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New Horizons 2, Backup mission
cIclops
post Feb 23 2005, 12:57 PM
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This seems worthy of a new topic now that we have a higher level in the board smile.gif

Alan has told us that such a mission is possible and could be launched in 2008-2009. There has already been some press coverage of the idea in this Space.com article

Some initial thoughts on what could be discussed here:

What changes should be made to the NH science objectives?

The new mission trajectory, a Uranus encounter?

What changes should be made to the original NH design?

How to sell the mission to NASA.


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YesRushGen
post Feb 23 2005, 02:04 PM
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QUOTE (cIclops @ Feb 23 2005, 07:57 AM)
How to sell the mission to NASA.

I think the biggest selling point is that we will get to study the Uranus system at it's equinox. The atmosphere will be much more active and interesting. Also would have the potential to create global maps of the moons. Voyager 2 caught the system in Southern summer - and only caught (at best) the southern hemisphere of the moons. Recent ground-based Uranus oservations are already showing a more active Uranian atmosphere than in 1986.

I hope NH2 will get the go-ahead!
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Alan Stern
post Feb 23 2005, 02:38 PM
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NH2 fans-- Go to www.boulder.swri.edu/pkb to download a .ppt backgrounder on NH2. Enjoy.

-Alan
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djellison
post Feb 23 2005, 03:20 PM
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I dont think I've seen an image showing such a small payload on such a large rocket in that sort of ratio since the Apollo command module on top of Saturn V smile.gif

Quick Q about what I guess is the -Y / Aft LGA

is it the same as the +Y / Fore LGA - i.e. simply held there atop the three structures, but not using any sort of reflector underneath - and infact what looks like it might be a parabolic reflector for it is the bottom of a spherical fuel tank? The Fore +Y LGA is simply atop a small reflector because that's what the MGA uses below, and the LGA doesnt use that in any way.

Is the MGA for up/downlink in Early cruise - it looks similarly boresighted to the HGA but I guess it has a much wider beam.

And will the whole thing be wrapped up in similar insulation to the back of the HGA - I love that stuff smile.gif A friend sent me a small sample cut-off from the Beagle 2 insulation smile.gif

I think there's an excellent case to be made for duplicate hardare for any key mission to be honest. It's worked beautifully with MER, and may well be employed with MSL. It worked with P10/11, V1/2, Vi1/2 as the PPT says. It does seem a bit nuts to build some excellent hardware and only use the design the once - and a sister spacecraft offers excellent value for $ if you consider the bigger picture. An NH2 would make for good value for people on the ground as well - commanding the two would make operations more streamlined etc. When you get to play with two spacecraft, you get better at doing it twice as quickly.

You may have to buy the guys at the DSN some drinks first though smile.gif

Doug
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Guest_BruceMoomaw_*
post Feb 24 2005, 01:26 AM
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I can tell you that NH 2 got absolutely no discussion -- none -- at the recent Solar System Strategic Roadmap meeting. Indeed, I asked Andrew Dantzler (NASA's new Solar System branch head) about this, and he said that its flight is considered unlikely and it doesn't really fit in well with the sequence of missions that NASA and the science community really wants to fly, so they felt no need to talk about it unless organizational circumstances change and its flight sudenly becomes more likely. (I'll add that the fact that NH 1 now is assured of enough plutonium to fly by some KBOs besides Pluto further reduces the chances of NH 2 ever flying.)

On the other hand, that meeting revealed a sharp surge of interest in the possibility of missions a little later that would fly by Saturn, Uranus or Neptune and drop off two or three entry probes at their flyby target -- after which they could very easily proceed to make some KBO flybys. The reason is that the Solar System Decadal Survey plan as it is currently exists pretty much runs out of worthwhile New Frontiers-type medium-cost missions after 2020 but suffers from a glut of super-expensive but scientifically desirable "Flagship" type missions, so the favored strategy is now to break up the latter into two or more smaller medium-price missions to make mission planning more flexible. Unfortunately, not that many of them can be thus broken up -- but it is possible to split the proposed Neptune (or Uranus) Orbiter with Entry Probes in two, with the orbiter flying separately from a flyby craft that drops off the entry probes.

You can fly the same kind of mission at Saturn -- and at Jupiter, where the initial hope of flying a less complex Jupiter polar orbiter that would drop off two or Jupiter entry probes just for the cost of a single New Frontiers mision has also gone agley, to quote Robbie Burns. A Jupiter polar orbiter and a Jupiter flyby mission to drop off multiple entry probes there will now also have to be flown separately.

Unfortunately, there won't be any celestial mechanical opportunities for a long time for a single such spacecraft to fly by,and drop off probes at, two or more giant planets. But some of these missions, if properly designed, COULD well include, as another bonus, another goal desirable enough that it's the focus of another possible future New Frontiers mission (which the Decadal Survey recommended for flight at some point largely at Alan Stern's urging): a mission to fly by one of Jupiter's Trojan asteroids and then also past one of the "Centaur" objects (like Chiron and Pholus) that apparently wander in from the Kuiper Belt to take up orbit between Saturn and Neptune. Of course, any mission that flew past a Trojan would have to proceed directly out to one of the more distant giant planets without a Jupiter gravity assist -- and it would be hard to set up a Centaur flyby with a craft that also flew by Neptune -- but the overall idea is quite workable. Indeed, a mission that dropped off entry probes at Saturn or Uranus might also feature a veritable smorgasbord of small-body flybys: first a Main Belt asteroid, then a Trojan, then a Centaur, and finally more than one KBO.
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Alan Stern
post Feb 24 2005, 01:56 AM
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Bruce-- Were you at SSES? I was. Jon Lunine directly asked me to discuss it and then several questions ensured after my invited talk on NH1.

That said, I agree NASA seems dead set against NH2. Of course, the community, as evidenced at OPAG, is by and large for it.

-Alan
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cIclops
post Feb 24 2005, 04:01 PM
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QUOTE (Alan Stern @ Feb 24 2005, 01:56 AM)
That said, I agree NASA seems dead set against NH2.

From what I've seen in the 2006 budget there are already two studies underway both competing for the 2008 New Frontiers slot, so it's going to be hard work getting the funding.

First idea, as launch is the main element of the cost, perhaps a trade can be done for an RSA or ESA vehicle in exchange for ISS capacity or whatever.

Second, drop the clone and go with international partners in a new design - both RSA and ESA or even the Chinese - add 20% for overhead smile.gif


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Guest_BruceMoomaw_*
post Feb 26 2005, 12:29 PM
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I wasn't at SSES -- but, as I say, I was a bit surprised to hear not one word about NH 2 from any scientist at the Solar System Roadmap meeting; it's for that reason that I finally had to actively prod a comment out of Dantzler. I repeat, however, that there is a LOT of interest now on the part of NASA in flying outer planets flyby missions combined with entry probes and small outer-body flybys -- the need to chop up the really big Solar System Roadmap missions wherever they can be so chopped (and there aren't that many opportunities) has become clear. I'll elaborate in my upcoming piece on that meeting.
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Alan Stern
post Feb 27 2005, 05:28 PM
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New from the Front: The New Horizons science team voted on 26 February to recommend NASA recompete the science team for New Horizons 2 and make all instruments facility class in order to maximize science community participation.
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cIclops
post Mar 1 2005, 07:33 AM
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QUOTE (Alan Stern @ Feb 27 2005, 05:28 PM)
New from the Front: The New Horizons science team voted on 26 February to recommend NASA recompete the science team for New Horizons 2 and make all instruments facility class in order to maximize science community participation.

Thanks for the update Alan. By "recompete the science team" do you mean invite new proposals from the (worldwide) science community?

Google gave this meaning of 'facility class':

A Facility-class Science Instrument (FSI) is a general purpose, reliable and robust instrument that provides state-of-the-art science performance at commissioning, through the use of modern, but mature technologies.

in contrast with:

A Principal Investigator-class Science Instrument (PSI) is a general purpose instrument that is developed and maintained at the state-of-the-art throughout its useful operating life.


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Alan Stern
post Mar 1 2005, 12:12 PM
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The gist of the thing is to select a new science team for the flight through
an open competition.
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cIclops
post Mar 1 2005, 01:31 PM
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Is it possible for NH1 to use NH2 as a relay?


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Alan Stern
post Mar 1 2005, 02:26 PM
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No.
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MiniTES
post Mar 1 2005, 03:18 PM
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Alan, Sky and Tel reported that if NH2 were launched that you would launch it to a binary Kuipter Belt object. Is that still the option on the table or are other options being considered for NH2 as well?


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Alan Stern
post Mar 1 2005, 10:03 PM
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Yes, that is a favorite option. A BIG bnary like 1996TC36; this
one also allows the Uranus flyby on the way. See the .ppt
on NH2 at www.boulder.swri.edu/pkb, this trajectory is outlined
in the .ppt

-Alan
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