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The Pennsylvania State University

Preliminary Spacecraft Design

Team Armageddon
Robotic and Manned Missions to 99942 Apophis and Other
Near Earth Asteroids

RASC-AL Near Earth Asteroid
Flexible Mission Architecture

Created By:
Matthew Conway
Stacie Flamos
Rebecca Frey
Eric Kachel
Daniel Osterhout
Mark Powell

For the NEA competition we developed a cost-effective mission architecture to send a
robotic vehicle and a manned vehicle to 99942 Apophis in 2029. The motivation for studying
asteroids includes gaining an understanding of the early periods of the solar system, utilizing an
asteroids natural resources, discovering new potential deep space missions, and gaining
knowledge of how to deflect future Earth-impacting asteroids. When discovered in 2004,
Apophiss orbit was calculated to collide with Earth in April 2029; however, further data
disproved the prediction. The 2029 fly-by will occur at around 18,000 miles above Earths
surface which will reduce the amount of travel time for a mission to the asteroids surface.
Mission Architecture
A graphical mission architecture is depicted below in Figure 1. The Delta IV Heavy
rocket will launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in May 2028. This rocket will carry
the Space Exploration Vehicle (SEV) and the habitat module. Once in Low Earth Orbit (LEO),
the habitat module will detach and remain there until the manned portion of the mission
commences. Meanwhile, the SEV will continue on and rendezvous with the asteroid in
December 2028. In January 2029 the manned portion will begin with the launch of the Space
Launch System (SLS). The SLS will launch the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle into orbit
and will rendezvous with the habitat and then travel four months to the asteroid. After spending
approximately two weeks on the asteroid, the crew will then begin the journey home.
Approximately one month after docking with the SEV, the crew and remaining vehicle will land
in the Pacific Ocean in June of 2029. A complete vehicle configuration can be seen below in
Figure 2.

Figure 1: Graphical Mission Architecture

Figure 2: Vehicle Configuration

Launch Vehicle
The mission architecture supports two launch vehicles that will place the habitat module,
SEV, and the Orion MPCV into orbit. Both launches will take place from Cape Canaveral Air
Force Station at an inclination angle of 28.5 degrees. This location was chosen for the ease of
using a launch site inside of the United States, as well as its ability to support large enough
launch windows that will be required for the mission. The first launch will utilize the Delta IV
Heavy launch vehicle, which was chosen for its dependability as well as the large payload fairing
Crew Habitat
Orion Crew Capsule

Orion Habitat
that it can offer. The Delta IV Heavy has the ability to place up to 22,950 kg into LEO, and will
be responsible for placing the habitat module and the SEV into orbit. The second launch will
utilize the SLS, which is still currently in the developmental phase, and has its first planned
launch in 2017. The SLS has the ability to place up to 70,000 kg into LEO and will be
responsible for sending the Orion MPCV into orbit, where it will rendezvous with the habitat
Two propulsion systems were chosen for the mission; the pre-robotic mission and the
manned mission. Time and weight are the main factors when selecting a propulsion system for
the pre-robotic mission. The Space Exploration Vehicle is not very large therefore a significant
amount of fuel is not required. Time restriction normally deters some propulsion systems from
being used. Since the robotic mission can be launched at seemingly any point before the human
mission this is not a huge factor. For these reasons, Jet Propulsion Labs Nuclear-Electric Xenon
Ion System was chosen to propel the SEV to the asteroid. This engine has greater thrust and a
higher I
than comparable ion engines. For the manned mission, time and weight are also major
factors in deciding which propulsion system is appropriate. The Orion capsule uses its own
cryogenic propulsion system, but this will likely not be enough on its own. Three Alliant
Techsystems (ATK) Star 27 rockets will be used to assist the Orion MPCV. In place of a larger
rocket, such as the Orbus 6/6E or the Star 37FM, multiple Star 27 rockets will provide a similar
thrust value while saving on mass loads. The Aerojet MR-111C monopropellant rocket was
selected for orbit control. The Moog Solenoid Actuated 58-118 cold gas thruster was selected for
attitude control.
The structures subsystem is responsible for housing and protecting all of the other
subsystems and therefore many requirements must be considered. The Orion spacecraft, which
will be used for the manned mission, is currently in development by Lockheed Martin for
NASAs SLS program. The Space Exploration Vehicle to be used is also in development by
NASA. Analyses of these vehicles are being left up to their current developer but will be able to
handle all of the structural loads that will occur during takeoff. Spacecraft-environment
interactions in deep space consist of solar radiation and micrometeorites. Therefore, the habitat
shell will be constructed of an aluminum/hydrocarbon combination as this will improve shielding
compared to a purely aluminum shell. The outer portions of the module will be used for stowage
with the living quarters as centralized as possible for radiation shielding. The proposed habitat
mass is approximately 8000 kg and will consist of four housing sections.
This mission will utilize active thermal control systems for the habitat module, using both
internal and external thermal control systems. The internal thermal control system will use
redundant single fluid loop systems using single-phase water as the working fluid. The heat
collected will be pumped to the external thermal control system and expelled. The external
thermal control system will use a solar vapor compression heat pump. This pump was chosen for
the significant mass savings as opposed to other systems. Multilayer insulation will also be
installed in case of temporary power failure. The SEV has thermal control systems built into its
design, however, any computational upgrades will have to be taken into account. Furthermore,
Tayco wire wound patch heaters and Tayco solid state controllers will be used to regulate
thermally sensitive electronics. The Orion MPCV also has built-in thermal control systems that
will be used to accommodate the crew. The Orion MPCV also has a 5 m. heat shield, which is
covered in Avcoat, and will be utilized to bring the crew safely back to Earth.
Ground Control
The ground control subsystem is in charge of all communications between the spacecraft
and the Earth, which will be done for this mission through the Deep Space Network. Mission
control and spacecraft operations control will both take place at The Johnson Space Center in
Houston, Texas. These centers are in charge of maintaining the safety of the crew, monitoring
spacecraft systems, watching the crews activities, and ensuring that operations proceed as
planned. The payload operations control center will be housed at the Marshall Space Flight
Center in Huntsville, Alabama. This center is responsible for analyzing the telemetry and
mission data from onboard payload instruments, as well as issuing commands to the scientific
instruments. These centers will be fully staffed during the manned mission, but will need a day
staff only during the robotic portion of the mission.

Environmental Control and Life Support
For the manned portion of the mission, the spacecraft will maintain conditions similar to
the Earths atmosphere at sea level, with an air composition of 21.7% oxygen and 78.3%
nitrogen at a pressure of 14.7 psia, by using the Paragon Commercial Crew Transport-Air
Revitalization System and the Orion air monitor, which will be housed on both Orion and the
habitat. Water will be provided for the crew from five double purified water tanks, as well as
from the solar fuel cells. The crew will be made up of four members. This crew will be wearing
a newly designed space suit called the Constellation Space Suit, which will aid in launch,
reentry, and for work outside of the spacecraft.
The communications architecture will consist of a redundant, two-antenna system
consisting of a high and low gain antenna on both the SEV and the habitat. A high gain
directional antenna will provide for communications with the ground while decreasing power
requirements for the power subsystem onboard the spacecraft. An omni-directional patch antenna
will be placed on the habitat and SEV to act as a backup communications link in case of a main
antenna mechanical or pointing failure. These antennas will connect to a Small Deep Space
Transponder, developed by NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory in collaboration with General
Dynamics. This transponder will allow for uplinks and downlinks on the X frequency band, as
well as downlinks on the newer Ka frequency band with the Deep Space Networks 34 meter
Each portion of the mission will use a different power generation source. The modified
SEV will use two 3 kW fuel cells in conjunction with four 3 kW UltraFlex solar arrays in order
to accommodate its ion propulsion system. The Orion spacecraft comes equipped with its own
power generation system to deliver the 6 kW needed for operation. The 6 kW come from Orions
two UltraFlex solar arrays. For the habitat, which will be docked with Orion throughout the
mission, a separate power generation system will be used. Like the SEV the habitat will use two
3 kW fuel cell systems. An emphasis was placed on having the same solar arrays and fuel cells
across all platforms for ease of manufacture, and to increase the ease of space-based repairs if
Scientific Instruments
Each of the missions has separate scientific payloads that they use to explore the asteroid.
These payloads are designed to give us a better understanding of asteroid composition and
asteroid dynamics. The scientific instruments that will be used for the robotic mission include a
gamma ray neutron spectrometer, laser altimeter, magnetometer, and high resolution camera.
Once data is sent back to Earth ground personal can determine which areas of the asteroid merit
further exploration. A coring drill will be used for the manned portion of the mission, capable of
collecting samples 30 cm deep.

Command and Data Handling
The command and data handling subsystem receives, validates, and decodes commands
from each subsystem and handles return data. The BAE RAD750 will act as the central
processing unit for both the robotic and manned missions. The robotic mission will have two
single board computers for redundancy, and the manned mission will have multiple back-up
components but not a complete back-up computer. Most processing will be done onboard to save
on lifecycle costs. If data is sent to ground control, it will be at a transfer rate that will not
overload the power supply dedicated to C&DH. Validity checks will ensure that no junk data is
processed or communicated.
Guidance, Navigation, and Control
After the launch vehicles insert the vehicles into LEO, the Guidance, Navigation, and
Control subsystem manages the transfer of the vehicles to Apophis. The Ball Aerospace &
Technologies Corporations CT-602 star tracker, an IMU, and ground tracking will provide the
data necessary to determine the position and orientation of the manned and robotic vehicles.
The robotic mission will utilize a Hohmann transfer to the asteroid because it is not
restricted by safety concerns. The transfer will be fully autonomous to reduce life-cycle cost and
risk. The manned mission will use a high energy transfer to minimize the time to get to Apophis,
and while autonomous, it will have the capability for manual override in an emergency.
The rendezvous to the asteroid is a four-step process similar to the docking process
performed with ISS. The spacecraft will approach the asteroid from behind and initiate the
rendezvous from several thousand meters away. It will then align itself with the asteroid by an
appropriate change in velocity off of the approach orbit. The spacecraft begins to translate into a
NEO Rotating Reference Frame in order to eliminate the relative rotational velocity between the
spacecraft and the asteroid. Finally the spacecraft will descend to a short distance from the
asteroids surface and continue to orbit it. This depends on the gravitational field of the asteroid
and the strength of the any docking mechanism to attach to Apophis. All changes in orbit or
attitude will be made using a cold-gas thruster system.
After the surface portion of the mission is finished, the astronauts will return to LEO
using a transfer orbit. This transfer occurs in April 2029 when the Earth and Apophis are closest
to one another.