3 thoughts on “Accelerating The U.S. Space Program”

  1. from above link:
    “Demonstrate preeminence in space by swiftly expanding humanity into the solar system, incorporating public-private-academic partnerships and other means that expand American involvement in space exploration and utilization.”

    This remind me of Apollo- Apollo was PR stunt but reason it worked is it based upon the real issue, which is US should lead in terms of opening up the space frontier and Apollo was symbolic of such direction. But US really has to do this and not just do more stunts.
    Continuing:
    –Establish its space science, exploration, and aerospace technology research as second to none.
    Define a clear strategic vision for the development and acceleration of aerospace technologies and knowledge transfer to American firms to spur economic growth and create real jobs at home.–

    It seem we have a strategic vision, which is explore the moon and then explore Mars. But I would not call it clear or precise.

    It seems the purpose of such exploration should be to develop new markets in space.
    And I would not say American markets, but rather “global markets” in space. And we should want free markets in space. Though perhaps fair markets in space, so, both free and fair markets on space.

    If NASA fails to explore the Moon there seems to be more of possibility of not having free and fair markets in space. Or least, take longer and have more potential hiccups.

    I would say, that US should quickly explore the Moon and then quickly start exploring Mars.
    I think as general plan, were commercial lunar water mining to start, NASA should stop exploring the Moon, and go to Mars. And same rule applies to Mars, if Mars settlements begin, NASA should stop exploring Mars.
    And when NASA finished with Mars, it should explore Mercury [assuming no one has already done this].
    In terms of strategic vision of solar system, Mercury and Venus orbits are important.

    Anyhow the purpose of exploring the Moon and Mars is to start new markets in Space.
    To start a market [and markets] on the Moon requires low cost lunar rocket fuel. And what I mean by low cost is LOX at about $1000 per lb or kg.
    And within a few decades LOX at about $500 to $100 per lb or kg.

    One could argue LOX at $10,000 per lb might have some value, but it seems LOX at $10,000 per kg for decades is something to be avoided.

    It seems one explore the Moon in part in order to explore Mars and in order to potentially “make” Mars a more viable destination in terms of having settlements on Mars.
    Lunar LOX at $10,000 per lb is not going to do much, in this regard, and Lunar LOX at $100 per lb will have large effect both in terms of making Mars more viable and in terms of starting a lot more markets on the Moon.
    And it seems to me that getting Mars settlement is also getting closer to doing Earth space power satellites, SPS would be Earth controlling type stuff – or as comparable to England’s Industrial Revolution [which led to transformation of all people on Earth].
    So, big goal related to lunar and mars exploration is SPS, which I think is possible in more than 50 years.
    And I think one might get Mars SPS, before Earth SPS. And Mars SPS could be built on the Moon- but that not what mean by lunar markets making Mars more more viable for settlement, but obviously Mars having SPS does make Mars more viable.

    1. re: “but obviously Mars having SPS does make Mars more viable”

      I should mention that solar power on Mars surface is better than solar power on Earth surface.
      Sunlight at Mars distance is much less than Earth distance from the Sun. But with Earth surface one get solar energy for about 25% of the time, whereas with Mars [and Moon] one gets solar energy 50% of the time [and lunar polar region on can get +80% of the time].
      In terms of electrical energy produced from solar energy, 50% of the time is much better than 25% of the time- even if solar flux is 1/2 as much. And of course SPS is 99% of time [and Earth SPS network is 100%]. Plus Mars has similar advantage with polar regions as the Moon gets and Earth polar regions are really really bad- because of Earth’s thick atmosphere and clouds.

      And since here, I should mention doing something about Mars dust storms particularly global and long lasting dust storms could make Mars a more viable place for human settlements. Of course Mars SPS, would helpful in that regards, but things should be done, in order to stop Mars from have global dust storms, or at least find out what could be done to reduce global dust storms. And if that can be done, it makes Mars settlements become more viable.

  2. Continuing with the article:
    “….But to carry out this visionary program for space exploration, NASA will need adequate resources. Past administrations have had grand ambitions for post-Apollo space exploration, but they ultimately collapsed without sufficient buy-in from Congress and, thus, the funding to succeed. In carrying out the president’s SPD-1, our ambitions must be matched by appropriate funding from government, commercial and international sources. We must be realistic in recognizing, as was true with the early airline and computer industries that the federal government will be the anchor tenant in the development of cislunar space over at least the next decade. Our investments today will enable entrepreneurs to close their business plans in the future.”

    NASA has more than adequate “resources”, but is wasting them and is not focused on what it should be focused on.
    I do think more money should given to NASA to explore the Moon, but I would only give more money as tool to help NASA be correctly focus [more focused]. And I would say throwing large amount of money at NASA is a bad idea.
    If you want to toss a lot money at problem, I would start another space agency, and give it a narrow focus of exploring the Moon and then exploring Mars [something NASA should have done decades ago].
    A problem with NASA is it wants to make rockets and mine the solar system- NASA is crazy. And these desires has in the past have prevented NASA from exploring the Moon and then Mars.
    NASA has wild dreams of getting vast amounts of money the media sells the idea that NASA is going to waste trillions of dollars on some foolish ideas and we have better things to spend money on.
    So NASA shots itself [And the president] in the foot. It’s Lucy and Charlie Brown kicking the football plus one throw in Groundhog Day.
    NASA problem is not money, other than it’s given too much money.
    But as I said, money could be useful to move the bureaucracy in right direction. But I would tend to use carrots and stick. And/or threats and enticement. I go very hard on NASA giving low ball estimates and having end up costing a lot money. And entice by a few billion and saying if NASA explores the moon in a through fashion to determine whether and where there is mineable lunar water, THEN we will do “could” do some massive and grand Mars program really soon- in less than 10 years.
    So stop jerking around Congress and we can play ball. And it’s about money, it’s about providing a service to American public and also the public of the entire world.

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