Author Topic: VSE Precursor missions  (Read 17050 times)

Offline alexterrell

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Re: VSE Precursor missions
« Reply #20 on: 04/22/2008 09:56 AM »
Does ISRU only mean propellant? You guys are a bunch of rocket scientists so it probably does.  :)

To a surface expedition manager the most useful use of lunar material is (1) radiation shielding. Especially if we want to stay six months. How can capsules be buried?

Next I'd like (2) bricks and maybe glasses (3)

Then propellant would be useful, especially if mined from (4) polar ice (I get water as well).

If I need to get oxygen out of (5) dry regolith, then that's going to have to wait a long time. But at least then I get (=5) iron, or even better, (6) aluminium.

Priority (4) illustrates the need for a precursor mission. Is there water at the poles and is it usable? How is it usable? Until that is established you can't even decide the most useful place to send a manned mission, and you can't even finalise the design for a fuel production device (are we mining wet regolith or dry regolith?)

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: VSE Precursor missions
« Reply #21 on: 04/22/2008 08:04 PM »
ISRU Moon technology may have to be developed that does not use hydrogen or carbon (0).  Or only extremely tiny amounts.

Electrically powered remote controlled bulldozers, diggers, drills and repair robots may be needed to make the holes and cover the roof.  This can be performed in advance of the astronauts arriving for their 6 months stay.

Offline simonbp

Re: VSE Precursor missions
« Reply #22 on: 04/23/2008 01:44 AM »
ISRU equipment is heavy and not necessary for unmanned science missions, so don't expect it to fly until Altair starts up. Rather, lunar science precursor missions (LRO, LCROSS, GRAIL, LADEE, ILN, etc.) are focused more on missions that manned landings can't do, like remote sensing (LRO), gravity mapping (GRAIL), and the space environment (LADEE).

What still remains to be set up are pre-landing missions to do surface surveys of high-priority landing sites prior to an Altair landing. This sounds like a good mission for a cheap, simple rover (of the class going for the Goolge prize)...

Simon ;)

Offline Jim

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Re: VSE Precursor missions
« Reply #23 on: 04/23/2008 02:02 AM »
Quote
A_M_Swallow - 22/4/2008  4:04 PM

Electrically powered remote controlled bulldozers, diggers, drills and repair robots may be needed to make the holes and cover the roof.  This can be performed in advance of the astronauts arriving for their 6 months stay.

which aren't going to be used on the outpost

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: VSE Precursor missions
« Reply #24 on: 04/23/2008 02:06 PM »
Quote
Jim - 23/4/2008  3:02 AM

Quote
A_M_Swallow - 22/4/2008  4:04 PM

Electrically powered remote controlled bulldozers, diggers, drills and repair robots may be needed to make the holes and cover the roof.  This can be performed in advance of the astronauts arriving for their 6 months stay.

which aren't going to be used on the outpost

The boots and flag missions to the Moon have already been performed.  It would be a waste of time and money to repeat them.  Any future mission has to do a lot more and do it without killing the astronauts.

Weight restrictions will prevent more than trivial radiation shielding being sent from the Earth.

The same machines used for burying the building can be used for test mining.

Offline Jim

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Re: VSE Precursor missions
« Reply #25 on: 04/23/2008 02:20 PM »
Quote
A_M_Swallow - 23/4/2008  10:06 AM

Quote
Jim - 23/4/2008  3:02 AM

Quote
A_M_Swallow - 22/4/2008  4:04 PM

Electrically powered remote controlled bulldozers, diggers, drills and repair robots may be needed to make the holes and cover the roof.  This can be performed in advance of the astronauts arriving for their 6 months stay.

which aren't going to be used on the outpost

The boots and flag missions to the Moon have already been performed.  It would be a waste of time and money to repeat them.  Any future mission has to do a lot more and do it without killing the astronauts.

.

The missions aren't boots and flag missions, they are scouting missions.  Next are outposts and not bases.

Electrically powered remote controlled bulldozers, diggers, drills and repair robots  are not in the picture


Online mike robel

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Re: VSE Precursor missions
« Reply #26 on: 04/23/2008 03:24 PM »
Precursor missions to the moon should include
1.  High Quality orbital reconaissance craft on the order of MRO in polar orbit, possibly including impactors to stir up the lunar surface for spectroscopic examination.
2.  Communication satellites positioned such that there is no signal black out for craft on the far side of the moon.
3.  Not a mission, but a determination as to whether or not any of the Apollo landing sites should be revisited.
4.  Surface reconaissance craft (stationary and mobile) targeted at the locations identified as promising from orbital recon.
4a.  These craft should carry locators to aid in high precision landings and various experiments, including ISRU or to ID water deposits.
4b.  Possible sample return missions from final landing sites.
5.  Land manned missions for medium length reconaissane forays (~ 2 weeks).
6.  Evaluate results and figure out what to do next.  periodically manned science outpost, permanent manned science outpost, skip Moon and go to Mars?

Offline rsp1202

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Re: VSE Precursor missions
« Reply #27 on: 04/23/2008 03:47 PM »
Quote
mike robel - 23/4/2008  8:24 AM

Precursor missions to the moon should include
1.  High Quality orbital reconaissance craft on the order of MRO in polar orbit, possibly including impactors to stir up the lunar surface for spectroscopic examination.
2.  Communication satellites positioned such that there is no signal black out for craft on the far side of the moon.
3.  Not a mission, but a determination as to whether or not any of the Apollo landing sites should be revisited.
4.  Surface reconaissance craft (stationary and mobile) targeted at the locations identified as promising from orbital recon.
4a.  These craft should carry locators to aid in high precision landings and various experiments, including ISRU or to ID water deposits.
4b.  Possible sample return missions from final landing sites.
5.  Land manned missions for medium length reconaissane forays (~ 2 weeks).
6.  Evaluate results and figure out what to do next.  periodically manned science outpost, permanent manned science outpost, skip Moon and go to Mars?

I agree with some, and assume you mean if we were going to do it right. But since we're doing it cheap:

1. LRO already scheduled.
2. Been talked about since Apollo. No money allocated.
3. Apollo 15 site already designated as such, unofficially.
4-4a-4b. Unnecessary; no money for unmanned, but will no doubt be carried out by manned; unnecessary.
5. First flights will be doing this.
6. Everyone knows Mars is the ultimate target.

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: VSE Precursor missions
« Reply #28 on: 04/23/2008 04:02 PM »
Quote
Jim - 23/4/2008  3:20 PM
The missions aren't boots and flag missions, they are scouting missions.  Next are outposts and not bases.

You do not need an Ares-V and astronauts to deliver a rover weighting less than 300 lbs to the Moon.
http://ti.arc.nasa.gov/projects/haughton_field

These are thinly disguised boots and flag missions.

Offline Jim

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Re: VSE Precursor missions
« Reply #29 on: 04/23/2008 04:24 PM »
Quote
A_M_Swallow - 23/4/2008  12:02 PM

Quote
Jim - 23/4/2008  3:20 PM
The missions aren't boots and flag missions, they are scouting missions.  Next are outposts and not bases.

You do not need an Ares-V and astronauts to deliver a rover weighting less than 300 lbs to the Moon.
http://ti.arc.nasa.gov/projects/haughton_field

These are thinly disguised boots and flag missions.

Still doesn't change the FACT that early missions will just be landers and habits.  No Electrically powered remote controlled bulldozers, diggers, drills and repair robots.  When are you going to understand that they are not in the plans

Offline kraisee

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Re: VSE Precursor missions
« Reply #30 on: 04/23/2008 09:01 PM »
Jim is totally correct.   There is nothing in the current manifest of more than a dozen landings which has anything at all to do with Lunar ISRU.

More importantly than that though - there is going to be no cash available to even start developing Lunar ISRU before 2025 at the earliest.   Ares sucks up all the funding through 2020, and the initial sortie missions and outpost landings suck up the rest for the next half decade.

At that point Mars will take over, so I don't even see it happening then - and ISRU will not be Lunar, it will be Martian then.

The *only* Lunar ISRU we can hope to afford to develop in the current plans is a 'standard' probe mission.   Typical budget for such a thing is usually ~$300m including the launch vehicle.   Think Mars Rover with a small drill.   That's all we're likely to see under the current plans before about 2030 in the vein of Lunar ISRU.

And no, I don't think this is a good approach.   It's why I argue so strongly for a different approach.

Ross.
"The meek shall inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars"
-Robert A. Heinlein

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: VSE Precursor missions
« Reply #31 on: 04/24/2008 12:41 AM »
Quote
Jim - 23/4/2008  5:24 PM

Still doesn't change the FACT that early missions will just be landers and habits.  No Electrically powered remote controlled bulldozers, diggers, drills and repair robots.  When are you going to understand that they are not in the plans

Plans change.

Offline Jim

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Re: VSE Precursor missions
« Reply #32 on: 04/24/2008 02:07 AM »
Quote
A_M_Swallow - 23/4/2008  8:41 PM

Quote
Jim - 23/4/2008  5:24 PM

Still doesn't change the FACT that early missions will just be landers and habits.  No Electrically powered remote controlled bulldozers, diggers, drills and repair robots.  When are you going to understand that they are not in the plans

Plans change.

They still won't include the above.     ESAS is the plan.  Until ARES V and LSAM go away, the above are not in the plan.  The above is less likely to happen in the early missions than Orion being canceled or Direct being adopted.  So discussions concerning electrically powered remote controlled bulldozers, diggers, drills and repair robots show be under Advance Concepts and not
 "NASA CEV / CLV / CaLV / MTV / Alternatives"

Offline wingod

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Re: VSE Precursor missions
« Reply #33 on: 04/26/2008 10:57 PM »
Quote
kraisee - 23/4/2008  4:01 PM

Jim is totally correct.   There is nothing in the current manifest of more than a dozen landings which has anything at all to do with Lunar ISRU.

More importantly than that though - there is going to be no cash available to even start developing Lunar ISRU before 2025 at the earliest.   Ares sucks up all the funding through 2020, and the initial sortie missions and outpost landings suck up the rest for the next half decade.

At that point Mars will take over, so I don't even see it happening then - and ISRU will not be Lunar, it will be Martian then.

The *only* Lunar ISRU we can hope to afford to develop in the current plans is a 'standard' probe mission.   Typical budget for such a thing is usually ~$300m including the launch vehicle.   Think Mars Rover with a small drill.   That's all we're likely to see under the current plans before about 2030 in the vein of Lunar ISRU.

And no, I don't think this is a good approach.   It's why I argue so strongly for a different approach.

Ross.

This is going to change in terms of the priority of ISRU.  Arguing for a different approach is going to do nothing in terms of opening up the solar system for economic development.  If that statement that we can't afford ISRU is your position, then you need to develop a lot more evidence that it is not affordable.   And yes we are developing the arguments for affordability and they will be published soon as part of a multipart series.





Offline wingod

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Re: VSE Precursor missions
« Reply #34 on: 04/26/2008 11:01 PM »
Quote
A_M_Swallow - 22/4/2008  3:04 PM

ISRU Moon technology may have to be developed that does not use hydrogen or carbon (0).  Or only extremely tiny amounts.

Electrically powered remote controlled bulldozers, diggers, drills and repair robots may be needed to make the holes and cover the roof.  This can be performed in advance of the astronauts arriving for their 6 months stay.

There are plenty of technologies that do not require hydrogen or oxygen.  Vapor Phase pyrolysis, magma electrolysis, and a few others.  However, if we are even half assed smart we can make structural elements out of carbon for the lander's dry weight and have all the carbon that we need for limited industrial processes.



Offline wingod

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Re: VSE Precursor missions
« Reply #35 on: 04/26/2008 11:02 PM »
Quote
Jim - 23/4/2008  9:07 PM

Quote
A_M_Swallow - 23/4/2008  8:41 PM

Quote
Jim - 23/4/2008  5:24 PM

Still doesn't change the FACT that early missions will just be landers and habits.  No Electrically powered remote controlled bulldozers, diggers, drills and repair robots.  When are you going to understand that they are not in the plans

Plans change.

They still won't include the above.     ESAS is the plan.  Until ARES V and LSAM go away, the above are not in the plan.  The above is less likely to happen in the early missions than Orion being canceled or Direct being adopted.  So discussions concerning electrically powered remote controlled bulldozers, diggers, drills and repair robots show be under Advance Concepts and not
 "NASA CEV / CLV / CaLV / MTV / Alternatives"

There are rovers and diggers already in the current NASA work.  The LETO crane from langely is also a digger for regolith and rover trailers that carry regolith are quite adequate even in the early days.  There is a lot that NASA is doing that is not published right now.  Watch for what happens this summer out in Washington state.



Offline wingod

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Re: VSE Precursor missions
« Reply #36 on: 04/26/2008 11:03 PM »
Quote
A_M_Swallow - 23/4/2008  9:06 AM

Quote
Jim - 23/4/2008  3:02 AM

Quote
A_M_Swallow - 22/4/2008  4:04 PM

Electrically powered remote controlled bulldozers, diggers, drills and repair robots may be needed to make the holes and cover the roof.  This can be performed in advance of the astronauts arriving for their 6 months stay.

which aren't going to be used on the outpost

The boots and flag missions to the Moon have already been performed.  It would be a waste of time and money to repeat them.  Any future mission has to do a lot more and do it without killing the astronauts.

Weight restrictions will prevent more than trivial radiation shielding being sent from the Earth.

The same machines used for burying the building can be used for test mining.

Amen


Offline wingod

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Re: VSE Precursor missions
« Reply #37 on: 04/26/2008 11:05 PM »
Quote
Jim - 23/4/2008  9:20 AM

Quote
A_M_Swallow - 23/4/2008  10:06 AM

Quote
Jim - 23/4/2008  3:02 AM

Quote
A_M_Swallow - 22/4/2008  4:04 PM

Electrically powered remote controlled bulldozers, diggers, drills and repair robots may be needed to make the holes and cover the roof.  This can be performed in advance of the astronauts arriving for their 6 months stay.

which aren't going to be used on the outpost

The boots and flag missions to the Moon have already been performed.  It would be a waste of time and money to repeat them.  Any future mission has to do a lot more and do it without killing the astronauts.

.

The missions aren't boots and flag missions, they are scouting missions.  Next are outposts and not bases.

Electrically powered remote controlled bulldozers, diggers, drills and repair robots  are not in the picture


NASA has already decided to go straight to an outpost at the lunar pole.  Whether or not the first mission is two weeks or six months duration is far from being decided.



Offline iamlucky13

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Re: VSE Precursor missions
« Reply #38 on: 04/30/2008 12:49 AM »
Quote
A_M_Swallow - 23/4/2008  9:02 AM

Quote
Jim - 23/4/2008  3:20 PM
The missions aren't boots and flag missions, they are scouting missions.  Next are outposts and not bases.

You do not need an Ares-V and astronauts to deliver a rover weighting less than 300 lbs to the Moon.
http://ti.arc.nasa.gov/projects/haughton_field

These are thinly disguised boots and flag missions.

Does a 300 pound rover do what you need it too? And yes, I'm talking from a science standpoint, not merely PR. JPL would contend that even a 1500 pound rover doesn't do what they need it to do on Mars. MSL has had several payload reductions. It can't, in practical terms dig or handle samples larger than a few grams. It can't do ISRU research, and it certainly can't fix itself if something breaks. Yes, it is much cheaper than ESAS and a lunar equivalent would cost even less, but it would not generate the same quantity or quality of data as a manned mission.

I won't comment on the need for that much capability, but I will note there is a difference.

The rovers you linked to are not self-sufficient.

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: VSE Precursor missions
« Reply #39 on: 04/30/2008 02:03 AM »
Project Constellation is operating on a totally different scale from the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL).  These machines would be part of the manned landings rather than instead of - their first job should be building the base for the people.

The 300 lb rover is just the tractor, any science or ISRU package would be in addition and may be delivered on a later landing.

Using EELV loads of about 4 and a half metric tons can currently be delivered to the Moon's surface.  Later when the Ares-V or Jupiter-232 are flying larger lunar landers can deliver 20 mT of cargo.

True the rovers are not self sufficient so some of the 4.5 mT will have to be allocated to the solar panels and recharge station(s).

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