Author Topic: ESA/Roscomos - ExoMars 2020 (Rover + Surface Platform) - updates  (Read 37750 times)

Offline bolun

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« Last Edit: 05/02/2016 12:20 PM by Chris Bergin »

Offline bolun

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NASA In 2018 ExoMars Rover

The European Space Agency's (ESA) ExoMars program (Exobiology on Mars) is a series of missions designed to understand if life ever existed on Mars. Just as other countries often participate in NASA Mars missions, NASA contributes scientific, engineering, and technical expertise to other world efforts to explore the Red Planet. The second mission in the ExoMars program is the 2018 ExoMars Rover and landing platform, a partnership between ESA and Russia's Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos. It is scheduled for launch in the spring of 2018 and land on Mars nine months later.

NASA's participation in the 2018 ExoMars Rover mission includes providing critical elements to the premier astrobiology instrument on the rover, the Mars Organic Molecule Analyzer (MOMA). By studying organic molecules, the chemical building blocks of life, MOMA is designed to help answer questions about whether life ever existed on Mars, along with its potential origin, evolution, and distribution on the Red Planet.

NASA is providing a mass spectrometer and key electronic components for MOMA. A mass spectrometer is an instrument that identifies the amount and type of chemicals present in a sample. The NASA-provided MOMA mass spectrometer is designed to analyze the types and amounts of chemicals that make up organic and inorganic compounds found in rock and soil samples on Mars.

Updated: January 2016

http://mars.nasa.gov/programmissions/missions/future/exomarsrover2018/

Online Blackstar

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This launch will slip to 2020. Everybody I talk to about it says that it's going to slip, they just have not made the formal announcement yet.

Offline redliox

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This launch will slip to 2020. Everybody I talk to about it says that it's going to slip, they just have not made the formal announcement yet.

I do wish it well, even if it has to improvise with 2020.  It'll be Russia's big chance to prove itself, ESA's to directly sample Mars, and the best astrobiology attempt since Viking.

Apparently the next 3 Mars years will be quite exciting: ExoMars, the 2020 Rover, the 2022 Orbiter (NeMo I think), and Red Dragon  It'll be like 2003 again!  :)
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Offline Quagga

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Apparently the next 3 Mars years will be quite exciting: ExoMars, the 2020 Rover, the 2022 Orbiter (NeMo I think), and Red Dragon  It'll be like 2003 again!  :)

Don't forget Insight, Hope, the chinese rover, .... :)
« Last Edit: 04/30/2016 10:39 PM by Quagga »

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Apparently the next 3 Mars years will be quite exciting: ExoMars, the 2020 Rover, the 2022 Orbiter (NeMo I think), and Red Dragon  It'll be like 2003 again!  :)

ExoMars will slip to 2020. Red Dragon will slip to 2020 or later. The 2022 orbiter will probably slip as well due to budgeting issues. InSight will launch in 2018, and China will try a mission in 2020.

Offline redliox

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Apparently the next 3 Mars years will be quite exciting: ExoMars, the 2020 Rover, the 2022 Orbiter (NeMo I think), and Red Dragon  It'll be like 2003 again!  :)

ExoMars will slip to 2020. Red Dragon will slip to 2020 or later. The 2022 orbiter will probably slip as well due to budgeting issues. InSight will launch in 2018, and China will try a mission in 2020.

Should we place bets on what sticks to schedule?  8)
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Offline Star One

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Apparently the next 3 Mars years will be quite exciting: ExoMars, the 2020 Rover, the 2022 Orbiter (NeMo I think), and Red Dragon  It'll be like 2003 again!  :)

ExoMars will slip to 2020. Red Dragon will slip to 2020 or later. The 2022 orbiter will probably slip as well due to budgeting issues. InSight will launch in 2018, and China will try a mission in 2020.
I don't know why they even moved the date for Red Dragon forward they might as well left it where it was. Other than trying to obtain headlines.

Is it just money delaying the ExoMars rover or other factors as well?
« Last Edit: 05/01/2016 07:52 AM by Star One »

Offline vjkane

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Apparently the next 3 Mars years will be quite exciting: ExoMars, the 2020 Rover, the 2022 Orbiter (NeMo I think), and Red Dragon  It'll be like 2003 again!  :)

ExoMars will slip to 2020. Red Dragon will slip to 2020 or later. The 2022 orbiter will probably slip as well due to budgeting issues. InSight will launch in 2018, and China will try a mission in 2020.
I don't know why they even moved the date for Red Dragon forward they might as well left it where it was. Other than trying to obtain headlines.

Is it just money delaying the ExoMars rover or other factors as well?
From snippets in press accounts quoting ESA officials, it sounds as if ESA hasn't quite gathered all the funding needed (the total bill is much more than the original program was sold at and this is an optional program under the ESA system, so it's hat in hand) and development is going more slowly than desired because of interface friction between the ESA and Russian design teams. 

Offline Star One

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Apparently the next 3 Mars years will be quite exciting: ExoMars, the 2020 Rover, the 2022 Orbiter (NeMo I think), and Red Dragon  It'll be like 2003 again!  :)

ExoMars will slip to 2020. Red Dragon will slip to 2020 or later. The 2022 orbiter will probably slip as well due to budgeting issues. InSight will launch in 2018, and China will try a mission in 2020.
I don't know why they even moved the date for Red Dragon forward they might as well left it where it was. Other than trying to obtain headlines.

Is it just money delaying the ExoMars rover or other factors as well?
From snippets in press accounts quoting ESA officials, it sounds as if ESA hasn't quite gathered all the funding needed (the total bill is much more than the original program was sold at and this is an optional program under the ESA system, so it's hat in hand) and development is going more slowly than desired because of interface friction between the ESA and Russian design teams.

How confident should we be that it will launch in 2020?

Online Blackstar

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How confident should we be that it will launch in 2020?

I have zero information on that. All I know is that everybody I talk to (primarily Americans who have direct insight into the program, but not people who actually work on it) says they are sure of the 2018 slip.

There could also be some benefit to slipping to 2020 because it gives them more time to learn from the current mission and incorporate any necessary changes into the next mission. NASA/JPL/LM have a much bigger experience base and so they can pull off missions every launch window. ESA and the Russians don't have that experience base and so they could possibly use a bit more time.

Offline baldusi

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I would be that it will launch by 2020. 2018 is probably too early both technically and financially. But a successful landing by ExoMars would probably spark a lot of good will in the european public so the politicians sit down and write those tiny checks that these missions desperately need.

Offline Bob Shaw

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ExoMars will slip to 2020. Red Dragon will slip to 2020 or later. The 2022 orbiter will probably slip as well due to budgeting issues. InSight will launch in 2018, and China will try a mission in 2020.

If RD slips, it will be due to payload issues rather than structural issues - exactly like InSight. We're always up against launch windows, and payloads can be difficult...

Offline Kryten

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Looks like the delay is finally official;
Quote
Peter B. de Selding ‏@pbdes  2m2 minutes ago
ESA/Roscosmos: ExoMars 2018 is scrapped. Too little time to prepare; we'll launch the rover in July 2020, the next window.

Online Alpha_Centauri

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Yep, official release from ESA;

http://www.esa.int/For_Media/Press_Releases/Second_ExoMars_mission_moves_to_next_launch_opportunity_in_2020

At least this means there is now a choice of landing sites.

Offline Star One

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Yep, official release from ESA;

http://www.esa.int/For_Media/Press_Releases/Second_ExoMars_mission_moves_to_next_launch_opportunity_in_2020

At least this means there is now a choice of landing sites.

Is the 2020 window more favourable for landing sites then? Otherwise there's always been a choice.
« Last Edit: 05/02/2016 12:50 PM by Star One »

Online Blackstar

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Looks like the delay is finally official;
Quote
Peter B. de Selding ‏@pbdes  2m2 minutes ago
ESA/Roscosmos: ExoMars 2018 is scrapped. Too little time to prepare; we'll launch the rover in July 2020, the next window.

See? I have a crystal ball...

Offline Dalhousie

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Yep, official release from ESA;

http://www.esa.int/For_Media/Press_Releases/Second_ExoMars_mission_moves_to_next_launch_opportunity_in_2020

At least this means there is now a choice of landing sites.

There was always a choice of landing sites, prior to October 2014 there were seven under consideration, that month four were down-selected with Oxia Planum inally chosen in October 2015.  Why should this change?
« Last Edit: 05/02/2016 12:37 PM by Dalhousie »
"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

Online Alpha_Centauri

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Is the 2020 window more favourable for landing sites then? Otherwise there's always been a choice.
Yes,
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-34584214

Quote
However, if the hardware cannot be prepared in time - and there is some doubt that it can be - then the departure will occur in 2020.

If that is the case then scientists and engineers will also consider two other locations - Mawrth Vallis and Aram Dorsum.

The reason is because the angle of the landing ellipse is different in 2020 than in 2018.

http://exploration.esa.int/mars/56622-exomars-2018-landing-site-search-to-narrow/

The conclusion of the Landing Site Selection Working Group was that the engineering risks were too large for Aram Dorsum or Mwarth Vallis in 2018 and hence why Oxia Planum came out the clear winner and no others were selected as a backup, which is the usual practice. The 2020 landing ellipses are more benign for the other sites meaning they could be back in contention.
« Last Edit: 05/02/2016 01:44 PM by Alpha_Centauri »

Offline Star One

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Interview with Mr de Groot.

Quote
Two years’ delay means additional costs. What are they?

A: We are trying to minimize them by building the spacecraft as quickly as possible so as not to stretch all the [program development elements] over two years and two months, which would mean maximum extra costs. The subcontractors are pretty much on schedule, so what we plan to do – pending a new, integrated and finalized schedule – is try to build all the models we have to build. Then during the storage period we would no longer have very big teams working for the mission. That will decrease the cost as much as possible.

Do you have a cost estimate?

We are negotiating with the prime contractors on what will be a reasonable price. We were still negotiating the full development contracts for the 2018 mission. We were very close to finalizing this and now this adds a little bit of complexity. That’s why we are trying not to mention any numbers here, because it will not help our negotiations with Airbus Defence and Space, which is responsible for the rover, and with Thales Alenia Space Italia, which is overall program prime contractor.

Quote
Does this have anything to do with Roscosmos budget cuts?

No, it has nothing to do with that. They are having severe budget cuts compared to last year, but this is not impacting ExoMars. ExoMars is still a high priority for them.

http://spacenews.com/q-a-european-russian-space-agencies-delay-2nd-exomars-mission-to-2020/
« Last Edit: 05/02/2016 05:05 PM by Star One »

Offline savuporo

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Interview with Mr de Groot.

Somehow he succeeded not clarifying the primary cause of the delays, while stressing that they are not far behind and the spacecraft will need to go to storage.

"There were too many different parts of the mission that had severe problems with the 2018 schedule. If you have a mission where it’s only one instrument or one component that is creating the problem, you can talk about de-scoping. But here we would have had to de-scope 50 percent of the mission."

50% of what ? Right side wheels and rear thrusters ?
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Offline synchrotron

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It's worse than just having some components not ready for integration. Some fundamental systems engineering has not been adequately addressed. Nor have all requirements been unambiguously flowed down to various subsystems. If they want success on this mission, 2020 is too soon.

Offline denis

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Interview with Mr de Groot.

Somehow he succeeded not clarifying the primary cause of the delays, while stressing that they are not far behind and the spacecraft will need to go to storage.

"There were too many different parts of the mission that had severe problems with the 2018 schedule. If you have a mission where it’s only one instrument or one component that is creating the problem, you can talk about de-scoping. But here we would have had to de-scope 50 percent of the mission."

50% of what ? Right side wheels and rear thrusters ?

One of the main reason is in the interview actually:
Quote
We were still negotiating the full development contracts for the 2018 mission. We were very close to finalizing this and now this adds a little bit of complexity. That’s why we are trying not to mention any numbers here, because it will not help our negotiations with Airbus Defence and Space, which is responsible for the rover, and with Thales Alenia Space Italia, which is overall program prime contractor

You don't finalize full implementation contract with the main contractors in early 2016 and hope to launch anything in 2018. That's just not going to happen.

For a long time, ESA has not been able to secure the required budget for what they want to do with this mission. This means that instead of getting full development contracts, contractors only got a series of small contracts for short duration. This means slow and inefficient progress. This situation, added to multiple re-organizations throughout the program (and with the russian participation), means that the overall program (at all levels: rover, landing platform, carrier spacecraft, instruments) is late.


PS: this is at least one of the issues, there might be plenty of others
« Last Edit: 05/03/2016 08:04 PM by denis »

Offline Star One

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New video - ExoMars is on its way

« Last Edit: 05/03/2016 08:36 PM by Star One »

Offline Sam Ho

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New video - ExoMars is on its way


Incidentally, this video is about ExoMars 2016, not ExoMars 2020.

Offline Dalhousie

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It's worse than just having some components not ready for integration. Some fundamental systems engineering has not been adequately addressed. Nor have all requirements been unambiguously flowed down to various subsystems. If they want success on this mission, 2020 is too soon.

This is based on what?
"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 Star One

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New video - ExoMars is on its way


Incidentally, this video is about ExoMars 2016, not ExoMars 2020.

I thought this was merged thread on both missions and TBH I don't really see the point of maintaining separate threads especially now this has been delayed. Also I think of ExoMars as a whole project not artificially subdivided.
« Last Edit: 05/04/2016 06:23 AM by Star One »

Offline synchrotron

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It's worse than just having some components not ready for integration. Some fundamental systems engineering has not been adequately addressed. Nor have all requirements been unambiguously flowed down to various subsystems. If they want success on this mission, 2020 is too soon.

This is based on what?

Contracts have been initiated with vendors to provide equipment. However, the mission-level requirements have not been decomposed and allocated to vendors' subsystems. Without doing this, you won't know what performance you'll get at the tail end. Your margins will likely be negative against some of your requirements.

Concurrent systems engineering needs to occur upfront. Not after you've started to cut metal.

Offline Dalhousie

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It's worse than just having some components not ready for integration. Some fundamental systems engineering has not been adequately addressed. Nor have all requirements been unambiguously flowed down to various subsystems. If they want success on this mission, 2020 is too soon.

This is based on what?

Contracts have been initiated with vendors to provide equipment. However, the mission-level requirements have not been decomposed and allocated to vendors' subsystems. Without doing this, you won't know what performance you'll get at the tail end. Your margins will likely be negative against some of your requirements.

Concurrent systems engineering needs to occur upfront. Not after you've started to cut metal.

Thanks
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Offline Don2

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This is another example of an overambitious aerospace project heading down the well worn path of schedule overruns and cost blowouts. In many ways it is not a lot less ambitious than Curiosity, but the Europeans are telling themselves that they are going to build Exomars for a lot less. A MER class rover would be much more suited to European skills and budgets.

Offline Star One

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This is another example of an overambitious aerospace project heading down the well worn path of schedule overruns and cost blowouts. In many ways it is not a lot less ambitious than Curiosity, but the Europeans are telling themselves that they are going to build Exomars for a lot less. A MER class rover would be much more suited to European skills and budgets.
I think that's kind of an insulting comment to European scientists and engineers, I guess you must have missed successful missions such as Rosetta. This is a complex project and delay was always a possibility, but this is as much an issue with funding by their political masters as anything.
« Last Edit: 05/06/2016 05:52 AM by Star One »

Offline vjkane

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This is another example of an overambitious aerospace project heading down the well worn path of schedule overruns and cost blowouts. In many ways it is not a lot less ambitious than Curiosity, but the Europeans are telling themselves that they are going to build Exomars for a lot less. A MER class rover would be much more suited to European skills and budgets.
Before you get too harsh on ESA, what became Curiosity was endorsed by the Decadal Survey as a modest-cost rover technology demonstration mission.

It seems that Mars rover missions have a way of expanding, regardless of the space agency.  NASA has the advantage of a single funding source while ESA, for this voluntary program, must negotiate among a number of member states.
« Last Edit: 05/06/2016 05:54 AM by vjkane »

Offline savuporo

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Before you get too harsh on ESA, what became Curiosity was endorsed by the Decadal Survey as a modest-cost rover technology demonstration mission.

It seems that Mars rover missions have a way of expanding, regardless of the space agency.  NASA has the advantage of a single funding source while ESA, for this voluntary program, must negotiate among a number of member states.

Not to mention that it was NASA that pulled the rug out from under this mission once already, and still against all odds TGO is on its way to Mars regardless.
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Offline Dalhousie

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Before you get too harsh on ESA, what became Curiosity was endorsed by the Decadal Survey as a modest-cost rover technology demonstration mission.

It seems that Mars rover missions have a way of expanding, regardless of the space agency.  NASA has the advantage of a single funding source while ESA, for this voluntary program, must negotiate among a number of member states.

Not to mention that it was NASA that pulled the rug out from under this mission once already, and still against all odds TGO is on its way to Mars regardless.

Which is why I am sure that ExoMars rover will get there sooner or later.  The obstacles the team have overcome has been amazing.
"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

Online Blackstar

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This is another example of an overambitious aerospace project heading down the well worn path of schedule overruns and cost blowouts. In many ways it is not a lot less ambitious than Curiosity, but the Europeans are telling themselves that they are going to build Exomars for a lot less. A MER class rover would be much more suited to European skills and budgets.
Before you get too harsh on ESA, what became Curiosity was endorsed by the Decadal Survey as a modest-cost rover technology demonstration mission.

It seems that Mars rover missions have a way of expanding, regardless of the space agency.  NASA has the advantage of a single funding source while ESA, for this voluntary program, must negotiate among a number of member states.

I don't think that the delays on ExoMars--and keep in mind that a European rover was first proposed a long time ago--have to do with them being overambitious. They just have a difficult funding and management structure and there's really no way to get around that. Given how many countries are involved, I'm surprised that they manage to build these things at all, let alone get them to work so effectively.

As to Curiosity, that's an interesting discussion worthy of another thread. The 2002 Decadal Survey did propose a smaller and less ambitious rover. In fact, it was primarily supposed to be a technology demonstrator, not focused mostly on science. It ended up a lot bigger than it was proposed as, and then it overran and missed its window, costing even more. All that said, I haven't heard anybody in the Mars community criticize the end result. Just about everybody considers Curiosity to be a great spacecraft and the right mission for NASA to fly to Mars.

I think that the one overarching takeaway from all this is that these things are not easy to do. So before immediately jumping to criticism, we should consider that there are big challenges to building these things and the people doing them are often very good at what they do, but what they do is very difficult.

Offline vjkane

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I think that the one overarching takeaway from all this is that these things are not easy to do. So before immediately jumping to criticism, we should consider that there are big challenges to building these things and the people doing them are often very good at what they do, but what they do is very difficult.
A challenge in any mission that involves partners is integrating their management and work flows.  NASA and ESA seem to have worked out how to do this in their joint projects, but they still prefer clean subsystem interfaces (you do the orbiter, you do the probe, you do this instrument, you do that one).  These two agencies have been working together for decades now and their supplies share similar methods and cultures.

I've read that ESA and Russia have found that their management, design, and testing methods are quite different.  Also, given the nature of the landing system, it has proven harded to have clean interfaces.  As a result, progress has been slower as the two organizations work out how to work together productively.  Any future cooperative missions will benefit from these learnings.

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I've read that ESA and Russia have found that their management, design, and testing methods are quite different.  Also, given the nature of the landing system, it has proven harded to have clean interfaces.  As a result, progress has been slower as the two organizations work out how to work together productively.  Any future cooperative missions will benefit from these learnings.

I think that's an excellent point--the Russians are a new partner here.

I'd also add that in some cases the U.S. has reduced/canceled cooperation with ESA because of the difficulties. (The cancellation of the original ExoMars deal is NOT what I am referring to.) The reason is that budget cycles and priorities don't line up. An example is the current Europa Clipper mission, where NASA held out an offer to ESA that ESA was not able to fund at this time. I think something similar happened with ESA and the JUICE mission making an offer to NASA. Somebody comes along with a mission opportunity and the potential partner has no money for it, so cooperation does not happen.


Offline vjkane

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I think something similar happened with ESA and the JUICE mission making an offer to NASA. Somebody comes along with a mission opportunity and the potential partner has no money for it, so cooperation does not happen.
NASA has committed something like $100M to the JUICE mission to fund a full instrument and contribute hardware for several additional instruments.  This is a fairly small amount of money that largely comes, I believe, from the ramp down in outer planets spending following the planned end of the Cassini mission.

Offline savuporo

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I think that's an excellent point--the Russians are a new partner here.

They are not, entirely ? ESA member and Russians have collaborated on multiple planetary missions before, going back as far as Vega probes.
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Offline vjkane

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I think that's an excellent point--the Russians are a new partner here.

They are not, entirely ? ESA member and Russians have collaborated on multiple planetary missions before, going back as far as Vega probes.
I believe that the ExoMars 2020 mission is an order of magnitude more complicated interface than those earlier missions.  Even the 2016 orbiter was much simpler.  ESA built the orbiter, the Russians specific whole instruments, and the Russions supplied the launcher.  All systems with straightforward interfaces.  The 2020 lander system is, as I understand it, a joint development.

Offline savuporo

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I think that's an excellent point--the Russians are a new partner here.

They are not, entirely ? ESA member and Russians have collaborated on multiple planetary missions before, going back as far as Vega probes.
I believe that the ExoMars 2020 mission is an order of magnitude more complicated interface than those earlier missions.  Even the 2016 orbiter was much simpler.  ESA built the orbiter, the Russians specific whole instruments, and the Russions supplied the launcher.  All systems with straightforward interfaces.  The 2020 lander system is, as I understand it, a joint development.

Yeah i totally understand that, i'm pretty intrigued about how AVIO is building and testing the avionics for a Lavochkin built lander exactly, and where exactly is the hand off. So yes interfaces are more complex, but it seems like a gradual progression, not a cold start.
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Offline baldusi

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I think that's an excellent point--the Russians are a new partner here.

They are not, entirely ? ESA member and Russians have collaborated on multiple planetary missions before, going back as far as Vega probes.
I believe that the ExoMars 2020 mission is an order of magnitude more complicated interface than those earlier missions.  Even the 2016 orbiter was much simpler.  ESA built the orbiter, the Russians specific whole instruments, and the Russions supplied the launcher.  All systems with straightforward interfaces.  The 2020 lander system is, as I understand it, a joint development.

Yeah i totally understand that, i'm pretty intrigued about how AVIO is building and testing the avionics for a Lavochkin built lander exactly, and where exactly is the hand off. So yes interfaces are more complex, but it seems like a gradual progression, not a cold start.
Didn't AVIO worked with KBKhA on the MIRA engine project? AVIO must have quite a bit of experience there. And Thales and Airbus are usually payload partners on Russian GEO comm sats. So some experience is there. But EDL and rover? That's not the core of European nor current Russian scientists.

Offline Don2

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This is another example of an overambitious aerospace project heading down the well worn path of schedule overruns and cost blowouts. In many ways it is not a lot less ambitious than Curiosity, but the Europeans are telling themselves that they are going to build Exomars for a lot less. A MER class rover would be much more suited to European skills and budgets.
I think that's kind of an insulting comment to European scientists and engineers, I guess you must have missed successful missions such as Rosetta. This is a complex project and delay was always a possibility, but this is as much an issue with funding by their political masters as anything.

I don't see how this is insulting to Europeans. NASA came into the 90s with some left over competency from Viking and Apollo. They built from Pathfinder through Polar Lander, the MER rovers and Phoenix to Curiosity. Rob Manning in his book stated that Curiosity wouldn't have worked without the expertise that NASA had built up on earlier projects. I don't think it is insulting to Europeans to say that they should be trying to build competency in the same way that the US did.

There is also an industrial base issue. Rosetta is a spacecraft that is dependent on electro-optical instrumentation. Weather satellites, earth observing spacecraft and astronomy missions are built with a similar set of skills as Rosetta. The radio and solar panel technologies come from communications spacecraft.

Landers and rovers are a very different breed from orbiters like Rosetta. The instrumentation and sample handling systems for rovers are highly specialized. I can't think of any other industry that uses similar technology. Entry, descent and landing also requires a very specialized set of skills, which are really only shared by ICBM programs and human spaceflight. Apart from a French SLBM program, the Europeans have no expertise in this area.

Building the very specialized industrial skills needed for Mars rovers only really makes sense if it is part of a long term program of rovers and landers. Sometimes NASA gets it right, and if Europe wants successful Mars landings they are going to have to make the same commitment. At present, Exomars appears to be a one off project.

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This is another example of an overambitious aerospace project heading down the well worn path of schedule overruns and cost blowouts. In many ways it is not a lot less ambitious than Curiosity, but the Europeans are telling themselves that they are going to build Exomars for a lot less. A MER class rover would be much more suited to European skills and budgets.
I think that's kind of an insulting comment to European scientists and engineers, I guess you must have missed successful missions such as Rosetta. This is a complex project and delay was always a possibility, but this is as much an issue with funding by their political masters as anything.

I don't see how this is insulting to Europeans. NASA came into the 90s with some left over competency from Viking and Apollo. They built from Pathfinder through Polar Lander, the MER rovers and Phoenix to Curiosity. Rob Manning in his book stated that Curiosity wouldn't have worked without the expertise that NASA had built up on earlier projects. I don't think it is insulting to Europeans to say that they should be trying to build competency in the same way that the US did.

There is also an industrial base issue. Rosetta is a spacecraft that is dependent on electro-optical instrumentation. Weather satellites, earth observing spacecraft and astronomy missions are built with a similar set of skills as Rosetta. The radio and solar panel technologies come from communications spacecraft.

Landers and rovers are a very different breed from orbiters like Rosetta. The instrumentation and sample handling systems for rovers are highly specialized. I can't think of any other industry that uses similar technology. Entry, descent and landing also requires a very specialized set of skills, which are really only shared by ICBM programs and human spaceflight. Apart from a French SLBM program, the Europeans have no expertise in this area.

Building the very specialized industrial skills needed for Mars rovers only really makes sense if it is part of a long term program of rovers and landers. Sometimes NASA gets it right, and if Europe wants successful Mars landings they are going to have to make the same commitment. At present, Exomars appears to be a one off project.
You seem to be ignoring the Russian side's long experience in such matters in all of this. Yes they've had troubles in recent times but it does annoy me when people ignore their long history in spaceflight. Doesn't that count for anything?

Offline savuporo

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Landers and rovers are a very different breed from orbiters like Rosetta. The instrumentation and sample handling systems for rovers are highly specialized....

One word: Huygens. Well, actually .. Vega, Philae, Giotto ..
« Last Edit: 05/06/2016 10:09 PM by savuporo »
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Offline Dalhousie

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Entry, descent and landing also requires a very specialized set of skills, which are really only shared by ICBM programs and human spaceflight. Apart from a French SLBM program, the Europeans have no expertise in this area.

Quite a bit more than that.  There have been programs such as EXPERT, IXV, ARD SHEFEX, and others planetary landers such as Huygens and Beagle 2. The UK has built and tested many ballistic missile warheads over the past 50 years.
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Before you get too harsh on ESA, what became Curiosity was endorsed by the Decadal Survey as a modest-cost rover technology demonstration mission.

It seems that Mars rover missions have a way of expanding, regardless of the space agency.  NASA has the advantage of a single funding source while ESA, for this voluntary program, must negotiate among a number of member states.

Space science flagships in general have a way of growing in cost and ambition. As a replacement for Hubble, the science community originally asked for a 4m diameter mirror which was cool but not cryogenic. Somehow that morphed into the 6.5m deployable cryogenic monster we have today. At the present, Europa Clipper seems to be in the process of gaining a lander, while Mars 2020 has added a drone.

Offline Don2

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Entry, descent and landing also requires a very specialized set of skills, which are really only shared by ICBM programs and human spaceflight. Apart from a French SLBM program, the Europeans have no expertise in this area.

Quite a bit more than that.  There have been programs such as EXPERT, IXV, ARD SHEFEX, and others planetary landers such as Huygens and Beagle 2. The UK has built and tested many ballistic missile warheads over the past 50 years.

The UK bought the Trident SLBM system off the shelf from the US. The bomb or physics package they build themselves at Aldermaston.  I'm not sure about the re-entry vehicle.

Beagle 2 was a failure so that doesn't count. Huygens was simpler because they could just float down under a parachute and that didn't require an accurate landing.

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The UK bought the Trident SLBM system off the shelf from the US. The bomb or physics package they build themselves at Aldermaston.  I'm not sure about the re-entry vehicle.

They spent a huge amount of money developing the Chevaline countermeasures system for Polaris. Gave them a lot of experience, including experience in how things can get a bit out of control in large technology development projects.

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while Mars 2020 has added a drone.

I don't think the drone is part of the baseline package. It's still being talked about, not built.

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You seem to be ignoring the Russian side's long experience in such matters in all of this. Yes they've had troubles in recent times but it does annoy me when people ignore their long history in spaceflight. Doesn't that count for anything?

Depends upon the area you mean. Launch vehicles and human spacecraft they have excellent stills, although not cutting edge technology in all areas. But for planetary spacecraft they had experience, but they've lost that expertise and skillset, not to mention people (many of whom either left the field entirely or went to work in Europe or the U.S.). That's a problem area, and I imagine that the Europeans are double-checking the Russian work.

This is something that the U.S. science and engineering community is conscious of--if you don't use it, you lose it. After Curiosity landed there were a lot of people pointing out that the U.S. had spent a lot of time and money and effort building up that Mars EDL skillset, and those people would soon be scattered to the four winds working on other projects. If you don't keep the team together and working on something, they go away.

Offline Don2

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You seem to be ignoring the Russian side's long experience in such matters in all of this. Yes they've had troubles in recent times but it does annoy me when people ignore their long history in spaceflight. Doesn't that count for anything?

The Russians are living off of hardware that was developed by previous generations. Engineering competence is a very perishable commodity and today's Russians clearly don't have the the kind of skills that their grandfathers did in the 1960s.

It is a very long time since they had a really successful planetary mission. I think you have to go back to the 1980s Vega missions. Obviously their Soyuz program requires EDL technology, and that performs well, but are they really up to the task of building something new rather than just flying designs that they inherited?

@Blackstar...I remember reading something about Chevaline. Whatever that really was, it was reputedly very costly. It was also a 70s or 80s era program, so whatever skills were built have probably dissipated by now.

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I've read that ESA and Russia have found that their management, design, and testing methods are quite different.  Also, given the nature of the landing system, it has proven harded to have clean interfaces.  As a result, progress has been slower as the two organizations work out how to work together productively.  Any future cooperative missions will benefit from these learnings.

These rumors about not having clean interfaces between ESA and Russia leaves me wondering about how likely the Schiaparelli lander is to work. Culture clashes and unclear responsibilities are a good recipe for program failure. All it took was a small misunderstanding involving units of measurement between NASA and a contractor to doom the Mars Climate Orbiter.

The European system is messy, but the Europeans have huge experience of working together on programs such as Airbus, Eurofighter and CERN among others. That experience doesn't extend to working with the Russians. There has been very little collaboration between Russia and Europe in the past. I'm struggling to think of any major programs that the two sides have carried out together.

Offline Dalhousie

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Entry, descent and landing also requires a very specialized set of skills, which are really only shared by ICBM programs and human spaceflight. Apart from a French SLBM program, the Europeans have no expertise in this area.

Quite a bit more than that.  There have been programs such as EXPERT, IXV, ARD SHEFEX, and others planetary landers such as Huygens and Beagle 2. The UK has built and tested many ballistic missile warheads over the past 50 years.

The UK bought the Trident SLBM system off the shelf from the US. The bomb or physics package they build themselves at Aldermaston.  I'm not sure about the re-entry vehicle.

The entry vehicles (Chevaline), was UK developed (as Blackstar said), experience on designing and building entry vehicles in the UK goes back to the early 50s.

Quote
Beagle 2 was a failure so that doesn't count. Huygens was simpler because they could just float down under a parachute and that didn't require an accurate landing.

Failures do count, provided you earn from them.  Any many aspects of Beagle 2 did work, including entry and parachute deployment, perhaps even the landing.  Only the surface deployments seems to have failed.

Huygens may well have been simple, but it is still provide valuable experience in EDL.
« Last Edit: 05/07/2016 09:27 PM by Dalhousie »
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Offline as58

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Space science flagships in general have a way of growing in cost and ambition. As a replacement for Hubble, the science community originally asked for a 4m diameter mirror which was cool but not cryogenic. Somehow that morphed into the 6.5m deployable cryogenic monster we have today. At the present, Europa Clipper seems to be in the process of gaining a lander, while Mars 2020 has added a drone.

JWST is passively cooled, so I wouldn't call it cryogenic (Spitzer, on the other hand, was cryogenic during its primary mission). As far as I know the goal was always to make the optics as cold as practicable in a passively cooled telescope.

Offline Star One

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while Mars 2020 has added a drone.

I don't think the drone is part of the baseline package. It's still being talked about, not built.
Anyway it's a helicopter rather than a drone if we are going to be pedantic.:)
« Last Edit: 05/07/2016 07:24 AM by Star One »

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while Mars 2020 has added a drone.

I don't think the drone is part of the baseline package. It's still being talked about, not built.
Anyway it's a helicopter rather than a drone if we are going to be pedantic.:)


Oh, don't get me started on the pedantry of this--having worked some aeronautics studies, we were admonished that we should never use "drone" even though that's what everybody knows. Instead it's UAS, or sometimes UAV, or sometimes some other acronym that somebody invented and hopes catches on. I just stopped caring.


Offline Star One

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while Mars 2020 has added a drone.

I don't think the drone is part of the baseline package. It's still being talked about, not built.
Anyway it's a helicopter rather than a drone if we are going to be pedantic.:)


Oh, don't get me started on the pedantry of this--having worked some aeronautics studies, we were admonished that we should never use "drone" even though that's what everybody knows. Instead it's UAS, or sometimes UAV, or sometimes some other acronym that somebody invented and hopes catches on. I just stopped caring.

I hope it does get onto the rover as it sounds an interesting idea.

Offline Don2

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Re: drones (or whatever you call them)


I hope it does get onto the rover as it sounds an interesting idea.

There's a time and a place to be adding capabilities and that is during the instrument selection process. If the budgets had been bigger, scientists would have proposed adding more instruments and the project could have traded the value of those versus the value of adding a drone. Once all that has been done, nothing else should be added. Adding capabilities in an undisciplined way is one of the leading causes of cost overruns.

A drone (or whatever) might not be such a bad idea if it could be built from off the shelf components. As temperatures drop, material properties change. Steels and rubbers become brittle, lubricants freeze and entire classes of engineering materials become unusable. Off the shelf components are designed for earth surface temperatures, which are rarely colder than -20 to - 40 Celsius. Mars gets a lot colder than that. I read somewhere that Li-ion batteries don't like the cold, and those are critical to consumer drone technology.

You might try to keep the drone in a heated hangar, but now you require an energy budget to keep the hangar warm. Electricity that goes to heat the hanger means less electricity available to move the rover.

You already have overhead imagery from Hi-rise. Does a drone really add enough to that to be worth the cost.?

Offline Don2

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JWST is passively cooled, so I wouldn't call it cryogenic (Spitzer, on the other hand, was cryogenic during its primary mission). As far as I know the goal was always to make the optics as cold as practicable in a passively cooled telescope.

This is another example of materials issues caused by low temperatures. A good material to build optical systems out of is silicon carbide. That doesn't work at low temperatures, which forces both JWST and Spitzer to use beryllium. Beryllium is toxic and always seems to be very costly. I definitely view JWST as cryogenic, because it operates at temperatures low enough to require special materials. If they had avoided requirements creep they could have stayed with silicon carbide and JWST would have cost a lot less.

Offline Dalhousie

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Re: drones (or whatever you call them)


I hope it does get onto the rover as it sounds an interesting idea.

There's a time and a place to be adding capabilities and that is during the instrument selection process. If the budgets had been bigger, scientists would have proposed adding more instruments and the project could have traded the value of those versus the value of adding a drone. Once all that has been done, nothing else should be added. Adding capabilities in an undisciplined way is one of the leading causes of cost overruns.

A drone (or whatever) might not be such a bad idea if it could be built from off the shelf components. As temperatures drop, material properties change. Steels and rubbers become brittle, lubricants freeze and entire classes of engineering materials become unusable. Off the shelf components are designed for earth surface temperatures, which are rarely colder than -20 to - 40 Celsius. Mars gets a lot colder than that. I read somewhere that Li-ion batteries don't like the cold, and those are critical to consumer drone technology.

You might try to keep the drone in a heated hangar, but now you require an energy budget to keep the hangar warm. Electricity that goes to heat the hanger means less electricity available to move the rover.

You already have overhead imagery from Hi-rise. Does a drone really add enough to that to be worth the cost.?

It should add cm scale resolution and oblique views, both will be very useful.  Are they worth the cost?  Depends what the cost is.  Any ideas?

But this is the ExoMars thread not the 2020 rover.  So we should discuss this elsewhere.....
« Last Edit: 05/07/2016 09:28 PM by Dalhousie »
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Offline as58

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JWST is passively cooled, so I wouldn't call it cryogenic (Spitzer, on the other hand, was cryogenic during its primary mission). As far as I know the goal was always to make the optics as cold as practicable in a passively cooled telescope.

This is another example of materials issues caused by low temperatures. A good material to build optical systems out of is silicon carbide. That doesn't work at low temperatures, which forces both JWST and Spitzer to use beryllium. Beryllium is toxic and always seems to be very costly. I definitely view JWST as cryogenic, because it operates at temperatures low enough to require special materials. If they had avoided requirements creep they could have stayed with silicon carbide and JWST would have cost a lot less.

Akari and Herschel had SiC mirrors, so low temperature (down to 6 K for Akari) doesn't seem to be a show stopper. Maybe technology for manufacturing large SiC mirrors was not mature enough at the time JWST design was chosen.

I guess this, too, is a discussion that should take place in another thread...

Offline baldusi

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Space science flagships in general have a way of growing in cost and ambition. As a replacement for Hubble, the science community originally asked for a 4m diameter mirror which was cool but not cryogenic. Somehow that morphed into the 6.5m deployable cryogenic monster we have today. At the present, Europa Clipper seems to be in the process of gaining a lander, while Mars 2020 has added a drone.

JWST is passively cooled, so I wouldn't call it cryogenic (Spitzer, on the other hand, was cryogenic during its primary mission). As far as I know the goal was always to make the optics as cold as practicable in a passively cooled telescope.
If JWST is passively cooled, what is the cryocooler for? It has been one of the technological banes of the project. And they intend to work one instrument at 8K or so.

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Space science flagships in general have a way of growing in cost and ambition. As a replacement for Hubble, the science community originally asked for a 4m diameter mirror which was cool but not cryogenic. Somehow that morphed into the 6.5m deployable cryogenic monster we have today. At the present, Europa Clipper seems to be in the process of gaining a lander, while Mars 2020 has added a drone.

JWST is passively cooled, so I wouldn't call it cryogenic (Spitzer, on the other hand, was cryogenic during its primary mission). As far as I know the goal was always to make the optics as cold as practicable in a passively cooled telescope.
If JWST is passively cooled, what is the cryocooler for? It has been one of the technological banes of the project. And they intend to work one instrument at 8K or so.
Passive, as in doesn't consume liquid helium and die in a year
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Offline as58

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Space science flagships in general have a way of growing in cost and ambition. As a replacement for Hubble, the science community originally asked for a 4m diameter mirror which was cool but not cryogenic. Somehow that morphed into the 6.5m deployable cryogenic monster we have today. At the present, Europa Clipper seems to be in the process of gaining a lander, while Mars 2020 has added a drone.

JWST is passively cooled, so I wouldn't call it cryogenic (Spitzer, on the other hand, was cryogenic during its primary mission). As far as I know the goal was always to make the optics as cold as practicable in a passively cooled telescope.
If JWST is passively cooled, what is the cryocooler for? It has been one of the technological banes of the project. And they intend to work one instrument at 8K or so.

I meant that the telescope optics are cooled radiatively, not with liquid helium or something like that. It's true that MIRI needs a cryocooler.

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Europe’s ExoMars rover in 'last chance saloon'

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-36251642

Offline savuporo

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Europe’s ExoMars rover in 'last chance saloon'

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-36251642

Woerner is clearly wagging a finger at someone. Who ?

Quote
But Mr Woerner could not hide his irritation at the constantly rising price Esa was being asked to pay.

"The one who is the source of the delays - we should be very carefully looking at whether they are also eligible to get some extra money, because they are the reason we are delayed," he said.

"From my point of view it's very strange if you say, 'OK, I do it later, and therefore I get more money'."
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Offline Sam Ho

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SpaceNews coverage of Woerner's comments:

http://spacenews.com/esa-chief-says-funding-for-delayed-exomars-rover-mission-remains-uncertain/

Quote
We will have a discussion with the main member states involved with the program. Then we’ll see how we can manage, and whether we can manage. I am not saying we can manage it. There are cost increases with the delay and there were cost increases from a technical point of view. Again, I don’t fully understand it after all the discussions we had in the past. I thought we were finished with the numbers. Now we have new numbers and this does not make me happy.

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Man, that's a great slogan. I hope they paint it on the side of the rover: "The Last Chance Saloon."


Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Man, that's a great slogan. I hope they paint it on the side of the rover: "The Last Chance Saloon."
... as it sits in a museum instead of on the surface of Mars ... alongside "X billion euro and all I got was this stupid rover".

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"But Mr Woerner could not hide his irritation at the constantly rising price Esa was being asked to pay.

"The one who is the source of the delays - we should be very carefully looking at whether they are also eligible to get some extra money, because they are the reason we are delayed," he said.

"From my point of view it's very strange if you say, 'OK, I do it later, and therefore I get more money'."


So this is interesting and raises some management issues. Good program management involves a bunch of things, including monitoring what is happening, what the problem areas are, and allocating resources as needed, maybe even making personnel changes. One foot on the gas, one foot on the brakes, constantly checking the mirrors and the road, to toss in a driving analogy.

What Woerner's comments imply is that he's not sure that this was just poor management but may have been a case of somebody delaying to miss the launch window and then get an extra two years of pay. That's an eye-raising allegation.

I remember many years ago hearing a senior NASA science official discuss, after the fact, the delays involving MSL/Curiosity that caused it to miss its 2009 launch window and slip to 2011. That resulted in an over $400 million cost hit to the program, most of which was standing army cost. (As an aside, $400+ million was the equivalent of a Mars Scout or Discovery mission, so that delay cost NASA another space mission.)

The NASA official thought that the top-level management on Curiosity had been deficient. What I remember him saying was that at some point around 2008 JPL should have realized that they were going to miss the 2009 launch window and then ramped-down their work and come up with a lower spending level to reach 2011. Instead, apparently senior leadership at HQ had encouraged them to spend like crazy to try and make the 2009 window, even though at some point it should have been obvious that they would miss it. This official may have been wrong, or right. But it was an interesting insight into how such projects get managed and overseen at the top level.

So ExoMars might have had similar issues.



Offline baldusi

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I read about Woerner's statement more like what economist critique about cost-plus contracting. All the incentives are to balloon costs.

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http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2016/05/Lego_ExoMars_model

Image credit: ESA–G. Porter

Lego ExoMars model

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European Space Agency still backing Mars rover project

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Meeting in Paris, delegations agreed to put the project, which has experienced serial delays, on to a fresh schedule.

They also injected an immediate extra sum of €77m (£59m), which will keep the ExoMars robot in development while a full and final solution to its financial problems is sought.

The aim is to have all matters resolved for a meeting of ministers in December.

Dr David Parker is the agency's director of human spaceflight and robotic exploration.

He told BBC News: "The challenges were set out to member states, and in the council meeting [on Wednesday] they were asked the fundamental questions: how important is this project; do you want to continue? And the very, very clear message came back that this remains a high priority for scientific and technological reasons."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-36540259

Offline redliox

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Not to turn this into a SpaceX thread, but assuming Russia has issues that ESA can't stand for, what about stuffing their rover into a red dragon?
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Offline rocx

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Not to turn this into a SpaceX thread, but assuming Russia has issues that ESA can't stand for, what about stuffing their rover into a red dragon?

They can't get it out. It's not designed with an off-ramp. This question has been asked too many times on this forum, and I really think it should rest until there is any indication SpaceX is planning any rover.
Any day with a rocket landing is a fantastic day.

Offline redliox

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Not to turn this into a SpaceX thread, but assuming Russia has issues that ESA can't stand for, what about stuffing their rover into a red dragon?

They can't get it out. It's not designed with an off-ramp. This question has been asked too many times on this forum, and I really think it should rest until there is any indication SpaceX is planning any rover.

In other words it's Russia or NASA if not bust.
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Offline Stan Black

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Roskosmos has issued two tenders for Proton-M rockets. Both are for 2018 at 1,633,347,620 ruble a piece. One is for Exomars № 2.
http://www.zakupki.gov.ru/epz/order/notice/ok44/view/common-info.html?regNumber=0995000000216000036
« Last Edit: 07/25/2016 09:05 PM by Stan Black »

Offline Chris Bergin

Schiaparelli landing data to aid ExoMars 2020 rover - by Chris Gebhardt:
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/10/schiaparelli-landing-data-exomars-2020-rover/

Online Alpha_Centauri

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Fully funded;
https://www.twitter.com/BBCAmos/status/804665280614060032
https://www.twitter.com/BBCAmos/status/804685097844740096

ESA share of ~100mEuro taken from mandatory science budget. Current missions safe but future CV missions may be delayed.
« Last Edit: 12/02/2016 01:40 PM by Alpha_Centauri »

Offline Star One

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Fully funded;
https://www.twitter.com/BBCAmos/status/804665280614060032
https://www.twitter.com/BBCAmos/status/804685097844740096

ESA share of ~100mEuro taken from mandatory science budget. Current missions safe but future CV missions may be delayed.

Good news. Was worried this might get shelved because of the amount of extra funding needed and after the TGO lander failure.

Offline as58

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ESA share of ~100mEuro taken from mandatory science budget. Current missions safe but future CV missions may be delayed.

Not everyone's going to be happy about this, me included. How does this work anyway, since science budget is a mandatory contribution and Mars program isn't (or is it now?).

edit: They're claiming no delays to CV missions and directing funding to ExoMars will not be 'detrimental to science'. It's not at all clear to me how this is going to happen in practice.
« Last Edit: 12/02/2016 02:50 PM by as58 »

Online Alpha_Centauri

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« Last Edit: 12/02/2016 03:47 PM by Alpha_Centauri »

Offline Star One

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ESA share of ~100mEuro taken from mandatory science budget. Current missions safe but future CV missions may be delayed.

Not everyone's going to be happy about this, me included. How does this work anyway, since science budget is a mandatory contribution and Mars program isn't (or is it now?).

edit: They're claiming no delays to CV missions and directing funding to ExoMars will not be 'detrimental to science'. It's not at all clear to me how this is going to happen in practice.

They are the way things shake out and ExoMars rover is high priority item and if they aren't going to increase the budget plus having to take on more work from Russia it was an inevitable result.

Offline vjkane

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edit: They're claiming no delays to CV missions and directing funding to ExoMars will not be 'detrimental to science'. It's not at all clear to me how this is going to happen in practice.
Other news sources report that missions in development with launches through 2021 will not be affected.  So far as I know, the only open call for new missions is the M5 call.  However, substantial funding for that mission, due to launch in the mid 2020s will come after the ExoMars 2020 launch.

The science budget is fixed, and 100 Euros will be transferred from it to the ExoMars budget.  Space agencies try to protect missions in flight and in development from the effects of cuts.  So presumably missions beyond 2021 are at risk.  JUICE launches in 2022, so it could theoretically get a cut which likely would delay launch.  A delay would also raise overall costs, so I presume ESA would try to avoid this.  (Does anyone else know what the full list of science missions planned for launch after 2021 is?)  But missions already in development with launches after 2021 may be the only places to raid for funds prior to the 2020 Mars launch.


Online Alpha_Centauri

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Missions that should be formally adopted during the timeframe the savings are needed;

L2(Athena) launch 2028, selected but not yet adopted
M3(Plato) launch 2024, adopted
M4(Ariel/Thor/Xipe) launch 2025, not yet down-selected
M5 launch 2029, call closed in October

In all likelihood the savings will be in delaying start on these rather than trying to cut down missions currently being worked on.
« Last Edit: 12/04/2016 07:08 AM by Alpha_Centauri »

Offline as58

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Delaying M5 or L2 probably wouldn't free funding in the timeframe needed for ExoMars.So if missions launching up to 2021 (Solar Orbiter, Juice, Euclid) are safe, Plato and/or M4 (selection next summer) would take the hit. Or maybe cancel plans for further S-class missions after the two already selected?

Offline bolun

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http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/ExoMars/Full_go-ahead_for_building_ExoMars_2020

Full go-ahead for building ExoMars 2020

Quote
ESA and Thales Alenia Space signed a contract today that secures the completion of the European elements of the next mission.

Quote
The contract signed in Rome, Italy, secures the completion of the European elements and the rigorous tests to prove they are ready for launch.

These include the rover itself, which will be accommodated within the Russian descent module, along with the carrier module for cruise and delivery to Mars.

ESA is also contributing important elements of the descent module, such as the parachute, radar, inertial measurement unit, UHF radio elements, and the onboard computer and software.

The science instruments for the rover and surface platform are funded by national agencies of ESA member states, Roscosmos and NASA following calls to the scientific community.

Offline calapine

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ESA released nice high-res renders of the Exomars2020 Rover

Source

Note the "flat tire" design of the wheels.
« Last Edit: 03/13/2017 07:44 PM by calapine »

Offline bolun

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ExoMars landing sites to narrow to final two

20 March 2017

On Monday 27 March, the 4th ExoMars Landing Site Selection Workshop will take place at the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC), The Netherlands. At the conclusion of the two-day meeting the Landing Site Selection Working Group will make their recommendation for which two landing sites should continue to be studied for the ExoMars 2020 mission

http://exploration.esa.int/mars/58904-exomars-landing-sites-to-narrow-to-final-two/

Image credit: ESA/CartoDB

Offline catdlr

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the video from the above pictures......

ExoMars 2020  -  360 View

European Space Agency, ESA

Published on Mar 26, 2017
This visualization presents a 360º view of the ExoMars 2020 rover.

The 310 kg rover will traverse the martian landscape on six wheels

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6C1V1JHH0J0?t=001

Tony De La Rosa

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http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/ExoMars/Final_two_ExoMars_landing_sites_chosen

Quote
Final two ExoMars landing sites chosen

Two ancient sites on Mars that hosted an abundance of water in the planet’s early history have been recommended as the final candidates for the landing site of the 2020 ExoMars rover and surface science platform: Oxia Planum and Mawrth Vallis.

*Fingers crossed for Mawrth*
« Last Edit: 03/28/2017 06:39 PM by Alpha_Centauri »

Offline Dalhousie

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http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/ExoMars/Final_two_ExoMars_landing_sites_chosen

Quote
Final two ExoMars landing sites chosen

Two ancient sites on Mars that hosted an abundance of water in the planet’s early history have been recommended as the final candidates for the landing site of the 2020 ExoMars rover and surface science platform: Oxia Planum and Mawrth Vallis.

*Fingers crossed for Mawrth*

My understanding from an inside source this was something driven by internal politics, not science or engineering.  Oxia is a perfectly good site and bringing the already rejected back Mwarth back into the picture is unnecessary and unhelpful. IMHO!
« Last Edit: 04/02/2017 10:14 PM by Dalhousie »
"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 savuporo

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No updates on Schiaparelli investgation?
Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Offline redliox

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No updates on Schiaparelli investgation?

Eh that's old news now.  It seems to be screwed up sensors as the chief problem.  Frankly I'd be more worried about if the Russians can properly assemble their surface platform.
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http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/ExoMars/Final_two_ExoMars_landing_sites_chosen

Quote
Final two ExoMars landing sites chosen

Two ancient sites on Mars that hosted an abundance of water in the planet’s early history have been recommended as the final candidates for the landing site of the 2020 ExoMars rover and surface science platform: Oxia Planum and Mawrth Vallis.

*Fingers crossed for Mawrth*

My understanding from an inside source this was something driven by internal politics, not science or engineering.  Oxia is a perfectly good site and bringing the already rejected back Mwarth back into the picture is unnecessary and unhelpful. IMHO!

That was not my understanding; even back when Oxia was chosen for 2018 it was mentioned that the landing ellipses for the other sites were more favourable in 2020 and so they would reconsider.

Here are the supporting documents the working group used;
https://www.cosmos.esa.int/web/4th-exomars-lss-workshop/supporting-materials

I cannot see how Oxia is interesting astrobiologically. Its clays are all of one type, laid down in a single global event, and bear no relation to the later Hesperian outflow which has heavily eroded it.

Mawrth on a the other hand is a scientific candy store in comparison, clearly demonstrating dynamic geochemistry which could potentially have supported life. Albeit admittedly a bit more difficult site engineering-wise. And the Oxia unit is very likely also one of the ones present at Mawrth anyway.
« Last Edit: 04/04/2017 10:10 AM by Alpha_Centauri »

Offline Dalhousie

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http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/ExoMars/Final_two_ExoMars_landing_sites_chosen

Quote
Final two ExoMars landing sites chosen

Two ancient sites on Mars that hosted an abundance of water in the planet’s early history have been recommended as the final candidates for the landing site of the 2020 ExoMars rover and surface science platform: Oxia Planum and Mawrth Vallis.

*Fingers crossed for Mawrth*

My understanding from an inside source this was something driven by internal politics, not science or engineering.  Oxia is a perfectly good site and bringing the already rejected back Mwarth back into the picture is unnecessary and unhelpful. IMHO!

That was not my understanding; even back when Oxia was chosen for 2018 it was mentioned that the landing ellipses for the other sites were more favourable in 2020 and so they would reconsider.

Here are the supporting documents the working group used;
https://www.cosmos.esa.int/web/4th-exomars-lss-workshop/supporting-materials

I cannot see how Oxia is interesting astrobiologically. Its clays are all of one type, laid down in a single global event, and bare no relation to the later Hesperian outflow which has heavily eroded it.

Mawrth on a the other hand is a scientific candy store in comparison, clearly demonstrating dynamic geochemistry which could potentially have supported life. Albeit admittedly a bit more difficult site engineering-wise. And the Oxia unit is very likely also one of the ones present at Mawrth anyway.

I on the other hand don't see the attraction of Mwarth!  :)

Heavily altered clays are difficult to interpret, be the clays from hydrothermal alteration or weathering, and not particular good places to mind microfossils or biomarkers. Only sedimentary clays are good for that.  Plus it looks to be rough and difficult to both land on and traverse.  There are good reasons why it keeps getting rejected as a site.
"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 vjkane

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I on the other hand don't see the attraction of Mwarth!  :)

Heavily altered clays are difficult to interpret, be the clays from hydrothermal alteration or weathering, and not particular good places to mind microfossils or biomarkers. Only sedimentary clays are good for that.  Plus it looks to be rough and difficult to both land on and traverse.  There are good reasons why it keeps getting rejected as a site.
I think the LPSC 2017 abstract linked below makes a strong case for Mwarth: one of the most ancient sites on Mars' surface, deep layering of water altered minerals, and a complex geological history that may tell us what processes operated early on Mars (and will provide lots of complexity to interpret as you point out).

https://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2017/pdf/2194.pdf

If the 2020 rover goes to either Jezero Crater or NE Syrtis and the ExoMars rover goes to Mwarth, then I think we will get an incredible exploration of early Mars and its water history.  (Personal fantasy: the 2020 rover survives long enough to do an extended mission to the other of those two sites -- they are close.)

Offline Phil Stooke

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The anti-Mawrth case was made by Dawn Sumner at the previous 2020 workshop.  She interpreted the clays at Mawrth as part of the Oyama ejecta blanket, and therefore their original geological context is unknown.  Mawrth fell in the ranking pretty quickly after that.   Mawrth supporters don't seem to address that critique at all in the third workshop.

Offline vjkane

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The anti-Mawrth case was made by Dawn Sumner at the previous 2020 workshop.  She interpreted the clays at Mawrth as part of the Oyama ejecta blanket, and therefore their original geological context is unknown.  Mawrth fell in the ranking pretty quickly after that.   Mawrth supporters don't seem to address that critique at all in the third workshop.
She makes a strong case.  I would be interested to see the other side, but you say that her objections weren't raised at the most recent ExoMars workshop.

Here's a link to her presentation
« Last Edit: 04/07/2017 12:38 AM by gongora »

Online Alpha_Centauri

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This issue is only relevant to the Mars 2020 landing site, which is much closer to Oyama.  Exomars would land in a different part of the Mawrth plateau well beyond the impact region she describes, which is probably why it wasn't raised.


Heavily altered clays are difficult to interpret, be the clays from hydrothermal alteration or weathering, and not particular good places to mind microfossils or biomarkers. Only sedimentary clays are good for that.  Plus it looks to be rough and difficult to both land on and traverse.  There are good reasons why it keeps getting rejected as a site.

Only the topmost layers may represent later chemical weathering; It could also represent clays being laid down in different local chemical conditions.  But even if that were true the intact Fe/Mg smectites layers below, like the ones at Oxia, are still there.
« Last Edit: 04/05/2017 10:01 PM by Alpha_Centauri »

Offline Dalhousie

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This issue is only relevant to the Mars 2020 landing site, which is much closer to Oyama.  Exomars would land in a different part of the Mawrth plateau well beyond the impact region she describes, which is probably why it wasn't raised.


Heavily altered clays are difficult to interpret, be the clays from hydrothermal alteration or weathering, and not particular good places to mind microfossils or biomarkers. Only sedimentary clays are good for that.  Plus it looks to be rough and difficult to both land on and traverse.  There are good reasons why it keeps getting rejected as a site.

Only the topmost layers may represent later chemical weathering; It could also represent clays being laid down in different local chemical conditions.  But even if that were true the intact Fe/Mg smectites layers below, like the ones at Oxia, are still there.

It's a bit of a gamble :)  I have spent years working with heavily clay altered terrains.  Trying to make sense of them with the limited tools available to a robotic rover won't be much fun. :)
"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 AlexA

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ESA have published the "ExoMars 2016 - Schiaparelli Anomaly Inquiry" report, which includes recommendations for the 2020 mission:
http://exploration.esa.int/mars/59176-exomars-2016-schiaparelli-anomaly-inquiry/

This is the report from the Schiaparelli Inquiry Board (SIB). The SIB was established for the following purpose:
◾To establish the circumstances of the Schiaparelli anomaly;
◾To establish the root cause of the anomaly and the reasons for this root cause;
◾To establish recommendations for corrective actions;
◾To establish consequences for the 2020 ExoMars mission in terms of lack of demonstration and associated recommendations for remedying of any shortfalls.

Offline calapine

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New video of the ExoMars Rover by Airbus:




« Last Edit: 06/22/2017 06:27 PM by calapine »

Offline Svetoslav

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What?

Instruments for ExoMars-2020 to be created "under military acceptance"

https://ria.ru/space/20170626/1497332699.html

Offline redliox

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What?

Instruments for ExoMars-2020 to be created "under military acceptance"

https://ria.ru/space/20170626/1497332699.html

Even having a Soviet-era-esque general shadowing the engineers isn't going to assure a successful mission.  It certainly didn't help the Phobos missions.
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Offline Star One

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Mars covered in toxic chemicals that can wipe out living organisms, tests reveal

Quote
Andrew Coates, a planetary scientist at UCL who leads the ExoMars panoramic camera team, said the work shows that the surface of Mars today is more hostile to life than thought. “This, combined with the solar and galactic particle radiation environment at the Martian surface, makes it all the more important to sample underneath the surface in the search for biomarkers,” he said.

“With the ExoMars rover, we will drill to retrieve and analyse samples from up to 2m under the surface,” he added. “This is important as a millimetre or two will get us below the harmful ultraviolet, one metre will get us below the oxidants such as perchlorates, and 1.5m gets us below the ionising radiation from the sun and galaxy.”

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/jul/06/mars-covered-in-toxic-chemicals-that-can-wipe-out-living-organisms-tests-reveal

Offline Star One

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Mars covered in toxic chemicals that can wipe out living organisms, tests reveal

Quote
Andrew Coates, a planetary scientist at UCL who leads the ExoMars panoramic camera team, said the work shows that the surface of Mars today is more hostile to life than thought. “This, combined with the solar and galactic particle radiation environment at the Martian surface, makes it all the more important to sample underneath the surface in the search for biomarkers,” he said.

“With the ExoMars rover, we will drill to retrieve and analyse samples from up to 2m under the surface,” he added. “This is important as a millimetre or two will get us below the harmful ultraviolet, one metre will get us below the oxidants such as perchlorates, and 1.5m gets us below the ionising radiation from the sun and galaxy.”

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/jul/06/mars-covered-in-toxic-chemicals-that-can-wipe-out-living-organisms-tests-reveal

Common Earth soil bacteria being used as a "canary in coalmine". Rates of perchlorate degradation suspect.

Really bad reporting.

Wrong bacteria to use. Should be cyanobacteria. Like from the Atacama.

edit/gongora: fixed quotes

What's the reporting got to do with the wrong bacteria in your opinion being used.

Offline Star One

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A lot of articles these days are based off the press releases put out by various groups, probably in an effort to at least constrain the reporting. Did this group do that or did they naively think the media were going to read the paper?

The fact that they seem surprised by the reporting kind of makes me ask where they have been living the past five years.
« Last Edit: 07/10/2017 06:48 AM by Star One »

Offline Star One

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ESA/Roscomos - ExoMars 2020 (Rover + Surface Platform) - updates
« Reply #109 on: 07/10/2017 03:21 PM »
A lot of articles these days are based off the press releases put out by various groups, probably in an effort to at least constrain the reporting. Did this group do that or did they naively think the media were going to read the paper?

The fact that they seem surprised by the reporting kind of makes me ask where they have been living the past five years.

Know personally many of the planetary scientists (one just now drove off). They are interestingly unique in having very deep knowledge conveyed with very specific terms of art. Constantly having to defend themselves from lesser justified sources who intentionally misinterpret results to justify other agendas. (They even give me trouble when attempt to rewrite their math to allow a different perspective on the same subject, so it becomes a "surprise battle" in having to convince them that the change does not interfere with their science, which it doesn't.)

One prominent PI routinely gets into trouble in talking with certain journalists, and NASA sends him to the "woodshed" for retraining in PR, so much so that other scientists run interference to keep it from happening.

The science is subtle, but you have to wield a battleaxe to keep on mission. Going between extremes causes them to be easy targets for those who offer a sympathetic ear but then have no integrity with the application of what they've obtained. That's why they get suckered.

So why don't they keep away from the press?

I know that there are places where no one is allowed to talk to the press other than authorised press officers.
« Last Edit: 07/10/2017 04:07 PM by Star One »

Online Blackstar

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So why don't keep away from the press?


It's still a democracy.


Offline Star One

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So why don't keep away from the press?


It's still a democracy.

It's often part of the rules of the job nothing to do with democracy.

Offline Welsh Dragon

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A lot of articles these days are based off the press releases put out by various groups, probably in an effort to at least constrain the reporting. Did this group do that or did they naively think the media were going to read the paper?

The fact that they seem surprised by the reporting kind of makes me ask where they have been living the past five years.
Some years ago I published a scientific paper that got picked up by national and international media. We had put out a press release, which accurately covered the content of the paper in 'lay person speak'. As you say, nobody will read the actual paper, least of all the humanities trained 'science journalists' of the press. Despite the fact that we put out an accurate press release, the tabloids went to town on it, and completely mutilated the story. Bottom line: there is no accuracy in poplar reporting of science. Accept it, and move on.
« Last Edit: 07/10/2017 07:09 PM by Welsh Dragon »

Offline zubenelgenubi

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<snip>
The fact that they seem surprised by the reporting kind of makes me ask where they have been living the past five years.
The last five years?  IMHO, poor science/technology reporting has ALWAYS, ALWAYS been a problem.

:) Why do you think Charles Darwin went bald?  Pulling out his hair after reading the bad science reporting.
>Read in Triumph the Insult Comic Dog's voice< "I keed, I keed!" :)
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Ok, back to ExoMars 2020!
« Last Edit: 07/10/2017 07:44 PM by zubenelgenubi »
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Online Blackstar

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So why don't keep away from the press?


It's still a democracy.

It's often part of the rules of the job nothing to do with democracy.

No. That's just not correct. If a NASA mission PI is not a NASA employee (like many PIs for competed missions, who usually work for universities or research centers), NASA cannot tell them what they can and cannot say to the media. They may self-censor, but NASA cannot muzzle them. And NASA should not muzzle them. NASA does like to put out a coherent message, and the agency is pretty darned good at communicating. But I don't know why anybody would advocate stifling a scientist's right in a democracy to say whatever he or she wants to say.

Online Blackstar

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A lot of articles these days are based off the press releases put out by various groups, probably in an effort to at least constrain the reporting. Did this group do that or did they naively think the media were going to read the paper?

The fact that they seem surprised by the reporting kind of makes me ask where they have been living the past five years.
Some years ago I published a scientific paper that got picked up by national and international media. We had put out a press release, which accurately covered the content of the paper in 'lay person speak'. As you say, nobody will read the actual paper, least of all the humanities trained 'science journalists' of the press. Despite the fact that we put out an accurate press release, the tabloids went to town on it, and completely mutilated the story. Bottom line: there is no accuracy in poplar reporting of science. Accept it, and move on.

But let's keep in mind that there are different levels of expertise. The science journalism done by Nature, Science, Scientific American, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and a few other big name publications, is usually very good. For many years the Washington Post had a top-notch space journalist (Kathy Sawyer) who had remarkable insight and understanding of NASA and civil space issues. It was not a case of having good sources, she took the information that a good researcher could find and she synthesized it and she was really good. The Time and the Post don't have people assigned to science beats like they used to, but their people are really quite good, although not as good as in the past when these were dedicated beats.

The general press is often quite lousy. It's not that they are just lazy or sloppy, it's more that they are in the entertainment business, not journalism. They don't care.

Offline as58

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Unfortunately scientists and university (and also NASA) press offices are not always entirely blameless either. It's all too common nowadays to present almost any new result as a 'breakthrough'.

Offline Star One

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So why don't keep away from the press?


It's still a democracy.

It's often part of the rules of the job nothing to do with democracy.

No. That's just not correct. If a NASA mission PI is not a NASA employee (like many PIs for competed missions, who usually work for universities or research centers), NASA cannot tell them what they can and cannot say to the media. They may self-censor, but NASA cannot muzzle them. And NASA should not muzzle them. NASA does like to put out a coherent message, and the agency is pretty darned good at communicating. But I don't know why anybody would advocate stifling a scientist's right in a democracy to say whatever he or she wants to say.
I am not talking about NASA. I was talking more generally, I don't wish to say anything to specific on this issue but such rules do exist believe me.
« Last Edit: 07/11/2017 07:29 AM by Star One »

Offline Welsh Dragon

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But let's keep in mind that there are different levels of expertise. The science journalism done by Nature, Science, Scientific American, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and a few other big name publications, is usually very good. For many years the Washington Post had a top-notch space journalist (Kathy Sawyer) who had remarkable insight and understanding of NASA and civil space issues. It was not a case of having good sources, she took the information that a good researcher could find and she synthesized it and she was really good. The Time and the Post don't have people assigned to science beats like they used to, but their people are really quite good, although not as good as in the past when these were dedicated beats.

The general press is often quite lousy. It's not that they are just lazy or sloppy, it's more that they are in the entertainment business, not journalism. They don't care.
This is very true, of course. It's exceptions that make the rule. I must also point out that this was in neuroscience, nothing to do with space reporting. But the same point is still true.

Offline Arb

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Getting a bit off topic here chaps...

Offline bolun

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http://www.esa.int/For_Media/Press_Releases/ESA_Council_October_2017

Quote
The ESA Council, chaired by Jean-Yves Le Gall, met on 17–18 October in Paris, France.

An Agreement between NASA and ESA on ExoMars 2020 was unanimously approved to include NASA’s Deep Space Network in the mission’s ground segment and to extend Mars proximity relay communications using NASA’s MRO and MAVEN orbiters.

Offline bolun

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http://www.esa.int/About_Us/ESA_Publications/ESA_Bulletin_171_3rd_quarter

From ESA Bulletin 171 (3rd quarter 2017) Page 66

Quote
ExoMars 2020

Delays of 2–10 months have accumulated on the Rover Pasteur payloads since Ministerial Council 2016 with respect to Lead Funding Agencies’ commitment. This was addressed with the relevant Member States on different occasions. The System Rocket Complex PDR was held in June allowing the consolidation of the spacecraft and combined operations activities plan at Baikonur.

Following the consolidation by Lavochkin and Thales Alenia Space Italy of the Descent Module and the Spacecraft Composite AIT activities and because of a longer launch campaign than initially assumed, Thales and Lavochkin were requested to propose an updated schedule that preserves 60 working days of contingencies two years prior to launch. A proposal for a simplified Rover wheelwalking mode is expected from Airbus Defence & Space UK to improve the overall compliance to the locomotion requirements on critical terrains.

Offline JW98

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Always reading, rarely posting.

Offline AegeanBlue

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http://www.russianspaceweb.com/exomars2018-2017.html

Anatoly got one detail wrong: "Planetary Defense" is protecting from asteroid. Protecting from bacteria, which is what I assume the ExoMars lander needs to do is "Planetary Protection"

Offline bolun

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http://www.esa.int/About_Us/ESA_Publications/ESA_Bulletin_172_4th_quarter

From ESA Bulletin 172 (4th quarter 2017) pages 73-74

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ExoMars 2020

The CDRs of the Carrier, Rover and Descent Modules (DM) are ending. Some equipment belonging to the Carrier and Rover Modules encountered difficult development that required close monitoring, lengthy tests and adjustments of design. The second phase of the DM CDR jointly conducted by Roscosmos/TsNIIMash and ESA is ongoing with emphasis on hardware design readiness, specification of software requirements and final analysis of the braking engine/Radar Doppler altimeter plume interference risk.

The system CDR is planned for 26 October. An updated ExoMars 2020 project schedule is being created to reflect a full-fledged DM and spacecraft test campaign, introducing 60 working days of contingencies, and assuming a realistic 66-day launch campaign.
« Last Edit: 03/01/2018 01:09 PM by bolun »

Offline catdlr

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ExoMars low-altitude parachute drop test

European Space Agency, ESA
Published on Mar 29, 2018

The video features footage taken of the parachute deployment as seen from the ground, as well as from onboard GoPros fixed to the drop test vehicle and looking up at the parachute. The test focused on the deployment and inflation of the second main stage 35m-wide parachute, which will be the largest to fly on Mars.

Discussing the test are Stephane Langlois, ESA ExoMars engineer, and John Underwood, principal engineer at Vorticity.

The test was carried out by Vorticity Ltd under the supervision of Thales Alenia Space France, Thales Alenia Space Italy and ESA, in Kiruna, Sweden, on 2 March 2018.

Credits: ESA & Vorticity Ltd

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7V0__xvwNk4?t=001

Tony De La Rosa

Offline bolun

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First test success for largest Mars mission parachute (article)

https://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/ExoMars/First_test_success_for_largest_Mars_mission_parachute

Image credit: ESA

Offline redliox

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First test success for largest Mars mission parachute (article)

https://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/ExoMars/First_test_success_for_largest_Mars_mission_parachute

It's good to see ESA's pulling off their own accomplishments for Mars.  My main concern is how the Russian platform is coming together; Russia's rockets are trustworthy but (at least for Mars) their spacecraft have lacked in success even in the Soviet era.  I do hope with ESA they can pull this off.
"Let the trails lead where they may, I will follow."
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Offline bolun

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Offline redliox

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Europe's Mars rover takes shape

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-43832868

Good to see it coming along.  It is also a small bonus from that article to learn the decision between the sites of Oxia Planum and Mawrth Vallis will be made in November.  I wish for more news on the Russian components.
"Let the trails lead where they may, I will follow."
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Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Quote
After 7 years of design and development work (and even more for some of my colleagues) the @ESA_ExoMars Rover STM left @AirbusSpace Stevenage this morning for its test campaign in Toulouse. Cracking effort, team! Now fingers crossed for the test! 🤞

https://twitter.com/a_hutty/status/989084427639762946

Offline AlexA

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http://exploration.esa.int/mars/60365-red-planet-rover-set-for-extreme-environment-workout/
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Red Planet rover set for extreme environment workout

29 May 2018
A representative model of the ExoMars rover that will land on Mars in 2021 is beginning a demanding test campaign that will ensure it can survive the rigours of launch and landing, as well as operations under the environmental conditions of Mars.


Image Copyright: Airbus Defence and Space
« Last Edit: 05/30/2018 09:53 AM by AlexA »

Offline AlexA

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July 2017 issue of Astrobiology journal contains scientific papers on the ExoMars rover's instruments (all open/free access):
https://www.liebertpub.com/toc/ast/17/6-7

Offline plutogno

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http://exploration.esa.int/mars/60365-red-planet-rover-set-for-extreme-environment-workout/

a couple of weeks ago I was riding my bike just outside the Intespace premises here in Toulouse and I noticed in their "shipping crates lot" a crate marked "Exomars Rover"

Offline eeergo

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http://exploration.esa.int/mars/60365-red-planet-rover-set-for-extreme-environment-workout/
Quote
Red Planet rover set for extreme environment workout

29 May 2018
A representative model of the ExoMars rover that will land on Mars in 2021 is beginning a demanding test campaign that will ensure it can survive the rigours of launch and landing, as well as operations under the environmental conditions of Mars.


Image Copyright: Airbus Defence and Space

STM has gone through vibration testing: https://twitter.com/AirbusSpace/status/1009061308640186368
-DaviD-

Offline Star One

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Rover test: What's it like to ride a rocket to Mars?

Quote
So, if you spend a billion euros on a space mission, you better be sure it can survive the rocket ride off Earth.

https://www.bbc.com/news/amp/science-environment-44538595?

Offline Svetoslav

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Rover test: What's it like to ride a rocket to Mars?

If the rocket is called Proton, the answer to the question is: quite scary.

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