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Red Dragon
Phil Stooke
post Nov 9 2011, 09:26 PM
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True! But nobody else is likely to steal this idea.

Phil



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djellison
post Nov 9 2011, 09:50 PM
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QUOTE (Drkskywxlt @ Nov 9 2011, 12:46 PM) *
Usually teams that are proposing Discovery or NF missions keep the details pretty close to the vest. Interesting that the Red Dragon team is doing almost the exact opposite and advertising this mission a couple years even before the next Discovery AO is released.


Dragon is a platform, not a specific mission proposal.
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vjkane
post Nov 9 2011, 10:25 PM
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ADMIN - Full inline quote removed. You should know better, you've been here long enough.


According to the press accounts, Chris McKay (with Ames?) will propose Red Dragon for the next Discovery selection for a mission to sample the high latitude subsurface ice. SpaceX would be the industrial partner.

Sometimes, proposing groups are fairly open with at least some aspects of their proposals as the TIME and AVIATr teams were. In this case there is a unique resource, the Red Dragon, design that other teams can't copy so getting reviewers used to a 'radical' idea may be a good idea.


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djellison
post Nov 9 2011, 10:36 PM
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And someone else could also propose a Red Dragon platformed mission as a discovery mission. It's not significantly different to details of launch vehicles being available. The point remains - it's a platform, not a proposal.
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Drkskywxlt
post Nov 10 2011, 11:26 AM
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Dragon is a platform, Red Dragon is a specific mission proposal. From what little information is available, I don't think SpaceX has said they are going to modify the engineering of the Dragon capsule for this mission, beyond what is obviously required to acquire science data. If Red Dragon was just the platform, then it would make no sense why Chris McKay and his colleagues would already be involved (and talking about it!) with a specific mission proposal (specifically, this polar drill idea). I suppose SpaceX could consider partnering with another group of scientists for a different mission utilizing Dragon.
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djellison
post Nov 10 2011, 02:45 PM
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QUOTE (Drkskywxlt @ Nov 10 2011, 03:26 AM) *
I suppose SpaceX could consider partnering with another group of scientists for a different mission utilizing Dragon.



Let's send a Dragon capsule. What science can it do? Nothing. It's an empty box.

NOW - let's put some science in it - NOW let's send it. NOW....we have a mission.

McKay is proposing one such payload for it. Someone else could propose a different payload.

Red Dragon is a box. It's up to scientists to put something it it. McKay is one such scientist proposing a contents for that box.
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nprev
post Nov 10 2011, 03:46 PM
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Well, let's redirect by all means, then! wink.gif

Anybody got the scoop on the proposed analytical lab? Seems like it's designed to find complex organics, specifically DNA. I am remarkably ingnorant of organic chemistry; how would this work?

I didn't think that a GCMS was capable of identifying complex molecules with any degree of precision, but I suppose the technology has probably advanced considerably since the Viking days...


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vjkane
post Nov 10 2011, 03:54 PM
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QUOTE (nprev @ Nov 10 2011, 07:46 AM) *
Anybody got the scoop on the proposed analytical lab? Seems like it's designed to find complex organics, specifically DNA. I am remarkably ingnorant of organic chemistry; how would this work?

The ExoMars rover payload is pretty advanced for finding and analyzing organics. Various papers are presented at conferences on possible instruments. Don't know how much can be afforded on a Discovery budget. Generally after the spacecraft, money is tight for instruments, which is one reason that several Discovery missions have flown with a large percentage of instruments paid for by foreign governments.


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Drkskywxlt
post Nov 10 2011, 03:59 PM
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I would definitely expect foreign instruments (or donated instruments) were something like this to fly. The amount of payload that a Discovery budget could afford would be well below the payload capacity of a Dragon capsule.
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nprev
post Nov 10 2011, 04:08 PM
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Hmm. All that terrific payload capacity...

What do you think the odds would be of allowing ride-along payloads sponsored by various universities and perhaps organizations like TPS in addition to the core payload? It would be a shame to waste a single gram or CC of capacity (within ample safety margins, of course).

Bad parts of that idea: Increased integration complexity & possibly problems complying with PPP requirements.


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ngunn
post Nov 10 2011, 11:15 PM
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QUOTE (djellison @ Nov 10 2011, 03:21 PM) *
Sometimes, this place...I wonder why I bothered.


Don't ever wonder that. The question answers itself.

I don't see everything you do of course, but I've noticed that most of your recent posts take the form of rebuttals of one kind or another. Exasperation is the word that comes to mind. Perhaps that's unavoidable, but please don't give up!
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Paolo
post Dec 13 2011, 07:04 PM
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this presentation of Red Dragon has been posted on the NASA spaceflight forum
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php...0;attach=343334

Admin Note: Link above is to a 2.68mb PDF file


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Mongo
post Mar 16 2012, 01:04 AM
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From Emily's Planetary Society blog:

QUOTE
Moving on to new ideas, here's VP Kris Zacny showing off a huge drill for Mars subsurface sample acquisition. They have field-tested it in Antarctica (working with Chris McKay), and they have tricky ways of delivering samples from different depths below the surface to waiting science instruments. He also talked about how they've worked with SpaceX to figure out how the "Red Dragon" -- a Mars lander based on SpaceX's Dragon capsule -- might take not one, but two of these beasts down to land on Mars. They'd sit inside the capsule, and drill right through Dragon's heat shield to get to Martian soil, delivering the samples back inside the capsule to instruments.



Not to blow my own horn (well, not too loudly) but here is a post I made here seven months ago:

QUOTE (Mongo @ Aug 9 2011, 05:37 PM) *
I had a wild idea, does anybody know if it is technically feasible?

Instead of extending a drill mechanism out of the main hatch, would it be possible to simply drill straight down right through the heat shield? This drill would, after all, be built to drill through solid rock, and I believe that the material that heat shields are made of is designed for heat resistance/ablation, not rock-like strength, in fact they are quite fragile as I understand it. Or alternatively, perhaps the shield could incorporate a small 'cap' directly below the base of the internal drill mechanism, that can be removed upon landing. (It might be simpler and less problematic to simply drill right through the heat shield, though.)

If the drill is not required to be physically extended out the main hatch by some kind of robot arm, the mass and volume saved by not including the required arm mechanism could be used for additional instrumentation, not to mention that it would be a lot easier to extract the drill cores to the interior of the Red Dragon.
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Gsnorgathon
post Mar 16 2012, 06:26 AM
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Good call, Mongo! Now, do you have some suggestions about how they can avoid contaminating the samples? laugh.gif
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Kaputnik
post Sep 16 2012, 03:03 PM
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It's been interesting to figure out how Red Dragon is supposed to work, as more details have been released.
When the idea was first mooted, I was extremely sceptical. It seemed that a Dragon would simply have too high a ballistic coefficient to work as a Mars lander.

The key information that has emerged is that Dragon appears to have a very low dry mass, and, crucially, the landing profile relies on a last-moment blast of the retros to produce a 7G deceleration to bring the craft to a soft landing from an approach speed of more than Mach 2.

Given this landing profile, some of the more inventive ideas suggested upthread, such as dropping off additional payloads on the way down, or having propellant in reserve to make a 'hop' after landing, seem IMHO to be all but impossible.

What would be *really* exciting would be if SpaceX were to offer their best price for a dedicated Mars lander, using a more conventional design which would be much more flexible wrt payload, but using their in-house technologies (e.g. PICA-X and Draco), as well as a Falcon launcher, to greatly reduce the cost.
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