Author Topic: Resource Prospector  (Read 42958 times)

Offline a_langwich

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Re: Resource Prospector
« Reply #20 on: 08/13/2015 12:02 AM »
This is not a real mission. It's a fuzzy, ill-defined, make work project. NASA sorta penciled it in years ago and said that they would pay for the rocket and the instruments, but another partner would have to pay for the lander and rover. Nobody really stepped up to do that, and NASA did not try too hard, and so it's been in stasis forever.

My suspicion is that this is primarily a budget thing. HEOMD has people that do not have specific project assignments, but it still has to pay their salaries, so they assign them to this and call it a project. But there's no money for procurement or hiring contractors or doing anything like that.

You should see the way this is treated at the annual Lunar Exploration Analysis Group meetings--the lunar scientists there don't take it seriously.

Given the disdain some scientists have for engineering projects, I would not be surprised.  (See, for example, the dismay and disdain mentioned on various websites for the ISRU project included on the Mars 2020 rover.)  Maybe part of the tension is like that between archeologists and builders.

How is Lunar Prospector ill-defined?

The back-burner status is probably related to the current desire to maximize exploration relevance to Mars and minimize previous exploration plans to stop off at the moon's surface.

As far as landers go, you would think NASA or JPL would consider an unmanned lunar lander to be laughably easy in comparison to Mars landers or outer planet orbiters, in terms of generous mass budget, lower deltaVs, short transit times, strong communication signals, and strong availability of solar power.

Offline savuporo

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Re: Resource Prospector
« Reply #21 on: 08/13/2015 03:18 AM »
yeah that's what I was pointing at above too. it's in perpetual "SRR this fiscal year" mode without ever having a shot of getting to any serious non-advocate review phase.

However, work is being put in, and give it a decade or two and a serious mission proposal for SMD might materialize out of this
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Offline a_langwich

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Re: Resource Prospector
« Reply #22 on: 08/13/2015 05:54 AM »
yeah that's what I was pointing at above too. it's in perpetual "SRR this fiscal year" mode without ever having a shot of getting to any serious non-advocate review phase.

However, work is being put in, and give it a decade or two and a serious mission proposal for SMD might materialize out of this

Hopefully not for SMD, but through HEOMD.  It's an exploration mission, not a science mission.  Perhaps that's another reason it doesn't get any love.

Offline Warren Platts

Re: Resource Prospector
« Reply #23 on: 08/13/2015 10:17 AM »
This is not a real mission.


In your opinion...

My suspicion is that this is primarily a budget thing. HEOMD has people that do not have specific project assignments, but it still has to pay their salaries, so they assign them to this and call it a project.

Citation needed.

You should see the way this is treated at the annual Lunar Exploration Analysis Group meetings--the lunar scientists there don't take it seriously.

Fortunately, LEAG does not have a monopoly on Lunar science within the USA nor anywhere else. It is but one faction among many.

"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

Offline savuporo

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Re: Resource Prospector
« Reply #24 on: 08/13/2015 02:29 PM »
This is not a real mission.


In your opinion...

Objectively, real missions pass a series of formal reviews, starting with SRR, let their major construction contracts and lock in their launch vehicle slots.
RP is 'scheduled' for 2020 just as the next Mars rover is, so it should be clearing these milestones almost in a lockstep - and as any observer can confirm, this is not happening.
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Offline Blackstar

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Re: Resource Prospector
« Reply #25 on: 08/13/2015 06:55 PM »
Given the disdain some scientists have for engineering projects, I would not be surprised.

You misunderstand--they don't think it is a real mission. If they thought it was a real mission they would hop on board and propose some of their own instruments for it. And lunar scientists are interested in the lunar volatiles. They'd love to get their instruments into that stuff. When NASA decided to do LRO the scientists jumped onboard. They'll hitch their wagon to any horse that comes along.

It's just that this thing has been bopping around forever in programmatic purgatory. You'd have a hard time finding information on it because they never really publish anything and they don't issue regular reports. But for awhile they apparently had the Canadians onboard to develop a rover and then that fell apart. So now what they have is a lunar mission with a theoretical rocket purchase sometime in the future, no lander or rover, and a poorly-funded instrument development program. It's not real.

Offline Robert Thompson

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Re: Resource Prospector
« Reply #26 on: 08/14/2015 06:40 AM »
Status of RESOLVE?

Offline Warren Platts

Re: Resource Prospector
« Reply #27 on: 08/14/2015 01:07 PM »
This month they'll be doing a full 3 day, real-time simulation of the mission, where guys at KSC are controlling a prototype rover and RESOLVE package at JSC:

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Multi_Use_Firing_Room_4_used_for_Resource_Prospector_Mission_Simulation_999.html

As for the rover, I heard the plan is they're going to do it "in-house", probably by JSC--that's where the ISRU guys are based. Ames (Colaprete is the PI) is doing the science--and if Tony Colaprete is not a bona fide lunar scientist, then nobody is....

As for the lander, if MoonEx can get their act together, they will probably get the contract.

As for rockets, there are lots of options--doesn't have to be SpaceX. It's probably small enough it could be launched as a secondary payload. (Yes, I know that primary payload operators tend to get concerned about secondary payloads containing lots of rocket fuel...)

As for LEAG, I don't understand their gripe, as it doesn't make any sense. The entire mission was designed with LEAG recommendations in mind. Sounds like sour grapes to me. No doubt many LEAG "lunar scientists" have already informally proposed their own instruments, but they have not been allowed onboard. However, if they can't get their pet instruments on board, that's mainly because it'll be a shoestring mission at best--this is no billion dollar MSL-sized project--and there simply isn't room. I myself think they should incorporate an XRF detector that could quantify heavy metal deposits, but it ain't gonna happen. Should I think that it's not a "real mission" because of that? I don't think so. Just because a mission isn't costing a billion bucks and is not being built on an accelerated schedule, that does not logically entail that it is not a "real mission". We shouldn't let the best be the enemy of the better.

As for updates, here's a recent presentation by Dr. Colaprete himself:



Actually, since the KSC involvement is coming out of the Swamp Works, I think Jim, the Night Gator, would know about as much as anyone about what's going on. Perhaps, if he sees this, he could share some knowledge.
« Last Edit: 08/14/2015 01:18 PM by Warren Platts »
"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

Offline turbopumpfeedback2

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Re: Resource Prospector
« Reply #28 on: 09/15/2015 06:44 PM »
Well, I am personally very much excited about the RESOLVE  mission.

I have two sort of intuitive reasons to expect that it will be done on schedule.

The first reason is that A. Colaprete is on the team. I am quite impressed with the guy, he does not seem like a person that would waste time on nonsense. I mean, he made a first conclusive evidence of significant amount of water on the moon with a (cheap) 80m mission. 

Second. If there is a significant amount of usable water on the poles this may be quite significant. Just think: reusable lunar lander powered by the fuel from the moon.

This link hasn't been posted on this thread
www.airspacemag.com/daily-planet/prospecting-moons-poles-180952182/?no-istwww.

The most important thing that I find in this article is that it claims that money for the project has been secured. Claims launch date is in 2019.

« Last Edit: 09/15/2015 06:55 PM by turbopumpfeedback2 »

Offline savuporo

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Re: Resource Prospector
« Reply #29 on: 09/15/2015 06:57 PM »
The most important thing that I find in this article is that it claims that money for the project has been secured. Claims launch date is in 2019.
Both of these claims are outdated and wrong ( the article is over a year old, too )
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Offline turbopumpfeedback2

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Re: Resource Prospector
« Reply #30 on: 09/15/2015 07:21 PM »
The most important thing that I find in this article is that it claims that money for the project has been secured. Claims launch date is in 2019.
Both of these claims are outdated and wrong ( the article is over a year old, too )

OK, I am a bit new in following a mission development in detail. What in your opinion would be the critical milestone to be passed so that mission looks certain (in a sense of allocation of budget, nasa design reviews etc)?
« Last Edit: 09/15/2015 07:22 PM by turbopumpfeedback2 »

Offline savuporo

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Re: Resource Prospector
« Reply #31 on: 09/15/2015 07:30 PM »
The most important thing that I find in this article is that it claims that money for the project has been secured. Claims launch date is in 2019.
Both of these claims are outdated and wrong ( the article is over a year old, too )

OK, I am a bit new in following a mission development in detail. What in your opinion would be the critical milestone to be passed so that mission looks certain (in a sense of allocation of budget, nasa design reviews etc)?

If you read up in this thread, you'll find that the team goal for this year is to pass a System Requirements Review, which would officially move the project into Phase B of development.
However, this has been the goal for last couple of years now, and last time i heard, Colaprete said something about 'politics' being the blocker in an open forum.
« Last Edit: 09/15/2015 07:31 PM by savuporo »
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Offline turbopumpfeedback2

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Re: Resource Prospector
« Reply #32 on: 09/15/2015 08:21 PM »
... Colaprete said something about 'politics' being the blocker in an open forum.

Oh no, this sounds really bad ... It really may be a long time before we see this mission fly.

Is there a video of this forum on youtube?
« Last Edit: 09/15/2015 08:51 PM by turbopumpfeedback2 »

Offline ThereIWas3

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Re: Resource Prospector
« Reply #33 on: 09/21/2015 02:38 PM »
Another article of, I think, the same thing.  With pictures.  They talk about partnering with JAXA for the lander.   SpaceX F9 is mentioned as a possible launcher.

NASA Tests Lunar Rover Prototype with Eye Toward Flying Real Thing

Since NASA isn't doing anything real towards going to Mars, if they supported projects like this at least they would be seen to be doing something involving exploration toward that end.   And it's relatively cheap.
« Last Edit: 09/21/2015 08:30 PM by ThereIWas3 »
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Offline Blackstar

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Re: Resource Prospector
« Reply #34 on: 10/05/2015 08:45 PM »
Anybody interested in finding out more about this program should attend this meeting:

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Resource Prospector
« Reply #35 on: 10/09/2015 05:12 PM »
The agenda for the LEAG meeting is up. Lots of different things going on, including discussions of ISRU.

http://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/leag2015/pdf/program.pdf


Offline Blackstar

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Re: Resource Prospector
« Reply #36 on: 10/21/2015 06:31 PM »
Lots of interesting discussions at LEAG about this proposed mission. I assume that you guys have all been monitoring them.

Offline savuporo

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Re: Resource Prospector
« Reply #37 on: 10/21/2015 07:00 PM »
Lots of interesting discussions at LEAG about this proposed mission. I assume that you guys have all been monitoring them.
No we havent, some coverage would be awesome ;)
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Offline Warren Platts

Re: Resource Prospector
« Reply #38 on: 10/21/2015 07:27 PM »
Lots of interesting discussions at LEAG about this proposed mission. I assume that you guys have all been monitoring them.

At every lunar conference, there are lots of interesting discussions about this proposed mission. The question is, is there any new information indicating that it's really going to happen?
"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

Offline turbopumpfeedback2

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Re: Resource Prospector
« Reply #39 on: 11/17/2015 08:00 PM »
Presentation by Colaprete in LEAG meeting:

http://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/leag2015/presentations/Wednesday/Colaprete_RP_Goals_Measurements.pdf

Interestingly, he mentions the usage of lunar water to produce fuel on the surface of the moon and then send it using reusable lander to Lunar orbit/Lagrangian points to help mission to the Mars, slides 4 and 6.
« Last Edit: 11/17/2015 08:35 PM by turbopumpfeedback2 »

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