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NASA

Old 29th Mar 2019, 20:41
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"Urgency must be our watchword..." Don't think I'll volunteer for that mission.
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Old 29th Mar 2019, 21:17
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All the NASA astronauts did.
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Old 29th Mar 2019, 21:18
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Originally Posted by treadigraph View Post
Thanks Wiggy. I'd mentally inserted another mission between those commanded by Schirra and Borman - 8 was an even bolder mission than I remembered. Time for a re-read of the various NASA biographies I have...
Iím just about to finish reading ďRocket MenĒ by Robert Kurson, an excellent history and backstory of the Apollo 8 mission, including very readable biographies of the main characters (not just the astronauts) and all set in the context of the Cold War and the turmoil in American politics and social trends of the time.

Highly recommended.

ISBN 9780812988703 (hardback)
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Old 29th Mar 2019, 21:54
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
All the NASA astronauts did.
I know and perhaps urgency over safety killed some of them.
But don't get me wrong, NASA has done wonderful things.
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Old 29th Mar 2019, 22:22
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Originally Posted by eckhard View Post


Iím just about to finish reading ďRocket MenĒ by Robert Kurson, an excellent history and backstory of the Apollo 8 mission, including very readable biographies of the main characters (not just the astronauts) and all set in the context of the Cold War and the turmoil in American politics and social trends of the time.

Highly recommended.

ISBN 9780812988703 (hardback)
my recommended reading is Carrying the Fire by Michael Collins. Nice guy.
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Old 29th Mar 2019, 22:38
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[QUOTE=james ozzie;10433649]
Originally Posted by WingNut60 View Post
If Helium-3 is so abundant on the moon, why do they need to go to the back side to look for it?
(EDIT - OK, theoretically much higher concentrations in the dark)

WN are you suggesting there is a "Dark Side" of the moon? This erroneous notion was again all over the media recently. There is a "far side" but it has a normal day-night cycle (14+14 earth days in the case of the moon).
No, but it's an easier expression to use than explaining as you did.
I also was aware of this, but also, only recently.

However there is a theory (because no-one actually knows) that Helium-3 levels are much higher on the "rear" side of the moon - Lassiter's Lost Reef.
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Old 29th Mar 2019, 23:35
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  • is both very very very expensive, which is really hard to politically justify these days
Once the American's got to the Moon the race was over and neither side could sustain the spending. There were some politicians who were pretty much calling for Apollo to be cancelled as soon as Apollo 11 touched down, because it was "job done" with one landing. Also, certainly according to some histories, one of the reasons the Apollo programme tailed off relatively quickly was because President Nixon and others around him were worried about the political fallout they would suffer if there were Apollo fatalities whilst they were in office.
Exactly quite rightly what is exactly the point?
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Old 30th Mar 2019, 07:58
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To show we can? Because it's there? Because man must explore?.........

All a bit philosophical at this time of the morning, though is it fair to point out Governments spend a heck of a lot of taxpayers money on things where in all honesty "what is exactly the point" would be a fair question....

Use modern technology to get the price down and get private investors involved and TBH it's their decision...best of luck to them.
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Old 30th Mar 2019, 23:13
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I see the fantasy of mining the moon for precious minerals has raised its dirty shovel again. The theme of many a Sci fi movie and a justification of returning to the moon.
One of my favourite type of TV shows is the gold mining in the Yukon/Alaska/wherever. Who doesn't like seeing gold being found?
But one thing stands out and that's the eye watering investment the miners must make before a single nugget is dug out of the ground. Usually the narrator intones 'Rick needs to find a million dollars worth of gold to break even this season'. That's on Earth in a place you can drive to in a truck not the moon. If a mineral was so abundant on the moon that it was worth harvesting it would depress the price so much that it's not worth bringing back.

Of course if it was unobtainium that would be different.

Another unicorn.


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Old 30th Mar 2019, 23:51
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Originally Posted by Steepclimb View Post
If a mineral was so abundant on the moon that it was worth harvesting it would depress the price so much that it's not worth bringing back.

Of course if it was unobtainium that would be different.

Another unicorn.
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It's not that Helium-3 is not obtainable on earth, or that it can't be manufactured.
It's just that it's very expensive.
But then, so is mining on the moon.
Production: Current (2014) US industrial consumption of helium-3 is approximately 60,000 liters (approximately 8 kg) per year; cost at auction has typically been approximately $100/liter although increasing demand has raised prices to as much as $2,000/liter in recent years.
Of high priority would be building a power source sufficient to run a mining operation.
Then you need to find a method of cooling all that operating machinery.
And importantly you will still need to address the problem of the greenies beating your door down because you've just run over the man in the moon.

Helium-3 on the Moon
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Old 31st Mar 2019, 00:21
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Originally Posted by WingNut60 View Post
It's not that Helium-3 is not obtainable on earth, or that it can't be manufactured.
It's just that it's very expensive.
But then, so is mining on the moon.


Of high priority would be building a power source sufficient to run a mining operation.
Then you need to find a method of cooling all that operating machinery.
And importantly you will still need to address the problem of the greenies beating your door down because you've just run over the man in the moon.

Helium-3 on the Moon
Very good! I hate to be so negative because as a child of the space age who sat up all night as a nine year old to watch Armstrong step on the moon. It was mind blowing and no wonder some people think it's faked. 1969 moon landing live on TV, no way?
The problem is that we humans have reached a point that many things are possible but some aren't practical. Concorde anyone?

Unless there is a massive breakthrough in propulsion, space is too expensive to be worthwhile.
Mars is financially out of reach.



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Old 31st Mar 2019, 00:32
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Originally Posted by Steepclimb View Post
Very good! I hate to be so negative because as a child of the space age who sat up all night as a nine year old to watch Armstrong step on the moon. It was mind blowing and no wonder some people think it's faked. 1969 moon landing live on TV, no way?
The problem is that we humans have reached a point that many things are possible but some aren't practical. Concorde anyone?

Unless there is a massive breakthrough in propulsion, space is too expensive to be worthwhile.
Mars is financially out of reach.
Like you, I hate to appear to be negative.
Somewhere down the track this may all become practical. But to become an attractive option it all has to become RELATIVELY cheap - note my emphasis on "relative".

It will become practical only when it becomes cheaper, in the grand scheme of things, than the alternatives.
And that's a long, long way off.

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Old 31st Mar 2019, 00:45
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Totally agree. It has to be practical. Will that time ever come?, I hope it does.
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Old 31st Mar 2019, 02:23
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Originally Posted by WingNut60 View Post
Like you, I hate to appear to be negative.
Somewhere down the track this may all become practical. But to become an attractive option it all has to become RELATIVELY cheap - note my emphasis on "relative".

It will become practical only when it becomes cheaper, in the grand scheme of things, than the alternatives.
And that's a long, long way off.
Everything old is new again. $100 million earmarked for NASA to develop nuclear thermal rocket engines
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Old 31st Mar 2019, 07:21
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I accept that it may be considered a naive opinion but it just feels like itís important for mankind to keep pushing forward with space travel for reasons of exploration alone.
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Old 31st Mar 2019, 08:50
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From an engineering and organisational point of view, the Saturn V and the Apollo missions were absolutely awesome, and an incredible achievement. I applaud it unreservedly.

As a child I was allowed to stay up late to watch a grainy image of Commander Armstrong setting foot on the moon. I have been to Cape Canaveral several times, where I spent ages just looking up at the Saturn V first stage and its incredible F1 engines. I have researched and learned much about its construction and design, and the NASA Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions. From a pilot’s point of view - in terms of how we deal with serious problems in the air and CRM - I was fascinated by the Apollo 13 mission recovery, and have personally met and spoken with the Commander, Jim Lovell.

BUT; at the risk of being a killjoy; there are many more far more important things for the human race to spend money on now. Renewable energy sources. More efficient use of energy. Housing, Infrastructure, Health care, The environment, Education, Recycling. Preventing poaching of endangered species. Population size. Eradicating single use plastics. Very boring compared to a monster living breathing rocket, but far more important for the planet and the human race.

Manned rockets are boys toys. For sure we get some technology spin-offs, but realistically, we have far more important things to spend our money on and task our scientists, designers and engineers with than manned rocket missions.
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Old 31st Mar 2019, 09:13
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Originally Posted by Harley Quinn View Post
All this discussion about how hard it's going to be in the timescale really puts into context the massive achievement of NASA'S Apollo (I realise that wasn't done in isolation) programme 50 years ago.
Where and why did it all go wrong?
Did it all go wrong? I know that after Apollo came the Space Shuttle, Apollo was cut short to have more financial strength for the STS. What happened was, that the STS was not as cost-effective as it was envisaged to be. Later there were decades of 'not-enough-funding' to keep the STS program going amongst other things and to develop the next STS.
Could we just take the blueprints from Saturn 5 and Apollo? I don't think so, Things have changed in production. Do you know how much difficulty they had in finding the welders with sufficient skills? You will have many more problems now as a welder is an artist and highly skilled welders are difficult to find. You could weld by robot, but you start to re-develop the Saturn 5.
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Old 31st Mar 2019, 09:24
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Why bother, when SpaceX have the Falcon Heavy and, shortly, the BFG/Starship......
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Old 1st Apr 2019, 08:54
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Yes. The heavy lift capability will be available soon but the logistics of adding a lunar landing capability is where I see the delay and a great deal of cost.

Obviously itís different this time around as NASA have proved, albeit fifty years ago, that itís possible. Will be fascinating to monitor progress.

😃
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Old 2nd Apr 2019, 11:41
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Originally Posted by ThorMos View Post
Could we just take the blueprints from Saturn 5 and Apollo? I don't think so, Things have changed in production. Do you know how much difficulty they had in finding the welders with sufficient skills? You will have many more problems now as a welder is an artist and highly skilled welders are difficult to find. You could weld by robot, but you start to re-develop the Saturn 5.
Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne has developed the F-1B, which is a redesign of the increased performance F-1A. It provides more thrust, uses modern production technology that does not require super skilled welding technicians, simplifies the turbine systems, and reduces part count from more than 5000 to less than 100. Nasa will be evaluating this and other engines for the strap on boosters of the future SLS. Current boosters are based on the solid rocket boosters from the Shuttle program. Future strap ons may be liquid fueled for better performance and the F-1B is a candidate engine for those boosters.

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