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Launching Science Science Opportunities Provided by NASAâs Constellation System Committee on Science Opportunities Enabled by NASAâs Constellation System Space Studies Board Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESSâ 500 Fifth Street, N.W.â 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 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: 978-0-309-11644-2 International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-11644-9 COVER: Images courtesy of NASA. Design by Tim Warchocki. 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, Wash- ington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2009 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America
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, shar- ing 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 rec- ognizes 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 com- munity of science and technology with the Academyâs 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 gov- ernment, 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
OTHER REPORTS OF THE SPACE STUDIES BOARD AND THE AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ENGINEERING BOARD Assessing the Research and Development Plan for the Next Generation Air Transportation System: Summary of a Workshop (Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board [ASEB], 2008) A Constrained Space Exploration Technology Program: A Review of NASAâs Exploration Technology Devel- opment Program (ASEB, 2008) Ensuring the Climate Record from the NPOESS and GOES-R Spacecraft: Elements of a Strategy to Recover Measurement Capabilities Lost in Program Restructuring (Space Studies Board [SSB], 2008) Final Report of the Committee for the Review of Proposals to the 2008 Engineering Research and Commercial- ization Program of the Ohio Third Frontier Program (ASEB, 2008) Final Report of the Committee to Review Proposals to the 2008 Ohio Research Scholars Program of the State of Ohio (ASEB, 2008) Managing Space Radiation Risk in the New Era of Space Exploration (ASEB, 2008) NASA Aeronautics Research: An Assessment (ASEB, 2008) Opening New Frontiers in Space: Choices for the Next New Frontiers Announcement of Opportunity (SSB, 2008) Review of NASAâs Exploration Technology Development Program: An Interim Report (ASEB, 2008) Science Opportunities Enabled by NASAâs Constellation System: Interim Report (SSB with ASEB, 2008) Space Science and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations: Summary of a Workshop (SSB, 2008) United States Civil Space Policy: Summary of a Workshop (SSB with ASEB, 2008) Wake Turbulence: An Obstacle to Increased Air Traffic Capacity (ASEB, 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 Explora- tion (SSB with 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 TechÂ nology, 2007) Grading NASAâs Solar System Exploration Program: A Midterm Review (SSB, 2007) The Limits of Organic Life in Planetary Systems (SSB with BLS, 2007) NASAâs 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 NASAâs 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) 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) firstname.lastname@example.org www.nationalacademies.org/ssb/ssb.html â NOTE: These reports are listed according to the year of approval for release, which in some cases precedes the year of publication. iv
COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE OPPORTUNITIES ENABLED BY NASAâS 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 and Technology Corporation (retired) MARGARET FINARELLI, George Mason University TODD GARY, Tennessee State University STEVEN HOWELL, National Optical Astronomy Observatory 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 Project Assistant LEWIS GROSWALD, Lloyd V. Berkner Space Policy Intern
SPACE STUDIES BOARD CHARLES F. KENNEL, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, 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 YVONNE C. BRILL, Aerospace Consultant ELIZABETH R. CANTWELL, Oak Ridge National Laboratory ANDREW B. CHRISTENSEN, Dixie State College and Aerospace Corporation ALAN DRESSLER, The Observatories of the Carnegie Institution JACK D. FELLOWS, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research FIONA A. HARRISON, California Institute of Technology JOAN JOHNSON-FREESE, Naval War College KLAUS KEIL, University of Hawaii MOLLY K. MACAULEY, Resources for the Future BERRIEN MOORE III, University of New Hampshire ROBERT T. PAPPALARDO, Jet Propulsion Laboratory JAMES PAWELCZYK, Pennsylvania State University SOROOSH SOROOSHIAN, University of California, Irvine JOAN VERNIKOS, Thirdage LLC JOSEPH F. VEVERKA, Cornell University WARREN M. WASHINGTON, National Center for Atmospheric Research CHARLES E. WOODWARD, University of Minnesota ELLEN G. ZWEIBEL, University of Wisconsin MARCIA S. SMITH, Director vi
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, College Park 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 S. SMITH, Director vii
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 the development of a new human-carrying spacecraft known as Orion, the lunar lander known as Altair, 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 sciences 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 com- mittee will first analyze mission concepts provided by NASA, and later, mission concepts submitted in response to a request for information [RFI] 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 Systemâs unique capabilities relative to alternative implementation a Â pproaches; 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. ix
PREFACE The NRC formed the Committee on Science Opportunities Enabled by NASAâs Constellation System to address this task. The committee released its interim report in May 2008, evaluating 11 future space science mis- sion concepts provided by NASA. The committee has since evaluated 6 additional mission concepts, submitted in response to its request for information, and produced an integrated list of all of the missions that it evaluated (provided in Table S.1 in the Summary in this report). The committee chose 12 of the 17 to evaluate as types of missions that could be conducted using Constellation (see Chapter 2). The remaining 5 missions are summarized in Appendix B. During the course of its deliberations, the committee concluded that the Constellation Systemâs capability would be enhanced for many missions by technology developments such as aerocapture. In addition, several of the missions evaluated may be possible without employing the Constellation System, provided that alternative propulsion technologies are developed. Because many of these missions share technology requirements (such as improved communications capabilities), the committee addressed these issues in this report. The committee acknowledges the assistance that it received from NASA, particularly from Marc Allen, Marc Timm, Tibor Kremic, and Phil Sumrall, and those working on the Ares V launch vehicle, in providing materials for this study. The committee also thanks those who presented their mission-concept studies at the various com- mittee meetings. The committee held four meetings in 2008, as follows: on February 20-22 in Washington, D.C.; on March 17- 19 in Irvine, California; on June 9-11 in Boulder, Colorado; and on August 4-6 in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. â National Research Council, Science Opportunities Enabled by NASAâs Constellation System: Interim Report, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2008. â Committee member Steven Beckwith was a member of a team that contributed to one of the proposals submitted in response to the request for information. He had not actively participated on the team for nearly a year prior to the submission of the proposal and was unaware that it was being submitted. After learning about the submission of the proposal, he resigned from the team and recused himself from any delibera- tions on the proposal. â Aerocapture is an orbit insertion maneuver that takes advantage of a planetâs atmosphere to decelerate a spacecraft sufficiently to allow it to be placed into its intended orbit.
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 Councilâs (NRCâs) 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, Robert Braun, Georgia Institute of Technology, Margaret Kivelson, University of California, Los Angeles, Richard Kohrs, NASA (retired), Emery Reeves, United States Air Force Academy (retired), Norman Sleep, Stanford University, and Charles 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
Contents SUMMARY 1 1 THE CONSTELLATION SYSTEM AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR SCIENCE 9 The Relationship Between Launch Vehicle Size and Mission Cost, 10 Opportunities for Science, 13 Other Possible Missions, 14 The Constellation System and Earth Science, 15 International Cooperation, 16 Cautionary Tales: The Voyager-Mars Mission and Project Prometheus, 17 2 ANALYSIS OF SPACE SCIENCE MISSION STUDIES 20 Background and Approach, 20 Evaluation Criteria and Results, 22 The Sun-Earth Lagrangian Point, 26 Astronomy and Astrophysics Missions, 26 Advanced Technology Large-Aperture Space Telescope (ATLAST), 26 8-Meter Monolithic Space Telescope, 29 Dark Ages Lunar Interferometer (DALI), 32 Generation-X, 36 Modern Universe Space Telescope, 38 Astronomy and Astrophysics/Heliophysics Mission, 41 Stellar Imager, 41 Heliophysics Missions, 45 Solar Probe 2, 45 Interstellar Probe, 48 Solar Polar Imager, 52 Solar System Exploration Missions, 56 Exploration of Near Earth Objects via the Crew Exploration Vehicle, 56 Neptune Orbiter with Probes, 60 Titan Explorer, 63 xiii
xiv CONTENTS 3 TECHNOLOGY REQUIREMENTS FOR FUTURE SPACE MISSIONS 67 In-Space Propulsion Technologies, 70 Electric Propulsion, 70 Solar Sails, 75 Aerocapture, 76 Propulsion System Technology Summary, 81 The Deep Space Network, 81 4 HUMAN AND ROBOTIC SERVICING OF FUTURE SPACE SCIENCE MISSIONS 83 Human Servicing of Spacecraft, 84 Robotic Servicing of Spacecraft, 91 Successful Robotic Servicing Missions, 91 Future Servicing Capabilities, 92 Future Human and Robotic Servicing Options, 93 Advantages of Servicing Missions, 94 5 LAUNCH VEHICLE AND SPACECRAFT OPTIONS FOR FUTURE SPACE 97 SCIENCE MISSIONS The Orion Spacecraft, 97 Opportunities for Small Space Science Payloads Aboard Constellation, 98 Ares I, 99 Ares V, 102 Delta IV, 103 Atlas V, 105 Ares Development Risks, 105 Vehicle Performance Comparisons, 108 Ares I, 108 Ares V, 109 Concerns Regarding the Ares V Shroud, 110 APPENDIXES A Letter of Request from NASA 115 B Summary Analysis of Mission Concepts That Would Not Benefit from the Constellation System 117 C Request for Information 133 D Definitions for Technology Readiness Levels 136 E Committee and Staff Biographical Information 138