U.S. HOUSE TO NASA: START PLANNING MANNED LUNAR MISSIONS

U.S. HOUSE TO NASA: START PLANNING MANNED LUNAR MISSIONS

It has been a strange two weeks for space news, and the steady trickle keeps coming!  There's been an interesting development, for example, in the U.S. House of Representatives, according to this article shared by Ms. K.F.:

Forget the asteroid mission and go to the Moon, lawmakers tell NASA

There are several important paragraphs here, but I want to zero in on the following:

Since a space policy speech in 2010 by President Obama, the space agency has been following a loosely defined plan to first send astronauts to visit a fragment of an asteroid near the Moon and then conduct other operations in the vicinity of the Moon before striking off for Mars some time in the 2030s. However a number of independent reports, such as the National Research Council’s Pathways to Exploration, have questioned the viability and sustainability of a direct-to-Mars plan. That panel called for NASA and the White House to reconsider the Moon as an interim destination.

In the new House budget, which provides funding for fiscal year 2017, the committee recognizes there are some useful components of the asteroid mission. These include propulsion research and asteroid deflection, but committee members found that “neither a robotic nor a crewed mission to an asteroid appreciably contribute to the overarching mission to Mars.” The costs of such a mission are also unknown, the committee wrote.

“Toward that end, no funds are included in this bill for NASA to continue planning efforts to conduct either robotic or crewed missions to an asteroid,” the bill states. “Instead, NASA is encouraged to develop plans to return to the Moon to test capabilities that will be needed for Mars, including habitation modules, lunar prospecting, and landing and ascent vehicles.”

The bill must still be approved by the full Appropriations Committee and House and then squared with Senate legislation, which does not explicitly call for lunar landings and exploration as a precursor to Mars missions. However the proposed law lays down a clear marker for the next president—Republican or Democrat—when the new administration considers space policy.

Turning away from the Moon

Even before President Obama came into office, there was general agreement in the US space community that NASA should establish Mars as the agency’s horizon exploration goal. Under President George W. Bush, however, the space agency’s plans called for returning to the Moon first. This would allow NASA and its astronauts to learn how to live on an airless world without protection from the Sun’s radiation and develop technologies such as lunar ice mining that could be applied to missions deeper into the Solar System, such as Mars.

So what's going on here?

I suspect several things are lurking in the background, and that this is as much a commercial and geo-political, or shall we say, geo-celestial-political turn, as it is about "simple science" and "space exploration." Recall that just a few weeks ago Mr. Obama visited San Carlos di Bariloche in Argentina, a city and region with deep implications, not the least because of China's presence in Argentina, with a space-tracking capability there designed to serve its space ambitions, which China has made no bones about: they intend to reach the Moon, and mine it. But China is not alone here. Other nations have laid out plans for the Moon and its potential mining, and Russia and Japan have added to this their own stated goals of basing a permanent human presence on the Moon(in Russia's case), and Japan, you'll recall, stated it wants to turn the Moon into a gigantic microwave powerplant to solve its energy needs. You'll also recall that China dubbed this plan nothing but an attempt to weaponize the entire Moon and turn it into a microwave "death star."

The plain bottom line here is that these stated and announced intentions by rivals to American space power simply necessitate a turn back to "seleno-centrism," for it will do the USA absolutely no good to explore, or even start bases, on the planet Mars if the communications lifeline between Earth and the Red Planet can be severed by those with bases and commercial interests on the Moon. This is simple "celetial-political" reality, and it would appear that the Obama White House, and the U.S. House, are each in their own ways acknowleging it as such.

In short: you're watching the birth of a new space race, one far different than that of the 1960s between the USSR and the USA, for this time, the commercial and military objectives are much more in the open. We are watching the space-equivalent of the mad scramble of Portugal, Spain, France, and England to dominate the New World.

See you on the flip side...

22 thoughts on “U.S. HOUSE TO NASA: START PLANNING MANNED LUNAR MISSIONS”

  1. Oh boy more ripping off the tax payers, I don’t buy this for a minute, I don’t believe we’ve ever been to the moon

    1. Sorry, Nathan, but you are misinformed. I have personally stood under a Saturn 1B rocket at Kennedy. (Big!) And that was just the warm-up for the Saturn 5…

      Plus, the way things were done in those (almost) computer-free days was to have multiple engineers independently-calculate everything, in order to weed-out inadvertent errors. The number of professional people ‘in’ on any conspiracy of this type would have been enormous.

      Plus, in the good old Cold War days, the Soviet Union and China (etc.) tracked each Moon mission trajectory – all the way to the Moon and back. Not hard to do. Those ‘hostile’ nations would have achieved a major propaganda coup by blowing the lid on a faked trajectory. So, either the missions actually occurred or EVERY NATION IN THE WORLD was in on the fakery. I am betting on the former…

      1. gosh, it might be easier for nathan to swallow the reality pill if we coat it with a bit more reality possibilities – like the fact that what pr came out to us is probably not that accurate. what exactly is the likelihood that mr global was subliminally and not so subliminally crapping on humanity in every other media form (far worse than was depicted in “they live” than we can so far imagine) —- that mr global decided not to juice a great little stunt like hitting the moon with a few other ideas that are not so good.

        maybe even some lies a tad worse than the idea of tang being good for us and the astronauts?

        1. ZDB, the times were indeed bad. LBJ faking the Gulf of Tonkin incident to get the US into Vietnam. Vietnam itself turning into nothing but $$$ for the arms merchants. The US population being pulled apart over the Vietnam issue. (I remember the smell of tear gas in the D.C. streets.) And, of course, the assassination of any leader crossing the PTB…

          That is one reason why I take the ‘assassination attempt’ against the Moon landings personally. It was the one bright and shining moment during a very dark time.

          Hmmm. I wonder if that is exactly why the Moon landings are currently being gone-after? (Now that many direct-participants have died off.) Psychological warfare…

          1. it’s gotta be simpler ghawk. and easier. so why not take that one bright shining thing that made us all tolerate such drech and slip a few not so shiny things into it. in fact never waste a perfect opportunity. heck there’s still people that don’t believe the layering of psyops that was the counter culture. they still don’t get that timothy leary was in bed with monarch and huxley and salinger and ewan cameron and that jim morrison was the military schooled son of the admiral in charge of the pacific fleet when the gulf of tonkin psyop transacted and that haight ashbury the dead and all were mfg and run by the same folk at the same time in the same way who ran mkultra-bluebird,……

            the goal was to take it from individual to societal levels and learn to manipulate and mfr consent better at all levels

            so yeh we all learn how it feels to know some of our favorite bands who we felt so strongly were leading us and guiding us to some better way were actually judas goating us.

            who’d believe the stones were not only fabians they were financed by fabians?
            http://disinfo.com/2015/11/yesterdays-parties-lse-funded-stones-tom-driberg-courted-mick-jagger/

            it goes on and on. so let’s get over it.

            if our old heroes turn out not so hero-y, there’s always steve goodman and the dying cub fan’s last request and/or my old man

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HTRxAHfwPY

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6BB1FbCA2I

            no worries lad. judas goats abound. keep positive and psyops tend to work in our favor in the long, short and medium run. as long as we’re positive. keep on man.

  2. The biggest (conventional) things the Moon has got going for it are the 1/6 Earth-mass and (ironically) no atmosphere. Combined, those mean that reaching lunar orbital velocity is cheap and easy. So, the expensive part is going to be lofting all the resource-extraction machinery out of Earth’s gravity well. A heavy up-front cost, so to speak. After that, just use some form of catapult or rail-gun to get the processed materials up to the required velocity. Snag it with some orbital-taxi, adjust its orbit appropriately, and mucho $$$.

    I am waiting for Elon Musk to finally lose patience with the heavy rocket paradigm developed for one-shot lunar missions. In the early days, it made sense to minimize risk with all-included launches. Now, with today’s proven rendezvous capabilities, it makes more sense to launch a half-dozen small rockets with partial steps – crew, lander, processing-machinery, fuel, oxidizer, etc. Have the mini-payloads rendezvous in low Earth orbit, and have the crew do some disassembly and reassembly. Voilà, a huge spacecraft! And, one not subject to the whims of Congress and alphabet agencies. Go, SpaceX!

    1. Robert Barricklow

      All that public money and public research spent through the years to benefit a few owners: The New East India companies.
      Socialize the costs; privatize the profit$.
      Now those profit$ will be Out-of-This-World;
      sky-high isn’t even close!
      Public Power versus Private Power?
      Loosing it on Earth; and, apparently – to infinitely & beyond!

  3. marcos toledo

    How come CSA has been starving NASA for the last forty years. Is the CSA so childish that it needs rivals to get it to do anything important. Life is only a game of zero sum to them. When will they finally grow up and behave once and fall all. They always running around like a chicken with no head or some hyper greedy street thug. Well if every goes well China, Russia, India, Japan will team up to explore space leaving the CSA in the dust that’s if the CSA doesn’t blow up the World to spite their face.

  4. Robert Barricklow

    And just like in that age of conquest/exploration the ships established ownership with overwhelming violence.
    Treaties were signed and broken before the ink dried.
    Pirates were sailing towards a golden age. Where, on those pirate ships, democracies flourished.

      1. Robert Barricklow

        ZDB
        Having read all of the Marus Rediker books on the early days of shipping, w/respect to the common man, piracy was just about a give. The reason being, as Samuel Johnson’s common sailor put ship duty/noting but being in a jail with a good chance of drowning.

          1. yep, familiar with the idea. kinda doubt is was ever that equitable though. no doubt that it was more equitable than general society.

            figure it works out the same today. not a lot of difference between those who run blockades and those who make them. not in terms of ideology and operations. biggest differences are resource based.

            ironic that joe kennedy made so much career rum running and insider trading while his son made so much career on a pt boat and insider trading.

            so my vote is not likely to matter much to richard branson, elon musk, the kochs,….

          2. hmmm
            still trying to figure max and stacy
            there’s more to their effort than frustrated truth telling

  5. All the speculation requires that we assume the Moon is uninhabited. If we factor in the unsubstantiated “rumor” that our “first” visitors to the moon observed “spacecraft” which were not “ours”, then one has to wonder if we will be allowed to establish a presence there.
    Those same “remote viewers” were also tasked with observing the dark side of the moon and supposedly “saw” bases already there. Whose bases are they, if they do indeed exist.
    To accomplish all this, they are going to have to trot out some of that dark technology they have kept from us in the past, as simple
    chemical rockets are much too inefficient and costly for the task.
    While mining the moon for resources is a good enough reason to establish a presence there, it most likely isn’t the main objective. The search is on for high antiquity artifacts which may have been hidden away from the losing remnants of an ancient “cosmic war” both on Earth and within the Solar system. It’s been on since the 19th century; hence the exploration of remote areas of the planet, the raiding of various nations and their museums, and the renewed interest and reexamination of ancient texts.
    One might go so far to say that a new arms race is afoot, a race to determine just who will discover any such remaining artifacts in order to study them and reverse engineer them. Most certainly, the first to establish a colony on the Moon will have a distinct advantage, should such artifacts actually exist.
    If the structures actually exist, which Richard Hoagland claims to exist, and they are in the condition which he believes they are, then they were either destroyed or abandoned so long ago they have literally been forgotten.
    “Mining” the Moon is a convenient cover story for the masses and carries many meanings. There is literally not much there we cant acquire or manufacture right here on earth except such artifacts.
    The Moon makes the perfect staging area for more distant system wide exploration, once the infrastructure is in place. It also is the perfect place to use technology which has been hidden from the rest of the earths inhabitants.

    1. A race for who will be the first to seize control, repair and man the death star moon?

  6. So has the no-flight zone finally been lifted, for whatever reason? Assuming that manned Moon flights actually WERE cut…

  7. I think this pivot back to the Moon follows from the realisation that something the Controllers and their minions view as KEY is not to be found among the asteroids of the exploded mother world of life but is to be found ensconced somewhere on the moon. Think Baghdad Museum and the unwarranted invasion of Iraq by the so-called government of the USA.

  8. One of the remote viewers — Lynn Buchanan, I think it was — once said he had been given a target, which was basically to look at the cheapest way to create an inhabitable environment on the moon.

    He did his thing, and sketched out a picture of craters covered with a sort of mirrored covering.

    A few years later, the same person that had given him that target showed him a close-up picture of the moon, consisting of a small crater, covered in Mylar.

    Not very stable, but enough to get something bigger going, I would imagine.

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