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Artykuły o Artemis program
« dnia: Czerwiec 16, 2019, 17:14 »
Paying for Artemis: How much will it cost to go back to the moon?
by Jeff Foust — June 14, 2019. This article originally appeared in the June 10, 2019 issue of SpaceNews magazine.

NASA has laid out a rough plan for what it now calls the Artemis program, including what needs to be built — SLS and Orion, a “minimal” Gateway and lunar landers — and how it can come together in time for a 2024 landing. Credit: NASA

Since U.S. Vice President Mike Pence directed NASA to accelerate its timetable for returning humans to the surface of the moon by four years, the agency has focused on describing how it can achieve that goal. In the weeks and months that followed Pence’s March speech, NASA has laid out a rough plan for what it now calls the Artemis program, including what needs to be built — SLS and Orion, a “minimal” Gateway and lunar landers — and how it can come together in time for a 2024 landing.

What the agency has been less forthcoming about, though, is how much it will cost. On May 13, NASA finally released a long-awaited budget amendment for fiscal year 2020, seeking an additional $1.6 billion to support work on SLS, lunar landers and related technologies.

But that amount, the agency’s leaders acknowledge, is only a down payment on the total cost of Artemis. That total cost remains undisclosed, although NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine rejected reports it would cost up to $8 billion a year for five years.

“We expect in future years that it will be more than the current $1.6 billion for 2020. We all know that,” he said during a briefing about the budget amendment. “We are working day in and day out to come up with what those numbers are for the future years.”

Those overall cost estimates do exist, at least within NASA Headquarters. “We have those numbers, and we’re still discussing those internally,” Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA associate administrator for human exploration and operations (HEO), said at a May 31 meeting of the NASA Advisory Council. “I’m hesitant to give you the number because we’re still in this deliberation.”

That hasn’t stopped people, like members of the council and its supporting committees, from seeking more details about its cost. “Isn’t it true that the funding for a development program kind of follows, I would say, almost a bell curve?” said Wayne Hale, chairman of the council’s human exploration and operations committee, at a May 28 meeting. “$1.6 billion is just a down payment, right?”

“We anticipate that we’ll need an increase in the budget in ’21, ’22, ’23, ’24,” replied Ken Bowersox, deputy associate administrator for human exploration and operations. “Within HEO, we’ve already laid out budget estimates, but we don’t talk about those publicly until we’ve gotten agreement from all our stakeholders that it’s OK to do that.”

“It looks reasonable,” he said of those still-internal budgets. “That’s all I can say at this point.”

⇒ See “Bridenstine estimates Artemis cost at $20 billion to $30 billion”

What’s reasonable to one person or agency, though, may be unreasonable to another. That’s also true when it comes to where the money will come from. Bridenstine and others have emphasized that, for 2020, Artemis will be funded entirely with “new” money, in the form of the additional funding requested in the budget amendment, rather than transferring funding from elsewhere in the agency.

“It has been tried in the past that we cannibalize one part of NASA to fund another part of NASA,” Bridenstine said at an astronomy workshop in April. “That path does not work.”

He’s emphasized that point several times since then. “We’ve got support from a budget request that says we’re going to step forward and were going to fund this, and we’re not going to cannibalize NASA in order to fund it,” he told the NASA Advisory Council May 30.

Bridenstine may be right that it’s still “the top of the first inning” for funding Artemis. But NASA hasn’t been able to find the plate in its first pitches to Congress. Credit: NASA

Gerstenmaier, though, offered a different take, at least for later years. “When we get to ’21, I don’t think we’re going to be able to get the entire budget as new money to the top line,” or overall agency budget, he told the council the next day.

He suggested that, to fully fund Artemis in 2021 and beyond, some money will have to come from elsewhere in the agency, either within his own directorate or elsewhere at NASA. “We’re going to have to look for some efficiencies and make some cuts internal to the agency, and that’s where it’s going to be hard,” he said.

And, he hinted, potentially divisive. “Everybody can be on board when everything is going forward and there’s an infinite amount of new money coming into the agency.”

The official agency line, though, remains that Artemis will be funded without affecting other agency priorities, like science. “Everyone looks for efficiencies when managing budgets and that is what Mr. Gerstenmaier was talking about in his presentation before the NASA Advisory Council,” NASA spokesman Bob Jacobs said in a June 5 statement. “However, the administrator said we would not raid science to pay for Artemis and that is the agency’s position.”

There’s still the matter of getting that additional funding for 2020. NASA and the White House released the budget amendment for 2020 just before the House Appropriations Committee released its version of a commerce, justice and science (CJS) spending bill that funds NASA. That bill did not incorporate the amended budget, and members of the committee did not reject or otherwise discuss the amendment during their markup of the bill later in the month.

That’s just a matter of bad timing, Bridenstine told the council, and not a rejection of that proposal. “Don’t get me wrong: there are people that have questions or people who have concerns, people who are interested in where the money is coming from,” he said, a reference to the White House’s proposal to pay for that additional funding from an existing surplus in the Pell Grant fund, which helps low-income students pay for college. That part of the proposal prompted widespread criticism within and outside Congress.

Bridenstine said he expects a warmer reception in the Senate, which has yet to mark up its version of a CJS spending bill. Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), chairman of the CJS appropriations subcommittee, has indicated his willingness to support NASA’s plans.

Ultimately, the Senate’s bill will have to be reconciled with a House bill that added funding to NASA science programs and some elements of its exploration efforts, notably SLS and Orion. That’s a process that, based on recent history, will likely take months.

“People have said we’re in the second inning,” Bridenstine said at the council meeting of the appropriations process. “I’m here to tell you I think we’re in the top of the first inning.”

Management lessons

It may be the first inning, but NASA hasn’t been able to find the plate in its first pitches to Congress.

As part of the rollout of the accelerated lunar exploration plans in March, Bridenstine said NASA would seek to establish a “Moon to Mars Mission Directorate” that would be charged with implementing what is now called Artemis. It would be taken from the agency’s existing Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, potentially including some space technology or science programs as well.

“When we talk about operations and we talk about development, those are two very different kinds of capabilities” with different skill sets, he said at a NASA town hall meeting in April. “What we’re talking about here is a mission directorate focused on development.”

Such a reorganization required congressional approval. In a May 23 internal memo, though, Bridenstine said that Congress rejected the proposal, but didn’t explain why. Instead, “we will move forward under our current organizational structure within the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate.”

That decision led to the departure of Mark Sirangelo, an aerospace industry executive who joined NASA earlier in the year as a special assistant to the administrator to support planning for Artemis. He was widely expected to become associate administrator of that new mission directorate, had Congress approved it.

Last month, Congress rejected NASA’s proposal to establish a Moon to Mars Mission Directorate to oversee Artemis. That decision led to the departure of Mark Sirangelo, center, an aerospace industry executive NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine brought in six weeks earlier to help plan Artemis and, presumably, run the new mission directorate. Credit: NASA

“Given NASA is no longer pursuing the new mission directorate, Mark has opted to pursue other opportunities,” Bridenstine wrote. Sources within the agency said that the two didn’t agree on how NASA should manage Artemis when Congress rejected the mission directorate.

In his first public comments since leaving the agency, a June 6 speech at the National Space Society’s International Space Development Conference (ISDC) in Arlington, Virginia, Sirangelo said he came to NASA to help it carry out that lunar landing goal “by any means necessary.”

“I spent the last three months as a special assistant helping to figure out three things: what is the path to the moon, how does it get funded and what, if any, restructuring will be necessary to make it happen,” he said. By the time he left in May, NASA had developed a plan and submitted the budget amendment for 2020, but was not able to make progress on the restructuring.

His departure has dismayed some in the space industry. “Given NASA’s past performance, there’s a lot of questions about whether or not NASA can meet that deadline,” said Robert Walker, the former chairman of the House Science Committee who served as the space policy adviser to the Trump campaign in 2016, in a June 5 speech at ISDC.

“NASA went to the Hill here recently and asked for a new directorate that would pull all these programs together, and basically Congress shook their heads and said, ‘No, we’re not going to go there,’” he said, prompting Sirangelo to leave NASA, “with probably very good reason.”

“He was a very, very good pick for that kind of program,” Walker said of Sirangelo. “I thought he was an inspired choice. But, Congress basically put the kibosh on trying to move ahead in that way.”

Asked why he thought Congress rejected the new directorate, Walker offered a one-word explanation: “Money.”

At the NASA Advisory Council meeting, Gerstenmaier supported the decision not create the new directorate. “That breaks down a lot of stovepipes that would have occurred between the two directorates. That allows us to innovate,” he said.

Instead, he said there will be organization changes within his directorate to ensure the Artemis program has clear authorities, including being able to work directly with other mission directorates like space technology. “You’ll see some changes coming on the organizational side.”

Sirangelo, in his ISDC speech, emphasized the need for what he called “strong central management” for Artemis, patterned on management of past major programs, both inside and outside NASA. “Typically it was one person working for political leadership who ran a small team of high-level technical, administrative, financial people who oversaw all elements of the project,” he said, citing as one example George Mueller, who managed Apollo for more than six years, through Apollo 11.

“In my view,” he concluded, “that’s what needs to happen for the moon program going forward.”

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Odp: [SN] Paying for Artemis: How much will it cost to go back to the moon?
« Odpowiedź #1 dnia: Czerwiec 22, 2019, 00:44 »
NASA contractors support Artemis cost estimate
by Jeff Foust — June 20, 2019 [SN]

Most of the additional $20–30 billion NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said is needed to land humans on the moon in 2024 will likely go to development of a lunar lander, industry executives say. Credit: NASA

WASHINGTON — Companies involved in NASA’s exploration program agree with a recent estimate by the head of NASA that landing humans on the moon by 2024 will require an additional $20 billion to $30 billion for the agency.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine gave that cost estimate in a June 13 interview with CNN, saying that spending would take place over the next five years on top of existing NASA budget projections. He didn’t elaborate on what that cost estimate covered or how it was developed. NASA has not provided additional details about that cost estimate or answered media inquiries about it.

At a panel discussion here June 20 organized by the Space Transportation Association, executives with several companies involved in various aspects of what NASA now calls the Artemis program said that overall cost estimate appeared to be reasonable.

Frank Slazer, vice president for strategy and business development at Aerojet Rocketdyne, noted that many major elements of Artemis, including the Space Launch System, Orion and the lunar Gateway, are already included in those earlier projections. “One element that has not been in the budget so far was the lunar lander,” he said.

Development of the lander, he said, would likely require most of that additional funding Bridenstine estimated was needed. “The lunar lander, if you go back to the Apollo era, was about $30 billion” in president-day dollars, he said. “So that’s probably about right if you want to think about developing a lander capability.”

A recent study published by The Planetary Society, examining the historical costs of the Apollo program, estimated that the Lunar Module developed for Apollo cost about $23.4 billion to develop in 2019 dollars.

So far, NASA had requested only $1.6 billion in additional funding for Artemis for fiscal year 2020. Of that, $1 billion was earmarked for lunar lander work, with the rest going to SLS, space technology and science missions. That budget amendment, released May 13 but not yet taken up by Congress, cut several hundred million dollars from the Gateway program, reflecting the decision to develop only a “minimal” Gateway for supporting the initial 2024 landing.

Others noted that, besides the total amount of funding needed for Artemis, there’s the question of how it will be spread out over five years. “The phasing of this is important,” said Tony Antonelli, mission director at Lockheed Martin for the second flight of the Orion, formerly known as EM-2 and now called Artemis-2. Development programs usually have a funding profile that rises and then falls, although SLS and Orion have instead operated under much flatter funding profiles.

“We didn’t follow the optimum funding phasing profile through development, so it took us longer and probably cost more to get to here,” he said, adding the company was finalizing a production contract with NASA for future Orion spacecraft. “But we’re here now, so we can get to this production phase.”

The panel came a day after a Government Accountability Office report that warned additional delays in the first SLS/Orion launch, Artemis-1, are likely. That launch is scheduled for June 2020 but the report said there is as much as 12 months of schedule risk to that date, which if realized would push the launch to June 2021. That could affect later launches, including the Artemis-3 mission in 2024 that NASA currently foresees as the one carrying astronauts to the Gateway, from which they would board a lander to go to the lunar surface.

Bill Beckman, director of NASA programs at Boeing, said that the company was making good progress on the SLS core stage, with the engine section now complete and undergoing testing. “We’re still driving towards a 2020 launch” of Artemis-1, he said.

Antonelli said Lockheed has already received long-lead items needed for production of the Orion spacecraft for the Artemis-3 mission. “We’re well on our way to keep the third mission of Orion, which will land folks on the moon, on schedule,” he said.


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Reinvigorating NASA’s lunar exploration plans after the pandemic
by Ajay P. Kothari Monday, May 11, 2020 [TSR]

A revamped exploration program might preserve NASA’s plans to return to the Moon despite the economic impact of the pandemic, but it will have to forego development of the lunar Gateway. (credit: NASA)

In a recent Washington Post op-ed, Josh Rogin argued for the need for a strong American response to China’s perceived mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic: “Americans in both parties increasingly agree that the United States needs a tougher, more realistic China strategy that depends less on the honesty and goodwill of the Chinese government.” Such a strategy should include space, too.

The response to the coronavirus will have long-term impacts on NASA. With trillions of dollars spent so far, budget cuts for all agencies can be expected in the next fiscal year and beyond. NASA will be among the agencies affected more adversely than others, given they are not considered to be essential. Democratic lawmakers, but also many Republican ones, will oppose any increase sought for the agency. The Moon has, in this since, moved further away. How do we fix this problem?

Antagonism towards China by the public, and hence lawmakers, combined with the threat of budget cuts, points to a potential and necessary path. For NASA, it may likely not be budget cuts, but almost surely any budget increase will face the axe.

China’s activities in space are not just for economic or military superiority, though they may be a side effect, with even higher probability of that now. They are also doing it for civilizational pride, which morphs into national pride. It is very strong. The motivating factors in the near future will not be just financial. China’s pride has been hurt by the pandemic, so they will do the things to rejuvenate it. The Chinese feel that they were an exceptional civilization for a long time. They want that again and understandably so. It is nationalism, not communism. They need a face-saving mechanism badly and space is one of them. Space exploration for China, and other old civilizations like India, beckons of otherworldly qualities. It overlaps with science and the spirit of exploring. We need to understand that, and not try to reduce everything to economic numbers.

Despite these recent horrendous stumbles, they will have humans on the Moon in as little as five to seven years. And it will not be for any other reason than to start to “win” in space. They may well be the first to extract water from the Moon. It is not a space race as a military competition this time around, but will devolve into an egoistic and economic one—a “space race” nonetheless.

This is why going to the lunar surface, not the lunar Gateway, is very important for the United States. This time, of course, it’s not just to visit, or even just to stay. That is not enough. It is to do things there, and those high priority things to do are on the surface, not in orbit.

This also implies we not only will need to be there in large numbers but also quickly, in order to compete or to reach a favorable distribution. Those at the table write the rules. All of the above means we need a solution that can take thousands of tons, not hundreds, of infrastructure and other materials to the lunar surface.

NASA is doing the right thing by exploring options for the Human Landing Systems through contracts announced recently. While doing that, though, we need to also find ways to efficiently send needed infrastructure to the surface first, in some format that does not rely on the lunar Gateway to get the task done. It needs to be done over next few years, with the habitats and other infrastructure, including for in-situ resource utilization, awaiting the astronauts’ arrival.

This problem cannot be solved by just the Space Launch System. It is five to eight times more costly than the approaches I’ve discussed here previously (see “A giant leap for America”, The Space Review, November 20, 2017; and “How to make an urgent and affordable return to the Moon”, The Space Review, October 14, 2019), and is expected to have much less frequent launch capability. We will need five to ten launches a year of this type to take the requisite infrastructure and material to the lunar surface. Going to Mars using this method is also faster, and it can be done in four years. And later, using in-situ water ice from the lunar surface with gravity assist would be an attractive choice as well. The SLS program needs to be readdressed to design and produce the upper stages for different destinations using different (possibly methane and hydrogen) fuels and different payload sizes, along with other exploration concepts and hardware.

Just letting the space companies take over will also miss one important mark. For the public to feel the pride, as they did during Apollo, they have to feel that they did it, that we did it, that NASA largely did it. NASA needs to devise ways where businesses participate, but where the public feels proud and not just the owners of those companies.

While continuing science, NASA should do those things now that speak towards this potential competition with China in the human exploration arena. It may be or surely will be a space race, a competition for lunar resources, including water ice, that we do not wish China to get a controlling interest in. Lawmakers will be in mood to listen to that, rather than spend billions for relatively more cosmetic endeavors like the lunar Gateway. If we concentrate on the lunar Gateway, we will miss the bus and then it will be too late: another easy win for China. We cannot allow that.

NASA should postpone the lunar Gateway for now, concentrate fully on getting to the lunar surface anyway we can—not that it has to be SLS or bust, especially now that its first launch has again slipped to mid to late 2021. We can get to the surface using reusable boosters like Falcon Heavy, New Glenn, or Starship, at a fifth the cost of SLS, as well as be quicker and scalable. It will require some modifications, some prodding, and some out-of-the-box thinking that I am sure NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate can do under the new leadership it has now. Congress will like it too—surely with grumblings from some, although others will secretly and not-so-secretly applaud it. I believe the Trump Administration will also be quite welcoming of it. The paradigm has shifted greatly in last few months. We can wait for several months to make these changes, but we absolutely cannot afford to wait for years.

NASA’s Plan for Sustained Lunar Exploration and Development released on April 3 is very well thought out, but I am afraid the lunar Gateway reliance would be hindering. It needs to be flipped, with trying to concentrate on it after five years instead of before. That we need to beat China and stay several steps ahead is now a much more convincing argument to Congress, and correctly so. NASA should utilize this mindset while the iron is hot. Asking Congress for billions for the Gateway is just not going to fly. Using the unnecessarily costlier SLS will also not be favorably rewarded. But competing strongly with China will be. Upsetting Boeing and Lockheed Martin is minor compared to the whole country being upset by China as has happened now, and may again in future.

Dr. Ajay Kothari is founder/president of Astrox Corporation. His MS and PhD in Aerospace Engineering are from the University of Maryland.

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Odp: [SN] Paying for Artemis: How much will it cost to go back to the moon?
« Odpowiedź #3 dnia: Wrzesień 23, 2020, 02:47 »
NASA lays out $28 billion plan to return astronauts to the moon in 2024
September 21, 2020 Stephen Clark [SFN]

Astronaut Harrison “Jack” Schmitt collects lunar rake samples from the moon on the Apollo 17 mission in December 1972. Credit: NASA

NASA officials released a nearly five-year, $28 billion plan Monday to return astronauts to the surface of the moon before the end of 2024, but the agency’s administrator said the “aggressive” timeline set by the Trump administration last year hinges on Congress approving $3.2 billion in the next few months to kick-start development of new human-rated lunar landers.

The plan unveiled Monday contained few new details not previously disclosed by NASA. It assumes crews will launch on NASA’s Space Launch System heavy-lift rocket, fly to the moon’s vicinity on an Orion capsule, then transfer into a commercially-developed lunar lander to ferry the astronauts to and from the lunar surface.

NASA released a new overview document Monday describing the agency’s approach to landing astronauts on the moon for the first time since the Apollo 17 mission in December 1972. The program, named Artemis, encompasses the SLS, Orion, Human Landing Systems, and the Gateway, a human-tended platform in lunar orbit that will eventually serve as a staging point for missions to the moon.

“NASA has all the key systems and contracts in place to ensure that we are meeting the president’s ambitious goal to return American astronauts to the moon for the first time since 1972,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.

The Trump administration last year directed NASA to land the first woman and the next man on the moon by the end of 2024, moving up the space agency’s previous moon landing schedule by four years.

Bridenstine acknowledged the challenge of landing astronauts on the moon in four years. Three companies — Blue Origin, Dynetics and SpaceX — are developing human-rated lunar landers for NASA, which plans next year to select one or two of the lander teams to continue work on their spacecraft.

“There’s a number of different risks when you deal with human spaceflight,” Bridenstine said. “NASA is really really good at dealing with the technical risks.”

“The challenge that we have is the political risk — the programs that go too long, that cost too much, and that end up getting cast out later in the development program,” Bridenstine said, adding that programs that develop over longer schedules often end up with higher overall costs. “So to save money, and to reduce political risk, we want to go fast … 2024 is an aggressive timeline. Is it possible? Yes. Does everything have to go right? Yes.”

Artist’s concept of an Orion spacecraft at the moon. Credit: NASA

The Gateway is not required for the 2024 mission, which is designated Artemis 3. NASA decided earlier this year it would allow the companies developing human-rated lunar lander concepts to propose ways to transport astronauts from lunar orbit to the moon’s surface and back to the Orion spacecraft without using the Gateway, at least for the first landing on Artemis 3.

Bridenstine said Monday the Gateway is “critically important” for creating a “sustainable” lunar exploration program. It will allow lunar landers to be refueled and reused, and help NASA lead the establishment of a base camp on the moon, where engineers will develop the know-how to tap lunar resources like water ice to generate air, drinking water, and rocket fuel.

The Gateway will also have international contributions from Canada, Europe, and Japan.

The lessons learned will ultimately feed into planning a human expedition to Mars, according to NASA.

In the planning document released Monday, NASA outlined a two-step program to initially move fast to get astronauts to the moon by the end of 2024. Then NASA aims to develop an “Artemis Base Camp” by the end of the 2020s near the moon’s south pole, where crews will be able to live and work for months at a time.

The budget estimates in the planning document do not include developments focused on sustaining the lunar program, such as the Gateway station, surface habitats, and rovers.

That does not mean those programs will not be funded in the next year years, NASA said. The first two elements of the Gateway station remain scheduled to be launched together in 2023.

NASA projects the parts of the Artemis program required for the 2024 moon landing — known as Phase 1 — will cost $28 billion through fiscal year 2025, which begins Oct. 1, 2024.

That figure “represents the costs that are associated with the next four years in the Artemis program to land on the moon by 2024. so SLS funding, Orion funding, the Human Landing System, and of course the spacesuits, all of those things that are part of the Artemis program are included in that $28 billion.”

The Orion spacecraft has been in development since 2006 as part of NASA’s Constellation program initiated by the George W. Bush administration. After rising costs and delays, the Obama administration canceled the Constellation program in 2010, but the Orion spacecraft survived in NASA’s revamped deep space exploration program aimed at Mars.

The Space Launch System was announced in 2011 to loft the Orion spacecraft with crews on expeditions in deep space.

Both programs have suffered years of delays, but NASA says the first SLS/Orion test flight — named Artemis 1 — is scheduled for launch by November 2021. The first flight-ready SLS core stage will be test-fired in late October or early November at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, then delivered to the Kennedy Space Center for final assembly with its solid rocket boosters, cryogenic upper stage, and Orion spacecraft.

The segments of the SLS solid boosters, the rocket’s upper stage, and the Orion spacecraft have been completed and are awaiting arrival of the core stage before ground teams begin stacking the launcher inside the Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy.

The Artemis 1 mission will test out the Space Launch System and Orion spacecraft on a mission to orbit the moon and return to Earth. No astronauts will fly on Artemis 1.

“That mission will be over a month long, and it’ll be checking out all of the critical systems,” said Kathy Lueders, head of NASA’s human spaceflight directorate.

A mock-up of the Blue Origin-led human-rated lunar lander was recently delivered to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston for simulations and testing. Credit: Blue Origin

Assuming Artemis 1 goes according to plan, the next SLS/Orion launch in 2023 will carry a crew on a 10-day mission around the moon, sending people farther from Earth than ever before.

NASA recently decided to add a rendezvous and proximity operations demonstration to the Artemis 2 flight plan. The astronauts on Artemis 2 will take manual control of their Orion spaceship and pilot the capsule back toward the SLS upper stage after separating from the rocket in a high-altitude orbit around Earth, before setting off on a trajectory toward the moon.

The astronauts will “assess Orion’s handling characteristics” during the manual piloting demo, which will stop short of an actual docking with the upper stage,” NASA officials wrote in the Artemis planning document released Monday The demonstration will “provide provide performance data and operational experience that cannot be readily gained on the ground in preparation for critical rendezvous, proximity operations, docking, as well as undocking operations” beginning on the Artemis 3 mission.

After looping around the moon on a “free return trajectory,” the Artemis 2 astronauts will return to Earth and ride their Orion capsule to a parachute-assisted splashdown at sea.

That will set the stage for Artemis 3, which will use a similar SLS/Orion vehicle to launch the astronauts to rendezvous with a human-rated lander pre-positioned near the moon after launch aboard a commercial rocket. After flying the Orion spacecraft to link up with the lander in a high-altitude lunar orbit, the astronauts will move into the descent vehicle for the final leg of the journey to the moon.

NASA officials anticipate the Artemis 3 crew will spend nearly a week on the lunar surface to conduct at least two, and perhaps four, moonwalk excursions. Then the astronauts will take off and head back to the Orion spacecraft to ferry them back to Earth.

In parallel with the SLS, Orion, and lander test flights, NASA engineers will demonstrate an upgraded spacesuit design on the International Space Station before it is used by astronauts on the lunar surface.

Bridenstine said Monday that NASA could select a “cadre” of astronauts to begin training for Artemis missions, but the agency has no immediate plans to do so. He added that the agency typically assigns space crews about two years before launch.

The NASA chief also said Monday that the Artemis 3 mission’s landing site remains near the moon’s south pole. In a meeting of lunar scientists last week, Bridenstine discussed a hypothetical scenario in which the Artemis 3 astronauts could return to one of the Apollo landing sites in the moon’s equatorial regions if NASA defers plans for a polar landing

“Right now, we have no plans for Artemis 3 for anything other than the south pole,” Bridenstine said Monday.

Scientists have discovered evidence for water ice harbored in permanently shadowed craters near the moon’s south pole, but no mission has landed there yet. NASA plans to send robotic precursors to the south pole region in the next few years, including a rover named VIPER that will attempt to study the ice deposits up close.

The core stage for NASA’s first Space Launch System heavy-lift rocket was hoisted into a vertical test stand in January at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi for testing that will culminate in a hotfire of the rocket’s four main engines. Credit: NASA

The chances of achieving a lunar landing with astronauts in 2024 depend on winning support in Congress, and that support is not assured.

“The budget request that we have before the House and the Senate right now includes $3.2 billion for the Human Landing System,” Bridenstine said. “It is critically important that we get that $3.2 billion.”

A draft budget for NASA passed by the House in July would provide $628 million for lunar lander development in fiscal year 2021, which begins Oct. 1. The Senate has not drafted a NASA budget bill for the next fiscal year, and Congress is expected to pass a continuing resolution by the end of September to keep the government running through Election Day, after which lawmakers could pass a budget for the rest of fiscal year 2021.

The continuing resolution would fund government agencies at 2020 levels, and would not include money NASA says it needs for a Human Landing System.

“We need that $3.2 billion for the Human Landing System,” Bridenstine said. “I think that if we can have that done before Christmas, we’re still on track for a 2024 moon landing.”

If Congress passes a longer-term continuing resolution stretching into early next year, perhaps expiring in March, the longer wait for Human Landing System funds would make a 2024 moon landing more challenging, Bridenstine said. “I would argue that we’re still within the realm of possibility because we do have our work underway right now.”

“If we go beyond March and we still don’t have the Human Landing System funded, it becomes increasingly more difficult,” he said Monday in a conference call with reporters. “We want this to be a bipartisan effort, which we have had a lot of success in achieving. We would like to see the $3.2 billion for the Human Landing System funded at the earliest possible opportunity, and the best we can see that happening right now would be with an omnibus appropriations bill some time before the end of the year.”

More than $16 billion of the $28 billion NASA projects needing to make the Artemis 3 mission happen in 2024 will go toward developing a moon lander.

“If Congress doesn’t fund the moon landing program, then it won’t be achieved,” Bridenstine said later in his conference call with reporters Monday. “It’s really that simple. If they push the funding off, our goal would be to get to the moon at the earliest possible opportunity … If they keep delaying the funding, we will go to the moon at the earliest possible opportunity.”

Despite the funding uncertainty, Bridenstine said he is confident NASA will get the lunar lander money.

“I will tell you that there is broad consensus that it is time to go to the moon sustainably, and 2024 is achievable, and we’re working towards that,” he said. “When that omnibus appropriation is complete, I really believe there will be $3.2 billion for a Human Landing System. That could be at the end of the year, and it could be in March.”

Lueders said Monday that the lander teams led by Blue Origin, Dynetics and SpaceX are “hitting every single milestone” under contracts awarded by NASA in April. After advancing their designs and refining their plans, the teams will submit proposals to NASA again ahead of a decision by agency managers early next year on which lander concepts provide the best chance of achieving a crewed landing on the moon by the end of 2024.

NASA’s budget will be a key factor in determining whether the space agency has to pick one lunar lander team to go forward, or if NASA can afford to keep funding two concepts.

“We would really like to maintain competition,” Lueders said.

NASA has set up the HLS program as a public-private partnership, in which the government and companies share the cost of developing the landing vehicles.

Two of the lead contractors vying to build NASA’s first human-rated lunar lander in 50 years are Blue Origin and SpaceX, led by billionaires Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk. Bridenstine said companies could supply more private funding to make up for a potential shortfall in the NASA budget.

“We are getting our final proposals from the each of the (HLS) provides right now, and it would also be nice to look at different opportunities for different financing, and what that would mean for us,” Lueders said.

She said NASA officials will evaluate their options in the “February/March timeframe” of next year before finalizing the HLS procurement strategy.

SpaceX’s lander is a derivative of the Starship transportation system the company is privately developing. Blue Origin’s concept involves a descent element the company will build itself, along with a crew cabin from Lockheed Martin, and a propulsive transfer stage from Northrop Grumman.

“With a public-private partnership, the companies themselves could actually step up to the plate in a bigger way,” Bridenstine said. “That is something that needs to be seriously considered. Our goal is to create the plan that best optimizes our ability to land on the moon by 2024, but certainly if the money doesn’t materialize, could they do it with their own resources? I’ll leave it to them to make their own determination.”

« Ostatnia zmiana: Kwiecień 05, 2021, 01:59 wysłana przez Orionid »

Polskie Forum Astronautyczne

Odp: [SN] Paying for Artemis: How much will it cost to go back to the moon?
« Odpowiedź #3 dnia: Wrzesień 23, 2020, 02:47 »

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Biden backs Artemis moon program; watchdog says it’ll cost $86 billion
February 10, 2021 Stephen Clark [SFN]

This infographic released Wednesday by the NASA Office of Inspector General includes cost figures for key elements of NASA’s Artemis program through fiscal year 2025, including the Space Launch System, Orion spacecraft, ground systems, the Gateway, and the Human Landing System. Credit: NASA OIG

The Biden administration supports continuing NASA’s Artemis program to return astronauts back to the moon, the White House said last week, without stating whether it will back away from the program’s already-in-doubt schedule for a lunar landing by the end of 2024.

The space agency has delayed the selection of a lunar lander contractor after Congress declined to fully fund President Trump’s final budget request for the effort.

NASA’s inspector general said Wednesday that it estimates the Artemis program — as laid out by the Trump administration — will cost nearly $86 billion from fiscal year 2012 through fiscal year 2025. The inspector general’s office said about $35 billion of that cost has already been spent over the last eight years, but the bulk of the funding required for the program — more than $50 billion — will need to be budgeted over the next five years.

For comparison, NASA spent around $288 billion on the Apollo moon program and related efforts between 1960 and 1973, according to an inflation-adjusted estimate by The Planetary Society.

Money to help companies develop new human-rated lunar landing craft will take the largest share of the funding over the next five years, according to the inspector general’s office. NASA requested $3.3 billion to fund the lunar lander effort in fiscal year 2021, but Congress appropriated $850 million in a spending bill passed late last year and signed into law by President Trump.

Former Vice President Mike Pence directed NASA to try to land the first woman and the next man on the moon by the end of 2024. That schedule drew skepticism from the start, but the lunar lander budget in this year’s budget may have been the final nail in the coffin for the 2024 goal.

Nevertheless, the Biden White House supports the program to return astronauts to the moon, according to Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary.

“Through the Artemis program, the United States government will work with industry and international partners to send astronauts to the surface of the moon, another man and a woman to the moon, which is very exciting,” Psaki said Feb. 4.

President Joe Biden gives remarks Jan. 25 in Washington. Credit: Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz

The Artemis program will “conduct new and exciting science, prepare for future missions to Mars, and demonstrate America’s values,” Psaki said. “To date, only 12 humans have walked on the moon. That was half a century ago. The Artemis program, a waypoint to Mars, provides exactly the opportunity to add numbers to that. Lunar exploration has broad and bicameral support in Congress, most recently detailed in the FY2021 omnibus spending bill, and certainly we support this effort and endeavor.”

Jim Bridenstine, who led NASA during the Trump administration, told Spaceflight Now last month that he was pleased with the bipartisan support for the broader Artemis program goals. The difference in opinion on Capitol Hill hinges on how fast to go.

“The one thing that we need is a Human Landing System,” Bridenstine said in an interview last month. “We put together a big budget necessary to achieve that Human Landing System. We asked for $3.3 billion, and Congress funded it to the tune of $850 million in a very bipartisan bill.”

Without the full budget for the lunar lander, “NASA is going to have to do an assessment and make a determination as to whether or not 2024 is going to be achievable or not,” Bridenstine said.

The $850 million for the Artemis program’s Human Landing System is part of NASA’s overall $23.3 billion budget for fiscal year 2021.

NASA’s inspector general said the agency had spent around $400 million on the Human Landing System as of June 2020. The effort needs another $21.3 billion over the next five years, assuming NASA maintained the aggressive schedule for a 2024 moon landing.

The space agency last year selected three contractor teams to mature their concepts for a human-rated lunar lander.

One of the teams is led by Blue Origin, which is designing a crewed moon lander in partnership with Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Draper. Dynetics heads another consortium with Sierra Nevada Corp. and other companies, and SpaceX won a study contract for NASA to evaluate using a version of the company’s next-generation Starship vehicle for lunar landing sorties.

Artist’s concept of the Space Launch System launching with NASA’s Orion spacecraft. Credit: NASA

NASA intended to select at least two of the teams to continue their work on the Human Landing System. That selection was due by the end of February, but NASA decided last month to extend “base period” contracts with all three teams from the end of February through the end of April, giving the agency more time to evaluate each concept and recalibrate its HLS acquisition strategy in light of the fiscal year 2021 budget.

“Right now, it really is trying to figure out how to how we’re going to move forward, given the budget constraints,” Bridenstine said last month, days before he left NASA.

President Biden has not nominated a new NASA administrator. Steve Jurczyk, NASA’s most senior civil servant, is the acting administrator until the White House nominates and the Senate confirms a permanent replacement for Bridenstine.

While the Human Landing System has the longest road to being ready for human flights to the moon, major technical hurdles remain for other elements of the Artemis program.

NASA’s inspector general said the agency had spent $16.4 billion on the Space Launch System heavy-lift rocket as of June 2020, but the SLS has yet to fly. The core stage for the first SLS test flight is set for another test-firing on a stand at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi later this month, following an early shutdown during a hot fire test in January.

Once the test is completed, NASA will ship the core stage to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida for integration with two side-mounted solid rocket boosters, which are currently being stacked inside Kennedy’s iconic Vehicle Assembly Building. An upper stage and NASA’s Orion spacecraft will be installed on top for an unpiloted test flight around the moon, a mission designated Artemis 1.

NASA has not ruled out launching Artemis 1 before the end of the year, but a launch in 2022 is more likely after delays in the SLS core stage test program at Stennis.

A second SLS/Orion test flight in 2023 will carry three NASA astronauts and a Canadian crew member around the moon and back to Earth. That mission, Artemis 2, will be the first time humans travel beyond low Earth orbit since the final Apollo moon mission in 1972.

Artist’s illustration of a Human Landing System spacecraft in the vicinity of the moon. Credit: NASA

Under the Trump-era Artemis schedule, the third SLS/Orion flight in 2024 would carry astronauts to rendezvous with a lunar lander stationed near the moon. The lander would launch on a commercial rocket.

The crew would float into the lander for descent to the moon’s south pole, then launch back into space again to meet up with the Orion capsule for the return trip to Earth.

NASA is also planning to launch a mini-space station to orbit the moon. The lunar outpost, or Gateway, will serve as a way station for astronauts traveling between Earth and the lunar surface, providing a location for refueling of reusable lunar landers, a safe haven for Artemis crews, and a research platform in deep space.

But the Gateway has encountered delays of its own, and NASA officials last year said they would consider bypassing the Gateway for the first Artemis lunar landing mission.

« Ostatnia zmiana: Kwiecień 05, 2021, 02:04 wysłana przez Orionid »

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Odp: Artykuły o Artemis program
« Odpowiedź #5 dnia: Maj 27, 2021, 00:53 »
Op-ed | Artemis 2026: Celebrating America’s 250th with the next humans on the moon
by Tyler Bender — May 26, 2021 [SN]

Illustration of an Artemis astronaut on the moon. Credit: NASA

On July 4, 2026, the United States will celebrate the 250th anniversary of its independence. America should commemorate this historical milestone in 2026 by landing humans on the moon for the first time since 1972.

Sending humanity back to the moon in 2026 is not only technically feasible, but it also fits squarely in the projected timeline for NASA’s already existing plan to return astronauts to the lunar surface — the Artemis program.


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Odp: Artykuły o Artemis program (GAO report)
« Odpowiedź #6 dnia: Maj 27, 2021, 17:04 »
GAO report identifies technical and management risks with Artemis
by Jeff Foust — May 27, 2021 [SN]

NASA's decision to launch the first two elements of the lunar Gateway, the PPE and HALO modules, together greates technical risks for the PPE's solar electric propulsion system, the GAO reported. Credit: NASA

WASHINGTON — A Government Accountability Office report warns that NASA’s Artemis program faces technical risks as well as management issues that raise doubts about achieving the goal of returning humans to the moon by 2024.

The May 26 report by the GAO, requested by Congress in a 2018 appropriations bill, concluded that NASA’s approach to managing the various projects involved with the overall Artemis effort increased the odds of cost increases and schedule slips.

“With just over 3 years remaining, NASA lacks insight into the cost and schedules of some of its largest lunar programs in part because some of its programs are in the early stage of development and therefore have not yet established cost and schedule estimates or baselines,” the GAO stated in its report.


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Odp: Artykuły o Artemis program
« Odpowiedź #7 dnia: Maj 27, 2021, 17:44 »
South Korea signs Artemis Accords
by Park Si-soo — May 27, 2021

Science and ICT Minister Lim Hye-sook of South Korea holds the Artemis Accords signed between South Korea and the United States at her office, May 27. Credit: Ministry of Science and ICT

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea signed the Artemis Accords May 27, becoming the 10th signatory to the pact that governs norms of behavior for those who want to participate in the NASA-led Artemis lunar exploration program.


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Odp: Artykuły o Artemis program
« Odpowiedź #8 dnia: Maj 27, 2021, 17:47 »
Dr Bukała: za pośrednictwem ESA Polska także uczestniczy w programie Artemis
Marek Matacz 02.11.2020 [PAP]

„Forward to the Moon” to hasło programu Artemis, w którym USA z innymi krajami chce zdobywać Księżyc i dalsze rejony Układu Słonecznego, po to, by z czasem wydobywać na nich cenne zasoby. O roli i możliwościach Polski w tych przedsięwzięciach mówi PAP dr Aleksandra Bukała z Polskiej Agencji Kosmicznej.

PAP: W ramach programu Artemis, NASA wraca na Księżyc, a na badania i wykorzystanie czekają inne obiekty, w tym asteroidy, czy Mars. Niedawno osiem państw podpisało Artemis Accords - porozumienie, które reguluje współpracę w ramach eksploracji obiektów kosmicznych. Jak Pani ocenia tę inicjatywę?

Dr Aleksandra Bukała, dyrektor Departamentu Strategii i Współpracy Międzynarodowej w POLSA : Program Artemis oceniamy bardzo pozytywnie. Co ważne, przyświeca mu cel „forward to the Moon”, co oznacza, że jako ludzkość nie tylko wracamy na Księżyc, ale wykorzystujemy go jako pewnego rodzaju przystanek do dalszej podróży - załogowej eksploracji Marsa. Artemis jest koordynowany przez NASA, ale uczestniczy w nim wiele krajów. Część właśnie przez Artemis Accords, a część przez inne programy.

PAP: A Polska?

A.B.: My uczestniczymy w nim za pośrednictwem Europejskiej Agencji Kosmicznej (ESA) i umowy, którą ta agencja ma z NASA. Umożliwia ona naszym podmiotom udział w tym programie.


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Odp: Artykuły o Artemis program
« Odpowiedź #9 dnia: Listopad 16, 2021, 20:51 »
NASA inspector general warns of further delays in returning humans to the moon
by Jeff Foust — November 16, 2021 [SN]

NASA’s inspector general concluded that the first SLS/Orion launch may slip to the summer of 2022, while returning humans to the moon could be delayed to 2026 or later. Credit: NASA/Frank Michaux

LAS VEGAS — NASA’s plans to return humans to the moon, which it already pushed back to at least 2025, could be further delayed, the agency’s inspector general warned Nov. 15.


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Odp: Artykuły o Artemis program
« Odpowiedź #10 dnia: Listopad 17, 2021, 15:26 »
Northrop-led team proposes Artemis lunar rover
by Jeff Foust — November 16, 2021 [SN]

Northrop Grumman is leading an industry team on a proposed lunar lander that includes companies ranging from a lunar lander developer to a tire manufacturer. Credit: Northrop Grumman

LAS VEGAS — An industry team led by Northrop Grumman has unveiled the design of a lunar rover it proposes to develop for NASA’s Artemis program.

Northrop Grumman announced Nov. 16 that it is working with four other companies, ranging from a commercial lunar lander developer to a manufacturer of automobile tires, to propose a lunar rover to NASA.


Polskie Forum Astronautyczne

Odp: Artykuły o Artemis program
« Odpowiedź #10 dnia: Listopad 17, 2021, 15:26 »