Author Topic: Lockheed Martin Orbiting Mars Laboratory discussion thread.  (Read 74559 times)

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.

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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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Online Robotbeat

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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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Online 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?
"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 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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Online 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/
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Online 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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Online 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.
"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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