Author Topic: NASA reviews progress of habitat development for deep-space exploration  (Read 63388 times)

Offline TrevorMonty


Offline TrevorMonty

From latest NASA funding approvals.

Jeff Foust (@jeff_foust) tweeted at 8:48pm - 16 Dec 15:
The Exploration account also includes “no less than” $55M for a “habitation augmentation module”, with a prototype developed by 2018. (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/677032511726292992?s=17)

Not a DSH but EAM is a step in right direction and it will allow for 60 day Orion missions. 



Offline notsorandom

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From latest NASA funding approvals.

Jeff Foust (@jeff_foust) tweeted at 8:48pm - 16 Dec 15:
The Exploration account also includes “no less than” $55M for a “habitation augmentation module”, with a prototype developed by 2018. (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/677032511726292992?s=17)

Not a DSH but EAM is a step in right direction and it will allow for 60 day Orion missions.
The first crewed Orion/SLS mission could be a bit more interesting because of this bill. Not only is the EAM called for but it starts funding on the EUS and prohibits the ICPS from being crew rated. The first mission will likely then have both the EUS and EAM. The EUS will allow the inclusion of the EAM on the initial flight. Both Orion and the EAM could be tested out BEO. I wouldn't expect the mission to last 60 days. If it were able to be independent the EAM could be left there for the next crew. That next crew could even bring another module and build up a small station.

Offline BrightLight

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Getting information on the EAM concept is not always so easy but from recent publications I have abstracted what I think is going on.  Apparently the 55 Million is for the habitation module study (or prototype build?) of a proposed stack that can be used in Cis-lunar orbit, ARM and/or for Mars.  The concept is to exploit the universal stage adapters to provide a 10 m long payload bay and an assumed 10 mt payload capability on an SLS 1b launch vehicle configuration
There are four basic modules of which three are shown in the schematic.
1. The service module, the docking module and the habitation module. The Service Module provides pressurized volume to augment the Orion capabilities and a propulsion module to provide control
of the final vehicle configuration in LDRO.
2. The Docking Module provides EVA and robotic capabilities with both NDS and CBM ports.
3a. There are two 4.5 m diameter habitat modules and a logistics module designed to provide the volume required for four crew members to live and work on a 1000-day mission to Mars.
3b. There are two 5.5 m diameter habitat modules designed to provide the volume required for four crewmembers to live and work on a 1000-day mission to Mars.

The information here comes from:
"Space Launch System Co-Manifested Payload Options For Habitation" by David Smitherman, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL, 35812

Offline TrevorMonty

Getting information on the EAM concept is not always so easy but from recent publications I have abstracted what I think is going on.  Apparently the 55 Million is for the habitation module study (or prototype build?) of a proposed stack that can be used in Cis-lunar orbit, ARM and/or for Mars.  The concept is to exploit the universal stage adapters to provide a 10 m long payload bay and an assumed 10 mt payload capability on an SLS 1b launch vehicle configuration
There are four basic modules of which three are shown in the schematic.
1. The service module, the docking module and the habitation module. The Service Module provides pressurized volume to augment the Orion capabilities and a propulsion module to provide control
of the final vehicle configuration in LDRO.
2. The Docking Module provides EVA and robotic capabilities with both NDS and CBM ports.
3a. There are two 4.5 m diameter habitat modules and a logistics module designed to provide the volume required for four crew members to live and work on a 1000-day mission to Mars.
3b. There are two 5.5 m diameter habitat modules designed to provide the volume required for four crewmembers to live and work on a 1000-day mission to Mars.

The information here comes from:
"Space Launch System Co-Manifested Payload Options For Habitation" by David Smitherman, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL, 35812

Thanks for the update Brightlight.

They could start by flying service module on first flight and use it as EAM. Next flight bring Docking module, use its robotic arm to capture free flying service module and bolt the two modules together.

Do you know what plans they have for service modules propulsion. SEP, chemical or combination of both and could it be refueled.

Offline BrightLight

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Getting information on the EAM concept is not always so easy but from recent publications I have abstracted what I think is going on.  Apparently the 55 Million is for the habitation module study (or prototype build?) of a proposed stack that can be used in Cis-lunar orbit, ARM and/or for Mars.  The concept is to exploit the universal stage adapters to provide a 10 m long payload bay and an assumed 10 mt payload capability on an SLS 1b launch vehicle configuration
There are four basic modules of which three are shown in the schematic.
1. The service module, the docking module and the habitation module. The Service Module provides pressurized volume to augment the Orion capabilities and a propulsion module to provide control
of the final vehicle configuration in LDRO.
2. The Docking Module provides EVA and robotic capabilities with both NDS and CBM ports.
3a. There are two 4.5 m diameter habitat modules and a logistics module designed to provide the volume required for four crew members to live and work on a 1000-day mission to Mars.
3b. There are two 5.5 m diameter habitat modules designed to provide the volume required for four crewmembers to live and work on a 1000-day mission to Mars.

The information here comes from:
"Space Launch System Co-Manifested Payload Options For Habitation" by David Smitherman, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL, 35812

Thanks for the update Brightlight.

They could start by flying service module on first flight and use it as EAM. Next flight bring Docking module, use its robotic arm to capture free flying service module and bolt the two modules together.

Do you know what plans they have for service modules propulsion. SEP, chemical or combination of both and could it be refueled.
The three 60 day missions in Cis-lunar orbit are still under consideration and this approach to a facility is a alternative to other DSH concepts.  I don't know if the MSFC group is studying alternate TLI and/or TMI propulsion approaches for this type of proposal but chemical is used here for TMI (see attachment). This stack requires 5 SLS-Orion-payloads to complete. Also note that the Service Module and Docking Module stay in lunar orbit after the stack is complete for further missions (?) suggesting an infrastructure development. Basically the Orion is being used as a tugboat/payload delivery system for in-space assembly whether in LEO or Lunar, much like the Shuttle was used to assemble the ISS. The Service Module propulsion system uses a storable, bi-propellant combination of nitrogen tetroxide (NTO) oxidizer and monomethyl hydrazine (MMH) fuel for stack maneuvering and station keeping. I have some questions out to NASA folks and if i get responses I will post in L2
« Last Edit: 12/16/2015 07:55 PM by BrightLight »

Offline BrightLight

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A LV and payload analysis was performed on three options: 1. using a 4.5m MPLM-based Hab module, 2. Using the 5.5m "new" Hab module and 3. Using a SLS core "Skylab II" style module.

Note that the SLS-Skylab module uses 4 SLS LV's and 1 Delta IV LV for logistics, while the small Hab module use 6SLS LV's and 7 Delta IV class LV's for logistics, and the medium sized Hab module approach uses one less SLS LV.  The SLS derived single Hab module saves a whopping 1 SLS LV and 6 Delta IV LV's - in my mind, a substantial savings.

If a SLS LV is $500 million and a Delta IV is 250 Million (I'm selling these things cheap), the savings is at least 2.25 Billion dollars using the SLS-Skylab concept.
« Last Edit: 12/16/2015 09:21 PM by BrightLight »

Offline Endeavour_01

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If a SLS LV is $500 million and a Delta IV is 250 Million (I'm selling these things cheap), the savings is at least 2.25 Billion dollars using the SLS-Skylab concept.

I have always been a huge fan of the Skylab II concept. Its big, but not too big. Less in orbit assembly required, fewer launches, commonality with SLS tooling.

Any of these DSH architectures would be great to see don't get me wrong but I do have a favorite.

In terms of the EAM mentioned in the omnibus spending bill:

I think it is an excellent idea to develop a smaller module quickly that can be used on EM-2 and hopefully left in DRO as a destination for future Orion/SLS missions. This makes EM-2 more than just a test flight and a spin around the moon. It can be used as the core (or preliminary) module for a lunar space station. If it is planned right it could be useful for all the architectures mentioned above.
I cheer for both NASA and commercial space. For SLS, Orion, Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy, Dragon, Starliner, Cygnus and all the rest!
I was blessed to see the launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour on STS-99. The launch was beyond amazing. My 8-year old mind was blown. I remember the noise and seeing the exhaust pour out of the shuttle as it lifted off. I remember staring and watching it soar while it was visible in the clear blue sky. It was one of the greatest moments of my life and I will never forget it.

Offline A_M_Swallow

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{snip}[
In terms of the EAM mentioned in the omnibus spending bill:

I think it is an excellent idea to develop a smaller module quickly that can be used on EM-2 and hopefully left in DRO as a destination for future Orion/SLS missions. This makes EM-2 more than just a test flight and a spin around the moon. It can be used as the core (or preliminary) module for a lunar space station. If it is planned right it could be useful for all the architectures mentioned above.

Anything we send out to DRO (or EML-1/2) for human use needs its design thoroughly tested in LEO first. We can just about modify things in LEO but at DRO only minor repairs are possible.

If the modules mass about 20,000 kg then we can launch them to LEO for about $100m-$150m per module. Since making a second copy of space hardware is considerably cheaper than developing it; a mission cost increase of about 1/3 to 1/2 significantly increases the probability of the DRO spacestation working. NASA will then have the dilemma of deciding whether to use or deorbit the LEO spacestation.

Offline BrightLight

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The Habitation module is one of the critical links in the BEO exploration that has limited technical readiness.  The issues with habitation appear to fall under two primary issues for BEO human spaceflight: radiation and micro-gravity effects on humans, other issues of course are problems such as life support etc (see attached table).  While substantial work is expected to be done on the LEO ISS, the NRC suggests that a cis-lunar "lab" for evaluating technology and human physiology should be done outside the Earth's protective radiation belts -
"...there is a rising concern for understanding the interrelated effects of micro-gravity and the deep space environment. For this a laboratory Cis-Lunar space is ideal"

I believe that the Hab module development philosophy will be to develop first a laboratory for addressing these issues (following the MSFC three 60-day DRO) and then either discarded or retrofitted for more operational work such as assembling the Mars transport stack.
« Last Edit: 12/18/2015 05:05 PM by BrightLight »

Offline Endeavour_01

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Anything we send out to DRO (or EML-1/2) for human use needs its design thoroughly tested in LEO first. We can just about modify things in LEO but at DRO only minor repairs are possible.

I see your point but isn't ISS supposed to be the LEO test bed for hab module tech and design? Also we need to learn how to deal with situations where only minor repairs are possible. The best place to test that is in cis-lunar space.

Quote
If the modules mass about 20,000 kg then we can launch them to LEO for about $100m-$150m per module.

This module will be around 10-11mt max, not 20mt, if they want to co-manifest it with Orion. What we could see is a "pathfinder" module co-manifested with Orion on EM-2. It could serve as backup life support for Orion and be left in DRO to see how it functions (a lot like the Genesis modules or BEAM from Bigelow). The data we get from it could go into optimizing the DSH.

As you say it is much easier to make a second copy of space hardware which is why I favor Skylab II for both the lunar station and the Mars hab.
I cheer for both NASA and commercial space. For SLS, Orion, Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy, Dragon, Starliner, Cygnus and all the rest!
I was blessed to see the launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour on STS-99. The launch was beyond amazing. My 8-year old mind was blown. I remember the noise and seeing the exhaust pour out of the shuttle as it lifted off. I remember staring and watching it soar while it was visible in the clear blue sky. It was one of the greatest moments of my life and I will never forget it.

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Anything we send out to DRO (or EML-1/2) for human use needs its design thoroughly tested in LEO first. We can just about modify things in LEO but at DRO only minor repairs are possible.

I see your point but isn't ISS supposed to be the LEO test bed for hab module tech and design? Also we need to learn how to deal with situations where only minor repairs are possible. The best place to test that is in cis-lunar space.

Where only minor repairs are possible the equipment needs to have a high Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF).  In LEO we can do major repairs/modification whilst testing the effects of micro-gravity, vacuum and wide temperature swings.

When the MTBF of the module exceeds 3 * 60 = 180 days we are ready to go from LEO to a cis-lunar orbit such as DRO.

Quote

Quote
If the modules mass about 20,000 kg then we can launch them to LEO for about $100m-$150m per module.

This module will be around 10-11mt max, not 20mt, if they want to co-manifest it with Orion. What we could see is a "pathfinder" module co-manifested with Orion on EM-2. It could serve as backup life support for Orion and be left in DRO to see how it functions (a lot like the Genesis modules or BEAM from Bigelow). The data we get from it could go into optimizing the DSH.

As you say it is much easier to make a second copy of space hardware which is why I favor Skylab II for both the lunar station and the Mars hab.


A lighter module can be lifted to LEO and the ISS by a smaller and cheaper launch vehicle.

Offline Patchouli

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Out of the companies listed in the recent article, I hope the best for Boeing AND Bigleow. Their ideas offer the most volume. Cygnus from OrbitalATK is great experience, but even for a single astronaut a module based from that is a little small. Still I'm sure any of those 3 companies will generate a good idea. I favor the larger, single module, Skylab 2 plans to minimize launch needs.


I favor a Skylab 2 based solution as it provides the needed volume with a minimum of assembly and mass.

It should be more dynamically stable too as there are less joints to flex so you can use a large chemical or nuclear thermal based EDS and not worry about ripping it apart.

Though the ISS derived does have one big advantage you can test the parts piece meal and farm out lifting them to commercial entities.

Of course a combination of module sizes can be used as well.
« Last Edit: 12/19/2015 04:06 PM by Patchouli »

Offline TrevorMonty

Out of the companies listed in the recent article, I hope the best for Boeing AND Bigleow. Their ideas offer the most volume. Cygnus from OrbitalATK is great experience, but even for a single astronaut a module based from that is a little small. Still I'm sure any of those 3 companies will generate a good idea. I favor the larger, single module, Skylab 2 plans to minimize launch needs.


I favor a Skylab 2 based solution as it provides the needed volume with a minimum of assembly and mass.

It should be more dynamically stable too as there are less joints to flex so you can use a large chemical or nuclear thermal based EDS and not worry about ripping it apart.

Though the ISS derived does have one big advantage you can test the parts piece meal and farm out lifting them to commercial entities.

Of course a combination of module sizes can be used as well.
The modular approach is not as affected so much by budget overruns and build delays. Each module can be built and flown as NASA can afford it. Use EAM to start with and slowly add to it gaining extra capabilities each mission.

A single large module can easily exceed schedule and budget, leaving Orion with no destination.
JWST is classic example.
« Last Edit: 12/19/2015 04:44 PM by TrevorMonty »

Offline Coastal Ron

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This module will be around 10-11mt max, not 20mt, if they want to co-manifest it with Orion.

Basing the hab architecture on whether it can be co-manifested with the Orion seems rather limiting.  The least expensive plan for NASA would be to contract with the private sector to not only build the hab, but to outfit it and deliver it where NASA wants it placed in space.  Then all NASA has to worry about is getting the Orion to it and carrying out whatever work they want to do there.

Quote
What we could see is a "pathfinder" module co-manifested with Orion on EM-2. It could serve as backup life support for Orion and be left in DRO to see how it functions (a lot like the Genesis modules or BEAM from Bigelow). The data we get from it could go into optimizing the DSH.

Co-manifesting a small hab module with the Orion is still a good idea, and it could even be a version of NASA's proposed Space Exploration Vehicle (SEV).  The Orion is really just meant for transportation to/from destinations in space, but the SEV is meant for doing work in space.  So hauling up new SEV's on each Orion would help to build up a nice capability at a BEO station.

Quote
As you say it is much easier to make a second copy of space hardware which is why I favor Skylab II for both the lunar station and the Mars hab.

1st stage rocket fuel tanks are not designed to be hab modules.  Hab modules are designed to be hab modules.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline Patchouli

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10mt seems too small for station modules unless you want to use inflatables.
You can use a small module like that to extend the duration of Orion and carry a few experiments but you're not going to be able to put a lot in there.
Really though seems to make SLS seem like a waste of money as a Delta IV heavy could easily put a 10mt module in the lunar vicinity.

BTW Sky lab was a converted S-IVB upper stage.

Skylab II on the other hand is only using the same tooling as the SLS EDS H2 tank so technically is not a converted rocket stage.

The closest thing to using a first stage as a station module I've seen was reusing the Shuttle ET.
The elephant in the room problem was the foam shedding making a mess though they probably knew that issue and had solutions.
« Last Edit: 12/20/2015 02:27 AM by Patchouli »

Offline JasonAW3

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I have gotten the impression that Orbital Sciences is trying to push their extended Cygnus module as a potentile deep space module.
My God!  It's full of universes!

Offline the_other_Doug

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I have gotten the impression that Orbital Sciences is trying to push their extended Cygnus module as a potentile deep space module.

I'm sure they are.  I know that I, for one, just don't feel like a Cygnus-sized module is large enough.  When packed with the stuff it would need to have to serve any serious support role, a Cygnus-sized vehicle doesn't provide very much free space.

I do think that a real requirement for extended BLEO trips will be sufficient personal space for each member of the crew.  My impression is that a packed Cygnus would barely give enough personal space to maintain sanity in a single crew member, much less help serve the needs of a crew of four or more.

Think of it this way -- four people start out in a large SUV.  They can't get out to stretch their legs, go to the bathroom, or -- maybe most importantly -- get away from the other three people for a little while, when you just need to that.  And then, after a while, you get to go, one or two at a time, into a large-ish walk-in closet and spend some time there.

And you do this for up to a year and a half, straight.

I just think this is not going to work.  I know it would not be tolerable for me, and I don't think my personal space requirements are all that unusual.  And no matter how motivated you might be to be going on something like a mission to Mars, bright-eyed motivation just isn't going to keep you going through 18 months or more with insufficient personal space.

That's one reason I'm in the Skylab II camp.  I think a DSH will need to provide elbow room, and a Skylab II based on the SLS tooling would provide that.  Inflatable modules, aka Bigelow products, might also be able to provide the needed personal space, so that's my backup position.  Either way, it will pay in the long run not to "cheap out" on the internal volume of the basic DSH design.
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

Offline sdsds

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I have gotten the impression that Orbital Sciences is trying to push their extended Cygnus module as a potentile deep space module.

Yes, and it goes further than that. OA received a NASA NEXTStep award to develop the concept. See the November 13, 2015 article by Chris Gebhardt: http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/11/nasa-progress-habitat-development-deep-space-exploration/

An image from the article of how they might go about it (several modules together) is attached.
-- sdsds --

Offline Coastal Ron

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Really though seems to make SLS seem like a waste of money as a Delta IV heavy could easily put a 10mt module in the lunar vicinity.

Yep.  Unless the SLS was hauling a bunch of them and pushing well beyond LEO.

Also, Delta IV Heavy will be EOL by that point (End Of Life).  Why wasn't Falcon Heavy assumed instead of Delta IV Heavy (or Vulcan)?  Falcon Heavy is a lot less expensive ($/kg), and it can push more than 50% more mass to GTO than Delta IV Heavy.

Just wondering...

Quote
BTW Sky lab was a converted S-IVB upper stage.

Yep.  A leftover asset that essentially was "free", so the compromises could be ignored.

Quote
Skylab II on the other hand is only using the same tooling as the SLS EDS H2 tank so technically is not a converted rocket stage.

So, you're not talking about this for the EAM?  Since none of the contracts awarded for the EAM would use SLS-derived habs.

There are basically two philosophies for how NASA moves out of LEO:

1.  NASA builds, owns and operates everything
2.  NASA only builds, owns and operates what the private sector can't or won't do

I think #2 is the only affordable path, which means there are going to be a lot of commercial solutions that are tried out and ultimately built in volume.  It's very unlikely that any of those ultimate solutions would want to rely on government tooling and government assets unless it was mandated - and that doesn't look like it's going to happen with the direction the EAM is taking.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

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