Why it’s better than Apollo.
For one thing, it’s more sustainable. And it will accomplish much more. Whenever kids (i.e., people less than 50) tell me they envy me that I saw men walk on the moon, I tell them that I envy them for all the much more exciting things in space they’ll see (assuming that we don’t get life extension).
Clark Lindsey has quite a round up of links from this week.
[Update at noon]
What is the role of the Space Force? A long essay from (USAF Colonel — ret) Peter Garretson.
Clark Lindsey has a news roundup.
And NASA (as in Gerst) isn’t happy with GAO’s (accurate) “unnecessarily negative” criticism of its and Boeing’s performance.
Muilenburg responds with typical BS:
“The first rocket is now about 80% assembled, and we’re going through the detailed system integration,” he said. “These are very complex, sophisticated machines, so the technology itself is a challenge. I think it’s manageable. It’s work we know how to do. But it’s tough, challenging work, and we have to do it in a way that ensures safety in the end.”
Muilenburg said having consistent political and funding support for such a big space project was at least as challenging.
“We’ve seen that to date on the Space Launch System,” he said. “If we’re going to get back to the moon by 2024, we can do that, but we can’t if we don’t have stable, consistent support and funding. So the political and funding side of this, I would say, is actually the greater risk.”
The notion that SLS hasn’t had “consistent political support and funding” is beyond mendacious.
While I think that we could do a lunar return for far less than NASA estimates, if allowed to do so without having to use SLS/Orion, or the Gateway, I certainly agree with the second point that Wayne Hale (new head of the NASA Advisory Council) makes, as he takes more than one page from my book.
Twenty to thirty billion.
That would be four to six billion per year.
It could be done for five billion or so total, if they don’t have to use SLS/Orion or the Gateway. Main expense is building a lander.
Thoughts from Keith Cowing.
Is it time to take it seriously?
One way to look at space development and settlement is as Gaia reproducing, spreading life into and throughout the solar system, and eventually the galaxy.
Is talking about its own space station.
It doesn’t say what the inclination would be, though. If I were them, I’d put it in the same orbit as ISS.
The latest, after last week’s space-policy turmoil.
I think that Bridenstine (and Scott Pace) feel compelled to publicly support it, in the hope of maintaining Congressional support for NASA budgets in general, but I’m not sure it’s a great strategy.
[Update a while later]
Welcome to the new moon race.
Politico seems to be doing a fiftieth anniversary issue.