IPB

Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )

 
Reply to this topicStart new topic
Surface Examination of the LCROSS impact site, Would direct examination be productive scientifically?
pilotpirx
post Feb 6 2010, 03:37 PM
Post #1


Newbie
*

Group: Members
Posts: 6
Joined: 3-March 06
Member No.: 693



As a follow on to the LCROSS impact mission, I propose a near-term (<1000 days from today to launch) lunar landing mission be dispatched to examine the impact site for distribution of volatiles in the impact crater and at nearby locations. The instrumentation should be modest, based on established rover designs, use RTGs and have trenching and volatile analysis capatility. Near real-time control capability would be possible. Perhaps a stripped down version of Mars Surface Laboratory could be considered.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
ElkGroveDan
post Feb 6 2010, 04:28 PM
Post #2


Senior Member
****

Group: Admin
Posts: 4657
Joined: 15-March 05
From: Sloughhouse, CA
Member No.: 197



It's all about costs and tradeoffs. The mission you describe could be designed with present technology but the cost and other priorities preclude such a thing. There are other missions planned for some time already in the pipeline waiting for their share of ever-scarce $$$$ not to mention other scarcities such as launch vehicles which are more or less booked for the near term.

The fact is that we can all dream up useful missions with RTGs and rover capabilities but science returned vs. time, man hours and money spent will always be a gauntlet that such missions must run. Ultimately, no one is sitting around wondering, "Gosh what kind of spacecraft can I build, launch and operate to investigate something interesting." There are plenty of ideas already on the drawing boards for missions to return way more science for the money spent than the one outlined above.


--------------------
If Occam had heard my theory, things would be very different now.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
pilotpirx
post Feb 6 2010, 05:03 PM
Post #3


Newbie
*

Group: Members
Posts: 6
Joined: 3-March 06
Member No.: 693



Thanks, you've made great points about cost and competing missions. That being said, in terms of science, the LCROSS impact obtained a uniquely positive result. Most likely, the impacter did not strike the highest volatile concentration within the immediate area. Trenching and other techniques in the impact area could reveal layering and indicate depths and a distribution gradient.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Phil Stooke
post Feb 6 2010, 06:54 PM
Post #4


Senior Member
****

Group: Members
Posts: 5551
Joined: 5-April 05
From: Canada
Member No.: 227



The mission you describe would appear to be similar to the goal of Russia's Luna Resurs (Resource) rover, now combined with India's Chandrayaan 2 mission, set for 2013, and also to Astrobotic's proposed 2014 Ice Surveyor mission:

http://astrobotictechnology.com/wp-content...nd-services.pdf

- except that they are not targeted specifically for the LCROSS impact site. Most of what needs to be done could be done in any of these polar cold traps, and need not go specifically to the LCROSS crater.


--------------------
... because the Solar System ain't gonna map itself.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
pilotpirx
post Feb 6 2010, 08:09 PM
Post #5


Newbie
*

Group: Members
Posts: 6
Joined: 3-March 06
Member No.: 693



Thank you for the information on future projects in the works. In choosing a landing site to continue the study of lunar volatiles I would have thought a visit to the Cabeus impact would be useful to establish ground truth. Being a few degrees north of the south Lunar pole suggests advantages for solar powered rovers, and for observing vaporized volatile cycles due to changing solar insolation. I am 100% for exploring deeper into the polar regions, but given we've discovered a case for certain, why not follow through, take advantage of the excavation, and refine knowledge of the site?
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Phil Stooke
post Feb 6 2010, 08:41 PM
Post #6


Senior Member
****

Group: Members
Posts: 5551
Joined: 5-April 05
From: Canada
Member No.: 227



Being in permanent shadow is not an advantage for solar powered rovers. The other point to consider is where the most suitable landing sites are, and where rovers can drive successfully into a shaded area. I agree that ground truth is very useful, but it may not need to be at exactly the same place, the actual LCROSS crater. Also there are permanent shadow areas that permit a direct communication link with Earth (at certain seasons), i.e. not needing a relay, and that is not true at the LCROSS site, as far as I understand it.

Phil


--------------------
... because the Solar System ain't gonna map itself.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
pilotpirx
post Feb 6 2010, 09:20 PM
Post #7


Newbie
*

Group: Members
Posts: 6
Joined: 3-March 06
Member No.: 693



I'll try to dig up some charts of solar insolation/Earth visibility as a function of time for the Cabeus region.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post

Reply to this topicStart new topic

 



RSS Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 30th July 2014 - 07:04 AM
RULES AND GUIDELINES
Please read the Forum Rules and Guidelines before posting.

IMAGE COPYRIGHT
Images posted on UnmannedSpaceflight.com may be copyrighted. Do not reproduce without permission. Read here for further information on space images and copyright.

OPINIONS AND MODERATION
Opinions expressed on UnmannedSpaceflight.com are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of UnmannedSpaceflight.com or The Planetary Society. The all-volunteer UnmannedSpaceflight.com moderation team is wholly independent of The Planetary Society. The Planetary Society has no influence over decisions made by the UnmannedSpaceflight.com moderators.
SUPPORT THE FORUM
Unmannedspaceflight.com is a project of the Planetary Society and is funded by donations from visitors and members. Help keep this forum up and running by contributing here.