Author Topic: Gerstenmaier expands on recently announced asteroid mission  (Read 113549 times)

Offline rcoppola

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Re: Gerstenmaier expands on recently announced asteroid mission
« Reply #20 on: 04/25/2013 10:24 PM »
You want to venture out and play with some rocks?

Ok, I've got two perfect candidates for you.

PHOBOS & DEIMOS

For God's sake, can we just get on with it...

Looking through the PDF, I see no reason at all why we need this side-show.
We do not need this mission to develop or test SEP, or DSH, or CLLS, or DSC, or EVAS...

And what in the name of all that is just do we care if we happen to spot old Saturn artifacts while looking for this magic rock? I mean, ok, cool, but really?

Every $hour spent on this, is time and money diverted, currently of which we are in short supply of.

Huh? I don't think I even understand your argument aside from it deviates from your master plan.

Great article btw, I think its a brilliant move to create an exciting mission while incorporating several aspects of NASA simultaneously.  Hopefully they can find a good candidate!
It's not an argument, it's an opinion. And it's not MY master plan, it's NASAs.
The stated goal is Mars. They outline quite clearly what is needed to achieve that goal. My very simple opinion, is that we do not need this mission to achieve that goal.

Furthermore, I do not think it is either brilliant or exciting. I think it's another distraction.
« Last Edit: 04/25/2013 10:26 PM by rcoppola »
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Offline rcoppola

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Re: Gerstenmaier expands on recently announced asteroid mission
« Reply #21 on: 04/25/2013 10:30 PM »
I might be interested in a spent booster stage from forty plus years ago in the harshness of space from a material science point of view...  :)
Don't get me wrong, I think that would be very interesting as well. And I'd love for some enterprising company to find one, send a robot and analyze it. I just rather NASA spend their finite resources on only those things that are mandatory to achieve Mars. And this is not it.
« Last Edit: 04/25/2013 10:32 PM by rcoppola »
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Offline PahTo

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Re: Gerstenmaier expands on recently announced asteroid mission
« Reply #22 on: 04/25/2013 10:36 PM »
Good article, but I have serious reservations about using the first manned flight of a new spacecraft, on the first manned flight of a new rocket, on the first manned flight to leave LEO in 40 years (50 by the time of the actual flight) to also go and hope to do useful science at an object we've never put people on. 

Matt

Congrats yg1968--nice detailed article.

Repsonding to the above, I suspect that given the uncertain status of funding for SLS now, and certainly in the future, an aggressive, innovative mission/schedule are required to garner support and interest now and then.
The low flight rate means the program may not get off the ground, or continue past a couple of missions (see all the discussion about advanced boosters and 1B variants etc etc).  Hence the aggressive schedule--this may be SLS's only shot at continuing past EM-2.

Offline Khadgars

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Re: Gerstenmaier expands on recently announced asteroid mission
« Reply #23 on: 04/25/2013 10:44 PM »
You want to venture out and play with some rocks?

Ok, I've got two perfect candidates for you.

PHOBOS & DEIMOS

For God's sake, can we just get on with it...

Looking through the PDF, I see no reason at all why we need this side-show.
We do not need this mission to develop or test SEP, or DSH, or CLLS, or DSC, or EVAS...

And what in the name of all that is just do we care if we happen to spot old Saturn artifacts while looking for this magic rock? I mean, ok, cool, but really?

Every $hour spent on this, is time and money diverted, currently of which we are in short supply of.

Huh? I don't think I even understand your argument aside from it deviates from your master plan.

Great article btw, I think its a brilliant move to create an exciting mission while incorporating several aspects of NASA simultaneously.  Hopefully they can find a good candidate!
It's not an argument, it's an opinion. And it's not MY master plan, it's NASAs.
The stated goal is Mars. They outline quite clearly what is needed to achieve that goal. My very simple opinion, is that we do not need this mission to achieve that goal.

Furthermore, I do not think it is either brilliant or exciting. I think it's another distraction.

Read the slide again, NASA seems to believe this approach directly relates to Mars.

"Asteroid Mission Capabilities Support Long-Term Mars Strategy"

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Gerstenmaier expands on recently announced asteroid mission
« Reply #24 on: 04/25/2013 10:47 PM »
I might be interested in a spent booster stage from forty plus years ago in the harshness of space from a material science point of view...  :)
Don't get me wrong, I think that would be very interesting as well. And I'd love for some enterprising company to find one, send a robot and analyze it. I just rather NASA spend their finite resources on only those things that are mandatory to achieve Mars. And this is not it.
You’ll get no argument from me...  ;)
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Offline Robert Thompson

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Re: Gerstenmaier expands on recently announced asteroid mission
« Reply #25 on: 04/26/2013 01:36 AM »
I hope they don't fit this architecture model for science. Let the science float. Let the science quality of the target be the dead last concern. Photo ops can be re-captioned to enhance or make crucial the science achievements. Prioritize making the rockets go, on time, as soon as the least acceptable target allows, and getting boots beyond LEO. Behind the scenes, behind the photo ops, robots can cover the actual science and sample return from many places no boots will live.

Offline QuantumG

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Re: Gerstenmaier expands on recently announced asteroid mission
« Reply #26 on: 04/26/2013 01:48 AM »
I just rather NASA spend their finite resources on only those things that are mandatory to achieve Mars. And this is not it.

This administration has made it clear that they think some sort of solar-electric propulsion is necessary to "achieve Mars". That's what the asteroid mission is about, apparently.
Jeff Bezos has billions to spend on rockets and can go at whatever pace he likes! Wow! What pace is he going at? Well... have you heard of Zeno's paradox?

Offline savuporo

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Re: Gerstenmaier expands on recently announced asteroid mission
« Reply #27 on: 04/26/2013 04:01 AM »
Good article, but I have serious reservations about using the first manned flight of a new spacecraft, on the first manned flight of a new rocket, on the first manned flight to leave LEO in 40 years (50 by the time of the actual flight) to also go and hope to do useful science at an object we've never put people on.
What could possibly go wrong ?
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Offline R7

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Re: Gerstenmaier expands on recently announced asteroid mission
« Reply #28 on: 04/26/2013 08:15 AM »
Good article, but I have serious reservations about using the first manned flight of a new spacecraft, on the first manned flight of a new rocket, on the first manned flight to leave LEO in 40 years (50 by the time of the actual flight) to also go and hope to do useful science at an object we've never put people on.

This is Apollo-8 with EVA to collect some rocks from an object that is already remotely analyzed, photographed, bagged and stabilized. Not a landing but rendezvous. Since it will be done over half century later than Apollo-8 shouldn't there be some confidence it's not as risky. The only really new thing is to swing a pick-axe at asteroid to collect a sample. Despite not doing manned BEO flights spacecrafts/EVAs have been gathering experience since the 60s so nothing else is as ground braking as everything was back then.

Quote
We're talking all kinds of conflicting mission requirements.  On a flight where the crew is going to have tons of engineering work to characterize the behaviour of the vehicle, how on earth are they also going to have the time to train and execute a brand new type of spacewalk under conditions very different from any space walk ever attempted.  I know our astronauts are great professionals, but expecting them to do all the new spacecraft characterizations, along with being EVA experts, as well as being experts in asteroid science just seems like we're asking too much. 

With crew of four you don't need everyone to be asteroid-geology-EVA-experts. Assign that to mission specialists while CDR/PLT concentrate on the vehicle.
AD·ASTRA·ASTRORVM·GRATIA

Offline MATTBLAK

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Re: Gerstenmaier expands on recently announced asteroid mission
« Reply #29 on: 04/26/2013 08:47 AM »
This mission is nothing less than budget-strangled mediocrity: not much better than the L-2 Station idea!! I simply don't see much enthusiasm for this mission from either the public, press or the Space blogosphere - and don't discount them as a factor of importance.

It wont be long before comedians and other wags are joking about Bruce Willis and 'Armageddon' etc. And its not really NASA's fault they aren't being given enough money to do what they SHOULD be doing - building a small Lunar Outpost and planning for landing people on Mars. A far better mission for them would be Astronauts exploring Phobos AND Deimos and rendezvous with Martian Sample Return Probes from all the Martian hemispheres. This would save tens of billions on developing crewed landing and ascent vehicles and would accomplish most of the science of an actual human landing.

But if wishes were fishes, we wouldn't need fishing rods...

And as for SEP: for Mars it would be far more useful to have a 100kw unit - I can't see a 40kw getting anything anywhere fast; not without chemical propulsion assistance.
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Offline KelvinZero

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Re: Gerstenmaier expands on recently announced asteroid mission
« Reply #30 on: 04/26/2013 09:20 AM »
A far better mission for them would be Astronauts exploring Phobos AND Deimos and rendezvous with Martian Sample Return Probes from all the Martian hemispheres.
...
But if wishes were fishes, we wouldn't need fishing rods...
...
And as for SEP: for Mars it would be far more useful to have a 100kw unit - I can't see a 40kw getting anything anywhere fast; not without chemical propulsion assistance.
I'd love to see a Phobos mission, but with that as our goal, something like this would still be the best first step.

In a way a phobos mission does not need much. I mean you have to be confident about the life support, you need to have a huge number of hours testing of all those million components, your EVA procedures, dealing with floating regolith etc. You don't test them on the way to phobos or parked at its door, you test them sitting somewhere much closer, cheaper and safer. If we had a huge budget for Phobos we would probably just do this earlier and follow with Phobos sooner.

The way I see it this mission costs very little that you dont have to do anyway. You need a shakedown run.  I think the shuttle is a good example of why it might be better to try with a 40kw SEP before progressing to something larger. besides we can do useful things with it, eg move modules or propellent up to L2. Even if it takes a couple of years, so what? That is about the Mars launch window so we have to have at least that much patience.

Offline go4mars

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Re: Gerstenmaier expands on recently announced asteroid mission
« Reply #31 on: 04/26/2013 01:20 PM »
Why not just test the propulsion system on an unmanned, relatively inexpensive program instead (if it's a "must have" for Mars)?
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Offline ChileVerde

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Re: Gerstenmaier expands on recently announced asteroid mission
« Reply #32 on: 04/26/2013 02:06 PM »

It's somewhat encouraging that Mr. Gerstenmaier mentioned options for DSHes.

Quote from yg's article:

Quote
Using Orion also has its advantages, given “it serves a rescue function, or a safe haven function, for the habitation module. It can take a three quarter inch hole on the other side of the Moon and still return four crew safely”, [Mr. Gerstenmaier said.]

The asteroid capturing mission itself will not need a habitation module, but later missions are likely to need one. The habitat itself could be derived from Orbital’s Cygnus spacecraft or Japan’s HTV, incorporating a next generation life support system which will also involve demonstrations on the ISS.

It will be worthwhile to keep an eye on ISS for signs of such work.
"I can’t tell you which asteroid, but there will be one in 2025," Bolden asserted.

Offline rcoppola

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Re: Gerstenmaier expands on recently announced asteroid mission
« Reply #33 on: 04/26/2013 02:15 PM »
Why not just test the propulsion system on an unmanned, relatively inexpensive program instead (if it's a "must have" for Mars)?
Exactly. There is no need to invent another "Mission" just to test SEP.
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Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Gerstenmaier expands on recently announced asteroid mission
« Reply #34 on: 04/26/2013 02:56 PM »
You want to venture out and play with some rocks?

Ok, I've got two perfect candidates for you.

PHOBOS & DEIMOS...

Every $hour spent on this, is time and money diverted, currently of which we are in short supply of.

I'm not that enthralled with P&D, but still, I pretty much agree with your suggestion. 

If all we get to choose from is an unknown rock or P&D, I'd go with the martian moons.  After all, there is the delta-vee argument in their favor, as well as the learn something new each day argument, vis a vis volatiles.

The key point that I agree with is the waste of time, treasure and talent on study after study.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Gerstenmaier expands on recently announced asteroid mission
« Reply #35 on: 04/26/2013 02:56 PM »
Also, that's a pretty good article there, YG.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Gerstenmaier expands on recently announced asteroid mission
« Reply #36 on: 04/26/2013 02:59 PM »
Good article, but I have serious reservations about using the first manned flight of a new spacecraft, on the first manned flight of a new rocket, on the first manned flight to leave LEO in 40 years (50 by the time of the actual flight) to also go and hope to do useful science at an object we've never put people on.
What could possibly go wrong ?

Not much.  Here, have a sip of this kool-aid.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline Hop_David

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Re: Gerstenmaier expands on recently announced asteroid mission
« Reply #37 on: 04/26/2013 05:49 PM »
If all we get to choose from is an unknown rock...

For the umpteenth time:

Arkyds

In Fornaro's world we would drag back a rock we know absolutely nothing about.

But PR's plan is to drag back a rock after extensive reconnaissance and prospecting. And NASA has expressed a desire to work with PR and DSI.





Offline Warren Platts

And NASA has expressed a desire to work with PR and DSI.

But not Golden Spike, MoonEx, or Shackleton... What's up with that?!?  >:(
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Offline LegendCJS

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Re: Gerstenmaier expands on recently announced asteroid mission
« Reply #39 on: 04/26/2013 06:46 PM »
Why not just test the propulsion system on an unmanned, relatively inexpensive program instead (if it's a "must have" for Mars)?
Exactly. There is no need to invent another "Mission" just to test SEP.


The SEP will be on the unmanned portion of the mission- the robotic asteroid fetching leg. 

Having the proven capability to find, travel too, grab, and re-direct something of this size (the Chelyabinsk meteor class is only a bit larger) is a great start to planetary protection, and a worthy goal in and of itself, and an excellent use of a 40 kW SEP module, and a good reason to do the test exactly this way. 

If the Chelyabinsk meteor had entered at a different angle it would have detonated with its ~50X Nagasaki power at ground level, not 35km up.  Even the expense of this mission is justified to be able to prevent the destruction of a city in the future.

Addendum: Development of the kind of advanced space infrastructure required to make everyone/anyone in the human spaceflight fan camp happy requires money.  The biggest historical driver of spending on space was to counter perceived geopolitical threats.  The cold war space race was great for space, and the specter of asteroid threats can fill a similar role.  Embrace this mission.
« Last Edit: 04/26/2013 06:52 PM by LegendCJS »
Remember: if we want this whole space thing to work out we have to optimize for cost!

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