Author Topic: NASA Announces New Rover to Close Out Decade of New Missions  (Read 48944 times)

Offline Star One

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When was it ever alive?

This announcement changes nothing WRT sample return, except this rover may have caching capabilities.


There had been a lingering chance of a sample return mission (which Chris just wrote up last week) in the 2020s, following from its recommendation by the Decadal Survey. That now seems very unlikely, as there would be huge resistance to two very expensive Mars surface missions in a row.

We will need some orbiter type missions to replace aging missions.  Mars Odyssey is gonna need to be replaced at some point.  Even if it is just a relay comm mission. 

Obviously we want science on board but we need to relay data. 

But there are people who they can do that. ;)

Respectfully,
Andrew Gasser
TEA Party in Space

Well this is what has puzzled me, how comes this requirement has suddenly disappeared?

Offline Robotbeat

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Maven does include a relay package. Any future orbiters would almost surely include relay capability. European (etc) assets may be able to relay, as well.
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

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Wired brings some better questions:

2020 (2021) has better landing options than MSL, so we have more than just the 5 MSL options available to us.

Ability to constrain ellipse by "tuning up" EDL architecture based on MSL experience would open up even more sites.

Caching not assured: open to science definition team.

"not locking us into a sample return mission right away"
« Last Edit: 12/04/2012 11:40 PM by arachnitect »

Offline Star One

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Maven does include a relay package. Any future orbiters would almost surely include relay capability. European (etc) assets may be able to relay, as well.

It has been confirmed, as far as I am aware, that the ExoMars orbiter will have this package as well.

Offline Blackstar

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MAVEN gets to Mars in 2014. TGO gets to Mars in 2016 or 17. Figure both of them can operate as relays for up to 10 years. You don't need to think about a replacement orbiter until late in this decade. Not a problem.

And you don't need relays. You can operate without them.

Offline arachnitect

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Q: What's the tagline for this rover?

A: "It's a Science and Exploration Rover"

Offline Blackstar

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Caching not assured: open to science definition team.

But he will "front load" the science definition team to favor caching.

Offline Star One

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MAVEN gets to Mars in 2014. TGO gets to Mars in 2016 or 17. Figure both of them can operate as relays for up to 10 years. You don't need to think about a replacement orbiter until late in this decade. Not a problem.

And you don't need relays. You can operate without them.

But doesn't operating without relays slow down data delivery?

Offline Tea Party Space Czar

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Here we go - Pu238 discussion - huge issue for us at TEA Party in Space.

We can all agree on this, left, right, middle.

MMRTG is the best and cheapest way to go.  Solar still requires Pu238 either way!

Respectfully,
Andrew Gasser
TEA Party in Space
President, TEA Party in Space

What we want and what we can afford are two very different things.

Demanding space policy that is fiscally responsible and utilizing the free market system.

Offline arachnitect

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Q: Solar vs. MMRTG?

A: Will study solar power as backup. RTG offers more performance at lower cost. A lot of systems engineering went into using the RTG for heat as well as electricity. Would probably need RHUs anyways, so would need launch approval for radioactive payload either way.

Offline Tea Party Space Czar

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There is no Pu-238 funding at this time - I would like to ask Mr. Grunsfeld where he got that information.

Respectively,
Andrew Gasser
TEA Party in Space
President, TEA Party in Space

What we want and what we can afford are two very different things.

Demanding space policy that is fiscally responsible and utilizing the free market system.

Offline Blackstar

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MAVEN gets to Mars in 2014. TGO gets to Mars in 2016 or 17. Figure both of them can operate as relays for up to 10 years. You don't need to think about a replacement orbiter until late in this decade. Not a problem.

And you don't need relays. You can operate without them.

But doesn't operating without relays slow down data delivery?

Yeah, but you don't need it. And like I wrote, figure that they will have MAVEN until 2024 and TGO until 2016. We will have lots of relay capability when this rover reaches Mars in 2021.

RELAY IS NOT AN ISSUE.
« Last Edit: 12/04/2012 11:48 PM by Blackstar »

Offline Star One

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Quote
While the mission will welcomed by hard-rock Mars scientists, it will have some enemies.

First, it is another strike against planetary scientists who want to explore places further out in the Solar System. The astrobiological significance of the Jupiter moon Europa, which harbours a salt water ocean under a thin shell of ice, has long intrigued scientists. But most Europa mission designs have come in with price tags of several billion dollars.

http://blogs.nature.com/news/2012/12/nasa-announces-mars-science-rover-in-2020.html

Good point raised here, looks like the outer solar system is off the table for now.
« Last Edit: 12/04/2012 11:49 PM by Star One »

Offline arachnitect

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"Curiosity should tweet REM in Spanish"


Just thought that needed to be documented.

Offline arachnitect

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Q: Is there any technical reason this couldn't be moved up to 2018?

A: "I think 2020 is ambitious." Moving up might exclude science investigations.

Offline arachnitect

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Possibility that Britain may contribute life detection instrument.

End press conference.
« Last Edit: 12/04/2012 11:53 PM by arachnitect »

Offline Chris Bergin

Possibility that Britain may contribute life detection instrument.

End press conference.

Pricked my ears up! Can't believe how much the UK is getting mentioned in space stuff lately! :)

Brilliant man. As soon as someone gets the recording of that up, it'll be used for a seperate article to the new rover announcement. Ran out of time for an expansive article tonight, but there's a lot of good stuff, especially relations to human exploration, in that event.

Offline Chris Bergin

Thanks to arachnitect for some of the play-by-play coverage. Much appreciated!

Offline arachnitect

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Thanks to arachnitect for some of the play-by-play coverage. Much appreciated!

I didn't get everything, but it should be archived. Some of the questions made my eyes glaze over.

One thing that came up in response to questions about budget was that using MSL heritage and parts cuts costs -but perhaps even more importantly it increases confidence in cost estimates. They talked about this a lot with the InSight mission selection earlier this year (reuses Phoenix hardware).

Offline Robotbeat

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There is no Pu-238 funding at this time - I would like to ask Mr. Grunsfeld where he got that information.

Respectively,
Andrew Gasser
TEA Party in Space
It's probably in the budget request, which is what this whole announcement is predicated on.
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

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