Author Topic: The InSight Mission to Mars General Thread  (Read 29311 times)

Offline go4mars

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Re: The InSight Mission to Mars General Thread
« Reply #135 on: 01/02/2014 04:53 AM »
It might be better to offer the lander, and have other countries equip it with instruments (and a better camera)
Speculative, but if FH cores get cheaply reusable, Red Dragon as a platform might fit that context.
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Offline go4mars

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Re: The InSight Mission to Mars General Thread
« Reply #136 on: 01/02/2014 05:02 AM »
might work with Insight to triangulate locations for seismic noise -rather than simply noting that predictably - yes, there is seismic noise - for superior interpretation and better science value).  Like the original Cerberus proposal Blackstar mentioned.

I think InSight is all we're going to get for a long time. Now depending upon its lifetime, there might be a benefit to trying to cooperate with another country planning a Mars lander. In other words, offer an American seismic instrument for another country's lander, thereby establishing a rudimentary seismic network.

It's worth noting that a seismic network on Mars was included in the 2007 NOSSE report as a possible New Frontiers mission, but it was later rejected by the decadal survey. So, except for further Discovery class missions, there is no established scientific requirement for a Mars seismic network. The decadal did prioritize a Lunar Geophysical Network for the New Frontiers 5 competition, so it is possible we will get a seismic network on the Moon someday.
Thanks for the replies and info. 
Looks to me from the pdf, that it's worth doing (page 3 has some pretty good claims with no back-up assumptions) but that ~2x the budget (for 3 identical landers) might have quintupled+ the science return. 

I'm glad to hear there's interest in a lunar seismic network at least!  Hopefully once somebody does it somewhere, results will be impressive enough that geophones become standard issue for landers.
Geophones can be light, cheap, tough, and ~passive (needs a little solar power).  These might go with abandoned (scattered) EDL bits rather than the actual lander.  Might not even need solar if magnetotelluric sensor/harness is included.
« Last Edit: 01/02/2014 05:12 AM by go4mars »
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Offline Blackstar

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Re: The InSight Mission to Mars General Thread
« Reply #137 on: 01/02/2014 01:43 PM »
It might be better to offer the lander, and have other countries equip it with instruments (and a better camera)
Speculative, but if FH cores get cheaply reusable, Red Dragon as a platform might fit that context.

And once again, SpaceX becomes the solution to all problems, including tooth decay...

One can speculate all you want. But in this context we're talking about a lander design that currently exists, and has been proven. Bird in the hand vs. two in the bush.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: The InSight Mission to Mars General Thread
« Reply #138 on: 01/02/2014 01:45 PM »
It might be better to offer the lander, and have other countries equip it with instruments (and a better camera)

I assumed the context was that other countries may land on Mars, and if they do so, they are going to want to design their own landers (because that is the point). It is easier to offer up an instrument for somebody else's lander than it is to try and convince them to pay you for your own lander.

Offline baldusi

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Re: The InSight Mission to Mars General Thread
« Reply #139 on: 01/02/2014 02:11 PM »
It might be better to offer the lander, and have other countries equip it with instruments (and a better camera)

I assumed the context was that other countries may land on Mars, and if they do so, they are going to want to design their own landers (because that is the point). It is easier to offer up an instrument for somebody else's lander than it is to try and convince them to pay you for your own lander.
Besides, NASA is more trustable as an instrument supplier partner than a LV/lander module partner.
I would like to point out that, in this budget reatricted times, NASA appears to be replicating the SAC-D/Aquarius model with ISRO for a radar mission. And in the end, they did kept their promised instruments for ExoMars.
The problem with Mars, is that the are three or four proven EDLs for Mars, and all of them are JPL's. So it's very difficult for NASA to partner just on instruments since just now ESA and Roscosmos are developing the necessary technologies.
Now, given that both ISRO and Roscosmos are planning on landing on the moon, I believe that a Lunar Seismic Network could be done by supplying a couple of instruments and sanding one or two landers.
BTW, China would be the ideal partner there, regrettably.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: The InSight Mission to Mars General Thread
« Reply #140 on: 01/02/2014 02:31 PM »
Now, given that both ISRO and Roscosmos are planning on landing on the moon, I believe that a Lunar Seismic Network could be done by supplying a couple of instruments and sanding one or two landers.
BTW, China would be the ideal partner there, regrettably.

[Deleted stuff that I pretty much agree with.]

Certainly the Moon is the more obvious option for a seismic network from a partnering (and cost) standpoint. I'm not sure if you put a bunch of seismic scientists in a room if they would agree that the Moon is a more interesting seismic network target than Mars. I think that they would probably all agree that they would like to have a network somewhere, just because our knowledge of terrestrial body interiors is so limited.

When Alan Stern was the AA for science at NASA, he was actively pushing the International Lunar Network. His concept was that NASA would launch two seismic landers, and then offer up the instruments to other countries with the hope of getting at least two more landers. (He wanted to gut the Mars program partly to pay for this, and if he had started to implement it he probably would have faced a lot of opposition--he was apparently already facing internal opposition over it.) The Lunar Geophysical Network is an option for the New Frontiers 5 competition, probably in the early 20s:

http://thespacereview.com/article/2413/1

LGN could still happen with substantial international participation (although working that into a NF proposal itself is difficult). The ideal situation would be for China on its own, or with partner participation, to add seismic sensors to its landers. After all, China plans on putting at least 2-3 more landers on the Moon, and adding a seismometer to a couple of them would not substantially increase their complexity or detract from their primary goals. That said, in order for a network to provide the most useful data the nodes need to be spread out pretty far, with at least one of them on the far side. If China puts all their landers in the same general area on the near side of the Moon it won't provide much better information than the Apollo instruments.

Offline Dalhousie

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Re: The InSight Mission to Mars General Thread
« Reply #141 on: 01/02/2014 11:32 PM »
It might be better to offer the lander, and have other countries equip it with instruments (and a better camera)

I assumed the context was that other countries may land on Mars, and if they do so, they are going to want to design their own landers (because that is the point). It is easier to offer up an instrument for somebody else's lander than it is to try and convince them to pay you for your own lander.

The US could contribute the lander, just like they are with InSight.

Offline Dalhousie

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Re: The InSight Mission to Mars General Thread
« Reply #142 on: 01/02/2014 11:37 PM »
It might be better to offer the lander, and have other countries equip it with instruments (and a better camera)

I assumed the context was that other countries may land on Mars, and if they do so, they are going to want to design their own landers (because that is the point). It is easier to offer up an instrument for somebody else's lander than it is to try and convince them to pay you for your own lander.
Besides, NASA is more trustable as an instrument supplier partner than a LV/lander module partner.
I would like to point out that, in this budget reatricted times, NASA appears to be replicating the SAC-D/Aquarius model with ISRO for a radar mission. And in the end, they did kept their promised instruments for ExoMars.
The problem with Mars, is that the are three or four proven EDLs for Mars, and all of them are JPL's. So it's very difficult for NASA to partner just on instruments since just now ESA and Roscosmos are developing the necessary technologies.
Now, given that both ISRO and Roscosmos are planning on landing on the moon, I believe that a Lunar Seismic Network could be done by supplying a couple of instruments and sanding one or two landers.
BTW, China would be the ideal partner there, regrettably.

Actually the US has a good record on smaller missions, which using the Phoenix/Insight derived lander would be.

And JPL does not have a monopoly of landing on Mars.  The Phoenix/Insight lander was developed by  Lockheed-Martin, based on the work by Martin Marietta for Langley with Viking.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: The InSight Mission to Mars General Thread
« Reply #143 on: 01/03/2014 12:11 AM »
The US could contribute the lander, just like they are with InSight.

There is no U.S. funding mechanism that would lead to NASA flying another Mars seismic lander. And no other country is going to pay the U.S. for a Mars lander when they would prefer to pay themselves to build a lander.

Offline savuporo

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Re: The InSight Mission to Mars General Thread
« Reply #144 on: 01/03/2014 12:12 AM »
And JPL does not have a monopoly of landing on Mars.  The Phoenix/Insight lander was developed by  Lockheed-Martin, based on the work by Martin Marietta for Langley with Viking.
Um, pretty much every Mars mission is done with JPL contracting Lockheed Martin space systems. Not even sure if this list is complete
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_Martin_Space_Systems#Sensing_.26_Exploration_Systems
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Offline Jim

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Re: The InSight Mission to Mars General Thread
« Reply #145 on: 01/03/2014 12:41 AM »

Um, pretty much every Mars mission is done with JPL contracting Lockheed Martin space systems. Not even sure if this list is complete


Not Viking.  It was Langley

Offline Dalhousie

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Re: The InSight Mission to Mars General Thread
« Reply #146 on: 01/03/2014 10:29 PM »
The US could contribute the lander, just like they are with InSight.

There is no U.S. funding mechanism that would lead to NASA flying another Mars seismic lander. And no other country is going to pay the U.S. for a Mars lander when they would prefer to pay themselves to build a lander.

Not quite sure what you are getting at here.

There are huge advantages to having a network of seismometers as opposed to one.  Locating the position of seismic events is one.  Determining the internal structure of Mars is another.  Wider coverage is a third.  So a future seismic instrument is surely possible, even if there is "no US funding mechanisms".

Secondly, the seismic instrument is not a US instrument, it is a French one, with support from several other European institutions and JPL. 

Thirdly, all the instruments on Insight are from Europe examining heatflow and rotation.  They are not paying for the lander, the are contributing to a joint mission.  Or are you saying that this type of collaboration will not happen in the future?

Fourthly, there is no obligation for future missions to fly exactly the same payload.  The basic lander will have been used three times, with a different set of instruments each time.  It has proved successful and adaptable.  There are a wide range of issues that can be addressed using a stationary lander.


Offline Dalhousie

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Re: The InSight Mission to Mars General Thread
« Reply #147 on: 01/03/2014 10:32 PM »
And JPL does not have a monopoly of landing on Mars.  The Phoenix/Insight lander was developed by  Lockheed-Martin, based on the work by Martin Marietta for Langley with Viking.
Um, pretty much every Mars mission is done with JPL contracting Lockheed Martin space systems. Not even sure if this list is complete
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_Martin_Space_Systems#Sensing_.26_Exploration_Systems

Langley developed and managed the program in general, and developed the landers.  JPL developed or orbiters and managed the science mission.

See http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/viking/viking30_fs.html

Offline savuporo

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Re: The InSight Mission to Mars General Thread
« Reply #148 on: 01/03/2014 10:42 PM »
Langley developed and managed the program in general, and developed the landers.  JPL developed or orbiters and managed the science mission.
Yes i got that. I guess 40 years later, all of the relevant expertise would be at JPL/LockMart by now.
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Offline Blackstar

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Re: The InSight Mission to Mars General Thread
« Reply #149 on: 01/04/2014 02:59 AM »
1-Not quite sure what you are getting at here.

2-There are huge advantages to having a network of seismometers as opposed to one.  Locating the position of seismic events is one.  Determining the internal structure of Mars is another.  Wider coverage is a third.  So a future seismic instrument is surely possible, even if there is "no US funding mechanisms".

3-Secondly, the seismic instrument is not a US instrument, it is a French one, with support from several other European institutions and JPL. 

4-all the instruments on Insight are from Europe examining heatflow and rotation.  They are not paying for the lander, the are contributing to a joint mission.  Or are you saying that this type of collaboration will not happen in the future?

5-there is no obligation for future missions to fly exactly the same payload.  The basic lander will have been used three times, with a different set of instruments each time.  It has proved successful and adaptable.  There are a wide range of issues that can be addressed using a stationary lander.

1-Yes, it is clear that you are confused about this. I'll try to clarify.

2-Yeah, huge advantages. But InSight is funded as a Discovery mission. It is a one-off mission. If there is going to be a second American seismic mission to Mars it will not happen as New Frontiers (did not make the cut), and it could only happen as another Discovery mission--and it will not happen, because the science value of a second seismic mission to Mars is far less than a whole bunch of other mission proposals that will be made to Discovery.

Ergo: unless another country funds a second seismic mission to Mars, it is not going to happen.

3-Not really relevant. The expensive thing is getting to Mars and landing. The U.S. is not going to fund that even if the French build more instruments and offer them up for free.

4-This kind of collaboration can happen in the future. But it won't happen for a second seismic mission. Reread point 2 above.

5-Sure. Somebody could propose a Mars meteorological lander to Discovery. Or they could propose a polar drill mission to Discovery. And they could propose using the same lander. And maybe they could add a seismic instrument as a secondary payload, assuming that they have the mass to do that (although why would they want to do it if the other science is more important to them?).

However, I suspect that additional Mars lander proposals would not fare well. There are a LOT of Discovery proposals floating around out there, and a lot of people who want to compete. And most of them want to go to places other than Mars. During the last Discovery call there were 28 mission proposals. I've managed to put together a partial list of what they were:

--4 Venus radar missions
--3 other Venus missions (probably landers/balloons of some sort)
--~8 asteroid/comet missions
(of the above, one was Tom Jones' NEO lander, another was Amy Mainzer's NEO survey mission that got some tech funding, and one was Comet Hopper)
--TiME (Titan lake lander)
--1 lunar seismic lander
--~2/3 lunar south pole ice prospectors
--InSight
--1 Io observer
(That's about 21-22 out of 28 right there.)

My guess is that the remainder were lunar and Mars missions, probably a couple of Mars trace gas orbiter type missions and maybe a lander or two. There might have also been a planetary telescope in the mix as well.

Now at the next Discovery call you can expect a number of repeat proposals. Even if the total number of proposals is smaller, you can figure that the distribution will be roughly the same.* There's no reason to expect a second Mars seismic lander to rank highly in that competition when InSight has already checked that box.




*One question is if the Venus community will get their act together. In particular, they don't need to pitch four different Venus radar missions. They need to pitch one good one. But it's like the old saying goes: there's no "team" in "I" and the reason they get multiple proposals is because individual principal investigators don't want to team up, they all want to be in charge.
« Last Edit: 01/04/2014 03:40 AM by Blackstar »

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