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  Exploration: Asteroids, Moon and Mars
  [Discuss] NASA's Orion Asteroid Redirect Mission (Page 2)

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Author Topic:   [Discuss] NASA's Orion Asteroid Redirect Mission
SpaceAholic
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From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
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posted 06-19-2013 08:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Young is not stating he is not in favor of the returning to the moon - he is saying that if Mars is the priority then a lunar program is unnecessary.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 06-19-2013 08:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Watching today's testimony (and not just reading the prepared remarks), the message was clear from both Young and Squyres: Mars should be the priority, and no other destinations should be considered (other than cis-lunar space, as a shake-out cruise for Orion) until NASA puts forth a roadmap to Mars. Congress, nor the White House, should be setting interim milestones or other destinations for human missions.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 06-20-2013 10:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
At a meeting in Rome Thursday (June 20), NASA Administrator Charles Bolden met with Italian Space Agency (ASI) President Enrico Saggese.
Bolden and Saggese also discussed NASA's plans for a new asteroid initiative, previously announced in President Obama's fiscal year 2014 budget proposal. Saggese expressed the strong interest of Italy for the initiative and welcomed the opportunity to discuss potential ASI participation in a long-term exploration strategy.

Blackarrow
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From: Belfast, United Kingdom
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posted 06-20-2013 04:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The very idea of abandoning the Moon is absurd, ridiculous and shortsighted.

The Moon stares down at us. It dominates our night sky. It is not a point of light, it is a disc, a substantial place, a place which constantly beckons to us, a place which we started to understand, but need to study in much greater detail. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but in my humble opinion the highly desirable plans to visit Mars at some future time absolutely must not get in the way of the necessity of returning to, fully exploring, and identifying the resources of our space-sibling.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 06-20-2013 05:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Clementine, Lunar Prospector and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (not to mention a number of international probes) have together produced a rather comprehensive map of the moon's resources.

And no one is suggesting abandoning the moon. To the contrary, NASA is suggesting that the moon should be explored — by commercial and international entities, with NASA's help. More than four decades later, the U.S. government shouldn't be the only entity capable of exploring and exploiting the moon.

The U.S. is however, the only country that is going to send humans to Mars. As Charles Bolden correctly said (and I'm paraphrasing from memory), if NASA is not going to Mars, than no one is going.

Returning this thread to its original topic, I still fail to understand the objection to the asteroid mission.

The retrieval part of the mission is a robotics mission — it competes with Mars rovers and probes to Jupiter, not human tended lunar outposts or Mars colonies. It is a technology demonstrator that combines advanced propulsion and robotics technologies in a way such that its components will have other uses in space, too.

The crewed mission is a shake-out cruise for the Orion crew module. Why is orbiting the moon for four days seen as a better target than a captured asteroid? There is no lunar science or discoveries to be made; as mentioned LRO and previous probes have covered that territory several times over. Whereas a mission to a captured asteroid would not only give astronauts hands-on experience working with sample collection, but also navigational experience and (presumably) new robotics maneuvering experience as well.

SpaceAholic
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From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
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posted 09-12-2013 02:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
AFP: NASA identifies three asteroids for potential capture
The US space agency has narrowed its hunt for an asteroid to capture to three, NASA said.

The asteroids fit the requirements of being between seven to 10 meters (yards) in size, and further study should be able to narrow the choice even more, scientists said at a conference in San Diego, California.

"We have two to three which we will characterize in the next year and if all goes well... those will be valid candidates that could be certified targets," said Paul Chodas, senior scientist at the NASA Near-Earth Object Program Office.

Fra Mauro
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From: Bethpage, N.Y.
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posted 09-13-2013 08:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The asteroid mission is seen by those who oppose it as a one-shot deal, not as a building block in a long-term program, as the ISS is. In addition, it is viewed as busywork for NASA, as it was not originally in the Administration's space vision. Throwing them a bone, so to speak. People may be able to shoot down these objections, but they are there nonetheless.

328KF
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posted 01-20-2014 09:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It appears that Congress and the President are having second thoughts about the "asteroid re-direct" concept. While the newly approved budget gives SLS more money than requested, it defers any commitment to the mission.

From SpaceflightNow.com:

Congress gave NASA a funding level just shy of the White House's request of $17.72 billion, but the appropriation pads the space agency's deep space exploration programs, setting the Orion multipurpose crew vehicle's budget at $1.2 billion and the Space Launch System's funding line at $1.6 billion, more than $200 million more than NASA said it needed to meet a 2017 launch date for an unmanned test flight.

In a legislative report accompanying the budget, Congress refused to commit to NASA's proposed asteroid redirect mission to retrieve a 500-ton rock from solar orbit, guide it around the moon with a robotic spacecraft, then send astronauts to visit it aboard Orion crew capsules. Lawmakers wrote that NASA needs to justify the asteroid initiative and provide detailed cost estimates before winning congressional support.

The report accompanying the budget stated this about the asteroid redirect mission (ARM):
While the ARM is still an emerging concept, NASA has not provided Congress with satisfactory justification materials such as detailed cost estimates or impacts to ongoing missions. The completion of significant preliminary activities is needed to appropriately lay the groundwork for the ARM prior to NASA and Congress making a long-term commitment to this mission concept.

Fra Mauro
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From: Bethpage, N.Y.
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posted 01-23-2014 08:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sounds like the enthusiasm for this mission is dwindling.

cspg
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From: Geneva, Switzerland
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posted 01-23-2014 10:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
So it's ok to fund the car but not the road/destination (or vice-versa)?

SpaceAholic
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From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-23-2014 11:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The "car" can be utilized to establish an enduring lunar program.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 01-23-2014 11:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We're talking about a single Orion mission, not a program. ARM does not negate a future "enduring lunar program."

If EM-1 does not go to an asteroid, then it orbits around the moon four times and returns to Earth.

The choice at hand is where EM-1 goes, not what Orion is used for into the future.

SpaceAholic
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Posts: 3259
From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-23-2014 12:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
EM-1 resources compete against other courses of action - hence the relevance.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 01-23-2014 12:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The budget for EM-1 sans ARM is not enough to establish a lunar program and there is no talk by anyone about substantially increasing NASA's budget to make up for the difference (even by those not in favor of ARM).

As such, the choice is still where EM-1 flies, not what future destinations might be possible.

SkyMan1958
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posted 08-21-2014 04:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was watching a show dealing with asteroids on the Science Channel last night. I was amazed to hear in the section devoted to the asteroid capture mission that the spacecraft (which I assume would be Orion) is too small to carry EMU suits, and that NASA is planning to use a modified space shuttle launch suit, which given that it's just a gas bag has serious capability issues. Has anyone heard about this before?

I can't imagine that Orion couldn't bring along a couple EMU EVA suits for the astronauts to work in while tied up to a captured asteroid... or at least modified A7L type suits. Using a space suit that you are planning to do serious work in, without internal architecture, in the 21st Century sounds crazy to me.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 08-21-2014 05:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For background on the MACES (Modified ACES) suits to be used on Orion, see: Spacesuit design and testing for Orion missions
quote:
Originally posted by SkyMan1958:
I can't imagine that Orion couldn't bring along a couple EMU EVA suits...
It's not just an issue of packing a couple of EMUs (which are volume- and mass-challenged inside Orion) but also the support hardware needed to pressurize and use the EMUs in space. The MACES builds off the space shuttle launch and entry suit, which itself has a history dating back to Gemini.


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