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

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Moon Base - Moon Outpost - or will it be just a tent under the stars?

Administrations change, rumors fly, money is tight, budget for next year not yet published, who knows which way the wind blows?
- LRK -

The International Space Station was going to be big, it was going to be small, it almost didn't happen at all.
Now we have been told we are going back to the Moon and those on the ground are beating each other with their favorite proposal.
Or they are saying my proposal, not yours, I didn't even want to go there, go here.
- LRK -

I hope someone will go to the Moon, dig into some regolith, and open up a Real Estate Office.
[Or go up and see if they can claim the lunar plot they already bought.]
[ ]
- LRK -
NASA may abandon plans for moon base
* 18:33 29 April 2009 by David Shiga
NASA will probably not build an outpost on the moon as originally planned, the agency's acting administrator, Chris Scolese, told lawmakers on Wednesday. His comments also hinted that the agency is open to putting more emphasis on human missions to destinations like Mars or a near-Earth asteroid.

NASA has been working towards returning astronauts to the moon by 2020 and building a permanent base there. But some space analysts and advocacy groups like the Planetary Society have urged the agency to cancel plans for a permanent moon base, carry out shorter moon missions instead, and focus on getting astronauts to Mars.
- Chris Scolese Written Statement

- Chris Scolese Oral Statement

There was a time when no one could beat the 4 minute mile, but then the record was broken and now others have too.
No one had done a quad spin in ice skating but now it is expected.

I hope we show that a private commercial firm can go to the Moon.
Maybe if the government only has enough money for a pup tent, the ground will at least be prepared.
Send in the tourist, make a Disney movie, hold the Olympics on the Moon, turn a profit.

If any of you have already purchased your lunar lot with a view, demand access rights.
When does the next shuttle flight leave for the Moon?

Thanks for looking up with me.

Larry Kellogg

Web Site:
RSS link:
LUNAR NETWORKS - blog by Joel Raupe

Reports following testimony Wednesday, April 29, from NASA acting administrator Chris Scolese saying "NASA may abandon plans for moon base " are incorrect.

Congress and the President might one day, even soon, decide to abandon the long-term national goal of setting up a manned station on the Moon, but such a change in policy did not happen, nor was it remotely hinted at, today.

Nothing in Soclese's testimony before a U.S. House committee was inconsistent with present law or NASA policy.

--- A lot of comments on NASA WATCH about the New Scientist article. - LRK -
A Shift in Policy? Moon Base Axed?
NASA may abandon plans for moon base, New Scientist

"NASA will probably not build an outpost on the moon
as originally planned, the agency's acting administrator, Chris Scolese, told lawmakers on Wednesday. His comments also hinted that the agency is open to putting more emphasis on human missions to destinations like Mars or a near-Earth asteroid."

"Under Scolese's predecessor, Mike Griffin, the agency held firm to its moon base plans. But the comments by Scolese, who will lead NASA until President Barack Obama nominates the next administrator, suggest a shift in the agency's direction. He spoke to the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies of the House Committee on Appropriations."

Editor's note: According to the New Scientist both Chris Scolese and Doug Cooke were vague on certain answers. If a shift is coming we'll have more details on May 6 when the 2010 budget is due.

Editor's Update: While I don't have Scolese's testimony at this time Rob Coppinger was Twittering the testimony. Here are the tweets with respect to a question on what impact the FY2010 budget would have on moon planning:
"- We are still looking at what we mean by Moon, is that an outpost that is very expensive or is it an Apollo

- Return to the Moon could just be extended sorties

- Scolese says return to Moon could be less than an outpost"

And here is the opening statement by Chairmain Alan B. Mollohan
- Opening Statement of Chairman Alan B. Mollohan

Editor's Update: Here's the testimony by Chris Scolese:
- Chris Scolese Written Statement

- Chris Scolese Oral Statement

--- Not only the USA having money problems and questions has how to proceed. - LRK -
Russian lunar and Mars missions face delays
Posted: April 25, 2009

The planned revival by Russia of its once mighty lunar and planetary robotic exploration program is beginning to falter due to Russian budget and spacecraft problems.

The difficulties are threatening to delay Russia's first mission to the Moon in 33 years. A Russian roundtrip mission to the Martian moon Phobos is also in trouble.

The former Soviet Union, which launched dozens of successful deep-space probes in the 1960s-1980s, has not flown a fully successful planetary mission of any kind since the 1984 Vega 2 Halley's Comet/Venus mission. And it has launched no successful missions to the Moon or Mars in 33 years.

In an effort to revive the Russian lunar program, the unique Russian "Lunar Glob" orbiter is to fire instrumented Russian penetrators into the Apollo 11 and Apollo 12 landing sites explored by U.S. astronauts nearly 40 years ago.

The Russian mission, equipped with several surface penetrators and perhaps a small soft lander, is set for launch in 2012.

But that plan is going to be reviewed extensively in May and June by the Russian government and its contractor Lavochkin.

--- Maybe the civilian community will go. - LRK -
*Private Moon Rover Aims for Apollo 11 Landing Site *
*By Jeremy Hsu *
Staff Writer
posted: 29 April 2009
09:26 am ET

/Nearly 40 years after Americans first set foot on the moon on July 20, 1969 with NASA's historic Apollo 11 flight, a host of private rocketeers are hoping to follow to win a $30 million prize. Here, looks at Astrobotic, one of 17 teams competing in the Google Lunar X Prize:/

If there's one name that's on the lips of many Google Lunar X Prize competitors, it's Astrobotic. The team boasts a name that readily conveys its ambitious aspirations for reaching the moon and beyond.

"Astrobotic Technology is going to do a series of missions for scouting, prospecting, mining, and all sorts of things that robots can do to get ready for the human return to the moon ," said David Gump, President of Astrobotic.

Winning the Google Lunar X Prize requires teams to land a robot on the moon, move at least 1,640 feet (500 meters) and beam high definition views back to Earth.

The team plans for a pinpoint landing just over a mile from the Apollo 11 site, where Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon. Astrobotic's "Red Rover" would then beam back high-definition images of the dusty footprints left by Armstrong and fellow Apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin, all while taking care not to disturb the historical site.

That rover takes its name from team expert Red Whittaker, a famed Carnegie Mellon University roboticist who led his team to victory in the 2007 DARPA Grand Challenge.

*Founding a frontier *

Astrobotic also gained serious financial muscle by partnering with Raytheon Company — a leading aerospace and defense corporation — to help establish itself as a long-term player in the race back to the moon and beyond. Carnegie Mellon University and Arizona State's Lunar and Planetary Institute have similarly signed on.

"Unlike during the Apollo era, it's clear to many people that the future of the lunar frontier will be a mixed colony of humans and robots simultaneously," Gump explained. "Our goal is to be a company to which you can outsource things. You want to scout a landing site ahead of time, you hire us. You want to get a soil sample before sending your mining machines, you hire us. You need some electrical power supply, we'd have a service."

Potential clients could include nations that would hire one or more Astrobotic rovers to gather rocks and soil, as part of a prestige sample return mission. The team has already lined up at least one private client in Celestis, which announced plans to hire both Astrobotic and fellow competitor Odyssey Moon to fly cremated human remains to the moon.




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