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

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Moon mission gets help in Congress

To the Moon or NOT to the Moon, that is a question.
How we get to the Moon, that is a question.
What will pay for going to the Moon, that also is a question.
- LRK -

Moon mission gets help in Congress
Lawmakers insert wording into bill signed by Obama to get leverage over funds for manned spaceflights
Dec. 21, 2009, 8:29AM

WASHINGTON — Fearful that the White House might scale back manned space exploration, a bipartisan group of lawmakers slipped a provision into a massive government spending package last week that would force President Barack Obama to seek congressional approval for any changes to the ambitious Bush-era, back-to-the-moon program.

The little-noticed legislative maneuver could yield massive payoffs for the Houston area, which has tens of thousands of jobs tied to manned space exploration. The congressional action hands NASA supporters additional leverage in their behind-the-scenes campaign to persuade Obama to budget an extra $3 billion a year to finance the return of astronauts to the moon by 2020 rather than revamping — and cutting — the manned space effort.

“Congress' commitment to our nation's human spaceflight program is unwavering with respect to the path we have already charted,” says Rep. Pete Olson, R-Sugar Land, whose congressional district includes Johnson Space Center. “The debate should not be if we are moving forward, but how we are going to pay for it.”

Democrats in the House and Senate joined forces with Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., in the end-of-year legislative avalanche to insert language into a must-sign spending package that requires the president to ask Congress for all the money that would be needed to adjust the scope or timetable of human spaceflight.

None of the $18.7 billion given NASA to spend this year and in future years “shall be available for the termination or elimination” of any part of the Constellation program, the legislation declares, or to “create or initiate a new program” without “subsequent appropriations acts.”


And a few days earlier the speculation is that no decision from President Obama yet as to where we stand on going to the Moon.
- LRK -

White House says no decision yet on NASA's future
Posted: December 18, 2009

White House officials say President Obama has not yet made a decision on the fate of NASA's moon program, two days after an Oval Office meeting with NASA Administrator Charles Bolden.

Obama and Bolden met Wednesday afternoon to discuss the space agency's work and the results of the Augustine commission, a panel of experts that submitted options in October for the future of the human space program.

A report by the online edition of Science magazine late Thursday said Obama plans to request a $1 billion increase in the NASA budget for 2011. The money would fund a new heavy-lift launch vehicle, and the agency's current Ares 1 rocket design would be scrapped in favor of commercial crew transportation services to Earth orbit, according to the Science report.

The Ares 5 rocket is currently NASA's design for a heavy-lift launcher. Engineers are also studying other designs more closely based on the space shuttle.

NASA and White House officials claim such reports are mere speculation, but they are providing no information on when a decision could be announced. The administration will file its fiscal year 2011 budget request in February.

"The meeting with Bolden was informational, not decisional," said Nick Shapiro, White House spokesman.


Decisions, decisions, my oh my, what shall we do?
And then all of those suggestions on how we should go.
- LRK -


The Shuttle-Derived Launch Vehicle, or simply Shuttle-Derived Vehicle (SDV), is a term describing one of a wide array of concepts that have been developed for creating space launch vehicles from the components, technology and/or infrastructure of the Space Shuttle program. In 2005, NASA decided to develop the Ares I and Ares V launch vehicles, based in part on highly modified Shuttle components to replace the Space Shuttle and enable exploration of the Moon and Mars.[1][2] In early 2007, the agency confirmed that it was formally studying a third such vehicle, the Ares IV.


My stomach is quizzy, my head is dizzy, the ground under me feels not too solid.
I feel like I am watching a tennis match with the ball flying from one court to another.
Just back in 2008 a summary of launch concepts.
- LRK -

NASA Background on Ares Vehicles versus the DIRECT Proposal
Date Released: Thursday, July 3, 2008
Source: NASA Exploration Systems Mission Directorate -


NASA has spent substantial effort over several years to consider many launch concepts, and the Agency stands by its decision to develop the Constellation architecture, which includes the Ares I Crew Launch Vehicle and the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle. NASA has chosen these systems based upon significant analysis, and the Agency believes it has the best program in place to meet our Nation's future Exploration needs.

Shortly after arriving at NASA, Administrator Michael Griffin chartered the Exploration Systems Architecture Study (ESAS) in May 2005, comprised of experts at NASA Headquarters and across the NASA field centers. All databases, expertise and analytical models were applied to this critical task. Particular emphasis was placed on the family of launch vehicles that would be needed to support future Exploration goals. A large number of options were evaluated, including quantitative comparisons on the basis of important measures of merit such as development cost, recurring cost, funding profiles, safety, reliability, development risk, schedule risk, and other factors. The launch families considered included various Shuttle-derived options, Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV)-derived options and mixes of the two. Outside experts were brought-in to assess the ESAS results.

Several of the Shuttle-derived concepts that were considered during ESAS, and in other studies, were similar to the Jupiter system identified as part of the DIRECT proposal. However, using current ground rules and assumptions, and utilizing validated NASA and industry design and analysis tools, NASA has determined that the DIRECT proposal is unlikely to achieve its claims of improved performance, safety and development costs when compared to the Ares I and Ares V approach. In addition, the limited data available in the online DIRECT proposal do not support the claims of increased safety. Also, analysis shows that the DIRECT proposal would cost more than the Ares family in the near-term and also on a recurring launch basis. Finally, the DIRECT proposal would take longer to develop when compared to the Ares vehicles when factoring in the extensive core stage development effort and the associated acquisitions.

Since completion of the ESAS, NASA has continued to improve the baseline architecture to significantly lower life cycle costs of the Ares vehicles. NASA's analysis confirms that the Ares I and V vehicles enable the lowest cost and safest launch architecture which meets the Agency's requirements for support of the International Space Station, as well as lunar and Mars exploration. Several improvements have been made to the Ares ESAS baseline (such as the decisions to utilize the J-2X for both the Ares 1 and the Ares V Upper Stage engine and the RS-
68 instead of the Space Shuttle Main Engines for the Ares V core engine) which reduced life cycle costs by several billions of dollars.


It would be nice if we would affirm that we want to develop the Moon, Mars, Asteroids, and the use of space in general, and then follow through with the tasks needed to achieve the goals. Hmmmmmm, seems we do that - seems we do that - seems we do that, wish I didn't sound like a broken record. - LRK -

Well 2010 is almost here, 2011, then I grow older. Looks like I am going to have to live as long as my mom, now 99, to see something happen.

Thanks for looking up with me.

Larry Kellogg

Web Site:
RSS link:
Wish it was as easy as it looks. - LRK -

DIRECT is an alternative approach to launching missions planned under NASA's new mandate: The Vision for Space Exploration (VSE). DIRECT would replace the separate Ares-I Crew Launch Vehicle (CLV) and Ares-V Cargo Launch Vehicle (CaLV) with one single "Jupiter" launcher, capable of performing both roles.

Volume 32, Issue 3 AIAA Houston Section Summer 2007

Table of Contents
From the Editor 3
Chair’s Corner 4
A DIRECT Approach 5
Staying Informed 10
Membership Page 13
AIAA Historic Aerospace Site Plaque at NASA/JSC 14
Virgin Galactic Training for Travel Representatives 15
Summary Report: The 2007 Annual Technical Symposium 17
Student Essay: To Boldly Go 18
Student Essay: You’re a GO for Launch 19
Student Essay: You’re a GO for Launch 19
Odds and Ends 28
Conference Presentations/Articles by Houston Section Members 30
AIAA Local Section News 33
The Engineering and Sciences Contract Group 20
The Space Settlement Design Competition 22
The International Space Development Conference 2007 23
Elon Musk of SpaceX Addresses AIAA Houston 25
Calendar 26
Cranium Cruncher 27




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