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ILOA Galaxy Forum Europe 2013 - human missions to europa and titan - hugh hill
“Human Missions to Europa and Titan – Why not ?” Hugh Hill, Associate Professor, International Space University MENU1. Introducing “Human Missions to Europa and Titan – Why not ?”2. Why explore Europa and Titan ?3. Why send Humans to Europa and Titan ?4. What are the Technical Challenges ?5. Who would manage and pay for such a major mission ?6. What about legal issues ?7. What about Ethics and Social Implications ?8. How much would this mission cost ?9. Introducing METTLE (Mission to Europa To Trace Lifes Existence) Intro to Meteorites - 27/9/2012 1
1. Introducing “Human Missions to Europa and Titan – Why not ?”• Tram Project (TP) involving 29 M.Sc. 2004 students from 11 different countries
Introducing “Human Missions to Europa and Titan – Why not ?” continuedMission Statement“To enable human exploration beyond Mars with a primary focus on Europa and Titan (by 2070)”Ultimate Objectives of this ProjectTo realize a clearly defined development plan as well as a comprehensive strategy detailing all of the major milestones and barriers, across all disciplines, which must be overcome.What was our Current Status in 2003‐2004 (when this project was undertaken) ?"With the recently announced US initiative, a return to the Moon is planned within the next fifteen years. China is also aiming high and plans to put taikonauts on the Moon. ESAs Aurora Programme and the new vision for NASA both plan to send humans to Mars before 2030…"
2. Why explore Europa and Titan ?Why Explore Europa ?• Smallest of four Galilean satellites of Jupiter• It may have a liquid water layer beneath its Voyager 2 image of Europa. Note cracks and fissures, which could deliver water and organics (microbes ?) tosmooth, icy crust the surface. Note that only three craters >5 km have• Liquid water + organic molecules + energy = been detected on this Jovian ‘billiard ball’very interesting astrobiology target• Perhaps Europan life – if discovered ‐‐ had a separate origin from Earth life (‘second genesis’ ? ‘Third genesis ?)• If water is confirmed we need to think about a chemical energy source for organisms as the ice is likely too thick to permit photosynthesis Moon Europan ice-melting probes have already been constructed and tested by DLR and NASA. Alex Ivanov (M.Sc. 2004) undertook his MSS internship at Europa Earth DLR on precisely this topic. His internship Report, “Adaptation of the melting probe experiment setup for use in the vacuum conditions”, is available in the Library 4
Why Explore Titan ?• Largest satellite of Saturn• Composed of mostly water ice and rocky materials• Known to have a dense, N‐rich atmosphere with significant amounts of hydrocarbons• Also liquid methane lakes on its surface (confirmed in 2007)• Possible sub‐surface liquid water ocean Titan photographed by NASA’s Cassini probe.• Liquid water + organic molecules + energy = very interesting astrobiology target Moon• Maybe Enceladus is more interesting for Astrobiologists ? Titan Moon
3. Why Send Humans to Europa and Titan ?1. Technological: Every nation will benefit from developing advanced technology which will revolutionize our daily lives in ways that we cannot begin to imagine.2. Scientific: Exploration may lead to the discovery of life in the outer solar system as well as help us to understand the physical processes that are occurring on these distant bodies.3. Social: Social impacts are just as important as they promote further interest and commitment to science and research. By enabling a mission that is international in scope, the peoples of the world will be united in a common goal that spans languages, religions, and cultures.
4. What are the Technical Challenges ?The following technologies needs to be advanced…• Propulsion: ΔV of 60‐80 km/s and capable of a long operational life.• Power: Nuclear of the order of tens of MWe to last a minimum of five years• In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU): The surfaces of Europa and Titan contain considerable amounts of water ice, which could be processed to generate LOX and LH to propel ascent/descent vehicles, etc.• Life Support: • A ‘closed‐loop’ Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) to provide pure air, water, food, heat, cooling, etc. Recycling to the maximum extent is assumed • Artificial Gravity to counteract the effects of microgravity, e.g. a short‐radius centrifuge • Habitation Module to ensure that the module is "fit for extensive human habitation", as opposed to being merely "tolerable" • Radiation Projection. a combination of pharmacology, passive and active shielding (e.g. carbon nano‐fibers), diet, exercise, and possibly even genetic engineering in order minimize the effects of long‐term exposure of the human body to the radiation environment.
5. Who would manage and pay for such a major mission ?We don’t know as it is impossible to predict the state of the world a few decades from now but four possible scenarios are:A. International, Publicly Funded. A collaboration between different space agencies or an “International Space Consortium” could be createdB. International Public/Private Collaboration. The establishment of a non‐profit foundation to coordinate joint public and private space exploration efforts.C. Exclusively Privately Funded. What if space commercialization explodes ? A major increase in launches, international capability, and technologyD. Major societal Shifts: A. New Space Race. What if China (other) successfully reaches the Moon and Mars independantly ? B. Discovery of Life on Europa and/or Titan. This could prompt nations internationally to rally together C. Potential Destruction of the Human Race, e.g. via war, asteroid threat or extreme environmental problems.
6. What about legal issues ?Today the relevant space treaties are as follows: • Outer Space Treaty, 1967 • Rescue Agreement, 1968 • Liability Convention, 1972 • Registration Convention, 1975 • Moon Agreement, 1984However, modifications to these treaties would be needed to allow such a mission to take place, especially if it is to be pursued via international cooperation e.g.• The Planetary Protection Clause – conscientious effort should be made to avoid contamination, both of celestial bodies by Earth sources and of Earth by extra‐ terrestrial sources• Nuclear power sources ‐ any use of nuclear power must comply with the "Principles Relevant to the Use of Nuclear Power Sources in Outer Space"
7. What about Ethics and Social Implications ? • Radiation limits• Risks to the Earth (e.g. nuclear technologies)• Planetary Protection• Code of Conduct for the crew onboard the spacecraft• One‐way ticket issues• Conflicts of interest• Crew composition• Genetic alteration/modification8. How much would this mission cost ?• This is impossible to estimate with any level of confidence• We could make a crude estimate using well‐established methods, e.g. • A combination of analogy and parametric costing methods • The Apollo Program as an analogy• The team estimated total cost for scientific missions and the development of technologies in the range 220‐470B USD
9. Introducing METTLE (Mission to Europa To Trace Lifes Existence) Nuclear reactors in boonsMaintenance Hydrobot design for Robot Assistant 2.5 MW Europan sub‐ VASIMR surface activities(MRA) engines Large radiators for heat dissipation Rotating Torus METTLES spacecraft design for interplanetary flight
METTLES spacecraft design for interplanetary flightThank you ! Any Questions ?