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Thread: US going back to the moon within 5 years?

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    Default US going back to the moon within 5 years?



    This is interesting news:

    "VP Mike Pence sets 5-year deadline for landing Americans at moon’s south pole"

    https://www.geekwire.com/2019/vp-mik...ns-south-pole/

    See also, previously, https://phys.org/news/2019-02-nasa-moon.html
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    Default Re: US going back to the moon within 5 years?

    I love space exploration, but sort of wonder what's the point unless they have a really good reason for needing human geological study? The Saturn V booster wasn't an easy rocket to build and today they would more or less be starting from scratch again. Looking back it was probably an outright miracle they didn't lose more astronauts than Apollo 1 given the dangerous missions and new limits they were constantly pushing. I think if they are going to spend money on anything they should focus on the tech to get to Mars, which seems likely to require some orbiting outpost as a starting point, maybe the ship would have to be assembled in space.

    Jeff
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    Default Re: US going back to the moon within 5 years?

    Jeff, with all due and considerable respect for the points and alternatives you raise, this isn't just a science thing. Not to me, anyway. May I also suggest that it is not "they" who are going back to the moon. It is "we" who are going back. You and I, both as proud Americans and as humans, advancing humanity outward into space. And ultimately, advancing toward the exploration and human colonization of any/all habitable parts of our solar system. It is our destiny.
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    Default Re: US going back to the moon within 5 years?

    They/we need to sort out a few things to make getting humans to Mars possible, and Moon colony is the best way to do it.
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    Default Re: US going back to the moon within 5 years?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigzmey View Post
    They/we need to sort out a few things to make getting humans to Mars possible, and Moon colony is the best way to do it.
    Definitely this.

    We have a lot to learn before we can even dream of reaching Mars and beyond, and thus I think that Europe, China, Russia and now the US are making the next logical step by planning a permanent Moon base first. An operational lunar base can teach us so much about surviving in space and will unlock other avenues to easier solar system exploration and colonisation in the future. It can be a giant test bed for technology of an eventual Mars mission (long term habitats, equipment, resource mining, comms, in-situ propellant and fuel production, etc.) and being so close to Earth it means it's much easier to maintain and send critical supplies and personnel if need be in just a matter of days, not to mention the fact that communication is almost real-time and there's no need to wait for a launch window. We can also get the so important data of health effects of spending long time in low gravity conditions. In addition, if Moon industry takes off and we can one day mine resources, build depots, make propellant and build infrastructure there it means much easier and more efficient construction and future launches of satellites and other spacecraft due to no atmosphere and low gravity. In other words, I think that whoever succeeds in building and operating a moon base/outpost will gain substantial advantage as it's a prime avenue for a jumping-off point to the rest of the planets.

    As for this announced 5 year plan, it's ambitious for sure - and sounds a bit like a stunt before the election (hope I'm wrong). The way I see it (being non-American), the biggest problem of NASA is lack of budgetary independence leading to susceptibility to administration changes and government shutdowns and political red tape and the likes. I don't think SLS will be ready in time so going full-commercial would probably be the only way they can get it done, in my opinion.
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    Default Re: US going back to the moon within 5 years?

    I think going back to the moon is a great stepping stone from picking up from where we have left off, pick up from the past for future exploration ie like Mars, cmon, it's been awhile.dust of those old boxing gloves
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    Default Re: US going back to the moon within 5 years?

    Well, I hope we go back but a five year time frame is possibly a bit ambitious. Would much rather see progress on the Mars mission (something new) rather than old hat.
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    Default Re: US going back to the moon within 5 years?

    If it takes 5 years, pffff... from Apollo 1 to the moon landing took only 2 years. Doesn't SpaceX already have a rocket that can do a rendez vous to the moon? That would be the equivalent of Apollo 8 so that plus one practice session with a lander in orbit and we should be good. So why not try to land this year or next.
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    Default Re: US going back to the moon within 5 years?

    NASA's actual Moon project is Gateway

    This is to be an orbiting outpost intended to support deep space missions. It would be a logical place to transfer propellants produced on the moon to a deep space mission. That doesn't mean the math or the economics will actually work out in favor of this method.
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    Default Re: US going back to the moon within 5 years?

    Quote Originally Posted by CamelHat View Post
    If it takes 5 years, pffff... from Apollo 1 to the moon landing took only 2 years. Doesn't SpaceX already have a rocket that can do a rendez vous to the moon? That would be the equivalent of Apollo 8 so that plus one practice session with a lander in orbit and we should be good. So why not try to land this year or next.
    Hmmm I think it's much more complicated than that. SpaceX might already have rockets (Falcon Heavy) that are capable of going to the Moon as such but there's no current crew capsule/command module/lander capable of landing there - not to mention leaving it again. Dragon 2, the SpaceX's only human-rated capsule, does not have enough delta-v to land on the lunar surface as it stands. Meanwhile, Orion and SLS appear to be years behind the schedule. Launching Orion on a SpaceX rocket might be possible but there would be a lot of modifications needed to make it happen. NASA apparently intends to start a competition for private companies to build a suitable "human moon lander". This will definitely take time and I for one would be surprised if they make it happen in just 5 years.
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