Author Topic: Commercial Hubble Repair  (Read 34372 times)

Offline Mongo62

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Re: Commercial Hubble Repair
« Reply #40 on: 05/15/2012 09:06 pm »
Getting back to the original Hubble servicing question, would not the cheapest solution simply be to build and launch a Hubble clone (this time installing a correctly-figured main mirror) to replace the entire telescope?

I vaguely recall hearing about a report many years ago that concluded that for the expense of all the various Shuttle servicing missions, several Hubbles could have been built and launched on unmanned rockets (Atlas V?), and we would have ended up with a whole fleet of active telescopes.

Offline Jorge

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Re: Commercial Hubble Repair
« Reply #41 on: 05/15/2012 09:46 pm »
Getting back to the original Hubble servicing question, would not the cheapest solution simply be to build and launch a Hubble clone (this time installing a correctly-figured main mirror) to replace the entire telescope?

Back when HST SM-4 was cancelled, Johns Hopkins proposed using the SM-4 replacement instruments to build a new telescope called the Hubble Origins Probe, for about $1B:

http://www.pha.jhu.edu/hop/

Of course, it would be much more expensive to build HOP now since the SM-4 instruments flew on STS-125.

Quote
I vaguely recall hearing about a report many years ago that concluded that for the expense of all the various Shuttle servicing missions, several Hubbles could have been built and launched on unmanned rockets (Atlas V?), and we would have ended up with a whole fleet of active telescopes.

Perhaps in a narrow technical sense. But Hubble was politically tied to the shuttle; had it launched on an ELV with the same original flaws, most likely there would never have been a second one.
JRF

Offline go4mars

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Re: Commercial Hubble Repair
« Reply #42 on: 05/18/2012 01:52 pm »
Of course, it would be much more expensive to build HOP now since the SM-4 instruments flew on STS-125.
Thanks Jorge.  Just to clarify; Do you mean that an EELV launch and everything except the SM-4 instruments would be about a billion dollars today, but that re-making the SM-4 instruments (or their current equivalent) would be more than an additional billion dollars?  I didn't notice any $ breakdown in the link.   
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Offline Jorge

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Re: Commercial Hubble Repair
« Reply #43 on: 05/18/2012 06:20 pm »
Of course, it would be much more expensive to build HOP now since the SM-4 instruments flew on STS-125.
Thanks Jorge.  Just to clarify; Do you mean that an EELV launch and everything except the SM-4 instruments would be about a billion dollars today, but that re-making the SM-4 instruments (or their current equivalent) would be more than an additional billion dollars?

I assume that the whole thing will be a lot more than $1B due to the need to build new instruments, and because the price of EELV has gone up. They assumed $130-150M for an Atlas V 521, for example.

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  I didn't notice any $ breakdown in the link.   

You didn't look hard enough. There is a cost breakdown on slide 20 of the PowerPoint slideshow at the link.
JRF

Online A_M_Swallow

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Re: Commercial Hubble Repair
« Reply #44 on: 09/18/2012 11:38 pm »
With a life expectancy of only a couple more years Commercial Space cannot get a manned capsule to the Hubble Space Telescope in time.

An unmanned repair mission requires development of automated repair robots.  There has been some money going into space robots but not a lot.  Consequently such missions are many years in the future.

Launching Hubble#2.  With a mass of 11,110 kg (24,500 lb) and orbital height of 559 km (347 miles) there are several launch vehicles that can lift its replacement.  In previous years the estimated cost of building a replacement satellite was about $1 billion which suggests a current cost of $2 billion to $3 billion.  The replies to a request for bid for launching a replacement using the current specification within about 3 years could be very interesting.

Offline QuantumG

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Re: Commercial Hubble Repair
« Reply #45 on: 09/18/2012 11:45 pm »
It's possible with the right amount of money.

If they really want it, Congress should just put the repair out to tender. NASA could act in a support role if the price is right. If the price comes back too high, that just shows exactly how much Congress really wanted it.
Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Offline Danderman

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Re: Commercial Hubble Repair
« Reply #46 on: 09/19/2012 01:27 am »
With a life expectancy of only a couple more years Commercial Space cannot get a manned capsule to the Hubble Space Telescope in time.


Really?


Offline yg1968

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Re: Commercial Hubble Repair
« Reply #47 on: 09/19/2012 02:56 am »
DC has the option of adding a manipulator arm and an airlock:

See this thread:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=26179.msg785232#msg785232

Offline grythumn

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Re: Commercial Hubble Repair
« Reply #48 on: 09/19/2012 04:33 am »
With a life expectancy of only a couple more years Commercial Space cannot get a manned capsule to the Hubble Space Telescope in time.
Really?

Current EOM is set for end of december 2014. Most of the projected lifespans I see online say "at least 2013" or "at least 2014". Wikipedia says reentry is due between 2019 and 2032, but doesn't cite a source.

http://hubblesite.org/the_telescope//hubble_essentials/
http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/area/index.cfm?fareaid=31

-R C

Offline Nomadd

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Re: Commercial Hubble Repair
« Reply #49 on: 09/19/2012 12:18 pm »
With a life expectancy of only a couple more years Commercial Space cannot get a manned capsule to the Hubble Space Telescope in time.

Nonsense. There's no reason to believe Hubble is anywhere close to ceasing that soon. It could be going till it's orbit decays, and even then, any booster designed to deorbit it could boost it's orbit if it's still in good shape. With the gyro problems corrected on the new and rebuilt models, new batteries and mostly new instruments, it could be operational 20 years from now.
« Last Edit: 09/19/2012 07:27 pm by Nomadd »
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Offline simonbp

Re: Commercial Hubble Repair
« Reply #50 on: 09/19/2012 04:55 pm »
It's not the orbit that will decay on Hubble first; it's the gyros. Hubble uses CMGs exclusively for pointing, and they are in theory triple-redundant. However, they already have lost one since the last servicing...

And extented missions can mean different things. At the moment Hubble is fully funded to provide a lot of support to the astronomers who use it (including 50% of my time). It's not impossible that this will go away in the future, much like it already has for Kepler. If that happens, the desire in the community for a new UV/Optical telescope will be considerably louder.

As far as replacement, NASA is exploring the option of launching one of the two donated NRO sats as a UV/Optical successor to Hubble (with the other as WFIRST). It's all very nebulous at the moment, but some recent (two weeks ago) talks on the subject are here: http://www.princeton.edu/astro/news-events/public-events/new-telescope-meeting/program/NEW-Telescope-Meeting-Sept-2012-Program.pdf The presentaions from Gehrels, Kruk, and Scowen are especially relevant. Note that Kruk brings up the idea of putting NRO/WFIRST at GSO (rather than SEL2) to allow servicing.
« Last Edit: 09/19/2012 05:05 pm by simonbp »

Offline Danderman

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Re: Commercial Hubble Repair
« Reply #51 on: 09/19/2012 05:17 pm »
It would seem that a commercial servicing mission for HST could be very cost effective, if undertaken in the next 5 years or so. Yes, the Hubble gyros remain the Achilles' heel of the system, but Hubble has limped by in the past with less-than-nominal numbers of functioning gyros. I would bet real money that HST will be functional in 5 years' time.


Online oiorionsbelt

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Re: Commercial Hubble Repair
« Reply #52 on: 09/19/2012 07:48 pm »
Could a booster for Hubble be fitted with CMGs to take over for the ones currently on Hubble?

Offline simonbp

Re: Commercial Hubble Repair
« Reply #53 on: 09/19/2012 08:03 pm »
Could a booster for Hubble be fitted with CMGs to take over for the ones currently on Hubble?

Maybe, but if you were going to go to the trouble of adding a thruster/booster module to HST, you would want to add gyros to it anyway to make up for the longer spacecraft. Indeed, it may be better to treat the booster as a free flyer that only occasionally docks with HST for a reboost.

And replacing gyros is relatively simple compared to instruments; a basic manned Dragon could do it without any extra equipment. Replacing the instruments is where a crane/boom/arm/etc would come in.

Offline yg1968

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Re: Commercial Hubble Repair
« Reply #54 on: 09/19/2012 08:09 pm »
And replacing gyros is relatively simple compared to instruments; a basic manned Dragon could do it without any extra equipment. Replacing the instruments is where a crane/boom/arm/etc would come in.

You mean a Dragon with a robotic arm, right?

Offline baldusi

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Re: Commercial Hubble Repair
« Reply #55 on: 09/19/2012 09:09 pm »
And replacing gyros is relatively simple compared to instruments; a basic manned Dragon could do it without any extra equipment. Replacing the instruments is where a crane/boom/arm/etc would come in.

You mean a Dragon with a robotic arm, right?

Is it EVA capable?
I still think it's the wrong orbit and doing a non man rated space telescope is a better investment. Particularly given the NRO donation. But, if NASA gave the new CMG as GFE, it would be interesting what sort of bids they would get if they do a conceptual tender on a mission to swap the CMG. In a couple of years, if the Phoenix Program has done some significant advance, it might even use a COTS manipulator.
Clearly a Dragon mission should be able to be fully robotic. May be a DreamChaser too.

Offline watermod

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Re: Commercial Hubble Repair
« Reply #56 on: 09/24/2012 05:52 am »
Could a Robonaut or Dextre in a craft perform a repair of Hubble and other large sats?

I could even envision a repair craft parked at ISS.  ISS eventually getting enough repair parts in in normal supply missions to make the repair.  At some point a tug/frame type craft borrows the appropriate robot from ISS, is loaded with the parts and heads off to Hubble to make the repair.  Old parts are returned to ISS and eventually go down as returns or on a trash and burn flight.

It seems that would make more sense then lofting repair platforms & maybe astronauts over and over.


Offline beancounter

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Re: Commercial Hubble Repair
« Reply #57 on: 09/24/2012 08:36 am »
Why not simply build a replica and launch it on an F9 (cheapest launch vehicle).  Bet the cost would be less than a manned mission and you get a new HST to boot.  Also less risky and probably possible in the current timeframe.  If you're going to do a refurbishment mission, why not simply a new (same as) unit.
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Offline Danderman

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Re: Commercial Hubble Repair
« Reply #58 on: 09/24/2012 01:47 pm »
Why not simply build a replica and launch it on an F9 (cheapest launch vehicle).  Bet the cost would be less than a manned mission and you get a new HST to boot.  Also less risky and probably possible in the current timeframe.  If you're going to do a refurbishment mission, why not simply a new (same as) unit.

A new telescope would be very expensive, and F9 cannot put Hubble in a 600 km orbit, nor is the payload fairing wide enough.

A single launch of a Dragon with a crew is sufficient to keep Hubble flying for many years, and Dragon can dock with HST using the LIDS that was attached to Hubble during the last servicing mission.


Offline Dappa

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Re: Commercial Hubble Repair
« Reply #59 on: 09/24/2012 02:32 pm »
Why not simply build a replica and launch it on an F9 (cheapest launch vehicle).  Bet the cost would be less than a manned mission and you get a new HST to boot.  Also less risky and probably possible in the current timeframe.  If you're going to do a refurbishment mission, why not simply a new (same as) unit.
On top of from Danderman's points, a Hubble replica assumes identical launch environments and load paths. These variables on F9 clearly differ from those on Shuttle, requiring an extensive redesign. But then it's no longer a replica.

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