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A Synergistic Strategy for Robotic and Human NEO Exploration. Tom Jones Florida Institute for Human & Machine Cognition IPEWG 2011 24 Aug 11. Synergistic NEO Strategy. Setting the Stage NASA Human Spaceflight Policy is “Flexible” End of space shuttle program Multi-purpose Crew Vehicle

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a synergistic strategy for robotic and human neo exploration

A Synergistic Strategy for Robotic and Human NEO Exploration

Tom Jones

Florida Institute for

Human & Machine Cognition

IPEWG 2011

24 Aug 11

synergistic neo strategy
Synergistic NEO Strategy

Setting the Stage

  • NASA Human Spaceflight Policy is “Flexible”
    • End of space shuttle program
    • Multi-purpose Crew Vehicle
    • Space Launch System
    • Flat budgets from White House
    • Budget cutting threat
    • No clear path toward stated 2025 Human NEO Expedition
synergistic neo strategy1
Synergistic NEO Strategy

Importance of NEO Search Program

  • NASA Advisory Council’s Ad Hoc Task Force on Planetary Defense (Oct 2010)
    • http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/490945main_10-10_TFPD.pdf
  • Target NEO workshop conclusion:
    • “comprehensive NEO survey should be NASA priority” -- http://targetneo.org
    • At least as important as MPCV and SLS vehicles
synergistic neo strategy2
Synergistic NEO Strategy

Importance of NEO Search Program (cont’d)

  • Catalog of hazardous NEOs
    • Early detection  time for planning deflection
    • Cues ground-based systems for precise orbit determination, characterization
    • Rapid revisit of detected NEOs  orbit precision
  • Identify human mission targets
    • Low delta-V
    • Minimum mission duration
    • Program flexibility for launch windows
synergistic neo strategy3
Synergistic NEO Strategy

Synergies

  • NEO activity is “3-D”: exploration, science, planetary defense (PD)
    • Minor incremental cost to “other” NEO missions can yield large increase in exploration, PD knowledge
  • Time is a 4th, powerful dimension of synergy
      • Early integration of exploration & PD into NEO missions drives maturity of ops techniques, technology
      • Can reduce need for, and cost of, duplicate flight missions
synergistic neo strategy4
Synergistic NEO Strategy

Examples: Science, Exploration, Planetary Defense

  • Low-g, irregular-g proximity operations algorithms
  • Descent, ascent sensors, guidance
  • NEO interior structure, physical and mechanical properties, surface material stability
  • Anchoring technologies
synergistic neo strategy5
Synergistic NEO Strategy

Synergies (cont’d)

  • Budget projections are not rosy
  • Integrating PD, science, and human exploration objectives increases overall knowledge return
  • Raises value of mission
  • Meets needs of managers, policy makers, scientists, public
  • Each mission adds momentum toward human NEO exploration
  • 2010 Discovery AO noted value of science, exploration, PD
synergistic neo strategy6
Synergistic NEO Strategy

Sequence of NEO Exploration Milestones

  • Space-based NEO search
    • NEOSSat, NEOCam, NEO Survey, etc.
  • Series of small rendezvous spacecraft to visit spectrum of NEO types, compositions
    • Hayabusa II, OSIRIS-REx, etc.
    • New line of affordable micro-spacecraft
    • Characterize range of terrains, materials for astronauts
  • Robotic exploration of Moon in parallel
  • Astronauts to lunar orbit, EM-L1 for deep space testing
  • Limited series of astronaut NEO expeditions in 2020s
  • Lunar option if resources demand human access
synergistic neo strategy7
Synergistic NEO Strategy

Robotic precursors enable human explorers at NEO

  • Need early, space-based search to provide program flexibility (launch windows, lower Δ-V, flight duration)
  • Scouting a NEO target in advance enables:
    • Sampling site selection
    • Resource extraction processes
    • Surface mechanical properties
    • Arrival, departure imagery; deflection demo monitor
    • Operations planning (filling in the crew’s checklists)
      • Tools, Science, Rendezvous, Descent, EVA, etc.
    • Assessment and reduction of the biggest risks
synergistic neo strategy8
Synergistic NEO Strategy

Conclusions

  • Astronaut expeditions to NEOs will occur for reasons “in addition to” scientific investigation
  • Can expect important results in:
    • Science
    • Planetary defense
    • Resource potential for future exploration, wealth
    • Mars-forward experience and momentum
    • Participatory exploration by public
  • Much leverage to be gained by early NEO search, robotic precursor program
  • Clear potential for international collaboration in a synergistic program of robotic & human NEO exploration
synergistic neo strategy9
Synergistic NEO Strategy

Questions?

Tom Jones

tjones@ihmc.us

NASA