Project Artemis
May 15, 2019 12:34 AM   Subscribe

NASA's initiative to put a woman on the Moon is named Artemis, after Apollo's twin sister

-NASA aims for quick start to 2024 Moon landing via newly named Artemis Program
-In one giant leap for women, NASA will land a woman on the moon by 2024
-For Artemis Mission to Moon, NASA Seeks to Add Billions to Budget
-Jeff Bezos announces Blue Origin mission to land on moon
-What's Next for the Global Space Race
-The new space race

also btw...
  • Apollo rocks showed how the moon was made, and now they're about to solve more mysteries - "About 4.5 billion years ago, the theory goes, a long-gone giant planet called Theia, named for the mother of the Greek moon goddess, smashed into the newly formed Earth. The impact shattered both Theia and the proto-Earth and splashed millions of tons of material into space. Some of the rock coalesced in orbit around the Earth, and our satellite was born. The heaviest bits sank to the moon's center, while the light minerals floated to the top of the worldwide magma ocean and crystallized, forming the thin anorthosite crust. The rocks and dust retrieved by Armstrong and Scott are relics of this long-ago tumult."
  • Black, Hot Ice May Be Nature's Most Common Form of Water - "The discovery of superionic ice potentially solves the puzzle of what giant icy planets like Uranus and Neptune are made of. They're now thought to have gaseous, mixed-chemical outer shells, a liquid layer of ionized water below that, a solid layer of superionic ice comprising the bulk of their interiors, and rocky centers... Unlike the familiar ice found in your freezer or at the north pole, superionic ice is black and hot. A cube of it would weigh four times as much as a normal one. It was first theoretically predicted more than 30 years ago, and although it has never been seen until now, scientists think it might be among the most abundant forms of water in the universe."
  • Why Water Is Weird - "In their study published last [year], Hajime Tanaka, John Russo, and Kenji Akahane—all researchers in the Department of Fundamental Engineering at the University of Tokyo, in Japan—tried to tease apart what makes water unique among liquids. It's got anomalous properties, like expanding when cooled below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, which explains why lakes freeze downward, from top to bottom, rather than up. Normally frozen solids are more dense than their liquid equivalents, which would mean that frozen chunks would fall to the bottom of a lake instead of staying on top. Water also becomes less viscous compared to other liquids when compressed, and has an uncanny level of surface tension, allowing beings light enough, like insects, to walk or stand atop it. Since it's these distinctive features among others that power our climate and ecosystems, water can appear to be 'fine-tuned' for life."
posted by kliuless (35 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
the Artemis program will carry the next man and the first woman to the Moon

didn't the boys have their turn already?
posted by automatronic at 2:42 AM on May 15 [5 favorites]

Glad to hear it, but I'll skip watching the landing. I heard what happened to Actaeon.
posted by gusottertrout at 2:48 AM on May 15 [6 favorites]

There looking to fund it by raiding the Pell Grant fund. Seems more like another wedge issue than a serious attempt at a crewed space program.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 3:46 AM on May 15 [17 favorites]

I admit, I heard the name and was like, oh god, another moon-focused mission named Artemis.
posted by Eleven at 4:01 AM on May 15

Here are a few tweets to explain why I'm really concerned about the Moon 2024 program. As one DC source told me, "The human spaceflight enterprise is about to go over the cliff."
posted by zamboni at 4:13 AM on May 15 [7 favorites]

I only read the first two links and there was nothing about the science we are going to get for the $$$. Is a manned lunar landing in 2024 going to move the ball forward that much more than a manned lunar landing in 1969 did?

Sorry to look askance at the administration's sudden interest in modeling a brighter future for little girls. But their interest in starving the social safety net seems extremely sincere.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 4:19 AM on May 15 [2 favorites]

Why the Moon? Why not focus on Lagrange stations and skipping gravity wells completely?
posted by kokaku at 4:20 AM on May 15

Planetary Society: A Crash Program or Modest Proposal?
They and I independently estimated that it would require $4 to $5 billion per year for 5 years, or between $20 billion and $25 billion total, to get NASA astronauts to the lunar surface by 2024. Eric Berger at ArsTechnica reported that some internal estimates at NASA were upwards of $40 billion. This supplemental budget, assuming it represents the start of an annual commitment that grows at 1% per year (consistent with NASA's previous budget proposal), suggests that the White House is willing to add a mere $9 billion over 5 years to achieve this accelerated goal. That's not nothing, but a return to the Moon in 2024 it ain't.
posted by zamboni at 4:20 AM on May 15 [4 favorites]

Some plan to knock out Chinese satellites, I suppose?
posted by pompomtom at 5:02 AM on May 15

Artemis: the technology god. That's Neal Stephenson's argument anyhow (from Cryptonomicon).
posted by kalessin at 5:54 AM on May 15 [2 favorites]

Came for moon stuff, stayed for the black hot ice. Thanks for the links! In related news, it turns out the moon may be tectonically active.
posted by simra at 5:54 AM on May 15

Nobody is going to the Moon by 2024.
posted by bondcliff at 6:15 AM on May 15 [7 favorites]

Nobody is going to the Moon by 2024.

That's the Odysseus Project
posted by thelonius at 6:32 AM on May 15 [14 favorites]

I only read the first two links and there was nothing about the science we are going to get for the $$$. Is a manned lunar landing in 2024 going to move the ball forward that much more than a manned lunar landing in 1969 did?

No. But manned space flight is not primarily about science and never has been. Science is something you do during manned missions because there's nothing else useful while you're up there.
posted by mark k at 6:33 AM on May 15 [6 favorites]

I wonder if we'll ever be able to stick to a consistent manned spaceflight program for more than one Presidential administration again.
posted by ckape at 6:35 AM on May 15 [3 favorites]

So they're saying they'll be landing another person on the moon in five years? Pull the other one, it's got bells on it.
posted by Gilgamesh's Chauffeur at 6:40 AM on May 15 [1 favorite]

Yeah, no. The old lunar lander went seven years from awarding of contract to Grumman to landing on the Moon, and that was with essentially unlimited resources and the full might of the nation. That design and production schedule was already overloaded, already late, and this time we could shave two years off of that pace? Nevermind the laughably low budget, you simply cannot get these machines designed, built, tested, and trained upon in less time than it took the original project.

If this was a serious idea, I'd be all for it.
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:45 AM on May 15 [3 favorites]

We’d be doing pretty well to get back to launching our own guys into low-earth orbit by 2024.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 6:53 AM on May 15 [3 favorites]

Just FYI NASA uses the term "crewed" rather than "manned" now.
posted by bondcliff at 7:21 AM on May 15 [10 favorites]

Humans have spent a total of 58 hours and 31 minutes on the lunar surface, and those were with now-50 year old technology. Clearly, there's a lot of work to be done there, not only to answer origin questions but also to search for potentially useful resources.

Sadly, though, this project is a political football that comes complete with a poison pill: raiding the Pell Grant reserve fund and putting it into NASA's budget for the proposed project. That's not going to go over well with Democrats, and the administration knows it. That in mind, it does not seem that the Administration is serious about actually flying Artemis missions.
posted by wolpfack at 7:28 AM on May 15 [3 favorites]

You have made a common mistake, bondcliff — in recognition of their shoestring budget, NASA now talks of operating crude vehicles.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:29 AM on May 15 [5 favorites]

Trump ruins everything, including something I'd normally be pleased about.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:32 AM on May 15 [6 favorites]

posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:51 AM on May 15

Just tell congress there's oil up there. Boom, problem solved.
posted by dephlogisticated at 7:52 AM on May 15 [1 favorite]

Just tell congress there's oil up there. Boom, problem solved.

You joke, but there's probably lots of interesting meteorite remains on or near the Lunar surface, which might be worth more than oil in the long run. It's been theorised that we can survey the contents of the asteroid ring by finding the parts of it that have fallen on the moon, which would help determine the plausibility of mining asteroids in space. The goal would be rare-earth metals, which as the name suggests aren't that common on Earth, but are essential for modern technology and are so expensive that a few pure kilos would be a good reason to launch rockets. Mining in space is also way better for the environment that the Earth-bound equivalent, too.
posted by Eleven at 8:14 AM on May 15 [1 favorite]

The name is pretty silly and will likely stir up more controversy.

Getting this in five years is totally possible, but you need a boat load of movie backed up by several other boatloads.

I'm about as pro crewed spaceflight and heading back to the Moon as you'll find on MeFi, but this sees like a rush job for no strong purpose. Give it ten-20 years, where we're looking to do some mining, science and establish a small human presence.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:20 AM on May 15 [1 favorite]

Just tell congress there's oil up there. Boom, problem solved.

Yet somehow NASA never suggests missions to Titan.
posted by ckape at 8:47 AM on May 15 [1 favorite]

I mean, I guess these means they’ll finally have enough spacesuits for women?
posted by at 3:03 PM on May 15 [1 favorite]

This statement highlights a subtle (and bad!) policy change proposed in the #Moon2024 supplemental request, which would give the NASA Administrator free reign to raid funding from other NASA programs to support the lunar efforts.
posted by zamboni at 3:40 PM on May 15 [1 favorite]

I'm reminded of Warren Ellis' pastiche on the Fantastic Four in his Planetary series, in which Artemis was the top-secret, cruel, military variant predecessor of the Apollo missions, which were (in this universe) entirely for the cameras and PR.
posted by WCityMike at 4:02 PM on May 15 [1 favorite]

Thank you for the space round-up, kliuless.
posted by doctornemo at 4:38 PM on May 15

That's not going to go over well with Democrats, and the administration knows it.

from the NYT link fwiw: "Phil Larson, a former White House space adviser during the Obama administration, was skeptical that Congress would go along with any increase."
posted by kliuless at 6:09 PM on May 15

otoh! "China isn't the only challenger. Japan and Russia both intend to land people on the moon by around 2030, while India is likely weeks away from deploying its first lunar lander." :P
posted by kliuless at 6:12 PM on May 15

On the first definitive evidence for the crystal structure of the oxygen lattice in superionic water:
- The (pawalled) paper on Nature
- A (dated?) list of ice phases
- P. W. Bridgman (Wikipedia) and his article Water, in the Liquid and Five Solid Forms, under Pressure (Jstor copy of the 1911 article, in full)

- Bridgman's article Mercury, Liquid and Solid, under Pressure, also from 1911.
- Ice XVI Is the Strangest Form of Solid Water Yet (Vice, 2014)
- 'There is no such thing as polywater because if there were, there would also be an animal which didn't need to eat food. It would just drink water and excrete polywater' - Richard Feynman (previously, back in 2008, when there wasn't a limit on post title lengths ;) )
posted by filthy light thief at 8:40 PM on May 15 [1 favorite]

Just FYI NASA uses the term "crewed" rather than "manned" now.

Nice, and also nice because so many more puns are possible with crewed missions.
posted by rokusan at 2:46 AM on May 16

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