• Saturn1300

    None of the aerospace and NASA partners has shown enough speed to land on the Moon in ’24. The only way we might make it is redo Apollo. Why not? Cool stuff. If ’28 they might make it with fancy new stuff. Too many slips. Saturn 5 would be best. Maybe fly back the 1st stage. SLS should work. With Carbon SRB. Use the cargo version. Put Orion on top with the buggy underneath. Land and drive around looking for ice. Land close enough to a dark crater and drive into the shadow and check it out. Got to prospect before we put in a USAF space-base. I just hope the dummy voters don’t use it for an excuse to vote for Trump. Vote for ANYBODY, that is not Trump. A robot Pres. would be good.

  • Andrew_M_Swallow

    A two stage lander where the lower stage is expendable will require the Gateway to refuel the upper stage and have a method of attaching the lower stage to the upper stage. Possibly a robotic arm.

  • BeanCounterFromDownUnder

    Why do they think that Orion is ‘proven technology’? More delusions.

  • ThomasLMatula

    Because as one of the Old Space firms everything they do is considered “proven” by NASA.

  • windbourne

    horrible set-up. There is no reason to make the lower stage expendable. In fact, it would be better if not.
    What is needed is a lower stage that can bring a heavy load down and then go up with a light load.
    Then have the upper stage be 1 of 3 types: fuel depot with enough fuel to bring 2 light ships up; Cargo carrier that carries cargo down; and a lightweight human carrier.
    With this approach, it will simply require a refueling on the moon, but this would be far more workable.

  • Jeff Smith

    Seeing how NASA needs some items which to make 2024 happen, ideas like this can become THE program if they meet all of the requirements. If companies aren’t putting out their Blue Moon/Silver Dragon/whatever now, this could become THE plan by default. Lockheed is smart to get out in front of the discussion.

  • Zed_WEASEL

    The LEM stages and the Apollo SM module uses Aerozine 50 hypergolic propellant. Which nobody wants to handled since it is extremely toxic and corrosive along with a high unit volume cost. Never mind that you could not start up manufacturing the LEM since the supply chain for it components in material and people are long gone.

    The SLS Block 1 with the iCPS/DCSS upper stage could only do a flyby around the Moon with a stripped down Orion stack. And will not be available until 2021 even with using software not fully tested and skipping full duration test firing of the core.

    What you are describing is the cargo version of SLS Block 2 with the EUS upper stage and NGIS composite winded casing SRB. Both of which are not currently funded and not schedule to be introduce until after 2025 if the SLS program survives until then
    Finally who is going supply the Moon buggy?

  • Andrew_M_Swallow

    An operational Moon base and ISRU are 20 years away so architectures that assume they exist are science fiction for the next 20 years. Until then the propellant is coming from Earth. So are the cargo and people. Consequently rendezvous are needed with the landers in orbit. We are planning something to land people on the Moon in only 5 years.

  • Jeff Smith

    Are you implying people aren’t mixing hydrazine nowadays, cuz they absolutely are. Hydrazine and MMH are readily available in America. Europe has gone with UDMH over MMH, but they’re similar enough for the differences to be trivial in use. No problems blending hydrazines, it’s not even really a mixture cuz they’re fully miscible with each other. They’re not particularly corrosion since you can use aluminum, CRES or Ti – all common stuff. NASA, SpaceX, ULA… EVERYBODY uses hypergolics.

  • publiusr

    Well, if you go for hypergolics, you don’t have to worry as much about boil-off.

    Then too–you lose all commonality with the nice Mars Basecamp lander.

    I like that hydrolox lander in that–if Mars is wetter than we thought–we can break the water directly into hydrogen and oxygen right there–as opposed to the Rube Goldberg methane production schemes.

  • publiusr

    Not like Proton does, but yes 😉

  • Saturn1300

    Storage. Museum. Everybody still uses hydrazine. A substitute could be found. Put in new wiring and electronics. The lander and ascent, buggy are metal and have been in storage. I doubt if any corrosion. Launch date is ’24 not ’21. NASA has carbon segments from WC Shuttle or new ones from N-G. Should be able to test fire. This is what they are going to do anyway. It boosts performance enough. They are lighter and have room for more fuel. Democrat House may balk at anything not paid for. Remove Space Force may help. Pence said by any means. This is my suggested means. The schedule on the carbon SRB can easily be changed. N-G nearly have the carbon segments ready to fire. WC Shuttle segment have had to been fired since it was only canceled 1 year before launch. You got to get creative. Your points are not justified. I thought of all that what you said before I suggested it. Thanks for asking for details. The crew access tower may be a problem. Just build the new SLS to the right height. An adapter should be easy. Go back to Apollo. Even NASA can’t think and react that fast. Never happen. Best I can think of though. New is so slow. Bids and all that. Trump could give waivers or pardons if someone breaks the law. Bridenstine said he would follow the law. He could break the law and get a pardon. Pence said any means.

  • Saturn1300

    Apollo copy and it has flew. Already tested. Will be tested more next year. Have you been sleeping?

  • windbourne

    Correct. Hence the need for 3 landing tops, including a fuel Depot.

  • windbourne

    Methane is trivial to manufacture there. It is well known chemical process.

  • duheagle

    Not an Apollo copy, it’s bigger. A test article flew a few years ago without a real service module and with a heat shield that has since been heavily redesigned. The test article had no ECLSS either, and, according to current plans, neither will the Orion test article for EM-1. Given that Orion has been under development for 15 years, it seems like it should be a lot further along than it is.

  • duheagle

    Not what I’d call a very detailed proposal. Even so, certain obvious questions arise.

    1) What “proven Orion technology?” Hypergolic thrusters are about all that comes to mind. The Orion ECLSS could maybe be put in a lander, but it isn’t proven.

    2) What Orion technology, proven or otherwise, will contribute to descent and ascent engines and landing legs?

    3) Why should we believe a contractor claiming it can design and build a lander in five years when it hasn’t proven able to design and build a capsule in 15?

  • Saturn1300

    SpecificationsDesign life14 daysLaunch mass32,390 pounds (14,690 kg) Earth orbit
    63,500 pounds (28,800 kg) LunarDry mass26,300 pounds (11,900 kg)Payload capacity2,320 pounds (1,050 kg)Crew capacity3Dimensions36.2 feet (11.0 m) high
    12.8 feet (3.9 m) diameterVolume218 cubic feet (6.2 m3)PowerFuel cellsRegimeLow Earth orbit
    Cislunar space
    Lunar orbit
    ProductionStatusRetiredBuilt35Launched19Operational19Failed2Lost1First launchFebruary 26, 1966Last launchJuly 15, 1975Last retirementJuly

    Orion biger, better huh?

  • Saturn1300

    This is just to land, look around and takeoff. That is all they want. It fulfills the order from Trump. Other designs will come by ’28-’33. I am sure all of us can design a super duper system.

  • therealdmt

    Pence said “any means” but he didn’t mean “any means”.

    2 sentences after he said “by any means necessary”, he continued, “Our administration is committed to this goal. And this President, this administration, and the American people are committed to achieving that goal at the Marshall Space Flight Center. (Applause.)

    But the truth is, we’re committed to Marshall, the incredible history that you have here. But to be clear, we’re not committed to any one contractor. If our current contractors can’t meet this objective, then we’ll find ones that will. If American industry can provide critical commercial services without government development, then we’ll buy them. And if commercial rockets are the only way to get American astronauts to the Moon in the next five years, then commercial rockets it will be.”

    And he continues on from there, going on and on about Marshall and Alabama, specifically stating that the rockets that return us to the moon will be built from there.

    Therefore, “by any means necessary” actually means “by any means that transfers sufficient money into MSFC for it to be able to satisfy the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, the Hon. Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama, who considers MSFC to be his state’s crown jewel. That is very different than “by any means necessary”.

  • Terry Stetler

    Supposedly a Starship refuelled in an elliptical orbit could land on the moon , do mission ops then return without refuelling. Musk also said the tanks could get cryocoolers, if needed, to prevent boiloff

  • Saturn1300

    Maybe. Bridenstine is the Captain. He might have to do a Kirk or any Star Fleet captain and break a few rules. Just don’t do anything really stupid. Think. Be creative. His crew can do most anything.

  • Andrew_M_Swallow

    Marshal Space Flight Centre developed the Mighty Eagle mini lander which uses hydrogen peroxide. I accept you will need hundreds of 60 lbf thrusters to fly a manned lander but it is a start. There are other green fuels around.


  • Andrew_M_Swallow

    The Dragon 2 and CST-100 will have proven life support systems within 2 years. Also ask Paragon if they can supply a full ECLSS for a manned lander able to operate for 2-3 weeks within 2 years.


  • passinglurker

    There is no reason to make the lower stage expendable.

    Other than the lack of an LV that can deliver such a large lander to lunar orbit.

  • passinglurker

    letting “the best be the enemy of the good” in action folks…

  • passinglurker

    its in a longer version of the video but I do find it kinda clever how you use the panels thier tooling already makes to put together a smaller pressure vessel. Bonus points for using the panels with the hatch holes as landing portholes.

    that being said… how do they astronauts get out? Like is the cabin one big airlock? If so what atmos pressure are they running? because going from a normal nitrogen/oxygen mix to pure oxygen suit pressure takes a few hours of pre breathing unless they cook up a suit that can let them operate at higher pressure.

  • windbourne

    who said that it has to be huge?

  • passinglurker


  • Paul451

    What is needed is a lower stage that can bring a heavy load down and then go up with a light load.

    Wouldn’t it make more sense to have an uncrasher stage? (NASA’s “tug” 3-stager is heading in that direction, but they tried to minimise the “tug” instead of maximising it. (Presumably because the need for the tug is embarrassing.)

    Do you ferrying to LLO and around 2km/s deorbit burn, then stage and kick back to NRO. A single-stage lander handles the final few hundred m/s touchdown/landing and the launch back to NRO.

    If budget is an issue (and it will be) and you want to (inevitably, being NASA) defer development costs down the track, you can start out with am expendable crasher stage, promising to upgrade once it’s proven.

    [Alternatively, if ISRU fuel does become available on the surface, you convert the crasher into a refuelable lander.]

  • duheagle

    Well, Orion is physically larger. It can support a crew of four for 21 days and has some kind of toilet facility so, yeah, I’d say it’s certainly a qualitatively better ride than the Apollo astronauts had to endure. On the other hand, one has to acknowledge that the degree of progress represented seems pretty modest considering the intervening five decades. One also has to acknowledge that a two-decade development schedule and a budget in the double-digit billions both seem more than a tad excessive.

  • Robert G. Oler

    It shows how bad the notion of “the gateway” is…but how important it is to do it politically

    It doesnt matter…none of this will happen… 🙁