NASA surprised the bird with an unexpected announcement that SpaceX had been chosen as one of its competitions to develop a lunar pistol for astronauts. Artemis program. These entities applied for the contract and NASA was expected to choose two of them, but due to a lack of funding, the agency eventually chose only SpaceX with a modified version of Starship.
Elona Muska saw the best rated unit, which was also much cheaper than the competition. The first since the time of Apollo to mine a Master, there was a pistol in the SpaceX spacecraft.
Return after more than six years
The last visit people made to the surface of Misk was in December 1972 as part of the Apollo 17 mission. NASA has long completed returning to its master’s degree, but it currently has little chance of taking astronauts to the surface. The SLS missile has been developed and the Orion can take the crew to the full range of MSce. So, a year ago, NASA selected three commercial entities (SpaceX, Dynetics, and Blue Origin) to provide seed funding to develop a concept and launch an astronaut development unit on the lunar surface. The project is called the Human Landing System (HLS).
- Blue origin He leads the national team, which according to Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Draper. The proposed system consists of three main pellet units (Draper), a landing unit (Blue Origin) and a departure unit (Northrop). Introduced to secure the New Glenn missile by Blue Origin. This team received $ 579 million from NASA in the first phase.
- Dal TM leads the company Dynamics, Which, in collaboration with several other companies, such as the Sierra Nevada Corporation, has designed the reusable landing craft, ALPACA. ULA will provide a Vulcan missile. TM received $ 253 million last year.
- SpaceX She has applied for a contract with a modified version of the Starship spacecraft, which will be launched with a Super Heavy rocket. The company won $ 135 million in the first round.
This darkness has continued to work on the proposed eench over the past year, and NASA has now reviewed its updated proposals and progress so far. The agency originally wanted to select at least two finalists for the second round in order to maintain a competitive environment and to increase the risk that at least one year would be ready for you. So NASA offered Congress $ 3.3 billion to give this project a fiscal year, but ultimately it received only $ 850 million. For this reason, it was only possible to choose one competition.
NASA evaluated all of these proposals in the technical, price and management categories. At the same time, the technical site received the highest rating in the overall evaluation and the lowest management. As for the price, NASA didn’t mention the specifics, but it revealed that the SpaceX design was much cheaper than Blue Origin, and that was again much cheaper than Dynetics suggested. The following table shows how dark is performed in the other two classes.
As you can see, SpaceX and Blue Origin both had an acceptable Professional rating, while Dynetics’ design was marginal. In the management category, SpaceX was the only subject with the highest rating, with the remaining two shadows doing very well with the degree of mountains.
In other words, SpaceX drank the best rating at the cheapest price. On the other hand, Dynetics’ design was the worst and most powerful. Blue Origin is somewhere in the middle with a bit that is the best and also the cheapest. In that respect, NASA was a bit happy because SpaceX’s design was better and cheaper as well. If it turns out differently, the agency will not be able to pick one good offer.
NASA also hails the fact that SpaceX is able to pay more than half of the development and testing costs of its Lunar Starship, as the company considers it an investment in its own technology infrastructure, which it also uses for other commercial companies.
What does it look like?
SpaceX is recruited into the Zen universe with the Starship spacecraft powered by the Super Heavy launch vehicle. This is a bag with a well-known modified version of the ship, optimized for frequent trips to the catch deck and back to the rotor.
The most important change compared to a regular spacecraft is the absence of aerodynamic surfaces and heat. These elements are only required while returning to Earth, but the lunar rover developed for NASA will remain at Msci. In the official photo of lunrn Starship, you can see solar panels at the top of the ship, which are slightly different from what was depicted in the losk concept. Astronauts move from the ship to a catch deck with the help of traction. The difference compared to the pistachio design is the redesigned pistachio legs, which are now tilted and slanted.
Decelerate the ship before the piston on the Msci supplies the Raptor engines, which will be switched off, while the final stage of the pistol maneuver will use new methane nozzles at the top of the ship. We still don’t know much about them, but the updated concept has vc and they seem to be men. Weak methane nozzles are necessary because birds of prey have high thrust, for example According to Robert Zubrin The piston will be stuck on the untreated surface of the MSce. The flue gas stream will essentially blow into the hole and will tear along the piston. At the same time, the msn dust will be accelerated to the point that it can enter the MSce’s orbit, which may cause complications.
Therefore, SpaceX has been studying the effect of flue gases on MSN Regolith during the Starship in cooperation with NASA for some time. Methane gas nozzles present a problem for this problem and will be used upon launch from a small surface in orbit. All this information was confirmed last year by SpaceX’s Nick Cummings v podcastu na kanlu deep astronomy.
The boat will be equipped with anti-slip features. Of note is the color of the lunrn Starship variant. The reason may be a beneficial effect on thermal properties or just an interesting appearance. Standard spacecraft do not have to, as it will depreciate upon return to Earth’s atmosphere.
It’s about pistn
So how accurate was the mission with the Msci’s Astronaut Piston? The Starship will take off from Earth aboard the Super Heavy rocket, but there will only be payload, no astronauts. The ship will be located first in Earth’s orbit, where it will gradually provide additional assistance to many other specially modified Starship ships. Then the lunar spacecraft, with the help of its own engine, moves into orbit, Misk, where it can wait a hundred days to get an astronaut’s skin.
Astronauts to the Msci transport the SLS rocket in the Orion ship. It will be necessary to contact the Starship and become an astronaut (in the future there will be a fate with the fact that the movement will take place at the Lunway Gateway station). Orion will then disconnect and remain in Msce’s rescue, while the Starship will appear.
The astronauts will then spend a few days there, during which they will ascend to the surface, where they will conduct research, experiments, etc. Starship will remain at Msci.
NASA with the announcement of these competitions Zveejnila doc, Which contains a generally rated all-dark suggestion why SpaceX was chosen as a whole. I’ll only focus on the information about SpaceX, but if you care about the remaining two darks, you can just read the document for yourself.
NASA highlights a number of advantages over SpaceX’s design. First of all, Lunrn Starship greatly exceeds the standards and requirements, which NASA declares as the minimum within the framework of the women’s home. At the same time, the parameters of SpaceX’s Starship’s fairy tale did not come off NASA’s finger, indicating that they were able to verify in detail with the help of detailed analysis that the reported values can be reliably achieved.
According to NASA, the big advantage of the Starship is the size of the living space, the ability to transport it to the MSc and one hundred tons of cargo. At the same time, a large number of samples can be taken out onto the track. It wouldn’t make sense at the moment, as it wouldn’t fit in well with the Orion, but this ability, like the Starship as a whole, has great potential for NASA in the future.
According to NASA, SpaceX’s approach highlights several unfulfilled situations and the need to finish the mission prematurely. Large reserves of propellant (due to in-orbit refueling prior to the flight to the Master of Science) allow, for example, a rapid return to the Moce bump in the event of an emergency, or even the propellers in the tank can be removed for additional breathing oxygen for the crew.
The Starship is also equipped with two completely redundant latch chambers. These will be used to simultaneously wear and remove an EVA spacesuit for two and three astronauts. These copies increase safety and allow you, in addition, to make more and more trips to the surface than NASA has requested.
The agency is running the Starship test campaign, which focuses on the more serious aspects of the proposed build. According to NASA, SpaceX’s test capability could detect and solve operational and performance issues early in development. VBUCHI Prototype spacecraft During the current years of testing at Boca Chica, NASA is clearly not known to be negative, but positive.
NASA also notes that the proposed SpaceX unit is very complex due to the need to assemble an orbiting tank, as it requires several launches from the reusable Starship in quick succession. Then this complexity presents a problem to other problems and the resulting development or task itself.
The coincidence, according to NASA, is the fact that all of these complex maneuvers are effective for going to the rest of Earth, and it’s also easier to do, not if they happen to get caught. It is also convenient, according to NASA, for SLS and astronauts to always start and after the spacecraft has reached refueling into orbit MSce and will pass the necessary inspections.
The docking with the Orion, the movement of the astronaut and the subsequent piston to the surface is relatively simple. So if there are problems with the spacecraft to refuel before traveling to the MS, it does not pose a threat to the astronauts.
when it will be
The original goal of the HLS program was to catch up with the human crew on the Msci in 2024 as part of the mission Artemis 3. It was a briefcase placed by former US President Donald Trump, and this term was considered unrealistic in professional circles. NASA is currently re-evaluating the Artemis mission schedule, so it is expected that Msci will slide with people soon afterward.
According to representatives of NASA, the 2024 pistol is still a viable target if things go on time. In addition to the Starship bag, the SLS and lo Orion missiles should be ready by then.
SpaceX will receive a total of $ 2.94 billion from HLS. In addition to developing Lunn Starship, this trick includes two missions to MSc. The first mission will be unmanned and will serve as evidence of the spacecraft’s survival in Earth orbit and the ensuing glide for the Msci. If the demonstration takes place in time, it will be followed by an acute mission with the astronauts. This contract expires, but NASA, of course, delivers by returning the race to MSC.
However, other companies will be able to apply to take NASA astronauts to the surface of the moon as part of the following missions through a new group of women. So SpaceX will have to compete with rival companies for more missions. It might choose Blue Origin or Dynetics, but you also have a new filter. However, all of these companies will be inconvenient, because, unlike SpaceX, they will probably have to pay for the development of rifle units without much help from NASA.
However, it is possible that the agency will be able to obtain more funding for the HLS project in the near future. In such a case, some type of finalist, likely Blue Origin, could be added to your existing contract.