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Nasa announces new rover mission to Mars in 2020
djellison
post Dec 7 2012, 02:35 AM
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To be honest, I think Curiosity's system is doing so well ( and requiring so little heating ) that they probably will not ( and ought not to ) bother.
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dvandorn
post Dec 7 2012, 02:49 AM
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Since there was more hydrazine left in the descent stage tanks on Curiosity than expected, is it possible that the 2020 rover could be upgraded somewhat in weight? Or do the other EDL phases constrain the total mass for this landing system such that we'll need to end up with a rover pretty much the same weight as Curiosity?

-the other Doug


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Explorer1
post Dec 7 2012, 03:18 AM
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If the EDL can be modified to avoid kicking up so much dust and debris, that would be good news as well (for the REMS team at least!).
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mcaplinger
post Dec 7 2012, 04:11 AM
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QUOTE (Explorer1 @ Dec 6 2012, 08:18 PM) *
If the EDL can be modified to avoid kicking up so much dust and debris, that would be good news as well (for the REMS team at least!).

The instruments will be recompeted and while it would be nice if the landing environment were more benign, I expect that proposed instruments will be expected to prove their robustness to landing debris.


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stevesliva
post Dec 7 2012, 04:13 AM
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QUOTE (dvandorn @ Dec 6 2012, 09:49 PM) *
Since there was more hydrazine left in the descent stage tanks on Curiosity than expected, is it possible that the 2020 rover could be upgraded somewhat in weight?


Gale's low elevation provided some margin there, right?
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djellison
post Dec 7 2012, 04:41 AM
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Correct - although I think margin could be found elsewhere as well - The requirement was to be able to land 1000kg - which the system could easily have handled.
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Explorer1
post Dec 7 2012, 05:16 AM
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Scott Anderson's portable geochronometer would be a nice payload option, finally giving absolute dates for samples.
This article details it, but doesn't mention how heavy the finished instrument will be, other than 'light enough' for deep space.

http://www.nature.com/news/planetary-scien...machine-1.11049
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PaulM
post Dec 7 2012, 01:07 PM
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QUOTE (elakdawalla @ Dec 5 2012, 12:35 AM) *
Of interest to this forum: Science News journalist Alex Witze just tweeted: "I asked Cameron if he would fly his zoom camera (taken off MSL at last minute) on the new MSL. A: Yes I'll start pushing right away."

I would like Cameron's camera to be flown on insight mission although I realise that there would be a considerable cost involved in integrating the camera and processing the data. However, the camera would do a great job of filming dust devils. dd.gif
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Phil Stooke
post Dec 7 2012, 02:10 PM
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No, the imaging part of that mission will be brief, and it and will use copies of MER Hazcam and Navcam. The design is basically done, don't expect any changes. If you want a fancy new camera you have to wait for the new rover.

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Mars Attack
post Dec 7 2012, 03:19 PM
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What would really excite me is including on the 2020 rover the most up to date and sophisticated life detection instruments available or under development. Viking provided inconclusive evidence of possible life thirty some years ago. Since then we have learned much more about Mars and we will learn even more in the coming years. John G.mentioned that the new rover could land in places that even MSL couldn't have, opening up the most likely places to detect life. He also said that there are new life detection instruments that are being considered for the 2018 lander from Europe and Russia that could be used. I can't think of anything more exciting for the world then to have a rover looking for life and possible finding hard, conclusive evidence of it. You just never know until you actually try!
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mcaplinger
post Dec 7 2012, 03:24 PM
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QUOTE (Phil Stooke @ Dec 7 2012, 07:10 AM) *
The design is basically done, don't expect any changes.

If they haven't had their Critical Design Review yet, then the design is not "done". I don't think they've even had PDR.

There's no technical or schedule reason we couldn't have better imaging on InSight. As to cost, how much is it worth?


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elakdawalla
post Dec 7 2012, 04:53 PM
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If they are to stick to the $1.5B number I think they will have to stay very close to the MSL blueprint in terms of EDL, mobility system, etc. Instruments are, at least according to NASA's public statement, wide open. There was a Q and A about instruments at the announcement. Someone pointed out that congressman Schiff had issued a release pushing for a 2018 launch date; Grunsfeld replied that instruments couldn't be ready by 2018 and that 2020 would be a tight schedule.

It would be cool to get to take advantage of the guided entry capability to go to some place that was totally inaccessible to previous landers. Gale was pretty benign as far as the entry phase goes, because of its low elevation.


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Drkskywxlt
post Dec 7 2012, 07:13 PM
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Also, to be responsive to the Decadal Survey, this rover MUST cache samples. If it doesn't cache, then the Decadal was clear that this type of mission is lower priority relative to Europa, etc...
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vjkane
post Dec 8 2012, 02:58 AM
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I think that the key unknown for MSL-2020 is the instrument budget. The march of technology since the instrument selection for MSL-2012 allows some new of instruments such as geochronology dating instruments and contact instruments that can measure composition at the scale of individual grains. However, developing flight versions, I suspect, may be expensive. I also suspect that creating a flight ready version of a sample cache system may require substantial investment.

As I recall the $1.5B estimate for the caching rover included only next-generation contact instruments and the cache sample system. That might mean that the budget for new internal instruments may be limited.

One option may be to update Curiosity's instruments and also to refly some of the ExoMars rover instruments. I'd like to see MSL-2020 carry a copy of the ExoMars deep drill.


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elakdawalla
post Dec 8 2012, 05:36 AM
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On a visit to Honeybee Robotics last year I saw a pretty sweet sample acquisition and caching system. They had a coring drill with a really neat design that had a window they could use to inspect the sample before it was stored; their cache had a goodly number of slots for cores and soil samples.


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