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Nasa announces new rover mission to Mars in 2020
Explorer1
post Feb 14 2017, 08:54 PM
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2018 is the Insight launch; this rover is locked in for 2020. The only other mission on schedule for next year is Red Dragon (I'm assuming there have been no delays).
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Phil Stooke
post Feb 14 2017, 10:28 PM
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My understanding - second hand, I don't have a direct line to SpaceX - is that 2018 is "off the table" now for Red Dragon. Too much other stuff going on. That gives them more time to get some instruments or experiments added to it.



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PhilipTerryGraha...
post Feb 15 2017, 06:31 AM
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QUOTE (Julius @ Feb 13 2017, 07:12 PM) *
My main concern is the numerous sand dunes which could render the movement of the rover across the crater floor somewhat difficult up to the the delta river deposit.


Hrmmm... how would one compare the dunes near the delta to the ones traversed by Curiosity in Gale crater?


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vjkane
post Feb 16 2017, 08:55 PM
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Jezero Crater and NE Syrtis are only about 50 km apart. Does anyone know if there's been an analysis of whether in an a long extended mission, the rover could go from one to another?


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Explorer1
post Feb 16 2017, 10:01 PM
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Oppy got to 44 kilometres two weeks ago, so not impossible. RTGs would start to decay after a while though limiting power in a few solar panels are immune to...

Another issue is this is a sample return mission, and if caches are scattered all over, future missions would have to replicate the traverse. Or else using up all the tubes at one location, and just using the onboard remote sensing instruments at the other. Not exactly optimal!
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vjkane
post Feb 17 2017, 07:02 AM
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QUOTE (Explorer1 @ Feb 16 2017, 02:01 PM) *
Oppy got to 44 kilometres two weeks ago, so not impossible. RTGs would start to decay after a while though limiting power in a few solar panels are immune to...

Another issue is this is a sample return mission, and if caches are scattered all over, future missions would have to replicate the traverse. Or else using up all the tubes at one location, and just using the onboard remote sensing instruments at the other. Not exactly optimal!

I presume that if something like this happened, the prime mission including sample caching would be completed in the primary site before heading for any secondary sites.

There may also be many interesting sites between the two primary sites. I expect that neither of the teams proposing either of these sites will talk about extended missions, but will instead focus on the advantage of their preferred site. That said, the team proposing the Columbia Hills site is discussing extended mission possibilities. I believe that this may be because the diversity of science in the Columbia Hills is less than at the other sites.


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Roby72
post Mar 16 2017, 11:53 PM
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Mars 2020 rover still under strong support:

https://spaceflightnow.com/2017/03/16/trump...l-partnerships/

Robert
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MrNatural
post Apr 11 2017, 10:25 AM
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QUOTE (bobik @ Mar 1 2015, 09:43 AM) *
Seemingly, the sample-caching approach gradually develops into a farce (slides 15-19). huh.gif A whole set of EDL cameras promises spectacular views (slide 21). smile.gif

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Not a farce, but a complex and intriguing issue. The original motivation appears to be the Planetary Science Decadal Survey requirement for the next Mars mission to support the Mars Sample Return mission. Unfortunately the budget does not support the followup missions with the Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV) so we are left with a quandary.

There are two ways to support the MAV, one is to have 2020 do all the roving and bring the samples to the MAV and the other way is to land another rover in addition to the MAV to pick up the samples. This is where it get interesting; the first case is a lot cheaper but, the 2020 rover has to survive long enough to be able to get to the MAV. The second case, landing another rover with the MAV, is a lot more expensive but more likely to succeed; however I suspect that Planetary scientists would be loath to land a second rover in the same place unless the potential was truly exceptional. Then there is the issue of degradation of the samples; the longer it takes to get the MAV to the 2020 location, the less compelling the samples become. At some point one has to wonder if we are sending a MAV with a rover, we might as well have the rover drill fresh samples.
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JRehling
post Apr 12 2017, 06:10 PM
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There are indeed big determinations to be made on how to proceed, and it's unusual to have the execution begin before the planning has ended. But this seems quite viable… if the rocks sat on Mars for over a billion years, what's 10 or 20 more before we examine them on Earth? Is there some worry about forward contamination from the canister?

The return mechanisms are surely precious and need to be used as carefully as possible. If a rover does not manage to collect promising samples, it would be an extravagance to return those samples anyway.

I wonder if it would be possible for a return architecture to return samples from two locations with one return vehicle. If samples are returned to Mars orbit from two locations, the geometry would support the orbit being selected to overfly both locations. We could potentially have two orbiting sample canisters in almost the same orbit, allowing one return vehicle to collect both.

So I wonder about this architecture:

• Send rovers to promising locations, and cache the most promising samples at each.
• Continue this until at least two locations are deemed to have met the expectations of sufficient interest.
• Send surface-to-orbit missions to the two most promising locations (two of two, two of three, however it turns out) and send those samples into nearly identical locations in a very similar orbit. Perhaps even have them dock in Mars orbit.
• Launch the Earth-Mars orbit-Earth mission to retrieve those samples.

This minimizes risk by allowing for failures along the way, postponing future launches until the success of the preliminary missions is assured.
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Phil Stooke
post Apr 12 2017, 06:48 PM
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"At some point one has to wonder if we are sending a MAV with a rover, we might as well have the rover drill fresh samples."

The sample-collection rover and the 'fetch' rover would be very different - maybe nearly as different as MSL and MER. That is why the strategy makes sense.

Regarding multiple samples, that is why I favour caching samples on Phobos using an airbag-style landing system, and having them collected by the first human crew in an Apollo 10-style mission. Multiple samples could be collected, by multiple partners, over a decade or so, and all picked up at once.

https://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2014/pdf/1043.pdf

https://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2014/eposter/1043.pdf



Phil


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djellison
post Apr 12 2017, 10:25 PM
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So the Phobos caching thing......I see the attraction - but that costs a LOT of delta-V above just entering LMO, especially if you're not launching from an equatorial site..... and rendezvous with Phobos is probably trickier than just an LMO rendezvous . Just park all your samples in a sun sync polar orbit and picking them all up even with crew would be easier than having to rendezvous with and land on Phobos to collect them

(Just pitched Phobos cache as an idea to a JPL mission designer and traj analyst)
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hendric
post Apr 13 2017, 04:15 PM
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Yeah, the Oberth effect makes it more fuel efficient to do a departure burn or plane-change burn from a lower orbit. I guess the orbit would be a sunrise/sunset synchronous orbit? That would make it cheaper to depart vs a noon/midnight orbit.


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