Author Topic: ISS-staged exploration missions  (Read 3058 times)

Online Robotbeat

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ISS-staged exploration missions
« on: 07/15/2010 09:38 PM »
Okay, I know there have been a lot of threads on this before, but none recently.

What about staging an exploration mission from the ISS?

It could be that most of the mission hardware (like a lander or a MTV) is sitting out at a lagrange point, but not necessarily.

The idea is that you transfer from the station to, say, an Orion spacecraft with an enlarged service module which can act like an EDS (an idea I think I heard OV-106 mention recently).

The EDS could be launched fully fueled or could be launched partly empty and refueled in orbit, like how Zvezda and Zarya are currently refueled. The EDS would probably be attached to the Orion capsule, not launched separately.

This means that man-rating the HLV (as well as a crew tower, LAS, etc, etc) is unnecessary (even an HLV would not be strictly unnecessary in this scenario... but lets not go there).

What about it?
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Online PahTo

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Re: ISS-staged exploration missions
« Reply #1 on: 07/15/2010 09:56 PM »

The big problem is the inclination of ISS orbit.  Far more efficient to do beyond LEO from an equitorial (or 28 degree) inclination...

Now having ISS be a proving ground for technolgies and such is a good idea, and is already being done (even by it's existence).  And hopefully will be done more.


Okay, I know there have been a lot of threads on this before, but none recently.

What about staging an exploration mission from the ISS?

It could be that most of the mission hardware (like a lander or a MTV) is sitting out at a lagrange point, but not necessarily.

The idea is that you transfer from the station to, say, an Orion spacecraft with an enlarged service module which can act like an EDS (an idea I think I heard OV-106 mention recently).

The EDS could be launched fully fueled or could be launched partly empty and refueled in orbit, like how Zvezda and Zarya are currently refueled. The EDS would probably be attached to the Orion capsule, not launched separately.

This means that man-rating the HLV (as well as a crew tower, LAS, etc, etc) is unnecessary (even an HLV would not be strictly unnecessary in this scenario... but lets not go there).

What about it?

Online Robotbeat

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Re: ISS-staged exploration missions
« Reply #2 on: 07/15/2010 10:00 PM »
I've heard that its inclination isn't nearly as much of a problem for space craft other than the Shuttle (the orbiter itself is really, really heavy, so a 5% penalty will eat directly into the cargo).
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Online Robotbeat

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Re: ISS-staged exploration missions
« Reply #3 on: 07/15/2010 10:18 PM »
Another benefit: Anyone who currently goes to the station (or will shortly) will be able to contribute to the mission through bringing supplies or crew or maybe fuel. Good for international cooperation. Also, once in space, issues with launch windows related to launching weather go away, somewhat (I think?). You're already in orbit, you can check everything out before being committed to the mission. If a solar panel or something is ripped off during launch (like Soyuz) or an antenna fails to deploy (like Galileo), it can be repaired or a work around found without putting the crew in danger.

Also, failures tend to diminish greatly over time, so having the spacecraft already in orbit for a month or two before the mission can greatly diminish the probability of failure during the mission, by an order of magnitude or more:
Quote
Unlike in terrestrial systems, where strain and wear cause failure rate to be a linear function of time, spacecraft failure rates diminish over time. This relationship, a Weibull distribution, is shown in Figure B.1, where the average number of failures reported annually for a given spacecraft decreases.
http://www.rand.org/pubs/monograph_reports/MR864/MR864.apB.pdf
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline HappyMartian

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Re: ISS-staged exploration missions
« Reply #4 on: 07/16/2010 05:21 AM »
Okay, I know there have been a lot of threads on this before, but none recently.

What about staging an exploration mission from the ISS?

It could be that most of the mission hardware (like a lander or a MTV) is sitting out at a lagrange point, but not necessarily.

The idea is that you transfer from the station to, say, an Orion spacecraft with an enlarged service module which can act like an EDS (an idea I think I heard OV-106 mention recently).

The EDS could be launched fully fueled or could be launched partly empty and refueled in orbit, like how Zvezda and Zarya are currently refueled. The EDS would probably be attached to the Orion capsule, not launched separately.

This means that man-rating the HLV (as well as a crew tower, LAS, etc, etc) is unnecessary (even an HLV would not be strictly unnecessary in this scenario... but lets not go there).

What about it?


Yes! I like it. Can it happen? But I do want the human rated HLV. The human rated HLV provides more options. How much larger can the service module get? Can it get real long or large? I wouldn't want to violate the laws of physics...  ;)

A European space hab would be nice. With an Orion, a space hab, and a very large EDS/service module you might have some opportunities to visit a NEO. :)

Let's see what OV-106 and everyone else says.

Cheers!
"The Moon is the most accessible destination for realizing commercial, exploration and scientific objectives beyond low Earth orbit." - LEAG

Offline Archibald

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Re: ISS-staged exploration missions
« Reply #5 on: 07/23/2010 06:38 AM »
BEO exploration staging from ISS is quite feasible.

All you need is Block D, Briz-M and Centaur outfitted with a docking collar.

The architecture is quite simple. On one hand, the ISS and the payload; on the other hand, a propulsive stage.

Soyuz undock from the ISS, dock to the Block D, and goes to EML-2.

Inflatable modules are launched to the ISS and inflated there. They undock from the station, dock to Centaur that carries them to EML-2.
The inflatables are docked together into a Mir-like modular space station.

Then, what to do with this station ?
- telescope servicing ! Bring some SEL-2 telescopes to EML-2.
- satellite servicing in GEO.
- NEO missions
- lunar sorties IF PGMs are found, then the private sector may use the station for mining operations...
... that ackward moment when you realize that Jeff Bezos personal fortune is far above NASA annual budget... 115 billion to 18 billion...

Offline CitabriaFlyer

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Re: ISS-staged exploration missions
« Reply #6 on: 07/23/2010 09:19 AM »
I started this thread in the ISS section, but this is a way you could start using ISS for exploration in a couple of years.  No new spacecraft required.

When discussing a manned mission to Mars numerous obstacles are inevitably cited.  These can be grouped mostly into two categories:  1) spacecraft performance and 2) human factors.  These two groups of problems collectively continue to push manned mars exploration to the right.  As a result, I believe that the biggest obstacle to a manned Mars program is a psychological block shared by political leaders, NASA managers, the general public, and even enthusiasts such as ourselves.  That block leads all of us to conclude that a manned Mars mission is so technically difficult, physically dangerous, and prohibitively costly that it will never happen until we can develop new technologies: warp drives, artificial gravity, etc…

Many of us, myself included, spend hours on this site fantasizing about a future with new rockets (Concept 103, AJAX, Ares) and new missions (EML fuel depots, finding Snoopy, manned Mars missions) which are only just paper missions at present, but I propose that we spend some time focusing on the one spacecraft America is going to have for a while, the ISS, and its role in addressing the human factors surrounding a manned Mars mission.

To that end, I propose that a crew of three simulate a conjunction class mission to Mars using the spacecraft we will have available in the next couple of years:  Soyuz and ISS.  In brief, they would fly to the ISS for six months, land in Kazakhstan, spend 18 months at a Mars analogue site in Charyn Canyon (in southern Kazakhstan see the following link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charyn_Canyon) , fly back to the ISS for six months, then return to Earth for good.  I realize that 18 months at a remote site in Kazakhstan is not a perfect  a perfect analogue because the gravity and radiation is not the same.  However, it will give us some insight into the problems with a 2.5 year manned mission with significant zero G and surface operations.

The analogue site on Mars could be based on the work pioneered by the Mars Society.  The astronauts could either drive from their Soyuz or be transported to the site.  Charyn canyon appears to be some distance from the Soyuz landing site.
 (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/elements/soyuz/landing.html)

In addition to one or two Mars lander modules at Charyn canyon the astronauts should have ground transportation and a helicopter (simulating a Mars hopper) to facilitate exploration of the local area as well as other remote interesting features such as Bigach crater:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bigach_crater

I started this link to enlist other members input to fill out a mission plan and to address potential problems and opportunities associated with  a mission such as this.

Potential topics include:

1)    How does a crew recover from 6 months in zero G with only each other for support?
2)   How fast can a crew start their surface mission?
3)   How do you train for Mars surface ops during the six months you are in space?
4)   How does the helicopter pilot keep skills sharp while in space?
5)   Who should be on the crew?  You need a Soyuz pilot, a helicopter pilot, a doctor and a geologist, but you only have three seats on Soyuz.
6)   How do you train for a six month ISS mission during the 18 months you are doing geological field work at a remote site?
7)   How do you maintain a healthy relationship with your family during the 2-3 years you are in intense training for the mission and the 2-3 years you are completely isolated from them while flying?

I would appreciate any help in further defining a mission like this and elevating it to the awareness of someone in NASA.  This is a great mission because it would cost very little and give us all a sense that we are making progress on the space frontier as opposed to just droning around in earth orbit.

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