NASA’s New “Moon Mission”

Sadly, this is typical of reporting on this stuff:

…astronauts likely won’t head straight to a space rock when SLS and Orion are ready to fly together in 2021. In the last year, word has begun leaking out that NASA wants to explore Earth-moon L2, a point in space that lies beyond the moon’s far side, as a precursor.

Exploration of Earth-moon L2 could get started as early as 2021 with the first manned flight of SLS and Orion, which NASA calls Exploration Mission 2.

Emphasis mine. I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

And the comments over there are generally stupid, as usual, including a NASA-faked-the-moon-landing type.

16 thoughts on “NASA’s New “Moon Mission””

  1. People always say NASA only gets .05% of the budget but that is also with $1t+ deficits. Their budget ratio would be pretty good if our deficits didn’t distort it so much.

  2. I think you underrate the possibilities of what we might find if we thoroughly explore L2. Over toward one side we might find, um, well, not native villages or anything, and not really any rocks, and… Cr*p, I’ve got nothing. WTF are we going to “explore” for in a Lagrange point?

    But in theory, we could send up a much earlier mission on a Falcon 9 with a satellite that releases Easter Eggs throughout L2, and then the SLS/Orion could go look for them! That’s kind of exploring. If each Easter Egg was uniquely colored and decorated, NASA could get a measurement of orbital drift throughout L2 by egg sampling instead of using their numeric processors to crunch numbers and stuff.

    Do you ever get the feeling we have an alternate space program run by the Pakleds?

    “What are you doing at L2?”
    “Exploring for what?”
    “But there’s nothing there.”
    “That’s what we’re exploring to see.”
    “You’re exploring to see nothing?”
    “Yes, because we are explorers.”
    “But you’re finding nothing.”
    “Nothing is very interesting.”
    “You explore for nothing?”
    “We like finding nothing. Nothing makes us go.”

    1. WTF are we going to “explore” for in a Lagrange point?

      Trojan asteroids? (Not this particular Lagrange point.)

      Extraterrestrial intelligence? The L2 point has been proposed as a prime location for radio telescopes.

  3. You’re missing it. This is a huge story. I mean what could they possibly be exploring at L2? Isn’t it obvious? ZERO POINT ENERGY BABY!!!

    it couldn’t be anything else, right? 😉

  4. I want to know about Elon’s Moon plans. The SuperDraco is more than powerful enough to land on and take off from the Moon. You could use one as a taxi to the surface.

      1. You can make the Dragon dock with a module in order to get the required delta-V using LOR. The reentry system supposedly tolerates the necessary reentry speeds.

        1. So you don’t know the answer. The question is how much fuel is on board to supply the super-dracos and how long can it fire at full thrust? Wet and dry mass would be nice to know as well.

          Yes, the picaX is well over engineered.

  5. @ Bob Clark – ” if they would only think small”

    …or think cheap. Using a Falcon Heavy commercial outfits being funded in an SAA approach could develop a full-sized lunar lander at a fraction of the price.

  6. they only get .o5 percent of the budget because only that many percent of americans have a clue what they do with it?

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