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

Monday, March 08, 2010


Back in June, 2004, Fabio Sau sent me a link to a survey on the POLITICAL FEASIBILITY OF A MOON BASE, which now is a stale link.

Fabio was attending the International Space University
and was doing an internship at the University of North Dakota.
I was looking over the 21 page copy I found in my boxes in the garage and thought the subject material would still be of interest, so I will share again what was being considered. We have seen politics at work in the present quest for space, and more to come. More to come. More to come. (bad needle.)
- LRK -

Here is what it covered:

This quick survey wanted to establish an order of importance among
a list of variables drawn on an extensive and exhaustive literature
review regarding the Political Feasibility of a Lunar Base.

You were asked to evaluate all the identified political variables
within three different historic epochs, that were considered relevant
for human space travel and settlement on the Moon.

the post-Apollo planning era (1964-1971);

the Space Exploration Initiative SEI period (1986-1991);

Moon (and Mars) in the current President Bush Space Vision (Jan 2004
to date) "A Renewed Spirit of Discovery".

Variables considered:

National Leadership and Prestige
(influence in the international arena as ability to lead other
Nations and capacity to spur international competition)

National Credibility
(National Government effectiveness and trust within a Country)

National Security and Military
(strategic and military reasons behind major political choices or
policy shifts in order to preserve freedom and territorial integrity
of a Nation and its allies)

(people able to reach key positions and to catch people imagination
and expectations)

Short Term Goal
(clear objectives and deadlines, within a decade time frame, by
Government and Congress)

Long Term Plan
(a more wide vision, beyond a decade, sustained by Government and Congress)

Historical Context
(where we come from and where we are going as society and as a Country)

Driving Ideologies
(strongest political parties and their influence on society and
people life style and choices, as well as partisanship within
democratic and not democratic institutions)

Presidential Power
(role and strategies played by the Executive branch and its bodies'
apparatus i.e. American OMB or Presidential advisory entities i.e.
Presidential Commissions or Space Council)

Technological Challenges
(from a technological point of view what we want to achieve today?)

Research and Development
(how are we working in order to meet these pressing technological challenges?)

Technology Transfer
(from whom and how we acquire and improve our knowledge)

Congressional Support
(effective advocacy from key leaders within House and Senate,
especially at Committee level)

Financial Commitment
(the degree of engagement a society as a whole is ready to pay and
invest for a given goal)

Managerial Credo
(leadership, accountability, trust, values, communications, teamwork,
dedication to Governmental or private organizations' goals)

International Cooperation
(cooperative agreements on Space effort among National Governments)

Organizational Capabilities
(ability to mobilize people and resources in a coordinated successful
effective manner)

Explore The Unknown
(ever since the inner human nature and instinct)

National Cultural Heritage
(the values, history and traditions cherished by the people of a Country)

Public Science Perception
(how science and its achievements are perceived by the general public)

Imagination and Expectations
(what people dream of, hope, and expect from the near term future)

Future Perception
(public expectations in the long term)

Risk Perception
(the amount of risk taking attitude that pervades a society)

(how they shape or portray the public opinion and perceptions regarding
science and technology)

Scientific Understanding
(the mainstream interpretation of the Universe by the scientific community)

(the positive consequences of our R&D efforts in our daily life)

Aerospace Industry
(role played by the main Government contractors)

Small Space Companies
(those who are trying to bypass the traditional Gov-Contractors
duopoly in Space)

Cost estimates
(costs evaluation for big science projects by governmental or not
governmental consultative organizations)

International Partnership
(Space effort ventures among multinational companies)

Economic Growth
(how it can affects policy and investment decisions at every level of
both society and government)

National Regulations
(how they affect the development of industrial and technological
sectors within an economy)

International Law
(how they influence the variegated and different national regulatory
environments i.e. obstacles such as art. II of the Outer Space Treaty
1967: no claim of national sovereignty)

Bureaucratic Inertia
(the congenital resistance of Gov agencies to transparency,
accessibility, change, and reform)

Bureaucracies Creation
(powerful tools for implementing national and, in a lesser degree,
international policies)


According to Dr. Eligar Sadeh, public policy formation in the United
States, and similarly in the other Countries, is a process that
involves a number of stages that include agenda-setting
(political legitimacy and feasibility),

policy formulation
(characterization of legitimate rationale factors of political
support and their enactment into law),

policy implementation
(involves R&D of the enabling technologies and their application),
and policy outcomes (i.e., scenarios) with the possibilities of
policy change over time (e.g., re-designs leading to re-formulation).


The survey was 21 pages when printed out and made you really think
about why we should establish a Moon Base and what problems need to be
You have been spared the task of filling it out, BUT, I think you can
see that politics has a lot to say whether we go to the Moon or Mars
in any time soon.
- LRK -

While at the University of North Dakota, Fabio got the opportunity to
test a Martian prototype space suit.
At the rate we are going he will not get to wear the real thing on
Mars (or the Moon either).
- LRK -

Mars Spacesuit Prototype Trials Underway in North Dakota
By Tariq Malik
Staff Writer
posted: 5 May 2006
6:28 p.m. ET

A spacesuit prototype designed for Mars exploration is bounding across the North Dakota badlands this week in a series of field tests to check its mobility and performance.

Engineers and university students are putting their North Dakota Experimental Planetary Space Suit through a series of challenges, including mock-Martian hikes, sample collections and - this Saturday - a simulated sandstorm.

The Mars spacesuit is the culmination of 14 months of work by faculty and students with the North Dakota Space Grant Consortium, which received $100,000 from NASA to develop the prototype. [The local public is invited to view the Mars spacesuit in action on Sat. May 6, weather permitting, at its North Dakota test site.


Donning the prototype

Field tests for the Mars prototype suit began May 1, with space studies graduate student Fabio Sau tucked inside the prototype from the start.

"It's a very personalized suit," Sau told from the North Dakota badlands test site. "They built the suit based on my measurements."

Sau said the suit, which has performed great so far, comes in two primary pieces split at the waist between upper torso and lower body. Helmet and glove attachments complete the outfit, which is then pressurized to about 1 pound per square-inch (psi) for tests, he added.

For comparison, NASA spacesuits are pressurized up to 4.3 psi while their Russian Orlan counterparts are set at 5.8 psi.
"The most difficult part is entering the upper torso," Sau said, adding that from start to finish he can don the suit in 15 minutes with some help from his colleagues.

Sau said getting the opportunity to work with actual hardware has been an amazing experience, which de Leon hopes will encourage other university students to pursue human spaceflight- related careers.


Fabio is now back in Cagliari, Italy.

Jeff Foust wrote back in 2007 an article about going to the Moon as seen in From Ad Astra, Volume 19 Number 1, Spring 2007.
- LRK -
Moon Base - The Next Step in the Exploration of the Solar System
By Jeff Foust

The United States is returning to the Moon, and this time it intends to stay there.

Ever since President George W. Bush announced the Vision for Space Exploration program (VSE) in January 2004, the focus has been on NASA's plans to return to the Moon. Over the last three years, the space agency has worked on plans to develop the spacecraft and launch vehicles and other systems needed to mount the first human mission to the Moon since Apollo 17, in 1972. In the backs of everyone's minds, though, was a nagging question: Then what?

In December NASA provided at least a partial answer to that question when it unveiled the Global Exploration Strategy and Lunar Architecture Study, two efforts to explain what NASA will do on the Moon upon its return and how it will do it. The centerpiece of those plans is something that is both straight out of science fiction and long hoped for by space advocates: a base on the Moon.


Since the VSE's introduction three years ago, many had assumed that some sort of lunar base would be part of NASA's plans. In his speech at NASA headquarters to unveil the VSE, President Bush spoke about "extended human missions" to the Moon "with the goal of living and working there for increasingly extended periods." NASA documents since then that detailed the agency's long-term plans often referred to a "lunar outpost buildup" shortly after humans returned to the Moon.

However, NASA officials said that the current plans for the base emerged from efforts to explain why humans should go back to the Moon and what they can do there. "Our approach is one in which the architecture is definitely driven by the strategy that has been developed, the Global Exploration Strategy," said NASA Deputy Administrator Shona Dale. "The Global Exploration Strategy developed themes and objectives, and these objectives have led directly into the lunar architecture."

The Global Exploration Strategy was a NASA-led effort started in April 2006 that involved over 1,000 people, including representatives from 14 national space agencies, to identify the types of activities that could be done on the Moon. During a series of meetings, participants identified 180 potential objectives for lunar exploration in 23 categories, ranging from astronomy and lunar geology to commercialization and testing of technologies, needed for future human missions beyond the Moon.

As a part of that effort, six themes for human lunar exploration emerged: human civilization, scientific knowledge, exploration preparation, global partnerships, economic expansion, and public engagement. These broad—if somewhat vague—themes are intended by NASA to encapsulate all the possible rationales for exploring the Moon.


It doesn't look like we were prepared to support the idea of going back to stay and what has been said of the situation at hand is we were just going to go back and do the Apollo thing of stay a few days and close up shop. At least that is what I see as justification for scrapping the $9 billion spent so far and starting over again on a new plan. Starting over again on a new plan. Starting over again on a new plan. (sorry the needle got stuck in the grove)

And will the new plan really get funded for longer than one administration? Hmmm. No money. No money. No money. (Oops, needle got stuck again.)

!@#$%^&*() Ooops, shift key got stuck --- again!

Thanks for looking up with me.

Larry Kellogg

Web Site:
RSS link:
And Lori Garver says ----- (Do you see any politics in action here? - LRK -)

Days after release of the President’s 2011 budget, I am excited to continue to share information about our Nation’s bold new direction for human space flight. We plan to transform our relationship with the private sector as part of our Nation’s new strategy with the ultimate goal of expanding human presence across the Solar System.

Space tourism is a catalyst that has sparked a whole new industry of passenger-carrying spacecraft. New private firms that did not exist when this conference was first held 13 years ago now promise to revolutionize the space transportation industry. Thanks to President Obama, (and many of you), the United States and NASA are poised to take full advantage of this historic shift. The President’s budget commits substantial funding for NASA to increase the number and scope of its commercial partnerships. We plan to make use of commercial space providers to transport astronauts to the space station and other low-Earth orbit destinations.

This new direction may have been suggested as the preferred option by the Augustine Commission, but the decision was made by the President, with the full support of NASA’s leadership.



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