If NASA decides to use a private rocket in the upcoming mission to the moon, it will change the entire space industry

The American space Agency NASA is considering as an alternative to its own super-heavy booster SLS, the development of which is at least the last decade, the idea of using the commercial media to run is very important to the Agency’s mission to send spacecraft Orion around the moon next year. The decision may be fatal not only for the specified mission, but in General can have a serious impact on how will be carried out ambitious space missions in deep space in the future, says the Internet-edition The Verge.

The impetus for the Agency to “hold the nose” in the direction of commercial orientation can be a desire to fulfil its promise on schedule scheduled launch, says the publication. The finalization of superheavy Space launch system (Space Launch System, SLS) will take the Agency more time than expected and the media does not have time to prepare for at the moment is scheduled for June 2020 launch. At the same time, in the market there are already available commercial solutions that are ready right now to fly to the moon.

For NASA’s change of plans in any case be a difficult choice. After all, the Agency will need to choose not one but two booster, so in this case, the mission might as well make it a reality. In addition, you will need to develop new technologies and methods for the specific docking of spacecraft without which this idea can be discarded directly in the trash.

In other words, the process will require a lot of time and effort, and at the same time no guarantees that all will be prepared for next year, no one can not give. However, if the Agency still dare to take this step, it will be able to demonstrate the lack of need to use super-expensive and super-large rockets for the successful implementation of ambitious space missions in deep space – it’s simpler to rely on smaller carriers, performing several runs at a time.

Space tugs

According to current plans of the upcoming mission, NASA wants the next year to send in a three-week trip around the moon two spacecraft: an empty ship “Orion” (in the future it will be used as a manned spacecraft) and a cylindrical module European Service Module with power supply systems and life support for the ship. To overcome the force of gravity, the output of both spacecraft in earth orbit and sending them to the moon will need a lot of rocket fuel. However, the capacity of the SLS would be enough to send both modules to the destination within a single run.

If NASA decides to use to deliver the spacecraft to the moon, “a commercial approach”, you will have to use two commercial media and the powerful private rocket, is able to cope with this problem for one start — simply no. At the moment the most powerful American commercial rockets are the Falcon Heavy from SpaceX and Delta IV Heavy from United Launch Alliance. Both media certainly impressive, but even they are not comparable with those opportunities that will have a SLS when it finally dosobirat.

In this case, one carrier will be used for output of the spacecraft “Orion” and the module European Service Module into orbit, where they linger for a while. The second booster will be used for delivery to the “Orion” service module and space tug. Once in orbit, the tug, equipped with its fuel and engines that will make docking with the “Orion” and run the engine, pull both spacecraft to the moon.

“This is similar to the agricultural equipment, pulling a trailer or special equipment. Only in this case we are talking about a separate module, which is the propulsion system,” commented The Verge Dallas, Bienhoff, head of the private space company Cislunar Space Development Company engaged in the development of technologies for missions in deep space.

Such a concept of space tug was developed in the last century. For example, NASA began to explore this idea more in the 60-70-ies as a “promising method of accelerating space vehicles”. Using it may change the approach to manned space missions that have not changed for many decades.

“One of the reasons that ultimately led US to the development of the Space Launch System is that we are accustomed to within one run yielded the maximum possible payload,” adds Bienhoff, who also worked on the technology space tugs at Boeing.

However, this approach significantly complicates the run. Earth’s gravity is very strong. Therefore, the conclusion is very heavy equipment into space requires a lot of energy (read – a lot of rocket fuel). And running a large amount of fuel requires the use of large rockets. And the bigger the rocket, the more fuel is required to output payload into orbit. It’s a real vicious circle.

The artistic representation of the future launch vehicle SLS

As missiles become more and more, becomes more and more expensive the production run. And this is one of the main problems of the new SLS rockets. Only one development in the past decade, NASA has spent more than $ 14 billion. The carrier is still not ready. Once that happens, it is expected that the Agency will be able to run it at most twice a year because the cost per launch would be about $ 1 billion. For comparison, the launch of a private heavy booster Delta IV Heavy costs about 350 million, and the cost of launch as the Falcon Heavy starts with amounts below $ 100 million. Even if you run both media together, still the cost is not even close to be near the launch price of the SLS.

In this regard, the use of space tugs will also allow NASA to save a lot of money in the future. For example, if the Agency decides to use a tug for delivery of spacecraft to the moon, then it can be returned back into orbit and just left there. When you will need it again – just to refuel and re-used.

Assembly in space

Of course, for this approach to work, NASA needs to develop a new docking system with these tugs. The head of the Agency Jim Breidenstein at the hearings in the Senate said that in the current form of the capsule “Orion” is not technically capable of docking with space tugs, “therefore, in the period from now until June 2020, NASA will need to develop a connecting system with this kind of opportunity.”

And yet technologies that would be necessary to implement such a system – are not new. For example, the Russian spacecraft “Soyuz”, which is delivering new crews to the ISS, for a long time using an automatic docking system. The first test launch of the spacecraft Crew Dragon company SpaceX has also demonstrated the ability to dock with the station in automatic mode using a system of sensors and lasers for a safe rendezvous with a docking airlock of the ISS.

“System of a LIDAR and machine vision technology, which involved a ship Crew Dragon for an automatic docking with the ISS – those technologies and equipment that may be collected and installed on the spacecraft directly in the space,” said Andrew rush, head of the company Made In Space that developed a 3D printer in microgravity, testing of which was conducted on Board the ISS.

The first docking of a space ship Crew company SpaceX Dragon with the ISS, conducted on March 4, 2019

There is another option that will simplify the task for the withdrawal of heavy spacecraft into orbit. At least in the future perspective. The question required the use of large rockets could solve Assembly equipment parts directly in space. Instead of having to send some bulky equipment in one run, it would be easier to produce several space launches of smaller capacity (and cost) with multiple payloads, and then to put it all together already in orbit. The same approach (at least partially) could be used in spacecraft. Besides, NASA has had to face problems build very large spacecraft and their location inside the rocket. Get at least the same space Observatory of the new generation “James Webb”, which does not quite fit in the booster, which would get her into space. The apparatus was so large and complex that it will have to start inside PH folded, and then in space within two weeks to deploy. And if something goes wrong, the telescope may not earn, putting an end project value of nearly $ 10 billion, which in fact do not even have time to begin.

The ability to assemble spacecraft in space directly, and use technology of additive manufacturing, there will be no need in the original Assembly of devices on Earth.

“Distributing the load on several runs, and then using space technology production and Assembly, we could really create a spacecraft is more advantageous from an economic point of view,” says rush.

Risks and challenges

All these changes will undoubtedly require its price. And not only in financial terms. Automatic docking and Assembly in space, according to Bridenstine while carry too much risk for NASA.

“The use of a special system of docking a manned spacecraft in orbit with the prospect of further movement to the moon adds unwanted complexity, and risk of future missions,” wrote the head of the Agency in an open letter to NASA employees.

In addition, the start-up of equipment in parts and further Assembly in space only for one mission involves multiple launches, what might not agree with some responsible for these missions state officials. According to some experts and officials, multiple launches increase the risk of a complete failure of the mission – if one of the launches fail, jeopardizing the entire mission as a whole.

The use of commercial launch vehicles also will not necessarily solve all the problems. At the moment, the engineers are checking the spacecraft “Orion”, using a computer simulation based on the current design of the booster for SLS. To change the vector in the direction of commercial launch vehicles they will have to postpone this work and to start a new simulation with the new commercial PH. In addition, it will completely change the sequence diagram of flight, which in turn will require additional time for preparation. To do all this for a year and get to the planned launch is an impossible task.

“When you change the flight plan, which is inevitable considering the fact that all commercial media are not comparable with the SLS, all the work that was carried out before that will be useless. In this case, neither of which the launch of “Orion” in June 2020 and can be no question,” commented The Verge anonymously one of the employees of Lockheed Martin working on the spaceship “Orion”.

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0 Comments on “If NASA decides to use a private rocket in the upcoming mission to the moon, it will change the entire space industry”

  1. Hey, how’s it going?

    I want to pass along some very important news that everyone needs to hear!

    In December of 2017, Donald Trump made history by recognizing Jerusalem as the captial of Israel Why is this big news? Because by this the Jewish people of Israel are now able to press forward in bringing about the Third Temple prophesied in the Bible

    The Jewish people deny Jesus as their Messiah and have stated that their Messiah has been identified and is waiting to be revealed They say this man will rule the world under a one world religion called “spiritualism”

    They even printed a coin to raise money for the Temple with Donald Trumps face on the front and with king Cyrus'(who built the second Temple) behind him On the back of the coin is an image of the third Temple

    The Bible says this false Messiah who seats himself in the Third Temple will be thee antichrist that will bring about the Great Tribulation, though the Jewish people believe he will bring about world peace It will be a false peace for a period of time You can watch interviews of Jewish Rabbi’s in Israel speaking of these things They have their plans set in place It is only years away!

    More importantly, the power that runs the world wants to put a RFID microchip in our body making us total slaves to them This chip matches perfectly with the Mark of the Beast in the Bible, more specifically Revelation 13:16-18:

    He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name

    Here is wisdom Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666

    Referring to the last days, this could only be speaking of a cashless society, which we have yet to see, but are heading towards Otherwise, we could still buy or sell without the mark amongst others if physical money was still currency RFID microchip implant technology will be the future of a one world cashless society containing digital currency It will be implanted in the right-hand or the forehead, and we cannot buy or sell without it! We must grow strong in Jesus AT ALL COSTS, DO NOT TAKE IT!

    Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name ” (Revelation 14:9-11)

    People have been saying the end is coming for many years, but we need two key things One, the Third Temple, and two, the technology for a cashless society to fulfill the prophecy of the Mark of the Beast


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