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Michael Interbartolo
49,455 followers -
Rocket Scientist by Day and Geeky dad 24/7
Rocket Scientist by Day and Geeky dad 24/7

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Warning incoming Space Rant: It is time for the Agency to Pivot
With a new president coming in just about 6 months from now it is time to be proactive and admit the current journey to Mars mirage is nothing more than a hashtag. Instead of waiting for the coming blue ribbon panel and revector let's take the hard look at the situation and get out infront of things by being honest and laying out a more thoughtful strategy for achieving Mars in 20 years. It may garner a knee jerk reaction from certain circles but if they are truly in it for exploration and not just jobs/contracts then they can find their way through to actual deep space exploration not just lobbying about it.

Step 0: Give up building launch vehicle and orion. They are albatrosses around our neck. A heavy lifter for use 20 years from now sucks up way more budget than relying on multiple launches and robotic assembly which is needed anyway. Plus since we are going with a reusable Mars transit vehicle crew loading and unloading can occur in earth orbit serviced by one of the many commercial crew vehicle coming online. How much more Mars technology could we fund if we free up SLS/Orion funds. Don't worry congress folks and old space wanting to suckle at the government tit of cost plus contracts there will be plenty of pork to spread around with the new plan. Don't bring up the suck cost fallacy cause continuing to pour money for something 20 years down the road while you starve all the tech that is truly needed for Mars is only going to continue the myth that going to Mars is within the next 20 years. Staying the course is not the answer if you really want to actually make progress.

Forward plan Step 1: Best case we plan for upcoming commercial heavy lift like falcon 9H worst case we design for existing HLV. Either way we can cross that bridge to pick a launcher 12 years from now when we start locking down the design . Since crew rotation occurs in LEO it should be no different than what we will be paying for astronauts to the ISS in the next couple of years and entry speeds will be similar as well.

Step 2: time to stop iterating on an evolvable Mars campaign and hand out a design to the agency to start building.
We need a clean sheet 90 day study to pick a design so that the technology investment can start working towards putting things together. This gets divided up among the centers (see Congress we will spread things around) and gets everyone on the same path and garners support for the pivot from congress and incoming president.

It will help focus on what can be commercially sourced versus what needs internal development. We dont need to be spending money on our limited use case for something the commercial market is going to far surpass our needs down the road. We just need to have a viable onramp plan for the cots 10+ years from now. the study will provide the focus needed so no more centers working on what they think they should instead of what the politics/HQ wants. If we are infusing $3B in tech we need to make sure the design is anchored so that they are building the ins/outs/size/volume/power for the integrated systems/ mission operations parameters.

We can reevaluate every four years to ensure the tech tree is bearing fruit or if we need to pick a new branch and what the launch vehicle situation is. For now we start with existing HLV and it only gets better from here at the next review in 4 years.

Step 3: Develop LEO to Lunar cycler
Now that we have SLS out of the way the plan is whichever HLV we use just has to get the mass to LEO. Our solar electric propulsion tug will move it out to the lunar shipyard. This gives us run time on sep that will eventually grow to the transit vehicle size. The cycler also gets to test out deep space navigation (like pulsar/x-ray) and autonomous deep space rendezvous and docking.

Step 4: Use Cycler to build out lunar shipyard
Robotic assembly, radiation protection methods and testing of "MCC in a Box" autonomy gets shaken out as the the two Mars Transit Vehicles are built up. Eventually there could be living quarters for science and telerobotics to lunar surface it would require a hab attachment for the cycler since we scrapped orion but that becomes a long term closed loop eclss test bed so bonus points. The human occupation of the shipyard appeals to the international partners as it gets them closer to lunar surface

Step 5: Large scale technology investment
With the SLS/orion money freed up that gives us about $3B a year to put towards the major hurdles for Mars like radiation, EDL, autonomy, ISRU, closed loop ECLSS, robotic helpers, fecal processing, nuclear power and more. These tech are currently on the slow road to Mars due to budget restrictions that would go away with a $3B infusion. At least a portion of this should be to try out Moonshots that may fail but if they succeed are 10X leap forward to Mars.

Step 6: at the shipyard build two reusable transit vehicles
First is cargo delivery for all the preposition of assets for upcoming human missions. We can use an opposition class mission since it is unmanned and 30 day stay in Mars orbit should be enough time for precision placement of the necessary hardware. This robotic hauler will deploy early EDL and isru test beds while testing out larger class SEP, navigation and autonomy.
Second is crew transit vehicle the culmination of tech investment and precursor testbeds. Allows for longer conjunction class missions for a crew to spend 500 days on the surface.

If we as an agency, country, world really want to move up the gravity well to exploring Mars then let's take a hard look at where we are and pivot to get there.

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Today we can move from improbable to inevitable
With Spaceship One, and New Shepard build up and test commercial space tourism moved from impossible to improbable over the last year and now if things going well regular sub orbital tourism will become normal occurrence. $250k for 6 minutes of the Overview Effect and the price will come down over time as more options come online. Godspeed CJ and the +Virgin Galactic team.
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Looks like a well made modern day space shooter.
Been years since I played a wing commander and I never played Eve online. We have starlink but I haven't played it much
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Blue Origin has been around for a bit, but is more secretive than SpaceX
Jeff Bezos keeps his folks heads down iterating and they are getting ready to jump from the New Shepard suborbital tourist rocket to the orbital heavy lifter in 2021
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the epic battle of Wakanda sizzle VFX reel
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Do you prefer High End Lab grown meat or regular cheap farm raised meat
For the family-owned Toriyama ranch, the hope is that new technology will help make its high-quality beef more accessible globally. In an email, Wataru Toriyama, a top executive at the company, said he has looked for ways to expand the footprint of Wagyu beef and that the cell-cultured process offers a way to get his high-cost products in front of more people at an affordable price. Toriyama will receive a percentage of the profits JUST makes on every pound of cell-cultured Wagyu beef it produces and sells, though that number is not being disclosed publicly.
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Zubrin and Hickam lay out a three phase plan for living and exploring the lunar surface like SPD-1 requests
Lots of ideas from the Hackathon show up in this Moon Direct concept. Less than 2050 days until the Apollo 11 55th anniversary so let's set a daring goal and get working on it.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/we-have-the-technology-to-build-a-colony-on-the-moon-lets-do-it/2018/12/10/28cf79d0-f8a8-11e8-8d64-4e79db33382f_story.html
washingtonpost
washingtonpost
washingtonpost.com
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Who wins in this mercenary brawl of marvel vs dc
You can skip to 3:40 to jump right to the battle if you don't care about the prefight debate.
Next episode is the dark Knight of Gotham vs the prince of wakanda
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for those all worried about some basketball players thoughts on the Moon.
Rick N. Tumlinson made a good comment in Paul Hildebrandt's Fight for Space on why there is a whole generation that doesn't believe we went to the Moon. "It's not because the shadows of the flags fall the wrong way or you can't see the stars or the other things. The real reason any of that sticks at all is because we aren't there now. If we did something that magnificent, that amazing why aren't we there right now. why did we stop. that is the reason folks think we never went to the Moon."
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While Youtube's premium original content has not taken off like Netflix or Amazon the breath of content seems to make up for it in emerging markets
Not many folks probably pay for Youtube Premium for the Cobra Kai, Origins, Sideswiped or others, they pay for the ad removal and maybe the free all access music. but in the long run is more freeform content of youtube giving it more of a foothold in markets like India than a Netflix with its curated library of reruns and original shows?
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