U.S. Moon-Base Project will be Nuclear run

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U.S. Moon-Base Project will be Nuclear run

Sounds like a good logical idea to me.
Whats the problem with that? Any hassles with the nuclear engines just push them into the sun.

 http://tpr.typepad.com/thep...

The first steps toward building a manned lunar base and eventually sending astronauts to Mars quietly unfolded in recent days, as NASA issued a call to industry and academia for proposals on how to best proceed with those projects.

Although President Bush in January revealed his preliminary intentions to jump-start future U.S. space missions, The Peacock Report (TPR) this week obtained planning documents revealing the possibility of constructing nuclear power plants on the moon, where “both human and robotic agents” would operate technology production facilities.

NASA has begun searching for a contractor to first devise a Lunar Base Report, which would provide specifications and graphic renderings of a conceptual lunar base.

The creation of what are known as “In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) production facilities,” which would extract mineral and other resources from the moon and Mars to produce materials, also will be addressed via the report. Additionally, it would evaluate the potential role of private, commercial ventures in outer space.

Without fanfare, NASA on Wednesday called for concept papers that would tackle separate but intertwined initiatives aimed at constructing a lunar base as well as landing video-enabled payloads on the moon. NASA wants to hire a contractor to conduct a “External Study” on the ability of industry to carry out the manned race-back-to-space, which hypothetically would begin with what is called the Lunar Robotic Landing Challenge (LRLC).

The LRLC would involve private ventures competing to “launch a payload from the surface of the Earth and land it on the surface of the Moon. The payload must perform certain functions and ultimately transmit images back to Earth for proof of the Challenge accomplishment.”

NASA is calling for proposals from contractors to assess the viability of conducting the LRLC. The selected contractor would, in essence, review the capabilities of other contractors expressing interest in in the Challenge.

“One study is envisioned for award under this procurement action,” a NASA document says. “The study will collect industry perspectives on the LRLC and analyze that information. The results will include an assessment of the state of the industry and recommendations regarding the relevance of and implications on the LRLC. The results of this study will be made available to decision-makers.”

Segments of the proposal to carry out the study appear to contradict Bush’s statements on international involvement, as it raise questions about the role of other nations in the space program.

For instance, earlier this year the president said, “We'll invite other nations to share the challenges and opportunities of this new era of discovery. The vision I outline today is a journey, not a race. And I call on other nations to join us on this journey, in the spirit of cooperation and friendship.”

However, the planned LRLC study calls on the contractor to “address the implications of possible decisions in policy issues such as… the inclusion/exclusion of non-U.S. participants.”

The study therefore requires the contractor to “identify the pros and cons for possible decisions that may be taken” on issues such as “Participation of non-U.S. entities” and “U.S. vs. foreign launch sites.”

The separate issue of what are technically known as the Mars Scout Space Flight Missions reveals more detail on where the U.S.-global partner delineation may be found. NASA, the documents say, will hold the reins of the “Mars Scout Mission investigations launched by December 31, 2011, that involve complete spaceflight missions.”

The “Mars Scout Mission of Opportunity,“ on the other hand, involves “scientific investigations through participation in space missions sponsored by organizations other than the NASA Mars Exploration Program including missions sponsored by non-U.S. organizations.”

The cost cap specifically for the Mars Exploration Program is anticipated to be $475 million, in terms of fiscal year 2006 dollars (also known as “constant year dollars“).

That amount is equivalent to approximately $531 million “real year dollars.” The Mission of Opportunity cost cap is anticipated to be $35 million in FY 2006 dollars.
By netchicken: posted on 27-3-2006








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