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#1 2006-06-15 05:54:45

cIclops
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Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Near Earth Object (NEO) missions

More coorbitals are being discovered, they would make interesting targets for longer CEV test voyages prior to the next lunar landing as no LSAM would be required. 2003 YN107 approaches to within 3.4 million km, others may come closer. This assumes of course that the CEV SM / EDS has enough DV and life support for such a voyage. The longer voyage times would take exploration further out more quickly.  Cool huh?

Some more details about coorbitals in this thread


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#2 2006-06-15 18:15:21

RedStreak
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Posts: 541

Re: Near Earth Object (NEO) missions

More coorbitals are being discovered, they would make interesting targets for longer CEV test voyages prior to the next lunar landing as no LSAM would be required. 2003 YN107 approaches to within 3.4 million km, others may come closer. This assumes of course that the CEV SM / EDS has enough DV and life support for such a voyage. The longer voyage times would take exploration further out more quickly.  Cool huh?

Some more details about coorbitals in this thread

Are you proposing rendevousing with these coorbital asteroids then?

Its possible and would be a good intermediary between lunar and martian exploration, but what can a manned expidition do that a robotic one can't, save perhaps more substantial sample collection?

Not criticizing just wanting to know what we'd be doing out there.

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#3 2006-06-15 19:34:39

GCNRevenger
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From: Earth
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Re: Near Earth Object (NEO) missions

We could learn how to plant huge nuclear bombs on them so they can be detonated at the most efficient time. Heh.


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#4 2006-06-15 22:24:32

cIclops
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Registered: 2005-06-16
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Re: Near Earth Object (NEO) missions

Are you proposing rendevousing with these coorbital asteroids then?

Its possible and would be a good intermediary between lunar and martian exploration, but what can a manned expidition do that a robotic one can't, save perhaps more substantial sample collection?

Not criticizing just wanting to know what we'd be doing out there.

Rendevous if possible, yes of course. There is a long list of advantages for human missions to objects other than the Moon. Intelligent sample collection and longer duration testing of CEV systems are two important ones but the key one would be extending human reachable space by a factor of a 1000. It's time to explore further out!

Here's a list of other NEOs showing their Earth relative velocity and closest approach distances.


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#5 2006-06-16 14:09:27

publiusr
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Re: Near Earth Object (NEO) missions

Good link.

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#6 2006-11-17 07:33:17

cIclops
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Re: Near Earth Object (NEO) missions

It would be nice to think someone at NASA read the earlier posts in this thread, however the idea of visiting NEOs has been around a long time. All the same it's good to see the idea being taken seriously by Chris McKay:

“A human mission to a near Earth asteroid would be scientifically worthwhile,” said Chris McKay, deputy scientist in the Constellation science office at the NASA Johnson Space Center. “It could be part of an overall program of understanding these objects. Also, it would be useful, instrumentally, in terms of understanding the threat they pose to the Earth.”

Astronaut Tom Jones added:

“After a lunar visit, we face a long interval in Earth-Moon space while we build up experience and technology for a Mars mission,” Jones suggested. An asteroid mission “could take us immediately into deep-space, sustaining program momentum, adding public excitement, and reducing the risk of a later Mars mission,”

NASA Studies Manned Asteroid Mission


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#7 2006-11-17 07:38:57

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
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Re: Near Earth Object (NEO) missions

Posted this the other day in another location:
Edited for this location..

Sure would seem like a worth while project.

On an off note NASA Studies Manned Asteroid Mission


Space agency teams are looking into use of Constellation hardware
for a human Near-Earth Object (NEO) mission—an effort underway at NASA’s Ames Research.

Another study is delving into use of Constellation components to support an automated Mars sample return mission. That study is led by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

Maybe some day we will use it for a mission to Phobos as well.

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#8 2006-11-17 09:25:34

neviden
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Re: Near Earth Object (NEO) missions

this would be very good mission to test elements needed for earth-mars transit.. and you don't need landers to achive this mission..

but i would go futher.. on the return back from NEA i would seperate orion and service module.. orion would return to earth with crew and samples.. the service module would do lunar flyby that would put it in HEEO.. i would use futher flybys to circulise it's orbit that would put it in HEO..

this service module would have almost earth escape speed, therefore you would need very little propelant to leave earth again.. true, reusable, spaceship.. this would also validate low delta-v earth capture from TEI orbits.. either from NEOs or form Mars.. maximum delta-v by lunar-earth-lunar flyby is 2.2 km/s and there are 10% of asteoroids that have lower speed than that compared to earth.. most of asteroids have O2 (in oxides like on moon), some have carbon and hydrogen (water), metals (weld big iron plates together to form big airtight structures), dirt (1 m of dirt would make nice radiation shield),..

all you need to do is return this material to HEO, process it (sun) and you have propelant (H2, methane, 02), permament, upgradable, space station in high earth orbit (no need to reboost constantly) where returning spacecrafts (from mars?) would be repaired/refueled/upgraded.. plenty of propelant to get spacetug from HEO to LEO, dock with modules sent from earth on rockets and get back to HEO.. that would sure be more interesting than useless ISS.. big spacestation built from steel.. placed in one stable HEO (maybe even L4/L5).. made from processed asteroid material (that is already in orbit, so no need to send it from earth on expensive rockets).. rotating to create gravity (so you could use same processes that are used on earth), growing it's own food, O2,.. with spacedocks, that would BUILD spaceships.. astronauts that would do more than fly around the earth doing "research" (ISS?)..

to get anywhere from HEO you do lunar-flyby to make trajectory eliptic and fire engines.. and since you already have almost all the needed delta-v to escape earth's gravity you don't need that much propelant.. (= bigger, safer spaceship)

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#9 2006-11-18 10:56:07

RedStreak
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Posts: 541

Re: Near Earth Object (NEO) missions

this would be very good mission to test elements needed for earth-mars transit.. and you don't need landers to achive this mission..

The same concept could be applied toward visiting the Martian moons, or in the long term the tinier satellites of the outer planets.  Comets, save those still inactive and in deep freeze, I think would be another matter since they're blasting out debris that'd make them a tad dangerous for a manned expedition.

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#10 2006-11-18 11:29:28

cIclops
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Re: Near Earth Object (NEO) missions

this would be very good mission to test elements needed for earth-mars transit.. and you don't need landers to achive this mission..

The same concept could be applied toward visiting the Martian moons, or in the long term the tinier satellites of the outer planets.  Comets, save those still inactive and in deep freeze, I think would be another matter since they're blasting out debris that'd make them a tad dangerous for a manned expedition.

A mission to Phobos and or Demos would take a year or more and require a Mars Transit Vehicle (MTV) to carry supplies and the propulsion for the return journey. Yes it would make a good test of the MTV and the crew. It would however delay a Mars landing by two years. A NEA mission would be quicker and possible without the MTV.


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#11 2006-11-18 17:05:25

RedStreak
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Re: Near Earth Object (NEO) missions

A mission to Phobos and or Demos would take a year or more and require a Mars Transit Vehicle (MTV) to carry supplies and the propulsion for the return journey. Yes it would make a good test of the MTV and the crew. It would however delay a Mars landing by two years.

Not really, but if development in the Mars Lander is delayed using the MTV itself (asuming a CEV-esque configuration) for a mission to these satellites then a jaunt to the Martian satellites is a good 'filler' mission.

But as I stated in another topic before on the outward leg of the mission, just prior to Mars Orbital Escape I doubt it'd be that troublesome to investigate the moons; surely the last month out of a two-year stay in Mars' vicinity is sufficent.

More to consider to in favor of Deimos and Phobos: whereas Mars has the surface area of the Earth's entire landmass where scientists will spend decades, and likely a good century even, combing for sites for life, water, ect. these moons have less area to suvey than the state of Conneticut combined.  If they have anything of value it'll be far easier to find than on Mars' vast surface without putting much of a damper on the exploration of their father planet.

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#12 2006-11-18 18:30:06

Commodore
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From: Upstate NY, USA
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Posts: 1,021

Re: Near Earth Object (NEO) missions

Theres always the multitude of mineral and volitile resources to be exploited, without the gravity well to concern ourselves with.

Phobos and Demos could be visited by a CEV in Mars orbit, if the one that brought the crew to the transit craft from Earth was brought along.


"Yes, I was going to give this astronaut selection my best shot, I was determined when the NASA proctologist looked up my ass, he would see pipes so dazzling he would ask the nurse to get his sunglasses."
---Shuttle Astronaut Mike Mullane

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#13 2006-11-26 04:24:13

cIclops
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Re: Near Earth Object (NEO) missions

More inside NASA details from Doug Stanley (ESAS team leader, referring to Mike Griffin, NASA administrator):

...Mike's Office (specifically the Program Analysis and Evaluation Office within Mike's Office) recently commissioned a Near-Earth Object (NEO) study to see how NASA could use the ESAS elements and any additional elements required to perform human/robotic mssions to Near-Earth Asteroids. The bulk of the work is being done at NASA LaRC in the Systems Analysis and Concepts Directorate...the same folks I am working with on the Lunar Architecture Team effort. It is not a part of the LAT study, but being done in parallel with close consultation. I know the folks working it to be very competent, but really have no insight into the results yet. I could, but I have just been busy with other things. They are due to complete their study soon, but I am sorry, I don't know the conclusions...We did not look at this at all during ESAS...

Great, NASA are taking this seriously!


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#14 2006-11-28 09:54:47

cIclops
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Re: Near Earth Object (NEO) missions

At the Astrophysics enabled by return to the moon workshop today, Astronaut John Grunsfeld talked about using two Ares I launches to support a NEO mission rather than use one Ares I and an Ares V. This would make a NEO mission possible much sooner.


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#15 2006-11-28 14:20:27

C M Edwards
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From: Lake Charles LA USA
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Posts: 1,012

Re: Near Earth Object (NEO) missions

At the Astrophysics enabled by return to the moon workshop today, Astronaut John Grunsfeld talked about using two Ares I launches to support a NEO mission rather than use one Ares I and an Ares V. This would make a NEO mission possible much sooner.

Was Grunsfeld referring to a manned expedition?


"We go big, or we don't go."  - GCNRevenger

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#16 2006-11-28 14:23:30

cIclops
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Re: Near Earth Object (NEO) missions

Was Grunsfeld referring to a manned expedition?

Yes. His talk should be available tomorrow in the wokshop archive.

Harley Thronson (NASA Technology Director) said the cargo version of Ares I wold cost about $200m and the crew version $300m per launch, so a NEO mission launch would be of the order of $500m.


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#17 2006-12-27 12:29:58

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
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Posts: 25,943

Re: Near Earth Object (NEO) missions

Orion Hardware Reviewed For Human Asteroid Flight


Progress is being made on defining a human mission to an asteroid. Experts at several NASA centers are sketching out a prospective piloted stopover at an asteroid—a trek that could return samples from a targeted space rock as well as honing astronaut proficiency and test needed equipment for other space destinations.

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#18 2007-02-26 02:03:39

cIclops
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Re: Near Earth Object (NEO) missions

SCIENTIFIC EXPLORATION OF NEAR-EARTH OBJECTS VIA THE CREW EXPLORATION VEHICLE - P. Abell et al (PDF)

The concept of a crewed mission to a Near-Earth Object (NEO) has been analyzed in depth in 1989 as part of the Space Exploration Initiative [1]. Since that time two other studies have investigated the possibility of sending similar missions to NEOs [2,3]. A more recent study has been sponsored by the Advanced Programs Office within NASA’s Constellation Program. This study team has representatives from across NASA and is currently examining the feasibility of sending a Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) to a near-Earth object (NEO). The ideal mission profile would involve a crew of 2 or 3 astronauts on a 90 to 120 day flight, which would include a 7 to 14 day stay for proximity operations at the target NEO.


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#19 2007-02-26 14:34:21

cjchandler
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From: canada
Registered: 2006-06-24
Posts: 138

Re: Near Earth Object (NEO) missions

I think a NEO would be a wonderful mission, without the gravity well that the moon presents. In regard to resorces, besides metals are there any heverie elements, like sulfur or chlorine? Any atempt to do anything really big on the astoroids is going to need for of the heavier nonmetals.


Ad astra per aspera!

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#20 2007-02-27 02:32:46

cIclops
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Re: Near Earth Object (NEO) missions

Indeed. Such a mission would be a spectacular media event as well as proving the feasibility of NEO exploration. As the paper outlines, initial survey, sample extraction and evaluating anchoring, drilling and sampling techniques would be the first goals. The most useful material to find would be water. As some NEOs are so close in delta-V terms, they will make excellent fuel depots. Developing automated ISRU fuel production facilities will be a tough task, but possible.


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#21 2007-05-08 03:52:47

cIclops
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Re: Near Earth Object (NEO) missions

Paper at the 2007 Planetary Defense Conference:

Near-Earth Asteroid Rendezvous Missions with the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle

Human exploratory missions to NEOs are possible using near term hardware being developed in parallel with the NASA Vision for Space Exploration. We have identified 7 potential target objects that provide opportunities for detailed exploration within the next two decades.


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#22 2007-05-23 06:53:42

Mars_B4_Moon
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Re: Near Earth Object (NEO) missions

It's time to explore further out!

Here's a list of other NEOs showing their Earth relative velocity and closest approach distances.


thanks for this info

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#23 2007-05-23 07:46:53

noosfractal
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From: Biosphere 1
Registered: 2005-10-04
Posts: 824
Website

Re: Near Earth Object (NEO) missions

It's time to explore further out!

Here's a list of other NEOs showing their Earth relative velocity and closest approach distances.


thanks for this info

Wow but that 3200 Phaethon is big and fast.  23 trillion tons of TNT equivalent if it hit us square.  Damn.


Fan of Red Oasis

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#24 2007-09-20 22:40:28

cIclops
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Re: Near Earth Object (NEO) missions

Should Humans Visit Asteroids? - 1 Aug 2007

This story also had a reader vote survey, the results were interesting:

o What do you think of the idea of asteroids as 'stepping stones'? 63% like the idea out of 31,291 votes

o How important is it for humans to return to deep space? 65% voted "very" out of 33,300 votes

But there's ongoing discussion of mounting a piloted mission to an asteroid – a voyage by astronauts to a near-Earth object, termed NEO for short. These proponents feel certain of the scientific payoff from reaching, first-hand, an asteroid – perhaps even becoming able to exploit these chunks of celestial flotsam to further humankind's plunge into the cosmos.

Space technologists argue that a NEO trip could be a valuable shakeout of people, equipment, and procedures prior to hurling astronauts beyond the Moon to the distant dunes of Mars.

For others, NEOs are viewed as downright dangerous, in terms of a head-on collision between Earth and a space rock. It's best to get to know these incoming beasts ahead of time.

Internal looks by a small group of NASA "NEOphytes" have projected that a human trek to one of those mini-worlds may involve two or three astronauts on a 90 to 120-day spaceflight, including a week or two week stay at the appointed asteroid.

Dispatching astronauts to a NEO is a sensible idea, said Harrison Schmitt, Apollo 17 astronaut, geologist and current chair of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC).

In fact, the Exploration and Space Operations subcommittees of the NAC were briefed July 18 by NEO study team members from the NASA Johnson Space Center, although there has been no Council action on the topic.

Schmitt told SPACE.com: "I think examination of a NEO mission and the development of the stand-by monitoring systems, plans, protocols and procedures for the diversion of a potentially Earth-impacting asteroid would be very prudent activity for the U.S. to undertake."

Additionally, Schmitt said that a NEO mission would be a potentially important demonstration of the versatility and capability of the Constellation systems and a "gap-filler" before any Mars landing mission.

Animations of a notional crewed mission - 30 Jul 2007


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#25 2007-09-21 09:11:45

Tom Kalbfus
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Re: Near Earth Object (NEO) missions

I see NEOs as comming between the return to the Moon and Manned missions to Mars. The Moon is a relatively safe playground for us to grow our "spacelegs" we'll need the Ares V rocket to voyage out into interplanetary space. I see manned asteroid missions as more of a parallel program to humans to Mars, one that uses much of the same equipment for interplanetary voyages. I don't necessarily see that we should restrict ourselves to Near Earth Asteroids, I suggest that we could also send humans to some of the Main Belt asteroids, and those could be a precusor to manned missions to the Jupiter System.

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