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March OPAG presentations available
vjkane
post Apr 8 2008, 09:37 PM
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http://www.lpi.usra.edu/opag/march_08_meeting/agenda.html

LOTS of interesting material here. Some highlights that interested me:

Cassini extended-extended mission (XXM) could last 7 years and end with a series of very close (10,000's km) polar orbits through the D ring gap to enable close in gravity and magnetometer mapping a la Juno

Argo proposal would be a New Horizon's class fly by of a Trojan, Saturn, Neptune/Triton, and one or more KBOs for ~$800M (but requires radioactive power source, so would seem to be out of contention for next New Frontiers)

Joint Jupiter mission design. NASA supplied Europa orbiter now required to conduct Jupiter system science including up to 4 Io flybys. To fit within the $2.1B cap (with 33% margin), Europa orbit would be reduced to 60 days and several instruments from the Flagship proposal would be dropped including the narrow angle camera)

Titan mission. Aerocapture no longer allowed, so craft would enter Saturn orbit first. Potentially allows new Enceladus observations. (Editorial note: Presentation was long on concepts, short on specifics. If this is an indication of the maturity of the mission concept, this does not bode well. I hope that this is only the style of presentation chosen by the presenter). Nature of ESA in situ probe(s) to be decided.

ESA Cosmic Vision outer planet mission. ESA is considering three missions for the next cosmic vision mission: an outer planets joint mission with NASA (Jupiter or Titan/Saturn), XEUS (X-ray observatory), or LISA (gravity wave observatory). Down select to two of the three end of '09, final single mission selected in 2011.

Radioisotope power. Lots of technical update, but a gem in the backup, the ASRG (Sterling engine) mission concepts being studied in more detail than I've seen elsewhere:

Moon polar rover (2 concepts)
Titan boat(!)
Io observer
Trojan lander
Comet lander
Comet coma rendezvou sample return
Mars lander drill ("a tour through Martian history")
Venus balloons (2)




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tedstryk
post Apr 8 2008, 11:31 PM
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Option A for Argo, which includes a Jupiter flyby, is also a possibility, and was the one that was spoken of at the LPSC.


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tedstryk
post Apr 9 2008, 12:13 AM
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I will add one more thing. If the spacecraft is still going on the seventh year of its extended mission, I hope they give it an 8th year if at all possible. If I am not mistaken, Saturn will be due for the next great white spot at that time.


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volcanopele
post Apr 9 2008, 12:29 AM
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A few blog posts with my thoughts:

Io Volcanic Observer
Preliminary Report on Jupiter Joint SDT

A lot of interesting stuff. If the Jupiter/Europa mission wins, I will certainly be rooting for the Titan Mare In Situ Mission. If TANDEM wins, then the next Discovery mission better be IVO!

Also note the lack of aerocapture of TANDEM.


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vjkane
post Apr 9 2008, 12:47 AM
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Some more thoughts on the presentations. First of all, NASA's decision time frame (2010) and ESA's (2011) may make for difficult instrument selections. If ESA is in, then their scientists will want to compete for instruments on the NASA-supplied orbiter. However, is that realistic given that ESA won't decide until 2011? Anyone know?

However, given NASA's tight budgets, they might welcome opening up the orbiters to foreign-funded instruments.

If Titan is chosen for the Flagship mission, then an Io observer that could also observe other Jovian system bodies would become very attractive. I still have my doubts that this can be done on a Discovery budget, even with NASA providing the power source at no cost.


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edstrick
post Apr 9 2008, 10:20 AM
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"...Cassini extended-extended mission (XXM) could last 7 years and end with a series of very close (10,000's km) polar orbits through the D ring gap to enable close in gravity and magnetometer mapping a la Juno..."

yes, Yes, YES!!!!!!
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ngunn
post Apr 9 2008, 11:19 AM
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QUOTE (vjkane @ Apr 9 2008, 01:47 AM) *
Some more thoughts on the presentations. First of all, NASA's decision time frame (2010) and ESA's (2011) may make for difficult instrument selections. If ESA is in, then their scientists will want to compete for instruments on the NASA-supplied orbiter. However, is that realistic given that ESA won't decide until 2011? Anyone know?


Seems like the pace is quickening. This is from the Neibur presentation:

Outer Planets Flagship Mission:
The Road Ahead
• Summer 2008: Preliminary mission study reports
•Summer 2008: Independent TMC and Science
review
• Fall 2008: Teams revise reports based on review
results
• Late Fall 2008: HQ and ESA downselect to one
OPF mission
• Early 2009: Begin Phase A, including release of
instrument AO
Attached File(s)
Attached File  Outer_Planets_Flagship_Mission.doc ( 23.5K ) Number of downloads: 195
 
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ngunn
post Apr 9 2008, 11:34 AM
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A couple of comments on the Titan proposal. I'm very happy to see more different types of in situ probes back up for consideration, especially a lake probe. I can understand why NASA has decided not to risk making the whole mission rely on aerocapture, but reading between the lines direct aerocapture at Titan could still be on the cards for one or more of the in situ elements. I'd certainly like to see it pioneered.
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vjkane
post Apr 9 2008, 02:04 PM
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QUOTE (ngunn @ Apr 9 2008, 12:34 PM) *
direct aerocapture at Titan could still be on the cards for one or more of the in situ elements. I'd certainly like to see it pioneered.

I think that a separate launch and carrier craft for the in situ missions makes a lot of sense. It removes any dependency on ESA for NASA's design (NASA can find other ways to either use the extra mass or a smaller launcher).


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infocat13
post Apr 9 2008, 09:09 PM
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QUOTE (vjkane @ Apr 8 2008, 04:37 PM) *
http://www.lpi.usra.edu/opag/march_08_meeting/agenda.html

LOTS of interesting material here. Some highlights that interested me:

Cassini extended-extended mission (XXM) could last 7 years and end with a series of very close (10,000's km) polar orbits through the D ring gap to enable close in gravity and magnetometer mapping a la Juno

Argo proposal would be a New Horizon's class fly by of a Trojan, Saturn, Neptune/Triton, and one or more KBOs for ~$800M (but requires radioactive power source, so would seem to be out of contention for next New Frontiers)



Cassini XXM,
I was hoping for the centaur option,I wonder how much fuel would be remaining after the centaur encounter and would it have been only an encounter or a orbital mission?
the paper states a three year flight time and less then a year to set up the Saturn escape.
The paper states 20 years to Uranus with little likelihood of science when we got there! ha !
but then......................voyager has lasted at least as long so we are talking money here for a long cruise

ARGO,
I like this idea!
why not make this the mission to test out the Stirling power generator? the Stirling is to be provided "free" to the PI. Several of the trajectories mentioned includes Venus earth mars flybys in addition to the Saturn flyby...........GRAND TOUR in 2017!
of course the answer here is Stirling will fly sooner then that.


"The Boat",
Is not!
its a submarine, you would think with all the waste heat from the generater could be used to heat just a little of the cryogenic lake water to provide propusion.




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vjkane
post Apr 9 2008, 09:44 PM
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QUOTE (infocat13 @ Apr 9 2008, 10:09 PM) *
ARGO,
I like this idea!
why not make this the mission to test out the Stirling power generator? the Stirling is to be provided "free" to the PI. Several of the trajectories mentioned includes Venus earth mars flybys in addition to the Saturn flyby...........GRAND TOUR in 2017!
of course the answer here is Stirling will fly sooner then that.

ARGO will probably barely fit in a $800M funding profile; Discovery missions are limited to ~$450M (I forget the exact limit).


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Roly
post Apr 10 2008, 02:47 PM
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Very exciting to read the OPAG reports, I look forward to them after every meeting.

I had a question regarding the descoping of the Europa Orbiter. To what extent does the deletion of the Narrow Angle Camera damage the ability to characterize the surface for a future (distant future...) lander? Is the ~10m of the Medium Angle Camera sufficient? Obviously it will do a better job than no camera at all, which sounds like the alternative.

I suspect the extended mission of the orbiter would be very limited, but if the final disposal of the spacecraft is Europa impact, could the sensor be designed to minimize smearing, perhaps allowing the return of a few very high resolution images in the final few orbits? Maybe borrowing from the experience of 'cProto' motion compensation?

It will be excellent to hear from the instrument study meeting too.
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gpurcell
post Apr 10 2008, 07:55 PM
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Very interesting stuff, thanks for posting.

The compromise position is becoming clearer--the losing planet of the flagship mission gets a Stirling-powered Discovery class consolation prize.
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vjkane
post Apr 10 2008, 10:50 PM
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QUOTE (Roly @ Apr 10 2008, 03:47 PM) *
I had a question regarding the descoping of the Europa Orbiter. To what extent does the deletion of the Narrow Angle Camera damage the ability to characterize the surface for a future (distant future...) lander? Is the ~10m of the Medium Angle Camera sufficient? Obviously it will do a better job than no camera at all, which sounds like the alternative.

A few months ago, I posted the attached file on resolutions of *narrow* angle cameras for the Europa Explorer and Jovian System Explorer. If the new Europa proposal is selected for the flagship and a narrow angle camera is not added back into the payload, then I believe that the resolution of the medium camera will be about 1/10 that of the EE resolution in the attached file.
Attached File(s)
Attached File  camera_resolutions.txt ( 1.47K ) Number of downloads: 153
 


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vjkane
post Apr 11 2008, 06:56 AM
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I looked up the specs on New Horizon's LORRI camera. It's resolution appears to be the same as that of the EE narrow angle camera listed in the document attached to the previous post.

LORRI weights ~8.5kg. If you add filters and shielding for radiation, then the EE narrow angle camera weight of ~15kg suggests that the possible EE narrow angle camera is similar in performance to LORRI (but with filters).


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