Author Topic: ESA/Roscomos - ExoMars 2020 (Rover + Surface Platform) - updates  (Read 39538 times)

Offline savuporo

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5155
  • Liked: 981
  • Likes Given: 343
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 itís 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 ?
Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Offline synchrotron

  • Member
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 300
  • Liked: 5
  • Likes Given: 13
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

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 123
  • EU
  • Liked: 23
  • Likes Given: 9
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 itís 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. Thatís 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

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9413
  • UK
  • Liked: 1696
  • Likes Given: 183
New video - ExoMars is on its way

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

Offline Sam Ho

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 555
  • Liked: 220
  • Likes Given: 66
New video - ExoMars is on its way


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

Offline Dalhousie

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2173
  • Liked: 304
  • Likes Given: 369
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

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9413
  • UK
  • Liked: 1696
  • Likes Given: 183
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

  • Member
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 300
  • Liked: 5
  • Likes Given: 13
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

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2173
  • Liked: 304
  • Likes Given: 369
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
"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 Don2

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 124
  • Liked: 35
  • Likes Given: 0
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

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9413
  • UK
  • Liked: 1696
  • Likes Given: 183
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

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 625
  • Liked: 111
  • Likes Given: 2
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

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5155
  • Liked: 981
  • Likes Given: 343
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.
Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Offline Dalhousie

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2173
  • Liked: 304
  • Likes Given: 369
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

Offline Blackstar

  • Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 11314
  • Liked: 2785
  • Likes Given: 1
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

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 625
  • Liked: 111
  • Likes Given: 2
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.

Offline Blackstar

  • Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 11314
  • Liked: 2785
  • Likes Given: 1
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

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 625
  • Liked: 111
  • Likes Given: 2
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

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5155
  • Liked: 981
  • Likes Given: 343
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.
Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Offline vjkane

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 625
  • Liked: 111
  • Likes Given: 2
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.

Tags: