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Mars Sample Return
John Whitehead
post Dec 18 2020, 04:50 PM
Post #391


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Terrific news that real money will flow to MSR, and here is another quote from the same article.
QUOTE
Phase A... the program will mature critical technologies and make critical design decisions
These two steps will include figuring out how big the MAV really needs to be, and how much payload it really can carry (with or without the fetch rover on the same lander). During the December 16 meeting of the Steering Group for the Planetary Decadal Survey, there was a fine explanation from retired Pegasus launch vehicle developer Antonio Elias, of the MSR Independent Review Board. He said launch vehicle development typically starts with a payload mass goal, then they figure out how big the vehicle needs to be. Conversely, he noted that Pegasus started with a vehicle size (so it could be carried by the airplane), and the engineering challenge was to get the most payload that they could. He said the MAV is the first launch vehicle development to start out with fixed constraints on both ends (required payload mass to Mars orbit, and a total mass limit for delivery to Mars). This is going to be a cool project!

A video of this week's meeting might end up at the following link (not there at the moment, but some other recent meeting videos have been posted).
https://www.nationalacademies.org/event/12-...-2032-meeting-7
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mcaplinger
post Dec 18 2020, 05:36 PM
Post #392


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QUOTE (John Whitehead @ Dec 18 2020, 08:50 AM) *
These two steps will include figuring out how big the MAV really needs to be, and how much payload it really can carry...

As noted upthread, back in April 2020 NASA showed every indication that they were ready to buy the flight rocket motors from NGIS ( https://beta.sam.gov/opp/349cbd728ab24d7693...true&page=1 )
One presumes that this never happened, reason unknown.

I've seen progress. It doesn't look like this.


--------------------
Disclaimer: This post is based on public information only. Any opinions are my own.
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John Whitehead
post Dec 22 2020, 01:51 AM
Post #393


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QUOTE (mcaplinger @ Dec 18 2020, 06:36 PM) *
One presumes that this never happened, reason unknown.
See Post number 389 above, second paragraph under the heading "summary of events" in 2020, namely that it is hard to nail down how big the MAV is going to be. So the choices are:
1. Buy the motors, build prototype MAVs and do some test flights (expensive testing with evolutionary progress toward a final design like SpaceX does), or
2. Continue trying to converge toward a final design on paper (less costly like ULA is doing for the Vulcan launch vehicle, but harder to do for the MAV in the absence of sufficient experience building miniature launch vehicles).
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