Author Topic: Curiosity EDL data to provide 2020 Mars Rover with super landing skills  (Read 4429 times)


Offline Star One

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Interesting article thanks for that.

One of the most interesting points is how much they are hoping to shave off the heat shield compared to the one Curiosity used, that's quite some reduction.
« Last Edit: 09/02/2014 02:56 PM by Star One »

Offline Lee Jay

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Good article.

I'd be interested to hear about any planned reductions/eliminations of the trim masses and how that might be accomplished.


Offline IslandPlaya

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Great article, Thanks!
For sure they are going to spend some of the 100 Kg saved on the heatshield on supplying more robust wheels this time. I'm assuming the weight saving can be transferred to extra rover mass.
Can it?

Offline JasonAW3

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Hope they include a set of Goodyears for the new rover.
My God!  It's full of universes!

Offline Chris Bergin

Great article, Thanks!
For sure they are going to spend some of the 100 Kg saved on the heatshield on supplying more robust wheels this time. I'm assuming the weight saving can be transferred to extra rover mass.
Can it?

That's not a bad shout! Although I reckon they'll probably use the same lessons learned to see what they need to do with the wheels regardless.

Offline Blackstar

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I think that they were also looking at an additional technology that could have added even greater precision to the landing. It doesn't seem to be mentioned here. I forget the details, but it was an active system and I believe it was mentioned at MEPAG and also at some earlier briefings to the AGs. They may have decided against it. The problem always was cost--the technology exists, but adding it to the rover would a a few extra millions that they were wary of spending.

Offline Dalhousie

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Looks like some of the more extravagant estimates for the 2020 rover mobility (up to 20 km of travel in the primary mission) have been pared down by Curiosity experience.  Curiosity achieved less than half that.  I wonder if the sample collection aim will be similarly reduced?  From the aim of 37 to to something more reasonable, e.g less than 10?  Curiosity sampled only sites in the primary mission.
"There is nobody who is a bigger fan of sending robots to Mars than me... But I believe firmly that the best, the most comprehensive, the most successful exploration will be done by humans" Steve Squyres

Offline Phil Stooke

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The idea is not to reduce traverse distance, but to land a lot closer to, or even on top of, the target material, so a long drive is not needed.  There was always a conflict in MSL planning between go-to sites (where the target was outside the ellipse, like Gale) and others where you landed right in your target material (Mawrth, or Meridiani-type sites).  The lesson from Curiosity was - get where you're going very quickly and get the science done.  It's OK to drive long distances in an extended mission, but don't require it before you start the main science.

Offline Dalhousie

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The idea is not to reduce traverse distance, but to land a lot closer to, or even on top of, the target material, so a long drive is not needed.  There was always a conflict in MSL planning between go-to sites (where the target was outside the ellipse, like Gale) and others where you landed right in your target material (Mawrth, or Meridiani-type sites).  The lesson from Curiosity was - get where you're going very quickly and get the science done.  It's OK to drive long distances in an extended mission, but don't require it before you start the main science.

There are multiple problems with this philosophy.

1) the more precisely defined your science target is the higher the risk is that there won't be anything there of interest when you get .

2) The changes of actually finding all the science targets you need within a more constrained landing area goes down as the area goes down.

3) Curiosity has drastically under performed WRT pre mission predictions in terms of distance covered, sites characterised and samples collected.  Even with a smaller area to cover it is extremely unlikely that the 2020 rover will met the mission goals in the specified time.

"There is nobody who is a bigger fan of sending robots to Mars than me... But I believe firmly that the best, the most comprehensive, the most successful exploration will be done by humans" Steve Squyres

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