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Nasa announces new rover mission to Mars in 2020
TheAnt
post Jan 10 2015, 11:18 AM
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QUOTE (stevesliva @ Jan 10 2015, 06:35 AM) *
Is the whole 24-page article based purely on images? I couldn't find any mention of evidence from the other instruments, though admittedly that was a skim.


Her work is based on images taken by the rover yes, Nora Noffke simply used the interpretation that we would have used here on Earth for such rocks, I am not an expert in such 'mats' yet noted it was a nicely done paper that have gone trough the peer review process as it should have.

So thank you for posting the link stevesliva, I tend to post the popular and more easy to digest ones for the average readers here, though I do read the actual papers when they're available myself. =)
As for your question, MSL do not have the capability for giving a clear answer if this interpretation is correct or not. The Sheepbed sample taken nearby was the first to turn up organics though, and that might be a reason to have a second thought on what instruments should be included on the 2020 rover mission and also consider how to bring samples back to Earth. (Suggestions which are BOTH in line with what is allowed here and the purpose and reason we discuss such matters on unmannedspaceflight.)
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mcaplinger
post Jan 10 2015, 03:39 PM
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QUOTE (TheAnt @ Jan 10 2015, 04:18 AM) *
...a reason to have a second thought on what instruments should be included on the 2020 rover mission...

The instruments for 2020 have already been selected. It would take something much more definitive than this to change that now.


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TheAnt
post Jan 10 2015, 07:12 PM
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QUOTE (mcaplinger @ Jan 10 2015, 04:39 PM) *
The instruments for 2020 have already been selected. It would take something much more definitive than this to change that now.



If we already had something definitive, there would not be any reason to test and check on this hypothesis. =)
But yes I know my there's not much hope for any change, too much inertia in the organisations who are behind a project like this.
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djellison
post Jan 11 2015, 01:24 AM
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Nothing to do with institutional inertia.

Instruments of this complexity require lengthy lead times, and have significant and complex requirements of the vehicle.
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nprev
post Jan 11 2015, 01:35 AM
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Doug is absolutely correct. Furthermore, selecting and freezing configuration as early as possible also permits as much testing as possible to happen before launch, which vastly increases the chances of mission success.


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bobik
post Mar 1 2015, 09:43 AM
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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

ADMIN NOTE: A message has been sent to this member and noted here as a reminder about UMSF rule 2.6

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xflare
post Mar 1 2015, 11:41 AM
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oooooohhhh and higher res color navcams and hazard cams. ohmy.gif ohmy.gif And a Turret Imager??
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Phil Stooke
post Mar 1 2015, 03:35 PM
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The new cache arrangement is not a farce. It's not very intuitive at first but it has many advantages, including flexibility in pickup and more freedom (risk-taking) for the collection rover later in its mission. They are trying to avoid a rover with an almost full cache getting stuck in a place where cache collection is impossible (for instance, in a place like Hidden Valley, where the first rover could get stuck in an orientation which would prevent the second rover from collecting the cache).

Phil



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stone
post Mar 1 2015, 08:07 PM
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The most challenging cost risk is still open. The Planetary Protection requirements definition is still not finished. From the outside it looks plain simple. Sample return makes it category 5. Even if the samples return is in the far future the samples are intended to come back. I do not see how this can be solved. Only a sterile baked sample would lead to less stringent requirements on PP, but this samples would be far less valuable and to ask for a mission to bring back baked samples is a hard job. To build a sample return category 5 mission is possible, but this will take at least two times the cost capped budget.

I wait for the solution of this problem.
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Explorer1
post Mar 1 2015, 09:34 PM
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Meteorites have been raining down on us from Mars for several gigayears; we can be pretty certain none of those were baked prior to landing here. If one can't trust that nature has done the sterilizing work, why bother to even have sample returns in the first place? It might be easier to just launch them into parking orbit around Mars and wait for the lab come to them (though that's a topic for a future thread, when any return mission is actually even proposed).

MOD: On that note, yes, that's enough on this subject, please. Getting close to rule 1.3 territory here.
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stone
post Mar 2 2015, 01:22 PM
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QUOTE (Explorer1 @ Mar 1 2015, 10:34 PM) *
Meteorites have been raining down on us from Mars for several gigayears;


The problem is not with this reality, but with a signed COSPAR regulation all space agencies agreed to follow. The point in the signed rules is clear and hard to avoid. If NASA and JPL ignore this rule other space agencies might follow this path. PP is not about protecting this planet, but to protect the future science results from being made impossible by contaminating the places of interest.

I look forward to see how this problem could be solved. I do not know if a clear statement that the new mission is only about geology and the samples are heated to 550C for 5 seconds before sealing is a solution.

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Gerald
post Mar 2 2015, 02:02 PM
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There are standard procedures to ensure a given upper limit of spores per surface area of different parts of a probe/rover/parachute etc. to avoid forward contamination. The type of possibly remaining contamination can be determined to avoid possible confusion with Martian material.
Baking on Mars doesn't make sense in this context, since chemical compounds would be altered/destroyed, including geological/mineralogical data.
Sterilization of the probe is done pre-flight on Earth.
I don't see any reason why NASA should change these established procedures.
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stone
post Mar 2 2015, 02:34 PM
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QUOTE (Gerald @ Mar 2 2015, 03:02 PM) *
There are standard procedures to ensure a given upper limit of spores per surface area of different parts of a probe/rover/parachute etc. to avoid forward contamination. The type of possibly remaining contamination can be determined to avoid possible confusion with Martian material.
Baking on Mars doesn't make sense in this context, since chemical compounds would be altered/destroyed, including geological/mineralogical data.
Sterilization of the probe is done pre-flight on Earth.
I don't see any reason why NASA should change these established procedures.


If you consider it to be a category 5 mission the 0.03 spares per square meter is valid. This means you have to launch a sterile rover. If you look into the MSL history, MSL avoided to go to this level which was based on the assumption that they will sample in "special regions". They stepped back and used the lower stringent requirement which was possible if they avoid special regions. They would have been able to go for the 0.03 spores but the budget they had made it impossible.

The standard procedures are good to get you into a category 4a mission which includes MSL if you do the category 4b or 5 this is not easy and makes everything very expensive. I know of no large mission except Viking daring to bake out the whole space craft at above 110C. Most spacecrafts are not built to withstand the 110C for days in fully integrated state. If you sterilize parts you have to do a monitored aseptic integration. The first option drives the engineering people mad and the prize you pay for materials and parts, while the second option costs an fortune if you have to have a spore and bacteria free assembly hall for the rover.
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mcaplinger
post Mar 2 2015, 02:59 PM
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My understanding is that only the portions of the vehicle that actually touch the sample have to be IVb. http://nodis3.gsfc.nasa.gov/displayDir.cfm...e_name=Chapter5

I think speculating about how Mars2020 will interpret these requirements and implement them at this point is unproductive.


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anticitizen2
post Aug 4 2015, 05:51 PM
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I'm glad that SHERLOC will have MAHLI heritage and will be able to focus to infinity - I had read earlier that they were dropping infinite focus.

Also, it is looking like the Navcams will be color and possibly have a larger sensor. It seemed to me that panchromatic Navcams were an advantage: being able to get lots down from a new site in one comm pass, and being able to count pixels across important features with precision. I'm mostly wondering about this last point - my gut says color Navcams will not help with their purpose as engineering cameras, but I definitely won't go so far as complaining about it.
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