Yeah, as simonbp put it succinctly in another thread, just spend a day or two examining the asteroid spectroscopically to figure out where you need to sample, and then collect the samples. Astronauts won't add much except for a lot of costs and constraints. Big bodies like Ceres and Vesta might be different, but for this purpose lots of robotic probes are the way to go.
During the hearing, Holdren referred on a number of occasions to this book:http://www.amazon.com/Near-Earth-Objects-Finding-Them-Before/dp/0691149291/
Statement of Dr. John P. HoldrenDirector, Office of Science and Technology PolicyExecutive Office of the President of the United Statesto theCommittee on Science, Space, and TechnologyUnited States House of RepresentativesonMarch 19, 2013<snip>And of course NASA is committed to carrying out the President's goal of conducting a human mission to an asteroid by 2025. That mission will benefit from current efforts to detect, track, and characterize NEOs by speeding the identification of potential targets for exploration. And in return, such a mission will generate invaluable information for use in future detection and mitigation efforts.
The best way to get to an asteroid is to invest in detection.That way mission options open.So are they funding detector spacecraft or are they just promising a NEA mission in around 15 years when they're all retired and it's not their problem?
Quote from: Proponent on 03/23/2013 01:52 PMYeah, as simonbp put it succinctly in another thread, just spend a day or two examining the asteroid spectroscopically to figure out where you need to sample, and then collect the samples. Astronauts won't add much except for a lot of costs and constraints. Big bodies like Ceres and Vesta might be different, but for this purpose lots of robotic probes are the way to go.What's your time frame? There's currently neither the robotic sophistication nor the human spaceflight capability to do that.
Robotic spacecraft will always be better than humans at scientific data gathering, mostly because of the multiplicative effect. If you send a human, only that human gets to gather that information. Whereas with complex imagery and complex sensors you can spread the information over a wealth of scientists.
Asteroid sample return has been demonstrated on a very small scale by Habayusa. Making that work better and on a larger scale and applying it to many NEAs is certainly going to be much cheaper and faster than than sending humans to a similar number of NEAs.
Quote from: Proponent on 03/25/2013 01:41 PMAsteroid sample return has been demonstrated on a very small scale by Habayusa. Making that work better and on a larger scale and applying it to many NEAs is certainly going to be much cheaper and faster than than sending humans to a similar number of NEAs... and?You're making a tradeoff that isn't on the table. I don't know why people insist on having the humans vs robots argument.. there's never going to be a magical feat of logic that causes human spaceflight funding to shift to robotic exploration.
I expect no such shift. I'm just pointing out that if learning enough about asteroids to be able to defend against a hazardous one were to become a high priority, then the rational thing to do would be to build many robotic probes. Build lots of OSIRIS-RExes, because the robotic technology is closer at hand and much cheaper.If, contrary to my expectations, asteroid defense becomes a high priority, I think a substantial boost in funding of robotic asteroid probes is much more likely than the enormous boost in funding of human missions that would be required to provide an equivalent level of knowledge about asteroid deflection.
You're still making either-or statements!
The budgets are mostly unrelated.. yes, there's a theory that robotic exploration wouldn't get as much funding if human spaceflight were cut, and there's occasional raiding of budgets, but ultimately robotic exploration is not in competition with human spaceflight.
The only question worth asking is if human spaceflight could deliver any data about asteroid/comet threats that is worth having. The answer is obviously yes, and that focusing human spaceflight on that goal is better than the alternatives. (at least it's obvious to me, as defending the planet is more worthwhile than boring holes into LEO and it gives an intermediate goal before colonization begins, others may disagree).
Don't bring up robotic exploration when someone starts a conversation about the value of sending humans to explore asteroids. The two are completely unrelated.
Sure, a human NEA mission could deliver useful data. As Blackstar pointed out several posts up, however, what's really needed are visits to many NEAs, and that's really implausible with human missions.
And it would be massively ironic if the people who decide these things decided that for safety a human mission had to be preceded by a robotic mission, as many have argued in this forum.
It's funny, but I could have sworn the topic was something like efforts to track and mitigate asteroids and meteors....
I hate to admit it but QuantumG hits the nail smack-center on the head.
Quote from: woods170 on 03/26/2013 07:05 AMI hate to admit it but QuantumG hits the nail smack-center on the head.I agree, but don't encourage him!