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djellison
ExoMars is accelerating into the future, remember. THe 2004 plan was for a 2009 launch. Since then it has slid 9 years, in 5 years.
nprev
True. That's why I think the best solution might be to freeze the config ASAP & start bending metal. The best that could probably happen is that it'd be ready for 2016, not 2018, and that 'early' delivery would be all good from a project management standpoint if 2018 was the firm target.
vjkane
I've posted a long blog entry on the question of the two rover strategy on my blog at http://futureplanets.blogspot.com/2009/10/...mars-rover.html

Your comments and criticisms welcome.
Paolo
The 2016 ExoMars Orbiter instrument definition team final report
http://salmon.larc.nasa.gov/PDF_FILES/2016...eport_final.pdf
mps
about 2016 orbiter and EDL demonstrator: http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/in...fobjectid=46124
Drkskywxlt
http://www.parabolicarc.com/2010/08/03/nas...xomars-orbiter/

Instruments for the 2016 orbiter have been selected. I saw one quote saying that MATMOS could detect the presence of 3 cows on Mars laugh.gif Does anyone know if an occultation spectrometer can differentiate isotopes, e.g., C14 vs. C12? I haven't seen it mentioned. That would be big for strengthening the biology vs. geology argument. They're also (appearing) to refly Mars Climate Sounder, which will really extend the climatology baseline (despite the probable end of MRO-start of ExoMars gap) and let apples to apples type comparisons.
volcanopele
One of those instruments is the HiSCI camera, which will be run by the same group as HiRISE biggrin.gif cool.gif The camera will allow for near-simultaneous stereo through the use of a yaw rotation drive. The camera will image a target shortly before it flies over it, then again when it does. The resolution is a bit lower than HiRISE's at 2 meters per pixel, as opposed to 0.3 meters. But the entire swath (8.5 km wide) will be covered in four colors, as opposed to a narrow swath in the middle.
Hungry4info
What's the possibility of a global map at 2 m/px resolution?
djellison
2m/pixel = 250,000 per sq Km.

4 color channels plus 2 stereo channels (guessing here ) at 8 bit depth ( assuming a 12 bit to 8 bit LUT ) and 2:1 compression ( about what is done for HiRISE I think )

Those 250000 pixels over six channels become 1.5 megapixels - at 8 bits becomes 12 megabits compressed to 6 megabits. Per Sq Km

Approx 145 million sq km on Mars. Which means 870,000 gigabits or 870 terrabits of data.

At an optimistic average of say, 2 megabits per second - 5034 days of continuous downlink.

Make you own call on that one.

Alternatively - consider it this way. CTX on MRO is 6m/pixel and single channel. So it's 1/9th the number of pixels and 1/6th the number of channels - so 1/54th the amount of data per sqKM and in 3 years they've managed something over half the planet.



volcanopele
laugh.gif Well, it won't be with HiSCI. The current planned coverage rate is 2% of the surface each year, rather than a fraction of 1% as currently obtained with HiRISE.
Gsnorgathon
QUOTE (djellison @ Aug 4 2010, 11:17 AM) *
Approx 145 million sq km on Mars. Which means 870,000 gigabits or 870 terrabits of data.

Wouldn't those be areobits instead of terrabits? <ducks />
djellison
rolleyes.gif
Hungry4info
Alright, thanks. I understand. smile.gif
nprev
Been awhile since we had a truly atrocious pun on UMSF; I was getting worried. Congrats, Gsnorg! biggrin.gif
Gsnorgathon
Aww, shucks! It was my pleasure.
mwolff
QUOTE (Drkskywxlt @ Aug 4 2010, 10:20 AM) *
Does anyone know if an occultation spectrometer can differentiate isotopes, e.g., C14 vs. C12? I haven't seen it mentioned.


There is nothing intrinsic to the occultation technique that would prevent isotope differentiation. However, detection is a question of the amplitude of the isotopic shift and the abundance of the trace isotopes. For carbon, such shifts would be much larger in the IR and sub-mm...where the literature seems to place the proverbial observational action. Even at the allegedly observed methane abundances, one might suspect that the differentiation of C(12)H4 from C(14)H4 in the near-infrared is likely to require more S/N and higher spectral resolution than available from a MATMOS observation.
SteveM
QUOTE (Gsnorgathon @ Aug 5 2010, 03:32 PM) *
Aww, shucks! It was my pleasure.


Actually, our leader may have been setting you up for that pun, since the SI prefix is tera, not terra. wink.gif </pedantic mode>

Steve M
eoincampbell
QUOTE (mwolff @ Aug 5 2010, 02:10 PM) *
There is nothing intrinsic...

Inspiring... smile.gif
Drkskywxlt
QUOTE (mwolff @ Aug 5 2010, 05:10 PM) *
There is nothing intrinsic to the occultation technique that would prevent isotope differentiation. However, detection is a question of the amplitude of the isotopic shift and the abundance of the trace isotopes. For carbon, such shifts would be much larger in the IR and sub-mm...where the literature seems to place the proverbial observational action. Even at the allegedly observed methane abundances, one might suspect that the differentiation of C(12)H4 from C(14)H4 in the near-infrared is likely to require more S/N and higher spectral resolution than available from a MATMOS observation.


Thanks! I read the report from the ExoMars Joint Instrument Development Team that vjkane posted on his futureplanets blog. It makes a mention of isotopic differentiation, but goes no farther than that.
lavaphile
QUOTE (mwolff @ Aug 5 2010, 02:10 PM) *
There is nothing intrinsic to the occultation technique that would prevent isotope differentiation. However, detection is a question of the amplitude of the isotopic shift and the abundance of the trace isotopes. For carbon, such shifts would be much larger in the IR and sub-mm...where the literature seems to place the proverbial observational action. Even at the allegedly observed methane abundances, one might suspect that the differentiation of C(12)H4 from C(14)H4 in the near-infrared is likely to require more S/N and higher spectral resolution than available from a MATMOS observation.

In its press releases MATMOS does not claim to differentiate isotopes but SOIR-NOMAD is supposed to be able to differentiate a few variants of methane, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide (see factsheet at http://www.aeronomie.be/en/press/soir-nomad.htm).
monitorlizard
I was surprised (and disappointed) to read that the currently planned weight for the MAX-C rover, to be landed with the ExoMars rover, is now down to 65 kg:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Astrobio...Explorer-Cacher

Yeah, I know wikipedia isn't always the most reliable, but this entry draws on reputable JPL/MEPAG documents. A little more than a year ago, I was reading that the MAX-C strawman design was for a rover larger than MER with a sophisticated astrobiology payload. Funny thing is, the wikipedia entry still infers a capable astrobiology suite, but at 65 kg I can't imagine MAX-C having much more than a couple of cameras and the sample collecting/caching hardware.

Perhaps someone at the upcoming MEPAG and Mars landing site meetings will clarify what the current thinking is on this. I'd like to know what's driving the MAX-C shrinkage. Reduced performance of the skycrane relative to previous estimates? Growth in the weight of the ExoMars rover?
Drkskywxlt
QUOTE (monitorlizard @ Sep 20 2010, 09:23 PM) *
I was surprised (and disappointed) to read that the currently planned weight for the MAX-C rover, to be landed with the ExoMars rover, is now down to 65 kg:


No way this is correct. The JPL report to MEPAG that's linked on that page says the mass is expected to be much less than MSL but larger than a MER. So maybe 650kg? Dropped a zero? 65kg sounds more reasonable for the instrument payload alone. It's possible that MAX-C could get downsized no/cancelled, much will depend on the Decadal Survey. But, it's hard to imagine ANY 65kg rover could get the kind of science done that NASA's expecting for the Mars program now.
Stu
Nice report here...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/space/8...red-planet.html
tanjent
That's the first time I ever saw the adjective "doomed" applied to Mars Express.
helvick
Yeah that was a bit of an unfortunate editing mistake - very nice article apart from that blip though.
Paolo
this week in Aviation Week: ESA Hones Design For Mars Orbiter/Lander
Stuart H
QUOTE (helvick @ Oct 14 2010, 06:50 PM) *
Yeah that was a bit of an unfortunate editing mistake - very nice article apart from that blip though.


Apart from the other errors:
1. "When Beagle 2 got lost on its journey it is thought to have fallen into a crater, smashed on impact or failed to land on the planet at all "

a. It did not get lost on its journey - it was never allowed by ESA to radio home during its journey.
b. It is a myth perpetuated ad nausiam[/i] that Beagle 2 crashed or missed the planet or fell into a crater. There is NO evidence for any of these suggestions as there is NO published evidence at all.

2. "the 66 million Beagle 2 spacecraft...."

a. The published cost of the programme was 42.5 million.

3. Beagle 2 was built at the OU in Milton Keynes in an 'Aseptic Assembly Facility' of the highest quality (way better than anything NASA have done) in terms of cleanliness and sterility. It had to be, because its life-detecting Instrument was much more sensitive than anything NASA have done (or are planning to do). If you don't bel;ieve me, ask Dr. Everett Gibson at NASA
Citymarks
Full inline quote deleted - ADMIN

But why we dont build quickly new Beagle 2 spacecraft and send it to Mars? Are the blueprints lost/deleted ? Do we save money and time to not makeing new blueprints for the spacecraft ? I admire Chinas desision to send twin to orbit. Why we cant do it ?
Explorer1
There are other replacements in the planning stage already, Exomars, MSL, etc (with mobility this time).
djellison
I'm sure all the CAD and other detailed specs are safe and available. What's not available is a budget to build it or a ride to get it to Mars. Moreover, Beagle 2 didn't work. We don't know exactly why, but the fact is that it didn't. Building another and sending it straight away would have been like launching the 2001 Mars lander after the MPL failure. The sensible thing to do was stop, figure out why, and then only fly once they were sure of what had happened and how to fix it. Hence Phoenix landed 7 years after the 2001 lander should have done.

I do hope landers at the scale of B2 ( certainly in the <150kg class ) make it to Mars eventually - but they'll be derivatives of that design, not a build to print.

And it's worth mentioning, whilst B2 was in itself not a success, it brought Mars into the media spotlight like nothing has ever done before in the UK, it inspired a lot of interest in STEM subjects, and some of the instrumentation has found a home in the medical industry - so it was a project worth doing all the same.

Stuart H
QUOTE (Citymarks @ Nov 17 2010, 03:19 PM) *
Full inline quote deleted - ADMIN

But why we dont build quickly new Beagle 2 spacecraft and send it to Mars? Are the blueprints lost/deleted ? Do we save money and time to not makeing new blueprints for the spacecraft ? I admire Chinas desision to send twin to orbit. Why we cant do it ?

A very good question.
Colin Pillinger and I proposed two upgraded Beagle 2 landers each with a Sojourner sized Rover (called BeagleNET) for less than 600kg total, to be launched on a Soyuz, and way less than ExoMars current cost ~ 1000 million Euros.
But UK Gov't would not back it with money - so no project.

It has now been left to the Italians, who seem to have plenty of money !

Sadder and wiser.

PS. All the original Beagle 2 drawings/documents have been stored. I believe we could have launched three missions each with two BeagleNETs by now (2007, 2009 and 2011) to different places on Mars for less than the Current ExoMars cost.
Paolo
The 2016 ExoMars lander Announcement of Opportunity is out.
Be sure to check the Proposal Information Package, where you can find lots of info on the mission and spacecraft
Bill
I don't know if this subject deserve his own thread or is at the right place.

It seems that Meridiani planum is the primary landing site for the ExoMars Entry, Descent and Landing Demonstrator Module (EDM) 2016 mission. Opportunity is going to have a visit !
From a scenic point of view, i hope they will choose one of the other options.
One thing i don't understand are the latitude criteria (25 to 30 North latitude band) which are not respected by the Meridiani site.

http://iue.esa.int/science-e/www/object/in...fobjectid=48730
http://www.planetarygis.org/forum/scenario...6-landing-site/
I have noticed : "We would greatly appreciate any comments, suggestions, advice and ideas about the report." smile.gif

http://www.planetarygis.org/site_media/sta...016_Mission.pdf
Stu
Sorry, can someone check this, cos my computer must be playing up. I could have sworn I just read that this is going to be simply an EDL test, with a few "scientific instruments" Blu-Tac'd onto the lander, to do some "useful science" in the 8 SOLS it will be working...

http://iue.esa.int/science-e/www/object/in...fobjectid=47852

stevesliva
Seems they've left out solar panels.
nprev
sad.gif ...seems like a dramatic de-scope.
helvick
I don't want to diminish the technical effort that will be required to make this succeed but I cannot for the life of me understand why there is no real payload.

I never thought I'd find myself saying this about a Mars surface mission but this seems like a colossal waste of time and money.
nprev
I can sort of understand the logic behind this. It depends on what the prime objective of the mission is: engineering demonstration or science. Looks like they're framing the project in terms of trade-offs between each of those, and of course (generally speaking) the less science you do the less engineering risk you assume.

I understand it. Doesn't mean I like it. mad.gif
djellison
QUOTE (Stu @ Jun 11 2011, 03:48 AM) *
Sorry, can someone check this, cos my computer must be playing up. I could have sworn I just read that this is going to be simply an EDL test, with a few "scientific instruments" Blu-Tac'd onto the lander, to do some "useful science" in the 8 SOLS it will be working...


We knew this a couple of years ago. I was flabbergasted then, I remain so now.

Moreover, it's an EDL test for....nothing. There Mars scientific community has said via the decedal...after MSL and MAVEN... MSR or nothing. So what the hell is this a test for.

It's shameful.
nprev
Almost seems as if the Beagle 2 experience somehow made ESA so risk-averse about Mars EDL that this is all that they were willing to commit to. If so, that's really unfortunate; this is a wasted opportunity.
Greg Hullender
To quote Homer Simpson, "Trying is the first step to failure."

--Greg
ngunn
Wasn't it something like: the EXOMARS rover grew too hefty for it's proposed landing system, but certain nations due to build the landing system would likely have withdrawn all their EXOMARS funding (and sunk the project) if the EDL was not built and demonstrated anyway?
vjkane
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djellison
QUOTE (vjkane @ Jun 11 2011, 03:00 PM) *
The Decadal Survey speaks for only U.S. priorities.


ESA and NASA have made it abundantly clear that neither can afford to explore Mars without very tight collaboration in the future.

QUOTE
Europe apparently wants the ability to land its own payloads on Mars in the future.


Great! What payloads? Where are the proposals for these payloads? Where's the queue of scientists specifying the instrument volume, mass and power requirements and landing-site constraints that can thus drive this 'testbed'?

QUOTE
If I understand the scale of the lander, it would make a nice platform for a future network science mission or perhaps a short-lived ice cap lander.


There is no money to do such a thing in the future. Pathfinder, for example, was a testbed for a future network of landers. It was already approved and in-work when the network was cancelled. As a testbed - it had a purpose.

The REAL waste is spending all this money as a testbed to nowhere....without spending the minuscule amount of money required to make it last more than a week.

vjkane
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rlorenz
QUOTE (djellison @ Jun 11 2011, 10:43 PM) *
The REAL waste is spending all this money as a testbed to nowhere....without spending the minuscule amount of money required to make it last more than a week.


To someone not immersed in Mars science day-to-day (since 1999 or so, so perhaps I am
missing something) the programmatics on both sides of the pond for Mars seem nothing
short of collective (forgive the term) lunacy

We have had rovers operating for YEARS without so much as a pressure sensor - sure a met mast
with proper wind measurement would be nice but perhaps unaffordable in a cost-constrained mission,
but ANY meteorology data would be scientifically
valuable. Even if you're a dedicated rock-hound and don't care about the atmosphere scientifically,
recognize that sharpening the global circulation models can shave the margins and thus improve
the performance of landed sampling/geology missions. Is a few grams and a few kbits/day so
much to ask for ?

Then there was the whole two-rovers-in-one-place nonsense.

(avoiding comment on the 2013-2023 decadal survey science value of Mars sample return, which
doesnt happen in 2013-2023)

And now this. A mission to the surface of Mars whose purpose is to say 'yup, descent system worked, I
got to Mars. Toodle-pip.'

A bit of cost-benefit analysis seems to be in order. Solar arrays are not that expensive : worth flying
even on a best-effort basis, surely.
vjkane
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stevesliva
QUOTE (rlorenz @ Jun 12 2011, 12:30 AM) *
Then there was the whole two-rovers-in-one-place nonsense.


Now that you mention it, yeah, that was stupid, too. It's like they're choosing the program via the prisoners dilemma. "Are we collaborating? Who knows?!"
djellison
QUOTE (vjkane @ Jun 11 2011, 08:59 PM) *
I can guess at the reasoning.


I would agree with the reasoning, were it not for the fact that the extra parts required to make this thing actually useful are available as flight heritage components. It's the EDL test that has all those problems - all new things for a new landing system.

Making it survive on the surface? That we can do.

Without breaking the politics rule, it's hard to discuss the justification of this project. ESA can and should, do and know better.
vjkane
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