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Exploration Precursor Robotic Missions, what can we fly, and where to?
infocat13
post May 21 2010, 10:36 PM
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http://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/viewre...ursor%20RFI.pdf

The request for proposals is out!
The intent is that the SMD ( science missions directorate ) would work closely on these missions and fly instruments, but some of the payload would be ESMD (exploration systems directorate) payloads. ISRU comes to mind,however ISRU could be used in a mars sample return mission so here is my proposal that extends to yet another new proposed line item, the cryogenic on orbit fuel storage/transfer and the aeroshell.
aeroshell is being offered in the discovery AO.
so here is my idea, please critique me.

A Centaur or Delta upper stage is modified to both launch a interplanetary payload and to use residual fuel to power a fuel cell and batteries.My destination is Deimos to satisfy the ESMD folks, and the use of the upper stage to power the payload using its residual fuel is a demonstration of the proposed fuel depot line item.
http://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/viewre...49/Section4.pdf
The payload would include a communications relay for current and future mars robotic probes.The payload would have its own solar arrays and would separate from the Centaur and its solar shade, its long term fuel storage and conversion to fuel cell for power mission over.The Centaur then would vent any remaining consumables and impact Deimos to provide data to the science payload.

After the long term storage of cryogenic fuel is demonstrated on a robotic precursor mission, it could be used next in this scenario, http://www.facebook.com/LoriGarver?v=app_2...69&topic=63

If it is required that any outer planet science probe uses solar arrays and the aeroshell for orbit insertion, it may be required that the solar array must remain stowed behind the aeroshell, so I propose that when the cryogenic upper stage storage technology matures that this would be our power source for the probe in till just before aeroshell orbit insertion. I would think that a cryogenic upper stage could last at least in till orbit insertion to Jupiter.The cryogenic upper stage aeroshell stack could allow a robust Jupiter mission to include a lander
http://discovery.larc.nasa.gov/PDF_FILES/5...echnologies.pdf
and again the upper stage would impact a outer planet moon for science observations like LCROSS or perhaps fly a brief mission extension of its own.

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Drkskywxlt
post Jun 30 2010, 12:15 PM
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I'll try to make a post that doesn't run afoul of the guidelines. NASA's fleshed out this idea a little bit in these two links:

http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/new_space_...otic/index.html

http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/457443main_EEWS_Ex...ticMissions.pdf

The 2nd link goes into greater detail. They expect to start two missions next year, one of the larger (almost NF class) and one of the smaller (Scout) missions next year. This is all still pending funding approval. If this entire program is approved, it would be 50% the size of the entire unmanned planetary exploration program! Of course the ESMD priorities have the lead, but there would be a lot of SMD involvement and many of the instruments would provide excellent science as well as the hazard/resource/exploration information. I'm working on an APL ACE lab run right now to rough out some ideas for the "NERO" mission that's IDed as the first of the large class missions for possible launch in 2014.
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Phil Stooke
post Jun 30 2010, 02:31 PM
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Thanks - I hope you will post similar links as they come up, it's very useful to have people looking out for things. And regardless of an connection to future human exploration, if these are robotic missions we can discuss them here. I hope the MOOs will provide customers for some of these companies like Astrobotic or Odyssey Moon in future.

Phil


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... because the Solar System ain't gonna map itself.
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Drkskywxlt
post Jul 10 2010, 12:26 AM
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James Garvin, former NASA chief scientist, briefed the ACE Lab team leadership and some senior APL staff about the precursor mission strategy and our analysis of a NEO mission in detail. Basically, the news is this...the 2016 Mars mission is probably already dropped given more realistic financial estimates. The <$800M mission ideas for the larger missions is actually more like <$500M (Discovery class) with maybe one of the larger (NF) class per decade. Still, it's a very robust program that could complement SMD's objectives in many ways. These are definitely missions that have science as the secondary/complementary objective to ESMD's goals.

Several options are open for the 2014 NEO mission. We're looking at a single, focused Discovery-class mission. JPL is interested in a "shotgun" approach of launching 2-3 spacecraft to independent targets using SEP. There is a great deal of interest in ESMD and SMD both for an IR NEO-finder telescope. But, of course, neither directorate wants to pay for it. Most likely it won't be this first xPRP mission, but could be something that responsibility is split. It would also help meet the stated national goal of identifying 90% or more of 140m and larger NEOs. So, perhaps that could be a special item.
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stevesliva
post Jul 10 2010, 03:49 AM
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QUOTE (Drkskywxlt @ Jul 9 2010, 08:26 PM) *
JPL is interested in a "shotgun" approach of launching 2-3 spacecraft to independent targets using SEP.


I always like multiple missions with the same spacecraft. SEP=solar electric propulsion?
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Drkskywxlt
post Jul 10 2010, 10:31 AM
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QUOTE (stevesliva @ Jul 9 2010, 10:49 PM) *
I always like multiple missions with the same spacecraft. SEP=solar electric propulsion?

Yes...they'd need LOTS of delta-v to reach independent targets off one launch vehicle. Only SEP can provide that.
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infocat13
post Jul 12 2010, 07:34 PM
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The SEP technology demonstrator proposed here would fly an ESMD payload( a heavy payload) to GEO and then fly a mission to mars in this scenario.
http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/458818main_FTD_Sol...ulsionStage.pdf
But the payload to mars is only 15 Kilos,so what can be accomplished with this limitation?


http://www.lpi.usra.edu/sbag/meetings/sbag..._SBAG_11_09.pdf

http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntr..._2008004011.pdf

http://discovery.larc.nasa.gov/PDF_FILES/8...te_Aug09_v2.pdf

http://discovery.larc.nasa.gov/PDF_FILES/9...briefing_v2.pdf
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Drkskywxlt
post Jul 13 2010, 07:58 PM
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Interesting...I didn't realize this was part of the technology development program under consideration. Is this a completely seperate program than the xPRP missions? Obviously there could be some synergy of effort possibly.
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