Author Topic: MSR mission gains traction - SLS and Orion had an eye on involvement  (Read 7105 times)


Offline TripleSeven

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not going to happen

Offline Rocket Science

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not going to happen
Welcome to the forum, all opinions are appreciated. Thanks for the article Chris and render Nathan! :)
« Last Edit: 05/02/2018 08:15 PM by Rocket Science »
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Offline clongton

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It would be terrific if this became a reality but based on NASA's recent history and the latest troubles with SLS/Orion I would be truly surprised if this amounted to anything. Let's just say that I am, for the moment at least, underwhelmed.
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Offline Coastal Ron

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not going to happen

Yes, congratulations on your first post! And wow, you have already given over 50 likes to other posters - well done!

Would you like to expand on your opinion? Perhaps share what factors you think will keep this proposal from happening?
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Offline Dao Angkan

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Pertinent to this, especially regarding the use of Orion in order to "break the chain of contact". Zubrin also argues that a MAV landed with the same mass as Curiosity could send a sample direct to Earth, cutting out the requirement for a Earth return vehicle.



I would also question the requirement of a "fetch rover" for collecting samples from another rover. Why not have Mars 2020 come to the MAV lander. A robotic arm on the MAV lander can transport the samples from the rover to the MAV.

Edit, added timestamp
« Last Edit: 05/02/2018 09:57 PM by Dao Angkan »

Online RonM

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I would also question the requirement of a "fetch rover" for collecting samples from another rover. Why not have Mars 2020 come to the MAV lander. A robotic arm on the MAV lander can transport the samples from the rover to the MAV.

What if the Mars 2020 rover breaks down before the MAV lander arrives?

Offline Dao Angkan

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I would also question the requirement of a "fetch rover" for collecting samples from another rover. Why not have Mars 2020 come to the MAV lander. A robotic arm on the MAV lander can transport the samples from the rover to the MAV.

What if the Mars 2020 rover breaks down before the MAV lander arrives?

What happens if Mars 2020 breaks down before it collects a sample, or if the extra rover we send breaks down before making it back to the MAV lander? I guess we'd have to send another rover or MAV lander. I say that in slight jest as Mars 2020 samples are really just a proof of concept. So let's use them to do a (relatively) low cost POC sample return mission. When we have really exciting samples to return then we can add extra redundancy such as an additional rover.

Offline redliox

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If MSR gains traction, I suspect it will be thanks to ESA's interest.  SLS could be useful, but smaller ways could be utilized.  I would advocate that whatever retrieves the samples from the 2020 rover should send it back to Mars as directly as possible.
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Offline EnigmaSCADA

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I'd like to be convinced of the usefulness of the scientific value of having a small batch if Martian rocks here on Earth vs just investigating the same right there on Mars. Are there really reasons to bring a few chunks back that could be well characterized in-situ?

As far as this tax paying space enthusiast is concerned, "Look ma, I got some rocks from Mars!" is absolutely not a worthwhile reason to allocate the extra resources needed for a sample return. But I'm certainly open to hearing a pitch for why it is absolutely necessary to bring a sample back.

On the other hand, put all the resources from these ridiculous half-measures, political pork farms, false starts, and utter failures into a thoroughly planned step by step execution of the capabilities necessary for human space travel to Mars, well I'd be on board in heart beat.

As of now, I'm with the guy who posted it ain't gonna happen, what's the point? What could possibly justify what extra examination could be done to returned samples at the enormous extra cost of doing so? Conversely, I simply don't even need justification for efforts that are directly aimed at getting humans beyond LEO, I'll be happy when we stop clowning around about it. I realize not everyone feels this way, but I do, and I think you're wrong if you don't agree, so...

Offline Darkseraph

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That is a very convoluted way to carry out a sample return mission. There are numerous single point failures in that whole sequence of events. Also, none of the techniques developed for that mission are applicable to any future crewed mission. It seems it would be less complicated and risky to retrieve the samples in one launch on either SLS or a commercial heavy lifter like New Glenn or Falcon Heavy
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Offline SimonFD

Is there any money allocated to this?
It sounds like it could be a significant investment and Orion/SLS units are (seemingly) hard to come by and expensive.



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Offline kevinof

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Ok. I know everyone has an opinion and I'm no different.

Scrap this project. take all the money you would waste on it and pump it into BFR. In return you get free seats/whatever on X launches.

Rant off.

Offline clongton

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Ok. I know everyone has an opinion and I'm no different.

Scrap this project. take all the money you would waste on it and pump it into BFR. In return you get free seats/whatever on X launches.

Rant off.

No! NASA needs to keep its hands off SpaceX's BFR program. NASA money would only add YEARS of time and lots of extra COST to get to operational status. NASA is really, REALLY good at some things. REALLY GOOD! But when it comes to efficiency and good money management, NASA absolutely sucks!
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Offline kevinof

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Ok I agree 1000% - my thinking was simply the funds. Not oversight or ANYTHING else.  Just give the cash and get X seats in return. SpaceX will let you know when to pick up your tickets - until then don't call us.


Ok. I know everyone has an opinion and I'm no different.

Scrap this project. take all the money you would waste on it and pump it into BFR. In return you get free seats/whatever on X launches.

Rant off.

No! NASA needs to keep its hands off SpaceX's BFR program. NASA money would only add YEARS of time and lots of extra COST to get to operational status. NASA is really, REALLY good at some things. REALLY GOOD! But when it comes to efficiency and good money management, NASA absolutely sucks!

Offline chrisking0997

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seriously, is there ANYONE here who thinks this plan makes sense?  honestly to me it feels like something a group of interns came up with (or, worse, a group of people trying to increase their funding).  Thinking out of the box is fine and all, but this one is out there.
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Offline whitelancer64

I'd like to be convinced of the usefulness of the scientific value of having a small batch if Martian rocks here on Earth vs just investigating the same right there on Mars. Are there really reasons to bring a few chunks back that could be well characterized in-situ?
*snip*

Laboratories here on Earth are much, much, much better equipped than anything we could send to Mars. We have a lot better, larger, and more diverse instruments here on Earth that can study samples in ways we just plain can't do on Mars. Everything a rover can do has to be built in, a limitation that Earth-bound labs don't have.

A university's chemistry lab could outclass the Curiosity rover any day of the week. That's not to say the science instruments on Curiosity are bad - they are excellent, though limited in what they can do - but that they are the next best thing to having samples being studied in labs here on Earth. Having samples here on Earth is always going to be better, because we can simply do much more with them.

Plus if we come up with a novel avenue of study, or a different question to ask, we can run new tests. For example, the lunar samples that were brought back by Apollo are still being distributed to researchers today.
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Offline whitelancer64

seriously, is there ANYONE here who thinks this plan makes sense?  honestly to me it feels like something a group of interns came up with (or, worse, a group of people trying to increase their funding).  Thinking out of the box is fine and all, but this one is out there.

I thought people LIKED the idea of distributed launch? That's what this plan is. Three separate launchs for sample collection, sample retrieval and launch, and sample return. It has the bonuses of reducing weight and complexity, and thereby, costs for all parts of the mission.

I do think that a viable option is for the 2020 rover to keep the samples on the rover, and have the retrieval and launch portion land close by the 2020 rover and let the rover trek back to it; that could save some weight and costs for a rover for the R&L portion, but it depends on how many synods later the R&L mission launches. It IS risky to depend on the unknown state of health of the 2020 rover after several years on Mars.
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
"There are lies, damned lies, and launch schedules." - Larry J

Online envy887

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...
I thought people LIKED the idea of distributed launch?

It's a bit odd for missions that can be done with a single medium lift launch...

Offline A_M_Swallow

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seriously, is there ANYONE here who thinks this plan makes sense?  honestly to me it feels like something a group of interns came up with (or, worse, a group of people trying to increase their funding).  Thinking out of the box is fine and all, but this one is out there.

Three landings suggests to me that the team could not get all the Mars equipment on a single lander. So they split it. The original design may have assumed the launch vehicles were Atlas V or Delta II.

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