Author Topic: NASA Announces New Rover to Close Out Decade of New Missions  (Read 45987 times)

Offline Chris Bergin

Dec. 04, 2012

Dwayne Brown/Sarah DeWitt
Headquarters, Washington           
202/358-1726/358-2451
dwayne.c.brown@nasa.gov/ sarah.l.dewitt@nasa.gov


RELEASE: 12-420

NASA ANNOUNCES ROBUST MULTI-YEAR MARS PROGRAM; NEW ROVER TO CLOSE OUT DECADE OF NEW MISSIONS

WASHINGTON -- Building on the success of Curiosity's Red Planet
landing, NASA has announced plans for a robust multi-year Mars
program, including a new robotic science rover set to launch in 2020.
This announcement affirms the agency's commitment to a bold
exploration program that meets our nation's scientific and human
exploration objectives.

"The Obama administration is committed to a robust Mars exploration
program," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said. "With this next
mission, we're ensuring America remains the world leader in the
exploration of the Red Planet, while taking another significant step
toward sending humans there in the 2030s."

The planned portfolio includes the Curiosity and Opportunity rovers;
two NASA spacecraft and contributions to one European spacecraft
currently orbiting Mars; the 2013 launch of the Mars Atmosphere and
Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) orbiter to study the Martian upper
atmosphere; the Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations,
Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) mission, which will take the
first look into the deep interior of Mars; and participation in ESA's
2016 and 2018 ExoMars missions, including providing "Electra"
telecommunication radios to ESA's 2016 mission and a critical element
of the premier astrobiology instrument on the 2018 ExoMars rover.

The plan to design and build a new Mars robotic science rover with a
launch in 2020 comes only months after the agency announced InSight,
which will launch in 2016, bringing a total of seven NASA missions
operating or being planned to study and explore our Earth-like
neighbor.

The 2020 mission will constitute another step toward being responsive
to high-priority science goals and the president's challenge of
sending humans to Mars orbit in the 2030s.

The future rover development and design will be based on the Mars
Science Laboratory (MSL) architecture that successfully carried the
Curiosity rover to the Martian surface this summer. This will ensure
mission costs and risks are as low as possible, while still
delivering a highly capable rover with a proven landing system. The
mission will constitute a vital component of a broad portfolio of
Mars exploration missions in development for the coming decade.

The mission will advance the science priorities of the National
Research Council's 2011 Planetary Science Decadal Survey and responds
to the findings of the Mars Program Planning Group established
earlier this year to assist NASA in restructuring its Mars
Exploration Program.

"The challenge to restructure the Mars Exploration Program has turned
from the seven minutes of terror for the Curiosity landing to the
start of seven years of innovation," NASA's associate administrator
for science, and astronaut John Grunsfeld said. "This mission concept
fits within the current and projected Mars exploration budget, builds
on the exciting discoveries of Curiosity, and takes advantage of a
favorable launch opportunity."

The specific payload and science instruments for the 2020 mission will
be openly competed, following the Science Mission Directorate's
established processes for instrument selection. This process will
begin with the establishment of a science definition team that will
be tasked to outline the scientific objectives for the mission.

This mission fits within the five-year budget plan in the president's
Fiscal Year 2013 budget request, and is contingent on future
appropriations.

Plans also will include opportunities for infusing new capabilities
developed through investments by NASA's Space Technology Program,
Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, and
contributions from international partners.

For information about NASA Mars activities, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/mars

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 26446
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 6356
  • Likes Given: 4632
I wonder if Curiosity will still be functioning. After all, Opportunity is still functioning after almost 9 years, and MSL is supposed to be designed to last longer (for base mission).
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline jacqmans

  • Moderator
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 16477
  • Houten, The Netherlands
  • Liked: 2305
  • Likes Given: 142
MEDIA ADVISORY: M12-234

NASA'S JOHN GRUNSFELD SPEAKS WITH MEDIA ABOUT NEW MARS MISSION

WASHINGTON -- NASA's associate administrator for science, astronaut
John Grunsfeld, today announced plans for a robust multi-year Mars
program, including a new robotic science rover to launch in 2020.
Grunsfeld will host a media briefing on these plans at 7 p.m. EST (4
p.m. PST) today at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical
Union meeting in San Francisco.

The briefing will be held in the Moscone Convention Center West, 747
Howard St., Room 3000. Reporters attending must be registered as
press for the meeting.

The briefing will be streamed live online and reporters will be able
to ask questions via an online chat. Instructions are available from
the meeting website at:

http://go.nasa.gov/QEQeAU

Media also may e-mail questions in advance of or during the briefing.
Send e-mails with name and media affiliation to Steve Cole at

stephen.e.cole@nasa.gov.

The briefing will also be broadcast via UStream at:


http://www.ustream.tv/nasajpl2

For information about NASA Mars activities, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/mars

Offline Danderman

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9526
  • Liked: 338
  • Likes Given: 439
Anyone who complained that the Obama administration was ignoring Mars was not correct.

Offline Longhorn John

  • Regular
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1462
  • Liked: 13
  • Likes Given: 26
Anyone who complained that the Obama administration was ignoring Mars was not correct.


It's only another Rover. The public won't be interested until it's humans.

Offline Star One

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7474
  • UK
  • Liked: 1202
  • Likes Given: 168
Anyone who complained that the Obama administration was ignoring Mars was not correct.


It's only another Rover. The public won't be interested until it's humans.

The amount of public interest shown in Curiosity has shown that not to be the case.

Offline Eric Hedman

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 727
  • Liked: 170
  • Likes Given: 149
Anyone who complained that the Obama administration was ignoring Mars was not correct.


It's only another Rover. The public won't be interested until it's humans.

The amount of public interest shown in Curiosity has shown that not to be the case.
I think the interest will decline unless this rover offers something new over MSL.  I'm curious if it will end up with instruments that can do significantly more than MSL.

Offline neilh

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2365
  • Pasadena, CA
  • Liked: 43
  • Likes Given: 148
Anyone who complained that the Obama administration was ignoring Mars was not correct.


It's only another Rover. The public won't be interested until it's humans.

The amount of public interest shown in Curiosity has shown that not to be the case.
I think the interest will decline unless this rover offers something new over MSL.  I'm curious if it will end up with instruments that can do significantly more than MSL.

Other than mechanisms for sample return, what are the main sorts of not-yet-sent instruments scientists would like to send on future rovers?
Someone is wrong on the Internet.
http://xkcd.com/386/

Offline Chris Bergin

Isn't it a bit fluffy to boldy claim involvement with ExoMars after pulling out? I assume that noted hardware was already built/or paid for by the time of the cancellation?

Offline Chris Bergin

Remember, this is coming up next. I'll listen in, but I'm writing it up, so if someone wants to cover, it'd be appreciated.

MEDIA ADVISORY: M12-234

NASA'S JOHN GRUNSFELD SPEAKS WITH MEDIA ABOUT NEW MARS MISSION

WASHINGTON -- NASA's associate administrator for science, astronaut
John Grunsfeld, today announced plans for a robust multi-year Mars
program, including a new robotic science rover to launch in 2020.
Grunsfeld will host a media briefing on these plans at 7 p.m. EST (4
p.m. PST) today at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical
Union meeting in San Francisco.

The briefing will be held in the Moscone Convention Center West, 747
Howard St., Room 3000. Reporters attending must be registered as
press for the meeting.

The briefing will be streamed live online and reporters will be able
to ask questions via an online chat. Instructions are available from
the meeting website at:

http://go.nasa.gov/QEQeAU

Media also may e-mail questions in advance of or during the briefing.
Send e-mails with name and media affiliation to Steve Cole at

stephen.e.cole@nasa.gov.

The briefing will also be broadcast via UStream at:


http://www.ustream.tv/nasajpl2

For information about NASA Mars activities, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/mars


Offline arachnitect

  • Member
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1438
  • Liked: 384
  • Likes Given: 455
Isn't it a bit fluffy to boldy claim involvement with ExoMars after pulling out? I assume that noted hardware was already built/or paid for by the time of the cancellation?

Sort of, yes.

The Electra relay package was going on TGO no matter what, and contributing the instrument to the rover is a pretty small contribution relative to the original NASA/ESA plan.

Offline Chris Bergin

Isn't it a bit fluffy to boldy claim involvement with ExoMars after pulling out? I assume that noted hardware was already built/or paid for by the time of the cancellation?

Sort of, yes.

The Electra relay package was going on TGO no matter what, and contributing the instrument to the rover is a pretty small contribution relative to the original NASA/ESA plan.

Copy that, thanks!

Offline simonbp

This effectively means Mars Sample Return, as we know it, is dead. The new rover may have some caching capabilities, but sample return is now basically put off until someone decides to actually send humans.

As for what the new rover will have on it, digging through the old Astrobiology Field Laboratory studies (the original MSL-derived follow-on) could be informative.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astrobiology_Field_Laboratory

Offline Blackstar

  • Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10720
  • Liked: 2248
  • Likes Given: 1
This is going to be a caching rover for Mars Sample Return.

They didn't use those words, but read the other thread.

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 26446
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 6356
  • Likes Given: 4632
This effectively means Mars Sample Return, as we know it, is dead. The new rover may have some caching capabilities, but sample return is now basically put off until someone decides to actually send humans.

As for what the new rover will have on it, digging through the old Astrobiology Field Laboratory studies (the original MSL-derived follow-on) could be informative.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astrobiology_Field_Laboratory
When was it ever alive?

This announcement changes nothing WRT sample return, except this rover may have caching capabilities.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline arachnitect

  • Member
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1438
  • Liked: 384
  • Likes Given: 455
The contribution to Exomars2018 is (almost certainly) Urey:

I'm wrong again... It's not Urey, it's MOMA

http://exploration.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=45103&fbodylongid=2132
« Last Edit: 12/05/2012 12:36 AM by arachnitect »

Offline Blackstar

  • Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10720
  • Liked: 2248
  • Likes Given: 1
This effectively means Mars Sample Return, as we know it, is dead. The new rover may have some caching capabilities, but sample return is now basically put off until someone decides to actually send humans.


What? That's nonsensical.

The decadal survey said "Do sample return, step 1. Step 1 is to build a caching rover. There is no Plan B for Mars."

They're building a rover. I can almost guarantee you that it will have caching capabilities. Therefore, it is step 1 for sample return.

Offline Rocket Science

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7724
  • NASA Educator Astronaut Candidate Applicant 2002
  • Liked: 2042
  • Likes Given: 4736
Webcast started...
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob, Physics instructor, aviator, vintage auto racer

Offline Star One

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7474
  • UK
  • Liked: 1202
  • Likes Given: 168
Quote
U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who has been critical of past cutbacks in NASA's planetary science program, applauded the plan announced today.

However, Schiff said he favored launching the rover in 2018 — when the alignment of Earth and Mars is more favorable, permitting the launch of a heavier payload. "I will be working with NASA, the White House and my colleagues in Congress to see whether advancing the launch date is possible, and what it would entail," he said.

http://cosmiclog.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12/04/15678579-nasa-plans-2020-mars-rover-remake?lite

Could they get this built and launched in five to six years?
« Last Edit: 12/04/2012 11:05 PM by Star One »

Offline Chris Bergin

Yeah, that's this:

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, December 04, 2012
 Contact: Patrick Boland

boland@mail.house.gov; (202) 225-3278
 

 

Rep. Adam Schiff Responds to Announcement of New Mars Rover

 

Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) applauded the new Mars program missions announced by NASA, including a new robotic science rover set to launch in 2020. Over the past year, Schiff has worked with the planetary science community and his congressional colleagues to urge NASA to reconsider its ill-advised cuts to the Mars Program. Today’s announcement represents a major step away from that earlier decision, and Schiff will continue to push for expanded funding for the Mars Program through the regular Appropriations process and end of the year legislation.

 

“I am pleased that NASA has announced the next steps in its robotic exploration of Mars, namely the launch of a Curiosity-class rover to the Martian surface in 2020,” said Rep. Schiff. “ In its few short months on Mars, Curiosity has broadened our understanding of our planetary neighbor, and the findings announced thus far point to even greater discoveries as Curiosity continues to explore Gale Crater and Mount Sharp.  An upgraded rover with additional instrumentation and capabilities is a logical next step that builds upon now proven landing and surface operations systems. 

 

“While a 2020 launch would be favorable due to the alignment of Earth and Mars, a launch in 2018 would be even more advantageous as it would allow for an even greater payload to be launched to Mars.  I will be working with NASA, the White House and my colleagues in Congress to see whether advancing the launch date is possible and what it would entail.”

 

According to NASA, the planned expansion of the Mars exploration program would consist of the current constellation of spacecraft on the surface and in orbit around Mars, as well s the new NASA rover and contributions to Europe’s planned ExoMars mission. The portfolio includes the Curiosity and Opportunity rovers; two NASA spacecraft and contributions to one European spacecraft currently orbiting Mars; the 2013 launch of the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) orbiter to study the Martian upper atmosphere; the Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) mission, which will take the first look into the deep interior of Mars; and participation in ESA's 2016 and 2018 ExoMars missions, including providing "Electra" telecommunication radios to ESA's 2016 mission and a critical element of the premier astrobiology instrument on the 2018 ExoMars rover. 

 

The plan to design and build a new Mars robotic science rover with a launch in 2020 comes only months after the agency announced InSight, which will launch in 2016, bringing a total of seven NASA missions operating or being planned to study and explore our Earth-like neighbor.  The 2020 mission will constitute another step toward being responsive to high-priority science goals and the president's challenge of sending humans to Mars orbit in the 2030s.

 

The future rover development and design will be based on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) architecture that successfully carried the Curiosity rover to the Martian surface this summer. This will ensure mission costs and risks are as low as possible, while still delivering a highly capable rover with a proven landing system. The mission will constitute a vital component of a broad portfolio of Mars exploration missions in development for the coming decade.

 

To read more, please click here. 

 

###

 

Patrick M. Boland

Communications Director | Congressman Adam B. Schiff


 

Tags: