Printable Version of Topic

Click here to view this topic in its original format

Unmanned Spaceflight.com _ Past and Future _ InSight mission

Posted by: Paolo Jan 7 2012, 08:29 PM

the GEMS Discovery finalist has been renamed InSight and now has its own website: http://insight.jpl.nasa.gov/

Posted by: Greg Hullender Jan 7 2012, 09:33 PM

I was going to say I was amazed that we've reached the point where a Mars lander can be attempted on a Discovery budget. Then I found out that Pathfinder did it too: http://www.marsnews.com/missions/pathfinder/ That got me to wondering how much progress we've made in 20 years. I note that InSight should weigh about 350 kg--almost exactly the same as Pathfinder did.

A side-by-side comparison is a little tough, since InSight is about studying the interior of Mars while Pathfinder was focused on the surface. Also, the info on Insight is a little sketchy (from what I could find). A lot of it's derived from Phoenix, so that's a start I guess.

--Greg

Posted by: vjkane Jan 8 2012, 12:26 AM

QUOTE (Greg Hullender @ Jan 7 2012, 01:33 PM) *
I was going to say I was amazed that we've reached the point where a Mars lander can be attempted on a Discovery budget.

Phoenix could fit into a Discovery budget only because the lander and instruments were mostly built. It turned out that the development team had to do a lot of testing and modification to the original design, but they had a solid starting place.

With the Phoenix lander a proven design, InSight can reuse it and hopefully fit within a Discovery budget.

Posted by: nprev Jan 8 2012, 01:47 AM

Hmm. I read through the site & the poster, and saw no mention at all of any sort of cameras.

Posted by: Greg Hullender Jan 8 2012, 01:50 AM

Oh I definitely love the idea of building new probes on proven platforms. I'm just wondering how much more advanced the instruments are now. I realize that's hard to quantify. Maybe just stats like GHz, megabytes, and bits-per-second would be enough. It just seemed that we're putting the same amount of mass on Mars as we did 20 years ago, but I'll bet we're getting 100x the data.

--Greg

Posted by: vjkane Jan 8 2012, 07:07 AM

QUOTE (nprev @ Jan 7 2012, 05:47 PM) *
I read through the site & the poster, and saw no mention at all of any sort of cameras.

I believe the only camera is on the arm that deploys two of the instruments. It might also be able to be used for a panorama, but its primary use is to examine the area within reach and to determine where to place the seismometer and heat probe. This is a stripped down mission carrying only the instruments essential to the geophysical questions.

If they were to do an added capability for outreach, my vote would be to carry the duplicate of the Sojourner rover (with new CCDs for the cameras).

Posted by: Fran Ontanaya Jan 8 2012, 03:12 PM

Is there a big difference between this mission and the canceled payload for the Exomars lander?

Posted by: djellison Jan 8 2012, 05:11 PM

QUOTE (vjkane @ Jan 7 2012, 11:07 PM) *
If they were to do an added capability for outreach, my vote would be to carry the duplicate of the Sojourner rover (with new CCDs for the cameras).


New CCD's means new backend electronics, new storage, new CPU, new radios.....basically, a new rover. It would cost a fortune. I adore Marie Curie - but bolting it onto InSight and deploying it 2001 style would be a bad idea. Moreover - without a stereo camera onboard InSight itself - you don't have the 3D terrain data on which to plan the driving.

Posted by: Phil Stooke Jan 8 2012, 05:32 PM

One additional point about cameras... it is essential to know the exact location of a lander - the interpretation of seismic and heat flow data will be very much tied in with knowing what it landed on. Phoenix was located with HiRISE images but we can't guarantee the availability of images with that resolution in 2016. So precise location will depend, at least as a back-up, on locating the lander with respect to horizon features. So some degree of ability to survey the site will be necessary to guarantee the quality of the science. For Phoenix, the RAC camera on the arm was not used as a site-mapping instrument (except underneath the lander), but it could have been, if necessary.

Phil


Posted by: vjkane Jan 8 2012, 06:08 PM

QUOTE (djellison @ Jan 8 2012, 09:11 AM) *
I adore Marie Curie - but bolting it onto InSight and deploying it 2001 style would be a bad idea.

And there would be the cost of requalifying now 'ancient' parts for flight for which spares may be hard to find. So I mentioned it as a what if day dream, not as a realistic proposal.

Also, I've heard that the goal is to put the lander down in flat, boring landscape to ensure a safe landing, so there is likely to be relatively little to see or for a small rover to poke around in. Still, it would have been nice for Marie Curie to eventually make it to Mars.

As for the question of how InSight compares to the cancelled ExoMars geophysical station, a quick search on Google didn't bring up the latter's instrument list. However, as I remember, it was fairly extensive, more so than InSight. InSight is a tightly focused proposal that does less than most proposals for Mars geophysical stations/networks. That focus gives probably gives it a better shot at flying than previous proposals, none of which flew.

Posted by: vjkane Jan 8 2012, 06:34 PM

QUOTE (Phil Stooke @ Jan 8 2012, 09:32 AM) *
One additional point about cameras... it is essential to know the exact location of a lander - the interpretation of seismic and heat flow data will be very much tied in with knowing what it landed on.

I haven't seen this discussed, but they may have a descent camera to meet this need. Phoenix carried a descent camera that wasn't used because, if memory serves me correctly, software issues discovered in flight. The InSight mission could make the necessary changes.

Posted by: Greg Hullender Jan 8 2012, 06:59 PM

Here's a completely different question: to get earthquake locations, don't you need three, separated seismic stations? Without location, you don't really have magnitude, do you? What will InSight be able to tell us?

--Greg

Posted by: djellison Jan 8 2012, 07:03 PM

You don't need a descent imager to exactly locate a spacecraft on the surface of Mars. We have HiRISE for that.

Posted by: Phil Stooke Jan 8 2012, 07:23 PM

But we may not have it in 2016. Almost certainly it will land in an area of HiRISE coverage, but surface images may still be needed, as a backup if there is no working HiRISE, to match the site with the orbital images. Without images the best we can expect to locate it would be within 1 or 2 km, but it's still useful to know if you are on a small crater's ejecta deposit, or on one side or the other of a terrain boundary or sediment deposit.

I wondered about a descent camera as well. That would be useful, indeed. I seem to recall the problem last time was about moving the descent camera data into the spacecraft computer during a critical time. Hopefully the next descent camera will have its own memory to make that data transfer unnecessary.

Phil

Posted by: Drkskywxlt Jan 8 2012, 07:34 PM

QUOTE (Greg Hullender @ Jan 8 2012, 01:59 PM) *
Here's a completely different question: to get earthquake locations, don't you need three, separated seismic stations? Without location, you don't really have magnitude, do you? What will InSight be able to tell us?

--Greg


All of the previous Mars network mission concepts, which are focused on interior structure as well, rely on multiple stations so they can triangulate locations in the interior and get a better 3-D picture of the structure. From what I've been told and heard at conferences, InSight will STRONGLY rely on modeling to validate it's measurements. InSight seems to have the inside track as the low-risk option of the 3 finalists, but they need to make the case that their results will be robust when they're depending on modeling to interpret their signal.

Posted by: hendric Jan 9 2012, 07:40 PM

I think they're some work you can do with direct vs reflected signals to determine distance and range. Also, P and S waves travel at different velocities, assuming their seismograph is sensitive enough, they could roughly determine distance that way. This would, however, not let them determine depth of the hypocenter, unless there's some other aspect they can model.

It really is a shame this will probably be a one-off. Too bad a pair of DS2 seismographs couldn't be dropped off the deck as is falls, even if they land just a few km away they could help with triangulation.

#include <doug_rant_on_tradeoffs.h>


Posted by: ElkGroveDan Jan 9 2012, 08:50 PM

QUOTE (Greg Hullender @ Jan 8 2012, 10:59 AM) *
Without location, you don't really have magnitude, do you?

Actually you do. Because earthquakes generate three distinct types of waves that travel at different rates a lone seismometer can be used to calculate absolute distance to the focus (or center) of the event and magnitude as well. The only problem is direction. However if you have TWO sufficiently sensitive devices you can calculate the location by first identifying the two intersecting nodes, and then using secondary reflected events to isolate one of the two nodes as the event location. In fact the Viking landers had seismometers for this very purpose, however one of them malfunctioned (forget which right now).

Posted by: stewjack Jan 9 2012, 09:25 PM

Warning I am not a geologist.

My impression, when I read a short explanation of the mission, was that they were only trying to measure the planets seismic energy. You don't need direction and maybe not even distance for that. Mars doesn't have plate tectonics, as far as I have heard, and I guess the level of seismic energy will say something about the planets core.

Jack

Posted by: antipode Jan 10 2012, 02:44 AM

QUOTE
Too bad a pair of DS2 seismographs couldn't be dropped off the deck as is falls


Exactly what I was thinking! Its too bad that penetrator technology seems to have gone nowhere since then, and Im not just talking about for Mars.

Still, here we all are musing about bolting stuff onto a Discovery class proposal, stuff that wouldnt make it a Discovery class proposal any more. That cap is why I love TiME so much, assuming they CAN actually fly the thing under the cap...

P

Posted by: PaulM Jan 10 2012, 03:34 PM

I assume that there is a mission assumption is that the solar panels will continue to suppy power for much more than 90 days. I understand that the Pathfinder lander only lasted 90 days because of a complete lack of cleaning winds. The question that I want to ask is how common are cleaning winds on Mars? Perhaps the only safe landing site for the InSight mission is the Opportunity landing elipse? At least there cleaning winds are guaranteed.

I also wonder how much of its potential payload mass this mission is using? Would it really cost anything for the odd Phoenix instrument to be reflown? I would like to see Lidar reflown to a landing site where it could operate for longer than a very limited 150 days.

Obviously the most important missing instrument is a camera to scan the horizon. Would a pair of black and white Navcams cost much to fly? I guess that Navcams are two a penny given the number of spare Navcams that are flying on MSL.

Posted by: Drkskywxlt Jan 10 2012, 03:42 PM

I'm guessing the mission is more cost-limited than mass-limited. To fit the Discovery cost cap, they can't fly any more instruments. Even if an instrument was donated by a foreign agency or NASA wanted to fly a camera for purely PR purposes, there are mission financial costs associated with that that could be counted against InSight's cost cap.

Posted by: djellison Jan 10 2012, 03:42 PM

QUOTE (PaulM @ Jan 10 2012, 07:34 AM) *
. I understand that the Pathfinder lander only lasted 90 days because of a complete lack of cleaning winds.


No- the battery died. It was a silver-zinc battery, and couldn't withstand the manifold charging cycles that more recent technologies can.
Estimate were between 30 and 100 recharges would be the end of it. It lasted 83 sols (not 90)
Thereafter, the lander couldn't keep itself warm at night, and presumed failures of other components quickly followed.

The Level 1 requirement was a month.

Posted by: Phil Stooke Mar 23 2012, 01:06 PM

A few new details about the mission, from Bruce Banerdt at LPSC.

The spacecraft carries a MER hazcam (maybe 2) fixed on the body to give an overview of the instrument deployment area, and a MER navcam (or a pair, more likely) on the arm elbow area for detailed instrument deployment coverage. After instrument deployment, but during the first 60 days, they will use the navcam(s) to do a full panorama and other things like change detection (which might include clouds, dust devils etc.) . Then they go to reduced operations for the rest of the mission, only monitoring the instruments.

Phil


Posted by: vikingmars Mar 28 2012, 11:03 AM

QUOTE (PaulM @ Jan 10 2012, 04:34 PM) *
I understand that the Pathfinder lander only lasted 90 days because of a complete lack of cleaning winds.

Well. No : mainly because of a main battery failure which changed the time set on the onboard clock... No more energy storage + no more onboard time = no more tasks doable in a proper order = end of telecoms = end of mission !

Posted by: MERovingian Aug 20 2012, 07:01 PM

Happy Day!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/nasa-will-send-robot-drill-to-mars-in-2016/2012/08/20/43bf1980-eaef-11e1-9ddc-340d5efb1e9c_story.html


Bravo JPL! cool.gif

Posted by: Hungry4info Aug 20 2012, 07:18 PM

Awesome! Mars! I can't remember the last time we landed there!

Posted by: Phil Stooke Aug 20 2012, 07:55 PM

Good one, Hungry! I would have liked any of them but I'm especially interested in this one.

Phil

Posted by: Paolo Aug 20 2012, 08:41 PM

press release http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2012/aug/HQ_12-288-New_Discovery_Mars_Mission.html

Posted by: Paolo Aug 20 2012, 09:24 PM

interesting... the German heat probe "mole" will be based on Beagle 2's PLUTO mole
http://www.dlr.de/irs/en/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-5960/10970_read-25032/

Posted by: djellison Aug 20 2012, 09:26 PM

That's cool - PLUTO was an awesome and cunning little piece of kit.

Posted by: SFJCody Aug 21 2012, 05:25 AM

Does seem like a shame that only one copy of this spacecraft will fit into the Discovery cost envelope. A seismometer network would provide some very interesting data.

Posted by: Toma B Aug 21 2012, 07:37 AM

From Bruce Betts blog on PS...

QUOTE
The lander will have black and white cameras on the robotic arm, one similar to the Navcam on the Mars Exploration Rovers and one similar to their Hazcams. They will be used for context and directing the placement of the seismic and heat flow instruments.


Yeah...those would be some exciting images to show to the press on their first and only press conference. How do they mean to keep the public interest, if the can't snap at least one 360 degrees, Full Color Hi-resolution panorama of landing site.
Maybe this is not final spacecraft design yet? Maybe there is some place for http://www.msss.com/all_projects/msl-mastcam.php or that Planetary Society's Mars Microphone.

and BTW. Is there a word about where it should be landing?

Posted by: monty python Aug 21 2012, 08:05 AM


and BTW. Is there a word about where it should be landing?
[/quote]

This is a good question. Do you aim at an average safe area of mars, or go for tharsis looking for heat from the interior and quakes?

Posted by: Gsnorgathon Aug 21 2012, 08:11 AM

Given the high elevation at Tharsis, I'd guess you don't go there, especially if you're using Phoenix heritage equipment. That's what the illustration suggests.

Posted by: Explorer1 Aug 21 2012, 08:23 AM

Maybe Elysium instead? Oh, what I'd give to finally see a martian volcano from the surface, no matter how distant....

And yes, a color camera should get some serious consideration. I mean Phoenix had one, so why downgrade?

Posted by: antipode Aug 21 2012, 10:09 AM

I was thinking Elysium as well, but Elysium PLANITIA ph34r.gif

I think they are going to go for a nice flat and featureless site (sight?).

They are taking a Phoenix weather package with them I believe, including that telltale that was sich a cute feature of that mission.

P

Posted by: MahFL Aug 21 2012, 10:37 AM

Forget pretty pics, the science is literally underground.

QUOTE (antipode @ Aug 21 2012, 10:09 AM) *
They are taking a Phoenix weather package with them I believe, including that telltale that was sich a cute feature of that mission.

P

You sure about that, no mention of that on the website.

Posted by: Drkskywxlt Aug 21 2012, 10:56 AM

QUOTE (antipode @ Aug 21 2012, 06:09 AM) *
They are taking a Phoenix weather package with them I believe,


Don't think so.

Posted by: gndonald Aug 21 2012, 10:57 AM

QUOTE (SFJCody @ Aug 21 2012, 01:25 PM) *
Does seem like a shame that only one copy of this spacecraft will fit into the Discovery cost envelope. A seismometer network would provide some very interesting data.


I agree, three landings would give them the chance to use earthquakes & impacts to probe the interior of Mars in the same way Apollo allowed us to determine what was underneath the surface of the Moon.

As to the suggestion that they fit something like the weather mast used on Phoenix, they'd also need a camera to monitor it.

Posted by: MahFL Aug 21 2012, 11:34 AM

QUOTE (gndonald @ Aug 21 2012, 11:57 AM) *
I agree, three landings would give them the chance to use earthquakes & impacts to probe the interior of Mars in the same way Apollo allowed us to determine what was underneath the surface of the Moon.

As to the suggestion that they fit something like the weather mast used on Phoenix, they'd also need a camera to monitor it.


New techniques don't require 3 landers, they can do the science with one, thats why they have been given the go ahead for the mission.

Posted by: cIclops Aug 21 2012, 11:35 AM

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2012-252

http://insight.jpl.nasa.gov/

Launch March 8 - March 27, 2016

Seismic package, 5m deep drill, and two cameras!

Posted by: pospa Aug 21 2012, 11:55 AM

QUOTE (cIclops @ Aug 21 2012, 01:35 PM) *
Seismic package, 5m deep drill, and two cameras!

Just a little note: HP3 instrument doesn't have a drill, but so-called electromechanical mole which penetrates through the soil via hammering mechanism.
For more see http://www.dlr.de/irs/en/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-5960/10970_read-25032/

Posted by: centsworth_II Aug 21 2012, 12:19 PM

I don't know if there are other candidates.


http://www.uahirise.org/hiwish/view/69980

Posted by: Phil Stooke Aug 21 2012, 03:00 PM

There was a poster on the landing site at LPSC in March. I spoke to Bruce about it at the time.

The site has to be low elevation for EDL and near the equator for good solar power throughout the mission. Matt Golombek and colleagues identified suitable areas in Valles Marineris, the southern Chryse channel areas (well south of Chryse itself), Isidis and Elysium Planitia. Only the last area worked well for their needs, especially latitude. They identified about a dozen ellipses and chose one at the centre of the area as a starting point for the proposal. Now they will do a detailed analysis with HiRISE to pick the best one. One drawback - it's not far from Gale and may have some communication overlap issues (Gale itself was chosen partly to avoid that overlap with Opportunity, as all other MSL sites were near Opportunity's longitude). But that can be dealt with.

And about cameras - I think they plan to use off the shelf spares of MER Hazcam and Navcam to save money. So changes are out unless you fancy doing a Kickstarter for them. And the cameras are only needed for characterization and documentation for instrument deployment - nice flat area for the seismometer and a suitable spot for the drill. After that they will collect a full panorama for outreach and site context, but then (after about 60 days) they are shut off to save money - allowing a smaller team to simply monitor the other data rather than construct data collection sequences all the time. Everything is going to be about keeping costs down.


Phil

Posted by: Drkskywxlt Aug 21 2012, 03:11 PM

QUOTE (cIclops @ Aug 21 2012, 06:35 AM) *
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2012-252


I've seen similar comments swirling around (even by the NASA Administrator), but this is a Discovery mission, NOT part of NASA's separate Mars program. NASA's planetary science division is currently broken down in the following budgetary and organizational lines: Lunar Quest, Mars, Discovery, New Frontiers, Outer Planets, Technology, Research.

Posted by: JRehling Aug 21 2012, 09:07 PM

Mars Geophysical network options with anywhere from 1 to 4 stations have been studied. This passage seems to say it all:

"Although a network of four or more stations would be ideal, fewer stations could still provide much of the necessary information for addressing the science objectives described above. There are many analysis techniques that have been developed for seismology, particularly in the last decade that could extract interior information from seismic measurements at fewer stations, or even a single station. One seismic station could use techniques such as P-S/back-azimuth tracing to provide locations, multiple phase arrivals (P, S, PmP, PcP, PKP, etc.) to derive interior velocities and boundary depths, receiver function and surface wave analysis to delineate crust and upper mantle structure, and Phobos tide measurements and possibly normal mode observations to constrain core size and state. Two stations constitute a substantial improvement in capability, providing correlation capacity for unambiguous identification of seismic events, an improved ability to compute surface wave phase velocity, and noise correlation techniques that can provide planetary structure from background noise analysis while strengthening the interpretation of the single-station techniques described above. A three-station network has the additional advantage that it could provide event locations using conventional P-wave arrival techniques combined with a limited set of a priori assumptions.

For this study a two-station network of seismometers is considered the minimum network size to address the baseline science of MGN for a New Frontiers class mission. However, single station missions were also investigated, as they would provide science value commensurate with Discovery class missions."

Source: http://ia700504.us.archive.org/26/items/MarsGeophysicalNetworkOptions/11_Mars-Network-Options-Final.pdf

Posted by: vjkane Aug 21 2012, 11:31 PM

A http://www.universetoday.com/93843/nasas-proposed-insight-lander-would-peer-to-the-center-of-mars-in-2016/#ixzz24E6KTJ6U stated that the landing site will be in Elysium Planitia: “Our planned landing site is in Elysium Planitia,” Banerdt told me. “It was chosen for optimizing engineering safety margins for landing and power.”

In emails with Banerdt, he told me that the lander will carry some meteorology instruments to characterize the effect of wind and temperature on the seismic instrument.

Posted by: Drkskywxlt Aug 21 2012, 11:45 PM

QUOTE (vjkane @ Aug 21 2012, 07:31 PM) *
In emails with Banerdt, he told me that the lander will carry some meteorology instruments to characterize the effect of wind and temperature on the seismic instrument.


Thanks for confirming that. That met data is basically engineering data aka "noise". But, hopefully it can be useful scientifically as well.

Posted by: NickF Aug 22 2012, 02:38 AM

I suppose that (re)flying the Planetary Society's Mars mike is out of the question?

Posted by: briv1016 Aug 22 2012, 06:46 AM

Any word on a launch vehicle? An Atlas V seems kind of overkill.

Posted by: climber Aug 22 2012, 06:52 AM

QUOTE (NickF @ Aug 22 2012, 04:38 AM) *
I suppose that (re)flying the Planetary Society's Mars mike is out of the question?

May be not: http://www.planetary.org/blogs/bill-nye/were-going-back-to-mars-in-2016.html
Read last Bill Nye sentence
smile.gif

Posted by: Paolo Aug 22 2012, 07:33 AM

cool video on the German heat probe
http://www.dlr.de/dlr/en/Portaldata/1/Resources/videos/2012/hp3_640x320.mp4

Posted by: Mongo Aug 22 2012, 04:32 PM

QUOTE (briv1016 @ Aug 22 2012, 07:46 AM) *
Any word on a launch vehicle? An Atlas V seems kind of overkill.

It occurs to me that the Falcon 9 has a TMI mass capability of approximately 2,500 kg. Given the Mars InSight lander mass of 350 kg (and maybe double that amount for the cruse stage plus EDL hardware plus lander), you could launch 3 Mars InSight spacecraft to Mars for $50 million. How much extra would it cost to produce two extra flight-ready copies of the InSight spacecraft? (Remember that you just saved $50 million in launch costs over a Delta IV.)

I am sure that it would cost more than $50 million to manufacture and test two extra copies, but it still sounds like a bargain to me. I imagine that the total cost would still exceed the Discovery cost cap, though.

But even if you only send one copy, you would still have an extra $50 million saved by moving from Delta IV to Falcon 9, which could be used to upgrade the spacecraft.

Posted by: SFJCody Aug 22 2012, 11:42 PM

QUOTE (Mongo @ Aug 23 2012, 02:32 AM) *
It occurs to me that the Falcon 9 has a TMI mass capability of approximately 2,500 kg. Given the Mars InSight lander mass of 350 kg (and maybe double that amount for the cruse stage plus EDL hardware plus lander), you could launch 3 Mars InSight spacecraft to Mars for $50 million.


Or one copy of InSight... and a really big lump of copper to thwack Mars with. blink.gif

Posted by: dvandorn Aug 23 2012, 12:51 AM

Remember too, if you start saying "Hey, with a bigger booster we can add..." and go down that road, then you're getting into unproven EDL realms, you have to re-do your parachute, your landing strategies, etc., etc.

And then your proven, lowest-risk bid of "We already know the Phoenix architecture works, so we'll just duplicate it" becomes something entirely different.

I hear they are still building Delta II's...

-the other Doug

Posted by: climber Aug 23 2012, 08:25 AM

Yep, I guess that the TPS microphone would be the only extra they could afford since it was already on MPL i.e. Phoenix concept... and this will not require a rocket change laugh.gif

Posted by: briv1016 Aug 23 2012, 08:53 AM

Taking another look at the animation video it appears that like Phoenix, InSight will not have a high gain antenna and will be completely reliant on orbiter relay for telecommunications. It has already been mentioned up thread that we shouldn't rely on MRO for landing location identification, should we really rely on it for data?

Posted by: centsworth_II Aug 23 2012, 12:50 PM

QUOTE (briv1016 @ Aug 23 2012, 03:53 AM) *
...It has already been mentioned up thread that we shouldn't rely on MRO for landing location identification, should we really rely on it for data?

The only reason not to rely on MRO for locating the lander is the possibility that MRO may no longer be functioning. In the (likely) event that MRO is still functioning, of course we can expect it to image InSight on the surface.

Posted by: stevesliva Aug 23 2012, 09:21 PM

QUOTE (briv1016 @ Aug 23 2012, 03:53 AM) *
Taking another look at the animation video it appears that like Phoenix, InSight will not have a high gain antenna and will be completely reliant on orbiter relay for telecommunications. It has already been mentioned up thread that we shouldn't rely on MRO for landing location identification, should we really rely on it for data?


MAVEN will have a data relay capability as well.

Posted by: antipode Aug 24 2012, 08:35 AM

QUOTE
Any word on a launch vehicle? An Atlas V seems kind of overkill.


NASA just bought 3 Delta II launches after most people though it was all over for that vehicle.
I believe there are still 2 left, so I guess its possible that InSight might find a ride on a DII.


Posted by: SFJCody Aug 25 2012, 05:02 AM

Following on from the earlier active seismic experiment suggestion, would the following idea have any merit whatsoever?


By the time InSight has landed on Mars the Falcon Heavy should have started operations. Falcon Heavy has a TMI capability of approx 17 tonnes
(mininum energy). Let's say that you want something better than minimum energy (as the aim is to maximize the velocity with which the impactor spacecraft intercepts Mars) and restrict the spacecraft to a mere 10 tonnes. Maybe a shorter direct flight would be best to set this up, maybe something more intricate involving multiple Venus & Earth 'gravity assists' would be preferable. Anyway, the capability exists, what about the spacecraft? I suppose it must be the opposite of most EDL designs. By this I mean that the aim is not to safely decelerate your vehicle but to smash into the ground with as much of the velocity you entered the atmosphere with as possible. Rather than a wide gumdrop shape you would want a sleek aerodynamic cylindrical shape like a rocket. You would want to enter the atmosphere perpendicular to the surface of the planet. You would favour high altitude regions over low altitude ones. Lastly, you would want a vehicle that is as dense as can be achieved. I suggest making the impactor out of depleted uranium because it's much cheaper than tungsten. So, a ten tonne metal cylinder hitting the surface of Mars at tens of km/s. Should make a nice bang!

For a twofer, the spacecraft could be targeted to mid-latitude areas suspected of having ice within metres of the surface and the resultant impact crater could be examined by HiRISE.

Posted by: nprev Aug 25 2012, 05:17 AM

Couple things here to keep in mind:

1. F9 Heavy hasn't even flown yet.

2. F9 non-heavy hasn't been contracted to fly any NASA UMSF missions at all to date.

3. Anything intentionally landing or impacting on Mars has to comply with PPP (planetary protection protocols). Sterilizing an upper booster stage to this degree in probably not at all practical.

Not trying to rain on the parade, just think that we should confine this discussion to what InSight is really going to be capable of doing.

Posted by: SFJCody Aug 25 2012, 05:27 AM

QUOTE (nprev @ Aug 25 2012, 03:17 PM) *
Not trying to rain on the parade, just think that we should confine this discussion to what InSight is really going to be capable of doing.

Of course. Just speculating a little. Wasn't trying to derail the main conversation.

Posted by: djellison Aug 25 2012, 05:59 AM

We already know from the fresh craters found by CTX et.al. that we don't have to wait long for mother nature to do exactly that anyway.

Posted by: climber Aug 27 2012, 01:59 PM

There is something confusing to me. On January 17th 2007 (as I've said in another topic) I ran into (MER and) MSL EDL team in LAX. I spoke with Miguel San Martin as follows:
- So, how everything’s going?
- Well, we’re working on the next one (he sew through my eyes that I was not sure of which next one he was talking about)
- That’s MSL.
This was 7 months before Phoenix Launched and 16 months before it landed on Mars. So I assumed at this time that this team (Adam Steltzner’s) was NOT in charge of Phoenix EDL.
Now my understanding is that, after Curiosity landing, this very team has no longer any work…but this information came before InSight selection... but the above conversation make me think they are not involved.
So my basic question is: does somebody know who’s in charge of InSight EDL?

Posted by: JRehling Aug 28 2012, 04:44 AM

There are a lot of issues on the deliberate-thump and impact sounding of Mars.

Impacts are part of the plan (not like we could do anything to stop them!) and one mission objective is to determine the impactor flux at Mars. Of course, many impacts are filtered out by the atmosphere. Perhaps nearby impacts that don't reach the ground will be detected (that kinetic energy goes somewhere).

Deliberate-thump is not part of the plan. One issue is that the landed hardware has to be set up in time for the thump, and previous landers' moving parts usually haven't gotten moving in the minutes after landing. So there'd be a bit of complexity in getting the thumper to arrive where you want it but after a delay, OR force the seismometer to be deployed very rapidly (which is subject to error; Spirit and Phoenix both had hiccoughs).

Note that Phobos tides will be another form of known stress. These will be much weaker than lunar tides on Earth, but they expect to detect them. Tidal stress is generally reckoned to follow the inverse cube of distance, and Phobos is very close to Mars. However, the equations I've seen may have been derived assuming distance >> planetary radius, which is not the case for Phobos and Mars. In any event, the tides are non-negligible.

Posted by: tolis Aug 28 2012, 09:11 AM

Hi All,

On the subject of Phobos tides, one factor that should promote their detectability is that
they occur at a precisely known frequency (since the location of the source - Phobos -
as a function of time and the period of its orbit is known). If one then stacks up the data
over time at the same frequency, the signal would eventually rise out of the noise.

Of course, "eventually" may be a month, a year or longer.

Tolis.

Posted by: JRehling Aug 29 2012, 11:35 PM

Here's a piece about the seismometer which will fly on InSight. Given the >4 decade interval, it may not be surprising that it is more sensitive than the lunar seismometers in the ALSEPs. The Viking seismometer was less sensitive than the ALSEPs, as Viking had much more severe mass limits than Apollo.

http://www.kit.edu/visit/pi_2012_11447.php

I suppose that any metrics of the equipment also depend on the planet. How well the local regolith allows the seismometer to couple, and how well the planet propagates waves are factors beyond our control. Also, winds will blow against InSight, which was no concern on the Moon.

Posted by: Paolo Aug 30 2012, 05:20 AM

a few (small) pics of the seismometer on the blog of the French team that is developing it
http://ganymede.ipgp.jussieu.fr/gsp-blog/
scroll down to the 1 June (1 juin) entry

Posted by: Yooper Sep 5 2012, 01:52 PM

Hi!

Does anyone have a link to the August 20 phone conference when InSight was announced?

Thanks!

Posted by: arachnitect Sep 8 2012, 04:01 PM

QUOTE (Yooper @ Sep 5 2012, 08:52 AM) *
Hi!

Does anyone have a link to the August 20 phone conference when InSight was announced?

Thanks!


NASA does not, apparently, maintain a public archive of media teleconferences. Thankfully, there appears to be an MP3 here:

http://spaceref.com/podcasts/spacetalk.xml

Posted by: rlorenz Sep 9 2012, 05:25 PM

QUOTE (Drkskywxlt @ Aug 21 2012, 06:45 PM) *
Thanks for confirming that. That met data is basically engineering data aka "noise". But, hopefully it can be useful scientifically as well.




Even with the seismometer sitting on the ground with a wind shield, wind will couple some energy into the ground as it pushes on the lander. Additionally, ground deformations occur as pressure systems migrate across the surface. So ancillary meteorology data is vital to make sense of the seismic measurements (as well as being of interest in its own right). For a review of these issues (and if you want to know the ground motions produced by a Leopard 1 main battle tank...) see http://www.lpl.arizona.edu/~rlorenz/seismology.pdf

Posted by: Yooper Sep 9 2012, 10:00 PM

QUOTE (arachnitect @ Sep 8 2012, 11:01 AM) *
NASA does not, apparently, maintain a public archive of media teleconferences. Thankfully, there appears to be an MP3 here:

http://spaceref.com/podcasts/spacetalk.xml


I'm listening to it now...THANKS a bunch!
Greg.

Posted by: Yooper Sep 14 2012, 04:34 PM

Hello – two layperson questions about InSight’s seismometer:

One, will the instrument be able to collect data at night? Or, will the craft’s power budget rule that out?

Two, can someone offer a sense of how sensitive will the seismometer be? How small a Marsquake could it measure (could that measurement be expressed in the Richer scale?)?

Thanks!


Posted by: JRehling Sep 14 2012, 07:54 PM

QUOTE (Yooper @ Sep 14 2012, 09:34 AM) *
how sensitive will the seismometer be?


This depends quite a bit on Mars itself, both the planet overall, the regolith where the seismometer is emplaced, and how close to the landing site any events happen to be.

The seismometer stories from ALSEP are interesting as a possible comparison. Here, it's written up in quite an accessible form:

http://www.honeysucklecreek.net/msfn_missions/ALSEP/hl_alsep.html

The performance of a seismometer is multidimensional: One measures the frequency range, dynamic range, and sensitivity.

Here's some information about InSight's seismometer:

http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2012/pdf/1983.pdf

An interesting point there is that they hope to detect impact events with the seismometer, then use orbiters to subsequently identify the precise impact location. That's a very powerful combination if that works.

Posted by: rlorenz Sep 14 2012, 10:35 PM

QUOTE (Yooper @ Sep 14 2012, 12:34 PM) *
Two, can someone offer a sense of how sensitive will the seismometer be? How small a Marsquake could it measure (could that measurement be expressed in the Richer scale?)?


There is a graph and equation of ground motion vs distance for events of different magnitude in my paper above.... (it took me a long time to find that information succinctly expressed..) So given the sensitivity in nm or nm/s or nm/s2 (depending on whether it it displacement or velocity or acceleration that the instrument measures) you can figure out how large an event is detectable at a given distance. Of course with Viking it wasnt instrument sensitivity that was the limiting factor most of the time, but the wind noise background. That was actually pretty low at night, though.

There was one possible Magnitude 3.5 event detected in the Viking data (if that's what it was, it was a couple of hundred km away), although there were not contemporaneous meteorological measurements so a wind gust or dust devil or similar event cannot be excluded. (and of course since the VL-1 seismometer didnt uncage, the event couldnt be confirmed by an independent detection which presumably would not have a wind gust at just the same time - in fact the lack of 2 or more stations was considered the major deficiency of the Viking investigation)

Posted by: Yooper Sep 21 2012, 10:40 AM

Thanks! BTW, in a odd twist of timing, I just finished "Titan Unveiled" this morning! A very enjoyable read, and very cool timing with your reply!

Posted by: Explorer1 Apr 1 2013, 06:25 AM

Apparently the general region for landing has been narrowed down, Elysium Planitia, though the 16 candidate sites need to be narrowed down
according to the PI.

http://spaceflightnow.com/news/n1303/30insight

Hopefully whichever has a volcano on the horizon is the one, for those of us who like topography wink.gif

Edit: should've searched the previous pages. I thought the article was more than just a rehash, sorry for the bump.

Posted by: Explorer1 Sep 4 2013, 08:53 PM

From 16 down to 4. More detail on the exact requirements.

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2013-269

Posted by: Phil Stooke Sep 4 2013, 09:17 PM

Unfortunately they don't mention which four ellipses have been chosen. For more information you might like to look at this presentation (penultimate slide) from the recent MEPAG virtual meeting:

http://mepag.jpl.nasa.gov/meeting/jul-13/files/Banerdt%202013-0732%20MEPAG.pdf

(rest of the meeting is here):

http://mepag.jpl.nasa.gov/meeting/jul-13/index.html


Phil


Posted by: MahFL Sep 5 2013, 11:58 AM

Why does the JPL article use "yards" ?

Posted by: Phil Stooke Sep 5 2013, 01:16 PM

Because they are written for Americans. The original text probably said 'meters' and it was translated into the nearest non-metric equivalent. Usually they add a metric equivalent as well, as they did for ellipse sizes.

Phil

Posted by: SFJCody Sep 5 2013, 03:02 PM

I expect competition between UMSF regulars to see who can produce the best colourization of the imagery! :-)

Posted by: Explorer1 Dec 20 2013, 09:11 AM

Launch vehicle + site chosen: An Atlas 5 from Vandenburg! Apparently going to be the first California launch to Mars...

http://spaceflightnow.com/news/n1312/19insight

Posted by: Paolo Dec 20 2013, 09:26 AM

a Vandenberg launch was also initially planned for the Mars Surveyor Orbiter 2001 (later renamed Mars Odyssey). it had something to do with the required high inclination of the parking orbit. IIRC Mars Odyssey passed over the UK after launch and the third stage fired over Italy (45 North).
Insight is launching 15 years after that, and the relative positions of Earth and Mars repeat every 15-17 years (for example "great oppositions" in 1971, 1988, 2003 and 2018), so I think that the reason for the Vandenberg launch is the same.

Posted by: Greenish Dec 20 2013, 06:27 PM

I know there are others who know the orbital mechanics far better, and I'm sure this is documented elsewhere on the web, but I was curious. So I used the tools from http://www.cdeagle.com/html/interplanet.html to create some porkchop plots centered on the nominal departure/arrival dates for InSight. Sure enough, there is a high declination (DLA of ~45 deg) for the departure.


Posted by: Paolo Dec 30 2013, 09:01 PM

the French space agency CNES has just published this cool video (mostly in French) on their seismometer for InSight
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3IOKszmnyo

Posted by: machi May 17 2014, 05:23 PM

It looks that InSight is now planned with color camera on the arm!
Source (page 9): http://mepag.jpl.nasa.gov/meeting/2014-05/17_Golombek%20MEPAG%20InSight.pdf

Posted by: mcaplinger May 17 2014, 05:30 PM

QUOTE (machi @ May 17 2014, 10:23 AM) *
It looks that InSight is now planned with color camera on the arm!

"If this program is successful and on time" is well short of "planned".

Posted by: machi May 17 2014, 05:41 PM

Yes, that's more accurate but isn't "If this program is successful and on time" true for every planned mission after all? smile.gif

EDIT: BTW, Thanks for correction. I wrote this news in hurry, because I was too excited about this.
I hope that they will be successful with this "plan".

Posted by: mcaplinger May 17 2014, 07:22 PM

QUOTE (machi @ May 17 2014, 10:41 AM) *
isn't "If this program is successful and on time" true for every planned mission after all? smile.gif

True, but usually if they explicitly say this, it's code for "probably won't happen."

Posted by: Blue Sky Jul 10 2014, 12:06 AM

InSight appears to be focussed on deep structures and the core. All the other landers look down only a few centimeters.

Is anything in planning to examine the top few tens of meters, perhaps by ground penetrating radar? I am not so interested in how Mars got the way it is, but in locating good spots for human development. For example, empty lava tubes or accessible aquifers.

Posted by: Phil Stooke Jul 10 2014, 12:08 AM

For that you really want a mobile vehicle, not a static lander. So not on Insight, but I think GPR has been considered for future missions. One day we'll probably see it.

Phil

Posted by: James Sorenson Jul 10 2014, 04:10 AM

The ExoMars rover will have a GPR called WISDOM. Although DAN on Curiosity isn't a GPR, AFAIK it kind of acts like one, exploring the water content in hydrated minerals as well as observing it in the liquid or ice states to a depth of a few feet as the rover drives.

Posted by: B Bernatchez Nov 18 2014, 04:58 PM

InSight mission enters ATLO phase: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=4377

Posted by: Astro0 Mar 5 2015, 02:12 AM

Landing site evaluation and spacecraft development... update

http://www.nasa.gov/jpl/insight/single-site-on-mars-advanced-for-2016-nasa-lander/#.VPe6TbEWK_Q



Posted by: Paolo Apr 3 2015, 09:48 AM

the French space agency has delivered the qualification model of its seismometer to JPL (in French) http://www.cnes.fr/web/CNES-fr/6115-communiques-de-presse.php?item=9796

Posted by: Paolo May 27 2015, 07:06 PM

lots of nice hardware pictures of InSight undergoing tests
http://insight.jpl.nasa.gov/newsdisplay.cfm?Subsite_News_ID=37975

Posted by: Explorer1 Jun 12 2015, 05:16 PM

There's been no news about the Planetary Society managing to getting that microphone on board, has there?

Posted by: djellison Jun 12 2015, 06:32 PM

It's not onboard.

Posted by: Phil Stooke Jun 12 2015, 08:22 PM

But it will be accompanied by two cute little cubesats:

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/cubesat/missions/marco.php

Phil

Posted by: punkboi Aug 19 2015, 01:16 AM

Send your name to Mars aboard the NASA InSight lander:

http://mars.nasa.gov/participate/send-your-name/insight/

The deadline is September 8 (midnight, ET)

Posted by: Explorer1 Dec 11 2015, 07:17 AM

Instrument leak problem identified and fixed: still go for launch!

http://www.space.com/31326-nasa-insight-mars-lander-sensor-fix.html

Posted by: stevesliva Dec 11 2015, 06:14 PM

QUOTE (Explorer1 @ Dec 11 2015, 02:17 AM) *
Instrument leak problem identified and fixed: still go for launch!


I was assuming the latter, but it's great to hear the former! Fabrication snafu, not a design error.

Posted by: vjkane Dec 13 2015, 06:18 PM

If you follow the development side of planetary exploration long enough (especially the books on missions later written by insiders), last minute hiccups like this are common. In this case, it looks like rigorous testing did its job and found a problem to be fixed. Whew!

Posted by: Paolo Dec 22 2015, 03:54 PM

launch reportedly canceled (or delayed):
http://nasawatch.com/archives/2015/12/nasa-will-not-b.html

Posted by: dtolman Dec 22 2015, 04:55 PM

Most reports are that it is delayed until the next launch window in two years, as they could not repair a critical defect in time for the March launch.

http://www.popularmechanics.com/space/moon-mars/news/a18689/nasas-next-mars-insight-shelved/

Posted by: Explorer1 Dec 22 2015, 07:55 PM

Telecon link here: http://www.nasa.gov/news/media/newsaudio/index.html

Posted by: B Bernatchez Dec 23 2015, 12:25 AM

QUOTE (dtolman @ Dec 22 2015, 12:55 PM) *
Most reports are that it is delayed until the next launch window in two years, as they could not repair a critical defect in time for the March launch.

http://www.popularmechanics.com/space/moon-mars/news/a18689/nasas-next-mars-insight-shelved/

Discovery missions are cost capped. If the delay causes costs to rise above the cap, it may be canceled. I hope not.

Posted by: MahFL Dec 23 2015, 12:31 AM

Wow what a bummer.

Posted by: Explorer1 Dec 23 2015, 01:44 AM

Yep, it sucks but just like Curiosity, better to do it right after a wait then do it wrong without one. A leak on Earth is obviously better than a leak up there, right?

Posted by: antipode Dec 23 2015, 08:45 PM

Awww darn. After initially being disappointed that TiME lost out to this mission I was actually getting excited about the mission science. Still, as Emily has pointed out, if she goes in 2018 it will fill a quiet period in the planetary launch schedule and I'd forgotten that ESA is going to Mars next year, so better safe than sorry.

Also in 2016 - Juno!

P

Posted by: vjkane Dec 24 2015, 04:52 AM

Just to be clear, InSight will be reviewed and it may be either cancelled or delayed.

If it is delayed, then it is unlikely that NASA will be able to select two Discovery proposals in the current competition as it had hoped. So we likely will lose a Discovery mission either way.

Sometimes, crap happens and it very often happens in the simplest, low tech elements. InSight got unlucky.

Posted by: Explorer1 Dec 24 2015, 04:57 AM

Yep, and honestly, finding a flaw before launch is the best case scenario; there's still a good chance that some great science will result. DSCOVR had it way worse, and look where it is now!
Or contrast Insight's situation with CONTOUR...

Posted by: PaulM Dec 30 2015, 12:19 AM

I would like NASA to use the 2 Year delay to add other instruments to the deck of the Insight deck such as a spare of the Phoenix LIDAR experiment that presumably exists. I think that additional meteorology experiments would help round out the instrument payload of the Insight mission.

Posted by: PaulM Dec 30 2015, 12:29 AM

I think that if the Opportunity rover was to deteriorate further over the next Year then there would be an argument to park Opportunity close to its current position on a North facing slope to carry out the delayed Insight radio science experiment for the next 2 Years. Opportunity has already performed a successful 6 months radio science stint 4 Years ago which showed Opportunity's value in that role.

In retrospect the idea of leaving Spirit parked on a North facing slope and re-purposing Spirit for radio science role after the last winter that she survived on Mars might have been a good idea given the trouble that Spirit had in roving during the last Summer that she was still working.

Posted by: James Sorenson Dec 30 2015, 10:54 AM

QUOTE (PaulM @ Dec 29 2015, 04:19 PM) *
I would like NASA to use the 2 Year delay to add other instruments to the deck of the Insight deck such as a spare of the Phoenix LIDAR experiment that presumably exists.


I can tell you this with certainty, that's not going to happen. Instrument selection happens early in the design and the lander is pretty much now complete. Because of the launch slip and subsequent storage, Insight may hit its cost cap of $675 million. If that happens NASA will have to decide whether to cancel the mission or continue with it. At this point in the game, any new instruments isn't on the table, but perhaps possible descoping some things is?

Posted by: Explorer1 Dec 30 2015, 06:06 PM

Removing something is still 'work' so it would still cost money to do anything beyond the storage. Too bad; it would have been nice to add that Mars microphone at last.
Perhaps the 2020 rover....

Posted by: gpurcell Dec 30 2015, 06:40 PM

So what happens to the readied Atlas V that they were going to launch with in this sort of case?

I also don't understand how the contractor that was supposed to deliver the SEIS instrument isn't on the hook for any costs of redesigning that instrument plus damages.

Posted by: katodomo Dec 30 2015, 07:04 PM

The SEIS sphere isn't built by a contractor but by CNES itself. Given that SEIS is an instrument provided to the mission for free (to NASA) no damages are caused (to NASA) if it doesn't work. If they decide not to fly while it's not working that's NASA's problem.

This construct stems from the fact that NASA paid for less than 25% of the instruments for InSight in order to save cost (under the cost cap for the mission) - and it will probably be the last mission with excessive non-NASA instrumentation. CNES' SEIS cost $42 million alone, DLR's HP³ (based on Philae's MUPUS) another $19 million. NASA spent $18 million on the RISE radio experiment (using the lander's x-band link), a robotic arm to deploy SEIS and HP³ in a number of places around it and - to track the arm's movement - two b/w cameras.

Posted by: mcaplinger Dec 30 2015, 07:24 PM

QUOTE (katodomo @ Dec 30 2015, 11:04 AM) *
...to track the arm's movement - two b/w cameras.

Actually (and despite my earlier skepticism), the cameras were upgraded to Bayer color.

Posted by: mcaplinger Dec 30 2015, 08:02 PM

QUOTE (gpurcell @ Dec 30 2015, 10:40 AM) *
So what happens to the readied Atlas V that they were going to launch with in this sort of case?

ULA takes it back and uses it for something else. There's almost certainly a cancellation cost in the launch contract.

Usually the mission-specific fairing sticker isn't put on until encapsulation, but if it's on already they can peel it off pretty easily smile.gif

Posted by: PaulM Jan 1 2016, 10:39 AM

QUOTE (James Sorenson @ Dec 30 2015, 10:54 AM) *
I can tell you this with certainty, that's not going to happen. Instrument selection happens early in the design and the lander is pretty much now complete. Because of the launch slip and subsequent storage, Insight may hit its cost cap of $675 million. If that happens NASA will have to decide whether to cancel the mission or continue with it. At this point in the game, any new instruments isn't on the table, but perhaps possible descoping some things is?

I made this comment because I read that to fund the 10% or so increase in Insight mission cost then another discovery mission would need to be sacrificed. My argument is that if another discovery mission did not fly then it would be possible to fund a few more instruments such as LIDAR on Insight's deck.

Posted by: nprev Jan 1 2016, 12:33 PM

One primary reason that's not possible is that new instruments require not only testing of said instruments but also integration and testing with (and of) the entire spacecraft. New equipment introduces new interdependencies, some of which can be unexpected, difficult to detect, and detrimental. Obviously this increases not only mission risk but also cost--significantly.

Also, it's generally not an easy proposition to shuffle money between programs. It's been done, but it's not done lightly, and I suspect that InSight would only ask for something like that to save the mission from outright cancellation--definitely not to add new instrumentation.

Posted by: mcaplinger Jan 1 2016, 05:48 PM

QUOTE (nprev @ Jan 1 2016, 04:33 AM) *
One primary reason that's not possible is that new instruments require not only testing of said instruments but also integration and testing with (and of) the entire spacecraft.

More fundamentally, there are typically not spare data and power connectors on spacecraft like this. Even adding mounting holes to bolt on new stuff is non-trivial; assuming there was enough unused area at all, the spacecraft would have to be at least partially disassembled to do so.

The combination of Insight being a cost-capped PI mission and the problem instrument not being funded by NASA makes this a complex and AFAIK unprecedented situation. We'll just have to wait and see how it develops.

Posted by: JRehling Jan 3 2016, 05:06 AM

This is vaguely reminiscent of the problems that Dawn had during its development cycle:

http://www.unmannedspaceflight.com/index.php?showtopic=1645

However, InSight has a problem with what is unambiguously its main instrument. You can't downscope that instrument away, or you'd be eliminating the purpose of the mission.

Posted by: mcaplinger Jan 3 2016, 07:42 PM

QUOTE (JRehling @ Jan 2 2016, 09:06 PM) *
This is vaguely reminiscent of the problems that Dawn had during its development cycle...

Thanks for pointing that out, John, I had forgotten that tale of woe. What's missing from Dawn is the international aspect; although much of Dawn's payload was provided by foreign partners, as far as I know most of the developmental problems were with the spacecraft.

I wish there was better information about what actually happened with Dawn and how it was resolved; the best I've been able to find is http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewnews.html?id=1112 but that falls well short of an official report/policy statement.

Posted by: vjkane Jan 4 2016, 01:27 PM

QUOTE (mcaplinger @ Jan 3 2016, 11:42 AM) *
I wish there was better information about what actually happened with Dawn and how it was resolved; the best I've been able to find is http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewnews.html?id=1112 but that falls well short of an official report/policy statement.

Check out this SpaceFlight Now article: http://spaceflightnow.com/news/n0603/03dawn/

At least some of the issues like the xenon tank seem to represent crap happens -- the team did the testing but problems were found late in the process in other tanks of the same design.

I hope that there are quiet review boards done for issues like these so that the experience gained can be passed to other teams. For example, why didn't the thrusters and harpoon function on Philae and what can future comet lander missions learn?

Posted by: B Bernatchez Mar 9 2016, 05:17 PM

Apparently, the project has been given a path forward towards the next launch opportunity: http://spaceref.com/mars/nasa-targets-may-2018-launch-of-mars-insight-mission.html

To those knowledgeable about such things, How likely is it that CNES actually gets the instrument working according to specifications?

Posted by: Paolo Mar 9 2016, 05:25 PM

QUOTE (B Bernatchez @ Mar 9 2016, 06:17 PM) *
How likely is it that CNES actually gets the instrument working according to specifications?


the defective vacuum vessel is no longer the responsibility of CNES, apparently
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=5746

QUOTE
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, will redesign, build and conduct qualifications of the new vacuum enclosure for the Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS), the component that failed in December.

Posted by: Phil Stooke Mar 10 2016, 01:09 AM

I wonder if the landing ellipse will change now... as happened with Schiaparelli for its 2 month delay.

Phil

Posted by: monitorlizard Mar 11 2016, 10:22 AM

The MEPAG meeting at the beginning of March had an InSight update that gave some information on the history of the seismometer problems, as well as several photos of problem areas. The Mepag presentations are at http://mepag.jpl.nasa.gov/meetings.cfm?expand=m29. The newest meeting is #31, scroll down to the presentation titled "InSight Mission". Slides 11 through 15 are about the seismic instrument. Lots of other interesting talks also listed.

Posted by: lilmac Sep 6 2016, 09:52 PM

InSight cleared for May 2018 launch. Godspeed.


http://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/nasa-approves-2018-launch-of-mars-insight-mission

Posted by: Explorer1 Mar 29 2017, 07:21 AM

Good seismometer news, passed vacuum testing. https://spaceflightnow.com/2017/03/28/insight-landers-troubled-seismometer-passes-major-test/

Leak free!

Posted by: PhilipTerryGraham Mar 29 2017, 11:49 PM

Ayy! This is good news indeed! biggrin.gif

Posted by: Explorer1 Oct 4 2017, 02:53 AM

A second chip full of names is going on the craft (one benefit of the delay, I guess); anyone who missed it the first round can put their name in now: https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=6959

Posted by: Paolo Oct 14 2017, 07:55 PM

an entire issue of Space Science Reviews dedicated to InIsght
https://link.springer.com/journal/11214/211/1
too bad most of the papers are beyond the paywall mad.gif

Posted by: vikingmars Oct 25 2017, 06:00 AM

QUOTE (Paolo @ Oct 14 2017, 09:55 PM) *
an entire issue of Space Science Reviews dedicated to InIsght
https://link.springer.com/journal/11214/211/1
too bad most of the papers are beyond the paywall mad.gif

Yes indeed !
And especially from France when looking to the articles written by Institut de Physique du Globe (Paris-Sorbonne Paris Cité, Université Paris Diderot) in Paris : a French State public entity, managed under the authority of the French Ministry of National Education, for which we, as French people, are the taxpayers giving them a budget to support their teams and their experiments.
They owe their success to their great skills and work, of course, but also to us : their publications should have been made public at least in France.
Look to their website : the links are there ( http://www.ipgp.fr/fr/publications ) but pointing to Space Science Reviews' articles.
No chance to get them for free mad.gif mad.gif mad.gif

Posted by: JRehling Oct 25 2017, 03:13 PM

This inevitably jumps thread topic, but it's too bad that journals use a firewall/pay system, when their actual "market" is so small and the price for an article is extremely high. For the amateur science enthusiast, the economics make participation impossible, which is not anyone's intention.

But in this case, there is a solution. Try a Google search for the names of the authors + the subject, and you can find free preprints in many cases.

https://arxiv.org/abs/1704.05664

Enjoy!

Posted by: rlorenz Nov 29 2017, 01:42 AM

QUOTE (vikingmars @ Oct 25 2017, 01:00 AM) *
their publications should have been made public at least in France.


In the last year or so, NASA, at least, has started to insist that at least preprints are made available. I think the UK has a similar policy.

For what it's worth, my paper just came out (Open Access) on an archive product making the Viking seismometer record easy to access (the product has been on the PDS for a few months - basically I reassembled very ugly short ASCII records of different interleaved types into a nice set of tables, and integrated them with meteorological data so you can see when the seismometer recorded data when it was windy or not, etc.) We even found evidence of a dust devil encounter in the seismic signal.
The supplemental information to the paper includes scripts in 'R' (a free package) to interrogate and display the data - using the figures in the paper as examples.

The paper is at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2017EA000306/full

Posted by: vikingmars Dec 4 2017, 08:09 AM

QUOTE (rlorenz @ Nov 29 2017, 02:42 AM) *
In the last year or so, NASA, at least, has started to insist that at least preprints are made available. I think the UK has a similar policy.
The paper is at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2017EA000306/full

Thank you very much Dr. Lorenz for having this paper published with a free access smile.gif and it is very nice indeed.
I thought that the Sol 80 event was dismissed as a seismic event : now, thanks to your nice work, it may come back as being a real one.
Thanks a lot smile.gif smile.gif smile.gif

Powered by Invision Power Board (http://www.invisionboard.com)
© Invision Power Services (http://www.invisionpower.com)