[FPSPACE] Phobos First !!

dstdba dstdba at aim.com
Sat Apr 25 12:10:27 EDT 2015

If the issue of gravity is so pivotal for planning missions not only to Mars, 

but to Phobos and Deimos as well, then it is a strong pointer to focus on

lunar missions for the time being.


If the 17% lunar gravity turns out to be manageable for taikonauts staying

on the Moon for one year or longer, then obviously the 38% Martian gravity

will pose no problem either.


We are then left with the issue of micro-gravity during interplanetary flight,

and in particular the ability of taikonauts to carry out necessary tasks on

upon touchdown.



Jens Kieffer-Olsen

Slagelse, Denmark


Fra: David Portree [mailto:dsfportree at hotmail.com] 
Sendt: 23. april 2015 04:06
Til: fpspace at lists.friends-partners.org; John Charles
Emne: Re: [FPSPACE] Phobos First !!


I can't help wondering whether we're barking up the wrong tree here. How many
one-year missions are planned? It would seem necessary to do several (5? 10?)
to get a decent baseline. >From what I've read, we have very little data beyond
six months (Polyakov, mainly) and nothing for women. Plus, a year isn't going
to be enough to go many places. Split/sprint could do ~one-month at Mars with
six months each way (and a free-return option), though I wonder how many would
be satisfied with a one-month Mars system stay. Folks seem to have become
enamored of conjunction-class long stays (300-400 days) leading to missions of
more than 2 yrs in micro- or hypogravity.


Granted, we have time for one-year and two-year weightless stays before the
2030s Mars expeditions folks talk about. I wonder, though, about how we're
going to figure out what happens to people in Mars gravity. You told me once
that you expected that weightless problems would continue in Mars gravity at a
somewhat reduced rate. Do you feel differently about that now?


And, what if we find after a decade or so that people suffer harm after a year
in microgravity? Isn't that a decade lost? It could be longer - and thus more
time lost - if we find evidence of longer-term microgravity effects after
people return to Earth. 


I really think that the obvious next step is staring us in the face, and that's
the variable-gravity space station I keep harping about. If designed properly,
it could serve as a prototype artificial-gravity spacecraft and even be moved
to various points in the Earth-moon system (EML1 and EML2, for example, to
support piloted lunar landing missions and lunar telerobotics, for example). I
think we should aim to have it built in a decade so when 2024 rolls around it
is ready to take over.




David S. F. Portree

 <mailto:dsfportree at hotmail.com> dsfportree at hotmail.com
 <mailto:dportree at usgs.gov> dportree at usgs.gov 

h <http://www.wired.com/category/beyondapollo/>


Date: Tue, 21 Apr 2015 03:59:43 +0000
From:  <mailto:jeoberg at comcast.net> jeoberg at comcast.net
To:  <mailto:john.b.charles at nasa.gov> john.b.charles at nasa.gov
Subject: Re: [FPSPACE] Phobos First !!
CC: dstdba at aim.com; fpspace at lists.friends-partners.org

Good plan, John, and you know I've been following the proposals for a
lo-o-o-o-ong time.


As things stand now, how soon could you initiate a repeat 12-month mission to
focus on what you learn this time?


How much longer in LEO would any downstream follow-on missions have to be to be
worth the effort?








From: "John B. Charles (JSC-SA211)" < <mailto:john.b.charles at nasa.gov>
john.b.charles at nasa.gov>
To: "dstdba" < <mailto:dstdba at aim.com> dstdba at aim.com>
Cc:  <mailto:fpspace at lists.friends-partners.org>
fpspace at lists.friends-partners.org
Sent: Sunday, April 19, 2015 3:23:48 PM
Subject: Re: [FPSPACE] Phobos First !!


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> 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


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

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

Earth Asteroids with diameters greater than 50m, the expected number of such

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-




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!

David S. F. Portree

 <mailto:dsfportree at hotmail.com> dsfportree at hotmail.com
 <mailto:dportree at usgs.gov> dportree at usgs.gov 

 <http://dsfpll.blogspot.com/> http://dsfpll.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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