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Chemcam, Laser Induced Remote Sensing
cIclops
post Apr 26 2005, 06:47 AM
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QUOTE (BruceMoomaw @ Apr 25 2005, 10:41 PM)
One more interesting little tidbit from the first Solar System Exploration Roadmap meeting: the total cost of Viking in today's dollars would have been $4 billion.  (Of course, a great deal of the cut in costs for the modern Mars landers -- including Pathfinder -- was due to the fact that their needed research had already been carrried out for the Viking project.)
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Yep and that is probably based on NASA's "official" $1 billion for the project, which is a suspiciously round number. My inflation calculator says $4.25 billion when converting 1974 to 2005 dollars.

Viking consisted of four spacecraft, two orbiters and two nuclear powered landers, so it is an unfair cost comparision to ExoMars. As a side note the lander computer had 6000 words (24Kilobytes?) of memory.

NASA's Viking site


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tedstryk
post Apr 26 2005, 09:49 AM
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Well, yes, ExoMars is one rover and one orbiter, but even if it cost one or two billion dollars, I am skeptical as to whether ESA can/will fund it. Granted, if it does, it will be an exciting mission. I just fear a Beagle. I hope that the mission is descoped (maybe a lander with a camera and a few interesting instruments that don't need to be mobile? - or the Netlander network) if sufficient funding for current plans does not materialized, rather than just becoming another expensive dent on the Martian sand (or anothe Lunar-A that never gets off the ground!).


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cIclops
post Apr 26 2005, 10:56 AM
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QUOTE (tedstryk @ Apr 26 2005, 09:49 AM)
Well, yes, ExoMars is one rover and one orbiter, but even if it cost one or two billion dollars, I am skeptical as to whether ESA can/will fund it.  Granted, if it does, it will be an exciting mission.  I just fear a Beagle.  I hope that the mission is descoped (maybe a lander with a camera and a few interesting instruments that don't need to be mobile? - or the Netlander network) if sufficient funding for current plans does not materialized, rather than just becoming another expensive dent on the Martian sand (or anothe Lunar-A that never gets off the ground!).
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ESA manages its budget very well (currently about 2 billion?) and will probably get more money in the next five years. There was no official reason for the delay in ExoMars from 2009 to 2011 but it probably was budgetary. Once ESA decides to go ahead with a big project they allocate the funds and nearly always complete (Hermes excluded) unlike NASA.

Have no fear and be optimistic - ExoMars is much heavier than Beagle 2 so it will be easier to find the crater smile.gif


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Bob Shaw
post Apr 26 2005, 02:41 PM
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Comparisons between Beagle 2 and any putative ESA rover (etc) are inappropriate, for the simple reason that Beagle 2 was a shoestring project which was starved of funding from start to finish while any major ESA effort would be conducted with their usual relentless (but rather dull) efficiency!

Beagle 2 was a kit-car based on an old Morris Marina, built in a shed by a man with a funny set of sideburns, while an ESA rover would be a Ferrari factory team entry at Le Mans!

(Apologies to US readers who may not know what a Morris Marina is (and further apologies to UK kit-car owners, among whom am I!)).


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djellison
post Apr 26 2005, 02:50 PM
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I think there were lessons learnt with B2 (no one had tried to build something of that genre before) - and I think those lessons should be used in going for an intermediate step - even if it involves putting Exomars back to '12, '14 - I'm not fussed. I still think that ESA should be attempting a Netlander style mission - infact...it's POLL TIME smile.gif
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cIclops
post Apr 26 2005, 06:22 PM
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or how about a rover race on Mars ... Exo-Ferrari versus MSL-Viper off road track of course!


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