Recent Posts

Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 ... 10 Next
21
ICON Mission Out of Contact

Denise Hill Posted on December 7, 2022

On Nov. 25, 2022, NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) team lost contact with the spacecraft. The ICON spacecraft is equipped with a built-in onboard command loss timer that will power cycle or reset the spacecraft after contact is lost for eight days. On Dec. 5, after the power cycle was complete, the team was still unable to acquire a downlink signal from the spacecraft. The team is currently still working to establish a connection.

Working with the Department of Defense’s Space Surveillance Network, the team has verified that ICON remains intact.

The ICON mission team is working to troubleshoot the issue and has narrowed the cause of the communication loss to problems within the avionics or radio-frequency communications subsystems. The team is currently unable to determine the health of the spacecraft, and the lack of a downlink signal could be indicative of a system failure.

ICON launched on Oct. 10, 2019, and completed its two-year prime mission science objectives in December 2021. It has been operating in extended mission status since that time.

By Denise Hill
NASA Headquarters, Washington

https://blogs.nasa.gov/icon/2022/12/07/icon-mission-out-of-contact/
22
If you want my opinion, it's better to lock a thread than deleting it. Perhaps, it has run its course.
23
We're not talking about reentry with capsules.  We're talking about escape with capsules, which hardly ever get deployed. 

That's my fundamental disagreement with an encapsulated abort capsule.   hardly every deployed means the PRA is full of WAGs not data.

Abort systems have been tested a small number of times and then successfully deployed. Two were used successfully recently, one of which saved the lives of the crew.

The idea is that they are relatively simple systems and so a small amount of testing goes a long way.  Further, even if they are only 90% successful, that still multiplies your probability of survival by a factor of ten, say from 99 out of 100 to 999 out of 1000.
24
I agree, with one caveat:  There's a class of "commodity" payloads that could be planned and slotted into any surface architecture very quickly.  Examples:

1) 150t of solar panels.
2) 150t of batteries, fuel cells, or APUs.
3) A big tank of LOX.
4) A big tank of LCH4.
5) A big tank of water.
6) 150t of the equivalent of portland cement for regolith.

NASA could probably also buy ten thousand rubber ducks and send to the Moon.  But why?

Several megawatts worth of solar panels, or 150 tonnes of water, does not do you (or more specifically NASA) any good on their own.  For them to be useful, NASA would need other payloads that can use those resources.  And those are unlikely to pop up for NASA before mid next decade.

And even if or when they do need solar panels, batteries, water or cement in non-trivial amounts on the Moon, why would they send them to the Lunar Gateway and transfer them over to the HLS lander, instead of sending a cargo ship directly from Earth to the Moon?  Remember, my complaint was about the handwringing over how to transfer large cargo to the HLS Starship on orbit.

Quote from: TheRadicalModerate
But these are all payloads where their most important property is scale, and HLS can't scale its payloads large enough to matter.

The HLS LSS, at least with its current conops, is a lot more marginal than most people think.  An expendable CLPS or HDL LSS, on the other hand, is not.

And without the current conops, it would not be the HLS Starship...  For example, HLS Integrated Landers must be self-sufficient; they can't rely on pre-emplaced assets.  This means the landers must carry solar panels that work on the surface of the Moon, and work regardless of the lander's orientation to the sun.  That in turn effectively prohibits HLS Starship from carrying TPS tiles and thus from returning to Earth.

Similarly, the requirements to use SLS, Orion and LOP-G, forces the HLS Starship to pick up crew and supplies in NRHO instead of on Earth, and in practice forces it to be able to stay in NRHO for a year or two between each sortie down to the Moon.

A lunar architecture that really takes advantage of Starship, would send a cargo ship with solar panels or other power sources (e.g. a small nuclear reactor), to the intended landing spot, and deploy them robotically.  Then the crewed Starship would depart from Earth, and after landing on the Moon it would connect to the power sources already there.  (You want batteries on board for several hours of operation, and a small APU is probably also a good idea.)  Perhaps pre-emplaced cryo-coolers can also be connected to?  When the crew are tired of the Moon, they disconnect from the surface assets, and return all the way through EDL down to the surface of Earth.  Since that lunar Starship can carry TPS tiles and air control surfaces, it can EDL on Earth, where it can be inspected, repaired and updated, and new supplies, medium sized cargo and crew can be loaded for the next mission to the Moon.

Now I only need to find a way to connect this to refilling of propellant to make this comment not totally off-topic for this thread. :)

Right, the crew Starship (at least) would need to be refilled with propellant twice; once in LEO, and once in some later orbit; my favourite is during the trans-lunar coast.
25
We're not talking about reentry with capsules.  We're talking about escape with capsules, which hardly ever get deployed. 

That's my fundamental disagreement with an encapsulated abort capsule.   hardly every deployed means the PRA is full of WAGs not data.

If financially you can figure out how to do this 50 times, then you can fill out the PRA module, find all the links on the graph that you helpfully pointed out (great post BTW), and then you've got something reliable.

I don't see how one can destroy 50 starships and have say 10 capsules reused to do his.   That's about 3-5 billion in equipment cost alone.

I can see how to do this with Starships by themselves though.   150 Starlink launches that pay for themselves.  Put 6-10 in the ocean to test that abort scenario (probably get that for free for real-world aborts).
26
Again, not sure if this is the kid at the 7-11 imagining this, but I don't know anyone that assumes that. Even the Musk plan for colonizing Mars assumes that people will have to scrape up $500K in order to migrate to Mars, and Musk has never talked about luxury accommodations.
AIUI, that $500K figure is for transport (and, we can assume, food and board and life support aboard said transport)...not for accommodations once you're on Mars.

Yes, and your post in general is OT for this topic of rotating space stations, since you are talking about the challenges of colonizing Mars, not how space stations will get funded and stay funded.


Not at all.  Everything above (and the $500K-to-Mars as a benchmark was not introduced into the topic by me) ALSO pertains to populating a space habitat.....except that all the issues are cranked up by the fact that you are importing (after processing, either "offshore" or in-habitat) 100% of your consumables and your finished goods/habitats/etc....and (one would assume) an even larger active maintenance cost (in both $ and man/hours).

So, whatever it costs to keep a person on Mars per diem is going to be.....expect the figure for a space habitat to be larger.

Which feeds back into the assumption that, while small(ish) but substantial orbital (either LEO, Lunar Orbit, or Lagrange) platforms might be a thing in the next decade or so....large space habitats (from the likes of the farcical "Gateway Foundation/Spaceport" to a Kalpana) are going to be substantially farther out in the timeline.
Which feeds back into what we can expect in the way of spin gravity needs/capabilities in the near future (and I agree that the next gen of space platforms....and any long-endurance space vehicles....should have spin gravity).
27
Would be more believable with examples of “scooping.”
If you want some real examples there was the discovery of water in the atmosphere of K2-18b, where the team who originally got the data found out that a UCL team were publishing their data in Nature Astronomy. The first team then dumped their preliminary work to the arXiv.
I think science was actually advanced in this case.   Tell me honestly, what do you remember from the final paper that was not in the quick version?  I think I can speak for most scientists and say "Hey, they found water in the atmosphere of a nearby planet!".  And this knowledge was obtained months before the paper would have come out on its own, had the original group had their way.
Quote
In my field there was the case of the Sunburst Arc, an extraordinary lensed galaxy leaking ionising photons. The discovery team were forced to publish early because another researcher had published an incredibly rushed paper just 2 days after their data became public. [...] The lead author who got scooped was a PhD student.
If the lead author in 2018 was T. Emil Rivera-Thorsen, they were not a PhD student, but a post-doc.

If I've got the right articles for these examples, this shows exactly what happens when you ask for examples.   Nobody really got "scooped", instead they had to publish earlier than they would have preferred.  It's not really a hapless grad student that got their thesis crushed, but a early stage researcher that was pushed to publish early.  There are no examples I know of in astronomy where the rushed analysis was wrong and needed to be retracted. (This did happen with COVID pre-prints, though the incentive there was to increase the pace of science more than to beat competitors.)
Quote
That incident is a great example of how these races degrade the quality of science, a half-assed analysis was published without peer review and the original authors immediately published their draft in response instead of waiting for review.
It's not at all obvious that peer review contributes more to science than it hurts by delaying distribution of knowledge.  Here's a major journal that is giving up on it entirely, replacing it with public comment on a initially published article.

I continue to wait for a real example of scooping, as opposed to "almost scooped" or "it could have been really bad".
28
Again, not sure if this is the kid at the 7-11 imagining this, but I don't know anyone that assumes that. Even the Musk plan for colonizing Mars assumes that people will have to scrape up $500K in order to migrate to Mars, and Musk has never talked about luxury accommodations.
AIUI, that $500K figure is for transport (and, we can assume, food and board and life support aboard said transport)...not for accommodations once you're on Mars.

Yes, and your post in general is OT for this topic of rotating space stations, since you are talking about the challenges of colonizing Mars, not how space stations will get funded and stay funded.

And in general I look at the effort to colonize Mars has the Earth equivalent to a humanitarian effort, where money goes in, but money is not expected to come out - but SOMETHING gets accomplished with the money, which in this case is creating a redundant location for humanity in case something happens to Earth. That is the long term goal in any case.

But there will be a market for labor in space, just as there is a market for labor on Earth that sometimes requires workers to leave their homes for long periods of time and live where they work. In that situation they will likely be supported by their employer for basic needs, like accommodations, food, and for space locations, air and heat  ;)

So the real question will be is how much will it cost to support a human in space that is not being compensated via their work? And we are not close enough to that situation to really understand that yet, much less care about it yet. I know there are more pressing issues to worry about regarding how to build a rotating space station...

My $0.02
29
Advanced Concepts / Re: Realistic, near-term, rotating Space Station
« Last post by Robotbeat on 12/07/2022 11:36 pm »
Labor will be in huge demand at a growing Mars city. I don’t think normies will be retiring to Mars, but working there? Absolutely.

Accommodations will be like camping. Might have to eat whatever is growing in the protein vat this week, supplemented by Soylent from Earth at a cost of about $20/day. Live in a bunk which is right next to where you work, repairing space suits or welding up habitat sections or cleaning out the food synth vats and dusting off the solar arrays.
30
Advanced Concepts / Re: Realistic, near-term, rotating Space Station
« Last post by MichaelF on 12/07/2022 11:34 pm »

Again, not sure if this is the kid at the 7-11 imagining this, but I don't know anyone that assumes that. Even the Musk plan for colonizing Mars assumes that people will have to scrape up $500K in order to migrate to Mars, and Musk has never talked about luxury accommodations.


AIUI, that $500K figure is for transport (and, we can assume, food and board and life support aboard said transport)...not for accommodations once you're on Mars.

What people don't seem to think much about is....how much does it cost ($) to keep one human fed, housed, clothed, and breathing on Luna/Mars/Mercury per diem?  It could actually be a non-negligible sum, even with a "mature" infrastructure.  Unlike on Earth, you can't really just subsist upon the Commons, as there is no classical Commons.  Plants don't grow in the regolith, breathing is not a free action, and water doesn't fall from the sky.  Somebody is paying to extract the bare minimum of life support...and they aren't going to do that pro bono publico.
All of which means it'll cost $/day just to live on Mars/Luna/Mercury....and there's no option to live in a tent, foraging for food, and gathering rainwater (or, as in Colonial Times, jump off the boat and go start a farm in the woods with some tools, seeds, and a couple of pigs.
So either you've got a skillset that obliges an employer/sponsor to pony up that money....or you're independently wealthy in a sustainable fashion.  The person who liquidates their Earthly assets for a $500K ticket to Luna/Mars/Mercury hasn't even really scratched the surface.

Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 ... 10 Next
Advertisement NovaTech
Advertisement SkyTale Software GmbH
Advertisement Northrop Grumman
Advertisement
Advertisement Brady Kenniston
Advertisement NextSpaceflight
Advertisement Nathan Barker Photography
1