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Preparing for launch
Explorer1
post Nov 19 2011, 10:10 PM
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It says 'flight termination system battery' on that page so it's probably the latter, nprev.
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nprev
post Nov 19 2011, 10:31 PM
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Ah. Thanks, guys.

For some odd reason that seems to be the one that goes bad most frequently on the Atlas & Delta families. Maybe it's because they don't experience as many charge/discharge cycles during pre-launch testing?

If memory serves (and, knowing me, it probably doesn't) they had to replace a flight termination system battery on the booster for one of the MERs as well.


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ugordan
post Nov 19 2011, 10:35 PM
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It could be because the requirements for the FTS system are much more stringent than for other components. Of all the systems and subsystems onboard, that one must be guaranteed to work at all times and in the most severe off-nominal conditions to ensure public safety if anything goes wrong.


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nprev
post Nov 19 2011, 10:39 PM
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Good point, G. There is a fairly significant metropolitan area surrounding the Cape these days, and Vandenberg is a scant 160 km or so from the sprawling LA metro area....25 million people.

Yeah, you're gonna want that battery to work if it's needed. wink.gif


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James Sorenson
post Nov 23 2011, 05:07 AM
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Question: After browsing through the KSC Multimedia images of MSL, and looking at the images of the MMRTG lifting, I am perplexed as to why the MMRTG is completley exposed to the atmosphere. For cooling I can understand, but how is any earthly or air particulate contamination not of concern? I hope it was wiped down good with isopropyl alcohol just prior to installation with the rover huh.gif .
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Guest_Oersted_*
post Nov 23 2011, 01:01 PM
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The cooling circuit is surely well-insulated. As for the rest: well, added weight is added weight, so there is absolutely no unnecessary shielding on the rovers. Which give them that fantastic home-made look...
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nprev
post Nov 23 2011, 01:17 PM
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Not sure of the methods employed, but I'm certain that they are following the Planetary Protection Protocols (PPP).

Let's give the actual rocket scientists the benefit of the doubt, shall we? rolleyes.gif


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Leither
post Nov 24 2011, 10:03 PM
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http://planetaryprotection.nasa.gov/methods/

provides a good description of the methods used to reduce spacecraft microbial contamination. Unfortunately/fortunately Pu-238 being an alpha emitter, the MMRTG won't self-sterilize! wink.gif
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pospa
post Dec 5 2011, 08:38 AM
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Another potential planetary protection "issue" - not ultraclean drill bits, was mentioned here.
Since MSL is not life-detection mission could this be any seriouse problem when rock interior sampling?
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nprev
post Dec 5 2011, 10:35 AM
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No, not at all.


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