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Mars Sample Return
Explorer1
post Dec 5 2018, 04:17 PM
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A press release from a Canadian company that has been selected for a 'Fetch Rover' by Airbus to pickup the 2020 samples:
https://mdacorporation.com/news/pr/pr2018120401.html
QUOTE
Brampton, ON - MDA, a Maxar Technologies company (NYSE: MAXR) (TSX: MAXR), announced today that it was selected by Airbus to provide a conceptual design of a rover mobility system and sample acquisition system planned to explore Mars and acquire samples that will be returned to Earth. The rover, a small vehicle approximately 1 metre wide by 1.5 metres long, will be capable of withstanding the harsh atmosphere of Mars and its challenging terrain. The ‘Sample Fetch Rover’ is planned to be part of the mission concepts the European Space Agency (ESA) is exploring with NASA for an international Mars Sample Return campaign between 2020 and 2030. The new contract is one of a number of innovative programs MDA’s space systems is supporting.


Also some details on a European orbiter to pick up the samples in orbit and return them to Earth.
QUOTE
ESA’s Earth Return Orbiter will be the third launch in this campaign to Mars and it is timed to capture the basketball-size sample container orbiting Mars. The spacecraft will then return to Earth, where it will release the entry capsule, allowing extensive analyses of the samples in laboratories with varied scientific equipment too large to take to Mars.


Obviously just a press release, so take it with a grain of salt, but a NASA/ESA partnership seems like the best way to split the costs.

Still almost no details on the MAV as we have been discussing in the thread. Any idea who would build it?
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mcaplinger
post Dec 6 2018, 01:32 AM
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QUOTE (Explorer1 @ Dec 5 2018, 08:17 AM) *
a NASA/ESA partnership seems like the best way to split the costs.

FWIW, I'm unconvinced that international cooperation ever saves money if a full cost accounting is done.


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Disclaimer: This post is based on public information only. Any opinions are my own.
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MahFL
post Dec 6 2018, 01:52 AM
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QUOTE (Explorer1 @ Dec 5 2018, 04:17 PM) *
...Obviously just a press release, so take it with a grain of salt, but a NASA/ESA partnership seems like the best way to split the costs.
...


I have never heard any talk of splitting costs from NASA HQ staff, eg the reason Insight has the instruments it has are because they were the best available to achieve the mission objectives, not to split any costs.
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Explorer1
post Dec 6 2018, 02:25 AM
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Well the whole point of the 2020 rover is lost if no one builds an ascent or Earth-return vehicle! If NASA doesn't get the funding for both of those in the 2020s, by definition it will be some other agency that needs to do it.
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vjkane
post Dec 6 2018, 02:19 PM
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QUOTE (Explorer1 @ Dec 5 2018, 08:17 AM) *
Obviously just a press release, so take it with a grain of salt, but a NASA/ESA partnership seems like the best way to split the costs.

NASA and ESA signed a statement of intent on April 26, 2018 to develop plans to jointly accomplish the sample return by splitting the development along clear system/subsystem lines. The SOI is based on direction in the FY19 budget submitted by NASA to plan for a sample return and on the 2016 direction by ESA's Ministerial Council to prepare for a joint sample mission. Both agencies have been doing technology development along the lines of the proposed split of responsibilities for a number of years. For example, the Canadians have been doing rover development for several years including building prototypes.

Here's the split of responsibilities from the SOI:

NASA: MSR lander including Mars ascent vehicle, sample capture and containment system for the return orbiter, Earth entry capsule

ESA: fetch rover, return orbiter, sample transfer arm for the MSR lander

Formal approval of this plan would come for NASA in the form a new start in a funding bill (and subsequent year funding); for ESA at the next Ministerial Council meeting (I'm not sure if this is in 2019 or 2020).

I've attached a copy of the SOI

Attached File(s)
Attached File  2018_04_26_NASA_ESA_SOI_Signed.pdf ( 753.79K ) Number of downloads: 24
 


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