Author Topic: SLS manifest targets Europa and Mars Sample Return missions  (Read 106044 times)

Offline Blackstar

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Re: SLS manifest targets Europa and Mars Sample Return missions
« Reply #300 on: 01/14/2015 03:06 am »
I've said this before and I'll say it again, and you guys will ignore it again and debate strawmen and beat dead horses and all that stuff.

But...

Mars Sample Return for SLS is not real. It's not a real concept. Europa Clipper is a real concept--they have baselined the SLS for the ongoing Europa Clipper studies. That doesn't mean that Europa Clipper, if funded, will eventually use SLS, but it is the baseline launch vehicle for now.

Mars Sample Return is NOT real for SLS for two reasons. First, Mars 2020 is already the sample caching mission for Mars Sample Return. Thus, MSR is already started, with the Mars 2020 rover serving as the first step. Second, NASA's Science Mission Directorate CANNOT AFFORD doing a Mars Sample Return mission as a single mission on a single launcher. The cost of the cacher, ascent vehicle, and return vehicle would bust the Planetary Science Division's budget for an entire decade. That is why for over 10+ years Mars Sample Return studies have all assumed multiple missions spread out over many years launched on separate vehicles (and presumably with substantial international participation, such as having JAXA or ESA build the Earth return vehicle). The people who would actually fund Mars Sample Return (the scientists) have not assumed SLS in any of their studies, ever.

The SLS office generated the chart showing an MSR mission as a payload, NOT the people who would actually fund such a mission.

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Re: SLS manifest targets Europa and Mars Sample Return missions
« Reply #301 on: 01/14/2015 12:26 pm »
The SLS office generated the chart showing an MSR mission as a payload, NOT the people who would actually fund such a mission.

That's the killer point, I think. SLSxP is generating lots of hot air that does not appear to be associated with reality. In itself, this is nothing unusual. It's internal office politics being played out: claiming purely fictitious synergies with already-extant or -approved projects to make it seem that your team's work is a necessary enabler of these other projects when it is not. What is odd is that this isn't an internal NASA presentation or something; it's gotten all the way to the public domain and is being presented as a serious policy.

I've said this before but, sometimes, NASA's worst enemy is its own internal politics.

FWIW, if Europa Clipper launches on anything but a tri-core version of ULA's NGLV, I'd be surprised. The TJI requirements puts it out of FH's envelope unless Musk is talking to Mitsubishi Heavy about using the MB-60 as an alternate high-energy upper stage engine.
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Offline newpylong

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Re: SLS manifest targets Europa and Mars Sample Return missions
« Reply #302 on: 01/14/2015 12:54 pm »
Where are you getting that SLS MSR is policy and not concept?

Offline Dalhousie

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Re: SLS manifest targets Europa and Mars Sample Return missions
« Reply #303 on: 01/14/2015 08:53 pm »
Why can't the 2020 rover be flown on SLS as part of a all up MSR package?  Current the 2020 rover is just a caching mission in the vague hope that a few years further down the track money will be availabel to return the samples.

ALso Mars is such a complex and diverse planet there is a need for than one MSR mission in the loong run.
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Offline Blackstar

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Re: SLS manifest targets Europa and Mars Sample Return missions
« Reply #304 on: 01/14/2015 11:55 pm »
1-Why can't the 2020 rover be flown on SLS as part of a all up MSR package?  Current the 2020 rover is just a caching mission in the vague hope that a few years further down the track money will be availabel to return the samples.

2-ALso Mars is such a complex and diverse planet there is a need for than one MSR mission in the loong run.


1-Oh, it could. Now tell me: where are you going to get the extra $5-8 BILLION for the rest of the mission and do it by 2020?

2-Where's the money coming from?


Offline enkarha

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Re: SLS manifest targets Europa and Mars Sample Return missions
« Reply #305 on: 01/15/2015 02:43 am »
How long would it take to return a Mars sample the way it is baselined?
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Online notsorandom

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Re: SLS manifest targets Europa and Mars Sample Return missions
« Reply #306 on: 01/15/2015 03:57 pm »
How long would it take to return a Mars sample the way it is baselined?
It depends on which assumptions are made. There are two more parts of the mission beyond the cashing rover. As Blackstar points out the problem with launching those parts all together is budgetary and not technical. The MSR mission outlined in the Decadal Survey has a sample return  date of late 2027. The survey is assuming a 2018 launch date for MAX-C which isn't happening. The orbiter part of the mission would launch in 2022 and the MAV and fetching rover in 2024.

The cashing rover is going to be launching in 2020, two years behind in that timeline. I don't know if that will mean the other two elements get delayed by two years as well or not. The MSR lander is supposed to start pre-phase A studies at the end of 2015 and MSR has not been committed to yet. So far the 2020 cashing rover is the only thing on the books.

I'm attaching the Decadal Survey's MSR study here. It has a lot of details in it including mass breakdowns of the various parts and hardware costs. It should be possible to play with those figures and see how launching it all on SLS changes the schedule, cost, and timeline.
« Last Edit: 01/15/2015 04:00 pm by notsorandom »

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Re: SLS manifest targets Europa and Mars Sample Return missions
« Reply #307 on: 01/16/2015 09:11 am »
The cashing rover is going to be launching in 2020, two years behind in that timeline. I don't know if that will mean the other two elements get delayed by two years as well or not.

It's a decent assumption that the slip on the rover will automatically shift the launch of the other elements rightward by the same period, just because they will still likely need the same amount of time for the rover to be ready for the other elements.
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Online notsorandom

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Re: SLS manifest targets Europa and Mars Sample Return missions
« Reply #308 on: 01/16/2015 01:41 pm »
The cashing rover is going to be launching in 2020, two years behind in that timeline. I don't know if that will mean the other two elements get delayed by two years as well or not.

It's a decent assumption that the slip on the rover will automatically shift the launch of the other elements rightward by the same period, just because they will still likely need the same amount of time for the rover to be ready for the other elements.
The cashing rover is launched 4 years before the next element which is the orbiter. I don't know if that is for budgetary reason or to give the rover plenty of time to find samples. Curiosity has been on Mars now for over two years and while it has been at some sites which would make good samples the best is quite likely yet to come. It would be a good argument to give the cashing rover time to do its thing. The question is is six years before the MAV lands enough or is 8 years better.

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