NASA Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS)


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  • 4 weeks later...

STARSHIP WINS NASA HLS COMPETITIO!!

 

Shocker 👍

 

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/04/16/spacex-sole-winner-in-nasas-hls-moon-lander-program-report.html

 

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Elon Musk’s SpaceX beats Bezos’ Blue Origin in NASA contest to build astronaut lunar lander

 

KEY POINTS

 

• Elon Musk’s SpaceX beat out teams led by Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Leidos subsidiary Dynetics to win a NASA contract to build its next crewed lunar lander.

 

• SpaceX’s contract is worth $2.9 billion.

 

• For NASA’s Human Landing Systems program, Musk’s company bid a variation of its Starship rocket, prototypes of which SpaceX has been testing

 

Elon Musk’s SpaceX beat out teams led by Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Leidos subsidiary Dynetics to win a nearly $3 billion contract to build NASA’s next crewed lunar lander.

 

“It is one more step, in an exciting group of steps, that will get us to a sustainable human landing system to the moon,” Kathy Lueders, the leader of NASA’s human spaceflight program, said in the agency’s announcement.

>

 

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I'm surprised we don't have a thread dedicated to the SLS and Artemis program.  I was at the VAB this week to assess some upcoming projects with them, and they're making a lot of good process.

I probably shouldn't talk too much about it, but Artemis-1 is definitely being assembled in there, with more pieces on the way for the end of the month.  If schedules don't slip much, NASA will be creating a lot of excitement very soon.

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1 hour ago, Astra.Xtreme said:

I'm surprised we don't have a thread dedicated to the SLS and Artemis program.  I was at the VAB this week to assess some upcoming projects with them, and they're making a lot of good process.

I probably shouldn't talk too much about it, but Artemis-1 is definitely being assembled in there, with more pieces on the way for the end of the month.  If schedules don't slip much, NASA will be creating a lot of excitement very soon.

 

Orion thread

 

The SLS slippage have been the most common stories buy far.

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From what I know the Lunar Starship with return to LEO to refuel. If that is true, by approving Starship as the lunar lander they are effectively nullifying the reason for Orion, and a lot of the reason for LOPG Lunar uses. 

 

IE

Why launch and fly the Orion to LOPG if Starship is already going there, just launch a dragon or Starliner to the LEO Starship and take it to LOPG.

Why go to LOPG if your already on Starship, just go straight to the surface. Do the same for return missions.

Then to double that, why use SLS if you dont need to launch Orion.

 

This all hinges on the refuel and if Starship is coming back, or if a tanker is heading out to it. But even still, they could have a starship that is the taxi in-between LEO and the HLS Starship if necessary.

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3 hours ago, IsItPluggedIn said:

From what I know the Lunar Starship with return to LEO to refuel. If that is true, by approving Starship as the lunar lander they are effectively nullifying the reason for Orion, and a lot of the reason for LOPG Lunar uses. 

 

IE

Why launch and fly the Orion to LOPG if Starship is already going there, just launch a dragon or Starliner to the LEO Starship and take it to LOPG.

Why go to LOPG if your already on Starship, just go straight to the surface. Do the same for return missions.

Then to double that, why use SLS if you dont need to launch Orion.

 

Why indeed?

 

Starship HLS could also connect with Crew Dragon in either NRLO (near rectilinear lunar orbit - Gateway), LEO or a high Earth elliptical orbit, and it now is rapidly accumulating flight heritage. Orion won't fly crews for a few years.

Quote

This all hinges on the refuel and if Starship is coming back, or if a tanker is heading out to it. But even still, they could have a starship that is the taxi in-between LEO and the HLS Starship if necessary.

 

The plan is for Starship Tankers to fill a  Starship Storage (read: Depot) in Earth orbit and it'll provide propellants to the mission vehicle in a single docking. It takes very little fuel to get from a high Earth orbit to NRHO.

 

At the virtual Humans to Mars Summit last October Musk mentioned a lunar Starship variant where the tanks are stretched from 1,200 tonnes to a whopping 2,000 tonnes. Perhaps we can assume this is the Starship Storage/Depot? Definitely a beast.

Edited by DocM
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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Surprise, surprise...

 

an OldSpace Congresscritter proposes another $10B for the Human Lander System (HLS) program so Blue Origin's National Team can also be selected (with SpaceX)

 

Well played Kathy Leuders  🤪

 

 

 

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That looks absolutely crazy. So Orion does the trip from earth to lunar orbit where starship is waiting to take them down to the surface? Where is all the stuff going to go on the way there. You’d need 10+ Orion capsules to get anywhere near starships payload capacity.

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I personally don't think the launch vehicle will be set in stone with the HLS system being a lunar Starship. However, right now I would imagine the HLS variation of starship is probably being designed with the idea that once it's gone it won't ever be coming back to Earth. No heat shielding, different landing system etc so no matter what happens, you still need a separate launch system as well as landing. 

 

I'd also imagine the first crewed missions to the moon will have a limited crew even if the capacity of the launch and landing system was 20 times more so right now it probably doesn't matter.

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One thing that I have seen noted, but cant find the info, is where the refueling happens.

 

Options.

1. Send a refueling tug into LEO, completely fuel it, send it to the moon and refill the HLS.

2. The HLS comes back to LEO and is refueled.

 

Option 2 is what I have seen is the way it is going to work, but I feel like it would use a lot more fuel as it would need to break into LEO using more fuel, where the tug could just use the atmosphere to do that on the way back in and could be custom built to hold more fuel with less cargo etc 

If option 2 is selected they could just use Dragon to move crew to the HLS, then go to the moon, then on the return use dragon to come back down, it will remove the need for Starship to launch and land crew if they are worried about that.

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This isn't the best diagram but it's what I found and I think it gives a good enough idea.

 

Gateway station is going to use am Elliptical orbit that takes it much further away from the moon. So I would suspect neither of what you said will be true and that the tug will boost itself onto the Halo Orbit of Gateway and any refuelling can happen that way. I haven't seen any confirmation of this but it's just what I expect to see.

 

image.thumb.png.345dc9bc7c1562cb4fedbadd0a01fab1.png

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On 19/05/2021 at 02:57, anthdci said:

That looks absolutely crazy. So Orion does the trip from earth to lunar orbit where starship is waiting to take them down to the surface? Where is all the stuff going to go on the way there. You’d need 10+ Orion capsules to get anywhere near starships payload capacity.

 

Gateway module launches don't start until at least May 2024, which is when Falcon Heavy launches both the Power and Propulsion Element & HALO habitat. It'll take several more launches to fully assemble it.

 

Cargo logistics and the delivery of the Gateway's CANADARM will be done by SpaceX's Dragon XL large cargo vehicle, also launched by Falcon Heavy. It's based on Crew Dragon's proven systems, but much larger.

 

Dragon XL is also being looked at to provide extra habitation space under another program. It can provide sleeping space, a toilet, and life support if needed. Outfit as required. 

 

 

1242974383_DragonXL6-1280x720.thumb.jpg.38c4693177d13b67e580bc820dfeceda.jpg

 

 

Starship and Orion will be alone for the first human landing missions, as shown in the images.  Subsequent bulk cargo deliveries to the surface will be done by Cargo Starship vehicles; 57 tonnes reusable, 216 tonnes one-way (calc: JPL's Casey Handmer).

 

On 19/05/2021 at 04:10, Skiver said:

I personally don't think the launch vehicle will be set in stone with the HLS system being a lunar Starship. However, right now I would imagine the HLS variation of starship is probably being designed with the idea that once it's gone it won't ever be coming back to Earth. NoIt can loiter for up to 100 days, waiting for Orion. NASA only spec'ed 90 days, so they're very happy. heat shielding, different landing system etc so no matter what happens, you still need a separate launch system as well as landing. 

 

No other launcher can lift Starship, so Super Heavy it is, and yes - it's an in-space and small-body lander vehicle. 

 

IF Congress provides money for Blue Origin's team then it'll likely be launched by Vulcan-Centaur-V Heavy, but they can't carry near the cargo of the Starships. 

 

Congress is definitely talking about having both systems for redundancy.

 

Quote

I'd also imagine the first crewed missions to the moon will have a limited crew even if the capacity of the launch and landing system was 20 times more so right now it probably doesn't matter.

 

The Artemis baseline is a crew of 4, though Orion can theoretically carry 6. The Starship living quarters were shrunk accordingly, with the extra space being used for more equipment & cargo. 

 

Concept of operations

 

Tanker Starships fill up a Storage Starship in LEO (read: Depot) before the Starship HLS launches. After HLS launches it can fully refuel in one gulp from the Storage vehicle, then leave for the lunar Near-Rectilinear Halo Orbit. It can loiter up to 100 days, waiting for Orion or going to the Gateway, with NASA only specifying 90 days. This extra 10 days was one of the reasons SpaceX won the contract.

 

Starship crew cabin module prototype. It's about 2x this long, and stackable. It photobombed Musk's statement during a launch webcast.


1265816920_Starshipcabinprotothpe(crop).thumb.jpg.03115ccef43adca212ac3db611a00eb4.jpg

Edited by DocM
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59 minutes ago, DocM said:

No other launcher can lift Starship, so Super Heavy it is, and yes - it's an in-space and small-body lander vehicle. 

 

IF Congress provides money for Blue Origin's team then it'll likely be launched by Vulcan-Centaur-V Heavy, but they can't carry near the cargo of the Starships. 

 

Congress is definitely talking about having both systems for redundancy.

 

Oh for sure, I didn't mean to suggest there was. It was more that whilst the initial launches may be SLS + Orion, that COULD change to be Super Heavy + Starship later down the line once proven.

 

 

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  • 2 months later...

US Government Accountability Office ruling on Blue Origin and Dynetics protest of the SpaceX Starship being selected by NASA as a lunar lander.

 

https://www.gao.gov/press-release/statement-blue-origin-dynetics-decision?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=gaolegal

 

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Press Release

 

Statement on Blue Origin-Dynetics Decision

 

The following is a statement from Kenneth E. Patton, Managing Associate General Counsel for Procurement Law at GAO, regarding today’s decision resolving the protests filed by Blue Origin Federation, LLC, and Dynetics, Inc. – A Leidos Company, B-417839 et al., Friday, July 30, 2021.

 

On Friday, July 30, 2021, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) denied protests filed by Blue Origin Federation, LLC, of South Kent, Washington, and Dynetics, Inc.-A Leidos Company, of Huntsville, Alabama.  The protesters challenged their non-selection for awards and the award of optional contract line item numbers to Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX), of Hawthorne, California, under Option A to Appendix H of Broad Agency Announcement (the announcement) No. NNH19ZCQ001K. 

>

The announcement was issued by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), for a demonstration mission for a human landing system for lunar exploration.  

>

 

 

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https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-statement-on-gao-ruling-regarding-human-landing-system-protest

 

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Jul 30, 2021

 

RELEASE 21-102

 

NASA Statement on GAO Ruling Regarding Human Landing System Protest

 

The following is the NASA statement in response to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) decision released Friday on the human landing system protest:

 

“NASA was notified Friday, July 30, that the U.S. Government Accountability Office has denied the protests filed by Blue Origin Federation and Dynetics and has upheld the agency’s source selection of SpaceX to continue the development of its human landing system. The decision enables NASA to award the contract that will ultimately result in the first crewed demonstration landing on the surface of the Moon under NASA’s Artemis plan. Importantly, the GAO’s decision will allow NASA and SpaceX to establish a timeline for the first crewed landing on the Moon in more than 50 years.

 

“NASA recognizes that sending American astronauts back to the Moon for the first time since the Apollo program and establishing a long-term presence on the Moon is a priority for the Biden Administration and is imperative for maintaining American leadership in space. In the face of challenges during the last year, NASA and its partners have made significant achievements to advance Artemis, including a successful hot fire test for the Space Launch System rocket. An uncrewed flight of Artemis I is on track for this year and a crewed Artemis II mission is planned for 2023. 

 

“NASA is moving forward with urgency, but astronaut safety is the priority and the agency will not sacrifice the safety of the crew in the steadfast pursuit of the goal to establish a long-term presence on the Moon.

 

“As soon as possible, NASA will provide an update on the way ahead for Artemis, the human landing system, and humanity’s return to the Moon. We will continue to work with the Biden Administration and Congress to ensure funding for a robust and sustainable approach for the nation’s return to the Moon in a collaborative effort with U.S. commercial partners.” 

 

 

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