Author Topic: NASA reviews progress of habitat development for deep-space exploration  (Read 70510 times)

Offline MATTBLAK

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If they build this thing - and get the problems of ECLSS licked - then they could probably do Martian orbital manned missions with it. Orion would not need to to go all the way to Mars and back; just taxi the crews back and forth to Cislunar space. In-space chemical propulsion stages could be used to push the DSH from Lunar regions to high Martian orbit/Deimos/Phobos and back again. Human crews would need to get there and back quicker than SEP could push them there. Combined chemical/SEP could send supplies/equipment/other modules to the Martian moons ahead of the manned vehicle. Assuming the DSH would mass 50-70 tons - how much delta-v would that require to set it to Mars in 6 or 7 months with a Mars Orbital Insertion burn?

If the return propellants - in the form of other pre-fueled, in-space propulsion stages - were sent on ahead and arrived safely, the DSH would only need delta-v for DRO departure and MOI burns. If not, then more propulsion stages. I'm thinking storable hypergolics for less technical challenge, though for greater capability; LOX/CH4. I'd go for hypergolics. A stage that fits the capability of a Block 1B SLS or New Glenn to get it out there would hold about 40 tons of propellants. I'm thinking it could be powered by twinned AJ10 engines, for redundancy. Or for bigger payloads - 4x AJ10's and propellant capacity of 100+tons. The stages are delivered to the DSH in DRO or other Cislunar space. Follow up with tanker modules from Falcon Heavy or New Glenn to fill the propulsion modules for departure. The DSH might need between 3 and 5 of these propulsion modules to get to Martian orbit and back.

The Propulsion Modules could be arranged in a trio row - like Falcon or Delta IV-Heavy - or 5x in a cruciform arrangement. For eventual Mars landing missions (finally) the Cargo and Crew Landers are sent on ahead of the DSH as it transits to and fro from Mars. The Crew Lander would be waiting in Martian orbit - sent there by efficient SEP/Chemical Tugs.

Well, if you look at the documents, it is evident that is not how this is planed to play out. The DSH / Gateway stays in lunar orbit, and only the "DST" (Deep Space Transport), a one-piece, 8.4 m diameter space ship equipped with an SEP/chemical propulsion system and ECLSS, makes the actual sorties, first to a "shake down cruise" in cis/translunar space, then on to the orbit of Mars. The mass of DST is about 45 tons. And yes, it seems that the Orion would stay attached to the DSH during that time, and the DST returns to the DSH from Mars orbit.
There is some minor variance across the DRM's in the different documents. No actual declaration of a definitive mission architecture. But notionals are to be expected at this stage.
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Offline BrightLight

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If they build this thing - and get the problems of ECLSS licked - then they could probably do Martian orbital manned missions with it. Orion would not need to to go all the way to Mars and back; just taxi the crews back and forth to Cislunar space. In-space chemical propulsion stages could be used to push the DSH from Lunar regions to high Martian orbit/Deimos/Phobos and back again. Human crews would need to get there and back quicker than SEP could push them there. Combined chemical/SEP could send supplies/equipment/other modules to the Martian moons ahead of the manned vehicle. Assuming the DSH would mass 50-70 tons - how much delta-v would that require to set it to Mars in 6 or 7 months with a Mars Orbital Insertion burn?

If the return propellants - in the form of other pre-fueled, in-space propulsion stages - were sent on ahead and arrived safely, the DSH would only need delta-v for DRO departure and MOI burns. If not, then more propulsion stages. I'm thinking storable hypergolics for less technical challenge, though for greater capability; LOX/CH4. I'd go for hypergolics. A stage that fits the capability of a Block 1B SLS or New Glenn to get it out there would hold about 40 tons of propellants. I'm thinking it could be powered by twinned AJ10 engines, for redundancy. Or for bigger payloads - 4x AJ10's and propellant capacity of 100+tons. The stages are delivered to the DSH in DRO or other Cislunar space. Follow up with tanker modules from Falcon Heavy or New Glenn to fill the propulsion modules for departure. The DSH might need between 3 and 5 of these propulsion modules to get to Martian orbit and back.

The Propulsion Modules could be arranged in a trio row - like Falcon or Delta IV-Heavy - or 5x in a cruciform arrangement. For eventual Mars landing missions (finally) the Cargo and Crew Landers are sent on ahead of the DSH as it transits to and fro from Mars. The Crew Lander would be waiting in Martian orbit - sent there by efficient SEP/Chemical Tugs.

Well, if you look at the documents, it is evident that is not how this is planed to play out. The DSH / Gateway stays in lunar orbit, and only the "DST" (Deep Space Transport), a one-piece, 8.4 m diameter space ship equipped with an SEP/chemical propulsion system and ECLSS, makes the actual sorties, first to a "shake down cruise" in cis/translunar space, then on to the orbit of Mars. The mass of DST is about 45 tons. And yes, it seems that the Orion would stay attached to the DSH during that time, and the DST returns to the DSH from Mars orbit.
There is some minor variance across the DRM's in the different documents. No actual declaration of a definitive mission architecture. But notionals are to be expected at this stage.
To pick at the nits:
As posted in post #374, page 19  - the Transit Hab is designed as 7.2m diameter (GFE tooling at Michaud)
Packaging/ Offloading Constraints
Dimensional limits: Assume habitat compatible with 8.4 m diameter shroud for Space Launch System (SLS) which corresponds to a 7.5 m diameter usable envelope that limits habitat diameter to <7.5 m stowed diameter (expandables may grow to larger diameters). This diameter maintains flexibility to use 8.4 m or 10 m diameter shrouds. Length limits set by 8.4 m diameter shroud usable envelope when co-manifested with hybrid propulsive stage. Transit habitat launched with the HPS, with the habitat on the top of the propulsion stage. These launch vehicles are packaged with adaptors such that neither payload carries the loads of the other. They are assumed to be launched on the 10 m SLS shroud which is necessary for packaging of the large hybrid propulsion system solar arrays around the habitat.
« Last Edit: 03/31/2017 03:45 PM by BrightLight »

Offline yg1968

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I thought the cislunar gateway was supposed to be paid for by ESA/Japan... did I misunderstand the discussion over on the SLS thread?  I have trouble seeing ESA and JAXA just handing over / to US-based companies for a NASA-designed, US-built outpost.

Apparently, ESA might provide ECLSS on the habitat module (ECLSS is GFE) and Canada might contribute a robotic arm attached to a module of the deep space gateway:

http://spacenews.com/esa-deal-hinges-on-what-trump-does-with-nasas-human-spaceflight-plans/

http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/canadian-politics/canada-looking-to-contribute-to-deep-space-habitat-orbiting-moon-and-eventual-mars-mission

So the Deep Space Gateway (DSG) will be a mixture of public and private partnerships and international partnerships. However, the propulsion module on the DSG should be solar electric according to Gerst's NAC presentation.
« Last Edit: 03/31/2017 04:08 PM by yg1968 »

Offline yg1968

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I think you may be misinterpreting what "find best aspects of each" means. This sounds to me more like "Bigelow has the strongest main lab concept, Boeing has the best node design, Lockheed's design is good for blah blah, lets stick compatible ports on these and bolt them all together", rather than "lets build 1 module with life support from Lockheed and electronics from Boeing and whatever". In which case this is exactly how commercial is supposed to work: NASA buys what they need and puts it together into 1 station, and each company can go and sell the same thing to other customers too. Same model used for commercial crew/cargo, and for orbital launch vehicles

It seems that you were right. NASA will figure out what kind of reference habitat it wants through out NextStep phase 2. So it wouldn't be a down selection since NASA will have new habitat requirements for phase 3. Once they have decided on a reference habitat, several companies or international partners may be involved in making it under phase 3.

Quote from: Crusan presentation slide 5
Hab Development Phase 2 [...]

NASA: Define reference habitat architecture based on contractor and international concepts and identified GFE [Government Furnished Equipment] in preparation for Phase 3

Hab Development Phase 3 [...]

Deliverables include Flight Unit(s) (note may be multiple modules integrated via common interfaces and standards)

https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/20170329-nacheoc-crusan-gatens-hab-eclss-v5b.pdf
« Last Edit: 04/02/2017 05:19 AM by yg1968 »

Online redliox

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How well could this habitat development tech be applied toward Martian habitats...on the surface?
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Offline smfarmer11

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Presumably the ECLSS could be adapted to a surface habitat, and perhaps the method of radiation shielding. Other than that most would probably have to be altered.

Offline jgoldader

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As with all these things, it's not whether it can be done, but rather about the cost and how it'll be paid for.  So far, we haven't heard a peep about either of those (unless I missed something?).
« Last Edit: 04/05/2017 07:36 PM by jgoldader »
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Offline yg1968

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As with all these things, it's not whether it can be done, but rather about the cost and how it'll be paid for.  So far, we haven't heard a peep about either of those (unless I missed something?).

Gerst said that this should fit under the current budget (ideally with an adjustment for inflation).

Offline corneliussulla

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It would be interesting to see the ITS upper stage against the deep space transport in scale.

Offline brickmack

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It would be interesting to see the ITS upper stage against the deep space transport in scale.

DST still hasn't been precisely defined yet. The 7.2 meter SLS-launched hab was the favorite last I heard though, heres a quick and dirty shot of that
« Last Edit: 04/12/2017 03:02 AM by brickmack »

Offline corneliussulla

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Thanks. The DST is an uninspiring looking vessel, but practicality is what's needed I suppose. When u see all the movies and TV dock dramas made in last twenty years about travel to Mars none came up with a bean can in space, but I suppose the craft has no landing stage etc.

Offline okan170

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Thanks. The DST is an uninspiring looking vessel, but practicality is what's needed I suppose. When u see all the movies and TV dock dramas made in last twenty years about travel to Mars none came up with a bean can in space, but I suppose the craft has no landing stage etc.

What movies are you referring to?  Lots of "uninspiring cans" for Mars transfer vehicles in the last 20 years of TV and film, especially starting in the 90s with separate fictional landers etc.  Unless we're talking far future science fiction.

Offline corneliussulla

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I suppose the ones I was referring to where, the Martian, red planet, mission to Mars. TV race to Mars, and Nat geo recent Mars show.

However I assume some extra stuff needs to be attached to the NASA bean can to Impart some delta v and to put it in orbit etc.
« Last Edit: 04/12/2017 11:33 AM by corneliussulla »

Offline okan170

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I suppose the ones I was referring to where, the Martian, red planet, mission to Mars. TV race to Mars, and Nat geo recent Mars show.

However I assume some extra stuff needs to be attached to the NASA bean can to Impart some delta v and to put it in orbit etc.

Considering that all of those films involved a large modular transfer spacecraft that did not itself land, they have a lot more in common with "can designs" than SpaceX's ITS super-lander-spaceship.

Online Robotbeat

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I wish it was just an optimized transit vehicle made to operate in cislunar mode.

I liked the gateway idea when it was just using ISS ground spares, but this is a whole new thing, and so we should just do what we actually want: build something light enough to be a transit vehicle. We'll otherwise spend tens of billions of dollars doing missions and upkeep on a miniature ISS at a higher orbit. Come on, let's at least get to Phobos or something.
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Offline KelvinZero

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I wish it was just an optimized transit vehicle made to operate in cislunar mode.

I liked the gateway idea when it was just using ISS ground spares, but this is a whole new thing, and so we should just do what we actually want: build something light enough to be a transit vehicle. We'll otherwise spend tens of billions of dollars doing missions and upkeep on a miniature ISS at a higher orbit. Come on, let's at least get to Phobos or something.
The feature I would really like to see, different from the ISS, is something really plug and play. It should be something we can assemble at L2 or Phobos or any other (zero-g) destination before sending people, or take apart, replace some core spinal module and put back together again, all remotely. How about even a design that you never ever need retire.. just keep retiring pieces and reusing others?

I would be willing to put up with something a bit heavier for that. Suppose it weighs 25% more. That is just 25% more launches of propellant or whatever, so not even 25% additional cost to the entire architecture. Something much less.

I have the impression that the ISS construction was _designed_ to justify all the shuttles's features: crew, garage and cargo all in one on every mission, and thus was all about learning exactly the wrong lessons for going beyond LEO.

Online envy887

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I suppose the ones I was referring to where, the Martian, red planet, mission to Mars. TV race to Mars, and Nat geo recent Mars show.

However I assume some extra stuff needs to be attached to the NASA bean can to Impart some delta v and to put it in orbit etc.

Considering that all of those films involved a large modular transfer spacecraft that did not itself land, they have a lot more in common with "can designs" than SpaceX's ITS super-lander-spaceship.

The Nat Geo Mars show had a ship that was basically ITS.

Offline okan170

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The Nat Geo Mars show had a ship that was basically ITS.


Considering that one was heavily influenced and leaning towards the commercial side and SpaceX in particular, it'd be strange if it wasn't.  My point is its hardly been the norm for "plausible" science fiction depictions.

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