Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: LRO's secondary payload decided (already!)
Unmanned Spaceflight.com > Earth & Moon > Lunar Exploration
BruceMoomaw
http://www.spaceref.com/calendar/calendar.html?pid=3967 : "Exploration Systems managers will brief news media at 2 p.m. EDT Monday, April 10, about plans to conduct high risk and high return research of the lunar surface using a new spacecraft. The press conference will be held in the NASA Headquarters auditorium, 300 E Street S.W., Washington. The press conference will air live on NASA TV and NASA.gov. Reporters may ask questions from participating NASA locations.

"NASA managers, engineers, and scientists have been reviewing secondary spacecraft proposals that take advantage of the payload capability of the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle, the rocket that will launch the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter in October 2008. Associate Administrator for the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate Scott Horowitz and lunar program managers will announce the winning proposal and discuss its unique mission."

Courtesy of an Inside Source, I've learned tonight what the choice is -- but I need to tell Simon Mansfield about it first.
remcook
already?

if they want to launch in 2008, I guess it's necessary!
Analyst
Good guess.

There is talk about sending something to the surface. I can't imagine designing and building and testing a lander in 2.5 years. MER was very agressive with 33 (?) months.

Analyst
djellison
I think Space Daily has the story as well -

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/JPL_Set_...ar_Mission.html

I'm guessing that it's a 'dumb' impactor - i.e. one not intended to survive the event. I wonder if they plan to do ranger style imaging on the way in, in which case it's the DI Impactor model basically.

Doug
disownedsky
QUOTE (BruceMoomaw @ Apr 6 2006, 11:47 PM) *
Courtesy of an Inside Source, I've learned tonight what the choice is -- but I need to tell Simon Mansfield about it first.

mad.gif
Well, I'm a little disappointed that NASA can't keep a better lid on such announcements. All the competitors deserve to find out at the same time.

And apparently, you're not the only one with an Inside Source. I'll just say people should keep their mouths shut until the word is official.
Jim from NSF.com
I heard that it will "loiter" for up to 3 months (in L2 I think) waiting for LRO to be checked out and then make its death dive
djellison
Well - loitering means that the impact will have to be from orbit, thus it will have to have it's own means of Delta V and thus attitude control I presume ( perhaps cold-gas attitude control with a solid kick for deorbit? ) and of course, that means the impact speed will be lower than if they went 'straight in' on the outbound trajectory. AND - the orbiter will have to haul the impactor into orbit (thus extra fuel for the LOI)

Of course, we have no details - so it'll be interesting to see what they have actually proposed.

Doug
Jim from NSF.com
It is not part of LRO but a separate spacecraft. It is not to affect LRO with respect to LV integration. I stated it might be loitering at L2
djellison
Ahh - it just shares the LV, it doesnt deploy from the orbiter...hadn't realised that.

Doug
Mariner9
I wonder how many people at JPL are calling this "KREEP Impact" ?
disownedsky
QUOTE (djellison @ Apr 7 2006, 08:19 AM) *
I think Space Daily has the story as well -

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/JPL_Set_...ar_Mission.html

I'm guessing that it's a 'dumb' impactor - i.e. one not intended to survive the event. I wonder if they plan to do ranger style imaging on the way in, in which case it's the DI Impactor model basically.

Doug


Hmm.. my best information (probaly not as direct as Moomaw's) is it's NOT the impactor, but we shall see on Monday. I can see the logic though - given the tight cost cap and short schedule, a spacecraft with no science instruments of its own would have the best chance of making it. OTOH, has JPL ever done ANYTHING for 50 million?
djellison
QUOTE (disownedsky @ Apr 7 2006, 08:38 PM) *
has JPL ever done ANYTHING for 50 million?


Sojourner?..umm....

I'm all out smile.gif

Doug
Myran
QUOTE
Mariner9 wrote: I wonder how many people at JPL are calling this "KREEP Impact" ?


Well it might turn out to be true and then your joke will be nothing more than one platitypus. tongue.gif
BruceMoomaw
Late news: I learned this afternoon, to my dismay, that I'd misinterprted what my source had told me. While the selected mission will definitely be an impactor, Keith Cowing is correct in saying that there are TWO impactor missions among the finalists -- and he may perhaps also be right in saying that the alternative impactor proposal from Ames Research Center is likely to be selected (although it's a much more complex and risky mission design than JPL's). What threw me, and made me jump to a premature conclusion, was that the Ames impactor is actually called a "satellite" instead of an impactor -- although it turns out that, like JPL's concept, it will actually start out as an Earth satellite in a very elongated orbit and then later run head-on into the Moon as a South polar impactor.

Anyway, I now have complete details on design of the Ames impactor from the same source, and will be including both this correction and additional information on both impactor concepts in a follow-up "SpaceDaily" story tonight. Sorry about that...
disownedsky
Just watched the announcement, and yep, it's the Ames impactor, and uses the upper stage as impact mass. It's carry quite a lot of instruments, actually, and they're partnering with Northrup Grumman. I just can't believe they have much hope of meeting the cost target.
Bob Shaw
LRO and secondary payload images:

http://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/multimedi...narorbiter.html

Bob Shaw
Spacely
Despite the relatively low cost of both LRO and LCROSS, where exactly does this mission rank in terms of size/scope?

Is this the largest unmanned mission we've sent to the Moon since the 1960s? Is the 80 million LRO the equivalent of the 700 million MRO?

Or, is LRO essentially a Discovery-class mission under the auspices of the RLEP/Exploration Directorate?
RNeuhaus
Extract from the The Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) Mission
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/research/...rbiter_sum.html

This mission provides a 2000kg Kinetic Impactor that creates nearly a 1000 metric ton plume of lunar ejecta-more than 200 times the energy of Lunar Prospector (LP)-which will be visible from a number of Lunar-orbital and Earth-based assets. We achieve this powerful impact by steering the entire launch vehicle's spent Earth Departure Upper Stage (EDUS) into a crater at the South Pole.

I seems it as not a good alternative since it might be going to miss a very preciated water ice if it is found due to the sublimation generated by the impact heat.

Is there another better alternative to keep as much the "found ice water"?

Rodolfo
Jim from NSF.com
QUOTE (Spacely @ Apr 10 2006, 05:15 PM) *
Despite the relatively low cost of both LRO and LCROSS, where exactly does this mission rank in terms of size/scope?

Is this the largest unmanned mission we've sent to the Moon since the 1960s? Is the 80 million LRO the equivalent of the 700 million MRO?

Or, is LRO essentially a Discovery-class mission under the auspices of the RLEP/Exploration Directorate?



It was sized to fly on a Delta II but the spinning 3rd stage caused some issues.
BruceMoomaw
So I fell on my ass big-time on this one -- and, my, is Simon unamused. The only excuse I can offer is that my mistake was based on what might be called "common-sense" reasoning: that is, since Ames called this proposal a "satellite" rather than an impactor, I assumed that it was a lunar orbiter (like their other finalist proposal). That is, I overestimated their own elementary logic, and underestimated their desire to get a cutesy acronym for this mission. If Alex or anybody else wants to crow about this, fine; but if they do, I think they will be -- to some degree -- unfair.

Meanwhile, I tape-recorded the press conference and will be dredging through it shortly for more details.
BruceMoomaw
QUOTE (Spacely @ Apr 10 2006, 09:15 PM) *
Despite the relatively low cost of both LRO and LCROSS, where exactly does this mission rank in terms of size/scope?

Is this the largest unmanned mission we've sent to the Moon since the 1960s? Is the 80 million LRO the equivalent of the 700 million MRO?

Or, is LRO essentially a Discovery-class mission under the auspices of the RLEP/Exploration Directorate?


LRO's current projected cost is $396 million, which puts it in the borderline between Discovery and New Frontiers. The piggyback LCROSS is projected at $73 million -- with what accuracy, God knows, since it strikes me as a fairly intricate mission, much more so than JPL's Lunar Impactor. (I've heard an unconfirmed rumor that Griffin picked it because of a desire to make Ames Research Center into a major player in the deep-space program.)

As for why LRO was transferred from Delta 2 to a much bigger and more expensive EELV: several reasons. First, there was a serious danger of fuel sloshing around inside LRO's big lunar-orbit insertion fuel tanks while the Delta 2's third stage was spinning for stabilization, and throwing the stage into a wobble. Attempts to design tank baffles to prevent this were more difficult than expected (although I may note that they had the same problem with the big tanks on the MESSENGER Mercury orbiter, and managed to design baffles to solve THAT problem.) But at the press conference, it was stated that LRO was also dangerously near the maximum mass limit for a Delta 2 payload -- and that switching to an EELV also solved that problem, as well as providing a big mass margin to allow a piggyback crafrt.
BruceMoomaw
I've just found this alarming announcement ( http://www.livescience.com/blogs/2006/04/0...icey-price-tag/ ):

"NASA big-wig, Mike Griffin, took part in the National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs. The top space agency official fielded media questions before departing for Russia to welcome home a soon-to-land crew from the International Space Station.

"When asked by this reporter about purported cost overruns of the Lunar Reconassisance Orbiter ó some say now headed for $700 million-plus price tag ó Griffin said he was not aware of such a problem, but would dig into it. 'Iíve kind of had some other things to do,' Griffin said."
edstrick
LRO is in some ways sort of a Mars Express / Venus Express type mission. Not much needed in the way of exotic new technology, though it's not a lot of genuinely off-the-shelf instruments like the euro mars and venus missions. That's an opportunity for costs to balloon, if not kept under control.
remcook
well...lunar diviner is basically a re-fly of MRO MCS with different filters. So in that respect there are similarities with e.g. venus express
gpurcell
LRO's current projected cost is $396 million, which puts it in the borderline between Discovery and New Frontiers. The piggyback LCROSS is projected at $73 million -- with what accuracy, God knows, since it strikes me as a fairly intricate mission, much more so than JPL's Lunar Impactor. (I've heard an unconfirmed rumor that Griffin picked it because of a desire to make Ames Research Center into a major player in the deep-space program.)


You know, this isn't an illegitimate desire. I love JPL, but having competition for them is a good thing, I'd say.
disownedsky
QUOTE (BruceMoomaw @ Apr 10 2006, 09:38 PM) *
LRO's current projected cost is $396 million, which puts it in the borderline between Discovery and New Frontiers. The piggyback LCROSS is projected at $73 million -- with what accuracy, God knows, since it strikes me as a fairly intricate mission, much more so than JPL's Lunar Impactor. (I've heard an unconfirmed rumor that Griffin picked it because of a desire to make Ames Research Center into a major player in the deep-space program.)

As for why LRO was transferred from Delta 2 to a much bigger and more expensive EELV: several reasons. First, there was a serious danger of fuel sloshing around inside LRO's big lunar-orbit insertion fuel tanks while the Delta 2's third stage was spinning for stabilization, and throwing the stage into a wobble. Attempts to design tank baffles to prevent this were more difficult than expected (although I may note that they had the same problem with the big tanks on the MESSENGER Mercury orbiter, and managed to design baffles to solve THAT problem.) But at the press conference, it was stated that LRO was also dangerously near the maximum mass limit for a Delta 2 payload -- and that switching to an EELV also solved that problem, as well as providing a big mass margin to allow a piggyback crafrt.


I agree - I don't think they can really do it for $73M. That's only 10% reserve, and normally you'd want 30% at this point, even for a conservatively costed mission (and this is far from that). That and NG (the former TRW Space) is not exactly yer low cost industrial partner. I think everyone must know they will overrun, and Griffin must have some cash in his back pocket for developing Ames' capabilities here.

I noticed that the question of how much more EELV will cost than Delta II was dodged, and not all that artfully, at the press conference (to be fair, they may have to keep mum on dollar figures for good reason). Answer: about $100M, plus whatever was already spent on Delta II engineering. People have been dealing with upper stage nutation control on much bigger spacecraft for decades now, and packaging problems with solar arrays are not a cutting edge issue either. The truth has to be that they are going way over their mass budget, since $100M will buy you a lot nutation control.

QUOTE (BruceMoomaw @ Apr 10 2006, 11:22 PM) *
I've just found this alarming announcement ( http://www.livescience.com/blogs/2006/04/0...icey-price-tag/ ):

"NASA big-wig, Mike Griffin, took part in the National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs. The top space agency official fielded media questions before departing for Russia to welcome home a soon-to-land crew from the International Space Station.

"When asked by this reporter about purported cost overruns of the Lunar Reconassisance Orbiter ó some say now headed for $700 million-plus price tag ó Griffin said he was not aware of such a problem, but would dig into it. 'Iíve kind of had some other things to do,' Griffin said."


I think it's only mildly alarming. He truly does have bigger fish to fry, and he has people who have to be responsible for bringing emerging problems to his attention.

On a related topic, NASA Watch is reporting shakeup in RLEP:
NASA Watch
jrdahlman
I loved the headline on today's paper:

"NASA/Ames to Crash into Moon"

http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews...th/14315034.htm



Makes a heckuva crater, but can anything short of Orion launch the buildings? biggrin.gif
Spacely
QUOTE (BruceMoomaw @ Apr 10 2006, 06:38 PM) *
LRO's current projected cost is $396 million, which puts it in the borderline between Discovery and New Frontiers. The piggyback LCROSS is projected at $73 million -- with what accuracy, God knows, since it strikes me as a fairly intricate mission, much more so than JPL's Lunar Impactor. (I've heard an unconfirmed rumor that Griffin picked it because of a desire to make Ames Research Center into a major player in the deep-space program.)

As for why LRO was transferred from Delta 2 to a much bigger and more expensive EELV: several reasons. First, there was a serious danger of fuel sloshing around inside LRO's big lunar-orbit insertion fuel tanks while the Delta 2's third stage was spinning for stabilization, and throwing the stage into a wobble. Attempts to design tank baffles to prevent this were more difficult than expected (although I may note that they had the same problem with the big tanks on the MESSENGER Mercury orbiter, and managed to design baffles to solve THAT problem.) But at the press conference, it was stated that LRO was also dangerously near the maximum mass limit for a Delta 2 payload -- and that switching to an EELV also solved that problem, as well as providing a big mass margin to allow a piggyback crafrt.



Thanks for the breakdown. Anyone know the planned instrumentation/science for the cancelled Lunar Observer from the proposed Observer series of probes in the late-80s? Is LRO superior to the Lunar Observer that never was? Or, is a world in which the Lunar Observer flew more knowledgeable on all things 'Moon" than we are today?
BruceMoomaw
QUOTE (Spacely @ Apr 11 2006, 08:01 PM) *
Thanks for the breakdown. Anyone know the planned instrumentation/science for the cancelled Lunar Observer from the proposed Observer series of probes in the late-80s? Is LRO superior to the Lunar Observer that never was? Or, is a world in which the Lunar Observer flew more knowledgeable on all things 'Moon" than we are today?


I can give you the precise list of prioritized instruments planned for Lunar Observer, once I dig up my photocopied list (from 1990). It would be most accurate to say that LRO's function is radically different.

Lunar Observer was designed to do a general scientific study of the Moon -- and it was planned at a time when, apparently, no one was thinking seriously about studying the possible polar ice deposits. Almost all its instruments have since been duplicated on the coming Japanese, Indian and Chinese lunar orbiters, which have a similar general-scientific-study goal.

LRO is different -- it's designed to do ONLY those studies relevant to making extensive manned lunar expeditions easier. Thus it focuses overwhelmingly on two things: studying the polar ice deposits (4 of its 7 instruments are solely for that purpose), and constructing an extremely detailed 3-D map of the lunar surface (using cameras and a very high-horizontal-resolution laser altimeter). Its remaining instrument studies the biological dangers of the Moon's radiation environment. Thus, while it will certainly gain a great deal of additional knowledge about the Moon, there are a very large swarm of major scientific questions about the Moon which it will simply totally ignore.

By the way, I did indeed re-listen to the full LCROSS press conference on my tapes last night. While there are several interesting details about the mission design, the thing I'll mention now is that Horowitz, asked about the total current cost of the combined LRO/LCROSS mission, gave a very fuzzy estimate of "upwards of $600 million" -- which presumably means that LRO itself, using its new enlarged booster, has risen to about $530 million.
Spacely
QUOTE (BruceMoomaw @ Apr 11 2006, 01:21 PM) *
I can give you the precise list of prioritized instruments planned for Lunar Observer, once I dig up my photocopied list (from 1990). It would be most accurate to say that LRO's function is radically different.

Lunar Observer was designed to do a general scientific study of the Moon -- and it was planned at a time when, apparently, no one was thinking seriously about studying the possible polar ice deposits. Almost all its instruments have since been duplicated on the coming Japanese, Indian and Chinese lunar orbiters, which have a similar general-scientific-study goal.

LRO is different -- it's designed to do ONLY those studies relevant to making extensive manned lunar expeditions easier. Thus it focuses overwhelmingly on two things: studying the polar ice deposits (4 of its 7 instruments are solely for that purpose), and constructing an extremely detailed 3-D map of the lunar surface (using cameras and a very high-horizontal-resolution laser altimeter). Its remaining instrument studies the biological dangers of the Moon's radiation environment. Thus, while it will certainly gain a great deal of additional knowledge about the Moon, there are a very large swarm of major scientific questions about the Moon which it will simply totally ignore.

By the way, I did indeed re-listen to the full LCROSS press conference on my tapes last night. While there are several interesting details about the mission design, the thing I'll mention now is that Horowitz, asked about the total current cost of the combined LRO/LCROSS mission, gave a very fuzzy estimate of "upwards of $600 million" -- which presumably means that LRO itself, using its new enlarged booster, has risen to about $530 million.



That's great info. Thanks for clearing this up for me. I could find precious little online about the Lunar Observer (or the Mercury Observer, for that matter) other than the fact that it/they were planned at some point.

So it seems safe to say that by 2012 or so, thanks to foreign probes *and* LRO, we will have not only all the science we would have had had LO launched in, say, 1995, but we will also have a massive amount of info for next-gen landings and in-situ resource use that would have been only hinted at by a billion-dollar LO mission in the 90s.
BruceMoomaw
Here's the final 1991 list, by NASA's Lunar Exploration Science Working Group, of the ranking of the 14 top-ranked instruments for Lunar Observer -- only the top 9 of which were in its strawman payload:

(1) Gamma-ray spectrometer
(2,3) A tie: laser altimeter and farside gravity mapping subsatellite
(4) Visible/near-IR mapping spectrometer
(5) Magnetometer
(6) Ion mass spectrometer plus electron reflectometer
(7) X-ray spectrometer
(8) Geodetic camera (100 meters/pixel)
(9) Thermal IR spectrometer
(10) Mapping camera (15 meters/pixel)
(11) UV spectrometer
(12) Second magnetometer (presumably on the subsatellite to help look for a metal core)
(13) Microwave radiometer (for an attempt to measure heat flow)
(14) Neutral mass spectrometer

A list the year before made by a separate NASA group was identical, except that the second magnetometer was replaced by a receiver to see how much radio-astronomy interference there was on the Moon's farside.

After the cancellation of LO, NASA made a tentative attempt to replace it with two smaller "Lunar Scout" satellites. The first would have carried X-ray and neutron spectrometers (the latter for polar ice), a laser altimeter, and a high-resolution stereo camera capable of doing the jobs of both the geodetic and mapping cameras above. The second would have carried a gamma-ray spectrometer and VIMS, and the two satellites would have tracked each other for farside gravity mapping. Congress quickly kiboshed this in the process of spitting all over Bush Senior's entire super-expensive Space Exploration Initiative.

Notice that most of these instruments are scheduled to be carried by SELENE-1, Chandryaan-1, and/or Chang'e -- along with some additional instruments. The missing ones seem to be a thermal IR spectrometer (although a new LPSC abstract says that the multichannel IR radiometer on LRO, intended to map polar cold-trap temperatures, can also do some of the compositional mapping work of such a spectrometer), and a heat-flow microwave radiometer (unless Chang'e's MWR, intended to map regolith consistency, is sensitive enough to attempt that as well. This goal is something of a gamble anyway.) By the way, the lunar impactor that the Indians now intend to add to Chandrayaan will carry a mass spectrometer, as well as a descent camera. If they're smart, they'll crash it into Aristarchus.

http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2006/pdf/1233.pdf
http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2006/pdf/2406.pdf
http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2006/pdf/1704.pdf
BruceMoomaw
As phase 1 of my attempt to pick up the pieces, I've just apologized by phone to Bruce Banerdt, the principal investigator for JPL's (un)selected Lunar Impactor. He took it in very good humor and even provided me with a good deal of additional information on the mission -- which, in turn, gives us a better understanding of why the Ames proposal was picked instead.

It was, as I suspected, the 2000-kg impactor mentioned in that COSPAR abstract -- a simple impactor without any instruments of its own. However, I had assumed that LRO would be able to observe the plume of any water vapor thrown up by the impact -- but Banerdt tells me that the "LAMP" UV mapping spectrometer on LRO doesn't work on the right frequencies to detect the OH emission from lunar water vapor; so all observations of the water vapor plume would have to be made from Earth (or from Hubble and other Earth-orbiting astronomy satellites). LRO of course will also be unable to detect the OH cloud thrown up by the LCROSS impact; but that mission includes a follow-up impactor equipped with extensive near-IR spectrometers and IR cameras set to the proper spectral bands so that they CAN observe the plume in great detail. (LRO will, later, be able to use its LAMP and LOLA instruments to examine the fresh crater for any signs of expelled or exposed water ice in it -- but LRO's Mini-SAR isn't sensitive enough to also do so.)
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.
Invision Power Board © 2001-2014 Invision Power Services, Inc.