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Spacex picked by NASA for Moon Lander

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Spacex picked by NASA for Moon Lander

Old 17th Apr 2021, 11:59
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Spacex picked by NASA for Moon Lander



NASA is getting ready to send astronauts to explore more of the Moon as part of the Artemis program, and the agency has selected SpaceX to continue development of the first commercial human lander that will safely carry the next two American astronauts to the lunar surface.

The agency’s powerful Space Launch System rocket will launch four astronauts aboard the Orion spacecraft for their multi-day journey to lunar orbit. There, two crew members will transfer to the SpaceX human landing system (HLS) for the final leg of their journey to the surface of the Moon.

After approximately a week exploring the surface, they will board the lander for their short trip back to orbit where they will return to Orion and their colleagues before heading back to Earth.

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Old 17th Apr 2021, 17:19
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post


NASA is getting ready to send astronauts to explore more of the Moon as part of the Artemis program, and the agency has selected SpaceX to continue development of the first commercial human lander that will safely carry the next two American astronauts to the lunar surface.

The agency’s powerful Space Launch System rocket will launch four astronauts aboard the Orion spacecraft for their multi-day journey to lunar orbit. There, two crew members will transfer to the SpaceX human landing system (HLS) for the final leg of their journey to the surface of the Moon.

After approximately a week exploring the surface, they will board the lander for their short trip back to orbit where they will return to Orion
and their colleagues before heading back to Earth.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-sA3R4MWjA
Bizarre when they could go all the way from Earth and back via SpaceX...
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Old 19th Apr 2021, 12:39
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Orion has been ready for years, SLS is the delaying factor. If they don't get that up and running soon, Space X will pick up the pieces. It's all politics and money.
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Old 23rd Apr 2021, 19:08
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Originally Posted by TURIN View Post
Orion has been ready for years, SLS is the delaying factor. If they don't get that up and running soon, Space X will pick up the pieces. It's all politics and money.
I'll bet my next paycheck that, given the opportunity, SpaceX could fit an upgraded upper stage to Falcon Heavy, put Orion (or an upgraded Crew Dragon) on top, and be on the moon before NASA and Boeing get SLS off the ground on its first test flight.
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Old 27th Apr 2021, 12:28
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https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/26/s...ue-origin.html

Jeff Bezos’ Rocket Company Challenges NASA Over SpaceX Moon Lander Deal

Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, two of the richest men in the world, both with dreams of leading humanity out into the solar system, are fighting over the moon.

On Monday, Blue Origin, the rocket company founded by Mr. Bezos, who will step down as Amazon’s chief executive later this year, filed a 50-page protest with the federal Government Accountability Office, challenging a $2.9 billion contract to SpaceX from NASA to build a lander for American astronauts to return to the moon.

NASA announced this month that Mr. Musk’s SpaceX was the sole winner in the competition, beating Blue Origin and a third company, Dynetics of Huntsville, Ala., a defense contractor.

Dynetics also filed a protest with the G.A.O. on Monday. The company did not reply to questions about its response. NASA acknowledged it had been notified of the protests. “NASA cannot provide further comment due to pending litigation,” the agency said in a statement emailed by a spokeswoman.

Bob Smith, chief executive of Blue Origin, said NASA’s decision was based on flawed evaluations of the bids — misjudging advantages of Blue Origin’s proposal and downplaying technical challenges in SpaceX’s. He also said NASA had placed a bigger emphasis on bottom-line cost than it said it would.

“It’s really atypical for NASA to make these kinds of errors,” Mr. Smith said in an interview. “They’re generally quite good at acquisition, especially its flagship missions like returning America to the surface of the moon. We felt that these errors needed to be addressed and remedied.”

He added that in any case, the space agency should have stuck with a desire it had stated many times, of wanting to hand out awards to two companies.

SpaceX did not reply to a request for comment, but ina tweet directed at a Times reporter, Mr. Musk made a remark that played off the fact that Blue Origin has not yet achieved orbit with any of its rockets.......

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Old 27th Apr 2021, 13:06
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Musk has a point. Blue Origin has been playing around with sub-orbital five minute joy rides for years. Their aspirations do not meet with reality. Also, their rocket looks like a dildo.
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Old 28th Apr 2021, 12:51
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although the latest Spacex launch went without a hitch, and the whole Crew Dragon spacecraft seems to be doing its job very well, The Boeing Starliner is still in the development phase..if the 2nd test flight does not go well this summer, one wonders if the whole program will get canned..

Which leads me on to my point..with the stunning success of Perseverance on Mars, especially the Ingenuity Mars helicopter,, is crewed spaceflight still relevant?

So Spacex have the contract to land humans back on the Moon, after 50 odd years..What will these new Astronauts achieve, that the Apollo crews didnt?

Back in the 50s and 60s, automation was in its infancy, computers were crude and unreliable, so sending a man (or woman) up into space was the politically sound option..

But now the politcal will is somewhat different, and off-the-shelf hardware can make space exploration with probes a far cheaper (and more reliable) option.

any thoughts?
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Old 28th Apr 2021, 13:49
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Originally Posted by ATSA1 View Post
Back in the 50s and 60s, automation was in its infancy, computers were crude and unreliable, so sending a man (or woman) up into space was the politically sound option..
Politically a man going to the Moon was an absolute given, regardless of the state of computation/automation, simply because JFK didn't just pledge a Moon landing before the end of the decade, he made a pledge of "landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely....."

Automation/computation wasn't massively robust in the sixties but it was improving throughout the decade - both the Soviets and the Americans soft landed ( well soft'ish in the Soviet case) automated spacecraft on the Moon back in 1966 (Luna9/Surveyor 1 respectively)....it's perhaps worth nothing that American's were successful at their first attempt and also much around the same time (66-67) they also had a 100% success rate with their five Lunar Orbiter missions.

Even the Apollo LM was highly automated and there was some debate early on in the design phase about whether there was any reason for allowing any manual input. Fortunately common sense prevailed but the machine was still designed and built to fly by default all the way down to touchdown on automatics unless somebody intervened. As it turned out nobody ever did allow a LM to autoland, I don't think pride would have let any of the six commanders who did land allow such a thing to happen.

You're right though, things have changed but I think there will always a case for a man/woman to be on the spot, but probably not so much to do the flying. In the case of Mars missions because of distances there will probably always need to be a decision maker on the spot, certainly if we ever want to see an end to processes such as geology traverses having to take weeks.... the much bigger question is whether many or any of the future crews will need to be "pilot astronauts".....

Last edited by wiggy; 28th Apr 2021 at 15:58. Reason: JFK quote
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Old 28th Apr 2021, 18:43
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OK, so we send a bunch of Geologists instead of Pilots...but its a long way to Mars...how do we keep them alive, and hopefully sane?

The life support alone, to keep half a dozen people sustained, but doing essentially nothing is hugely wasteful...

They will only be systems operators at best, so why not manage it all from the comfort of Mission Control?
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Old 29th Apr 2021, 08:46
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Originally Posted by ATSA1 View Post
OK, so we send a bunch of Geologists instead of Pilots...but its a long way to Mars...how do we keep them alive, and hopefully sane?

The life support alone, to keep half a dozen people sustained, but doing essentially nothing is hugely wasteful...

They will only be systems operators at best, so why not manage it all from the comfort of Mission Control?
Why go at all? One for the philosophers - Apollo's timescale was driven purely for political reasons.

If we do go then geologists/medics/scientists starting to take precedence over pilots is something that started a long time ago on Apollo 17 when Joe Engle (pilot, had some training in geology) was bumped off the flight after some heavy lobbying in favour of Harrison Schmitt...

Which brings us on to how long it can take to "manage" things, especially dynamic events from Mission Control in real time when the time for a radio signal to get to Mars from Earth is a minimum about 3 minutes, at max over 20 minutes .. IMHO I think they'll keep an aviation professional in crews for a while, on the pretence that they can deal with anything unexpected needing a very prompt input..

Similarly putting your geologist(s) on the spot means you don't have to move your rover around in small steps, pausing for geologists back on Earth to decide whether or not you need to send the thing back to look at that really tasty pebble you drove past ten minutes ago..


Perseverance Rover Map

Moving around on Mars
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Old 30th Apr 2021, 13:07
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Originally Posted by ATSA1 View Post
although the latest Spacex launch went without a hitch, and the whole Crew Dragon spacecraft seems to be doing its job very well, The Boeing Starliner is still in the development phase..if the 2nd test flight does not go well this summer, one wonders if the whole program will get canned..

Which leads me on to my point..with the stunning success of Perseverance on Mars, especially the Ingenuity Mars helicopter,, is crewed spaceflight still relevant?

So Spacex have the contract to land humans back on the Moon, after 50 odd years..What will these new Astronauts achieve, that the Apollo crews didnt?

Back in the 50s and 60s, automation was in its infancy, computers were crude and unreliable, so sending a man (or woman) up into space was the politically sound option..

But now the politcal will is somewhat different, and off-the-shelf hardware can make space exploration with probes a far cheaper (and more reliable) option.

any thoughts?
Well, your reply makes sense. I also don't understand why space agencies can't stop launching crewed missions. Or rather I understand that landing people on other planets means a lot for the whole world, shows the level of technical development, and something like that, but why do all forget about the risks? I also would like to be an astronaut and get into space, but I too much love my life. Space exploration is possible without people, and we all need to understand it and stop this space race.
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Old 1st May 2021, 02:41
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Elon Musk has stated often that his reasons for pursuing manned missions to Mars is to ensure the survival of the human race. To make the human race a multiplanetary species just in case that asteroid with our names on it arrives. One extinction level event is probable, two, unlikely.
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Old 11th Jun 2021, 09:37
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https://www.businessinsider.com/jeff...landing-2021-6

Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin just landed a major win over Elon Musk's SpaceX and could soon get billions more in NASA money

A giant tech-and-science bill the Senate passed on Tuesday could give Jeff Bezos' aerospace company, Blue Origin, a boost in its rivalry with SpaceX.

The sweeping US Innovation and Competition Act would pump $250 billion into research in science and technologyin the US.

An amendment to the bill would allocate an extra $10 billion to NASA's moon-lander program and require NASA to pick a second company for the project in addition to Elon Musk's SpaceX, which won its $2.9 billion contract in April.

Blue Origin had been lobbying for the extra money and hopes to be the second company NASA picks. Blue Origin has protested SpaceX's selection, calling it "unfair" and filing an official complaint with the Government Accountability Office.

In May, Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington submitted the amendment requiring NASA to award a second contract and allocate the extra funding between SpaceX and the second contractor. It didn't mention Blue Origin, but the company is based in Washington.

SpaceX pushed back, handing out flyers on Capitol Hill saying the bill would give Bezos "a $10 billion sole-source hand-out." Blue Origin replied with leaflets that said "What is Elon Musk afraid of... a little competition?"

Sen. Bernie Sanders also pushed back and tried to submit an amendment to "eliminate the multi-billion dollar Bezos Bailout." According to The Washington Post, Sanders voted against the bill, which passed 68-32 and now goes to the House.

The amendment that passed was lightly modified, The Verge reported — Cantwell's original amendment had given NASA 30 days to pick a second contractor, but that was lengthened to 60 days.

Blue Origin and SpaceX's fight over the $10 billion cash injection is the latest development in a long rivalry between the companies and their CEOs, two of the richest people on the planet. Bezos announced on Monday that on July 20 he would fly into space aboard a Blue Origin spacecraft with his brother, Mark Bezos.
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Old 23rd Jun 2021, 20:39
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In short - The Senate aren’t happy because it’s a fixed price contract and they can’t load it with pork and dictate its based in their states - but it looks like the House won’t go along with them….

https://www.bollyinside.com/news/con...vent-this-week

Congress is unhappy with SpaceX’s lunar lander and can vent this week


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Old 23rd Jun 2021, 20:48
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The way that SpaceX are going they'll do it anyway.
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Old 26th Jul 2021, 22:07
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https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-57978465

Bezos' $2bn offer to get back in race to the Moon
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Old 5th Aug 2021, 19:19
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I think Be is and Blue Origin are starting to sound desperate - and a bit embarrassing…

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/08/04/bezo...high-risk.html

Bezos’ Blue Origin calls Musk’s Starship ‘immensely complex & high risk’ for NASA moon missions


….In an infographic published on Blue Origin’s website and seen on Wednesday, the company called SpaceX using Starship to transport NASA astronauts to the lunar surface an “immensely complex & high risk” approach. Blue Origin is referring to a criticism that NASA officials made in evaluating Starship for the lunar lander program.

“There are an unprecedented number of technologies, developments, and operations that have never been done before for Starship to land on the Moon,” Blue Origin wrote.

Last Friday, the U.S. Government Accountability Office denied Blue Origin’s protest of
NASA awarding SpaceX with a $2.9 billion contract under the Human Landing System program. In threeone-pagedocuments, Blue Origin decried NASA’s decision as “wrong for America’s leadership in space” and repeated its prior critique that the space agency “ran an inconsistent and unfair competition” — even though the congressional watchdog ruled that NASA did not…..

Blue Origin’s infographic focused on comparison between its crewed lunar lander concept, which looks and operates more akin to previous U.S. landers, and SpaceX’s approach to using a moon-specific version of its Starship rocket.

Beyond criticizing Starship’s complexity, Blue Origin emphasized that SpaceX’s facility in Texas has “never conducted an orbital launch.” Yet Musk’s company has launched more than 100 successful orbital launches with its Falcon 9 rockets, and Bezos’ company has yet to reach orbit at all…..

One comparison that Blue Origin did not make was in regard to cost. NASA cited cost as a major factor in its decision to only select one winner under the Human Landing System, due to Congress granting the agency a fraction of its requested budget for the program. SpaceX bid $2.9 billion, while Blue Origin was roughly double at $5.99 billion.

In the first round of Human Landing System contracts, NASA handed out nearly $1 billion in concept development awards – with SpaceX receiving $135 million, Dynetics getting $253 million, and Blue Origin receiving $579 million….
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Old 11th Aug 2021, 08:54
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Old 16th Aug 2021, 22:31
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Bezoar suing NASA. That’s one way to make friends and win future contracts…

https://www.forbes.com/sites/kimberl...act-to-spacex/

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin Sues Over NASA’s Lunar Lander Contract To SpaceX
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Old 17th Aug 2021, 01:33
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Desperate!

Oy, Jeff, here's an idea, make orbit then talk about the moon.
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