Science Opportunities Enabled by NASA’s Constellation System—Interim Report

Committee on Science Opportunities Enabled by NASA’s Constellation System

Space Studies Board

Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board

Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

Washington, D.C.
www.nap.edu



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Science Opportunities Enabled by NASA’s Constellation System⎯Interim Report Committee on Science Opportunities Enabled by NASA’s Constellation System Space Studies Board Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu

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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study is based on work supported by the Contract NNH06CE15B between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the agency that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number 13: 978-0-309-12010-4 International Standard Book Number 10: 0-309-12010-1 Copies of this report are available free of charge from: Space Studies Board National Research Council 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2008 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org

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Other Reports of the Space Studies Board and the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board Opening New Frontiers in Space: Choices for the Next New Frontiers Announcement of Opportunity (SSB, 2008) Space Science and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations: Summary of a Workshop (SSB, 2008) Workshop Series on Issues in Space Science and Technology: Summary of Space and Earth Science Issues from the Workshop on U.S. Civil Space Policy (SSB, 2008) Assessment of the NASA Astrobiology Institute (SSB, 2007) An Astrobiology Strategy for the Exploration of Mars (SSB with the Board on Life Sciences [BLS], 2007) Building a Better NASA Workforce: Meeting the Workforce Needs for the National Vision for Space Exploration (SSB with the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board [ASEB], 2007) Decadal Science Strategy Surveys: Report of a Workshop (SSB, 2007) Earth Science and Applications from Space: National Imperatives for the Next Decade and Beyond (SSB, 2007) Exploring Organic Environments in the Solar System (SSB with the Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology, 2007) Grading NASA’s Solar System Exploration Program: A Midterm Review (SSB, 2007) The Limits of Organic Life in Planetary Systems (SSB with BLS, 2007) NASA’s Beyond Einstein Program: An Architecture for Implementation (SSB with the Board on Physics and Astronomy [BPA], 2007) Options to Ensure the Climate Record from the NPOESS and GOES-R Spacecraft: A Workshop Report (SSB, 2007) A Performance Assessment of NASA’s Astrophysics Program (SSB with BPA, 2007) Portals to the Universe: The NASA Astronomy Science Centers (SSB, 2007) The Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon (SSB, 2007) An Assessment of Balance in NASA’s Science Programs (SSB, 2006) Assessment of NASA’s Mars Architecture 2007-2016 (SSB, 2006) Assessment of Planetary Protection Requirements for Venus Missions: Letter Report (SSB, 2006) Decadal Survey of Civil Aeronautics: Foundation for the Future (ASEB, 2006) Distributed Arrays of Small Instruments for Solar-Terrestrial Research: Report of a Workshop (SSB, 2006) Issues Affecting the Future of the U.S. Space Science and Engineering Workforce: Interim Report (SSB with ASEB, 2006) Review of NASA’s 2006 Draft Science Plan: Letter Report (SSB, 2006) Review of the Space Communications Program of NASA’s Space Operations Mission Directorate (ASEB, 2006) The Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon⎯Interim Report (SSB, 2006) Space Radiation Hazards and the Vision for Space Exploration (SSB, 2006) Limited copies of these reports are available free of charge from Space Studies Board National Research Council The Keck Center of the National Academies 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20001 (202) 334-3477/ssb@nas.edu www.nationalacademies.org/ssb/ssb.html NOTE: These reports are listed according to the year of approval for release, which in some cases precedes the year of publication. iv

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COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE OPPORTUNITIES ENABLED BY NASA’S CONSTELLATION SYSTEM GEORGE A. PAULIKAS, The Aerospace Corporation (retired), Chair KATHRYN C. THORNTON, University of Virginia, Vice Chair CLAUDIA ALEXANDER, Jet Propulsion Laboratory STEVEN V.W. BECKWITH, University of California System MARK A. BROSMER, The Aerospace Corporation JOSEPH BURNS, Cornell University CYNTHIA CATTELL, University of Minnesota ALAN DELAMERE, Ball Aerospace (retired) MARGARET FINARELLI, George Mason University TODD GARY, Tennessee State University STEVEN HOWELL, National Optical Astronomy Observatories ARLO LANDOLT, Louisiana State University FRANK MARTIN, Martin Consulting SPENCER R. TITLEY, University of Arizona CARL WUNSCH, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Staff DWAYNE A. DAY, Study Director VICTORIA SWISHER, Research Associate CATHERINE A. GRUBER, Assistant Editor RODNEY N. HOWARD, Senior Program Assistant v

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SPACE STUDIES BOARD LENNARD A. FISK, University of Michigan, Chair A. THOMAS YOUNG, Lockheed Martin Corporation (retired), Vice Chair DANIEL N. BAKER, University of Colorado STEVEN J. BATTEL, Battel Engineering CHARLES L. BENNETT, Johns Hopkins University ELIZABETH R. CANTWELL, Los Alamos National Laboratory ALAN DRESSLER, The Observatories of the Carnegie Institution JACK D. FELLOWS, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research FIONA A. HARRISON, California Institute of Technology TAMARA E. JERNIGAN, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory KLAUS KEIL, University of Hawaii MOLLY MACAULEY, Resources for the Future BERRIEN MOORE III, University of New Hampshire KENNETH H. NEALSON, University of Southern California JAMES PAWELCZYK, Pennsylvania State University SOROOSH SOROOSHIAN, University of California, Irvine RICHARD H. TRULY, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (retired) JOAN VERNIKOS, Thirdage, LLC JOSEPH F. VEVERKA, Cornell University WARREN M. WASHINGTON, National Center for Atmospheric Research CHARLES E. WOODWARD, University of Minnesota GARY P. ZANK, University of California, Riverside MARCIA S. SMITH, Director vi

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AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ENGINEERING BOARD RAYMOND S. COLLADAY, Lockheed Martin Astronautics (retired), Chair CHARLES F. BOLDEN, JR., Jack and Panther, LLC ANTHONY J. BRODERICK, Aviation Safety Consultant AMY L. BUHRIG, Boeing Commercial Airplanes PIERRE CHAO, Center for Strategic and International Studies INDERJIT CHOPRA, University of Maryland ROBERT L. CRIPPEN, Thiokol Propulsion (retired) DAVID GOLDSTON, Princeton University JOHN HANSMAN, Massachusetts Institute of Technology PRESTON HENNE, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation JOHN M. KLINEBERG, Space Systems/Loral (retired) RICHARD KOHRS, Independent Consultant IVETT LEYVA, Air Force Research Laboratory, Edwards Air Force Base EDMOND SOLIDAY, United Airlines (retired) MARCIA SMITH, Director vii

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Preface In January 2004 NASA was given a new policy direction known as the Vision for Space Exploration. That plan, now renamed the United States Space Exploration Policy, called for sending human and robotic missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond. In 2005 NASA outlined how to conduct the first steps in implementing this policy and began development of a new human-carrying spacecraft, known as Orion, and the launch vehicles Ares I and Ares V. Collectively, these are called the Constellation System. In November 2007 NASA asked the National Research Council (NRC) to evaluate the potential for new science opportunities enabled by the Constellation System of rockets and spacecraft: The Space Studies Board, in conjunction with the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board, will establish an ad hoc committee to assess potential space and Earth science mission concepts that could take advantage of the capabilities of the Constellation System of launch vehicles and spacecraft that is being developed by NASA. The ad hoc committee will first analyze mission concepts provided by NASA, and later mission concepts submitted in response to a Request for Information from the committee to the space and earth science communities. The committee will analyze the following information for each mission concept considered: 1. Scientific objectives of the mission concept; 2. A characterization of the mission concept insofar as the maturity of studies to date have developed it; 3. The relative technical feasibility of the mission concepts compared to each other; 4. The general cost category into which each mission concept is likely to fall; 5. Benefits of using the Constellation System’s unique capabilities relative to alternative implementation approaches; and 6. Identification of the mission concept(s) most deserving of future study. The time horizon for the survey of possible missions should extend from 2020 to approximately 2035. For the interim report the committee will assess the mission concepts provided by NASA, and group them into two categories: more-deserving and less-deserving of future study. For the final report the committee will assess the set of mission concepts submitted in response to an RFI and group them into similar categories. The final report should then compare the mission concepts in the more-deserving categories for the interim and final reports and recommend a consolidated list of the mission concept(s) it deems most-deserving of future study for launch in the 2020-2035 time frame. The Committee on Science Opportunities Enabled by NASA’s Constellation System was formed to address this task. For this interim report, the committee evaluated 11 pre-existing “Vision Mission” studies that were conducted for NASA from 2005 to 2006. In early March 2008, the committee issued a request for information (see Appendix A) seeking proposals from the scientific community for mission concepts to evaluate for its final report. Appendix B provides committee member and staff biographical information. Because this is an interim report and additional mission concepts will be submitted to the committee in response to its request for information, the committee has deferred discussion of a number ix

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of important issues raised in this initial phase of its study⎯such as technological issues and their impact on these mission concepts⎯and will address those more fully in its final report. The committee acknowledges the assistance it received from NASA, particularly from Marc Allen, Marc Timm, and Phil Sumrall, in providing materials for this study. The committee’s first meeting was held in Washington, D.C., on February 20-22, 2008, and its second meeting—devoted entirely to writing this interim report—was held in Irvine, California, on March 17-19, 2008. The third meeting is scheduled for early June in Boulder, Colorado, and the final meeting will be held in August 2008. The committee’s final report is expected to be delivered to NASA in November 2008. x

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Acknowledgment of Reviewers This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s (NRC’s) Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their participation in the review of this report: Peter Banks, Astrolabe Ventures, Otis B. Brown, Jr., University of Miami, G. Scott Hubbard, Stanford University, Richard H. Kohrs, NASA (retired), Ruben van Mitchell, Independent Consultant, Gordon H. Pettengill, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, William H. Press, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Charles E. Woodward, University of Minnesota. Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Martha P. Haynes, Cornell University. Appointed by the NRC, she was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution. xi

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Contents SUMMARY 1 1 THE CONSTELLATION SYSTEM AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR SCIENCE 5 Background, 7 Approach, and Evaluation Criteria, 8 2 ANALYSIS OF VISION MISSION STUDIES 11 Astronomy and Astrophysics Vision Missions, 12 Advanced Compton Telescope, 12 Generation-X, 15 Single Aperture Far Infrared Telescope, 17 Kilometer-Baseline Far-Infrared/Submillimeter Interferometer, 20 Modern Universe Space Telescope, 23 Astronomy and Astrophysics/Heliophysics Vision Mission, 26 Stellar Imager, 26 Heliophysics Vision Missions, 29 Interstellar Probe, 29 Solar Polar Imager, 32 Solar System Exploration Vision Missions, 36 Neptune Orbiter with Probes, 36 Titan Explorer, 39 Solar System Exploration/Astrobiology Vision Mission, 42 Palmer Quest, 42 Overall Vision Mission Assessments Conclusions and Recommendations, 45 3 PLANS FOR THE FINAL REPORT 48 APPENDIXES A Request for Information 51 B Committee and Staff Biographical Information 53 xiii

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