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Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer-SLS? (UPDATE! ESA HAS BEEN INVITED TO PRODUCE THE LANDER!)


fredinno
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Launch JUICE on SLS?  

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  1. 1. Launch JUICE on SLS?



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How do we fill up the SLS 2021-2025 launch manifiest and launch once a year?

Currently there are 2 (3 if including Asteroid Redirect Mission) planned SLS Missions for this time period-

EM-2, a Manned Lunar Orbital mission, for 2021.

SLS-Europa Clipper, a unmanned SLS probe launch, for 2025.

and EM-3/ARM, a manned mission to a captured boulder orbiting the Moon, also for 2025.

 

This leaves 2023 and 2022 without having any SLS launches (since 2025 is a year with 2 SLS launches. The next presidency will choose the ultimate near-term goal for the SLS-Orion Program, but the hardware required may not be developed in time- especially if it requires more new technology (like a Lunar Lander), compared to the currently favoured Lunar Space Station (which can be developed more quickly and its lessons are valuable for various deep-space destinations (including long-term habitation of the Moon).

 

On the other hand, ESA is developing its own Jupiter Orbiter, Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer, or JUICE, to study Castillo, Europa, and Ganymede (later orbiting Ganymede). It is planned to launch in 2022, using a VEEGA gravity Assist trajectory to sling it to the Jupiter system. As a result, it would arrive in 2030, while Europa Clipper, which is just as complex, if not more (now that it has a lander, and needs to survive Jupiter's radiation belts) arrives in 2027, BEFORE the somewhat less risky Ganymede and Castillo-focused JUICE. If JUICE instead used the SLS Block IB (To be safe, as JUICE is about Five Tons mass, and SLS Block I can only carry up to 4.3 T to Jupiter on a direct trajectory- even a STAR motor may not be enough, and the situation would get worse if the proposed Russian Laplace-P lander is built and attached to JUICE, though unlikely due to Rocosmos' budget cuts) it could get to Jupiter by 2024, a transit time of 2 years.

 

This is advantageous for more than just filling SLS' launch schedule:

1. If it arrives in 2034, JUICE can also use its few Europa flybys during its 3 year tour of the Jupiter system before Ganymede orbit insertion to give missions planners guidelines on where to flyby- currently, only the old Galileo probe produced data capable of doing this job. Not only are these measurements from old 70's-80's era probes (Galileo was delayed from a 1986 launch due to Challenger), Galileo also had to use its low-gain antenna, as its high-gain antenna did not deploy, meaning even less data for Europa mission planners to work with. Using JUICE for basic reconnaissance of Europan destinations would make Europan mission planners more confident in where they should flyby (even more important, since they have to set down a lander at a scientifically important place), not to mention wet the tongues of scientists and science nerds like.

 

2. The lower transit time means more science, as the components of the probe will not have to survive the approx. 6 extra years in deep space- meaning the critical components (like instruments and solar panels) will likely last longer, meaning more science overall! (Especially solar panels, which degrades under Jupiter's radiation belts, so you need them in tip top condition when they get there in the first place.)

 

3. Faster transit time also means faster science, allowing future missions to these icy moons to themselves take place earlier (if the budget allows it, or course. Castillo Orbiter anybody?). It's also better for scientists.

 

There are disadvantages, though:

1. Higher Cost for launch (duh). Ariane V, the current JUICE launcher, costs $200 Million per launch, while the SLS Block I costs $500 million per launch (the Block IB is more costly, but cost per launch is unknown. Let's just say $700 Million. (Saturn V was about $1.5 Billion per launch, depending on the estimates) That's a 3.5 x greater cost per launch.

 

2. Less science from Venus and Asteroids, due to no Venus flybys on a direct trajectory to Jupiter, and only one pass through the asteroid belt via a direct trajectory, rather than 2 with VEEGA.

 

3. NASA would need to negotiate with ESA- they would need something in return for providing the free SLS launch.

 

4. Some planning and modifications to JUICE on ESA's side needs to be redone- however, this is likely not a huge issue, as JUICE is launching in 2022, 7 years into the future. Even if building the proposal, getting it approved, and the negotiation process takes 3 years, there are still 4 years to make changes to the probe- probably plenty of time.

 

I propose that this SLS launch would be funded by having ESA build the now-required by Congress Europa Lander, while NASA gives ESA a free ride to Jupiter.

 

So good idea or no? A poll has been set up for this tread. 

Edited by fredinno
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And here I come with the hammer of criticism... which boils down to this: yeah, you got one extra flight from SLS. Neat. What happens next ? I mean, for SLS to become "profitable", we should see it do 1-2 missions (or more!), every year, for decades. This proposal, while thought out and sensible, is already scrambling for support form pretty much everywhere, just to provide the single extra flight. I sadly think that if we are already resorting to convoluted schemes to make the gap between the second and first flights tenable, the future looks grim indeed for SLS.

 

Rune. Simply put, without a lot more money on a continued basis, NASA can't really afford to fly it.

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3 minutes ago, Rune said:

And here I come with the hammer of criticism... which boils down to this: yeah, you got one extra flight from SLS. Neat. What happens next ? I mean, for SLS to become "profitable", we should see it do 1-2 missions (or more!), every year, for decades. This proposal, while thought out and sensible, is already scrambling for support form pretty much everywhere, just to provide the single extra flight. I sadly think that if we are already resorting to convoluted schemes to make the gap between the second and first flights tenable, the future looks grim indeed for SLS.

 

Rune. Simply put, without a lot more money on a continued basis, NASA can't really afford to fly it.

What proposal?? The JUICE on SLS, or JUICE itself? As far as I know, JUICE on SLS has not really been proposed yet.

 

And SLS Block I flights cost about 100 million in NASA's numbers than the Shuttle costed per launch, (also NASA numbers). Shuttle was done more than five missions every year on multiple occasions, even after Challenger, and had an average of 4 launches a year. And this does not fill the gap from the 2nd to 1st flight, but 2nd to 3rd to 4th, aka the early operational years. One of the reasons NASA isn't really working on Mars Landings is because Obama's out of office next year, and it's the next president who will actually reap any of the SLS harvest (and would give NASA enough time to build the payload/mission beyond the point of cancellation. JUICE on SLS is an interim for those missions. Hell, I wouln't be surprised if NASA had EXTRA left over during SLS' first years to begin pursuing Uranus Orbiter. SLS isn't over budget ( it is somewhat behind schedule, though)

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On 25/12/2015 at 6:55 AM, fredinno said:

What proposal?? The JUICE on SLS, or JUICE itself? As far as I know, JUICE on SLS has not really been proposed yet.

 

And SLS Block I flights cost about 100 million in NASA's numbers than the Shuttle costed per launch, (also NASA numbers). Shuttle was done more than five missions every year on multiple occasions, even after Challenger, and had an average of 4 launches a year. And this does not fill the gap from the 2nd to 1st flight, but 2nd to 3rd to 4th, aka the early operational years. One of the reasons NASA isn't really working on Mars Landings is because Obama's out of office next year, and it's the next president who will actually reap any of the SLS harvest (and would give NASA enough time to build the payload/mission beyond the point of cancellation. JUICE on SLS is an interim for those missions. Hell, I wouln't be surprised if NASA had EXTRA left over during SLS' first years to begin pursuing Uranus Orbiter. SLS isn't over budget ( it is somewhat behind schedule, though)

The proposal you make in this very post, of course, JUICE on SLS. And yeah, the shuttle launched several times each year... but by the end of its service life, it wasn't much more than twice each year. And some of those flights were logistics ones, with no new payloads to pay for (other than cheap consumables like food and air for the station), as NASA lost budget as a percentage of the federal one, and the costs of maintaining the station came up. The main point I'm trying to make is that SLS would need a ton of extra money to pay for its payloads, and NASA's budget seems like it will be stretched to its limit just flying it with a recurring payload (Orion) once every two years.

 

Rune. You did want some criticism, didn't you?

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8 hours ago, Rune said:

The proposal you make in this very post, of course, JUICE on SLS. And yeah, the shuttle launched several times each year... but by the end of its service life, it wasn't much more than twice each year. And some of those flights were logistics ones, with no new payloads to pay for (other than cheap consumables like food and air for the station), as NASA lost budget as a percentage of the federal one, and the costs of maintaining the station came up. The main point I'm trying to make is that SLS would need a ton of extra money to pay for its payloads, and NASA's budget seems like it will be stretched to its limit just flying it with a recurring payload (Orion) once every two years.

 

Rune. You did want some criticism, didn't you?

Things like Lunar Landers and lunar space station resupply/crew turnover missions are reoccurring payloads- and those are really the two most likely outcomes for a near-term Orion/SLS future. No new payloads need to be developed once the initial development is complete (until Moon-Base building begins, that is)

Also, the low launching rate at the end of service life of the Shuttle was because of Constellation being pursued in parallel (meaning they had to juggle 2 manned space flight programs at once) and because of the Columbia Disaster requiring that NASA be much more careful about future launches. Orion has more margin for error- it has a LES, is attached to the top of the rocket, rather than the side, which caused Columbia, and is smaller (and a protected heat shield) meaning MMOD risk is lower. 

 

 

NASA will not have to juggle 2 manned spaceflight programs- only one, allowing them to concentrate on Orion. JUICE is an interm to a manned payload mission. 

 

Either way, I appreciate your time. It was getting a little boring.

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  • 3 weeks later...
2 hours ago, Spaceception said:

I can't wait for this to launch, we'll be one step closer to see if there's Aliens on another body in our solar system.

If you consider fish or bacteria to be "aliens", then sure, I guess.

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