America First in Space

What we have all come to expect and love/detest from our employees that ignore us
Post Reply
User avatar
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 941
Joined: Tue, 29 Mar 16, 03:55 am
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

#1 America First in Space

Post by bernomatic » Fri, 30 Mar 18, 02:29 am

From my 1600Daily Email:
America first in space
Americans have long looked to the stars as a symbol of our Nation’s traditions of pioneering and exploration. Last week, President Donald J. Trump unveiled a National Space Strategy that works within his broader national security policy to put America’s interests first.

President Trump’s strategy harnesses the American spirit, laying the groundwork for the next generation of U.S. space exploration. Specifically, this new framework will:

Allow the Government to partner with the commercial sector to ensure that American companies remain world leaders in space technology.
Build on the Administration’s National Security Strategy to emphasize peace through strength in the space domain.
Ensure that international space agreements put the interests of American people, workers, and businesses first.
Learn more about the President’s strategy to make America a leader in space once more.
Learn more about the President’s strategy to make America a leader in space once more.
Chief Cook -n- bottle washer

User avatar
luke strawwalker
Space Vice Admiral
Space Vice Admiral
Posts: 1440
Joined: Thu, 07 Apr 16, 04:45 am

#2 Re: America First in Space

Post by luke strawwalker » Sat, 31 Mar 18, 04:21 am

Thank goodness it's better than the nonsense that came out of the last administration, with thier "been there done that" stupidity...

The Moon will be an essential "training ground" to prove most of the technologies we'll need to go to Mars... It needs to be done in a more intelligent, long term vision type of way than it was in the 60's. It needs to be done in a way that leverages existing technologies and systems *WHEN IT MAKES SENSE TO DO SO* and ALSO to have the courage and foresight to *RETIRE OR REPLACE THOSE OLD TECHNOLOGIES WHEN THEY'RE A POOR FIT*, not chain them around the necks of the new systems like an old anchor, just because of "outside interests" or "political reasons".

I think that we can return to the Moon and "do it right" without becoming "bogged down" there, *IF* we CHOOSE to do so. Right now, it's ISS that is "bogging us down" because, like the shuttle before it, ISS is SO expensive that there simply isn't enough funding to do *anything else* while still paying to keep them (shuttle or ISS, either one) up and running. I don't necessarily think we need a "permanent" manned base on the Moon, no more than we need a "permanent" manned orbital space station complex (ISS). A "man tended" space station and "man tended" lunar base would be more than sufficient... develop the capability and put together some infrastructure, but use it when and how it makes SENSE to use it-- not just keeping guys floating around "peeing in jars and looking at stars"...

There's going to be a lot of new technology that needs to be developed for a Mars mission to be practical... probably the most important of which is in-space refueling, particularly of cryogenic propellants. While we've "experimented" with such things, and the Russians have mastered hypergolic (storable propellant) fuel transfer in space (with their Progress space tankers they developed to refuel the reboost engines of their Salyut and Mir space stations and now the Russian module of ISS which serves the same function), the US has never fielded an operational in-space refueling system. Nobody has ever done in-space cryogenic fuel transfer or long-term storage in space, and that technology will be ESSENTIAL for Mars.

NASA, due to its scientific, research, and engineering expertise, will lead the way in these new endeavors... indeed, industry will NOT do it, not in the short term (unless they win a government contract to develop such a system 'from scratch') simply because there is little/no short-term economic incentive to do it-- ie there is no "commercial customers" for it. Instead of NASA focusing on the HARD parts of the mission, the ESSENTIAL parts, like propellant transfer and storage in space, habs, suits, rovers, and other landing and operational type systems necessary to perform such missions, NASA has spent the last 15 years bogged down in designing the world's most expensive and inflexible (and I might add "OUTDATED") launch vehicle (SLS) from old shuttle parts... Falcon Heavy (and other such commercial launch vehicles) make SLS a moot point... the architecture to return to the Moon and go to Mars CAN be designed around the capabilities of a 70 tonne to orbit vehicle, unless NASA *specifically CHOOSES* to make the payload 'too big and heavy' for such a rocket... (ie, to "force" the development of SLS Block 2, which IMHO will never happen... it'll simply cost too much). Meanwhile, no mission will be going ANYWHERE in the foreseeable future because NASA has done NOTHING to develop the ESSENTIAL technologies to create the operational systems that will be needed to perform such missions... It'd be like if NASA had spent 15 years developing Saturn V, and the Apollo capsule, BUT spent *NOTHING* on the S-IVB, the lunar-capable Service Module to get the Apollo capsule to the Moon and back again, and had spent NOTHING on developing a Lunar Module or any of the systems needed for lunar surface operations...

NASA *should* have farmed out the launch vehicle work 15 years ago... granted that might have been a little "too risky" to accept since SpaceX and the other commercial space companies were "in their infancy" but CERTAINLY by the time the fiasco known as "Ares I" met its demise (in 2010) NASA SHOULD have been instructed to contract for launch vehicle development with SpaceX or any of the other space companies (ULA, etc), rather than developing their own launch system "in house" (particularly using "old shuttle parts" like the SRB's and SSME's). Instead that's EXACTLY what they did-- got the greenlight to "Ares V lite" (SLS) using the worst parts of the shuttle system (the SRB's and, to a lesser extent, the SSME's). The result-- SLS is a "rocket to nowhere" because when the existing flight sets of SRB's are all on the bottom of the Atlantic (after 8 flights IIRC) and the existing stock of SSME's/RS-25's are expended, a billion dollar "advanced booster" program will be necessary to replace them (the SRB's) and the RS-25's are expensive engines, non-air startable, and lock the program into a huge liquid hydrogen core, limiting it's flexibility and adaptability or upgradeability in the future... IOW it's a "one trick pony" that's BREATHTAKINGLY EXPENSIVE for what it does... It's based on outdate 1970's technology that doesn't even have the luxury of being cheap...

At any rate, hopefully this new program will gain some traction and NASA will actually do something with it... It seems NASA truly is "not about space anymore" and content to sit on the ground and design rockets and systems rather than actually do anything to get them up and flying and actually do anything with them...

Later! OL J R :)

Post Reply