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Posts Tagged ‘Architecture’

Midsummer

I’ve to leave for a friend’s summer cottage in a bit.

Meanwhile, I give you people who to refer to; people who “get it”:
Clark Lindsey at Rlvnews, Jon Goff at Selenian Boondocks, Rand Simberg at Transterrestrial Musings, Monte Davis (get him to testify please!!), probably Henry Spencer as well. I’m quite sure Jeff Greason in the panel is one of those people.

They understand that Progress is not just a thirty year old Russian spacecraft – it is something we need in order to be spacefaring (which we are not currently). They can use my vote.

ESA’s Jean Jacques Dordain stressed yesterday how important it is to have continuity and how one can’t stop operations when one has development.

Hence one should not even *start* operations at a too early point. It leads to problems – it’s a constant money sink if your running costs for operations are extremely high – it actually leads to less total operations after a short while. Say, if you have a moonbase that is extremely costly to keep up, just as a sort of Apollo age national prestige relic – you have less money for developing a cheaper and sustainable way to actually get there.

One must crawl, then walk, then run. It serves a purpose.

Until next week, enjoy the midsummer weekend!

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I wrote this architecture proposal, FLEX, a few years ago. It analyzes NASA’s approach that the ESAS study picked and notices how most of the mass in a lunar exploration stack in LEO is actually liquid oxygen. By using a propellant depot, the LOX can be lifted with tankers and any launchers imaginable (I wouldn’t use a Pegasus though). The rest of the stack is also naturally divided into about 20 ton chunks: EDS with its hydrogen, the CEV crew vehicle (Orion) and the LSAM lander (Altair).

No new heavy lifters need to be developed, there is enough US, nevermind world launch capability to support a moon exploration program. Launchers can also be improved on the run, because they are not tied to the single use, nor is the use dependant on the single launcher, and because they can fly often, hence improvements are worth the investment. This all could be achieved much sooner and cheaper than the current approach, and is much more robust for the future.

Go read it if you haven’t.

There are some comments at an old Nasaspaceflight.com thread that deal with a lot of the common questions about it.

I really don’t have the faintest idea of the background knowledge level of the readership here so I don’t know how much basics I should give, so feel free to ask in the comments if anything is unclear.

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