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Dec 4th News Conference
dvandorn
post Dec 4 2008, 05:38 PM
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And for those of you who are hoping that your pet instrument might now be added onto MSL, per Doug McCuistion, "Is this an opportunity to update the payload? No." There will be no re-scoping or changes to the payload that aren't driven by engineering concerns that arise out of continued testing. In other words, no changes to the science payload.

On the other hand, Ed Weiler says that this delay is the perfect opportunity (albeit for the wrong reasons) to begin to design the architecture for MSR, Mars Sample Return.

-the other Doug


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dvandorn
post Dec 4 2008, 05:43 PM
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When asked why it's so important to have the actuators at this point for an '09 launch, McCuistion says "The actuators do everything we do on Mars. They turn the wheels, they stop the wheels, they move the robotic arm. If we get to Mars and we can't move, we can't move the arm, we can't take samples, we just have about a metric ton of junk on the Martian surface."

And someone just asked about the 2011 launch window -- McCuistion says the window extends from October through December, with highest likelihood of late October through early November. Sounds like it won't extend into 2012.

-the other Doug


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djellison
post Dec 4 2008, 05:43 PM
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2011 window is October to December - yet to be determined where in that window.

Doug
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elakdawalla
post Dec 4 2008, 05:43 PM
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My question was answered. 2011 goes from Oct through December potentially; most likely is late october to early november.

--Emily


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mcaplinger
post Dec 4 2008, 05:49 PM
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QUOTE (dvandorn @ Dec 4 2008, 09:27 AM) *
Griffin says that the coast thermal vac tests are going ahead on their current schedule.

Give me credit for knowing a little more about my instruments than Griffin. rolleyes.gif

In general, cruise T/V doesn't involve the surface payload.


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dvandorn
post Dec 4 2008, 05:53 PM
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OK, Mike -- thanks. I just figured that since the cruise thermal vac was including the entire stack, with the assembled rover inside the aeroshell, that anything you'd be doing to calibrate the instruments on it would be involved with the T/V. Thanks for the correction.

-the other Doug


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elakdawalla
post Dec 4 2008, 05:58 PM
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Dammit, they didn't get to me on the phone questions. These guys are too long-winded.

I got one in but not my other one, which was: When MSL arrives, MRO will have been in orbit for 6 years and no future telecom orbiter is planned. Isn't there risk in assuming MRO will survive for long enough to support MSL communications?


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dvandorn
post Dec 4 2008, 06:01 PM
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Spoke too soon, there, eh, Emily? Good to hear your voice!

-the other Doug


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djellison
post Dec 4 2008, 06:01 PM
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Damn good question Emily.
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dvandorn
post Dec 4 2008, 06:03 PM
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Also good to hear that the decay of the plutonium in the RTG will have an insignificant impact, and that they may well wait a while before fueling the MMRTG.

-the other Doug


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elakdawalla
post Dec 4 2008, 06:04 PM
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Is 5% insignificant, given the fact that the traverses were already going to be power-limited?


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ElkGroveDan
post Dec 4 2008, 06:14 PM
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I've been wondering that too Emily.

I just checked in, can anyone give me the short answer?

EDIT: (or blog about it later today rolleyes.gif )


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elakdawalla
post Dec 4 2008, 06:34 PM
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OK, and here's one more question that I wouldn't have gotten a straight answer to anyway. Can anybody here think of what planetary missions there are that would have big budgets in 2010 and 2011 for MSL to raid? The only one I can think of is Juno.

--Emily


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ugordan
post Dec 4 2008, 06:38 PM
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QUOTE (elakdawalla @ Dec 4 2008, 07:34 PM) *
Can anybody here think of what planetary missions there are that would have big budgets in 2010 and 2011 for MSL to raid?

I really hope it doesn't get to that.


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sci44
post Dec 4 2008, 06:51 PM
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Wasn't there talk of Maven being delayed? Another question - will they need a bigger launch vehicle for 2011? I have an idea 2009 was a low energy trajectory year..
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