Many folks would like to see us back on the Moon and developing its resources.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Good day.

NASA held a news media conference with Mike Griffin Monday.

This is a bit from by way of leading up to the event.
NASA to unveil moon plan
Agency plans to send 4 astronauts to the moon in 2018

By Brian Berger
SPACE.comexternal link
Thursday, September 15, 2005; Posted: 11:45 a.m. EDT (15:45 GMT)

( -- NASA briefed senior White House officials Wednesday on its
plan to spend $100 billion and the next 12 years building the spacecraft and
rockets it needs to put humans back on the Moon by 2018.

The space agency now expects to roll out its lunar exploration plan to key
Congressional committees on Friday and to the broader public through a news
conference on Monday, Washington sources tell

U.S. President George W. Bush called in January 2004 for the United States
to return to the Moon by 2020 as the first major step in a broader space
exploration vision aimed at extending the human presence throughout the
solar system.

NASA has been working intensely since April on an exploration plan that
entails building an 18-foot blunt body crew capsule and launchers built from
major space shuttle components including the main engines, solid rocket
boosters and massive external fuel tanks.

That plan, called the Exploration Systems Architecture Study, was presented
by NASA Administrator Mike Griffin, his space operations chief Bill
Gerstenmaier and several other senior agency officials Wednesday afternoon
to senior White House policy officials, including an advisor to U.S. Vice
President Richard Cheney and the president's Deputy National Security
Advisor J.D. Crouch.

NASA's plan, according to briefing charts obtained by, envisions
beginning a sustained lunar exploration campaign in 2018 by landing four
astronauts on the Moon for a seven-day stay.

So wars and hurricanes and we want to learn how to live off World.

Are you up for it?

Larry Kellogg

larry.kellogg at

ESAS Transcript

NASA News Conference With Mike Griffin: Exploration Systems Architecture
Study (Transcript)

"The President has said not later than 2020 for human lunar return. Our
internal planning goal at this point is 2018. Again, that date will be
driven by the availability of funds. But if you've heard a rumor that I've
asked for extra money for this exploration architecture, that would not be

Editor's note: However, NASA has requested billions in additional funds for
Shuttle (RTF), ISS, and Hubble from OMB.
In today's space news from SpaceRef:

-- NASA News Conference With Mike Griffin: Exploration Systems Architecture
Study (Transcript)

"Today is the day when we are talking to you about how NASA will fulfill the
President's vision for
expiration, as it was offered to NASA in a speech on January 14th of 2004."
Date Released: Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Source: NASA HQ

NASA News Conference With Mike Griffin: Exploration Systems Architecture
Study (Transcript)
SEPTEMBER 19, 2005

MR. ACOSTA: Good morning and welcome to NASA Headquarters, here in
Washington, D. C., for the announcement and rollout of the exploration
systems architecture study.

And I'm about to introduce NASA administrator Mike Griffin. I want to pass
along a couple of the guidelines for today's events.

We're going to have an all media--I want to know and let you know that we're
going to have a question and answer period. So, after the administrator
gives his briefing, we'll open that up to questions here at the headquarters
and we are going to go to a NASA field centers also for questions.

So, without further ado, let me introduce NASA administrator, Mike Griffin.


DR. GRIFFIN: I think I'm on.



MR. ACOSTA: We will take some questions here at headquarters and then we
will go around the centers. We will start off here at headquarters.

First, let's go with Tom, right here.

[Whereupon, a question and answer period follows.]

REPORTER : Thank you, Dean. Thank you, Dr. Griffin.

I think the question much of the country is wondering today in the wake of
this hurricane is how does this country afford being able to go to the moon?
Six weeks ago, the country was, of course, captured by the enthusiasm of the
discovery program returning to space and flight. Today, we're looking at two
to $300 billion to help the people along the Gulf Coast.

Do you have any concerns about whether NASA --pardon me--the Congress will
be forthcoming in wanting to support this expenditure and how much is this
all going to coast?

DR. GRIFFIN: Well, that's a lot of questions and I have answers. So, let me

First of all, we're talking about returning to the moon in 2018. There will
be a lot more hurricanes and a lot more other natural disasters to befall
the United States and the world in that time. I hope none worst than
Katrina. I've been down there. I've flown over the Gulf Coast. I've met with
our employees at Stennis and Michoud and it's just devastating.

But the space program is a long term investment in our future. We must deal
with our short term problems while not sacrificing our long term investments
in our future. When we have a hurricane, we don't cancel the Air Force. We
don't cancel the Navy and we're not going to cancel NASA. When we talk about
two or $300 billion of aid to the Gulf Coast, I would point out that, one of
the primary constituents of any aid to a devastated region in the wake of
any sort of disaster, one of the primary constituents is real jobs. Between
Michoud and Stennis, NASA and other places on the Gulf Coast,
frankly--Florida is also a Gulf Coast state--NASA has thousands and
thousands of real jobs, no WPA work, not reconstruction work, but
strategically important work that has been done in those regions, in that
region for decades.

So, I would submit that our first step in recovering from Katrina can't be
to lay off all the people who were working on the human space flight program
and who were largely resident in the Gulf Coast states.

As to what it's all going to coast, our estimates are about--that it will
cost for the first human lunar return, it will cost about 55 percent
measured in constant dollars of what Apollo cost spread out over 13 years.
Apollo was done in eight years. So, spreading it out over 13 years, it will
cost about 55 percent of what Apollo cost, a specific number in today's
dollars, about $104 billion for the first human lunar return along the lines
of the architecture you saw today.

Let me also point out that, for the first five or six years, what we are
really developing is the shuttle successor, the crew exploration vehicle.
The crew exploration vehicle is designed with its launch system to go to low
earth orbit. Once you're in low earth orbit, you can do any number of
things. You must go through low earth orbit to go anywhere else. We can go
to the moon. In later decades, we can go to Mars. We can service the space
station. We can undertake the service of the Hubble space telescope or other
space telescopes, as may exist. We can do anything.

This new vehicle is the vehicle that lets us do that and unless the United
States wants to get out of the manned space flight business completely, then
this is the vehicle we need to be building. And I don't hear anyone saying
that the United States would be better off being out of space when other
nations are there.

So, that's my answer, Tom.

MR. ACOSTA: All right, let's go with Frank, right up here.
Before the end of the next decade, NASA astronauts will again explore the
surface of the moon. And this time, we're going to stay, building outposts
and paving the way for eventual journeys to Mars and beyond. There are
echoes of the iconic images of the past, but it won't be your grandfather's
moon shot.
Explore the new spaceship with a slideshow, video, animation and 3-D models
in our Flash Feature.
+ Full Resolution Images
+ Animation (25 Mb QuickTime)
+ Frequently Asked Questions
+ Fact Sheet (28 Kb PDF)
+ Presentation (5.9 Mb PDF)
+ September 19 Briefing (95 Kb PDF)
+ Exploration Systems Web site
NASA sets out an inspiring, affordable path for future exploration
(September 19, 2005)
NSS hails the formal announcement of NASA's Exploration System architecture.
"We are going back to the Moon and on to Mars with a plan that the nation
can afford," said George T. Whitesides, Executive Director of NSS. Under the
plan, the first new moon landing will take place in 2018, with startup of a
lunar outpost in 2022.

Full text of the press release.
More information on the new exploration systems architecture is available
from NASA,
and you can discuss the new plan in our online forum.

NASA's Moon Vision: Action Plan or High-Tech Hallucination?
By Leonard David
Senior Space Writer
posted: 20 September 2005
11:19 a.m. ET

NASA’s rollout of a strategy to return people to the Moon and eventually
plant footprints on the distant sands of Mars is sparking both praise and

Michael Griffin, NASA’s administrator, publicly unveiled yesterday the space
agency’s $104 billion mastermind of a mission that puts astronauts back on
the moon by 2018, setting the stage for future expeditionary trips to the
red planet.

New space travel hardware – a Crew Exploration Vehicle and the requisite
boosters for tossing people and cargo beyond low Earth orbit – is part of
the must-have agenda.

But analogous to one of Newton’s laws of physics that drives rocketry -- but
in a 21st century context -- for every action plan there is always an equal
but opposite reaction.

Lacks pizzazz, budgetary timing

Editorial pundits, such as the New York Times, while saluting NASA’s “Apollo
on steroids” approach, also noted: “Unfortunately, the new plan lacks the
pizzazz to inspire public support and will be operating under budget
constraints that make delays or overruns likely.”


Critical path caution

In taking a preliminary look at the NASA architecture, the geologist in
Schmitt provoked a worry.

“One caution at this point is to not put the presence of ice at the lunar
poles in the critical path to success for the architecture,” Schmitt said.
“It is not a proven resource in spite of reports to the contrary. On the
other hand, elemental hydrogen implanted by the solar wind -- in contrast to
water-ice that has come from cometary impacts -- is clearly concentrated in
the polar regions over that present in lower latitudes,” he said.

Schmitt said, however, that there is enough hydrogen everywhere on the Moon
to produce water and oxygen. “Thus, selection of a site for semi-permanent
lunar base should be approached with an open mind until we know for sure
that ice is present and economically accessible at the poles.”

In his forthcoming book, Return to the Moon: Exploration, Enterprise, and
Energy in the Human Settlement of Space, published by Praxis-Springer,
Schmitt spotlights the role of the Moon in supporting an energy-hungry
Earth. That prospect appears to be a missing-in-action aspect within NASA’s
new architecture, Schmitt said.

“Another consideration for site selection not yet apparent in the
architecture is verification of regional concentrations of helium-3, a
potentially highly valuable, commercial energy resource for use in
terrestrial fusion power plants,” Schmitt pointed out.

Schmitt also argued that the long-term architecture related to flights to
Mars “must eventually contain a full, scientifically credible understanding
of the long term effects of the space environment on human performance and

No Apollo replay

Paul Spudis, a lunar and planetary scientist at the Applied Physics
Laboratory, a research and development arm of the Johns Hopkins University
in Laurel, Maryland, takes issue with those that see the NASA vision as an
Apollo replay.

There is significant difference in Apollo of yesteryear judged against the
NASA plan of today, Spudis said.

In the first place, the systems making up the vehicles are being designed
for maximum leverage: long-life, cryogenic-based propulsion, potential reuse
in space, Spudis explained.

Secondly, the mission is different.

“In Apollo, the mission was to prove we could land on the Moon and return
safely to Earth. In this case, the mission is to determine the best site to
collect and use the resources of the Moon and to emplace the necessary
infrastructure to do so,” Spudis said. “Admittedly, the early missions will
be very much like a ‘super-Apollo.’ However, they have potential to grow
into something very different.”
Thanks for looking up with me.
- LRK -



No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Moon and Mars - Videos