Artemis: September 2020 Archives

80-billion-yen budget request in the works for lunar probe, Ashai Shimbun

"The science and technology ministry's budget request for the next fiscal year will include an ask for some 80 billion yen ($760 million) to develop key equipment for a U.S.-led, manned lunar exploration mission. The ministry, which also oversees sports, culture and education, is aiming to accelerate the development of a new unmanned supply spacecraft, a life-support machine and other related equipment to help enable Japanese astronauts to land on the moon."

Joint Statement Of Intention In The Artemis Program By Italy and The United States, ASI

"Italy and the United States are interested in exploring potential Italian contributions to the Artemis Program, including but not limited to: the provision of crew habitation capabilities on the surface of the Moon and associated technologies to enable short-duration stays for crews on the Moon; the conduct of lunar surface science experiments and investigations; and the provision of telecommunication services through surface assets and lunar orbital constellations."

Keith's note: There are some who'd say that this large investment - with real money - by Japan (and likely Italy) will help make the Artemis program more stable and able to withstand attempts by the U.S. Congress or a future administration to cancel or delay it. They could be right. Yet back in the 1990s, despite billions in sunk investments by the U.S., Europe, Japan, and Canada, the U.S. Congress came within one vote of cancelling the space station while the White House also toyed with turning it off too. Just sayin'.

Keith's note: Last week Jim Bridenstine suggested that landing at the south pole of the Moon might not be in the cards for Artemis III. A few days later HEOMD AA Kathy Lueders did not give a clear answer when asked. The obvious questions will be "Will Artemis III land at the lunar south Pole? Will the Artemis III mission land before the end of 2024? When will the SLS Green Run Test happen?"

Oh yes there's a NASA hearing before the Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday: "Hearing to conduct oversight of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's budget and activities"

NASA Publishes Artemis Plan to Land First Woman, Next Man on Moon in 2024, NASA

"Following a series of critical contract awards and hardware milestones, NASA has shared an update on its Artemis program, including the latest Phase 1 plans to land the first woman and the next man on the surface of the Moon in 2024."

Keith's update: The update issued today by NASA makes no mention of the Artemis III landing site. The press release that announced the report makes no mention of the lunar south pole all together. But Jim Bridenstine was rather blunt today saying that Artemis III will will land at the lunar south pole. Full stop. Apparently someone tweeted something about something from the LEAG meeting last week and someone tweeted something else and ...

I asked a question that went roughly like this: "When Gateway was first announced lunar landings were still planned for 2028. Then last year things got moved up by 4 years to 2024. Yet after more than a year NASA is still not exactly sure what Gateway will or will not do or when these things will happen - especially with regard to the first human landing mission. "Sustainable" means different things to different people - to some it is funding to others it is engineering. The House seems to think it means funding. The more you delay Gateway, the more people are going to question why you even need it. When will you know exactly how Artemis III will be conducted?"

I got some meandering responses from Jim Bridenstine and Kathy Lueders which can be distilled down to "since NASA has chosen the private sector to do the whole 2024 lunar landing system thing NASA does not actually know how their astronauts will land on the Moon. Good? Bad? We'll soon see."

The House only gave NASA $600 million toward the Human Landing System. NASA needs $3.2 billion. Bridenstine is hopeful that there will be a CR (continuing resolution) soon followed by an omnibus appropriations bill either at the end of this year or in March 2021 and that he hopes/expects that the full $3.2 billion for the HLS will be in there. While ever the optimist, he also said "if Congress keeps delaying the funding we will go the the Moon at the earliest possible opportunity."

Where Will Artemis III Land?

Is Artemis Starting To Fade?

Keith's note: Are we seeing an indication that the expansive, fast-paced goals NASA has for Artemis are now colliding with reality?

Space Resources are the Key to Safe and Sustainable Lunar Exploration

"Today, we're taking a critical step forward by releasing a solicitation for commercial companies to provide proposals for the collection of space resources. When considering such proposals, we will require that all actions be taken in a transparent fashion, in full compliance with the Registration Convention, Article II and other provisions of the Outer Space Treaty, and all of our other international obligations. We are putting our policies into practice to fuel a new era of exploration and discovery that will benefit all of humanity. The requirements we've outlined are that a company will collect a small amount of Moon "dirt" or rocks from any location on the lunar surface, provide imagery to NASA of the collection and the collected material, along with data that identifies the collection location, and conduct an "in-place" transfer of ownership of the lunar regolith or rocks to NASA. After ownership transfer, the collected material becomes the sole property of NASA for our use."

Gerstenmaier warns against ending space station program prematurely, Space News

"We don't want to do an Apollo: a rush to a single objective and then have nothing left," he continued. "We need to build infrastructure, leave pieces behind that the private sector can use, as well as the government, to move forward." Gerstenmaier said he didn't know how long such a transition from the ISS to private facilities would take, but didn't think there was a firm deadline for ending the station. "I don't know that there's a hard date where the station needs to be retired," he said. "I think there will be probably a push to retire the station with the idea that you're going to free up funds for exploration. That's what I described to you as a false choice."


Loading

 



Monthly Archives

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Artemis category from September 2020.

Artemis: August 2020 is the previous archive.

Artemis: October 2020 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.