Author Topic: Asteroid Retrieval Mission Concept  (Read 193631 times)

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Asteroid Retrieval Mission Concept
« Reply #80 on: 09/03/2013 01:08 PM »
Retrieving an object of random composition based solely upon the convenience of its delta-vee and its orbital characteristics is not how mining is done, or will be done.

Umm.... retrieving ores solely upon the convenience of doing so is how mining has been done for thousands of years.

See a penny random rock, pick it up.


Ummmm....  Fixed that for ya?

You parsed out the word "random", and quietly assumed a useful metal, copper plated zinc.

And....  You also interpreted "convenience" to suit your argument. 

Go to the top of Mount Everest to get your rock because it's "convenient" to roll it down the mountain.  The mission planners themselves only analyze the asteroid retrieval in terms of delta-vee, not in terms of any utility.  Delta-vee is the only "convenience" that they contemplate.  It's "convenient" for their job security, probably, to gloss over the ten year time frame (Keck) in retrieving the beachball, even assuming that all of the as yet non-existant machinery needed has been already flight proven and its reliability demonstrated.

Real policy is being made on the basis of juvenile argumentation.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline QuantumG

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Re: Asteroid Retrieval Mission Concept
« Reply #81 on: 09/03/2013 09:55 PM »
Keck didn't even do candidate matching or trajectory analysis.

You want: http://arxiv.org/abs/1304.5082

Shorter timeframes, less delta-v.


« Last Edit: 09/03/2013 11:50 PM by QuantumG »
I hear those things are awfully loud. It glides as softly as a cloud. What's it called? Monowhale!

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Asteroid Retrieval Mission Concept
« Reply #82 on: 09/04/2013 01:30 PM »
Keck didn't even do candidate matching or trajectory analysis.

You want: http://arxiv.org/abs/1304.5082

Shorter timeframes, less delta-v.

Move the goalposts much? 

The topic I'm addressing is the "random" nature of the rock to be selected by virtue of one orbital characteristic only. 

In addition, I brought up Keck's ten year time frame of retrieving this random rock.

Somebody else had already posted the Cornell paper, so I had some previous familiarity with the abstract.  Yarnoz, Sanchez and McInnes focus on the delta-vee aspect, which is fine as far as it goes. 

Yarnoz and company emphasize the "strategic importance for science" in understnding the "formation, evolution and composition of the Solar System", by studying small, distant celestial bodies.  Which is fine too, even while it quietly dismisses the study of the large local celestial body, as if there is nothing more to be learned there, as the President himself, a Nobel Prize winner, has so stated.

Ignoring the scientific basis for the Executive policy instruction for the moment, the EROs (which of course is inherently more sexy than another acronym) that they seek, contain what the authors themselves categorize as "asteroid material".

So it's not at all about "see a penny and pick it up".  It's just about "get the nearest, smallest random rock and pick it up".  The populace will readily believe in the "speculated wealth of material resources" thus said to be ensured.

Perhaps the goal posts should be moved again, to a discussion of the non-existant machinery?

Retrieving an object of random composition based solely upon the convenience of its delta-vee and its orbital characteristics is not how mining is done, or will be done.

Umm.... retrieving ores solely upon the convenience of doing so is how mining has been done for thousands of years.

See a penny random rock, pick it up.

Ummmm....  Fixed that for ya?

You parsed out the word "random", and quietly assumed a useful metal, copper plated zinc.

And....  You also interpreted "convenience" to suit your argument. 

...  The mission planners ... analyze the asteroid retrieval in terms of delta-vee, not in terms of any utility.  ...  It's "convenient" ... to gloss over the ten year time frame (Keck) in retrieving the beachball, even assuming that all of the as yet non-existant machinery needed has been already flight proven and its reliability demonstrated.

Real policy is being made on the basis of juvenile argumentation.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Online Blackstar

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Re: Asteroid Retrieval Mission Concept
« Reply #83 on: 09/05/2013 08:11 PM »
According to Wikipedia Xenon production is 5-7,000m3 per year, which equates to about 35 tons. A single order for 12 tons might push up the price by a lot given production rates are determined by the much bigger market of oxygen/nitrogen distillation.
Any more news on this mission?

Man, that's a large portion of the Xenon market! Any ideas on who NASA is buying from? They should start stockpiling!

You are correct.  We were told it will take about 1/3 of the world's supply of Xenon to fully load the spacecraft.  It'll take two years to produce, transport, and stored in a refrigerated tank at KSC.  It is a US company, but I can't say who.
But the Xenon market isn't an enormous market anyway. And a nitpick: The world has a nearly unlimited /supply/ of Xenon, but currently we only produce a small amount of it per year (and this can be expanded).

I talked to the folks who put together the spacecraft conceptual design (at GRC), and they addressed the issue and really didn't think it'd be any kind of showstopper. Does that fit with what you understand, KSC Sage?

It is not an issue at all. This was discussed at the Target NEOs 2 workshop in July. Xenon is produced as a byproduct of cryogens production--freeze air (which is available at most discount stores and outlet malls) and various gases boil off at different temperatures, including xenon. Because there is not a significantly greater xenon demand than there is, unneeded xenon is simply dumped back into the atmosphere while producing LOX and LH2. But if somebody wants more xenon, all you have to do is ask the cryo producers to simply put it in cans rather than dump it overboard.

One speaker mentioned how several years back the DoD needed an extra ton of xenon for some experiment they were doing. This constituted something like a ten percent increase in the annual production. They bought that extra ton at the market rate, because it didn't cost the producers anything more to make it. Production is very elastic. Presumably, the only thing you need is some lead time for the producers.
« Last Edit: 09/05/2013 08:12 PM by Blackstar »

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: Asteroid Retrieval Mission Concept
« Reply #84 on: 09/05/2013 11:42 PM »
I am half surprised that Xenon is not purchased as a solid, it is the easiest way to gather it.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Asteroid Retrieval Mission Concept
« Reply #85 on: 09/05/2013 11:50 PM »
I am half surprised that Xenon is not purchased as a solid, it is the easiest way to gather it.
Huh? A cryogenically is not a good way to buy/store a quite expensive material (>$1000/kg).
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Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: Asteroid Retrieval Mission Concept
« Reply #86 on: 09/06/2013 12:02 AM »
I am half surprised that Xenon is not purchased as a solid, it is the easiest way to gather it.
Huh? A cryogenically is not a good way to buy/store a quite expensive material (>$1000/kg).

Xenon will come out of the LOX making machines as a solid.  They will have to boil it to get a gas.

Offline Hop_David

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Re: Asteroid Retrieval Mission Concept
« Reply #87 on: 09/25/2013 05:06 PM »
According to Wikipedia Xenon production is 5-7,000m3 per year, which equates to about 35 tons. A single order for 12 tons might push up the price by a lot given production rates are determined by the much bigger market of oxygen/nitrogen distillation.

Any more news on this mission?

As others have mentioned there's a very large supply of xenon in our atmosphere. It's normally thrown away in the process of liquifying air.

Given greater demand for xenon, xenon producers could enjoy economies of scale. It would become more of a main stream commodity rather than a specialty item. I believe increased demand would actually lower price of xenon over the long run.

A robust SEP as described in the KECK report could do more than fetch rocks. It could also deflect Tunguska or Chelyabinsk sized asteroids. It might also ferry payloads from LEO to LLO, something that could be hugely helpful in establishing lunar infra-structure.

There are various Firsters. The Moon-Firsters, Mars-Firsters, etc. They all reach the same result: nothing first, I talk about that: 1 Legged Stools


Offline Julesverne

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Re: Asteroid Retrieval Mission Concept
« Reply #88 on: 09/26/2013 12:35 PM »
Hop David: this is just fantastic ! You should propose that to the Space Review.
My personal addition to that excellent opinion:
Back in 1985, Zubrin had not reached the spotlight, and neither had spudis nor Wingo. At the time at Johnson Space Center was lunar sample curator Michael B. Duke.   Duke was a scientist that nonetheless had respect for manned spaceflight; and a geologist that had understood that geology could not be done by robots, yet it could be done either at the Moon, Mars or asteroids...
So you see, that kind of people exist. We need them to unify space exploration goals and destinations into a coherent end.


« Last Edit: 09/26/2013 12:36 PM by Julesverne »

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Asteroid Retrieval Mission Concept
« Reply #89 on: 09/26/2013 01:46 PM »
The three legged stool analogy is excellent, and I've also used the analogy elsewhere.  It is an imperfect analogy because the legs of the stool are not equal.  While the seat must be level, Luna, Mars, and the asteroids are at completely different locations, with barely intersecting commonalities.

The three legged stool analogy needs to be tweaked to accomodate these important pragmatic factors.  The legs are not of equal length, nor of equal ease of manufacture.  That's because the stool would not be not sitting on even ground.  It would be sitting on very uneven ground.

The distance, delta-vee, gravity, the time of travel needed to get to each leg of the stool; the hardware and money needed to design, build, launch, and maintain each leg of the stool; the new technolgies which must be built special order for the specific nees of each of the legs.  These are just a few of the differences between the legs which must be accomodated if the stool of an offworld human economy can be successful.

To elaborate:

The seat is the hoped for offworld human economy.  Each leg of the stool is Luna, Mars, and the asteroids.  The person who makes the stool is that subset of humanity interested in attempting to create that offworld human economy.  A functioning stool would have a seat, and one, two, or three legs.

It is possible to balance on a one legged stool, but it takes more energy to keep one's balance.  Same with two legs.  This can be done, at least in principle and at least temporatily.  If you want to start a martian colony first, you could, but you would have to supply that colony from Earth; that is, balance on the one legged stool.

Until all three legs of the stool are made, there can't be a stable seat, that is, a permanent offworld human economy.  We already have the seat; that is, we already have an economy on Earth.  That's pretty much a given.  The stool-maker (Ewwww...) must make the legs so that there can be an offworld economy; that's the innovation.

No matter how you make the legs, you must make and install one of them first, and one of them second, and one of them third.  It stands to reason that one would make and install the shortest leg first.  Then one could sit on the stool, which is the analogy of having at least a partially functioning offworld human economy, while making the other two legs of the stool.

The shortest leg, of course, is the small step of establishing a lunar base in order to support the establishment of the other two legs of the offworld economy: Mars and the asteroids.

Unfortunately, humanity is in the position where the people with the lawyers, guns, and money, are insisting that we attempt to build the longest, most difficult leg of the stool first. 

The official governmental effort is already doomed to failure.
« Last Edit: 09/26/2013 01:53 PM by JohnFornaro »
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Asteroid Retrieval Mission Concept
« Reply #90 on: 09/26/2013 04:41 PM »
They all intersect at a EML1/2 gateway.
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Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Asteroid Retrieval Mission Concept
« Reply #91 on: 09/26/2013 06:46 PM »
It may very well be that the seat of that stool should be at EML-1.  While I would establish unmanned elecric power generation at the lunar poles first, I would begin building a manned ring station at EML-1 immediately thereafter, starting with a 900 yard long tether.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline Solman

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Re: Asteroid Retrieval Mission Concept
« Reply #92 on: 09/27/2013 12:45 AM »
 Disagree that there are three legs requisite for off-world economy and disagree that EML-1/2 are necessarily requisite either.
 An off-world economy centered on GEO using tele-operated mining/refining/manufacturing of dead sats (funded at first by infrastructure servicing revenue) followed by NEO material, requires no human presence with its attendant high cost and risk. IMO the ideally short signal latency outweighs the kinematic advantage even of EML-1 but YMMV.
 Aerocapture to HEO of NEO material by unmanned miners followed by aerobraking followed by propulsive orbit circularization to GEO does use more propellant than required for capture to EML-1 but this is mitigated to a large extent by the use of the NEO material itself for reaction mass. Solar thermal heating to derive and heat oxygen and/or water from the NEO could reduce the material exhausted relative to direct use of mirrors with its lower 1 km/s exhaust velocity.
 Once a significant mining/refining/manufacturing/transportation infrastructure is in place there or perhaps at EML-1, BEO human space travel can piggyback with the robust robotic infrastructure. Travel to the Moon, Mars or beyond would have support of a very robust robotic infrastructure.
 Products could even be competitively produced for the ground based economy perhaps given the highly automated nature of manufacture, availability of constant sunlight, and potentially vast amount of NEO material available for the taking.
 This leg can indeed stand on its own and produces the largest space infrastructure the fastest IMO.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Asteroid Retrieval Mission Concept
« Reply #93 on: 09/27/2013 01:21 AM »
I don't think EML1/2 is strictly required, it's just a convenient place if you want some sort of base camp outside the Earth's gravity well. Which you may or may not need.
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 Danderman

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Re: Asteroid Retrieval Mission Concept
« Reply #94 on: 11/16/2013 04:51 PM »
All this discussion about the best places in the solar system to visit are great, but does anyone have any information about the status of this mission?

Offline newpylong

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Re: Asteroid Retrieval Mission Concept
« Reply #95 on: 11/20/2013 06:04 PM »
I don't think there is any status until we see budget numbers for next year.

Offline Eric Hedman

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Re: Asteroid Retrieval Mission Concept
« Reply #96 on: 11/21/2013 02:02 AM »
I just watched an episode of NOVA on PBS about asteroids that included a little bit about NASA' asteroid retrieval idea.  The bulk of the show was about the threat of asteroids and the potential for mining.  The show included people from B612 and from Planetary Resources.  The episode is called "Asteroids: Doomsday or Payday

A preview can be seen here:  http://video.pbs.org/video/2365105372/

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Asteroid Retrieval Mission Concept
« Reply #97 on: 12/08/2013 01:56 PM »
Disagree that there are three legs requisite for off-world economy and disagree that EML-1/2 are necessarily requisite either.
 
An off-world economy centered on GEO using tele-operated mining/refining/manufacturing of dead sats (funded at first by infrastructure servicing revenue) followed by NEO material, requires no human presence with its attendant high cost and risk.

I quite understand, but wtihout a human presence off-planet, that's a very narrow definition of an off-world economy.  Obviously, there's no need for a human tended "base camp" at L1 or L2 if there's no humans involved.

As to status updates on the mission of the OP, there are none to speak of, unless "status updates" are narrowly defined as press conferences and slide shows.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline catdlr

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Re: Asteroid Retrieval Mission Concept
« Reply #98 on: 12/12/2013 06:49 PM »
Asteroid Spacewalk Underwater Simulation Tests New Orion Suits | Video

Published on Dec 12, 2013
A modified version of the orange Advanced Crew Escape System (ACES) suits worn during launch and re-entry of Space Shuttle flights was tested at the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL) near NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Tony De La Rosa

Offline Velomir

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Re: Asteroid Retrieval Mission Concept
« Reply #99 on: 12/12/2013 09:10 PM »
Who is the astronaut in the suit?
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