The Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee, often known as the Augustine Committee, held another public meeting today to discuss the final scoring of each option. I previously posted timelines for most of the options, here listed with their line numbers as specified in the summary report.
In a change from the August 12 meeting of the Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee, NASA's Ares I project appears to still be on the table. In their Summary Report, it is included in their Option 3: Baseline Program of Record, which projects a human return to the surface of the Moon in the mid 2020s. This option would require an additional investment of $3 billion per year in NASA's exploration program. In the interest of evaluating this option, I'm going to review what Ares I is supposed to do and the progress it has made, and then look ahead to… Read More
My list of ten of the best ideas I've come across, some of them are a little older than others.
DIRECT is NASA's last chance to retain its own crew launch system in the wake of Space Shuttle retirement. It's a derivative of the Space Shuttle External Tank and Solid Rocket Boosters, combined with the Orion space capsule. Given how many pieces of this rocket are flying today, it seems possible to get this operational relatively quickly. Unfortunately, the DIRECT team made some strategic blunders while trying to get their idea accepted, and then came off as paranoid when… Read More
The Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee recently released a summary of their report. The contents of that report mostly reflects the documents they had previously released and their comments during the public meetings. The report lists the most promising of the combinations of different options for exploring beyond low Earth orbit (LEO). Several of the architectures that they recommended include a new heavy lift vehicle (HLV) called Ares V Light, also known as Ares V Lite. Very little information has been released about this HLV, so I'll document… Read More
In Future of NASA: Analysis, I mentioned that I would be sending a message to President Obama concerning the options for human spaceflight included in the initial report of the Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee. Well, here it is:
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to write to you concerning the Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee. I was very impressed by the public meetings and the documents released by the committee. Their deliberations have been thoughtful… Read More
Over the past couple of weeks I have written several posts about the alternative architectures proposed by the Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee, also known as one of the Augustine Committees. Most recently I posted timelines of each architecture:
Previous: Deep Space (Commercial HLV)
The Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee has drawn up several alternate architectures for NASA to pursue its mission of sending astronauts beyond low Earth orbit (LEO). For a more complete summary, see "Future of NASA: Program of Record". The seventh architecture in the list is focused on exploration missions to deep space using a Shuttle-derived heavy-lift launch vehicle (SDLV), assuming an increased budget of $3 billion per year.
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