Space Tourism … and Much More
I don’t see the SLS or Orion. Congress will never allow a return to the Moon unless you use SLS/Orion 🙂
No expense spared on the CGI that’s for sure! Some very odd things going on like the trunkless Dragon 2 and mountain skimming low lunar orbit.
Interesting implications though: -SpaceX explicitly shown providing resupply, does Bigelow have any manifested launches or contracts currently? Or is that tab assumed to be taken on by NASA?
-Low lunar orbit implies this is not the same as the Deep Space Gateway proposal. Is it in lieu of or in concert with that plan?
-Visit by Orion. There’s been discussion elsewhere that the Orion Service Module can’t supply the dV needed for returning from the Deep Space Gateway with the current European design. Would the same issue apply here or does the difference in orbit solve that issue?
Oh, it’s there. You just can’t see because it’s on the ground. In Florida. Not flying.
The only thing realistic in that animation is the Dragon resupply. Launched on a paper rocket…..
How many Gs are the radiator and solar arrays rated for?
A floating storage locker? So, if a lunanaut wants something he have to fly up there in LLO to get it? And why would you go train an astronaut in 0-g when he is going to be working in 1/6-g?
If the depot is in Low Lunar Orbit the depot will have to supply propellant that can power the Orion. NASA may need to standardise the fuels used by lunar landers, upper stages and capsules.
Maybe we watched different animations, but Orion is clearly there in the end as a visiting spacecraft*. There is even a second one sneaking up at the back. Probably a congress-planned ambush to bring down the enemy of Orion/SLS. 😉
* = it is actually even shown on the title screen of the video.
I thought those were CST-100s/Starliners. How do you tell the difference? I guess if it was a Starliner it’d have a big Boeing logo on it.
Service modules as you have noticed. Windows on the Crew Module. Solar Panels (as far as I know, CST-100 doesn’t have any extendable solar panels).
It’s those little details that helps to tell them apart 🙂
Don’t forget the price 🙂
I assumed they were CST-100 since Boeing had teamed with BA on it, but I guess CST-100 is just for LEO use so the Orion is needed to reach the Moon.
Even being in Florida would represent major progress. Right now, it’s in pieces all over the country and there isn’t even anything resembling a complete set of pieces.
As I recall, Starliner has four big problems with going to the Moon or anywhere in its vicinity. First, not enough delta-V on its launch vehicle to do a Trans-Lunar Injection. Second, not enough ECLSS endurance to go to the Moon and back. Third, not enough delta-V to enter and depart Low Lunar Orbit. Fourth, its heat shield isn’t up to handling lunar return velocity. To update an old showbiz saying, “She’s a real quadruple threat: can’t sing, can’t act, can’t dance and can’t even get to the theater.”
Good point. Does anyone know, off-hand, if Orion’s service module is even engineered to accept in-flight retanking? The ESA-built Orion service modules use hypergolics. But there are only two of those extant and they’re expendable. I’m not aware of any current NASA plans to provide service modules for third and subsequent missions. The ESA design can’t be trivially modified to use cryogenics. Unless there are plans and a NASA budget line-item for a U.S.-based factory to build more versions even of the unmodified ESA design, I have to regard notional Orion missions to such a station as pipedreams at this point.
If this station is supposed to serve as a meet-up and retanking point for capsules and landers, it would likely have to handle both hypergolics and cryogenics as landers would probably be designed to use ISRU lunar hydrolox. As illustrated, the station has no propellant depot fitments at all; something also true of NASA’s notional Deep Space Gateway station. I’m a Bigelow fan, but I don’t really see what purpose this station idea serves any more than I do anent DSG. Without a tank farm and a logistics train to serve it, the station, as illustrated, just looks useless compared to direct lunar landing and return missions.
The Depot must be storing the LOX and liquid hydrogen in the ACES fuel tanks. The XEUS lunar lander is a modified ACES upper stage so it can use this liquid hydrogen and oxygen. ULA can also use its distributed (refuelled) Vulcans to refill the depot.
The spacestation depot will have three main effects: a. increasing the payload capacity of the XEUS from 12 tonne expendable to 25 tonne reusable. b. providing somewhere to garage the lander between missions. c. permitting astronauts to transfer from their capsule to the manned lander and back.
The capital budgets to develop XEUS and its capsule plus the operational budget of lunar trips were not covered in the estimate so were probably deliberately left out of the video.
Okay, nothing obviously unreasonable there.
A sure tipoff that the ACES that pushes the whole station is intended to have an on-going life as a propellant depot, though, would have been the presence, in the video, of the conical sun-shield ULA has shown in previous illustrations of ACES stages equipped as depots. It’s reminiscent of one of those sheet-plastic cones veterinarians put around dogs’ necks to keep them from picking at surgical stitches and such, but it’s also pleated like a Japanese parasol.
Well…first, Starliner would presumably be brought to LLO by an ACES and some notional service module. Second, ECLSS would be supplied by the service module and not the capsule. Third, Orion doesn’t have enough delta-V either, IIRC, so Starliner on its fictional ACES has a leg up, and fourth, put the heat shield on a little thicker. It’s just rocket science, after all.
But it’s all fictional. ACES doesn’t exist, and may not ever if LM is just waiting for Congress to pay for it. Vulcan may never exist either if ULA doesn’t get more competitive, and they may not be able to do that if their parents don’t think it’s necessary. And I’ll believe a BA330 launch when I see one. I certainly want to believe, but Bigelow either hasn’t had enough money or hasn’t wanted to spend enough to make all of this work in the past.
Then there’s the little green men factor…
Dumb question for mechanical/thermal engineer. On ISS and now on the BA-330, I see us having solar cells, and of course the thermal radiator. there is no way to conduct excess heat away from space units (no real amount of matter), so radiation has to be used. The solar is turned towards the sun at all times, which leaves the back in the dark. The thermal radiators are turned orthogonal to the sun so as to minimize the heat from the sun, and allow for radation to occur.
BUT, with the solar panels, behind them, is dark and it should be super cold right in there. Why not put the thermal radiators behind the solar in a V fashion (think of a triangle, with solar facing the sun and radiators in back), and allow them to radiate there? They would be able to put up a lot more solar and thermal. That means less chance to losing everything all at once. After all 4 wings of solar/thermal would be better than 2 of each.
cst-100s can not go to the moon and re-enter.
Yeah, it was a silly mistake – I should have known better.