1,105 comments posted · 43 followers · following 4

37 weeks ago @ The Space Review: essa... - The Space Review: What... · 1 reply · +5 points

One of the central modules, the Zarya (Functional Cargo Block) would be VERY difficult to extract and very difficult to replace. Many of the modules could be detached and then deorbited but that would require major operations, new systems to be developed, etc. Like a ship, a locomotive, an aircraft - at some point they wear out and need to be replaced.

We will need to do a controlled reentry at some point.

39 weeks ago @ The Space Review: essa... - The Space Review: A po... · 1 reply · +5 points

Once NASA gets out of the way, many more people will have the chance to work in space. NASA and its bureaucracy is the main obstacle - they claimed that they were going to have reusable boosters but who accomplished that? SpaceX, and the SpaceX Dragon capsule is a great advance in crew transportation.

39 weeks ago @ The Space Review: essa... - The Space Review: A po... · 1 reply · +2 points

What control centers were shut down again? There is a large and busy one here in Houston, and a busy one in Huntsville, Alabama.

41 weeks ago @ The Space Review: essa... - The Space Review: Can ... · 0 replies · +9 points

As an observer of the space effort since 1978, and a "in the trenches" worker: I expect "space" to continue to be a government program - a source of jobs and patronage but there is a growing commercial side. The excitement has to be in the commercial side - commercial companies have had comm satellites for years and now have imaging satellites as well. A lot of former government roles (locating ships at sea for instance) are going commercial.

For the government side the effort will continue to be exploited for good photo ops - the 2024 Lunar landing was promised to be the ultimate photo op. And also the program allows members of Congress to direct funding to their districts. Actually accomplishing something is a secondary consideration. So this part of the effort will likely be mired in increasing partisan warfare for the next several years.

The hopeful side is commercial - if we can pry more roles out of the hands of the Feds we can do more.

43 weeks ago @ The Space Review: essa... - The Space Review: Cand... · 0 replies · +1 points

I was fortunate to get a very good tour of the SCF when I was there to work with the InterRange Operations office, we saw three satellite control centers and lots of other stuff. But the teams there could control the satellites to stay at the altitude that the satellites reported - but that had to be calibrated. We accurately computed their orbits from our space tracking center in the Cheyenne Mountain Complex at the time but any radar could give a very accurate check on what the satellite reported.

43 weeks ago @ The Space Review: essa... - The Space Review: Cand... · 3 replies · +7 points

The explanation of needing to determine the altitude of the satellite very accurately also does not make sense. Radars (even mobile ones) can easily track large satellites that are at low altitudes and determine distance very accurately. Rather than waste film (which would have to be returned to the ground after a delay) to determine altitude - why not just track the satellite with radar?

48 weeks ago @ The Space Review: essa... - The Space Review: The ... · 0 replies · +1 points

The US should "demand their removal" but what if they ignore the demand? A demand has to have some penalty for not doing something - what would you suggest?

48 weeks ago @ The Space Review: essa... - The Space Review: The ... · 0 replies · +2 points

Someone forgot to add a few details such as suggested rules. How we might remove this debris, which ones are highest priority, and other details would be good also. Of course the author could just refer to the many proposed methods, proposed lists of most critical items, etc and give a rationale for agreement or disagreement.

49 weeks ago @ The Space Review: essa... - The Space Review: Clos... · 1 reply · +5 points

This is an article filled with reasonable, supportable facts but I would like to add a stronger recommendation for specifically what the effort should prioritize. Robert did say that Gateway could act as the base for Lunar exploration, where we send probes to the surface and recover them. This seems like the best place to start.

The "business case" is still very hard to make, what could industry do on the Moon in the next few years? There is no apparent answer. So we should go back to explore, we can do that with robots. We could send people to Gateway to put samples into cans for return to Earth, the people could also prepare remotely operated vehicles to return to the Lunar surface. Probably people could land on the Moon to tend to the robots we have there and to add the efforts of people, who can react to the situation better than robots can.

Hopefully we will include our reliable International partners in this effort, the people that we worked so well with on Shuttle and ISS. This means that the Russians may send a few things along if they learn to be reliable.

It seems very possible that we will soon be able to have tourists going to the ISS, with far more seats and far more reliable access that should begin to really open the tourist business. Then perhaps tourists will one day go to the Gateway as well; but this requires that we find out why the Russian segment Zvezda is leaking and either stop the leak or separate Zvezda and deorbit it. That leak should cause us a LOT of anxiety.

49 weeks ago @ The Space Review: essa... - The Space Review: Moon... · 0 replies · +4 points

If you look at the Artemis plan as it exists today - it has very little time for testing and very little time for identified changes that needed to be made. In every test we find things that should be changed, that is why we test. Artemis has just three flights with the third one landing on the Moon, the first flight will not have people but the second and third do. With delays to SLS we may see less testing for the booster.

For Apollo we had testing that did a good simulation of the flight and tested the hardware and procedures, before Apollo 11. Apollo 10 especially was an important test that will not be done on Artemis.

As we found out with Apollo - when you rush you end up with disasters like Apollo 1 and Apollo 13, we did lose one crew and almost lost a second. As we found out with Shuttle - there were many close calls and we did lose two crews and Shuttle vehicles. Apparently NASA has not learned anything from Apollo and Shuttle, where is the safety organization?