Author Topic: Resource Prospector  (Read 43445 times)

Offline Don2

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Re: Resource Prospector
« Reply #80 on: 10/13/2017 12:37 AM »
I argued in favor of something like Resource Prospector on another thread. With increasing NASA interest in the moon something like it seems long overdue.

One of the main goals should be to discover a potential base site and a site for a future manned landing. A base site needs near continuous sunlight and accessible ice nearby. It also needs continuous direct to earth communications and a safe landing area.

The manned program should pay the price because lunar water is not a top science priority but it is a vital topic for any manned lunar base. Lunar ice deposits would also make a good target for a future manned landing. If astronauts return to the moon, I don't think they will be able to get away with just repeating what was done 50 years ago. Digging up some lunar ice and returning it to earth would make the mission different from and better than the Apollo missions. It would be prospecting a potentially valuable resource.

While NASA is spending lots of money on SLS and Orion, they lack a really good reason to return to the lunar surface. The discovery of an easily accessible lunar ice deposit could provide a reason to go. There is already data from orbiters pointing to the presence of water in the polar regions, but you need an exact location and depth for the ice before you can plan a manned landing or a base for ISRU.


Online savuporo

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Re: Resource Prospector
« Reply #81 on: 10/13/2017 12:51 AM »
Just being able to land at the poles, keep a probe in communications and powered long enough would be a significant advancement in state of the art in engineering, its almost worth doing just for that.
Also i sincerely hope they will end up getting enough budget to build a long-lived one, as supposed to one-sortie high risk trip to crater and then done, which seemed to be the POR as of last checkin.
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Online sanman

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Re: Resource Prospector
« Reply #82 on: 10/13/2017 03:32 AM »
Is there any prospect for some private entity to license the technology for Resource Prospector - like the way Bigelow licensed Transhab - to then further develop and build it under a CCDev-like contract?

Offline AegeanBlue

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Re: Resource Prospector
« Reply #83 on: 10/13/2017 09:32 PM »
Is there any prospect for some private entity to license the technology for Resource Prospector - like the way Bigelow licensed Transhab - to then further develop and build it under a CCDev-like contract?

I am pretty sure that it is, but it looks highly improbable to me. If you look back at the Google lecture the PI has said that he has found interest in the space mining community, but who is really willing to pay $200 million to get this to launch? Also, if NASA is willing to pony up this kind of money, they might just approve the new start as opposed to using a convoluted method. Bigelow was willing to invest something like $100-$150 million of his own money because of the Space Hotel angle, before CCDev appeared in the horizon. The most you can hope IMO is something like Dawn, where Orbital was willing to give up its profit in the cost plus contract because they wanted experience with an ion motor spacecraft, something lucrative today with geostationary satellites. Orbital never offered to take any cost, only to give up its profit.

Offline Don2

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Re: Resource Prospector
« Reply #84 on: 10/15/2017 08:09 PM »
Is there any prospect for some private entity to license the technology for Resource Prospector - like the way Bigelow licensed Transhab - to then further develop and build it under a CCDev-like contract?

The payload for Resource Prospector are fairly generic space science instruments, so I don't think there would be a lot to license. Also I don't see the point of going commercial. The customer for the data is the government, and the private sector has no experience building planetary rovers.

Offline AegeanBlue

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Re: Resource Prospector
« Reply #85 on: 10/16/2017 09:53 PM »
Cross posted from the Space Science thread. SpaceNews' article about LEAG has a couple of paragraphs about RP. The mission is approaching PDR. My understanding is approval of PDR means an official new start, and an official start is a political decision.

http://spacenews.com/nasa-studying-potential-cooperation-on-russian-lunar-science-missions/


Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Resource Prospector
« Reply #86 on: 10/17/2017 12:13 AM »
Looking to user commercial lander for RP if funded. They've been working on rover and its payload for few years now with their limited budget. Lander was always problem as a NASA one would need significant funding. That was why there were trying to get international partners to provide it. An offshelf commercial lander should be lot more affordable and more importantly know fixed price combined with launch.

Online savuporo

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Re: Resource Prospector
« Reply #87 on: 10/17/2017 03:32 AM »
..Lander was always problem as a NASA one would need significant funding.

So will "commercial"
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Offline AegeanBlue

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Re: Resource Prospector
« Reply #88 on: 10/18/2017 08:35 PM »
Quote

He suggested that Blue Moon could be used initially to fly Resource Prospector, a NASA rover mission weighing a few hundred kilograms under development for launch in the early 2020s. NASA had initially been looking at international partners for landing the rover, but more recently project officials said a public-private partnership would be a more likely way to get to the moon.


From http://spacenews.com/companies-seek-roles-in-nasas-return-to-the-moon/
« Last Edit: 10/18/2017 08:36 PM by AegeanBlue »

Offline AegeanBlue

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Re: Resource Prospector
« Reply #89 on: 10/25/2017 04:52 PM »
The findings of the October 2017 LEAG meeting are up (will the presentations go up some day?) and slide 8 is about Resource Prospector

https://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/leag2017/Meeting-Findings.pdf

In case the png is not up, it is a strong recommendation to go forward. Is that enough to push the mission to phase B? There does seem to a real plan now: Blue Origin has offered to use its lander to send Resource Prospector to the moon's surface and RP is experimental enough to not be deemed too critical to avoid this option. Still, just because a plausible path is visible it does not mean that it will be followed. In the end RP right now is where the ATHENA rover is compared to Spirit/Opportunity, lots of work needs to be done before we have flight hardware.

Offline Warren Platts

Re: Resource Prospector
« Reply #90 on: 10/27/2017 12:25 AM »
The payload for Resource Prospector are fairly generic space science instruments

They're not even going to have an XRF on it. Lame if you ask me....
"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."--Leonardo Da Vinci

Online savuporo

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Re: Resource Prospector
« Reply #91 on: 10/27/2017 03:52 AM »
There does seem to a real plan now: Blue Origin has offered to use its lander to send Resource Prospector to the moon's surface...
Eh, how is that any more real than anything before ? BO is a company with a couple suborbital test flights under it's belt. A far cry from launching and landing anything on the Moon.
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Offline AegeanBlue

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Re: Resource Prospector
« Reply #92 on: 10/27/2017 05:22 PM »
There does seem to a real plan now: Blue Origin has offered to use its lander to send Resource Prospector to the moon's surface...
Eh, how is that any more real than anything before ? BO is a company with a couple suborbital test flights under it's belt. A far cry from launching and landing anything on the Moon.

It's more realistic in that before they just prayed that a foreign partner will develop a lander, as opposed to now where BO intends to develop the lander, eventually. I agree, Blue Origin is nowhere near actually having the lander, but it still is better than the earlier plan of waiting for a foreign white knight

Offline Phil Stooke

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Re: Resource Prospector
« Reply #93 on: 10/29/2017 04:32 PM »
"they just prayed that a foreign partner will develop a lander"

It's called negotiating with partners.

Offline AegeanBlue

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Re: Resource Prospector
« Reply #94 on: 11/03/2017 09:33 PM »
LEAG October 2017 presentations are up, including one of the two about Resource Prospector:

https://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/leag2017/presentations/tuesday/colaprete.pdf

Offline AegeanBlue

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Re: Resource Prospector
« Reply #95 on: 11/03/2017 10:19 PM »
So, my understanding is that they did a bit more testing on the RP-15 testbed on earth and did more complicated mission planning, 4 traverses in the Northern and Southern polar region. They are moving towards phase B, sometime in the spring from what I understand.

Offline DreamyPickle

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Re: Resource Prospector
« Reply #96 on: 11/04/2017 12:32 AM »
I know that "perfect is the enemy of the good" and all that but wouldn't this mission be vastly more effective with an RTG for power and heat? Right now they are only designing for only a few days of surface operations until the first night. Using an RTG would allow them to operate for a much longer period and go deep inside the permanently shadowed regions (which are also the most interesting).

Long-term operation at low temperatures would be difficult but it maybe it could be tested on the ground in a thermal chamber?

Offline AegeanBlue

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Re: Resource Prospector
« Reply #97 on: 11/04/2017 01:38 AM »
Resource Prospector is first and foremost a mission on the cheap. If you read higher up this thread it seriously lacks redundancy to the point we might see a failure of the Mars Polar Lander/ Mars Climate Orbiter magnitude. Adding RTGs is very expensive, both in terms of complexity to the mission and in actual cost itself; see for example how Europa Clipper is going for solar rather than RTG. A high risk low cost mission like Resource Prospector really does not have that ability.

Offline AegeanBlue

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Re: Resource Prospector
« Reply #98 on: 11/10/2017 09:29 PM »

Offline AegeanBlue

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Re: Resource Prospector
« Reply #99 on: 11/10/2017 09:45 PM »
Surprisingly (for me) there was a third presentation, on the drill of Resource Prospector

https://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/leag2017/presentations/wednesday/zacny2.pdf

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