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Matt Molnar
09-19-2005, 12:45 PM
NASA Estimates Moon Rocket Will Cost $104B
Sep 19 1:00 PM US/Eastern

By MARCIA DUNN
AP Aerospace Writer

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.

NASA estimated Monday it will cost $104 billion to return astronauts to the moon by 2018 in a new rocket that combines the space shuttle with the capsule of an earlier NASA era.

NASA Administrator Michael Griffin, in unveiling the new lunar exploration plan announced by President Bush last year, said he is not seeking extra money and stressed that the space agency will live within its future budgets to achieve this goal.

He dismissed suggestions that reconstruction of the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Katrina might derail the program first outlined by President Bush in 2004.

"We're talking about returning to the moon in 2018. There will be a lot more hurricanes and a lot more other natural disasters to befall the United States and the world in that time, I hope none worse than Katrina," Griffin said at a news conference.

"But the space program is a long-term investment in our future. We must deal with our short-term problems while not sacrificing our long- term investments in our future. When we have a hurricane, we don't cancel the Air Force. We don't cancel the Navy. And we're not going to cancel NASA."

The $104 billion price tag, spread over 13 years, represents 55 percent of what the Apollo moon-landing program cost measured in constant dollars, Griffin said. Apollo spanned eight years. The objective is to pay as you go and what you can afford, he noted.

The new space vehicle design uses shuttlelike rocket parts, an Apollo- style capsule and lander capable of carrying four people to the surface. The rockets _ there would be two, a small version for people and a bigger one for cargo _ would come close in height to the 363- foot Saturn 5 moon rocket. They would be built from shuttle booster rockets, fuel tanks and main engines, as well as moon rocket engines. The so-called crew exploration vehicle perched on top would look very much like an Apollo capsule, albeit larger.

"Think of it as Apollo on steroids," Griffin said.

The crew exploration vehicle would replace the space shuttle, due to be retired in 2010, but not before 2012 and possibly as late as 2014 depending on the money available, Griffin said. It could carry as many as six astronauts to the international space station.

If all goes well, the first crew would set off for the moon by 2018 _ or 2020 at the latest, the president's target year.

Unlike Apollo, the new lunar lander would carry double the number of people to the surface of the moon _ four _ and allow them to stay up to a week, or twice as long. It also would haul considerably more cargo, much of which would be left on the moon for future crews.

The Earth-returning capsule would be able to parachute down on either land or water, although land is preferable, most likely at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

Griffin said NASA did not set out to mimic Apollo with the new spacecraft and that many options were considered over the summer.

"It's a significant advancement over Apollo. Much of it looks the same, but that's because the physics of atmospheric entry haven't changed recently," he said. "...We really proved once again how much of it all the Apollo guys got right."

The space agency's ultimate goal is to continue on to Mars with the same type of craft, but Griffin said there is no current timetable for Mars expeditions.

NASA believes the crew exploration vehicle would be far safer than the space shuttle, largely because of an old-style escape tower that could jettison the capsule away from the rocket in the event of an explosion or fire.

Two shuttles and 14 astronauts have been lost over 114 flights, Challenger in 1986 and Columbia in 2003. Nonetheless, NASA puts the existing failure rate for the shuttles at 1-in-220. The failure rate for the crew exploration vehicle is put at 1-in-2,000.

Matt Molnar
09-19-2005, 12:45 PM
NASA Estimates Moon Rocket Will Cost $104B
Sep 19 1:00 PM US/Eastern

By MARCIA DUNN
AP Aerospace Writer

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.

NASA estimated Monday it will cost $104 billion to return astronauts to the moon by 2018 in a new rocket that combines the space shuttle with the capsule of an earlier NASA era.

NASA Administrator Michael Griffin, in unveiling the new lunar exploration plan announced by President Bush last year, said he is not seeking extra money and stressed that the space agency will live within its future budgets to achieve this goal.

He dismissed suggestions that reconstruction of the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Katrina might derail the program first outlined by President Bush in 2004.

"We're talking about returning to the moon in 2018. There will be a lot more hurricanes and a lot more other natural disasters to befall the United States and the world in that time, I hope none worse than Katrina," Griffin said at a news conference.

"But the space program is a long-term investment in our future. We must deal with our short-term problems while not sacrificing our long- term investments in our future. When we have a hurricane, we don't cancel the Air Force. We don't cancel the Navy. And we're not going to cancel NASA."

The $104 billion price tag, spread over 13 years, represents 55 percent of what the Apollo moon-landing program cost measured in constant dollars, Griffin said. Apollo spanned eight years. The objective is to pay as you go and what you can afford, he noted.

The new space vehicle design uses shuttlelike rocket parts, an Apollo- style capsule and lander capable of carrying four people to the surface. The rockets _ there would be two, a small version for people and a bigger one for cargo _ would come close in height to the 363- foot Saturn 5 moon rocket. They would be built from shuttle booster rockets, fuel tanks and main engines, as well as moon rocket engines. The so-called crew exploration vehicle perched on top would look very much like an Apollo capsule, albeit larger.

"Think of it as Apollo on steroids," Griffin said.

The crew exploration vehicle would replace the space shuttle, due to be retired in 2010, but not before 2012 and possibly as late as 2014 depending on the money available, Griffin said. It could carry as many as six astronauts to the international space station.

If all goes well, the first crew would set off for the moon by 2018 _ or 2020 at the latest, the president's target year.

Unlike Apollo, the new lunar lander would carry double the number of people to the surface of the moon _ four _ and allow them to stay up to a week, or twice as long. It also would haul considerably more cargo, much of which would be left on the moon for future crews.

The Earth-returning capsule would be able to parachute down on either land or water, although land is preferable, most likely at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

Griffin said NASA did not set out to mimic Apollo with the new spacecraft and that many options were considered over the summer.

"It's a significant advancement over Apollo. Much of it looks the same, but that's because the physics of atmospheric entry haven't changed recently," he said. "...We really proved once again how much of it all the Apollo guys got right."

The space agency's ultimate goal is to continue on to Mars with the same type of craft, but Griffin said there is no current timetable for Mars expeditions.

NASA believes the crew exploration vehicle would be far safer than the space shuttle, largely because of an old-style escape tower that could jettison the capsule away from the rocket in the event of an explosion or fire.

Two shuttles and 14 astronauts have been lost over 114 flights, Challenger in 1986 and Columbia in 2003. Nonetheless, NASA puts the existing failure rate for the shuttles at 1-in-220. The failure rate for the crew exploration vehicle is put at 1-in-2,000.

GrummanFan
09-19-2005, 03:45 PM
I cant tell you how happy I am to hear that NASA actually has made a plan that makes sense. Definatley worth the money and the resources. For those who wish to know more about my feelings about why we should go to the moon, dig up my old thread about it in the Misc section.

GrummanFan
09-19-2005, 03:45 PM
I cant tell you how happy I am to hear that NASA actually has made a plan that makes sense. Definatley worth the money and the resources. For those who wish to know more about my feelings about why we should go to the moon, dig up my old thread about it in the Misc section.

cancidas
09-20-2005, 09:42 AM
not to be a bum, but what reason is there to return to the moon?

cancidas
09-20-2005, 09:42 AM
not to be a bum, but what reason is there to return to the moon?

LGA777
09-20-2005, 03:00 PM
Matt, back in the late 60's early 70's when we where going to the moon the country was divided. Many including myself, family, and almost every human I knew personally where really in to it. It was an exciting time to live in, and so much new technology we use today evolved from it ! But there were many who opposed this, they felt the money could be used in better ways here on earth. Please don't be offended, but had you been around during the days of Apollo you might not be asking this question. Anyway in my view the reason we need to go back to the moon is we need to send humans to explore the planets, probably starting with Mars and in order to develop that technology we need to go back to the moon first, as a stepping stone in the development of the means to explore beyond.

I saw some cool NASA animation on ABC News last night, it's probably on the net as well, just have not had time to look, but it looked a lot more like Apollo than the Shuttle and I hope it happens. And if it does, I assure everyone who reads this who was too young to remember Apollo or not born yet, It wll be a "Very Exciting Time to be Alive" !!!

Cheers

LGA777

LGA777
09-20-2005, 03:00 PM
Matt, back in the late 60's early 70's when we where going to the moon the country was divided. Many including myself, family, and almost every human I knew personally where really in to it. It was an exciting time to live in, and so much new technology we use today evolved from it ! But there were many who opposed this, they felt the money could be used in better ways here on earth. Please don't be offended, but had you been around during the days of Apollo you might not be asking this question. Anyway in my view the reason we need to go back to the moon is we need to send humans to explore the planets, probably starting with Mars and in order to develop that technology we need to go back to the moon first, as a stepping stone in the development of the means to explore beyond.

I saw some cool NASA animation on ABC News last night, it's probably on the net as well, just have not had time to look, but it looked a lot more like Apollo than the Shuttle and I hope it happens. And if it does, I assure everyone who reads this who was too young to remember Apollo or not born yet, It wll be a "Very Exciting Time to be Alive" !!!

Cheers

LGA777

GrummanFan
09-20-2005, 04:03 PM
I'll repost what I said earlier:

"Let me start this by stating what I believe is the biggest reason: the continuation of mankind. Over the thousands of years we have been in existence, we have come up with astounding advances in science, technology, etc. And eventually, everything we have ever learned and discovered will be lost when mankind meets its demise. The sun will do a good job of doing that when it explodes into a red giant, but chances are we'll be wiped out way before then due to nuclear war, natural disaster, comet, radical changes in climate, and so on.

Go outside on a clear night and look up. You will see a hell of a lot of stars. Yet this is only a fraction of the amount of stars in existence. Some can only bee seen From another hemisphere, while for others, the light cant or has not yet reached earth. The majority of those stars have multiple planets surrounding them. There is a damn good chance that life must exist somewhere else in this universe, whether it be intelligent or not. This not only means there are other hospitable places for human beings to thrive, but also that there could be other beings out there whom we could contact and share what we have learned. We have done too much to just let it all go to waste.

So in order to keep what we have accomplished alive, as well as us as a species alive, we need to get out there and continue exploring outer space. Things like the Hubble Telescope and the Space Station are a good start, but we need to actually get out there. If we could get to the moon and erect some sort of base up there to take over for the space station when it can no longer function, it could serve as a stepping stone to the abyss of space. There, other spacecraft could be built for the sole purpose of space travel, so they are not hampered by the aerodynamic problems that they would encounter if traveling from earth. The universe is basically our backyard, and we have barely gotten off the patio and had a look around."

GrummanFan
09-20-2005, 04:03 PM
I'll repost what I said earlier:

"Let me start this by stating what I believe is the biggest reason: the continuation of mankind. Over the thousands of years we have been in existence, we have come up with astounding advances in science, technology, etc. And eventually, everything we have ever learned and discovered will be lost when mankind meets its demise. The sun will do a good job of doing that when it explodes into a red giant, but chances are we'll be wiped out way before then due to nuclear war, natural disaster, comet, radical changes in climate, and so on.

Go outside on a clear night and look up. You will see a hell of a lot of stars. Yet this is only a fraction of the amount of stars in existence. Some can only bee seen From another hemisphere, while for others, the light cant or has not yet reached earth. The majority of those stars have multiple planets surrounding them. There is a damn good chance that life must exist somewhere else in this universe, whether it be intelligent or not. This not only means there are other hospitable places for human beings to thrive, but also that there could be other beings out there whom we could contact and share what we have learned. We have done too much to just let it all go to waste.

So in order to keep what we have accomplished alive, as well as us as a species alive, we need to get out there and continue exploring outer space. Things like the Hubble Telescope and the Space Station are a good start, but we need to actually get out there. If we could get to the moon and erect some sort of base up there to take over for the space station when it can no longer function, it could serve as a stepping stone to the abyss of space. There, other spacecraft could be built for the sole purpose of space travel, so they are not hampered by the aerodynamic problems that they would encounter if traveling from earth. The universe is basically our backyard, and we have barely gotten off the patio and had a look around."