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NASA Reconsiders Its Moon Plans

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posted on Jul, 2 2009 @ 04:38 AM
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I found this in popsci and thought that I might share this here.

As everyone knows NASA's plan to go back to the moon depends on the Constellation program. But with the heavy costs involved NASA is starting to have some seconds thoughts.


The centerpiece of the Constellation program was the Ares rocket. However, that rocket needs billions of dollars more in funding to reach operational status, and has been plagued by numerous engineering problems. Now, some are proposing an alternative rocket system that makes use of already existing shuttle parts.


It proposes an re-use of the shuttle componenets.


Shannon's alternative plan uses the current space shuttle fuel tank and solid-rocket boosters. The rocket would be carrying two new vehicles — a generic cargo container and the Orion capsule for astronauts currently being developed for Constellation. The new vehicles would have the capability to go to both the moon and the international space station.

This less expensive option would likely not be as powerful as Ares I and V, but would be simpler.


Sources-

Pop-sci

universe today







posted on Jul, 2 2009 @ 06:06 AM
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Why can´t NASA just bust out the old, dusty blueprints for the Saturn V and just rebuild a tried, tested and debugged rocket? Nooooo, they gotta build a brand new tinker toy called Ares thats plagued with "engineering problems" instead.

WTF is up with these people calling the shots? Just rebuild Apollo and update the computers and subsystems. It worked dammit! Yeah, I know the counter argument, there isn´t anybody around to make all those "old" parts anymore. Well, I would say that our manufacturing capabilities are quite capable of slapping any part together, more so now, than ever before. Faster, computer controlled, laser cut, you name it, it can be done.



[edit on 2-7-2009 by fockewulf190]



posted on Jul, 2 2009 @ 06:56 AM
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It seems NASA's mantra is, the more complicated it is, the better it is! Why can't they use a shuttle to send up the lander and park it on the space station. Then send up another shuttle with the orbiter, connect them in space pretty much the way they did back in the late sixties and then point the whole thing at the moon and fire up the engines?
Instead of going there in one journey the astronauts would stop off at the space station for a while.



posted on Jul, 2 2009 @ 06:57 AM
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well, there are things to consider. the saturn maybe very expensive to build in todays world


.... back then it was what we had, but by todays standard we can probably, and i am willing to bet this is true,,,
more efficent stuff... in todays world, building a giant saturn rocket and doing the same systems, may be
budget blowing work, millions billions, who knows,



even though I like the idea very much. i like your idea very very much,.

i think its a great idea. why re-invent the wheel, if you have a method that works well? you dont need to . you use what works and build new stuff where needed. plus , yuo can refine the small tiny kinks in the system

and therefore have an even better saturn 5 rocket. great idea. but , budgets like i said will kill it.

still, designing the thing as a brand new type rocket (new one) will cost a lot, and the re-tooling to make all teh components, will , in effect, i believe probably end up costing millions more, and who knows, probably lots of details and problems and dozens fo new kinks and glitches again, and then make a secind and third and fouth versions to get the kinks out, and then befor eyou know it, teh budget is way higher than it woudl have been.

politics, my friend, not engineering, is often, sadly, what runs these things. and also politic driven schedule and deadlines. having said that, ,,,again, i think the best idea is to use a saturn 5 rocket rebuilt , its an idea i absolutely think is smart, rugged, reliable, cost efficent, and um, can get us into a space faring civilization the fastest and most safe efficent way.

i just had to say that.

moon stuff. well i heard that the alien unknown presence so scared us, basically warned us off the moon um, its real scary to be up there in the dark, cold moon, if you know that aliens are around there and can simply kill you on sight , in a millisecond if they dont like what the see. being that their technology is so vastly faster and more advanced than ours.

still, our moon, is , i believe, THE KEY , to us being a space-faring civilization I say, get all the hardware, guns, everything, and go for it now. land and build a base. super strong, and man it 24/7
send resupply men, and gear and food, and set up shop.





keep re-supplying and rest, R and R the guys that were there serving, and keep teh system going. staff it and get it larger and larger
then send tourists , paying money, and us ethe money for improvements. soon enough we will have landing pads, massive ships, and bingo!
a space faring CIVILIZATION. WE BECOME

life is what you make of it. I say lets do it. it wil be so much fun ! I volunteer. bring guns to blast aliens if necessary



--history is not made by wimps .








posted on Jul, 2 2009 @ 08:50 AM
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Originally posted by fockewulf190
Why can´t NASA just bust out the old, dusty blueprints for the Saturn V and just rebuild a tried, tested and debugged rocket? Nooooo, they gotta build a brand new tinker toy called Ares thats plagued with "engineering problems" instead.

NASA didn't build the Saturn V, contractors did. Many of those contractors have undergone mergers, takeovers, or just plain gone out of business in the last 40 years. On top of that, we want the ability to sustain our moon presence with cheaper, partly reuseable launchers and capsules and at the same time have more options for where we land on the moon as well as being able to stay on the moon longer.

Yeah, I know the counter argument, there isn´t anybody around to make all those "old" parts anymore. Well, I would say that our manufacturing capabilities are quite capable of slapping any part together, more so now, than ever before. Faster, computer controlled, laser cut, you name it, it can be done.

Re-engineering an old design to fit today's tech is harder than just buying a new design. I watched first hand as my university tried to update their 50 year old giant telescope with new computer equipment and tracking gear; it just didn't work. It wasn't designed to work with the new tech and it was just cheaper and easier to buy a new more capable scope than try to butcher the old one into working.



posted on Jul, 2 2009 @ 09:52 AM
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reply to post by fockewulf190
 


The thing is a generation gap occured. And we lost all the data and knowledge of the engineers had in those days and hence we have to start from scratch. And moreover, the technology was unreliable in those days. And we have state of the art safety measures in space craft these days which they are trying to implement.



posted on Jul, 2 2009 @ 09:58 AM
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Originally posted by fockewulf190
Why can´t NASA just bust out the old, dusty blueprints for the Saturn V and just rebuild a tried, tested and debugged rocket? Nooooo, they gotta build a brand new tinker toy called Ares thats plagued with "engineering problems" instead.

WTF is up with these people calling the shots? Just rebuild Apollo and update the computers and subsystems. It worked dammit! Yeah, I know the counter argument, there isn´t anybody around to make all those "old" parts anymore. Well, I would say that our manufacturing capabilities are quite capable of slapping any part together, more so now, than ever before. Faster, computer controlled, laser cut, you name it, it can be done.



[edit on 2-7-2009 by fockewulf190]


Why don' people all drive around in model t's since they would be much cheaper to make and it was a proven model that people drove around in?

Why don't we all just use 386's for our home pc's? They worked well at the time and man would they be cheap to make these days?

The anwser to these 2 questions is the same reason they are trying to move forward with technology on the shuttles.



posted on Jul, 2 2009 @ 10:00 AM
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Can't NASA just work with the Russians using Soyuz rockets and save up the funds for the actual projects or at least use secret technology to bring up supplies into space instead of claiming rubbish.

I mean seriously, we went from bicycle gear prop planes to space rockets in what... 50-60 years and nothing happened since for 50 years since then?

Please.

NASA is lying, not only about what they've seen, but about what they have.

They just want money, and a lot of it, benefits that will never trickle down to the common people, who just happens to completely fund them.


[edit on 2-7-2009 by star in a jar]



posted on Jul, 2 2009 @ 11:40 AM
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reply to post by whoshotJR
 



Let me modify my position and say that building the first, second, and third stages of the Saturn V could be accomplished faster than inventing a whole new rocket. Then you can slap the 21st century service module, command module and lunar lander on top. We know the Saturn V worked, we still have the plans and we even still have a physical copy of the rocket left: www.collectspace.com...

One disadvantge is that the launch facility has to be rebuilt. That won´t be cheap.

Of course nobody wants to drive a Model T anymore, but you can still rip out the computer controlled, fuel injected, hi-tech car engine of today and slap in an old Mopar slant 6, yet still keep the upgraded and safer car chassis holding the people. Sure you´ll get some more exaust, but you´ll get from point A to point B just as fast as before.




[edit on 2-7-2009 by fockewulf190]

 
Mod Note: Excessive Quoting – Please Review This Link

[edit on Thu Jul 2 2009 by Jbird]



posted on Jul, 2 2009 @ 01:22 PM
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Originally posted by fockewulf190
Let me modify my position and say that building the first, second, and third stages of the Saturn V could be accomplished faster than inventing a whole new rocket. Then you can slap the 21st century service module, command module and lunar lander on top. We know the Saturn V worked, we still have the plans and we even still have a physical copy of the rocket left: www.collectspace.com...


Does anyone know if the Saturn V can launch the new Orion Capsule, new Service Module, and new Lunar Lander at the same time?

With the Constellation Program , the Service Module and Lunar lander would be launched (unmanned) in the Ares V heavy-lift rocket, while the crew in the Orion Capsule would be launched separately using an Ares I.

Furthermore, the future plans for both the Ares I and the Ares V is more than just this first trip to the Moon. The Ares I and Orion is designed to replace the shuttle as a means of getting people (and relatively light payloads) into Low Earth Orbit -- such as for trips to the Space Station.

The Ares V is being designed to lift very heavy payload to Earth's orbit, to the Moon, or beyond (e.g., Mars). The Ares V can lift 75% heavier loads that the Saturn V could. There are eventual plans to build habitats on the Moon. The Ares V will be required to get those habitats and other heavy equipment to the Moon.

...and there are plans on the drawing table for future Mars missions. These missions are as yet unfunded, but the earlier concept phase is funded -- and those concepts rely on the Ares V to do the heavy lifting of the equipment required to get to Mars.

...I don't think the Saturn V has the capability do all of the future missions that NASA has planned (at least conceptually). It seems to me that if NASA doesn't have the Ares V, they're manned exploration program would be stagnant.

So can we "get to" the Moon with a Saturn V? Sure -- but it would be a case of "been there, done that". We don't want to just "walk on" the Moon again -- we did that 40 years ago. We want to explore it and find out what it takes to live off-world for extended periods of time, and that knowledge will be required to get to Mars.

[edit on 7/2/2009 by Soylent Green Is People]



posted on Jul, 2 2009 @ 03:08 PM
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reply to post by Soylent Green Is People
 


Indeed, no matter what system is eventually used to get there, there needs to be a worthwhile purpose, not just another stroll through the wastelands again. IMO, NASA should be thinking about how to team up with US industry and develop a mining system that can harvest, and return from the Moon, Helium ³ .
Then it can use it´s share of the profits to fund and expand it´s own space research and development.

[edit on 2-7-2009 by fockewulf190]



posted on Jul, 3 2009 @ 12:59 PM
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reply to post by fockewulf190
 

Yes -- I agree.

I'm not saying that the Constellation Program is perfect and the equipment is the absolute best. What I'm saying is that the critics who say "why don't we simply use the Apollo equipment" is missing the point of the Constellaion Program...

...The Apollo equipment was great for the goal of "walking on the Moon". However, NASA's long term goal is not to simply stroll on the Moon to say "look what we can do" -- their long-term goal is to learn how to live on the Moon as a stepping stone to learning how to live on Mars, which will be a requirement of any Mars Mission in our near future since the astronauts will need to stay on Mars for over a year waiting for the Earth to come close again before they can come home.



[edit on 7/3/2009 by Soylent Green Is People]



posted on Jul, 3 2009 @ 01:47 PM
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reply to post by ngchunter
 


Official NASA Translation: We forgot how to build a moon capable rocket. Also, in reguards to the only 2 LEFT on the planet...well....we let them sit and rot outside for 40 years.

We also forgot how to design and build a new one too.

Anywho: We here at NASA unveil the same shat we have been using for the past 30 years with a NEW spin!

End translation.


WHAT A FRIGGN JOKE!

Idiocracy is comming true day by day!
"Welcome to NASA....I LOVE YOU!"



[edit on 3-7-2009 by bismarcksea]



posted on Jul, 3 2009 @ 02:00 PM
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reply to post by bismarcksea
 

Did you even read what ngchunter and others have said?

Sure -- NASA and its contractors don't know "exactly" how to build a Saturn V (i.e., we could not build one tomorrow). However, they would eventually figure it out, and probably much faster than they could design the Ares I and Ares V.

...but the point is this: The Saturn V is not up to the task for the Constellation Program. It does not have the capabilities required to fit the needs of the Constellation Program.

If NASA wanted to "just get to the Moon" like we did 40 years ago, we could probably use a Saturn V and get there very quickly. However, NASA doesn't want to just "get to" the Moon. They have bigger plans requiring bigger equipment.


A great TV show to watch is "Moon Machines" from the Science Channel. If that is ever on again, it's worth watching. You would see that designing the Saturn V (and other equipment) is not a "cut and dry" matter of drawing up plans, then building to those plans. Many changes to the Apollo equipment was made during the construction process, and accurate "as builts" plans were not always documented. Many of those undocumented revisions have since been forgotten.

Is there a good excuse for not documenting revisions properly -- no, there isn't. But the reality of it is (especially during the fast-paced go-go Apollo program of the 1960s) that contractors did not always document things the way they should have.


[edit on 7/3/2009 by Soylent Green Is People]



posted on Jul, 3 2009 @ 02:20 PM
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i personally know three unemployed rocket scientists who would die for a chance to bid on this. maybe this is the perfect time for some new companies to get a chance to compete?

you know, part of me loves the space program...the idealism or it, the exploration, the jobs it creates, and the new technology it breeds.

another part worries about spending even more money we don't have.

but overall? i'd rather spend the money on this and create jobs here at home than waste it on yet another senseless war or sticking it into the pockets of the failed neo-socialist corporations.

then again, the work would probably go to the favored bidders as usual and they'd offshore it to china or something. makes me MAD.

overall, doesn't this seem kinda strange when you consider that we just launched a rocket (was it) last week to go blow up part of the moon.

if money (or aliens "warning us off" as someone mentioned) was such a big concern, why didn't they ax that project?

seems the moon's been in the news a lot lately, doesn't it?

and because i can, i'm going to say that the moon hasn't "looked right" to me for over a year now. something i can't put my finger on...



posted on Jul, 3 2009 @ 03:44 PM
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Originally posted by ~Lucidity
...overall, doesn't this seem kinda strange when you consider that we just launched a rocket (was it) last week to go blow up part of the moon.

NASA is not simply "blowing up part of it". They are going to impact a part of the Moon that is thought to have water (perhaps from a comet that impacted there in the past) and then look at the debris thrown up from the impact to see if water exists. Finding water on the Moon is very meaningful for NASA's long-term plans for the Moon, which may include manned outposts on the surface of the Moon. Water is very heavy, and if NASA would rather use water that already exists there. Earlier data suggests the water is there.

Also, water can be used to create rocket fuel oxidizers -- these fuels could perhaps be used someday to power a mission to Mars launched from the Moon.


seems the moon's been in the news a lot lately, doesn't it?


Yes -- that's because the Constellation Program (the next manned missions to the Moon) is ramping up. You're going to hear a lot about the Moon and the future manned moon mission over the next several years.

NASA hopes to land men on the Moon again in as little as 8 years. The LRO orbiter and the LCROSS moon-impact mission are part of that program. LRO is taking detailed high-resolution photos of the Moon to find interesting landing sites, and the LCROSS is looking for water (among other things).


and because i can, i'm going to say that the moon hasn't "looked right" to me for over a year now. something i can't put my finger on...

People such as ATS member "ngchunter" who study the Moon rather closely would almost certainly tell you differently -- however, I'll let him tell you (if he's reading this) rather than me speaking for him.

[edit on 7/3/2009 by Soylent Green Is People]



posted on Jul, 5 2009 @ 10:50 PM
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Originally posted by bismarcksea
reply to post by ngchunter
 


Official NASA Translation: We forgot how to build a moon capable rocket. Also, in reguards to the only 2 LEFT on the planet...well....we let them sit and rot outside for 40 years.

What part of "they didn't build it in the first place, contractors did" did you miss? Guess what, if they had to build another space shuttle orbiter from scratch starting tomorrow they couldn't do that either, even though they still have 3 fully operational orbiters in service. For instance, the facility that built the shuttles' wings has since been converted into residential and office buildings.

We also forgot how to design and build a new one too.

They're doing just that even as I type.


Anywho: We here at NASA unveil the same shat we have been using for the past 30 years with a NEW spin!

As pointed out, the new design must be far more capable than the Saturn V in order to even come close to completing the goals of the constellation program.

[edit on 5-7-2009 by ngchunter]



posted on Jul, 5 2009 @ 11:08 PM
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Originally posted by ~Lucidity
and because i can, i'm going to say that the moon hasn't "looked right" to me for over a year now. something i can't put my finger on...

I haven't noticed any unusual changes in the moon in the last year, perhaps you're just seeing it at slightly different librations during the same phase (caused by it being in different spots in its orbit at the same phase over the course of the year)? Here's a side by side of the moon at nearly identical phases but different months in the same year (taken almost exactly a year ago, as a matter of fact). They look similar, but some craters at the edge of the poles (here seen at the left and right) can only be seen in one picture or the other. In other words, our view of the moon changes month to month even during the same point in the moon's cycle.

This effect is more exaggerated the more months that separate the images, but I intentionally only allowed for 1 month's separation so that I could use the images to create the above stereogram.

If you figure out what it is about the moon that is bugging you though, it would be helpful in explaining whatever it is. What may be routine to me may seem unusual to you.

[edit on 5-7-2009 by ngchunter]



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