Updates Artemis Program Updates & Discussions

richfororbit

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What are you getting at exactly? The second mission is the orbit, and that crew selected will be the landing crew, I guess, so who would be after that crew?

The gateway was part of this program. The south pole was where an outpost was considered.

The landing site I think is there for Artemis 3.
 

Gargantua2024

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My guess is whoever that'll become the backup crew for Artemis 2 will become the prime crew of Artemis 3

If that were to be publicly announced that is
 

GLS

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Really, really good (and fun) video, not kind to the Artemis architecture, and effectively, its management.

The number of launches needed for a single mission...
Facepalm-Commander-Sisko.gif
 

steph

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Really, really good (and fun) video, not kind to the Artemis architecture,

The number of launches needed for a single mission..

The version I heard a few years ago was like an extra launch or two and they're going, what with 'tanker Starships' and all that.
Guess the whole boil-off thing is kinda like a negative feedback loop. More launches needed means more waiting time in LEO, thus more boil-off and extra launches. Could be a major issue on the moon too.

Looks like they sort of got themselves between a rock and a hard place. SLS is what it is, perhaps it might work for a flyby, perhaps some Apollo-style landing and all, even if lander goes up on another rocket, but that's about it.

Sadly, I think we won't be seeing dozens of launches with refuelings on all that within two years. If we see a Starship in orbit, and perhaps a succesful reentry, that would already be quite good. It is what it is. By the time they manage to get it together, the Chinese will probably have had their lunar landing already
 

Gargantua2024

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Rewatching For All Mankind (season 1), now I am thinking that having the Chinese be first on the Moon is a great thing for Artemis, as (politically speaking) it would mean greater funding support that will hopefully lengthen the program's operation potentially beyond 2040 imho
 

barrygolden

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Makes you wonder what NASA was thinking, over ten launches per mission on a rocket that had yet to fly? Ten more to refuel it to try to land people on the Moon ? How many flights at that rate to build a base, hundreds ? Cost ? I don't think this will work . We stopped Apollo because of cost and had built or paid for most of the hardware.
 

Pioneer

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Rewatching For All Mankind (season 1), now I am thinking that having the Chinese be first on the Moon is a great thing for Artemis, as (politically speaking) it would mean greater funding support that will hopefully lengthen the program's operation potentially beyond 2040 imho
Competition in general, private and government, is good for this new space race. In terms of Artemis hardware, didn't NASA select the Blue Origin lander as a backup for Starship? I guess NASA is banking on Starship eventually becoming a full replacement for the SLS/Artemis system in the further future.

Makes you wonder what NASA was thinking, over ten launches per mission on a rocket that had yet to fly? Ten more to refuel it to try to land people on the Moon ? How many flights at that rate to build a base, hundreds ? Cost ? I don't think this will work . We stopped Apollo because of cost and had built or paid for most of the hardware.
Every couple of generations or so we seem to completely scrap very useful hardware because of bureaucracy, funding, etc. Apollo and the Saturn rockets, which could've been still utilized for very heavy lift launches alongside the Shuttle, was scrapped. Then the Shuttle and sidemount hardware was scrapped, and eventually Artemis/SLS will be scrapped. Billions and billions of waste.
 

TheShuttleExperience

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Honestly, even if the Chinese are first to the Moon this time, I wouldn't mind it. As long as there's people on the Moon by the 2030s, it's all good
Well, yes and no. What I don't like at all is the lack of detailed information on the Chinese and Russian sides. So it's just "eye candy" to see a little footage of Chinese on the Moon. I doubt we will ever see something like the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal of the Chinese program. Same for Russia.
 

Thunder Chicken

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Everything about the Artemis program feels...half-hearted? I'm a space flight enthusiast, but Artemis just makes me feel sad. It feels a lot like the pity I feel for middle-aged guys that just have to buy an expensive sports car to relive the glory years of their youth. The whole Artemis program seems like just a jobs program with no real tangible end goal except reliving the Apollo glory years, and its convoluted architecture was made that way to keep the maximum number of people employed, not for any particularly useful or sensible engineering need. Is there actually any public sentiment that gives a damn if we go back to the moon or not? My sense is that interest is nearly zero with most of the population.

If SpaceX can get Superheavy/Starship flying, I think the wisest course would be for NASA to buy rides on that and bury the SLS/Artemis program in a shallow grave and get back to investing in science missions and technology development and incubation. If NASA could absorb the costs and risks of technological development, commercial ventures could more effectively turn that information into functional hardware than NASA could ever dream of doing as a government entity. The COTS program was a good example of this, and for the dollars it was a much better bang for the buck than Orion / SLS could ever hope to be.
 

Urwumpe

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If SpaceX can get Superheavy/Starship flying, I think the wisest course would be for NASA to buy rides on that and bury the SLS/Artemis program in a shallow grave and get back to investing in science missions and technology development and incubation. If NASA could absorb the costs and risks of technological development, commercial ventures could more effectively turn that information into functional hardware than NASA could ever dream of doing as a government entity. The COTS program was a good example of this, and for the dollars it was a much better bang for the buck than Orion / SLS could ever hope to be.

Well, even THAT could mean that the SLS does 6-10 flights without competition. Starship is still far away from even just being an overcomplicated BDB. And a manned version is not even in mockup stage. As funny as it sounds: Should NASA wait for SpaceX?

SpaceX does a pretty risky gamble there since they essentially stopped all Falcon 9 evolution in favor for Starship. Not really smarter than what congress wants NASA to do.
 

Thunder Chicken

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Well, even THAT could mean that the SLS does 6-10 flights without competition. Starship is still far away from even just being an overcomplicated BDB. And a manned version is not even in mockup stage. As funny as it sounds: Should NASA wait for SpaceX?

Well, they selected SpaceX Starship as the HLS that will land the astronauts on the moon, so they are going to be waiting for Starship regardless. Their plan B for HLS is Blue Origin, which is even farther away from flight testing of manned versions. Once Starship is sorted out, Superheavy should be an experienced flight booster, so yes, maybe NASA should just kill the SLS boondoggle and just wait for the much more advanced yet simpler Starship architecture to go to the moon instead of wasting more on the kludged-together Artemis architecture.

SpaceX does a pretty risky gamble there since they essentially stopped all Falcon 9 evolution in favor for Starship. Not really smarter than what congress wants NASA to do.

Falcon 9 was developed to the point that they are reliably and repeatedly flying a fleet of boosters, some with dozens of flights (the record is 18 reflights IIRC). They are not following the disposable booster paradigm anymore. It's rather like saying that the USAF stopped all B-52 evolution in favor of more advanced bombers. That is quite true, but B-52s are still flying and fulfilling missions in parallel with its more advanced progeny.

Falcon 9 is flying pretty close to weekly which is a remarkable cadence, and the claim is that they can fly each booster 10 times without refurbishment, with a lifetime of 100 launches. They have something like 16 boosters active in the fleet and are still building new boosters as needed. So there is potential for up to 1600+ launches with existing hardware. That is over 30 years worth of missions at current cadence not even counting the new boosters. Falcon 9 might become the LEO equivalent of the C-130 for getting cargo to orbit.

I'd argue that if they can get Superheavy/Starship flying, then yes, it would make much more sense to wait for that than for NASA to toss $2 billion into the ocean after 8 minutes of use on every mission, especially if Starship is already needed to bring them to the surface. If they are going to spend that sort of money, I'd rather see it invested into reuseable, less expensive launch systems that are the way of the future than to see it thrown at 1970s disposable tech that is at an evolutionary dead end.
 

diogom

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HLS is, indeed, in the mockup and systems testing stage in parallel:

And there have been references I'm not quite sure how to find now (loose tweets from conferences) of other mockups at Hawthorne, being worked on with NASA, the dev crew displays mentioned have been seen at some point in the past year (very similar to Dragon), and the lift for lunar access was being prototyped/mocked up last year. It's almost certain the whole system will take longer than we'd all like and the challenges aren't trivial (though one can't expect miracles when the lander was only selected in 2021 and "oh btw, for 2025 please thank you"), but they're not sitting doing nothing while the flight tests move forward. And regarding the whole thing about how many launches, the estimates we've been getting from different NASA personnel this year alone have varied from high single digits to high teens, I think there's still a lot of water needs to flow under the bridge before performance stabilises and a more precise number is determined.

I will say, I don't think it was the right choice for the first landing. They were going to work on a lot of this anyway, but it's overkill in capacity and there are many unknowns to put the pressure of a first landing date on. I'd be happy to see the BO option pick up the slack if NASA get tired of waiting, it seems like a more reasonable approach for the first steps, though it's worth noting they also rely on orbital propellant transfer and have boil off to deal with, and New Glenn still unflown. Then, if we get as far as needing higher cargo on the surface for more extended stays, Starship would have hopefully matured enough by then. On the up side, NASA is investing in new technology which, even if it makes for a crap lunar program, will end up benefiting spaceflight in the long run, hopefully.
 

Urwumpe

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It's rather like saying that the USAF stopped all B-52 evolution in favor of more advanced bombers. That is quite true, but B-52s are still flying and fulfilling missions in parallel with its more advanced progeny.

The B-52 got quite a few updates since, that is not the plane that flew in the early 1960s. But yes, its the more economic plane than anything that came later. Of course at a price.
 

Thunder Chicken

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The B-52 got quite a few updates since, that is not the plane that flew in the early 1960s. But yes, its the more economic plane than anything that came later. Of course at a price.
True, but that is true for any large mechanical system. It's usually much less costly to make minor improvements to an already solid and stable system than to toss it out and start new. I would expect Falcon 9 might get some minor part updates as they get more experience and see what are the critical wear items, but I would expect those sorts of refinements could be implemented at refurbishments. At the end of the day, the Falcon 9 is a couple of cryogenic tanks with rocket engines and actuators to push stuff into space and fly back. It's complex, but it's not that complex.
 

kuddel

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Funny how it sounds when the RCS fire.
Remindes my of the tubing of the central-heating at my home when a valve is closed to quick and causes "a backslash" (if that's the right term) :unsure:
...and Yes, there is some air-pockets in the system that should not be there :D (in my central-heating I mean)
 

Thunder Chicken

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Funny how it sounds when the RCS fire.
Remindes my of the tubing of the central-heating at my home when a valve is closed to quick and causes "a backslash" (if that's the right term) :unsure:
That's pretty much what is happening - monopropellant valves opening and closing rapidly.
 
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