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See para 6. My intent is exactly the opposite of what you accuse me of portending!
I am surprised at your statement.
Besides, she is obviously trying to cajole US to do something fast to maintain our leadership. It is not a "naysaying" article.
If I could, I would remove the NASA motto: “Failure is Not an Option” and replace it with “Failure Is an Option”! Perhaps not quite that, but at least remove the first one!
And we went to the Moon in 7-8 years in 60’s with the low level CFD/Structures/IT technologies available then and we cannot do this in less than five? With Falcon Heavy available? And others (New Gleen/Blue Moon especially) on horizon? When again are we going to have this synergy of so many favorable factors at the same time culminating into a real possibility for us? Moon is not the only goal. It will and can be the beginning – more science, more EP, more global defense, more planets and more about our origins, unless we ruin the whole beginning by nitpicking it to death! The glass is half full, not half empty! Let us help NASA by creating the public support.
Let us not get into this fruitless practice of attacking each other. Instead let us, together, compete with other countries as they will also land their folks on the Moon. This OpEd was actually written for The Daily Caller whose readership is general public, to garner public enthusiasm. So the brevity was needed as were non-technical aspects. Here it was lifted as is to be able to give TDC the acknowledgment. More details are available, if one wants them, in the articles mentioned above in one of my comments.
Sure the tanks are not ready as habitats. Sure the second stages are not ready, they do not even have Lunar legs or fuel storing conditions. Not now – but we do have five years. SLS can be redirected to concentrate on the upper stage, a potential political compromise. We will find solutions if the overriding physics are correct, the physics of ISP, DeltaV and propellant fraction obtained using multiple docking in LEO.
I think it can be done in less than four. Just do it, for goodness sake, even if we fail at times! Enough already. Enough pessimism. The best should not be the enemy of good.
Last week Bezos unveiled their plans, which include ISRU utilization, water extraction and tank repurposing (mentioned earlier). First step is to get there. I agree with him. Some people will want to do it due to competition from China, some for humanity. It does not matter for now. The first few steps are the same. Let us not blow this chance.
Surely even bringing the astronauts back would require mods to whatever upper stage is chosen, which again NASA/SLS would do during the first five year.
Water extraction, using tanks as habitats etc are for subsequent and further developments - over next many years to follow, perhaps a decade or so. Start small. And build up on small successes.