Author Topic: Asteroid Retrieval Mission Concept  (Read 133594 times)

Offline spectre9

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Asteroid Retrieval Mission Concept
« on: 06/02/2013 01:16 PM »
Asteroid Retrieval Mission Concept Trailblazing Our Future in Space
and Helping to Protect Us from Earth Impactors


ARM - Asteroid Retrieval Mission

Great paper here. I'm still going through it as it has plenty of detail.

The de-tumble is to be done with hypergolic fuel.

SEP spacecraft is to be sized for Atlas 551 (17995kg).

12000kg of Xenon.

I like the concepts for the capture method. Pac Man to gobble up the asteroid  8)




Offline MP99


Offline sdsds

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Re: Asteroid Retrieval Mission Concept
« Reply #2 on: 06/02/2013 09:16 PM »
The evolution of thinking about this is nice to see. "[...] the amount of additional propellant to insert into the utilization/storage orbit increases significantly as the asteroidal return mass becomes large. Performing an initial mission with a smaller mass can help increase the probability of mission success." Combined with frequently qualifying "a small NEA" with the phrase, "or part of a large NEA," this paper begins to blur the distinction between the highly-challenging "asteroid retrieval" and the more-achievable "asteroid sample return" mission classes.

-- sdsds --

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Asteroid Retrieval Mission Concept
« Reply #3 on: 06/03/2013 02:51 PM »
The evolution of thinking about this is nice to see. "[...] the amount of additional propellant to insert into the utilization/storage orbit increases significantly as the asteroidal return mass becomes large. Performing an initial mission with a smaller mass can help increase the probability of mission success." Combined with frequently qualifying "a small NEA" with the phrase, "or part of a large NEA," this paper begins to blur the distinction between the highly-challenging "asteroid retrieval" and the more-achievable "asteroid sample return" mission classes.

Excellent observation about the continued blurring of the purpose, allowing success to be deemed at each point along the way.

With the heist, the government continues to solidify its position as the entertainment division of the military-industrial complex.

Details at eleven.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline Solman

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Re: Asteroid Retrieval Mission Concept
« Reply #4 on: 06/03/2013 05:17 PM »
The evolution of thinking about this is nice to see. "[...] the amount of additional propellant to insert into the utilization/storage orbit increases significantly as the asteroidal return mass becomes large. Performing an initial mission with a smaller mass can help increase the probability of mission success." Combined with frequently qualifying "a small NEA" with the phrase, "or part of a large NEA," this paper begins to blur the distinction between the highly-challenging "asteroid retrieval" and the more-achievable "asteroid sample return" mission classes.

Excellent observation about the continued blurring of the purpose, allowing success to be deemed at each point along the way.

With the heist, the government continues to solidify its position as the entertainment division of the military-industrial complex.

Details at eleven.

+1
Not even very good entertainment at that.
SEP using prop launched from Earth is a dead end IMO.



Offline Todd Martin

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Re: Asteroid Retrieval Mission Concept
« Reply #5 on: 06/03/2013 06:04 PM »
Thanks for the link:

"but the authors maintain that the primary motivation for retrieving large quantities of asteroidal material should be to help enable the utilization of space-based resources, through the development of technologies and operational techniques, that foster the creation of a viable, sustainable space-based economy."

Since many near earth asteroids (NEA) have lower energy requirements to reach than the moon, they are literally the lowest hanging fruit for ISRU.

There's been some criticism of the mission concept:

1) The proposed mission is not prioritized with planetary science missions for budget allocations.  Dollars spent on proposed mission could yield better science elsewhere.  Rebuttal:  This is not a planetary science mission, it is part of a HSF mission.  HSF is NOT centered around giving PhD's a topic for a research paper.

2) The proposed mission cannot scale-up to help protect Earth from asteroid defence.  Rebuttal:  Read the link.

3) The proposed mission is "make work" for SLS.  Rebuttal:  The 1st manned flight of SLS would otherwise be a simple joy-ride.  The mission proposal adds value to a HSF launch that has to happen anyway to validate the vehicle.  Since NASA does not have an infinite budget, they chose to develop the launch vehicle 1st, and then pay for payloads later.

4) The asteroid will be moved to the wrong place if its resources are to be commercially useful.  Rebuttal:  This is a demo mission.  Commercial exploitation of NEA can choose different orbits.

Offline MP99

Re: Asteroid Retrieval Mission Concept
« Reply #6 on: 06/03/2013 06:18 PM »
Combined with frequently qualifying "a small NEA" with the phrase, "or part of a large NEA," this paper begins to blur the distinction between the highly-challenging "asteroid retrieval" and the more-achievable "asteroid sample return" mission classes.

The whole point of the original asteroid mission was to demonstrate progress on sending people to deep-space, as precursor to going to Mars.

The whole point of this mission is to do something more than orbit the Moon while avoiding doing the hard development of long duration habs, etc.

Once the point of doing the mission has been blurred...

cheers, Martin

Offline MP99

Re: Asteroid Retrieval Mission Concept
« Reply #7 on: 06/03/2013 06:21 PM »
SEP using prop launched from Earth is a dead end IMO.

It may be a dead end in the very long term, but any other source is not going to happen anything like soon enough for this mission in the short term.

cheers, Martin

Offline Vultur

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Re: Asteroid Retrieval Mission Concept
« Reply #8 on: 06/03/2013 11:35 PM »
The whole point of the original asteroid mission was to demonstrate progress on sending people to deep-space, as precursor to going to Mars.

The whole point of this mission is to do something more than orbit the Moon while avoiding doing the hard development of long duration habs, etc.


Indeed. In itself, developing this kind of technology to deal with asteroids is/would be a good thing, but using it as an excuse not to develop the deep-space stuff... not so much.

But maybe NASA is hoping they can just grab the ECLSS from Inspiration Mars after 2018...

Offline QuantumG

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Re: Asteroid Retrieval Mission Concept
« Reply #9 on: 06/03/2013 11:37 PM »
Who said the free-range asteroid mission won't follow?

Risk reduction is a good thing.
When someone is wishing for a pony, there's little to be gained by suggesting a unicorn would be ever better.. ya know, unless it's sarcasm.

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: Asteroid Retrieval Mission Concept
« Reply #10 on: 06/04/2013 03:55 AM »
+1
Not even very good entertainment at that.
SEP using prop launched from Earth is a dead end IMO.

The SEP will probably be used to carry the ISRU equipment to the Moon and Mars using propellant from Earth.  After that the SEP propellant Argon can be extracted from Mars' atmosphere.
« Last Edit: 06/04/2013 03:55 AM by A_M_Swallow »

Offline gbaikie

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Re: Asteroid Retrieval Mission Concept
« Reply #11 on: 06/05/2013 02:38 AM »
Thanks for the link:

"but the authors maintain that the primary motivation for retrieving large quantities of asteroidal material should be to help enable the utilization of space-based resources, through the development of technologies and operational techniques, that foster the creation of a viable, sustainable space-based economy."

Since many near earth asteroids (NEA) have lower energy requirements to reach than the moon, they are literally the lowest hanging fruit for ISRU.

For mining in Space the question the energy requirements to send to Cislunar space / High Earth [or LEO or Mars orbit].

In terms of getting to the Moon or NEA one can have fuel depot at L-2.
Which allows a stage from LEO to refuel at L-2, and land on the Moon and refuel and go to lunar orbit and return to Moon, and repeat.
And since one can reuse spacecraft, one can be largely talking about the cost of rocket fuel.
Going to NEA one can also refuel at LEO and high Earth, but each NEA is new destination {and gas station at each?]

In the game to export to High Earth or LEO, it seems NEA will eventually, win {maybe] but question is what is first.
With the Moon and lunar rocket fuel, you will have a market for Lunar rocket fuel at the Moon {delta-v: 0] and lunar orbit {delta-v 2: km/sec}.
And L-points and rest of Cislunar +.5 to 1 km/sec. And LEO if you make lunar rocket fuel cheap enough to compete against Earth launch to LEO [1/2 the price of High Earth].
So the Moon is destination for stuff other than mining lunar water and making rocket fuel. And there needs to other stuff which wanted other than rocket fuel. You need someone to sell rocket fuel to- so like tourists
going to the Moon. Or someone making some kind mass driver on the Moon. Or explorer of the Moon. Or labs on the Moon. Or solar panel makers. Etc.
Generally if want to sell 100 billion dollar of rocket fuel you need something worth about 1 trillion dollars that someone wants to use the rocket fuel to "get". So with Moon there could be say 10 billion dollars of fuel used for a 1 trillion dollar Mars Exploration program. 40 billion worth of tourists trips might use 10 billion in rocket fuel- etc.

If one starts "in vacuum" of doing NEA, where is your market?
The biggest market would someones going to the Moon or Mars [or Venus or Mercury]. Or going to NEA.
If there was a L-5 colony that would be a market.

It seems to me, the Moon should be first. And first in terms of determining if there is minable water. If not, maybe NEA. But maybe asteroids which one is going to, are ones which is going to ship to Mars orbit, mainly.
« Last Edit: 06/05/2013 02:57 AM by gbaikie »

Offline Vultur

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Re: Asteroid Retrieval Mission Concept
« Reply #12 on: 06/05/2013 04:06 AM »
Who said the free-range asteroid mission won't follow?

Budget, most likely. I see no need for an asteroid retrieval as a prerequisite to the free-range mission.

As I said, it's a legitimate mission on its own... but not coming out of the HSF budget.

Quote
Risk reduction is a good thing.


Yes... right up until it becomes an excuse not to do the difficult things.

Offline spectre9

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Re: Asteroid Retrieval Mission Concept
« Reply #13 on: 06/05/2013 12:34 PM »
This paper absolutely rubbishes the mission.

Current detection isn't good enough and it's going to take 10 years after launch to actually get the asteroid back even if they're lucky enough to be able to pluck a chunk that is small enough to bring back.

They even make it known that the type of asteroids they want to bring back already have been found on the surface of the Earth.

Am I missing something here?

If they want a boulder in Lunar orbit why not go pluck one off the moon?  ::)

Offline Todd Martin

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Re: Asteroid Retrieval Mission Concept
« Reply #14 on: 06/05/2013 05:27 PM »
"In the game to export to High Earth or LEO, it seems NEA will eventually, win {maybe] but question is what is first."

1st customers for ISRU resources are likely to be space based assets.  Everyone agrees on this.  What's up there right now?  ISS in LEO and satellites in mostly high earth orbits.  What may be launched in the fairly near term?  Bigelow stations in LEO.  Later, we may see space based solar power (HEO) or orbiting factories taking advantage of microgravity.

In my view, NEA (near earth asteroid) ISRU (in space resource utilization) should come before lunar ISRU or Mars ISRU.


Offline spectre9

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Re: Asteroid Retrieval Mission Concept
« Reply #15 on: 06/06/2013 05:47 AM »
Move along, move along...

The benefits of the mission are very loosely defined.

Technology demonstration... can be done without going anywhere.

Science... it's been done before and if you want more you can do it with unmanned probes that don't need the ARM Spacecraft + SLS/Orion.

Space resources... not NASAs problem last time I checked. If it was they might want some of the good stuff in the Lunar cold traps.

Space colonies and Lunar elevators? Can you say KOOKY???  ::)

Planetary defense? Not if you can't see it coming and not for anything anywhere near the size of the recent Russian meteorite which didn't destroy the world.

This paper kills the mission it's trying to defend. Some arguments just can't be made.

"In the game to export to High Earth or LEO, it seems NEA will eventually, win {maybe] but question is what is first."

1st customers for ISRU resources are likely to be space based assets.  Everyone agrees on this.  What's up there right now?  ISS in LEO and satellites in mostly high earth orbits.  What may be launched in the fairly near term?  Bigelow stations in LEO.  Later, we may see space based solar power (HEO) or orbiting factories taking advantage of microgravity.

In my view, NEA (near earth asteroid) ISRU (in space resource utilization) should come before lunar ISRU or Mars ISRU.



It's still not NASA's job. Their job is science and human spaceflight that does science.

The idea of a visit to an asteroid on the flexible path was to develop the capability for a HUMAN MARS MISSION. That's where the real science everybody is desperate to gets their hands on is at.

Offline aero

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Re: Asteroid Retrieval Mission Concept
« Reply #16 on: 06/06/2013 06:18 AM »
I've been following this Missions to NEAs (HSF) forum with interest since its inception, and what I see as most striking is the continuing theme, NIH so posters don't like it. Or go big or stay home.

To me, the asteroid capture is a step in the right direction. A small step to be sure but it's beyond the moon and the alternative to me seems to be to stay in LEO as we have for the past 40 years. Who among us really wants to stay home? If we don't get with the program I'm afraid we will end up staying home. Improve it if we can with the money made available but build on the positive ... harping on the negative aspects just provides justification to pull NASA funding. Now, if there is truly no benefit to be derived from the mission, then maybe NASA's funding should be reduced.
Retired, working interesting problems

Offline MP99

Re: Asteroid Retrieval Mission Concept
« Reply #17 on: 06/06/2013 06:35 AM »
Who said the free-range asteroid mission won't follow?

Risk reduction is a good thing.

The free-range mission was a mid-20s precursor to a mid-30s Mars mission because Mars- is-the-only-place-worth-going.

I don't see this happening before 2025, by which time we may already have done em-2 thru em-5. And how many NEOs may DS & PRI have either visited or be planning to visit by then?

By then, will the risk be anywhere other than in the DSH that this plan avoids developing?

Cheers, Martin

Offline spectre9

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Re: Asteroid Retrieval Mission Concept
« Reply #18 on: 06/06/2013 06:57 AM »
I've been following this Missions to NEAs (HSF) forum with interest since its inception, and what I see as most striking is the continuing theme, NIH so posters don't like it. Or go big or stay home.

To me, the asteroid capture is a step in the right direction. A small step to be sure but it's beyond the moon and the alternative to me seems to be to stay in LEO as we have for the past 40 years. Who among us really wants to stay home? If we don't get with the program I'm afraid we will end up staying home. Improve it if we can with the money made available but build on the positive ... harping on the negative aspects just provides justification to pull NASA funding. Now, if there is truly no benefit to be derived from the mission, then maybe NASA's funding should be reduced.

Staying home is a great option as long as R&D is being done on the big ticket technology developments that make BEO exploration easier in the future.

This is not what's being done though.

It's staying home while pretending to do something and spending all the money on boondoggles and misdirection.

Offline gbaikie

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Re: Asteroid Retrieval Mission Concept
« Reply #19 on: 06/06/2013 07:40 AM »
"In the game to export to High Earth or LEO, it seems NEA will eventually, win {maybe] but question is what is first."

1st customers for ISRU resources are likely to be space based assets.  Everyone agrees on this.  What's up there right now?  ISS in LEO and satellites in mostly high earth orbits.  What may be launched in the fairly near term?  Bigelow stations in LEO.  Later, we may see space based solar power (HEO) or orbiting factories taking advantage of microgravity.

In my view, NEA (near earth asteroid) ISRU (in space resource utilization) should come before lunar ISRU or Mars ISRU.


If you think there is enough market at LEO. Or if the focus was mostly at LEO.
Mining lunar water and shipping to LEO is much harder than High Earth.
Shipping rocket fuel to LEO from Earth is half the cost to ship to high earth.
And it seems if getting rocket fuel from space rocks, water or rocket fuel will be cheaper in High Earth as compared to LEO. And if not any minable water on the Moon, one could ship to lunar surface [and be worth and cost about twice LEO prices [or somewhere around 1/4 current or less the cost]. And in such a situation, the Moon would be very cheap to get to, and of course Mars would also much cheaper to get to.
And if you make getting to the Moon cheaper, then lunar water which was once not minable, could become minable.

But it seems one needs a lot need for rocket fuel at LEO. How much could sell per year and what price per unit?
If you assume water at 500 per lb- a million per ton- at High earth [and the water or rocket fuel it's made into is more the 500 per lb water and say more than 1000 per rocket fuel at LEO. It seems one looking at selling more than 1000 tons per year. For 1 billion gross per year.

Now having any depot anywhere will make getting anywhere is space cheaper. But charging such prices a LEO is modestly cheaper than what one could ship from Earth [some might say some could  deliver it cheaper from Earth- particularly at such volume of 1000 tons per year].
What would be exciting or a bargain price would price at High Earth- half what might be possible shipped from Earth. And consequently also lunar surface could also be about 1/2 better than shipped from Earth.

Whereas if mining and making rocket fuel at the Moon, could make rocket fuel cheaper [than the above scheme] and thereby making it cheaper to ship stuff off the Moon, though one making High Earth cheaper, as one has this added costs shipping it off the Moon.
But if shipping rocket fuel off the Moon, you consuming more rocket fuel at the lunar surface [export rocket fuel and the rocket fuel used to export it. Therefore with 1000 ton of rocket fuel at surface 300 tons rocket fuel could used to lift 300 tonnes rocket fuel off the Moon. And 300 tons used to send crew other export than rocket fuel. And 100 tons might used at surface for misc- traveling locally, run vehicle, etc.

So roughly half or more of lunar rocket could used to get to the Moon. If someone buys 10 tonnes lunar rocket fuel at lunar orbit- they you are buying 20 tons of rocket fuel which was once on the surface. If one buying 100 tonnes of lunar rocket fuel at high Earth to go to Mars- it once was 200 tons at lunar surface.
And the cheaper one sells lunar rocket at the surface, the more demand one can get for rocket fuel.

With space rocks, the main costs is time needed to get stuff to Earth [or Mars] orbit. So whatever it costs to get the stuff back you have turn around of months-years. This tends to favor large volume or high unit costs. Lots of water or less tonnage higher price things.
So spending couple billion to bring back 10,000 tons of easily minable water and takes a year or two to do it- seems like kind of model.
Which means no water and then whole bunch of water- more water than can to used in couple years.
People worry about space resources brought to Earth affecting Earth prices [which is HUGE market for everything] but bringing back 10,000 tons water, is actually going to crash prices in this tiny space rocket fuel market. Now you will have buyers which hold the water, until prices go back up from such a spike in prices, but there cost to this. And prices really hit the floor if +100,000 tons water is brought back to Earth. Of course there isn't anything wrong with large volumes and cheap prices- if there is enough market demand.

With the Moon making rocket fuel- you driving down cost to export anything from the Moon. This also increases the amount launches from Earth- causing launch costs to be lower. If have earth launching rocket fuel to LEO, this part also increases launch rate from Earth.

It has been said 1/2 the costs is to LEO. If mining lunar rocket fuel the other 1/2 the costs is lowered. If get rocket fuel from NEA, one also lowers this other half of costs.
But where are they going? If just other NEA, then are significantly lowering this cost to go to other NEA?
As I said, it seems to me main cost of NEA is related to time. And the apparent selling point is low rocket fuel use.

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