[SpaceProgram] DARPA-RA-11-70 100YSS Notification

Jerry Isdale jerry at mauimakers.com
Mon Jan 2 07:13:14 CET 2012

A lunar lander/colony may not be the best goal.  I forgot the source but I recall arguments that a permanent space station is a better first step.  Something more than the current station that doesnt need constant altitude boosts (L point located?)  

Getting there and back avoids the gravity well on the other end - you only have to worry about earth's well and re-entry.

And a station has lots of the same issues to solve as a ground habitat... with lack of gravity to make things more complicated.

Jerry Isdale

On Jan 1, 2012, at 6:00 PM, Luke Weston wrote:

>> 2. Mini greenhouse on moon within 2 years - I think we could make this a subgoal/milestone of say 'lunar colony in 20 years' which to me is a sexy goal.
> But what's the point of having a "sexy goal" if it's not realistic?
> Marketing or "selling" something to the public (or governments, or the
> media, or potential benefactors) if you don't have good confidence
> that you can actually deliver it as promised on the timescale promised
> really isn't a very good way to go.
> Better to have goals that are challenging, optimistic, exciting, but
> still actually within the realm of what you can actually practically
> build, on schedule. You've got to crawl before you can walk.
> It's worth noting that the only man-rated operational spacecraft
> systems in the world at present are the Soyuz and the Long March 2F
> (and arguably SpaceShipOne, for very brief suborbital ballistic hops
> just barely above the Kármán line).
> The only private non-government manned spacecraft capability that has
> ever been demonstrated is a couple of brief suborbital ballistic hops,
> just barely above the Kármán line, with SpaceShipOne, and no private
> corporation or NGO has ever demonstrated manned spacecraft launch
> capability to Earth orbit.
> Small moves, Ellie.
> Let's suppose you want a manned lunar colony. What milestones would
> you have to hit?
> Let's consider some plausible milestones:
> a) Highly reliable unmanned suborbital ballistic rocket launch vehicle
> capability designed and built and tested extensively and proven
> b) Highly reliable unmanned launch vehicle capability to Earth orbit
> designed and built and tested extensively and proven.
> (Or, you can buy commercial "off the shelf" access to satellite launch
> vehicles that do (b) and skip (a)).
> c) Life support and crew support technology designed and built and
> tested, spacecraft man-rated and certified for manned brief suborbital
> ballistic spaceflight. (eg. SpaceShipOne)
> d) As per (c) but extending that to Earth orbit insertion.
> e) Trans-lunar injection and lunar orbit rendezvous, guidance and docking.
> f) Lunar landing
> g) Sustainable life support, energy, safety and habitability for a lunar colony.
> h) Transport of a large enough mass of materials and equipment and
> components to the moon to actually build a lunar colony.
> It's more plausible to work primarily on (a)-(c), or technologies or
> components of relevance to those milestones, or the other ones,
> perhaps in parallel, patiently, over time, before the whole thing very
> slowly starts to become viable.
> Cheers,
>  Luke
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