[FPSPACE] FPSPACE Digest, Vol 133, Issue 16

Bill Wheaton bill at wwheaton.com
Mon Apr 20 22:01:43 EDT 2015


On 4/20/15 9:00 AM, fpspace-request at mail.friends-partners.org wrote:
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> Today's Topics:
>
>     1. Re: Phobos First !! (dstdba)
>     2. NASA spacecraft set for death plunge into Mercury (David R. Woods)
>     3. Re: Phobos First !! (Charles, John B. (JSC-SA211))
>
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Message: 1
> Date: Sun, 19 Apr 2015 18:33:27 +0200
> From: "dstdba" <dstdba at aim.com>
> To: <fpspace at lists.friends-partners.org>
> Subject: Re: [FPSPACE] Phobos First !!
> Message-ID: <005e01d07abe$9d9d6fe0$d8d84fa0$@com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
>
> I thought one purpose of year-long stays on ISS was to ascertain that a voyage
> to the
>
> vicinity of Mars and back would not require artificial gravity? A landing on
> the surface
>
> of Mars would be a different story, of course, due to the likely need for heavy
> work.
>
>   
>
> Science alone does not warrant an expensive manned visit to an asteroid. For
> the sake
>
> of preparing us for the deflection of one too close for comfort, we need to
> know its
>
> properties. Asteroids come in many sizes, shapes, and flavours. Therefore the
> only
>
> meaningful voyage is to one that actually needs deflection!
>
>   
>
> Were a NEA detection program set up with the objective to map the orbits of all
> Near
>
> Earth Asteroids with diameters greater than 50m, the expected number of such
> objects
>
> suggests that at least one of those found will be on a collision course with
> Earth. There
>
> is a high probability that the effort of paying an early visit to such a object
> would be cost-
>
> justified!
>
>   
>
> --
>
> Jens Kieffer-Olsen
>
> Slagelse, Denmark
>
>   
>
> Fra: David Portree [ <mailto:dsfportree at hotmail.com>
> mailto:dsfportree at hotmail.com]
> Sendt: 15. april 2015 01:37
> Til: Chris Jones;  <mailto:fpspace at lists.friends-partners.org>
> fpspace at lists.friends-partners.org
> Emne: Re: [FPSPACE] Phobos First !!
>
>   
>
> I think these advisors are missing something important - that the asteroid
> mission was selected in part because it would not split the community. We have
> serious moon and Mars advocates, and they are at loggerheads, but not so much
> serious asteroid advocates (speaking of piloted missions, here). Of course,
> there are plenty of good reasons not to send humans to asteroids and ARM has
> evolved into something ludicrous, but advice from a high-level group that just
> assumes that Mars is widely accepted as the next goal for human spaceflight
> cannot help but be polarizing.
>   
> We actually do need interim steps before we land humans on Mars, but going all
> the way to Mars and inserting into orbit kind of misses the point. We need to
> work out how much artificial gravity is enough, for one thing, which is why I
> advocate for a variable-gravity space station as a next step after ISS. It's a
> good transitional step because the variable-gravity station could serve as a
> prototype for a piloted artificial-gravity interplanetary spacecraft.
> Astronauts on board would study themselves during progressively longer stays
> under lunar gravity, Mars gravity, and perhaps some level between Mars and
> Earth gravity.
>   
> Small bodies are turning out to be difficult places to work. Given the record
> so far, there's good reason to suppose that ARM would not be able to retrieve a
> boulder from an asteroid. Similarly, it seems likely that surprises will await
> us on Phobos and Deimos. Osiris-REX and Hayabusa 2 might have some things to
> teach us that could lead us to rethink how we would conduct robotic Phobos and
> Deimos missions. Personally, I'd like to see an asteroid mission that bumps
> around on the surface of kilometer-scale body and purposely stirs things up by
> drilling, setting off explosives, shooting projectiles into the surface,
> planting an anchor and trying to pull away, etc.
>   
> Always dreaming!
>   
> dsfp
>   
>
>
> David S. F. Portree
> author
>
> Email:
>   <mailto:dsfportree at hotmail.com> dsfportree at hotmail.com
>   <mailto:dportree at usgs.gov> dportree at usgs.gov
>
> Profile:
>   <http://astrogeology.usgs.gov/people/david-portree>
> http://astrogeology.usgs.gov/people/david-portree
>   
> Blogs:
>   <http://dsfpll.blogspot.com/> http://dsfpll.blogspot.com/
>   <http://www.wired.com/category/beyondapollo/>
> http://spaceflighthistory.blogspot.com/
>
>
>
>
>   
>
>> Date: Mon, 13 Apr 2015 15:19:25 -0400
>> From:  <mailto:clj at panix.com> clj at panix.com
>> To:  <mailto:fpspace at lists.friends-partners.org>
> fpspace at lists.friends-partners.org
>> Subject: Re: [FPSPACE] Phobos First !!
>>
>> On 4/13/2015 7:46 AM, dstdba wrote:
>>> In all probability Phobos is a captured asteroid, so no great deal
>>> really.
>>>
>>> And certainly common sense dictates that the sequence of places in
>>> the solar system for humans to visit is Moon, Martian moons, Mars.
>> I've certainly heard the theory about Phobos and Deimos being captured
>> asteroids, although it's somewhat hard to explain how they ended up in
>> low-eccentricity near-equatorial orbits as a result. I also agree
>> either or both Martian moons are a good precursor mission for humans to
>> undertake prior to a Martian landing, but I don't reject out of hand
>> visits to NEOs, though I'd rather see more robotic missions beforehand
>> (including close flybys or orbits, landings, and potentially more sample
>> returns).
>
>
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> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 2
> Date: Sun, 19 Apr 2015 12:44:14 -0400
> From: "David R. Woods" <drwoods at stny.rr.com>
> To: fpspace at lists.friends-partners.org
> Subject: [FPSPACE] NASA spacecraft set for death plunge into Mercury
> Message-ID: <5533DB5E.1070800 at stny.rr.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8; format=flowed
>
> A NASA probe that has circled Mercury for the past four years will make
> a dramatic death plunge into the planet's surface in late April when it
> runs out of fuel.
>
> The MESSENGER spacecraft -- which stands for MErcury Surface, Space
> ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging -- will end its run, as planned,
> on or around April 30, the US space agency said.
>
> http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/NASA_spacecraft_set_for_death_plunge_into_Mercury_999.html
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 3
> Date: Sun, 19 Apr 2015 20:23:48 +0000
> From: "Charles, John B. (JSC-SA211)" <john.b.charles at nasa.gov>
> To: dstdba <dstdba at aim.com>
> Cc: "fpspace at lists.friends-partners.org"
> 	<fpspace at lists.friends-partners.org>
> Subject: Re: [FPSPACE] Phobos First !!
> Message-ID: <503365FA-53B1-4150-A74A-599F2DC42942 at nasa.gov>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
>
> Speaking as one of the people who planned the current one year (almost) mission, I can say that it is primarily intended to test whether we are as smart as we think we are based on what we learned from 15 years of 6-month (plus or minus) ISS expeditions. Previous Russian experience shows that there are no "brick walls" out to 14 months. I don't think we will see them even on 30-month Mars missions. But crewmember effectiveness and efficiency will need to be protected by treatments and "countermeasures" now in development and testing on ISS. So, we are evaluating them with this longer mission, hoping to find any "oops" and "uh oh" sooner rather than later.
>
> John Charles
> Houston, Texas
>
> On Apr 19, 2015, at 11:44, dstdba <dstdba at aim.com<mailto:dstdba at aim.com>> wrote:
>
> I thought one purpose of year-long stays on ISS was to ascertain that a voyage to the
> vicinity of Mars and back would not require artificial gravity? A landing on the surface
> of Mars would be a different story, of course, due to the likely need for heavy work.
>
> Science alone does not warrant an expensive manned visit to an asteroid. For the sake
> of preparing us for the deflection of one too close for comfort, we need to know its
> properties. Asteroids come in many sizes, shapes, and flavours. Therefore the only
> meaningful voyage is to one that actually needs deflection!
>
> Were a NEA detection program set up with the objective to map the orbits of all Near
> Earth Asteroids with diameters greater than 50m, the expected number of such objects
> suggests that at least one of those found will be on a collision course with Earth. There
> is a high probability that the effort of paying an early visit to such a object would be cost-
> justified!
>
> --
> Jens Kieffer-Olsen
> Slagelse, Denmark
>
> Fra: David Portree [mailto:dsfportree at hotmail.com]
> Sendt: 15. april 2015 01:37
> Til: Chris Jones; fpspace at lists.friends-partners.org<mailto:fpspace at lists.friends-partners.org>
> Emne: Re: [FPSPACE] Phobos First !!
>
> I think these advisors are missing something important - that the asteroid mission was selected in part because it would not split the community. We have serious moon and Mars advocates, and they are at loggerheads, but not so much serious asteroid advocates (speaking of piloted missions, here). Of course, there are plenty of good reasons not to send humans to asteroids and ARM has evolved into something ludicrous, but advice from a high-level group that just assumes that Mars is widely accepted as the next goal for human spaceflight cannot help but be polarizing.
>
> We actually do need interim steps before we land humans on Mars, but going all the way to Mars and inserting into orbit kind of misses the point. We need to work out how much artificial gravity is enough, for one thing, which is why I advocate for a variable-gravity space station as a next step after ISS. It's a good transitional step because the variable-gravity station could serve as a prototype for a piloted artificial-gravity interplanetary spacecraft. Astronauts on board would study themselves during progressively longer stays under lunar gravity, Mars gravity, and perhaps some level between Mars and Earth gravity.
>
> Small bodies are turning out to be difficult places to work. Given the record so far, there's good reason to suppose that ARM would not be able to retrieve a boulder from an asteroid. Similarly, it seems likely that surprises will await us on Phobos and Deimos. Osiris-REX and Hayabusa 2 might have some things to teach us that could lead us to rethink how we would conduct robotic Phobos and Deimos missions. Personally, I'd like to see an asteroid mission that bumps around on the surface of kilometer-scale body and purposely stirs things up by drilling, setting off explosives, shooting projectiles into the surface, planting an anchor and trying to pull away, etc.
>
> Always dreaming!
>
> dsfp
>
>
>
> David S. F. Portree
> author
>
> Email:
> dsfportree at hotmail.com<mailto:dsfportree at hotmail.com>
> dportree at usgs.gov<mailto:dportree at usgs.gov>
>
> Profile:
> http://astrogeology.usgs.gov/people/david-portree
>
> Blogs:
> http://dsfpll.blogspot.com/
> h<http://www.wired.com/category/beyondapollo/>ttp://spaceflighthistory.blogspot.com/
>
>
>
>
>
>> Date: Mon, 13 Apr 2015 15:19:25 -0400
>> From: clj at panix.com<mailto:clj at panix.com>
>> To: fpspace at lists.friends-partners.org<mailto:fpspace at lists.friends-partners.org>
>> Subject: Re: [FPSPACE] Phobos First !!
>>
>> On 4/13/2015 7:46 AM, dstdba wrote:
>>> In all probability Phobos is a captured asteroid, so no great deal
>>> really.
>>>
>>> And certainly common sense dictates that the sequence of places in
>>> the solar system for humans to visit is Moon, Martian moons, Mars.
>> I've certainly heard the theory about Phobos and Deimos being captured
>> asteroids, although it's somewhat hard to explain how they ended up in
>> low-eccentricity near-equatorial orbits as a result. I also agree
>> either or both Martian moons are a good precursor mission for humans to
>> undertake prior to a Martian landing, but I don't reject out of hand
>> visits to NEOs, though I'd rather see more robotic missions beforehand
>> (including close flybys or orbits, landings, and potentially more sample
>> returns).
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>
> End of FPSPACE Digest, Vol 133, Issue 16
> ****************************************
No question, mapping out the medical effects of lower g-levels versus 
time is crucial to any serious human exploration of the Solar System.  
After the 1-year ISS missions are completed, we could go to a 30-month 
ISS stay (perhaps with an enlarged, Bigelow habitat, to support an extra 
crew member or two?), and get that done before sending a crew to Phobos 
or other distant locations.  Of course we _really_ need the centrifuge 
on ISS (or its successor) if we are serious, but we might squeak by 
without it.  Or more likely, delay everything for many years until that 
lacuna is filled.   Or just provide a rotating habitat on the transit 
ship(s)....

One thing I like about Phobos is that we can camp out there on the 
Mars-facing side with significantly reduced high-energy cosmic ray 
exposure, especially if we site ourselves in a fairly deep crater. Mars 
above blocks a useful fraction of the flux, and we'd remove more than 
half from the part facing away.  Galactic CRs & low g are the two big 
medical issues that need to be faced before sending out more substantial 
expeditions.

Phobos is huge (~10 trillion tons), so seriously exploring it will take 
a while.  But it should greatly improve our knowledge base before 
landing on the surface, and give us a cache in the event of problems 
before coming home.

Anyhow, I continue to believe a Phobos base camp is something we could 
achieve by 2030, to the great advancement the human exploration program 
-- probably better than a moon or asteroid landing.

Cheers all,

BillW


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