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LRO development
jamescanvin
post May 2 2005, 01:31 AM
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Just read this interesting article about LRO

http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2005/28apr_lro.htm

QUOTE
"This is the first in a string of missions," says Gordon Chin, project scientist for LRO at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. "More robots will follow, about one per year, leading up to manned flight" no later than 2020."


One per Year? Is this just wishful thinking or have any tentitve plans been mentioned for follow up missions after LRO? If the next one is going to be 2009/10 then I guess some desisions about it will have to be made fairly soon.

James


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tedstryk
post May 2 2005, 01:35 AM
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If they follow through with it, it will be really cool. I just hope this doesn't turn into a dead end that siphons money from the real space program and then never flies.

QUOTE (jamescanvin @ May 2 2005, 01:31 AM)
Just read this interesting article about LRO

http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2005/28apr_lro.htm

QUOTE
"This is the first in a string of missions," says Gordon Chin, project scientist for LRO at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. "More robots will follow, about one per year, leading up to manned flight" no later than 2020."


One per Year? Is this just wishful thinking or have any tentitve plans been mentioned for follow up missions after LRO? If the next one is going to be 2009/10 then I guess some desisions about it will have to be made fairly soon.

James
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Guest_BruceMoomaw_*
post May 2 2005, 08:01 PM
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Judging from what I've read:

(1) There will indeed be an Announcement of Opportunity put out for the proposed 2009-10 lunar lander later this year.

(2) Judging from some of the background documents for the first meeting of the Lunar Strategic Roadmap Committee ( http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/apio/pdf/moo...rief_taylor.pdf ), it has been decided pretty firmly that this lander will investigate southern polar ice. The chief remaining question seems to be how ambitious it should be.
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tedstryk
post May 2 2005, 11:04 PM
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That would relate strangely to New Frontiers.


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JRehling
post May 3 2005, 04:53 PM
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QUOTE (BruceMoomaw @ May 2 2005, 01:01 PM)
Judging from what I've read:

(1)  There will indeed be an Announcement of Opportunity put out for the proposed 2009-10 lunar lander later this year.

(2)  Judging from some of the background documents for the first meeting of the Lunar Strategic Roadmap Committee (  http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/apio/pdf/moo...rief_taylor.pdf ), it has been decided pretty firmly that this lander will investigate southern polar ice.  The chief remaining question seems to be how ambitious it should be.
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The document has a couple of key sentences that amount to the "original sin" of bad thinking upon which a bad megaprogram can be based. The first key question the document poses is "What will humans do on the Moon when they get there?" What an astonishing question! They will play chess, perhaps? Make quilts? It is 100% bass-ackwards to assume that you need to send humans to the Moon, then wonder what they will do when they get there! If you're not starting with a function that requires human presence on the Moon, and only then ask if it's worth putting humans there to carry that function out, then you've committed to poor planning.
Then, there is the related "assumption" that a sustained human presence on the Moon is essential to a dynamic program of robotic human exploration of the solar system. Why make an assumption of this kind rather than try to prove such a costly principle? How does a Neptune orbiter depend upon humans on the Moon? Will it pause there for a 248,000-mile checkup before continuing its cruise for the remaining 29 AU?
Some of the justifications for this nonsense are the ISS hobgoblins reincarnated, goals that amount to "learning how" to do such and such. Of course, many of the features of a human mission to Mars could be learned in submarines, if learning were the goal. Others are not learned from a lunar mission at all. (Seeing as how "living off the land" would be very different in the two places; the distance from Earth; even the local gravity is very different.) To gain experience, through lunar exploration, in 4 out of 6 technological challenges re: Mars missions; instead of 2 out of 6 that might benefit from a submarine mission requires an exceptional justification for the added expense.
At the back of which, there has yet to be an answer to the showstopper behind human exploration of Mars, which is how the risk of backwards contamination can be put to risk. With this thread left dangling, this entire tens-of-billions enterprise comes unraveled, and looks to be a way to spend an enormous amount of money pursuing a programatic dead end. Some nice lunar, and perhaps martian, science will come along the way, and sometime circa 2025, a new NASA Administrator will be able to look back on the stalled and failed and overbudget Bush plan, shake his head kindly, and promise a new satchel of bunk for the next 15 years' plan.

If there is truly a purpose for mankind that depends upon human lunar missions in the short run, it must be far more elaborate than furthering martian science. This entire program consists of a blindfolded person taking a stick and aiming for a pinata that is behind him and 5,000 miles away.
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Guest_BruceMoomaw_*
post May 4 2005, 12:16 AM
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Well, you know, Bush has already blindfolded himself once, taken a stick, and aimed at a much larger pinata that really is about 5000 miles away -- namely, Iraq. He was just doing it again here (and at least the Space Pinata isn't filled with bees).

At the first Mars Strategic Roadmap Committee meeting (which I attended), Sean O'Keefe showed up at the very start and blew menacingly through his mustache that the members were under no circumstances to actually question any of the official space goals that the Great Leader had stated in his official Initiative description -- including that manned return to the Moon. Their job was only to recommend how the Great Leader's goals could be achieved most economically. Nevertheless, by the third and last day of the meeting the members were in open rebellion; a whole series of them (including Sally Ride) said flatly that the Great Leader had better make up his damn mind whether he was really serious about initiating a manned Mars program in the fairly near future, because the manned lunar program was not only unnecessary for it but a serious bleed-off of resources from it.

Now, of course, new NASA Administrator Griffin has already started radically shaking up the entire manned program again -- including totally cancelling all of the Strategic Roadmapping Committees that dealt in any way with the design of the manned space program (plus the one on Nuclear Systems, which includes Project Prometheus). I don't yet know what he's up to; but I would hope that -- since Griffin, unlike O'Keefe, actually knows something about space technology and science -- we may be about to see a radical revision of the manned space program, both the current Shuttle/Station fiasco and the design of what will follow it. Hope springs eternal.
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babakm
post Jul 12 2005, 01:59 PM
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New article on LRO:

http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2005/11jul_lroc.htm
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SFJCody
post Sep 4 2005, 04:10 PM
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LROC site up:

http://www.msss.com/lro/lroc/index.html
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dilo
post Sep 7 2005, 01:05 AM
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QUOTE (SFJCody @ Sep 4 2005, 04:10 PM)


Humm, 0.5 m/pixel... meanwhile, maybe someone didn't notice:SMART-1 views Glushko crater on the Moon
(150m/pixel sad.gif )


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Guest_BruceMoomaw_*
post Sep 16 2005, 05:32 AM
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Ominous indication tonight that LRO may be about to be cancelled due to lack of funds: http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=18090 .

Griffin has already thrown the Prometheus nuclear-electric propulsion project to the wolves for the same reason: http://timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp...sdate=9/14/2005 . God knows how much more will have to be thrown from the sleigh thanks to NASA's continuing fiscal travails, culminating in at least $1.1 billion in short-term post-Katrina costs. You're gonna have to decide whether you want a manned or an unmanned space program, guys; there isn't enough money for both.
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Guest_BruceMoomaw_*
post Sep 16 2005, 05:36 AM
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Stop the presses! No sooner did I write that than I got two E-mail messages from insiders claiming that they have every reason to think LRO is still on, and that what that message actually indicates is just that NASA may be eliminating outside competitive contracts for its propulsion system and picking single-source procurement of an existing system to save time.
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edstrick
post Sep 16 2005, 07:11 AM
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Somebody said, yesterday -?on another thread?- that Lockmart was turning all propulsion hardware for the partially completed and now terminated hubble deorbit vehicle over to LRO, I think.
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Redstone
post Sep 30 2005, 08:23 PM
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Things are starting to move on the Lunar Lander, which will follow LRO in 2010. As Bruce hinted, its main target is polar ice.

NASA Press release


EDIT: October 6.

A few more details on the proposed lander: the project is aiming unofficially for Shackleton crater, and it may have some kind of surface explorer, possibly a hopper. (Terrain too tough for a rover.)
New Scientist article
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jamescanvin
post Oct 18 2005, 01:38 AM
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Decent Space Review article this week, giving a good overview of the various unmanned lunar missions currently planned. LRO, Chang’e-1, Chandrayaan-1, SELENE, etc and various follow ons.

James


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Rakhir
post Oct 18 2005, 07:05 AM
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QUOTE (dilo @ Sep 7 2005, 03:05 AM)
Humm, 0.5 m/pixel... meanwhile, maybe someone didn't notice:SMART-1 views Glushko crater on the Moon
(150m/pixel sad.gif )
*


Sure Dilo, the resolution of AMIE camera is not very impressive but don't forget that SMART-1 is a technologic demonstrator (ion propulsion, advanced solar panels, new communications and navigational techniques testing, miniaturization...). SMART means "Small Missions for Advanced Research in Technology".

The miniaturization objective results in having a dozen of technological and scientific payloads weighting only 19 kg, for a total spacecraft mass of 370 kg.

Below, an idea of the size of the ultra-compact visible and near-IR camera.

Attached Image
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