Author Topic: Asteroid Redirect Mission to lay the technology foundations for deep space  (Read 55129 times)

Offline Scylla

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ARM Formulation Assessment And Support Team
http://www.coloradospacenews.com/arm-formulation-assessment-and-support-team/

August 29, 2015 – In the early-2020s NASA plans to launch the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM), which will use a robotic spacecraft to capture a large boulder from the surface of a near-Earth asteroid and move it into a stable orbit around the moon for exploration by astronauts, all in support of advancing the nation’s journey to Mars.

Throughout its mission, the ARM robotic spacecraft will test a number of capabilities needed for future human missions, including advanced Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP), a valuable capability that converts sunlight to electrical power through solar arrays and then uses the resulting power to propel charged atoms to move a spacecraft.

On July 7, 2015, NASA invited scientists, technologists, and other qualified and interested individuals to apply for membership on the Formulation Assessment and Support Team (FAST) for ARM. This call was open to all qualified and interested individuals (U.S. citizens and permanent residents) at U.S. institutions or representing themselves.

The application deadline was August 7, 2015 and 100 applications were received from highly qualified individuals representing academia, industry, NASA, non-profit research institutes, and other organizations.

On August 25, NASA announced the selection of 18 individuals to serve on the Asteroid Redirect Mission FAST. Members of the team will assist NASA in developing mission requirements, potential mission investigations, and developing a list of potential hosted payloads and partnerships.

The 18 member FAST team will include:

Erik Asphaug, Arizona State University
Neyda Abreu, Penn State University
Jim Bell, Arizona State University
Bill Bottke, Southwest Research Institute
Dan Britt, University of Central Florida
Humberto Campins, University of Central Florida
Paul Chodas, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Carolyn Ernst, John Hopkins University-Applied Physics Laboratory
Marc Fries, NASA Johnson Space Center
Leslie Geruch, Missouri University of Science and Technology
Danny Glavin, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Christine Harzell, University of Maryland
Amanda Hendrix, Planetary Science Institute
Joe Nuth, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Dan Scheeres, University of Colorado
Joel Sercel, TransAstra
Driss Takir, United States Geological Survey
Kris Zacny, Honeybee Robotics
NASA also encourages constructive input from outside of the FAST. Send inputs to [email protected]

The final report of the ARM FAST will be submitted to NASA around November 20, 2015 and is expected to be publicly accessible and available for comment at that time. The FAST will make every effort to include inputs that are received in a timely manner.

The selection memorandum with a list of the selected FAST team members is posted online: http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/20150821-arm-fast-selection-memo.pdf
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Offline jongoff

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Glad to see Kris Zacny is on the list. He's done a lot of work in sample acquisition robotics there at Honeybee. It'll be interesting to see what they come up with. ARM, if done right, could be an exciting mission. I'm just worried NASA will bloat it to death trying to spread the wealth to as many NASA centers as possible as a political expedient to try and keep the program from getting canceled if a Republican wins the WH next year.

~Jon

Online redliox

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Um...anything new about ARM or is it starting to turn belly up already?
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Offline Jim

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The agency is fully engaged with this mission.

Offline mfck

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The agency is fully engaged with this mission.
I honestly wonder what "fully" means in this context..

Is it along the lines of 'engaged on all fronts of politics, finance, engineering, logistics and science of the mission' or like 'we'd like to do more, but this is what our budget allows us'?

Offline Jim

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Is it along the lines of 'engaged on all fronts of politics, finance, engineering, logistics and science of the mission'

yes.  What else would SLS and Orion do without it?
« Last Edit: 10/13/2015 06:22 PM by Jim »

Offline sdsds

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What else would SLS and Orion do without it?

Jim meant this as a rhetorical question but I think it is worth evaluating. Without the redirected asteroid emplaced in Lunar DRO, SLS and Orion could do either of two things, each less impressive than the ARCM. But although less impressive, they would fulfill many of the actual objectives of the Asteroid Redirect Crewed Mission.

Be informed. Those objectives are clearly stated in:
http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/756143main_ARCM%20Reference%20Concept%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf

The sample return objectives of the mission are barely more than footnotes.

Most of the objectives would be met by a significantly descoped mission in which a crew reached and loitered in LDRO or some other high cis-lunar orbit. More of them would be met if the mission involved an Earth-launched rendezvous target (say a Cygnus-like inhabitable module).

Agreed of course those descoped missions would have no science value. But if what was really wanted from an asteroid sample return mission was, you know, a sample of an asteroid, then the mission wouldn't be using a crew at all.
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Offline arachnitect

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Offline punder

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Interesting that only two astronauts will be flown, "because a couple of seats will be used to store the suits."

Offline TrevorMonty

Using sun to mine an asteroid. ZeroG ISRU is on NASA wishlist, the ARM will give them something to test this technology out on.

http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/space/stories/asteroids-gas-stations-space

Offline Blackstar

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On Oct. 30 there was an extended telecon to discuss ARM. It was an open telecon and I know two people who listened in (there were also slides) and both said that it was very informative and interesting. Anybody know if there's a link to this anywhere?

Offline jongoff

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On Oct. 30 there was an extended telecon to discuss ARM. It was an open telecon and I know two people who listened in (there were also slides) and both said that it was very informative and interesting. Anybody know if there's a link to this anywhere?

I'll ask around.

~Jon


Offline jongoff

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I found it:

http://www.nasa.gov/feature/asteroid-redirect-mission-community-update

The recording is here:

https://ac.arc.nasa.gov/p2uso7polyj/?launcher=false&fcsContent=true&pbMode=normal



Cool. There was also a report released earlier this week by the industry/govt/academia team that NASA pulled together to advise the program.

http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/fast-final-report-draft-for-public-comment.pdf

Mostly dry technical details in this one though.

~Jon

Offline Moe Grills

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WOW! Christmas came early this year - real early. Look what the NASA Advisory Council just suggested NASA do.
http://blog.chron.com/sciguy/2015/04/advisors-to-nasa-dump-the-asteroid-mission-and-go-to-phobos-instead/

Upthread I think I pretty much said the exact same thing.

;D  (Dances around the Christmas tree)  ;D

Well, yeah! The Martian moons are ....really...asteroids; asteroids orbiting Mars. Anyone want to dispute that?
Sending an Orion, with a much enlarged Service Module(a Bigelow inflatable?) to Phobos would be BOTH a Mars mission and an asteroid mission in ONE. Taxpayers would get more bang for their buck.

Offline Paul451

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Sending an Orion, with a much enlarged Service Module(a Bigelow inflatable?) to Phobos would be BOTH a Mars mission and an asteroid mission in ONE. Taxpayers would get more bang for their buck.

Pedantically: A Bigelow module is a hab, it requires a service module, it doesn't serve as one.

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Sending an Orion, with a much enlarged Service Module(a Bigelow inflatable?) to Phobos would be BOTH a Mars mission and an asteroid mission in ONE. Taxpayers would get more bang for their buck.

A multi-year mission far beyond any hope of quick return in the event of problems in not one but two untested spacecraft. You'll excuse me for blowing cold on that as a mission concept for EM-2.
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Offline RocketGoBoom

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Is the astroid return mission dead ? It makes sense that it will be killed next year.
Nobody is really enthusiastic about it.

http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/02/nasas-asteroid-mission-isnt-deadyet/

Quote
After studying the problem, NASA engineers concluded they didn’t have the tools or the budget to mount a human mission to an asteroid. They couldn’t even come close to the 2025 date. So NASA kludged a solution that became known as the asteroid retrieval mission, or ARM.

Under this plan the agency would send a robotic spacecraft out into the Solar System, grab an SUV-sized boulder off the surface of an asteroid, and bring it back to the vicinity of the Moon. Astronauts would then visit it in 2025. Technically, this still met Obama’s goal. But it was an unhappy solution for most involved, and it wasn’t clear how this brought the agency much closer to its ultimate destination of Mars.

Ars reached out to one space industry veteran who listened to Radzanowski’s presentation for clarification. This politically connected analyst, who did not want to damage his reputation with NASA, offered a blunt explanation for Radzanowski’s asteroid comments: “Oh come on, these poor guys are just trying to get through one more budget release with a shred of dignity intact knowing it’s all in the crapper next year.”

That seems an all too realistic possibility. Congress has been lukewarm in its support of the asteroid mission, at best. Many scientists who study asteroids have said it doesn’t contribute much to their field of work. And it doesn’t seem likely a new president will embrace a “near-term” mission that won’t be completed during his or her administration.

One former senior NASA official who has retained contacts within the agency’s Washington DC headquarters said NASA is unlikely to go to bat for the asteroid mission with the next president. “Nobody believes in the ARM mission,” this source told Ars. “When the boss says go make this happen, you have to jump. That’s part of the deal. But deep in their hearts, is anybody really sold on ARM? I don’t think so.”


Offline Hop_David

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Is the astroid return mission dead ? It makes sense that it will be killed next year.
Nobody is really enthusiastic about it.

Most seem to be enthusiastic about paying lip service to Mars colonization while laughing all the way to the bank. It's not about attainable goals. Rather political pork.

Mining asteroids is a long shot but still has a better chance than Zubrin's pipe dreams.

Offline arachnitect

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Sorry, what's in the pipeline that's so much better than ARRM?


If anyone at NASA is feeling bored, I'd be happy to switch places on Monday.

And I understand that the scientists might not be interested, but "not going extinct" has compelling practical applications.

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