18 thoughts on “Unshocking News Of The Day”

  1. Dolgostrói – A Russian term for a government project, for example refitting an aircraft carrier, being repeatedly and indefinitely delayed to provide a funding stream for the employees / facility. A form of corruption if that wasn’t obvious.

  2. Evidently it has been deemed more important to determine whether animals in wetlands are adversely affected by getting wet, than it is to return humans to the moon on-schedule.

  3. Quelle suprise!

    Cad iontas

    驚いた

    Que surpresa

    چه سورپرایزی

    Anyway you say it….

    1. For those who’d rather not click the link: Amazon just bought three launches from SpaceX for Project Kuiper.

  4. The kicker for me is on page 6 of the report (11 of the PDF), where it is noted that in March 2023, the Moon to Mars program office was formed at NASA to oversee the Artemis-related programs.

    So once again, the Moon is not an objective in and of itself, but merely a sideshow in the big circus of Mars. This enables a near endless stream of delays as it is integrated into the greater Arean plan.

    Must be nice to have a sinecure that doesn’t require the delivery of actual goals, just “progress”.

    1. Vague aspirational objective creep like that are likely how Orion ended up so heavy (so that it could in theory keep someone alive most of the way to Mars) that the SLS can’t put it in low lunar orbit. Thus the Lunar Gateway.

      They’ll probably continue their fuzzy thinking and hamstring any Mars vehicle by requiring it to be nuclear powered so that it could be useful for manned exploration of Titan.

      1. They’ll probably continue their fuzzy thinking and hamstring any Mars vehicle by requiring it to be nuclear powered so that it could be useful for manned exploration of Titan.

        Well, you need to have something to do on your way to Mars. Side quests to Saturn are just the thing!

      2. I haven’t really kept up with Orion, but what I do remember from that long ago time when the VSE was a thing and NASA was supposed to procure their flight services from the private sector and people were working on solutions, most of which were in the 10mt range which made them workable with the stable of EELVs. But NASA came back with a 40mt design (fairly quickly pared back to about 30mt-ish) that none of the existing launch providers could handle and so NASA needed their own rocket and that’s how we got ARES which evolved into SLS and here we are now two decades on and…wait, where are we now?

  5. I think the GAO is a bit pessimistic about the likely timeline but it is certainly true that SpaceX’s lander is very much on the critical path. That being the case, progress will inevitably be retarded by inserting governmental “investigations” after each “failed” test. One shudders to imagine what a similar requirement in the late 1940s through early 1960s would have done to the aerospace progress made in that era.

  6. Starship lunar lander missions to require nearly 20 launches, NASA says
    Jeff Foust November 17, 2023
    https://spacenews.com/starship-lunar-lander-missions-to-require-nearly-20-launches-nasa-says/
    –“In order to be able to meet the schedule that is required, as well as managing boiloff and so forth of the fuel, there’s going to need to be a rapid succession of launches of fuel,” she said.

    That schedule will require launches from both the existing Starship pad at Boca Chica, Texas, as well as the one SpaceX is building at KSC’s Launch Complex 39A, adjacent to the current pad used for Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launches. “We should be able to launch from both of those sites,” she said, on a “six-day rotation.”

    Critics of NASA’s selection of Starship for HLS have pointed to the number of launches as a weakness in the architecture. The Government Accountability Office, in its rejection of protests by Blue Origin and Dynetics of the Starship HLS award in 2021, noted that SpaceX required 16 launches overall for a Starship lunar lander mission.

    Elon Musk, chief executive of SpaceX, disagreed, calling the need for 16 launches “extremely unlikely” in an August 2021 social media post. He said a “max of 8” tanker launches should be needed to fuel the Starship lander, adding it could be as few as four.”–

    It doesn’t seems like there would be much boil off even if they were using LH2. LOX doesn’t have much of boil off issue, if we talking about 1 month.
    So first three could be just LOX. And it would nice if you could launch from Equator, but doing it from 28 inclination, but from two different locations with two different launch windows. And it would be super cooled LOX,
    So, Starship HLS will be aluminum alloy and less than 1/2 mass as Steel Starship.
    And the Storage Depot is going to be bigger. Storage Depot doesn’t want to reenter Earth’s atmosphere and Storage Depot could be used for other missions.
    And Storage Depot could have variants. One could a Storage Depot will all stuff to transfer rocket fuel. And different Storage Depot which is more “passive” or have first Storage Depot take the rocket fuel from variant Storage Depot, and variant then just burn up in the atmosphere. Or both capable of taking and transferring rocket to Starship HLS, and keep the two, or get rid one of them- So build 3 or more, use two. And any problems then launch number 3.
    Then there is the Starship Tank, which I assume is steel and with tiles and meant to be reused, so built 4 or more of them. And who knows how many will safely return to Earth and be reused.

    So Starship HLS is not going to return to Earth surface, and question I have, does all of it have leave the Lunar surface. Or Apollo had Ascent Stage. It’s going engine up well away from lunar surface. And we leave, why not leave the big landing pad you brought.
    If rocket engine which land on surface can land this 30 to 40 tons of dead weight. With a stage separation, the landing engines could get to lunar orbit. And as back up, this dead weight could landed with extra rocket fuel- say 20 tons, it’s margin, it could be used for something, or could be left with rest of stage on lunar surface. It’s pretty cold on lunar surface- it might even freeze.

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