Category Archives: In Space Infrastructure

FISO: Summary of workshop on asteroid redirect mission

The latest presentation to the Future In-Space Operations (FISO) study group is now posted in the FISO Working Group Presentations Archive. Both slides (pptx) and audio (mp3) are available for the talk, Target NEO2: Workshop Summary and Next Steps – Rich Dissly , Ball Aerospace – August 28, 2013

This is quite an interesting overview and summary of the Target NEO workshop held back in July on the proposed NASA mission to move a small asteroid to the Earth-Moon system using an unmanned spacecraft and then do close-up examinations with astronaut missions to it. You can find the individual presentation files here and the executive summary here.

Note that the program is referred in some places as ARRM (Asteroid Robotic Redirect Mission) and other places as ARM (Asteroid Redirect Mission).

There is a lot of discussion about improving the search for Goldilocks objects, e.g.:

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There’s probably a good amount of sci-fi in it but I like this multi-dimensional graph from NASA’s Bill Gerstenmaier illustrating the various technological capabilities needed for a Mars crew mission and where asteroid missions and ISS activities contribute to those capabilities:

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Finding an ideal asteroid target is very difficult and may take longer than the current mission time scale allows:

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In-space colonies

Space.com today has an article and the infographic shown below about the in-space colony concepts developed by Princeton Prof. Gerard K. O’Neill and his collaborators during the 1970s and 80s. (They got some NASA grants but it’s a huge exaggeration to say NASA had a “plan to put thousands of people in Space Colonies”.)

See the Space Studies Institute for more details and the HobbySpace Art section for links to more space colony artwork.

Source SPACE.com: All about our solar system, outer space and exploration.

FISO: Direct Fusion Drive for Fast Mars Missions with Orion Spacecraft

The latest presentation to the Future In-Space Operations (FISO) study group is now posted in the FISO Working Group Presentations Archive. Both slides (pptx) and audio (mp3) are available for the talk, Direct Fusion Drive for Fast Mars Missions with the Orion Spacecraft, Joseph Mueller , Princeton Satellite Systems, July 24, 2013.

The Direct Fusion Drive mentioned here seems related to that of John Slough at the Univ. of Washington (see Update on Univ. Washington fusion propulsion project).

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FISO: SPHERES robots for research on the ISS

The latest presentation to the Future In-Space Operations (FISO) study group is now posted in the FISO Working Group Presentations Archive. Both slides (pdf) and audio (mp3) are available for the talk, SPHERES Distributed Satellite Algorithm Research Aboard the ISS, Alvar Saenz-Otero, MIT – June 26, 2013.

The presentation gives the details behind the robotic SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold Engage and Reorient Experimental Satellites)  used on the ISS for research and student competitions.

See also the website SPHERES  and Zero Robotics websites at MIT.