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Insight- II The international Mars Alluvial fan explorer ( IMAFE )

Insight- II The international Mars Alluvial fan explorer ( IMAFE ) & ITAFE The International Titan Alluvial fan explorer


Hypothesis; Build a copy of the INsight lander which itself is a near copy of the Mars polar lander and run a NASA AO to determine through MEPAG candidate Alluvial fans to use the INsight drill to collect thermal and seismic data on a Mars eluvial fan and its underlying basement strata.

This concept could be developed by a self-described NASA HQ internship that Dr. Green tells me about where the PI could be Eleanor Rappolee and Jeremy Rapp.Dr. Green tells OPAG that they can write your own job description/internship to develop an idea at NASA HQ as graduate students and early carrier postdocs

We have radar altimeter data of the polar ice caps layers do we have this type of data for Martian alluvial fans? data such as this would tell us with stratigraphy if martian alluvial fans are catastrophic or formed over time? An Insight-II mission would give us ground truth


Dr Green and I at OPAG Atlanta discussed that this is a great way to build on your civil service pension and retiree health benefits and that it encourages diversity! Doing this also is a recruiting tool for NASA to keep interns as the carrier workers. I discussed with Dr green that federal service was “portable” IE USGS is also federal service.

Titan Eluvial fans? I think those might show strata and deposition(particle grades) by Methane flow that would tell us about past Titan seasonality through time. This would require a new lender but the principle of the drill and its thermal and seismic sensors would be the same. This drill would need to go through the NASA cold tech research process. The principal investigators would need to write grants to go visit the French!


Utilize San Onofre & Diablo Canyon decommission concrete waste as a Kelp Forest artificial reef

Use the concrete and steel decommissioning waste as a jetty and artificial reef$FILE/A1612002-SCE-%20Neal,%20Worden-Testimony%20SCE-03.pdf

A1612002-SCE- Neal, Worden-Testimony SCE-03



Mark Page






California Air National Guard 2001srt BFR/BFS Space transport wing

This project is paid for and authorized under the US constitution as a state militia expenditure and establishes  a state-funded unit that is hoped would draw federal funding

We also propose using the state initiative and referendum for voter approval

The state of California shall purchase 10 BFR/BFS vehicles over a 15 year period to serve as military transport for Earth Point to Point logistics and to encourage the rebirth of California aerospace industry

The State of California would pioneer Earth point to point transport from a California Air National Guard facility

Polar orbits from California align very well with Diego Garcia and the Middle East. Earth point to point transport means that the BFR could be used to crew up Reserve MSC Ro-Ro ships in Diego Garcia within a day and have those ships underway within 24 hours. Deployment of union hall and MARAD sailors aboard BFR means approved coast guard training courses as a part of the RAC/STCW required courses.

Large numbers of California Airmen and other  military personnel would become astronauts providing a competitive advantage to the state


Upper stage docked to first stage with docking mechanism & a adapter cradle launched “eyes out”

upper stage docked to first stage

The upper stage does not do a suborbital DT & E instead at launch the upper stage foreword dome is docked to the first stage inside a payload adapter/cradle with the upper stage engine facing up inside the payload fairing ( “eyes out”)

After MECO the stack flips and the upper stage wet mass propels the now dry mass first stage to orbit for refurbishment as habitat



Blue Origin SRB side mount Wet/Dry lab space station

Utilizes the SLS SRB with A Blue Origin First stage with a Dry lab and docking mechanisms and First stage wet lab brought to LEO
Would the Mass of the SLS CBC allow for a safe balancing with the New Glenn to get the New Glenn first stage to orbit?

This idea is most likely overkill I posted a newer version instead that suggests smaller SRM that fit modified Landing legs attach points.SLS SRB would be a total New Glenn redesign when really what we are after is selling used New Glenn launchers as space stations.

The more economical and engineering New Glenn with SRM is here New Glenn first stage space station with SRM,s at landing legs attach points


Transposition, docking, and extraction of upper stage docked back to First stage wet lab

SLS first stage almost makes it into orbit so we propose an audacious plan to perform a Transposition, docking, and extraction maneuver between the upper stage and its first stage! The upper stage docks with the first stage and then fires its engine to bring the first stage to orbit.Possibly the docked stack makes to orbit.I believe SLS is in a 200 by 70 Kilometer orbit at MECO

Astronaut longterm health is not well served by small ISS/Gateway modules so we propose that the largest possible square meter per astronaut are optimally placed in LEO and then COTS process to compete for SEP and chemical to preposition these very large Wet lab space stations throughout the solar system.

SLS, Vulcan, New Glen and to a lesser extent Falcon 9 could use Transposition, docking, and extraction to use the upper stage to bring the stack to orbit.The only payload would be an Ixion type docking adapter.The Falcon 9 is the one system that has a high-value maneuvering system that might enhance docking with its upper stage to bring both to orbit.

This daring maneuver is after all suborbital DT &E!



Apollo11-04This is incorrect! we are docking with the first stage and transporting it somewhere.This result would be both first stage and upper stage in LEO but this could a part of the distributed lift idea for the upper stage.

EDIT 26 April 2018

I have learning disabilities so let me try to think things out

We need to know the dry mass of the first stage at MECO the first stage is now are payload, Tory Bruno tells us on Twitter that first stage dry mass is  5 to 7 pounds to each pound of payload

Dry mass of the first stage at what kilometers per second? What is our shortfall to orbit? let’s do this with each first stage as wet lab candidate

Ariane 6

At MECO kilometers per second/dry mass of Ariane first stage/ wet mass of second stage and ISP of the second stage over the combined mass of both over the dry mass of first and second stage at MECO 2 of the first stage





Modified landing legs attach points for New Glenn & Falcon 9 for SRB attachment to utilize end of life launch vehicles as space station wet labs

We write another post advocating first stages as wet lab space stations by launching them without payloads and with SRB’s to get them to orbit.

In the case of the ULA Vulcan vehicle, it might have the ability to loft itself into orbit with no payload. In the case of ULA this would have to be a new vehicle since it is not reused. Cryogenic Methane makes for the Vulcan first stage space station an attractive option to habitual volume.

In the case of New Glenn even more so the New Glenn does not use SRB however, so its thought the landing legs attach points could be modified for SRB attach points? The New Glenn would need a modest payload and that would be the proposed IXION docking port.IXION is the ULA Nanoracks proposal to repurpose a Centaur upper stage as a habitat. The BFR, New Glenn, and Vulcan launchers all offer very roomy propellent tanks as wet lab habitats.

SpaceX Falcon 9 is less attractive due to its narrow and long claustrophobic propellent tanks as a space station wet lab, however, it might be useful as storage.





Uranus Orbiter Flagship Mission Ballistic orbit escape!


Titania and Oberon  Uranus satellites orbit north and south of the solar ecliptic plane so we think a Uranus orbiter doing a satellite tour would fly out a trajectory that would have a cone that is south or north of the solar ecliptic, this is fortuitous in that many Centaurs and trojans are not on the ecliptic plane.There is a Uranus Trojan that appears to be above the ecliptic to the North Uranus Trojan After a decadal survey requirements are met this Ice Giant flagship would pump up its orbital petals to longer duration orbits these might inform us of the nature of any Uranian Magnetotail.

The “cones” we mentioned are adopted from Dr. Amanda Zangara papers on gas and ice giant flybys to SBAG targets.In this case, the Uranus moons target the final flyby to escape with Cones that direct north and south of the ecliptic.This would be a mission extension to a flagship Ice giant orbital mission and a planetary quarantine maneuver.






ULA Nuclear ACES for Outer Planet missions


Attempt to use common avionics and communications with chemical propellent LO2/LO2 ACES. Keep the ICE and GH2/GO2 thrusters to generate electricity and to utilize boil off the cryogenic propellants for the ICE engine

This is a proposed deep space long-lived ACES stage so an LO2 propellant tank is nestled inside the much larger LH2 tank

This stage would utilize a small nuclear thermal engine and the LH2 propellant tank would house inside it a smaller LO2 tank for running the ICE and station keeping maneuver engines

There would not be an LH2/LO2 engine so the LO2 tank could be small enough for the ICE engine.LH2 would keep the LO2 cool.At some point, ULA NTR ACES could pick up its LO2 for planetary missions from a lunar source


LunarLOX/NTR 2

Weight of ACES stage

reduce LO2 tank mass

Increase LH2 tank size

subtrate weight of a chemical engine

Add the weight of the fission engine

PeeWee small fission rocket  3,300 Kg

SNRE small fission rocket    2,400 Kg


value units link
Δv =18.603 1
ve =8830 1
m0 =74000 1
m1 =9000 1
spreadsheet onoff



ULA ACES dry mass 4.6 Mt

SNRE engine                2.4 Mt

science payload            1 Mt

ESPA rings plus RTG

plus electrical cabling

communications   1 Mt

Totals 9 Mt




Minimalist upper stage as science probe missions serially produced

Minimalist upper stage as science probe missions serially produced, we are forced into the minimalist view at bottom of the page

ULA ACES without a docked spacecraft IE science instruments are carried on MOOG ESPA rings  and in the ACES intertank region, ACES does a burn to depletion at Pluto to slow to 2 to 3 miles per second to survey the unseen hemisphere of Pluto and Charon during a slow fly by

Does ACES at 7000 Kg dry mass plus 2000 Kg payload close to Uranus orbit Insertion?

From Elliot page 3 Elliott-Ice


Doppler Imager


Flyby/Orbiter <50 kg


Vis/NIR imaging spectrometer

Radio and Plasma suite

Thermal IR Mid-IR (Uranus) or UV (Neptune) spectrometer ~90 kg




Energetic Neutral Atoms

Dust detector

Langmuir probe

Mwave sounder/Mass spectrometer  ~150 kg

UO (no probe); 150 kg P/L 4718 kg wet spacecraft mass

Now let us subtract the spacecraft mass by using the Ice Giant study report and to add to the ULA ACES spacecraft bus those items beyond the components shared or replaced by ACES Avionics

Page 64 Ice Giant study report   Full-Report-Ice giants

Also mass and dimensions of instruments on the Oceanus study report

Oceanus study report

4718 kg – 2769 propellant = 1949 Kg I have rounded this up to 2000 Kg and added it to the 7000 Kg ACES dry mass plus instruments

worksheet (2)

We are down to 7.85 K/s which is below the required TUI injection speed but there may be some mass to allocate from the Uranus probe to the ACES

Altitude control  63.5 Kg &

Command and data  27.6 Kg are onboard the ACES

We must do a trade in regards to Uranus probe structures at 516.4 Kg which we have replaced with ESPA rings on the ACES  ESPA rings Can we save mass here? The ESPA rings would need to accommodate RTG and the 13 instruments as well as the communications antenna.One ESPA ring appears to mass 181 Kg.

Trades with ACES to do a lowest Neptune arrival V/A  Trajectory to Neptune

Elliot et all in the Ice presentation suggested that an ICE giant mission aerobrake at Titan(?) aerobraking, however, adds 20% mass back into the system as does our suggested hybrid cryogenic SEP propellent.Both ideas, however, pay for themselves in trades its hope. In an earlier post, we suggested that the foreword ESPA ring could house an inflatable HIAD and this serves a dual purpose in that it subsequently enters Titans atmosphere a second time to land.ACES to Ice giant could aerobrake at the destination and deploy its own HIAD to deploy atmosphere probes.Deploying atmosphere probes from ice giant orbit is cited above.deploying probes after entering orbit means you have modest EDL requirements as to heat.Indeed the program the decade survey says they need is called HEET.

perhaps due to costs the Elliot idea of hyperbolic in and out of Titan atmosphere but less so followed by a less strenuous aerobrake at the ice giant destination this might be the idea of the decade. This would not need HEET.

Imagine a 70 metric ton Ice Giant orbiter! Our original hypothesis was that we could get rid of the JPL/Lockheed Martin/APL deep space spacecraft, this is what the X team and Aerospace Corporation cost engineers at $4 Billion plus for two spacecraft.Our 70 metric ton spacecraft (wet) with the added on HIAD and cryogenic SEP systems would easily come out at this price unless we convinced ULA that a Cryogenic ACES became the standard model for the upper stage for cislurnar.after all we proposed in many previous blog entries that the launch contract pays for the ACES and the SMD pays for the “rest” still we need to now examine the same topic Elliot examines in the Virginia OPAG to costs Eliot Et al examines the flagship Neptune mission and a minamal Uranus flyby with just three instroments.flagship costs over $2 Billion Uranus flyby just over $1 Billion

So let us examine a ULA ACES minimal mission 🙂 It really depends on ULA leadership to mass produce for the cislunar economy the Cryogenic Xenon SEP system.(A)(1) the SEP system could be a small propellant tank that can deorbit any spent ACES stage or send it off into solar orbit.(A)(2) cryogenic Xenon would be an important component of a fuel depot so ACES is transporting Xenon around the inner solar system for prepositioning chemical propellants(Mars DRM 5.0) (A)(3) deep space ACES missions could refuel at a cislunar location(A)(4)SEP and Chemical SEP  both together needs a new mission design astrodynamics calculator***

If the above can be achieved then the next step would be to plan many flybys with atmosphere probes but we need to cost engineer the purchase of 4 to 5 sets of the $400 Million aerospace corporation cost engineered Ice Giant 13 instruments of choice and to do so with the options of the 50/90/150 Kilogram payloads.$400 million is for the 150 Kg so serially producing a flyby payload of say 90 Kg should be less plus the reduced cost of multiple purchases.

*** SEP Xenon propellant as an orbital debris mitigation effort paid for by the Air Force and NASA.(B)(1) The NASA NTR database has a 25 to 30-year-old paper on the idea of pressurized Xenon propellent tanks onboard a chemical upper stage/tanker/Tug, this concept could be scaled down to a transfer stage deorbiting demonstration mission.(B)(2)Transfer stage would need electrical power for several months for com/nav and the SEP engines so a non-deployable solar array is called for, this means we demonstrate another important capability all existing transfer stages(in GTO) can live for months until they achieve solar orbit or deorbit

SpaceX Falcon second stage


Blue origin second stage

(B)(3)ISS detached Cygnus could demonstrate orbit lowering /raising this way perhaps while still attached to the ISS?

(B)(4) It has been proposed that spent upper stages can be refurbished as habitats these to could have xenon propellant tanks for ISS or gateway maneuvering as an added value service to sell

(B)(5)The second goal would be to fire the SEP engine while still attached to the GEO bound payload as an added service.This would require larger xenon propellant tanks for the subsequent disposal to solar orbit

(C)(1)The third Goal is to repeat all of the above with Cryogenic Xenon cooled with a cryocooler or boiloff could this be done with a cryocooler only?


NEXTstep would be to mandate this for all GTO stages with the view that some economic value added comes with this capability (cislunar tug)and now we return to this economic utility of having it on our deep space probe.Some competitors faced with a requirement to remove the upper stage from orbit at end of mission might simply opt for a larger chemical upper stage

Recall that we have replaced the ACES com/nav and flight computer with JPL deepspace quality ones could these be serially produced for the cislunar tug? The price tag for one-off JPL deepspace com/nav and flight computer is in the $300 Million range so making this ACES standard equipment would be a challenge.

Do to costs it might make sense to utilize campaign of multiple ice giant flybys with the added bonus of Jupiter and Saturn flybys for atmosphere probe release.Two ACES would be Atmosphere probe deployers, We think each ACES could field three probes each.The first is a Jupiter flyby Neptune flyby with a probe for each planet and with the following payload


Doppler Imager


Flyby/Orbiter <50 kg


Vis/NIR imaging spectrometer

Radio and Plasma suite

Thermal IR Mid-IR (Uranus) or UV (Neptune) spectrometer ~90 kg

One probe with entry system masses at 300 Kg, so two probes could be 600 Kg plus a Jupiter Probe, would mass a lager entry system.Then add the 90 Kg instrument payload.  A Uranus flyby with ACES with a Saturn Flyby yields two-atmosphere probes for each planet plus another for Titan(1800 Kg).Saturn atmosphere probe is high on the decadal survey science requirements list.Both spacecraft could do the ARGOS mission that Dr. Amanda Zangari speaks about susequent to flyby.

Two spacecraft with 4 probes would be too heavy according to JPL to enter orbit so we propose three more spacecraft without probes that would enter orbit. 5 or more Vulcan/ACES should earn us a block buy discount but what about the instruments listed above? Having the orbiters in place first and a slow flyby could allow for backup probe data collection

JPL costs are high and seem to use Aerospace Corp and NASA cost engineering solutions some of these are in part based on past costs for past missions so it would be interesting to see if there are alternative cost engineering methods out there,ULA is attempting to improve its own cost engineering which is why we think their ACES might make for a reduced cost deep space probe.

As suggested in many previous blog posts we would allocate most of the ACES com/nav and flight computer to the NASA launch costs and not the AO mission caps.The deep space avionics would replace the ACES mission avionics to save on mass and costs and to justify the above idea.Most likely deep space antenna is attributable to the mission AO as are the ESPA rings, instruments, cabling,

ACES as a NASA launch vehicle provider is by definition TRL 6 and beyond by 2024

Minimal missions with ACES and 90 Kg of flight instruments purchased serially could allow NASA to stretch out the purchase and launch dates for 3 to 6 outer planet missions  based on a common spacecraft and with the ARGO concept could drop atmosphere probes and visit many an SBAG world

I think ACES ESPA ring probe is no more than $1.25 Billion for one certainly for 4 or more spacecraft.Perhaps this concept as a Neptune orbiter with 150 Kg of instruments beats the $2.6 Billion flagship costs quoted by JPL team X / Aerospace Corporation.

This blog post proposal should be read with the others as in this is a private/public partnership where a California Benefit Corporation owned by an ESOP has paid for the ACES ESPA ring deep space probe R&D with leveraged funds.ESOP retirees can not roll over or draw leveraged ESOP funds until the leveraged debt is paid off. ULA would refund the ACES  R&D that it paid for with interest over 20 years to the ESOP and the ESOP purchases spacecraft afterwords to sell as sovereign sales, its unlikely we can do this through the AO process















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