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Doubts grow about NASA moon return

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posted on Jun, 22 2009 @ 08:55 AM
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reply to post by PrisonerOfSociety
 

The old Apollo equipment could possibly get us to the Moon again, but NASAs next Moon Missions is not simply to get to the Moon (which was the only goal for the Apollo program), but stay there, build bases, and use it as a laboratory for future Mars missions (NASA's "Constellation Program" Constellation Program) -- and to perform that mission, they need all new equipment. The Apollo equipment was not designed to do that job.

The new equipment being designed -- the Ares 5 Heavy Launch Rocket, the Ares 1 Crew Launch Vehicle, the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle, and the Altair Lunar lander -- are being specifically designed for an extended Moon program -- a program that includes extended stays on the Moon, such as Moon bases.

The Ares V will be the largest heavy lift vehicle humans have ever made -- it will be able to launch payloads into low Earth orbit double the weight the Saturn 5 could and payloads 9X the weight the shuttle can lift. The Ares V will be needed to launch the equipment required for an extended moon stay -- and the equipment required for a manned Mars Mission.

When it comes to launching payloads to the Moon, the Ares would lift payloads 50% heavier the the Saturn 5 could launch. NASA's Constellation Program involves building bases on the Moon as a precursor to a manned Mars Mission -- as mission that will require a long stay (the Earth and Mars are only close enough for travel between them every two years -- so an entire Mars mission will be over two years long).

Ares I Crew Launch Vehicle

Ares V Heavy Launch Vehicle

The Orion Crew Vehicle and Altair Lunar Access Module are being specifically made to handle larger crews. The Orion will be able to take 4 astronauts to the Moon and the Altair Lunar Model will be able to put all 4 of those astronauts on the Moon -- not astronaut will be left in lunar orbit while the rest of the crew walks on the Moon, such as was the case for the Apollo program. The Orion would also be able to take 6 astronauts to low earth orbit (say to the ISS or future space station), thus replacing the shuttle as a crew vehicle. The shuttle is being retired in a year or so anyway, so a crew vehicle replacement is needed.

Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle

Altair Lunar Access Lander

So a brand new mission (not one that is simply "go to the Moon") requires brand new equipment -- and brand new equipment requires a lot of money. NASA's budget was HUGE in the 1960s, so in some respects I'm not that surprised they made it to the Moon so quickly. If NASA had the same budget (afetr inflation, of course) they had in the 1960s, they would definitely get back to the Moon by the planned 2018 date.

I'm not surprised NASA is asking for more money.


[edit on 6/22/2009 by Soylent Green Is People]




posted on Jun, 22 2009 @ 09:14 AM
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reply to post by Soylent Green Is People
 

you know what I found strange about the picture links you posted. The two Ares heavy launching vehicles links show the rockets in some detail while the Orion links show diddly-squat! One shows something akin to an oversized boilers piping system while the other shows a close up of a rocket engine. Surely if these things exist or are on the drawing board there has to be a better picture of what it's going to look like?



posted on Jun, 22 2009 @ 10:11 AM
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I am saddened to hear this but as with others I am not so surprised.

reply to post by Mintwithahole.
 


Scroll down a little, the top box is just for recent news and the one bellow it has an artist's concept of what it will look like in orbit.



posted on Jun, 22 2009 @ 10:12 AM
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reply to post by Mintwithahole.
 

I haven't seen too many pictures yet either -- although those pages I linked was only the latest news -- you need to look at the archives for all of the Constellation program information, including more pictures of Orion, Altair, Ares I, and Ares V.

Here is some detailed information about Orion:
Orion Spacecraft

And here is an article outlining how the Constellation program (specifically the Orion crew vehicle) differs from the Apollo program:
Orion vs. Apollo

Here's an animation showing how a possible moon mission will look, from launch to landing (two rockets are launched -- An Ares V containing the lunar transit stage and descent moduule, and an Ares I containing the Orion Crew capsule):
Mission Animation

[edit on 6/22/2009 by Soylent Green Is People]



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