 kg on the surface of the Moon with its "Nova-C" lander.

With additional funding now, the company will be able to start working on the larger "Nova-D" lander, Altemus said, which is expected to be capable of landing 500 to 750 kg on the Moon, making it eligible for NASA's Discovery class missions, as well as much larger cargo missions.

Additionally, Intuitive Machines will work to develop a radioisotope heater for its landers to allow them to survive the "lunar night." For nearly the entire lunar surface, a single day in sunlight lasts 14 Earth days, and the night 14 more days. Because it gets so cold in the dark, spacecraft must adopt special measures on the Moon to survive in this environment. Altemus said making provisions to survive the long lunar night would significantly increase the value of scientific and commercial payloads carried on Nova landers.

The company also wants to build a constellation of five satellites in lunar orbit to provide precise position information about assets on the surface of the Moon and 24-hour communication between spacecraft there and mission operators on Earth. Intuitive Machines plans to use the network to provide these services for its own landers, as well as offering them to other companies and governments. Finally, Intuitive Machines is also studying the potential for lunar sample return and satellite servicing.

All of these initiatives are predicated on Intuitive Machines being successful with its core business, landing safely on the Moon. This is no small feat. No US spacecraft have made a soft landing on the Moon in nearly 50 years, when NASA's Apollo 17 mission touched down, and no private company has ever landed safely there.
https://arstechnica.com/science/2022/09/in-a-bid-to-expand-its-moon-business-intuitive-machines-will-go-public/

Quote
Intuitive Machines' investor presentation gives an overview of its four business units, as well as the total addressable market of largely lunar services it sees as worth about $120 billion through 2030.
9/16/22  https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1570753377612472322
2 informational slides at the link.

Lunar tech company Intuitive Machines to go public via SPAC at near $1 billion valuation
Quote
The first mission, known as IM-1, is slated for the first quarter of 2023 and would deliver a combination of science and technology payloads to the moon’s surface with the company’s Nova-C lunar lander. Intuitive plans to fly the cargo flights to the moon annually, via contracts with SpaceX to launch with Falcon 9 rockets.
https://www.cnbc.com/2022/09/16/intuitive-machines-going-public-via-spac-near-1-billion-valuation.html

⬇️ HLS render; Intuitive Machines’ lunar lander.
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.