Skip to content

My OPEG 2017 proposal for a social contract between Planetary scientists “work aunts” for a future Ice Giant mission AO

February 25, 2017

I attended the OPAG 2017 conference in Atlanta Ga this week, where I was privileged to be able to ask questions of presenters and on one occasion to present an idea. The idea was inspired by the talk at OPAG 2017 of a resident OPAG sociologist who gave a talk on diversity that brought back thoughts I had when a UM-Flint Anthropology major. The “resident” OPAG sociologist talk was given by Janet Vertesi of Princeton(Diverse & Inclusive mission teams (NF-4 AO language)-How to achieve that goal). She discussed the dangers and harm to diversity goals on science missions if the minority is only 1 person(the “Token”) or harm if the minority groups to include Gender if their percentages are below 30% on a team. One of her many recommendations was to have men who have flown successful planetary missions to be good “work uncles” and to look after and watch out for tokenism and backlashes from others and to ensure that female and minority team members are allowed to develop as the mission advances.

My Hypothesis is however that there are females who have long been on these missions who are now in leadership positions who could become or are or have been “Work Aunts”and that these work aunts could propose to an AO a teaming arrangement that incorporates a leadership succession and sharing plan that accounts for a decade-long  planetary mission. leadership sharing is an idea inspired by a talk at OPAG 2017 given by Louis Procter entitled (participating scientist study) This topic is of interest to me because of my 4-decade long membership of the NCEO or National center of employee ownership, there we discuss employee empowerment and leadership as a part of and motivation for employee ownership. Here might be a connection and a subject worth studying in planetary science mission team building. It is also important for the work Aunts to be responsible for ensuring that males make up at least 30% of any spacecraft and instrument team.

How to build a social contract on an Ice Giant planetary mission?(and how to design a mission tour)

There was a talk by a graduate student Amanda Zangari entitled “Giant planet-KBO flyby” This talk reflected past proposals such as ARGO that suggested giant planet and ice giants flybys could use gravitational assists to Centaurs and KBO’s. Zangari talk had images of cones of 60 degrees from Uranus and Neptune showing the range of targets that could be explored with ice giant flybys.

My response was to approach the mic and tell Ms. Zangarari that we might be kindred spirits, I mentioned I believe that utilizing spacecraft for as many objects of interest furthers the decadal survey process and goals except I asked her to consider the proposed two spacecraft ice giant missions and that she was now the principal investigator and that the Neptune orbital mission uses retrograde Triton to get to her chosen centaur/trojan/KBO**. This is, of course, would be the plan presented to the AO from before launch that the PI and other instrument PI will rotate over the course of the mission and this to honor thoughts from Procter, Vertesi, and Rappolee.

**my doodle of ice giant orbital escape utilizing satellites gravity assists (Okutsu) Ms. Amanda Zangarari came over to my seat and took a photograph of the first image which is the original.(should be retrograde for Triton)Dr. Zangari’s talk had 60-degree cones that reflect the energies of planetary flybys and velocity, my doodle might reflect smaller cones? Ms.Zangarari and I discussed that my version allows for satellites of ice giants to gravitational deflect spacecraft back from ice giants to centaurs inward towards Saturn(Chiron)

It should be an OPAG finding that Work Aunt and Uncles should incorporate ice giant escape from orbit to satisfy planetary quarantine requirements

For reference, the B plane I tried to draw for Triton is better viewed here with this image that Mr. Lasher (retired) gave me years ago.Mr. Lasher was astrodynamics specialist to the Voyager and pioneer programs with Dr. Stone.


Okutsu would replace Jupiter B-plane with Titan B-plane for his Cassini Saturn escape study okutsu_cassini_saturn_escape And we propose to the Nasa Planetary protection officer & OPAG & SBAG that Uranus & Neptune missions require a ballistic and or SEP escape from orbit in the event of a possible biotic condition discovery. Indeed we propose such trajectories be mandated for some proposed ocean worlds.I think this could be required on a weighted scale based on probability. Such studies should take on the “opportunity costs” of planetary impact VS additional targets.A “CubeSat” could do the ice giant core gravitational moment measurements. We simply do not know if there are more Enceladus’s out there.

Dr. Zangari and Dr. Okutsu should both be commissioned to write a paper that explores Neptune/Triton escape orbits to a KBO at end of mission at Neptune. Zangari

I enjoy thinking about human space anthropology and archaeologyJupiter B plane astrodynamics image for visual learners

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: