12 votes

NASA has selected Blue Origin, Dynetics, and SpaceX to design and develop human landing systems for landing astronauts on the Moon by 2024

4 comments

  1. [4]
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    Another good article from SpaceflightNow detailing the exact proposals each of the companies made, including costs distributed: Companies release new details on human-rated lunar lander concepts...

    Another good article from SpaceflightNow detailing the exact proposals each of the companies made, including costs distributed:

    EDIT: For the specifics on the strengths and weaknesses of each proposal, check out the summary PDF of the awards from NASA. This is worth noting too:

    SpaceX asserts that many of its HLS systems will be demonstrated many times on operational missions prior to the 2024 HLS mission. Examples of such demonstration activities include a low-Earth orbital flight of Starship with a demonstration of SpaceX’s Super Heavy launch vehicle, a re-flight of the Starship, a long-duration orbital flight, a beyond-LEO flight, and a lunar landing demonstration mission scheduled for 2022.

    4 votes
    1. [3]
      Loire
      Link Parent
      From the perspective of setting up permanent residence Starship is the obvious choice but from the perspective of just putting two people on the moon I can't see how that behemoth would be a...

      From the perspective of setting up permanent residence Starship is the obvious choice but from the perspective of just putting two people on the moon I can't see how that behemoth would be a better choice than a more traditional lander.

      2 votes
      1. [2]
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        Starship is a real bizarre thing in the context of this program for sure. Under a Starship landing campaign, Super Heavy would launch Starship uncrewed, SLS would launch Orion with two people...

        Starship is a real bizarre thing in the context of this program for sure. Under a Starship landing campaign, Super Heavy would launch Starship uncrewed, SLS would launch Orion with two people onboard, they'd rendezvous and berth in LLO, which is an absurd image: Starship would dwarf Orion, and probably has a bigger internal volume by a significant amount. Starship would then land, and elevator-drop the astronauts to the surface, which is probably the least absurd part of this whole thing. It would then take off again, rendezvous in LLO with Orion, and Orion would bring the astronauts home.

        Presumably at that point, a Starship refueler launches from Earth and replenishes the LOX and CH4 in the Starship lander.

        This is part of the reason I think SpaceX was given the smallest contract amount here—the system is oversized for lunar sortie missions and initial footsteps, and makes more sense in terms of a wider lunar economy.

        4 votes
        1. Eylrid
          Link Parent
          To use one of Elon's favorite terms: orders of magnitude difference. Two Orion capsules stacked on top of each other, complete with service modules, could fit in Starship's payload bay, with room...

          To use one of Elon's favorite terms: orders of magnitude difference. Two Orion capsules stacked on top of each other, complete with service modules, could fit in Starship's payload bay, with room to spare. The habitable volume of Orion is 9 m^3. The payload volume of Starship (calculated based on the envelope given in the user's guide) is 660 m^3.

          It's like riding a row boat across the ocean then getting in a cruise ship to go to shore.

          Absurd indeed.

          This is part of the reason I think SpaceX was given the smallest contract amount here—the system is oversized for lunar sortie missions and initial footsteps, and makes more sense in terms of a wider lunar economy.

          Each contractor was given what they asked for. SpaceX got the least because they bid the least.

          4 votes