Lockheed's Prototype Habitat Plans for NASA's Lunar Orbiting Deep Space Gateway

Artist rendering of the NextSTEP habitat docked with Orion in cislunar orbit as part of a concept for the Deep Space Gateway. Orion will serve as the habitat’s command deck in early missions, providing critical communications, life support and navigation to guide long-duration missions. Credits: Lockheed Martin

Last summer, NASA selected six companies to develop prototypes and concepts for deep space habitats for future crews flying missions on Orion. Lockheed Martin was one of them, and this week the company released some details on plans for their full-scale prototype, which they hope to complete over the next 18 months.

Lockheed is developing the prototype under a Phase II contract with NASA’s Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships (NextSTEP) program, as part of the space agency’s plans to build a crew tended spaceport in lunar orbit within the first few SLS / Orion missions known as the “Deep Space Gateway”.

When astronauts return to Earth from destinations beyond the moon in NASA’s Orion spacecraft and splashdown in the Pacific Ocean, they’ll still need to safely get out of the spacecraft and back on dry land. Using the waters off the coast of Galveston, Texas, a NASA and Department of Defense team recently tested Orion exit procedures in a variety of scenarios. Credit: NASA

The deep space gateway would have a power bus, a small habitat to extend crew time, docking capability, an airlock, and serviced by logistics modules to enable research,” says NASA. “The propulsion system on the gateway mainly uses high power electric propulsion for station keeping and the ability to transfer among a family of orbits in the lunar vicinity. The three primary elements of the gateway, the power and propulsion bus and habitat module, and a small logistics module(s), would take advantage of the cargo capacity of SLS and crewed deep space capability of Orion. An airlock can further augment the capabilities of the gateway and can fly on a subsequent exploration mission. Building the deep space gateway will allow engineers to develop new skills and test new technologies that have evolved since the assembly of the ISS.”

It is easy to take things for granted when you are living at home, but the recently selected astronauts will face unique challenges,” said Bill Pratt, Lockheed Martin NextSTEP program manager. “Something as simple as calling your family is completely different when you are outside of low Earth orbit,” he added.

“While building this habitat, we have to operate in a different mindset that’s more akin to long trips to Mars to ensure we keep them safe, healthy and productive.”

Such an outpost will give astronauts opportunity to build and begin testing the systems needed for the very challenging missions to Mars that NASA has its eyes set on in the coming decades. It offers a true deep space environment to gain experience and land on the moon’s surface for robotic missions; but with the ability to return to Earth if needed in days – rather than weeks or months on missions further into space in the years following.

Lockheed’s vision takes the old Donatello Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM), once used in the payload bay of the space shuttles to transfer cargo to the ISS, and refurbishes it to prototype their deep space habitat in the Space Station Processing Facility at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

We are excited to work with NASA to repurpose a historic piece of flight hardware, originally designed for low Earth orbit exploration, to play a role in humanity’s push into deep space,” said Pratt. “Making use of existing capabilities will be a guiding philosophy for Lockheed Martin to minimize development time and meet NASA’s affordability goals.”

Lockheed says they will rely heavily on mixed reality prototyping using virtual and augmented reality, to reduce cost and schedule, and identify and solve problems early in the design phase.

The company will build a next-generation deep space avionics integration lab near Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas too, to demonstrate command and control between the Deep Space Gateway and Orion.

Artist concept of the Deep Space Gateway for NASA. Credit: NASA/Lockheed

The lab will help reduce risk associated with critical data interfaces between Deep Space Gateway elements and provide an environment for astronauts to train for various mission scenarios,” says Lockheed.

Because the Deep Space Gateway would be uninhabited for several months at a time, it has to be rugged, reliable and have the robotic capabilities to operate autonomously. Essentially it is a robotic spacecraft that is well-suited for humans when Orion is present,” said Pratt.

Orion will actually serve as the command deck for the gateway early on says Lockheed, “allowing for a safe and practical approach for the incremental build-up of deep space exploration capabilities.” And when no crew is onboard, it will utilize capabilities common to other Lockheed-built spacecraft like Juno and MAVEN.

The other 5 companies selected for prototypes are:

  • Bigelow Aerospace of Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Boeing of Pasadena, Texas
  • Orbital ATK of Dulles, Virginia
  • Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Space Systems of Louisville, Colorado
  • NanoRacks of Webster, Texas

I envision different partners, both international and commercial, contributing to the gateway and using it in a variety of ways with a system that can move to different orbits to enable a variety of missions,” said William Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for Human Exploration and Operations at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “The gateway could move to support robotic or partner missions to the surface of the moon, or to a high lunar orbit to support missions departing from the gateway to other destinations in the solar system.”

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101 comments to Lockheed’s Prototype Habitat Plans for NASA’s Lunar Orbiting Deep Space Gateway

  • James

    “It offers a true deep space environment to gain experience and land on the moon’s surface for robotic missions; but with the ability to return to Earth if needed in days – rather than weeks or months on missions further into space in the years following.” –Mike Killian

    If we seriously intend to get folks as safely as possible to the Lunar surface to set up a polar resource tapping base and do other affordable and useful tasks, we need an easy to modify habitat that has six or more docking ports and a robotic arm.

    The habitat also needs to be in a stable low Lunar orbit to reduce radiation exposure and Lunar surface mission risks and delta-v requirements.

    Otherwise, the habitat is simply a gross waste of taxpayer money that will be cancelled by a future goofy and highly partisan President who would say ‘Forget about tapping Lunar resources to reduce the risks and costs of human spaceflight because human missions to Ceres or Pluto or Alpha Centauri would be cheaper and a much bigger benefit to my political party.’

    Note:

    “But the Tesla boss added: ‘To really get the public real fired up, I think we’ve got to have a base on the moon.’

    ‘Having some permanent presence on another heavenly body, which would be the kind of moon base, and then getting people to Mars and beyond – that’s the continuance of the dream of Apollo that I think people are really looking for,’ he added.”

    From: ‘Elon Musk: We need moon base to get people ‘fired up’ about space travel’
    Thursday July 20, 2017
    At: http://news.sky.com/story/elon-musk-we-need-moon-base-to-get-people-fired-up-about-space-travel-10954806

  • James

    What are some of the possible implications of our apparent space policy shift to using the SLS, International Orion, and Lunar Orbiting Deep Space Gateway to help build a permanent Lunar Base and tap Lunar resources?

    To securely and robustly meet our Cislunar transportation needs we will need a great diversity of international and private spacecraft types and in-space propellant resupply capabilities in LEO, GEO, and Low Lunar Orbit.

    When the Europeans build the next version of the International Orion’s Service Module one would expect that the option of resupplying the Service Module with propellant and other needed supplies while in orbit will be near the top of their design criteria priorities.

    Doubling or tripling the Orion’s propellant load’s delta-v performance capability would also be critical.

    The SLS and International Orion could end up supporting Lunar resource tapping, diplomatic, scientific, business, and Space Corps missions in Cislunar Space for many decades.

    See:
    ‘Classified Shuttle Missions: Secrets in Space’ By Elizabeth Howell October 26, 2016
    At:https://www.space.com/34522-secret-shuttle-missions.html

    There might be international involvement with the proposed American Space Corps, along with Orion mission cost sharing options, right from the beginning.

    Would Russia, China, India, Japan, Canada, Australia, and astronauts from many other areas besides Europe sometimes jointly fly Space Corps and other types of missions in the International Orion?

    Will our Space Corps astronauts eventually fly some missions in the beyond LEO capable spacecraft of other nations?

    Could the International Space Station be modified or rebuilt with new modules that can greatly extend its lifespan and allow it to serve as an initial in-orbit staging facility for the Orion and other space vehicles and include spacecraft propellant resupply options to enable a wide diversity of Cislunar missions?

  • Tracy the Troll

    James,
    How much will this proposal by LM cost…$50B…$75B?

    • James

      Good question. Wish I knew.

      Modules from other countries will also most likely be involved.

      Remember that this station could perhaps grow and grow and be used for a long time.

      To be really useful, it needs to be able to store and transfer lots of propellant… That should be doable, but a bit tricky.

  • TomPerkins

    Why is it still a metal can, when plastic shielded fabric modules a la Bigelow are known to be far safer with respect to micro-meteoroid impact and radiation?

    • James

      TomPerkins –

      For serious radiation protection:

      “Interim Report for the Human Exploration of the Moon and Mars: Space radiation protection and mitigation strategies for a long term duration lunar base (a NASA funded study)”

      At: http://human.space.edu/files/Barcelona-Paper.pdf

      Look at page 3 and the blue numbers.

      Basically, at a minimum, for long-term missions you need a 111 to 185 cm thick aluminum radiation shield or some equivalent radiation shielding material.

      However, you mainly need super thick shielding on the space station’s side that is facing away from the Lunar surface if you are in a stable Low Lunar Orbit. That stable Low Lunar Orbit could offer a huge radiation shielding mass reduction as well as other benefits.

      Some folks state 4 to 5 meters of water would also work.

      Compacted regolith and rocks with an average density of around 2.7 gm per cubic cm might be a bit better than aluminum when compared on an equal mass basis.

      Regolith mixed with water is also apparently a useful shielding material.

      About 4 meters of dense plastic can shield about the same as 4 meters of water or perhaps a bit better.

      Hauling heavy radiation shielding up from Earth’s deep gravity well is probably a bit costly and silly when regolith is so close.

      Building huge and 200 cm deep, zippered, and outside the habitat fabric pockets might work pretty good for “fabric modules a la Bigelow”.

      Stuff the long and wide and 200 cm deep fabric pockets with 50 cm x 50 cm x 50 cm sealed platic bags of regolith and rocks every time a Lander comes up from the Lunar surface.

      The 200 cm deep pockets of regolith and rock radiation shielding would eventually reach an adequate level of radiation protection for an emergency long-term stay at the Low Lunar Orbit Space Gateway.

      Inside the habitat 50 cm of dense plastic or water radiation shielding could compliment the outside habitat regolith/rock shielding and be all that was available initially.

      Obviously, we need propellant produced on the Lunar surface ASAP.

      Robotic cargo/regolith hauling Landers would also be useful.

      If Jeff Bezos’ large reusable Blue Moon lander was hauling cargo down and regolith/rocks up, it would speed up the radiation shield building process.

      Russia, Europe, China, Japan, India, Moon Express, Orbital ATK, SpaceX, ULA, and other folks might also build reusable Landers.

      These are interesting times in Cislunar Space.

      • James Moon Miner

        “…shielding on the space station’s side that is facing away from the Lunar surface”

        cosmic radiation (both solar and galactic) is isotropic, it makes no sense to preferentially shield one side of an orbiting s/c more than the other. For a s/c in low lunar orbit, the bulk of the planet does reduce the total flux of very high energy GCRs somewhat, but that is offset by the fast neutron backscatter from the lunar surface.

        “About 4 meters of dense plastic can shield…”
        “dense plastic” makes no sense. For radiation shielding, the lowest density polyethlyne is the most effective, due to its high hydrogen content.

        Oh well, at least you’re still not going on and on about using lunar iron for radiation shielding, I guess that’s progress of sorts.

      • TomPerkins

        ” For serious radiation protection: ”

        You mean for useless levels of radiation protection. The reasonable standard of only 5% increase in cancers requires only a few inches of Polyethylene. 1 foot of PE would reduce the risk to be far below such acceptable levels. This would be about 600 pounds per square meter, in reality far less is required.

        Why are you pretending tens of feet in thickness are even beneficial, let alone required?

        http://journalofcosmology.com/Mars124.html

        • James

          TomPerkins –

          “1 foot of PE would reduce the risk to be far below such acceptable levels” and might be OK for older males on relatively short LEO and Lunar missions.

          But what is considered to be a NASA accepted risk for short missions with older male astronauts isn’t likely to be an acceptable risk by NASA and taxpayers and folks in Congress for those long space missions with young female and male astronauts.

          When you start planning for repeated 3 month long or 6 month long or 3 year long missions that together add up to an astronaut’s career total of many years in the deep space environment or on the Lunar surface, it is a vastly different story.

          A Lunar surface rover might have “1 foot of PE” or more, but most of the time an astronaut would sleep and eat and work and play and talk to human and AI android folks in an environment with a 5 meter regolith shield or some other type of composite GCR shield that is equivalent in its ability to stop GCR and the other types of secondary radiation that GCR creates inside the shield.

          Orbiting in Low Lunar Orbit helps to make use of the Moon as a shield against high energy GCR and that radiation is very difficult to effectively shield against so having the Moon block out almost half of the high energy GCR is a big win-win for Lunar orbit Space Station.

          Mars has a thin atmosphere that helps a bit with GCRs and especially with GCR that are coming in at angle and thus have to penetrate more of the atmosphere. If you want to think about locations for future Mars colonies, consider the lowest places on Mars, because those areas give you additional atmospheric shielding against GCRs.

          Deep canyons on the Moon, Ceres, or Mars or even parking your rover next to a huge boulder or between two huge boulders could give you some partial and useful GCR shielding.

          The Moon doesn’t yet have any significant atmosphere, but maybe someday we will change that.

          However, even the Mars colony folks want to get their habitats under about 5 meters of Mars dirt in order to get the GCR shielding needed for long visits or permanent residence.

          Lunar orbit space stations and surface habitats face a similar situation. Most likely 5 meters of compressed regolith and rock would pretty much get you close to the radiation levels we have on Earth which is mostly protected from the highest energy GCR by our massive and thick atmosphere.

          A mass of water equal to what our atmosphere provides us on a per square foot or square centimeter or square inch basis would give you a column about 10 meters high. That would be over 32 feet high. A water shield that thick would be an excellent GCR Shield.

          Could we get by with a space station or spaceship with a four meter thick water GCR shield or a two meter thick compressed regolith GCR shield that goes all the way around our deep space habitat and fly a three year mission?

          Probably.

          Would a thicker shield of water than four meters, or some other material that is just about as dense or denser than water and better at shielding GCR, be more beneficial for the astronauts and especially for young female astronauts that someday want to have healthy babies?

          Sure.

          Talking about shielding in deep space is pretty much meaningless without talking about the duration of the mission, the age and sex and total number of career mission years and career total radiation exposure of a given astronaut.

          New research on effective GCR shielding should be coming out in the next few years.

          Compressed Lunar regolith and rocks are cheap and effective GCR shielding. Hauling such material up to a Low Lunar Orbit Gateway Space Station and using it to shield our astronauts from high energy GCR will be doable once we start to produce propellant on the Moon.

          • Tom Perkins

            You have presented no evidence 13 feet of anything is required by any astronauts of any age. You have presented no evidence that the linear dose response model for carcinogenesis, which your suppositions depend on, itself has validity–when in fact the known fact of hormeosis with respect to radiation proves it is wrong.

            Of course there is no reason for fixed habitats not to employ many feet of shielding…it does not follow that transportation systems must do so.

            • James

              “A team re-examined how damaged DNA can cause cancer. They then estimated levels of radiation exposure in space and on Mars. Their results are devastating.

              The risk of cancer on Mars is twice as high as previously thought.

              It comes down to how damaged DNA spreads throughout the body. A detailed study in mice reveals a sinister side to radiation. Damaged DNA doesn’t just keep to itself.

              It sends signals to nearby healthy cells, which triggers the healthy cells to mutate, which could cause more cancer.”

              And, “Right now, there’s limited studies of just how great this risk is. The scientists stress more research is needed before a crewed mission to Mars.”

              From: ‘Scientists overlooked a major problem with going to Mars — and they fear it could be a suicide mission’
              By Gene Kim and Jessica Orwig June 20, 2017

              At: http://www.businessinsider.com/scientists-overlooked-high-radiation-mars-suicide-missions-2017-6

              If you wish to continue to viciously push potentially suicidal Mars fantasy missions, go right ahead.

              Your hero has already bailed out and is headed to the Moon with the rest of the Home Planet.

              • “The risk of cancer on Mars is twice as high as previously thought”
                Talk about “fake news” bulls&*^ by a video artist and journalism major, ideal for someone of Moon Miner’s caliber.

                Earth’s magnetic field traps most harmful space radiation
                The fact that they can’t even get this right, demonstrates the quality of their “science journalism”

              • James

                “Conclusions

                The NSCR-2012 models predicts the upper 95% CL for space radiation risk for ISS missions near solar minimum could exceed the NASA REID limit for cancer fatality by 18 months or 24 months for females and males, respectively. Also, median PC and upper 95%-confidence intervals of PC values are predicted to exceed 50% for several cancers for participation in two or more ISS missions of 18-months or longer total duration near solar minimum, or for longer missions at other phases of the solar cycle. Radiation risk estimates will likely continue to be modified as new findings are reported from research studies, especially for highly ionizing radiation, and it is vital that uncertainty analysis be performed to anticipate how such information could modify safety considerations for space missions occurring in the future. The present report suggests that possible qualitative differences related to radiation quality and tumor lethality, and additional risks for circulatory disease from chronic low dose radiation are major issues for astronauts participating in multiple or 1-year ISS missions, as well as for exploration missions to Mars and other deep space destinations.”

                From: ‘Space Radiation Risks for Astronauts on Multiple International Space Station Missions’
                By Francis A. Cucinotta April 23, 2014
                At: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0096099

                Deep space radiation levels are worse than the LEO radiation levels at the ISS. At the ISS orbit the large bulk of the Earth blocks almost half of the GCR plus the Earth’s magnetic field also provides some partial radiation shielding.

              • James

                “Both Nelson and Donoviel reiterate that at present, NASA is unable to send people to Mars and still confidently stick to a three percent risk of developing cancer later in life. That certainly doesn’t mean the research will stop — but if the agency intends to put boots on the red planet by the end of the 2030s, they have a lot more work to do to solve the space radiation puzzle.”

                From: ‘Space Radiation Is Quietly Stopping Us From Sending Humans to Mars’
                By Neel V. Patel November 17, 2015
                At: https://www.inverse.com/article/8216-space-radiation-is-quietly-stopping-us-from-sending-humans-to-mars

                • Oh FFS, Moon Miner James has tapped into some more useful and affordable fake news to copy & paste.

                  This time by some guy named Neel V. Patel, another science illiterate with zero credentials writing for yet another worthless website: https://www.inverse.com/science.
                  Lots of good stuff: “The Science of Working Out High on Pot”_ “The Universe Is Overflowing With Booze”_” Far Out: Space Whisky Returns to Earth Boasting New Flavors”. Perfect.

                  galactic cosmic radiation, or GCR, which originates from outside the solar system. These ionized atoms travel at basically the speed of light, although Earth’s magnetic field is also able to protect the planet and objects in low Earth orbit from GCR.: ‘Space Radiation Is Quietly Stopping Us From Sending Humans to Mars’ By Neel V. Patel November 17, 2015

                  So, the Earth’s magnetic field protects the planet and objects in LEO from GCR? That would be news to the crews on ISS who are classified as “radiation workers” by OSHA. Then there’s that Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer mounted ON the ISS, where it observes galactic cosmic radiation. Somehow. Then there’s the Telescope Array [http://www.telescopearray.org/] that I visit regularly in Southern Utah (cause of my research) is able to study galactic cosmic rays from you know -Utah. Somehow.

              • James

                “The health threat from cosmic rays is the danger posed by galactic cosmic rays (GCR) and solar energetic particles to astronauts on interplanetary missions or any missions that venture through the Van-Allen Belts or outside the Earth’s magnetosphere.[1][2] Space radiation health risks also occur for mission in low Earth orbit such as the International Space Station (ISS) where GCR dominate organ dose equivalents, while radiation exposure limits can be reached for cumulative times on ISS of about 2 years (with variable maximum durations dependent on crew age at mission and sex).”

                From: ‘Health threat from cosmic rays’ Wikipedia
                At: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_threat_from_cosmic_rays

              • James

                “The large ionization power of GCR ions makes them a major health threat to astronauts and constitutes one of the most important barriers impeding plans for interplanetary travel by crewed spacecraft. GCR particle energies are sufficient to penetrate several centimeters of biological tissue or other organic and inorganic materials. Shielding only partially reduces the doses experienced inside a spacecraft, given the penetrating ability of HZE ions [8]. While thicker shielding could in theory provide more protection, deploying a sufficient mass of shielding into space is limited by the practical capabilities of current spacecraft launch systems.

                During transit outside of LEO, every cell nucleus within an astronaut would be traversed, on average, by a hydrogen ion every few days and by heavier HZE nuclei (e.g., 16O, 28Si, 56Fe) every few months [12]. Therefore, in spite of their low flux, HZE ions constitute a deleterious biological threat and contribute a significant amount to the cumulative GCR dose that astronauts will incur outside of LEO.”

                From: ‘Space Radiation: The Number One Risk to Astronaut Health beyond Low Earth Orbit’
                By Jeffery C. Chancellor, Graham B. I. Scott, and Jeffrey P. Sutton
                September 11, 2014
                At: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4206856/

              • James

                “Abstract

                Astronauts on a mission to Mars would be exposed for up to 3 years to galactic cosmic rays (GCR)–made up of high-energy protons and high charge (Z) and energy (E) (HZE) nuclei. GCR exposure rate increases about three times as spacecraft venture out of Earth orbit into deep space where protection of the Earth’s magnetosphere and solid body are lost. NASA’s radiation standard limits astronaut exposures to a 3% risk of exposure induced death (REID) at the upper 95% confidence interval (CI) of the risk estimate. Fatal cancer risk has been considered the dominant risk for GCR, however recent epidemiological analysis of radiation risks for circulatory diseases allow for predictions of REID for circulatory diseases to be included with cancer risk predictions for space missions. Using NASA’s models of risks and uncertainties, we predicted that central estimates for radiation induced mortality and morbidity could exceed 5% and 10% with upper 95% CI near 10% and 20%, respectively for a Mars mission. Additional risks to the central nervous system (CNS) and qualitative differences in the biological effects of GCR compared to terrestrial radiation may significantly increase these estimates, and will require new knowledge to evaluate.”

                From: ‘How safe is safe enough? Radiation risk for a human mission to Mars.’
                By Cucinotta FA, Kim MH, Chappell LJ, and Huff JL Oct 16, 2013

              • Chris

                Far less risk of death than summiting Everest.

                http://theweek.com/articles/475353/deadly-odds-climbing-mount-everest-by-numbers

                “1 Climber who dies for every 10 successful ascents to Everest’s summit”

  • James

    “For a s/c in low lunar orbit, the bulk of the planet does reduce the total flux of very high energy GCRs somewhat, but that is offset by the fast neutron backscatter from the lunar surface.” – se jones

    The bulk of the Moon shields about half of the high energy GCR. And since high energy GCR is by far the most difficult type of radiation to provide shielding against the part of the station that is facing away from the Moon is where the largest mass of the regolith based GCR shielding probably needs to be. The water or plastic shielding should be placed against all of the habitat’s walls.

    As to lunar iron, it will mass about 10 to 15% of the regolith’s mass.

    Lunar iron would thus be a part of the Low Lunar Orbit Station’s and surface habitats’ regolith based radiation shielding. Lunar regolith and rock based radiation shielding is apparently more effective than aluminum shielding of the same mass.

    Adding Lunar water to the regolith or having a thicker layer of water inside the habitat could be useful.

    If NASA and international radiation experts think a much thicker layer of water, or plastic, than 50 cm is needed inside the habitat, great!

    As for the Lunar regolith and rock based radiation shielding with an average density of 2.7 gm per cubic centimeter, it would appear that a thickness of 2 meters (or 200 centimeters) would be appropriate.

    It would be useful if you provided your own numbers and sources for the GCR shielding and the needed thickness for the “fast neutron backscatter from the lunar surface” radiation shielding.

    The point is to use Lunar water and regolith for the needed radiation shielding so as to have affordble and thick GCR shielding that is adequate enough to enable long stays at the Low Lunar Orbit Gateway Station.

    “Oh well” se jones, “at least you’re still not going on and on about using” nothing for GCR “shielding,” on long, super risky, and unfunded Mars missions. “I guess that’s progress of sorts.”

    And now your hero, the GCR ignoring Mr. Musk, even wants to help build a base on the Moon before he heads off to Mars. He probably would love to stay for six months or even a year or two at the Low Lunar Orbit Gateway Station. Long visits by a diversity of such hero VIPs would ensure that the station’s radiation shielding would be quite thick and very effective.

    Yep, let’s keep this wonderful, scientific, and logical “progress” and hero stuff moving along at full speed.

    Cheers!

    • TomPerkins

      ” And now your hero, the GCR ignoring Mr. Musk ”

      No evidence he’s ignoring it. There is evidence it lives rent free in your head.

      As was shown by the numbers in the work I posted, 1 foot of PE will be sufficient shielding to mitigate the lifelong risk of GCR induced cancer to a 5% increase.

      I suspect few will hesitate to undertake that risk if the pay is commensurate.

      You have no grounds to second guess that call.

  • Tracy the Troll

    James,
    How old are you?

    • James

      I’m old enough to read.

      What evidence do we currently have that American taxpayers want to pay for costly Russian Roulette types of Elon Musk led Mars missions and super duper costly Mars colonies?

      What evidence do we have that Mr. Musk has finally realized that a Moon base is a higher priority than a Mars mission for most folks on the Home Planet?

      “With all those issues, what got lost in the shuffle was Musk’s apparent interest in—or at least support of—a lunar base. ‘If you want to get the public really fired up, I think we’ve got to have a base on the Moon,’ he said at the end of a long answer about educating the public about the ISS. That triggered applause from the audience that packed a hotel ballroom for the event. ‘And then going beyond that,’ he added, ‘getting people to Mars.’

      ‘Having some permanent presence on another heavenly body: a Moon base, and then getting people to Mars and beyond,’ he said. ‘That’s the continuance of the dream of Apollo.'”

      From: ‘The Moon is a harsh milestone’
      By Jeff Foust July 24, 2017
      At: http://thespacereview.com/article/3292/1

      “This radiation isn’t a problem here on Earth thanks to the planet’s protective atmosphere, which blocks the worst of it. But engineers still don’t have effective methods to shield astronauts from these dangers, and that adds an extra level of risk to already risky plans to send humans to Mars on a three-year journey by the 2030s.

      ‘There may be mission-level risks that literally put the mission at risk—the whole mission, not just the individual astronauts—if one or more crew members are incapacitated,’ says radiation expert Ron Turner, a senior science adviser at NASA’s Institute for Advanced Concepts in Atlanta who studies risk management strategies for human space missions.”

      And, “A thicker hull can help block lower-energy cosmic rays, but any high-powered rays can easily pass through, Turner notes. Plus, doubling the nominal thickness of a spaceship hull only reduces the threat to astronauts by about 10 percent, a number that depends on the nature of both the rays and the shielding. That extra shielding also adds weight to a spacecraft, limiting what can be devoted to supplies for science and survival.”

      From:’Radiation Remains a Problem for Any Mission to Mars’
      By Nola Taylor Redd May 17, 2016
      At: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/radiation-remains-problem-any-mission-mars-180959092/#fiwwTPGyFH70V8bB.99

      Yep, “radiation expert Ron Turner” probably knows the radiation issue better than the silly Lost in Space Mars Now folks.

      • TomPerkins

        ” Yep, “radiation expert Ron Turner” probably knows the radiation issue better than the silly Lost in Space Mars Now folks. ”

        Not proven until he shows the math is wrong which implies about 1 foot of PE will lower the radiation induced cancer increase to only 5%.

        Which is hardly Russian Roulette, where the odds of death are 1 in 6.

        You lose credibility with the melodrama. So does NASA, if they insist on unrealistic standards they have themselves never attempted to meet.

      • James

        NASA will “lose credibility with” international missions to a Deep Space Gateway Station in a high Lunar orbit that fails to adequately protect American and international astronauts from GCR.

        The real goal is not a ‘Deep Space Gateway’ in a risk and cost adding high Lunar orbit.

        Despite an endless stream of empty ‘Mars Soon’ rhetoric there has been zip funding coming from Congress or our international space exploration partners for super risky and costly ‘flags and footprints’ human Mars and asteroid missions.

        However, building a permanent polar Moon base to tap Lunar resources makes good sense to most space experts around the world.

        Astronauts that repeatedly go on long missions to an inadequately radiation shielded space station that orbits far above the Moon will be exposed to unnecessarily high levels of GCR and their total career radiation exposure level will be exceeded far too quickly and that means we will lack experienced astronauts for long Lunar polar base building and resource tapping missions.

        Does NASA really want to use American and international astronauts as lab rats for radiation experiments in a foolishly high Lunar orbit that also adds risk and costs to human Lunar polar base building and resource tapping spaceflights?

        The real Home Planet goal is a permanent human base on the Moon that can tap local resources to reduce the risks and costs of developing the Moon and the rest of Cislunar Space.

        A gateway space station in a stable low Lunar polar orbit is what we need for Lunar surface base building and resource tapping missions and to give American and international astronauts partial protection from GCR by the enormous GCR shield offered by the bulk of the Moon.

        Launching ISRU material from the Moon base to use as GCR shielding would also be wise and quite doable with a gateway space station in a stable low Lunar polar orbit.

        We also need ASAP an upgraded European Service Module for the International Orion with much higher delta-v capabilities that would enable the Orion spacecraft to make good use of the gateway space station in low Lunar polar orbit.

        Lunar Landers such as the Blue Moon proposed by Blue Origin are also needed:

        “The proposed lander will be optimized to use NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, but also usable with Blue Origin’s New Glenn and ULA’s Atlas V.[6] The lander would be capable of delivering 10,000 lb (4,500 kg) to the surface of the Moon.[5] It is anticipated that the platform will be used to support NASA activities in cis-lunar space.[6] The lander is also projected to be able to return with payloads of ice from Shackleton Crater to support space activities.[7] The first projected mission for the craft would be a 2020 lunar south polar landing mission. It is projected that a series of landings would be used to build up materiel for the foundation of a colony on the Moon.[1][2].”

        From: ‘Blue Origin Blue Moon’ Wikipedia,
        At: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Origin_Blue_Moon

        Note also:

        ‘Ashes and Water Despite new findings about lunar water, it still makes sense to mine ice at the poles.’
        By Paul D. Spudis July 27, 2017
        At: http://www.airspacemag.com/daily-planet/ashes-and-water-180964225/

        • Tom Perkins

          ” NASA will “lose credibility with” international missions to a Deep Space Gateway Station in a high Lunar orbit that fails to adequately protect American and international astronauts from GCR. ”

          Not if they use an inflatable hab and put 1 foot of PE in it. None your overly long compared to content posts can change that fact.

        • JamesMoonLoon

          “A gateway space station in a stable low Lunar polar orbit…”

          A station in a low Lunar polar orbit wouldn’t BE a “gateway” you clown. The whole concept of a cis lunar gateway is a staging platform for s/c and fuel, located along intra-orbital energy corridors connecting gravitational manifolds, where the ΔV need to move s/c around Earth/Moon/Mars is optimized. Placing a station in LLO would be an energetic nightmare for power, propulsion, launch windows —everything, not to mention the GCR shadow from the Ø2100mi moon is minimal. The crew would only be on the Gateway for short periods while they wait-out phasing maneuvers anyway.
          How could a Paul Spudis disciple not know all this?

        • JamesMoonMiner

          How could a Paul Spudis disciple not know all this?
          Because: Dunning–Kruger effect https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect

        • JamesMoonMiner

          Despite an endless stream of empty ‘Mars Soon’ rhetoric there has been zip funding coming from Congress or our international space exploration partners for super risky and costly ‘flags and footprints’ human Mars and asteroid missions An exceptionally ignorant comment, even for you.

          Each year NASA, the NSF, University Consortiums, aerospace companies, ESA, ERC, JAXA, CNSA and others invest 10s to 100s of millions of dollars in Human Mars exploration science & technology. Congress, the EU councils, and other gov agencies fund programs like the NIAC awards, the Haughton Mars Project & Mars Institute, hundreds of academic research projects, not to mention the extensive and diverse unmanned Mars s/c fleet.

          The US Congress has fully funded the $2.5b Mars 2020 rover, with its MOXIE (Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment) experiment. MOXIE is particularly ironic here because of the tiresome Spudis lectures on “Flags and footprints” “Flags and footprints” “Apollo rehash” blah blah blah, when every serious Mars mission plan for the last 30 years utilizes ISRU with pre-placement of unmanned assets on the planet. Like Apollo? Oh please, give it a rest.

        • James

          “Passive shielding techniques are also useful in reducing astronaut GCR exposure, but the deeply penetrating high energy component of the GCR environment cannot be completely ameliorated with shielding materials. Astronaut GCR exposure on long duration missions, like the mission to Mars, will exceed NASA’s permissible exposure limits, making GCR risk mitigation one of NASA’s highest priority challenges.”

          From: ‘Space Technology Game Changing Development Thick Galactic Cosmic Rays Shielding’
          At: https://gameon.nasa.gov/gcd/files/2016/11/FS_ARP_161128.pdf

          Jeff Bezos is spending about a billion dollars a year of his own money on building rockets and he wants to help NASA build a permanent base on the Moon. As noted above, his proposed Blue Origin Blue Moon lander would be used to help build the “foundation of a colony on the Moon.”

          Elon Musk, former hero of the nasty ‘Mars Now mob’, is quoted above as saying, “‘To really get the public real fired up, I think we’ve got to have a base on the moon.’

          ‘Having some permanent presence on another heavenly body, which would be the kind of moon base, and then getting people to Mars and beyond – that’s the continuance of the dream of Apollo that I think people are really looking for,’ he added.”

          India, Russia, Japan, Europe, and China are headed to the Moon to tap its resources. However, the ‘Mars Now mob’ wants and demands that we Americans ignore the Moon and its diverse resources and business opportunities.

          And so the ‘Mars Now mob’ is really angry and snarling that radiation risks that “will exceed NASA’s permissible exposure limits” should be ignored.

          Basically, the lives of American and international astronauts are far less important than the Mars Now mob’s loud demand to avoid the Moon and its many resources and quickly send astronauts to Mars to build American taxpayer paid for colonies.

          Note also:

          “In 1983, a group of planetary scientists and defense space experts considered the acquisition and uses of space resources to support our national strategic needs. The report from this meeting recommended a research program designed to assess whether, and how, space resources from near-Earth asteroids and the Moon might be accessed and deployed. Their work considered a variety of needs for such a system, including orbital transfer vehicles (to move payloads between low Earth orbit and higher regions of cislunar space), propellant depots, and the use of bulk material to shield and protect satellite assets.”

          From: ‘Unexpected Connections: The Strategic Defense Initiative and Space Resources’
          By Paul Spudis June 14, 2017
          At: http://www.spudislunarresources.com/blog/unexpected-connections-the-strategic-defense-initiative-and-space-resources/

          Yep, our real “national strategic” and business interests in tapping Lunar resources to reduce the risks and costs in accelerating the development of Cislunar Space are unimportant because the pathetic ‘Mars Now mob’ wants its crazy risky, far distant, not very useful, and super costly Mars fantasy colonies right away.

  • Jeff Wright

    And metal space stations can be electrically grounded.

    I want to see inflatables surround metal stations. Any leaks? An astronaut can get between the two layers and fix leaks without danger of floating away.

    Both/and not either/or

    • TomPerkins

      One of the main reasons to use inflatables is they can be made of materials which when cosmic rays hit them, they don’t produce much secondary radiation. Not hard to have a conductive cloth layer in an inflatable which is brought to a common ground available to mating vessels coming in.

  • James

    News Flash for the confused and Lost in Space Mars Now mob:

    “During a meeting of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, NASA’s chief of human spaceflight William Gerstenmaier declared that it could not afford to get humans to Mars.

    ‘I can’t put a date on humans on Mars, and the reason really is the other piece is, at the budget levels we described, this roughly 2 per cent increase, we don’t have the surface systems available for Mars,’ Gerstenmaier said at the meeting on Wednesday.”

    And, “This setback doesn’t mean all space exploration is off the table for NASA though, with Mr Gerstenmaier saying another trip to the moon is a possibility.

    ‘If we find out there’s water on the Moon, and we want to do more extensive operations on the Moon to go explore that, we have the ability with Deep Space Gateway to support an extensive Moon surface program,’ he said.”

    From: ‘NASA announces they don’t have the funds to send humans to Mars
    NASA has announced that they can’t afford to send humans to Mars, putting the planned 2030s expedition on hold indefinitely.’

    By Ally Foster July 15, 2017

    At: http://www.news.com.au/technology/science/space/nasa-announces-they-dont-have-the-funds-to-send-humans-to-mars/news-story/87602e52f023b38a221173053227df4d

    • Tom Perkins

      Sure they can afford to go to Mars.

      Just kill the SLS, and spend the money on hardware for the mission and FH flights to lift it.

      It’s really exactly that simple.

      • James

        ‘Sure they can afford to go to Mars.’ – Tom Perkins

        But can we afford to give up on or ignore developing the Moon and its resources?

        Do Americans really want to be a second rate or third rate economic, political, and military power in Cislunar Space?

        After 7 years of endless empty and nonscientific Mars noise from NASA, the former President, and the loud Mars Now crowd where is the in-depth political support in Congress and around the world for building Mars colonies?

        Where are the specific and large amounts of funding from Congress for NASA to lead international crews on high risk missions to far distant Mars to tap its immense resources?

        Mr. Elon Musk knows where the money making wind is blowing towards: The ISS and the Moon.

        If Jeff Bezos, most space experts, Congress, our international space exploration partners, and most of the world want to tap Lunar resources and take full advantage of the diverse economic, political, environmental, and security opportunities offered by industrializing the Moon and Cislunar Space, why should anyone believe in and blindly support highly risky and super costly Mars Now colony fantasies that our current technological, business, and political capabilities are inadequate to fully implement and support?

        Those highly risky and costly Mars colony fantasies would not be of much direct and real benefit to the American taxpayers that at this time would have to foot the bill.

        • TomPerkins

          Where do you get the ridiculous idea the one precludes the other for even as much as a decade, let alone for all time? This is not an either or proposition.

          The price of getting material into LEO is going to fall towards a few tens of dollars per pound. The Moon and Mars are both doable near term. By NASA if they can get rid of the SLS.

          Mars is of greater benefit in the long run simply because it is much larger.

          • James

            ‘Mars is of greater benefit in the long run simply because it is much larger.’ – Tom Perkins

            The Moon is a much better investment in the short run and maybe in the medium run as well because it is much closer to the Home Planet and finding, tapping, and using and benefiting from Lunar resources are much more doable with our existing technological, business, and geopolitical capabilities than would be the situation in trying to build and benefit from highly risky and costly fantasy colonies on far distant Mars.

            “Mars” will be of “great benefit in the long run” once we give it a thicker atmosphere. Some Martian oceans would also be useful.

            The green and blue Earth is twice as big as Mars and has far more people and other resources too, and that reality makes it the essential center of our current geopolitical, business, and security universe. Geopolitics counts for far more than any one launcher or company.

            Reusable options for various current and future launchers, including the SLS, will be many. However, those reusability options when launching from Earth will reduce payload capabilities from 30 to 50% and may not always be used.

            NASA has far more international ‘street creds’ and widely recognized successes than any company in America. Without NASA and the political and financial support of Congress, SpaceX would simply be an odd and fading memory.

            If NASA gets “rid of” the powerful international SLS and Orion Cislunar transportation system, then we should expect that the American and European interest in working together will decrease, and Europe’s interest in working closely with more reliable space exploration partners, such as India, China, and Japan, will significantly increase.

            Without the powerful and highly capable SLS and International Orion transportation system, America’s international political and technological leadership role and capability to effectively partner with other countries in Cislunar Space and on Earth will obviously suffer.

            If we get more politically impotent and zip effective interest in doable space policy Presidents like our previous President, then we could end up staying in LEO for a very long time.

            If you really think the Mars Now Cult and FalconH are the geopolitical and technical answer to getting sustainable colonies on Mars, you are obviously confused about the real world where many countries want to have their own independent access to the Moon and the rest of Cislunar Space and all the political, technological, security, and economic benefits that accrue to those nations that are Cislunar space powers.

            What foolish and politically blind person convinced you that for the FalconH to be a succeess the SLS must die when in fact for the FalconH, small BFR, New Glenn, and many other launchers to be great successes they need and will greatly benefit from the nationally and internationally politically and financially supported ISS, SLS and International Orion transportation system, and the reality of efficiently building an international Lunar resource tapping base?

            The narrow and politically nonsustainable California/SpaceX/Silicon Valley/Mars Now Empty Rhetoric and extremely partisan politics of our former President need to be thrown in the garbage can and hauled far away.

            Inclusive national politics and broadly supported geopolitical space goals that include reusable and non-reusable launchers and diverse spacecraft from many nations are what will get us a sustainable polar resource tapping base on the Moon and eventually colonies on many dwarf planets and Mars.

            Go cry in your Mars Now coffee cup for a day or two and then grow up and help to optimize the Low Lunar Polar Orbit Space Station to efficiently do risk minimized missions to build a polar resource tapping Lunar base.

            Many geopolitical, economic, security, business, scientific, and technological successes on the Moon are what is needed to generate the geopolitical and business interest that will enable us to build human bases and successes on Ceres, 4 Vesta, 16 Psyche, Mars, and many more distant places.

          • James

            ‘The price of getting material into LEO is going to fall towards a few tens of dollars per pound.’ – Tom Perkins

            And in case you didn’t know, I’m Santa Claus. I and my elves are going to build and give out to every nation on Earth one launch system capable of putting “material into LEO” for “a few tens of dollars per pound” as year 2100 Christmas presents.

            Of course, such wonderful launchers will need to be repeatedly supplied with loads of snake oil and manure for propellant. Don’t worry. There will always be lots of those types of cheap propellants available everywhere.

            • Tom Perkins

              Approximately the worst an ITS executed in 9m diameter instead of 12m could do to lower the cost of access to LEO is about $90/lb as a mature system. It think you’ll see that inside of 10 years.

              The SLS may well never fly once, and if it does it will be a tragic mis-allocation of resources. It does nothing which cannot be accomplished far less expensively.

      • James

        ‘Just kill the SLS, and spend the money on hardware for the mission and FH flights to lift it.’
        – Tom Perkins

        Attacking the SLS and International Orion Cislunar transportation system which can help Earthlings have reliable access to the Moon’s resources and has broad political and fiscal support from across America, in Congress, and in Europe shows how disconnected from reality the Mars Now crowd is.

        For humans to go on sustainable missions to build colonies on Mars will take the involvement of much of the Home Planet and involve the launchers from many nations. We are a long way from that kind of extensive political, economic, and business commitment and the needed diverse international launcher and technical capabilities.

        The home Planet making money and gaining political, environmental, and security benefits from developing the Moon should provide some real world justification for also eventually developing bases on Ceres, 4 Vesta, 16 Psyche, and Mars.

        Delaying the optimization of the Low Lunar Orbit Gateway Space Station for its critical mission as a gateway to efficiently support Lunar polar resource tapping activities and the building of a permanent polar Moon base simply delays the days when international crews will head off on missions to build permanent bases on Ceres, 4 Vesta, 16 Psyche, Mars, many more distant places.

        Humans want and need the whole Solar System, not just Mars. Colonizing our Solar System is a package deal and it starts with the Moon which is similar in some ways to the hundreds of dwarf planets that we will someday mine.

        Note:

        It is estimated that there may be 200 dwarf planets in the Kuiper belt of the outer Solar System[1] and possibly more than 10,000 in the region beyond.[2] The International Astronomical Union (IAU) has accepted four: Pluto, Eris, Haumea, and Makemake, as well as Ceres in the inner Solar System.

        From: ‘List of possible dwarf planets’ Wikipedia
        At: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_possible_dwarf_planets

        • Tom Perkins

          ” Attacking the SLS … Now crowd is. ” <– Supporting the SLS which as a mature system will never do better than about $6250/lb when alternatives exist now which are only $1200/lb is insane, especially when it is a certainty the SpaceX cost to customer will be about $650/lb this time next year, and there is no reason to think that by the time the SLS flies it’s first manned mission, that SpaceX’s cost will not be below $100/lb.

          Nothing you have said changes that. As far as I can tell you aren’t even arguing it isn’t true, you are just ignoring it

          Sure, build a Lunar Gateway. Build it to be launched on FH’s, so about three times the hardware can be afforded in total.

          ” Humans want and need the whole Solar System, not just Mars. ”

          Why are you pretending it’s a matter of Mars or nothing, when it is clear the SLS in fact means it and nothing else at this point?

          Please try replying to what is actually being written.

      • James

        It’s really exactly that simple. – Tom Perkins

        Only in the politically unsupported and twisted Mars Now Cult Universe that is quite detached and far away from the practicalities and hard realities of the Home World.

        • Tracy the Troll

          James,
          lets go through the numbers again.

          SLS and Orion Launch cost per launch $2B.

          FH and D2 cost per launch $200M(maybe much less)

          SpaceX was created by …Air Force, NASA, CIA, NSA…Not some guy in his garage.

          Since the Apollo program …NASA has been looking…praying…finally demanding cheaper vehicles …Much cheaper vehicles to space access.

          They tried with the Shuttle…didn’t work.

          They tried with the Shuttle replacement (VentureStar) X-33 didn’t work.

          Musk comes along with his own money and a little bit of government money but this time NASA said prove it works and we will give you more money..

          The SLS is …an engineering marvel by the best and the brightest engineers in the world because it was designed from previous systems and companies from the Apollo, Shuttle and ISS contractors who were located in the districts of political representatives were providing funding for this work. The SLS and Orion has always been about jobs, money, power and in the end corruption and greed.

          You are most likely much to young to realize this.

          • James

            Tracy the Troll –

            Perhaps the Falcon 1, Falcon 9, FalconH, and small BFR have “always been about jobs, money, power and in the end corruption and greed” and lots of political lies.

            Hollywood, Silicon Valley, the snake oil or gullible Mars Now mob, and the former President are not folks that most people would trust to build anything of lasting value.

            And Mr. Elon Musk, after helping and benefiting greatly from the former President’s highly partisan political destruction of the Ares I launcher system and the internationally supported Constellation human Lunar return program, now proclaims:

            “‘To really get the public real fired up, I think we’ve got to have a base on the moon.’

            ‘Having some permanent presence on another heavenly body, which would be the kind of moon base, and then getting people to Mars and beyond – that’s the continuance of the dream of Apollo that I think people are really looking for,’ he added.”

            When the money making wind changes the direction it blows the snake oil sellers quickly rearrange their sales pitches.

            Buying overly complex launchers and crazy Moon ignoring space policies from a government selected individual who specialized in sucking hard on the American government’s technical and financial support and overt and covert subsidies and asset ‘deals’ to make his billions of dollars is probably not a smart idea.

            Jeff Bezos is spending a billion dollars a year of his own money to build the large New Glenn reusable launcher.

            You can support and encourage a government selected and inconsistent socialist hero, crazy and costly zig zagging NASA lost in space policies and highly partisan empty rhetoric, and overt and secret subsidy and asset ‘deals’, and a good political friend of the former President with Mr. Elon Musk, or you can instead support and encourage a consistent and serious Moon base and ISRU capitalist guy that spends his own money to the tune of a billion dollars a year to build a large and reusable launcher to help NASA get landers, robots, and supplies to the Lunar surface with Mr. Jeff Bezos.

            Yep, make your choice of who to encourage and remember that most or all of the world’s space experts and many political leaders everywhere are watching you and evaluating what to do in response to your choice.

            Note:

            “Space writer Eric Berger, who attended the event, reported that former astronaut and member of the 2009 Augustine committee Leroy Chiao said the following:

            ‘It came down to us on the committee to not talk too much about the Moon, because there was no way this administration was going to go there, because it was W’s program. OK, that’s a pretty stupid reason not to go to the Moon. I’m hopeful with this election cycle that maybe the Moon will be a possibility again.’”

            And:
            “Although I can’t describe this revelation as gratifying because of the damage it’s caused, it is good to see a member of the Augustine committee confirm what many of us in the space community had long suspected, but could not prove – that the decision to terminate NASA’s human lunar return was not driven by technical or programmatic considerations, but rather by base and petulant political calculation and desire.”

            And:
            “It is unfortunate that it took so long for a member of the Augustine committee to publicly share this information. This knowledge would have been valuable to those members of Congress who were trying to save the VSE in the critical budget years of 2010 and 2011. If these facts had come to light then, we might have had a more positive resolution of the conflict. Now, as some of us predicted at the time, our human spaceflight program has been decimated and we are left with NASA’s Potemkin Village-like “#JourneytoMars” and the science-fiction fantasies of Elon Musk.”

            From: ‘Lost in Space or Thrown Away? – Revisiting the 2009 Augustine Committee Report’
            By Paul Spudis October 7, 2016
            At: http://www.spudislunarresources.com/blog/lost-in-space-or-thrown-away-revisiting-the-2009-augustine-committee-report/

            • Tracy the Troll

              James
              “Perhaps the Falcon 1, Falcon 9, FalconH, and small BFR have “always been about jobs, money, power and in the end corruption and greed” and lots of political lies.”

              Again look at the dollars…

              New Glenn = $M? 2020-2025+/-?
              SLS/Orion = $2B Per launch 2022-2023 +/-?

              FH/D2 = $200M Per launch – 2018

              Who wins the Marketplace?

              • john hare

                Let it go Tracy. He hates the marketplace and the freedoms it enhances.

                • James

                  The marketplace doesn’t function very well with NASA’s leadership blindly and loudly supporting unfunded Potemkin Village-like Mars colonies and playing costly launch pad deal games with a President’s political pal.

                  Freedom to be slaves to your government financed and supported Mars Now Cult launcher probably doesn’t seem like a good deal to most folks on the Home Planet.

                  • Tom Perkins

                    The market place is working fine when the lower cost per figure of merit solution is chosen. When the higher cost solution (the SLS) is mandated, the market is being prohibited from working.

                    Cost per pound to LEO is the proper figure of merit.

                    • James

                      ‘Cost per pound to LEO is the proper figure of merit.’
                      – Tom Perkins

                      Nope! Only in the minds of the Moon and SLS and International Orion Cislunar Transportation System hating Mars Now mob members!

                      The “proper” figures of merit are risk per Lunar mission, cost per pound on the Lunar surface, human spacecraft beyond LEO mission capabilities, the years of international spacecraft and launcher political, financial, and technical support, the years of being the NASA Program of Record, and the clearly bipartisan and repeated Congressional majority votes for many years supporting the development of robust SLS and International Orion Lunar mission capabilities.

                      Geopolitics and thus Congressional fiscal support and related NASA technical expertise were critically important for funding and developing the Redstone, Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Apollo-Soyuz, Skylab, Space Shuttle, Mir-Space Shuttle, International Space Station, Atlas, Titan, Saturn V, Antares, Falcon 1, Falcon 9, FalconH, small BFR, CST-100 Starliner, Dragon, Cygnus, Dream Chaser, and SLS and International Orion space mission systems.

                      Space goals based on extremely narrow partisan support for a political friend of a former President = continued super costly NASA missions and space plans that will keep getting cancelled because of a clear and obvious lack of any broad national and international political and financial support.

                      No money = no Buck Rogers.

                      You may keep your head buried in the pseudo Martian sand and surface only to spout some more Moon and SLS and International Orion Cislunar Transportation System hating nonsense.

                      Or you could join most of the folks on the Home Planet that would benefit from Lunar resource tapping and industrialization missions that the shrinking small BFR might even get funded by Congress and business folks to participate in if the nasty shrinking small BFR Mars Now crowd could ever quit making foolish Moon and SLS and International Orion hating political comments.

                      The New Glenn launcher and Blue Origin Blue Moon lander are going to help America, Europe, NASA, the SLS and International Orion, and most of the Home Planet find resources, dig mines, and build industrial infrastructure and a permanent human base on the Moon and accelerate the development of the rest of Cislunar Space.

                      Lots of launchers and spacecraft from many nations will eventually be involved in useful Lunar surface missions.

                      Get a clue from the simple fact that your hero Mr. Elon Musk has already bailed out and landed at the permanent human base on the Moon.

                    • TomPerkins

                      @James

                      All those words, so few facts.

                      You have no justification for presuming the excess moneys spent on the SLS lower risk. The SLS is based on the Shuttle program, and the loss of crew risk there ended up despite all moneys spent at 1 in 70 ( and came within seconds of being 1 in 46 with the STS-93 anomaly). The SLS moneys are being spent the same way, I have no reason and neither do you, to think the SLS loss rate will be lower.

                      ” the years of international spacecraft and launcher political, financial, and technical support, the years of being the NASA Program of Record, and the clearly bipartisan and repeated Congressional majority votes for many years supporting the development of robust SLS and International Orion Lunar mission capabilities. ”

                      If by all of that word salad you mean the SLS exists to distribute Congressional dollars to Congressional districts, you are correct. There is nothing about the rest of what you have said whcih is not addressed by NASA’s adoption of the use of either the FH or an ITS concept vehicle as it’s heavy lift option.

                    • James

                      TomPerkins –

                      Maybe the essential issue is ‘backroom deals’ that are made by unknown folks for not so clear reasons.

                      “SpaceX was created by …Air Force, NASA, CIA, NSA”, who? Because?

                      Government selecting and feeding tons of tax dollars to a President’s political favorite billionaire is a bad deal that doesn’t promote trust in our national government. It is a cancer. Trust me. I know a bit about cancer.

                      Cancer or corruption, be it of the legal or illegal variety, should not be encouraged.

                      “Meanwhile, government bureaucracies have grown exponentially in both size and power.”

                      And, “And not just powerful but, to a lot of Americans, oppressive, too.”

                      And, “More than any of that, though, it’s the promises that never seem to be kept, year after year — of jobs, of affordable college, of renewal in abandoned towns. For decades now, since the onset of globalization and technological upheaval, politicians have been telling people they’ve got this or that plan to reverse the decline. They don’t.”

                      From: ‘Democrats try to co-opt populist rage. Hilarity ensues.’
                      By Matt Bai 3 hours ago
                      At: https://www.yahoo.com/news/democrats-try-co-opt-populist-rage-hilarity-ensues-090005021.html

                      Feeding endless taxpayer money, unknown amounts of critical NASA technological help, and real American assets to a political friend of a President in various non-transparent ‘deals’ is not good public policy no matter what anyone claims to the contrary.

                      President Trump won the election not because he, or his party, is so great, but because the Democratic Party has become a corrupt party that mainly serves the elites, including your favorite billionaire, and ignores the interests and concerns of most folks.

                      That is why when ‘Democrats try to co-opt populist rage. Hilarity ensues.’

                      Mars Now was simply a great gig at funneling money to you know who. Now the big money party gig is over and we try to clean up the mess that was left behind.

                      Let’s see what comes next.

                    • James

                      More hilarity:

                      “The most active conventional VC funds in the space start-up ecosystem have been and continue to be Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Founders Fund (both early backers of SpaceX) as well as In-Q-Tel, the venture arm of the Central Intelligence Agency.”

                      From: ‘Investors pour billions into commercial space start-ups as they approach exit velocity’
                      By Clay Dillow Aug 9, 2017
                      At: https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/09/investors-pour-billions-into-spacex-blue-origin-planet.html

                    • James

                      And more hilarity:

                      “Through In-Q-Tel, a strategic investment group that’s technically independent but remains extremely close with the Agency, the CIA has invested in over 300 startups since setting up shop in 1999.

                      By virtue of being at the intersection of two of the least transparent industries around—intelligence and venture capital—there isn’t much publicly available information about the firm or many of its investments. If it feels a little like a stranger-than-fiction combination of VC and 007, you’d be correct.”

                      From: ‘In-Q-Tel, The CIA’s VC Arm, Has Had A Busy Few Years’
                      By Jason D. Rowley December 1, 2016
                      At: https://mattermark.com/q-tel-cias-vc-arm-busy-years/

                      More could be noted, but why bother?

                    • James

                      TomPerkins –

                      OK. Just for fun we’ll go a bit deeper into the CIA’s In-Q-Tel and how its employees, or their good ‘friends’, may have possible financially beneficial connections to SpaceX.

                      And maybe we can consider how early knowledge, or the shaping, of the cancelation of the Ares I launcher and the Constellation human return to the Moon may possibly have financially greatly benefited some well connected space insider folks.

                      “While In-Q-Tel is a nonprofit corporation, it differs from IARPA and other models in that its employees can profit from its investments.”

                      And, “Numerous noteworthy business and intelligence community professionals have been involved with In-Q-Tel at various times, including the following:[citation needed]

                      Dan Geer (2008–present) Chief Information Security Officer [19]
                      Michael D. Griffin – former President; later Administrator of NASA.
                      Norman R. Augustine
                      Gilman Louie
                      Amit Yoran
                      John Seely Brown
                      Stephen Friedman
                      Paul McMahon
                      William Perry
                      Alex J. Mandl
                      Rob Painter –

                      former Director for Technology Assessment; left to become Senior Federal Sales Manager at Google.
                      Christopher K. Tucker, first chief strategic officer
                      Rebecca Bace”

                      From: ‘In-Q-Tel’ Wikipedia
                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In-Q-Tel#Infrastructure

                      SpaceX is now worth about 20 billion dollars.

                      Now all of these above individuals, and many more ‘In-Q-Tel’ folks, could have legally financially benefited from CIA insider knowledge and the CIA and other government agencies helping SpaceX if they had managed to invest in SpaceX way back when, or maybe a little bit later, prior to it getting to be worth about 20 billion dollars.

                      And just perhaps some of these folks who might have had a ‘perfectly legal’ ‘In-Q-Tel’ insider based information investment in SpaceX, or some of their ‘good friends’, even helped our former President to bury and cancel the Ares I and our Constellation human Lunar return program and substitute instead the odd SpaceX and NASA going to Mars Now program that maybe has really ‘helped out’ and improved SpaceX’s ‘valuation’.

                      Did the above Norman R. Augustine help influence the Augustine committee that didn’t want to hear anything about NASA doing Moon missions and thus helped to destroy NASA’s Constellation program?

                      Did he or any of his ‘friends’ financially benefit from the destruction of NASA’s Constellation program?

                      “‘It came down to us on the committee to not talk too much about the Moon, because there was no way this administration was going to go there, because it was W’s program. OK, that’s a pretty stupid reason not to go to the Moon. I’m hopeful with this election cycle that maybe the Moon will be a possibility again.’”

                      And:
                      “Although I can’t describe this revelation as gratifying because of the damage it’s caused, it is good to see a member of the Augustine committee confirm what many of us in the space community had long suspected, but could not prove – that the decision to terminate NASA’s human lunar return was not driven by technical or programmatic considerations, but rather by base and petulant political calculation and desire.”

                      And:
                      “It is unfortunate that it took so long for a member of the Augustine committee to publicly share this information. This knowledge would have been valuable to those members of Congress who were trying to save the VSE in the critical budget years of 2010 and 2011. If these facts had come to light then, we might have had a more positive resolution of the conflict. Now, as some of us predicted at the time, our human spaceflight program has been decimated and we are left with NASA’s Potemkin Village-like “#JourneytoMars” and the science-fiction fantasies of Elon Musk.”

                      From: ‘Lost in Space or Thrown Away? – Revisiting the 2009 Augustine Committee Report’
                      By Paul Spudis October 7, 2016
                      At: http://www.spudislunarresources.com/blog/lost-in-space-or-thrown-away-revisiting-the-2009-augustine-committee-report/

                      Did Michael D. Griffin, In-Q-Tel’s former President, who later became the Administrator of NASA, ever give NASA contracts to SpaceX, which he or his ‘friends’ may have invested in and thus financially benefited from?

                      Did Michael D. Griffin go to Russia with Elon Musk to try and buy Russian launch services?

                      Did Michael D. Griffin ever suggest to Elon Musk that starting a launcher company would be a good idea?

                      Exactly How, Why, What, When, Where, and Who has financially benefited from our former President’s abrupt cancellation of NASA’s Ares I and the Constellation Human Lunar Return program, which thus greatly benefited SpaceX’s financial growth, and substituted instead NASA and SpaceX’s endless joint Mars Now policy?

                      Was insider knowledge, political influence, or control over taxpayer money, technology, or real estate personally financially useful to anyone in In-Q-Tel or the Air Force, or to any of In-Q-Tel’s and the Air Force’s many ‘friends and supporters’, in the financial 20 billion dollar rise of SpaceX?

                      No one dares to really ask these kinds of questions, and many others, and expect any real answers, right?

                      Yep, as was noted above: “By virtue of being at the intersection of two of the least transparent industries around—intelligence and venture capital—there isn’t much publicly available information about the firm or many of its investments. If it feels a little like a stranger-than-fiction combination of VC and 007, you’d be correct.”

                      Well-connected ‘friends’ should ‘help out’ well-connected friends, in “the intersection” right?

                      This is just food for thought because we probably won’t ever get any real answers.

                    • James

                      TomPerkins –

                      Which politicians do the investors in “Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Founders Fund (both early backers of SpaceX)” and members of In-Q-Tel support with big political campaign donations or really big ‘fees for informative speeches’ after those ‘patriotic sell America down the drain’ politicians are out of office?

                      How many politicians can be bought with CIA controlled politically useful and sensitive information on candidates that oppose them?

                      Why should the CIA bother to put spies in nasty countries if the CIA and In-Q-Tel folks, family members, and their many Venture Capitalist ‘friends’ can do far more profitable and less risky spy types of things in America and help themselves, their friends, and many Venture Capitalist insider ‘pals’ by destroying a strong and bilateral Congress supported Constellation program to put humans back on the Moon?

                      And if the CIA and In-Q-Tel folks, their many ‘friends’, and Venture Capitalist ‘pals’, and always money hungry politicians can profit to the tune of 20 billion dollars, and maybe eventually a whole lot more, from the political destruction of the Constellation program and through the rise of the Mars Now company known as SpaceX, well then there really is no limit, is there?

                      Could the next thing on the ‘to do list’ of the Venture Capitalist and CIA/In-Q-Tel led super money making team involve getting control of the immense hundreds of billions of dollars to be made in the communication satellite business?

                      With some key politicians on board and some buyable or promotion hungry folks in the NSA, NROL, Air Force, and other government agencies working along with the CIA’s favorite super rich and politically powerful Venture Capitalists and the CIA’s in-house In-Q-Tel to guide the cheap satellite communication dominance project, could we perhaps soon have several fantastic world-wide and relatively low Earth orbit communication satllite networks created basically by the CIA and its many rich friends like some of those involved with “Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Founders Fund (both early backers of SpaceX)”?

                      Would other satellite communication companies around the world simply have to go out of business or share their billions of dollars in profits and all the information passing through their satellites with the CIA/In-Q-Tel and its close Venture Capitalist ‘pals’?

                      As for the proposed resources tapping international Moon Village, could the CIA and its in-house In-Q-Tel and many favorite super rich and politically powerful Venture Capitalist ‘pals’ soon directly or indirectly own or contol large chunks real estate and resources on the Moon?

                      Should the Home Planet’s electric car, solar power, software, launcher, and other high technology companies always be very careful because their real international competition might not just be some ordinary up and coming business, but instead could well be the super well-connected and information rich CIA and its in-house In-Q-Tel or its favorite super rich and politically powerful and CIA supported Venture Capitalists and all the American politicians that will benefit in numerous ways by sticking like glue to the CIA and all of the CIA’s wonderful campaign donating rich and politically powerful Venture Capitalist ‘friends’?

                      How many politicians or their family members or their big political campaign doners or those government ‘deep state’ folks and the CIA and its in-house In-Q-Tel had money invested with “Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Founders Fund (both early backers of SpaceX)” and thus directly benefited from the brutal destruction of Constellation which was our National Space Program of Record?

                      Is the CIA’s support, damage, or destruction of a rocket launcher or other type of international high technology company a crime or violation the WTO or other international trade agreement?

                      Can we really have fair and honest international trade in extremely valuable high technology goods and services with the CIA/In-Q-Tel/super politically connected Venture Capitalists/American politicians trying hard to make insider money off of playing dirty games with that trade?

                      If we cannot have fair and honest international trade in extremely valuable high technology goods and services because the CIA/In-Q-Tel/politically connected Venture Capitalists/American politicians are trying hard to make insider money off of playing dirty games with that trade, does that mean technological protectionism is the only sensible policy for many nations?

                      If we American cannot have a consistent, politically transparent, fair, and extremely valuable high technology national space program and Lunar and Cislunar industries because of the CIA/In-Q-Tel/super politically connected Venture Capitalists/American politicians often trying hard to make insider money off of playing dirty and profitable games with our national space program and our Lunar and Cislunar industries, does that maybe mean avoiding doing anything in space with America is the only sensible and realistic policy for Europe, Japan, Russia, China, India and many other nations?

                      Are you wondering about any of the above questions TomPerkins or are they ugly questions you would rather not think about?

                      Will we ever know even some of the answers to the above questions?

                      Do you want to continue to blindly trust In-Q-Tel/CIA folks?

                      “While In-Q-Tel is a nonprofit corporation, it differs from IARPA and other models in that its employees can profit from its investments.” From: ‘In-Q-Tel’ Wikipedia
                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In-Q-Tel#Infrastructure

                      What wonderfully corrupt politicians came up with that ‘deal’?

                • James

                  john hare
                  August 1, 2017 at 7:19 pm • Reply

                  “Let it go Tracy. He hates the marketplace and the freedoms it enhances.”

                  This has got to be the most inane comment john hare, one of the many loud and nasty CIA/In-Q-Tel/Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Founders Fund supporters/blind SpaceX lovers, has ever posted.

                  In fact, the CIA/In-Q-Tel’s created and strongly supported SpaceX is an effective, secretive, and vicious attack “the marketplace and the freedoms it enhances.”

                  Lockheed folks had best watch their backs. If the CIA/In-Q-Tel’s created and strongly supported SpaceX wants to build NASA’s Habitat for the Lunar Orbiting Deep Space Gateway, then SpaceX will build the Habitat.

                  SpaceX didn’t really sue the Air Force, in fact the real insider drama was how the powerful CIA/In-Q-Tel/Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Founders Fund supporters sued the Air Force.

                  Elon Musk lacks the courage and desire to go to Mars or to kick the Air Force in its private parts, but the CIA/In-Q-Tel/Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Founders Fund, and some Presidents and other powerful politicians that have benefited from the 20 billion dollar rise of SpaceX, that the CIA has secretively ensured and will continue to ensure, have no qualms at all at jerking around the Air Force, or kicking it in its private parts, in court.

                • James

                  Why is the CIA/In-Q-Tel’s created and strongly supported SpaceX such an effective, secretive, and vicious attack on “the marketplace and the freedoms it enhances”?

                  SpaceX is now worth 20 billion dollars and on a dirty CIA organized and protected political insider roll to become a far more valuable CIA controlled company that will continue its CIA powered and rapid wealth accumulating benefits for investors from the Democratic Party and Republican Party and CIA/In-Q-Tel’s other great ‘pals’ at “Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Founders Fund (both early backers of SpaceX)”.

                  “The most active conventional VC funds in the space start-up ecosystem have been and continue to be Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Founders Fund (both early backers of SpaceX) as well as In-Q-Tel, the venture arm of the Central Intelligence Agency.”

                  From: ‘Investors pour billions into commercial space start-ups as they approach exit velocity’
                  By Clay Dillow Aug 9, 2017
                  At: https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/09/investors-pour-billions-into-spacex-blue-origin-planet.html

                  The CIA/In-Q-Tel’s created and profited from SpaceX won’t stop with the Falcon 9 and FalconH, they are going to eat some large international satellite companies for breakfast.

                  The CIA/In-Q-Tel’s created and profited from SpaceX will use the enormous taxpayer paid for Launch Pad 39A, that President Obama indirectly turned over to his political campaign donating ‘friends’ that are some of the ‘CIA’s great ‘Venture Capitalist pals’ and some of essential financial backers of SpaceX, to enable SpaceX’s financial backers to gain more ‘valuation’ from launching large numbers of commercial, military, and NASA launches and put into space lots of highly profitable SpaceX/CIA controlled communication satellite networks and eventually grab on to some Lunar resources too.

                  What tons of great and highly profitable and “valuation adding’ CIA/SpaceX insider space deals remain to be done, right?

                  With the insider Federal Government folks, money hungry politicians, and CIA’s continued strong support, a 200 billion dollar ‘valuation’ of SpaceX, or more, should eventually be quite doable and profitable for the CIA’s ‘pals’ who are the secretive and rich backers of SpaceX, right?

                  Aren’t SpaceX creators, the CIA/In-Q-Tel and “Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Founders Fund” and maybe lots of other well-hidden folks who benefited from the CIA backed and controlled 20 billion dollar financial rise of SpaceX, just wonderful examples of the many secretive and highly profitable deals for insider folks that are routinely made in the Federal Government’s backrooms and that have turned the voters against trusting the corrupt Federal Government, deep state, and the many bought and paid for folks of the White House, Congress, and NASA?

                  Do you remember the political idea: “Buying a President is usually much cheaper than trying to buy a majority in both houses of Congress”?

                  What about Global Climate Warming?

                  Who among those who can think for themselves will trust the corrupt NASA leadership, White House folks of both parties, folks in Congress, the profit seeking CIA/In-Q-Tel, or all of those wonderful and secretive Venture Capital ‘pals’ of Presidents to do anything but line their pockets while moaning and groaning loudly and endlessly about Global Climate Warming?

                  If we are seriously planning to accomplish anything useful to mitigate Global Climate Warming, will it have to be done by folks who live and work far away from the stinky political cesspool of Washington, DC?

                  “According to the latest data from the indispensable Pew Research Center, about 55 percent of Americans are frustrated with the federal government, and only 20 percent say they trust the government to do what’s right most or all of the time.”

                  And, “A party that believes more government will solve everything can’t really call itself populist in any modern sense of the word. It’s more just anti-business and anti-Trump.

                  I’d be surprised if most Americans — or at least the ones you need to win back majorities — consider that much of a deal at all.”

                  From: ‘Democrats try to co-opt populist rage. Hilarity ensues.’
                  By Matt Bai August 10, 2017
                  At: https://www.yahoo.com/news/democrats-try-co-opt-populist-rage-hilarity-ensues-090005021.html

                  If we really want Lockheed to build an efficient low lunar polar orbit space station to help us tap the Moon’s resources, do we need to quit being controlled or influenced by the CIA/In-Q-Tel/SpaceX’s many marketplace and freedom hating puppets?

                  • JamesMoonMiner:
                    “If we really want Lockheed to build an efficient low lunar polar orbit space station to help us tap the Moon’s resources, do we need to quit being controlled or influenced by the CIA/In-Q-Tel/SpaceX’s many marketplace and freedom hating puppets?”

                    James, you are utterly clueless as usual

                    Lockheed Martin US Market Capitalization as of May 2017 $78.3 Billion
                    Number of employees 126,000

                    Lockheed Martin (2010 last available) SEC reported direct lobbying expenditure total: $13.7 million

                    Major Domestic Subsidiaries:
                    Hellfire Systems, L.L.C.
                    Lockheed Martin Aerospace Systems Integration Corporation
                    Lockheed Martin Australia Pty Limited
                    Lockheed Martin Canada Inc.
                    Lockheed Martin Desktop Solutions, Inc.
                    Lockheed Martin Engine Investments, LLC
                    Lockheed Martin Global, Inc.
                    Lockheed Martin Integrated Systems, Inc.
                    Lockheed Martin Integrated Technology, LLC
                    Lockheed Martin International Service Corporation
                    Lockheed Martin Investments Inc.
                    Lockheed Martin Logistics Management, Inc.
                    Lockheed Martin Millimeter Technologies, Inc.
                    Lockheed Martin Operations Support, Inc.
                    Lockheed Martin Services, Inc.
                    Lockheed Martin Space Alliance Company
                    Lockheed Martin UK Ampthill Limited
                    Lockheed Martin UK Limited
                    Lockheed Martin BTS Limited
                    QTC Holdings Inc.
                    Sandia Corporation[4]
                    Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation

                    Lockheed Martin’s largest foreign subsidiaries:
                    Lockheed Martin Canada
                    Lockheed Martin Australia
                    Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Laboratories
                    LMC Properties
                    Lockheed Martin Enterprise Business Services
                    Lockheed Martin Finance Corporation
                    Lockheed Martin U.K.
                    SIM Industries – a Lockheed Martin company

                    Lockheed Martin’s USA DoD Defense Programs:
                    DoD Prime Contractor AEGIS BMD
                    DoD Prime Contractor AEHF
                    DoD Prime Contractor AH-64 Apache
                    DoD Prime Contractor C-5 Galaxy
                    DoD Prime Contractor C-130 Hercules
                    DoD Prime Contractor CH-53/MH-53
                    DoD Prime Contractor E-2D | E-6B |
                    DoD Prime Contractor EELV (Atlas V & Vulcan LV)
                    DoD Prime Contractor F-16
                    DoD Prime Contractor F-22
                    DoD Prime Contractor F-35 Lightning II (2016 direct acquisition $110 billion) + ($379 billion R&D) + (projected gen 5 life cycle cost $1.2+ trillion)
                    DoD Prime Contractor GMLRS
                    DoD Prime Contractor GPS
                    DoD Prime Contractor Hellfire
                    DoD Prime Contractor HIMARS
                    DoD Prime Contractor JASSM
                    DoD Prime Contractor JDAM
                    DoD Prime Contractor JTRS
                    DoD Prime Contractor Littoral Combat Ship ($21 Billion+)
                    DoD Prime Contractor MH-60R
                    DoD Prime Contractor MH-60S
                    DoD Prime Contractor UH-60M Black Hawk
                    DoD Prime Contractor S-97 Raider
                    DoD Prime Contractor MUOS
                    DoD Prime Contractor PAC-3/MSE
                    DoD Prime Contractor Patriot/MEADS
                    DoD Prime Contractor Patriot/PAC-3
                    DoD Prime Contractor SBIRS
                    DoD Prime Contractor THAAD
                    DoD Prime Contractor Trident II

                    Lockheed Martin’s Major Joint ventures
                    International Launch Services (with Khrunichev, RSC Energia)
                    Lockheed Martin Alenia Tactical Transport Systems (with Alenia Aeronautica), now folded
                    MEADS International (with EADS and MBDA)
                    Space Imaging (46%, remainder public)
                    United Launch Alliance (with Boeing)
                    Javelin Joint Venture (with Raytheon)
                    Longbow LLC (with Northrop Grumman)
                    United Space Alliance (with Boeing)
                    Kelly Aviation Center (with GE and Rolls-Royce)
                    Protector USV – an unmanned surface vehicle (with Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and BAE Systems)
                    Defense Support Services (DS2) with Day & Zimmermann[63]
                    Tata Lockheed Martin Aerostructures Limited (with Indian company Tata Advanced Systems Limited)
                    Advanced Military Maintenance Repair and Overhaul Center (AMMROC) (with Mubadala Development Company)

                    Lockheed Martin’s Recent partial acquisitions:
                    Date Invested In Round
                    Jul, 2015 Sikorsky Aircraft $9B (terms undisclosed)
                    Oct, 2014 Systems Made Simple Unknown
                    Aug, 2014 Sun Catalytix Unknown
                    Aug, 2014 Zeta Associates Unknown
                    Jun, 2014 Deposition Sciences Unknown
                    Mar, 2014 BEONTRA Unknown
                    Mar, 2014 Industrial Defender $165M (terms undisclosed)
                    Sep, 2013 Amor Group Unknown
                    Dec, 2012 CDL Systems Unknown
                    Nov, 2012 Chandler/May, Inc. Unknown
                    Jun, 2017 Terran Orbital undisclosed amount / Venture (Lead)
                    Apr, 2017 Peloton Technology $60M / Series B
                    Nov, 2016 CarteNav Solutions $1.4M / Undisclosed (Lead)
                    Sep, 2016 Vnomics undisclosed amount / Venture (Lead)
                    May, 2015 Cybereason $25M / Series B
                    Apr, 2015 Peloton Technology $16M / Series A
                    May, 2014 Newlans $20M / Series B
                    May, 2014 Nordic Quantum Computing Group undisclosed amount / Seed
                    Nov, 2009 IPWireless $15.5M / Series A

                    • john hare

                      SE Jones,
                      Is it just me, or is the Paster in Chief becoming even more incoherent than usual? I can accept the normal inversions of reality and consider the source. I’m getting to the point of thinking it doesn’t have a real goal at all beyond clumsy attempts at trashing its’ perceived enemies.

                    • se jones

                      “John Hare August 13, 2017 at 6:39 am
                      to SE Jones,
                      Is it just me, or is the Paster in Chief becoming even more incoherent than usual? I can accept the normal inversions of reality and consider the source. I’m getting to the point of thinking it doesn’t have a real goal at all beyond clumsy attempts at trashing its’ perceived enemies.”

                      Not just you, he’s more and more unhinged with every post.
                      I reply occasionally for the benefit of any lurkers out there who may be influenced, James is unreachable.

                      The interesting (and somewhat frighting) part is; the James / Gary Church crowd are just channeling for Paul Spudis. Whereas James/Church are just your typical internet looser troll, Spudis is a high-ranking government employee at the NASA/USRA funded Lunar and Planetary Institute.

                      I don’t have to point out the staggering hypocrisy of the people who constantly espouse “bringing the moon into the economic sphere”, yet hate cost-lowering commercial space efforts while militantly promoting a government program.

                    • James

                      Blather on john hare and se jones.

                      I don’t have to point out the staggering hypocrisy of the people who constantly espouse bringing Mars into the economic sphere, yet viciously support the CIA/In-Q-Tel/SpaceX’s cost-raising socialist government programs to destroy our nations companies and the bipartisan Congressional supported human Lunar return Constellation program.

                      ‘Good old’ john hare and se jones always attack folks who support the SLS and International Orion and ignore the 20,000,000,000 dollar socialist elephant your good friends in the CIA/In-Q-Tel have conjured up out of nothing but insider spy information, secret deals, and corruption.

                      Unfortunately for many Americans and international folks and companies, the CIA/In-Q-Tel’s created and strongly supported SpaceX is an effective, secretive, and vicious attack on “the marketplace and the freedoms it enhances.”

                      Lockheed and many other companies and folks had best watch their backs.

                      If the CIA/In-Q-Tel’s created and strongly supported SpaceX wants to build NASA’s Habitat for the Lunar Orbiting Deep Space Gateway, a dozen very large communication satellite spy networks in various orbits, and super slick Artificial Intelligence Spy Systems, then that is exactly what the CIA/In-Q-Tel’s created SpaceX will do with the help of the taxpayers paid for huge government data bases, an enormous number of spy connections, excellent AI systems, rich and secretive Venture Capital ‘pals’, and bought politicians.

                      Lockheed Martin’s US Market Capitalization of May 2017 $78.3 Billion sounds impressive and has created and sells lots of great products and services to America and the world.

                      “In 2013, 78% of Lockheed Martin’s revenues came from military sales;[6] it topped the list of US federal government contractors and received nearly 10% of the funds paid out by the Pentagon.[7] In 2009 US government contracts accounted for $38.4 billion (85%), foreign government contracts $5.8 billion (13%), and commercial and other contracts for $900 million (2%).[8]
                      Lockheed Martin operates in five business segments: Aeronautics, Information Systems & Global Solutions, Missiles and Fire Control, Rotary and Mission Systems, and Space Systems.[9] The company has received the Collier Trophy six times, including in 2001 for being part of developing the X-35/F-35B LiftFan Propulsion System,[10][11][12] and most recently in 2006 for leading the team that developed the F-22 Raptor fighter jet. Lockheed Martin is currently developing the F-35 Lightning II and leads the international supply chain, leads the team for the development and implementation of technology solutions for the new USAF Space Fence (AFSSS replacement),[13] and is the primary contractor for the development of the Orion (spacecraft) command module.[14] The company also invests in healthcare systems, renewable energy systems, intelligent energy distribution and compact nuclear fusion.[15]”
                      From: ‘Lockheed Martin’ Wikipedia
                      At: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_Martin

                      However against the CIA’s deep state connections, including the NSA and many other spy agencies, the large number of backroom dirty deals the secretive CIA/In-Q-Tel’s created and strongly supported SpaceX could be capable of doing, Lockheed Martin and many other large companies are pretty much defenseless.

                      The CIA/In-Q-Tel/SpaceX/NASA ‘Mars Now’ noise machine led by Elon Musk a strong political supporter of President Obama who cancelled our Congressional bipartisan supported Constellation human return to the Moon program because it was too costly and substituted his and Elon Musk’s obviously crazy ‘less risky and cheaper’ humans to Mars Soon program in order to ‘clear the road for more NASA and Air Force funding for SpaceX and its Falcon 9 and FalconH’ and the 20 billion dollar rise of a new company that had zip to show in the way of great products but had the best dirty CIA/In-Q-Tel friends in the world and ready access to the pockets of the American taxpayers.

                      SpaceX has an unreliable and cancelled Falcon 1, a not real reliable Falcon 9, and a Falcon Heavy that hasn’t flown yet, as products but none-the-less keeps on getting tons of taxpayer money and has gained control of Launch Pad 39A.

                      Despite zip history of producing quality products, the endless insider deals will keep the CIA/In-Q-Tel and ”Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Founders Fund (both early backers of SpaceX)” moving SpaceX’s valuation up and up and up faster than a high speed elevator or even a rocket.

                      The CIA/In-Q-Tel is the best political and financially connected dirty money insider and industrial spy organization any money hungry President and politically well connected secretive Venture Capitalist folks could ask for.

                      Through its many excellent connections to diverse affiliated American spy agencies, and dozens of spy agencies of other counties, the CIA/In-Q-Tel organization always has the best and latest information and dirt on companies and people in America and around the world.

                      “The most active conventional VC funds in the space start-up ecosystem have been and continue to be Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Founders Fund (both early backers of SpaceX) as well as In-Q-Tel, the venture arm of the Central Intelligence Agency.”

                      From: ‘Investors pour billions into commercial space start-ups as they approach exit velocity’
                      By Clay Dillow Aug 9, 2017
                      At: https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/09/investors-pour-billions-into-spacex-blue-origin-planet.html

                      “Through In-Q-Tel, a strategic investment group that’s technically independent but remains extremely close with the Agency, the CIA has invested in over 300 startups since setting up shop in 1999.
                      By virtue of being at the intersection of two of the least transparent industries around—intelligence and venture capital—there isn’t much publicly available information about the firm or many of its investments. If it feels a little like a stranger-than-fiction combination of VC and 007, you’d be correct.”
                      From: ‘In-Q-Tel, The CIA’s VC Arm, Has Had A Busy Few Years’
                      By Jason D. Rowley December 1, 2016
                      At: https://mattermark.com/q-tel-cias-vc-arm-busy-years/

                      john hare and se jones will always strongly defend the cozy socialist moral corruption at “two of the least transparent industries around—intelligence and venture capital” that destroyed the Constellation program, created the idiotic seven years of the CIA/In-Q-Tel/Elon Musk/President Obama/SpaceX/NASA ‘Mars Now’ program and the 20,000,000,000 dollar SpaceX valuation based on zero reliable products and more dirty backroom deals than anyone can imagine.

                      Many more such CIA/In-Q-Tel backroom dirty deals are currently being cooked up.

                      As for me, I remember the TV ad with the little old lady asking “Where’s the beef?”

                      Yep, john hare and se jones can and will endlessly attack everyone who isn’t a SpaceX benefited and bought insider, but the fact remains that there is no beef, or other great product, and nothing but lots of little CIA/In-Q-Tel spy bugs crawling around in the stale bread SpaceX hamburger that we have foolishly ‘bought’ for about 20,000,000,000 dollars.

                      And the other really stupid thing is the many more billions of tax dollars this crooked CIA/In-Q-Tel socialist ‘Mars Now’ game has already cost us and the more billions of tax dollars that will get sucked into the new CIA/In-Q-Tel/Elon Musk/Obama/SpaceX/NASA ‘Whatever Now’ programs before the money flies away to ‘nowhere to be found’ land.

                    • James

                      Lockheed Martin’s US Market Capitalization of May 2017 at $78.3 Billion sounds impressive and it certainly has created and sells lots of great products and services to America and the world.

                      “In 2013, 78% of Lockheed Martin’s revenues came from military sales;[6] it topped the list of US federal government contractors and received nearly 10% of the funds paid out by the Pentagon.[7] In 2009 US government contracts accounted for $38.4 billion (85%), foreign government contracts $5.8 billion (13%), and commercial and other contracts for $900 million (2%).[8]
                      Lockheed Martin operates in five business segments: Aeronautics, Information Systems & Global Solutions, Missiles and Fire Control, Rotary and Mission Systems, and Space Systems.[9] The company has received the Collier Trophy six times, including in 2001 for being part of developing the X-35/F-35B LiftFan Propulsion System,[10][11][12] and most recently in 2006 for leading the team that developed the F-22 Raptor fighter jet. Lockheed Martin is currently developing the F-35 Lightning II and leads the international supply chain, leads the team for the development and implementation of technology solutions for the new USAF Space Fence (AFSSS replacement),[13] and is the primary contractor for the development of the Orion (spacecraft) command module.[14] The company also invests in healthcare systems, renewable energy systems, intelligent energy distribution and compact nuclear fusion.[15]”

                      From: ‘Lockheed Martin’ Wikipedia
                      At: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_Martin

                      Remember the TV ad with the little old lady asking “Where’s the beef?”

                      Elon Musk has the taxpayer subsidized Dragon supply spacecraft that flies to the taxpayer subsidized International Space Station, the taxpayer subsidized, unreliable, and cancelled fast response Falcon 1, a not very reliable taxpayer subsidized Falcon 9, and the taxpayer subsidized and very complex Falcon Heavy that hasn’t flown yet as his SpaceX products but none-the-less he keeps on getting tons of taxpayer money and has gained control of the taxpayer paid for and extremely valuable NASA Launch Pad 39A.

                      Elon Musk still sells ‘wonderful’ Mars Now and Mars Soon noise with a vague and thinning BFR whose plan have gone on an extreme diet and is now pretty emaciated.

                      However, the fact remains that there is not much beef or much other real and great products in Elon Musk’s stale SpaceX hamburger that we have foolishly ‘bought’ for about 20,000,000,000 dollars in valuation and many billions more in government subsidies and national assets.

              • James

                The New Glenn is coming.

                Time will tell.

          • James

            Tracy the Troll –

            “SpaceX was created by …Air Force, NASA, CIA, NSA” – Tracy the Troll

            and lots of political lies.

            You are most likely much too young to realize the last part.

              • James

                Tracy the Troll –

                No! No, no, no!

                The costly SLS will never ever exist.

                Why are you even thinking of supporting such dangerously risky and off the wall ideas?

                Forget about bizarre Titan life nonsense.

                The SLS wasn’t going to be the cheapest way to get to LEO and that is why our brilliant Android Hero President cancelled it!

                Our Android Hero President is the greatest and cheapest ever genius because his brain is the guidance system for every FalconH launcher!

                Tracy the Troll, do you need to be evaluated by a FalconH Cult certified mental health doctor that graduated from the cheapest medical school, the sublime FalconH School of Cheapest Medicine?

                Thankfully, the FalconH School of Cheapest Medicine is the only real medical school these days! And now its grand graduates of the cheapest ever one month MD program are the only ones recognized and accepted by medical insurance companies and governments everywhere on our universally forever loving cheapest Earth.

                Aren’t you glad that all trucks in America and everywhere else are the cheapest trucks ever and made by Ford?

                And aren’t you full of joy because all of the Ford trucks in America and the world are half-ton pickup trucks with powerful twenty-eight horsepower electric motors because they were declared to be the cheapest?

                Yep, by accepted definition the glorious twenty-eight horsepower electric motor powered Ford half-ton pickup truck is cheaper than any other potentially imaginable truck and being the cheapest is the only factor that the beloved, all wise, rigidly stern, and extremely capable FalconH Cult, led by our lovely Android Hero President, will allow anyone to ever consider.

                Some nasty criminal folks secretly want the return of trains. But the 100,000,000 ton Big Ship was the cheapest way to move goods and so all trains everywhere had to be destroyed and any ship that wasn’t a Big Ship was sunk ten years ago by the great and cheapest American Big Ship navy.

                Cheapest canals everywhere for Big Ships cost a little bit, but across our planet the cheapest law was rigorously enforced, the cheapest canals were built everywhere by the cheapest robots, and that was that.

                That cheapest holy directive is also why all launches into space around the world are done by SpaceX FalconH launchers. Yep, granted we had to fight a dozen wars, or was it two dozen wars, to enforce the obvious edict that a flight to LEO with the FalconH is always the cheapest way to go.

                And why anyone would ever even whisper outrageous, foolish, and quite dangerous words about launching anything or anyone to anywhere but LEO is beyond crazy!

                True, we did have to burn lots of books about space written by those beyond LEO heretics, but that is the cheapest price to pay in order to get real progress!

                We nearly had to destroy the whole Internet when we cleansed it of impure beyond LEO ideas! Brutal purification is always the cheapest option!

                LEO is the cheapest orbit and thus the only acceptable and proper orbit for any satellite or human carrying spacecraft. Unfortunately, the super bitter Mars Now crowd got a little confused and angry on that issue.

                But after the Mars Now crazies were all caught, publicly whipped, and sent to prison everyone accepted that LEO was the cheapest place in space and therefore obviously the only destination for the always cheapest, greatest, and excellent FalconH.

                Of course, the new universal world-wide nudity custom was initially a hard sell. Yep, but honestly, everyone knows nudity was the cheapest fashion millions of years ago and remains so today. Nudity is natural and always is the cheapest and only way to enjoy your life.

                It is true that sometimes a few hundred naked folks freeze to death in the cold regions of the world, but under the wise guidance of our great FalconH guidance system we all have learned that the cheapest is the only factor to ever be considered. Human modesty and life itself is of no value when compared to the amazing principal of being the cheapest as explicitly explained in the lovely commands of our Android Hero President.

                Of course, that is why all the wonderful cars built today everywhere on Earth are robust 1939 VWs with nine horsepower electric motors because that was the cheapest design for a new universal cheapest car.

                Cheapest is the only thing that counts for anything as we all now know since our Android Hero President, otherwise known and praised as the FalconH guidance system, wrote our new and beautiful Cheapest Always and Forevermore Bible of the New Law that everyone has to absolutely believe in and follow or face universal condemnation and persecution to the ends of the Earth.

                Rectify your thinking Tracy the Troll! Follow the forever bright and unfailing light offered by the glory of the cheapest!

                Quit trying to spout and spread insane anti-FalconH heresy on the Internet to poison the weak minds of the gullible!

                Our great Android Hero President can read your intolerable anti-FalconH thoughts!

                Frankly speaking, if you don’t change your thinking within a day or two, you’ll soon be blue and shivering with Maureen Palmer, Valentina Tereshkova, Liu Yang, Wang Yaping, Karen Nyberg, Stephen Hawking, Leroy Chiao, Paul Spudis, Yang Liwei, Robert Bigelow, Michael Douglas Griffin, Paul Scott Anderson, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Mike Killian, Jeff Wright, Chris, john hare, se jones, TomPerkins, and that International Orion and SLS lover named James, aka Santa.

                Beware Tracy the Troll! Change your thoughts now or you’ll be joining them in a very cold place!

                Yep, get a grip and focus on enlightening cheapest thoughts now and always, otherwise you’ll end up with all those strange beyond LEO thought criminals and a whole lot of other super foolish space folks in the cold and nasty New Alcatraz Miserable Cheapest Antarctic Prison and you will be there for a very long time!

                Always think the cheapest truth! LEO is the only place in space!

                Tracy the Troll, you must not deviate ever from the law of the cheapest!

                If you simply embrace and follow the wisdom of the law of the cheapest in every detail of your thoughts and life, you will finally find true happiness and be loved by everyone forever!

                • Tom Perkins

                  What a trolling, meaningless pile of word salad.

                  • James

                    ‘The price of getting material into LEO is going to fall towards a few tens of dollars per pound.’ – Tom Perkins

                    A perfect example of “a trolling, meaningless pile of word salad” from a deeply unhappy and confused Mars Now advocate and Moon, SLS, and International Orion hater. Obviously, the folks in Congress will be greatly impressed.

                    • neener neener neener I guess you told him!

                    • TomPerkins

                      The fuel to lift a pound into LEO with a 9m ITS concept system ( two fully reusable stages running MethaLOx ) costs $2.50 ~ $3.50 per pound. That’s not a lot.

                      The cost per launch of the ITS is posited by ULA and NASA at $500mn per for a 140ton capacity. That’s $1,785 / lb.

                      I know of no reason, and neither does James, why an 9m ITS concept launcher would run more than $120mn per launch for 200tons capacity. That’s $300 / lb.

                      He has no factual basis on which to argue otherwise.

                    • James

                      Nope. You are confused.

                      “The price of getting material into LEO is going to fall towards a few tens of dollars per pound.” – Tom Perkins

                    • TomPerkins

                      How so?

                      The F9 fuel costs are in the range of $200k to $300k. The FH has less than 3 times the tank volume of the F9, so the FH? fuel costs are less than $900k at most.

                      The reusable pounds to LEO for the FH are certainly in the region of 140660lbs X 0.7, so the cost in fuel for a reusable FH launch is about $9.15/lb to LEO. As a mature system with only maintenance engineering, replacement units being paid for and R&D amortized, it is plausible that will come to only $60/lb for the FH system.

                      The BFR/ITS will be less.

                      Customers may be charged more to pay for the Mars venture. They may be charged more for new R&D towards new systems. But that low cost is what it will cost Musk to go to Mars.

                      As he still states is his end goal. SpaceX has always said they are happy to provide launch services for a paying customer, the Moon was never ruled out.

              • reply to Tracy

                Tracy, the odds of SLS launching a planetary science probe are somewhere between zero and nil.
                The planetary science community would never agree to actual mission planning around the SLS, regardless of the wishes of congressmen and space cadets.

                Planetary science was forced to hitch its wagon to manned launch vehicle programs twice before, with disastrous results both times.

                Everyone is familiar with the successful Viking Mars landers/orbiters in the mid 1970s. But originally, in the 1960s the Viking s/c were called “Voyager” and were part of the Apollo Applications program. The Voyager Mars s/c were originally to be launched on the Saturn 1B, then, after the inevitable mission creep caused by the Apollo era “money’s no object” mindset, the huge Mars Voyagers were set to launch on the mighty Saturn V. Well, that didn’t work out, the Apollo programs and the Saturn V were sent to the chopping block even before the Apollo II landed on the Moon.

                The JPL engineers went back to the drawing board and came up with the re-scoped Viking Mars program, scaled to launch on the venerable Titan IV Centaur. The rest is history.

                The next major disaster caused by forcing JPL to put an unmanned probe on a man rated vehicle, was the original Galileo Jupiter probe. The next STS launch after the Challenger disaster was to be Galileo probe with its special Shuttle Centaur-G upperstage on STS-61-G in 1986. After Challenger, NASA management decided the LH2 Centaur wasn’t safe in a manned vehicle, so Galileo was re-designed to go in 1989 on a solid upper stage, and then follow a long and winding multi-planet gravity assist flight to Jupiter. The long period of ground storage, long cross country road trips and the long interplanetary loop around Venus conspired to damage the high gain antenna, which seriously degraded the mission.

                There no way the planetary scientists and engineers will stand for using SLS for expensive “Flagship” missions. SLS has a horrible once-per-year launch cadence (at best). Since SLS is to be man rated, any serious problem with any SLS launch is likely to cause a lengthy stand-down, leading to a complex re-shuffle of downstream SLS missions. With a manned Lunar program depending on SLS to send up the massive Orion(+ mission modules), your Titan mission would be forced to sit around for years waiting for another chance to go anything goes wrong with SLS/Orion. Never forget: planetary missions have very tight launch windows to meet, you can’t just light it and go whenever, the planets don’t wait.

                No doubt, you can find PowerPoint slides showing SLS launched missions to Europa or wherever, but sorry…this is just wishful thinking.

              • James

                “No doubt, you can find PowerPoint slides showing” BFR “launched missions to” se jones’ beloved but unfunded Potemkin Village-like Mars colonies “or wherever, but sorry…this is just wishful” and blind Moon hating “thinking.”

                The “SLS has” a great two to five times per year “launch cadence” or even a more frequent launch rate if Congress decides that is what it wants and America needs.

                Congress understands that the higher the SLS launch rate, the lower the SLS launch costs per each mission.

                The higher the launch rates of the small BFR, the lower the small BFR launch costs per each mission.

                Of course, if the shrinking small BFR only launches once or twice a year, its launch costs per each mission might be pretty high.

                As always, the urgent and critical task of the shrinking BFR Mars Now mob is to politically destroy the SLS and International Orion as quickly as possible.

                If an unending stream of Mars Now and unfunded Potemkin Village-like Mars colonies nonsense combined with politically sabotaging the Moon base is useful in defending the shrinking small BFR, then that is obviously the crooked road that they will take.

                Yep, the deeply unhappy and confused Mars Now advocates and Moon, SLS, and International Orion haters like se jones now falsely claim to be the experts who best understand the future of Lunar resource tapping and industrialization requirements and thus can tell Congress what Cislunar and beyond Cislunar SLS missions it is allowed to fund or not fund.

                Congress and our international space exploration partners will be greatly impressed with and listen carefully to the many future sarcastic and nasty SLS mission planning pronouncements of the very bitter and confused Moon, SLS, and International Orion haters like se jones.

                Or just maybe the folks in Congress will continue to ignore former President Obama’s highly partisan and unfunded Potemkin Village-like Mars colonies, foolish and costly Lost in Space NASA politics, shrinking BFR, and nonscientific Moon, SLS, and International Orion haters like se jones.

                Yep, President Obama seemed to mostly view space policy as simply another great way to make some money for his political friend and supporter. What an excellent and noble Obama historical space legacy for Congress to continue to ignore!

                • TomPerkins

                  ” The “SLS has” a great two to five times per year “launch cadence” or even a more frequent launch rate if Congress decides that is what it wants and America needs. ”

                  No, it does not. It remains to be seen if it will launch even once.

                  ” Congress understands that the higher the SLS launch rate, the lower the SLS launch costs. ” <– And those costs cannot go below $1,785.lb, because the ULA and NASA posited minimum cost per launch is $500mn at at most 140tons capacity. The FH starts at $650/lb, approximately a threefold advantage.

                  ” As always, the urgent and critical task of the shrinking BFR Mars Now mob is to politically destroy the SLS and International Orion as quickly as possible. ” <– And in light of that at minimum threefold advantage, the SLS must be killed so we can afford to launch some hardware.

                  There is nothing about the ITS shrinking to what short sighted idiots will pay for which is crooked, and it has always obviously been true SpaceX will launch to any destination a customer will pay for.

                  None of your words salad changes any of that.

                  • James

                    The BFR has a great zero times per year “launch cadence”. “It remains to be seen if it will launch even once.”

                    No money to be made anytime soon on Mars = No BFR.

                    Grow up and leave your unfunded Potemkin Village-like Mars fantasy colonies and hatred of the consistently well-funded SLS and International Orion Cislunar Space Transportation System far behind you.

                    The BFR is gone. “None of your words salad changes any of that.”

                    Mr. Elon Musk now wants to help NASA and the rest of the world build a permanent Moon base because such a Lunar resource tapping settlement is far more doable and useful for the Home Planet and America’s security and economic interests than is endless and crazy unfunded Mars Now noise.

                    Anyone who endlessly promotes super high risk and costly and not very useful human Mars Now fantasy missions while ignoring the many advantages of using Lunar resources to reduce spaceflight risks and costs while also improving America and the Home World’s security and accelerating the development of Cislunar Space, is simply bouncing around in a very small, strange, and Mars Now fantasyland.

                    Even our empty rhetoric and human space mission hating former President, and ‘great’ political friend and supporter of Mr. Elon Musk, basically abandoned the nonscientific, super risky, extremely costly, and beyond stupid Mars Now non-plan long ago.

                    You and lots of other SLS and International Orion Cislunar Space Transportation System hating folks simply didn’t want to pay any attention to what was long obvious to many space cadets:

                    “NASA has no long-term Mars strategy for its robotic program (its current strategic plan ended in 2016). NASA’s existing Mars spacecraft are, on average, over a decade old and operating long past their intended design lifetimes. Significant budget cuts in 2009 and 2013 disrupted the mission development pipeline, transforming it from a parallel process (multiple missions in various stages of development) to a serialized one (one mission in development at a time).”

                    And, “No new missions have been announced since 2012 — the longest drought in new Mars missions in decades — meaning NASA has no official plans to retrieve the samples it is spending billions of dollars to collect and no official intention to refresh its science and telecommunications orbiter network, which is critical for the successful operations of Curiosity, Mars 2020, and any future surface missions.”

                    From: ‘Op-ed | Sleepwalking away from Mars’
                    By Casey Dreier — August 3, 2017
                    At: http://spacenews.com/op-ed-sleepwalking-away-from-mars/

                    • TomPerkins

                      ” The BFR has a great zero times per year “launch cadence”. ”

                      Which means nothing since the FH by itself obviates the SLS entirely.

                      No one has ever so much as suggested that money needed to be made on Mars for the BFR or like system to be funded, no one ever before–you just made it up. Where on Earth did you get the idea anyone ever thought that profitable transport to and from Mars had to happen with FH’s to fund BFR’s?

                      ” The BFR is gone. ” <– No chance of that at all, and no reason for you to even speculate it. The BFR is the heavy lift, fully reusable two-stage MethaLOx system Musk has been talking about for about 10 years now. Where did you get the idea it was off the table?

                      ” Mr. Elon Musk … Mars Now noise. ” <– None of which has anything to do with the BFR being cancelled. Also, there never was any Mars Now noise, the soonest possible flight would have been in 2018, with no large ships for over a decade more. That’s not Mars Now anymore than it’s now Moon Now–for which we have no hardware either…

                      …And none of which changes the fact the BFR will be built to lower the cost of getting a pound into orbit, because the SLS is not fit for the purpose, and the BFR is.

                      When SpaceX build BFR’s, they will start going to Mars, because it’s Musk’s company and its what he wants to do. Why you insist on pretending they can only have one destination is a mystery–they are reusable after all.

                    • James

                      “Which means nothing since the FH by itself obviates the SLS entirely.”

                      TomPerkins

                      That also means “the FH by itself obviates the” BFR/ITS/Whatever “entirely.”

                      I’m sure the European Space Agency is really eager to help develop the FH system in order to ride it to the Moon and Mars.

                      I’m sure they will happily and quickly accept that Europe’s Ariane 6, Vega, and future launcher based on the super cheap and reusable Prometheus rocket engine are no longer needed by the Home Planet because of the wisdom and glory of the ‘cheap’ FH.

                      Yep, India, Russia, China, Japan, North Korea, and South Korea have cancelled all their launches and want to make deals with the obvious Launcher Obviate King, aka Mr. Elon Musk.

                      Clearly, only the US government subsidized SpaceX can design a ‘cheap’ Rube Goldberg 28 engine launcher and that the “FH by itself obviates the SLS”, BFR/ITS/Whatever, and all other launchers “entirely.”

                      Thank you for making me laugh!

                      See: ‘Prometheus, ASL’s future rocket engine’
                      By Marcin Wolny February 7, 2017
                      At: https://www.techforspace.com/european-space-sector/prometheus-asls-future-rocket-engine/

                    • TomPerkins

                      ” That also means “the FH by itself obviates the” BFR/ITS/Whatever “entirely.” ”

                      No, because a two stage MethaLOx launcher like the BFR/ITS will lower the cost of access to LEO far more than the FH can.

                      That other nations have yet to take advantage of that architecture says nothing about the advantages of that architecture, but about national pride getting in the way of lower cost access to LEO.

                      There is little room to doubt they will adopt such an architecture in the future–although being surely government run they will not have the operational efficiencies which having your own cash in the game produces.

  • Tracy the Troll

    Lets go over the numbers again….

    SLS/Orion = $2B Per launch 2022-2023 +/-?

    FH/D2 = $200M Per launch – 2018

    Who wins the Marketplace? Ok I thought that this would be easy but…Well the answer is FH/D2 and it will be used by…everybody NASA, Military and the Private Sector to mine the Moon, Mine the asteroids and explore Mars etc etc. So what do we do with the SLS? There is no market for the SLS! Its too damn expensive.

    Hmmmm …Create ISS2 and with ISS2 its all about the journey and the PR… not so much about really showing anything other than “working together” in this big happy global village. And what better place to do that than at ….Titan or Europa. Invite ALL the nations on Earth from Australia to Zimbabwe and everyone in between including North Korea and Iran. Make it Open Source with constant web shows showing everything. Create a large automated orbiting platform that has numerous redundant systems and be willing to share all of the tech and the findings…Yes I know this would take 5 to 10 years…Cost tens of billions of dollars…And become the cornerstone of Hope for all of Humanity…Working Together…

    And this creates a marketplace for the SLS where there isn’t one…

    • James

      Tracy the Troll –

      Your fake marketplace, and even your Titan or Europa ISS2 built by the ‘big happy global village’, refrain avoids the nudity argument and a few other arguments as well.

      Nudity was and is the most economical and obviously cheapest option and it more or less worked for us for millions of years.

      Why isn’t everyone practicing public nudity today?

      Obviously, because the many and diverse real world benefits of clothes, from bikinis and snow suits to raincoats and body armor, far outweigh and overwhelm any trivial and basically really stupid ‘lowest cost argument’ for nudity.

      What are some of the known real world benefits of the SLS and International Orion Cislunar Transportation System that far outweigh and overwhelm any trivial and basically really stupid ‘lowest cost arguments’ for only using the liquid propellant New Glenn, Antares, FalconH, Antares, Soyuz, or any other liquid propellant launcher system?

      The large SLS and International Orion Cislunar Transportation System is a powerful international space transportation system and it is also an obvious and widely recognized peaceful yet critical symbol of the real and deep common unity between Europe and America and the extremely important military fact that if, or when, push comes to shove on the Home Planet or in Cislunar space, Europe will support America and America will support Europe.

      That simple geopolitical fact of a tangible European and American unity in both peaceful Lunar endeavors and in conflicts or wars in Cislunar Space or on Earth helps to support the incredibly valuable and costly current geopolitical semi-peace on the Home Planet.

      The real world, and extremely high, costs in blood, physical damage to Europe and America, and money spent in a war or other nastiness that is avoided because of the obvious and well understood implications of the SLS and International Orion system, far outweigh and overwhelm any potential false and trivial ‘cost savings’ involved with only using the liquid propellant New Glenn, Antares, FalconH, Antares, Soyuz, or any other liquid propellant based launcher system.

      Other large launchers may eventually fly Lunar missions far more often than the SLS and International Orion system, but they most likely will do so initially in supporting roles to European and American led SLS and International Orion missions to build a permanent international Lunar ISRU base.

      Someone might ask, “But what if that powerful SLS and International Orion system and symbol of unity is ignored and a war breaks out anyway?”

      The guaranteed diverse current and future assured capabilities of the SLS International Orion System in a war situation should not be trivialized or minimized by anyone, especially the nasty ‘Mars Now marketplace’ mob that has an obvious ‘zip marketplace business case’ for doing super risky and hugely costly Red Planet missions.

      Each launch of the SLS and International Orion system uses two of the largest and most powerful solid rocket motors the world has ever seen, and that simple but critical military fact means, and tells everyone, that our national capability to efficiently build massive numbers of solid rocket motors of all sizes remains intact and is always ready to quickly produce the solid rocket motors needed for whatever missiles the military needs to win any new war that is to be fought.

      Solid propellant powered missiles are the super fast swords, spears, and arrows of modern warfare.

      In modern warfare those who have the needed crucial military industrial capacity and are well prepared to fight, usually win.

      Two modern countries with roughly equal military industrial capacities could pretty much just destroy each other and maybe half the Home Planet as well.

      The ongoing production and launches of the SLS and its large Solid Rocket Boosters, or SRBs, guarantees the critical ongoing ‘sharpness’ and strong production capabilities of Europe and America’s ‘super fast swords, spears, and arrows of modern warfare ‘.

      The American and European alliance’s backup solid rocket motor production capability in Europe is utilized for the Ariane 6 and Vega launchers.

      Japan will often use SRBs for its upcoming H3 launcher.

      India and China also produce large solid rocket motors.

      Would Congress and the European and Japanese governments want to give up that quickly responsive solid rocket motor production capability anytime soon?

      No!

      The Ariane 6, Vega, H3, and SLS may evolve and increase their payload capabilities and decrease their costs, but they or other SRB or solid propellant motor based launchers will most likely be launched for as long as we don’t have a ‘‘big happy global village’ and that may indeed be for a very long time.

      Without Japan, India, China, Russia, Europe, and America’s solid rocket motor guaranteed continued existence and growing economies and support for the rule of law and international trade, the inanely called ‘free marketplace’, (which is extremely costly to maintain and too often paid for in far too many lives lost, super costly infrastructure demolished, big guns fired, and large numbers of solid rocket motor missiles launched), would become greatly diminished or something far distorted from the international market we have today.

      Without Japan, India, China, Russia, Europe, and America’s solid rocket motors, wars and other types of violence on all levels would be far more likely.

      Pick the kind of world you want to build.

      If the liquid propellant FalconH is the only launcher that you can envision, then you’re probably a tunnel vision intellectual Martian nudist and that is that.

      As for most folks in Congress, they will not become confused FalconH and Mars Now intellectual nudists because they live in and understand the practical defense needs of our nation and the costly cold hard realities of the Home World.

      Most folks in Congress know that launches for many decades of the SLS and International Orion Cislunar Transportation System that will be mainly powered by super large SRBs would be an excellent security enhancing, market guaranteeing, and happiness building deal for Europe, America, Japan, South Korea, and all of the rest of the Home Planet, aka: ‘the big and sometimes not so nice global village’.

      • for JamesMoonMiner

        tells everyone, that our national capability to efficiently build massive numbers of solid rocket motors of all sizes remains intact

        YGBFK, the solid fueled Minuteman ICBM entered service in 1962, and the NAVY’s Polaris in 1961. After these big solid military rockets entered service, the USA developed our first heavy lift launch vehicle, the all liquid propellant Saturn V. Soooo…here we are in 2017 and if we don’t regularly light-off the SLS the world will somehow forget -or cease to believe- that we have solid propellant strategic weapon systems? Or – – – something.
        This is of your most bizarre, juvenile and weird hypotheses yet. Good job.

        On April 23, on this very web site, you were arguing in your usual hateful, 3 grade level prose that the SpaceX ITS with its CH4 “Martian pixie dust” engines would harm the atmosphere (CH4/LOX exhaust = water vapor + CO2) and H2/LOX is the only valid fuel because Isp — so now a few weeks later you’ve decided that it’s super critical that the USA must launch lots of gigantic toxic smoke belching tire-fire ammonium perchlorate SRBs because – – – ongoing security enhancing, market guaranteeing, and happiness building ‘sharpness’.
        Does Lockheed Martin have your resume? I could maybe pull some stings.

        • James

          se jones –

          It is obvious you are still very angry about your hero Mr. Elon Musk recently making a really big switch from his endless “most bizarre, juvenile and weird hypotheses” that was expressed as unending and crazy political noise for ‘Mars Now’ to now supporting the ISS and the building of a Lunar ISRU base.

          Grow up and get rid of “your usual hateful, 3 grade level prose” that you have consistently used against folks who have posted here about the importance of the Moon and its resources and the usefulness of the bipartisan Congressional funded and nationally and internationally supported SLS and International Orion Cislunar Space Transportation System.

          In your great need to hurry and post “your usual hateful” and snarling attack dog message against an SLS and International Orion system supporter you seemed to have once again completely missed, or severely twisted in your confused brain, what I posted.

          “Other large launchers may eventually fly Lunar missions far more often than the SLS and International Orion system, but they most likely will do so initially in supporting roles to European and American led SLS and International Orion missions to build a permanent international Lunar ISRU base.” – James

          And yes, as a childish and upset ‘Mars Now’ nonscientific and illogical hero you do need to continue your relentless attacks against non-SpaceX launchers and those powerful solid rocket motors used on the Ariane 6, Vega, H3, and SLS. But those solid rocket motors will continue to work out quite well despite your silly attacks and endlessly foolish claims.

          Yep, your deep desire and duty to be a Martian “clown” cult leader means you will loudly and endlessly deny the geopolitical needs and security realities of the Home Planet.

          Have a great day sitting in your paper BFR next to your Potemkin Village-like Mars fantasyland!

          • TomPerkins

            Strange you think Musk has abandoned Mars. He’s always said he’d offer launch services to anyone who paid, so what do you think changed?

            ” “Other large launchers may eventually fly Lunar missions far more often than the SLS and International Orion system, but they most likely will do so initially in supporting roles to European and American led SLS and International Orion missions to build a permanent international Lunar ISRU base.” ”

            No, it’s quite likely the SLS will be canceled before it flies even once. That it is cancelled before it flies twice is far more likely. Which is a good thing, it means we can afford hardware for other launchers to lift.

            • James

              “what do you think changed?” – TomPerkins

              Mr. Elon Musk’s good political ‘friend’ and supporter is no longer our highly partisan President. That is a huge change.

              Thus, NASA’s beyond strange, nonscientific, and highly politically partisan role as a national advertising agency and great funding source for SpaceX and its Mars missions and Potemkin Village-like Mars fantasyland colonies noise machine is now going to be extremely limited.

              Lunar resources and Cislunar Space opportunities still remain as the only real economic development and security space game in town and the powerful SLS and International Orion Cislunar Space Transportation System is the integrated spacecraft and launcher system that the ESA and Congress have repeatedly funded to enable international Lunar missions.

              The first Falcon Heavy was supposed to launch in 2011. Will it ‘soon’ be replaced by the super small BFR/ITS/Whatever?

              Or, maybe “it’s quite likely the” super small BFR/ITS/Whatever “will be canceled before it flies even once.”

              Greatly Diminished Taxpayer Subsidies = Maybe No Super Small BFR/ITS/Whatever

              And since even the funding for new NASA Mars robotic missions pretty much dried up early under the last President’s vague and science ignorant ‘Mars is cheaper than the Moon space leadership’ and highly partisan noise, only a very confused person would think we humans are heading off to Mars any time prior to the building of the Lunar polar resource tapping international Moon Village.

              “The European Space Agency (ESA) and the China National Space Administration (CNSA) have begun discussions regarding a potential collaboration on a lunar human outpost and related technologies. CNSA led a series of talks with ESA, and secretary general for China’s space agency, Tian Yulong, discussed the potential for a lunar base on Chinese state media, according to the Independent. Pal Hvistendahl, a spokesman for ESA, confirmed the discussion.”

              From: “China, European Space Agency Plan to Collaborate on ‘Moon Village'”
              By David Grossman April 26, 2017
              At: http://www.popularmechanics.com/space/moon-mars/a26225/china-european-space-agency-collaborate-moon-village/

              Mr. Elon Musk’s politically unwise and foolish BFR/ITS/Whatever/Mars Now endless noise political support for the last President that strongly helped to enable that highly partisan President’s unpopular, costly, extremely valuable time wasting, and foolish cancellation of the Ares I launcher and Constellation human Lunar return program and substitute a very partisan, highly risky, super costly, and unfunded ‘We’re going to Mars Now with SpaceX’ program might have properly left both of them with a really bad skunk smell in many political and business communities in Europe, America, and other nations.

              Well, you are right. Things have “changed”.

  • Tracy the Troll

    Anyone..
    What is the cost and time in refueling an SRB that has been dropped in salt water after launch?

    • James

      “What is the cost and time in refueling an SRB that has been dropped in salt water after launch?” – Tracy the Troll

      Dropping large SRBs in saltwater is probably a very bad idea if we want to quickly reuse them.

      Graphene is super strong and very lightweight. In addition, graphene has a predicted melting point of about 5000 K degrees.

      We could use graphene to build reusable flyback SRBs that have wings and can gently land on a runway and rapidly be refurbished and launched again.

      SRBs are relatively simple and shouldn’t in theory be that difficult to get ready to launch again.

      Consider the nifty and upcoming vertical Phantom Express Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1) program.

      Take a look at the picture:

      http://www.boeing.com/space/phantom-express/index.page

      Now, imagine that vertical launch and gentle horizontal landing capable spaceplane without the little second stage on it and having a super powerful five to eight meter diameter SRB as its propulsion motor with the motor’s casings and wings made out of lightweight graphene.

      Attach two such super large winged graphene flyback SRBs to either side of an evolved SLS that has graphene propellant tanks and wings and other structures made of graphene and we could eventually end up with a lovely fully reusable SLS system.

      What about reusing the 8.4 meter diameter Exploration Upper Stage of the SLS?

      No problem. Add landing legs to it and use it as a reusable Large Lunar Lander. Propellant from the Moon should eventually be available in Low Lunar Orbit, High Earth Orbits, and LEO.

      However, remember when we use the SLS or any other launcher as a fully reusable system we lose about 50% of its LEO payload capability to whatever systems, propellant consumption, heat shields, landing legs, wheels, and/or wings that make that launcher fully reusable. Sometimes that 50% payload reduction is worthwhile and sometimes it isn’t.

      Maybe because graphene is so super lightweight and strong the 50% payload reduction number could be somewhat reduced.

      Maybe having Lunar propellant eventually available in LEO could also help to significantly reduce that high 50% payload reduction number.

      Think positive.

      Lots of folks want to go to the Moon because that is where some useful resources are.

      The SLS and International Orion system were specifically designed to do Lunar missions.

      Note:

      “While some nations may be content to simply set foot on the moon, China has bigger things in mind. President Xi Jinping has said he wants his country to become a force in space exploration, and the plan is to start at the celestial body closest to Earth.”

      And, “On Sunday, four students at Beihang University in Beijing entered Lunar Palace-1, a 160-square-meter bioregenerative life-support base located in one of the city’s suburbs. They replaced a group who lived inside the station for 60 days, but the latest batch of students to call Lunar Palace-1 home will not leave until they’ve been living self-sufficiently for 200 days. ‘I’ll get so much out of this,’ Liu Guanghui, a Ph.D. student who entered the bunker on Sunday, told Reuters. ‘It’s truly a different life experience.’”

      From: ‘Life on the Moon: China Is Testing a Self-Sustaining Space Station That Could Allow Long-Term Lunar Living’
      By Ryan Bort 7/10/2017
      At: http://www.newsweek.com/china-self-sustaining-space-station-living-moon-634526

    • reply to Tracy

      …cost and time in refueling an SRB that has been dropped in salt water after launch?

      Tracy, it cost at least $46 million to refurbish, reload and return to flight a Space Shuttle SRB. The $46M price is 2x the $23 million of a new SRB; on average it cost 2 to 2.5 times more to fly recycled SRBs than to buy new ones.

      The time required is complicated, the SRB motor segments and other parts were interchangeable (within a “series”) so any one completed SRB stack at KSC could be made of parts from several different preceding Shuttle missions, but on average it took about 2 years to cycle the SRB segments through the flow. These things are stunningly labor intensive to inspect and process.

      Incidentally, the salt water isn’t much of an issue, all the exterior surfaces are painted with marine grade epoxy paint or anodized (alum parts), while the inside of the motor segments are sealed with the rubber liner and sprayed-on ablative coating. Scraping off the inner liner & coating is one of the ridiculously labor intensive process in the flow.

      For sure, over twice as much cost to fly a “used” SRB than to fly a new one sounds nuts, but the Shuttle SRB program was predicated on a much higher flight rate than what actually occurred.
      This is of course why the SLS’s SRBs will be disposable (like every other part of the colossal white elephant), it would cost more to reuse them than to make new ones. Also, the heavier SLS boosters would need larger parachutes and a redesigned aft skirt to handle the splashdown loads.

      • James

        It is more than a bit strange when a Moon, SLS, and International Orion hater writes about a potential evolved SLS while he is still upset and angry about Mr. Elon Musk’s new found interest in the Moon and ISS while dropping the unfunded, nonscientific, and fading odd “colossal white elephant” illusionary BFR that was supposed to take folks real soon on highly risky and super costly trips to fantasyland Mars colonies.

        Oh well.

        Technological advances can reduce costs and weights while also changing some ways of doing things and expand what is possible for an evolved SLS and its future SRBs.

        “The solid-fueled motors are similar to the solid rocket boosters Orbital ATK and its predecessor companies built for the space shuttle and NASA’s Space Launch System. But the new rocket’s motors would use pre-packed propellants inside composite cases, which are lighter than the metallic steel casings flown on the shuttle and SLS.

        That development of the lightweight casings is one focus of the Air Force’s initial funding award to Orbital ATK earlier this year, Steinmeyer said.”

        From: ‘Details of Orbital ATK’s proposed heavy launcher revealed’
        By Stephen Clark May 27, 2016
        At: https://spaceflightnow.com/2016/05/27/details-of-orbital-atks-proposed-heavy-launcher-revealed/

        • James

          “ATK proposed an advanced SRB nicknamed “Dark Knight”. This booster would switch from a steel case to one made of lighter composite material, use a more energetic propellant, and reduce the number of segments from five to four.[54] It would deliver over 20,000 kN (4,500,000 lbf) maximum thrust and weigh 790,000 kg (1,750,000 lb) at ignition. According to ATK, the advanced booster would be 40% less expensive than the Shuttle-derived five-segment SRB.”

          From: ‘Space Launch System’ Wikipedia
          At: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Launch_System#Advanced_boosters

      • Tracy the Troll

        Se Jones,
        Thanks that was the insight I was looking for.

  • Tracy the Troll

    James,
    Do you have any cost per launch for “the nifty and upcoming vertical Phantom Express Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1) program”?… a video from Darpa

    Do you think this will be flown in Residential Areas? It looks like a complete orbital insertion with glide back to pad. The horizontal reentry with wings has proven much more complex than anticipated. This is vaporware right or are there any working systems or prototypes of these concepts? What about the lightweight graphene, has anything been built with that?

    This would be available when the 2030’s? 2040’s

    • James

      ‘What about the lightweight graphene, has anything been built with that?’ – Tracy the Troll

      “Graphene-based touch panel modules produced by a China-based company (2D Carbon Graphene Material Co., Ltd) have been sold in volume to cell phone, wearable device and home appliance manufacturers. For instance, smart phone products with graphene touch screens are already on the market.

      As of 2015 one product was available for commercial use: a graphene-infused printer powder.[285]

      In 2016, Adgero announced a regenerative braking system for large trucks that employed a graphene-based supercapacitor.[286]

      BAC’s 2016 Mono model is said to be made out of graphene as a first of both a street-legal track car and a production car.[287]”

      From: ‘Graphene’ Wikipedia At: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graphene#Applications

  • James

    “This would be available when the 2030’s?” – Tracy the Troll

    You ask lots of good questions.

    Like many things it probably comes down to when or if the money becomes available.

    As a cheap technology demonstration project, it might be useful to see a program to strap on graphene pop out wings and wheels to the first stage of the Minotaur rocket to make it into a flyback booster and bring it back to gently land on a runway.

    The first stage of the Minotaur rocket wasn’t designed to be reused but none-the-less it could be used to test the idea of using strap on pop out graphene wings and wheels and an inflatable aerodynamic nosecone.

    “Operated by Virginia-based aerospace company Orbital ATK, the solid-fueled Minotaur IV employs three decommissioned Peacekeeper intercontinental ballistic missiles to launch medium-size payloads into orbit. The rocket also incorporates fourth and fifth stages, both of which are powered by Orion 38 motors. Since 2000, the Minotaur rocket family has flown a total of 25 times, and from every U.S. launch site except Cape Canaveral.”

    From: ‘US Air Force Prepping for Historic Minotaur IV Rocket Launch in July’
    By Amy Thompson February 14, 2017
    At: https://www.space.com/35693-air-force-preps-minotaur-iv-rocket-launch.html

    Orbital ATK, the builder of the SLS’s SRBs and the Pegasus launch system, has lots of experience with wings on solid rocket stages due to:

    “Pegasus is released from its carrier aircraft at approximately 40,000 ft (12,000 m), and its first stage has wings and a tail to provide lift and attitude control while in the atmosphere.”

    From: ‘Pegasus (rocket)’ Wikipedia At: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pegasus_(rocket)

    Would it be possible for Orbital ATK to strap on additional small pop out graphene wings (in addition to the large wings it already has), pop out wheels or skids, and an inflatable aerodynamic nosecone to the first stage of the Pegasus and then land it on a runway and reuse it?

    This too could be an interesting, relatively cheap, and useful proof of concept experiment that could lead to much bigger evolved graphene pop out wings and graphene motor cases for the SRBs used on an evolved and reusable graphene SLS core with pop out wings.

    Remember that the Space Shuttles were big and heavy and went into space and landed with wings.

    Today’s 3D print technology and graphene could allow us to build and launch many types of Space Shuttle System reusable spacecraft that are both much cheaper and lighter.

    • James

      Consider the new technology and cost involved in Europe’s upcoming Prometheus rocket engine compared to the Vulcain 2 rocket engine’s cost that will power the Ariane 6.

      “Design of Prometheus is planned to make an extensive use of additive manufacturing (3D printing). Current aim is to reduce the price 10-fold, from €10 million for Vulcain 2 down to €1 million for Prometheus. Simplified engine design and a use of new techniques will also allow ASL to decrease the manufacturing time by 50%. Safran Engines plant in Vernon (France) already begun production of prototype 3D printed components for the engine.

      Such a dramatic decrease of the price would enable ASL to profit from investments in the new engine regardless if reusability is proven to significantly reduce costs or not.”

      From: ‘Prometheus, ASL’s future rocket engine’
      By Marcin Wolny February 7, 2017
      At: https://www.techforspace.com/european-space-sector/prometheus-asls-future-rocket-engine/

      By fully using new technology costs to LEO can be reduced for both non-reusable and reusable launchers.

  • Tracy the Troll

    James,
    “Remember that the Space Shuttles were big and heavy and went into space and landed with wings.”

    I remember the Columbia coming back and getting destroyed by high energy plasma discharge in the upper atmosphere that was a phenomenon that is still not entirely understood or it was shot down by a cloaked ship with a plasma weapon…Take your pick, still much more R&D will need to be done.

  • Tracy the Troll

    James,
    Do you see an increase in the NASA budget to $50B annually?

    • James

      “Do you see an increase in the NASA budget to $50B annually?” – Tracy the Troll

      Nope. We’ll probably have to get by with pretty much what it is now for the next ten to twenty years. After that it could increase.

      There is lots of money in America and the world that might be tapped for investing in developing the Moon. But currently, lots of folks seem to have real space policy trust issues which are made much worse by nasty, loud, and foolish folks, like se Jones, who falsely and repeatedly claim we’ll soon be heading off to Mars colonies. Space policy leaders cannot repeatedly zig and zag and expect to be trusted.

      If you want to see more money for developing the Moon and the rest of Cislunar Space, figure out real ways to make a profit or gain some other real world benefits there.

      Currently, mainly the com sats, defense/security sats, and weather and science sats make money or provide real benefits to the Home Planet.

      Remember that the defense department spends about as much money on space projects as NASA, so the total amount of money we Americans spend on space is higher than some space folks realize. Private money is available if you can close a real business plan.

      The National Space Council could help to prioritize space missions.

      “Much of the broader discussion about the council has revolved around civil space policy, such as what changes the administration should make to NASA’s human spaceflight programs. That, though, is shortsighted, Marquez argued.

      ‘A space council is not a NASA council,” he said. “A space council is about national priorities, it’s about national needs, it’s about strategic imperatives. It’s not just about guiding NASA.'”

      From: ‘The National Space Council gets to work’ By Jeff Foust August 7, 2017
      At: http://thespacereview.com/article/3301/1

      Jeff Bezos is spending about a billion dollars a year of his own money to get folks to the Moon. He sets a good example for other rich folks around the world to do what is possible in Cislunar Space.

      As I noted previously: By fully using new technology costs to LEO can be reduced for both non-reusable and reusable launchers.

      And:

      ‘Unexpected Connections: The Strategic Defense Initiative and Space Resources’
      By Paul Spudis June 14, 2017
      At: http://www.spudislunarresources.com/blog/unexpected-connections-the-strategic-defense-initiative-and-space-resources/

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