Author Topic: Orionís crewed asteroid mission unlikely to occur prior to 2024  (Read 57026 times)

Offline Jim

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Someone else posted a nice summary of what 7B USD buys for SLS vs. what it got from SpaceX. Those numbers pretty much speak for themselves.

No, that is a completely wrong comparison.    Typical of nuspace to use such inaccurate comparisons.  SLS is not oldspace.  SLS is gov't space.

How about this for a nuspace comparison?  This is what you get:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=35974.0
« Last Edit: 11/29/2014 06:34 PM by Jim »

Offline Waz_Met_Jou

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When I first heard about the ARM I was actually kind of excited about it. Developing SEP technology and providing Orion/SLS with a useful destination to test the complete system by 2021, followed by a mission to an asteroid in deep space by 2025 as a precursor to Mars orbit? Sign me up!

A bagged asteroid as the culmination of 13 years of development and billions of dollars with no clear follow-on program? Slightly less exciting.

I've been trying to keep up with the evolvable Mars campaign study; it's a nice idea but even that is very vague on the time between Mars orbit and ARM, and on the six years between EM-1 and ARM as well.

Offline Poole Amateur

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Jim, don't think that is quite fair. ..and probably not worthy of you.


Someone else posted a nice summary of what 7B USD buys for SLS vs. what it got from SpaceX. Those numbers pretty much speak for themselves.

No, that is a completely wrong comparison.    Typical of nuspace to use such inaccurate comparisons.  SLS is not oldspace.  SLS is gov't space.

How about this for a nuspace comparison?  This is what you get:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=35974.0

Offline Jim

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Jim, don't think that is quite fair. ..and probably not worthy of you.


That was my point, the comparison is just as wrong as mine.


Offline Poole Amateur

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Jim, don't think that is quite fair. ..and probably not worthy of you.


That was my point, the comparison is just as wrong as mine.

Ah...OK. Thanks for the clarification.  FWIW, I'm far from convinced that SLS and/or Orion is going to have enough inertia to survive beyond the next Presidential elections. For me, a layman who is just interested in space, it appears that this is a program without a proper objective and thus a difficult sell to both the public and any future administration.  Of course I am very willing to be corrected.

Online Lar

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Someone else posted a nice summary of what 7B USD buys for SLS vs. what it got from SpaceX. Those numbers pretty much speak for themselves.

No, that is a completely wrong comparison.    Typical of nuspace to use such inaccurate comparisons.  SLS is not oldspace.  SLS is gov't space.

How about this for a nuspace comparison?  This is what you get:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=35974.0

I am indeed speaking of New Space vs Gov't Space... and you're right, crashes happen. In new, old, government, soviet, russian, chinese, japanese, indian, whoever. Sadly.
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline Endeavour_01

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SpaceX might already BE on Mars or on the way, by the mid 2020s, but they plan to bypass those moons. So, NASA, send a crew there.

Sad. But not surprising. With that budget imagine what could be accomplished if it wasn't OldSpace doing it. Sorry for that tone but it's how I feel.

That is bovine excrement.  Nuspace isn't going to be any better.


SpaceX is not going to Mars without massive support from NASA. That could happen and I think it should happen. There is nothing wrong with a NASA led public-private partnership. It doesn't have to be all one way or the other.

Quote
Someone else posted a nice summary of what 7B USD buys for SLS vs. what it got from SpaceX. Those numbers pretty much speak for themselves.

You are comparing apples and oranges. BEO is not the same as LEO. That is like saying if I wanted to get from America to Europe and I have a couple million dollars I should buy a couple of RVs vs. a jet. Sure the RV's cost less but they won't get me where I need to go.

To borrow from an earlier post: SpaceX is not enough, SpaceX is not enough, SpaceX is not enough!
I cheer for both NASA and commercial space. For SLS, Orion, Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy, Dragon, Starliner, Cygnus and all the rest!
I was blessed to see the launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour on STS-99. The launch was beyond amazing. My 8-year old mind was blown. I remember the noise and seeing the exhaust pour out of the shuttle as it lifted off. I remember staring and watching it soar while it was visible in the clear blue sky. It was one of the greatest moments of my life and I will never forget it.

Offline redliox

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FWIW, I'm far from convinced that SLS and/or Orion is going to have enough inertia to survive beyond the next Presidential elections. For me, a layman who is just interested in space, it appears that this is a program without a proper objective and thus a difficult sell to both the public and any future administration.  Of course I am very willing to be corrected.

We'll know for sure by 2018.  The SLS is an excellent launch vehicle; it isn't the deathly-firecracker-with-wings the shuttle was.  With the shuttles packed away as museum showpieces (I had the pleasure of seeing Endeavour in LA in October) and Orion set for a test flight, it is more sensible to get SLS ready.  SpaceX is promising but won't be sending us to Mars any sooner than NASA's best dreams and ULA is getting questionable with Russian parts.  All SLS needs is just the right direction, which we all know NASA's been lacking for decades.

Again, if anything is corrected, it's just where Orion and SLS are sent.  It won't be the ARM option, not after 2016 at least.  Personal guess what might become NASA's plan:
1) Lunar Orbit Playground-Proving Ground
2) Martian moons and orbit
3) Mars itself finally

Presuming things remain conservative for at least another decade, Orion might be circling the moon but no efforts will be made to land.  However some lunar science could be done and, more importantly, deep space modules could be brought up and tested.  When things seem ready, an Orion with an EAM is sent to Mars initially to visit Phobos and Deimos.  After that, its just a matter of landing on Mars itself, which is the harder task.

The asteroids would be interesting to visit, but obviously NASA's way seems to be making a quagmire out of them.  Either ditch the ARM way and go to them directly or refocus on Mars.  That seems like a clearer plan to me.
« Last Edit: 11/29/2014 08:33 PM by redliox »
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Offline ncb1397

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Jim. I feel for you, I really do, but come on mate..
Times are a changin'
Gov/Old space is failing, and about to crash hard.
Get a job with SpaceX! They would snap you up for a big salary!
Move on..
With respect.

SpaceX would be dead if it weren't for a government space contract. In this way, government space is succeeding because the government's job is only to make the conditions right for their citizens to be able to succeed. The U.S. space industry has had a rebirth post Shuttle and is honestly blooming again especially in commercial launch contracts. There are many projects underway and while only some will succeed, the future is still much brighter than it was a decade ago. Those projects include stratolaunch, dragon v2, CST-100, Dream Chaser, Falcon heavy, F9R, SLS, Orion, ISS, Planetary Resources, Virgin Galactic, Lunar X-Prize, inflatable habitats, Mars 2020, JWST, next-gen Atlas, etc. Just next month we are going to have an ocean recovery attempt on a barge of a reusable booster and an Orion test flight on Delta IV. Many of these projects will fail, but such is what happens in a marketplace of ideas as an industry matures. Failed projects have always just come with the territory, but for every failure, there is the chance for great success as well. All the negativity about the future of U.S. space as evidenced by this thread are not at all justified and just shows that some people will never be satisfied. If the one true solution(which has been revealed to them) is not the only solution that is pursued, then that throws the whole endeavour into doubt as completely innefficient and wasteful. Truth is, you can skin a cat a million different ways. Furthermore, if the way forward isn't mapped out to extreme detail out 10 years or more, then it is all aimless wandering. I for one look forward to the meandering we do in space.
« Last Edit: 11/29/2014 08:54 PM by ncb1397 »

Offline MATTBLAK

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 [
What is the opposite of a party thread? Bespoke handcrafting of Orion heat shield, maintaining the workforce to fly SLS once in a blue moon, and all culminating in a 30 day trip in 10 years time to a piece of wrapped asteroid. Don't get me wrong, as a geologist I like asteroids, but we already have a fair bit of that stuff down here, it falls down the gravity well by itself. Is this important enough to blow the budget of the next 10 years on?

Cue in Talking Heads 'Stop making Sense' album: We're on a way to nowhere... :'(

I'd 'love' to see someone do a space-themed music video with that song as a soundtrack. The guys who used to do ones for the Shuttle missions; perhaps they could do a satirical one? :(  Or someone else if they had the software? I used to have video editing software that worked - but only with Windows 98 & XP. On Windows 7 now; I got nuthin.  :-[ I did a video 'Requiem For Constellation' once that was surprisingly effective... and sad. I've still got it somewhere.
« Last Edit: 11/29/2014 09:04 PM by MATTBLAK »
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Offline rcoppola

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I am so tired of the "Orion is taking us to Mars" meme. No...it's not. A Deep Space Habitat with an In-Space Propulsion system is taking us to Mars. And that's not even talking about actual Decent and Ascent to/from the martian surface.

The ARM does nothing to facilitate any of what we actually need. ARM should be cancelled. NASA should provide the commercial space community with a set of basic requirements for DSH - ISP, select the best bids. provide their expertise and get on with it.

Now, if you want to go way out to visit a NEA, while testing out an initial DSH - ISP, then be my guest. Otherwise, stop waisting your/our time.

As a side note, although I will be cheering on Orion's test flight, I'd just assume we scrap her too. We just need a way to get up to a DSH and back from a high velocity Mars return profile. So let's just issue another CC contract for that requirement and let Boeing and SpaceX have at it. 
« Last Edit: 11/29/2014 09:32 PM by rcoppola »
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Online Lar

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SpaceX is not going to Mars without massive support from NASA. That could happen and I think it should happen. There is nothing wrong with a NASA led public-private partnership. It doesn't have to be all one way or the other.


My read, could be wrong, and I'm a heavy koolaid drinker, to be sure, is that Musk is going. If NASA wants to help, great, but he's going to Mars. You may disagree. It may take longer without NASA but our destiny is to be a multiplanet species. Government won't get us that.

Yes, NASA money helped get SpaceX to where it is at this point in time. But it is not a given that they necessarily would be nonexistant/bankrupt/not making any progress. The money helps but it's not the be-all/end-all.

Quote

Quote
Someone else posted a nice summary of what 7B USD buys for SLS vs. what it got from SpaceX. Those numbers pretty much speak for themselves.

You are comparing apples and oranges. BEO is not the same as LEO. That is like saying if I wanted to get from America to Europe and I have a couple million dollars I should buy a couple of RVs vs. a jet. Sure the RV's cost less but they won't get me where I need to go.

There's not THAT much difference between CST-100/DC/Dragon and Orion. My comparision is apt because it focuses on how much you get per dollar, not exactly what it's spent on. I get that Space is Hard but BEO isn't so much harder that it takes 2 orders of magnitude more expenditure. Or even 1.  And Orion isn't really all that BEO capable anyway, as other posters have ably demonstrated.

As others said, cancel Orion, put the money into retiring risk and increasing TRL for depots/DSH/Landers, and bid it out.

I'm delighted that things have changed (w/r/t/ commercial space) to where that's just a statement some disagree with instead of a ludicrously crazy statement.
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline notsorandom

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The asteroid thing has always been a bit dodgy. No amount of canceling programs and raising budgets will change the fact that there are few targets and limited launch windows. Not even Spacex can pull an asteroid mission off if there is no asteroid.

There are no known targets for ARM which can be captured in time for a 2021 mission. It's not an issue of funding or a particular program being behind schedule. It's what nature has provided us to work with.

The first setup of course would be to start looking for a target with ground based telescopes. That is an extremely cheap first step yet it has yet to be proposed and funded by the White House or NASA, the very people who are gung ho about ARM.
« Last Edit: 11/29/2014 11:18 PM by notsorandom »

Online AncientU

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The problem with ground based telescope discoveries is that candidate near Earth asteroids (NEAs) are discovered in passing -- too close to earth for any possibility of a retrieval (or unfortunately any realistic action like getting out of its way).  Next time around for a subset of these NEAs is of order ten years.  The only likely candidates for retrieval in under ten years are Earth 'trojans' that reside temporarily in the Earth-Sun L4/L5 zones one AU from here.  These are at best difficult to find from the ground, but could be spotted by an orbiting telescope of sufficient aperture.  There are such rocks identified out there now, and many more waiting to be discovered.
« Last Edit: 11/30/2014 12:10 AM by AncientU »
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Offline Coastal Ron

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I'm not even going to bother to state my dream and suggest a meaningless course of action, because I've done it elsewhere and to my representatives, and the site and this thread will have them.  But I will say that NASA has to demonstrate credible progress in their HSF program every two - four years and mount a better information campaign to keep what support they do have.

The only active NASA HSF program is the ISS, and though I'm not disputing the need for it to show progress and results, I'm not sure it is able to show any clearly visible ROI at this point.  It's kind of like starting a long-term science experiment and standing over it asking "any results yet?".  Science output is usually not linear like that.

There can be indicators of progress though, and the science output of the ISS has been criticized by the science community, but our politicians are going to have to rely on the science community to tell them whether the science output is worth the effort since there aren't any obvious milestones like being construction complete or landing on the Moon.  Our government funded science efforts in space are very much like our government funded science efforts here on Earth for technology and health related areas - you can't always predict when big progress will happen.

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There is very little, if any hope of "Space State" congressman gathering together to fund 3 billion more dollars per year.

So far the ISS has enjoyed broad support, very much like the science funding for facilities here on Earth have.  But the ISS is a much more fragile eco-system to keep going, so it's funding levels can't survive much change in the wrong direction.

Quote
Face it, $3B is relatively small potatoes for the country, but that goal seems to be the minimum necessary to allow NASA to craft a well-defined path to future success.

Obviously they are unable to make a deal or it isn't that important even to them to even try.

Perhaps then, it would be best to "not to go at all".

$3B/year is not enough for NASA to go anywhere substantial beyond LEO, or at least not on it's own.

We could be at the crossover point where we've gone as far as our government is willing to finance, and to go beyond this point we'll have to wait for the private sector to take the lead.  That could be next year, next decade, or next century - I don't know.

But even setting up shop on the Moon is currently beyond the amount our politicians are willing to fund (Constellation was proof of that), so unless that changes NASA's goals need to change.  The proposed Asteroid Retrieval Mission (ARM) is giving us some insight into what Congress will be willing to do, since even though they don't appear to like ARM they have been unwilling to offer any alternatives of their own.

So inaction at this point is tacit acknowledgement that funding for NASA HSF is coming to an end, although it may not end until the ISS mission is completed.  But nothing so far is being funded to supplant or replace the ISS, after 2020, 2024 or even 2028, so we may be at some sort of end point for government HSF.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline clongton

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Read the story shortly after it was posted and even though I expected it, it still teared me up.

This is a sad state of affairs - truly a sad state. I am an Apollo guy, worked on the Saturn-V's F-1A engine.  I know what it's like to be involved in a massive HSF program being lead by visionaries, by real honest-to-god leaders. Sadly we haven't had any of those at NASA for a very long time and none at all in Congress and the White House for decades.These are the facts on the ground:

1. NASA is not going to go to Mars - it never will. Congress will never fund that much.
2. SLS is far too big to be a CLV unless it's an all-in-one mission launch like the Apollo/Saturn flights to the moon.
3. SLS will not survive the next POTUS.
4. Orion will not carry any humans into orbit - unless NASA makes a deal to use Falcon Heavy as a CLV - unlikely.
5. Orion has nowhere to go except the ISS and Dragon will do that better and for far less money.
6. ISS will last only a few more years and then NASA will have NOWHERE to go and no way to get there.
7. Congress, Obama and Bolden have taken NASA as far out on the limb as it is possible to be and are now furiously sawing off the limb.

I don't expect anybody to "Like" this post - I don't even like it.
Sad
« Last Edit: 11/30/2014 01:57 AM by clongton »
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Offline MATTBLAK

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And with that, Chuck underlines the story and maybe bookends it, too. Some of us warned of this several years ago during Augustine and probably before. There may (or may not) - be shadowy figures working to eliminate manned space exploration by government. Heck; even commercial space is seeing resistance. The recent movie 'Interstellar' portrayed a luddite, virtually flat earth society that tried to rewrite the history books. Is that movie prescient? And the film 'Gravity' portrayed a completely trashed low Earth orbit infrastructure...

Just saying...  :'(

EDIT: I now turn my weary eyes to China, and the handful of fascinating probe missions in the solar system still to come.
« Last Edit: 11/30/2014 02:05 AM by MATTBLAK »
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Offline sdsds

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I don't understand. Why will President Cuomo cancel SLS?
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Offline ThereIWas3

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I don't understand. Why will President Cuomo cancel SLS?

Lack of funding, and more pressing problems to deal with.
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Offline MATTBLAK

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There will always be other 'pressing problems' to deal with. It could be afforded - its just that the powers-that-be don't consider it a priority. Just more 'sci-fi' stuff for 'space geeks'. After ISS splashes some years down the road, the only U.S. Astronauts for quite a few years may be Hollywood ones in movies about Space. Some folk wont be happy until all the spaceships are in museums or confined to old backups of Powerpoints on 'Space Geeks' hard drives. Then, I will resemble that remark...
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