Author Topic: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft  (Read 40382 times)

Offline redliox

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Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« on: 03/08/2015 09:25 AM »
Given this year's surprising number of Martian moon proposals, I thought a new topic thread should be dedicated to new spacecraft visiting the long-overlooked duo.

PADME is the proposed mission with the most details; an update summing it up is here: http://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2015/pdf/2856.pdf

For those posting, I suggest focusing on modern visits to Phobos and Deimos, i.e. Mars Express onwards.  Feel free to discuss human spaceflight to the moons, but this is part of the Space Science thread so think "probes" foremost.
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Offline MATTBLAK

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #1 on: 03/08/2015 09:59 AM »
A fairly big probe, with a combined chemical/ion propulsion. Most of it's chemical impulse would be for Mars orbit insertion in the vicinity of Phobos. Spacecraft fires penetrators into Phobos for combination analysis and anchoring. Then, the probe descends to Phobos surface by reeling in the penetrator's cables, scoops up some regolith. then using SEP, thrusts out to Deimos to repeat the process - the samples are cached in a re-entry capsule. Then, chemical & SEP thrust back to Earth where the capsule enters the atmosphere for touchdown in the Australian outback.

Variations? The probe could perhaps rendezvous with a couple sample return craft fired up from the Martian surface and it could cache their samples, too.
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Offline nadreck

Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #2 on: 03/08/2015 10:12 PM »
A fairly big probe, with a combined chemical/ion propulsion. Most of it's chemical impulse would be for Mars orbit insertion in the vicinity of Phobos. Spacecraft fires penetrators into Phobos for combination analysis and anchoring. Then, the probe descends to Phobos surface by reeling in the penetrator's cables, scoops up some regolith. then using SEP, thrusts out to Deimos to repeat the process - the samples are cached in a re-entry capsule. Then, chemical & SEP thrust back to Earth where the capsule enters the atmosphere for touchdown in the Australian outback.

Variations? The probe could perhaps rendezvous with a couple sample return craft fired up from the Martian surface and it could cache their samples, too.

Would like to see something that could extract significant drill core samples say down 100 meters, break it up into segments and send that back, from Mars surface as well in a few locations, but that may have to wait until the experts and labs get there.  Still I think it would be easier for that deep a sample to be drilled from Phobos and Deimos, chopped up and not mixed up to be loaded into a return vehicle robotically than doing the same thing on the surface of Mars (and realistically to give us signficant understanding, in lots of different locations on Mars).
It is all well and good to quote those things that made it past your confirmation bias that other people wrote, but this is a discussion board damnit! Let us know what you think! And why!

Offline baldusi

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #3 on: 03/09/2015 12:28 PM »
Well, Philiae has shown that if you don't know the hardness of the underlying strata, firing hooks is a risky experiment on whether or not you can actually get an anchor.

Offline vjkane

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #4 on: 03/09/2015 01:03 PM »
Would like to see something that could extract significant drill core samples say down 100 meters, break it up into segments and send that back, from Mars surface as well in a few locations, but that may have to wait until the experts and labs get there.  Still I think it would be easier for that deep a sample to be drilled from Phobos and Deimos, chopped up and not mixed up to be loaded into a return vehicle robotically than doing the same thing on the surface of Mars (and realistically to give us signficant understanding, in lots of different locations on Mars).
Deep drilling within the confines of what can be packaged on a spacecraft and done without any humans for a few millions of kilometers is challenging.  Even harder when your spacecraft weighs a few pounds.

As for Philae, I don't think that the harpoons ever fired.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #5 on: 03/09/2015 01:22 PM »

Offline baldusi

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #6 on: 03/09/2015 01:33 PM »
[...]
As for Philae, I don't think that the harpoons ever fired.
I don't know, really. But we know that the drill couldn't penetrate one bit even after forcing it. AIUI, given that hardness, the harpoons would have had quite a chance of not penetrating. And even if they did, they might have just broke a piece and not offering much anchor. Ice anchoring is quite difficult and requires very specific tools and techniques.

Offline kato

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #7 on: 03/09/2015 03:14 PM »
SD2 (the drill) probably never touched the surface and MUPUS (the self-hammering probe) only found that it's above 2-2.5 MPa (which isn't much). The Harpoons were rated for penetrating and anchoring in about 13 MPa hardness.

Offline TakeOff

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #8 on: 03/13/2015 11:29 AM »
Well, Philiae has shown that if you don't know the hardness of the underlying strata, firing hooks is a risky experiment on whether or not you can actually get an anchor.
They've figured out that they've wired the harpoon launching mechanism wrong, so the failure was not related to the hooking concept as such. If Philae wakes up again, they want to try them again, now knowing how to do it. The harpoons are not only part of the landing system, they also provide science about the hardness of the surface and temperatures down to a meter or so depth.

Source: somewhere in this SETI talk by DLR guy Jens Biele Dec. 6, 2014.:
http://www.seti.org/weeky-lecture/rosetta-lander-philae-mission-landing-comet-67pchuryumov-gerasimenko

Offline TakeOff

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #9 on: 03/13/2015 11:41 AM »
Since interplanetary drilling seems to be so challenging, what about instead using directed explosives, like armor piercing weapons? No moving parts. Couldn't that dig up materials from quite some depth? Hayabusa 2 will blow up subsurface samples to be collected and returned to Earth. Sure, a drill could give better science, but now to begin with, wouldn't explosives be a good alternative?
Animation:
http://jda.jaxa.jp/result_strm.php?lang=e&id=2e032c23f72832dba634998602294f69
« Last Edit: 03/13/2015 11:48 AM by TakeOff »

Offline Jim

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #10 on: 03/13/2015 12:13 PM »
Since interplanetary drilling seems to be so challenging, what about instead using directed explosives, like armor piercing weapons? No moving parts. Couldn't that dig up materials from quite some depth? Hayabusa 2 will blow up subsurface samples to be collected and returned to Earth. Sure, a drill could give better science, but now to begin with, wouldn't explosives be a good alternative?
Animation:
http://jda.jaxa.jp/result_strm.php?lang=e&id=2e032c23f72832dba634998602294f69

No.  They would make it more complex because:

A.  The act of firing them at the target would put a large reactive force on the spacecraft necessitating larger thrusters and such
B.  If the projectile is self propelled, the complexity is self evident.
c. The reaction to the explosives is unquantifiable and thus it is unknown how to protect the spacecraft thus adding complexity.  Even after the explosion, some debris would remain in the area, even orbiting the target
d.  the explosives would contaminate any samples

Offline ISP

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #11 on: 03/13/2015 12:40 PM »
Well, then why not do what Deep Impact/Hayabusa 2 will/did do? Non-explosive excavation, with a projectile made of a substance that wouldn't be found on the target body (copper, for instances).

It should also be simpler to make the impactor itself a spacecraft, but that will drive up cost and might increase mission complexity...

Offline TakeOff

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #12 on: 03/13/2015 01:25 PM »
Phobos and Deimos are more massive, but I think that the ever more complex operations at low gravity objects (like Rosetta and Hayabusa 2) look very promising for exploring them too. Their time is coming. NASA and ESA maybe already have their hands full with other Mars missions next decade, but they would be great targets for the Asian space agencies and maybe Russia will finally reach Phobos on the next attempt. If they had made it in 1988 or 2012 this discussion would be different today. I'm disappointed that the Martian orbiters weren't better equipped for exploring the moons, the small Mars Express seems to do the most of its flybys.
Since interplanetary drilling seems to be so challenging, what about instead using directed explosives, like armor piercing weapons? No moving parts. Couldn't that dig up materials from quite some depth? Hayabusa 2 will blow up subsurface samples to be collected and returned to Earth. Sure, a drill could give better science, but now to begin with, wouldn't explosives be a good alternative?
Animation:
http://jda.jaxa.jp/result_strm.php?lang=e&id=2e032c23f72832dba634998602294f69

No.  They would make it more complex because:

A.  The act of firing them at the target would put a large reactive force on the spacecraft necessitating larger thrusters and such
B.  If the projectile is self propelled, the complexity is self evident.
c. The reaction to the explosives is unquantifiable and thus it is unknown how to protect the spacecraft thus adding complexity.  Even after the explosion, some debris would remain in the area, even orbiting the target
d.  the explosives would contaminate any samples
But JAXA is doing it now, while no one has drilled anything in space since Apollo, not counting the tiny drill of MSL which seems to require weeklong stops to just slightly scratch the surface. Hayabusa 2 will release its explosive charge in space while in orbit, and fly to the other side of the asteroid before it detonates, according to the animation I linked to above (about halfway into it). That solves the reaction and debris problems (I hope!) I think it will even leave a separate camera in orbit to film the explosion while the main probe takes cover. Gotta love the Japanese and their robotics!

Offline TakeOff

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #13 on: 03/13/2015 01:44 PM »
Well, then why not do what Deep Impact/Hayabusa 2 will/did do? Non-explosive excavation, with a projectile made of a substance that wouldn't be found on the target body (copper, for instances).

It should also be simpler to make the impactor itself a spacecraft, but that will drive up cost and might increase mission complexity...
An advantage of using explosives is that the orbiter can drop it at will after having identified the most interesting place to excavate. An impactor has to arrive at much greater speed than the orbiter. The first problem with drilling in space is the unknown properties of the rock being targeted. If the orbiter could characterize the rock before it is excavated, the probability of success should increase.

Maybe an explosives driven "harpoon core sampler" (yes, I'm making this up) could even capture a nice intact unpolluted core sample? I'd be surprised if not huge research and development has been and is being spent on controlled explosives in the budgets for weapons, mining and construction industries. The second problem with drilling is the mechanics. Explosive bolts on the other hand are very reliable. Many successful spacecrafts have used lots of them.

Maybe Phobos is an undrillable rubble pile? The Russians certainly think of it as a pile of rubles by now ::)
« Last Edit: 03/13/2015 01:47 PM by TakeOff »

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #14 on: 03/13/2015 02:00 PM »
Maybe an explosives driven "harpoon core sampler" (yes, I'm making this up) could even capture a nice intact unpolluted core sample? I'd be surprised if not huge research and development has been and is being spent on controlled explosives in the budgets for weapons, mining and construction industries. The second problem with drilling is the mechanics. Explosive bolts on the other hand are very reliable. Many successful spacecrafts have used lots of them.


Something like that has been proposed--essentially a tube that gets fired into the surface.

The problem is that it's very unpredictable. What if it hits a rock and bounces off to one side and then loops that cable around the spacecraft? What if it hits a rock and bounces straight back into the spacecraft? What if it digs itself in and then cannot be extracted?

As for explosives, people seem to be forgetting that the reason you want to go beneath the surface is to examine stuff in detail. Blast it with an explosive or even kinetically and you're changing the material. You no longer get an accurate measurement of the material. It's contaminated. For example, if you're looking for volatiles, you may have just vaporized them in the process, and then you won't see them.

This is even a problem with drills because drills get hot. But at least drills are more precise instruments.

Offline TakeOff

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #15 on: 03/13/2015 02:09 PM »
What would a crewed landing on Phobos or Deimos be like? Considering the very low surface gravity, is it enough to have an Orion hoover very near above it and let out astronaut geologists on an EVA to collect well selected stuff? Or could an Orion even be landed, using some relatively simple and low weight surface interface module attached to the service module? Of course the transfer habitation and many many other things are missing for a human mission to Phobos or Deimos, I realize that. I wonder if at least the cost of developing and bringing along a specialized lander could be saved on such a mission. If a crewed Earth launch and reentry vehicle like Orion could work also as a temporary vehicle for EVA's on Phobos and Deimos (having the mothership waiting in the background).

EDL and ascent is one of the big headaches for sending humans to Mars. This is one of the potential big advantages of going to its moons instead. But how much easier is it really? Is a particular Phobos lander spacecraft required?
« Last Edit: 03/13/2015 02:14 PM by TakeOff »

Offline MATTBLAK

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #16 on: 03/13/2015 08:55 PM »
With all the fuss lately about the cost and difficulties of EDL, surface power systems, dust mitigation, possible crew contamination of the Martian surface etc - as I have before, I would like to beat the drum again that rather than go to a free-range asteroid or even the Martian surface for now, that the DRM emphasis should instead be on sending humans to the Martian moons as the next goal.

So much can be done at those fascinating little worlds in partnership with telerobotics and sample return probes. And in an effort to minimize crew microgravity exposure, I would recommend 1 or maybe even 2 short stay missions at Phobos & Deimos: 20-to-30 days at each - staying in Martian orbit for 18 months might be unpalatable. Or if there were no stomach for two missions, a week or more at each moon with the rest of that time transiting from one to the other with SEP and/or chemical thrusters.

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Offline Kaputnik

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #17 on: 03/13/2015 10:49 PM »
What would a crewed landing on Phobos or Deimos be like? Considering the very low surface gravity, is it enough to have an Orion hoover very near above it and let out astronaut geologists on an EVA to collect well selected stuff? Or could an Orion even be landed, using some relatively simple and low weight surface interface module attached to the service module? Of course the transfer habitation and many many other things are missing for a human mission to Phobos or Deimos, I realize that. I wonder if at least the cost of developing and bringing along a specialized lander could be saved on such a mission. If a crewed Earth launch and reentry vehicle like Orion could work also as a temporary vehicle for EVA's on Phobos and Deimos (having the mothership waiting in the background).

EDL and ascent is one of the big headaches for sending humans to Mars. This is one of the potential big advantages of going to its moons instead. But how much easier is it really? Is a particular Phobos lander spacecraft required?


Sounds like a job for SEV:
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Exploration_Vehicle
Waiting for joy and raptor

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #18 on: 03/14/2015 12:07 AM »
So much can be done at those fascinating little worlds in partnership with telerobotics and sample return probes.

There's really no good evidence that this is true. I don't know of any studies that have looked carefully at the value of telerobotics.

Offline MATTBLAK

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #19 on: 03/14/2015 03:14 AM »
So much can be done at those fascinating little worlds in partnership with telerobotics and sample return probes.

There's really no good evidence that this is true. I don't know of any studies that have looked carefully at the value of telerobotics.

I didn't come by the idea(s) all by myself - exploration papers by various Universities and studies by Lockheed Martin, Boeing and others over the years have often proposed such things. And much smarter minds than me have extolled mixed manned and robotic exploration missions in recent years. I think when I first heard of the idea(s) was during the Augustine commission a few years back. Also; since such a mixed manned/robotic Mars mission has never been done - yet - then talking about 'good evidence' being lacking is premature, I feel.
« Last Edit: 03/14/2015 04:17 AM by MATTBLAK »
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Offline kato

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #20 on: 03/14/2015 11:04 AM »
the small Mars Express seems to do the most of its flybys.
Mars Express ain't "small". It's straight down the middle sizewise for the five current Mars Orbiters for dry weight and carries the second-largest scientific payload, twice as much as MAVEN in third place.

And the flybys have more to do with the relative orbits of what's twirling around Mars.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #21 on: 03/14/2015 01:56 PM »
So much can be done at those fascinating little worlds in partnership with telerobotics and sample return probes.

There's really no good evidence that this is true. I don't know of any studies that have looked carefully at the value of telerobotics.

I didn't come by the idea(s) all by myself - exploration papers by various Universities and studies by Lockheed Martin, Boeing and others over the years have often proposed such things. And much smarter minds than me have extolled mixed manned and robotic exploration missions in recent years. I think when I first heard of the idea(s) was during the Augustine commission a few years back. Also; since such a mixed manned/robotic Mars mission has never been done - yet - then talking about 'good evidence' being lacking is premature, I feel.

I know that it has been mentioned for a long time--many decades in fact. I remember seeing it in Singer's Phobos book back in the 1980s. But other than a workshop or two held at Goddard a few years ago (I have detailed notes on that somewhere, I'll try to find them), it has not been studied. What happens is that people assert that this is true, justify it with a few sentences about latency, and then assume that it is a settled issue: telerobotics from Phobos is a superior thing.

But there's no good detailed examination of this issue involving lab work, experiments, experts in a bunch of fields from robotics to machine cognition to sensors, to science. It all has to be done in comparison to other things, like robotic missions controlled from Earth. And in fact, it may be the case that telerobotics is becoming less and less relevant all the time as machine autonomy gets better and better.

A simple example is that when people first started claiming that telerobotics on Mars was a good thing, several decades ago, they usually talked in terms of navigating a rover over difficult terrain. They expected that it would be like what the Soviets did with their Lunokhods, with somebody looking at a TV screen and driving a rover. But today the driving part is actually a lot easier to do autonomously--a person looks at a video screen, points the cursor at a location, and then tells the rover "You drive to this point" and the rover then figures out all the individual decisions and obstacle avoidance itself. So the person's value is changed here and the human is only needed for the big decisions, not the little ones like avoiding rocks.

This leads to two questions: 1-does it matter if the human making those big decisions is on Earth or in Mars orbit? 2-is there anything else that the human can do better when there is a short lag time?

I don't know the answer to 1 or 2. But for question 1 you can see how the human may only be required to make big decisions sporadically, not every second, and so it may not matter if the human is in Mars orbit.

My point is that there's no detailed study of this issue. There are some individual experiments. But to really answer the question it requires a bunch of experts exploring a lot of options and capabilities and technology development. And because we are not going to Mars at least for a couple of decades, it is important to try and figure out where autonomous vehicle capabilities will be 20 years from now. If by 2040 nobody drives a car anymore and we just order one up on devices implanted in our craniums and let the machine do all the navigating, maybe that technology will be easily applicable to Mars as well and telerobotics from Mars orbit won't matter one bit.

Again, my point is that we don't know, and therefore we cannot simply assert that it is true.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #22 on: 03/14/2015 02:21 PM »
Further to my post above, take two real world examples from today: the Predator and Global Hawk UAVs (drones).

Both perform essentially the same mission, surveillance, but both operate in different ways. When the operator is going to land a Predator he assumes flight control over the aircraft. He looks out the nose of the airplane via video camera. He lines it up with the runway, steers using a stick, controls speed using a throttle, and adjusts flight control surfaces in real time. The pilot is directly in control of the machine.

For the Global Hawk, if the operator is going to land the aircraft he goes to his computer screen, uses a cursor and a pull-down menu, and selects "Land." The plane then lands itself. There's no video camera or direct input to control surfaces.

Those two examples essentially bracket the issues for telerobotics at Mars. Is there anything you want to do on Mars that either requires, or greatly benefits from having a human almost directly in the loop controlling the machine? Or can an operator essentially give the machine commands and let it figure out all the details?

Now I don't think the answer is that humans are essential for controlling a machine on Mars in near real time. It doesn't seem likely that there is anything there that will require that short term decision making. The real question is if there is anything that is better with the human in that short term control--and not just better, but so much better that it really justifies the cost?

Again, I don't think this has been studied in any systematic or comprehensive way.




Offline TakeOff

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #23 on: 03/14/2015 03:21 PM »
the small Mars Express seems to do the most of its flybys.
Mars Express ain't "small". It's straight down the middle sizewise for the five current Mars Orbiters for dry weight and carries the second-largest scientific payload, twice as much as MAVEN in third place.

And the flybys have more to do with the relative orbits of what's twirling around Mars.
Yes, true. Mars Express is more ambitious than I thought. Only MRO and the Vikings had more payload mass, as far as I can tell. But Maven and ISRO-MOM are specialized atmospheric probes, and ISRO-MOM is much of a tech demo mission. Mars Express has given far more data about Phobos than any of the other Mars orbiters. I wish they had been designed, by both instrument and orbit, to do more with the Martian moons.

(Maybe they counted on the failed Russian Fobos-Grunt mission to take care of Phobos, and didn't want to overlap too much with it would do anyway?)
« Last Edit: 03/14/2015 03:39 PM by TakeOff »

Offline TakeOff

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #24 on: 03/14/2015 03:27 PM »
What about having the next mission to Mars, crash its upper stage into the surface of Phobos or Deimos, to create a dust plume to observe, LCROSS style?


Offline Jim

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #25 on: 03/14/2015 04:08 PM »
Planetary protection rules wouldn't allow crashing a stage.  That is why all mars missions are targeted away from mars to prevent the upper stage from hitting it

Offline libs0n

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #26 on: 03/14/2015 06:35 PM »
With all the fuss lately about the cost and difficulties of EDL, surface power systems, dust mitigation, possible crew contamination of the Martian surface etc - as I have before, I would like to beat the drum again that rather than go to a free-range asteroid or even the Martian surface for now, that the DRM emphasis should instead be on sending humans to the Martian moons as the next goal.


I think the implied roadmap under the current admin is for a mission to Phobos as the next intermediate step after the ARM mission and in the post ISS timeframe.

http://spacenews.com/41019ahead-of-congressional-hearing-nasa-floats-phobos-pit-stop-on-road-to-mars/
« Last Edit: 03/14/2015 06:47 PM by libs0n »

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #27 on: 03/14/2015 06:59 PM »
With all the fuss lately about the cost and difficulties of EDL, surface power systems, dust mitigation, possible crew contamination of the Martian surface etc - as I have before, I would like to beat the drum again that rather than go to a free-range asteroid or even the Martian surface for now, that the DRM emphasis should instead be on sending humans to the Martian moons as the next goal.


I think the implied roadmap under the current admin is for a mission to Phobos as the next intermediate step after the ARM mission and in the post ISS timeframe.

http://spacenews.com/41019ahead-of-congressional-hearing-nasa-floats-phobos-pit-stop-on-road-to-mars/

You'll hear more about this in a few weeks.

Offline redliox

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #28 on: 03/14/2015 07:02 PM »
Lovely to see the responses this thread has received.  If anyone has the info, I'd like to see a list of proposals for Deimos & Phobos exploration that are relatively recent - i.e. ~2005 onwards.  I'm aware the Discovery thread cites three but only PADME I know of best (hence you'll all notice a reference link to it at the thread's very beginning).  In addition a handful of others were previously proposed (on that note, thanks for the reference image of ALADDIN Blackstar - it was the first time I saw an actual design image of that proposal).

The bulk of Deimos/Phobos data comes from the Vikings and Mars Express; Mariner 9, MGS, and MRO have done sprinkling of Phobos observations (and the MRO's spectroscopy potentially insightful).  Phobos 2 was obviously cut short, but at the least it was the first probe to notice a chemical difference between what's referred to as the "red" and "blue" terrain.  Collectively, all their data suggest Deimos and Phobos are:
1) Only superficially akin to known asteroids.
2) Spongelike inside, yet curiously dry on the outside for something possibly icy.

Europa and Enceladus definitely are the golden apples of moons, but I suspect Deimos and Phobos may be a small set of golden keys regarding solar system formation.  After all when you think about it, Mars' moons are both ancient and out of place; something curious happened to them.  *kicks the heel of the nearest Mars scientist for neglecting study of the moons*
« Last Edit: 03/14/2015 07:02 PM by redliox »
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Offline redliox

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #29 on: 03/14/2015 07:12 PM »
With all the fuss lately about the cost and difficulties of EDL, surface power systems, dust mitigation, possible crew contamination of the Martian surface etc - as I have before, I would like to beat the drum again that rather than go to a free-range asteroid or even the Martian surface for now, that the DRM emphasis should instead be on sending humans to the Martian moons as the next goal.


I think the implied roadmap under the current admin is for a mission to Phobos as the next intermediate step after the ARM mission and in the post ISS timeframe.

http://spacenews.com/41019ahead-of-congressional-hearing-nasa-floats-phobos-pit-stop-on-road-to-mars/

You'll hear more about this in a few weeks.

I hope so.  A vehicle that can land on the moons could easily just be a habitat module with legs attached.  I never favored the ARM plan, but the one charm I liked was the possibility of reusing similar tech at the Martian moons.  Chances are if Congress threatens complete cancellation the efforts should be redirected to Mars, starting with the moons.
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Offline Blackstar

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #30 on: 03/15/2015 02:41 AM »
I hope so.  A vehicle that can land on the moons could easily just be a habitat module with legs attached.  I never favored the ARM plan, but the one charm I liked was the possibility of reusing similar tech at the Martian moons.  Chances are if Congress threatens complete cancellation the efforts should be redirected to Mars, starting with the moons.

You might have noticed that some of the ARM artwork now shows Phobos as opposed to an asteroid.


Offline redliox

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #31 on: 03/15/2015 11:00 AM »
I hope so.  A vehicle that can land on the moons could easily just be a habitat module with legs attached.  I never favored the ARM plan, but the one charm I liked was the possibility of reusing similar tech at the Martian moons.  Chances are if Congress threatens complete cancellation the efforts should be redirected to Mars, starting with the moons.

You might have noticed that some of the ARM artwork now shows Phobos as opposed to an asteroid.

If they want to salvage or (as a longshot) validate the asteroid redirect plan, Phobos (and hopefully Deimos too) is the best option; directs things back to Mars and fewer arguments against.
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Offline baldusi

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #32 on: 03/15/2015 01:35 PM »
Well, one thing I wonder is about mission travel time, short of Venus, Mars as close as you can get in our solar system. And Deimos is pretty shallow in the Mars gravity well. And once done, they would have proven about 80% of the technologies for a Phobos human mission. It would be brilliant.

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #34 on: 03/15/2015 04:39 PM »
I'm an AIAA member, but don't have access to that paper. But here's another recent example.

Offline redliox

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #35 on: 03/15/2015 06:39 PM »
Well, one thing I wonder is about mission travel time, short of Venus, Mars as close as you can get in our solar system. And Deimos is pretty shallow in the Mars gravity well. And once done, they would have proven about 80% of the technologies for a Phobos human mission. It would be brilliant.

Frankly the only difference between going to Phobos versus Deimos is a modestly larger fuel load to change from a ~30 orbit to a ~8 hour orbit around Mars.

Definitely yes regarding Deimos as a shallow target.  Doing the math, even an Orion could break into a matching orbit with Deimos if sent on a one-way trip.  I favor Deimos for this fact and that it is in near-synchronous orbit. 

As far as technology, for a Mars mission it would enable demonstrating probably closer to 66% of what's needed.  The remainder does deal with aerobraking/aerocapturing and then landing a crewed vehicle.  Ultimately it depends on what NASA decides as an architecture, which seems perpetually in flux.  Any orbiting elements would get a thorough workout via the moons for certain and bring home samples for science.
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Offline TakeOff

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #36 on: 03/17/2015 10:47 AM »
Wouldn't a drill core or multiple sample sites (like Hayabusa 2) be scientifically much more useful than picking up one single big boulder as in ARM-B?

I think that NASA cannot realize ARM directly. They have to make it step by step in order for its ambition to have a realistic chance. A drill to Phobos with sample return would be a good first step for ARM, and as a second preparatory step they could pick up a rock from Deimos, and as a third preparation before the end of the 2030's...
« Last Edit: 03/17/2015 10:47 AM by TakeOff »

Offline baldusi

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #37 on: 03/17/2015 11:30 AM »
Well, one thing I wonder is about mission travel time, short of Venus, Mars as close as you can get in our solar system. And Deimos is pretty shallow in the Mars gravity well. And once done, they would have proven about 80% of the technologies for a Phobos human mission. It would be brilliant.

Frankly the only difference between going to Phobos versus Deimos is a modestly larger fuel load to change from a ~30 orbit to a ~8 hour orbit around Mars.

Definitely yes regarding Deimos as a shallow target.  Doing the math, even an Orion could break into a matching orbit with Deimos if sent on a one-way trip.  I favor Deimos for this fact and that it is in near-synchronous orbit. 

As far as technology, for a Mars mission it would enable demonstrating probably closer to 66% of what's needed.  The remainder does deal with aerobraking/aerocapturing and then landing a crewed vehicle.  Ultimately it depends on what NASA decides as an architecture, which seems perpetually in flux.  Any orbiting elements would get a thorough workout via the moons for certain and bring home samples for science.
Well, there's the low orbit, plus the plane change, plus the escape delta-v. Deimos is easier on everything. But you qualify everything for a Phobos mission. On thing that might be different, though, is that since Deimos is so much smaller, it might have a mushier surface. That might become a problem if you want to bring a piece of it and it has the consistency of an ice cream.
But otherwise, as a robotic precursor, you could bring a bigger piece out of Deimos than from Phobos with the same sized robot. Thus, given the SLS is sort of defined, I would guess that it would be a better target for the ARM. Besides, if humans are going to Phobos next, you can get samples from both.

Online Alpha_Centauri

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #38 on: 03/17/2015 09:20 PM »
A Phobos sample return mission is being proposed as a follow-on to Exomars for launch mid next decade, with ESA again partnering with Russia.  Below is a link to a CDF study on the joint mission, essentially merging ESA's Phootprint with Russia's Phobos-Grunt 2.

http://sci.esa.int/future-missions-office/55323-cdf-study-report-phobos-sample-return/#

Offline redliox

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #39 on: 03/19/2015 10:51 AM »
A Phobos sample return mission is being proposed as a follow-on to Exomars for launch mid next decade, with ESA again partnering with Russia.  Below is a link to a CDF study on the joint mission, essentially merging ESA's Phootprint with Russia's Phobos-Grunt 2.

http://sci.esa.int/future-missions-office/55323-cdf-study-report-phobos-sample-return/#

Good find!  It looks promising; although the mission focuses on sampling Phobos they include rendezvousing with Deimos beforehand, so it would gather details about both satellites in addition to the sample.  They seem to heavily baseline optical and infrared instruments first followed by a neutron spectrometer, a dust sensor; additional surface instruments (ala alpha-proton-x-ray spectrometer) are implied but not specified for now. 

Design and objective aside, cooperation with ESA will allow this probe to receive better monitoring.  The Phobos-Grunt failed because the Russians couldn't fully track it on entering orbit, otherwise they could have detected the problem sooner and possibly saved the mission. 
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Offline Blackstar

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #40 on: 03/19/2015 12:40 PM »
Design and objective aside, cooperation with ESA will allow this probe to receive better monitoring.

Cooperation with Russia makes it less likely to happen at all...


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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #41 on: 03/19/2015 01:35 PM »
Same could be said of Exomars which was supposed to be a partnership with NASA...

Good find!  It looks promising; although the mission focuses on sampling Phobos they include rendezvousing with Deimos beforehand, so it would gather details about both satellites in addition to the sample.  They seem to heavily baseline optical and infrared instruments first followed by a neutron spectrometer, a dust sensor; additional surface instruments (ala alpha-proton-x-ray spectrometer) are implied but not specified for now. 

Design and objective aside, cooperation with ESA will allow this probe to receive better monitoring.  The Phobos-Grunt failed because the Russians couldn't fully track it on entering orbit, otherwise they could have detected the problem sooner and possibly saved the mission. 

As instruments on ESA missions are funded and chosen by the participating states the full instrument list would not be decided until it was known what countries had signed up.

Regarding cooperation, actually what i think is more useful is that Europe knows more about the design issues with Fregat stages thanks to Soyuz-ST. Hopefully some of that can rub off to create a more reliable transfer stage this time around.
« Last Edit: 03/19/2015 03:07 PM by Alpha_Centauri »

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #42 on: 03/19/2015 04:21 PM »
Cooperation with Russia makes it less likely to happen at all...
Phootprint is part of the MREP-2 package. Given that MREP (ExoMars) is a cooperative ESA/Roskosmos program, it is fully to be expected that any MREP-2 mission package would be based on the same cooperation again.

They seem to heavily baseline optical and infrared instruments first followed by a neutron spectrometer, a dust sensor; additional surface instruments (ala alpha-proton-x-ray spectrometer) are implied but not specified for now. 
Given the timeframe the heritage of instruments to be mounted isn't that hard to guess.

The heavy optical/infrared baseline would come from the AIM asteroid orbiter with heritage from the MPO Mercury orbiter. It also allows a wide field of possible contributors, because you can pretty much get a mix of systems for such a package from German, Italian or French agencies.

A neutron spectrometer is presumably proposed because Russia kind of specializes in that. Russia contributes neutron spectrometers to MPO (MGNS), to the ExoMars rover (ADRON) and to ExoMars TGO (FREND), as well as even NASA's LRO (LEND - FREND on TGO is a virtual copy).

The "Category II optional instruments" read like they just copied down part of the ExoMars list.

Most of the rest is flight spares from Phobos-Grunt.

Regarding cooperation, actually what i think is more useful is that Europe knows more about the design issues with Fregat stages thanks to Soyuz-ST. Hopefully some of that can rub off to create a more reliable transfer stage this time around.
Soyuz-ST is entirely handled by Russian personnel at Kourou (to the extent that even the truck drivers are Russians), i doubt there's really that much knowledge transfer in this regard.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #43 on: 03/19/2015 04:24 PM »
Cooperation with Russia makes it less likely to happen at all...
Phootprint is part of the MREP-2 package. Given that MREP (ExoMars) is a cooperative ESA/Roskosmos program, it is fully to be expected that any MREP-2 mission package would be based on the same cooperation again.

My point is: read the newspaper.

Relations with Russia are deteriorating, the Russian economy is in bad shape and unlikely to get better, so future cooperation seems less likely all the time.

Offline redliox

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #44 on: 03/20/2015 05:59 PM »
Cooperation with Russia makes it less likely to happen at all...
Phootprint is part of the MREP-2 package. Given that MREP (ExoMars) is a cooperative ESA/Roskosmos program, it is fully to be expected that any MREP-2 mission package would be based on the same cooperation again.

My point is: read the newspaper.

Relations with Russia are deteriorating, the Russian economy is in bad shape and unlikely to get better, so future cooperation seems less likely all the time.

In general yes, but in regards to ESA they're a lot more lenient than NASA, most likely since no one nation dictates policy by itself.  As another example, they're willing to work with China whereas NASA legally can't.  NASA made an obvious mistake in disappointing ESA both with Exomars and the joint-Jupiter mission, so ESA turned to the next dominant space power.

Point being, they're not following US policy, they're European.  Granted however, they will reach a point where enough member states decline future collaborations with Russia.  I suspect that may happen if Russia follows its plan to detach its ISS half...then again ESA might offer to attach a Columbus-2 to the 'new' Russian station.  ESA is as much an ally as it is a wild card.
« Last Edit: 03/20/2015 06:00 PM by redliox »
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Offline Blackstar

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #45 on: 03/20/2015 06:08 PM »
Cooperation with Russia makes it less likely to happen at all...
Phootprint is part of the MREP-2 package. Given that MREP (ExoMars) is a cooperative ESA/Roskosmos program, it is fully to be expected that any MREP-2 mission package would be based on the same cooperation again.

My point is: read the newspaper.

Relations with Russia are deteriorating, the Russian economy is in bad shape and unlikely to get better, so future cooperation seems less likely all the time.

In general yes, but in regards to ESA they're a lot more lenient than NASA, most likely since no one nation dictates policy by itself.  As another example, they're willing to work with China whereas NASA legally can't.  NASA made an obvious mistake in disappointing ESA both with Exomars and the joint-Jupiter mission, so ESA turned to the next dominant space power.

Oh, I get that. Don't assume that I believe for a single moment that the U.S. has been a reliable partner, and what NASA (really OMB) did with the Mars program a few years ago was pretty stupid and short-sighted. Yes, ESA is currently cooperating with Russia on ExoMars because there's really no alternative. I would also add that things can change. Maybe Putin suffers a heart attack tomorrow and is replaced by a pleasant reformer and then everything would be happiness and bunnies.

But just looking at general economic and political trends, Russia is becoming weaker economically all the time (not true of either the U.S. or China), and is becoming increasingly hostile, particularly in that whole area of eastern Europe.

And I'd note that this Phobos mission is really an optional mission, not necessarily something that ESA really wants to do. So whereas the deteriorating situation with Russia might not deter more important cooperation, it may deter things that are less important. ESA ministers could look at this and ask "Is it really worth it to get in bed with the Russians over a couple of Martian moons?"
« Last Edit: 03/20/2015 06:09 PM by Blackstar »

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #46 on: 03/20/2015 07:21 PM »
I hope so.  A vehicle that can land on the moons could easily just be a habitat module with legs attached.  I never favored the ARM plan, but the one charm I liked was the possibility of reusing similar tech at the Martian moons.  Chances are if Congress threatens complete cancellation the efforts should be redirected to Mars, starting with the moons.

You might have noticed that some of the ARM artwork now shows Phobos as opposed to an asteroid.

The interesting thing is that with the higher SEP requirements for flying back with a Phobos boulder, you're limited to about a 1-2m boulder (ie about the same scale as the 1/4-scale Kraken/Prospector prototype we built in our shop this year). I'm a big fan.

~Jon


Offline Blackstar

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #47 on: 03/20/2015 09:03 PM »
Somewhere I have more information on Aladdin. This was a proposed Phobos sample return mission. The PI, Carle Pieters, told me that they got very close to being selected. MESSENGER beat them out, but she said that there wasn't much they could do to improve the mission the second time around. I guess that they gave up at that point.

I am sure that there have been other Phobos/Deimos missions proposed as part of Discovery. It would be worthwhile to ask the people proposing the current ones if they were involved in previous ones or know of other proposals.

Offline kato

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #48 on: 03/21/2015 06:16 AM »
ESA ministers could look at this and ask "Is it really worth it to get in bed with the Russians over a couple of Martian moons?"
Well, perhaps this is also getting a bit ahead of ourselves.

ESA has its own mission study. Phootprint. Roskosmos has its own mission study. Phobos-Grunt 2. Roskosmos in particular has since about 2012 been pushing an integration of Phobos-Grunt 2 with a European Phobos mission, mostly because that makes Phobos-Grunt 2 more likely to be realized. Hence this study now being completed.

There's other ways to realize Phootprint. Could even just boilerplate a Hayabusa to a MTM transfer bus...

Offline TakeOff

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #49 on: 03/22/2015 12:59 PM »
So whereas the deteriorating situation with Russia might not deter more important cooperation, it may deter things that are less important. ESA ministers could look at this and ask "Is it really worth it to get in bed with the Russians over a couple of Martian moons?"
The EU/ESA has not in any way recognized the so called conflict about Crimea (Russians making Russia russian, who cares). Null effect on space cooperation and other trade. Lots of talk, but no action at all. Forget about the Russian charade playing in your television, it doesn't mean anything.

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #50 on: 03/22/2015 02:45 PM »
Please let's not get sidetracked into politics here.  Noting that the political situation may impact things
is a fair observation (because there are ALWAYS politics involved), but discussion of the merits of any particular view of a political situation are OT.   

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #51 on: 03/22/2015 04:46 PM »
It's not really politics, it's geopolitics, foreign policy, and national security. Not mere politics.

But yeah, let's talk about spaceships.
« Last Edit: 03/22/2015 04:48 PM by Robotbeat »
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Offline redliox

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #52 on: 03/22/2015 06:37 PM »
A final note regarding Russia: I do admire their interest in Phobos, but I feel bad for them in the sense of their bad luck with anything non-Venusian.  Their Phobos and Mars '96 spacecraft would have made grand revelations at Mars had either been able to fulfill the missions.  Regarding Phobos specifically, it was the first probe to discover the chemically differing "red" and "blue" terrain on its namesake moon which continues to be a rallying point researchers speak about in the current line of proposals.

If they succeed at generating either a Phobos-Grunt 2 or that 'Phootprint-variant' partnership with ESA, I will be excited regardless of politics.  I plan to keep one eye on Russia and the other on the current Discovery selection in hopes of Deimos/Phobos exploration.  Such an expedition has been long overdue!
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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #53 on: 03/23/2015 04:02 PM »
A final note regarding Russia: I do admire their interest in Phobos, but I feel bad for them in the sense of their bad luck with anything non-Venusian.  Their Phobos and Mars '96 spacecraft would have made grand revelations at Mars had either been able to fulfill the missions.  Regarding Phobos specifically, it was the first probe to discover the chemically differing "red" and "blue" terrain on its namesake moon which continues to be a rallying point researchers speak about in the current line of proposals.

Yes, if these spacecraft had worked they definitely would have been productive. I have a colleague who has worked with the Russians on some of these missions and has a high regard for their scientific instrumentation.

That said, the Russians lost a lot of talent in the 1990s. A lot of mid-level scientists and engineers in their space program left for the West when they weren't getting paid and there were no programs (which is why Russian names show up in papers produced by JPL and ESA and European space science institutions). And they didn't bring in new younger people until the last decade or so. So they really have a talent problem--a bunch of senior people who remember how things used to be way back in the 1970s and 1980s and may not have any recent relevant experience, and then a bunch of new people with no experience.

Now I've thought that the way they should do this is to back down and rebuild their skillset with some smaller missions. For instance, do a couple of lunar orbiter missions to gain experience, then go for something more bold and ambitious. But apparently their system is not really set up to do this. They sell their programs to the politicians as "This is something that the Americans have not done" and "This is big and impressive." That's how they ended up with Phobos-Grunt, which was really too ambitious for a group that had not launched a successful planetary mission in a couple of decades.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #54 on: 04/10/2015 11:36 AM »
Note that at the NAC meeting yesterday there was talk about converting ARM to a Phobos mission and getting some scientific (not just tech development) value out of it. No surprise about this. People in the community have been talking about this for almost a year now, and NASA even built a small model of a Phobos spacecraft using ARM technology that they showed off last July.

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #55 on: 04/10/2015 11:59 AM »

Note that at the NAC meeting yesterday there was talk about converting ARM to a Phobos mission and getting some scientific (not just tech development) value out of it. No surprise about this. People in the community have been talking about this for almost a year now, and NASA even built a small model of a Phobos spacecraft using ARM technology that they showed off last July.

Why Phobos and not Deimos, is it just easier to deal with the former rather than the latter as a destination?

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #56 on: 04/10/2015 03:00 PM »

Why Phobos and not Deimos, is it just easier to deal with the former rather than the latter as a destination?

That's an entirely valid question. Here's my rough assessment:

Deimos is farther out and apparently easier to get to in terms of delta-v. Josh Hopkins also did a couple of papers on why Deimos is actually a better destination from a human spacecraft standpoint: better comm back to Earth, more sunlight, easier to moor to, better visibility to Mars from the higher orbit.

Phobos is bigger and also better mapped. I think that the science questions for Phobos are a bit more intriguing, but I think that they are essentially the same for both moons.

Gravity at both of them is minimal.

But people seem to be stuck on Phobos. Dunno why. I think it really comes down to size and all the photos.



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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #57 on: 04/10/2015 03:24 PM »
http://blog.chron.com/sciguy/2015/04/advisors-to-nasa-dump-the-asteroid-mission-and-go-to-phobos-instead/

Advisors to NASA: Dump the asteroid mission and go to Phobos instead
Posted on April 10, 2015 | By Eric Berger   

"NASA has an asteroid problem.

It needs to fly missions that show it’s on a pathway to Mars, and that capture the public’s attention. And those missions need to be affordable. Finally, the missions should bring the space agency closer to landing humans on Mars."



Here's a good quote:

“To validate the SEP stage you don’t need to tow around a large rock,” Squyres said.

Another council member, former Goddard Space Flight Center director Thomas Young, was more blunt in his advice for NASA, “What we really should be saying is terminate ARM, take the $1.25 billion and apply it to the technology to get people to Mars. That’s the cold hard facts of what we’re saying.”

Offline redliox

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #58 on: 04/10/2015 07:19 PM »
Love the link Blackstar, THAT'S the right way to put ARM-tech to good use.

Here's the most straightforward quote:
Quote
“If this technology is designed to go to Mars and back, let’s send it to Mars and back,” said Steve Squyres, chairman of the advisory committee. The vote was unanimous.

Steve, you read my mind.
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Offline Blackstar

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #59 on: 04/10/2015 08:39 PM »
That said, the administration may push back on this proposal. They don't have to listen to the NAC if they don't want to.

And ARM has long been a rather virtual program--it's not really funded and not a lot of people take it seriously. So switching the imaginary goal from an asteroid to a Martian moon might not really be much of a change at all. That said, ARM has lacked support, and switching the goal to Phobos is a possible way to get more support. Congress might actually stop fighting it and start paying attention. (Then again, I think lots of people simply expect ARM to get canceled by the next administration, so congressional support might not matter all that much.)

Offline baldusi

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #60 on: 04/10/2015 09:07 PM »
Wouldn't going straight to Phobos (or Deimos) mean that you get no demonstration on the gravity tug principle for planetary protection? Or is it possible to try an MDL2 Lagrantian point for that?
On the other hand, it would seem that this same tug, if refuel-able, could work perfectly well as the MSR return satellite. If it can land on Deimos or Phobos, look for a boulder and bring it back, simply grabbing an orbiting canister should be easy in comparison.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #61 on: 04/10/2015 11:37 PM »
1-Wouldn't going straight to Phobos (or Deimos) mean that you get no demonstration on the gravity tug principle for planetary protection? Or is it possible to try an MDL2 Lagrantian point for that?

2-On the other hand, it would seem that this same tug, if refuel-able, could work perfectly well as the MSR return satellite. If it can land on Deimos or Phobos, look for a boulder and bring it back, simply grabbing an orbiting canister should be easy in comparison.

1-I don't know of any NASA plans to test the gravity tractor concept at all. That's just an outside idea that doesn't really interest the agency. NASA has been somewhat schizophrenic when it comes to linking ARM to planetary protection--Bolden is on record saying that ARM is NOT about asteroid deflection or anything like that. Occasionally somebody may slip up and mention planetary protection, but I really don't think it has ever been part of the mission justification.

2-There is a problem with bringing back a canister in that it's a bit smaller than Phobos. So you sorta have to find the canister in orbit. But proximity ops are not all that different.

Offline baldusi

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #62 on: 04/11/2015 12:14 AM »
1-Wouldn't going straight to Phobos (or Deimos) mean that you get no demonstration on the gravity tug principle for planetary protection? Or is it possible to try an MDL2 Lagrantian point for that?

2-On the other hand, it would seem that this same tug, if refuel-able, could work perfectly well as the MSR return satellite. If it can land on Deimos or Phobos, look for a boulder and bring it back, simply grabbing an orbiting canister should be easy in comparison.

1-I don't know of any NASA plans to test the gravity tractor concept at all. That's just an outside idea that doesn't really interest the agency. NASA has been somewhat schizophrenic when it comes to linking ARM to planetary protection--Bolden is on record saying that ARM is NOT about asteroid deflection or anything like that. Occasionally somebody may slip up and mention planetary protection, but I really don't think it has ever been part of the mission justification.

2-There is a problem with bringing back a canister in that it's a bit smaller than Phobos. So you sorta have to find the canister in orbit. But proximity ops are not all that different.
1- The conceptual video that NASA released after selection Option B, specifically showed a period for demonstrating gravity tractor before returning to Earth. I assumed that was part of the proposal.
2- What's a few orders of magnitude among friends?  :P On the other hand, Deimos doesn't have beacons an any other cooperative RV feature.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #63 on: 04/11/2015 01:53 AM »
1- The conceptual video that NASA released after selection Option B, specifically showed a period for demonstrating gravity tractor before returning to Earth. I assumed that was part of the proposal.

Doesn't mean it's really part of the plan. NASA also releases conceptual videos showing humans walking on Mars.

At the USRA symposium on near Earth objects a couple of weeks ago several NASA people seemed to take pains to stress that ARM was not about planetary defense.

But like I said, they've been schizo about this, saying one thing one time and something else the next. I think it represents the fact that the mission is still not fully-formed or funded.
« Last Edit: 04/11/2015 01:54 AM by Blackstar »

Offline jongoff

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #64 on: 04/11/2015 02:59 AM »
1-I don't know of any NASA plans to test the gravity tractor concept at all. That's just an outside idea that doesn't really interest the agency. NASA has been somewhat schizophrenic when it comes to linking ARM to planetary protection--Bolden is on record saying that ARM is NOT about asteroid deflection or anything like that. Occasionally somebody may slip up and mention planetary protection, but I really don't think it has ever been part of the mission justification.

That seems to be at odds with the fact that they spent a full quarter of the downselect telecon talking about planetary defense and the enhanced gravity tractor concept. And everything I heard from working with the ARM program. I'm pretty sure Bolden was downplaying planetary defense because prior to the downselect it wasn't clear if Option B would get picked--Option A wasn't anywhere near as interesting from a planetary defense aspect. Just because NASA has done a relatively poor job of marketing that aspect of the mission doesn't mean it isn't part of the plan.

Quote
2-There is a problem with bringing back a canister in that it's a bit smaller than Phobos. So you sorta have to find the canister in orbit. But proximity ops are not all that different.

Something ARV size would be total overkill for MSR capture. With SEP you could probably do that mission with a microsat class vehicle.

~Jon

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #65 on: 04/12/2015 01:57 PM »
Well, I stand corrected. But it's clear that NASA isn't all on message on the issue.

Offline redliox

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #66 on: 04/12/2015 09:01 PM »
If ARM aims to survive switching strategies to the moons may be the best option.  That of course depends on what the next president thinks and blah blah blah politics ect....

Overall I'm more curious to see what the Discovery selection offers for a probe; 3 bids for the moons is the most I ever heard of out of their competitions and could be a sign exploring them properly has gained traction.
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Offline vjkane

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #67 on: 04/12/2015 10:16 PM »
Overall I'm more curious to see what the Discovery selection offers for a probe; 3 bids for the moons is the most I ever heard of out of their competitions and could be a sign exploring them properly has gained traction.
and/or that these are really easy targets.  I believe that there are as many or more near-Earth asteroid proposals this time (which would be a drop, I think, from last time)

It would be interesting to see a poll of the small body community on how they would rank missions to a D-, C- , B-type asteroids and Phobos and /or Demos. 

Offline redliox

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #68 on: 04/12/2015 10:33 PM »
It would be interesting to see a poll of the small body community on how they would rank missions to a D-, C- , B-type asteroids and Phobos and /or Demos.

From what I've read about the spectrographic readings of the moons being compared to any of those bodies...

...the bizarre conclusion often comes to "none of the above."  They're apparently too hot to be icy, at least on the surface, and there's no solid match on anything closely encountered.  To me that sounds like a mystery worth investigating, and I'm willing to bet they're some kind of hybrid objects much like our Moon is or how the moons of Pluto may be.
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Offline Blackstar

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #69 on: 04/12/2015 11:12 PM »
Overall I'm more curious to see what the Discovery selection offers for a probe; 3 bids for the moons is the most I ever heard of out of their competitions and could be a sign exploring them properly has gained traction.

The number of proposals doesn't really mean much, and does not really increase the chances of any of these missions winning. Keep in mind that last Discovery round there were 28 proposals and 7 of them were for Venus, and Venus didn't win in the end.

Discovery essentially goes through two phases. The first is to determine if the mission proposals satisfy useful science goals, are technologically mature, and can remain within the cost cap. The second phase is when the NASA selecting official decides which of the eligible missions to pick, and he can do this based upon a lot of factors, including the overall balance of the program, other programmatic and budgeting decisions and so on.

I think that a couple of things have changed in recent years that could affect a Phobos/Deimos mission that makes it through the first round. The first thing that has changed is that Phobos-Grunt failed and nobody expects the Russians to do a Phobos mission anytime soon. They had previously said they would fly a backup, but that talk has stopped and so one could argue that the Russians are not going to do it for us. The second thing that has changed is that NASA is building more Mars missions--InSight and Mars 2020, and of course MAVEN just got there. That could be seen as an argument against sending another mission to Mars in order to achieve greater balance in the program. Yeah, Phobos/Deimos is not Mars, but lots of people will still perceive such a mission as Mars and maybe the selecting official will too.

Of the three proposed Phobos/Deimos missions I could see the Ames/PADME and JPL/PANDORA proposals making it under the cost cap, but PADME might be low on the science side and so might PANDORA. Some of the key questions for Phobos/Deimos require at least touching the surface or even bringing back material for analysis on Earth. The lander might be too expensive. But those are rough guesses based on limited data.

Offline jongoff

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #70 on: 04/13/2015 02:41 AM »
Well, I stand corrected. But it's clear that NASA isn't all on message on the issue.

No argument there! Hopefully, if my hunch on the reason for their previously non-committal on the issue is correct, it will get better over time now that Option B has been selected. But we'll see.

~Jon

Offline Burninate

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #71 on: 04/13/2015 11:16 AM »
Option A wasn't anywhere near as interesting from a planetary defense aspect.

I don't follow you - could you explain this point?

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #72 on: 04/13/2015 11:32 AM »
I don't believe they were going to do the 'gravity tractor' demonstration with Option A: with Option B they would get to use the captured boulder's multi-hundred ton mass in conjunction with the spacecraft's mass to try and 'tug' the boulder's parent asteroid very slightly off course with probe and boulder in a special halo-like orbit.

With Option A; the plan was to merely bag a free-flying boulder like asteroid in space with no much bigger body nearby.
« Last Edit: 04/13/2015 11:33 AM by MATTBLAK »
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Offline alexterrell

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #73 on: 04/13/2015 11:58 AM »

Why Phobos and not Deimos, is it just easier to deal with the former rather than the latter as a destination?

That's an entirely valid question. Here's my rough assessment:

Deimos is farther out and apparently easier to get to in terms of delta-v. Josh Hopkins also did a couple of papers on why Deimos is actually a better destination from a human spacecraft standpoint: better comm back to Earth, more sunlight, easier to moor to, better visibility to Mars from the higher orbit.

Phobos is bigger and also better mapped. I think that the science questions for Phobos are a bit more intriguing, but I think that they are essentially the same for both moons.

Gravity at both of them is minimal.

But people seem to be stuck on Phobos. Dunno why. I think it really comes down to size and all the photos.



The main thing is which one is more likely to have hydrogen - either in the form of water and/or Kerogen.

It might be that as a larger body, Phobos has retained it better than Deimos.

Is Deimos easier if you assume aerocapture at Mars? - though unmanned missions would probably use solar-electric, which complicates aerocapture.

Also, if you're planning on a way-station to Mars, then Phobos might make a better refuelling base. Mars launches running on CO/O2 could get to Phobos more easily than to Deimos. (Though I'd probably send a tug from either to collect the launcher from low Mars orbit).

Offline Burninate

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #74 on: 04/13/2015 12:13 PM »
Option A wasn't anywhere near as interesting from a planetary defense aspect.

I don't follow you - could you explain this point?
I don't believe they were going to do the 'gravity tractor' demonstration with Option A: with Option B they would get to use the captured boulder's multi-hundred ton mass in conjunction with the spacecraft's mass to try and 'tug' the boulder's parent asteroid very slightly off course with probe and boulder in a special halo-like orbit.

With Option A; the plan was to merely bag a free-flying boulder like asteroid in space with no much bigger body nearby.

This makes a hell of a lot of sense.  I wonder why I haven't heard it presented this way before.  A boulder permits them to transfer much greater impulses, and greater thrusts, into an asteroid than the bare spacecraft would permit (because it would reach escape energy), without doing a two-thruster push (which WP calls an 'ion beam shepherd').

Offline Proponent

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #75 on: 04/13/2015 02:06 PM »
A boulder permits them to transfer much greater impulses, and greater thrusts, into an asteroid than the bare spacecraft would permit (because it would reach escape energy), without doing a two-thruster push (which WP calls an 'ion beam shepherd').

I think we're saying the same thing, but I think of it differently:  all that matters is the mass of the tractor, because the asteroid is accelerated by the tractor's gravitational field.  If the tractor can multiply its mass by a factor of ten by picking up a boulder, then it will deliver ten times the acceleration to the asteroid (though the heavier tractor will require higher thrust to stay on station).  Counterintuitively, the mass of the asteroid itself does not affect the acceleration imparted to it (though, again, it does affect the thrust that the tractor needs), as Galileo demonstrated when he showed that heavy and light objects are accelerated by gravity at the same rate.
« Last Edit: 04/13/2015 02:07 PM by Proponent »

Offline NovaSilisko

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #76 on: 04/13/2015 03:10 PM »
I don't believe they were going to do the 'gravity tractor' demonstration with Option A: with Option B they would get to use the captured boulder's multi-hundred ton mass in conjunction with the spacecraft's mass to try and 'tug' the boulder's parent asteroid very slightly off course with probe and boulder in a special halo-like orbit.

With Option A; the plan was to merely bag a free-flying boulder like asteroid in space with no much bigger body nearby.

My desire to see ARM happen has just gone up substantially! Now I get why they were hyping up the planetary defense potential of it.
« Last Edit: 04/13/2015 03:11 PM by NovaSilisko »

Offline the_other_Doug

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #77 on: 04/13/2015 03:58 PM »
Hey, you could still demonstrate planetary defense while sending the ARM retrieval craft to Phobos.  Just see if you can raise Phobos' orbit by a few meters while you're there.  It's slowly spiralling in anyway, so raising its orbit, even slightly, is a good thing, right...?
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Offline Burninate

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #78 on: 04/13/2015 04:09 PM »
Hey, you could still demonstrate planetary defense while sending the ARM retrieval craft to Phobos.  Just see if you can raise Phobos' orbit by a few meters while you're there.  It's slowly spiralling in anyway, so raising its orbit, even slightly, is a good thing, right...?

Phobos is a ~20km diameter object.

A planetary defense target might be 100m, 300m, or perhaps 1km.

Mass rises as diameter cubed, so a 100m object will have 1/8,000,000th the mass of a ~20km object.

A planetary defense target might require a ~1cm/s course correction over ten years to avert catastrophe.

I'm going to come right out and guess that orbital perturbations we do not have the data to predict, would have a greater effect than a deliberate attempt to use a stock planetary defense gravity tractor to move Phobos.  The signal would be lost in the noise.

Offline the_other_Doug

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #79 on: 04/13/2015 04:16 PM »
Yeah, in terms of the change being measurable, you've got a really good point, there.
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Offline Proponent

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #80 on: 04/13/2015 11:23 PM »
Phobos is a ~20km diameter object.

A planetary defense target might be 100m, 300m, or perhaps 1km.

Mass rises as diameter cubed, so a 100m object will have 1/8,000,000th the mass of a ~20km object.

The asteroid (or Phobos) is accelerated by the gravitational field of the tractor.  As Galileo demonstrated centuries ago, the acceleration of an object in a gravitational field is independent of the object's mass.  Hence, Phobos's much greater mass isn't by itself a problem.  What is a problem is Phobos's much larger size, for it means that the tractor would be much further from Phobos's center of mass than from a small asteroid's.  The tractor's gravitational field decreasing with the square of distance, it would induce only about 1/40,000 the acceleration it would were it acting on a 100-m asteroid.

But I agree with your conclusion:  the effect of the tractor on Phobos would probably be lost in the noise.
« Last Edit: 04/14/2015 12:46 AM by Proponent »

Offline jongoff

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #81 on: 04/14/2015 12:19 AM »
Option A wasn't anywhere near as interesting from a planetary defense aspect.

I don't follow you - could you explain this point?
I don't believe they were going to do the 'gravity tractor' demonstration with Option A: with Option B they would get to use the captured boulder's multi-hundred ton mass in conjunction with the spacecraft's mass to try and 'tug' the boulder's parent asteroid very slightly off course with probe and boulder in a special halo-like orbit.

With Option A; the plan was to merely bag a free-flying boulder like asteroid in space with no much bigger body nearby.

This makes a hell of a lot of sense.  I wonder why I haven't heard it presented this way before.  A boulder permits them to transfer much greater impulses, and greater thrusts, into an asteroid than the bare spacecraft would permit (because it would reach escape energy), without doing a two-thruster push (which WP calls an 'ion beam shepherd').

Exactly. It's called an Enhanced Gravity Tractor. Or to channel Teddy Roosevelt: "Grab them by the [boulders] and their hearts and minds will follow"...

~Jon

Offline alexterrell

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #82 on: 04/14/2015 06:32 AM »


But I agree with your conclusion:  the effect of the tractor on Phobos would probably be lost in the noise.

That may make proving Newton's laws of gravitation a problem then!

Surely it's enough to pick up a boulder and hover over the target asteroid and measure the thrust on the rocket, and it's ability to hold it.

We can calculate the effect on Phobos (or even Jupiter) without having to detect it.

I suppose there's an issue of back scattering of the ion beam (ie some of it hitting the target) - which is going to be more of a problem with larger objects. But that is also easy to calculate.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #83 on: 04/14/2015 09:22 PM »


But I agree with your conclusion:  the effect of the tractor on Phobos would probably be lost in the noise.

That may make proving Newton's laws of gravitation a problem then!

Surely it's enough to pick up a boulder and hover over the target asteroid and measure the thrust on the rocket, and it's ability to hold it.

We can calculate the effect on Phobos (or even Jupiter) without having to detect it.

I suppose there's an issue of back scattering of the ion beam (ie some of it hitting the target) - which is going to be more of a problem with larger objects. But that is also easy to calculate.
There's a reason we actually demonstrate things... Unknown unknowns pop-up all the time. I'd rather not our species (or at least all the cities on the Pacific or Atlantic) get wiped out because we had the PERFECT opportunity to test the technique but said "Na, Obama."
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Offline notsorandom

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #84 on: 04/15/2015 01:26 PM »
The danger posed by asteroids can be quantified. The costs of various space missions can be estimated to a pretty good degree. The budgets available for space projects can also be estimated to a pretty good degree. The pros and cons of a proposed space mission can be weighed. Reasonable and knowledgeable people can disagree about the best uses of the money in those budgets without needing to invoke a partisan political argument to explain opposition to a particular plan.

Offline redliox

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #85 on: 04/15/2015 08:24 PM »
Since ARM discussion has wandered into here (and given Phobos is a potential target it's only fair), I suppose I'll inject an opinion or two on it...

Most of what was blabbed about it, i.e. the asteroid-impact-prevention applications chiefly, hasn't been endorsed by Bolden and amounts to fluff generated to get attention for ARM.  The Small Body Assessment Group, not unlike Bolden, seems to distance itself from ARM whenever possible, which leaves ARM with barely one leg to stand on.  It would be a good application of solar-electric-propulsion testing, but to actual asteroid people they seem to regard it as poison.  ARM, ultimately, has always been a long-distance engine test, not an Armageddon-style prototype anti-asteroid flight.

You want asteroid exploration, look towards Dawn and OSIRIS-REX.  You want human flight, look towards Orion (and/or ARM).  You want impact prevention, look towards better funding observatories scanning for small bodies, and after that write a convincing argument to the U.S. Air Force.

Here I personally look forward to probes then crews visiting Deimos and Phobos.  8)
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Offline fregate

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #86 on: 12/25/2015 07:11 AM »
According to the most recent news from Roscosmos, Phobos-Grunt 2 SRM might be combined with proposed ESA Phootprint mission. 
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Offline Blackstar

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #87 on: 12/25/2015 04:22 PM »
According to the most recent news from Roscosmos, Phobos-Grunt 2 SRM might be combined with proposed ESA Phootprint mission. 

That sounds like wishful thinking to me. Phootprint is not funded. The Russians are looking to hookup all their planetary missions with a foreign partner or they will not happen. It is the same with Venera-D.

From what I understand, the Japanese Phobos mission will happen. Go take a look at that thread in the Japan section.

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #88 on: 12/25/2015 05:04 PM »
I mentioned this on this very thread earlier in the year,

A Phobos sample return mission is being proposed as a follow-on to Exomars for launch mid next decade, with ESA again partnering with Russia.  Below is a link to a CDF study on the joint mission, essentially merging ESA's Phootprint with Russia's Phobos-Grunt 2.

http://sci.esa.int/future-missions-office/55323-cdf-study-report-phobos-sample-return/#

Phootprint is not fully funded yet, but it appears to be the leading candidate mission from the MREP-2 programme that was subscribed to by the members at C-MIN 12.  This programme is designed to follow-on from Exomars and prepare elements for MSR.  They are targeting start at next year's C-MIN 16.

http://robotics.estec.esa.int/ASTRA/Astra2015/Presentations/Plenary%20Session/0955_Rebuffat.pdf
« Last Edit: 12/25/2015 08:00 PM by Alpha_Centauri »

Offline redliox

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #89 on: 12/26/2015 09:43 PM »
Heard about the ESA-Russia Phobos mission, but not so much about the Japanese one.  I hope the best for both missions, although Russia's attempts at Phobos have all failed and Japan's only Martian probe failed to enter orbit...which isn't a good start for each respective agency.

There has been a recent update to NASA's next Mars orbiter, which is apparently being dubbed the 2022 Orbiter in similar fashion to the 2020 Rover: http://mepag.nasa.gov/reports/NEX-SAG_draft_v29_FINAL.pdf

While minor compared to its objectives to study Martian ice and its brine melts, weather observation, and increased high-res mapping, there is a 4th objective listed for visiting both Deimos and Phobos.  This will be due to the fortuitous  need of spiraling in via SEP which will allow multiple flybys as it passes each moon's orbit.  It would be able to bring sharp visual, thermal, and infrared imaging coupled with subsurface radar, which obviously would greatly enhance knowledge of the moons (especially Deimos).

The only downside for the 2022 Orbiter is, if it's forced to take a non-SEP route (for cost saving), this would instantly negate visiting the moons.  However, it's obviously being toted as a technology demonstration with ties to both the ARM and MSR groups, so there will be a heavy push to make it larger and more versatile than the current lot of orbiters; as such it will either be a large SEP mission or not happen at all.  Not as moon-specific as the two international mission but I wager the 2022 as the most likely to happen and achieve its objectives.
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Offline Star One

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Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #90 on: 12/26/2015 10:50 PM »
Heard about the ESA-Russia Phobos mission, but not so much about the Japanese one.  I hope the best for both missions, although Russia's attempts at Phobos have all failed and Japan's only Martian probe failed to enter orbit...which isn't a good start for each respective agency.

There has been a recent update to NASA's next Mars orbiter, which is apparently being dubbed the 2022 Orbiter in similar fashion to the 2020 Rover: http://mepag.nasa.gov/reports/NEX-SAG_draft_v29_FINAL.pdf

While minor compared to its objectives to study Martian ice and its brine melts, weather observation, and increased high-res mapping, there is a 4th objective listed for visiting both Deimos and Phobos.  This will be due to the fortuitous  need of spiraling in via SEP which will allow multiple flybys as it passes each moon's orbit.  It would be able to bring sharp visual, thermal, and infrared imaging coupled with subsurface radar, which obviously would greatly enhance knowledge of the moons (especially Deimos).

The only downside for the 2022 Orbiter is, if it's forced to take a non-SEP route (for cost saving), this would instantly negate visiting the moons.  However, it's obviously being toted as a technology demonstration with ties to both the ARM and MSR groups, so there will be a heavy push to make it larger and more versatile than the current lot of orbiters; as such it will either be a large SEP mission or not happen at all.  Not as moon-specific as the two international mission but I wager the 2022 as the most likely to happen and achieve its objectives.

With the Japanese mission I would say that there is more chance you're wrong in your last statement than right. That at least so far the Japanese look to be pretty interested in the mission & people writing off its chances do so at their own risk. With their asteroid experience at hand to be used I certainly wouldn't bet against them.

Making a more general I do wish some people would maybe try giving other agencies a bit more credit for being able to get stuff done.
« Last Edit: 12/26/2015 11:04 PM by Star One »

Offline fregate

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #91 on: 12/26/2015 11:40 PM »
According to the most recent news from Roscosmos, Phobos-Grunt 2 SRM might be combined with proposed ESA Phootprint mission. 
Document (Feasibility study 2014) attached
« Last Edit: 12/26/2015 11:41 PM by fregate »
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Offline redliox

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #92 on: 12/27/2015 12:13 AM »
With the Japanese mission I would say that there is more chance you're wrong in your last statement than right. That at least so far the Japanese look to be pretty interested in the mission & people writing off its chances do so at their own risk. With their asteroid experience at hand to be used I certainly wouldn't bet against them.

Making a more general I do wish some people would maybe try giving other agencies a bit more credit for being able to get stuff done.

I give the Japanese some credit, I'm just declaring they've had some hard luck and encountered unexpected anomalies.  They certainly have the experience to handle asteroids, and decades ago they too were part of the Halley missions.  Specifically, what I worry about on their behalf is achieving planetary orbit insertion.  Nozomi failed to do this at Mars, and Akatsuki juuuuuuuuuuuuuuuust managed at Venus.  SELENE (aka Kaguya) managed its lunar mission fine though.  It seems to be a matter of setting up robust main engines and electronics, and even NASA overlooked this once with Mars Observer when its fuel line apparently ruptured.
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Offline Star One

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #93 on: 12/27/2015 11:02 AM »

With the Japanese mission I would say that there is more chance you're wrong in your last statement than right. That at least so far the Japanese look to be pretty interested in the mission & people writing off its chances do so at their own risk. With their asteroid experience at hand to be used I certainly wouldn't bet against them.

Making a more general I do wish some people would maybe try giving other agencies a bit more credit for being able to get stuff done.

I give the Japanese some credit, I'm just declaring they've had some hard luck and encountered unexpected anomalies.  They certainly have the experience to handle asteroids, and decades ago they too were part of the Halley missions.  Specifically, what I worry about on their behalf is achieving planetary orbit insertion.  Nozomi failed to do this at Mars, and Akatsuki juuuuuuuuuuuuuuuust managed at Venus.  SELENE (aka Kaguya) managed its lunar mission fine though.  It seems to be a matter of setting up robust main engines and electronics, and even NASA overlooked this once with Mars Observer when its fuel line apparently ruptured.

But all agencies have bad luck at some point I'm not sure any one should be empathised over another agency?

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #94 on: 12/27/2015 12:56 PM »
But all agencies have bad luck at some point I'm not sure any one should be empathized over another agency?

Generally I would agree. However, JAXA seems to have a problem with cutting corners that is more than bad luck. A number of their failures appear to have been things that could have been easily caught with a proper testing program or even an extra level of redundancy. They did not have the budget, so they got burned.

That said, a Phobos sample return mission is a good choice for them considering their previous experience with H1 and H2. They have already demonstrated the basic technologies and capabilities, and the fact that they are doing H2 after H1 gives them a steady knowledge base leading into a Phobos sample return mission--meaning that they don't have to re-learn everything to do the mission because people have retired, companies died, etc. So I would give them good chances to accomplish the mission.


Offline vjkane

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #95 on: 12/27/2015 01:04 PM »
But all agencies have bad luck at some point I'm not sure any one should be empathized over another agency?

Generally I would agree. However, JAXA seems to have a problem with cutting corners that is more than bad luck. A number of their failures appear to have been things that could have been easily caught with a proper testing program or even an extra level of redundancy. They did not have the budget, so they got burned.

That said, a Phobos sample return mission is a good choice for them considering their previous experience with H1 and H2. They have already demonstrated the basic technologies and capabilities, and the fact that they are doing H2 after H1 gives them a steady knowledge base leading into a Phobos sample return mission--meaning that they don't have to re-learn everything to do the mission because people have retired, companies died, etc. So I would give them good chances to accomplish the mission.
At a Low Cost Planetary Mission conference two to three years ago, a JAXA representative described their program and budget categories.  JAXA spends much less on its planetary missions than NASA or ESA does for missions of similar capability.  This allows them to attempt an ambitious program on a modest budget but at higher risk than NASA or ESA would accept.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #96 on: 12/27/2015 05:05 PM »
I don't want this thread to get too far afield, but it is a worthwhile discussion and electrons are free, so why not continue it here?


At a Low Cost Planetary Mission conference two to three years ago, a JAXA representative described their program and budget categories.  JAXA spends much less on its planetary missions than NASA or ESA does for missions of similar capability.  This allows them to attempt an ambitious program on a modest budget but at higher risk than NASA or ESA would accept.

I'd start with a caveat that it is always problematic when comparing costs for different countries' space projects, because we do not know if they do their accounting in the same way. Some of this came out during discussions of India's MOM mission, which was touted as really inexpensive and fast, but where there are indications that the Indians excluded a lot of costs and schedule time that normally would be included by other countries when calculating their missions.

Back to your point, I agree that the Japanese accept higher risk. That said, looking at their overall experience, this has not served them well. They have lost quite a few of their planetary missions over the years (somebody could compile a list) and when you lose more missions than you succeed at, taking risks no longer looks bold, it looks wasteful and foolhardy.


Offline Star One

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #97 on: 12/27/2015 05:35 PM »

I don't want this thread to get too far afield, but it is a worthwhile discussion and electrons are free, so why not continue it here?


At a Low Cost Planetary Mission conference two to three years ago, a JAXA representative described their program and budget categories.  JAXA spends much less on its planetary missions than NASA or ESA does for missions of similar capability.  This allows them to attempt an ambitious program on a modest budget but at higher risk than NASA or ESA would accept.

I'd start with a caveat that it is always problematic when comparing costs for different countries' space projects, because we do not know if they do their accounting in the same way. Some of this came out during discussions of India's MOM mission, which was touted as really inexpensive and fast, but where there are indications that the Indians excluded a lot of costs and schedule time that normally would be included by other countries when calculating their missions.

Back to your point, I agree that the Japanese accept higher risk. That said, looking at their overall experience, this has not served them well. They have lost quite a few of their planetary missions over the years (somebody could compile a list) and when you lose more missions than you succeed at, taking risks no longer looks bold, it looks wasteful and foolhardy.

I suppose you would say they were lucky to get their Venus orbiter back track thanks to some lateral thinking and good fortune.

Offline tul

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #98 on: 12/27/2015 06:33 PM »
I don't want this thread to get too far afield, but it is a worthwhile discussion and electrons are free, so why not continue it here?


Back to your point, I agree that the Japanese accept higher risk. That said, looking at their overall experience, this has not served them well. They have lost quite a few of their planetary missions over the years (somebody could compile a list) and when you lose more missions than you succeed at, taking risks no longer looks bold, it looks wasteful and foolhardy.



The only lost planetary mission was Nozomi because of lack of experience. For Akatsuki they deleloped a new engine but testing was insufficient.
Hayabusa was a high risk mission straight from the beginning since noone knew how to do it. The main problem was, that a asteroid is rather small, this made them think that they do not need to spend much time around it. This was wrong. The Osiris-Rex team said, without the Hayabusa experience they would have fallen into the same trap. Procyon failed but it was only a small university project. The suspended Lunar-A was a high risk project straight from the beginning, they should have finished developing the penetrators first before starting to construct the orbiter.
Hiten, Kaguya, Sakigake, Suisei and IKAROS were all successfull. 
So the only things to blame are the lack of testing for Akatsuki and how they underestimated the development risks for Lunar-A.

Offline vjkane

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #99 on: 12/27/2015 08:01 PM »

I don't want this thread to get too far afield, but it is a worthwhile discussion and electrons are free, so why not continue it here?


At a Low Cost Planetary Mission conference two to three years ago, a JAXA representative described their program and budget categories.  JAXA spends much less on its planetary missions than NASA or ESA does for missions of similar capability.  This allows them to attempt an ambitious program on a modest budget but at higher risk than NASA or ESA would accept.

I'd start with a caveat that it is always problematic when comparing costs for different countries' space projects, because we do not know if they do their accounting in the same way. Some of this came out during discussions of India's MOM mission, which was touted as really inexpensive and fast, but where there are indications that the Indians excluded a lot of costs and schedule time that normally would be included by other countries when calculating their missions.

Back to your point, I agree that the Japanese accept higher risk. That said, looking at their overall experience, this has not served them well. They have lost quite a few of their planetary missions over the years (somebody could compile a list) and when you lose more missions than you succeed at, taking risks no longer looks bold, it looks wasteful and foolhardy.

I suppose you would say they were lucky to get their Venus orbiter back track thanks to some lateral thinking and good fortune.
Here's a slide from the 2013 Low Cost Planetary Mission conference presented by someone from JAXA showing mission costs.  I talked with a JPL manager about these mission costs, and they are calculated differently than NASA or ESA costs and include less.  He said, though, that these are still substantially cheaper mission costs than NASA would do the same mission goals for.  There was a good discussion in the Q&A's about the relationship of cost to risk, with the JAXA guy saying they were on the low cost-high risk side.

Selene isn't included on the attached chart for some reason.  My take on the Japanese program is that when they spend the money (Selene) their missions do very well; where they spend less, they have had problems.  What would make sense for the latter strategy would be to do a series of similar missions that build directly on each other so that every mission benefits from the lessons learned in the previous one.  They are doing this with the Hayabusa missions which may be extended to a Phobos sample return.


Presentation is at

http://www.lcpm10.caltech.edu/pdf/session-1/6_LCPM2013-S1-JapanPlanet-JK+HYb.pdf

Offline jgoldader

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #100 on: 12/28/2015 08:24 PM »
Is there a good thread around here that's something like, "How inexpensive can an interplanetary mission be?"  It's an interesting topic, but deserves its own thread.
Recovering astronomer

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #101 on: 03/12/2016 12:47 AM »
Somewhere around here is a slide showing the options for NASA's Mars 2022 orbiter mission. Anybody know where that thread/slide is? I cannot find it.

Offline vjkane

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #102 on: 03/12/2016 02:04 AM »
Somewhere around here is a slide showing the options for NASA's Mars 2022 orbiter mission. Anybody know where that thread/slide is? I cannot find it.
Check out:

http://mepag.jpl.nasa.gov/reports/NEX-SAG_draft_v29_FINAL.pdf

http://mepag.jpl.nasa.gov/meetings.cfm?expand=m31

Offline Nomadd

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #103 on: 03/12/2016 03:25 AM »
Is there a good thread around here that's something like, "How inexpensive can an interplanetary mission be?"  It's an interesting topic, but deserves its own thread.
Mars Polar Lander and Mars Climate Orbiter were both relatively inexpensive.

Offline Sam Ho

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #104 on: 03/16/2016 11:06 PM »
Somewhere around here is a slide showing the options for NASA's Mars 2022 orbiter mission. Anybody know where that thread/slide is? I cannot find it.
Check out:

http://mepag.jpl.nasa.gov/reports/NEX-SAG_draft_v29_FINAL.pdf

http://mepag.jpl.nasa.gov/meetings.cfm?expand=m31

Specifically, Phobos and Deimos are recommended as targets of opportunity.  Using SEP means that a Mars-focused spacecraft would spend a fair bit of time spiraling in and could make some flybys during that time.
Quote
Finding 14: The use of SEP and the payload capabilities needed to address the reconnaissance, resource, and science objectives at Mars allow high-value science observations of Phobos and Deimos necessary to plan future missions to these moons.

Offline redliox

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #105 on: 03/17/2016 06:04 PM »
Somewhere around here is a slide showing the options for NASA's Mars 2022 orbiter mission. Anybody know where that thread/slide is? I cannot find it.
Check out:

http://mepag.jpl.nasa.gov/reports/NEX-SAG_draft_v29_FINAL.pdf

http://mepag.jpl.nasa.gov/meetings.cfm?expand=m31

I did, and I seriously hope it happens.  It would be the closest thing, outside of the Phobos encounters by MGS and Mars Express, to a dedicated spacecraft.  The next orbiter looks like it would be studying the moons visually, thermally (including infrared), and even with radar - all of which would vastly improve our understandings of the curious little moons.
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Offline redliox

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #106 on: 05/28/2016 07:22 PM »
There was some recent talk of Phobos in the human spaceflight threads, which in turn lead to mentions of a JAXA mission being considered.  I believe this was the mission in question: http://www.elsi.jp/ja/research/docs/Introduction-PDSR-IntlRv-151102.pdf

Given JAXA has some success with asteroids, not to mention I'm sure they'd wish to make up for the loss of their ill-fated Nozomi, this sounds like a great mission for them.
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Offline vjkane

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #107 on: 05/28/2016 08:17 PM »
There was some recent talk of Phobos in the human spaceflight threads, which in turn lead to mentions of a JAXA mission being considered.  I believe this was the mission in question: http://www.elsi.jp/ja/research/docs/Introduction-PDSR-IntlRv-151102.pdf
This appears to be an approved mission (it can be hard to tell for many space agencies).  NASA has issued an AO for an instrument for this mission.  (AO may be preliminary; I can't remember).

Offline Bob Shaw

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #108 on: 05/28/2016 08:18 PM »
Is there a good thread around here that's something like, "How inexpensive can an interplanetary mission be?"  It's an interesting topic, but deserves its own thread.

Well, you could look at the Indian Mars spacecraft for a start...

Offline redliox

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #109 on: 05/28/2016 09:57 PM »
There was some recent talk of Phobos in the human spaceflight threads, which in turn lead to mentions of a JAXA mission being considered.  I believe this was the mission in question: http://www.elsi.jp/ja/research/docs/Introduction-PDSR-IntlRv-151102.pdf
This appears to be an approved mission (it can be hard to tell for many space agencies).  NASA has issued an AO for an instrument for this mission.  (AO may be preliminary; I can't remember).

That is reassuring to hear, especially after how all 3 proposals in the Discovery selections lost.
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Offline vjkane

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #110 on: 05/28/2016 10:11 PM »
That is reassuring to hear, especially after how all 3 proposals in the Discovery selections lost.
The MERLIN Phobos lander almost made the finalist list -- it was judged to be fully qualified (not the term NASA uses) for selection.  Unfortunately, there were seven in this category, and NASA's managers felt they could only manage five finalists.  The other non-selected qualified proposal was the MANTIS asteroid survey.

Offline redliox

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #111 on: 06/01/2016 09:07 AM »
Regarding the Martian moons and their role in the future, this conference in July may be wise to follow:
http://phobos-deimos.arc.nasa.gov/
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Offline redliox

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #112 on: 07/10/2016 05:36 AM »
Agenda for the Conference on the Exploration of Phobos and Deimos:
Conference on the Exploration of Phobos and Deimos

It looks like the first day will be focusing on the moons' formation along with the Japanese and Russian/ESA missions.  I would love to hear a progress report on both; I wonder how certain the latter is given the uncertainty of the 2nd half of the ExoMars project.

Just over a week away now!  :)
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Offline Star One

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #113 on: 07/10/2016 09:08 AM »
Agenda for the Conference on the Exploration of Phobos and Deimos:
Conference on the Exploration of Phobos and Deimos

It looks like the first day will be focusing on the moons' formation along with the Japanese and Russian/ESA missions.  I would love to hear a progress report on both; I wonder how certain the latter is given the uncertainty of the 2nd half of the ExoMars project.

Just over a week away now!  :)

And the Japanese haven't exactly covered themselves in glory with their recent science missions.

Online Alpha_Centauri

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #114 on: 07/10/2016 09:30 AM »
Agenda for the Conference on the Exploration of Phobos and Deimos:
Conference on the Exploration of Phobos and Deimos

It looks like the first day will be focusing on the moons' formation along with the Japanese and Russian/ESA missions.  I would love to hear a progress report on both; I wonder how certain the latter is given the uncertainty of the 2nd half of the ExoMars project.

Just over a week away now!  :)

Last I heard was that ESA managers will now not put forward the ESA/Roscosmos Phobos sample return mission to ministers in December as planned, which means a decision will be delayed until at least the 2019 CoM.

Offline Star One

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #115 on: 07/10/2016 01:49 PM »
Agenda for the Conference on the Exploration of Phobos and Deimos:
Conference on the Exploration of Phobos and Deimos

It looks like the first day will be focusing on the moons' formation along with the Japanese and Russian/ESA missions.  I would love to hear a progress report on both; I wonder how certain the latter is given the uncertainty of the 2nd half of the ExoMars project.

Just over a week away now!  :)

Last I heard was that ESA managers will now not put forward the ESA/Roscosmos Phobos sample return mission to ministers in December as planned, which means a decision will be delayed until at least the 2019 CoM.

So leaving just JAXA then?

Offline baldusi

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #116 on: 07/10/2016 03:37 PM »
Exomars is delayed two year, and the UK might leave the EU. Probably better to leave it for when things are settled down and the budget actually available. Specially if they happen to have an actual rover on Mars.

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #117 on: 07/10/2016 10:10 PM »
... and the UK might leave the EU.

ESA is not an EU organisation. Although the UK will be leaving the EU, there's no suggestion of it leaving ESA.

Offline redliox

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #118 on: 07/15/2016 05:49 PM »
I'll be at the conference on Monday.

That's grand to hear.  :)

Aside from the previously stated JAXA and ESA/Russia missions, I'm further curious about the NeMO orbiter since that allegedly would flyby the Martian moons en route to low orbit; at this point I'm guessing that will be the most to expect from an American contribution until an actual human expedition, which seems to still be pegged to happen in early missions.
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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #119 on: 07/15/2016 07:17 PM »
Thinking aloud. There were reportedly discussions on there being an ESA sample capture and preparation module being attached to the 2022 Orbiter as an element in the MSR programme. Additionally ESA could later provide the Earth return vehicle. I also notice the lack of a discussion of the crucial piece of the programme that would likely come from NASA, the Mars Ascent Vehicle.

Would it be feasible to use the MSR infrastructure on a Phobos sample return "dry run"? Instead of the current mission plans a slightly simpler Phobos probe could eject the sample into the path of the 2022 orbiter instead of having to do the Earth return leg as well.  By sharing infrastructure might we get both quicker and cheaper?
« Last Edit: 07/15/2016 07:19 PM by Alpha_Centauri »

Offline Star One

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #120 on: 07/15/2016 10:00 PM »
Thinking aloud. There were reportedly discussions on there being an ESA sample capture and preparation module being attached to the 2022 Orbiter as an element in the MSR programme. Additionally ESA could later provide the Earth return vehicle. I also notice the lack of a discussion of the crucial piece of the programme that would likely come from NASA, the Mars Ascent Vehicle.

Would it be feasible to use the MSR infrastructure on a Phobos sample return "dry run"? Instead of the current mission plans a slightly simpler Phobos probe could eject the sample into the path of the 2022 orbiter instead of having to do the Earth return leg as well.  By sharing infrastructure might we get both quicker and cheaper?

How are they going to fund this 2022 orbiter,  aren't the two Europa missions going to eat all the financing especially along with ongoing New Horizons and Discovery missions.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #121 on: 07/16/2016 01:49 AM »
How are they going to fund this 2022 orbiter,  aren't the two Europa missions going to eat all the financing especially along with ongoing New Horizons and Discovery missions.

The 2022 orbiter is at least for now being discussed as a joint effort by SMD, HEOMD and STMD. Each would kick in money for it. There are still a lot of questions about it, but I am not totally skeptical about it.


Offline Blackstar

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #122 on: 07/16/2016 01:51 AM »
Would it be feasible to use the MSR infrastructure on a Phobos sample return "dry run"? Instead of the current mission plans a slightly simpler Phobos probe could eject the sample into the path of the 2022 orbiter instead of having to do the Earth return leg as well.  By sharing infrastructure might we get both quicker and cheaper?

Japan is working on a Phobos sample return mission. If they do it, that spacecraft could serve as the prototype for the Earth return portion of a Mars sample return mission.

Offline redliox

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #123 on: 07/16/2016 04:31 AM »
Would it be feasible to use the MSR infrastructure on a Phobos sample return "dry run"? Instead of the current mission plans a slightly simpler Phobos probe could eject the sample into the path of the 2022 orbiter instead of having to do the Earth return leg as well.  By sharing infrastructure might we get both quicker and cheaper?

Japan is working on a Phobos sample return mission. If they do it, that spacecraft could serve as the prototype for the Earth return portion of a Mars sample return mission.

Interesting (potential) dynamic: JAXA teams up with NASA while ESA teams with Roscosmos.  Regarding Phobos it does make sense, given that both JAXA and NASA have successfully performed sample return missions to small bodies.  I'd still prefer the direct-from-Mars approach, but if a MOR is a must I would agree with Blackstar.
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Offline vjkane

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #124 on: 07/16/2016 04:50 AM »
How are they going to fund this 2022 orbiter,  aren't the two Europa missions going to eat all the financing especially along with ongoing New Horizons and Discovery missions.

The 2022 orbiter is at least for now being discussed as a joint effort by SMD, HEOMD and STMD. Each would kick in money for it. There are still a lot of questions about it, but I am not totally skeptical about it.
Presentations talk about the 2022 orbiter being a Discovery-class spacecraft (and presumably mission cost).  A recent NASA request for industry information about potential commercial spacecraft listed a HiRISE class imager as the only NASA-supplied instrument (with the possibility of additional European-supplied instruments).

I believe that NASA has concluded that commercial comsat with SEPS have matured to the point that a reasonably low cost mission is possible.



Offline Star One

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #125 on: 07/16/2016 06:19 AM »
How are they going to fund this 2022 orbiter,  aren't the two Europa missions going to eat all the financing especially along with ongoing New Horizons and Discovery missions.

The 2022 orbiter is at least for now being discussed as a joint effort by SMD, HEOMD and STMD. Each would kick in money for it. There are still a lot of questions about it, but I am not totally skeptical about it.
Presentations talk about the 2022 orbiter being a Discovery-class spacecraft (and presumably mission cost).  A recent NASA request for industry information about potential commercial spacecraft listed a HiRISE class imager as the only NASA-supplied instrument (with the possibility of additional European-supplied instruments).

I believe that NASA has concluded that commercial comsat with SEPS have matured to the point that a reasonably low cost mission is possible.
I hope they don't shoehorn this into a Discovery selection. The funding should be found elsewhere if this thing is so important and Discovery left for missions other than Mars. I'm tired of Mars causing interesting missions to the outer worlds to be bumped out of contention. Need I remind people that once Juno finishes there will be no missions in the outer Solar System.
« Last Edit: 07/16/2016 06:22 AM by Star One »

Offline redliox

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #126 on: 07/16/2016 09:13 AM »

I hope they don't shoehorn this into a Discovery selection. The funding should be found elsewhere if this thing is so important and Discovery left for missions other than Mars. I'm tired of Mars causing interesting missions to the outer worlds to be bumped out of contention. Need I remind people that once Juno finishes there will be no missions in the outer Solar System.

They'll shoehorn it into the budget anyway although, like everything tied to the Mars and human spaceflight departments, it'll squeeze things as you said.  I'm more surprised it could be Discovery-sized and not bloated into a billion dollar monstrosity like Curiosity ended up (in terms of budget management, not that it hasn't been a bad science vessel).  I suppose if NASA indeed focuses on the SEP and tech-demonstrations with only a single big camera, leaving the other instruments to separate providers (ESA, ect), that might keep the budget reigned in.  They will be in need of a steadier com orbiter sooner or later.

Will NeMO have much attention at the upcoming conference?
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Offline Blackstar

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #127 on: 07/16/2016 11:58 AM »

I hope they don't shoehorn this into a Discovery selection. The funding should be found elsewhere if this thing is so important and Discovery left for missions other than Mars. I'm tired of Mars causing interesting missions to the outer worlds to be bumped out of contention. Need I remind people that once Juno finishes there will be no missions in the outer Solar System.

They'll shoehorn it into the budget anyway although, like everything tied to the Mars and human spaceflight departments, it'll squeeze things as you said.  I'm more surprised it could be Discovery-sized and not bloated into a billion dollar monstrosity like Curiosity ended up (in terms of budget management, not that it hasn't been a bad science vessel).  I suppose if NASA indeed focuses on the SEP and tech-demonstrations with only a single big camera, leaving the other instruments to separate providers (ESA, ect), that might keep the budget reigned in.  They will be in need of a steadier com orbiter sooner or later.

Will NeMO have much attention at the upcoming conference?

It won't be a Discovery mission, because those are competed. It will be Discovery-sized, because that's all that is really required.

But funding this mission as something not part of Discovery still requires money, and that could result in delaying the next Discovery opportunity. The money has to come from somewhere.

There's no reason for this to get bloated. SMD essentially needs two things: comm relay from Mars and a high-resolution imager to continue MRO's work. SMD is hoping that STMD would like to fly its new SEP tech and hoping that HEOMD has some interest in both the comm relay and imager to support future human missions. Generally this is a pretty straightforward set of requirements, but merging the various interests and getting everybody on the same schedule will be a little difficult.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #128 on: 07/16/2016 12:00 PM »
Interesting (potential) dynamic: JAXA teams up with NASA while ESA teams with Roscosmos. 

ESA and NASA will end up cooperating with each other again. NASA may be unreliable, but it has the assets and the capabilities and the proven track record at Mars. Roscosmos does not.

Offline baldusi

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #129 on: 07/16/2016 03:46 PM »
The issue with coordinating SMD, STMD and HEOMD is of two opposing forces. First, is the ownership/who specifies/NotInventedHereSyndrome/Who gets the dibs. As a contraposition to that, is who is going to put the money for it. And here game theory says that only the one who wants it the most puts the money and the other two will try just to sit back and free ride it.
So coordinating those three will be difficult per se. But that's not all. A SEP GEO commercial sat  on Falcon 9 might really slash costs, but wouldn't really cover SMD need for a HiRISE or STMD need for a SEP demonstration.
HiRISE requirements are more like an EO than a GSO, so it would need something of a contraption, like Dawn's mix of LEOStar and GEOStar2 parts.
And STMD wants to demonstrate big SEP. More like HiPEP than NEXT. 25kW ship is their baseline. Not even an Alphasat does that.
You could take a BSS702SP on a F9 and slap an Electra package and have a very low cost comm sat. But for anything else I simply don't se such an easy path.

Offline baldusi

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #130 on: 07/16/2016 03:46 PM »
The issue with coordinating SMD, STMD and HEOMD is of two opposing forces. First, is the ownership/who specifies/NotInventedHereSyndrome/Who gets the dibs. As a contraposition to that, is who is going to put the money for it. And here game theory says that only the one who wants it the most puts the money and the other two will try just to sit back and free ride it.
So coordinating those three will be difficult per se. But that's not all. A SEP GEO commercial sat  on Falcon 9 might really slash costs, but wouldn't really cover SMD need for a HiRISE or STMD need for a SEP demonstration.
HiRISE requirements are more like an EO than a GSO, so it would need something of a contraption, like Dawn's mix of LEOStar and GEOStar2 parts.
And STMD wants to demonstrate big SEP. More like HiPEP than NEXT. 25kW ship is their baseline. Not even an Alphasat does that.
You could take a BSS702SP on a F9 and slap an Electra package and have a very low cost comm sat. But for anything else I simply don't se such an easy path.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #131 on: 07/16/2016 04:21 PM »
The issue with coordinating SMD, STMD and HEOMD is of two opposing forces. First, is the ownership/who specifies/NotInventedHereSyndrome/Who gets the dibs. As a contraposition to that, is who is going to put the money for it. And here game theory says that only the one who wants it the most puts the money and the other two will try just to sit back and free ride it.

It worked well with LRO.

Offline baldusi

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #132 on: 07/16/2016 04:58 PM »
The issue with coordinating SMD, STMD and HEOMD is of two opposing forces. First, is the ownership/who specifies/NotInventedHereSyndrome/Who gets the dibs. As a contraposition to that, is who is going to put the money for it. And here game theory says that only the one who wants it the most puts the money and the other two will try just to sit back and free ride it.

It worked well with LRO.
I didn't said impossible. Just difficult because the localized incentives are not quite right. NASA probably has a lot of people that think of the big picture above local politics. Let's just hope the former win.

Offline clongton

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #133 on: 07/16/2016 09:51 PM »
Lots of discussions about different national space agencies teaming up with each other to do a study/sample return mission from the moons. The trouble is that none of these agencies is really in a position to do much else beyond powerpoint planning. To date I have seen no one suggest a public-private partnership with the only entity that is actively engaging in cis-Mars planning that is actually going to go there; SpaceX. NASA needs the opportunities afforded by working with them and SpaceX needs the EDL experience that NASA has. It's a perfect opportunity for both. It seems to me that such a public-private partnership between NASA and SpaceX has a much better chance of actually being accomplished than any other mission profile that has been discussed thus far in this thread. A SpaceX lander heading for the Martian surface could easily be configured to include a Phobos/Demos probe to be dropped off at an appropriate point in the trajectory as it approaches the vicinity of the planet, especially as the first 1 or 2 of them will be testing Martian EDL techniques as their primary missions, leaving significant capability available for the moon probes.
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Offline hop

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #134 on: 07/16/2016 11:37 PM »
Lots of discussions about different national space agencies teaming up with each other to do a study/sample return mission from the moons. The trouble is that none of these agencies is really in a position to do much else beyond powerpoint planning.
Given the track records of JAXA and ESA, this is a bizarre statement to make. Going from something like Hayabusa 2 to Phobos sample return is a not a huge leap.
Quote
A SpaceX lander heading for the Martian surface could easily be configured to include a Phobos/Demos probe to be dropped off at an appropriate point in the trajectory as it approaches the vicinity of the planet, especially as the first 1 or 2 of them will be testing Martian EDL techniques as their primary missions, leaving significant capability available for the moon probes.
Right, because SpaceX Mars missions are totally not power point  ::)

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #135 on: 07/16/2016 11:44 PM »
Lots of discussions about different national space agencies teaming up with each other to do a study/sample return mission from the moons. The trouble is that none of these agencies is really in a position to do much else beyond powerpoint planning. To date I have seen no one suggest a public-private partnership with the only entity that is actively engaging in cis-Mars planning that is actually going to go there; SpaceX. NASA needs the opportunities afforded by working with them and SpaceX needs the EDL experience that NASA has. It's a perfect opportunity for both. It seems to me that such a public-private partnership between NASA and SpaceX has a much better chance of actually being accomplished than any other mission profile that has been discussed thus far in this thread. A SpaceX lander heading for the Martian surface could easily be configured to include a Phobos/Demos probe to be dropped off at an appropriate point in the trajectory as it approaches the vicinity of the planet, especially as the first 1 or 2 of them will be testing Martian EDL techniques as their primary missions, leaving significant capability available for the moon probes.

I think that the SpaceX fantasies will find more fertile soil on another thread.


Offline redliox

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #136 on: 07/16/2016 11:56 PM »
Lots of discussions about different national space agencies teaming up with each other to do a study/sample return mission from the moons. The trouble is that none of these agencies is really in a position to do much else beyond powerpoint planning.
Given the track records of JAXA and ESA, this is a bizarre statement to make. Going from something like Hayabusa 2 to Phobos sample return is a not a huge leap.

Agreed there.  The main difference, if anything, is accounting for braking and then escaping the Martian gravity well.  If you wish to do that reasonably quickly a chemical stage might be wise; considering Dawn had such a hybrid setup (mainly for modest maneuvering and orientation) this isn't a huge stretch and some slides of the JAXA power point have chemical options.

A SpaceX lander heading for the Martian surface could easily be configured to include a Phobos/Demos probe to be dropped off at an appropriate point in the trajectory as it approaches the vicinity of the planet, especially as the first 1 or 2 of them will be testing Martian EDL techniques as their primary missions, leaving significant capability available for the moon probes.
Right, because SpaceX Mars missions are totally not power point  ::)

I don't think SpaceX is really incorporating the moons into their plans (unless they prove me wrong in September).  More to the point, if a 'Gray' Dragon cousin to Red Dragon were to be conceived, it'd have to utilize aerocapture and still maneuver in Martian space afterwards; the later might be a slight problem because the cruise/service stage with most of the space equipment would be jettisoned before atmospheric braking.  It's not impossible, but if you're basing the setup on the Dragon 2 spaceships ala R.D. plenty of tweaking needs to happen so you can land on either moon.

I think that the SpaceX fantasies will find more fertile soil on another thread.

Pretty much.  IMO I just don't see Red Dragon as a good match for a Phobos/Deimos expedition any more than a shark is a good match for spelunking in a dry cave.  Their rockets could deliver a mission to the moons but a different beast from the Dragons is required.
« Last Edit: 07/16/2016 11:58 PM by redliox »
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Offline Bob Shaw

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #137 on: 07/17/2016 12:13 AM »
If there is a single thing that SpaceX offers for Martian exploration (other than wild and admirable enthusiasm), it has to be EDL technology. They're already demonstrating innovative Mars-equivalent upper atmosphere hypersonic braking and then also demonstrating controlled landing in a 3XMars gravity environment, sans parachutes. Their whole approach has *zip* to do with going into orbit around Mars and docking (for that is what we're talking about) with a Martian moon. To visit Phobos or Deimos, you need a slow, gentle lander, more like a comsat than a Ranger.

Offline clongton

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #138 on: 07/17/2016 02:02 AM »
Not trying to bring SpaceX fantasies into the discussion. Was merely pointing out that because they are going there these kinds of missions could benefit from a public-private mission profile and was hoping some of you would notice that potential.

As for the fantasy part:
people said they would never get off the ground, then they did
people said they would never orbit a satellite, then they did
people said falcon 9 was too complex for them to build, then they flew it
people said dragon would never work, then it was orbited and returned
people said they would never be allowed near the space station, then they got a contract to resupply it
people said manned dragon would never get certified, then they got a crew rotation contract from NASA
now they say they are going to Mars. I think their track record says they will.

The point is to never underestimate a dedicated very rich guy that has a habit of doing exactly what he says he is going to.

It takes money and will to go to the moons of Mars. Every other space agency in the world is missing at least one or the other, except SpaceX. SpaceX has both. That's not fantasy - that's fact, so please quit with the fantasy stuff and discuss the potential for a public-private mission profile with them. Nobody else can do it in the foreseeable future.
« Last Edit: 07/17/2016 02:04 AM by clongton »
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Offline Blackstar

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #139 on: 07/17/2016 10:50 AM »


It takes money and will to go to the moons of Mars. Every other space agency in the world is missing at least one or the other, except SpaceX. SpaceX

Don't be silly. Japan has a Phobos mission in the works. Russia launched one years ago that failed. NASA currently has multiple spacecraft at Mars. Money and will to do this exists.

Again, the fantasies will be welcomed in more fertile ground on other threads.

Offline Star One

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #140 on: 07/17/2016 11:27 AM »


It takes money and will to go to the moons of Mars. Every other space agency in the world is missing at least one or the other, except SpaceX. SpaceX

Don't be silly. Japan has a Phobos mission in the works. Russia launched one years ago that failed. NASA currently has multiple spacecraft at Mars. Money and will to do this exists.

Again, the fantasies will be welcomed in more fertile ground on other threads.

Do we know how far JAXA's plans have now got, has there been any recent developments worth noting?

Offline vjkane

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #141 on: 07/17/2016 02:44 PM »
Do we know how far JAXA's plans have now got, has there been any recent developments worth noting?
This appears to be an approved mission.  A post on unmannedspaceflight summarizing a Japanese newspaper article said it was approved.  NASA posted a notice of intent to select and fund an instrument for the mission (although the actual AO is a month and a half late at this point)

Offline ThereIWas3

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #142 on: 07/17/2016 03:11 PM »
I found a summary of a strategy meeting that mentions MMX (the Phobos mission).  It is at this link (PDF, all in Japanese)  The title is "2015 research results",

In there you will see mentions of "FY26" and "FY27".  Those are references to Fiscal Years using the Japanese calendar.  To get the Gregorian date, add 1988.  So year 27 becomes 2015.

One concern was how to adapt the Hayabusa landing mechanism to the higher gravity on Phobos.
There is mention of a Mars landing mission in 2025.

It wlll take someone with better Japanese skills than mine to extract the nuances.
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Offline llanitedave

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #143 on: 07/17/2016 03:17 PM »
If there is a single thing that SpaceX offers for Martian exploration (other than wild and admirable enthusiasm), it has to be EDL technology. They're already demonstrating innovative Mars-equivalent upper atmosphere hypersonic braking and then also demonstrating controlled landing in a 3XMars gravity environment, sans parachutes. Their whole approach has *zip* to do with going into orbit around Mars and docking (for that is what we're talking about) with a Martian moon. To visit Phobos or Deimos, you need a slow, gentle lander, more like a comsat than a Ranger.

Regardless of who does it, it seems like an aerobraking event would be a great way to save fuel and increase the potential payload to Phobos.  It's worth considering in the design.
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Offline Blackstar

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #144 on: 07/17/2016 05:12 PM »
I'm going to the Phobos-Deimos workshop on Monday. I'll let you know what I hear.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #145 on: 07/18/2016 03:35 PM »
Now at Ames for the conference. (It's not being held in this building.)

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #146 on: 07/18/2016 06:56 PM »
There's an art exhibit here at the workshop. Some very nice paintings. I need to take better photos of them. There is a Bonestell painting that is owned by NASA.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #147 on: 07/19/2016 05:25 PM »
.
« Last Edit: 07/19/2016 05:48 PM by Blackstar »

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #148 on: 07/19/2016 05:27 PM »

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #149 on: 07/19/2016 05:30 PM »

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #150 on: 07/19/2016 05:34 PM »

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #151 on: 07/19/2016 05:37 PM »

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #152 on: 07/19/2016 05:41 PM »

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #153 on: 07/19/2016 05:45 PM »

Offline baldusi

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #154 on: 07/19/2016 06:52 PM »
Many thanks for the presentations Blackstar!

Offline zubenelgenubi

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #155 on: 07/19/2016 07:15 PM »
In the first photo attachment: Is the right-hand logo for the Colorado School of Mines?

Also, thank you for the several image captures from the presentations, Blackstar!
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Offline Blackstar

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #156 on: 07/19/2016 07:16 PM »

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #157 on: 07/19/2016 07:19 PM »

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #158 on: 07/19/2016 07:24 PM »

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #159 on: 07/19/2016 07:27 PM »

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #160 on: 07/19/2016 07:31 PM »

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #161 on: 07/19/2016 07:34 PM »
Thanks for those. I've often wondered if we would be better off as far human exploration is concerned visiting the Martian moons rather than Mars itself.

Offline redliox

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #162 on: 07/19/2016 09:54 PM »
A lot to take in!

I see exploring Stickney Crater is prominent in the surface activity for human exploration.  I am surprised the Phobos Monolith wasn't mentioned, although I'm sure it'd end up being investigated.  They seem to be more conservative about moving the Phobos Habitat as well.  I wonder about the logistics of the PEV and 'MAV-taxi' as they call it largely here; I hate the thought of wasting a useful vehicle like the PEV.  It is good they're still trying to apply the PEV to a Mars rover and make most of the systems universally adaptive to Mars.  I'd like to see this happen although it may still be tricky to sell in a budget-conscience environment.

It's encouraging to see ESA and JAXA are taking the robotic missions seriously.  If the Phootprint (or whatever it is named) takes off, it looks like it would haul back ten times as much as MME would (of course both are still in grams).  I didn't see much specified for surface instrumentation but, then again, these would be samples returned to a dedicated lab on Earth.
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Offline redliox

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #163 on: 07/19/2016 10:01 PM »
Thanks for those. I've often wondered if we would be better off as far human exploration is concerned visiting the Martian moons rather than Mars itself.

Err...not per say.  They could be easily bypassed, but if you're in orbit they're worth the visit.  I think they should be visited but if you want a sustainable effort, Mars' resources (and science) are of greater importance.  I hope any substantial Phobos-specific equipment, like the PEV or Phobos Habitat, can find use even when things switch dominantly to Mars; at the least as a communication relay or perhaps an emergency way-station.
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Offline Blackstar

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #164 on: 07/19/2016 10:31 PM »
I am surprised the Phobos Monolith wasn't mentioned, although I'm sure it'd end up being investigated.

It was. I didn't get a photo of that slide. The guy showed a LOT of slides and it was difficult to keep up.

It was a very interesting presentation. I was impressed with the work they've done, and I've been around the block enough times to know that a lot of talk about sending humans to Mars is just blowing smoke.

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #165 on: 07/19/2016 10:33 PM »
It's encouraging to see ESA and JAXA are taking the robotic missions seriously.  If the Phootprint (or whatever it is named) takes off, it looks like it would haul back ten times as much as MME would (of course both are still in grams).  I didn't see much specified for surface instrumentation but, then again, these would be samples returned to a dedicated lab on Earth.

The ESA mission was referred to as a 1 billion Euro mission, or about $1.3 billion US dollars. The JAXA mission, I think, was referred to as a $330 million mission. Considering that they do the same thing, I'm skeptical of the JAXA costs. That said, different countries do their accounting differently, so I always caution about making comparisons like this.

Offline redliox

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #166 on: 07/20/2016 11:07 AM »
I am surprised the Phobos Monolith wasn't mentioned, although I'm sure it'd end up being investigated.

It was. I didn't get a photo of that slide. The guy showed a LOT of slides and it was difficult to keep up.

It was a very interesting presentation. I was impressed with the work they've done, and I've been around the block enough times to know that a lot of talk about sending humans to Mars is just blowing smoke.

I don't suppose there are any theories about the Phobos Monolith?  And I mean the serious ones not alien quack cracks.
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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #167 on: 07/20/2016 11:10 AM »
I am surprised the Phobos Monolith wasn't mentioned, although I'm sure it'd end up being investigated.

It was. I didn't get a photo of that slide. The guy showed a LOT of slides and it was difficult to keep up.

It was a very interesting presentation. I was impressed with the work they've done, and I've been around the block enough times to know that a lot of talk about sending humans to Mars is just blowing smoke.

I don't suppose there are any theories about the Phobos Monolith?  And I mean the serious ones not alien quack cracks.


Not the best of sources but gives an outline of the matter.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1204254/Has-mystery-Mars-Monolith-solved.html

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #168 on: 07/20/2016 11:15 AM »
Any chance we can see the above presentations as pdfs sometime, somewhere?
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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #169 on: 07/20/2016 01:17 PM »
I wonder if anyone has ever thought of a sort of 'spider walker' rover, using end effectors to ensure that it maintains a solid grip on the surface? After all, the gravitational environment of the Martian moons is such that, should it hit a slope at speed, the vehicle could launch itself into orbit or even through escape velocity!
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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #170 on: 07/20/2016 02:35 PM »
It's encouraging to see ESA and JAXA are taking the robotic missions seriously.  If the Phootprint (or whatever it is named) takes off, it looks like it would haul back ten times as much as MME would (of course both are still in grams).  I didn't see much specified for surface instrumentation but, then again, these would be samples returned to a dedicated lab on Earth.

The ESA mission was referred to as a 1 billion Euro mission, or about $1.3 billion US dollars. The JAXA mission, I think, was referred to as a $330 million mission. Considering that they do the same thing, I'm skeptical of the JAXA costs. That said, different countries do their accounting differently, so I always caution about making comparisons like this.

Thanks, did they mention about the time scale of the ESA mission? I can see the presentations give the previously assumed launch dates but I've seen it mentioned they had delayed putting the mission forward for funding for a few years because of Exomars.
« Last Edit: 07/20/2016 02:40 PM by Alpha_Centauri »

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #171 on: 07/20/2016 02:37 PM »
It's encouraging to see ESA and JAXA are taking the robotic missions seriously.  If the Phootprint (or whatever it is named) takes off, it looks like it would haul back ten times as much as MME would (of course both are still in grams).  I didn't see much specified for surface instrumentation but, then again, these would be samples returned to a dedicated lab on Earth.

The ESA mission was referred to as a 1 billion Euro mission, or about $1.3 billion US dollars. The JAXA mission, I think, was referred to as a $330 million mission. Considering that they do the same thing, I'm skeptical of the JAXA costs. That said, different countries do their accounting differently, so I always caution about making comparisons like this.

Thanks, did they mention about the time scale of the ESA mission? I can see the presentations give the previously assumed launch dates but I've seen it mentioned they had delayed putting the mission forward for a few years because of Exomars.

Yeah, but I'm forgetting the details. Something like launch in 24 with sample return by 28. I think the Japanese mission is launch in 20 or 22 with return by 28, or maybe a bit earlier. I'll have to check my notes.

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #172 on: 07/20/2016 03:29 PM »
The ESA mission was referred to as a 1 billion Euro mission, or about $1.3 billion US dollars. The JAXA mission, I think, was referred to as a $330 million mission. Considering that they do the same thing, I'm skeptical of the JAXA costs. That said, different countries do their accounting differently, so I always caution about making comparisons like this.

I went to a conference a few years back where a JAXA scientist presented their roadmap with cost ranges.  JAXA focuses on small, tightly focused missions, and they appear to accept more risk in their missions -- which lowers costs -- than either NASA or ESA would.  In (I thinks it's) 12 Discovery mission, NASA has had one failure.  JAXA has had at least one mission fail completely and at least two others fail partially over a smaller number of planetary missions.  Given the budgets they have to work with, they appear to have made an informed decision.

The ESA/Russian mission appears to be more ambitious.  For example, a capable long-lived lander would be left on Phobos after the departure of the sample return craft.  More capability plus a lower tolerance for risk will result in a higher cost.

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #173 on: 07/20/2016 08:08 PM »
Any chance we can see the above presentations as pdfs sometime, somewhere?

Pascal said that they would try and have as many of the presentations as possible up on the Phobos Deimos Conference website, http://phobos-deimos.arc.nasa.gov/, some time next week.

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #174 on: 07/21/2016 05:10 AM »
The ESA/Russian mission appears to be more ambitious.  For example, a capable long-lived lander would be left on Phobos after the departure of the sample return craft.  More capability plus a lower tolerance for risk will result in a higher cost.

The JAXA mission is also more focused on the sample return and the only things they will include have to enhance that part of the mission (although they will image Deimos). The ESA mission is a comprehensive one.

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #175 on: 07/21/2016 11:18 AM »
The JAXA mission is also more focused on the sample return and the only things they will include have to enhance that part of the mission (although they will image Deimos). The ESA mission is a comprehensive one.

As far as Deimos goes, even some new imaging from a flyby helps.  Phobos is the only moon that's received decent, up-close study even in passing...at least with 21st century technology.
« Last Edit: 07/21/2016 11:20 AM by redliox »
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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #176 on: 07/28/2016 12:17 PM »
Videos of the presentations are now available:

http://phobos-deimos.arc.nasa.gov/on-demand/


Offline redliox

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #177 on: 07/28/2016 11:36 PM »
Quote from: Blackstar ink=topic=36977.msg1561931#msg1561931 date=1468967507
It was a very interesting presentation. I was impressed with the work they've done, and I've been around the block enough times to know that a lot of talk about sending humans to Mars is just blowing smoke.

I get that same impression too for the human presentations.  At least the 2 Phobos missions are more promising.  One thing the HSF presentations indicated was a heavy need for Martian moon probes.
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Offline Blackstar

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #178 on: 08/22/2016 08:11 PM »

Offline redliox

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #179 on: 01/15/2017 12:58 AM »
A presentation about the Jaxa Martian Moon mission: http://www.lpi.usra.edu/sbag/meetings/jan2017/presentations/Fujimoto.pdf

It appears to be tagged for this year/month.  Uncertain how far along the mission has progressed; they seem willing to admit to their shortcomings on items like landing site selection but given the knowledge gabs about both moons that's somewhat understandable.
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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #180 on: 01/15/2017 01:02 AM »
A presentation about the Jaxa Martian Moon mission: http://www.lpi.usra.edu/sbag/meetings/jan2017/presentations/Fujimoto.pdf
I wasn't able to listen in on the presentation.  At this point, I'm not sure if this is an approved mission or not.  At one time, it appeared to be, and NASA said it would release an AO for a US-supplied instrument.  Since then, the status seems uncertain, perhaps because JAXA is trying to find funding to build a replacement for their failed astrophysics mission.

Anyone have more information?

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #181 on: 01/15/2017 09:07 PM »
I listened in but I was preoccupied. I came away confused as well. He mentioned something about getting on the smaller launch vehicle, looking at different options like cubesats, and other things. It sounded rather up in the air, not like they have a firm launch date and funding.

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #182 on: 03/20/2017 08:59 PM »
There may be a twist to the 'impact formation' theory of Phobos and Deimos at Mars: http://www.space.com/36132-mars-moon-phobos-rings-cycle.html
http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo2916.html

The gist of it is that the two moons might have formed from different impacts.  The proof apparently is that, based on their orbits, that Deimos' orbit is too circular and doesn't match the parameters that might have formed Phobos.  Phobos' geology also, more obviously, indicates it's gone through tidal stress that Deimos.  Coupled with its decaying orbit, the thinking is that Phobos is the younger moon formed from the most recent impact on Mars whereas Deimos is the remnant from an older one, which they think there could have been up to seven of.

So the surprise is that Deimos and Phobos may only be half-brothers despite sharing similar appearances and chemistry.
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Offline redliox

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Re: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft
« Reply #183 on: 03/25/2017 03:02 PM »
At LPSC there were a couple of posters on the Japanese MMX Phobos spacecraft. Also at least one poster on a Phobos cubesat proposal. I took some images of them. I'll post them later, but people might want to go through the LPSC abstracts to find interesting stuff.

This is for MMX: http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2017/pdf/2086.pdf
Also the cubesat you spoke of: http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2017/pdf/1707.pdf
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Tags: Deimos Phobos Mars