Author Topic: NASA updates status and timetable of ambitious Asteroid Redirect Mission  (Read 11513 times)

Offline A_M_Swallow

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This is all great, but to truly enable these in a larger vision why stop there?  Why not use the deep space habitats already being developed to dock the sample to and create some synergy within the goals of developing various Journey to Mars tech?  Why invest so much in development costs only to go after a single sample rather than spreading out risk over multiple mission/targets?  How much more could be possible if these samples were placed in a destination where the possibility of regular commercial resupply missions to a manned science lab and all the localized infrastructure could exist?

Rhetorical questions, but just seems like the potential to do more is there and it's the tentative manner in which this mission is planned that is detrimental to it's support.

That is a mammoth cost and time increase.

Offline tea monster

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So let me get this right...

People are complaining about the ARM mission as it dosen't have enough about the 'Journey to Mars' about it.

When in actual fact, there is no 'Journey to Mars' apart from a lot of press releases and a huge booster which nobody is interested in creating payloads for, let alone any concrete plans for a putting a mission to the red planet on top of said booster.

I'd have thought that producing a vehicle that can demonstrate the ability to save the planet by changing the course of an asteroid would be worth at least 5 x the funding levels.

That is entirely apart from developing a working high-power SEP vehicle, giving the fledgling asteroid mining industry a boost and providing a target for ISRU development.

I don't want this mission thrown away as it's not about Mars - and then when this Mars plan that has no funding never materializes, we are left with just pretty graphics and no space hardware at all.

EDIT: Just saw this post over at Space News - No mention in the article is made of the funding being released, just that they are pressing ahead. Does this mean it's 'go' again or is it just more studies and the funds are still not there?
http://spacenews.com/nasa-moves-ahead-with-asteroid-redirect-mission-despite-cost-increase/
« Last Edit: 08/17/2016 07:43 AM by tea monster »

Offline A_M_Swallow

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{snip}
EDIT: Just saw this post over at Space News - No mention in the article is made of the funding being released, just that they are pressing ahead. Does this mean it's 'go' again or is it just more studies and the funds are still not there?
http://spacenews.com/nasa-moves-ahead-with-asteroid-redirect-mission-despite-cost-increase/

Or someone in NASA HQ is taking a big risk.

If Congress grants the money the project is ready to go. NASA issues the contracts.
If Congress says no then NASA announces there are no awards.

Online jgoldader

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{snip}
EDIT: Just saw this post over at Space News - No mention in the article is made of the funding being released, just that they are pressing ahead. Does this mean it's 'go' again or is it just more studies and the funds are still not there?
http://spacenews.com/nasa-moves-ahead-with-asteroid-redirect-mission-despite-cost-increase/

Or someone in NASA HQ is taking a big risk.

If Congress grants the money the project is ready to go. NASA issues the contracts.
If Congress says no then NASA announces there are no awards.

Remember the law of inertia also applies to bureaucracies.
Recovering astronomer

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

Offline catdlr

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Asteroid Redirect Mission Robotic Trajectory and Crew Operations

NASA.gov Video

Published on Sep 14, 2016
This concept animation opens with a rendering of the mission's spacecraft trajectory, rendezvous, and approach to asteroid 2008 EV5. Although the mission's target asteroid won't officially be selected until a year before the robotic spacecraft is launched, 2008 EV5 is used as a reference for mission planning details. The animation concludes with the notional crew operations that will take place after the asteroid boulder is placed in lunar orbit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoqfSYZufGY?T=001

Tony De La Rosa

Offline catdlr

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White House, NASA Discuss Asteroid Redirect Mission

NASA

Published on Sep 14, 2016
Officials from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and NASA held a live Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) discussion at the space agency’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. During the event on Wednesday, Sept. 14, OSTP’s Dr. John P. Holdren, NASA’s Administrator Charles Bolden and ARM Program Director Dr. Michele Gates, highlighted the mission’s scientific and technological benefits, how the mission will support NASA’s goal of sending humans to Mars in the 2030s, and how ARM will demonstrate technology relevant to defending Earth from potentially hazardous asteroids.

The beginning of the video is a repeat of the above post. Panel discussion starts at 3:34 in the following video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Ogty1C6LYw?t=001

Tony De La Rosa

Offline catdlr

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Sept. 6, 2016
Asteroid Redirect Mission Virtual Industry Day

This event has concluded. The archived video is available here: http://connect.arc.nasa.gov/p5h32zqhtgi/

On Sept. 14, 2016, NASA hosted a live Asteroid Redirect Mission Virtual Industry Day at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The event was open to the public for virtual participation only, and followed the Sept. 6 release of the Asteroid Redirect Mission Umbrella for Partnerships (ARM-UP) Broad Agency Announcement (BAA), and its two appendices:

Appendix A: Hosted Payloads on Robotic Segment of ARM
Appendix B: Investigation Team Membership Call
The Industry Day provided an ARM status update, an introduction to the BAA and Appendices A and B, and also will included an overview of the mission's progress since the last Asteroid Redirect Mission Community Update in Oct. 2015. The virtual event was streamed live through Adobe Connect, and viewers were able to ask questions throughout the event.

The agenda below outlines specific topics that were addressed.

NASA Asteroid Redirect Mission Virtual Industry Day
Sept. 14, 2016, 12 p.m. - 2 p.m. EDT

Introduction - Cheryl Warner, NASA Office of Communications
Welcome to Goddard - Dave Mitchell, Director of Flight Projects, Goddard Space Flight Center   
ARM work at Goddard - Bo Naasz, ARM Capture Module Lead, Goddard Space Flight Center     
ARM Introduction and Current Mission Status - Michele Gates, ARM Program Director, NASA Headquarters   
Science Interest and Observation Status - Lindley Johnson, Planetary Defense Officer, NASA Headquarters
Solar Electric Propulsion in the Proving Ground - Jim Reuter, Space Technology Mission Directorate Deputy Associate Administrator for Programs   
ARM-UP BAA Overview - Michele Gates, ARM Program Director, NASA Headquarters
ARM-UP Appendix A, Hosted Payloads - Ron Ticker, ARM Deputy Program Director, NASA Headquarters   
ARM-UP Appendix B, Investigation Team - Dan Mazanek, ARM Mission Investigator, NASA Langley Research Center   
ARM Robotic Mission and JPL Spacecraft Bus RFP - Jeff Weiss, ARM Deputy Flight System Manager & Flight System System Engineer, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory   
 
Last Updated: Sept. 14, 2016
Editor: Erin Mahoney

Event Video Here: http://connect.arc.nasa.gov/p5h32zqhtgi/
« Last Edit: 09/19/2016 05:22 PM by catdlr »
Tony De La Rosa

Offline A_M_Swallow

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I understand that Congress wants part of the ARM report requested in the 2016 NASA Appropriations bill to compare the proposed SEP design with using a chemical tug to move the asteroid. If the spacecraft fly the same flight path they will have the same delta-v. However the ISPs will be very different. A chemical tug, having lower ISP, will require a larger quantity of propellant and bigger (= heavier) fuel tanks to move the ~20 tonne asteroid. The additional launch costs can be calculated from the extra mass. Congress may not understand rocket science (delta-v, engine ISP) but it does know money.

The first stages of launch vehicles are not designed to work in vacuum for months so an existing spacecraft would have to be an upper stage. Can an existing upper stage perform this task? Or would a made to measure spacecraft need developing? At what cost?

Could the larger chemical tug be launched on the same LV or would a bigger and more expensive rocket, such as a Delta IV, be needed? Or possibly several launches to fuel the spacecraft?

If Asteroid Redirect Mission is cancelled then its second stage the ARCM (Asteroid Redirect Crewed Mission) in 2026 must also be cancelled. This will result in the Block 1B SLS and Orion capsule booked for the ARCM mission being cancelled.

Planetary Defense - has any one calculated the cost of a say 100 tonne asteroid hitting New York or Los Angeles?

Online KelvinZero

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I understand that Congress wants part of the ARM report requested in the 2016 NASA Appropriations bill to compare the proposed SEP design with using a chemical tug to move the asteroid.
...
The first stages of launch vehicles are not designed to work in vacuum for months so an existing spacecraft would have to be an upper stage. Can an existing upper stage perform this task? Or would a made to measure spacecraft need developing? At what cost?
Don't worry, they will no doubt drop the idea the second they realise this would advance technology that could demonstrate propellant depots. :P

Offline Oli

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I understand that Congress wants part of the ARM report requested in the 2016 NASA Appropriations bill to compare the proposed SEP design with using a chemical tug to move the asteroid.

Seriously? Source?

Offline A_M_Swallow

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I understand that Congress wants part of the ARM report requested in the 2016 NASA Appropriations bill to compare the proposed SEP design with using a chemical tug to move the asteroid.

Seriously? Source?

There is nothing wrong with Congress asking NASA if there is a cheaper way to perform the asteroid mission. The report will just have to officially put in writing that using a chemical tug would be more expensive than using a SEP tug because multiple launches would be needed to get the extra propellant into space.

Here is the appropriate section:

"(c) Evaluation and report.—Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall—

(1) conduct an evaluation of—

(A) alternative approaches to the Asteroid Robotic Redirect Mission for demonstrating the technologies and capabilities needed for a human mission to Mars that would otherwise be demonstrated by the Asteroid Robotic Redirect Mission;

(B) the scientific and technical benefits of the alternatives approaches identified in subparagraph (A) compared to the Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission to future human exploration;

(C) the commercial benefits of the alternative approaches identified in subparagraph (A), including the impact on the development of domestic solar electric propulsion technology to bolster United States competitiveness in the global marketplace; and

(D) a comparison of the estimated costs of the alternative approaches identified in subparagraph (A); and

(2) submit to the appropriate Committees of Congress a report on the evaluation under paragraph (1), including any recommendations.
"

From 'S.3346 - National Aeronautics and Space Administration Transition Authorization Act of 2016' (draft)
https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-bill/3346/text#toc-id1A901943EC6C4504B63D3E9BB125FA06

Offline whitelancer64

Question: was any hardware for ARM actually built?
 
I am specifically wondering about any SEP hardware.
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Offline Jim

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