Author Topic: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.  (Read 29677 times)

Offline The Amazing Catstronaut

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http://www.popsci.com/lockheed-martin-aiming-to-put-astronauts-in-mars-orbit-by-2028

So this is interesting... that's almost SpaceX-esque schedule aggression, too.

I'd love to hear your thoughts about the viability of this very neat looking paper platform. It seems to use components which already exist predominantly, and would give SLS something to do.

Truly exciting if it ever goes beyond the hot air stage.
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Online RonM

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That is an interesting concept. Note the shape of the habitat and laboratory modules. Looks like they would replace the connection between Orion and SLS. The modules with the external tanks look too wide to fit on SLS. I wonder how that would work.

Offline jgoldader

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Okay, that's pretty cool.  I doubt it'll ever happen, but it's pretty cool.
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Offline Proponent

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It's sort of a revision of the dual-Orion NEA mission that LM proposed as a "stepping stone" a few years ago.

Online TrevorMonty

That is an interesting concept. Note the shape of the habitat and laboratory modules. Looks like they would replace the connection between Orion and SLS. The modules with the external tanks look too wide to fit on SLS. I wonder how that would work.
The tank section should fit in SLS cargo version with large fairing. Propulsion module looks like a well insulated Centuar.
I'm picking there are a few Vulcan launches to fill those tanks and maybe for delivery of propulsion modules.

With cryo cooler fuel storage is not an issue.

Offline redliox

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The tank section should fit in SLS cargo version with large fairing. Propulsion module looks like a well insulated Centuar.
I'm picking there are a few Vulcan launches to fill those tanks and maybe for delivery of propulsion modules.

With cryo cooler fuel storage is not an issue.

They also mentioned electric propulsion would be involved with transferring it from the Lunar to Martian vicinity.  Assuming SEP is built into the OML, I could only assume the refitted Centaur is meant more for departing vehicles than the OML.  Beyond that hydrogen is a surprising choice; ambitious but difficult to keep that particular fuel chilled; I would have favored methane but if that really is a Centaur-based stage perhaps they were going with its existing fuel type.

Like most other ideas it's questionable if it will leave the blueprints, but it may have some potential.  The abundance of cryogenic propellant tanks implies this lab could double as a fuel depot (which many around here seem to advocate for both Lunar and Martian activities) and I like the prospects of exploring the Martian moons, which would be possible even with the limitations of an Orion's service module.  I'm not sure what kind of science it could do related to Mars, as I suspect that may be limited by what kind of orbit it is put in which is my main query about this thing.

A low Martian orbit would obviously generate great remote science not unlike the ISS around Earth, but there's no benefit to orbital mechanics apart from making it easy to reach via MAV, and the windows for reaching it would be complicated.  A synchronous orbit could be a possibility, but it would limit remote science to a distant view of a single hemisphere.  Otherwise, I can only assume some kind of medium orbit is the choice, probably something close to Phobos'.  Again, where exactly they would put this laboratory is what I'd like to know.
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Offline ncb1397

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The tank section should fit in SLS cargo version with large fairing. Propulsion module looks like a well insulated Centuar.
I'm picking there are a few Vulcan launches to fill those tanks and maybe for delivery of propulsion modules.

With cryo cooler fuel storage is not an issue.

They also mentioned electric propulsion would be involved with transferring it from the Lunar to Martian vicinity.  Assuming SEP is built into the OML, I could only assume the refitted Centaur is meant more for departing vehicles than the OML.  Beyond that hydrogen is a surprising choice; ambitious but difficult to keep that particular fuel chilled; I would have favored methane but if that really is a Centaur-based stage perhaps they were going with its existing fuel type.

Like most other ideas it's questionable if it will leave the blueprints, but it may have some potential.  The abundance of cryogenic propellant tanks implies this lab could double as a fuel depot (which many around here seem to advocate for both Lunar and Martian activities) and I like the prospects of exploring the Martian moons, which would be possible even with the limitations of an Orion's service module.  I'm not sure what kind of science it could do related to Mars, as I suspect that may be limited by what kind of orbit it is put in which is my main query about this thing.

A low Martian orbit would obviously generate great remote science not unlike the ISS around Earth, but there's no benefit to orbital mechanics apart from making it easy to reach via MAV, and the windows for reaching it would be complicated.  A synchronous orbit could be a possibility, but it would limit remote science to a distant view of a single hemisphere.  Otherwise, I can only assume some kind of medium orbit is the choice, probably something close to Phobos'.  Again, where exactly they would put this laboratory is what I'd like to know.

Stored LH2 was done during Apollo. No point in designing a mission orbit based on remote imaging from the manned platform. As far as science, it would aid in operation of Mars 2020 and potentially other international rovers.
« Last Edit: 05/18/2016 06:01 PM by ncb1397 »

Offline AegeanBlue

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Curiosity and  most likely Mars 2020 are not driven with a joystick, operating them requires a complex series of instructions that are precoded on the ground. It would require a massive rewrite to make these particular rovers joystick driven from orbit. If we want to drive a rover from orbit, it would most likely be a simpler rover with fewer instruments that driving it does not require the consensus of a 300+ person team. Considering the type of mass margins HSF has, I see it being something in Pathfinder class sent to Mars along with the human crew and dropped to Mars around the time the humans arrive on Mars orbit. The Manned Venus Flyby from the Apollo Applications Program expected that the astronauts would drop 4 probes on Venus, Pioneer Venus style. Granted, there were no probes on Venus at the time.

What is far more likely is Phobos and Deimos crewed exploration. While keeping the astronauts tethered to those bodies is a huge challenge (think Rosetta) it does not require EDL. Also I see the whole mission staying at Mars vicinity closer to 30 days rather than 11 months, but is good to originally plan for 11 months so that when the challenges increase and finding gets tight it can get descoped and saved.

This is being written 1 1/2 hours before the live presentation, which I will miss (I am at work). Could a kind soul post a video link here so that I can see the presentation later?

Offline redliox

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Stored LH2 was done during Apollo. No point in designing a mission orbit based on remote imaging from the manned platform. As far as science, it would aid in operation of Mars 2020 and potentially other international rovers.

As far as Apollo, that stored LH2 didn't have to loiter for more than 24 hours - HUGE difference from trying to keep it chilled for months.  As far as imaging, true but that doesn't stop the ISS from doing it.  The rovers via telepresence, possibly.

If we want to drive a rover from orbit, it would most likely be a simpler rover with fewer instruments that driving it does not require the consensus of a 300+ person team. Considering the type of mass margins HSF has, I see it being something in Pathfinder class sent to Mars along with the human crew and dropped to Mars around the time the humans arrive on Mars orbit. The Manned Venus Flyby from the Apollo Applications Program expected that the astronauts would drop 4 probes on Venus, Pioneer Venus style. Granted, there were no probes on Venus at the time.

What is far more likely is Phobos and Deimos crewed exploration. While keeping the astronauts tethered to those bodies is a huge challenge (think Rosetta) it does not require EDL. Also I see the whole mission staying at Mars vicinity closer to 30 days rather than 11 months, but is good to originally plan for 11 months so that when the challenges increase and finding gets tight it can get descoped and saved.

As far as the rover idea...I would think it'd be more cost effective to reprogram a living rover (such as the '2020 or the future MSR retrieval rover) to take commands.

The moons would be a lovely highlight that could transform an orbital mission from boring to captivating.  Right regarding EDL, although they would insist on an extremely slow approach just as incoming vehicles are toward the ISS.  I would think the lab's orbital position might bias which moon gets visited first: if synchronous orbit Deimos is closer, if a medium or low orbit (anything 12 hours and less period) Phobos is closer.  That Centaur stage could be meant for moon exploration to ensure orbit transfers; the current orbital plans for Mars already require a transfer stage.
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Offline AegeanBlue

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As far as the rover idea...I would think it'd be more cost effective to reprogram a living rover (such as the '2020 or the future MSR retrieval rover) to take commands.


Mars 2020 has 8 proposed instruments, including the drone. The orbiting astronaut would have to do on his own, maybe with the help of another colleague in orbit, the whole decision cycle of selecting where to drive, which is the important rock and what instrument to use on it to analyze. Also let us not forget that there is a series of error modes built into the rover to avoid ruining it. After the 300+ scientists have decided what to do next, the engineers test it on the earth bound rover to see if it will trigger any error modes and then when validated the code is uploaded to the rover for the next day. Pathfinder had 1 instrument, APXS. The process was far simpler: select, drive, point instrument, collect data. Mars 2020 is too complex, the fetch rover might be simple enough but let's wait and see.

In the Apollo J missions the astronauts drove, saw nice rocks and collected them (and core samples too). They did not do high level chemical and physical analysis in situ, which is what the current rovers are doing. Also during the Apollo missions astronauts did release microsatellites manually in orbit. Knowing how government bureaucracy works, you do not do critical plans that are part of mission success criteria with something that there is a strong possibility it might not work at the time. Spirit did not live 8 years. Mars 2020 is only set for 2 though it will likely last longer. For bureaucratic and practical reasons it is better if the rover they teleoperate comes with them. Considering that a single Orion weights 25 tons and even Mars 2020 is a little over 1 ton (Pathfinder was 264 kg of which Sojourner was 10 kg), a new rover is not an unreasonable mass allocation

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #10 on: 05/19/2016 12:50 AM »
If we want to drive a rover from orbit, it would most likely be a simpler rover with fewer instruments that driving it does not require the consensus of a 300+ person team.

Why would we want to drive it from orbit? Considering that self-driving cars already exist, and Google and others are constantly investing in making them better, and that you'll probably be able to buy one in no more than a decade, and driving on Mars does not require avoiding pedestrians or other traffic, there's no reason why a person will really have to do much driving with a robot on Mars. The robot is going to be really smart and will drive itself, only needing human intervention rarely. So having an astronaut hanging around for that rare instant when the robot needs help makes no sense.

The telerobotics operation argument is often made, but never really thought through. It's asserted, but not really examined. People like to talk about low-latency and quick response times without really explaining or examining what the value of that is. What is really needed is a clear definition of exactly what you want a rover to do, and then an examination of how the rover will do that, and then an analysis of whether or not the human with a quick response time can make that any better. And you need to do that not only for the period when humans are in orbit and can control a rover, but look at it for the entire lifetime of the rover. Look at it this way--suppose your rover is designed with a 4-year (2 Martian years) lifetime. But the humans are only going to be there for maybe 260 days. And because of various other things they have to do, they can only interact with the rover for 160 days. Is it worth developing telerobotics capabilities for 160 days for a rover that is going to operate at least 4 years? Why bother? The science improvement would have to be really really good to make sense. And nobody has really demonstrated that.

Offline Dalhousie

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #11 on: 05/19/2016 03:38 AM »
http://www.popsci.com/lockheed-martin-aiming-to-put-astronauts-in-mars-orbit-by-2028

So this is interesting... that's almost SpaceX-esque schedule aggression, too.

I'd love to hear your thoughts about the viability of this very neat looking paper platform. It seems to use components which already exist predominantly, and would give SLS something to do.

Truly exciting if it ever goes beyond the hot air stage.

It looks interesting, but I can't get to the link.  I get an error message and a default return to the popsci.com.au web page.  Does anyone know how to get around this?  This is a problem I have with all popsci links, not just this one BTW.

Thanks
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Offline QuantumG

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #12 on: 05/19/2016 03:49 AM »
It looks interesting, but I can't get to the link.  I get an error message and a default return to the popsci.com.au web page.  Does anyone know how to get around this?  This is a problem I have with all popsci links, not just this one BTW.

Me too. I've complained to popsci over the years but they're either too stupid to understand the problem or they just don't care. Use a web anonymizer.
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Offline Dalhousie

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #13 on: 05/19/2016 03:52 AM »
If we want to drive a rover from orbit, it would most likely be a simpler rover with fewer instruments that driving it does not require the consensus of a 300+ person team.

Why would we want to drive it from orbit? Considering that self-driving cars already exist, and Google and others are constantly investing in making them better, and that you'll probably be able to buy one in no more than a decade, and driving on Mars does not require avoiding pedestrians or other traffic, there's no reason why a person will really have to do much driving with a robot on Mars. The robot is going to be really smart and will drive itself, only needing human intervention rarely. So having an astronaut hanging around for that rare instant when the robot needs help makes no sense.

The telerobotics operation argument is often made, but never really thought through. It's asserted, but not really examined. People like to talk about low-latency and quick response times without really explaining or examining what the value of that is. What is really needed is a clear definition of exactly what you want a rover to do, and then an examination of how the rover will do that, and then an analysis of whether or not the human with a quick response time can make that any better. And you need to do that not only for the period when humans are in orbit and can control a rover, but look at it for the entire lifetime of the rover. Look at it this way--suppose your rover is designed with a 4-year (2 Martian years) lifetime. But the humans are only going to be there for maybe 260 days. And because of various other things they have to do, they can only interact with the rover for 160 days. Is it worth developing telerobotics capabilities for 160 days for a rover that is going to operate at least 4 years? Why bother? The science improvement would have to be really really good to make sense. And nobody has really demonstrated that.

I agree, the case has never been properly analysed.  I think it is reasonable to expect astronauts to be able to control a surface operations for the full 540 days in Mars orbit.  But you have set the bounds for the performance increase from direct teleoperation required,  The return from it has to be sufficiently better to justify the cost of doing it. Useful comparisons could be done on Earth to assess the viability of this. The closest I have seen to anyone attempting this sort of analysis is a paper by Brian Glass and others from several years ago.

Edit: having now been able to access the link I see they are saying 10-11 months (300-310 days) in Mars orbit.  That's short for even for a strict minimum energy conjunction class mission
« Last Edit: 05/19/2016 05:48 AM by Dalhousie »
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Offline Dalhousie

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #14 on: 05/19/2016 03:54 AM »
It looks interesting, but I can't get to the link.  I get an error message and a default return to the popsci.com.au web page.  Does anyone know how to get around this?  This is a problem I have with all popsci links, not just this one BTW.

Me too. I've complained to popsci over the years but they're either too stupid to understand the problem or they just don't care. Use a web anonymizer.

That worked ;)
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Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #15 on: 05/19/2016 05:14 AM »
Suggest that the point is to get into the "destination" business for exploration, so as to support your vehicle business that allows you to travel there.

Then let someone else handle the lander business, where they use their vehicles to get them to the "destination" for jumping off.

Who knows, maybe then one is in the position to supply the surface habs as well.

Exploration class Bigelow hotels? With one way "semi's" of consumables to support them? With possibly expedited delivery as well as "slow boat" means for large volume/mass items?

Such may be the logistics of exploration.

Offline AegeanBlue

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #16 on: 05/19/2016 01:55 PM »
While I am more of an enthusiast rather than a planetary scientists, I have to agree that the rationale for a low latency robot is pretty weak. You can drive a robot forward - backward - left - right, get great pictures, zap a rock, get all the data almost instantly instead of waiting for the communication pass and then the transmission to Earth but that will work for the time you actually are in Mars orbit, not before or after. Rovers today have a habit of outliving even the longest expedition.

While the H2M speech has not been posted, there is an article with more data based on it and on the House testimony of LM staff:

http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/organizations/lockheed-martin-organizations/lockheed-martin-outlines-plan-to-send-humans-to-mars-orbit-by-2028/

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #17 on: 05/19/2016 02:04 PM »
I think it is reasonable to expect astronauts to be able to control a surface operations for the full 540 days in Mars orbit.

It's not going to be "full" anything. Half the time the rover will be in darkness--no operations there. Then what about the human spacecraft being out of line of sight? Then what about crew operations requirements? Do you have a crew person up during their sleep time to control a rover during its day time? How many crew do you devote to this? If you have a 4-person crew, do you devote 100% of 1 crewmembers' time to running the rover? And if so, then that person has to sleep, so now you probably need another crewmember as backup. And can you do that? Can you devote a lot of crew time to running a rover?

So you quickly end up with the ability to only have an astronaut interact with the rover for a very limited amount of time, possibly for a very limited amount of time that the rover can actually do stuff. So the rover has all kinds of capabilities and the human isn't adding much.

Now my limited understanding of modern human-robot interactions is that the human is in the loop for a short period of time--they look at the data, figure out what to do, and then use some pull down menus to say "Do X, Y and Z" and then press "Engage." Then the robot figures out how to do all that stuff. So the human may be involved in small increments over a long period of time.... which of course goes back to the earlier question of whether reducing that lag-time in communications is worthwhile? Are you gaining anything? Are you gaining enough for it to be worth doing?

Online ThereIWas3

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #18 on: 05/19/2016 02:34 PM »
The picture mentions Electric propulsion, but the engines at both ends look chemical to me.

A notation pointing to an Orion says it provides life support for the 1,000 day mission.  I don't think so.
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Offline GWH

Why would we want to drive it from orbit? Considering that self-driving cars already exist, and Google and others are constantly investing in making them better, and that you'll probably be able to buy one in no more than a decade, and driving on Mars does not require avoiding pedestrians or other traffic, there's no reason why a person will really have to do much driving with a robot on Mars. The robot is going to be really smart and will drive itself, only needing human intervention rarely. So having an astronaut hanging around for that rare instant when the robot needs help makes no sense.

This.  Another decade of development in machine learning will make the case for operation from orbit even more weak.  Not just for driving but construction of a base with local resources.  Latency is becoming less and less of an issue, I see bandwidth being more limiting now.
Get more information to the people operating remotely from Earth so they can use more VR type control and plan out tasks for the next few hours of work.
As an analogy look at it like foreman/engineers and workers on a construction project.  The foreman end engineers don't complete all the tasks themselves or stand over a laborers shoulder, they set out the tasks for the day, check in periodically.

Online ThereIWas3

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #20 on: 05/19/2016 05:14 PM »
Some NASA guy was being interviewed on the Planetary.org podcast this week, and gave out some statistic about how long it would take a human geologist to complete the same work done by one of the rovers.  The answer was something like a few hours.

I disagree with using that comparison to justify human filghts to Mars.  It would not take a few hours, it would take 20 years.  Because the geologist is not on Mars, he is standing on Earth, at some space conference, wearing a business suit.  The robots have already been there, working.

By the time humans (geologists or otherwise) get to Mars, they will not have to compete against what robots can do now, but what they will be doing then.  Advances in AI and robot technology is advancing a lot faster than the willingness of politicians to fund manned Mars trips.
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Offline MattMason

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #21 on: 05/19/2016 05:54 PM »
Something about creating a viable, yet cool, Mars orbital habitat for astronauts to study the Red Planet with droned robots from orbit seems ridiculously odd.

If you can send and assemble what's needed to survive in orbit, sending a lander as part of the deal shouldn't be an impossible thing.
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Offline redliox

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #22 on: 05/19/2016 06:17 PM »
Something about creating a viable, yet cool, Mars orbital habitat for astronauts to study the Red Planet with droned robots from orbit seems ridiculously odd.

If you can send and assemble what's needed to survive in orbit, sending a lander as part of the deal shouldn't be an impossible thing.

Robert Zubrin was making the same point roughly 20 years ago when he conceived Mars Direct, and I likewise agree with your point on how the focus should be Mars itself as much as I'd like to see exploration of its moons.  It makes more sense to put things directly on the surface.  The 2 most useful applications this orbital lab could make would be as a propellant depot and a staging point, both for Mars, its moons, and Earth return.
« Last Edit: 05/19/2016 06:18 PM by redliox »
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Offline Dalhousie

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #23 on: 05/19/2016 11:51 PM »
I think it is reasonable to expect astronauts to be able to control a surface operations for the full 540 days in Mars orbit.

It's not going to be "full" anything. Half the time the rover will be in darkness--no operations there. Then what about the human spacecraft being out of line of sight? Then what about crew operations requirements? Do you have a crew person up during their sleep time to control a rover during its day time? How many crew do you devote to this? If you have a 4-person crew, do you devote 100% of 1 crewmembers' time to running the rover? And if so, then that person has to sleep, so now you probably need another crewmember as backup. And can you do that? Can you devote a lot of crew time to running a rover?

Astronauts will have to sleep of course, so by "full day" I mean full working day, in line with local time at the landing site.  Unless of course teleoperation is so demanding that they can only work a shorter shift. Do we have any data on that?  What shifts do UAV and ROV pilots work?  I have no idea, it would be helpful to find out. I know remote mining operators work 12 hour shifts.  Any data from remote surgery?

If you are doing a teoperations on Mars I assume that there are relay satellites.  Otherwise as you say, actual time would be very short, in which, what would be the point.

Looking at work load from past missions I suspect that even with a four person crew devoting one person per day to teleoperations is not unreasonable.

Quote
So you quickly end up with the ability to only have an astronaut interact with the rover for a very limited amount of time, possibly for a very limited amount of time that the rover can actually do stuff. So the rover has all kinds of capabilities and the human isn't adding much.

Except eliminating latency in operations.

Quote
Now my limited understanding of modern human-robot interactions is that the human is in the loop for a short period of time--they look at the data, figure out what to do, and then use some pull down menus to say "Do X, Y and Z" and then press "Engage." Then the robot figures out how to do all that stuff. So the human may be involved in small increments over a long period of time.... which of course goes back to the earlier question of whether reducing that lag-time in communications is worthwhile? Are you gaining anything? Are you gaining enough for it to be worth doing?

With my understanding that's much how Mars surface operations happen today, with the caveat that the communications sessions are only twice daily.  Teleoperation is much more direct.  It is still operate by wire (especially over a satellite link) but much more direct, especially with complex operations.  UAVs can spend a lot of time on autopilot.  Less so with many remote mining operations, none (AFAIK)with ROVs and telesurgery.

Other issues with this sort of mission that isn't discussed much is that you have to develop a whole fleet of specialised surface platforms and land them, and how they operate.  This is normally just arm waved away. With teleoperation you can (indeed must to make it worthwhile) work much faster than current Mars rovers, which means more powerful power sources - batteries, fuel cells, or internal combustion.  Which require ways of recharging or refuelling them.

Then there is the question of how these are landed.  Separately or one big lander?  If the former, that might mean a lot of (relatively) small launches.  A large lander could be a test for later crewed landings, which are implied in this study.

I would love to see the full development of the idea, not just a one page summary!
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Offline QuantumG

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #24 on: 05/20/2016 12:05 AM »
I'm trying to understand the reference mission of humans-to-Mars-orbit. Presumably we're talking about an opposition class mission, as spending 2.5+ years in zero-g is beyond our mitigation capabilities at present. So what? A ~560 day mission with ~40 days in Mars orbit?
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Offline ncb1397

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #25 on: 05/20/2016 01:00 AM »
Stored LH2 was done during Apollo. No point in designing a mission orbit based on remote imaging from the manned platform. As far as science, it would aid in operation of Mars 2020 and potentially other international rovers.

As far as Apollo, that stored LH2 didn't have to loiter for more than 24 hours - HUGE difference from trying to keep it chilled for months.  As far as imaging, true but that doesn't stop the ISS from doing it.  The rovers via telepresence, possibly.


You must be referring to the Saturn V third stage. The CSM used cryogenic hydrogen tanks for fuel cells. The supply lasted for a lot longer than 24 hours. This diagram seems to indicate that at least.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_Command/Service_Module#/media/File:Apollo-linedrawing.png

Offline the_other_Doug

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #26 on: 05/20/2016 02:29 AM »
Stored LH2 was done during Apollo. No point in designing a mission orbit based on remote imaging from the manned platform. As far as science, it would aid in operation of Mars 2020 and potentially other international rovers.

As far as Apollo, that stored LH2 didn't have to loiter for more than 24 hours - HUGE difference from trying to keep it chilled for months.  As far as imaging, true but that doesn't stop the ISS from doing it.  The rovers via telepresence, possibly.


You must be referring to the Saturn V third stage. The CSM used cryogenic hydrogen tanks for fuel cells. The supply lasted for a lot longer than 24 hours. This diagram seems to indicate that at least.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_Command/Service_Module#/media/File:Apollo-linedrawing.png

Yep -- and the fuel cells in Apollo used hydrogen from two tanks that each held about 28 pounds of liquid hydrogen at about 225 psia -- at that density, you're not talking about keeping the LH2 as cold as needful under less pressure.  And the system was designed to self-pressurize to that pressure through heat leaks through the tank walls, although tank heaters could also be used to help out as the quantities drew down over the course of the mission.

It is an extremely far reach to go from keeping 56 lbs of LH2 at high pressure liquid for two weeks to keeping tens of tons of the stuff liquid (and keep it from overpressurizing) for months or years.  The technologies are quite different, as are the challenges.

Really.  Truly.
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Offline AegeanBlue

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #27 on: 05/20/2016 02:30 AM »
I'm trying to understand the reference mission of humans-to-Mars-orbit. Presumably we're talking about an opposition class mission, as spending 2.5+ years in zero-g is beyond our mitigation capabilities at present. So what? A ~560 day mission with ~40 days in Mars orbit?

There are two types of reference mission families, conjunction and opposition. Opposition missions expect up to an earth year on Mars, conjunction expect 30 days. In practice design planning of hardware is for opposition missions but first missions tend to be conjunction. Apollo 11 lasted far less than Apollo 17 but the the hardware was originally designed for Apollo 17 duration. The first missions to Mars will most likely be conjunction, 15 months total trip lies within our knowledge, marginally. After we conquer that frontier we will see opposition.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #28 on: 05/20/2016 12:07 PM »

So you quickly end up with the ability to only have an astronaut interact with the rover for a very limited amount of time, possibly for a very limited amount of time that the rover can actually do stuff. So the rover has all kinds of capabilities and the human isn't adding much.

Except eliminating latency in operations.


And still that question is unanswered--what is the benefit of doing that and for what operation? Eliminating latency for driving the rover? Or moving its arm? Or pressing "start" on the science instruments? Which rover operation is dramatically improved with a human much closer to make that decision? I've just seen this asserted repeatedly, but never actually analyzed.

Something that is also not examined is how you would design a rover for dual use so that it could be briefly (i.e. a few months) operated by somebody locally vs. many years of operations by somebody on Earth. That has not been done before, but may require careful systems design because of the way you would be communicating with it.
« Last Edit: 05/20/2016 12:08 PM by Blackstar »

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #29 on: 05/20/2016 12:12 PM »
Something about creating a viable, yet cool, Mars orbital habitat for astronauts to study the Red Planet with droned robots from orbit seems ridiculously odd.

If you can send and assemble what's needed to survive in orbit, sending a lander as part of the deal shouldn't be an impossible thing.

Robert Zubrin was making the same point roughly 20 years ago when he conceived Mars Direct, and I likewise agree with your point on how the focus should be Mars itself as much as I'd like to see exploration of its moons.  It makes more sense to put things directly on the surface.  The 2 most useful applications this orbital lab could make would be as a propellant depot and a staging point, both for Mars, its moons, and Earth return.

There is a simple reason why they focus on orbit and it is not about exploring the moons first--it is about saving the cost of developing a lander. The lander (and associated ground systems) is considered a major chunk of the cost of any Mars mission. When NASA has costed these things out end-to-end the price tag is really high. If they lop off the lander part, they can eliminate (perhaps) one third of the cost. When they start comparing the total price tag to available funding, that can make the difference between the mission being affordable and not affordable.

That was the entire basis behind the Planetary Society's workshop in March 2015--they were searching for an affordable human Mars mission, and they realized they could get there roughly within existing budget levels by eliminating the lander.

Offline the_other_Doug

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #30 on: 05/20/2016 12:52 PM »

So you quickly end up with the ability to only have an astronaut interact with the rover for a very limited amount of time, possibly for a very limited amount of time that the rover can actually do stuff. So the rover has all kinds of capabilities and the human isn't adding much.

Except eliminating latency in operations.


And still that question is unanswered--what is the benefit of doing that and for what operation? Eliminating latency for driving the rover? Or moving its arm? Or pressing "start" on the science instruments? Which rover operation is dramatically improved with a human much closer to make that decision? I've just seen this asserted repeatedly, but never actually analyzed.

Something that is also not examined is how you would design a rover for dual use so that it could be briefly (i.e. a few months) operated by somebody locally vs. many years of operations by somebody on Earth. That has not been done before, but may require careful systems design because of the way you would be communicating with it.

I would love to see some kind of study on the matter.  Direct low-latency manual control lets you look around in real-time and say "Hey, let's go 200 meters to the south and take a look at that crater rim" and just go and do it, be there in 20 minutes.  Then you look around, again in real--time, and say "Let's pick up that rock and break a chunk off of it," and then "Let's shoot the newly broken face of the rock with ChemCam."

That operation would take on the order of three to 30 days using a MER or MSL, involving tens of people planning and coding instruction sets, over a period of many days.  It's perhaps an afternoon's worth of work with low-latency tele-operations.  (Obviously, the rover would have to be programmed a lot differently from the current rover to allow this; you would need some kind of immediate video feed, for one thing, and not just still pictures snapped, processed and sent back to the operators hours-to-days after they were taken.)

You would need to study the operations patterns under such a low-latency tele-operation paradigm to see what actual savings of time, and increase in flexibility, such a system could offer.  It would obviously have different overall goals from the remotely-operated, send-up-a-day's-worth-of-actions-and-let-'er-go kind of rovers we've landed in the past.

The people to ask, really, are those who planned and operated the Lunakhods back in the '70s.  These were the only rovers ever landed on an extra-terrestrial body that were operated in a low-latency, run-it-with-a-joystick mode.  From the simple measure of distance traveled divided by time, we can obviously see that the Lunakhods had a much greater capability of traveling longer distances over shorter timeframes -- one of them was able to cram 30-plus km of travel in just a few months.  Compare this to the several years it took for Oppie to travel the same distance.

Unfortunately, the people who designed the operations processes for the Lunakhods, and the people who actually operated them, are mostly long-dead (or at least long-retired); I'd have doubts about being able to pull out their lessons learned, or why they decided on such a low-latency paradigm vs. the plan-a-day's-worth-of-operations-and-let-'er-go paradigm we've used for our American Mars rovers.  It would be really interesting to see or hear any oral histories captured from those people.

Now, total travel distance over time is not necessarily the best metric for how to design tele-operations.  But it is one area where low-latency operations make a difference.  Again, though, it would be very interesting to see a rigorous study done to analyze both paradigms and see what might be gained by deploying tele-operators from Mars orbit and operating them in low-latency modes.
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Offline su27k

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #31 on: 05/21/2016 03:42 PM »
Some NASA guy was being interviewed on the Planetary.org podcast this week, and gave out some statistic about how long it would take a human geologist to complete the same work done by one of the rovers.  The answer was something like a few hours.

I disagree with using that comparison to justify human filghts to Mars.  It would not take a few hours, it would take 20 years.  Because the geologist is not on Mars, he is standing on Earth, at some space conference, wearing a business suit.  The robots have already been there, working.

By the time humans (geologists or otherwise) get to Mars, they will not have to compete against what robots can do now, but what they will be doing then.  Advances in AI and robot technology is advancing a lot faster than the willingness of politicians to fund manned Mars trips.

I think people need to be careful about applying the latest advances in AI and robotic technology to hypothetical Mars robotic missions. The traditional way of doing Mars robots are very conservative, MSL was launched in 2011, it uses RAD750 which is released in 2001, and RAD750 is the rad-hardened version of PowerPC 750, which is first released in 1997! So basically what we're seeing is Mars robotic hardware is 14 years behind the state of art at the time of launch, unless the developers of Mars robotic missions embrace COTS electronics I don't see this changes any time soon. So 20 years from now, humans on Mars wouldn't be competing with the AI/robotics 20 years in the future, they would only be competing with AI/robots about 5 years in the future, and that's assuming anyone bothers to develop a rad-hardened GPU...

Offline Dalhousie

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #32 on: 05/22/2016 10:39 PM »

So you quickly end up with the ability to only have an astronaut interact with the rover for a very limited amount of time, possibly for a very limited amount of time that the rover can actually do stuff. So the rover has all kinds of capabilities and the human isn't adding much.

Except eliminating latency in operations.


And still that question is unanswered--what is the benefit of doing that and for what operation? Eliminating latency for driving the rover? Or moving its arm? Or pressing "start" on the science instruments? Which rover operation is dramatically improved with a human much closer to make that decision? I've just seen this asserted repeatedly, but never actually analyzed.

Something that is also not examined is how you would design a rover for dual use so that it could be briefly (i.e. a few months) operated by somebody locally vs. many years of operations by somebody on Earth. That has not been done before, but may require careful systems design because of the way you would be communicating with it.

I quite agree that these are unanswered questions, the surface end of teloperated Mars missions has had very little thought, IMHO.

I would question the utility of an extended teleoperated mission, unless there is some driving need not to land. 
"There is nobody who is a bigger fan of sending robots to Mars than me... But I believe firmly that the best, the most comprehensive, the most successful exploration will be done by humans" Steve Squyres

Offline Dalhousie

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #33 on: 05/22/2016 10:54 PM »
Some NASA guy was being interviewed on the Planetary.org podcast this week, and gave out some statistic about how long it would take a human geologist to complete the same work done by one of the rovers.  The answer was something like a few hours.

This has been said by many many people who have worked on actual Mars missions, not just some random NASA guy.  Steve Squyres, Steve Ruff, Jim Bell, Mike Malin, Ken Edgett, Colin Pillinger, Aaron Kindsi, Fredrick Taylor, and Paul Spudis come to mind. 

Quote
I disagree with using that comparison to justify human filghts to Mars.  It would not take a few hours, it would take 20 years.  Because the geologist is not on Mars, he is standing on Earth, at some space conference, wearing a business suit.  The robots have already been there, working.

Robots don't explore, people do. Robots are just tools. How much work would you expect to be done in 20 years by such tools?  That's nine windows, We know what will be send for two of those - Insight, ExoMars 2020, a Chinese rover, 2020

By the time humans (geologists or otherwise) get to Mars, they will not have to compete against what robots can do now, but what they will be doing then.  Advances in AI and robot technology is advancing a lot faster than the willingness of politicians to fund manned Mars trips.
[/quote]

Unmanned exploration is not advancing as fast as people imagine.  PLanetary landers today are not as advanced people were predicting 20 years ago.  There is no reason to expect that those in 20 years time will be that much more capable than those we have now.

I hope there are unmanned missions to Mars at every opportunity for the next 20 years.  They will be very useful pathfinders and context setters. But they will only achieve a tiny fraction of what a crewed mission will.
"There is nobody who is a bigger fan of sending robots to Mars than me... But I believe firmly that the best, the most comprehensive, the most successful exploration will be done by humans" Steve Squyres

Online savuporo

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #34 on: 05/23/2016 03:52 AM »
Unfortunately, the people who designed the operations processes for the Lunakhods, and the people who actually operated them, are mostly long-dead (or at least long-retired); I'd have doubts about being able to pull out their lessons learned, or why they decided on such a low-latency paradigm vs. the plan-a-day's-worth-of-operations-and-let-'er-go paradigm we've used for our American Mars rovers.  It would be really interesting to see or hear any oral histories captured from those people.
Are you aware that NASA actually collaborated with Russian Lunokhod and Marsokhod designers starting from 1994 1992 ? TwoFour years before Sojourner
« Last Edit: 05/23/2016 05:05 AM by savuporo »
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Offline kkattula

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #35 on: 05/23/2016 07:16 AM »

And still that question is unanswered--what is the benefit of doing that and for what operation? Eliminating latency for driving the rover? Or moving its arm? Or pressing "start" on the science instruments? Which rover operation is dramatically improved with a human much closer to make that decision? I've just seen this asserted repeatedly, but never actually analyzed.

Something that is also not examined is how you would design a rover for dual use so that it could be briefly (i.e. a few months) operated by somebody locally vs. many years of operations by somebody on Earth. That has not been done before, but may require careful systems design because of the way you would be communicating with it.

You seem to have missed the bit about Base Camp.  Base camps are about support infrastructure for the final goal, in this case, Human Landing.

Using ROVs to clear a landing site, set up beacons for precision landing, start building a base with prelanded components, supplies etc.  Construction activities, not just science.

Offline the_other_Doug

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #36 on: 05/23/2016 02:09 PM »
Unfortunately, the people who designed the operations processes for the Lunakhods, and the people who actually operated them, are mostly long-dead (or at least long-retired); I'd have doubts about being able to pull out their lessons learned, or why they decided on such a low-latency paradigm vs. the plan-a-day's-worth-of-operations-and-let-'er-go paradigm we've used for our American Mars rovers.  It would be really interesting to see or hear any oral histories captured from those people.
Are you aware that NASA actually collaborated with Russian Lunokhod and Marsokhod designers starting from 1994 1992 ? TwoFour years before Sojourner

Yep.  And JPL seemed to say "Thanks for your information, but it was Not Invented Here, so we won't be using any of it."

And it wasn't so much the Lunokhod/Marsokhod designers, it was the designer, singular.  A guy named Alexander Kemurdzhian.  Yes, he had a design team in the USSR back in the '60s, but I'm pretty certain he was the only person invited to "compare approaches on the design of planetary rovers" with designers at JPL.

IIRC, he brought a small test rover he had been playing with and demonstrated it for the JPL people, but again, this one didn't have any design heritage that was built into later JPL-designed rovers.  And from what I've seen of JPL people describing this encounter, they seemed more interested in the design aspect of the Soviet hardware -- not so much the operational paradigm, which is what I was suggesting we check into and see if there's any documentation about.

I think Kemurdzhian's biggest claim to fame, outside of Lunokhod, was the fact that he was able to put together, on extremely short notice, remote-operated rovers used to survey the damage on the roof of the reactor building at Chernobyl after the explosion and fire there.

Unfortunately, Kemurdzhian has been gone for more than a decade, and I'm pretty certain most of the people who operated the Lunokhods are no longer with us, either -- it's been coming up on half a century since they were active, after all.  So, that one encounter JPL had with Kemurdzhian was pretty much it, in terms of checking with those who operated the only real-time rovers ever operated off-Earth.

I'd love to see oral histories captured at that time that give details on rover operations discussions JPL may have had with Kemurdzhian, but I've never seen such come to light -- and, just to point out the obvious, the people at JPL who talked with Kemurdzhian back in the '90s are likely now, too, getting long in the tooth, are gone, or are retired.  Think about the scene in "The Martian" where they had to gather up surviving members of the Pathfinder team, and recall thinking to yourself "I bet there wouldn't be that many survivors of that team by the 2030s..."   ;)
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

Online savuporo

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #37 on: 05/23/2016 04:17 PM »
Yep.  And JPL seemed to say "Thanks for your information, but it was Not Invented Here, so we won't be using any of it."

And it wasn't so much the Lunokhod/Marsokhod designers, it was the designer, singular.  A guy named Alexander Kemurdzhian.  Yes, he had a design team in the USSR back in the '60s, but I'm pretty certain he was the only person invited to "compare approaches on the design of planetary rovers" with designers at JPL

IIRC, he brought a small test rover he had been playing with and demonstrated it for the JPL people, but again, this one didn't have any design heritage that was built into later JPL-designed rovers.  And from what I've seen of JPL people describing this encounter, they seemed more interested in the design aspect of the Soviet hardware -- not so much the operational paradigm, which is what I was suggesting we check into and see if there's any documentation about.

I think Kemurdzhian's biggest claim to fame, outside of Lunokhod, was the fact that he was able to put together, on extremely short notice, remote-operated rovers used to survey the damage on the roof of the reactor building at Chernobyl after the explosion and fire there.

Unfortunately, Kemurdzhian has been gone for more than a decade, and I'm pretty certain most of the people who operated the Lunokhods are no longer with us, either -- it's been coming up on half a century since they were active, after all.  So, that one encounter JPL had with Kemurdzhian was pretty much it, in terms of checking with those who operated the only real-time rovers ever operated off-Earth.

I'd love to see oral histories captured at that time that give details on rover operations discussions JPL may have had with Kemurdzhian, but I've never seen such come to light -- and, just to point out the obvious, the people at JPL who talked with Kemurdzhian back in the '90s are likely now, too, getting long in the tooth, are gone, or are retired.  Think about the scene in "The Martian" where they had to gather up surviving members of the Pathfinder team, and recall thinking to yourself "I bet there wouldn't be that many survivors of that team by the 2030s..."   ;)

Thats quite a limited view of the history. No, it wasnt A. Kemurdzhian alone. No, it wasnt a demonstration to 'JPL people' - Marsokhod based field campaigns were mainly run by NASA Ames and McDonnell Douglas, with instigation by Planetary Society, and continued well into 1999.
And, the field tests of Marsokhod and multiple other rover designs from different NASA field centers ended up contributing mostly exactly to operational side of missions like Pathfinder and MERs. There were simulated field tests with long time delays as well.
Reports are available on NTRS and referenced in other publications - for instance, Marsokhod fields tests are referenced in landing site workshops for Pathfinder.
The hardware itself was subject to multiple iterations of mission proposals like Mars Together, which all died for multiple reasons.
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Offline redliox

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #38 on: 05/23/2016 06:43 PM »
Do we have any idea what orbit around Mars this station would occupy?  I can only assume it'd end up somewhere near synchronous orbit, or at least somewhere between Deimos' (30 hours) and Phobos' (8 hour) orbit.
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Offline Blackstar

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #39 on: 05/23/2016 06:48 PM »
Using ROVs to clear a landing site, set up beacons for precision landing, start building a base with prelanded components, supplies etc.  Construction activities, not just science.

And again, I note that the value of low-latency telerobotics is usually asserted, but not actually studied or demonstrated. People say "of course you want to eliminate the time delay," without looking carefully at each operation (driving, moving an arm, operating a science payload, surveying terrain) and asking what is the difference between low-latency and high-latency for that operation.

So, for example, "set up beacons for precision landing"--why do you need low-latency telerobotics to do that? If all you're doing is dropping some radar reflectors or some active beacons in several locations, for a landing that is going to happen at least two years in the future, who cares if it takes a week to do that or a day?

Looking at these things also requires not only that you look at the benefit to doing that, but also the cost. For example, if it requires 50% of one crewmember's time for months on end, might it be cheaper even if you had to use a dozen or more people on the ground for a year to do the same thing? It is a big systems engineering question.

I'm not saying that low-latency telerobotics have no value, but that there has been almost no evaluation done to demonstrate that they have some value, and precisely what that value is.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #40 on: 05/23/2016 07:05 PM »
The people to ask, really, are those who planned and operated the Lunakhods back in the '70s.  These were the only rovers ever landed on an extra-terrestrial body that were operated in a low-latency, run-it-with-a-joystick mode.  From the simple measure of distance traveled divided by time, we can obviously see that the Lunakhods had a much greater capability of traveling longer distances over shorter timeframes -- one of them was able to cram 30-plus km of travel in just a few months.  Compare this to the several years it took for Oppie to travel the same distance.

Unfortunately, the people who designed the operations processes for the Lunakhods, and the people who actually operated them, are mostly long-dead (or at least long-retired); I'd have doubts about being able to pull out their lessons learned, or why they decided on such a low-latency paradigm vs. the plan-a-day's-worth-of-operations-and-let-'er-go paradigm we've used for our American Mars rovers.  It would be really interesting to see or hear any oral histories captured from those people.

Now, total travel distance over time is not necessarily the best metric for how to design tele-operations.  But it is one area where low-latency operations make a difference.  Again, though, it would be very interesting to see a rigorous study done to analyze both paradigms and see what might be gained by deploying tele-operators from Mars orbit and operating them in low-latency modes.

Even if they were still alive, they might not be that valuable in terms of experience. Andy Chaikin wrote an excellent article about the Lunokhods:

http://www.airspacemag.com/space/the-other-moon-landings-6457729/

Something he points out in that article is that "kilometers traveled" became the accomplishment most important to the Soviets. It was not "activities performed" or "science data gathered" or some other measurement. Like lots of things in spaceflight, people understand the accomplishment aspect much better than the knowledge gained (so, "first object in space" was considered a great achievement, even though the American spacecraft that followed gathered far more data on the space environment). So the Soviets loved bragging about how far they had driven, while not mentioning that they had taken relatively few scientific observations along the way.

And because that's just one parameter, it might not be very useful to understand Mars operations in the future. After all, today we can put that kind of task into the brain of a computer. It can navigate and cover terrain without outside intervention except in special cases (yeah, I know we don't have that at Mars yet, but it's on Earth now and it will get to Mars in a few decades).

There was an interesting documentary on the Lunokhods on one of the science channels a number of years ago. Part of it is here:



iMy colleague said that it was a good show in some ways, but also biased and incomplete.

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #41 on: 05/23/2016 07:06 PM »
And again, I note that the value of low-latency telerobotics is usually asserted, but not actually studied or demonstrated. People say "of course you want to eliminate the time delay," without looking carefully at each operation (driving, moving an arm, operating a science payload, surveying terrain) and asking what is the difference between low-latency and high-latency for that operation.
Tele-robotics is not some unknown or very novel field of study. It's performing commercial, military, medical and research applications on earth at increasingly wider scale. In air, under water, underground, on field and on battlefield. The achievable capabilities are kind of well understood.
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Offline Oli

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #42 on: 05/23/2016 07:18 PM »

A manned mission to Mars orbit would be A LOT cheaper than one to the surface. That's the rationale for telerobotics. I suppose planetary protection would necessitate robotics anyway for the exploration of interesting science sites.

Mission to Mars Using Telerobotic Surface Exploration from Orbit:

http://ntrs.nasa.gov/search.jsp?R=20130011281&hterms=herro&qs=N%3D0%26Ntk%3DAll%26Ntt%3Dherro%26Ntx%3Dmode%2520matchall

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #43 on: 05/23/2016 07:34 PM »
Yep.  And JPL seemed to say "Thanks for your information, but it was Not Invented Here, so we won't be using any of it."

And it wasn't so much the Lunokhod/Marsokhod designers, it was the designer, singular.  A guy named Alexander Kemurdzhian.  Yes, he had a design team in the USSR back in the '60s, but I'm pretty certain he was the only person invited to "compare approaches on the design of planetary rovers" with designers at JPL

IIRC, he brought a small test rover he had been playing with and demonstrated it for the JPL people, but again, this one didn't have any design heritage that was built into later JPL-designed rovers.  And from what I've seen of JPL people describing this encounter, they seemed more interested in the design aspect of the Soviet hardware -- not so much the operational paradigm, which is what I was suggesting we check into and see if there's any documentation about.

I think Kemurdzhian's biggest claim to fame, outside of Lunokhod, was the fact that he was able to put together, on extremely short notice, remote-operated rovers used to survey the damage on the roof of the reactor building at Chernobyl after the explosion and fire there.

Unfortunately, Kemurdzhian has been gone for more than a decade, and I'm pretty certain most of the people who operated the Lunokhods are no longer with us, either -- it's been coming up on half a century since they were active, after all.  So, that one encounter JPL had with Kemurdzhian was pretty much it, in terms of checking with those who operated the only real-time rovers ever operated off-Earth.

I'd love to see oral histories captured at that time that give details on rover operations discussions JPL may have had with Kemurdzhian, but I've never seen such come to light -- and, just to point out the obvious, the people at JPL who talked with Kemurdzhian back in the '90s are likely now, too, getting long in the tooth, are gone, or are retired.  Think about the scene in "The Martian" where they had to gather up surviving members of the Pathfinder team, and recall thinking to yourself "I bet there wouldn't be that many survivors of that team by the 2030s..."   ;)

Thats quite a limited view of the history. No, it wasnt A. Kemurdzhian alone. No, it wasnt a demonstration to 'JPL people' - Marsokhod based field campaigns were mainly run by NASA Ames and McDonnell Douglas, with instigation by Planetary Society, and continued well into 1999.
And, the field tests of Marsokhod and multiple other rover designs from different NASA field centers ended up contributing mostly exactly to operational side of missions like Pathfinder and MERs. There were simulated field tests with long time delays as well.
Reports are available on NTRS and referenced in other publications - for instance, Marsokhod fields tests are referenced in landing site workshops for Pathfinder.
The hardware itself was subject to multiple iterations of mission proposals like Mars Together, which all died for multiple reasons.

Thanks for the clarification.  I was mostly going off what I've read about Kemurdzhian, and fairly extensive a biography I saw on TV of the man, which focused both on the Lunokhod achievements and the Chernobyl rovers.  It had a section in which, during one of the last interviews the man gave, he expressed frustration that no one here in America seemed to take much interest in his work.  That interview mentioned the NIH attitude that was frustrating him a lot, and the lack of any follow-up after his demonstrations.  (It featured some nice footage of him demonstrating the hardware he brought for the NASA people to look at, though.)

It's always good to get additional points of view on any subject.  Thanks for this one!
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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #44 on: 05/23/2016 07:49 PM »
Thanks for the clarification.  I was mostly going off what I've read about Kemurdzhian, and fairly extensive a biography I saw on TV of the man, which focused both on the Lunokhod achievements and the Chernobyl rovers.  It had a section in which, during one of the last interviews the man gave, he expressed frustration that no one here in America seemed to take much interest in his work.  That interview mentioned the NIH attitude that was frustrating him a lot, and the lack of any follow-up after his demonstrations.  (It featured some nice footage of him demonstrating the hardware he brought for the NASA people to look at, though.)

It's always good to get additional points of view on any subject.  Thanks for this one!

If you are interested, a grab bag of links:

http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1788/1
http://articles.latimes.com/1992-05-25/news/mn-231_1_robotic-rover
http://vislab-ccom.unh.edu/~schwehr/papers/SIMM93/A.1-RoverTechnology.html
http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/volcanowatch/archive/1995/95_02_10.html
http://www.robots.org/NASA_AmesTechSpacePavilionK-9.htm

To a search for 'Marsokhod' in NTRS and sort by dates

http://www.amazon.com/Robotic-Exploration-Solar-System-1983-1996/dp/0387789049

EDIT: two more
http://www.apnewsarchive.com/1991/Soviet-U-S-Scientists-Tested-Mars-Rover-in-Kamchatka-Despite-Coup/id-a8026599a10564350976bac58e55707c
http://www.planetary.org/explore/the-planetary-report/tpr-1992-6.html
« Last Edit: 05/23/2016 08:01 PM by savuporo »
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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #45 on: 05/23/2016 07:53 PM »
Unfortunately, the people who designed the operations processes for the Lunakhods, and the people who actually operated them, are mostly long-dead (or at least long-retired); I'd have doubts about being able to pull out their lessons learned, or why they decided on such a low-latency paradigm vs. the plan-a-day's-worth-of-operations-and-let-'er-go paradigm we've used for our American Mars rovers.  It would be really interesting to see or hear any oral histories captured from those people.
My guess on the low latency paradigm being selected would be because direct control requires less compute power (except for wetware).
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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #46 on: 05/23/2016 07:57 PM »
And again, I note that the value of low-latency telerobotics is usually asserted, but not actually studied or demonstrated. People say "of course you want to eliminate the time delay," without looking carefully at each operation (driving, moving an arm, operating a science payload, surveying terrain) and asking what is the difference between low-latency and high-latency for that operation.
Tele-robotics is not some unknown or very novel field of study. It's performing commercial, military, medical and research applications on earth at increasingly wider scale. In air, under water, underground, on field and on battlefield. The achievable capabilities are kind of well understood.

IMHO, latency is only half the issue.  The other is bandwidth.  The current rovers spend a lot of time sitting, charging their batteries and transmitting data to Earth (direct and/or via relay) between action plans.  Sending that data to orbiting operators should be at least an order of magnitude faster, assuming the orbital asset has significantly more buffer space than existing spacecraft like MRO.  The local geologist gets to see the data right away and inform the programming team regarding next targets, etc.  I would guess 2-3X more science data gathered per sol with little change to existing rover operations.

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #47 on: 05/23/2016 08:37 PM »
And again, I note that the value of low-latency telerobotics is usually asserted, but not actually studied or demonstrated. People say "of course you want to eliminate the time delay," without looking carefully at each operation (driving, moving an arm, operating a science payload, surveying terrain) and asking what is the difference between low-latency and high-latency for that operation.
Tele-robotics is not some unknown or very novel field of study. It's performing commercial, military, medical and research applications on earth at increasingly wider scale. In air, under water, underground, on field and on battlefield. The achievable capabilities are kind of well understood.

IMHO, latency is only half the issue.  The other is bandwidth.  The current rovers spend a lot of time sitting, charging their batteries and transmitting data to Earth (direct and/or via relay) between action plans.  Sending that data to orbiting operators should be at least an order of magnitude faster, assuming the orbital asset has significantly more buffer space than existing spacecraft like MRO.  The local geologist gets to see the data right away and inform the programming team regarding next targets, etc.  I would guess 2-3X more science data gathered per sol with little change to existing rover operations.

I think if you are bandwidth-limited, you're better off investing in unmanned communication satellites around Mars, with optical links to Earth for instance.



On the subject of low-latency operations, there was a FISO conference on the topic last year:
http://spirit.as.utexas.edu/~fiso/telecon/Lester_5-27-15/

Blackstar is right, the benefits are not well understood:

Quote
For field geology, we have NO experience with low latency telerobotics.
Lessons from high latency telerobotics (MER, MSL) donʼt necessarily transfer well to low latency telerobotics.
Analog studies on the Earth will be essential to this understanding.

(from slide 11)

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #48 on: 05/23/2016 08:43 PM »
If a teleoperated rover were to transmit real-time video to orbit, whilst driving vastly greater distances each day than current rovers, how would it be powered? The MERs got enough solar power each day to stay alive and drive a couple of hundred metres. Hard to see anybody fitting a vastly greater area of PVA on a rover. And RTGs aren't exactly low cost.
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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #49 on: 05/23/2016 08:59 PM »
Quote
For field geology, we have NO experience with low latency telerobotics.
(from slide 11)
And yet, petrochemical, mining and construction industry do have telerobotics experience, and they employ plenty of geologists.
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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #50 on: 05/23/2016 09:08 PM »
If a teleoperated rover were to transmit real-time video to orbit, whilst driving vastly greater distances each day than current rovers, how would it be powered? The MERs got enough solar power each day to stay alive and drive a couple of hundred metres. Hard to see anybody fitting a vastly greater area of PVA on a rover. And RTGs aren't exactly low cost.

RTG are also low power. I see a stationary solar array, maybe with battery storage. A rover can do 50km with one battery charge and then returns to the stationary array. Maybe the rover carries a small array so it can limp back when the battery runs low. Ideally the rover can transfer the stationary array. The rover may go slow in unknown territory, but can retrace a known trajectory unaided at much higher speed.

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #51 on: 05/23/2016 09:53 PM »
The current rovers spend a lot of time sitting, charging their batteries and transmitting data to Earth (direct and/or via relay) between action plans.

And any rover you send to Mars is still going to spend a lot of time sitting and charging batteries, or sitting in darkness.

So again the question is what is the specific value of having the human right nearby? If the rover is in darkness 50% of its day, then that's 50% of the time you're not using it. If it has to charge its batteries for 25% of the daylight (WAG) then that's now 75% of the day that the nearby human will not be commanding it. Figuring out the value of having a human control it with a low time lag, vs. a team of humans controlling it back on Earth, is important to answering the question if this is a worthwhile thing to do.

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #52 on: 05/23/2016 10:12 PM »
And any rover you send to Mars is still going to spend a lot of time sitting and charging batteries, or sitting in darkness.

So again the question is what is the specific value of having the human right nearby? If the rover is in darkness 50% of its day, then that's 50% of the time you're not using it. If it has to charge its batteries for 25% of the daylight (WAG) then that's now 75% of the day that the nearby human will not be commanding it. Figuring out the value of having a human control it with a low time lag, vs. a team of humans controlling it back on Earth, is important to answering the question if this is a worthwhile thing to do.

That value in turn would depend on or dictate the orbit the crew occupy as well...presuming the Mars rover operations were indeed a driver for the mission.  If that were the case, I'd assume exploring not to mention assembling the future surface base would be the rover mission...or more bluntly the only matter worth wasting the crew's time.

I have no idea how hot the idea of a crewed mission to synchronous Mars orbit is considered, although I would hope it's on the list.
« Last Edit: 05/23/2016 10:13 PM by redliox »
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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #53 on: 05/24/2016 01:34 AM »
Figuring out the value of having a human control it with a low time lag, vs. a team of humans controlling it back on Earth, is important to answering the question if this is a worthwhile thing to do.

Its not that hard to figure out, should anyone actually be interested. NIST has developed standard testing protocols for telerobotics, due to interest from law enforcement, disaster response and of course military.

http://www.nist.gov/el/isd/ms/robottestmethods.cfm

There are dozens of terrestrial COTS telerobotics models with various sizes and capabilities that have been evaluated, and NIST keeps adding new abilities to the test suites. Nothing would prevent planetary geologists to visit a few of facilities, test the existing capabilities and identify the ones they are specifically interested in from testing profiles.






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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #54 on: 05/24/2016 03:24 AM »
Its not that hard to figure out, should anyone actually be interested.

So you claim. If it's so easy, how come nobody has done it? And we're talking about rovers that will cost $100s of millions of dollars and are not analogous to robots used on Earth. For instance, no need to disarm bombs on Mars.

I'd add that the human operator on a Mars mission is a major part of the systems analysis: when the operator is doing teleoperation, they're not doing something else like exercising, sleeping, repairing equipment, or operating other experiments. So the calculation is not simply the value of the robot's operations vs. long-latency operations, but what other things could that human be doing instead. Lots of things may impact that (like the reliability of equipment on the mission: if it breaks down a lot, the human is going to be required to fix it).




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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #55 on: 05/24/2016 03:46 AM »
Its not that hard to figure out, should anyone actually be interested.

So you claim. If it's so easy, how come nobody has done it?

You missed the point. It is being done every day by industries and and people that actively utilize low-latency and also semiautonomous telerobotics all the time. NIST has even grading standards for levels of autonomy involved

Quote
And we're talking about rovers that will cost $100s of millions of dollars and are not analogous to robots used on Earth. For instance, no need to disarm bombs on Mars.

Again missing the point. The tests are not being done for disarming bombs, puncturing tires or breaking car windows. The tests are being done for generic telerobotic capabilities, like level of dexterity, durability, traversability, lifting weights and negotiating obstacles, sampling and handling etc etc. I recommend even a brief reading of what NIST, National Tactical Officers Association and others are actually are doing in this area.
The capabilities are generic, and useful in multiple applications, which is why the same platforms are finding uses in multiple areas like industrial inspection and hazardous materials handling, mining, disaster recovery etc.

Just because planetary geologists haven't done a specific evaluation of what low latency vs high latency ops for a particular mission profile might mean, does not mean that there is no thorough understanding of existing low-latency telerobotic capabilities and more autonomous systems.

And, NASA itself and ESA have been running various teleoperation programs and field tests for about two decades now, including simulated time lag vs direct operated systems even going as far back as the Marsokhod mentioned above, if Mars geologists do not know what the comparative capabilities are then maybe thats easy to fix with a lecture.
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Offline Dalhousie

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #56 on: 05/24/2016 05:02 AM »
Thats quite a limited view of the history. No, it wasnt A. Kemurdzhian alone. No, it wasnt a demonstration to 'JPL people' - Marsokhod based field campaigns were mainly run by NASA Ames and McDonnell Douglas, with instigation by Planetary Society, and continued well into 1999.
And, the field tests of Marsokhod and multiple other rover designs from different NASA field centers ended up contributing mostly exactly to operational side of missions like Pathfinder and MERs. There were simulated field tests with long time delays as well.
Reports are available on NTRS and referenced in other publications - for instance, Marsokhod fields tests are referenced in landing site workshops for Pathfinder.
The hardware itself was subject to multiple iterations of mission proposals like Mars Together, which all died for multiple reasons.

Here is a Marsokhod in an Ames warehouse in 2011
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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #57 on: 05/24/2016 06:14 PM »
And, NASA itself and ESA have been running various teleoperation programs and field tests for about two decades now, including simulated time lag vs direct operated systems even going as far back as the Marsokhod mentioned above, if Mars geologists do not know what the comparative capabilities are then maybe thats easy to fix with a lecture.

But it's the value of doing this as part of a larger system, including the costs. As just one example of a difference, crew availability is a finite resource on a Mars mission. If you only have four astronauts, then using just one of them to operate a rover is a major use of the available labor pool. That's not the case in any other terrestrial operation. Add an ROV to an oil rig and you might add a couple of operators, but that's not going to strain the available resources of the oil rig.

You're saying that based upon terrestrial examples this is easy and obvious, and I'm saying that from a human spaceflight standpoint and a planetary robotics standpoint none of that has been proven, nor is it obvious.

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #58 on: 05/24/2016 06:33 PM »
I understand answering the telerobotics thing is important, but I'd rather answer the question of what orbit Lockheed's idea would best occupy.  One reason I emphasis this is that low Mars orbit seems the default target for the Mars Ascent Vehicle; problem is something far higher like Phobos or synchronous seems the default parking spot for an Earth Return Vehicle; IMO I would think synchronous or even higher would be better to minimize the ERVs departure fuel and maximize the benefit of surface ISRU.

Any answers or educated guesses for this as opposed to more telerobotics mumbling?
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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #59 on: 05/24/2016 06:51 PM »
But it's the value of doing this as part of a larger system, including the costs...

You're saying that based upon terrestrial examples this is easy and obvious, and I'm saying that from a human spaceflight standpoint and a planetary robotics standpoint none of that has been proven, nor is it obvious.

I agree on that - it absolutely is the value in larger system, human element and human machine interface being actually the real focus of most of the tele-robotics work in terrestrial apps. The operator focus, responsibilities, workload , scalability, gradual system autonomy levels etc are very much at the forefront of all this.

However, let me quote you again:
And again, I note that the value of low-latency telerobotics is usually asserted, but not actually studied or demonstrated. People say "of course you want to eliminate the time delay," without looking carefully at each operation (driving, moving an arm, operating a science payload, surveying terrain) and asking what is the difference between low-latency and high-latency for that operation.

If these are the operations Mars scientists are interested in, then it is easily testable and obvious - because these are generic system capabilities with very close terrestrial analogues in widespread applications, with plenty of operational experience and deployments in various environments.
Of course the hardware going to space needs to be engineered very differently, but the operational concepts and techniques can be very similar.
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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #60 on: 05/24/2016 08:44 PM »
The flip side of the question is "how much more efficient is it to have an astronaut on the ground, compared to teleoperation, with low or high latency" ?
Because people on the ground are limited by the same factors identified by Blackstar:
  - to cross long distances, they need power for their rovers
  - to run instruments, they need power too
  - they need to wait on their instruments as they complete their analysis
  - doing field geology means they cannot do something else like maintenance

So would a geologist on Mars have produced the same amount of science as Curiosity in a few hours, if he had the same instruments and the same power budget?


« Last Edit: 05/24/2016 08:54 PM by gosnold »

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #61 on: 05/24/2016 08:49 PM »
The robotics stuff maybe needs its own thread. If someone knows a thread that already exists feel free to PM me... but right now we might be close to the edge of the topic. Not saying anyone's mumbling but are we adding anything new?
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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #62 on: 05/24/2016 08:56 PM »
The robotics stuff maybe needs its own thread. If someone knows a thread that already exists feel free to PM me... but right now we might be close to the edge of the topic. Not saying anyone's mumbling but are we adding anything new?

Yeah I've been trying to enquire about what kind of ORBIT Lockheed's ORBITING Mars Laboratory would have about Mars, but it has been heavily drowned out by all the geeks obsessed with telerobotics which is a dead horse in here!
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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #63 on: 05/24/2016 11:02 PM »
Interesting , but still not a lot of space for an extended voyage, especially once you factor in space requirements for consumables and stores.  I would love to see the use of a cargo module to be used in place of one of the Orion based habitats. 

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #64 on: 05/25/2016 12:17 AM »

Again missing the point. The tests are not being done for disarming bombs, puncturing tires or breaking car windows. The tests are being done for generic telerobotic capabilities, like level of dexterity, durability, traversability, lifting weights and negotiating obstacles, sampling and handling etc etc. I recommend even a brief reading of what NIST, National Tactical Officers Association and others are actually are doing in this area.
The capabilities are generic, and useful in multiple applications, which is why the same platforms are finding uses in multiple areas like industrial inspection and hazardous materials handling, mining, disaster recovery etc.

Just because planetary geologists haven't done a specific evaluation of what low latency vs high latency ops for a particular mission profile might mean, does not mean that there is no thorough understanding of existing low-latency telerobotic capabilities and more autonomous systems.

And, NASA itself and ESA have been running various teleoperation programs and field tests for about two decades now, including simulated time lag vs direct operated systems even going as far back as the Marsokhod mentioned above, if Mars geologists do not know what the comparative capabilities are then maybe thats easy to fix with a lecture.

I have been involved in using NIST for field robotics and can confirm they are very useful tools.

One paper comparing different operational modes is this one by Glass et al. from 2003 http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20030032439.pdf - I will note the assumed capabilituies of the autonomous rover are optimistic in the designated time frame - we are unlikely to see thiese for the 2020 or ExoMars rovers.

Also relevant (although I have only seen news reports) is the work by ESA on teleoperation of robots by astronauts on the ISS in 2015 http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/space-robots/esa-space-teleoperation-tests and 2016 http://www.esa.int/ESA_in_your_country/United_Kingdom/ESA_astronaut_Tim_Peake_controls_rover_from_space

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #65 on: 05/25/2016 01:03 AM »
Interesting , but still not a lot of space for an extended voyage, especially once you factor in space requirements for consumables and stores.  I would love to see the use of a cargo module to be used in place of one of the Orion based habitats.

Although undoubtably a subject for another thread, I wonder about the amount of interior space needed just for the mental well being of the team members.  Scott Kelly just spent close to a year aboard ISS and when you look at the videos of him moving about the station from module to module, looking out the windows, working, socializing, etc. it would be interesting to me to get his opinion on spending two years inside just one or two small modules. There is reason for the "Battlestar Galactica" approach such as depicted in the recent movie "The Martian." Or is there?  Any research aboard ISS on the long term effects of space travel must be weighed against the amount of interior space available for the occupants that may or may not be available on the Mars TransHab ship.  Even modern submarines are fairly large and have recreational facilities available for the crew.


Offline nadreck

I wonder about the amount of interior space needed just for the mental well being of the team members

I think part of what we should be studying in the future when there are more space habitats and more options are how much the complexity of the space plays a part as well. Does micro gravity increase or decrease the amount of space needed, does it change the nature of how we perceive/enjoy open space or coziness? 
It is all well and good to quote those things that made it past your confirmation bias that other people wrote, but this is a discussion board damnit! Let us know what you think! And why!

Offline Bubbinski

Would this proposed craft be reusable for multiple Mars missions, shuttling between Mars orbit and a cislunar outpost? If so I could see capabilities including landers being gradually added as budgets and partnerships allowed.

As for what a Mars orbital mission could do, besides exploring and sampling Phobos & Deimos, could a robotic Mars surface sample return craft dock with the Mars orbiting craft?  The astronauts aboard could examine the samples without exposing earth's biosphere to the Martian dust and dirt, and they'd have time during the return flight to see if the samples were biologically inert or otherwise.

Edit: I saw that the sample return to Mars Base Camp was touched on in the article on page 1 of this thread
« Last Edit: 05/25/2016 01:53 AM by Bubbinski »
I'll even excitedly look forward to "flags and footprints" and suborbital missions. Just fly...somewhere.

Offline Dalhousie

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #68 on: 05/25/2016 05:08 AM »
Interesting , but still not a lot of space for an extended voyage, especially once you factor in space requirements for consumables and stores.  I would love to see the use of a cargo module to be used in place of one of the Orion based habitats.

We have't been given the internal volume AFAIK.

Rule of thumb for pressurised volumes is:

Survival requirements for missions this long is 15 m3 per person
Performance minimum requirement 30 m3 per person
Performance optimum requirement is 60 m3 per person

So preferably for a four person crew like this 120-240 m3. 

Orion provides 20 m3, two Orions 40 m3, so deep space hab and the laboratory modules, which appear identical would need to be 100 m3 each, about the size of the Destiny module on the ISS.

That's very close to the 268 m3 calculated by Rucker and Thompson for a deep space hab http://csc.caltech.edu/references/RuckerThompson_DeepSpaceHab.pdf

This looks consistent with the drawing shown
« Last Edit: 05/25/2016 05:09 AM by Dalhousie »
"There is nobody who is a bigger fan of sending robots to Mars than me... But I believe firmly that the best, the most comprehensive, the most successful exploration will be done by humans" Steve Squyres

Offline meberbs

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #69 on: 05/25/2016 05:28 AM »
Does anyone else find it odd that this design has a set of chemical engines on both sides?

I understand that there could be a reason like not designing extra parts, so they can use the stages as extra tanks, but they image already shows extra custom tanks. It seems like they could save 500+ kgs by dumping the extra set of engine hardware. (based on 277kg for an RL-10)

Maybe they intend it as redundancy?

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #70 on: 05/25/2016 12:52 PM »
The flip side of the question is "how much more efficient is it to have an astronaut on the ground, compared to teleoperation, with low or high latency" ?
Because people on the ground are limited by the same factors identified by Blackstar:
  - to cross long distances, they need power for their rovers
  - to run instruments, they need power too
  - they need to wait on their instruments as they complete their analysis
  - doing field geology means they cannot do something else like maintenance

So would a geologist on Mars have produced the same amount of science as Curiosity in a few hours, if he had the same instruments and the same power budget?




I'd like to know how one calculates "efficiency" in that case. The human needs a huge amount of support--a spacecraft and all its supplies and all that entails. And the human is also not expendable, so you need to provide all that to bring her back to Earth as well. The robot is on a one-way trip.

My gut feeling is that you cannot really make that kind of calculation in a big sense. You are going to send humans for other reasons. But the question has validity for the kind of support that you provide them. How much do you require the human to do vs. the robots? It could be that you could do some calculations that would show you how to maximize the humans' productivity on the surface, for instance with a smart robot that can perform a lot of tasks and take the burden off the human. So an astronaut exploring the surface might have a robot companion and might say "Go scout around the perimeter and find X, Y and Z and report back to me. Then take these samples back to the hab."

Offline MattMason

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #71 on: 05/25/2016 08:32 PM »
This looks to me like a personal spacecraft, possibly with manipulator arms.

For simplicity's sake, it's likely an airlock. If there are arms, its an autonomous drone that can make repairs outside or perform routine maintenance.
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Offline BrightLight

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #72 on: 05/25/2016 09:44 PM »
This looks to me like a personal spacecraft, possibly with manipulator arms.

For simplicity's sake, it's likely an airlock. If there are arms, its an autonomous drone that can make repairs outside or perform routine maintenance.
Attached is a notional graphic from a recent NASA study: http://trs2.nis.nasa.gov/search.jsp?R=20160006311&qs=N%3D4294927883  "Evolvable Mars Campaign Long Duration Habitation Strategies: Architectural Approaches to Enable Human Exploration Missions" which shows a Cygnus module attached to a habitation module co-manifested with Orion.  It has similarities to the LM design.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #73 on: 05/25/2016 10:58 PM »
Here:
« Last Edit: 05/25/2016 10:58 PM by Blackstar »

Offline Dalhousie

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #74 on: 05/25/2016 11:17 PM »
I understand answering the telerobotics thing is important, but I'd rather answer the question of what orbit Lockheed's idea would best occupy.  One reason I emphasis this is that low Mars orbit seems the default target for the Mars Ascent Vehicle; problem is something far higher like Phobos or synchronous seems the default parking spot for an Earth Return Vehicle; IMO I would think synchronous or even higher would be better to minimize the ERVs departure fuel and maximize the benefit of surface ISRU.

Any answers or educated guesses for this as opposed to more telerobotics mumbling?


Telerobotic exploration is hardly mumbling - it's the whole purpose of the mission!

"There is nobody who is a bigger fan of sending robots to Mars than me... But I believe firmly that the best, the most comprehensive, the most successful exploration will be done by humans" Steve Squyres

Offline scienceguy

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #75 on: 05/26/2016 03:23 AM »
That's a fascinating presentation Blackstar. Is this part of an official plan?
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Offline redliox

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #76 on: 05/26/2016 11:59 AM »
Well at least we know that small module sticking out of the middle is an airlock officially.

I understand answering the telerobotics thing is important, but I'd rather answer the question of what orbit Lockheed's idea would best occupy.  One reason I emphasis this is that low Mars orbit seems the default target for the Mars Ascent Vehicle; problem is something far higher like Phobos or synchronous seems the default parking spot for an Earth Return Vehicle; IMO I would think synchronous or even higher would be better to minimize the ERVs departure fuel and maximize the benefit of surface ISRU.

Any answers or educated guesses for this as opposed to more telerobotics mumbling?


Telerobotic exploration is hardly mumbling - it's the whole purpose of the mission!

*bonks on head with a Bigelow inflatable mallet*  :P

I could say the same thing with Deimos/Phobos exploration!

As for a telerobotics/orbit connection, consider this: it tends to be easier to talk to your robot on the ground if your station is in visual contact for as long as possible.  This would eliminate low Mars orbit as a candidate.  A synchronous orbit is an obvious contender, but what if this orbital laboratory has purposes elsewhere around Mars?
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Offline dchill

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #77 on: 05/26/2016 01:21 PM »
Personally I think having a geology/chem lab in orbit is as valuable, if not more valuable, than the telerobotics aspect. 

The first mission can pathfind the safety, taking along the best spacecraft trouble-shooting astronauts on that mission.  The 2nd mission can take the RV sized chem lab along with the geologist/chemist astronauts.

That 2nd mission can gather multiple samples brought up by several Mars Ascent Vehicles, and do all the ISRU experiments on larger and more diverse sample sets than we’d bother trying to get all the way back to Earth.  Also by getting rid of the 6 month trip bringing rocks back to Earth, the 2nd, 3rd, etc. Rover/MAV pairs could be quickly refocused on finding and bringing up only the best rocks for IRSU, without all that lag in figuring which ones are good.

Just like the famous ISS calcium crystal clogged urine recycler problem, I wouldn’t trust anyone’s life to ISRU produced water, oxygen or fuel, unless it had been tested against more than a few rocks brought back to Earth.  It should also be attempted using the same industrial processes on the scale as what will eventually be needed to be useful for human exploration.

The RV sized chem lab is a good way to make a start (see Breaking Bad).  It might be the best way to get a foothold on Mars without ever having to develop huge landers that need to take all their consumables down with them…

Offline redliox

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #78 on: 05/26/2016 08:04 PM »
Personally I think having a geology/chem lab in orbit is as valuable, if not more valuable, than the telerobotics aspect. 

I could agree with that.  The only amendment I'd add is that it'd be even more valuable directly on Mars.  However if we're talking samples from Deimos and Phobos though, such a lab would allow their rocks to be studied in their natural micro-gravity environment which might be disturbed when brought to Earth.  Also, assuming humans end up fetching the Mars Sample Return samples, a lab like this would have use analyzing some samples ahead of time, at the least to ensure they were preserved.
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Offline Dalhousie

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #79 on: 05/27/2016 01:15 AM »
Telerobotic exploration is hardly mumbling - it's the whole purpose of the mission!

*bonks on head with a Bigelow inflatable mallet*  :P

Makes a change from a feather duster I suppose. ;)


Quote
I could say the same thing with Deimos/Phobos exploration!

As for a telerobotics/orbit connection, consider this: it tends to be easier to talk to your robot on the ground if your station is in visual contact for as long as possible.  This would eliminate low Mars orbit as a candidate.  A synchronous orbit is an obvious contender, but what if this orbital laboratory has purposes elsewhere around Mars?

We use satellite relays on Earth for telerobotics, so why not Mars.  Examples include ROVs, UAVs, robotic surgery, control of robotic equipment on the ISS, control of ground robotics by the ISS. Why should Mars be any different.

I suspect that the orbit will be a compromise between propulsion requirements, Phobos (and/or Deimos) requirements, and communications. 
"There is nobody who is a bigger fan of sending robots to Mars than me... But I believe firmly that the best, the most comprehensive, the most successful exploration will be done by humans" Steve Squyres

Offline Dalhousie

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #80 on: 05/27/2016 01:22 AM »
Personally I think having a geology/chem lab in orbit is as valuable, if not more valuable, than the telerobotics aspect. 

The first mission can pathfind the safety, taking along the best spacecraft trouble-shooting astronauts on that mission.  The 2nd mission can take the RV sized chem lab along with the geologist/chemist astronauts.

That 2nd mission can gather multiple samples brought up by several Mars Ascent Vehicles, and do all the ISRU experiments on larger and more diverse sample sets than we’d bother trying to get all the way back to Earth.  Also by getting rid of the 6 month trip bringing rocks back to Earth, the 2nd, 3rd, etc. Rover/MAV pairs could be quickly refocused on finding and bringing up only the best rocks for IRSU, without all that lag in figuring which ones are good.

Except that an orbital lab will not have the capability of an earth based lab, and to improve on the basic capabilities on something on the surface would need to develop a whole range of handling  equipment from scratch.

Quote
Just like the famous ISS calcium crystal clogged urine recycler problem, I wouldn’t trust anyone’s life to ISRU produced water, oxygen or fuel, unless it had been tested against more than a few rocks brought back to Earth.  It should also be attempted using the same industrial processes on the scale as what will eventually be needed to be useful for human exploration.

What you are proposing appears to generate this problem in reverse, testing ISRU on martian samples in microgravity in orbit, which is less relevant  to testing it on the surface with a pilot plant, or on Earth with simulants or returned samples.

Quote
It might be the best way to get a foothold on Mars without ever having to develop huge landers that need to take all their consumables down with them…

Other than Boeing, nobody has suggested doing that for several decades. All NASA DRMs invoke ISRU for the of the consumables and propellants to varying degrees, as have most independent studies.
"There is nobody who is a bigger fan of sending robots to Mars than me... But I believe firmly that the best, the most comprehensive, the most successful exploration will be done by humans" Steve Squyres

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #81 on: 05/27/2016 01:43 AM »
We use satellite relays on Earth for telerobotics, so why not Mars.  Examples include ROVs, UAVs, robotic surgery, control of robotic equipment on the ISS, control of ground robotics by the ISS. Why should Mars be any different.

I suspect that the orbit will be a compromise between propulsion requirements, Phobos (and/or Deimos) requirements, and communications. 

That still leaves the question of how much infrastructure is required. If you start talking about relay satellites, then the question is how many of them and what capabilities? And do you need to add more of them ahead of the mission? It just gets expensive very quickly.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #82 on: 05/27/2016 01:51 AM »
Personally I think having a geology/chem lab in orbit is as valuable, if not more valuable, than the telerobotics aspect. 

The first mission can pathfind the safety, taking along the best spacecraft trouble-shooting astronauts on that mission.  The 2nd mission can take the RV sized chem lab along with the geologist/chemist astronauts.

That 2nd mission can gather multiple samples brought up by several Mars Ascent Vehicles, and do all the ISRU experiments on larger and more diverse sample sets than we’d bother trying to get all the way back to Earth.  Also by getting rid of the 6 month trip bringing rocks back to Earth, the 2nd, 3rd, etc. Rover/MAV pairs could be quickly refocused on finding and bringing up only the best rocks for IRSU, without all that lag in figuring which ones are good.

Except that an orbital lab will not have the capability of an earth based lab, and to improve on the basic capabilities on something on the surface would need to develop a whole range of handling  equipment from scratch.

Yes, plus introducing the possibility of contamination of the samples. The scientists back on Earth are going to insist that after the samples are sealed, nobody messes with them until they are back in a proper lab on Earth.

A number of years ago somebody did a study of a Mars sample return lab on an Earth space station (you can probably find it on the net). The theory was that analyzing the samples in space allowed you to reduce risk to humans--if you opened a Mars sample and people started turning into brain-eating zombies, they'd only eat their fellow crewmembers and not, say, the population of California.

There are lots and lots of problems with that idea, including the fact that every sample analysis technique ever created was created in gravity, so we don't know how to do most sample analysis in zero-gee. Plus, a lot of lab equipment is mass heavy and power hungry--there's no cyclotron that's space-qualified yet. So it's just a really bad idea to do any sample analysis in orbit. As I understand it, there is one area of expertise that is going to have to be developed: a field laboratory for astronauts on Mars. It will be pretty basic even by Earth standards, but it will require some unique attributes like certain chemicals might not be allowed because of their hazard in a closed life support environment.


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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #83 on: 05/27/2016 02:36 AM »
I understand answering the telerobotics thing is important, but I'd rather answer the question of what orbit Lockheed's idea would best occupy.  One reason I emphasis this is that low Mars orbit seems the default target for the Mars Ascent Vehicle; problem is something far higher like Phobos or synchronous seems the default parking spot for an Earth Return Vehicle; IMO I would think synchronous or even higher would be better to minimize the ERVs departure fuel and maximize the benefit of surface ISRU.

Any answers or educated guesses for this as opposed to more telerobotics mumbling?


Telerobotic exploration is hardly mumbling - it's the whole purpose of the mission!
Disappointing, if so. Telerobotics is neat, but it's not worth just sending people Mars for telerobotics.
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Offline The Amazing Catstronaut

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #84 on: 05/27/2016 02:45 AM »
Well, long duration spaceflight experience, having effectively a space station in Mars orbit, base for landers to the martian moons and to mars surface, somewhere to tack additional modules onto later on, could be expanded out and given depot functionality... list goes on.

Ultimately I think ISS-esque multi-module space stations are not the way to get there, they're something that should be a result of people going to Mars, not a catalyst for. Big multi-functional monoliths defeat in-orbit assembly if you're happy to spend enough initial dollars cracking open reuse, ground handling and logistics. I view the proposal as a trimmed down battlestar galactica, but still more favourable than current NASA Mars planning.
« Last Edit: 05/27/2016 02:46 AM by The Amazing Catstronaut »
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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #85 on: 05/27/2016 02:53 AM »
Well, long duration spaceflight experience, having effectively a space station in Mars orbit, base for landers to the martian moons and to mars surface, somewhere to tack additional modules onto later on, could be expanded out and given depot functionality... list goes on.
...
Sure, but Dalhousie said telerobotics was the whole point. I don't think the mission makes sense if telerobotics is the primary (majority) reason to do it.
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Offline redliox

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #86 on: 05/29/2016 04:57 AM »
So, any guesses as to the best orbit this thing should be put into around Mars?
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Offline Dalhousie

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #87 on: 05/29/2016 05:28 AM »
I understand answering the telerobotics thing is important, but I'd rather answer the question of what orbit Lockheed's idea would best occupy.  One reason I emphasis this is that low Mars orbit seems the default target for the Mars Ascent Vehicle; problem is something far higher like Phobos or synchronous seems the default parking spot for an Earth Return Vehicle; IMO I would think synchronous or even higher would be better to minimize the ERVs departure fuel and maximize the benefit of surface ISRU.

Any answers or educated guesses for this as opposed to more telerobotics mumbling?


Telerobotic exploration is hardly mumbling - it's the whole purpose of the mission!
Disappointing, if so. Telerobotics is neat, but it's not worth just sending people Mars for telerobotics.

What is the purpose then?
"There is nobody who is a bigger fan of sending robots to Mars than me... But I believe firmly that the best, the most comprehensive, the most successful exploration will be done by humans" Steve Squyres

Offline Dalhousie

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #88 on: 05/29/2016 05:30 AM »
Well, long duration spaceflight experience, having effectively a space station in Mars orbit, base for landers to the martian moons and to mars surface, somewhere to tack additional modules onto later on, could be expanded out and given depot functionality... list goes on.

Ultimately I think ISS-esque multi-module space stations are not the way to get there, they're something that should be a result of people going to Mars, not a catalyst for. Big multi-functional monoliths defeat in-orbit assembly if you're happy to spend enough initial dollars cracking open reuse, ground handling and logistics. I view the proposal as a trimmed down battlestar galactica, but still more favourable than current NASA Mars planning.

Current NASA Mars planning is about surface exploration, which is the whole point of going to Mars.  How is telerobotics from Mars orbit more favourable?
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Offline redliox

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #89 on: 05/29/2016 06:58 AM »
Well, long duration spaceflight experience, having effectively a space station in Mars orbit, base for landers to the martian moons and to mars surface, somewhere to tack additional modules onto later on, could be expanded out and given depot functionality... list goes on.

Ultimately I think ISS-esque multi-module space stations are not the way to get there, they're something that should be a result of people going to Mars, not a catalyst for. Big multi-functional monoliths defeat in-orbit assembly if you're happy to spend enough initial dollars cracking open reuse, ground handling and logistics. I view the proposal as a trimmed down battlestar galactica, but still more favourable than current NASA Mars planning.

Current NASA Mars planning is about surface exploration, which is the whole point of going to Mars.  How is telerobotics from Mars orbit more favourable?

In doing prep-work to ensure the crew lander doesn't land in a boulder field by accident?

So Dali, what orbit would YOU put your telerobotics project into?
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Offline Dalhousie

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #90 on: 05/29/2016 07:45 AM »
Well, long duration spaceflight experience, having effectively a space station in Mars orbit, base for landers to the martian moons and to mars surface, somewhere to tack additional modules onto later on, could be expanded out and given depot functionality... list goes on.

Ultimately I think ISS-esque multi-module space stations are not the way to get there, they're something that should be a result of people going to Mars, not a catalyst for. Big multi-functional monoliths defeat in-orbit assembly if you're happy to spend enough initial dollars cracking open reuse, ground handling and logistics. I view the proposal as a trimmed down battlestar galactica, but still more favourable than current NASA Mars planning.

Current NASA Mars planning is about surface exploration, which is the whole point of going to Mars.  How is telerobotics from Mars orbit more favourable?

In doing prep-work to ensure the crew lander doesn't land in a boulder field by accident?

You don't need telerobotics for that.

Quote
So Dali, what orbit would YOU put your telerobotics project into?

I wouldn't have a teleoperations orbiter in the first place without a pressing need for it.  Once again, the point is operations, what you do.  Telerobotics are merely a means to that end, not an end in itself.
« Last Edit: 05/29/2016 08:36 AM by Dalhousie »
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Offline Dalhousie

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #91 on: 05/29/2016 08:35 AM »
As for what orbit it all depends on what you want to do.

If you are using SEP and only want to do teleoperations, then aerostationary might be the best.  Though this might restrict landing sites to low or mid latitudes.  However no relays would be required.

if you use chemical propulsion with or without aerocapture, then Molniya type orbits might possible, again without relays.

However if you want minimum energy transfers to Phobos and/or Deimos, then lower, circular orbits night be better.  And you would need relays. 

So for a combined teleoperation/PhD mission which orbit you chose much depends on the dV capability of Orion (possibility with an additional propulsion system, as indicated in the picture.
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Offline redliox

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #92 on: 05/29/2016 06:46 PM »
As for what orbit it all depends on what you want to do.

Which was why I was yelling about it for the last 2 pages if you guys never noticed.  :P

If you are using SEP and only want to do teleoperations, then aerostationary might be the best.  Though this might restrict landing sites to low or mid latitudes.  However no relays would be required.

SEP was stated as being part of Lockheed's idea, and if so then that means aerostationary or at least a high orbit (Deimos' for an example) might be the case then.  I could only assume then that the orbiting laboratory would be delivered to Mars well ahead of the crew.

if you use chemical propulsion with or without aerocapture, then Molniya type orbits might possible, again without relays.

However if you want minimum energy transfers to Phobos and/or Deimos, then lower, circular orbits night be better.  And you would need relays. 

Although elliptical hardly seems stable or easy to sync with, they are the easiest to enter into from a fast path.  On the notion of a transfer orbit between the moons, does anyone know what the period would be for a spacecraft with an apogee of 23,400 km (Deimos' orbit) and a perigee of 9,400 km (Phobos' orbit)?  And relays are one concern I have for Mars missions; assuming the old, current orbiters go dark within the next 15 years we can only nominally expect 1 functional orbiter, NeMo, which by itself in its finalized low orbit might not be enough for supporting a surface mission.  With a station in orbit that would make for 2 communication relays on the plus side.

So for a combined teleoperation/PhD mission which orbit you chose much depends on the dV capability of Orion (possibility with an additional propulsion system, as indicated in the picture.

Right.  I recall from references for a NASA Mars/Phobos orbital mission how at least one propellant stage would be needed in orbit just to perform the needed orbital transfers, so I wasn't surprised to see a Centaur-like stage sticking out of one side of Lockheed's lab.
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Offline Archibald

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #93 on: 05/29/2016 07:32 PM »
Personally I think having a geology/chem lab in orbit is as valuable, if not more valuable, than the telerobotics aspect. 

The first mission can pathfind the safety, taking along the best spacecraft trouble-shooting astronauts on that mission.  The 2nd mission can take the RV sized chem lab along with the geologist/chemist astronauts.

That 2nd mission can gather multiple samples brought up by several Mars Ascent Vehicles, and do all the ISRU experiments on larger and more diverse sample sets than we’d bother trying to get all the way back to Earth.  Also by getting rid of the 6 month trip bringing rocks back to Earth, the 2nd, 3rd, etc. Rover/MAV pairs could be quickly refocused on finding and bringing up only the best rocks for IRSU, without all that lag in figuring which ones are good.

Except that an orbital lab will not have the capability of an earth based lab, and to improve on the basic capabilities on something on the surface would need to develop a whole range of handling  equipment from scratch.

Yes, plus introducing the possibility of contamination of the samples. The scientists back on Earth are going to insist that after the samples are sealed, nobody messes with them until they are back in a proper lab on Earth.

A number of years ago somebody did a study of a Mars sample return lab on an Earth space station (you can probably find it on the net). The theory was that analyzing the samples in space allowed you to reduce risk to humans--if you opened a Mars sample and people started turning into brain-eating zombies, they'd only eat their fellow crewmembers and not, say, the population of California.


http://www.wired.com/2012/07/the-antaeus-orbiting-quarantine-facility-1978/

Offline redliox

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #94 on: 05/29/2016 09:48 PM »
A number of years ago somebody did a study of a Mars sample return lab on an Earth space station (you can probably find it on the net). The theory was that analyzing the samples in space allowed you to reduce risk to humans--if you opened a Mars sample and people started turning into brain-eating zombies, they'd only eat their fellow crewmembers and not, say, the population of California.


http://www.wired.com/2012/07/the-antaeus-orbiting-quarantine-facility-1978/

I actually remember seeing that thing in "Race to Mars" in the section concerning contamination and Martian germs.  Wouldn't be a bad design for a modern space station if you just replace the lab modules with Bigelow ones nowadays.  Of course, assuming they find any Martian germs at all, they're pretty sure they'd die in Earth's atmosphere rather than take over.
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Offline Dalhousie

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #95 on: 05/29/2016 10:36 PM »
A number of years ago somebody did a study of a Mars sample return lab on an Earth space station (you can probably find it on the net). The theory was that analyzing the samples in space allowed you to reduce risk to humans--if you opened a Mars sample and people started turning into brain-eating zombies, they'd only eat their fellow crewmembers and not, say, the population of California.


http://www.wired.com/2012/07/the-antaeus-orbiting-quarantine-facility-1978/

I actually remember seeing that thing in "Race to Mars" in the section concerning contamination and Martian germs.  Wouldn't be a bad design for a modern space station if you just replace the lab modules with Bigelow ones nowadays.  Of course, assuming they find any Martian germs at all, they're pretty sure they'd die in Earth's atmosphere rather than take over.

I always wondered whether this was a good idea.  if you are worried about alien bugs turning people into flesh eating (or water spewing) zombies and there is a containment failure, then you haven't really solved the problem as the contaminated station will come down sooner or later.
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Offline Oli

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #96 on: 05/29/2016 11:45 PM »
Remarkable lack of details.

Offline Dalhousie

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #97 on: 05/30/2016 05:08 AM »
Remarkable lack of details.

What do you expect?  It's a story about a conference presentation.  We don't have the abstract, let alone a full length paper or report.  The video of presentation is on line somewhere.
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Offline docmordrid

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #98 on: 05/30/2016 02:24 PM »
Remarkable lack of details.

What do you expect?  It's a story about a conference presentation.  We don't have the abstract, let alone a full length paper or report.  The video of presentation is on line somewhere.

Just based on the visuals, I wonder about committing to metallic habitats for use in Mars orbit because of their tendency to generate bremsstrahlung radiation when irradiated.

May be better to see BEAMs results first, and consider composite construction with polymer and borated polymer shields (for neutrons) - a proven COTS shielding tech.

« Last Edit: 05/30/2016 02:35 PM by docmordrid »
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Offline Dalhousie

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #99 on: 05/30/2016 11:36 PM »
Remarkable lack of details.

What do you expect?  It's a story about a conference presentation.  We don't have the abstract, let alone a full length paper or report.  The video of presentation is on line somewhere.

Just based on the visuals, I wonder about committing to metallic habitats for use in Mars orbit because of their tendency to generate bremsstrahlung radiation when irradiated.

May be better to see BEAMs results first, and consider composite construction with polymer and borated polymer shields (for neutrons) - a proven COTS shielding tech.

They are not necessarily metallic, they are rigid.  They could be composite for example. However the design and capabilities of rigid pressure hulls is well understood, including secondary radiation issues.  Inflatables are not, and won't be for a long time.
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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #100 on: 05/31/2016 01:32 AM »
The secondary radiation issue is an issue, but it's not necessarily a show-stopper for aluminum. You could just beat it down by using a bunch of water or polyolifin or something.
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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #101 on: 05/31/2016 03:12 AM »
However the design and capabilities of rigid pressure hulls is well understood, including secondary radiation issues.  Inflatables are not, and won't be for a long time.

I would think that the properties of these materials are well known too and allow precise calculations of constructions, particularly radiation issues, including secondary radiation.

Or is this a case of needing to test if it hurts, when you hit your thumb with a hammer every time you buy a new hammer?

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #102 on: 05/31/2016 05:33 PM »
Really fantastic presentation.  Industry finally pulling out some solid idea's.

The Mars mission isn't going to be like Apollo where all equipment is designed and produced in parallel.  It's going to be more piece meal in order to fit into existing budget.  And its doable.

Offline Dalhousie

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #103 on: 06/01/2016 12:08 AM »
However the design and capabilities of rigid pressure hulls is well understood, including secondary radiation issues.  Inflatables are not, and won't be for a long time.

I would think that the properties of these materials are well known too and allow precise calculations of constructions, particularly radiation issues, including secondary radiation.

Or is this a case of needing to test if it hurts, when you hit your thumb with a hammer every time you buy a new hammer?

No it is not. Rigid pressure hulls are very well understood well tested with 55 years operational. Inflatable pressure hulls are far less known.

There is a lot of exaggerated claims associated with inflatables.  They may well have their uses, but they are not a panacea.
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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #104 on: 06/01/2016 05:41 AM »
No it is not. Rigid pressure hulls are very well understood well tested with 55 years operational. Inflatable pressure hulls are far less known.

I don't disagree. I am sure there is much to learn about Inflatables before we could trust them for a Mars transfer or such. I emphasized the radiation part. I am sure that can be reliably determined by material properties.

There is a lot of exaggerated claims associated with inflatables.  They may well have their uses, but they are not a panacea.

I agree. They do allow for larger structures to launch in one piece though, that should be an advantage for large space stations.

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #105 on: 06/22/2016 03:50 PM »
One consideration with rovers. You could send more low quality rovers rather than 3 Curiosity class vehicles. That way, the crew could drive them more aggressively. They could take risks such as exploring caves and other dangerous locals that you wouldn't dare send your more expensive robot into.

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #106 on: 07/30/2016 07:37 PM »
We got some more detail on this Mars Architecture from FISO presentation by Steve Jolly & Steve Bailey on July 27. Links to the audio & slide presentations below.

audio link

slides link

In summary. The proposal is to do manned mission to the Martian Moons with a vehicle stack with about 11 SLS size payloads plus SEP development and ground systems for the Martian Moons. Big budget needed.

Offline redliox

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #107 on: 07/30/2016 10:29 PM »
We got some more detail on this Mars Architecture from FISO presentation by Steve Jolly & Steve Bailey on July 27. Links to the audio & slide presentations below.

audio link

slides link

In summary. The proposal is to do manned mission to the Martian Moons with a vehicle stack with about 11 SLS size payloads plus SEP development and ground systems for the Martian Moons. Big budget needed.

I do like their concept of a "spider walker" as they call it - like a MMU with legs.

Considering the big budget problem, they need to focus on how to sell this effectively; the big 3 questions the slides mention: "Where did we come from?  Where are we going?  Are we alone?"  Few politicians are sold over by existential statements.  I'd suggest emphasizing 3 missions goals: explore the moons of Mars, retrieve robotic-delivered Mars samples, validate safety of spacecraft and Martian environment.  Those are the kind of solid goals NASA's getting pressed for.

Aside from worrying about budgeting, I have 2 slight concerns with this strategy: the second Orion and using cryogenic hydrogen. 

One Orion is enough dead weight on a mission, and to make it of better use the service module ought to be improved as might the heat shield if a direct return is utilized.  Two Orions dragged to Mars is crazy talk; one Orion maybe...if tweaked; more ideal if confined to Cislunar space. 

As for hydrogen, that's asking for a small miracle to store indefinitely in space.  I know many will advocate cryogenic store "is easier than you expect," but you're talking chilling down to 30 degrees away from absolute zero!  Liquid oxygen and methane would be enough of a stretch, and at least those 2 could use joined bulkheads because their ranges are compatible.  However, I will admit IF you can do the deed, hydrogen is as good as you can get for rocketry outside of going nuclear propulsion (electric propulsion guys, you're good for cargo but we all know you're too slow for crew).  Making a composite hydrogen tank for the X-33 was one of the reasons that space plane never took off; I just fear a similar issue would arise in a project involving extensive storage.

Lockheed's idea still sounds promising to me.  If they can combine this with MSR they could make even a one-shot visit to the Martian moons a worthwhile endeavor. 
« Last Edit: 07/30/2016 10:42 PM by redliox »
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Offline redliox

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #108 on: 07/30/2016 10:46 PM »
One consideration with rovers. You could send more low quality rovers rather than 3 Curiosity class vehicles. That way, the crew could drive them more aggressively. They could take risks such as exploring caves and other dangerous locals that you wouldn't dare send your more expensive robot into.

I sort of agree if you mean MER-sized rovers.  If they're going to take this tele-presence thing seriously, they ought to flat out combine MSR with human flight.  Humans control the robots, robots deliver samples to the humans, and the humans return them to Earth.  End of MSR story.
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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #109 on: 07/31/2016 06:14 AM »
...
Lockheed's idea still sounds promising to me.  If they can combine this with MSR they could make even a one-shot visit to the Martian moons a worthwhile endeavor.
Did you listen to the full audio? Jolly & Bailey were talking about semi-permanent orbital Mars camp. A terrible idea IMO. Since the cost of this proposal will preclude any manned missions on the Martian surface for a very long time.

Too bad the proposal settles on the SLS as LEO spacelift to assemble the vehicle stack. With up to 3 SLS launches in a year. ::) No wonder there was no budget information in the presentations..

Maybe they should recast the proposal with 50 tonne components to take advantage of the soon to be available commercial heavy lift.

Offline Oli

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #110 on: 07/31/2016 07:19 AM »
We got some more detail on this Mars Architecture from FISO presentation by Steve Jolly & Steve Bailey on July 27. Links to the audio & slide presentations below.

audio link

slides link

In summary. The proposal is to do manned mission to the Martian Moons with a vehicle stack with about 11 SLS size payloads plus SEP development and ground systems for the Martian Moons. Big budget needed.

I find this concept unconvincing.

He says "the spacecraft" weights 120t dry, plus 300t (?) of propellant. It is not clear to me which configuration that is. We know that there's 243t of propellant in the tank farms. The mass fraction of those tanks is likely low, due to the arrangement and ZBO. With mf=0.8 the tank farms alone are 300t. Overall the transfer vehicle in cis-lunar space must be 400t and more.

Orion plus service module without fuel is around 17t, so if you have two of them that is 34t, as much as the habitat itself. That's without the taxi propulsion stages. For comparison, the mass of the Phobos taxi in EMC is 13.5t, of which the crew module is probably around 5t.

Moreover, in this architecture neither the Taxis nor the return fuel are pre-deployed with SEP (which is silly since they actually use SEP for the other components).

I think it's a very inefficient architecture. The only good thing about it is that it uses SEP to spiral the parts from LEO to cis-lunar space (if I understood correctly).

Did you listen to the full audio? Jolly & Bailey were talking about semi-permanent orbital Mars camp. A terrible idea IMO. Since the cost of this proposal will preclude any manned missions on the Martian surface for a very long time.

But an orbital base camp is likely low cost. It's only this architecture which manages to make orbital Mars missions into "Battlestar Galacticas".
« Last Edit: 07/31/2016 07:53 AM by Oli »

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #111 on: 07/31/2016 11:07 AM »
I find this concept unconvincing.

It's in need of streamlining, at least in regards to dragging the Orions around.

Orion plus service module without fuel is around 17t, so if you have two of them that is 34t, as much as the habitat itself. That's without the taxi propulsion stages. For comparison, the mass of the Phobos taxi in EMC is 13.5t, of which the crew module is probably around 5t.

Moreover, in this architecture neither the Taxis nor the return fuel are pre-deployed with SEP (which is silly since they actually use SEP for the other components).

Exactly why I'm not fond of Orion use beyond Cislunar.  I know the architecture proposed by Langley used SEP for both cargo and crew (the later to a lesser extent).

I think it's a very inefficient architecture. The only good thing about it is that it uses SEP to spiral the parts from LEO to cis-lunar space (if I understood correctly).

Did you listen to the full audio? Jolly & Bailey were talking about semi-permanent orbital Mars camp. A terrible idea IMO. Since the cost of this proposal will preclude any manned missions on the Martian surface for a very long time.

But an orbital base camp is likely low cost. It's only this architecture which manages to make orbital Mars missions into "Battlestar Galacticas".

An orbital camp's greatest use is for communication, Phobos/Deimos exploration, and a staging point for returning to Earth.

Lockheed's idea is indeed hefty; ironically for exploring the moons they keep it light with the Orion and walkers.  I like the walkers as an alternative to the PEV.  Beyond that I would favor Langley's architecture more; the one thing both strategies need is to condense their vehicles down and leave Orion back at Earth.
« Last Edit: 07/31/2016 11:11 AM by redliox »
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Offline Oli

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #112 on: 07/31/2016 02:04 PM »
Orion plus service module without fuel is around 17t, so if you have two of them that is 34t, as much as the habitat itself. That's without the taxi propulsion stages. For comparison, the mass of the Phobos taxi in EMC is 13.5t, of which the crew module is probably around 5t.

Moreover, in this architecture neither the Taxis nor the return fuel are pre-deployed with SEP (which is silly since they actually use SEP for the other components).

Exactly why I'm not fond of Orion use beyond Cislunar.  I know the architecture proposed by Langley used SEP for both cargo and crew (the later to a lesser extent).

To be fair, the EMC's Phobos taxi I mentioned above only supports the crew for a few days for the transfer to the Phobos hab. Orion can support exploration at Phobos/Deimos for 2-3 weeks. That said, I don't think 2-3 weeks is sufficient.

The slide attached shows Phobos exploration strategies. I think the mobile hab strategy is the most interesting for manned exploration. One can still use the hab in HMO for telerobotics (Phobos is not ideal for surface telerobotics).
« Last Edit: 07/31/2016 02:10 PM by Oli »

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #113 on: 07/31/2016 04:17 PM »
Orion plus service module without fuel is around 17t, so if you have two of them that is 34t, as much as the habitat itself. That's without the taxi propulsion stages. For comparison, the mass of the Phobos taxi in EMC is 13.5t, of which the crew module is probably around 5t.

Moreover, in this architecture neither the Taxis nor the return fuel are pre-deployed with SEP (which is silly since they actually use SEP for the other components).

Exactly why I'm not fond of Orion use beyond Cislunar.  I know the architecture proposed by Langley used SEP for both cargo and crew (the later to a lesser extent).

Good points, dragging along two Orions isn't efficient. However, it's not surprising that Lockheed has two Orions in their proposal since they make Orion.

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #114 on: 07/31/2016 05:09 PM »
The in-space propulsion stage looks like an ACES or the EUS is upgraded with ACES tech. ACES will have long duration coast with low boiloff. Something that the SLS EUS being designed will not have.

Also if the assumed LV is changed to using just a Vulcan/ACES with distributed launch the 6 SLS flights at up to $1B each is replaced with 6 sets (1 + 2 tanker) of Vulcan ACES launches at ~$0.5B per set. A savings of $3B in launch costs for the program ($6B SLS, $3B Vulcan/ACES). Also Vulcan/ACES (12 per year) would have a higher launch rate of as little as 18 months for all the launches vs 3 years for SLS (2 per year) to do all the launches.

Added:
3 missions assuming SLS as LV for $26B over 3120 days.
5 missions assuming Vulcan/ACES for $27B over 3120 days.
« Last Edit: 07/31/2016 05:28 PM by oldAtlas_Eguy »

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #115 on: 07/31/2016 05:58 PM »
The in-space propulsion stage looks like an ACES or the EUS is upgraded with ACES tech. ACES will have long duration coast with low boiloff. Something that the SLS EUS being designed will not have.

Also if the assumed LV is changed to using just a Vulcan/ACES with distributed launch the 6 SLS flights at up to $1B each is replaced with 6 sets (1 + 2 tanker) of Vulcan ACES launches at ~$0.5B per set. A savings of $3B in launch costs for the program ($6B SLS, $3B Vulcan/ACES). Also Vulcan/ACES (12 per year) would have a higher launch rate of as little as 18 months for all the launches vs 3 years for SLS (2 per year) to do all the launches.

Added:
3 missions assuming SLS as LV for $26B over 3120 days.
5 missions assuming Vulcan/ACES for $27B over 3120 days.

SLS is not $1billion each, but $500 million.
« Last Edit: 07/31/2016 05:59 PM by Khadgars »

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #116 on: 07/31/2016 09:27 PM »
The in-space propulsion stage looks like an ACES or the EUS is upgraded with ACES tech. ACES will have long duration coast with low boiloff. Something that the SLS EUS being designed will not have.

Also if the assumed LV is changed to using just a Vulcan/ACES with distributed launch the 6 SLS flights at up to $1B each is replaced with 6 sets (1 + 2 tanker) of Vulcan ACES launches at ~$0.5B per set. A savings of $3B in launch costs for the program ($6B SLS, $3B Vulcan/ACES). Also Vulcan/ACES (12 per year) would have a higher launch rate of as little as 18 months for all the launches vs 3 years for SLS (2 per year) to do all the launches.

Added:
3 missions assuming SLS as LV for $26B over 3120 days.
5 missions assuming Vulcan/ACES for $27B over 3120 days.

SLS is not $1billion each, but $500 million.

So you can launch 2 SLS missions per year at a total cost of $1 Billion? 
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Offline Proponent

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #117 on: 08/01/2016 01:08 AM »
The ESD Budget Availability Scenarios produced in 2011 indicate a cost of about $2.6 billion (in FY2025 dollars) for one 130-tonne SLS launch per year, and $3 billion for one 130-tonne and one 70-tonne launch per year.  To my knowledge, that's the only hard data we have on what SLS will cost to operate (and note that it's an increase over the annual budget during development), but it's not very hard.  A figure of $500 million has definitely been floated by NASA, but it seems that could only be a marginal cost, and it may be no more than a hope.

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #118 on: 08/01/2016 01:23 AM »
The ESD Budget Availability Scenarios produced in 2011 indicate a cost of about $2.6 billion (in FY2025 dollars) for one 130-tonne SLS launch per year, and $3 billion for one 130-tonne and one 70-tonne launch per year.  To my knowledge, that's the only hard data we have on what SLS will cost to operate (and note that it's an increase over the annual budget during development), but it's not very hard.  A figure of $500 million has definitely been floated by NASA, but it seems that could only be a marginal cost, and it may be no more than a hope.

From the American Institute of Aeronautics 2012 Conference.

Quote
"We've estimated somewhere around the $500 million number is what an average cost per flight is," SLS deputy project manager Jody Singer, of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., said Tuesday during a presentation at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ SPACE 2012 conference in Pasadena, Calif."

The cost of SLS per flight has not quadrupled since this statement was made.
« Last Edit: 08/01/2016 01:28 AM by Khadgars »

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #119 on: 08/01/2016 02:49 AM »
And I would say to you what assumptions did NASA use to get to the number of $500 million?  The last time I looked NASA would have spent about $20b by about 2021 for how many flights?

Online HIP2BSQRE

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #120 on: 08/01/2016 03:02 AM »
This is from GAO "The cost and schedule estimates for the National Aeronautics and Space
Administration’s (NASA) Space Launch System (SLS) program substantially
complied with five of six relevant best practices, but could not be deemed fully
reliable because they only partially met the sixth best practice—credibility....Moreover, as stressed in prior GAO
reports, SLS cost estimates only cover one SLS flight in 2018 whereas best
practices call for estimating costs through the expected life of the program."  As people have stated before SLS is expensive..GAO does not believe NASA figures for SLS.    NASA is not showing the figures for the marginal costs or average costs...I don't have to wonder...

Online TrevorMonty

Here is fiso teleconference on this mars habitat.
http://spirit.as.utexas.edu/~fiso/telecon/Jolly-Bailey_7-27-16/

The crew sleeping quarters habitat is surrounded by LH LOX tanks. Not described but I think propulsion stage is ACES based which would be fuelled when needed.

I'm sure how they plan to keep LH cool for up to 2yrs. In deepspace with enough insulation and sunshade it maybe possible but this design doesn't have sunshade plus it will be exposed to heat radiated from Mars.

If the habitat stays in Mars capture, the DV requirements are not that demanding, 4km/s round trip from EML2. Using ACES as propulsion approx 140-150t of fuel would be required for every 100t of equipment doing round  trip. That is approx 10 Vulcan launches for the fuel.
« Last Edit: 08/01/2016 10:30 AM by TrevorMonty »

Offline redliox

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #122 on: 08/01/2016 10:47 AM »
The crew sleeping quarters habitat is surrounded by LH LOX tanks. Not described but I think propulsion stage is ACES based which would be fuelled when needed.

I'm sure how they plan to keep LH cool for up to 2yrs. In deepspace with enough insulation and sunshade it maybe possible but this design doesn't have sunshade plus it will be exposed to heat radiated from Mars.

The propellant tanks would help shielding the crew from radiation, but keeping that hydrogen cool is a problem.  And yeah, indeed the lack of a sunshade won't help; I don't know if Mars would be as big an issue as it is for Venus and Mercury regarding heat, but if we're talking storing liquid hydrogen every bit of external heat may raise hell.

If the habitat stays in Mars capture, the DV requirements are not that demanding, 4km/s round trip from EML2. Using ACES as propulsion approx 140-150t of fuel would be required for every 100t of equipment doing round  trip. That is approx 10 Vulcan launches for the fuel.

The central node and moon exploration system is apparently going to be delivered by SEP, which may be problematic on capture orbit assumptions.  A SEP spirals in whereas a chemical arrival tends to start elliptical.  The setup could end up parked further than Deimos, but it may be circular which equals multiple orbital adjustments by the arriving elements and more fuel spent.
« Last Edit: 08/01/2016 10:48 AM by redliox »
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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #123 on: 08/01/2016 11:55 AM »
The ESD Budget Availability Scenarios produced in 2011 indicate a cost of about $2.6 billion (in FY2025 dollars) for one 130-tonne SLS launch per year, and $3 billion for one 130-tonne and one 70-tonne launch per year.  To my knowledge, that's the only hard data we have on what SLS will cost to operate (and note that it's an increase over the annual budget during development), but it's not very hard.  A figure of $500 million has definitely been floated by NASA, but it seems that could only be a marginal cost, and it may be no more than a hope.

From the American Institute of Aeronautics 2012 Conference.

Quote
"We've estimated somewhere around the $500 million number is what an average cost per flight is," SLS deputy project manager Jody Singer, of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., said Tuesday during a presentation at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ SPACE 2012 conference in Pasadena, Calif."

The cost of SLS per flight has not quadrupled since this statement was made.

Ok so I take it that $500 Million average cost per flight ignores any fixed costs to support the SLS?  I have never seen NASA float a number that you can get 2 SLS launches per year with a total cost of $1 Billion.  That is the problem with a low flight rate LV, your fixed costs will be larger than your marginal per flight cost.
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Offline Khadgars

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #124 on: 08/01/2016 03:23 PM »
The ESD Budget Availability Scenarios produced in 2011 indicate a cost of about $2.6 billion (in FY2025 dollars) for one 130-tonne SLS launch per year, and $3 billion for one 130-tonne and one 70-tonne launch per year.  To my knowledge, that's the only hard data we have on what SLS will cost to operate (and note that it's an increase over the annual budget during development), but it's not very hard.  A figure of $500 million has definitely been floated by NASA, but it seems that could only be a marginal cost, and it may be no more than a hope.

From the American Institute of Aeronautics 2012 Conference.

Quote
"We've estimated somewhere around the $500 million number is what an average cost per flight is," SLS deputy project manager Jody Singer, of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., said Tuesday during a presentation at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ SPACE 2012 conference in Pasadena, Calif."

The cost of SLS per flight has not quadrupled since this statement was made.

Ok so I take it that $500 Million average cost per flight ignores any fixed costs to support the SLS?  I have never seen NASA float a number that you can get 2 SLS launches per year with a total cost of $1 Billion.  That is the problem with a low flight rate LV, your fixed costs will be larger than your marginal per flight cost.

So you would include fixed/development cost for NASA, but when referencing SpaceX and other launch providers you only reference per flight cost?

Much of the fixed cost for NASA would still be there even if SLS didn't exist.

Online Brovane

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #125 on: 08/01/2016 05:46 PM »

So you would include fixed/development cost for NASA, but when referencing SpaceX and other launch providers you only reference per flight cost?

Much of the fixed cost for NASA would still be there even if SLS didn't exist.

I am not referencing development cost.  If we included development the number would be even worse. 

I am referencing fixed costs to support manufacturer of the SLS, pad support etc..  That would be SLS specific costs both fixed and variable. 

http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/nexgen/Shuttle_FixVar.htm  It wouldn't be correct to say that the Space Shuttle cost only $165 Million per flight because they had $2.5 Billion a year of fixed costs.  It is true that NASA has certain fixed costs regardless of what space launch vehicle it has in service.  For example they still need to maintain the VAB, pads, etc. 

When Commercial providers sell launch services, it builds in all of it's fixed costs to support the manufacturer, launch sites, etc. into that launch price.  They forecast a certain flight rate and then add the complete costs into the launch services price, including a profit margin.   
"Look at that! If anybody ever said, "you'll be sitting in a spacecraft naked with a 134-pound backpack on your knees charging it", I'd have said "Aw, get serious". - John Young - Apollo-16

Online TrevorMonty

There are plenty of threads to discuss SLS launch costs THIS thread NOT one.

Offline Proponent

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #127 on: 08/02/2016 12:13 AM »
The ESD Budget Availability Scenarios produced in 2011 indicate a cost of about $2.6 billion (in FY2025 dollars) for one 130-tonne SLS launch per year, and $3 billion for one 130-tonne and one 70-tonne launch per year.  To my knowledge, that's the only hard data we have on what SLS will cost to operate (and note that it's an increase over the annual budget during development), but it's not very hard.  A figure of $500 million has definitely been floated by NASA, but it seems that could only be a marginal cost, and it may be no more than a hope.

From the American Institute of Aeronautics 2012 Conference.

Quote
"We've estimated somewhere around the $500 million number is what an average cost per flight is," SLS deputy project manager Jody Singer, of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., said Tuesday during a presentation at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ SPACE 2012 conference in Pasadena, Calif."

The cost of SLS per flight has not quadrupled since this statement was made.

It does not make sense that one SLS per year would cost $500 million, two would cost $1 billion and so on: there is surely a substantial fixed cost, just as there was for the Shuttle, simply to keep the personnel and hardware on line, even if they're doing nothing.  Hence, the phrase "per flight" must be meant to indicate a marginal cost.  Even 94143, one of SLS's most articulate and forceful supporters in this forum, does not argue that total annual costs would be as low as $500 million.

Could you provide a precise reference to the quote above, so that we could examine the context in which it was made?  This might help, for example, to determine how firm the figure is and to which version of SLS it is meant to apply.

Online oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #128 on: 08/02/2016 04:48 AM »
Sorry about starting a firestorm.

But what I was trying to point out is that LM's proposed mission architecture is not really tied to SLS, and likely more affordable if it was not. All the mission elements at <34mt each would fit on a Vulcan/ACES including Orion. Only the operational costs and mission rates would differ but not the development costs which would be the same regardless of LV. Even if SLS "goes away" the mission architecture is still viable by LM selling Orion's commercially flying on a Vulcan/ACES distributed launch.

My point is that this architecture is not tied to SLS other than by statements of its use. To pitch to NASA by specifying SLS is a positive in getting support for the mission architecture.

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #129 on: 08/02/2016 01:49 PM »
SLS is more of a Boeing thing, which is why this architecture isn't as tied to it. Of course, it IS tied to Orion, though it seems like a very poor and highly inefficient choice. Because Orion is Lockmart.
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Offline Blackstar

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #130 on: 08/02/2016 05:44 PM »

Online Zed_Noir

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #131 on: 08/02/2016 07:48 PM »
@Blackstar after some thinking on the spiderwalker EVA concept in the Lockheed Martin proposal. Do they really need someone in a spacesuit to operate the walker directly? Maybe a smaller remote operated unmanned walker that is semi-expendable with sortie time determine by propellants & battery life. Smaller walker also means you can embark more walkers on-board. Also unmanned walker don't require man-rating.

Offline Oli

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #132 on: 08/02/2016 10:22 PM »
I'm sure how they plan to keep LH cool for up to 2yrs. In deepspace with enough insulation and sunshade it maybe possible but this design doesn't have sunshade plus it will be exposed to heat radiated from Mars.

Cryocoolers.

If the habitat stays in Mars capture, the DV requirements are not that demanding, 4km/s round trip from EML2. Using ACES as propulsion approx 140-150t of fuel would be required for every 100t of equipment doing round  trip. That is approx 10 Vulcan launches for the fuel.

He says the Mars orbit is one sol.

Also those tank farms won't have ACES-like mass fractions. Zero boil-off cryogenic in-space stages are usually assumed to have a pmf of ~80%.
« Last Edit: 08/02/2016 10:23 PM by Oli »

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #133 on: 08/03/2016 12:23 AM »
NASA always assumes ridiculously heavy stages. Nothing you'd ever see in the final draft of a mission concept would ever assume ACES-like mass fraction.

Lockheed may not be so unrealistic, though.
« Last Edit: 08/03/2016 12:23 AM by Robotbeat »
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Offline Oli

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #134 on: 08/07/2016 01:16 PM »
NASA always assumes ridiculously heavy stages. Nothing you'd ever see in the final draft of a mission concept would ever assume ACES-like mass fraction.

Lockheed may not be so unrealistic, though.

Mostly because of different requirements.

NASA's cryogenic propulsion stages:
- ZBO. That means cryocoolers, solar panels and radiators.
- Launched fully fueled, must withstand ~5g.
- Often have an additional payload on top during launch.
- Standard aluminum construction without common bulkheads.

In other CPS / depot studies (often with ULA involvement), such as from Spaceworks:
- Passive insulation. Topped off before in-space launch with tankers.
- Launched empty or with little fuel.
- Stainless steel with common bulkheads.

Lockheed's ZBO tank farm arrangement resembles more the former than the latter.
« Last Edit: 08/07/2016 01:53 PM by Oli »

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #135 on: 08/07/2016 08:31 PM »
Not just different requirements, but a complete lack of living experience actually building good rocket stages except for the Shuttle External Tank, which wasn't even a stage.

Assumptions of NASA's parametric studies have not changed much in the last 40 years while stage dry mass efficiency has significantly improved.
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Offline Ludus

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #136 on: 08/22/2016 12:00 AM »
Sorry about starting a firestorm.

But what I was trying to point out is that LM's proposed mission architecture is not really tied to SLS, and likely more affordable if it was not. All the mission elements at <34mt each would fit on a Vulcan/ACES including Orion. Only the operational costs and mission rates would differ but not the development costs which would be the same regardless of LV. Even if SLS "goes away" the mission architecture is still viable by LM selling Orion's commercially flying on a Vulcan/ACES distributed launch.

My point is that this architecture is not tied to SLS other than by statements of its use. To pitch to NASA by specifying SLS is a positive in getting support for the mission architecture.

I suspect SpaceX would also put in a pretty attractive bid to launch all that stuff on FHR in the next few years or BFR in the 2020's not that anyone would care.

Offline okan170

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #137 on: 10/03/2016 06:15 PM »
IAC presentation here:


Of note is the "other half" of Mars Base Camp, apparently very preliminary.

Offline happyflower

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #138 on: 10/13/2016 05:08 AM »
I am an extreme non scientist, but love space stuff. I listened to the Lockheed Martin presentation because I love this kind of stuff. But I am a bit confused, so maybe somebody can explain it better to me?

From all the stuff I have ever read/seen, it seems humans are the weak link in space. Everything that they talked about humans in space during this video seems very fun, but isn't having people in space too dangerous to make up for what a human can do in Mars orbit? Everything they talked about seems like it can be done robotically (obviously slower, but I don't think the robots mind).

Offline Proponent

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #139 on: 10/13/2016 09:00 AM »
I think it is at best debatable whether a crewed station in orbit around Mars is worth it, though to my mind the major question is whether it's worth not the risk to the astronauts but the cost.  But Lockheed Martin is a stock corporation that is obligated to make money for its shareholders, and if it can talk NASA and Congress into this, it is doing its job, regardless of whether it's a good use of the taxpayers' dollars.
« Last Edit: 10/13/2016 09:13 AM by Proponent »

Offline redliox

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #140 on: 10/13/2016 10:00 PM »
Definitely skip the first 15 minutes of that video...too much inspirational fluff despite it's good intentions of setting the scene.

Their argument for taking Orion with to Mars essentially boils down to "cheaper than building a new spacecraft."  Some merit fiscally since just planning the things costs enough, although you would think an aerospace company with hundreds of engineers would have alternate plans.  And simple redundancy the reason for 2 Orions.  *shrugs*

It seems like a 1-sol elliptical high Mars orbit is now the standard.  I would have hoped for something more akin to Deimos' or synchronous orbit, but I've seen the physics involved and how it's too much of a waste to even bother circularizing the orbit.  I would also be willing to compromise on that kind of orbit if the Mars Ascent Vehicles bypass low Mars and just go straight to the 1-sol orbit.

It was good to see how the station will be assembled, which seems to consist of launching the "docking node" and the lab modules separate in 2 flights by SEP, and then the crew hauling the hab and both propulsion modules; with everything meeting up in high Mars orbit apparently.

I also liked how they readily mentioned the possibility of MSR.  Blackstar assures me JPL and the like have solid plans to do everything purely robotically; I on the other hand doubt this can happen because of bureaucracy and cost; the time frame is going to get pushed to the point probes and humans will be there simultaneously...so odds are there may be a human element for the return.  Lockheed seems to like incorporating this idea.  Of course, I'm sure there's some planetary protection nerd squeaking "No!  De gerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrms!"
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Online savuporo

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #141 on: 10/14/2016 12:30 AM »
I've been watching bits of it. They start off with "this requires no technology development"

"We'll dock modules together on Mars orbit, its not that hard, we have been doing that for 30-40 years now"
I don't know, ISS kind of took tons of EVAs and a machine called Space Shuttle for it. Modular spacestations that just dock and assemble themselves are more like Russian and Chinese specialty ?
Also, if docking things together on Martian orbit isn't that hard suddenly, then surely you could assemble the stack on LEO from smaller modules too, without a heavy lift rocket which doesn't exist ? I mean, assembling with low-latency telerobotics similar to that will do all this great Mars science ?

Also, maybe i didn't listen long enough but is a beyond-ISS capabilities long duration ECLSS that requires little to no resupply all existing technology now ?
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Online RonM

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #142 on: 10/14/2016 03:53 AM »
Also, if docking things together on Martian orbit isn't that hard suddenly, then surely you could assemble the stack on LEO from smaller modules too, without a heavy lift rocket which doesn't exist ? I mean, assembling with low-latency telerobotics similar to that will do all this great Mars science ?

Don't expect Lockheed or Boeing to develop architectures that don't use SLS. Basing plans on the program of record is good business for them.

That's why the Lockheed plan has two Orions. Lockheed gets to sell NASA more Orions.

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #143 on: 10/29/2016 01:36 PM »
Also, maybe i didn't listen long enough but is a beyond-ISS capabilities long duration ECLSS that requires little to no resupply all existing technology now ?

No.

See this presentation.

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #144 on: 10/29/2016 01:51 PM »
Also, maybe i didn't listen long enough but is a beyond-ISS capabilities long duration ECLSS that requires little to no resupply all existing technology now ?

No.

See this presentation.

Well if they're at 90% water reclamation with a Mars goal at 98% that's a surprisingly good start.  Granted of course, oxygen, trash, and being cut off from direct Earth support need heavy consideration.
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Offline Blackstar

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #145 on: 10/29/2016 04:28 PM »
Also, maybe i didn't listen long enough but is a beyond-ISS capabilities long duration ECLSS that requires little to no resupply all existing technology now ?

No.

See this presentation.

Well if they're at 90% water reclamation with a Mars goal at 98% that's a surprisingly good start.  Granted of course, oxygen, trash, and being cut off from direct Earth support need heavy consideration.

Good start? You do realize how long they've been working at this, right?


Online savuporo

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #146 on: 10/29/2016 05:51 PM »
No.
See this presentation.
Great snapshot of SOA and well put together deck, thanks.
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Offline ncb1397

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #147 on: 10/29/2016 05:53 PM »
I've been working on an SLS launched mars architecture for a little while and produced this graphic:



These are all resupply flights over a 3 year period(rough mars duration) and their scientific cargo, air, water, food supplies, external cargo, etc excluding fuel deliveries. A couple progress flights are placeholder numbers of 2400 kg as a conservative estimate when I didn't find detailed cargo amounts. Anyways, the point is, even with ISS level recycling and ECLSS, the logistics requirement of 55,000 kg for 6 crew for 3 years is not a showstopper(this is including science equipment as well). Obviously, having better water and air recycling is a benefit, but not absolutely necessary (at least for my architecture which uses a 1.5 MW SEP tug).

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #148 on: 11/02/2016 05:16 PM »

Offline redliox

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #149 on: 11/06/2016 08:03 PM »
Read through the Mars Base Camp PDF Blackstar supplied.  I'm left thinking there could be some ways to improve it but it seems viable for an orbital route.  It wouldn't be something Robert Zubrin or the followers of Mars Direct would approve of, but I think it could work.

I'd say there'd be 2 things I dislike about Lockheed's plan:
1) Assuming liquid hydrogen can be stored over the long term (anything over 48 hours I'd call long term)
2) Requiring 7+ SLS launches to assemble

However, there are 2 perks the MBC route leaves:
1) Science station established in high Mars orbit
2) Crewed visits to both Martian moons in the same trip

A "third" perk would be...
3) Retrieving Martian samples from the MSR mission
...IF, of course, the Planetary Science people agree to collaborate.
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Online TrevorMonty

Read through the Mars Base Camp PDF Blackstar supplied.  I'm left thinking there could be some ways to improve it but it seems viable for an orbital route.  It wouldn't be something Robert Zubrin or the followers of Mars Direct would approve of, but I think it could work.

I'd say there'd be 2 things I dislike about Lockheed's plan:
1) Assuming liquid hydrogen can be stored over the long term (anything over 48 hours I'd call long term)
2) Requiring 7+ SLS launches to assemble

However, there are 2 perks the MBC route leaves:
1) Science station established in high Mars orbit
2) Crewed visits to both Martian moons in the same trip

A "third" perk would be...
3) Retrieving Martian samples from the MSR mission
...IF, of course, the Planetary Science people agree to collaborate.

To store the LH they plan to use cryocooler, only load fuel into stage (ACES derived?) when needed. ULA think they can store fuel in stage for a few days-weeks given enough insulation layers and clever design.



Offline redliox

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #151 on: 11/06/2016 11:08 PM »
To store the LH they plan to use cryocooler, only load fuel into stage (ACES derived?) when needed. ULA think they can store fuel in stage for a few days-weeks given enough insulation layers and clever design.

I'm not hopeful hydrogen can be kept long-term, but if they can pull it off it would be a potent game changer.

To streamline this scheme, I'd like to see them drop one Orion and try to put the whole Transit Vehicle into high Earth orbit on Earth return.
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Offline mike robel

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #152 on: 11/06/2016 11:14 PM »
I see two big issues with the scheme:  Gravity and Radiation Protection.  We still have no real gravity solution; in my view the exercise regime is not suitable for a multi-year flight and we have not tested a centrifuge.   This may be an ethical problem.  Radiation we seem to have a better handle on.

Other than testing systems and procedures for going there and back again, I don't see a case for a manned orbiting station that can provide anything a unmanned one could do.

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #153 on: 11/06/2016 11:25 PM »
Quote
The Cryogenic Propulsion Stage that powers the Mars Base Camp out of Earth orbit and into and out of Mars orbit has strong heritage to past and future cryogenic upper stages, but has the attributes of being designed for long duration usage, multiple in-space restarts, bi-directional propellant transfer, and elimination of consumables other than liquid oxygen (LOX) and liquid hydrogen (LH2).

One huge handwave. How and when will this be tested, exactly ?
Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Offline redliox

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #154 on: 11/08/2016 08:41 AM »
Running a breakdown of the mass the MBC scheme has in its transit configuration (all in kilograms):

28000 - Orion (2)
5600 - Crew Quarters
8400 - Trans Farms (2 Dry)
7400 - Habitat
1650 - Solar Arrays (2)
8000 - Cryogenic Stages (2 Dry)

59050 - Combined Dry

35000 - LOX
200000 - LH2

294050 - Total Wet Mass


Nearly 300 metric tons is already A LOT of weight, although I will give merit for keeping the dry mass under 60 mt, and the laboratory, node, and Phobos/Deimos equipment can be excluded thanks to SEP pre-deployment.  Aside from the fuel though, it is obvious Orion is the heaviest piece of hardware; the next heaviest would be the habitat module at 7.4mt compared to Orion's 14, literally half Orion's weight.

The delta-v of this with 2 Orions would be 6.92 km/s.  With just 1 Orion that becomes 7.88 km/s.  Without Orion completely that becomes 9.26 km/s.  All other masses are kept the same, including using 2 cryogenic stages, and this is just the d-v of one monster burn at full mass.  The real trick is breaking down this mass from transit to Mars to Earth return...

One bit of data Lockheed's paper provides:
Quote
 Initial HEO of 400 x 19700 km @ 28.5 inclination o This is a generic placeholder for the HEO staging orbit. o It corresponds to what can be achieved with a 3 km/s delivery stage that uses an initial 400 km injection altitude.  o Future work will use staging orbits that correspond to what can be established by leaving the cis-lunar assembly orbit at the right time of the month to establish proper alignment for Trans Mars Injection. 

Assuming that 3 km/s corresponds to a burn done in LEO (and given the 400 km perigee seems to imply an Earth launch), that implies only a further ~2 km/s (less possibly) required to transit to Mars.  I'd like to have someone double-check my math so far before I make further assumptions.

An option Lockheed also mentions is, fuel allowing, at journey's end placing the Transit Vehicle (consisting of hab, crew quarters, tank farms, and 2 cryogenic stages) into HEO.  Given the expense (including SLS launches), I'd like to see that option done as opposed to flying off into deep space.  Ideally, I'd like to see the 2nd Orion traded away (or more accurately kept on Earth for an Earth-return-emergency) and the mass used to enhance Earth return, especially if it allows both the 1 Orion and the TV to enter HEO; that would make reentry safer as a further bonus.
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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #155 on: 11/09/2016 07:15 PM »
Quote
The Cryogenic Propulsion Stage that powers the Mars Base Camp out of Earth orbit and into and out of Mars orbit has strong heritage to past and future cryogenic upper stages, but has the attributes of being designed for long duration usage, multiple in-space restarts, bi-directional propellant transfer, and elimination of consumables other than liquid oxygen (LOX) and liquid hydrogen (LH2).

One huge handwave. How and when will this be tested, exactly ?

I'm sure if this were a European design you wouldn't take issue  ;)

Online TrevorMonty

Quote
The Cryogenic Propulsion Stage that powers the Mars Base Camp out of Earth orbit and into and out of Mars orbit has strong heritage to past and future cryogenic upper stages, but has the attributes of being designed for long duration usage, multiple in-space restarts, bi-directional propellant transfer, and elimination of consumables other than liquid oxygen (LOX) and liquid hydrogen (LH2).

One huge handwave. How and when will this be tested, exactly ?

I'm sure if this were a European design you wouldn't take issue  ;)
The stages are likely to be based on ACES. Whether ACES flys remains to be seen, ULA have technology just need parents to OK funding.

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #158 on: 04/04/2017 07:02 PM »
http://www.space.com/36312-mars-base-camp-astronauts-2028.html

They're supposed to have 'fleshed out' the Mars Base Camp idea, but I haven't really seen any details we weren't already told ~a year ago.

I can't say I'm 100% behind Lockheed's idea, although I would find merit if they indeed confirm retrieving a MSR capsule and visiting the Martian moons as objectives.  Observing Mars from orbit (which is already done well enough by the likes of MAVEN, MRO, ect) isn't enough and I still get a lukewarm feel from telerobotics; a series of still frame pictures from either surface or orbital probes literally give you a survey map already; a live feed of digging up a rock isn't going to improve much beyond say PR brownie points.
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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #159 on: 04/04/2017 07:10 PM »
http://www.space.com/36312-mars-base-camp-astronauts-2028.html

They're supposed to have 'fleshed out' the Mars Base Camp idea, but I haven't really seen any details we weren't already told ~a year ago.

I can't say I'm 100% behind Lockheed's idea, although I would find merit if they indeed confirm retrieving a MSR capsule and visiting the Martian moons as objectives.  Observing Mars from orbit (which is already done well enough by the likes of MAVEN, MRO, ect) isn't enough and I still get a lukewarm feel from telerobotics; a series of still frame pictures from either surface or orbital probes literally give you a survey map already; a live feed of digging up a rock isn't going to improve much beyond say PR brownie points.

The more I see the development in consumer virtual reality, the more I think teleoperation will be the way to go for science activities: a dedicated robot can give you eyes and hands on Mars, and carry a suite of instruments along with it. The only advantage an astronaut would have would be mobility in hazardous terrain, where you can avoid the rocks on foot but not with a wheeled vehicle.

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #160 on: 04/04/2017 07:24 PM »
http://www.space.com/36312-mars-base-camp-astronauts-2028.html

They're supposed to have 'fleshed out' the Mars Base Camp idea, but I haven't really seen any details we weren't already told ~a year ago.

I can't say I'm 100% behind Lockheed's idea, although I would find merit if they indeed confirm retrieving a MSR capsule and visiting the Martian moons as objectives.  Observing Mars from orbit (which is already done well enough by the likes of MAVEN, MRO, ect) isn't enough and I still get a lukewarm feel from telerobotics; a series of still frame pictures from either surface or orbital probes literally give you a survey map already; a live feed of digging up a rock isn't going to improve much beyond say PR brownie points.

Rovers can cover more ground and do more in less time if operated from orbit, but is it worth the cost of setting up a manned space station? Might be cheaper to send more rovers to be controlled from Earth.

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #161 on: 04/04/2017 08:21 PM »
http://www.space.com/36312-mars-base-camp-astronauts-2028.html

They're supposed to have 'fleshed out' the Mars Base Camp idea, but I haven't really seen any details we weren't already told ~a year ago.

I can't say I'm 100% behind Lockheed's idea, although I would find merit if they indeed confirm retrieving a MSR capsule and visiting the Martian moons as objectives.  Observing Mars from orbit (which is already done well enough by the likes of MAVEN, MRO, ect) isn't enough and I still get a lukewarm feel from telerobotics; a series of still frame pictures from either surface or orbital probes literally give you a survey map already; a live feed of digging up a rock isn't going to improve much beyond say PR brownie points.

Rovers can cover more ground and do more in less time if operated from orbit, but is it worth the cost of setting up a manned space station? Might be cheaper to send more rovers to be controlled from Earth.

Exactly.  More cost effective.  Telerobotics isn't enough justification alone or just "observing Mars" since we likewise have orbiter-satellites doing this already.
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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #162 on: 04/07/2017 09:53 PM »
They're supposed to have 'fleshed out' the Mars Base Camp idea, but I haven't really seen any details we weren't already told ~a year ago.

I don't think it is public yet. There was a workshop on this at LPSC a couple of weeks ago. I missed it, but they were focusing on science operations. And there's a lot of stuff that goes on that you guys don't know about.
« Last Edit: 04/07/2017 09:53 PM by Blackstar »

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #163 on: 04/08/2017 01:08 PM »
I should elaborate a bit: when I say that there's stuff going on that you don't know about, I mean stuff that is public, but not on the internet. Last year LM had a Mars Base Camp event in Washington, DC where they showed off some of their work. I attended that, but there was no internet posting about it (I even got to dock the spacecraft in orbit around Mars using their simulator). And there are presentations that happen at conferences and stuff that don't get reported. There was a quite significant internal JSC study about exploring Phobos (not LM's Mars Base Camp work, but complementary) that has really not been public. I've got some of this stuff electronically. I don't bother to post it here because everybody knows that SpaceX is going to settle Mars in seven years, so what's the point?
« Last Edit: 04/08/2017 01:09 PM by Blackstar »

Offline meberbs

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #164 on: 04/08/2017 01:59 PM »
I don't bother to post it here because everybody knows that SpaceX is going to settle Mars in seven years, so what's the point?
I am a big fan of SpaceX, and am looking forward to them landing us on Mars. I recognize however,  that it will almost certainly be delayed at least 4 years from the timeline Elon gave (he knows it was unrealistic too) and probably will be delayed more than that. There is also a very real chance they don't get it to work, or end up at a smaller scale than planned.

I want to hear about plans like this that are at least serious proposals, and reasonable steps forward. If we can pursue multiple viable forward paths in parallel, that only increases how quickly we can get off this rock and into the rest of the solar system. I was excited to hear about NASA's cislunar habitat plans, and think it is a great forward direction, even if I think there are some basic ways it can be improved, such as being less based on an extremely expensive, low flight rate rocket, when similar objectives could be done with available and upcoming commercial rockets. LM's Mars Base Camp is another improvement to it, since I think that is a better design than trying for a single piece 40 ton deep space transport.

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #165 on: 04/08/2017 03:22 PM »
I don't bother to post it here because everybody knows that SpaceX is going to settle Mars in seven years, so what's the point?
I want to hear about plans like this that are at least serious proposals, and reasonable steps forward.

I want to hear about them too!

Offline Dalhousie

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #166 on: 04/08/2017 10:33 PM »
http://www.space.com/36312-mars-base-camp-astronauts-2028.html

They're supposed to have 'fleshed out' the Mars Base Camp idea, but I haven't really seen any details we weren't already told ~a year ago.

I can't say I'm 100% behind Lockheed's idea, although I would find merit if they indeed confirm retrieving a MSR capsule and visiting the Martian moons as objectives.  Observing Mars from orbit (which is already done well enough by the likes of MAVEN, MRO, ect) isn't enough and I still get a lukewarm feel from telerobotics; a series of still frame pictures from either surface or orbital probes literally give you a survey map already; a live feed of digging up a rock isn't going to improve much beyond say PR brownie points.

The more I see the development in consumer virtual reality, the more I think teleoperation will be the way to go for science activities: a dedicated robot can give you eyes and hands on Mars, and carry a suite of instruments along with it. The only advantage an astronaut would have would be mobility in hazardous terrain, where you can avoid the rocks on foot but not with a wheeled vehicle.

Toys.  The difficulty is not the VR.  Itos the actual hardware that does the work. Far better and easier to have people to the work on Mars directly that using telerobotics.
"There is nobody who is a bigger fan of sending robots to Mars than me... But I believe firmly that the best, the most comprehensive, the most successful exploration will be done by humans" Steve Squyres

Offline Dalhousie

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #167 on: 04/08/2017 10:37 PM »
everybody knows that SpaceX is going to settle Mars in seven years, so what's the point?

I don't know this but then I have not drunk the SpaceX Kool-Aid.......

Please post this stuff.  I am not particularly enamoured by this approach for many reasons, but it's an idea that should be explored.
"There is nobody who is a bigger fan of sending robots to Mars than me... But I believe firmly that the best, the most comprehensive, the most successful exploration will be done by humans" Steve Squyres

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #168 on: 04/10/2017 08:44 PM »
http://www.space.com/36312-mars-base-camp-astronauts-2028.html

They're supposed to have 'fleshed out' the Mars Base Camp idea, but I haven't really seen any details we weren't already told ~a year ago.

I can't say I'm 100% behind Lockheed's idea, although I would find merit if they indeed confirm retrieving a MSR capsule and visiting the Martian moons as objectives.  Observing Mars from orbit (which is already done well enough by the likes of MAVEN, MRO, ect) isn't enough and I still get a lukewarm feel from telerobotics; a series of still frame pictures from either surface or orbital probes literally give you a survey map already; a live feed of digging up a rock isn't going to improve much beyond say PR brownie points.

The more I see the development in consumer virtual reality, the more I think teleoperation will be the way to go for science activities: a dedicated robot can give you eyes and hands on Mars, and carry a suite of instruments along with it. The only advantage an astronaut would have would be mobility in hazardous terrain, where you can avoid the rocks on foot but not with a wheeled vehicle.

Toys.  The difficulty is not the VR.  Itos the actual hardware that does the work. Far better and easier to have people to the work on Mars directly that using telerobotics.

I'd love to take your word for it, but I have yet to see a study comparing the exploration of Mars with a human landing vs telerobotics, in terms of scientific return and budget.

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #169 on: 04/11/2017 02:30 AM »

I'd love to take your word for it, but I have yet to see a study comparing the exploration of Mars with a human landing vs telerobotics, in terms of scientific return and budget.

There are several options for the people:
In a Mars Base
In a lander on Mars
In a spacestation around Mars
In a transfer vehicle around Mars
Back on Earth.

All have different costs, different advantages and time delays.

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #170 on: 04/11/2017 03:16 AM »
http://www.space.com/36312-mars-base-camp-astronauts-2028.html

They're supposed to have 'fleshed out' the Mars Base Camp idea, but I haven't really seen any details we weren't already told ~a year ago.

I can't say I'm 100% behind Lockheed's idea, although I would find merit if they indeed confirm retrieving a MSR capsule and visiting the Martian moons as objectives.  Observing Mars from orbit (which is already done well enough by the likes of MAVEN, MRO, ect) isn't enough and I still get a lukewarm feel from telerobotics; a series of still frame pictures from either surface or orbital probes literally give you a survey map already; a live feed of digging up a rock isn't going to improve much beyond say PR brownie points.

The more I see the development in consumer virtual reality, the more I think teleoperation will be the way to go for science activities: a dedicated robot can give you eyes and hands on Mars, and carry a suite of instruments along with it. The only advantage an astronaut would have would be mobility in hazardous terrain, where you can avoid the rocks on foot but not with a wheeled vehicle.

Toys.  The difficulty is not the VR.  Itos the actual hardware that does the work. Far better and easier to have people to the work on Mars directly that using telerobotics.

I'd love to take your word for it, but I have yet to see a study comparing the exploration of Mars with a human landing vs telerobotics, in terms of scientific return and budget.

So would I! :)

There are a few studies out there that try to do that.  But they all have issues. Part of the difficulty is that teleoperated and crewed exploration tend to go about things differently and have somewhat different goals, tailored to their respective strengths and weaknesses. 

I have found the following helpful.

Geoff Landis did this study http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0094576507001634 (earlier version here https://ntrs.nasa.gov/search.jsp?R=20050203988) which is quite detailed but (IMHO) flawed by a very optimistic view of teleoperated capabilities.

Brian Glass et. al did an interesting study here showing significant improvements of astronauts over teleoperation, but it's quite brief. https://ti.arc.nasa.gov/m/pub-archive/497h/0497%20(Glass).pdf

Ian Crawford's paper compares the productivity of Apollo astronauts with the only teleoperated planetary rovers to date, the Lunokhods.  https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1203/1203.6250.pdf

The National Academy of Sciences Space Studies Board reviewed the option of servicing Hubble by advanced robotics (e.g. DEXTRE or Robonaut equivalents) and concluded that the teebrotic option had an 80% chance of failure https://www.nap.edu/catalog/11169/assessment-of-options-for-extending-the-life-of-the-hubble-space-telescope

It may be relevant that Robert Balland was in the late 80s saying that the days of crewed submersibles were numbered and they would be replaced by ROVs.  It's 30 years layer and ROVs have certainly proliferated, but they have not replaced either divers or crewed submersibles in many tasks.

If there are others papers, let me know!



"There is nobody who is a bigger fan of sending robots to Mars than me... But I believe firmly that the best, the most comprehensive, the most successful exploration will be done by humans" Steve Squyres

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #171 on: 04/11/2017 04:45 AM »

I'd love to take your word for it, but I have yet to see a study comparing the exploration of Mars with a human landing vs telerobotics, in terms of scientific return and budget.

It may be possible to do an experiment to measure the effectiveness on the Earth. Get a prototype or backup rover. Transport it to a quarry and find out what can be discovered in say 2 weeks. Then repeat with an astronaut is a space suit like in NASA's Desert RATS. Compare results.

Offline Dalhousie

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #172 on: 04/11/2017 04:52 AM »

I'd love to take your word for it, but I have yet to see a study comparing the exploration of Mars with a human landing vs telerobotics, in terms of scientific return and budget.

It may be possible to do an experiment to measure the effectiveness on the Earth. Get a prototype or backup rover. Transport it to a quarry and find out what can be discovered in say 2 weeks. Then repeat with an astronaut is a space suit like in NASA's Desert RATS. Compare results.

That is what the Brian Glass paper linked to above did
"There is nobody who is a bigger fan of sending robots to Mars than me... But I believe firmly that the best, the most comprehensive, the most successful exploration will be done by humans" Steve Squyres

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #173 on: 04/11/2017 05:49 PM »

I'd love to take your word for it, but I have yet to see a study comparing the exploration of Mars with a human landing vs telerobotics, in terms of scientific return and budget.

It may be possible to do an experiment to measure the effectiveness on the Earth. Get a prototype or backup rover. Transport it to a quarry and find out what can be discovered in say 2 weeks. Then repeat with an astronaut is a space suit like in NASA's Desert RATS. Compare results.

That is what the Brian Glass paper linked to above did

The Brian Glass paper is a great find, thank you for linking it!
It compares on-site geologists in EVA suits, geologists in "shirt-sleeve", rovers controlled with no delay and rovers with an Earth-Mars latency.

Conclusion is:


Quote
While human exploration may appear to be 1-2 orders of magnitude more productive than future Earth-controlled robots, the current study seems to indicate that this capability gap narrows with local Mars control of the robots

So rovers controlled from the Mars Orbiting Lab would be 5x times less productive than boots on the ground, per unit of time. One open point is how much time would a MOL mission or a human landing mission dedicate to exploration. With that factored in, the remaining question is does the increased productivity of landed geologists offset the increase in cost due to the landing, Mars stay and ascent?

Offline Kansan52

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #174 on: 04/11/2017 06:06 PM »
This quotes has stuck with me:

"the unfortunate truth is that most things our rovers can do in a perfect sol a human explorer could do in less than a minute" Steve Squires

Dr Squires is Principal Investigator of the Mars Exploration Rovers.

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #175 on: 04/11/2017 06:19 PM »

So would I! :)

There are a few studies out there that try to do that.  But they all have issues. Part of the difficulty is that teleoperated and crewed exploration tend to go about things differently and have somewhat different goals, tailored to their respective strengths and weaknesses. 

I have found the following helpful.

Geoff Landis did this study http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0094576507001634 (earlier version here https://ntrs.nasa.gov/search.jsp?R=20050203988) which is quite detailed but (IMHO) flawed by a very optimistic view of teleoperated capabilities.

Brian Glass et. al did an interesting study here showing significant improvements of astronauts over teleoperation, but it's quite brief. https://ti.arc.nasa.gov/m/pub-archive/497h/0497%20(Glass).pdf

Ian Crawford's paper compares the productivity of Apollo astronauts with the only teleoperated planetary rovers to date, the Lunokhods.  https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1203/1203.6250.pdf

The National Academy of Sciences Space Studies Board reviewed the option of servicing Hubble by advanced robotics (e.g. DEXTRE or Robonaut equivalents) and concluded that the teebrotic option had an 80% chance of failure https://www.nap.edu/catalog/11169/assessment-of-options-for-extending-the-life-of-the-hubble-space-telescope

It may be relevant that Robert Balland was in the late 80s saying that the days of crewed submersibles were numbered and they would be replaced by ROVs.  It's 30 years layer and ROVs have certainly proliferated, but they have not replaced either divers or crewed submersibles in many tasks.

If there are others papers, let me know!

I looked for a free version of the Landis study and I think I found a more recent one, also by Landis, which answers the question more directly:
HERRO Missions to Mars and Venus using Telerobotic Surface Exploration from Orbit
George R. Schmidt, Geoffrey A. Landis, and Steven R. Oleson
https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/9a6f/bf706e3b0256212a51245df7a7ce0344b77d.pdf

Quote
This paper presents concepts for human missions to the orbits of Mars and Venus that
feature direct robotic exploration of the planets’ surfaces via teleoperation from orbit.
These missions are good examples of Human Exploration using Real-time Robotic
Operations (HERRO), an exploration strategy that refrains from sending humans to the
surfaces of planets with large gravity wells. HERRO avoids the need for complex and
expensive man-rated lander/ascent vehicles and surface systems. Additionally, the humans
are close enough to the surface to eliminate the two-way communication latency that
constrains typical robotic space missions, thus allowing real-time command and control of
surface operations and experiments by the crew. In fact through use of state-of-the-art
telecommunications and robotics, HERRO could provide the cognitive and decision-making
advantages of having humans at the site of study for only a fraction of the cost of
conventional human surface missions. HERRO is very similar to how oceanographers and
oil companies use telerobotic submersibles to work in inaccessible areas of the ocean, and
represents a more expedient, near-term step prior to landing humans on Mars and other
large planetary bodies. Its concentration on in-space transportation systems makes it
extensible to destinations that have not been associated with human missions in the past but
may be of potentially great scientific interest, such as Venus.

It's a great read, and has a very interesting robotics architecture (small, agile robots capable of climbing rocks and carried by larger, faster overs to move them around between interesting sites and to recharge them).

I'm going to spoil the conclusion:


Seems to me the telerobotics mission could even be done without heavy lift, because contrary to the human landing mission it does not need a big shield for EDL, and thus does not need a large fairing.

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #176 on: 04/11/2017 06:43 PM »
This quotes has stuck with me:

"the unfortunate truth is that most things our rovers can do in a perfect sol a human explorer could do in less than a minute" Steve Squires

Dr Squires is Principal Investigator of the Mars Exploration Rovers.

Robots are getting faster though, and humans aren't.

And, of course, there is a "breakeven" point for determining whether there is an ROI for sending humans, which is quite high.  For robotic explorers it's far lower, so we can afford to send them to places humans shouldn't yet go.

Robotic explorers are great precursors for eventual human exploration, and one would hope they will always be good partners when both are in the same place...
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 Dalhousie

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #177 on: 04/11/2017 11:26 PM »
This quotes has stuck with me:

"the unfortunate truth is that most things our rovers can do in a perfect sol a human explorer could do in less than a minute" Steve Squires

Dr Squires is Principal Investigator of the Mars Exploration Rovers.

Robots are getting faster though, and humans aren't.

And, of course, there is a "breakeven" point for determining whether there is an ROI for sending humans, which is quite high.  For robotic explorers it's far lower, so we can afford to send them to places humans shouldn't yet go.

Robotic explorers are great precursors for eventual human exploration, and one would hope they will always be good partners when both are in the same place...

This is said many times over the past 50 years, but the reality never lives up to the expectations (or the hype).  You almost never hear people who work with actual robots on space missions saying this.  There have been incremental improvements, but nothing really spectacular.  Certainly not enough to impact the 3-4 orders of superiority of astronauts in field science and engineering.  Read the Glass paper linked to above.  The capabilities predicted in that paper for a 2015 robot have still not been achieved.

Your naked human's performance has not improved, but the performance of an astronaut in a suit is improving all the time - with better training, suits, tools, sensors, and communications.

« Last Edit: 04/11/2017 11:29 PM by Dalhousie »
"There is nobody who is a bigger fan of sending robots to Mars than me... But I believe firmly that the best, the most comprehensive, the most successful exploration will be done by humans" Steve Squyres

Offline Dalhousie

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #178 on: 04/11/2017 11:30 PM »
Seems to me the telerobotics mission could even be done without heavy lift, because contrary to the human landing mission it does not need a big shield for EDL, and thus does not need a large fairing.

You can doing everything without heavy lift if you want to do it the hard way.
"There is nobody who is a bigger fan of sending robots to Mars than me... But I believe firmly that the best, the most comprehensive, the most successful exploration will be done by humans" Steve Squyres

Offline lcasv

Our effort must be oriented to get artificial gravity. The following presentation is

 a new approach to get  1 G gravity.

Offline redliox

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #180 on: 04/28/2017 05:29 PM »
Our effort must be oriented to get artificial gravity. The following presentation is

 a new approach to get  1 G gravity.

Ah, elevator modules!  :)

Specific downside: what if something jams?  :(
"Let the trails lead where they may, I will follow."
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Offline Dalhousie

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #181 on: 04/30/2017 11:47 PM »
Are there any papers out there on the proposal yet?
"There is nobody who is a bigger fan of sending robots to Mars than me... But I believe firmly that the best, the most comprehensive, the most successful exploration will be done by humans" Steve Squyres

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #182 on: 05/20/2017 05:53 PM »
http://www.businessinsider.com/spidersuit-mars-astronauts-lockheed-nasa-2017-5

Astronauts may wear eight-legged 'spider' spacesuits to crawl on the moons of Mars


    Dave Mosher
    May 19, 2017, 3:21 PM 4,693

When the first astronauts reach Mars in the 2030s, they'll never set foot on the planet's surface. Instead, NASA wants its plucky human crew to orbit the desert world for about a year, then return home.

But that doesn't mean astronauts couldn't explore Phobos or Deimos — two tiny and intriguing moons of Mars.

Lockheed Martin, a company that's building NASA's Orion spaceship, recently put forth a tantalizing pitch for a sortie mission: Put astronauts inside an eight-legged, rocket-powered spacesuit that can crawl, walk, or hop across a moon's surface.
« Last Edit: 05/20/2017 10:51 PM by Blackstar »

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #183 on: 05/21/2017 12:06 PM »
Are there any papers out there on the proposal yet?


Here:

Offline Dalhousie

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #184 on: 05/21/2017 11:56 PM »
Are there any papers out there on the proposal yet?


Here:

Thank you!
"There is nobody who is a bigger fan of sending robots to Mars than me... But I believe firmly that the best, the most comprehensive, the most successful exploration will be done by humans" Steve Squyres

Offline redliox

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #185 on: 05/22/2017 05:26 AM »
http://www.businessinsider.com/spidersuit-mars-astronauts-lockheed-nasa-2017-5

Astronauts may wear eight-legged 'spider' spacesuits to crawl on the moons of Mars


I like this aspect of the orbiting lab, but I'm split between whether something like the SEV could do a better and safer job than an astronaut in a MMU 2.0.

Also, the MMU was sadly short-lived.  After Challenger, like so much of the STS' programs, it was deemed risky as opposed to just using the robotic arm or tethered spacewalkers.  Despite being pretty iconic, it wasn't used again after 1984.  I point this out because, just like with wishing to repeat/reuse/refly old probe designs (lookn' at you Blackstar  ;) ), the parts if not the blueprints for the MMU don't exist anymore and I doubt the Smithsonian will be thrilled for NASA to recall a museum piece for dissection.

Using an SEV as opposed to the walker will be heavier, but then again the walker option requires an airlock module alongside it; coupled with the heavy fuel needs of the orbiter mission nothing is going to be lightweight in the end.

Anyone have any thoughts about using a SEV as opposed to a walker option?
"Let the trails lead where they may, I will follow."
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Offline Blackstar

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Re: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.
« Reply #186 on: 05/22/2017 03:48 PM »
Also, the MMU was sadly short-lived.  After Challenger, like so much of the STS' programs, it was deemed risky as opposed to just using the robotic arm or tethered spacewalkers.

I don't think it was simply the risk that led to the MMU's retirement, it was experience with the arm that demonstrated that the MMU was not really necessary.

Plus, the MMU was expensive to operate. I vaguely remember reading that it used one-time batteries that were very expensive. So they had better options and they chose them instead.