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  • The Moon - how soon

    Imagine that the world discovers a really urgent need to get men back on the moon. Whatever the reason it is seen as sufficiently vital that getting the necessary funds voted through in any nation to be involved is not an issue. However Apollo is long gone, The last Shuttles are museum pieces and the only vehicles in service that can get men into even low earth orbit are the ageing Soyez and the Chinese systems. How long does anyone think it would take to restablish the technological base for manned lunar missions? Not the current somewhat imprecise plans but if it really had to be done and done soon.
    Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
    Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

  • #2
    http://www.spacex.com/dragon
    Credo quia absurdum.


    Quantum mechanics describes nature as absurd from the point of view of common sense. And yet it fully agrees with experiment. So I hope you can accept nature as She is - absurd! - Richard Feynman

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    • #3
      Manned version yet to materialise and it still only gets you to low earth orbit
      Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
      Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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      • #4
        The space shuttle was only good for low orbit, couldn't go more than 960 km from earth. Anyway, it took a Saturn V to launch 30 tons of equipment to the moon. Somehow I think we'd need a space station in earth's orbit to to facilitate a long term mission back to the moon... instead of designing a direct to target approach, use a large space station and plan from there.
        "In modern war... you will die like a dog for no good reason."
        Ernest Hemingway.

        Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, Or what's a heaven for?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Achtung Baby View Post
          The space shuttle was only good for low orbit, couldn't go more than 960 km from earth. Anyway, it took a Saturn V to launch 30 tons of equipment to the moon. Somehow I think we'd need a space station in earth's orbit to to facilitate a long term mission back to the moon... instead of designing a direct to target approach, use a large space station and plan from there.
          But it could get the pay loads that might be needed up there. A station at both ends might be a good idea - just have a much simpler earth to lunar orbit transfer vehicle and specialised landers dedicated to down to moon and up again work based at a low lunar orbit station
          Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
          Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Achtung Baby View Post
            The space shuttle was only good for low orbit, couldn't go more than 960 km from earth. Anyway, it took a Saturn V to launch 30 tons of equipment to the moon. Somehow I think we'd need a space station in earth's orbit to to facilitate a long term mission back to the moon... instead of designing a direct to target approach, use a large space station and plan from there.
            A geostationary orbital operations platform (as opposed to the ISS) and a space elevator would do the trick.
            Imagine a ribbon roughly one hundred million times as long as it is wide. If it were a meter long, it would be 10 nanometers wide, or just a few times thicker than a DNA double helix. Scaled up to the length of a football field, it would still be less than a micrometer across — smaller than a red blood cell. Would you trust your life to that thread? What about a tether 100,000 kilometers long, one stretching from the surface of the Earth to well past geostationary orbit (GEO, 22,236 miles up), but which was still somehow narrower than your own wingspan?

            The idea of climbing such a ribbon with just your body weight sounds precarious enough, but the ribbon predicted by a new report from the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) will be able to carry up to seven 20-ton payloads at once. It will serve as a tether stretching far beyond geostationary (aka geosynchronous) orbit and held taught by an anchor of roughly two million kilograms. Sending payloads up this backbone could fundamentally change the human relationship with space — every climber sent up the tether could match the space shuttle in capacity, allowing up to a “launch” every couple of days.

            The report spends 350 pages laying out a detailed case for this device, called a space elevator. The central argument — that we should build a space elevator as soon as possible — is supported by a detailed accounting of the challenges associated with doing so. The possible pay-off is as simple as could be — a space elevator could bring the cost-per-kilogram of launch to geostationary orbit from $20,000 to as little as $500.

            Not only is a geostationary orbit intrinsically useful for satellites, but it’s far enough up the planet’s gravity well to be able to use it in cheap, Earth-assisted launches. A mission to Mars might begin by pushing off near the top of the tether and using small rockets to move into a predictably unstable fall — one, two, three loops around the Earth and off we go with enough pep to cut huge fractions off the fuel budget. Setting up a base on the Moon or Mars would be relatively trivial, with a space elevator in place.

            [...]

            http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/1...says-new-study



            The hard part is lifting the materials needed for lunar exploitation. Getting from the orbital platform to the Moon wouldn't be too difficult.
            Last edited by The Doctor; 26 May 16, 07:33.
            Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

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            • #7
              Unfortunately we don'r yet have the materials necessary for such a system - even carbon nano tubes won't do - a cable big enough will come apart. A bean stalk at the moon end might be possible but all of this will take many decades at best to develop.
              Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
              Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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              • #8
                Originally posted by MarkV View Post
                Unfortunately we don'r yet have the materials necessary for such a system - even carbon nano tubes won't do - a cable big enough will come apart. A bean stalk at the moon end might be possible but all of this will take many decades at best to develop.
                Two decades at our current pace of technological advancement...
                This report lays out a number of technological impediments to a space elevator, but by far the most important is the tether itself; materials science has still to invent a substance that could provide the strength, flexibility, and density needed for a space elevator. Existing technologies will be little help; tethers from the EU and Japan are beginning to push the 100-kilometer mark, but that’s still a long way off orbital altitude, and the materials for existing tethers will not allow much additional length.

                Projecting current research in carbon nanotubes and similar technologies, the IAA estimates that a pilot project could plausibly deliver packages to an altitude of 1000 kilometers (621 miles) as soon as 2025. With continued research and the help of a successful LEO (low Earth orbit; anywhere between an altitude of 100 and 1200 miles) elevator, they predict a 100,000-kilometer (62,137-mile) successor will stretch well past geosynchronous orbit just a decade after that.

                If an Apollo program urgency was employed, the timeline could be shortened.

                Until we have a cost-effective heavy lift capability, the exploitation of the Moon and the rest of the solar system will remain out of reach.

                Large rockets will never be cost-effective heavy lift systems.
                Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

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                • #9
                  How long did it take to get the first man on the Moon? Less than ten years using what is today very primative technology. Is there a reason why it cannot be done today in a much shorter time?
                  "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                  Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                  you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

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                  • #10
                    IRRC NASA said it would take ten years to replicate the original Moon landings when that program was cancelled. If funding and national will reflected a visible urgency, I would say six.

                    They dropped the astronaut and mission control training for that sort of thing in the late 70s, and the people with actual experience are dead or in retirement.

                    You would have to re-tool to build the hardware from the ground up.

                    We have a astronomical advantage in computer capability for mission control.

                    But as you pointed out, its been low-orbit work since Apollo folded I the late 70s. A lot would have to be re-learned, and an entire infrastructure would have to be built.
                    Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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                    • #11
                      Plan for building a base on the moon which would be an industrial facility for extracting materials to build spaceframes. Use railgun boosted platforms for launching completed materials into space (whether for return to Earth or extraorbital). Use automated drone systems for as much as possible.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by boomer400 View Post
                        Plan for building a base on the moon which would be an industrial facility for extracting materials to build spaceframes. Use railgun boosted platforms for launching completed materials into space (whether for return to Earth or extraorbital). Use automated drone systems for as much as possible.
                        Not in our lifetime.

                        We would strain our technology to lift a three-man day-trip to the moon. To move hundreds of tons of supplies...the funding alone would be insane. And we still have not solved the effects of low-G on the Human body.

                        We have focused upon low orbit technology for 35+ years, and then we abandoned that. There is a lot of ground to be relearned just to visit the Moon.

                        And every day is more time lost. Mark V called it: there would have to be a clear, compelling need to get the space program going again. It would have to be either life-or-death, or the key to vast riches on the national level.
                        Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Half Pint John View Post
                          How long did it take to get the first man on the Moon? Less than ten years using what is today very primative technology. Is there a reason why it cannot be done today in a much shorter time?
                          Getting a few men there for brief periods of time is easy.

                          Getting the men and materiel required for exploitation of lunar resources or to establish a permanent manned outpost is simply beyond our capability.
                          Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

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                          • #14
                            How ofter does the ISS need supplies? I know it can endure a few extra months if rockets fail to deliver... but a base on the moon would mean a much bigger logistical commitment.
                            "In modern war... you will die like a dog for no good reason."
                            Ernest Hemingway.

                            Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, Or what's a heaven for?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Achtung Baby View Post
                              How ofter does the ISS need supplies? I know it can endure a few extra months if rockets fail to deliver...
                              Well if a moon base was located near ice which it appears there is some on the moon and if a hydroponic system was established to grow stuff in a dome it might be possible to survive for longer periods.
                              Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                              Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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