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Is There A Mars Scout (or Anything) In 2011 ?
Mariner9
post Nov 20 2005, 05:09 PM
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I have read a couple very vague references in recent months about the Mars program being 'de-emphasized'. At least once I saw something that sounded like JPL being told to just stop any planning efforts.

I personally always had mixed feelings about the Sample Return mission. The more we learned from the last few missions the more it seemed like we needed to learn before sinking a couple billion into a single "snatch and go" mission.

It seems from all I've read that Mars Sample Return was taken off the table for now. But does that mean Headquarters has said that there are no more Mars missions until furthur notice? Or does at least the next Mars Scout seem to be in plan? I would think that sometime in 2006 they would have to issue the AO for the 2011 time period.

If even Mars Scout is off the plan, I'm going to lose one more notch in my rapidly dropping respect for Dr. Griffin. I realize he's got to cut a few things to even have a prayer of developing the CEV, but aside from Juno (which just slipped a year) it seems like all planetary new starts have disappeared.
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Guest_BruceMoomaw_*
post Nov 24 2005, 02:47 PM
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I can tell you that the second Mars Scout is definitely on the agenda for 2011 -- unless MRO fails, in which case MRO will be reflown in 2011 and the Scout will be bumped to 2013. For this reason, the AO for the second Scout won't be released until next March. (There are some serious doubts, though, that NASA's new and stricter Mars quarantine rules will allow any more Scouts other than orbiters, unless their cost cap is raised again.)
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BPCooper
post Nov 25 2005, 02:08 AM
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The Mars Science Laboratory rover is almost certainly going to be delayed to 2011, so the question is what's launching in 2009 now.


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Toma B
post Nov 25 2005, 06:41 AM
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QUOTE (BPCooper @ Nov 25 2005, 05:08 AM)
The Mars Science Laboratory rover is almost certainly going to be delayed to 2011, so the question is what's launching in 2009 now.
*


I'm not trying to say that you are wrong about that delay , but where did you get that awful information? mad.gif blink.gif huh.gif mad.gif blink.gif huh.gif


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Guest_BruceMoomaw_*
post Nov 25 2005, 07:26 AM
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I believed it myself, but Doug McCuistion told COMPLEX flatly that NASA is determined not to let MSL be delayed to 2011, because it's the current centerpiece of their Mars strategy. (He actually used the term "sacred cow".) For that reason, they're willing to pump more funds into it to allow it to stay on track for 2009. So, while it may yet get bumped into 2011, this definitely isn't "almost certain".
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BPCooper
post Nov 28 2005, 02:19 PM
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QUOTE (BruceMoomaw @ Nov 25 2005, 03:26 AM)
I believed it myself, but Doug McCuistion told COMPLEX flatly that NASA is determined not to let MSL be delayed to 2011, because it's the current centerpiece of their Mars strategy.  (He actually used the term "sacred cow".)  For that reason, they're willing to pump more funds into it to allow it to stay on track for 2009.  So, while it may yet get bumped in 2011, this definitely isn't "almost certain".
*


I don't think it's 100% official either, so you may be right. It was maybe a year ago that they ran stories on this supposed decision. It was indeed budget problems that they said was the reason. If they can get the funds to do it in 2009 I'm sure they will.


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JonClarke
post Dec 16 2005, 12:42 AM
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Any chance of MARVEL getting flown? With all the interest in putative methane, this seems like an ideal mission. It might even be worth flying in 2009, allowing MSL to slip to 2011, and allowing the results to influence site slection?

Can't see it happening though.
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Guest_AlexBlackwell_*
post Dec 16 2005, 02:11 AM
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QUOTE (JonClarke @ Dec 16 2005, 12:42 AM)
Any chance of MARVEL getting flown?  With all the interest in putative methane, this seems like an ideal mission.  It might even be worth flying in 2009, allowing MSL to slip to 2011, and allowing the results to influence site slection?

Can't see it happening though.
*

Neither do I, though one can never say never. That said, I don't perceive any huge groundswell in the Mars community in sending a dedicated mission to study martian methane. In fact, I've heard skepticism that the MEx PFS detection is too close to the instrument's noise limits. And I've heard (private) musings that the Earth-based detections of martian methane (Krasnopolsky et al. and Mumma et al.), which are stronger than than that detected by a spacecraft currently in martian orbit, might have unmodelled telluric components.
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Guest_AlexBlackwell_*
post Dec 16 2005, 02:11 AM
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QUOTE (JonClarke @ Dec 16 2005, 12:42 AM)
Any chance of MARVEL getting flown?  With all the interest in putative methane, this seems like an ideal mission.  It might even be worth flying in 2009, allowing MSL to slip to 2011, and allowing the results to influence site slection?

Can't see it happening though.
*

Neither do I, though one can never say never. That said, I don't perceive any huge groundswell in the Mars community in sending a dedicated mission to study martian methane. In fact, I've heard skepticism that the MEx PFS detection is too close to the instrument's noise limits. And I've heard (private) musings that the Earth-based detections of martian methane (Krasnopolsky et al. and Mumma et al.), which are stronger than than that detected by a spacecraft currently in martian orbit, might have unmodelled telluric components.
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JonClarke
post Dec 16 2005, 03:15 AM
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QUOTE (AlexBlackwell @ Dec 16 2005, 02:11 AM)
Neither do I, though one can never say never.  That said, I don't perceive any huge groundswell in the Mars community in sending a dedicated mission to study martian methane.  In fact, I've heard skepticism that the MEx PFS detection is too close to the instrument's noise limits.  And I've heard (private) musings that the Earth-based detections of martian methane (Krasnopolsky et al. and Mumma et al.), which are stronger than than that detected by a spacecraft currently in martian orbit, might have unmodelled telluric components.
*


I agree, but would have thought that the possibly is sufficienctly interesting to suggest a reconsideration after all, when MARVEL fell of the list last time, there had been no such reports. It would be awfully embarassing if MSL (and ExoMars for that matter) were to land and then a mission a year of so later were to find methane/ammonia/SO2 seeps half a hemisphere away from each of them....

Still perhaps an excuse for another rover, perhaps the astrobiology one rumoured
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Guest_BruceMoomaw_*
post Dec 16 2005, 04:09 AM
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Well, I can confirm that MARVEL will be resubmitted for the 2011 window -- and there was certainly a lot of interest in flying an orbital methane mapper at the January Mars Strategic Roadmap meeting. However, since the new plan is to fly a larger 2013 orbiter for both lander data relay and atmospheric science, the "MATMOS" solar occultation spectrometer that was MARVEL'S main instrument might very well be put on that craft instead, thus freeing up the 2011 Scout for some other mission. (SCIM, maybe, since the new plan also calls for the main Mars sample return to be bumped all the way into 2027?)

At the AGU meeting, the Mars Express team were still reporting the "possible" detetion of methane by the PFS, but now flatly reject the idea that they saw formaldehyde.
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Guest_AlexBlackwell_*
post Dec 16 2005, 04:36 PM
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QUOTE (AlexBlackwell @ Dec 16 2005, 02:11 AM)
And I've heard (private) musings that the Earth-based detections of martian methane (Krasnopolsky et al. and Mumma et al.), which are stronger than than that detected by a spacecraft currently in martian orbit, might have unmodelled telluric components.
Speaking of Vladimir Krasnopolsky, he has a new paper in press with Icarus on the subject.
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JonClarke
post Dec 19 2005, 02:41 AM
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QUOTE (BruceMoomaw @ Dec 16 2005, 04:09 AM)
Well, I can confirm that MARVEL will be resubmitted for the 2011 window -- and there was certainly a lot of interest in flying an orbital methane mapper at the January Mars Strategic Roadmap meeting.  However, since the new plan is to fly a larger 2013 orbiter for both lander data relay and atmospheric science, the "MATMOS" solar occultation spectrometer that was MARVEL'S main instrument might very well be put on that craft instead, thus freeing up the 2011 Scout for some other mission.  (SCIM, maybe, since the new plan also calls for the main Mars sample return to be bumped all the way into 2027?)

At the AGU meeting, the Mars Express team were still reporting the "possible" detetion of methane by the PFS, but now flatly reject the idea that they saw formaldehyde.
*



Very interesting, so there is a good chance for some sort of atmospheric mapping mission in 2011.

SCIM would be interesting, although I guess I would prefer the atmospheric mapper at this stage.

MSR pushed back to2027??? Any suggestions why it has been?
Jon

This post has been edited by JonClarke: Dec 19 2005, 03:31 AM
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Guest_BruceMoomaw_*
post Dec 19 2005, 03:38 AM
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Actually, that's the return of the sample in 2027 -- the SR orbiter is to be launched in 2022, and the lander in 2024.

The reason for the new delay is simply the extreme bloody difficulty of this mission. Not only are the current cost estimates back up to the $4 to $5 billion level ("My God", muttered one COMPLEX member), but about a decade of careful advance engineering development work will be needed, which by itself may make up as much as $1 billion of that cost -- and currently there are no plans to start THAT spending before 2009. So, even under absolutely optimum conditions, there's no way to launch the first component before 2020. Now, if the two manned US programs weren't sucking all the money out of NASA, it might be a different matter...but you know that story.
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JonClarke
post Dec 19 2005, 09:07 AM
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QUOTE (BruceMoomaw @ Dec 19 2005, 03:38 AM)
Actually, that's the return of the sample in 2027 -- the SR orbiter is to be launched in 2022, and the lander in 2024.

The reason for the new delay is simply the extreme bloody difficulty of this mission.  Not only are the current cost estimates back up to the $4 to $5 billion level ("My God", muttered one COMPLEX member), but about a decade of careful advance engineering development work will be needed, which by itself may make up as much as $1 billion of that cost -- and currently there are no plans to start THAT spending before 2009.  So, even under absolutely optimum conditions, there's no way to launch the first component before 2020.  Now, if the two manned US programs weren't sucking all the money out of NASA, it might be a different matter...but you know that story.
*


Thanks Bruce. Is it looking as if there is a maxium feasible mass to land on Mars as a single unit?

MSR is horribly complicated, I agree. Maybe too complicated?

Jon
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