Author Topic: NASA looks to test planetary defense options on ARM mission  (Read 3283 times)


Offline SLC17A5

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Love these articles! Thanks so much Chrises!

Online A_M_Swallow

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Having watched this weeks congressional committee on space habitats I suspect that NASA's representatives need briefing that the ARM mission contains an active planetary defence Exercise. This is a proof of concept of a method able to divert a dangerous near Earth object (NEO). Diverting a NEO on collision course with the Earth by the diameter of the Earth is sufficient to endure that it misses the Earth.

The method being tested is using a SEP tug as a gravity tractor.

This is a defence against medium sized asteroids and meteors that would otherwise cause many deaths and major damage to property. The weakness of this method is that it is slow and has to be performed years in advance. The time required increases with the mass of the NEO. Currently the only active defences are allowing the NEO to burn up in the atmosphere and evacuating the target area. Active defences measures need triggering by a warning from lookouts who detect the incoming danger.

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of the method at beginning and end of mission:
Begin: 1
End: 6

Online A_M_Swallow

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Any chance of active planetary defence by gravity tractor coming back?

Between the ion thrusters, solar panels, SEP tug building and the rock grabber several states must be involved.

Online A_M_Swallow

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If the real reason ARM was cancelled was that it was proposed by Obama then the political solution is to introduce a similar mission using a different name. Possibly practice saving the Earth using CATCHER

Catastrophic
Asteroid
Trajectory
Countered by
Hurling
Enemy
Rock.


edit: spelling of Countered
« Last Edit: 05/30/2016 07:06 PM by A_M_Swallow »

Offline Lar

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I think we want it CountERed not just Counted :)

Naming things is an art and done right can often have really good PR benefits. Misnaming things also causes issues...
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Online A_M_Swallow

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I think we want it CountERed not just Counted :)

Naming things is an art and done right can often have really good PR benefits. Misnaming things also causes issues...

True. Spelling mistake corrected.

Currently Planetary Defence have the ability to count Near Earth Objects. Time to upgrade to countering them.

Offline Ludus

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In line with SpaceX BFR/MCT scale missions, it might be useful to consider missions to reposition a 40-100m asteroid like 2016 HO3. Not simply bashing it and seeing what happens but trying to reposition it in a controlled way for resource exploitation. While this is much more ambitious than NASA proposals it also has much greater potential benefits. https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=40542.0

Offline catdlr

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September 12, 2016
MEDIA ADVISORY M16-107
White House, NASA to Discuss Asteroid Redirect Mission’s Importance for Journey to Mars, Planetary Defense

NASA will provide three virtual updates on two planned Asteroid Redirect Missions (ARM)   Wednesday, Sept. 14 at the agency’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. NASA Television will provide coverage at 11 a.m. EDT of the first briefing to discuss ARM’s contributions to the Journey to Mars and protection of our planet.

ARM will demonstrate capabilities for future Mars-level exploration missions closer to home, and will fly missions with technologies and operational constraints the agency will encounter on the way to the Red Planet. It also will test techniques that might be used to divert a small asteroid, if one were identified and predicted to impact Earth in the future.

A full schedule of activities on Sept. 14, taking place in Goddard’s Robotic Operations Center, is as follows:

11 a.m. – What is the Asteroid Redirect Mission?
Senior leadership from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and NASA will discuss what ARM is, what the mission’s scientific and technological benefits are, how the mission will support the goal of sending humans to Mars in the 2030s, and how ARM will demonstrate technology relevant to defending Earth from potentially hazardous asteroids. The briefing will air live on NASA TV and the agency’s website. The participants are:

Assistant to the President for Science and Technology Dr. John P. Holdren
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden
NASA’s ARM Program Director Michele Gates
12 p.m. – ARM Industry and Community Update
Following the general briefing, NASA scientists and engineers will provide a technical update on the robotic mission, including recent progress, a new partnership opportunity for hosted payloads, a membership call to join the mission’s investigation team, an upcoming request for proposal on the robotic spacecraft, and more.

The technical briefing will stream live through Adobe Connect. The public and media are invited to watch the virtual update online, and submit questions throughout the event.

For more information, including how to participate in the briefing online, and an agenda, visit NASA’s ARM Virtual Industry Day webpage.

3 p.m. – Facebook Live Q&A
To round out the day, NASA will host a Facebook Live event to briefly describe the mission, take a virtual tour of the Robotic Operations Center at Goddard, and answer questions from social media about ARM. Ben Cichy, asteroid operations phase lead for the robotic ARM at Goddard, will participate in the question-and-answer session.

The event will air live on Goddard’s Facebook page. Social media followers can watch live and submit questions online.

During the course of the two ARM missions, NASA will send a robotic spacecraft to an asteroid millions of miles in deep space to retrieve a multi-ton boulder and bring it to an orbit near Earth’s moon. An astronaut crew then will be launched aboard NASA’s Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System rocket to visit the boulder to collect the largest and most pristine sample of an asteroid ever retrieved for scientific study.

The dual missions will involve NASA’s first integrated robotic and crewed operations beyond the moon and validate capabilities such as the first use of large-scale solar electric propulsion (SEP) to move large masses in space, a capability that will be needed to send cargo to Mars. Crew members who visit the boulder will conduct multiple spacewalks for selection, extraction, containment and sample return. The asteroid sample could provide insight on the beginning of our solar system, and help scientists develop tools and techniques for resource extraction.

ARM also will be used to demonstrate an asteroid deflection technique called a gravity tractor, which is strongly supported by the planetary defense community. This technique may be a more efficient, gradual and predictable way to divert a potentially hazardous asteroid from colliding with Earth than other deflection concepts.

To learn more about NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov/arm

To learn more about the agency’s Journey to Mars, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov/journeytomars

-end-

Concept images showing the ARV collecting the boulder.
As part of the Asteroid Redirect Mission, NASA plans to send a robotic spacecraft to an asteroid tens of millions of miles away from Earth, capture a multi-ton boulder, and bring it to an orbit near the moon for future crew exploration. The mission, which will demonstrate multiple capabilities needed for the Journey to Mars, is targeted for launch in December 2021.
Credits: NASA
Tony De La Rosa

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