NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine says that the US has within 10 years a continuous manned presence on the moon, which…
NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine says that the US has within 10 years a continuous manned presence on the moon, which will lay the foundation for expanding space exploration to Mars. A Moon Direct Plan (created by Robert Zubrin) could receive continuous manned monthly bases in four years.
This is all better than nothing, but the NASA strategy is a waste of money. However, this is part of promoting the wasteful Lunar Gateway program. Lunar Gateway will cost $ 100 billion. It uses the International Space Station (ISS) style technology to build a space station that revolves around the moon. It’s better to waste money on space and get more space than it’s to waste money on the military.
About 30 spacecraft launches were used to add components and modules to mount ISS. Lunar Gateway looks like it will be built from about ten modules.
We can do much better in space and spend less money and get results earlier. We can use some SpaceX Falcon Heavies and land directly on the moon with about 8 to 1
1 tons of moon base at a time. SpaceX Falcon Heavy is flying now.
The Lunar Gateway plan is currently using the Space Launch System. The Space Launch System and the Orion staffed capsule waste between 4 and 5 billion kronor per year. Lunar Gateway is an expensive motivation for the expensive Space Launch System.
The Trump Administration has said that America should return to the moon and build permanent bases. Robert Zubrin points out (in an article in New Atlantis) that this stated goal has not received any meaningful funding. The new Atlantis article by Robert Zubrin has an updated writing of his Moon Direct proposal.
Robert Zubrin, a new Atlantis-contributing editor, is president of Pioneer Astronautics and Mars Society. Robert Zubrin, “Moon Direct”, The New Atlantis, Number 56, Summer / Fall 2018, pp. 14-47.
Lunar Orbital Platform Gateway (formerly called Deep Space Gateway) receives some money. The gateway will be a waste of time.
The gateway is a planned space station that will pave the moon, probably serving as the outpost for human exploration to the moon, mars and deep space.
NASA says that Orion would take its first crew around the moon before 2023. Vice President Pence has recently announced a goal to place astronauts at the port in late 2024.
Lunar Gateway- the idea is stupid. There is no reason to have a space station that circles the moon to go to the moon or Mars or anywhere else. And there is not much research worth doing in the moon’s orbit that can not already be done at the international space station, in the earth’s orbit, or with moon probes and robots.
NASA claims that the gate would create an opportunity
* to test advanced propulsion, communication and other technologies at a greater distance from the earth
* Telescope rovers could be sent from the gate to the moon
* planets and stars could be observed from a different point of view than from the ISS or current telescope.
None of these activities require human presence in the moon. This is not a reason for having a gateway, but rationalization.
We do not need a space station by moon – but we can use a base on the Moon itself. A moon base would be much more than a stop point; It can also be a place to produce hydrogen-acid rocket propellant from water on the moon. This is a powerful propellant that has been the foundation stone for rockets for decades, used by Saturn V and the space shuttle.
Some areas of the moon have water concentrations of 30% by weight in the top layer of soil.
PNAS – Direct evidence of surface water treatment in the moon polar regions
Moon is a world with a surface larger than Africa’s continent. Its terrain is rough, roadless and riverless, so astronauts can not effectively explore it with surface vehicles. Lunar explorers will need to fly.
It is theoretically possible that lots of places on the moon could be visited by starting many missions directly from the ground, the cost of doing this would be astronomical. We need to create a base that can produce fuel on the moon. Moon missions must be driven and driven on the moon. Only single missions from the earth are needed to resume consumables and replace crews.
Where should such a base be located? The poles of the moon are ideal not only because they have nearby permanent shaded craters with water, but because they also have almost permanently lit highlands that offer reliable access to solar energy. The poles are thus the clear favorites of a base because they provide both the raw material and the energy source necessary to produce fuel with hydrogen-acid rocket.
There are three phases for the Zubrin plan. 19659002] ● Phase 1: Unmanned mission delivers the materials to the Moon base to the Moon.
● Phase 2: Piloted tasks make the base operational.
● Phase 3: This is the long-term phase, with repeatedly piloted assignments using propellants produced on-site.
19659002] In phase 1, two Falcon Heavy Boosters are used to deliver the material to the base and other load to the Moon.
In phase 2 a Falcon Heavy and One Falcon 9 are used to deliver the crew to the moon in a fueled LEV.
In phase 3, only one Falcon 9 is used to deliver a new crew in orbit in a Dragon 2, replacement crew and replenish LEV. The new crew then flies to the moon in LEV, who refuses again at the moon base, while the dragon 2 returns to the ground with the former crew.
] Highest priority is propellant production. Every Moon Direct mission requires that 6 tonnes of fuel will be manufactured on the moon for LEV’s flight back to Earth’s orbit. It also requires 6 tons of propellant for each long distance area from the base to a remote location on the moon and the back. For the analysis, we will assume that once the base is in operation, every fourth month there will be a round-trip mission from the moon to the ground to exchange crew and there will be a long-haul exploration flight every month. The driving power requirement will be 6 tonnes per month or 200 kilos per day.
Engines that run on liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen use a higher hydrogen to oxygen ratio than found in water. To get our 200kg of fuel, we would need to electrolyse about 260kg of water (about 70 gallon) a day. The happy side effect is that it would lead to about 60 kg of spent oxygen each day, which could be used for crew supplies.
The dominant power requirement is to vaporize and electrolyse the water. To electrolyse 260 kg of water per day, 56 kilowatts of power is required. We can estimate that the water can evaporate at the same rate with the help of radiated microwaves with approximately 26 kilowatts of power. Cryogenic removal of hydrogen and oxygen products – using extremely cold temperatures on the moon – will add about 25 kilowatts, and life support and other equipment will also add an additional 13 kilowatt to the energy demand. The estimate is 120 kilowatts for our total energy needs. This can be supplied by either a solar set or a nuclear reactor.
Moon Direct requires relatively small starting mass and widely uses existing technology.
After assuming launch costs and launch costs are about the same, we could perform our installation missions (two flight for phase 1 and two phase 2 missions) for about $ 1.5 billion. Recurring missions will cost USD 420 million a year. This is two percent of NASA’s current budget. This is very cheap according to the standards of human space programs. NASA’s total spacecraft space program is currently about $ 10 billion a year with some clear purpose.