Topic: Going to pluto  (Read 10115 times)

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Offline Khalee1

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Going to pluto
« on: December 17, 2005, 01:59:28 pm »
NASA's first Pluto probe heads to launch pad By Irene Klotz
Fri Dec 16, 5:21 PM ET

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - A small spacecraft bound for Pluto was being prepared for transfer to the launch pad on Friday in preparation for blastoff next month,     NASA officials said.
 
New Horizons is the centerpiece of a $650 million mission to explore the last of the solar system's original nine planets. Scientists recently have discovered hundreds of Pluto-like objects orbiting more than 50 times farther away from the sun than Earth.

NASA is giving New Horizons one of the biggest boosts into space money can buy.

The small probe, which weighs about 1,000 pounds (454 kg) and is about the size of a grand piano, will be carried into orbit by a Lockheed Martin heavy-lift Atlas launch vehicle outfitted with five solid-rocket boosters, a Centaur liquid-fuel upper stage and a STAR 48B solid-fuel third stage -- equipment more commonly used for hefty communications satellites than relatively petite science probes.

"It's almost going to look like a hood ornament on top of that big rocket,"     Kennedy Space Center spokesman George Diller said. "We want to give it a lot of speed to get to Pluto as fast as we can."

If the Apollo capsules had as much power behind them, the trip to the moon would have taken about nine hours instead of three days, Diller added.

New Horizons' mission is to study Pluto, its primary moon Charon and two other newly discovered satellites, then continue on into the Kuiper Belt region beyond Pluto to fly past other icy objects.

The Kuiper Belt is a ring of space objects that may be remnants from the early solar system.

"All the planets were formed in the same epoch," said Alan Stern, the mission's principal investigator. "Out in the Kuiper Belt, objects started to grow, but then something happened. They ran out of feedstock."

The probe contains 24 pounds (10.9 kg) of plutonium pellets, which will provide power through radioactive decay. Due to Pluto's distance from the sun, solar power is not a viable option.

Scientists will have to wait at least 9-1/2 years to begin studying the scientific data the probe beams back, and even longer if New Horizons misses the opening of its launch period on January 11.

If the probe is not launched by February 2, New Horizons will miss the opportunity to pick up extra speed by zooming close to Jupiter in 2007 for a slingshot boost from the giant planet's gravity. A direct flight to Pluto would take an additional three years, scientists estimate.

At its speed, there is no chance New Horizons can slow down and enter into orbit around Pluto for an extended stay. The probe does not carry the tremendous amount of fuel required for a braking maneuver.

Instead, the spacecraft and its sensors will target Pluto and its moons from about five months before closest approach to one month after, then head out in search of new subjects

Offline Tus-XC

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Re: Going to pluto
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2005, 02:48:42 pm »
hmmm, so it stops by pluto and then it'll take a visit to the kepler belt eventually... hmmmm
Rob

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Offline Commander Maxillius

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Re: Going to pluto
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2005, 01:22:55 am »
what would be interesting is if they strapped electronics to the outside of the final stage of the rocket itself and used that final stage to maintain momentum after a 100% thrust burn of all of its fuel.  I imagine it would get there hella faster.
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Offline prometheus

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Re: Going to pluto
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2005, 02:00:09 am »
If I'm still around, God willing, in tne years, I can't wait to study the Pluto system and the Kuiper belt...  This is going to be a hell of a mission... One for the books...


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Offline J. Carney

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Re: Going to pluto
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2005, 11:17:26 am »
Well, this does two wonderful things:

1.) We are going to throw a new probe out into space. Always a good thing. The best part is that unlike the Voyager and Pioneer probes, this one is INTENDED to make it beyond the bounds of the known Solar System, and to do so as fast as we can lob the SOB out there.

Prom, I share your enthusiasim. This could really teach us a lot. :)

2.) They said with ths much thrust, we could get to the moon in 9 HOURS! Now, all NASA has to do is get a fricking module built and arrange to stick it on top of one of thse bad boys. Even if it does take a day or more to get there due to being 2-3x as massive as Apollo, we've found a rocket powerful enough to give our moon missions a good duration- say 3 or 4 days instead of a few hours.

With 3-4 days, some REAL work could be done on the moon... like building pre-fab structures that have already been positioned by robot-controled slow boats, for instance. ;)
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Offline prometheus

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Re: Going to pluto
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2005, 03:12:23 pm »
Well, this does two wonderful things:

1.) We are going to throw a new probe out into space. Always a good thing. The best part is that unlike the Voyager and Pioneer probes, this one is INTENDED to make it beyond the bounds of the known Solar System, and to do so as fast as we can lob the SOB out there.

Prom, I share your enthusiasim. This could really teach us a lot. :)

2.) They said with ths much thrust, we could get to the moon in 9 HOURS! Now, all NASA has to do is get a fricking module built and arrange to stick it on top of one of thse bad boys. Even if it does take a day or more to get there due to being 2-3x as massive as Apollo, we've found a rocket powerful enough to give our moon missions a good duration- say 3 or 4 days instead of a few hours.

With 3-4 days, some REAL work could be done on the moon... like building pre-fab structures that have already been positioned by robot-controled slow boats, for instance. ;)

I would think they could have got to the moon pretty quickly if they had wanted to, the reason they took three days is so that they could reach the moon on a free return trajectory, a precaution that saved three lives on Apollo 13...


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Offline J. Carney

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Re: Going to pluto
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2005, 06:39:42 pm »
I would think they could have got to the moon pretty quickly if they had wanted to, the reason they took three days is so that they could reach the moon on a free return trajectory, a precaution that saved three lives on Apollo 13...

With today's tech, we could probably achive the same results even if we cheat a little and send 'em faster and leave 'em longer. And remember, Apollo 17 was sent on a trajectory that was such that it would have been hard for them to have duplicated the Apollo 13 miracle, even if they also used the LEM's engines as 13 did. ;) I'm sure that such things would be taken into account.
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Offline prometheus

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Re: Going to pluto
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2005, 07:00:56 pm »
I would think they could have got to the moon pretty quickly if they had wanted to, the reason they took three days is so that they could reach the moon on a free return trajectory, a precaution that saved three lives on Apollo 13...

With today's tech, we could probably achive the same results even if we cheat a little and send 'em faster and leave 'em longer. And remember, Apollo 17 was sent on a trajectory that was such that it would have been hard for them to have duplicated the Apollo 13 miracle, even if they also used the LEM's engines as 13 did. ;) I'm sure that such things would be taken into account.

The problem with that is that if the SPS failed, like on thirteen, the LEM engines were nowhere near powerful enough for a Direct Abort.  If you're travelling at a delta V that gets you to the moon in nine hours, you'd be slingshotted by the moon, become an artificial comet, and die a slow, lingering death in Space.  On Apollo 17 it would have been hard to duplicate the Apollo 13 miracle to be sure, but not impossible.  It would have required a course correction rather than an absolutely drastic change in delta v...


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Offline J. Carney

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Re: Going to pluto
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2005, 07:10:23 pm »
It would have required a course correction rather than an absolutely drastic change in delta v...

Well, while we're pre-positioning equipment... why not pre-position an engine/fuel tank setup that would be strong enough to provide the course correction? Or include it on the craft itself.

LIke I said, it was an idea... I don't know if it would be possible or not. I don't know astrophysics and have little 'room in the attic' for learning it. To much stuff I need to know right now in life to try and cram it in.
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Offline prometheus

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Re: Going to pluto
« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2005, 09:23:31 pm »
It would have required a course correction rather than an absolutely drastic change in delta v...

Well, while we're pre-positioning equipment... why not pre-position an engine/fuel tank setup that would be strong enough to provide the course correction? Or include it on the craft itself.

LIke I said, it was an idea... I don't know if it would be possible or not. I don't know astrophysics and have little 'room in the attic' for learning it. To much stuff I need to know right now in life to try and cram it in.

It could be done, and it could have been done in the days of Apollo, as some of the probes that did transmartian orbits demonstrated, but I think they reasoned that three days to get to the moon was well within acceptable time limits and with the safest translunar delta v in that an emergency a free return course correction could be made as was done on Apollo 13...  I've done three days to Southern France with my brother and a friend in a car that was about the same size as a Command Module.  Of course, we could get out now and again if we wanted to, but it's really not that bad a journey time, especially when you get to be somewhere spectacular at the end of it...


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Offline Tus-XC

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Re: Going to pluto
« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2005, 10:06:19 pm »
TOF on an mission is determined by the method in which you use to get there, if you use the most effecient (Hohmann tranfers) you also get the longest.  Hohmann tranfer is a essentrially a two burn type of thing, the first burn changes the eccentricity of your parking orbit enough so that the new ellipicical orbits apogee (for outer plannets) or perigee (inner planets) touches the mission orbit.  for the case of outer planets,  once you reach the mission orbit, you do another burn, as you've most of ur kinetic energy (velocity) for potential energy (altitude), which means that you do not have the velocity to maintain that specific orbit. The faster method to getting to a mission orbit is by using a big engine and just going vertical, also the most ineffecient route. 

Now getting out of the earths, (and the suns) sphere of influence is another thing, my bet would be that they will use a hyperbolic orbit to get it outside the suns sphere of influence, and get it into an orbit around the galatic core, (in a loose matter of speaking, i'm excluding everything else for simplicity of explanation). launching it into some kinda orbit around that is where this sucker needs the velocity, as the altitude of this orbit is what determines the velocity needed... in all reality this is probably only a few meters higher than that of the orbit of the sun, however that would still be a shyt load of energy. I'm not sure if this will leave the suns sphere of influence (ie still be in orbit about the sun) but if it does, that is how it will happen.

o btw max, them rockets used to get it into orbit... ya they don't do much more than that, just park it in roughly a 200 km orbit, it'll be the job of the onboard engines of the satilte to get it where its final destination is.
Rob

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Offline J. Carney

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Re: Going to pluto
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2005, 11:16:03 pm »
I've done three days to Southern France with my brother and a friend in a car that was about the same size as a Command Module...  it's really not that bad a journey time, especially when you get to be somewhere spectacular at the end of it...

Yeah, but imagine being able to get there in a matter of hours instead of days and thus do 5 times the sightseeing and exploration!

If we CAN get them there quick and have more times boots-on-ground to do researcha and possibly even construction... then that's the way to go. They can come home in a leasurly manner, but if I'm paying for them to get a paid vacation to the Moon, then dammit, I expect them to WORK once they get there! ;) ;D
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Offline prometheus

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Re: Going to pluto
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2005, 07:31:17 am »
I've done three days to Southern France with my brother and a friend in a car that was about the same size as a Command Module...  it's really not that bad a journey time, especially when you get to be somewhere spectacular at the end of it...

Yeah, but imagine being able to get there in a matter of hours instead of days and thus do 5 times the sightseeing and exploration!

If we CAN get them there quick and have more times boots-on-ground to do researcha and possibly even construction... then that's the way to go. They can come home in a leasurly manner, but if I'm paying for them to get a paid vacation to the Moon, then dammit, I expect them to WORK once they get there! ;) ;D

I don't think it's gonna work that way...  It stands to reason they'll probably use a different space craft to land on the moon than to get there...  The way Apollo did it was the right way...  the Command Module on Apollo could support one man for weeks if it was pushed to it, longer if the took a sh*tload of LiOH scrubbers with them...  Hell they had a Gemini mission that lasted for a fortnight... 

If I was in charge of the mission, they'd be on a free return delta v after TLI shutdown whether they wanted to be or not...  They imparted a delta v of 35,000 feet per second on Apollo after TLI Saturn Four Booster shutdown, whereupon the ship starts to decelarate towards Earth at 32 feet per second per second, till captured by the lunar gravity, whereupon it will accelarate towards the moon at 5.3 feet per second per second, imparting the correct delta v to be swung around by the moon and into a Trans Earth coast.  This mission profile has already saved three lives, and if we embark on a prolonged program of further missions over the long term, you can bet your ass it's gonna save a whole lot more.  The SPS on the service module was a massively powerful enigne.  I have video footage of the Apollo 8 Lunar Orbit Insertion, where they light up the SPS and it's so powerful it illuminates the dark side of the moon.  There's no way it's performance could not be emulated by the LEM, and with a fast TLI on 13, Lovell, Haise and Swigert would still be floating around out there somewhere...


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Offline J. Carney

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Re: Going to pluto
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2005, 10:51:56 am »
There's no way it's performance could not be emulated by the LEM, and with a fast TLI on 13, Lovell, Haise and Swigert would still be floating around out there somewhere...

Even NASA says that 17 would probably not have succeeded in getting back to Earth because of their trajectory. Even with the LEM firing. Good enough for me... I'll trust the guys with degrees know more than I can guess.


And risking death in space is their business, Prom. You want SAFE missions,don't send men up. Astronauts are all military personell, and they all know and understand that theymight be called upon to die if the mission goes wrong.

Safety and Progress are quite often mutually exclusive. ;)

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The advantages of living in the Heart of Dixie- low cost of living, peace and quiet and a conservative majority. For some reason I think that the first two items have a lot to do with the presence of the last one.

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Offline Tus-XC

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Re: Going to pluto
« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2005, 11:07:50 am »
I've done three days to Southern France with my brother and a friend in a car that was about the same size as a Command Module...  it's really not that bad a journey time, especially when you get to be somewhere spectacular at the end of it...

Yeah, but imagine being able to get there in a matter of hours instead of days and thus do 5 times the sightseeing and exploration!

If we CAN get them there quick and have more times boots-on-ground to do researcha and possibly even construction... then that's the way to go. They can come home in a leasurly manner, but if I'm paying for them to get a paid vacation to the Moon, then dammit, I expect them to WORK once they get there! ;) ;D



I don't think it's gonna work that way...  It stands to reason they'll probably use a different space craft to land on the moon than to get there...  The way Apollo did it was the right way...  the Command Module on Apollo could support one man for weeks if it was pushed to it, longer if the took a sh*tload of LiOH scrubbers with them...  Hell they had a Gemini mission that lasted for a fortnight... 

If I was in charge of the mission, they'd be on a free return delta v after TLI shutdown whether they wanted to be or not...  They imparted a delta v of 35,000 feet per second on Apollo after TLI Saturn Four Booster shutdown, whereupon the ship starts to decelarate towards Earth at 32 feet per second per second, till captured by the lunar gravity, whereupon it will accelarate towards the moon at 5.3 feet per second per second, imparting the correct delta v to be swung around by the moon and into a Trans Earth coast.  This mission profile has already saved three lives, and if we embark on a prolonged program of further missions over the long term, you can bet your ass it's gonna save a whole lot more.  The SPS on the service module was a massively powerful enigne.  I have video footage of the Apollo 8 Lunar Orbit Insertion, where they light up the SPS and it's so powerful it illuminates the dark side of the moon.  There's no way it's performance could not be emulated by the LEM, and with a fast TLI on 13, Lovell, Haise and Swigert would still be floating around out there somewhere...

Um prom, the sat V didn't give the apollo mission shyt for delta v.  At that time it required somthing that big to get somthing that small into a parking orbit.  Heck we still need somthign big to get somthing into a parking orbit, but our payload size has increased dramatically since then.  Btw some info right fast, though apollo missions used the moon to accelearte, it would be more accurately descbied as getting enough energy to break free from the graps of the moon, once that  energy had been expended it entered an orbit around earth, elliptical, and was in essence actually moving slower than when it did all that accelerating.  The mission itself i could actualy do that maths for, it follows the same concepts for interplanatary mission, using a hohmann tranfer (effeciency).
Rob

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Offline prometheus

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Re: Going to pluto
« Reply #15 on: December 19, 2005, 03:06:03 pm »
The Apollo missions gave a man more delta v than any man has ever had before or since, and the way our manned space program has progressed since the 1970's, may ever have again.  Safety and progress are not mutually exclusive, and I wouldn't put a man up there unless I had taken every reasonable precaution to make sure I would get them back...

9 hours or 72 hours?  A man lives for seventy two years on average so explain to me how the f*ck that bloody many hours is problematic in a mission when it has proven it's worth in saving three lives already? 

If only the human brain, from time to time was as utilised as reliably as the PGNS on an Apollo Space Craft...    ::)


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Offline prometheus

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Re: Going to pluto
« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2005, 03:15:36 pm »
Btw some info right fast, though apollo missions used the moon to accelearte, it would be more accurately descbied as getting enough energy to break free from the graps of the moon, once that  energy had been expended it entered an orbit around earth, elliptical, and was in essence actually moving slower than when it did all that accelerating.  The mission itself i could actualy do that maths for, it follows the same concepts for interplanatary mission, using a hohmann tranfer (effeciency).

I'm going to go thorugh this very, very simply, with no maths at all, since I am not a mathematician...  Sit comfortably, have a tin of Tuna or a fish oil capsule, rub your temples, eat some sugar, and when your brain is charged with Glucose and vitamins, read on... 

The point I am trying to make, is that using a high energy burn to send an object to the moon in nine hours, and then using an engine to perform a braking maneuver is all well and good, if the braking engine works.  If it doesn't work, and the ship is travelling too fast to be captured by the moon and slung round it into Trans Earth Injection, your astronauts are going to die a long, slow, lingering death, and your mission is going to be a complete and utter failure... 

That is why a free return trajectory was considered a good idea on Apollo, and should be used in all Lunar Missions.  It is a simple precaution with absolutely no drawbacks.   Pardon the pun, but that is not exactly rocket science...


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Offline prometheus

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Re: Going to pluto
« Reply #17 on: December 19, 2005, 03:17:01 pm »
but our payload size has increased dramatically since then

I must have missed that mission to the moon...  It must have happened in the 90's during one of my alcoholic blackouts...


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Offline J. Carney

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Re: Going to pluto
« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2005, 03:20:15 pm »
The Apollo missions gave a man more delta v than any man has ever had before or since, and the way our manned space program has progressed since the 1970's, may ever have again.  Safety and progress are not mutually exclusive, and I wouldn't put a man up there unless I had taken every reasonable precaution to make sure I would get them back...

9 hours or 72 hours?  A man lives for seventy two years on average so explain to me how the f*ck that bloody many hours is problematic in a mission when it has proven it's worth in saving three lives already? 

If only the human brain, from time to time was as utilised as reliably as the PGNS on an Apollo Space Craft...    ::)

Prom,

By becoming an astronaut, you give something called 'implied conscent.'

You say "I know doing this could well kill me, but I think the rewards outweigh the risks to myself and all those I care about."

Those people are daring death to mearly sit on several tons of high explosives and have it blow up underneath them, flinging them into an enviroment that is hostile in every definition of the word. Even BEING in space is a risk... one they not only take happily and willingly, but one they fight for the privlage of taking!

Were I able to qualify to be an astornaut, I'd GLADLY play the odds if I thought I could possibly have a solar generator, per-charged batteries, and maybe even a small pre-fab hut waiting on the next guys.... I'm already gambling with my life, so I might as well go for the big payoff.

Because there's no telling what the NEXT crew could do. Two or three missions might be all it takes to have a pressurized barracks there, if we preposition supplies prior to the mission. Imagine... three missions to a moon station. A dozen more to a real moon BASE. 5 years, and now we have a facility that could support construction and launch of a Mars mission.

Like I said, sometimes progress and safety work agianst each other. And sometimes, it just makes more sense for a man who's already gambling with his life to simply put all on the table and hope to win big...

I'm sure that the astronauts will probably agree...

“If we die, we want people to accept it. We're in a risky business, and we hope that if anything happens to us it will not delay the program. The conquest of space is worth the risk of life.”

—Gus Grissom (John Barbour et al., Footprints on the Moon (The Associated Press, 1969), p. 125
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Offline J. Carney

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Re: Going to pluto
« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2005, 03:21:49 pm »
but our payload size has increased dramatically since then

I must have missed that mission to the moon...  It must have happened in the 90's during one of my alcoholic blackouts...

He never said anything about a moon mission, Prom... just that we can loft much bigger things now than then... and we can.
Everything I did in my life that was worthwhile I caught hell for. - Earl Warron

The advantages of living in the Heart of Dixie- low cost of living, peace and quiet and a conservative majority. For some reason I think that the first two items have a lot to do with the presence of the last one.

"Flag of Alabama I salute thee. To thee I pledge my allegiance, my service, and my life."