Saturday, April 6, 2019

Bridenstine's Why The Moon Matters

Back in December 29, 2016 Bridenstine made a blog post "Why The Moon Matters". Bridenstine was representative of Oklahoma at the time.

Sadly the post was taken down when Bridenstine left his post as representative and became NASA administrator. But I recently found the post using the Wayback Machine.

Bridenstine's reasons were pretty the same arguments made by lunar scientist Paul Spudis (RIP).

I post it here for historical reference. Copying and pasting:

Jim's Blog

Why the Moon Matters

by Rep. Jim Bridenstine

f t # e
Washington, December 29, 2016 0 comments
On July 20, 1969, the free world won the space race when an American flag was planted on the Moon. Twelve Americans walked on the Moon during the Apollo program, resulting in a treasure trove of knowledge not only about the Moon, but about the universe.  Even better, by demonstrating the United States’ political, economic, and technological prowess, it played a part winning the Cold War. In 1983, Ronald Reagan introduced the Strategic Defense Initiative to defend the free world from nuclear ballistic missiles. While many called it destabilizing, and even suggested it was impossible to achieve, the Soviet Union took it very seriously, made every effort to eliminate it, and spent whatever it took to compete. They eventually went bankrupt.  SDI, while not fully implemented, was a geopolitical success built on the technical credibility provided by Apollo. As Ronald Reagan predicted, “We win. They lose.”

Through SDI, the Brilliant Pebbles program was born as a space based system to track and destroy ICBMs. Years later, in 1994, a Brilliant Pebbles satellite was repurposed to orbit and map the Moon. That mission, called Clementine, tested military sensors and made history when it provided evidence of lunar water ice. Later experiments by NASA and other space agencies indicated billions of tons of water ice at each lunar pole.

This single discovery should have immediately transformed America’s space program. Water ice not only represents a critical in situ resource for life support, but it can be cracked into its components, hydrogen and oxygen, to create the same chemical propellant that powers rockets.

All of this is available on a world that has no atmosphere and a gravity well that is 1/6th that of Earth. In other words, standard aerodynamic limitations do not apply, permitting the placement of the propellant into orbit either around the Moon or around the Earth.

From the discovery of water ice on the Moon until this day, the American objective should have been a permanent outpost of rovers and machines, with occasional manned missions for science and maintenance, in order to utilize the materials and energy of the Moon to drive down the costs and increase the capabilities of American operations in cis-lunar and interplanetary space.

Water ice on the Moon could be used to refuel satellites in orbit or perform on-orbit maintenance. Government and commercial satellite operators could save hundreds of millions of dollars by servicing their satellites with resources from the Moon rather than disposing of, and replacing, their expensive investments. Eventually, the customers of Direct TV, Dish Network, internet broadband from space, satellite radio, weather data, and others could see their bills reduced and their service capacities greatly increased.

While most satellites are not currently powered by liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen, next generation satellite architectures could utilize lunar propellant if low-cost in-orbit servicing were available. Commercial operators will follow if the United States leads with its own constellations.  Such leadership would require a whole-of-government approach with the interagency support of the newly reconstituted National Space Council. The objective is a self-sustaining, cis-lunar economy, whereby government and commercial operators save money and maximize the utilization of space through the use of lunar resources.

This is also the first step for manned missions deeper into our solar system. A permanent human presence on other celestial bodies requires in situ resource utilization. The Moon, with its three-day emergency journey back to Earth, represents the best place to learn, train, and develop the necessary technologies and techniques for in situ resource utilization and an eventual long term human presence on Mars. Fortunately, the Space Launch System and Orion will start testing in 2018. This system, with a commercial lander, could quickly place machines and robots on the Moon to begin the cis-lunar economy. With the right presidential guidance, humans could return in short order as well; this time, to stay.

There are other economic benefits to a permanent presence on the Moon. Utilization of lunar oxides for in situ additive manufacturing (3-D printing) could sustain and develop lunar operations. If economical, we should pioneer the extraction of highly valuable platinum group metals and the ability to transport them back to Earth. The development of practical solar power satellites that beam energy directly to all areas of the Earth is made possible through the use of the resources of the Moon. Research on this concept is already being done in Japan, as well as at the Naval Research Lab here in the United States. The United States government should lead the way in retiring risk for these endeavors with the intent to empower commercial companies to sustain the cis-lunar economy. This could fundamentally alter the economic balance of power on Earth.

As the cis-lunar economy develops, competition for locations and resources on the Moon is inevitable. The Chinese currently have landers and rovers on the Moon. The United States does not. Very soon, the Chinese will be the first of humanity to explore the far side of the Moon and place robots at the poles. As my friend Congressman Bill Posey says, “They are not going there to collect rocks.” China has its own manned space station. The United States’ commitment to the International Space Station ends in 2024. China has a domestic capability to launch its Taikonauts into orbit. The United States relies on Russia. American adversaries are testing antisatellite weapons and proliferating satellite jamming, spoofing, and dazzling technologies. It is time for the United States to re-posture and assert true space leadership.

It must be stated that constitutionally, the U.S. government is required to provide for the common defense. This includes defending American military AND commercial assets in orbit, many of which have the dual role of providing commercial and military capabilities. The same applies for assets on and around the Moon. The U.S. government must establish a legal framework and be prepared to defend private and corporate rights and obligations, all keeping within the 1967 Outer Space Treaty. The United States must have cis-lunar situational awareness, a cis-lunar presence, and eventually must be able to defend freedom of action in space. Cis-lunar development will proceed with American values and the rule of law if the United States leads.

Space utilization has transformed the human condition, including how we communicate, navigate, produce food and energy, conduct banking, predict weather and perform disaster relief. While many of these gains are a result of private investment and commercial markets, they are only possible because the United States government took the lead and retired risk for these capabilities. Today, we are experiencing a space renaissance. The first launch of the Space Launch System is less than two years away. In 2021, we will use the Orion capsule to send astronauts beyond low Earth orbit for the first time since the 1970s. Commercial launch vehicles are maturing and commercial deep space habitats are currently in development. A renewed focus on utilizing the Moon can help further these advances and achievements. The choices we make now can forever make America the preeminent spacefaring nation.



Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Orbital Mechanics Coloring Book 2nd edition

Costs

The folks making the first edition went belly up. So the first edition is out of print. I want to do a second edition. The makers of the first edition would print it in batches of around 50 (I believe) and cost of printing was $6.00/book. Suggested Retail Price was $10.00.

Checking my Amazon author's page over the years I believe around 2000 coloring books were sold. When you get into quantities in the thousands, set up costs of traditional printing are amortized over more units and traditional lithographic printing is cheaper.

I recently asked for quotes:


Given the small cost difference between 56 and 64 pages, I've decided to go for 64 pages.

The first edition was 40 pages. Given the new book has 24 more pages and the cost is a lot less, I believe it's a good gamble I can sell 4000 2nd edition coloring books.

I'm thinking of an Suggested Retail Price of $4.99 and to retailers I would charge $2.99.

Sadly the past decade or two hasn't been kind to the newspaper industry. Our weekly newspaper is still hanging on but my sister and business partner likes to say we're in the buggy whip business. I am thinking of attempting a Kick Starter to fund the printing.

New in the second edition

Given 24 more pages I can add a lot of extra stuff. I've kept most of the original 40 pages and added:

Page 18


In the section on Kepler's 2nd Law I've added a visualization that helps show r X v is twice the area swept out over a given time period. That specific angular momentum is twice the area of the ellipse per orbital period.

Page 22


Page 22 attempts to portray my visualization that helps me remember centrifugal acceleration is ω2r.

Pages 28 and 29



Attempts to explain radians and to show circular motion is ωr where ω is angular velocity in radians.

Pages 30 to 35

Are devoted to orbital vertical tethers. I am going to try to start calling these Sarmount tethers as I have recently learned Eagle Sarmount proposed these in the 1990s.

Perhaps science fiction device but I like them any way. The geometry and math associated with these is pleasing, in my opinion. Here are two pages from this section:


Pages 49 - 51

Are about the Oberth Benefit and EML2


Pages 51 - 52

Are about the rocket equation and mass fractions.


Page 64

Will be resources that have helped me. Books, websites, forums. Atomic Rockets, NasaSpaceflightForums, Space Stack Exchange, Tough SF and others. I am adding to this list as more occur to me.

Pages 53 to 63

Still to be made. Any suggestions?

Front and back cover


Front and back cover will be a couple of my more playful drawings. Text for delta V map to be added in. Also Suggested Retail Price, ISBN number and barcode. The section on Dandelin Spheres remains in the coloring book and the front cover will one of the Dandelin drawings colored in.

The earlier book was labeled a workbook. The printers of the first edition told me this was because ISBN numbers for workbooks are free. However I want this book to be playful as well as informative. In my opinion something categorized as a coloring book is more marketable than a workbook.

Inside front cover

Will be my favorite equations. The Vis Viva Equation will be at the top. I've been thinking of making a reference sheet to pin to the wall next to my computer. This would serve.

Here is the coloring book as of early March (4.8 MB pdf, not too big). Reviews would be appreciated. Steven Pietroban invested a fair amount of time looking over the first edition and found many small errors and a few substantial errors. Given my tendency to make misteaks, I'm sure there are errors hiding in my more recent effort. A heads up would be much appreciated if you see something wrong.

My email is hopd at cunews dot info.