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djellison
Actually - the current interpretation of Moore's law is that processor density will double every 18 months. People read that as a double of CPU performance every 18 months, but that's not true.

Doug
RNeuhaus
I agree to leave the above discussion about the microprocessors power consumption since it is too complex and vast which would lead a very long discussion to understand the technology trends versus power consumption. Besides this theme is not focused to the above topic: ExoMars. I forgive to the audience due to the confusion and noise. sad.gif

Rodolfo
Stephen
QUOTE (djellison @ Jun 23 2006, 12:39 PM) *
"[I]n that respect nothing much has really changed since the days of the Soviet lunar rovers of the 1970s and it seems unlikely to change any time soon; and even if it could change it needs to be remembered that a rover is really only a kind of proxy explorer for its human controllers on Earth."

Actually - that's not quite fair - Sojourner and MER were both able to be given a target point, and make progress toward that target point, and would avoid obsticles in the way, navigate around them and return to the target point. There was one great example where Spirit actually gave up and drove backwards around an obsticle early on.

So yes - you couldn't say to Spirit "go to the top of Husband Hill " from the rim of Bonneville..it still requires people in the loop on a daily basis - BUT - it's a lot smarter than you give credit for really.

Doug

I fully appreciate that the remarkable achievements of both Spirit and Opportunity have only really been possible due to the software "smarts" in them. But at the same time we need to keep things in perspective. The reality is that most of the rovers' intelligence is still sitting inside human brains on Earth. In fact had it not been for the greater distance to Mars and the intermittent nature of communications with the rovers those rovers would probably be being driven in real time--or almost real time, as in the case of the Soviet Lunokhods. Or at least the people with control of the funding would doubtless have queried the need to spend money on autonomous driving for them--just as car manufacturers have never (well, at least until recently) bothered spending money developing cars which drive themselves or which prevent their human drivers driving into power poles or off cliffs. They rely on the human beings at the wheel being smart enough not to do such things.

Since the rovers' human masters can't drive their proxies in real time, however, that has necessarily meant giving the rovers a large degree of autonomy. Without that they would not have been able to accomplish their mission at all.

But we should not kid ourselves. The "smarts" the rovers do have are largely there to stop the smart humans doing dumb things with their martian proxies by telling them to do things which may damage the rover or the mission. Like telling the rovers (unwittingly) to drive off cliffs or over tall boulders. In particular AFAIK the rovers have no learning capability. The "smarts" they do have are largely wired into them. If they do make a blunder--like wandering into a sandtrap--it's up to their human masters not them to learn the lesson and then find ways to avoid it happening again, such as tweaking software parameters or not sending them through places where the same conditions that caused the blunder might occur again.

So like I said. Let's keep things in perspective. Spirit and Opportunity are undoubtedly "smarter" than their predecessors. (Remember that famous pic of Sojourner with one wheel perched against a rock many times larger than itself, as if it had been attempting to scale it before it realised its blunder? smile.gif ) But at the same time those "smarts" are also largely an illusion, the product of clever programming, just as an old computer program named "Eliza" could give users the illusion of talking to a certain kind of psychiatrist.

One day rovers & other bots will be able to do a lot more for themselves. They'll need to if their human masters are ever to send them into places where communications with their masters become not merely intermittent but impossible, such as driving down martian lava tubes or diving beneath the ice of Europa. But that day is not here yet.

======
Stephen
Cugel
marsdaily

Here they talk about Exomars having more autonomy. It sort of has a backseat driver build in....
SkyeLab
ExoMars prototype on show at Farnborough Air Show.
Link to a webcam situated on the test bed chassis "Bridget"
http://www.eads.net/web/lang/en/1024/conte...6/41401960.html

Story at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/5186596.stm

Cheers

Brian
SFJCody
QUOTE (SkyeLab @ Jul 17 2006, 03:01 PM) *
ExoMars prototype on show at Farnborough Air Show.

Brian



Saw it there yesterday. Also picked up bunches of leaflets- will see if there's anything new in them (didn't have time to ask questions).
lyford
they have live feeds from the "pancam" -

I call this one

"A Space Enthusiast Makes His Move"

Watch those hands, mister! biggrin.gif

AlexBlackwell
QUOTE (lyford @ Jul 20 2006, 08:02 AM) *
they have live feeds from the "pancam" -

I call this one

"A Space Enthusiast Makes His Move"

Or "After Struggle, Rover (Groper) Finally Reaches Shoulder on the way to Twin Peaks."
nprev
I'd have to characterize this as an assisted encounter: using an intermediate body for trajectory adjustment... rolleyes.gif
lyford
I hope this doesn't devolve into another "near one far one" debate..... tongue.gif
dvandorn
I just want some of you imagery wizards to tell us which of the Twin Peaks is larger, or at least which protrudes more... or are we seeing a rare instance of Nature's perfection, and each mound is exactly the same size?

laugh.gif

-the other Doug
lyford
Apparently the webcam is following standard ESA image release guidelines....

"Updating every 10 seconds" and the same pic is still up there from this morning! (Or has that exhibit closed?) rolleyes.gif

EDIT - FIxed link to pic in earlier post. I guess it's back to being updated - good thing I got a screen grab of our friends - seems the archive is no longer there.
karolp
Oh, it seems there is a lot more to that image! If we shift our attention away from the twin peaks and towards the FACE of the guy, we can easily see that the one behind him is also busy attempting to perform a sort of a Vulcan mind meld :-)
GravityWaves
QUOTE (PhilCo126 @ Jun 22 2006, 08:07 AM) *
Here's the cover of ESA BUlletin we talked about ( FREE copies available via ESA publications )
http://www.esa.int/esaMI/ESA_Publications/index.html



nice looking rover
jamescanvin
The BBC is reporting that the Exomars launch is being pushed back to 2013 sad.gif but that it may now include an orbiter. smile.gif

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/6133712.stm

James
monitorlizard
There's a new report out of Canada (www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2006/12/14/mars-rover.html, or can access through Nasawatch site) that the Canadian government has refused to give the financial support needed for Canadian companies to build the Exomars rover. Canada was ESA's first and best choice because of their expertise in robotics, so this has sort of left ESA in the lurch. This is bad news for the United States. We've been world leader in program management incompetence for decades, and this seriously threaterns our status.

Seriously, though, the article stated that Exomars was Euope's "planned mission to Mars by 2015". It's unclear from the wording whether they meant launch by 2015 or landing by 2015. 2011 was baseline for a long while, with 2013 as backup, then recently 2013 became the most likely launch. Could the launch be pushed back another two years?
Phil Stooke
Eejits!

Phil
ustrax
QUOTE (Phil Stooke @ Dec 15 2006, 02:04 PM) *
Eejits!

Phil


In good portuguese: F...-se!... mad.gif

In the article there is a reference to a possible brain drain...
Shouldn't ESA enter in the race?...
gpurcell
The Canadian announcement is a real blow to this program...I suspect it will push the launch to 2017 or later--if it even continues.
Ant103
Sig!
It's a real deception...
Can we expect to make a real Mars exploration in these conditions? Whereas the European Union of the 25 is the first power of the world, just before the USA. But, European Space Agency is like a poor face to NASA.
2013... We can say never! We push, we push, we push and during this time, we can only dream by seeing the synthetics pictures of the rover (more build than the MER...).
This make me angry from the Europe. All this technocrates wo don't have any interest of the space and the science and who can prefer to pay there attention to... to what? So, this fact reveal clearly the Europe status : no goal, no way. No target are fix for the future. We can't stay with this semi-mesure Europe. A lots of project will stay write on the paper, in this time, America have landed on Mars with men and women.
I say it all the time : make the United States of Europe. Or stop it and come back to a pre-war situation when the countries made their own small project.

Sorry about that, but, for me, it's too.
ustrax
QUOTE (Ant103 @ Dec 15 2006, 06:29 PM) *
Sig!
It's a real deception...
Can we expect to make a real Mars exploration in these conditions? Whereas the European Union of the 25 is the first power of the world, just before the USA. But, European Space Agency is like a poor face to NASA.
2013... We can say never! We push, we push, we push and during this time, we can only dream by seeing the synthetics pictures of the rover (more build than the MER...).
This make me angry from the Europe. All this technocrates wo don't have any interest of the space and the science and who can prefer to pay there attention to... to what? So, this fact reveal clearly the Europe status : no goal, no way. No target are fix for the future. We can't stay with this semi-mesure Europe. A lots of project will stay write on the paper, in this time, America have landed on Mars with men and women.
I say it all the time : make the United States of Europe. Or stop it and come back to a pre-war situation when the countries made their own small project.

Sorry about that, but, for me, it's too.


Calm down Ant103...Maybe this step back can represent a turning point...
Who knows?
And comparing ESA's budget with the NASA one isn't fair.
You, and me, every european, contributes each year with the equivalent to a movie ticket.
Maybe it is time to stop and redirect the funds to a more pragmatic way of doing things, not depending on foreign knowledge.
There's one good novelty that cannot be forgotten in spite of this deception being taking our time and thoughts...ESA is asking for the SME's collaboration, and, in my humble opinion, that means advance.
Let's wait and see what's ESA response... wink.gif
monitorlizard
I'm an American, so feel free to ignore this, but I sort of hope ESA simplifies ExoMars a bit. It's extremely ambitious for a first rover mission. We started out with Sojourner, which was quite simple compared to MER, but it gave us experience and confidence to build better rovers. I always thought the Soviet Union took the wrong approach to Mars exploration. They never proved that they could successfully carry out a simple Mars mission, yet they launched ever more complex spacecraft, all of which partially or completely failed. I fear Fobos-Grunt is another step along this path, but we'll see.

I prefer the building block approach to Mars exploration. ExoMars as currently envisioned will likely have a hard time miniaturizing its payload to target weight, and (if I remember correctly) would rely on very sophisticated artificial intelligence software. A somewhat simpler ExoMars could still do fantastic science, and I think would have a higher chance of success. And be more affordable.

But I'm basically conservative in these matters. In fact, I'm scared to death of MSL relying on Skycrane, which I don't think can be given a thorough end-to-end test.
djellison
"a thorough end-to-end test"

Viking 1, 2, Pathfinder, MPL, MERA, MERB....none had end to end tests...it's impossible to replicate the conditions on Earth in any realistic way.

Doug
dvandorn
Exactly, Doug. There are some things you *can* test end-to-end (like the software, for example), and this should always be done (would have likely saved MPL). But on some things, you just have to rely on engineering soundness. The engineering will either work, or it won't, and being thorough in your engineering studies and designs is the best you can ever really do.

Besides, most of the lost Mars probes were lost due to fairly simple mistakes. I'm reminded of that "Red Mars" set of animations someone put up on YouTube recently -- the one where the Red Rover and the Blue Rover are just standing around, talking, when suddenly a probe flashes overhead, burning up in the thin air, screaming "How many feet in a kilometer? How many feet in a kilometer?????"

smile.gif

-the other Doug
helvick
That's a bit of a sweeping generalization there oDoug. Of all the failures only the MCO english/metric units problem and the commanding error that led to the loss of Phobos 1 could really be called "simple". Out of 21 failures by the various participants in the Mars race I'd say that 2 cases caused by simple mistakes hardly deserves to be described as "most".

As to your other point they can and should test, test, test and then test some more where they can but at the same time we have to accept that there is a point where you have to stop chasing perfection and run with what your best engineering tells you is "good enough". That answer will sometimes be wrong and we will lose probes in the future but if we insisted on chasing zero risk we would end up with a robotic program that rarely launched anything.
edstrick
Something that worries me about Exo-Mars: (Without digging into the press releases and mission statistics for the REAL numbers, just working on impressions)

I get the impression the Europeans want to do a MSL class mission, with a MER mass rover, on a Pathfinder budget.

That implies an instrumentatin/hardware packing efficiency like Beagle, construction like an overstuffed Swiss watch, high costs in assembly, testing, disassembly, repair/adjustment, reassembly, retesting, etc. (like the Viking Biology Experiments, which were an engineering nightmare and astounded everybody by working almost perfectly on Mars for nearly the first and only time). And with no real rover experience, on a sub-MER budget. Correct me if I'm wrong or if they're at hand, somebody find me real numbers. I keep feeling something's running on fantasy engineering and budgeting here, like Beagle did.
monitorlizard
It does sometimes seem like Europe had visions of taking the lead in Mars exploration with a single ExoMars rover. But ExoMars will be a first generation Mars rover for ESA, while MSL will be a third generation rover for the US. A complex first mission isn't imposible, but it usually means massive cost overruns. Ask anyone in the Pentagon, where ambitious program cost overruns are a way of life (space projects and others). While faster-better-cheaper hasn't been officially pronounced dead, it really only works for relatively simple mission concepts.

About Skycrane, what I was thinking was that I'd like to see something like the Viking test where they took a balloon up to 100,000 feet or so and dropped a Viking component (aeroshell or something, I can't really remember). It would be nice to see a Skycrane with a dummy mass dropped from high altitude and actually firing/flying as it would at Mars. Of course, it's not practical or affordable, and would probably have to land on Mt. Everest to simulate Mars surface pressure. I do have confidence JPL will do everything resonably possible to make Skycrane work, though.
ustrax
QUOTE (edstrick @ Dec 16 2006, 10:55 AM) *
I get the impression the Europeans want to do a MSL class mission, with a MER mass rover, on a Pathfinder budget.


Probably you're right...
And HOW I would widh they could find the formula for that...
There's one, certainly...
And maybe we, Europeans, wuill find it, with all the steps undone...Maybe it is time to give a step forward...
Europe has the funds and, above all, the intellingence to proceed a secure space exploration program, including MARS...
With our way of being it wouldn't surprise me to have an Euro-Russian-Chinese mission to be the first to land on Mars...It wouldn't... wink.gif
dvandorn
QUOTE (helvick @ Dec 16 2006, 04:46 AM) *
That's a bit of a sweeping generalization there oDoug. Of all the failures only the MCO english/metric units problem and the commanding error that led to the loss of Phobos 1 could really be called "simple". Out of 21 failures by the various participants in the Mars race I'd say that 2 cases caused by simple mistakes hardly deserves to be described as "most".

Perhaps... though, when you look at the numbers, it seems that the majority of Mars probe failures fall into distinct categories:

Decent engineering, bad workmanship: This plagued a lot of the early Soviet Mars probes.

Launch failure: This is responsible for 40% of the American failures -- Mariners 3 and 8.

Simple mistakes: In addition to MCO and Phobos 1, I would add the failure to fully evaluate how the MPL software would react when the landing gear deployed as a "simple" mistake, making this category responsible for another 40% of American failures. Granted, this probably doesn't qualiify as "most," but it's only equaled by lauinch failures, at least for the American program. (And, hey, wasn't one of the Viking spacecraft accidentally shut down for good by a bad command load? That sort of falls in here, too...)

Plain old bad luck: I put a few failures in this category, including the Mars 6 lander, Beagle 2, the DS2 penetrators, and even Mars Observer. In any complex mechanism, you will always have mechanical failures, and these missions tended to run into them at critical points in the missions. Either that, or had the bad luck of hitting the ground at the wrong angle, or onto a badly placed rock, or onto the side of a hill, or during a global dust storm... in other words, just getting on Mr. Murphy's bad side.

So, OK, maybe "most" isn't appropriate. But you gotta admit, of the various categories, it ain't insignificant, either... smile.gif

QUOTE (helvick @ Dec 16 2006, 04:46 AM) *
As to your other point they can and should test, test, test and then test some more where they can but at the same time we have to accept that there is a point where you have to stop chasing perfection and run with what your best engineering tells you is "good enough". That answer will sometimes be wrong and we will lose probes in the future but if we insisted on chasing zero risk we would end up with a robotic program that rarely launched anything.

I totally agree with the old engineering maxim that "Better is the mortal enemy of good enough." I just think that, in some cases, you have to raise the bar a bit in your definition of "good enough." I would say that, for example, a full simulated run of the EDL software, with all expected events represented accurately in the simulation environment, ought to be an absolute requirement for all Mars landers. The failure of this box being checked off (or even existing on the checklist, for all I know) in the MPL development cycle most likely caused its failure. It's this kind of thing -- flying the mission with a fatal flaw in its software that could have been caught with a single full-sim run of the EDL software -- that I think you just have to commit yourself to achieving, regardless of its impact on development costs.

Of course, as with anything I write here, that's just my own $.02's worth... rolleyes.gif

-the other Doug
climber
QUOTE (monitorlizard @ Dec 16 2006, 03:35 PM) *
Of course, it's not practical or affordable, and would probably have to land on Mt. Everest to simulate Mars surface pressure.

Much much higher than that Monitorlizard! There's still 20% atmosphere pressure on top of Mt Everest... you can breeze safely.
edstrick
"...Mars 6 lander, Beagle 2, the DS2 penetrators, and even Mars Observer..."

It's hard to say what killed Mars 6, insufficient telemetry or they've never admitted what they concluded <correct me if I'm wrong>

Beagle, DS2 and Observer had systematic management problems and post mortem analyses indicated all had fairly serious inadequacies in testing and perhaps design. DS2 was, the report concluded, clearly not ready to fly.

You can have marginally designed spacecraft that fly perfect missions and you never know how close they came to disaster, and you can have well designed robust vehicles taken out by one 'oops', in design, manufacturing or flight.
monitorlizard
QUOTE (climber @ Dec 16 2006, 02:35 PM) *
Much much higher than that Monitorlizard! There's still 20% atmosphere pressure on top of Mt Everest... you can breeze safely.

Of course, I meant Skycrane would have to land on Mt. Everest to simulate Mars surface pressure at the bottom of Valles Marineris on a very cold day, with carbon dioxide jets erupting.
climber
QUOTE (monitorlizard @ Dec 17 2006, 06:51 PM) *
Of course, I meant Skycrane would have to land on Mt. Everest to simulate Mars surface pressure at the bottom of Valles Marineris on a very cold day, with carbon dioxide jets erupting.

Now I understand why you don't trust Skycrane! In a sense you're right; if you're precise enough to land on an eruptive jet, you don't even need a Skycrane biggrin.gif
Ant103
QUOTE (edstrick)
I get the impression the Europeans want to do a MSL class mission, with a MER mass rover, on a Pathfinder budget.

Good biggrin.gif I will note that!

I hear here that ESA have to make a less ambitious missions, like NASA for the rovers (Pathfinder before MER, and MER before MSL). But, can NASA communicate the testings result to ESA in the aim to win some time? Remember that the atmospheric entry of MPF wasn't testing because this mission used the same system of Viking mission.
nprev
Sorry if this is old news, but just noticed that an advanced life-detection instrument is under development for ExoMars by the US Scripps Oceanographic Institute. Looks promising! smile.gif

http://scrippsnews.ucsd.edu/article_detail...article_num=768
Rakhir
Europe's Mars rover may need to slim down

QUOTE
In a meeting with the press in Paris, France, Dordain said the rover was over-burdened with instruments compared with the launch capability of the Russian Soyuz rocket that is contracted to take it aloft.

ESA members will have to either lose some of its planned instruments so it can be launched by a Soyuz, or opt for a bigger launcher, which will cost more money, he said. In 2005, ESA members earmarked 650 million ($838 million) for ExoMars.

Furthermore, the agency is not yet certain how it will get precious data from the rover back to Earth. Dordain said he was "not 100% sure" that a NASA orbiter would be able to act as a relay, and this raised the question as to whether a European craft would be needed to play the linking role.
climber
QUOTE (Rakhir @ Jan 18 2007, 10:59 AM) *

You know what, the simple way is to push it back another 2 years, so, they'll put it on a Vega rocket,so, they'll have to scale down the whole think so, they'll push it back another 2 years,...
I thought they've comited to an Ariane 5 launcher a long time ago mad.gif
They even once said that comitment for ExoMars was OVER what they needed (too much monay tongue.gif ).
BTW, Spirit will be 1000 Sol OVER garenty next week. smile.gif wink.gif
Analyst
I always wondered how they put these many instruments into a MER rover for this budget. Plus a drill.

As for the relay orbiter: maybe MEX, pretty surely MRO, hopefully Scout 2011, MSTO 2013. I don't see this problem. I think Europe wants an own (science) orbiter after MEX (this is o.k.) and they hope to get funding if they talk about a relay problem I can't see. I am afraid they put the whole ExoMars rover in jeopardy by this move. Costs are rising and rising, schedules erodes, politics pull the plug.

Ariane V is pure overkill if you are coming from Soyus. To justify this you need a 3 ton spacecraft (orbiter and lander), see budget problems/risks above.

Analyst
climber
QUOTE (Analyst @ Jan 18 2007, 12:23 PM) *
I always wondered how they put these many instruments into a MER rover for this budget. Plus a drill.


This as always surprised me too plus the fact that we (Europe) as no experience whatsoever in Rovers.

QUOTE
Ariane V is pure overkill if you are coming from Soyus. To justify this you need a 3 ton spacecraft (orbiter and lander), see budget problems/risks above.


You're right since a dedicated Relay-orbiter shouldn't be that heavy. Do you know how much the most upgraded Soyus version launched from Kourou can sent to Mars? And 2013 shouldn't be the best window I guess.
edstrick
They *were* (it seemed to me) planning to put a MSL set or equivalent of instruments on a MER size rover, more or less. I was more than skeptical. Beagle II was packed to it's gills with an unusual amount of instrumenter per kilogram of Beagle, and it looked like they were planning the same for ExoMars. It looks like a bit of engineering reality is setting in....
ustrax
Before any previous judgements it is better to read the Pasteur progress letters.
ALL of them.

EDITED: Oops! Forgot teh link...Here it is.

ESA's site is a treasure ark... smile.gif

Yesterday started the scientific peer-review meeting at ESTEC, it ends tomorrow, after that things will get clearer...
power
QUOTE (ustrax @ Jan 18 2007, 01:10 PM) *
...
Yesterday started the scientific peer-review meeting at ESTEC, it ends tomorrow, after that things will get clearer...

as far as i know the peer-review finished ok for the geophysical package GEP ...

concerning the size of exomars and the rocket selection - this is a story from last year when they found that the rover is not capable to include all intended instruments. they have two options: built a larger rover, but that brings problems how to put it in soyuz-fregat (essentially the problem is not only the weight, but also size including the airbags) or kick out some instruments. it seems that if they get funding for ariane 5, they would choose the first option. the orbiter question is kind of misunderstanding - there would be an orbiter (carrier) anyway, the only change would be that it will be (again with additional funding) equipped with scientific instruments.
ollopa
My spies tell me that there is some very bad news in the pipeline re ExoMars.

I understand the ExoMars baseline is being re-classified to a planetary protection IVb rather than IVc.

This means ExoMars cannot now land in a "special region". Something to do with the cost of meeting IVc standards.

Will they now re-name the mission?
centsworth_II
When I saw "bad news", I thought 'oh,oh... cuts in instrumentation,
or *shudder* a threat of cutting the entire mission. To me,
any place on Mars can be made interesting with the right instruments.
So, just as long as a fully loaded ExoMars gets to Mars, I'll be happy.
ustrax
Here are the classifications:
"Missions to Mars

Category IV for Mars is subdivided into IVa, IVb, and IVc:

Category IVa. Lander systems not carrying instruments for the investigations of extant martian life are restricted to a biological burden no greater than Viking lander pre-sterilization levels

Category IVb. For lander systems designed to investigate extant martian life, all of the requirements of Category IVa apply, along with the following requirement:

The entire landed system must be sterilized at least to Viking post-sterilization biological burden levels, or to levels of biological burden reduction driven by the nature and sensitivity of the particular life-detection experiments, whichever are more stringent

OR

The subsystems which are involved in the acquisition, delivery, and analysis of samples used for life detection must be sterilized to these levels, and a method of preventing recontamination of the sterilized subsystems and the contamination of the material to be analyzed is in place.

Category IVc. For missions which investigate martian special regions even if they do not include life detection experiments, all of the requirements of Category IVa apply, along with the following requirement."

From here.

EDITED: Doesn't seem like it is not allowed to and in special regions, just that they have to take more severe sterilization measures...or this or my english is failing me... wink.gif
centsworth_II
QUOTE (ustrax @ May 17 2007, 10:22 AM) *
... just that they have to take more severe sterilization measures...

But this is the kind of "just" that can lead to cost overruns, cuts in
science, or worse. If the resolution is going to a "less interesting"
place. I won't be as disappointed as I would be with major science
cuts. And what at first appears uninteresting can hold some surprises.
ustrax
QUOTE (centsworth_II @ May 17 2007, 03:42 PM) *
But this is the kind of "just" that can lead to cost overruns, cuts in
science, or worse. If the resolution is going to a "less interesting"
place. I won't be as disappointed as I would be with major science
cuts. And what at first appears uninteresting can hold some surprises.


Here's the definition of "special region":

"A Special Region is defined as a region within which terrestrial organisms are likely to propagate, OR a region which is interpreted to have a high potential for the existence of extant martian life forms.

Given current understanding, this is apply to regions where liquid water is present or may occur. Specific examples include but are not limited to:

-Subsurface access in an area and to a depth where the presence of liquid water is probable

-Penetrations into the polar caps

-Areas of hydrothermal activity."

Dear centsworth_II, I can't see how this re-classification can imply the elimination of special regions as ExoMars target...am I missing something here? By my understanding as long as the measures are adopted they can land it at any location "special" or not.
centsworth_II
QUOTE (ustrax @ May 17 2007, 10:47 AM) *
By my understanding as long as the measures are adopted they can land it at any location "special" or not.

I'm certainly not the one to go to for expert advice on this, but....The special region measures are what
makes for a class IVc mission. Deciding a mission is not to be class IVc indicates to me that it has been
decided not to take these measures, so the mission will not be able to go to a "special region".
ustrax
QUOTE (centsworth_II @ May 17 2007, 04:12 PM) *
The special region measures are what makes for a class IVc mission.


My english misleads me... rolleyes.gif
I believe you are correct...Even if landing on a non special region ExoMars will turn it into one... wink.gif
centsworth_II
Hopefully ExoMars will land in a region that was
VERY SPECIAL millions of years ago, even if today
it is dry.
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