Exploration: March 2013 Archives

Keith's note: After interaction with/pressure from NASA JSC and MSFC Inspiration Mars is now considering use of single launch of SLS for their mission. Of course, the use of SLS for Inspiration Mars is problematic if a 2018 launch is required. And even if the launch happens would NASA allow it to be used on on of the very first flights for a mission that many inside NASA think is risky - with no real ability to bail out? This is not the same NASA that did Apollo 8 on the third Saturn V flight. As for what this would cost Mr. Tito - that's anyone's guess. What is the commercial price for a SLS launch? I am not certain NASA has even considered that. How do you calculate that price - the same way that the Shuttle commercial launches were priced? We've seen that movie before. Oh yes: there is the pesky little matter of public law that prohibits NASA from offering serrvices on a commercial basis that compete with services that the private sector can offer. Stay Tuned.

Earlier Inspiration Mars posts

Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project: how you can help save historic space data, Boing Boing

"The LOIRP team managed to obtain original tape drives from the 1960s (covered in dust in a farmer's barn) and a full set of original Lunar Orbiter analog data tapes (threatened with erasure) containing all images sent back to Earth by the five spacecraft between 1966-67. None of this had been functional or usable since the late 1960s. From the onset the project has been run on a shoestring budget. The LOIRP effort is housed in an abandoned McDonalds burger joint at Moffett Field, California (also known as "McMoons"). The LOIRP folks used spare parts bought on eBay, discarded government equipment, new hardware reverse-engineered from math equations in 50 year old documentation, modern laptops, the expertise of retired engineers and scientists, and the dedication of young students."

Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project, RocketHub

Keith's earlier note: Only a few hours left. The $50,000 $52,000 $53,000 $56,000 level was just passsed - more than 2/3 70% 76% of the total fundraising goal of $75,000. Over 410 446 468 502 funders have made donations ranging from $10 to $5,000. Proof positive that people are willing to pay for space exploration out of their pockets - even if it is for data recovery from missions that flew almost half a century ago.

Keith's update: The final funding level achieved is $62,560 - 84% of the goal - from 548 donors. A special thanks to Xeni Jardin at BoingBoing for being the project's biggest fan.

Inspiration Mars: Some Thoughts About Our Plan, Mike Loucks, John Carrico and Dennis Tito

"Dennis Wingo provided some comments for us in his article Inspiration Mars: Some Thoughts About Their Plan. Dennis Wingo is a friend of ours. We welcome input from any source, especially visionaries like Dennis. Our IEEE Paper is an attempt to show the feasibility of the simplest possible Mars flyby mission. We chose a simple Mars flyby trajectory (the one from the Patel reference), and will choose a simple ECLSS, heat shield, etc., using existing designs and technologies on a single launch. We may eventually deviate from these assumptions, but only when we have proven that we must."

Inspiration Mars: Some Thoughts About Their Plan, Dennis Wingo, earlier post

Inspiration Mars: Some Thoughts About Their Plan, Dennis Wingo, SpaceRef

"While as of yet the plan is incomplete, it is a baseline from which to build on, and most importantly it does, I think, what Mr. Tito intended, which is to change the conversation about exploring beyond Earth orbit. I am not interested in comparing the Inspiration Mars plan to NASA's plans but to focus on what could be done to improve that mission."



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This page is an archive of entries in the Exploration category from March 2013.

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