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NASA Anouncement for the Moon

Discussion in 'SpaceX' started by Grendal, Nov 27, 2018.

  1. Grendal

    Grendal SpaceX Moderator

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    Jim Bridenstine and NASA will have a major announcement about the Moon on Thursday:

    Jim Bridenstine on Twitter

    Hopefully something SpaceX related or this is nonsense.
    Edit: Probably not SpaceX directly. This is likely about payloads/science experiments to the Moon. So SpaceX could get a few launches out of it.
     
    • Informative x 1
  2. Nikxice

    Nikxice Member

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    Bridenstine seems to be enjoying his role playing the PR front man for NASA. Remains to be seen if any of his pronouncements will turn into funded plans. He's a big proponent of using Gateway for an eventual return to the lunar surface, but not everyone agrees. At least one former NASA administrator and the Buzz himself think that's a wasteful way to get there. Gateway might someday be useful once lunar resources are being mined and launched from the lunar surface.

    What I got most out of yesterday's POLITICO article on Bridenstine is that he's adept at playing on both sides of the ball. He still sounds quite supportive of SLS/Orion to reach the moon, yet he's all excited about the transformation toward the reusablity of rockets, spacecraft, and landers. Go figure. Wait and see which guy shows up on Thursday afternoon.
    Trump's Moon Man
     
  3. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    So far he is a lot of talk but not much action. His comments abou the SLS having some sort of future while at the same time promoting the importance of resuablity came across to me as laughable. You can’t talk out of both sides of your mouth without sounding like you are crazy. SLS is a giant money pit and is crippling NASA.
     
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  4. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    • Informative x 1
  5. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Well-Known Member

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    And no SpaceX involvement. Looked like NASA wants to be in control of whatever they develop, so they picked a bunch of compliant contractors that they can boss around. It doesn't look like NASA knows exactly what they are going to do yet.
     
  6. Bobfitz1

    Bobfitz1 Member

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    SpaceX could be transporting passengers to a Bigelow run Moon hotel before Nasa's future moon landings from this competition are started, or at worse completed. I do plead guilty to hyperbole, but once Maezawa's moon flyby is accomplished, SpaceX and partner companies could establish and support a permanent base on the Moon if they wished to do that.
     
  7. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    Since that “flyby” won’t land on the moon, even once it is accomplished SpaceX would have a huge amount of additional development work to do in order to be able to land on the moon and create a permanent base.

    So to the charge of “hyperbole”, I suggest you plead “guilty”. ;)
     
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  8. Graffi

    Graffi Member

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    Since SpaceX should carry some kind of payload, why not a Lunar Habitat that could be used on future flights. Even if they are prohibited from landing it they could plan to leave it in lunar orbit, but then accidentally select the "Beta Test" landing program. "Opps, my bad." Just a thought ....
     
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  9. Bobfitz1

    Bobfitz1 Member

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    I plead guilty and throw myself on the mercy of the court!

    Let's leave creating a permanent moon base one day to Bigelow for now. Would it take a huge amount of additional development work for a SpaceX Starship to land on the moon and return? It's being built to safely take off and land on both Earth and Mars. What more would need development to land on the moon? Why not do so as a prelude to a far longer and more hazardous Mars landing?
     
  10. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    Sure the Starship will have the payload capacity, but such a “habitat” does not exist at this time. And to create a permanent lunar base takes a lot more planning and development than dropping a structure on the surface. If a government or private company wants to do the R&D and create a lunar base, more power to them. But that is not SpaceX’s mission.
    Because humanity is running out of time to establish a self sustaining human colony off Earth, and in Elon’s opinion Mars is a better place to do that then the Moon. That topic has been extensively debated in a different thread on this forum Mars and Off Planet Colonization

    This thread is about the NASA announcement yesterday.
     
  11. boonedocks

    boonedocks Active Member

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    Welcome to the moon

    B71E5D11-3975-40EB-A497-24B8CAB3834D.jpeg
     
    • Funny x 3
  12. e-FTW

    e-FTW New electron smell

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    Regarding SpaceX, and the rest of the story around the announcements, a great read as usual by Spaceflightnow: NASA picks nine companies to compete for commercial lunar lander missions – Spaceflight Now

    tl;dr (but you should really read the whole thing)
    • SpaceX and others like Blue Origin were part of the “interested parties”
    • It is not known if they actually submitted proposals
    • “Agency officials did not disclose how many companies submitted proposals for the CLPS program, but a list of 'interested parties' published on the federal government’s FedBizOpps procurement website included 28 companies.”
    • One of the winning consortium is planing to ride their orbiter and lander on Falcon 9 launches (Draper/ispace)
    • Most of the announced winners are partnering with a number of companies. Plenty of known entities in there, once you dig in.
    • “The announcement Thursday did not commit government funding to any of the companies, but only made the winners eligible to compete for mission task orders yet to be released by NASA.”
    • “..some or all of the companies may win NASA contracts for lunar lander missions. None of the competitors announced Thursday is guaranteed a contract win, and NASA is not funding any of the landers’ development costs, which must be financed through other sources.”
    • “...the CLPS program’s catalog of companies will change over time, as potential lunar lander provides merge, evolve, or perhaps leave the program. There will also be opportunities for more companies to be added to the catalog, he said.”
    The one interesting thing that stood out for me is that NASA would like for each lander to deploy retroreflectors to be used as a navigational aid for the other missions.

    In the end, this is NASA dropping Lunar Prospector, and moving its instruments to commercial landers instead. And buying a ride for future instruments, payloads and eventually humans. Sounds like a good move financially, as they jumped in the void left by the Google X Prize.
     
    • Informative x 1
  13. RDoc

    RDoc S85D

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    This doesn't sound very serious to me. I'd put it in the same category as selling or leasing the ISS to a private company to run.

    Beyond some possible sample return missions for collectors, what possible reason would a private company have to go to the Moon other than for NASA? It may very well be cheaper for NASA to pay someone else to build and operate a Moon lander, but I don't see much chance of anyone except NASA paying for it.
     
  14. e-FTW

    e-FTW New electron smell

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    Am thinking mining for resources is the incentive for private companies to get in there. Of course, this is (very) long term, but at least figuring out what is available, how much of it, how extractable it is, and so on makes sense.
    That would position one to be ready when the call comes to supply whoever with resources from that position on the Moon and in space.
    And you might do all of that while charging NASA to carry their gear to the Moon.

    This is one very uninformed assumption as to how this could go. Makes me wonder if there are blue chips I should get into now. ;-)
     
  15. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    Wearing both my Minerals Exploration Geochemist hat and my Wall St Investor hat, I would suggest that

    =====> ~~~~~from the perspective of Earth~~~~ <=====

    the likelihood of extractable-at-a-profit resources on the moon are so vanishingly small that I would consider giving up my refusal to sell stocks short were such a lunar venture to be publicly traded.

    My reasoning is that for its entire existence the moon has lacked two of the fundamental processes that concentrate elements into rich mineral deposits: tectonic activity and the hydrologic cycle.

    Two points to ameliorate this thesis:

    1. that "from Earth's perspective" caveat. The much shallower gravity well that is the lunar surface could conceivably make it a usable mine site for certain materials needed for interplanetary travel or extra-terrestrial habitats.

    2. There is one other element-concentrating process that could conceivably occur on the moon and that could disrupt my thesis. Can anyone suggest what that might be? :cool:
     
  16. RDoc

    RDoc S85D

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    I can think of a few:
    • A pure iron/nickle/unobtanium meteor that hit the surface and left a very concentrated splash.
    • A carbonaceous meteor hit the surface and created diamonds from the shock.
    • When the moon was formed, some of the droplets were from mineral rich areas on the proto-Earth and/or Theia and wound up near, or at the surface after most of the Moon had cooled enough to prevent them from sinking
    • Solar wind creating He3
    • Natural distillation of comet volatiles from sun-lit areas to the bottoms of shadowed craters.
    • Previous alien visits left behind something of great interest/value.
    Unless aliens left some very interesting technology on the surface on an earlier visit, nothing is worth enough to bring back. The "freight" cost is way too high. Since the risk and cost to undertake the prospecting is so high, without some evidence, no corporation is even going to look.
     
  17. Lozza12

    Lozza12 Member

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    I vote for numbers 1, 2 & 4. But wouldn’t such concentrated volumes of #2 in particular completely crash the price of these rares back on earth?
     
  18. e-FTW

    e-FTW New electron smell

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    Exactly where my uninformed assumption was coming from. Thanks for informing it!
    Because I don't see much of a case for bringing anything all the way to earth's surface.
    Long term. Very.
     
  19. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    Let's look at your suggestions.
    • #6 is the richest. However.....
      • Were there aliens who did that, then EITHER
        • They also left even juicier items on earth, which we've either already discovered and unknowingly incorporated as our own developments, OR
        • We've yet to find them! Earth First!
      • OR
        • They were pretty dumb aliens to have left such on the moon rather than on the earth. Dumb aliens! Nothing worthy of discovering!
    • #5 The low gravitational pull of the moon suggests to me that any such volatiles would also go ZZzzzziiippppp Up and Away. Bye bye.
    • #4 How on earthluna would one effectively capture & concentrate this?
    • #3 No hope for this in that:
      • crustal "mineral-rich" areas of the earth would, for all intents and purposes, not yet exist except, in all probability, such a vanishingly minuscule fraction of what it present one earth today (qv my earlier post) that for such a glob both to leave the earth and make its way to the moon is.....just no.
      • Mantle-derived "droplets"? Same lack of fractionation problem relegates this to the same fate as above.
      • Core-derived? This would have to entail the earth being unconsolidated enough for such to happen at the same time as the moon being coherent enough to have a solid-ish surface. My vote is no.
    • #2 The physics behind this are sound enough, but.....such a process also would occur with earth-bound meteors, so phenomenologically this is a fail as effectively no such even close to reasonable amounts of such diamonds ever (seem to) have been discovered.
    • #1Yes - BUT.....we have an excellent example of this - the great Sudbury Basin and its nickel & associated elements. The conundrum here is the following: how can a lunar operation attempting to extract Ni, Co &c from a similar operation hope to compete on costs with one effectively identical extant on earth?
    Fun exercise to have gone through. Thank you for the opportunity.
     
  20. Model 3

    Model 3 Active Member

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    They left it on the moon, not because it is easy (to find) but because it is hard (to find)! ;)
     

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