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Red Dragon
Ron Hobbs
post Jun 3 2016, 01:23 AM
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Or drive south. laugh.gif
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PFK
post Jun 3 2016, 10:39 AM
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As a humble chemist with no feel for the intricacies of such things, I did wonder (after reading the thread on imaging Apollo sites and the likely survival of the flags) whether a simple (and cheap!) option could be to employ a setup that consisted of a matrix of different materials in order to assess how they react long term to the environment. So things that are actually designed to be less than super-robust in order to assess the long term interaction with the Martian atmosphere, soil etc. Might include various plastics, organics etc, and would just need very small segments of each that could be analysed later. The later analysis would be a long time hence - say when they then put a rover down close to the original site in order to assess the ability to land in precise locations - and indeed a long timeframe would be what was wanted. A future visit could use variety of spectroscopic techniques to interrogate the samples in situ, and for well chosen examples that would give information about the chemistry of the environment and the likely applicability of such materials for future, long-stay projects. Plus, if it all goes horribly wrong - or you never revisit the site - then the financial loss would be pretty minimal.
Probably nonsense biggrin.gif
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Phil Stooke
post Jun 3 2016, 03:55 PM
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"Probably nonsense"

No, it's a very good idea. There was a plan to do the same in a less planned way with Surveyor 3, parts recovered by Apollo 12. But the results were of limited value because the Surveyor was not as fully documented as needed for this study (i.e samples of materials retained in controlled conditions, records of plastic composition etc., as I understand it). There was a thought about doing the same in future with an Apollo LM, but by that time, after Apollo 12, only one LM remained to be finished, the Apollo 17 one, so it was documented thoroughly. One reason NASA limits future access to Apollo 17's LM on the Moon, but not Apollo 16 for example, is to preserve it for that kind of future analysis.

But a properly designed panel of test materials like this with exact copies preserved on Earth for comparison would be a very good experiment. No power, small mass, no operational costs.

Phil


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... because the Solar System ain't gonna map itself.
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PFK
post Jun 4 2016, 09:03 PM
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QUOTE (Phil Stooke @ Jun 3 2016, 04:55 PM) *
"Probably nonsense"

No, it's a very good idea.


Glad to hear I have my moments biggrin.gif
Seriously though, if I had such a plate (which if you think about it might only need to be 10x10cm to give nigh on a hundred different materials - and maybe two of them, one in the atmosphere for the decade or more, one face down in the soil) in my office then there's no end of things we could do with it. A stroll down the corridor would let the LAICPMS lot loose, or the volatile MS specialists to see what had formed and flies, the materials people to see how the samples perform. I could even carefully peruse microscope images over a couple of pints (us synthetic chemists aren't good for much else in such circumstances!). And by the time a rover got there, Lord knows how much autonomous kit could be shrunk into it.
I'd put a tender in - if it wasn't for the fact I'll be retired by the time any results come back sad.gif
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xflare
post Jun 4 2016, 09:48 PM
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Has anyone mentioned cameras?? ohmy.gif
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Explorer1
post Jun 5 2016, 04:03 AM
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Doug and me did on the last page. Given its an engineering mission it was almost self-evident SpaceX should put them on, both to document how the EDL goes and for PR purposes back on Earth.
Other instruments are, as discussed, a tad trickier and less impressive to the general public. Meteorology data just doesn't have the same pizzazz, for some reason....
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TheAnt
post Jun 5 2016, 06:30 AM
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@Xflare: You're trolling us arn't you? Said it on last page 'Cannot imagine SpaceX not having cameras onboard' ....to show their accomplishment, in case they succeed.

@Explorer1 Huh what?
I have been crying myself to sleep every night over the lack of meteorology station on the MER rovers etc, until we finally got one with Phoenix, though the lander was shortlived. (Yes we all know Viking had such back in the days, but that was then and no longer active.)

Climbers post on said page mentioned weather station and a dust experiment plus one more, the two first ones are the same experiments proposed for MetNet so I cannot wonder if the Finns might have proposed something also. They are very eager to test their equipment on one precursor mission. Red Dragon might be the thing for them.
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Explorer1
post Jun 5 2016, 07:23 AM
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You missed my sarcasm! I thought the Phoenix station was very nice (especially the wind telltale being buffeted)!
I was just referring to pressure and temperature (squiggly line data) not being quite as impressive to laymen as the landscape images that this forum is famous for.
Musk certainly knows by now what grabs headlines, and I don't doubt there will be surface imaging; he has the final word on the payload, of course.
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Paolo
post Jun 5 2016, 08:00 AM
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QUOTE (Explorer1 @ Jun 5 2016, 09:23 AM) *
I was just referring to pressure and temperature (squiggly line data) not being quite as impressive to laymen as the landscape images that this forum is famous for.


there are some meteo instruments on Schiaparelli, although that will be a very short lived mission.
and brace for the endless rants when the laymen (and laywomen) discover that Schiaparelli does not even have a proper surface camera
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James Sorenson
post Jun 5 2016, 09:26 AM
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It doesn't have any surface camera's, but considering it's ellipse lands smack down where we have traversed before, we fortunately know what the place looks like. So when it lands, going back to the Pre-Victoria sol's is what I'm going to do. If we get lucky, it could land pretty close to where we have traversed and that's all you need..Meridiani is consistently featureless ripples for miles and miles.

http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA07216
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Steve G
post Sep 28 2016, 01:48 AM
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I was so looking forward to hear details about Red Dragon today. Barely a mention of it and no hint of any potential payload. All other comments about today's presentation best be served on Naspaspaceflight.com.
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