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  [Discuss] NASA's Artemis-2 mission (Orion)

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Author Topic:   [Discuss] NASA's Artemis-2 mission (Orion)
Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-02-2016 03:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Please use this topic to discuss Artemis-2, NASA's first crewed flight of the Space Launch System with its Orion spacecraft.

Kite
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posted 12-02-2016 03:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kite     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This all seems very promising and I just hope that yet another change of policy doesn't happen. We could be in for some exciting times again, which I know the younger generation will appreciate. Also mine, who were lucky enough to witness Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, ASTP and the space shuttle, not forgetting the Soviet effort as well.

Interesting times ahead, hopefully.

SkyMan1958
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posted 12-02-2016 09:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Given that NASA has already shown some wavering over Orion, it will be interesting to see if this mission is ever flown.

328KF
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posted 12-05-2016 11:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It will be interesting to see in the coming months where this is all going to lead. Right now every person with an opinion who can get within earshot of the incoming President is going to suggest that their ideas are best.

The current justification for Orion/SLS is nonsensical. The flight rate is so low, the costs so high, and for what?

Heavy lift is important. We haven't had it in proper quatanties for decades. But Orion is the orphan child of Constellation. It was envisioned to handle rather brief lunar trips, not for 500+ day missions to Mars.

I would challenge anyone at NASA to justify hauling what is essentially a re-entry vehicle for Earth's atmosphere all the way to Mars and back. You can't live in the thing, you need a hab. And if you have a hab with its own controls, why do you need a capsule?

Soyuz spacecraft are certified for six months attached to ISS. Exposing your re-entry vehicle to deep space conditions for far longer and risking your safe return to Earth sounds like a tremendously unnecessary challenge.

I'm all for SLS/Orion, but this is not the architecture that gets us to Mars.

Jim Behling
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posted 12-05-2016 01:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by 328KF:
Soyuz spacecraft are certified for six months attached to ISS. Exposing your re-entry vehicle to deep space conditions for far longer and risking your safe return to Earth sounds like a tremendously unnecessary challenge.
That is because of the use of hydrogen peroxide in the decent module attitude control system. It tends to decompose. The six months has nothing to do with the viability of a reentry vehicle to deep space conditions.

There is no risk or challenge. How else are spacecraft going to enter Mars atmosphere if we can't make entry vehicles that can't survive deep space for the outbound trip? Same goes for the landing X-37B after more than two years in orbit. Or the entry vehicles for Genesis, Stardust, and especially OSIRIS-REx with its capsule surviving in deep space for more than seven years.

quote:
I would challenge anyone at NASA to justify hauling what is essentially a re-entry vehicle for Earth's atmosphere all the way to Mars and back. You can't live in the thing, you need a hab. And if you have a hab with its own controls, why do you need a capsule?
That is an easy challenge. Orion is going along to Mars because a capsule with heat shield is lighter than the propellant needed to brake the hab into earth orbit from Mars to transfer the crew to another spacecraft with a heat shield. Orion also serves as a backup control center and a safe haven for emergencies.

SLS is the folly. Heavy lift is not needed and that is why we haven't had it in decades. Cheap lift is needed.

328KF
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posted 12-05-2016 03:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
All good points for discussion Jim. My thinking on the Orion is that the other examples you cited are all unmanned. In this case, NASA has proposed carrying the return vehicle out and back for many many months, and its main function is critical to mission success.

Say, for one example, a micrometeoroid punctures Orion on day 50 outbound and it bleeds out. How do you contend with that? Close the hatch. Complete the mission, and hope someone comes up with a plan over the next few months to get you back, I suppose.

Exposure to space for the surface related spacecraft is limited to a one way trip, then on the surface as well, but that is a necessary requirement of the mission. A lot of money and engineering will have to be thrown at those challenges. So the question is, how much more money and engineering does Orion take to meet its design requirements?

I'm not sure Orion could support four people for very long as a safe haven. Even if its own consumables could last (I have no idea if they could... would it be powered down during coast?) the crew would have no doubt left everything else they need to survive in whatever module they have to evacuate.

Now, if you ask me if SLS were the rocket to get us to Mars I would say no. In fact, I don't think any chemical rocket will get us there. Some of these other technologies that are coming along could cut the trip time by significant amounts, thus reducing the risk to vehicles and crew.

It would be sad to have our intrepid crew coasting out to Mars, from a chemical push they got months prior, watching their SEP-powered supply ship zip by them on the way out!

Jim Behling
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posted 12-05-2016 06:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by 328KF:
Say, for one example, a micrometeoroid punctures Orion on day 50 outbound and it bleeds out. How do you contend with that?
Do an EVA (external or internal) and repair the hole and then repressurize it. What would be done if the hab got a hole in it?
quote:
So the question is, how much more money and engineering does Orion take to meet its design requirements?
Three, four, five months or three years, it doesn't matter, the environment is the same and hence there isn't a real engineering challenge for designing it.
quote:
I'm not sure Orion could support four people for very long as a safe haven.
It isn't a long duration safe haven, it is for escaping a problem and regrouping. Like a fire in the hab, the crew goes in the Orion and vents the hab.
quote:
It would be sad to have our intrepid crew coasting out to Mars, from a chemical push they got months prior, watching their SEP-powered supply ship zip by them on the way out!
Chemical rockets will always beat SEP to Mars in time of flight. SEP have slow acceleration.

328KF
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posted 12-05-2016 08:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
While I disagree on several of your replies, rather than go line by line, I would offer a generalized concept.

I think SLS is a good rocket for what it was intended to be when it was the Ares (let's face it, Orion and SLS are politically resurrected Ares type vehicles). That being a short lunar sortie-type mission that could lay the groundwork for a base there.

It's been long discussed how the design was parsed out to some of the shuttle legacy contactors and essentially designed by committee. Orion itself was axed then later reinstated as a super expensive option to the Dragon and CST-100. The SLS/Orion design was, therefore, not a vehicle designed for its intended mission of going to Mars.

In efforts to offer more livable space for deep space missions, there were even concepts floated to fly two docked Orions on these flights. Why buy one when you can get two for twice the price? Silly.

SEP was just one example for propulsion. There are other technologies coming along such as (gritting my teeth) VASMIR, ion, and this new, yet to be fully understood microwave thing that has recently been confirmed to work. The key to the whole thing is to cut down the travel time... better on astronauts, and it eases the requirements for all of the equipment and spacecraft.

Personally, I think if SLS must go forward, use it to do manned lunar missions. Develop technologies there. Bring in international and commercial partners to do the resupply stuff. Gain operational experience and go after the water there.

Invest in new propulsion technologies and when mature, incorporate that into purpose-built deep space exploration vehicles down the road.

I used to think that if the money kept flowing, Apollo could have led directly to a Mars program. Years later, after a lot of reading, thinking, and yes, even watching movies, I've come to realize that it is an incredible difficult undertaking. Add the inherent difficulties to the current state of technology and NASA's aversion to risk, I am having a difficult time seeing how an Apollo-style architecture fits the bill.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-05-2016 09:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by 328KF:
The SLS/Orion design was, therefore, not a vehicle designed for its intended mission of going to Mars.
The purpose of SLS is to deliver the components of the Mars-bound spacecraft — hab modules, propulsion module, fuel tanks and re-entry modules (i.e. Orion) — from the ground for assembly in Earth orbit (or perhaps cis-lunar space).
quote:
SEP was just one example for propulsion. There are other technologies coming along such as (gritting my teeth) VASMIR, ion...
NASA's Mars plans, such that they exist, call for using SEP and ion engines to propel its exploration vehicles. But those engines need to be launched from Earth on chemical rockets.

You can do that on SLS in large chunks at a higher per-launch price, or you can do it piecemeal on smaller, cheaper (commercial) launch vehicles, but you increase the risk to key components with every additional flight. It is a trade off — there are benefits and drawbacks to each approach.

quote:
...and this new, yet to be fully understood microwave thing that has recently been confirmed to work.
To be clear, it has not been confirmed to work. It has been peer reviewed for publication, which only means that it has reached a point where others can now test it to see if it works as described.

328KF
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posted 12-05-2016 10:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ah, yes. Poor wording on my part regarding the EmDrive. Here is an article discussing it and a potential in-space demo flight to confirm it.

Back to the topic of EM-2, I look forward to its success. I think regardless of how we figure out how to get to Mars, having the capability to do some of the things it will demonstrate opens many possibilities in the meantime.

Unfortunately, I think NASA has struggled to convey to the public how this all fits together and what, if any, plan there really is.

Jim Behling
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posted 12-06-2016 06:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by 328KF:
While I disagree on several of your replies, rather than go line by line, I would offer a generalized concept.
I challenge you to provide data to support your disagreements. I work for NASA and posts made from a basic lack of knowledge (example, Soyuz orbital lifetime) are a pet peeve of mine.

I don't agree with SLS/Orion but I have educated reasons for my opinion.

328KF
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posted 12-06-2016 09:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Jim, I had no intent to start an argument. Since I don't work for NASA, I don't have any "data," but for the sake of discussion, let's talk about that hole in Orion.

Your scenario assumes there was no other irreparable damage done to Orion or its systems. What if the meteoroid took out some vital controls with no redundancy elsewhere? What if the parachutes or their control mechanisms get damaged?

I can think of some mitigations as well... have Orion in a trailing position shielded by other structure or even enclose it in a "hangar" to protect it from damage and thermally comfy.

But if they decide to take it on the entire trip, it does indeed assume a higher risk. Just a very basic risk model looks at the potential severity of a threat as compared to the potential exposure to it. The longer you expose yourself to a potential catastrophic threat, without mitigation, the more risk you assume.

I've mentioned a few mitigations, and another would be to speed the trip up using alternative propulsion technologies.

Jim Behling
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posted 12-06-2016 11:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by 328KF:
But if they decide to take it on the entire trip, it does indeed assume a higher risk.
The risk of the scenario of bringing Orion along is still less than than meeting a return craft in earth orbit.
quote:
I've mentioned a few mitigations, and another would be to speed the trip up using alternative propulsion technologies.
There are no viable alternative propulsion technologies for the foreseeable future. Chemical is the only current method for manned missions. Ion takes too long.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-06-2016 08:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by 328KF:
It will be interesting to see in the coming months where this is all going to lead.
In the short term, it seems Congress wants SLS and Orion to proceed as planned. The continuing resolution introduced by the House appropriations chairman today to fund the government through April 28, 2017 includes "a provision allowing funds for NASA's Deep Space Exploration program to avoid delays that would increase long-term costs."
Amounts made available by section 101 for 'National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Exploration' may be apportioned up to the rate for operations necessary to maintain the planned launch capability schedules for the Space Launch System launch vehicle, Exploration Ground Systems, and Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle programs.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-26-2018 10:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From today's (March 26) NASA Advisory Council human exploration and operations committee meeting, a mission chart for EM-2:

Headshot
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posted 03-28-2018 11:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Headshot   Click Here to Email Headshot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert, was a figure for the apogee of the high Earth orbit given?

Also, was there any suggestion as to when the names of the EM-2 crew would be announced?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-28-2018 12:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have not heard or seen a figure for the high Earth orbit altitude, but as the chart mentions Orion will complete one 24-hour orbit, that would mean about 22,000 miles.

As for the EM-2 crew, no word yet, but we probably would not see an assignment much before 2021 (assuming a 2023 launch date for EM-2).

SpaceAholic
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posted 04-16-2018 10:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA will likely launch its first astronauts into deep space since the Apollo program on a less powerful version of its Space Launch System rocket than originally planned, Ars Technica reports.
Although it has not been officially announced, in recent weeks mission planners at the space agency have begun designing "Exploration Mission 2" to be launched on the Block 1 version of the SLS rocket, which has the capability to lift 70 tons to low Earth orbit.

Acting agency administrator Robert Lightfoot confirmed during a Congressional hearing on Thursday that NASA is seriously considering launching humans to the Moon on the Block 1 SLS. "We'll change the mission profile if we fly humans and we use the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (ICPS), because we can't do what we could do if we have the Exploration Upper Stage," Lightfoot said.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-27-2018 03:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From today's (Aug. 27) NASA Advisory Council human exploration and operations committee meeting, an updated mission chart for EM-2:

Fra Mauro
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posted 08-28-2018 02:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Any timetable on the EM-2 Orion's arrival at Kennedy Space Center?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-28-2018 02:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The capsule arrived at Kennedy on Friday, (Aug. 24).
Now in the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building, Lockheed Martin technicians will immediately start assembly and integration on the EM-2 crew module.

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posted 08-29-2018 10:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Headshot   Click Here to Email Headshot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is that 4800 nmi figure the altitude above the mean lunar diameter or the altitude from the moon's center?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-29-2018 10:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It 4,800 nautical miles above the surface of the far side, according to Nujoud Merancy, Exploration Mission Analysis Lead at NASA's Johnson Space Center, in an interview with NASASpaceflight.com.
"[The trajectories] are all free-returns but the altitude that you target on your free return would adjust your mission duration," Merancy explained. "We are picking 4800 nautical miles, because that makes it an even number of days so you fly by [the Moon] during the middle of the crew day — it would be really sucky to fly by in the middle of crew sleep."

"So we picked the altitude for the shortest time that was an even number of days," she continued, "so four days out, four days in, which puts fly by right in the middle of the crew day, the same time they did TLI. That was the rationale for the altitude we've picked right now. If you wanted to do a longer mission, you just pick a further altitude but that does mean you're flying farther from the Moon when you go by. There's no real reason to do that right now."

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-13-2020 12:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Artemis 2 mission plan, as it exists today, from the NASA Advisory Committee Human Exploration and Operations (HEO) meeting on Wednesday (May 13).

Delta7
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posted 12-19-2020 11:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Delta7   Click Here to Email Delta7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA astronauts Stephanie Wilson, Jonny Kim, and Randy Bresnik take a look at the Orion spacecraft simulator that recently arrived at the agency's Johnson Space Center in Houston.
Future Artemis II crew? (I know Bresnik is not among the 18, but his current position puts him squarely involved with the program too).

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-05-2021 03:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
NASA to Host Virtual Viewing of Orion Spacecraft Drop Test

Engineers will drop a 14,000-pound test version of the Orion spacecraft into the Hydro Impact Basin at NASA's Langley Research Center's Landing and Impact Research Facility in Hampton, Virginia, at 1:45 p.m. EDT Tuesday, April 6.

The test will air live on NASA Television, the NASA app and the agency's website, and will livestream on multiple agency social media platforms, including the Facebook channels for Orion and Langley.

Participants include:

  • Debbie Korth, Orion Crew and Service Module manager, NASA's Johnson Space Center
  • Jacob Putnam, data analyst, Langley
The public may ask questions on social media using #AskNASA.

This series of drop tests began March 23 to finalize computer models for loads and structures prior to the Artemis II flight test, NASA's first mission with crew aboard Orion. Artemis II will carry astronauts around the Moon and back, paving the way to land the first woman and next man on the lunar surface and establish a sustainable presence at the Moon under the Artemis program. The current test series builds on previous tests and uses a configuration of the crew module based on the spacecraft's final design.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-09-2021 03:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In an update provided today, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said that Artemis II will fly no later than May 2024.
Our update for you today is this: NASA is committed to an updated Orion development cost of $9.3 billion from fiscal year 12 through the first crewed flight test no later than May 2024.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-18-2022 09:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Per today's meeting of the NASA Advisory Council's Human Exploration and Operations Committee, NASA will announce the crew of Artemis II during the second half of this year (2022).

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