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Dec 4th News Conference
jsheff
post Dec 4 2008, 06:51 PM
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QUOTE (elakdawalla @ Dec 4 2008, 01:34 PM) *
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


Outer Planets Flagship?

James Webb Space Telescope?

(I don't know what the funding profiles are like for either one.)



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RoverDriver
post Dec 4 2008, 06:52 PM
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QUOTE (elakdawalla @ Dec 4 2008, 10:04 AM) *
Is 5% insignificant, given the fact that the traverses were already going to be power-limited?


What I heard is that the limitation on drives is due mostly to battery capacity, not overall energy availability.

Paolo


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elakdawalla
post Dec 4 2008, 06:52 PM
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Ah, I hadn't realized that. Thanks. --Emily


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ugordan
post Dec 4 2008, 06:54 PM
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QUOTE (jsheff @ Dec 4 2008, 07:51 PM) *
Outer Planets Flagship?

Is the next flagship scheduled to receive any significant funding that early?


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stevesliva
post Dec 4 2008, 06:55 PM
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QUOTE (elakdawalla @ Dec 4 2008, 01:34 PM) *
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.


Mars missions that won't happen, no?
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elakdawalla
post Dec 4 2008, 06:57 PM
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The only other Mars mission NASA is currently developing is MAVEN, and that doesn't launch until 2013, so I would assume it doesn't start costing a ton of money until 2012 and 2013.

And I think the question about the flagship mission has already been asked and answered by somebody official, and you're right, ugordan, there's not a lot of money for it in 2010 and 2011. I don't think.

--Emily


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djellison
post Dec 4 2008, 07:02 PM
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Key point I got was that the $400m is not in addition to the $200m to finish in 09 - but it's instead of it. And instead of being $200M to find in FY09 - it's $400m to find over FY09,10,11,12,13 and 14 (if I heard Doug right) - so a much easier thing to manage.

Taking the $1.65B (the '06 figure when the mission was confirmed) +25% over-spend that was required for an '09 launch - (2.1B) - the mission will actually be $2.3 - 43% over - not great, but not totally un-known in this field. All things considered, appropriate for the flagship mission that it is (in everything but name)

MSL was NEVER a $600m mission. Smart Lander was - but Smart Lander isn't happening, MSL is. Lots of miss-information out there.
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ugordan
post Dec 4 2008, 07:09 PM
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QUOTE (djellison @ Dec 4 2008, 08:02 PM) *
Key point I got was that the $400m is not in addition to the $200m to finish in 09 - but it's instead of it. And instead of being $200M to find in FY09 - it's $400m to find over FY09,10,11,12,13 and 14 (if I heard Doug right) - so a much easier thing to manage.

Still, that's money that has to be found somewhere. Regarding MAVEN, when is its launch vehicle supposed to be selected? I'm assuming it'll be an Atlas V and if I remember correctly, it's a 30 month period between vehicle order and launch. That's bound to cost some chunk of cash. At which point in time is the vehicle actually paid for?


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mcaplinger
post Dec 4 2008, 07:27 PM
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QUOTE (djellison @ Dec 4 2008, 11:02 AM) *
MSL was NEVER a $600m mission. Smart Lander was - but Smart Lander isn't happening, MSL is. Lots of miss-information out there.

Thanks for pointing that out, Doug. It's gotten to the point that there are some sites (I think you know which one I mean speciifically) that I can't look at any more because of an overfocus on the Decadal Survey cost, which has almost nothing to do with the mission that NASA HQ ultimately selected for funding.


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Guest_Enceladus75_*
post Dec 4 2008, 08:08 PM
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It's somewhat disappointing to see that MSL has been delayed to a 2011 launch, but the upside is that there will be more time for testing of critical elements like the actuators which are critical and the all important skycrane which is a brand new technology.

It is better in my opinion for MSL to have a delay and a flawless flight/landing/surface operations than a rushed job resulting perhaps in at best a faulty rover that can't do good science on Mars and at worst a failed landing attempt and the consequences of that disaster. Beagle 2 and Mars Polar Lander paid the price of corner cutting and a big rush to launch.

That said, Emily's question regarding the riskiness of relying on MRO to support data downlink from MSL is very important. Might there now be a need to launch a dedicated Mars telecoms orbiter to support the surface missions , a plan that was scrapped a while back?
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mcaplinger
post Dec 4 2008, 08:30 PM
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QUOTE (Enceladus75 @ Dec 4 2008, 12:08 PM) *
Might there now be a need to launch a dedicated Mars telecoms orbiter to support the surface missions...

Need or not, there's no money for such a thing.

I guess if Odyssey and MRO (and MEx?, not sure about the politics there) have failed by the time MSL lands, then MSL will be DTE-only.

Would they launch MSL if all the orbital assets were failed at the time of launch? I have no idea.


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sci44
post Dec 4 2008, 08:30 PM
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It doesnt sound like NASA has funds for the Telecoms orbiter now. On another thread here someone calculated that MRO/MO have plenty of time left (decades), just based on mono-propellant usage - providing the rest of the craft holds out. If they did decide to do something maybe they should speak to the ESA, who will need an orbiter there for ExoMars in 2016 (Send it with Beagle-3 :-) ). MSL will have a direct to earth comms too, although that would be expensive in DSN time, I guess. I was rather looking forward to Oppy still being running for MSL arrival - I wonder what the odds are now? Worst of all would be if some bright spark ressurected the "turn off a rover" idea..
Does anyone know if the launcher-power remains the same for '11?
EDIT: MEX was going to be Beagles phone-home, and ESA did ask NASA for help trying to talk to Beagle with MGS, so I would guess the ESA would gladly reciprocate. There is a Chinese orbiter going with Phobos-Grunt too - now *that* would be tricky politics.. :-)
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djellison
post Dec 4 2008, 08:38 PM
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A failure of MODY, MRO AND MEX in 4 years? Highly unlikely.
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elakdawalla
post Dec 4 2008, 08:41 PM
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Yeah, I've little doubt that, barring some really really bone-headed error, MRO will be around when MSL lands. But MSL's prime mission is two years long. It could last a long, long time beyond that. It's those "out" years that I'm more worried about.

--Emily


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djellison
post Dec 4 2008, 08:45 PM
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By then, hopefully, we'll have Maven smile.gif
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