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MSL reasons for delay
mcaplinger
post Mar 4 2009, 03:33 PM
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I wanted to make sure that everyone interested sees Adrian Brown's articles at http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1319/1 and http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1318/1 about the technical and budgetary problems with MSL that led to the launch slip. While I can't claim to be privy to the budgetary and political issues at the mission level, the technical discussion seems like a fair summary of the situation as I understand it, at least as good a one as can be gathered from public sources.

People in other forums have complained about errors in these articles, but without giving specific examples or providing any factual basis for their objections. I don't find that very useful. If there are real flaws in this account, I'd be quite interested to know what they are.

p.s. I guess we need to change the name of this subforum. sad.gif


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stevesliva
post Mar 6 2009, 12:06 AM
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You're forgiven. It is armchair-knee-jerk reflexive, but everybody gets the heebie-jeebies with anything mechanical after Galileo. Umbrellas and tape drives oh my.

The thing that gives me the greatest heebie-jeebies is Cassini's main engine cover, which has worked flawlessly. And not to comment on MSSS, but isn't there an outgas-contaminated camera with a locked up filter wheel wizzing towards a comet somewhere? Or am I combining two issues in my mind?
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centsworth_II
post Mar 6 2009, 02:14 AM
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QUOTE (stevesliva @ Mar 5 2009, 07:06 PM) *
You're forgiven.

Actually it's to algorimancer that the apology is due.
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mcaplinger
post Mar 6 2009, 03:43 AM
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QUOTE (centsworth_II @ Mar 5 2009, 06:14 PM) *
Actually it's to algorimancer that the apology is due.

Asking for forgiveness is different than apologizing, I think. rolleyes.gif

One last (?) word on the Mastcam mechanisms. A mechanismless system would be more reliable, certainly. But it would also have compromised performance. We looked at fixed-focus systems like Pancam and concluded that the performance hit was too great (Pancam is really slow optically and it's only in best focus at 2m target distance.) Our mechanisms are as reliable as we know how to make them and make as much use of MER heritage as possible. We tested them for 3x mission life and they passed with no issues. If people have residual reliability concerns, I'd be curious to know how they think we could address them. But you'd probably have to know more details of the mechanisms than is publicly available to have a well-founded opinion.

If our cameras fail there will be plenty of B&W Navcam images. smile.gif


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Posts in this topic
- mcaplinger   MSL reasons for delay   Mar 4 2009, 03:33 PM
- - djellison   Thanks for linking to these Mike - they're ver...   Mar 4 2009, 03:41 PM
|- - ElkGroveDan   QUOTE (djellison @ Mar 4 2009, 07:41 AM) ...   Mar 4 2009, 04:49 PM
|- - algorimancer   QUOTE (djellison @ Mar 4 2009, 09:41 AM) ...   Mar 5 2009, 08:16 PM
|- - mcaplinger   QUOTE (algorimancer @ Mar 5 2009, 12:16 P...   Mar 5 2009, 09:34 PM
||- - ElkGroveDan   QUOTE (mcaplinger @ Mar 5 2009, 01:34 PM)...   Mar 5 2009, 10:36 PM
|||- - mcaplinger   Forgive me if I lose patience with armchair engine...   Mar 5 2009, 11:20 PM
||- - algorimancer   QUOTE (mcaplinger @ Mar 5 2009, 03:34 PM)...   Mar 6 2009, 01:41 PM
|- - jmcdesign   "In retrospect they might simply have placed ...   Mar 6 2009, 04:23 PM
- - dvandorn   Yeah -- I've been meaning to ask when Phoenix ...   Mar 4 2009, 06:24 PM
|- - tedstryk   I was thinking (and still think) that it would be ...   Mar 4 2009, 08:58 PM
|- - ugordan   QUOTE (dvandorn @ Mar 4 2009, 07:24 PM) I...   Mar 4 2009, 09:04 PM
- - monitorlizard   I had also seen the Adrian Brown essays. In his r...   Mar 5 2009, 03:58 PM
- - stevesliva   You're forgiven. It is armchair-knee-jerk refl...   Mar 6 2009, 12:06 AM
|- - centsworth_II   QUOTE (stevesliva @ Mar 5 2009, 07:06 PM)...   Mar 6 2009, 02:14 AM
|- - mcaplinger   QUOTE (centsworth_II @ Mar 5 2009, 06:14 ...   Mar 6 2009, 03:43 AM
- - djellison   You're thinking of the Stardust Navcam. That...   Mar 6 2009, 12:18 AM
- - stevesliva   To be clear, I did not mean to imply MSSS had some...   Mar 6 2009, 12:35 AM
- - lyford   "Less moving parts!?!?!" Th...   Mar 6 2009, 01:53 AM
- - dvandorn   Let's face it, guys -- anything that has movin...   Mar 6 2009, 03:27 AM
- - djellison   Of course, we have ChemCam as an ultra high res im...   Mar 6 2009, 04:41 PM
- - Cruzeiro do Sul   One question about the RTG in MSL: in front of the...   May 6 2009, 12:45 PM
|- - SpaceListener   QUOTE (Cruzeiro do Sul @ May 6 2009, 06:4...   May 8 2009, 12:42 AM
- - monitorlizard   http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/mission/technology/po...   May 8 2009, 09:56 AM
|- - Cruzeiro do Sul   5% is a small amount of lost, so we can hope that ...   May 11 2009, 02:34 PM
- - climber   You'll be interested in this .pdf presentation...   Jul 11 2009, 10:38 AM
- - SpaceListener   And hope that these probably existence of solar pa...   Jul 11 2009, 03:06 PM
|- - centsworth_II   QUOTE (SpaceListener @ Jul 11 2009, 10:06...   Jul 11 2009, 03:48 PM
||- - mcaplinger   QUOTE (centsworth_II @ Jul 11 2009, 07:48...   Jul 13 2009, 08:24 PM
||- - helvick   This isn't completely true - vertically placed...   Jul 13 2009, 09:51 PM
|- - djellison   QUOTE (SpaceListener @ Jul 11 2009, 04:06...   Jul 11 2009, 04:45 PM
||- - centsworth_II   QUOTE (djellison @ Jul 11 2009, 11:45 AM)...   Jul 11 2009, 06:44 PM
|- - dtolman   QUOTE (SpaceListener @ Jul 11 2009, 10:06...   Jul 13 2009, 07:48 PM
- - dtolman   Isn't it a little late in the game to figure o...   Jul 13 2009, 07:55 PM
|- - SFJCody   I hope there's a TV documentary crew following...   Jul 13 2009, 08:06 PM
- - SpaceListener   dtolman, I think that this might be a leak news f...   Jul 13 2009, 08:22 PM
|- - dtolman   SpaceListener, The main source of this seems to be...   Jul 14 2009, 01:25 PM
|- - mcaplinger   QUOTE (dtolman @ Jul 14 2009, 06:25 AM) I...   Jul 14 2009, 01:53 PM
|- - dtolman   mcaplinger - thanks for the clarification. It can ...   Jul 14 2009, 02:17 PM
|- - mcaplinger   QUOTE (dtolman @ Jul 14 2009, 06:17 AM) D...   Jul 14 2009, 02:26 PM
- - Enceladus75   I think MSL was just too big a leap, technology wi...   Jul 16 2009, 01:52 AM
- - BrianL   I would say that Spirit and Oppy were a much bigge...   Jul 16 2009, 02:37 AM
- - dvandorn   Brian? Read "Roving Mars" by Steve Squy...   Jul 16 2009, 02:55 AM
|- - mcaplinger   QUOTE (dvandorn @ Jul 15 2009, 07:55 PM) ...   Jul 16 2009, 03:42 AM
- - nprev   To be fair (and not to stray OT), major projects o...   Jul 16 2009, 04:19 AM
- - dvandorn   Very true, Nick. Especially for revolutionary pro...   Jul 16 2009, 04:40 AM
|- - MahFL   Often a low estimate is the only way to get a proj...   Jul 16 2009, 12:45 PM
|- - stevesliva   QUOTE (MahFL @ Jul 16 2009, 08:45 AM) Loo...   Jul 16 2009, 03:29 PM
|- - tedstryk   The problem is that MSL is so much larger in terms...   Jul 16 2009, 06:50 PM
|- - mcaplinger   QUOTE (tedstryk @ Jul 16 2009, 10:50 AM) ...   Jul 17 2009, 01:59 AM
|- - tedstryk   Right, but that means that x percent overrun is tw...   Jul 17 2009, 03:28 AM
- - BrianL   I wasn't suggesting the MERs had an easy road....   Jul 16 2009, 12:50 PM
- - climber   I agree Ted, but if the beast works, who knows wha...   Jul 16 2009, 07:10 PM
|- - SFJCody   I guess another reason MSL has to be such a big ve...   Jul 16 2009, 07:26 PM
- - imipak   QUOTE (Kierkegaard @ 19th century)"Life ...   Jul 16 2009, 08:49 PM
- - centsworth_II   This is the kind of torturous process that leads t...   Jul 16 2009, 08:55 PM
- - peter59   http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8168954....   Jul 27 2009, 08:17 AM
|- - tedstryk   QUOTE (peter59 @ Jul 27 2009, 09:17 AM) h...   Aug 20 2009, 05:45 PM
- - mcaplinger   Hadn't seen anyone discussing the MSL status r...   Oct 16 2009, 11:02 PM
|- - Oersted   Yes, thx so much for digging up this info, I avidl...   Oct 18 2009, 10:13 PM
- - James Sorenson   Ohhh Thanks for pointing that out!, I had not ...   Oct 17 2009, 01:34 AM
- - peter59   More problems, greater costs. This is starting to ...   Oct 21 2009, 01:39 PM
|- - MahFL   Ahh crap, how unlucky, lets hope things turn out o...   Oct 21 2009, 08:20 PM
- - djellison   Given the litigious nature of US law and pending c...   Oct 22 2009, 07:15 AM
- - nprev   (sorry...we need a "deeply-embarrassed-'c...   Oct 22 2009, 07:25 AM
- - Holder of the Two Leashes   Guess I should've added a few "if"s ...   Oct 22 2009, 02:11 PM
- - djellison   As a guidance - if you have to prefix your post wi...   Oct 23 2009, 06:23 PM
- - climber   MSL Readiness to proceed review: http://nasawatch....   Nov 18 2009, 11:06 PM
|- - Greg Hullender   QUOTE (climber @ Nov 18 2009, 03:06 PM) M...   Nov 18 2009, 11:16 PM
- - elakdawalla   I split out some posts about delivery of component...   Jun 12 2010, 02:00 AM


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