Author Topic: Deimos and Phobos Spacecraft  (Read 35672 times)

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...


Offline Alpha_Centauri

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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 »

Offline kato

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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 »

Offline jongoff

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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.

Offline mheney

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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.   

Offline Robotbeat

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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 »
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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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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Offline Blackstar

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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.

Offline Star One

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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.



Offline Blackstar

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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.)

Tags: Deimos Phobos Mars