Discussion:
Echoes of Apollo - Fact and Fiction
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Jack Bohn
2021-09-25 20:47:38 UTC
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I reread Apollo: The Race to the Moon, by Murray and Cox, and Michener's "Space"
I got "Apollo" a while ago, following a reference from Honsinger's "Man of War" series. It focusses on the engineering and mission control.
Along those lines there's "Chariots for Apollo" about the development of the spacecraft. I could never *grasp* the shape of the Lunar Module; since I was a kid it just looked like a beat-up box, until this broke it down.
"Space" is based around mostly fictional engineers and astronauts, but I think it is also trying to describe the general character and approach to life of their real equivalents. I have reread "Space" a number of times, being very impressed with it, although at this last reread I was irritated by a minor character representing Woo-Woo deceit and fraud. It shows the astronauts as driven characters, but also enjoying their repeated successes at every stage of their life. It is rather sad when the closing down of Apollo, or just finally running out of luck, puts an end to this run of success, although Michener claims they do as well as people attaining noticeable peaks of success in other areas of life.
If there is a common thread to the two books, it is the value seen by all in the ability to describe and cope with a potentially lethal situation without muddying that description or distracting others with emotion. I applaud this ability even as I wonder if emotion-laden TV and "how did you feel about that?" journalism are making it less common.
Thinking things out was never popular in the popular culture. One of the sf writer's memoirs of the WW iI years and the government marshaling its resources, mentioned Hollywood screenwriter volunteers were brought to help write operations manuals for the equipment, leading to his observation that Hollywood could only help if you wanted to get the vacuum tube into bed.
(I have no idea if this characteristic is still valued in the context of the ISS. Reports of Julie Payette and Lisa Nowak leave me wondering what NASA's psychologists are selecting for these days).
It could be a touch of "O tempore! O mores!" Remember the Skylab mutiny and the astronauts' depiction in "The Right Stuff".
--
-Jack
Andrew McDowell
2021-09-26 05:11:56 UTC
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I reread Apollo: The Race to the Moon, by Murray and Cox, and Michener's "Space"
I got "Apollo" a while ago, following a reference from Honsinger's "Man of War" series. It focusses on the engineering and mission control.
Along those lines there's "Chariots for Apollo" about the development of the spacecraft. I could never *grasp* the shape of the Lunar Module; since I was a kid it just looked like a beat-up box, until this broke it down.
(trimmed)
Do I want to spend money chasing this?.... https://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/SP-4205/contents.html ... Freely available on the web? Thanks for pointing me at this!
Jack Bohn
2021-09-26 19:49:04 UTC
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Post by Andrew McDowell
Along those lines there's "Chariots for Apollo" about the development of the spacecraft. I could never *grasp* the shape of the Lunar Module; since I was a kid it just looked like a beat-up box, until this broke it down.
(trimmed)
Do I want to spend money chasing this?.... https://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/SP-4205/contents.html ... Freely available on the web? Thanks for pointing me at this!
Thanks for pointing me at this! Looking at the LEM, I don't see a diagram pointing out the cylindrical core of the cabin, or the asymmetrical fuel tanks, but I can't say for sure one was in the paper copy; my mind may have imposed the knowledge on other diagrams.

I did find my favorite part: where they realized the guys could take the acceleration of the lander *while standing*! Away went the seats, away went the need to make the footwell a bubble canopy -- looking down through a small window close to their face gives as good a field of view.
--
-Jack
Jonathan
2021-09-28 08:37:40 UTC
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Post by Jack Bohn
Post by Andrew McDowell
Along those lines there's "Chariots for Apollo" about the development of the spacecraft. I could never *grasp* the shape of the Lunar Module; since I was a kid it just looked like a beat-up box, until this broke it down.
(trimmed)
Do I want to spend money chasing this?.... https://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/SP-4205/contents.html ... Freely available on the web? Thanks for pointing me at this!
Thanks for pointing me at this! Looking at the LEM, I don't see a diagram pointing out the cylindrical core of the cabin, or the asymmetrical fuel tanks, but I can't say for sure one was in the paper copy; my mind may have imposed the knowledge on other diagrams.
I did find my favorite part: where they realized the guys could take the acceleration of the lander *while standing*! Away went the seats, away went the need to make the footwell a bubble canopy -- looking down through a small window close to their face gives as good a field of view.
Check out this pic of the LEM on the moon from Apollo 16

Loading Image...

Here are all the Apollo landing surface panoramas in HD, where
you can also pan and zoom. Some wonderful shots clear as a bell.

One of my favorites is Apollo 12 showing how close
Pete Conrad came to landing inside a small crater.


Apollo landing site surface panorama pictures.
Pan and zoom in HD
http://www.lpi.usra.edu/resources/apollopanoramas/


Here are all the lunar landing videos. Wonderful drama


Landing videos

Apollo 10 uncontrolled tumble after separating from
descent module---oops wrong switch!



Apollo 11 landing from 5200 feet to surface
(listen for the warning for 30 seconds of fuel left)



Apollo 12 from 20,000 feet to surface



Apollo 14 landing from pitchover P-64 maneuver


Apollo 15



Apollo 16 last 5 minutes



Apollo 17 last 3 minutes
(Video Titled Apollo 15, but it's 17)

--
BIG LIE From Wiki - "The German expression was coined by Adolf Hitler
when he dictated his 1925 book Mein Kampf, to describe the use of a lie
so *colossal* that no one would believe that someone "could have the
impudence to distort the truth so infamously."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_lie
Jonathan
2021-09-26 14:59:01 UTC
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Permalink
I reread Apollo: The Race to the Moon, by Murray and Cox, and Michener's "Space"
I got "Apollo" a while ago, following a reference from Honsinger's "Man of War" series. It focusses on the engineering and mission control. "Space" is based around mostly fictional engineers and astronauts, but I think it is also trying to describe the general character and approach to life of their real equivalents. I have reread "Space" a number of times, being very impressed with it, although at this last reread I was irritated by a minor character representing Woo-Woo deceit and fraud. It shows the astronauts as driven characters, but also enjoying their repeated successes at every stage of their life. It is rather sad when the closing down of Apollo, or just finally running out of luck, puts an end to this run of success, although Michener claims they do as well as people attaining noticeable peaks of success in other areas of life.
If there is a common thread to the two books, it is the value seen by all in the ability to describe and cope with a potentially lethal situation without muddying that description or distracting others with emotion. I applaud this ability even as I wonder if emotion-laden TV and "how did you feel about that?" journalism are making it less common.
(I have no idea if this characteristic is still valued in the context of the ISS. Reports of Julie Payette and Lisa Nowak leave me wondering what NASA's psychologists are selecting for these days).
Kinda looks like how much money you have will be the
primary qualification in the future.

What I worry about with the whole space tourism push
is that the first flights will have mostly the
very rich or famous. But as early flights they
will also be the more dangerous.

A bad combination when it comes to public confidence
should an early flight go wrong.

I have to question whether NASA is the future of
manned space flight, I just read their new space suits
cost almost half a billion dollars just to design.
And they might not even use that design now.

But once a business plan can show money can be
made by putting people in space, then blank-check
financing can be secured, opening up space travel
in a big way.

But they have to figure out how to make money
putting people in space. Billionaires flying
is not a business plan with any legs.


When I read reports like this NASA manned space flight
looks like a giant black hole you toss money into
never to be seen again. Half a billion for a new
space suit~


NASA’S DEVELOPMENT OF NEXT-GENERATION SPACESUITS

At that time, NASA intended to initiate a hybrid contract
consisting of a single prime contractor for integration
and multiple awards for development and sustainment known
as the Exploration Extravehicular Activity Production and
Services (xEVAPS) contract. However, after 18 months NASA
canceled the xEVAPS RFI and issued a new RFI in April 2021
for the Exploration Extravehicular Activity Services
(xEVAS), significantly altering its approach for future
suit acquisition by purchasing services instead of equipment.

As previously discussed, to date NASA has spent more than
$420 million on spacesuit design and development, but the
new xEVAS RFI gives industry the choice to either leverage
NASA’s designs or propose their own.

Therefore, the extent to which NASA’s investments will be
utilized is unclear.
https://oig.nasa.gov/docs/IG-21-025.pdf


After $420 MILLION? Still UNCLEAR?

For just space suits, you have got to be kidding me!
--
BIG LIE From Wiki - "The German expression was coined by Adolf Hitler
when he dictated his 1925 book Mein Kampf, to describe the use of a lie
so *colossal* that no one would believe that someone "could have the
impudence to distort the truth so infamously."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_lie
BCFD36
2021-09-26 17:39:02 UTC
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Permalink
Post by Jonathan
I reread Apollo: The Race to the Moon, by Murray and Cox, and
Michener's "Space"
[stuff deleted]
Post by Jonathan
Therefore, the extent to which NASA’s investments will be
utilized is unclear.
https://oig.nasa.gov/docs/IG-21-025.pdf
After $420 MILLION?  Still UNCLEAR?
For just space suits, you have got to be kidding me!
There are questions that must be asked.
1. What are the requirements for the new space suit?
2. Has what is required ever been done before, or are they off into some
uncharted territory?
3. What unwanted bells and whistles are being added by political types?
4. How many new technologies are being invented to fulfill the
requirements mentioned in #1?

This only scratches the surface. It is like the idiots who decried the
price of a coffee maker on a long haul military transport saying "You
can get a Mr. Coffee for $39." They didn't ask the question of how much
does a coffee maker on a DC-8 or a 737 costs. Additional requirements
may be that the coffee maker cannot leak on a depressureization and
cannot spill if the aircraft goes inverted.

Same thing with toilet seats. How much would you charge someone to go
down to the Hardware Store to pick up and install a toilet seat at their
house. There is the cost of the toilet seat, the cost of the time to
drive to the store and pick it up, the time to drive to the installation
site, and the time to install it. Add to that a profit margin plus the
time to submit an itemized bill. And before that, the time to find out
what the customer really needs vs what the customer think he wants which
may be two completely different things.
--
Dave Scruggs
Captain, Boulder Creek Fire (Retired)
Sr. Software Engineer - Stellar Solutions (Definitely Retired)
Quadibloc
2021-09-26 17:43:58 UTC
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Permalink
Post by BCFD36
There are questions that must be asked.
1. What are the requirements for the new space suit?
2. Has what is required ever been done before, or are they off into some
uncharted territory?
3. What unwanted bells and whistles are being added by political types?
4. How many new technologies are being invented to fulfill the
requirements mentioned in #1?
Silly me, perhaps, but although your post raises many valid issues, I
would have suspected that the *main* reason why people making
space suits, rocket engines, and so on, don't simply take the plans that
were used for the Apollo program without changes... is because today
new technologies and materials are available, and thus the cost
would be lower, and the performance better, if the design is modified
to make use of those things.

John Savard
J. Clarke
2021-09-26 21:38:57 UTC
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Permalink
On Sun, 26 Sep 2021 10:43:58 -0700 (PDT), Quadibloc
Post by Quadibloc
Post by BCFD36
There are questions that must be asked.
1. What are the requirements for the new space suit?
2. Has what is required ever been done before, or are they off into some
uncharted territory?
3. What unwanted bells and whistles are being added by political types?
4. How many new technologies are being invented to fulfill the
requirements mentioned in #1?
Silly me, perhaps, but although your post raises many valid issues, I
would have suspected that the *main* reason why people making
space suits, rocket engines, and so on, don't simply take the plans that
were used for the Apollo program without changes... is because today
new technologies and materials are available, and thus the cost
would be lower, and the performance better, if the design is modified
to make use of those things.
Yes, you are silly. The main purpose of NASA today is to distribute
pork.

Reading the document that was linked, the stated objectives are:
"accomodate a borader range of sized and improve fit, comfort, and
mobility". The only specific improvement listed is improvements in
the lower torso that allow walking and kneeling.

I suspect that SpaceX will just set up a big vacuum chamber and keep
hacking until they have something that works.
Andrew McDowell
2021-09-27 04:17:06 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by J. Clarke
On Sun, 26 Sep 2021 10:43:58 -0700 (PDT), Quadibloc
Post by Quadibloc
Post by BCFD36
There are questions that must be asked.
1. What are the requirements for the new space suit?
2. Has what is required ever been done before, or are they off into some
uncharted territory?
3. What unwanted bells and whistles are being added by political types?
4. How many new technologies are being invented to fulfill the
requirements mentioned in #1?
Silly me, perhaps, but although your post raises many valid issues, I
would have suspected that the *main* reason why people making
space suits, rocket engines, and so on, don't simply take the plans that
were used for the Apollo program without changes... is because today
new technologies and materials are available, and thus the cost
would be lower, and the performance better, if the design is modified
to make use of those things.
Yes, you are silly. The main purpose of NASA today is to distribute
pork.
"accomodate a borader range of sized and improve fit, comfort, and
mobility". The only specific improvement listed is improvements in
the lower torso that allow walking and kneeling.
I suspect that SpaceX will just set up a big vacuum chamber and keep
hacking until they have something that works.
This is something of a caricature of SpaceX - their speed of development and low cost would be surprising if this was their only strategy. They benefit from a strong focus on a single overarching goal driven by one person - Elon Musk, and an important secondary goal for this is cost reduction. "Chariots for Apollo" shows a single overarching goal at that time - as laid out by Kennedy in his famous speech - and also one of their administrators saying that some of the focus on speed would also save money, by not having to pay people and maintain machines for a prolonged period of time. NASA no longer has a single overarching goal. (I think I have read an article tracing some of SpaceX's success to the ability to be flexible on secondary requirements, as long as their goal was achieved, but I cannot refind that article. Looking for this, I find multiple articles crediting Elon Musk as a single person driving and directing.
Andrew McDowell
2021-09-27 04:41:16 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by J. Clarke
On Sun, 26 Sep 2021 10:43:58 -0700 (PDT), Quadibloc
Post by Quadibloc
Post by BCFD36
There are questions that must be asked.
1. What are the requirements for the new space suit?
2. Has what is required ever been done before, or are they off into some
uncharted territory?
3. What unwanted bells and whistles are being added by political types?
4. How many new technologies are being invented to fulfill the
requirements mentioned in #1?
Silly me, perhaps, but although your post raises many valid issues, I
would have suspected that the *main* reason why people making
space suits, rocket engines, and so on, don't simply take the plans that
were used for the Apollo program without changes... is because today
new technologies and materials are available, and thus the cost
would be lower, and the performance better, if the design is modified
to make use of those things.
Yes, you are silly. The main purpose of NASA today is to distribute
pork.
"accomodate a borader range of sized and improve fit, comfort, and
mobility". The only specific improvement listed is improvements in
the lower torso that allow walking and kneeling.
I suspect that SpaceX will just set up a big vacuum chamber and keep
hacking until they have something that works.
This is something of a caricature of SpaceX - their speed of development and low cost would be surprising if this was their only strategy. They benefit from a strong focus on a single overarching goal driven by one person - Elon Musk, and an important secondary goal for this is cost reduction. "Chariots for Apollo" shows a single overarching goal at that time - as laid out by Kennedy in his famous speech - and also one of their administrators saying that some of the focus on speed would also save money, by not having to pay people and maintain machines for a prolonged period of time. NASA no longer has a single overarching goal. (I think I have read an article tracing some of SpaceX's success to the ability to be flexible on secondary requirements, as long as their goal was achieved, but I cannot refind that article. Looking for this, I find multiple articles crediting Elon Musk as a single person driving and directing.
Not the original article, but see slides 12 and 13 of http://sewiki.ru/images/0/00/CASE2012_2-4_Muratore_presentation.pdf - SpaceX is saying that it can do what it does because it is almost a completely self-contained organisation, not bound by contractor-subcontractor relationships. This rules out even the Apollo age NASA, and pretty much all capitalist space or defense agencies. I don't think this is fixable, because I don't think western civil services are very good at employing civil servants whose principle professional expertise is being a scientist or engineer, not a civil servant - they always seem to need to go through intermediaries, whether Universities, Research Trusts, Think Tanks, or private industry.
Robert Woodward
2021-09-27 05:00:12 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by BCFD36
I reread Apollo: The Race to the Moon, by Murray and Cox, and Michener's "Space"
[stuff deleted]
Therefore, the extent to which NASA’s investments will be
utilized is unclear.
https://oig.nasa.gov/docs/IG-21-025.pdf
After $420 MILLION?  Still UNCLEAR?
For just space suits, you have got to be kidding me!
There are questions that must be asked.
1. What are the requirements for the new space suit?
2. Has what is required ever been done before, or are they off into some
uncharted territory?
3. What unwanted bells and whistles are being added by political types?
4. How many new technologies are being invented to fulfill the
requirements mentioned in #1?
This only scratches the surface. It is like the idiots who decried the
price of a coffee maker on a long haul military transport saying "You
can get a Mr. Coffee for $39." They didn't ask the question of how much
does a coffee maker on a DC-8 or a 737 costs. Additional requirements
may be that the coffee maker cannot leak on a depressureization and
cannot spill if the aircraft goes inverted.
What was especially idiotic about that "controversy" was that the Air
Force, instead of spending who knows how many man-years preparing a
MilSpec, had decided that FAA certification was good enough and had
ordered those coffee makers off the same commercial catalog that the
airlines use (with an option that the airlines don't use because their
coffee makers are installed in galleys, while the Air Force had stand
alone units).
--
"We have advanced to new and surprising levels of bafflement."
Imperial Auditor Miles Vorkosigan describes progress in _Komarr_.
—-----------------------------------------------------
Robert Woodward ***@drizzle.com
Jonathan
2021-09-28 08:02:40 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by BCFD36
Post by Jonathan
I reread Apollo: The Race to the Moon, by Murray and Cox, and Michener's "Space"
[stuff deleted]
Post by Jonathan
Therefore, the extent to which NASA’s investments will be
utilized is unclear.
https://oig.nasa.gov/docs/IG-21-025.pdf
After $420 MILLION?  Still UNCLEAR?
For just space suits, you have got to be kidding me!
There are questions that must be asked.
1. What are the requirements for the new space suit?
2. Has what is required ever been done before, or are they off into some
uncharted territory?
3. What unwanted bells and whistles are being added by political types?
4. How many new technologies are being invented to fulfill the
requirements mentioned in #1?
This only scratches the surface. It is like the idiots who decried the
price of a coffee maker on a long haul military transport saying "You
can get a Mr. Coffee for $39." They didn't ask the question of how much
does a coffee maker on a DC-8 or a 737 costs. Additional requirements
may be that the coffee maker cannot leak on a depressureization and
cannot spill if the aircraft goes inverted.
Same thing with toilet seats. How much would you charge someone to go
down to the Hardware Store to pick up and install a toilet seat at their
house. There is the cost of the toilet seat, the cost of the time to
drive to the store and pick it up, the time to drive to the installation
site, and the time to install it. Add to that a profit margin plus the
time to submit an itemized bill. And before that, the time to find out
what the customer really needs vs what the customer think he wants which
may be two completely different things.
No doubt it's expensive equipment, but $420 million is
a whole lot of money, and that's just for the design
not even one suit. Another article indicated by the
time the suits were built the tab would hit a
billion dollars.
--
BIG LIE From Wiki - "The German expression was coined by Adolf Hitler
when he dictated his 1925 book Mein Kampf, to describe the use of a lie
so *colossal* that no one would believe that someone "could have the
impudence to distort the truth so infamously."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_lie
Andrew McDowell
2021-10-02 15:40:28 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Jonathan
I reread Apollo: The Race to the Moon, by Murray and Cox, and Michener's "Space"
I got "Apollo" a while ago, following a reference from Honsinger's "Man of War" series. It focusses on the engineering and mission control. "Space" is based around mostly fictional engineers and astronauts, but I think it is also trying to describe the general character and approach to life of their real equivalents. I have reread "Space" a number of times, being very impressed with it, although at this last reread I was irritated by a minor character representing Woo-Woo deceit and fraud. It shows the astronauts as driven characters, but also enjoying their repeated successes at every stage of their life. It is rather sad when the closing down of Apollo, or just finally running out of luck, puts an end to this run of success, although Michener claims they do as well as people attaining noticeable peaks of success in other areas of life.
If there is a common thread to the two books, it is the value seen by all in the ability to describe and cope with a potentially lethal situation without muddying that description or distracting others with emotion. I applaud this ability even as I wonder if emotion-laden TV and "how did you feel about that?" journalism are making it less common.
(I have no idea if this characteristic is still valued in the context of the ISS. Reports of Julie Payette and Lisa Nowak leave me wondering what NASA's psychologists are selecting for these days).
Kinda looks like how much money you have will be the
primary qualification in the future.
What I worry about with the whole space tourism push
is that the first flights will have mostly the
very rich or famous. But as early flights they
will also be the more dangerous.
A bad combination when it comes to public confidence
should an early flight go wrong.
I have to question whether NASA is the future of
manned space flight, I just read their new space suits
cost almost half a billion dollars just to design.
And they might not even use that design now.
But once a business plan can show money can be
made by putting people in space, then blank-check
financing can be secured, opening up space travel
in a big way.
But they have to figure out how to make money
putting people in space. Billionaires flying
is not a business plan with any legs.
When I read reports like this NASA manned space flight
looks like a giant black hole you toss money into
never to be seen again. Half a billion for a new
space suit~
NASA’S DEVELOPMENT OF NEXT-GENERATION SPACESUITS
At that time, NASA intended to initiate a hybrid contract
consisting of a single prime contractor for integration
and multiple awards for development and sustainment known
as the Exploration Extravehicular Activity Production and
Services (xEVAPS) contract. However, after 18 months NASA
canceled the xEVAPS RFI and issued a new RFI in April 2021
for the Exploration Extravehicular Activity Services
(xEVAS), significantly altering its approach for future
suit acquisition by purchasing services instead of equipment.
As previously discussed, to date NASA has spent more than
$420 million on spacesuit design and development, but the
new xEVAS RFI gives industry the choice to either leverage
NASA’s designs or propose their own.
Therefore, the extent to which NASA’s investments will be
utilized is unclear.
https://oig.nasa.gov/docs/IG-21-025.pdf
After $420 MILLION? Still UNCLEAR?
For just space suits, you have got to be kidding me!
--
BIG LIE From Wiki - "The German expression was coined by Adolf Hitler
when he dictated his 1925 book Mein Kampf, to describe the use of a lie
so *colossal* that no one would believe that someone "could have the
impudence to distort the truth so infamously."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_lie
Not quite so unclear now. My possibly mistaken impression from the article I will link below is that NASA has as of yesterday given up on even overseeing the development of spacesuits and will now attempt to buy them from industry on the basis of a NASA specification of performance (not design).

https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/10/after-years-of-futility-nasa-turns-to-private-sector-for-spacesuit-help/?utm_source=digg

And now, with the new industry request, NASA has done that. Bidders can use the technology NASA developed for xEMU in its proposals, or they can use their own designs, the document states. The suits must be able to meet a variety of requirements, including up to six spacewalks on the lunar surface during initial Artemis Moon missions. They must also be made of materials such that less than 100 grams of lunar regolith is brought back into the "cabin environment" after each spacewalk on the Moon. NASA plans to award a contract by next April.
Jonathan
2021-10-03 10:08:00 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Andrew McDowell
Post by Jonathan
I reread Apollo: The Race to the Moon, by Murray and Cox, and Michener's "Space"
I got "Apollo" a while ago, following a reference from Honsinger's "Man of War" series. It focusses on the engineering and mission control. "Space" is based around mostly fictional engineers and astronauts, but I think it is also trying to describe the general character and approach to life of their real equivalents. I have reread "Space" a number of times, being very impressed with it, although at this last reread I was irritated by a minor character representing Woo-Woo deceit and fraud. It shows the astronauts as driven characters, but also enjoying their repeated successes at every stage of their life. It is rather sad when the closing down of Apollo, or just finally running out of luck, puts an end to this run of success, although Michener claims they do as well as people attaining noticeable peaks of success in other areas of life.
If there is a common thread to the two books, it is the value seen by all in the ability to describe and cope with a potentially lethal situation without muddying that description or distracting others with emotion. I applaud this ability even as I wonder if emotion-laden TV and "how did you feel about that?" journalism are making it less common.
(I have no idea if this characteristic is still valued in the context of the ISS. Reports of Julie Payette and Lisa Nowak leave me wondering what NASA's psychologists are selecting for these days).
Kinda looks like how much money you have will be the
primary qualification in the future.
What I worry about with the whole space tourism push
is that the first flights will have mostly the
very rich or famous. But as early flights they
will also be the more dangerous.
A bad combination when it comes to public confidence
should an early flight go wrong.
I have to question whether NASA is the future of
manned space flight, I just read their new space suits
cost almost half a billion dollars just to design.
And they might not even use that design now.
But once a business plan can show money can be
made by putting people in space, then blank-check
financing can be secured, opening up space travel
in a big way.
But they have to figure out how to make money
putting people in space. Billionaires flying
is not a business plan with any legs.
When I read reports like this NASA manned space flight
looks like a giant black hole you toss money into
never to be seen again. Half a billion for a new
space suit~
NASA’S DEVELOPMENT OF NEXT-GENERATION SPACESUITS
At that time, NASA intended to initiate a hybrid contract
consisting of a single prime contractor for integration
and multiple awards for development and sustainment known
as the Exploration Extravehicular Activity Production and
Services (xEVAPS) contract. However, after 18 months NASA
canceled the xEVAPS RFI and issued a new RFI in April 2021
for the Exploration Extravehicular Activity Services
(xEVAS), significantly altering its approach for future
suit acquisition by purchasing services instead of equipment.
As previously discussed, to date NASA has spent more than
$420 million on spacesuit design and development, but the
new xEVAS RFI gives industry the choice to either leverage
NASA’s designs or propose their own.
Therefore, the extent to which NASA’s investments will be
utilized is unclear.
https://oig.nasa.gov/docs/IG-21-025.pdf
After $420 MILLION? Still UNCLEAR?
For just space suits, you have got to be kidding me!
--
BIG LIE From Wiki - "The German expression was coined by Adolf Hitler
when he dictated his 1925 book Mein Kampf, to describe the use of a lie
so *colossal* that no one would believe that someone "could have the
impudence to distort the truth so infamously."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_lie
Not quite so unclear now. My possibly mistaken impression from the article I will link below is that NASA has as of yesterday given up on even overseeing the development of spacesuits and will now attempt to buy them from industry on the basis of a NASA specification of performance (not design).
https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/10/after-years-of-futility-nasa-turns-to-private-sector-for-spacesuit-help/?utm_source=digg
And now, with the new industry request, NASA has done that. Bidders can use the technology NASA developed for xEMU in its proposals, or they can use their own designs, the document states. The suits must be able to meet a variety of requirements, including up to six spacewalks on the lunar surface during initial Artemis Moon missions. They must also be made of materials such that less than 100 grams of lunar regolith is brought back into the "cabin environment" after each spacewalk on the Moon. NASA plans to award a contract by next April.
And the whole 'Boots on the Moon by 2024' isn't even
a pipe dream. That timeline was set by Trump to
be finished before his, eh hum...second term
was over. I'm sure he thought that timeline out
in as much detail as everything else he did.
During a tweet while sitting on the john.

2030 is about as early as it could happen if ever.

They only /named/ the contractors for the lunar lander a
little over a year ago, Apr 2020, at the start of COVID
so I bet they haven't even built their 6" cardboard toy
of a lander yet. Which will no doubt cost $100 million.
Not to mention the three contractors were each awarded
about as much as the now unused spacesuit design cost.
For some reason I think the lander might cost just
a little bit more.


Apr 30, 2020
RELEASE 20-048
NASA Names Companies to Develop Human Landers for
Artemis Moon Missions

The total combined value for all awarded contracts
is $967 million for the 10-month base period.

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-names-companies-to-develop-human-landers-for-artemis-moon-missions




Someone Show NASA a Calendar

The agency has said it’s going to make it to the moon in 2024.
That’s simply not possible.

By Marina Koren

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2021/08/nasa-moon-biden-trump-2024/619749/
--
BIG LIE From Wiki - "The German expression was coined by Adolf Hitler
when he dictated his 1925 book Mein Kampf, to describe the use of a lie
so *colossal* that no one would believe that someone "could have the
impudence to distort the truth so infamously."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_lie
Andrew McDowell
2021-09-26 19:06:43 UTC
Reply
Permalink
I reread Apollo: The Race to the Moon, by Murray and Cox, and Michener's "Space"
I got "Apollo" a while ago, following a reference from Honsinger's "Man of War" series. It focusses on the engineering and mission control. "Space" is based around mostly fictional engineers and astronauts, but I think it is also trying to describe the general character and approach to life of their real equivalents. I have reread "Space" a number of times, being very impressed with it, although at this last reread I was irritated by a minor character representing Woo-Woo deceit and fraud. It shows the astronauts as driven characters, but also enjoying their repeated successes at every stage of their life. It is rather sad when the closing down of Apollo, or just finally running out of luck, puts an end to this run of success, although Michener claims they do as well as people attaining noticeable peaks of success in other areas of life.
If there is a common thread to the two books, it is the value seen by all in the ability to describe and cope with a potentially lethal situation without muddying that description or distracting others with emotion. I applaud this ability even as I wonder if emotion-laden TV and "how did you feel about that?" journalism are making it less common.
(I have no idea if this characteristic is still valued in the context of the ISS. Reports of Julie Payette and Lisa Nowak leave me wondering what NASA's psychologists are selecting for these days).
Reading up on Julie Payette, I don't see where there was any problem
with her on performance in space other than a cryptic statement that
"she is not a team player". By the account I read, she performed well on
the ISS and Shuttle. Her problems came afterward.
As for Nowak, it looked like she was doing pretty well until she went
off the rails. But as far as having an affair, etc. it looks like she
was following a long NASA tradition. Almost all of the Mercury, Gemini,
and Apollo astronauts cheated on their wives. John Glenn seems to be an
exception. I think some of the things that made them good astronauts
made them bad husbands. Why would expect the women to be any different.
They are all highly intelligent, driven, have huge egos, will not fail
the mission no matter what, etc.
When I was working at NASA Ames, we had a meeting every month where
astronaut Steve Smith would give a talk about his time on STS flights
and the training. It was fascinating. And this guy was SHARP. I
immediately liked him.
--
Dave Scruggs
Captain, Boulder Creek Fire (Retired)
Sr. Software Engineer - Stellar Solutions (Definitely Retired)
I find the Payette case most curious because of "she is not a team player" when my impression was that for long duration multi-member ISS missions "team player" was a critical skill. Nowak's behaviour appeared bizarre and was distruptive to the cohesion of her team in a way that the traditional bad behaviour of a sailor or fighter pilot was not. Arguably this difference in consequence is due to the different social environment and pressures felt by a female astronaut in 2007 vs a male one in 1959 (e.g. Gordo Cooper). But even given this, for the purposes of astronaut selection, the aim should be to eliminate possible failure modes, rather than to turn a blind eye to support some social goal. I would indeed expect those selected to be SHARP, resilient, well-balanced, cool under pressure, and in fact to have a huge number of positive characteristics.
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