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Old 08-15-2021, 06:12 AM   #1
Trihexagonal
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Elon Musk's SpaceX awarded NASA moon-lander contract


The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) a released a 76-page report on July 21, 2021 that ruled in favor of NASA choosing SpaceX as the sole winner of the $2.9 billion Human Landing System contract (HLS).

In April, NASA awarded the HLS contract to Elon Musk's aerospace company in order for its Starship rocket to land humans on the moon as early as 2024. SpaceX beat its competitors Blue Origin and defense contractor Dynetics.

In 2019 Jeff Bezos, the billionaire founder of Amazon, unveiled a giant lunar lander concept by his spaceflight company, Blue Origin.

Called "Blue Moon," the lander is designed to deliver a variety of sizes and types of payloads to the moon's surface, with the eventual goal of establishing what the company calls a "sustained human presence" on the moon.

Blue Origin said it would continue to challenge NASA's decision and repeated its claims that SpaceX got "preferential treatment."

"We stand by our assessment that SpaceX received preferential treatment," a Blue Origin spokesperson told Insider. "We continue to urge NASA to restore competition and immediately award a second provider."

In response to Blue Origin's statement, tweeted by Washington Post reporter Christian Davenport, Musk tweeted a photo of Blue Moon with the caption: "Somehow, this wasn't convincing…"

The photo of the lunar lander concept, which appears to be taken at a Blue Origin event and shows the middle portion of the lander seemingly deflated, was originally posted on Reddit in 2019.


Elon Musk Moons Jeff Bezos
 
Old 08-15-2021, 01:26 PM   #2
ondoho
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Strange, "Amazon Space" was never on my radar, whereas SpaceX was, for years. Jeff, aren't you rich enough already? Srsly.

The way I see it, Elon Musk gambled big, and won.
A few years ago it wasn't all that clear whether his companies would take off, or go bankrupt.
Not that I'm a fan or even condone gambling, just a mildly layman POV from outside the USA.
 
Old 08-15-2021, 04:02 PM   #3
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I'm grateful Bezos is spending money and brains to try to bring commercial improvements to space technology but let's face it - He really has yet to innovate much. If all we consider is just one accomplishment of Elon Musk, automated landing making booster reuse even thinkable, Bezos has his work cut out for him to be first at anything important. Currently Musk has a Moon-capable ship assembled on a launch pad. It may yet result in another "unscheduled disassembly" but Elon has proven he knows how to turn failure into just another step to success.

I actually do wish Jeff Bezos continued success but I don't think he has a case for Moon capability for a few years yet. His reach exceeds his current grasp.
 
Old 08-15-2021, 04:12 PM   #4
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Considering that Blue Origin was started about 2 years before SpaceX, it is shocking that they even think they can compete at this point with SpaceX. So far BO has put one thing into space, but not in orbit, and SX has put over 100 objects into orbit including 2 crew missions, just in the last year.

I want more competition, but I also want my tax money to be used wisely. The SLS is turning into a money pit that congress will force NASA to keep shoveling its budget into.
 
Old 08-18-2021, 01:00 PM   #5
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First and foremost, you've got to solve the radiation problem. Which is something that we have never solved and which kept us from actually landing on the moon.

The moon lies beyond our planet's magnetosphere, which is the only thing which protects us from the rain of ionizing radiation that spews out of a completely unshielded thermonuclear reactor which is a mere 92 million miles away. This radiation strikes the surface of the moon with nothing to stop it: the lunar surface is extremely radioactive.

This stream of radiation is so powerful that it creates auroras on Neptune. It sometimes destroys satellites that are of course hardened against it. It would completely fry any lunar astronaut. For the foreseeable future, our "human space exploration" is limited to LEO = Low Earth Orbit. That's just the way our biology is. Until we can actually solve that problem, our "moon landings" will continue to happen on film sets.

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 08-18-2021 at 01:05 PM.
 
Old 08-18-2021, 03:34 PM   #6
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Got popcorn? This is gonna get good! or at least entertaining.
 
Old 08-19-2021, 01:13 AM   #7
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I saw the videos, they were very convinciong!
 
Old 08-19-2021, 07:45 AM   #8
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I'm currently reading a very good book called The Moon: a history for the future by Oliver Morton. It gives an entertaining account of the various races for the moon, including the current one between Musk and Bezos, as well as the huge problems of actually living there. He takes more or less the same view of SLS as uteck does.
 
Old 08-19-2021, 08:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ondoho View Post
I saw the videos, they were very convinciong!
Greetz ondoho. While I'm glad you were convinced I'd like to point out the "room for wrong" in areas for which we individually have little or no experience. Deep physical truths are not necessarily intuitive. It cracks me up (and also saddens me) that people who had never before even seen a photo taken on the Moon's surface let alone tried to take one there, assumed they were so expert that they could judge what such a thing would look like. Some people actually expert in the field of video and photography, movie directors, videographers and even Nvidia corporation, have done in-depth studies to model the insolation and albedo on the moon and come up with essentially identical reproductions of the sometimes odd effects like less than sharp shadows, invisibility of stars in the sky, etc.

A number of movie makers said it would have been actually harder for anyone including Kubrick to have faked the detail of NASA's footage than to go there and actually do it, because the technology for the common level of detail did not yet exist and wouldn't for decades. In fact, the fact that 2001 the movie was so convincing is because it only had to be slightly better than previous science fiction productions for people to marvel at "how real that looks".

People who are so skeptical that they only trust their own perceptions seem to conveniently forget or suspend disbelief that at any given moment we are all traveling through space in multiple directions at once at very close to 1,000,000 miles per hour. Originally the perception that the earth is a stationary center of everything was part of what began the idea of Flat Earth. I strongly suspect that the need of some folks to be able to rely totally on their senses instead of their deductive reasoning, is why Flat Earthers have revived. I suppose such people just assume all the complexity to deal with motion and Relativity to make GPS possible are all just there to "continue the deception" that we are always in RAPID motion. Young Earth is yet another such effort to make complexity more in line with human perception.

To be clear I'm not quoting you because I think you are one of those folks... I don't. Your words were a convenient inspiration and "launching pad" to discuss the limits of sensual perception.

It's crucial to realize our bodies are far more primitive than our brains because they have evolved at vastly different rates since the invention of language, including Mathematics. Thank you for that inspiration, ondoho.

Last edited by enorbet; 08-19-2021 at 02:05 PM. Reason: typos
 
Old 08-19-2021, 10:21 AM   #10
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I was there – just a little kid but I remember it well. A much-beloved martyred President had made an audacious promise, not knowing if it was possible or not. (It wasn't.) And someone decided, rightly or wrongly, to make it come true anyway. People believed it and were very proud of it – many still are – because they wanted to. And can we really say that they were wrong?

Even as a six-year-old I found myself wondering why Houston and the Moon were replying to one another so very quickly. Even I knew that it takes 1.3 seconds one way for a radio signal to get there, and I saw them talking back-and-forth much quicker than that sometimes. (e.g. in the Apollo-11 sequence where they are supposedly jockeying the rockets to land on the moon. (While somehow keeping the lander's directional radio antenna perfectly aligned towards Earth the entire time.) I also wondered why I saw undisturbed "lunar surface" directly below that rocket engine and no sign of a "blasted-away debris trail" in any direction. Yes, a six year old kid noticed all of that in 1969. But, I kept my suspicions to myself and enjoyed the show.

Some "lunar rocks," that we actually gave away as state gifts, turned out to be petrified wood. Yes, there were whistleblowers within NASA in those days.

But when we do things like Elon Musk is just-as-arrogantly now talking about, we're going to be confronted with the harsh realities of the unprotected Sun. I think that it would be far wiser to begin by sending unmanned probes, bristling with detectors. The USSR had great success with such attempts in the 1960's. They say that they successfully sent probes that came back. Incredible, if true.

We've got to dispense with the hubris of the 1960's and very-quietly embrace the fact that we must actually understand what we are up against if we are ever actually going to invent a way to conquer the very-harsh realities. We don't need to confront people with the fact that the 1960's projects were faked. That was then, this is now. But, we must not now let that put real human beings in harm's way because we still want to believe that we once played golf on the moon.

"Poco a poco," as they say. There are many technologies that we'll have to invent from scratch, and the number-one thing is lightweight radiation shielding. We might also need to declassify some of the early experiments with "flying-saucer" antigravity spacecraft, a la Nikola Tesla. To see if there might be anything at all there, in case it might be "much better than rockets." Much to do. Much to do.

I really don't expect to see success in my lifetime, although I've been wrong before. And, I am delighted to still see it being doggedly pursued. (And now, not just by governments.) To see that people still want to "boldly go where no man has gone before." I wish them all Godspeed.

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 08-19-2021 at 10:39 AM.
 
Old 08-19-2021, 01:33 PM   #11
enorbet
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@sundialsvcs - It already did happen and the radiation about which you are so concerned is only a serious problem within the Van Allen Belts but those are not globes but bands, easily avoided. We now have optical telescopes in moon-orbiting satellites that can take photos of landing sites and one can see the various Lunar Landers as well as impact craters from crashes. We've always had the radar logs of dozens of countries, some with a vested interest in revealing US fraud that didn't, and of course there were the laser reflectors that could be accessed from Earth.

Yes there is radiation in Space but it is weak enough that the materials of the shells are sufficient to stop the most dangerous bits and the only concern is over long term voyages. Even a year long trip to Mars would be radiation exposure less than many chest xrays.

That those reflectors needed to be placed by human hands and brains should be obvious since the Soviet automated attempts were not accesed for almost 50 years due to the lack of precision in placement...robots just weren't that precise mid 20th century.

Seriously, sundialsvcs, you seem both bright and educated so I really don't get why you haven't availed yourself of all of the fact-checked debunking of Moon Landing Hoaxers' most cherished "evidence". It is so studied it is like arguing the distance between New York City and Los Angeles. It's not subject to opinion any more. It's out there and you would do well to research it.

Last edited by enorbet; 08-19-2021 at 07:15 PM. Reason: typos
 
Old 08-19-2021, 01:49 PM   #12
ondoho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ondoho View Post
I saw the videos, they were very convinciong!
I was indeed open for willing to listen to their arguments for a while, but always with a sort of tongue-in-cheek withheld, and unconvinced in the end.

But that's always the thing with these conspiration myths - viewed seperately, some of their arguments even make sense. Only when they weave a carpet out of it one can see the madness.
 
Old 08-19-2021, 02:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sundialsvcs View Post
But when we do things like Elon Musk is just-as-arrogantly now talking about, we're going to be confronted with the harsh realities of the unprotected Sun.
Oh, I'm going there. Don't worry.

With the South Sea Anomaly.


NASA Researchers Track Slowly Splitting 'Dent' in Earth’s Magnetic Field

A small but evolving dent in Earth’s magnetic field can cause big headaches for satellites.

Earth’s magnetic field acts like a protective shield around the planet, repelling and trapping charged particles from the Sun. But over South America and the southern Atlantic Ocean, an unusually weak spot in the field – called the South Atlantic Anomaly, or SAA – allows these particles to dip closer to the surface than normal. Particle radiation in this region can knock out onboard computers and interfere with the data collection of satellites that pass through it – a key reason why NASA scientists want to track and study the anomaly.

The South Atlantic Anomaly is also of interest to NASA’s Earth scientists who monitor the changes in magnetic field strength there, both for how such changes affect Earth's atmosphere and as an indicator of what's happening to Earth's magnetic fields, deep inside the globe.


https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nasa-re...magnetic-field



Edit: In fact, I already have. In depth.

Solar Storm Monitor
https://eclipse.trihexagonal.org/solar.html

The Dynamics Of The Sun, Solar Storms, And Solar Winds
https://eclipse.trihexagonal.org/storm2.html

Gravity's Role In Orbital Mechanics And Spaceflight
https://eclipse.trihexagonal.org/gravity01a.html

Last edited by Trihexagonal; 08-19-2021 at 03:15 PM.
 
Old 08-19-2021, 06:14 PM   #14
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"Gentlemen, I have only one concern." Do not put any actual human being out there, until you actually know!

"Physics is not concerned with ... politics."

If you thought that "the Afghanistan debacle" was a big deal . . . "heh!!"

Our only objective is: "to someday, actually, 'get to the Moon, and then beyond!'" And to do so safely.

The best strategy that I can think of is to humbly(!) begin by sending out as many automated probes as possible – to (re-)discover "everything that we ever thought we 'knew.'" Long before we dare to send an actual human being out there to find out if we were right.

Since we have already shown that we can send amazingly-complex probes ... even "drone helicopters(!)" ... to Mars, then the Moon should be "easy peasy."

Maybe we can even task one of those probes to pick up any one of those golf balls ... "just to make sure?"

Hey – we have nothing to prove, except to try to achieve the safest possible outcome for our someday human astronauts. If "we know" that we've done it all before, then "doing it a second time, just in case, just to make sure" should be perfunctory and easy ... yes?

"Provable astronaut safety. [...] Provable probable-cause to anticipate mission success." Really, can there be any 21st-Century questions concerning a 21st-Century mission involving actual brave human beings?

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 08-19-2021 at 06:30 PM.
 
Old 08-19-2021, 06:52 PM   #15
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How to See All Six Apollo Moon Landing Sites

"As you're well aware, no telescope on Earth can see the leftover descent stages of the Apollo Lunar Modules or anything else Apollo-related. Not even the Hubble Space Telescope can discern evidence of the Apollo landings. The laws of optics define its limits.

Hubble's 94.5-inch mirror has a resolution of 0.024″ in ultraviolet light, which translates to 141 feet (43 meters) at the Moon's distance. In visible light, it's 0.05″, or closer to 300 feet. Given that the largest piece of equipment left on the Moon after each mission was the 17.9-foot-high by 14-foot-wide Lunar Module, you can see the problem.

Did I say problem? No problem for NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), which can dip as low as 31 miles (50 km) from the lunar surface, close enough to image each landing site in remarkable detail."


https://skyandtelescope.org/observin...landing-sites/


Edit: enorbet, I'm letting you out of the box on a trail run. Don't make me regret letting you out...
Gretel stays in the box.

Last edited by Trihexagonal; 08-19-2021 at 07:04 PM.
 
  


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