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SpaceX wins single source contract for NASA's crewed lunar lander



 
 
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  #1  
Old April 16th 21, 10:05 PM posted to sci.space.policy
Jeff Findley[_6_]
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Default SpaceX wins single source contract for NASA's crewed lunar lander


SpaceX wins single source contract for NASA's crewed lunar lander!

This is really going to **** off a lot of other companies. And by
extension, a lot of lobbyists and congress-critters.

Jeff

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These posts do not reflect the opinions of my family, friends,
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  #2  
Old April 17th 21, 02:09 AM posted to sci.space.policy
Sylvia Else[_3_]
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Default SpaceX wins single source contract for NASA's crewed lunar lander

On 17-Apr-21 7:05 am, Jeff Findley wrote:

SpaceX wins single source contract for NASA's crewed lunar lander!

This is really going to **** off a lot of other companies. And by
extension, a lot of lobbyists and congress-critters.

Jeff


Well, who'd want to bet against SpaceX getting the job done?

NASA has seen how easily its money can disappear into a black hole. SLS
has been nothing but a money-pit, and Starliner still hasn't carried an
Astronaut.

This might encourage other companies to be more focussed on building
working space hardware, and less on an a drip-feed of NASA cash.

Sylvia.
  #4  
Old April 17th 21, 07:03 PM posted to sci.space.policy
Alain Torbjorn Lindgren
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Default SpaceX wins single source contract for NASA's crewed lunar lander

Jeff Findley wrote in :


Indeed. SpaceX's low bid was a huge factor in winning this contract.
Given the limited proposed increase in NASA's budget (from the Biden
Administration), NASA could not ignore the low price of SpaceX's bid.

https://arstechnica.com/science/2021...-lunar-lander/

Jeff




Have you ever stuck a toy SpaceX rocket up your butt?

I like pushing in a Falcon-9, but when I want to shove up a
Dragon I need to take a **** first.

  #5  
Old April 18th 21, 12:26 PM posted to sci.space.policy
Jeff Findley[_6_]
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Default SpaceX wins single source contract for NASA's crewed lunar lander

In article ,
says...

On 2021-04-17 07:52, Jeff Findley wrote:
https://arstechnica.com/science/2021...x-as-its-sole-
provider-for-a-lunar-lander/


Has the interior cabin design been made publc?


No.

curious about the 2
airlocks and why they are needed.


SpaceX likely thought that was a feature that NASA would view favorably.
It provides redundancy in an area that is critical. Lunar dust may
interfere with the operation of the airlocks, so having a backup makes
sense. The other two proposals were only big enough for one airlock.

Also, Since the thing lands on new engines mounted on the sides, how
close would it be to do away with raptors and just have the landing
engines for both landing and Earth-Mooth initial transit?


Lunar Starship still need Raptors to get into earth orbit and to perform
the TLI burn.

Is trans-lunar not even close to be done by those engines, or within
realm of the possible?


Likely possible, but surely inefficient due to cosine losses. The
engines aren't pointed vertical, they're canted off to the sides to
prevent impingement on Starship and to minimize the amount of lunar dust
that's kicked up.

Raptors are still needed for the TLI burn.

Also, curious to see how the "iterative development" will be affected
since there might now be a priority in developping the Lunar lander,
decked out cabin on top etc.


Lunar Starship development is just a variant of the Starship that SpaceX
is currently developing on its own dime. Getting NASA to pay for lunar
Starship development is a good thing for SpaceX as some of the unique
features on it would likely apply to a Mars landing Starship.

I take it that landing with the new side mounted engines is not even
close to be possibeo on Earth? how will they test them?


No. Earth has 6x the gravity of the moon.

Jeff
--
All opinions posted by me on Usenet News are mine, and mine alone.
These posts do not reflect the opinions of my family, friends,
employer, or any organization that I am a member of.
  #6  
Old April 21st 21, 04:29 PM posted to sci.space.policy
Jeff Findley[_6_]
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Default SpaceX wins single source contract for NASA's crewed lunar lander

In article ,
says...

On 2021-04-18 07:26, Jeff Findley wrote:

Lunar Starship still need Raptors to get into earth orbit and to perform
the TLI burn.
Likely possible, but surely inefficient due to cosine losses.



Since it would this only once, and never need raptors again in its
Gateway-Moon trips, is this inefficiency for that once in a lifetime
worth not having to haul the raptors and refocus the tanks on those new
side thursters?


Almost certainly, otherwise SpaceX wouldn't do it. And SpaceX does
propose reusing lunar Starship by refueling it in high lunar orbit.
Cite:

MAY 01, 2020 - NASA SELECTS LUNAR OPTIMIZED STARSHIP
https://www.spacex.com/updates/nasa-...ized-starship/

From above:

A lunar optimized Starship can fly many times between the surface
of the Moon and lunar orbit without flaps or heat shielding
required for Earth return.

On the other hand, once SLS is killed, SpaceX can turn Lunar Starship
into both the lunar lander as well as the Earth-Moon flight at which
point you need the raptors to land back on Earth. (and with tiles etc).

The possibility of being able to replace SLS for Earth-Moon transit is
likely why SpaceX won over the other more specialized solutions.


That's not correct. There have been articles published talking about
the selection.

The other two had serious problems with their proposals. Blue Origin's
proposal was disqualified because they essentially asked for payments
before reaching milestones (not allowed). Dynetics changed their design
to eliminate the drop tanks on their lander which caused it to be
overweight so that the design didn't close.

Also, the SpaceX proposal was the only one that fit the paltry HLS
funding that NASA is currently getting from Congress.

Lunar Starship development is just a variant of the Starship that SpaceX
is currently developing on its own dime.


But the lunar mission doesn't require landing on earth. It requires real
landing legs to land on uneven terrain. Totally different engines for
landing on moon.


A lunar landing Starship doesn't require it. But it will never get to
high lunar orbit without being refueled. And the tanker Starships need
to land on earth so they can be refilled and launched again. So the
program does require full reuse of both tanker Starship and Super
Booster.

So there are diverging priorities from the current
Starship development.


Disagree. Starship is more than just lunar landing Starship. You need
a tanker Starship to actually fly lunar landing missions, so earth
landing is still the #1 priority of Starship development.

Will be interestng to see how far the current iterative tests go before
we start to *see* lunar models being tested. I get the feeling that the
lunar model isn't getting "iterative design" and they'll do more
conventional engineering and design to work instead of test until it
works. For one thing, if they can't simulate moon landing, they can't
really do iterative design.


They can test all the components on earth and then fly an uncrewed lunar
landing test, which is in the NASA contract. Next they would fly a
crewed lunar landing test, which is also in the NASA contract.

Vertical landing of lunar landing Starship isn't a big unknown. Many
different vehicles have landed on the moon.

Big question is whether the lunar landing legs will be same or very
similar to the ones for landing on Earth, or totally different. (lunar
legs don't worry about re-entry so could be attached to the outside so
they can have greater span for stability when landing.


See the renderings on the SpaceX website.

Jeff

--
All opinions posted by me on Usenet News are mine, and mine alone.
These posts do not reflect the opinions of my family, friends,
employer, or any organization that I am a member of.
  #7  
Old April 21st 21, 05:17 PM posted to sci.space.policy
Niklas Holsti
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Posts: 168
Default SpaceX wins single source contract for NASA's crewed lunar lander

On 2021-04-21 18:29, Jeff Findley wrote:
In article ,
says...

...
The possibility of being able to replace SLS for Earth-Moon transit
is likely why SpaceX won over the other more specialized
solutions.


That's not correct. There have been articles published talking about
the selection.

The other two had serious problems with their proposals.


Yes.


Blue Origin's proposal was disqualified because they essentially
asked for payments before reaching milestones (not allowed).


Not really. That problem with the National Team proposal was noted, but
there is a foot-note in the source-selection statement that says that it
was not a fatal flaw, because it could have been negotiated away. There
were some technical problems and low TRLs for some of the propulsion
parts, IIRC. And no clear path to sustainable or commercial operation (a
major redesign was proposed for that).


Also, the SpaceX proposal was the only one that fit the paltry HLS
funding that NASA is currently getting from Congress.



That was the major reason. That, and the (surprising?) fact that the
Lunar Starship risks turned out not to be higher than the risks of the
others.

Even the SpaceX proposal exceeded the money available for the first
year(s), so NASA had to negotiate a delayed payment plan with SpaceX.

  #8  
Old April 22nd 21, 07:04 PM posted to sci.space.policy
snidely
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Posts: 1,303
Default SpaceX wins single source contract for NASA's crewed lunar lander

Lo, on the 4/21/2021, Niklas Holsti did proclaim ...
On 2021-04-21 18:29, Jeff Findley wrote:
In article ,
says...

...
The possibility of being able to replace SLS for Earth-Moon transit
is likely why SpaceX won over the other more specialized solutions.


That's not correct. There have been articles published talking about
the selection.

The other two had serious problems with their proposals.


Yes.


Blue Origin's proposal was disqualified because they essentially
asked for payments before reaching milestones (not allowed).


Not really. That problem with the National Team proposal was noted, but there
is a foot-note in the source-selection statement that says that it was not a
fatal flaw, because it could have been negotiated away. There were some
technical problems and low TRLs for some of the propulsion parts, IIRC. And
no clear path to sustainable or commercial operation (a major redesign was
proposed for that).


Also, the SpaceX proposal was the only one that fit the paltry HLS
funding that NASA is currently getting from Congress.



That was the major reason. That, and the (surprising?) fact that the Lunar
Starship risks turned out not to be higher than the risks of the others.

Even the SpaceX proposal exceeded the money available for the first year(s),
so NASA had to negotiate a delayed payment plan with SpaceX.


Also, this is not the whole enchilada of lunar landings, and may only
cover the first /unmanned/ lunar landing. The other two have been
invited to compete in a second contract bid, and I think Eric Bergen
covered this (briefly).

Also, the VIPER landing is a separate contract won by a startup that we
don't know much about yet, but I think they building something bigger
than an Electron but smaller than a Falcon Heavy. I need to go back to
coverage of that announcement to be more precise.


/dps

--
"I'm glad unicorns don't ever need upgrades."
"We are as up as it is possible to get graded!"
_Phoebe and Her Unicorn_, 2016.05.15
  #9  
Old April 22nd 21, 07:56 PM posted to sci.space.policy
Niklas Holsti
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Posts: 168
Default SpaceX wins single source contract for NASA's crewed lunar lander

On 2021-04-22 21:04, Snidely wrote:
Lo, on the 4/21/2021, Niklas Holsti did proclaim ...

...
Even the SpaceX proposal exceeded the money available for the first
year(s), so NASA had to negotiate a delayed payment plan with SpaceX.


Also, this is not the whole enchilada of lunar landings, and may only
cover the first /unmanned/ lunar landing.



The current SpaceX contract includes one unmanned landing and one manned
landing. Of course, that is only the _plan_.

But yes, there will be more opportunities. The question is if there is
any credible competition for SpaceX at that time. Given the weaknesses
and price of the losing proposals from the National Team and Dynetics
that may be doubted.
 




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