Author Topic: NASA into deep planning for Asteroid Redirect Mission  (Read 6649 times)


Offline Martin FL

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Re: NASA into deep planning for Asteroid Redirect Mission
« Reply #1 on: 03/17/2016 12:52 PM »
A great read. Just a shame no one has any interest in this asteroid boulder nonsense and it will very likely get killed by the next administration.

Offline SimonFD

Good article  8)
I think that even if the manned part doesn't happen, the "collect a boulder" mission should go ahead as a technology experiment. The ability to do these kinds of things is an important step in developing our space presence, not least being able to rendezvous with an object with a view to giving it a push :)
Space is big! Really big! You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind- bogglingly big it is! I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space. Listen............

Offline kenny008

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Re: NASA into deep planning for Asteroid Redirect Mission
« Reply #3 on: 03/17/2016 01:43 PM »
Great article. I really wish they'd get rid of the "redirect" wording. We are not redirecting anything. We are retrieving a boulder. Calling it a redirect seems disingenuous.

Offline fvandrog

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Re: NASA into deep planning for Asteroid Redirect Mission
« Reply #4 on: 03/17/2016 01:50 PM »
Great article. I really wish they'd get rid of the "redirect" wording. We are not redirecting anything. We are retrieving a boulder. Calling it a redirect seems disingenuous.

Every encounter with a spacecraft will redirect a body ever so slightly. A lander on an asteroid probably measurably so.

I agree that the extend to which the redirection takes place is carefully planned and managed will probably be lacking.

Offline kenny008

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Re: NASA into deep planning for Asteroid Redirect Mission
« Reply #5 on: 03/17/2016 01:56 PM »
Well, yes, but I don't think the Mars 2020 Rover landing is considered a "Mars Redirect Mission," even though it interacts and slightly changes the orbit of Mars.  ;)

I would just like the program name to be more accurate to the new changed goals.

Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA into deep planning for Asteroid Redirect Mission
« Reply #6 on: 03/17/2016 02:02 PM »
Good article!

Here is a related March 2016 NAC presentation on ARRM:

http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/files/6-ARM-Gates.pdf
« Last Edit: 03/17/2016 02:03 PM by yg1968 »

Online RonM

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Re: NASA into deep planning for Asteroid Redirect Mission
« Reply #7 on: 03/17/2016 02:20 PM »
Instead of depressurizing Orion, wouldn't it be better to have an EAM with an airlock? The module could be reused on other missions.

Offline Proponent

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Re: NASA into deep planning for Asteroid Redirect Mission
« Reply #8 on: 03/17/2016 03:43 PM »
Yeah, but the money would have to come from somewhere.

Offline TrevorMonty

Instead of depressurizing Orion, wouldn't it be better to have an EAM with an airlock? The module could be reused on other missions.
They may have a EAM by then as this will be 4th or 5th manned of Orion.

Offline redliox

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Re: NASA into deep planning for Asteroid Redirect Mission
« Reply #10 on: 03/17/2016 05:59 PM »
Good article!

Here is a related March 2016 NAC presentation on ARRM:

http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/files/6-ARM-Gates.pdf

Some updates but I didn't really see anything new.  There's mention of a key decision this summer but I didn't see any further events unless you count the chart now showing ARM happening after the initial 2 Orion flights.  It's nice they're continuing SEP and boulder-grabbing studies.  I am under the impression they're biding their time until the next administration declares its intentions...while trying to be at least a little productive.

I'd like to see them produce an alternative plan involving visiting the Martian moons instead, that had been recommended.  I presume they're staying the course because law binds them to obey Obama's asteroid orders?
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Offline jgoldader

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Re: NASA into deep planning for Asteroid Redirect Mission
« Reply #11 on: 03/17/2016 06:52 PM »
Great article. I really wish they'd get rid of the "redirect" wording. We are not redirecting anything. We are retrieving a boulder. Calling it a redirect seems disingenuous.

I thought they were going to try a  gravity tractor experiment--was I mistaken or perhaps was it cancelled?

And about grabbing a rock even if there's no peopled mission- the robotic part is a billion-dollar-class mission, IIRC, so why bother spending the money?  Heck, you could test out a "grabber" on a derelict satellite in Earth orbit if you really want to test that system in space, and it would be a heck of a lot cheaper.
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Offline rcoppola

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Re: NASA into deep planning for Asteroid Redirect Mission
« Reply #12 on: 03/17/2016 07:17 PM »
Sorry, this still makes very little sense to me. If we're going to Mars or the moons of Mars to start. Then all available funds beyond SLS Block 1B and Orion, need to be funneled towards DSH, ISP, ISRU, and Descent/Ascent vehicle(s).

As designed, this ARM is a costly and unnecessary distraction.

I mean really, if your going to play with rocks around the moon, you may as well just land on the largest rock around...the moon itself.
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Offline Proponent

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Re: NASA into deep planning for Asteroid Redirect Mission
« Reply #13 on: 03/17/2016 07:27 PM »
Landing on the moon would cost much more, because a lander would be needed.

Offline jtrame

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Re: NASA into deep planning for Asteroid Redirect Mission
« Reply #14 on: 03/17/2016 07:31 PM »
Sorry, this still makes very little sense to me. If we're going to Mars or the moons of Mars to start. Then all available funds beyond SLS Block 1B and Orion, need to be funneled towards DSH, ISP, ISRU, and Descent/Ascent vehicle(s).

As designed, this ARM is a costly and unnecessary distraction.

I mean really, if your going to play with rocks around the moon, you may as well just land on the largest rock around...the moon itself.

Thank you for that.  With what funds we have to work with, a DSH makes more sense IMO.  Then at least we have something going forward.

Offline rcoppola

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Re: NASA into deep planning for Asteroid Redirect Mission
« Reply #15 on: 03/17/2016 07:36 PM »
Landing on the moon would cost much more, because a lander would be needed.
Yeh, I wasn't being completely serious. But reality is, we'll need one sooner or later if we intend to enter another gravity well, which is supposed to be the whole point of this JourneyToMars. Whether such a vehicle could or even should be tested in the limited gravity well of the moon is a fair question however. Regardless, ARM does nothing to extend that goal.
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Offline ThereIWas3

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Re: NASA into deep planning for Asteroid Redirect Mission
« Reply #16 on: 03/17/2016 08:34 PM »
Asteroids have been visited before, with sample return, and will be again.  But nobody has visited the Martian moons.  Are they captured asteroids or something else.  Something new to learn there, plus you get to practice Mars trips.
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Offline QuantumG

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Re: NASA into deep planning for Asteroid Redirect Mission
« Reply #17 on: 03/17/2016 08:59 PM »
A great read. Just a shame no one has any interest in this asteroid boulder nonsense and it will very likely get killed by the next administration.

Hopefully that will be good for the private companies that started to question their own existence when NASA got involved in their business (or worse yet, started reorganizing to service NASA.)
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Offline AnalogMan

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Re: NASA into deep planning for Asteroid Redirect Mission
« Reply #18 on: 03/17/2016 10:27 PM »
Great article. I really wish they'd get rid of the "redirect" wording. We are not redirecting anything. We are retrieving a boulder. Calling it a redirect seems disingenuous.

I thought they were going to try a  gravity tractor experiment--was I mistaken or perhaps was it cancelled?
[...]

You are correct - a gravity tractor phase is still part of the mission concept.

Offline kenny008

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Re: NASA into deep planning for Asteroid Redirect Mission
« Reply #19 on: 03/17/2016 11:03 PM »
Great article. I really wish they'd get rid of the "redirect" wording. We are not redirecting anything. We are retrieving a boulder. Calling it a redirect seems disingenuous. Oder

I thought they were going to try a  gravity tractor experiment--was I mistaken or perhaps was it cancelled?
[...]

You are correct - a gravity tractor phase is still part of the mission concept.

Yes, but I think you're missing my point. I don't think the mission is called Asteroid Redirect Mission because of the secondary objective of the gravity tractor test. The original idea was visiting an asteroid (Asteroid Rendevous Mission), then we shifted to bringing the asteroid to us (Redirect). Now we've descoped to retrieving a boulder off the asteroid.
Am I remembering this wrong?  Seems like we're keeping the Redirect name out of nostalgia, to stay with the original presidential directive of visiting an asteroid by 20xx.

Offline arachnitect

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Re: NASA into deep planning for Asteroid Redirect Mission
« Reply #20 on: 03/18/2016 12:10 AM »
Great article. I really wish they'd get rid of the "redirect" wording. We are not redirecting anything. We are retrieving a boulder. Calling it a redirect seems disingenuous. Oder

I thought they were going to try a  gravity tractor experiment--was I mistaken or perhaps was it cancelled?
[...]

You are correct - a gravity tractor phase is still part of the mission concept.

Yes, but I think you're missing my point. I don't think the mission is called Asteroid Redirect Mission because of the secondary objective of the gravity tractor test. The original idea was visiting an asteroid (Asteroid Rendevous Mission), then we shifted to bringing the asteroid to us (Redirect). Now we've descoped to retrieving a boulder off the asteroid.
Am I remembering this wrong?  Seems like we're keeping the Redirect name out of nostalgia, to stay with the original presidential directive of visiting an asteroid by 20xx.

Minor quibble: retrieving a boulder (referred to as "option B" at the time) isn't exactly a "descope". When they switched it was actually projected to cost more. One of the reasons for the switch was risk reduction on the retrieval. Another reason they chose the "arcade claw" mission is that they have more insight into what payload before the astronauts show up. Perhaps the most compelling advantage of the boulder mission though is that it can be readily evolved into a mission to other bodies (i.e. martian moons).

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: NASA into deep planning for Asteroid Redirect Mission
« Reply #21 on: 03/18/2016 02:10 AM »
Great article. I really wish they'd get rid of the "redirect" wording. We are not redirecting anything. We are retrieving a boulder. Calling it a redirect seems disingenuous.

The redirect is still there but is called the Planetary Defence Demonstration. Aim number 6 on page 34.

6. 'ARRM shall have the capability to perform a demonstration of a "slow push" planetary defence asteroid deflection technique.'

I believe that an addition success criteria should be added - successful deflection of the asteroid by the diameter of the Earth plus ~300 km of atmosphere. This would be a successful defence of the Earth.
« Last Edit: 03/18/2016 02:28 AM by A_M_Swallow »

Offline Blackout

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Re: NASA into deep planning for Asteroid Redirect Mission
« Reply #22 on: 03/18/2016 02:14 AM »
I do not really get all the negativity towards ARM.  While we would all like the eventual manned landing on Mars to be as soon as possible, I think the current NASA approach (the Flexible Path approach) makes the most sense.  It allows them to spend money on specific capabilities sequentially in order to prevent political sticker shock and to develop real experience doing BEO missions.

Here is what ARM gets us:

Use of and testing of SEP that will be needed for Mars

Experience working around asteroids/low gravity bodies....great for planetary defense as well as Phobos prep

Experience working with crews BEO. Even doing what will be the first space walk in deep space.  Imagine the photo op potential of astronauts working in orbit of the moon, on an asteroid, with the distant earth in the background. 


Or even simpler, for the first time since Apollo we are bending metal for BEO human missions that actually fit in the existing budget.  Maybe the first couple aren't as exciting as a Mars landing.  But they are leaps and bounds beyond bumping around LEO for another couple decades and add hardware as well as experience that will be needed for the eventual manned missions to Mars.

Offline QuantumG

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Re: NASA into deep planning for Asteroid Redirect Mission
« Reply #23 on: 03/18/2016 02:18 AM »
It allows them to spend money on specific capabilities sequentially in order to prevent political sticker shock and to develop real experience doing BEO missions.

.. and after 8 long years they've developed none.
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Offline KelvinZero

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Re: NASA into deep planning for Asteroid Redirect Mission
« Reply #24 on: 03/18/2016 08:41 AM »
I do not really get all the negativity towards ARM.
Well if you probe people on this they often say we should go directly to Mars or the Moon instead. They don't grasp the budget of this so comparatively tiny it is within the noise of those missions.

The DSH is another good option that we really do need. Im guessing that is still around an order of magnitude more if just comparing hardware and not the SLS mission. A DSH presumably requires ongoing missions.

I just think we really need both. They complement each other very well in the form of a DSH in high lunar orbit connected to this rock and perhaps a stream of others. We would be practicing everything we need to colonise the asteroid belt even if noone ever pushes for the extra funding needed for lunar or mars exploration.

Im fine with ARM first because at least the SEP side is cheaper and a SEP tug seems such a useful thing to have investigated before considering how you support and stationkeep your DSH long term.

Offline jgoldader

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Re: NASA into deep planning for Asteroid Redirect Mission
« Reply #25 on: 03/18/2016 09:03 AM »
I do not really get all the negativity towards ARM.
Well if you probe people on this they often say we should go directly to Mars or the Moon instead. They don't grasp the budget of this so comparatively tiny it is within the noise of those missions.

The DSH is another good option that we really do need. Im guessing that is still around an order of magnitude more if just comparing hardware and not the SLS mission. A DSH presumably requires ongoing missions.

There's no money for DSH.  ARM looks to be the only thing NASA can afford to do with people on SLS in the 2020's besides reflying Apollo 7 or 8.
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Online zodiacchris

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Re: NASA into deep planning for Asteroid Redirect Mission
« Reply #26 on: 03/18/2016 09:19 AM »
Good article, but what I found disturbing is with all this rigmarole, there will be 2 (two!) 4 hour EVAs? Is that really all? 16 man hours to justify how many billions in expenditure? When we could just pick the stuff up on Phobos? No lander required there...
Sigh..p :-[.

Offline b0objunior

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Re: NASA into deep planning for Asteroid Redirect Mission
« Reply #27 on: 03/18/2016 09:40 AM »
Good article, but what I found disturbing is with all this rigmarole, there will be 2 (two!) 4 hour EVAs? Is that really all? 16 man hours to justify how many billions in expenditure? When we could just pick the stuff up on Phobos? No lander required there...
Sigh..p :-[.

I don't get it, how many hours do you want on the boulder? A hundred? And about Phobos, pick up what there? Do you mean sending humans there? If it's that then I can tell you we are no were near ready to go that far from earth and the budget needed to do it is way higher than the one needed for ARM.

Offline kenny008

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Re: NASA into deep planning for Asteroid Redirect Mission
« Reply #28 on: 03/18/2016 09:58 AM »
I do not really get all the negativity towards ARM.  While we would all like the eventual manned landing on Mars to be as soon as possible, I think the current NASA approach (the Flexible Path approach) makes the most sense.  It allows them to spend money on specific capabilities sequentially in order to prevent political sticker shock and to develop real experience doing BEO missions.

...

I'm not sure if I was included in the negative chacterization, although my post might not have been worded very well. I'm thrilled we're doing something BEO.  My only point was the name no longer describes the primary goal of the mission. We aren't sending a spacecraft out there to deflect an asteroid. We are sending a spacecraft to retrieve a large sample, and, while we're there, test out deflection technology as an additional secondary objective.  It's not even mentioned until slide 25 of the presentation.
I'd like to see an accurate name. Meant to be a minor quibble; it just seems we're keeping the name because that was the actual original concept, and we've now selected Option B instead.

Offline The Amazing Catstronaut

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Re: NASA into deep planning for Asteroid Redirect Mission
« Reply #29 on: 03/18/2016 10:25 AM »
My problem is that there is no real need for crew with the chosen option. They mostly seem to be there for the ride.
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Offline notsorandom

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Re: NASA into deep planning for Asteroid Redirect Mission
« Reply #30 on: 03/18/2016 12:42 PM »
One of the main defenses of this asteroid mission is of all the options available this one does the most to get us to Mars with the limited resources we have. I am left wondering what the opportunity cost of this mission is. What else could we be doing and are any of those a better thing to do? Lets make the following assumptions about what would be available, SLS Block 1B with the EUS, Orion, a habitation augmentation module capable of supporting an extra 240 astronauts days beyond the 84 provided by Orion, and either a solar electric propulsion module or something else that could be built for the same money in the same time. Are there any worthwhile missions about to be assembled from those blocks? I am thinking of the Plymouth Rock paper from a few years ago, it might be possible to send a small crew to visit an asteroid rather then bring the asteroid to the crew.

Offline jgoldader

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Re: NASA into deep planning for Asteroid Redirect Mission
« Reply #31 on: 03/18/2016 12:46 PM »
If the ARM rock came from Phobos, that would be pretty interesting.  There'd surely be bits of Mars on it, tossed into space by impacts and swept up by Phobos.  See, for example, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0032063313002328

Almost certainly, there'd have to be more work done on the robotic spacecraft, with more fuel and a longer lifetime so it could go so far, and maybe some way to capture regolith as well as a rock.  Imagine a mission that loitered near Phobos and picked up several bits from selected sites. 

I would call it a decent trade to wait a few more years for a much more scientifically interesting mission.  It would be a poor man's Mars sample return.  No DSH, no lander, no multiple years in space for astronauts...
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Online RonM

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Re: NASA into deep planning for Asteroid Redirect Mission
« Reply #32 on: 03/18/2016 02:02 PM »
My problem is that there is no real need for crew with the chosen option. They mostly seem to be there for the ride.

Consider it a test or practice run for exploring Phobos. However, it is pretty expensive for what NASA will get out of it, so I'm not sure that justifies the cost. I guess NASA needs something for SLS and Orion to do.

Offline AegeanBlue

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Re: NASA into deep planning for Asteroid Redirect Mission
« Reply #33 on: 03/22/2016 05:37 PM »
The original mission was to visit an asteroid. Turns out there is no known asteroid within the 21 days that Orion's consumables last. So then it became the redirect missions, let's bring that asteroid to us. Alas our redirection capacity is such that no sufficiently small asteroid exists within a realistic distance, and that is before the issue of what happens when yo actually bag and shake an asteroid. So then it became let's pluck a boulder from the asteroid. Planning seems to be advancing at the speed of inertia. Inertia was good enough for LISA Pathfinder to reach orbit despite the overruns. Alas I doubt it is enough for ARM, which I see going the way of the NASP. But these planning sessions are valuable. After all in the Mars planning sessions they have several decades of planning to fall back for ideas as the technologies and concepts mature.

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