From Spaceflight Insider: NASA teaming up with commercial companies for return to the Moon, sciencesprings


Richard Mitnick

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Origin Story

The Origin Story for the Blog

I am telling the reader this story in the hope of impelling him or her to find their own story and start a wordpress blog. We all have a story. Find yours.

The oldest post I can find for this blog is “From FermiLab Today: Tevatron is Done” at the End of 2011 (but I am not sure if that is the first post, just the oldest I could find.

But the origin goes back to 1985, Timothy Ferris Creation of the Universe PBS, November 20, 1985, available in different videos on YouTube; The Atom Smashers, PBS Frontline November 25, 2008, centered at Fermilab, not available on Youtube; and The Big Bang Machine, with Sir Brian Cox of U Manchester and the ATLAS project at the LHC at CERN.

In 1993, our idiot Congress pulled the plug on The Superconducting Super Collider, a particle accelerator complex under construction in the vicinity of Waxahachie, Texas. Its planned ring circumference was 87.1 kilometers (54.1 mi) with an energy of 20 Tev per proton and was set to be the world’s largest and most energetic. It would have greatly surpassed the current record held by the Large Hadron Collider, which has ring circumference 27 km (17 mi) and energy of 13 TeV per proton.

If this project had been built, most probably the Higgs Boson would have been found there, not in Europe, to which the USA had ceded High Energy Physics.

The project’s director was Roy Schwitters, a physicist at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Louis Ianniello served as its first Project Director for 15 months. The project was cancelled in 1993 due to budget problems, cited as having no immediate economic value.

Some where I learned that fully 30% of the scientists working at CERN were U.S. citizens. The ATLAS project had 600 people at Brookhaven Lab. The CMS project had 1,000 people at Fermilab. There were many scientists which had “gigs” at both sites.

I started digging around in CERN web sites and found Quantum Diaries, a “blog” from before there were blogs, where different scientists could post articles. I commented on a few and my dismay about the lack of U.S recognition in the press.

Those guys at Quantum Diaries, gave me access to the Greybook, the list of every institution in the world in several tiers processing data for CERN. I collected all of their social media and was off to the races for CERN and other great basic and applied science.

Since then I have expanded the list of sites that I cover from all over the world. I build html templates for each institution I cover and plop their articles, complete with all attributions and graphics into the template and post it to the blog. I am not a scientist and I am not qualified to write anything or answer scientific questions. The only thing I might add is graphics where the origin graphics are weak. I have a monster graphics library. Any science questions are referred back to the writer who is told to seek his answer from the real scientists in the project.

The blog has to date 900 followers on the blog, its Facebook Fan page and Twitter.I get my material from email lists and RSS feeds. I do not use Facebook or Twitter, which are both loaded with garbage in the physical sciences.

That is my Origin Story

richardmitnick 11:33 am on August 7, 2019 Permalink Reply
Tags: “NASA teaming up with commercial companies for return to the Moon”, Spaceflight Insider ( 25 )

From Spaceflight Insider: “NASA teaming up with commercial companies for return to the Moon”

August 5th, 2019
Laurel Kornfeld

NASA has issued a request for proposals for the space agency’s new Artemis Program. Image Credit: NASA

To achieve the goal of returning humans to the Moon by 2024, NASA announced it is teaming up with commercial companies to develop new technologies for landing on and taking off from the lunar surface.

On July 30, the space agency issued a public call for commercial companies to build both small and medium-sized lunar landers and rovers capable of bringing science experiments and power sources to the Moon as part of its new Artemis program. The project seeks to land astronauts, including one or more women, on various regions of the lunar surface, including its South Pole. Nine companies have already signed on to a program known as the Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program.

“Our commercial partners are helping us to advance lunar science in an unprecedented way. As we enable broader opportunities for for commercial providers through CLPS, we’re enlarging our capabilities to do novel measurements and technology development scientists have long wanted to do at the Moon,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.

In October 2018, NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate issued an Announcement of Collaboration Opportunity (ACO) seeking private companies to contract with on the many components of future space missions. These include advanced communication, navigation, and avionics; advanced materials for rockets and spacecraft; entry, descent, and landing technologies; in-space manufacturing and assembly of equipment; power systems, including solar cells; propulsion, and other exploration technologies.

Through a public-private collaboration program known as Swamp Works, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) is partnering with both SpaceX and Lockheed Martin to make Artemis a reality. With SpaceX, KSC hopes to develop the technology needed to vertically land rockets on the Moon. This could be difficult because of potential interaction between plumes generated by rocket engines and lunar soil, known as regolith.

“Missions to the lunar surface present challenges from rocket engine plume effects as they interact with the regolith surface to eject high-velocity dust particles and rocks,” explained Rob Mueller, senior technologist for advanced projects development at KSC‘s Exploration Research and Technology Programs. “To mitigate the damage to equipment during landings and takeoff, we’ll work on technologies such as launch and landing pads, and blast protection berms or walls to make operations on the Moon sustainable and safe for NASA and all of our partners. These types of risk mitigations become exponentially more important as landers increase in size, and Kennedy‘s Swamp Works is at the forefront of developing new technological solutions for this based on related computer modeling tools and testing.”

NASA hopes that in working together, KSC‘s Swamp Works program and SpaceX can develop technologies capable of landing astronauts on both the Moon and Mars, Mueller emphasized.

KSC‘s partnership with Lockheed Martin seeks to grow plants in space autonomously with the help of robotics. If successful, this could function as a food source for astronauts on future deep space missions. Bryan Onate, chief of KSC‘s Life Sciences and Utilization Office, said the public-private partnership already has a team of engineers, scientists, interns, and other contractors working on the project.

“Exploring beyond low-Earth orbit will require long-duration stays on the Moon and eventually Mars, meaning we are focused on providing plant growth systems that will supplement and sustain the crews’ nutrition and implement autonomous operations as required. So we are excited to be taking part in this collaborative opportunity, which will develop new technology to enable future missions.”

NASA hopes to reduce both the cost and the amount of time needed to develop new technologies for Artemis and for subsequent long-term crewed space missions by working together with commercial spaceflight companies.

“The Artemis program integrates our science and exploration goals, and we are using our commercial partners to help meet those goals with an innovative and cost-effective approach. The ability to land heavier payloads on the lunar surface is a service that NASA has a key interest in. We’re looking forward to innovative proposals and possibly more partners to advance what we’ve already started with CLPS,” emphasized Steve Clarke, NASA deputy associate administrator for exploration in science.

Thirteen commercial companies have been contracted with through the ACO for a total of 19 public-private partnerships.

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