richardmalcolm1564

richardmalcolm1564

73p

302 comments posted · 2 followers · following 0

1 year ago @ The Space Review: essa... - The Space Review: Revi... · 0 replies · +1 points

"Make a rugged orbiter wIth as much off-the-shelf tech as possible."

Europa Clipper just finished its CDR. It'sa bit late for a major redesign like that.

At any rate, it sounds like the JPL engineers think it's not an easy problem to resolve, or they would not have had NASA lobby Congress so hard to modify the launcher language.

As for Juno, 2025 is the outside envelope of its mission life - good odds it will not even make it that long - so there is no reasonable chance that it could be operational when either Clipper or JUICE arrive at Jupiter, no matter what launchers they use.

1 year ago @ The Space Review: essa... - The Space Review: What... · 0 replies · +11 points

It will take more than ISS"s annual budget to get SLS's annual launch cadence up to 6-10.

And then you have to have actual payloads for those rockets to launch. What are those payloads going to be? How will they be paid for out of that budget?

1 year ago @ The Space Review: essa... - The Space Review: A po... · 0 replies · +3 points

Doing an ISS successor would be a mistake. It would essentially just be ISS again, with no realistic budget space left for NASA to do any of the promised "Earth Orbit to Lunar Orbit" activities.

It might be suboptimal if NASA merely "replaces" ISS with another station which it is building and operating.

If it is a commercially run station, however on which NASA is merely one tenant, it could make sense - and not draw away much funds from other NASA HSF programs.

(Is there a business case for such a station? Stay tuned. Having access to much cheaper heavy lift capability certainly will not hurt. But we need to see the same kind of efficiencies in habitat construction and operation that SpaceX and other commercial companis have achieved in other areas.)

1 year ago @ The Space Review: essa... - The Space Review: A po... · 0 replies · +3 points

Yeah, I was a little surprised not to see Axiom not get a least a passing mention.

1 year ago @ The Space Review: essa... - The Space Review: A po... · 0 replies · +4 points

Well, at some point, ISS will * have* to be replaced, if the interest in continuing a human presence in LEO is there - the hardware is wearing out, and not likely to last past the end of the decade.

My hope is that the Axiom station ends up bing that platform, at least where the U.S. and its international and commercial partners are concerned. But perhaps something else will emerge?

1 year ago @ The Space Review: essa... - The Space Review: Gree... · 3 replies · +3 points

Robots are still not as fast or versatile as humans - Apollo 17 covered more terrain for field geology work in 3 days than Curiosity has reached in 8.5 years - but they are vastly cheaper (for now) to send to thse places, and obviously, much lower risk, too.

But yeah, it would be nice if the program had a clear science objective.

1 year ago @ The Space Review: essa... - The Space Review: Gree... · 3 replies · +6 points

Not if the New Administration tells the public those days are back.

The New Administration can't change NASA's stationery supplier unless it gets Congress to sign off on it.

And one suspects, it will have a number of higher priorities than space policy to deal with. But then, that's always the case.

1 year ago @ The Space Review: essa... - The Space Review: Twil... · 0 replies · +3 points

....how much money did the administration spend on SLS and Orion...and could not even keep it on schedule

Sure, fair point, but...SLS and Orion have seen the same overfunding and poor schedule keeping throughout the entire life of both programs. This hardly seems to matter who is sitting in the White House, or who the Administrator is.

Which is surely the case because Congress is quite content with SLS and Orion just as they are.

1 year ago @ The Space Review: essa... - The Space Review: Star... · 0 replies · +14 points

All Elon has managed to demonstrate so far is how much you can do if you have an almost limitless access to other people's money. It's not that hard, especially when you are just developing things that already existed.

If it were *that* easy for people with limitless access to money to do the things that SpaceX as done, why hasn't Jeff Bezos - the richest man on the planet - launched a single payload to orbit despite founding his rocket company two years before Elon Musk started SpaceX? And why hasn't NASA itself, with access to something like $4-5 billion per annum to spend on deep space exploration systems over the last decade and a half, been able to do any of it, either?

Perhaps - just perhaps - all this might be a little harder than it looks.

1 year ago @ The Space Review: essa... - The Space Review: The ... · 1 reply · +2 points

"You learned about that from Zubrin's ranting essay, I presume?"

Yes, I *did* learn about it in Bob's essay, and yes, I understood the working group's status - and, from what I could make out so does Zubrin. No, it has no authority to set NASA space policy - it is a working group, after all - but it *does* serve as evidence that this kind of mindset has a sizable presence within the space science community. Some of these are prominent names. Some have worked for or consulted for NASA in he past; some still do. They are not cranks working out of a post office box.

Let me return to my original point: You suggested that John Srickland had accused this faction of "controlling" policy for the exploration of Mars. But the word "control" appears nowhere in John's comment. The word "influence" does, and it is further hedged by the qualifier "could." This is not just semantics: There is certainly room to differ from John Strickland in various aspects of this question, but there *is* an obligation to fairly represent what he is saying. And with all respect, Dwayne, I don't think you did that in your response.