Author Topic: New Frontiers 4  (Read 30032 times)

Online vjkane

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Re: New Frontiers 4
« Reply #20 on: 01/08/2016 11:55 AM »
Didn't studies for TiME indicate that you could get a relatively 'simple' boat craft to last comparatively a long time on the lakes of Titan, well at least in theory?
In theory, we could imagine merging the TiME proposal for a Titan lake lander with either the JET or LIFE multiflyby spacecraft.  Both were proposed for Discovery missions with a cost cap of $450M (PI costs) versus the $850M PI cost cap for the next New Frontiers mission.  If merged, there could be some shared costs, so the idea might fly.

A future Titan lake lander would require a relay craft because the lakes will not be visible from Earth by the time a mission could arrive now, which would increase costs.

However, we don't know whether or not NASA's review came to the same conclusion as to whether or not these Discovery missions could fit within the Discovery cost cap.  The Decadal Survey mission studies suggested costs much higher for similar concepts, too high to fit within the New Frontiers cost cap.  You may remember that the OSIRIS-REx mission was originally proposed (I seem to remember twice) as a Discovery mission, was rated excellent on science but too expensive on costs for Discovery, and found a home in the New Frontiers program.  A Titan/Enceladus mission may be in the same boat.

My observation is that NASA's managers apparently suspect that a credible Titan and/or Enceladus mission could be done in the New Frontiers cap (they have full details on those Discovery proposals including their independent cost assessments).  Also, an Io multiflyby spacecraft was deemed to be able to fit within the NF cap, and a Titan/Enceladus multiflyby orbiter would seem to be of similar complexity (although with higher mission operations costs because of the longer flight to Saturn, but this is outside the PI cost cap).

I suspect that either a Titan lander or a multiflyby spacecraft would fit within a NF mission.

My gut from following mission proposals for several decades is that combining a lake lander and a multiflyby mission in the same New Frontiers mission is too much.  Might be possible in theory if a foreign space agency contributed one or the other, but foreign contributions are capped.  In theory, a European team could propose, say, a Titan lake lander in the upcoming ESA M5 call, but I don't know how a New Frontiers team could write a proposal that would say that a big element may or may not be selected by ESA. 

So in my day dreams, I like to ponder a multiflyby spacecraft that would lake many years in Saturn orbit that could act as a data relay for subsequent Titan landers or balloons.  Few of my day dreams ever become reality.


Offline Star One

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Re: New Frontiers 4
« Reply #21 on: 01/08/2016 01:27 PM »

Didn't studies for TiME indicate that you could get a relatively 'simple' boat craft to last comparatively a long time on the lakes of Titan, well at least in theory?
In theory, we could imagine merging the TiME proposal for a Titan lake lander with either the JET or LIFE multiflyby spacecraft.  Both were proposed for Discovery missions with a cost cap of $450M (PI costs) versus the $850M PI cost cap for the next New Frontiers mission.  If merged, there could be some shared costs, so the idea might fly.

A future Titan lake lander would require a relay craft because the lakes will not be visible from Earth by the time a mission could arrive now, which would increase costs.

However, we don't know whether or not NASA's review came to the same conclusion as to whether or not these Discovery missions could fit within the Discovery cost cap.  The Decadal Survey mission studies suggested costs much higher for similar concepts, too high to fit within the New Frontiers cost cap.  You may remember that the OSIRIS-REx mission was originally proposed (I seem to remember twice) as a Discovery mission, was rated excellent on science but too expensive on costs for Discovery, and found a home in the New Frontiers program.  A Titan/Enceladus mission may be in the same boat.

My observation is that NASA's managers apparently suspect that a credible Titan and/or Enceladus mission could be done in the New Frontiers cap (they have full details on those Discovery proposals including their independent cost assessments).  Also, an Io multiflyby spacecraft was deemed to be able to fit within the NF cap, and a Titan/Enceladus multiflyby orbiter would seem to be of similar complexity (although with higher mission operations costs because of the longer flight to Saturn, but this is outside the PI cost cap).

I suspect that either a Titan lander or a multiflyby spacecraft would fit within a NF mission.

My gut from following mission proposals for several decades is that combining a lake lander and a multiflyby mission in the same New Frontiers mission is too much.  Might be possible in theory if a foreign space agency contributed one or the other, but foreign contributions are capped.  In theory, a European team could propose, say, a Titan lake lander in the upcoming ESA M5 call, but I don't know how a New Frontiers team could write a proposal that would say that a big element may or may not be selected by ESA. 

So in my day dreams, I like to ponder a multiflyby spacecraft that would lake many years in Saturn orbit that could act as a data relay for subsequent Titan landers or balloons.  Few of my day dreams ever become reality.

It sounds like a multiple flyby craft of both Titan & Enceladus is our best bet. It's so frustrating that we can't get a follow up lander mission to Titan. From what you're saying such a mission would end up in the flagship class.

Offline notsorandom

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Re: New Frontiers 4
« Reply #22 on: 01/08/2016 02:11 PM »
As far as the missions for the Saturn system, something like a dual-probe arrangement with a Saturn probe and a Titan balloon/lander could be interesting.  The Saturn probe would be short-term (yet legitimately valuable mission) while the Titan probe (in whatever form it could take) would be a long-term arrangement.  The only disadvantage with both is they'd need to communicate directly with Earth - difficult but not impossible.  I don't see the Saturn probe flying that whole distance by itself (as a mission), simply because the Saturnian system is too valuable to reduce to a mere hour-long expedition.
One of the constraints I remember from TiME proposal was data return rate and total data return because it had to communicate directly back with Earth. An atmosphere probe for Saturn would have to return all its data before it was destroyed. Depending on the amount of data a relay could be desirable or necessary. Also the Galileo atmospheric probe used the Galileo spacecraft as a relay. Some sort of cruise bus would be needed for the probe too. If some sort of cruise/relay spacecraft were needed then one could imagine that spacecraft being given an instrument suite and tasked with doing some additional science in the Saturn system. One would have to avoid mission creep and adding too much otherwise the budget would be blown out.

Offline baldusi

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Re: New Frontiers 4
« Reply #23 on: 01/08/2016 05:25 PM »
Well, you could separate the cruise bus as a relay and let it go into a fly by. The probe would only have to transmit to the bus and then it could keep transmitting and re transmitting at leisure.

Offline Star One

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New Frontiers 4
« Reply #24 on: 01/08/2016 07:28 PM »
And here we have the first article on this.

http://spacenews.com/nasa-expands-frontiers-of-next-new-frontiers-competition/

Could this end up on a SLS if the Titan/Enceladus mission is the one picked as launch costs are outside of the budget cap?
« Last Edit: 01/08/2016 07:37 PM by Star One »

Offline as58

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Re: New Frontiers 4
« Reply #25 on: 01/08/2016 08:52 PM »
Could this end up on a SLS if the Titan/Enceladus mission is the one picked as launch costs are outside of the budget cap?

The announcement in the first post in this thread tells:

Quote
Launch Vehicle costs and procurement will be the responsibility of
NASA.  A standard launch performance capability will be defined and
provided as GFE and its cost will not be included in the PMMC.  The
cost of mission specific and special launch services, such as for
higher performance launch vehicles or the use of nuclear materials,
are the responsibility of the PI and must be included within the PMMC.
Details of these costs are still under discussion.

It's hard to imagine that SLS would qualify as "standard launch performance capability" but who knows, I wasn't expecting any late additions to the list of eligible missions in the first place.

Offline spacetraveler

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Re: New Frontiers 4
« Reply #26 on: 01/08/2016 09:15 PM »
What would be the scientific benefit of lunar sample return over the moon rocks we already have?

Offline NovaSilisko

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Re: New Frontiers 4
« Reply #27 on: 01/08/2016 09:27 PM »
What would be the scientific benefit of lunar sample return over the moon rocks we already have?

They would be the first ever samples from the far side.* The basin is also the lowest point on the moon's surface, and gives access to some very ancient crust material (I believe?)

*unless China pulls a fast one
« Last Edit: 01/08/2016 09:31 PM by NovaSilisko »

Offline as58

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Re: New Frontiers 4
« Reply #28 on: 01/08/2016 09:37 PM »
What would be the scientific benefit of lunar sample return over the moon rocks we already have?

The answer to this and many other questions regarding the choice of candidate missions can of course be found in the decadal survey report, which is available at http://www.nap.edu/read/13117/

A short excerpt:

Quote
South Pole-Aitken Basin Sample Return

The exploration and sample return from the Moon’s South Pole-Aitken Basin are among the highest-priority activities for solar system science. The mission’s high priority stems from its role in addressing multiple objectives outlined in this report, including understanding the interior of the Moon and the impact history of the solar system. Although recent remote sensing missions provide much valuable new data from orbit about the diversity of materials and the geophysical context of this important basin, achieving the highest-priority science objectives requires precision of age measurements to better than ±20 million years and accuracy of trace elemental compositions to the parts-per-billion level, which is only achievable through sample return. The principal scientific reasons for undertaking a South Pole-Aitken Basin Sample Return mission are as follows:

• Determine the chronology of basin-forming impacts and constrain the period of late heavy bombardment in the inner solar system and thus address fundamental questions of inner solar system impact processes and chronology;

• Elucidate the nature of the Moon’s lower crust and mantle by direct measurements of its composition and of sample ages;

• Characterize a large lunar impact basin through “ground truth” validation of global, regional, and local remotely sensed data of the sampled site;

• Elucidate the sources of thorium and other heat-producing elements in order to understand lunar differentiation and thermal evolution; and

• Determine ages and compositions of farside basalts to determine how mantle source regions on the far side of the Moon differ from regions sampled by Apollo and Luna.

Landing on the Moon, collecting appropriate samples, and returning them to Earth requires a New Frontiers-class mission, which has been demonstrated through the 2003 decadal survey and the New Frontiers proposal process. The committee places very high priority on the return of at least 1 kg of rock fragments from the South Pole-Aitken Basin region, selected to maximize the likelihood of achieving the above objectives. Such a mission is significantly enabled by recent orbital missions that have provided high-resolution surface images, allowing a reduction in the risk associated with appropriate site selection and hazard avoidance. Current technology for in situ instrumentation is not adequate for obtaining the required isotopic, geochemical, and mineral-chemical analyses on the Moon; terrestrial laboratories and instrumentation can do the requisite analyses, but expertise in the sample analysis must be sustained through core NASA R&A programs. A robotic lunar sample return mission has extensive “feed-forward” to future sample return missions from other locations on the Moon as well as Mars and other bodies in the solar system.

Offline Star One

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Re: New Frontiers 4
« Reply #29 on: 01/08/2016 11:06 PM »

What would be the scientific benefit of lunar sample return over the moon rocks we already have?

They would be the first ever samples from the far side.* The basin is also the lowest point on the moon's surface, and gives access to some very ancient crust material (I believe?)

*unless China pulls a fast one

If China does achieve this first I wonder if this project might get sidelined.

Online Ben the Space Brit

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Re: New Frontiers 4
« Reply #30 on: 01/09/2016 03:12 PM »
Assuming that the mission is decided on fairly soon, what sort of time-frame are we looking for the probe to be constructed and be ready for launch, based on previous NH-class missions?
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Online vjkane

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Re: New Frontiers 4
« Reply #31 on: 01/10/2016 04:22 AM »
Assuming that the mission is decided on fairly soon, what sort of time-frame are we looking for the probe to be constructed and be ready for launch, based on previous NH-class missions?
2014 for a solar powered mission, 2025 for an MMRTG powered mission

Offline baldusi

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Re: New Frontiers 4
« Reply #32 on: 01/10/2016 09:14 AM »


2014 for a solar powered mission, 2025 for an MMRTG powered mission
The advances in solar power apparently have enabled time travel

Online vjkane

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Re: New Frontiers 4
« Reply #33 on: 01/10/2016 02:39 PM »
2014 for a solar powered mission, 2025 for an MMRTG powered mission
The advances in solar power apparently have enabled time travel
Yeah, a little known NASA breakthrough.  Next mission, ancient Mars to study those oceans.  :)

The time frame for the solicitation is intended to be:

Release of final AO...........................................January
2017 (target)
Preproposal conference...................................~3 weeks
after final AO release
Proposals due ...................................................~90
days after AO release
Selection for competitive Phase A studies....November 2017 (target)
Concept study reports due...............................October 2018 (target)
Down-selection .................................................May
2019 (target)
KDP B .................................................................August
2019 (target)
Launch readiness date ....................................2024

But later, the statement reads:

"...the usage of MMRTG(s)
requires delaying the LRD by at least one year to no earlier than 2025
to allow for mission-specific funding to support provision of MMRTGs."

Online Ben the Space Brit

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Re: New Frontiers 4
« Reply #34 on: 01/10/2016 03:36 PM »
Purely FWIW, an LRD of the mid-2020s would make a heavyweight or long-haul spacecraft a possible candidate for an SLS launch.
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Offline Star One

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Re: New Frontiers 4
« Reply #35 on: 01/10/2016 05:39 PM »

Purely FWIW, an LRD of the mid-2020s would make a heavyweight or long-haul spacecraft a possible candidate for an SLS launch.

I already suggested that up thread but the suggestion got rather shot down.

Offline redliox

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Re: New Frontiers 4
« Reply #36 on: 01/23/2016 09:33 PM »
While not part of this round of NF, in light of the fact it's the 30th Anniversary of Voyager's Uranus encounter I wanted to mention Uranus as a future target.  NF is probably the most likely slot for such a mission since Mars and Europa occupy the flagship niche, and Mars will probably tightly hold that area with MSR and eventually engineering tests for HSF.
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Offline Blackstar

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Re: New Frontiers 4
« Reply #37 on: 01/23/2016 10:31 PM »
While not part of this round of NF, in light of the fact it's the 30th Anniversary of Voyager's Uranus encounter I wanted to mention Uranus as a future target.  NF is probably the most likely slot for such a mission since Mars and Europa occupy the flagship niche, and Mars will probably tightly hold that area with MSR and eventually engineering tests for HSF.

No. You cannot do a meaningful, scientifically worthwhile ice giants mission on a New Frontiers budget. It has to be flagship-class.

Offline redliox

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Re: New Frontiers 4
« Reply #38 on: 01/23/2016 10:40 PM »
While not part of this round of NF, in light of the fact it's the 30th Anniversary of Voyager's Uranus encounter I wanted to mention Uranus as a future target.  NF is probably the most likely slot for such a mission since Mars and Europa occupy the flagship niche, and Mars will probably tightly hold that area with MSR and eventually engineering tests for HSF.

No. You cannot do a meaningful, scientifically worthwhile ice giants mission on a New Frontiers budget. It has to be flagship-class.

Another thought (although probably should put it in the Ice Giant thread) since you mention budget: partnership with ESA.  They have a good interest in Uranus too but lack a budget as well.  Given the success of Cassini/Huygens, perhaps collaborating with them would help constrain expenses while maximizing science.  How do you think that situation would affect budget specifically?
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Offline Blackstar

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Re: New Frontiers 4
« Reply #39 on: 01/23/2016 11:37 PM »
Another thought (although probably should put it in the Ice Giant thread) since you mention budget: partnership with ESA.  They have a good interest in Uranus too but lack a budget as well.  Given the success of Cassini/Huygens, perhaps collaborating with them would help constrain expenses while maximizing science.  How do you think that situation would affect budget specifically?

That is probably how it will happen. But it will still be a flagship-class mission.

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