Author Topic: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission  (Read 37694 times)

Online Chris Bergin

Another ESD Con Ops (L2) based article. This time it's Marshall Murphy which his second article for the site. What you see is what he wrote. Hardly any subediting required - very talented young man, as it normally take a lot of articles to get to the point you don't need a lot of subediting - myself included:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/09/nasa-evaluate-yearlong-asteroid-mission/


Online notsorandom

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Another ESD Con Ops (L2) based article. This time it's Marshall Murphy which his second article for the site. What you see is what he wrote. Hardly any subediting required - very talented young man, as it normally take a lot of articles to get to the point you don't need a lot of subediting - myself included:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/09/nasa-evaluate-yearlong-asteroid-mission/
Interesting that they are naming an asteroid as a target. That would potentially mean they have a launch year picked out for the mission right? Will the full up SLS with advanced boosters and 5 SSME's be needed for this mission or will the Block 1 A/B be able to do both launches?

Offline BrightLight

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Really well put together article - a little bit disappointed that the SSEV will not be used but I guess it's to expensive and/or heavy while the REM looks like a good alternative.

Offline HappyMartian

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Great article! Thank you Marshall Murphy!

However, Congress doesn't seem at all interested in an extremely long, costly, and risky asteroid mission in an unhealthy GCR rich environment.

Also, President Obama's pro asteroid leadership of NASA only lasts until early 2017 and then international Lunar ISRU missions will most likely become NASA's main focus for beyond low Earth orbit human spaceflight.
"The Moon is the most accessible destination for realizing commercial, exploration and scientific objectives beyond low Earth orbit." - LEAG

Offline M129K

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Also, President Obama's pro asteroid leadership of NASA only lasts until early 2017 and then international Lunar ISRU missions will most likely become NASA's main focus for beyond low Earth orbit human spaceflight.

I have no idea why you care so much about lunar ISRU missions.


Interesting that they are naming an asteroid as a target. That would potentially mean they have a launch year picked out for the mission right? Will the full up SLS with advanced boosters and 5 SSME's be needed for this mission or will the Block 1 A/B be able to do both launches?

Block 1A is capable of doing it easily. Block 1B's added payload might allow asteroids further away than Block 1A, but it's not necessary. Also, since Block 1's real payload is closer to 90 metric tons, I think it might be capable of doing the mission described, but that will depend on the mass of the CPS used.

Offline newpylong

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A Block 1A/B is base lined as it needs the CPS. No 5th core engine needed and I doubt we will ever see it.

Keep in mind the RS-25D is no longer a SSME. New controllers (from J-2X) and up-rate to over 500,000 lbs/thrust.


Another ESD Con Ops (L2) based article. This time it's Marshall Murphy which his second article for the site. What you see is what he wrote. Hardly any subediting required - very talented young man, as it normally take a lot of articles to get to the point you don't need a lot of subediting - myself included:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/09/nasa-evaluate-yearlong-asteroid-mission/
Interesting that they are naming an asteroid as a target. That would potentially mean they have a launch year picked out for the mission right? Will the full up SLS with advanced boosters and 5 SSME's be needed for this mission or will the Block 1 A/B be able to do both launches?
« Last Edit: 09/10/2013 05:01 PM by newpylong »

Offline Mark S

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If SLS Block-1B is developed, would this mission still require a dedicated in-space CPS? Or would the DUUS be sufficient for both launch and TAI (trans-asteroid injection)?

Offline M129K

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If SLS Block-1B is developed, would this mission still require a dedicated in-space CPS? Or would the DUUS be sufficient for both launch and TAI (trans-asteroid injection)?

DUUS, which has recently been renamed to Exploration Upper Stage, should be sufficient and is probably even better.

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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If SLS Block-1B is developed, would this mission still require a dedicated in-space CPS? Or would the DUUS be sufficient for both launch and TAI (trans-asteroid injection)?

DUUS, which has recently been renamed to Exploration Upper Stage, should be sufficient and is probably even better.

DUUS dosen't carry enough prop. It would need a lot larger tank about 30mt of prop larger tank or twice its current load. So by the time you do this to DUUD you have almost a new vehicle anyway even if it shares a lot of hardware with DUUS such as engines.

Offline M129K

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If SLS Block-1B is developed, would this mission still require a dedicated in-space CPS? Or would the DUUS be sufficient for both launch and TAI (trans-asteroid injection)?

DUUS, which has recently been renamed to Exploration Upper Stage, should be sufficient and is probably even better.

DUUS dosen't carry enough prop. It would need a lot larger tank about 30mt of prop larger tank or twice its current load. So by the time you do this to DUUD you have almost a new vehicle anyway even if it shares a lot of hardware with DUUS such as engines.

Are you sure you're talking about the same DUUS as I am? You seem to be confusing it with DCSS.

Offline HappyMartian

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #10 on: 09/10/2013 11:51 PM »

Also, President Obama's pro asteroid leadership of NASA only lasts until early 2017 and then international Lunar ISRU missions will most likely become NASA's main focus for beyond low Earth orbit human spaceflight.

I have no idea why you care so much about lunar ISRU missions.
....


Potential to reduce risks and costs. Develop cislunar space.
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Offline newpylong

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #11 on: 09/11/2013 02:26 PM »
I am pretty sure from what little we know about the DUUS/EUS it would be able to satisfy the mission requirements. By not using the J-2X you are cutting down on a lot of mass which can be made into larger tankage.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #12 on: 09/11/2013 04:08 PM »
I am pretty sure from what little we know about the DUUS/EUS it would be able to satisfy the mission requirements. By not using the J-2X you are cutting down on a lot of mass which can be made into larger tankage.
The primary problem is lack of funds, not lack of mass. Why do people always get this reversed?
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Offline newpylong

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #13 on: 09/11/2013 06:17 PM »
I am pretty sure from what little we know about the DUUS/EUS it would be able to satisfy the mission requirements. By not using the J-2X you are cutting down on a lot of mass which can be made into larger tankage.
The primary problem is lack of funds, not lack of mass. Why do people always get this reversed?

Did you mean to respond to me?

I don't care if it costs $1 or 100 Billion - my reply was in regards to the technical merits of the CPS vs DUUS/EUS.
« Last Edit: 09/11/2013 06:22 PM by newpylong »

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #14 on: 09/11/2013 07:59 PM »
I am pretty sure from what little we know about the DUUS/EUS it would be able to satisfy the mission requirements. By not using the J-2X you are cutting down on a lot of mass which can be made into larger tankage.
The primary problem is lack of funds, not lack of mass. Why do people always get this reversed?

Did you mean to respond to me?

I don't care if it costs $1 or 100 Billion - my reply was in regards to the technical merits of the CPS vs DUUS/EUS.
I believe I did misread your post.

This is what I meant: I'd rather them launch SLS with the inferior upper stage than have the rocket and the payload sit on the ground because they're still developing the better upper stage. There simply isn't this kind of funds to enable everything to be perfect. "Better is the enemy of the good."
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Offline newpylong

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #15 on: 09/11/2013 08:28 PM »
I think most people agree with that. We will be lucky to see the 2017 launch as-is money wise.

Though the contract as far as I know for the iCPS is only for 2 units (and 1 Test Article?) I wouldn't be surprised to see that extended down the road if the iCPS can successfully achieve mission criteria. I believe SLS-3 cargo (if approved) is base lined also with a Block 1?

Funding aside, I don't think it hurts to discuss the possibility of the CPS/EUS for the Deep Space Asteroid Mission since clearly the vehicle is base lined for such.
« Last Edit: 09/11/2013 08:31 PM by newpylong »

Offline KelvinZero

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #16 on: 09/12/2013 10:04 AM »
The article mentions
*202 days to reach the asteroid,
*14 day exploration period
*153 days to return to earth.

Those seem like hugely long travel times for a short exploration to me. How does this compare in risk and cost to a Phobos/Deimos mission?

Offline MATTBLAK

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #17 on: 09/12/2013 10:10 AM »
Phobos/Deimos is what I wish they were considering!!
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Offline Robotbeat

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #18 on: 09/12/2013 04:11 PM »
Phobos/Deimos is what I wish they were considering!!
Patience, grasshopper! We'll need to do some envelope expansion before we go for the 500-900 day Phobos/Deimos missions. But we'll get there.
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Online butters

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #19 on: 09/12/2013 04:23 PM »
So this DRM is essentially moot if it is true that the DSH has just been cancelled?

Offline M129K

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #20 on: 09/12/2013 04:27 PM »
So this DRM is essentially moot if it is true that the DSH has just been cancelled?

Wait whaaat?

Offline newpylong

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #21 on: 09/12/2013 05:03 PM »
So this DRM is essentially moot if it is true that the DSH has just been cancelled?

The DSH would have to be a real project and not a concept to be cancelled. Sounds as if they are just going to be tasked with a derivative (maybe more related to this with funding?).

Offline KelvinZero

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #22 on: 09/13/2013 09:53 AM »
Phobos/Deimos is what I wish they were considering!!
Patience, grasshopper! We'll need to do some envelope expansion before we go for the 500-900 day Phobos/Deimos missions. But we'll get there.

My (non expert) preference would be that instead of doing a year+ mission in preparation for a two+ year mission, your preparation should consist of an unmanned version of the two+ year mission, while simultaneously performing a full two+ year manned test of the hab much closer to earth.

I don't understand the envelop expansion concept. If you are not testing something with the necessary push or lifesupport for the later mission, then you are not testing the exact hardware. If the one+ year mission reveals an issue, I would think it had pretty similar odds of being fatal.. except that it also would not have the redundancy of a previous massive unmanned cargo/survey mission.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #23 on: 09/13/2013 09:56 AM »
Phobos/Deimos is what I wish they were considering!!
Patience, grasshopper! We'll need to do some envelope expansion before we go for the 500-900 day Phobos/Deimos missions. But we'll get there.

My (non expert) preference would be that instead of doing a year+ mission in preparation for a two+ year mission, your preparation should consist of an unmanned version of the two+ year mission, while simultaneously performing a full two+ year manned test of the hab much closer to earth.

I don't understand the envelop expansion concept. If you are not testing something with the necessary push or lifesupport for the later mission, then you are not testing the exact hardware. If the one+ year mission reveals an issue, I would think it had pretty similar odds of being fatal.. except that it also would not have the redundancy of a previous massive unmanned cargo/survey mission.
...and yet Apollo did envelop expansion to an almost silly degree. They did Mercury, then Gemini (gradually longer), then Apollo, demonstrating orbital flight of the capsule, then docking with the LEM and manuevering it in LEO then a flight around the moon, then a flight around the moon and going down in the LEM to near the surface just to come back up, then all the way down for a little bit and right back up before coming back and doing longer missions.
« Last Edit: 09/13/2013 09:57 AM by Robotbeat »
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Offline Proponent

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #24 on: 09/13/2013 10:14 AM »
By the way, in one of Garver's interviews (which, unfortunately, I can't find now) after the announcement of her departure from NASA, she mentioned that it was the doctors who killed the idea of actually visiting a free-range NEA.  (It's a shame this wasn't discussed at the time; I suppose it was embarrassing to the Obama administration.)  So I would guess there are some envelope-expanding intermediate steps envisioned.

Offline HappyMartian

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Re: NASA managers gevaluate yearlon deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #25 on: 09/13/2013 10:36 AM »
A real DSH would probably need to use massive amounts of propellant for GCR shielding or be small and lightweight and have a much shorter deep space flight time.



Page 13 "Shielding has much less effectiveness against GCR."

Page 36 "A duration of several hundred days is a non-starter for in-transit space travel"

From: Deep Space Habitat Project   Radiation Studies for a Long Duration Deep Space Transit Habitat
By Lora Bailey     Engineering Directorate NASA Johnson Space Center  10/31/2012
At: http://spirit.as.utexas.edu/~fiso/telecon/Bailey_10-31-12/Bailey_10-31-12.pdf


Or:

""Galactic Cosmic Rays: Exposure to Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCRs) may represent a show-stopper for human exploration in deep space [10]. The only known solution is to provide sufficient radiation shielding mass." 

From: Let’s Haul Asteroids!  By Paul Spudis    April 5, 2013   
At: http://www.spudislunarresources.com/blog/lets-haul-asteroids/

Between real GCR risks, lack of Congressional support for such a costly mission, high Loss of Mission and Loss of Crew numbers, lack of interest from our international space exploration partners, Lori Garver resigning as Deputy Administrator of NASA, and a new President by 2017, it seems that a year long deep space asteroid mission isn't relevant at this time to NASA's beyond low Earth orbit human spaceflight. 

Testing a DSH on the Moon for a few decades could be very useful. Two meters of regolith is a pretty good GCR shield.


Edited.   
« Last Edit: 09/13/2013 10:39 AM by HappyMartian »
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Offline HappyMartian

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #26 on: 09/13/2013 11:21 AM »
By the way, in one of Garver's interviews (which, unfortunately, I can't find now) after the announcement of her departure from NASA, she mentioned that it was the doctors who killed the idea of actually visiting a free-range NEA.  (It's a shame this wasn't discussed at the time; I suppose it was embarrassing to the Obama administration.)  So I would guess there are some envelope-expanding intermediate steps envisioned.


Real deep space experts understood the risks of the GCR issue before 2010.

Perhaps she was just confessing to the President's and her own inability or unwillingness to listen to our international space exploration partners and American folks who have significant scientific and technical knowledge and relevant experience with the many challenges and risks of human spaceflight and have long understood the real benefits of using Lunar regolith for GCR protection.

Space science is a harsh and "embarrassing" mistress. America needs NASA's leadership to be folks who listen to American and international space experts, not folks who ignore the real universe while blathering about risky, costly, and extremely difficult missions that don't impress Congress.

Congress, not the President, is where NASA gets its money.

One of the early forms of Lunar ISRU will be using the regolith for efficient GCR, meteorite, and thermal shielding.  And that Lunar regolith is a great deal!
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Offline Robotbeat

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #27 on: 09/13/2013 12:08 PM »
Wrong forum section. You're looking for the lunar section.
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Offline KelvinZero

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #28 on: 09/13/2013 01:07 PM »
...and yet Apollo did envelop expansion to an almost silly degree. They did Mercury, then Gemini (gradually longer), then Apollo, demonstrating orbital flight of the capsule, then docking with the LEM and manuevering it in LEO then a flight around the moon, then a flight around the moon and going down in the LEM to near the surface just to come back up, then all the way down for a little bit and right back up before coming back and doing longer missions.
Yes but they started not knowing how to build rockets that did not explode on the launch pad :)
Right there is a really good reason to start small and work your way up.

You haven't really specified what your argument is because you havent said designing the Mercury is equivalent to ____ etc. The parts you mentioned with the LEM seem very sensible to me because it was not optimizing all the hardware for a half-good-enough mission, it was perfecting and testing half the steps of a full mission. Thats what you would be doing by sending an unmanned mission to a moon of Mars using the same hardware as for a manned mission.

If we were discussing an actual landing and return on Mars I think a series of smaller prototype missions would make sense. We should probably land some much larger objects on mars before finally designing a manned lander. Again though, envelop expansion in that case involves starting with unmanned.

Also, by arguing only with analogy you haven't dealt with any of the points I raised. What is it that we test with this shorter mission that is not just as fatal if the test fails? What is the flaw in my arguments that  my alternative is safer and more relevant?

Offline HappyMartian

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #29 on: 09/13/2013 02:00 PM »
Wrong forum section. You're looking for the lunar section.

Nope. I'm suggesting why we have had over three years of not having effective leadership of NASA's human beyond low Earth orbit mission planning and why a deep space asteroid mission, and all the Mars hype, is going exactly nowhere. 

Political appointees that don't understand space science and expect astronauts to fly long and risky nonrobust missions in a GCR rich environment that is far outside of the current safe flight envelope are simply encouraging catastrophic failure modes. 

Ms. Garver couldn't convince Congress of the wisdom of her and the President's asteroid and Mars visions precisely because those plans were not based on the realities of GCRs, space science, America's best interest, fiscal realities, and the interests and desires of our international space exploration partners.

Instead, the President's own party rebelled against his anti-Moon and pro asteroid and Mars rhetoric. A bipartisan Congress voted for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2010 also known as PUBLIC LAW 111–267—OCT. 11, 2010, an excellent space law which the President reluctantly signed and many space cadets even today choose to ignore.
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Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline Mark S

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #31 on: 09/13/2013 02:31 PM »
It would be kind of embarrassing to launch a year-long $billion+ mission to a NEO "asteroid", only to find out that it was a used-up Saturn SIV-B stage upon arrival.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #32 on: 09/13/2013 05:05 PM »
It would be kind of embarrassing to launch a year-long $billion+ mission to a NEO "asteroid", only to find out that it was a used-up Saturn SIV-B stage upon arrival.
It's not actually that hard to tell it's a rocket stage before you get there. Look at the spectra and light curve and how it responds to light pressure. That will tell you.
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Offline HappyMartian

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #33 on: 09/14/2013 06:19 AM »
It would be kind of embarrassing to launch a year-long $billion+ mission to a NEO "asteroid", only to find out that it was a used-up Saturn SIV-B stage upon arrival.


Last numbers I saw on such mission suggested it would cost around a 120 billion dollars and be the highest risk human mission NASA had ever attempted.

Of course the GCRs are the real jumbo elephant hiding under the carpet. But don't worry about GCRs, a political speech or two will make them easy to deal with. 


Edited.
« Last Edit: 09/14/2013 06:20 AM by HappyMartian »
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Offline Patchouli

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #34 on: 09/15/2013 05:00 AM »
So this DRM is essentially moot if it is true that the DSH has just been cancelled?

Not really they still could modify a BA330 or Russian DOS type module for the mission.
If fact this would likely be faster to develop.

Looking at the art work shown of DSH for this mission it's still in a very early draft.

The module shown is a little small for a mission of that duration.

The first iteration of the Mars direct ERV had a similar habitable volume and was rejected due to living and storage space concerns.
« Last Edit: 09/15/2013 05:27 AM by Patchouli »

Offline HappyMartian

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #35 on: 09/15/2013 12:59 PM »
By the way, in one of Garver's interviews (which, unfortunately, I can't find now) after the announcement of her departure from NASA, she mentioned that it was the doctors who killed the idea of actually visiting a free-range NEA.  (It's a shame this wasn't discussed at the time; I suppose it was embarrassing to the Obama administration.)  So I would guess there are some envelope-expanding intermediate steps envisioned.


Proponent, this might be the Lori Garver quote you wanted:


"The long-pull intent was for astronauts to go to an asteroid for some hundreds-of-days mission, but the medical community is not prepared to allow astronauts to do that yet."

From: Exit Interview: Lori Garver on NASA’s Controversial Plan to Move an Asteroid  By Corey S. Powell  August 16, 2013
At: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/outthere/2013/08/16/exit-interview-lori-garver-on-nasas-mission-to-move-an-asteroid/#.UjWHk39H5Cy
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Offline Rocket Science

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #36 on: 09/15/2013 01:17 PM »
I still don’t feel this mission is worthy of risking astronauts as I’ve said before. If you want to shake down the spacecraft send it unmanned. If you want a “cool factor”, send Robonaut which will excite the techie- obsessed kids compared to a bunch of “greybeard Astros”...
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"

Offline Proponent

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #37 on: 09/15/2013 01:36 PM »
Proponent, this might be the Lori Garver quote you wanted:


"The long-pull intent was for astronauts to go to an asteroid for some hundreds-of-days mission, but the medical community is not prepared to allow astronauts to do that yet."

From: Exit Interview: Lori Garver on NASA’s Controversial Plan to Move an Asteroid  By Corey S. Powell  August 16, 2013
At: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/outthere/2013/08/16/exit-interview-lori-garver-on-nasas-mission-to-move-an-asteroid/#.UjWHk39H5Cy

Verily, 'tis indeed that quote which I sought.  Thank you!

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #38 on: 09/15/2013 03:59 PM »
I still don’t feel this mission is worthy of risking astronauts as I’ve said before. If you want to shake down the spacecraft send it unmanned. If you want a “cool factor”, send Robonaut which will excite the techie- obsessed kids compared to a bunch of “greybeard Astros”...
what about Gemini and all the several Apollos until 11? Two of them went all the way around the Moon, one almost touched down.

There's a reason why we need to do this sort of mission. We can't do a 500-900 day mission right off the bat.

And by following your logic, we may not have any human exploration at all.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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Online Galactic Penguin SST

OK maybe this is a trivial question, but why is this thread pinned on sticky mode?  ???
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Offline Rocket Science

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #40 on: 09/15/2013 08:34 PM »
I still don’t feel this mission is worthy of risking astronauts as I’ve said before. If you want to shake down the spacecraft send it unmanned. If you want a “cool factor”, send Robonaut which will excite the techie- obsessed kids compared to a bunch of “greybeard Astros”...
what about Gemini and all the several Apollos until 11? Two of them went all the way around the Moon, one almost touched down.

There's a reason why we need to do this sort of mission. We can't do a 500-900 day mission right off the bat.

And by following your logic, we may not have any human exploration at all.

Chris, I’ve seen them all from the first Mercury with Shepard on board. We have surpassed the 1960’s level of automation exponentially and having humans in the loop is not a necessity as it once was. There are missions that I would “like” to have humans involved in. We just have to separate our “needs” from our “wants” rationally...
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #41 on: 09/15/2013 08:39 PM »
I still don’t feel this mission is worthy of risking astronauts as I’ve said before. If you want to shake down the spacecraft send it unmanned. If you want a “cool factor”, send Robonaut which will excite the techie- obsessed kids compared to a bunch of “greybeard Astros”...
what about Gemini and all the several Apollos until 11? Two of them went all the way around the Moon, one almost touched down.

There's a reason why we need to do this sort of mission. We can't do a 500-900 day mission right off the bat.

And by following your logic, we may not have any human exploration at all.

Chris, I’ve seen them all from the first Mercury with Shepard on board. We have surpassed the 1960’s level of automation exponentially and having humans in the loop is not a necessity as it once was. There are missions that I would “like” to have humans involved in. We just have to separate our “needs” from our “wants” rationally...
I think human exploration of asteroids is just as rational as human exploration of the Moon.

And besides, we're GOING to need a shakedown of the system before we go to Mars, even Mars orbit. When you change parameters by several orders of magnitude at a time, it's helpful to have something in between to catch the unknown unknowns before they kill you.
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Offline Rocket Science

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #42 on: 09/15/2013 09:02 PM »
I still don’t feel this mission is worthy of risking astronauts as I’ve said before. If you want to shake down the spacecraft send it unmanned. If you want a “cool factor”, send Robonaut which will excite the techie- obsessed kids compared to a bunch of “greybeard Astros”...
what about Gemini and all the several Apollos until 11? Two of them went all the way around the Moon, one almost touched down.

There's a reason why we need to do this sort of mission. We can't do a 500-900 day mission right off the bat.

And by following your logic, we may not have any human exploration at all.

Chris, I’ve seen them all from the first Mercury with Shepard on board. We have surpassed the 1960’s level of automation exponentially and having humans in the loop is not a necessity as it once was. There are missions that I would “like” to have humans involved in. We just have to separate our “needs” from our “wants” rationally...
I think human exploration of asteroids is just as rational as human exploration of the Moon.

And besides, we're GOING to need a shakedown of the system before we go to Mars, even Mars orbit. When you change parameters by several orders of magnitude at a time, it's helpful to have something in between to catch the unknown unknowns before they kill you.
To me this is not a Moon-Mars or asteroid thing. It is what is in the capability of robotic exploration with limited budgets.

As far as the shakedown of the system, that is precisely why I don’t feel the need to place humans in harm’s way for a long duration test flight to nowhere...

I hope you understand what I’m saying, even though you may not agree with it...
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #43 on: 09/15/2013 09:35 PM »
Sure, we don't need to put humans in it for test flights, but the astronaut corp would be mad, the average citizen would think it's worthless to send crew-capable spaceships without any crew, and the science community would be frustrated that you're bothering doing the testing at all instead of just doing fully unmanned missions.
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Offline EE Scott

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #44 on: 09/15/2013 09:59 PM »
Phobos/Deimos is what I wish they were considering!!
Patience, grasshopper! We'll need to do some envelope expansion before we go for the 500-900 day Phobos/Deimos missions. But we'll get there.

Instead of a Phobos/Deimos mission, would a simple Mars flyby be less onerous?  That would be one hell of a shakedown cruise, data gathering and wonder-inspiring mission.  How many days could a flyby be done if one wanted to minimize the travel time, within the payload capacity of two launches?
Scott

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #45 on: 09/15/2013 11:01 PM »
Phobos/Deimos is what I wish they were considering!!
Patience, grasshopper! We'll need to do some envelope expansion before we go for the 500-900 day Phobos/Deimos missions. But we'll get there.

Instead of a Phobos/Deimos mission, would a simple Mars flyby be less onerous?  That would be one hell of a shakedown cruise, data gathering and wonder-inspiring mission.  How many days could a flyby be done if one wanted to minimize the travel time, within the payload capacity of two launches?
Itd be less interesting, IMHO, and less science payoff.
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Offline EE Scott

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #46 on: 09/15/2013 11:30 PM »
Phobos/Deimos is what I wish they were considering!!
Patience, grasshopper! We'll need to do some envelope expansion before we go for the 500-900 day Phobos/Deimos missions. But we'll get there.

Instead of a Phobos/Deimos mission, would a simple Mars flyby be less onerous?  That would be one hell of a shakedown cruise, data gathering and wonder-inspiring mission.  How many days could a flyby be done if one wanted to minimize the travel time, within the payload capacity of two launches?
Itd be less interesting, IMHO, and less science payoff.

Agreed.  But way easier.
Scott

Offline QuantumG

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #47 on: 09/16/2013 12:43 AM »
Yeah, I'm really starting to feel that some people on this forum just hate the idea of exploring asteroids.. at all. I wonder if they've read any John S. Lewis, or otherwise understand the potential here.
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Offline MATTBLAK

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #48 on: 09/16/2013 07:12 AM »
I'd love to see NASA do a manned mission to a decent-sized NEA!! I want to see Astronauts clambering over a little world hundreds of meters large for a couple weeks on our Hi-Def TVs. The crew would be conquering a 'Mount Everest in Space' for mankind. The next mission after that could be to Phobos & Deimos with much the same spacecraft and launchers. But there'll be none of this if there's no Leadership. And most of all: no bucks - no 'Buck Rogers'... :(
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Offline Robotbeat

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #49 on: 09/16/2013 07:31 AM »
I often feel "leadership" is a euphemism for "thinks exactly like I do."
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Offline MATTBLAK

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #50 on: 09/16/2013 08:21 AM »
That's a long bow to draw as it pertains to my previous post, but... (shrugs). I take it you have a different destination for manned space? My real preferences are (irrelevant?) the Lunar South Pole first, followed by humans on the Martian surface. But NEAS and Martian Moons would push the technical and budgetary envelope quite far enough for now. And 'leadership'? I think all sides would agree that at this moment in time - it's rather lacking...
« Last Edit: 09/16/2013 08:25 AM by MATTBLAK »
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Offline Robotbeat

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #51 on: 09/16/2013 08:34 AM »
That's a long bow to draw as it pertains to my previous post, but... (shrugs). I take it you have a different destination for manned space? My real preferences are (irrelevant?) the Lunar South Pole first, followed by humans on the Martian surface. But NEAS and Martian Moons would push the technical and budgetary envelope quite far enough for now. And 'leadership'? I think all sides would agree that at this moment in time - it's rather lacking...
Oh, the President has proposed lots of stuff. It's just that the space parts of Congress mostly want to do things the way they've always been done, and the House wants cuts. Neither gives the President any opportunity for maneuvering. I actually think the asteroid push is great idea for several reasons, even though a lot of us space cadets had our hearts set on the Moon (not myself, I am interested in almost any beyond-LEO exploration).
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Offline MATTBLAK

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #52 on: 09/16/2013 11:21 AM »
Agreed! We're largely on the same page. Congress wants to do most things the same old way they've always done - then in the next breath, fractious factions within it want to cut everything. I guess the asteroid heist mission is not ideal - I view it as budget-strangled mediocrity - but if I were the space-minded U.S. taxpayer, I'd back it if it were the 'only game in town'. It's a deep space flight, with deep space EVAs and might be a 'training wheels' version of a true NEA mission. But it will cost billions, is bloody years away and just does not seem to have captured the public imagination. The best part of the 'Asteroid Heist' mission to me is the development of large Solar Electric Propulsion: scale that sucker up and there'd be serious capability for NEAs, the Moons of Mars and Ceres. For what it's worth; I could seriously get behind a manned mission to land on and drill into Ceres. But I might not live long enough to see that happen - it probably wouldn't done until 10 or 15 years after Mars is walked on. And nobody knows how far into the future that is.

'Space Cadets' like me will be old Space Cadets before anything big happens... :(
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Offline Proponent

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #53 on: 09/16/2013 04:20 PM »
I think human exploration of asteroids is just as rational as human exploration of the Moon.

I can see that the case for exploring asteroids with humans is as great as for exploring the moon with them if we're talking about large, main-belt asteroids like Ceres and Vesta.  But for small NEAs, it seems to me the value of sending people is very small as far as knowledge gathering goes.  I don't see how humans are superior to robots in exploring such small bodies.  But I would be happy to be convinced otherwise.

Quote
And besides, we're GOING to need a shakedown of the system before we go to Mars, even Mars orbit. When you change parameters by several orders of magnitude at a time, it's helpful to have something in between to catch the unknown unknowns before they kill you.

Now this I agree with.  I'm all for sending people to a free-range NEA to demonstrate deep-space ops.  And, while you're there, you might as well do all of the science you can.  A series of successively longer NEA missions might make sense.  But ultimately what's probably needed scientifically are surveys of many asteroids, and that would have to be done robotically.  And utilization of asteroids would have to be robotic if it is to have any hope of being economic.

Offline M129K

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #54 on: 09/16/2013 04:38 PM »
There's a difference between science missions and exploration missions. A manned mission to an asteroid would be an exploration mission; pushing human presence, experience and knowledge of the solar system, serving as a stepping stone for a manned mission to more interesting targets like Mars, Ceres or Callisto. A science mission serves just to increase knowledge. Robots in space allow you to learn more about space. Humans in space allow you to learn more about humans in space.

Offline Proponent

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #55 on: 09/18/2013 07:54 PM »
I think we are, as they say, in violent agreement.

Offline M129K

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #56 on: 09/18/2013 08:08 PM »
After re-reading your previous comment, I think you're right.

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #57 on: 03/02/2014 03:52 PM »
The primary problem is lack of funds, not lack of mass. Why do people always get this reversed?

Good catch in general, bears repeating.
« Last Edit: 03/02/2014 03:54 PM by JohnFornaro »
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #58 on: 03/02/2014 03:55 PM »
The article mentions
*202 days to reach the asteroid,
*14 day exploration period
*153 days to return to earth.

Those seem like hugely long travel times for a short exploration to me. How does this compare in risk and cost to a Phobos/Deimos lunar mission?


Fixed that for ya.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #59 on: 03/02/2014 03:58 PM »
Just noticed that this thread is pinned to the top of the category.  Why is that, since most of the commentary is months old?
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline Hop_David

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #60 on: 03/03/2014 07:05 PM »
Yeah, I'm really starting to feel that some people on this forum just hate the idea of exploring asteroids.. at all. I wonder if they've read any John S. Lewis, or otherwise understand the potential here.

John who?

If he doesn't subscribe to the Zubrin or Spudis doctrines, obviously some heretic.
« Last Edit: 03/03/2014 07:08 PM by Hop_David »

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #61 on: 03/03/2014 07:55 PM »
Yeah, I'm really starting to feel that some people on this forum just hate the idea of exploring asteroids.. at all. I wonder if they've read any John S. Lewis, or otherwise understand the potential here.

John who?

If he doesn't subscribe to the Zubrin or Spudis doctrines, obviously some heretic.

Ahhh.  So that's why this thread is pinned to the top of the section!  Anything else would be heresy?

Lotta people on this forum understand the potential of asteroids.   Most people, particularly policymakers, don't seem to understand that prioritizing tasks in space is crucial, and that easier things should be done first, so as to practice, practice, practice.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline Robert Thompson

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #62 on: 03/04/2014 05:23 AM »
imho Bolden admits that the ARM does not or barely satisfies science, sample and earth defense returns. Its geopolitical/prestige returns are paltry, and barely meets the (ill-advised) BTDT mandate. There is no material ISRU return either. Because taxpayers are footing the bill, the geopolitical return of HSF to Any distant target must exceed the science, sample and earth defense return available by cheaper robotic means. Asteroid HSF targets that are too small to harm earth are too small to provide earth defense return, ruling out smaller than about 25 meters. Granted, you can push the Chelyabinsk angle that obviously it does not require ground impact to send 1200 to a hospital. Asteroid HSF targets that are too close to the sun, close to 1 AU, offer decreasing opportunity for ISRU of volatiles without increasing mass of equipment. In the domain of flags-and-footprints, what is the future compounding value of having been to a small body that humans do not have a purpose to return to? Or, what useful metric is there for the X ISRU returns / Y orbital distance justification to support Z quantity astronauts. HSF to an asteroid for sample return is practically baseless. You could shield/advertise the mission as "Science!!" if the geopolitical return was substantial enough, like with Apollo. On a recent TheSpaceShow Ric Tumlinson (DSI) had a broad view on the funding impact of Chelyabinsk. I tend to think of robotic precursors as one and the same with the sensory apparatus of evolving organisms, and the extension of this sphere of sensory human activity in no way truncates and in fact rather ensures the expansion of the sphere of economic human activity. They are silicon and titanium sensory stalks and mandibles to homo sapiens, in the same way that tin cans and inflatables will be exoskeleton/carapaces. One day, for suitably meaningful enough asteroid targets, HSF will happen. John S Lewis had 3 guest spots on TheSpaceShow. In one of them he mentioned his Mormon heritage and how that informed his views on human expansion. To take a stab geopolitical return greater than robotic science, sample, and earth defense, I'd say make it a target that possesses a Name that the citizens of another nation will recognize. imho

http://www.spacepolitics.com/2013/08/10/bolden-asteroid-redirect-mission-not-going-to-save-the-planet/
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/asteroidwatch/fastfacts.cfm
http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1955-BWB-2013-02-20.mp3
http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1783-BWB-2012-05-28.mp3
http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1495-BWB-2011-01-14.mp3
« Last Edit: 03/04/2014 05:57 AM by Hernalt »

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #63 on: 03/04/2014 06:01 AM »
why this thread is pinned to the top of the section!  Anything else would be heresy?

Lotta people on this forum understand the potential of asteroids.   Most people, particularly policymakers, don't seem to understand that prioritizing tasks in space is crucial, and that easier things should be done first, so as to practice, practice, practice.

When Obama announced his asteroid-then-Mars plan, to me the concept for visiting an asteroid was more of demonstration that we could venture out that far plus do something while we were there.  That the main goal was to demonstrate that we could operate part of the distance we had to go to get to Mars, which hopefully was paving the way for eventually traveling to Mars.

When the Asteroid Retrieval Mission (ARM) was announced, it didn't seem to address the need for learning how to operate at dramatically farther and farther distances.  Instead it was more oriented towards pushing the boundaries of what we knew about asteroids.  And in that regard there were likely better ways to do that than ARM.

If the goal is Mars, and that has been the explicit goal since the VSE, then we need to be focusing on increasing our ability to confidently and competently operate at increasingly farther distances from Earth.  Focusing too much on doing science at intermediate points distracts from that.
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Offline KelvinZero

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #64 on: 03/04/2014 08:13 AM »
why this thread is pinned to the top of the section!  Anything else would be heresy?

Lotta people on this forum understand the potential of asteroids.   Most people, particularly policymakers, don't seem to understand that prioritizing tasks in space is crucial, and that easier things should be done first, so as to practice, practice, practice.

When Obama announced his asteroid-then-Mars plan, to me the concept for visiting an asteroid was more of demonstration that we could venture out that far plus do something while we were there.  That the main goal was to demonstrate that we could operate part of the distance we had to go to get to Mars, which hopefully was paving the way for eventually traveling to Mars.

When the Asteroid Retrieval Mission (ARM) was announced, it didn't seem to address the need for learning how to operate at dramatically farther and farther distances.  Instead it was more oriented towards pushing the boundaries of what we knew about asteroids.  And in that regard there were likely better ways to do that than ARM.

If the goal is Mars, and that has been the explicit goal since the VSE, then we need to be focusing on increasing our ability to confidently and competently operate at increasingly farther distances from Earth.  Focusing too much on doing science at intermediate points distracts from that.

This probably isn't something anyone would dispute, but of course we won't demonstrate we can venture out a long way by venturing out a long way, except perhaps in the sense of demonstrating it to youtube viewers with very short attention spans. It is HSF so you pretty much have to demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt before you venture out.

I doubt we can build up enough confidence just testing equipment on the ground so I assume there will be earlier manned or unmanned launches and in-space testing involved in such a mission. I think this means it is also not fair to compare a big year long mission with a small one puttering around around cislunar space without enumerating the puttering around in cislunar space that will happen on the path to the big exciting mission.

This is something I would like to see laid out. What actually would be the steps/missions between here and having a piece of tested hardware we could trust for a yearlong BEO mission.


Offline Robert Thompson

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #65 on: 03/04/2014 11:38 AM »
Two advertized rationales for HSF asteroid is to prove Orion in deep space, and because Obama uttered so. Two advertized difficulties for HSF asteroid is little to no abort modes, and no broad support in NASA or Congress. I would add two subordinate difficulties in that HSF asteroid gains no geopolitical return among space nations who are only at the capability of partnering in cis-lunar missions, and gains no public relations return among U.S. voters/taxpayers who have ultra low information on NASA and space. These factors operate in the presence of new space players who are developing small/nano sat capabilities explicitly to observe, categorize and go to asteroids.

IMHO Orion could be proven in deep space, and retain full abort modes, by creative use of the extended cis-lunar environment. Do a 45 day mission with various orbits and eccentricities around cis-lunar space. They remain in practical visual contact with earth. Their relevance to people on earth remains at a point perhaps slightly higher than ISS passes. Even if amateurs with telescopes cannot see them, someone with an app can see where they are and point, in a different direction, over the course of days or weeks. IHMO

I'd Love to see someone put up a fight that defends the audacity and virtue of an HSF asteroid mission across every metric. I imagine that if Congress does more chop-licking over the likely unattainable Mars 2021, that will churn the options for HSF asteroid. All conversation and debate is good.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #66 on: 03/04/2014 09:52 PM »
Gaining more information on and experience with asteroids to help with deflection, detection, and possible utilization/exploitation. It's not "just because Obama said so."
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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Offline Robert Thompson

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #67 on: 03/05/2014 11:03 AM »
A mandate from a POTUS is A rationale. I touched on obvious/popular rationales in #62. I haven't heard of detection as a rationale for HSF asteroid. Detection is most cheaply done by reception of photons, not stubbing of toes, and so you can detect smaller diameter bodies and lower albedos by placing larger apertures closer to the sun, facing outward and achieving lower angles of incidence. Sentinel will have 11 square degrees of view always on. PRI and DSI are developing asteroid detection hardware that will eventually go to asteroids. I cannot devise a scenario where HSF asteroid adds to detection, but I'm all ears. Characterization, maybe, by HSF intelligent sample return, but I'd think that remote / tele-operated sample return could do that cheaper/faster. Remotes can do GRAIL type detection of moments and mascons (I assume a sensitivity that may not exist). Remote sensing can observe Yarkovsky, any venting dv, other things. I went looking for human FOV and found overlapping sensitivity like on LRO and MRO:
http://www.technologyreview.com/view/423575/augmented-reality-interface-exploits-human-nervous-system/

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #68 on: 03/05/2014 08:04 PM »
Two advertized rationales for HSF asteroid is to prove Orion in deep space, and because Obama uttered so. Two advertized difficulties for HSF asteroid is little to no abort modes, and no broad support in NASA or Congress. I would add two subordinate difficulties in that HSF asteroid gains no geopolitical return among space nations who are only at the capability of partnering in cis-lunar missions, and gains no public relations return among U.S. voters/taxpayers who have ultra low information on NASA and space. These factors operate in the presence of new space players...

Who are not only developing nano-sats, but are also developing rockets with 53 ton throw weights.

Quote
I'd Love to see someone put up a fight that defends the audacity and virtue of an HSF asteroid mission across every metric.

And that does not seem likely to happen.  Why, I know not.

All in all yours was a pretty darn good post, and a fairly eloquent and brief summary of the only two rationales for the ARM.  This mission cannot be defended on a pragmatic basis, nor on a risk basis.

Orion could certainly be proven on a lengthy mission in cis-lunar, and somewhat beyond as you sketch out.  The abort modes would be tricky if the hypothetical accident happened on the way out, but even so, the proximity would have to argue for a less risky shakedown cruise than the yearlong mission, where the hypothetical accident would also have to be considered on the way out.
« Last Edit: 03/05/2014 08:05 PM by JohnFornaro »
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline Hop_David

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #69 on: 03/05/2014 08:34 PM »
imho Bolden admits that the ARM does not or barely satisfies science, sample and earth defense returns.

Science? Looking for extra terrestrial lichens and bacteria? Building models of planetary formation?

If this is the sole reason for space exploration, HSF isn't justified.

... and earth defense returns.

The Keck vehicle wouldn't be much good for deflecting dino-killers.  But it could deflect city killers. And potential city killing rocks are about a million times more common than dino killers.

The only justification for HSF, in my opinion, is breaking our boundaries and bringing the solar system's resources and real estate within our grasp. If that's not the goal, HSF is an expensive sideshow and a waste of taxpayer money.

A Keck style SEP vehicle would bring us closer to asteroid resource exploitation. The Keck paper says 2.6 billion dollars, about half of that is design and development. Either Planetary Resources or Deep Space Industries would be hard pressed to come up with R&D budgets in the billions. It would benefit them if NASA helped developed this technology. Just as NASA's R&D was a huge help to Bigelow and Musk.

"But! But! A $2.6 billion vehicle costs too much!" wail the Moon Firsters. "There won't be any money left to establish our 100 billion dollar lunar colony!" The budget for an ARM mission would be a pittance compared to establishing a lunar mine. It's like saying buying a bicycle will ruin our chances for buying a new car.






Offline Hop_David

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #70 on: 03/05/2014 08:47 PM »
I haven't heard of detection as a rationale for HSF asteroid.

The ARM proposal is more than HSF. It calls for development of a robotic SEP retrieval vehicle as described in the Keck report.

NASA Development of such a vehicle would save Planetary Resources about 1.3 billion dollars.

With an extra 1.3 billion dollars, PR could build a few more Arkyd probes.

Planetary Resources hopes to get their Arkyds down to a million dollars apiece.

I guess a 1300 extra orbital telescopes wouldn't do much for detection.
« Last Edit: 03/05/2014 08:49 PM by Hop_David »

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #71 on: 03/06/2014 01:04 AM »
Of course, the child (NASA) can't even afford to buy a bicycle, much less a car.  Nor is there a need for that ARM bicycle, but for one man's misguided assertion.

The sooner the totality of why bother with attempting to create a new off-planet economy is discussed, the better off the human race and all life on Earth will be.

The only alternative is to crowd the planet even further, and bemoan the fact that the nest is dirty.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline mdatb

Yeah, I'm really starting to feel that some people on this forum just hate the idea of exploring asteroids.. at all. I wonder if they've read any John S. Lewis, or otherwise understand the potential here.

John who?

If he doesn't subscribe to the Zubrin or Spudis doctrines, obviously some heretic.
:o The only place humans can go to is the moon or mars! Asteroids are heresy >:(!

In all seriousness, most where-to-go HSF debates are about the Moon and Mars.

Offline TomH

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Re: NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission
« Reply #73 on: 06/17/2016 02:27 AM »
HO3 is about 9M mi at its closest. Taking a Bigelow hab with Orion to this object makes a lot more sense than hauling back a VW sized rock or going all the way to the asteroid belt.

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