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ExoMars
rlorenz
post Jun 12 2011, 04:30 AM
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QUOTE (djellison @ Jun 11 2011, 10:43 PM) *
The REAL waste is spending all this money as a testbed to nowhere....without spending the minuscule amount of money required to make it last more than a week.


To someone not immersed in Mars science day-to-day (since 1999 or so, so perhaps I am
missing something) the programmatics on both sides of the pond for Mars seem nothing
short of collective (forgive the term) lunacy

We have had rovers operating for YEARS without so much as a pressure sensor - sure a met mast
with proper wind measurement would be nice but perhaps unaffordable in a cost-constrained mission,
but ANY meteorology data would be scientifically
valuable. Even if you're a dedicated rock-hound and don't care about the atmosphere scientifically,
recognize that sharpening the global circulation models can shave the margins and thus improve
the performance of landed sampling/geology missions. Is a few grams and a few kbits/day so
much to ask for ?

Then there was the whole two-rovers-in-one-place nonsense.

(avoiding comment on the 2013-2023 decadal survey science value of Mars sample return, which
doesnt happen in 2013-2023)

And now this. A mission to the surface of Mars whose purpose is to say 'yup, descent system worked, I
got to Mars. Toodle-pip.'

A bit of cost-benefit analysis seems to be in order. Solar arrays are not that expensive : worth flying
even on a best-effort basis, surely.
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vjkane
post Jun 12 2011, 04:59 AM
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stevesliva
post Jun 12 2011, 05:10 AM
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QUOTE (rlorenz @ Jun 12 2011, 12:30 AM) *
Then there was the whole two-rovers-in-one-place nonsense.


Now that you mention it, yeah, that was stupid, too. It's like they're choosing the program via the prisoners dilemma. "Are we collaborating? Who knows?!"
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djellison
post Jun 12 2011, 07:24 AM
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QUOTE (vjkane @ Jun 11 2011, 08:59 PM) *
I can guess at the reasoning.


I would agree with the reasoning, were it not for the fact that the extra parts required to make this thing actually useful are available as flight heritage components. It's the EDL test that has all those problems - all new things for a new landing system.

Making it survive on the surface? That we can do.

Without breaking the politics rule, it's hard to discuss the justification of this project. ESA can and should, do and know better.
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vjkane
post Jun 12 2011, 07:32 AM
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djellison
post Jun 12 2011, 07:52 AM
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QUOTE (vjkane @ Jun 11 2011, 11:32 PM) *
ESA has proven itself reasonably competent,


ExoMars has not. As a rover project, it actually accelerated into the future as a series of consecutive and compounding delays and budget growths faster than time passed. It was a farce from the beginning.

http://twitpic.com/lacef


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vjkane
post Jun 12 2011, 04:41 PM
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djellison
post Jun 12 2011, 04:58 PM
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QUOTE (vjkane @ Jun 12 2011, 08:41 AM) *
MSL attempted to come in at $1.6B, and now is about $2.5B.


And only slipped 2 years. It never accelerated into the future, every year.

And as a project it was started about the same time as ExoMars......

ExoMars has nothing to show for itself. MSL will launch in 5 months

How much has the ExoMars project spent, to date, without flying a single thing?

I appreciate your efforts to defend the program, but I'm afraid I simply don't agree with your reasoning.
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vjkane
post Jun 12 2011, 05:55 PM
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djellison
post Jun 12 2011, 06:13 PM
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QUOTE (vjkane @ Jun 12 2011, 10:55 AM) *
The MSL budget was allowed to grow and the schedule was allowed to slip.


And we have the largest most capable rover nearly ready to launch - we have a flight project to show for it

QUOTE
As near as I can tell, the ExoMars budget has not been allowed to grow dramatically.


They've been spending money for nearly a decade and have no flight hardware. Money has been spent - and now they have two large flight projects to pay for, they have to start all over again......and NOTHING to show for it after 8 years. Maybe a bit of budget creep over the past 8 years and we'd have something to show for it.

QUOTE
Therefore, the capabilities have been cut (surface station removed, instruments paired back,


Rendering the lander useless

QUOTE
independent landing system for rover eliminated,


Rendering the lander test pointless as it's a test for nothing.

QUOTE
orbiter became joint mission with NASA,


This is basically the only good bit of the entire mess.

QUOTE
and schedule has slipped out.


Not slipped.... accelerated out. Every year that's passed, the project has gone more than a year into the future. They were not making progress, they were going backwards, spending money as they went. And the results..... an orbiter that carries a bunch of almost exclusively US instruments, and an orphaned, pointless lander.

Whatever the official 'strategy' for budget/schedule/scope... it's resulted in a complete mess. The strategy has failed.
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Astro0
post Jun 13 2011, 01:27 AM
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ADMIN: Gentlemen, may I respectfully suggest that it's time to end the chat there. smile.gif

OTHER ADMIN: Agree
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Bill
post Jun 13 2011, 11:38 PM
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My first remark was on the different landing sites and not on the uselessness of this mission.
I'm disappointed by the fact that they choose Meridiani planum as the primary landing site ; we are not going to see anything new. What do you think about the 3 other sites and about the report (as they "would greatly appreciate any comments, suggestions, advice and ideas about the report") ? Why do they show concern about the dust ?
http://www.planetarygis.org/forum/scenario...6-landing-site/
http://www.planetarygis.org/site_media/sta...016_Mission.pdf
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vikingmars
post Jun 14 2011, 08:38 AM
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QUOTE (djellison @ Jun 12 2011, 08:13 PM) *
...The strategy has failed.

I totally agree with Doug's statements and conclusion. Being myself among the European taxpayers, I feel that it's a huge waste of money... spend, as it appears to us, just to see at the end some nice videos showing a MER-like s/c roving Mars ! The good side is that the European space industry has some very good engineers able to cope with late-minute constraints and they may recover swiftly, providing there is a real political willingness to pursue this program on concrete matters
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spdf
post Jun 14 2011, 07:18 PM
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Europe is planning a network mission after ExoMars with 3-4 landers. So the test 2016 is not that unimportant.
rolleyes.gif
http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2009/pdf/1271.pdf
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tolis
post Jun 14 2011, 07:32 PM
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Hi All,

I think that the point behind the 2016 landing module is simply to demonstrate
an independent European capability to succesfully deliver instruments
to the Martian surface. To-date, only the US have had that
capability.

Tolis.
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