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djellison
QUOTE (vjkane @ Jun 11 2011, 11:32 PM) *
ESA has proven itself reasonably competent,


ExoMars has not. As a rover project, it actually accelerated into the future as a series of consecutive and compounding delays and budget growths faster than time passed. It was a farce from the beginning.

http://twitpic.com/lacef


vjkane
removed
djellison
QUOTE (vjkane @ Jun 12 2011, 08:41 AM) *
MSL attempted to come in at $1.6B, and now is about $2.5B.


And only slipped 2 years. It never accelerated into the future, every year.

And as a project it was started about the same time as ExoMars......

ExoMars has nothing to show for itself. MSL will launch in 5 months

How much has the ExoMars project spent, to date, without flying a single thing?

I appreciate your efforts to defend the program, but I'm afraid I simply don't agree with your reasoning.
vjkane
removed
djellison
QUOTE (vjkane @ Jun 12 2011, 10:55 AM) *
The MSL budget was allowed to grow and the schedule was allowed to slip.


And we have the largest most capable rover nearly ready to launch - we have a flight project to show for it

QUOTE
As near as I can tell, the ExoMars budget has not been allowed to grow dramatically.


They've been spending money for nearly a decade and have no flight hardware. Money has been spent - and now they have two large flight projects to pay for, they have to start all over again......and NOTHING to show for it after 8 years. Maybe a bit of budget creep over the past 8 years and we'd have something to show for it.

QUOTE
Therefore, the capabilities have been cut (surface station removed, instruments paired back,


Rendering the lander useless

QUOTE
independent landing system for rover eliminated,


Rendering the lander test pointless as it's a test for nothing.

QUOTE
orbiter became joint mission with NASA,


This is basically the only good bit of the entire mess.

QUOTE
and schedule has slipped out.


Not slipped.... accelerated out. Every year that's passed, the project has gone more than a year into the future. They were not making progress, they were going backwards, spending money as they went. And the results..... an orbiter that carries a bunch of almost exclusively US instruments, and an orphaned, pointless lander.

Whatever the official 'strategy' for budget/schedule/scope... it's resulted in a complete mess. The strategy has failed.
Astro0
ADMIN: Gentlemen, may I respectfully suggest that it's time to end the chat there. smile.gif

OTHER ADMIN: Agree
Bill
My first remark was on the different landing sites and not on the uselessness of this mission.
I'm disappointed by the fact that they choose Meridiani planum as the primary landing site ; we are not going to see anything new. What do you think about the 3 other sites and about the report (as they "would greatly appreciate any comments, suggestions, advice and ideas about the report") ? Why do they show concern about the dust ?
http://www.planetarygis.org/forum/scenario...6-landing-site/
http://www.planetarygis.org/site_media/sta...016_Mission.pdf
vikingmars
QUOTE (djellison @ Jun 12 2011, 08:13 PM) *
...The strategy has failed.

I totally agree with Doug's statements and conclusion. Being myself among the European taxpayers, I feel that it's a huge waste of money... spend, as it appears to us, just to see at the end some nice videos showing a MER-like s/c roving Mars ! The good side is that the European space industry has some very good engineers able to cope with late-minute constraints and they may recover swiftly, providing there is a real political willingness to pursue this program on concrete matters
spdf
Europe is planning a network mission after ExoMars with 3-4 landers. So the test 2016 is not that unimportant.
rolleyes.gif
http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2009/pdf/1271.pdf
tolis
Hi All,

I think that the point behind the 2016 landing module is simply to demonstrate
an independent European capability to succesfully deliver instruments
to the Martian surface. To-date, only the US have had that
capability.

Tolis.
Paolo
exactly, and to show that all the million euros invested in the program have not been completely wasted
djellison
Respecting the admin teams wishes to not revert to the back and forth with vjkane....

Mars-Next? Really?

It's mentioned on an ESA website from 3.5 years ago, and nowhere else.
http://www.esa.int/esaSC/SEMJA563R8F_index_0.html

That means it predates the 2016 EDL test being announced - thus the EDL test can not be considered a precursor to Mars-Next

Moreover - the possible post-2018 mission is mentioned here - http://mepag.jpl.nasa.gov/meeting/jul-09/0...ag_Coradini.pdf - in the context of a 200kg 2016 test of an appropriate net-lander sized vehicle... NOT a 600kg Phoenix sized lander that we now seem to be heading towards.

Mars-Next reappears at LPSC in 2008
http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2008/pdf/1656.pdf

The 2009 LPSC paper is identical to the 2008 one in almost every way. Not a great sign of a project moving forwards. 'We need to submit an LPSC paper' 'Copy and paste last years'. Marching forwards, clearly.

Those documents wording describes this as a project to fill the gap between ExoMars and MSR....but it seems increasingly likely that ExoMars (2018) will become the first leg of a three-phase MSR project - so no such gap exists anymore.

Do the requirements of the Mars-Next landers match the abilities of the 2016 test lander? If it does, why is it just an EDL test. If you're about to build 4 of something.... then surely this test should be an end to end test of EDL AND the long life surface phase requirements.

If we assume that yes, Mars-Next IS a long life derivation of the 2016 test lander, then could an orbiter realistically carry four landers of this size? The 2016 test is a 600kg vehicle (neither small enough for realistic netlander, nor big enough for the sorts of payloads scientists want to send) 4 of those is more than twice the dry mass of MRO. It's more than the wet mass of MRO...just the carried payload. This would result in a spacecraft getting on for Cassini/Galileo/Phobos sized. Building and testing that much hardware would cost a FORTUNE. Can ESA realistically afford 4 landers of that size? It's easily an MER + MRO budget project. With the 2016 Orbiter and Lander, and a 2018 rover to pay for, there can not possibly be money for such a project.

Calling the 2016 lander a test-bed for an unfunded (and frankly unfundable) project that almost certainly wont take the 2016 lander design on is just a little bit of a stretch. At this point, the 2016 EDL test looks like an inappropriate test for an unfunded project who's Mars program window just vanished.

That 200kg EDL test proposed back in 2009 sounds awesome and could very well constitute the beginning of a Mars-Next style project in the future - the very Netlander project I've been bashing on and on about for years as a logical goal for ESA. Unfortunately, far from being a test-bed, it would appear to me that the new large 600kg 2016 EDL test actually kills any chance of Mars-Next happening.

spdf
Well I could find more documents about Mars-Next. This one is from November 2010.

http://emits.esa.int/emits-doc/ESTEC/ESAIP...xp2009-2014.pdf

ESA thinks about an Ariane 5 launch. Mass at launch will be 3363 kg. 3-6 landers at a mass of 170 kg. Okay point taken.
It seems like they think that entry is the most critical point for them, not long life surface phase requirements. That seems to be why the main target of the test is the entry phase. No judgement from me about this. (No time to read the whole document now)

Concerning the budget, JAXA is also thinking about a network mission called MELOS. There seems to be talk about going somehow together. I can post some documents about this later, if you want.
djellison
QUOTE (spdf @ Jun 15 2011, 04:36 AM) *
3-6 landers at a mass of 170 kg.


Like I said - the 600kg test lander actually kills off an EDL test for a vehicle of this size.

And that's not really a document about Mars-Next (infact, that phrase doesn't appear in the entire 100 pages of it) - it's the technology roadmap for robotic exploration of the entire agency. Yes, it talks about a presumed networked lander - it simply cites 2011 funding for 4 different technological requirements - Aerogel, UHF/Xband comms, an orbiter re-entry breakup analysis tool and small lander airbags.. total funding is 3.6M Euros. It cites other tech research projects that would stretch into 2014 as a precursor to any possible network lander projects. It doesn't attest as to the likelihood of such a mission happening.
vjkane
When comparing masses, be sure to know what elements are included. Depending on the context, the mass can include:

Landed system only
Landed system + descent system
Landed system + descent system + entry system
Landed system + descent system + entry system + delivery spacecraft attach systems

(The attach system frequently includes a spin up system.)

I'm not sure that the masses being discussed include the same elements.
djellison
The two are very clearly totally different spacecraft. One is a small airbag lander for a netlander style mission in the 150-200kg range that would last two years on the surface. The other is a Phoenix sized pulse-throttled-hydrazine engined EDL test soft lander in the 600kg range that will last one week on the surface.
stevesliva
QUOTE (djellison @ Jun 15 2011, 11:42 AM) *
The two are very clearly totally different spacecraft.


Yeah... certainly a head-scratcher. They're going to test the EDL system w/o airbags and then plan on using airbags? That validates pretty much only the E of EDL.
rlorenz
QUOTE (tolis @ Jun 14 2011, 03:32 PM) *
I think that the point behind the 2016 landing module is simply to demonstrate
an independent European capability to succesfully deliver instruments
to the Martian surface. To-date, only the US have had that
capability.


This raises a gnarly question. Define 'capability'. If I were pressed, I might call this
a demonstrated reliability to perform. Engineers like 99.5% ('3-sigma' - although a
translation of variance to probability in this way is predicated on Gaussianity, an
assumption that likely does not hold, but that's another thread, don't get me started
on exponentials and power laws....).

You cannot demonstrate 99.5% reliability without doing of order 200 trials. Agencies usually
wimp out after 1.

I'd submit that the US 'capability' may be statistically indistinguishable from good luck

While Beagle had its programmatic problems (and DS-2 for that matter), I don't believe
the loss of either mission is a robust experiment to show that those concepts would
not work (i.e. a lack of capability has not been demonstrated to any significance)
We only know that they failed (DS-2 might be considered 1.x failures - many
failure modes are common to both vehicles)


just my 1+(1/2)+(1/3)+(1/4)..... cents-worth
Stuart H

I'd submit that the US 'capability' may be statistically indistinguishable from good luck

While Beagle had its programmatic problems (and DS-2 for that matter), I don't believe
the loss of either mission is a robust experiment to show that those concepts would
not work (i.e. a lack of capability has not been demonstrated to any significance)
We only know that they failed (DS-2 might be considered 1.x failures - many
failure modes are common to both vehicles)


just my 1+(1/2)+(1/3)+(1/4)..... cents-worth
[/quote]

Guys,
Let's be totally honest here. The real purpose of the 2016 EDM is not 'technology demonstration' since, as Doug says above, it doesn't stack up.
No, it is political expediency. I speak as one who is working on the ExoMars mission.
In order for ESA/NASA to proceed with the overall ExoMars mission, which, let us be clear, is the only viable plan to support the return of surface/sub-surface samples from Mars to Earth (ie. MSR part 1), it needs the Italian financial contribution.
This means funding the 2016 EDM in order to allow the Italian share of the ExoMars work to be in line with its contribution.
This is the way that ESA works (it almost certainly is not the best way !)

No EDM, no ExoMars. (ie. No bucks, no Buck Rogers, as someone once said.)

Stuart Hurst,
Astrium UK.
alphasam
QUOTE (djellison @ Jun 14 2011, 11:03 PM) *
Mars-Next? Really?

It's mentioned on an ESA website from 3.5 years ago, and nowhere else.
http://www.esa.int/esaSC/SEMJA563R8F_index_0.html

That means it predates the 2016 EDL test being announced


Actually just to set things straight I'll think you'll find the EDL, or at least the original concept, easily predates the network mission. It's a drastically scaled-down version of Aurora's "2018: a technology precursor mission to demonstrate aerobraking/aerocapture, solar electric propulsion and soft landing (formerly envisaged as a smaller Arrow-class mission to be launched in 2010)" mentioned here back in 2003, that's why it looks like a strange bolt-on to 2016 TGO, because it is; I remember following the development (and downsizing) well. If I remember correctly it was orginally proposed as the first "Mars-NeXT" (Now part of MREP) back when the "-NeXT"s were conceived as tech demonstrators, ESA's planned Lunar Lander is the culmination of what was originally called "Moon-NeXT". I don't think it was planned as a direct test for the network mission specifically, and it appears that has gone with Beagle 2 heritage systems anyway, in fact since when does ESA ever conduct full-scale demonstrations of future missions or their technology? Each mission is it's demonstrator! I assume because of the decision to go with B2-like architecture in the network study it was decided to use the new Exomars-EDL to test a representative system for larger missions.

The Mars-Next mission is neither unfunded nor unfundable, in fact approval for the mission (whether it be the network or another of the studied missions) is being sought at next year's council of ministers. The fact is given the budget situation at NASA, the next MSR mission will almost certainly be delayed significantly so there will be plenty of room for an ESA-led mission in the meantime. Btw, from what i've seen it is only NASA that considers 2018 Exomars as the first part of MSR, ESA do not.
Floyd
QUOTE (rlorenz @ Jun 16 2011, 04:24 PM) *
just my 1+(1/2)+(1/3)+(1/4)..... cents-worth


If it is your 2 cents, then you probably want 1 + 1/2 + 1/4 +1/8--the harmonic series diverges
djellison
QUOTE (alphasam @ Aug 31 2011, 05:33 AM) *
in fact approval for the mission (whether it be the network or another of the studied missions) is being sought at next year's council of ministers.


So it's currently unfunded.

The EDL testbed is, as Stuart has very well explained, pork. Nothing more.
alphasam
Unfunded in the sense that it's as yet a proposal, just like MSR for that matter, preparatory work on the mission and others is funded through MREP. Given that it's going to the council next year it's clearly not unfundable, especially with future EU Space Programme funding, i'm not sure what makes you think it is.

I don't doubt there is a political element to the role of the current EDM but the fact is ESA's desire for an EDL demonstrator predates and was seperate to the joint ESA-NASA Exomars plan, it doesn't exist just because of political expediency. The EDL fits with stated desire of ESA to aquire precision soft landing experience as part of the Aurora roadmap, which it will suplement through the lunar lander.
djellison
You have your opinion, others may differ.

Spending hundreds of millions of euros and intentionally demanding a short surface mission is lunacy.
alphasam
This will be the case with the proposed lunar lander too. The point i'm making is this is not an issue of politicking concerning a single mission, but ESA's Human Spaceflight and Exploration programme as a whole which always has treated the science as of secondary importance.
Paolo
This is interesting. If the 2016 orbiter is transferred to a Proton, it could fly a few Mars 96-like landers
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15767184
tolis
Not a bad idea, if ever there was one. This way, the landers have a good chance of actually
getting to Mars. A russian version of Beagle 2.

Tolis.
Paolo
just wondering: the payload of the TGO is stated to be up to 135 kg (http://exploration.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=46475), that of Mars Express was not much less at 116 kg (http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=31022), so why can't they fly a small-medium mission like Mars Express or Odyssey or Global Surveyor instead of flying a heavy one on the Proton?
I understand this would probably require dropping the lander, though...
djellison
QUOTE (Paolo @ Dec 10 2011, 05:38 AM) *
I understand this would probably require dropping the lander, though...


And assuming they don't - then they need the heavier LV. ( plus, the 2016 window isn't as good as the 2003 one was )
stevesliva
QUOTE (djellison @ Dec 10 2011, 01:43 PM) *
( plus, the 2016 window isn't as good as the 2003 one was )


Could not help but LOL at this. And then sigh heavily.
centsworth_II
How good will the 2029 window be?
tolis
According to this BBC news article

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-16906740

the US may be pulling out of ExoMars altogether.
Paolo
I don't want (and I can't) go into politics and policies, but I think we must really enjoy every single bit of data from MSL and MAVEN, because I fear we will have to wait many many years before the next Mars probe
tolis
Well, the situation is perhaps not quite abysmal yet..

If Spirit/Opportunity are indicators of future performance,
Curiosity may be with us until 2020 or later.

Also, with the resources at hand, Europe could certainly fly
*a* mission to Mars in 2016 or 2018 if it wanted to,
for example an orbiter-only mission with perhaps a static lander
along for the ride if Russia could contribute the launch vehicle.

We shall see..


Eluchil
Well if the MER's are any indication we have a good chance of enjoying MSL data for quite a while. While I agree that this news, if confirmed, is devastating there is still a reasonable possibility that ESA or NASA can get some type of Mars probe together before the end of the decade. India's ISRO also has a Mars probe in the works and China has mentioned plans to follow up on Yinghuo-1.

If NASA does abandon its commitment to ESA, it does mean the renewed delay and redesign of ExoMars. But it is still to be hoped that the experience European engineers have gained working on its design and construction will ultimately be put to use on a successful Mars mission.
Paolo
NASA got on board of ExoMars because ESA alone could not pay the 1 billion euro bill of the original rover mission. Without NASA, there will be no rover mission.
I remain convinced that the highest priority now is a trace gas orbiter, and that could be flown on a cheap mission like MGS or Mars Express.
I think we need to stop here before the admins get angry...

Good idea...[Mod]
Stuart H
QUOTE (djellison @ Dec 10 2011, 05:43 PM) *
And assuming they don't - then they need the heavier LV. ( plus, the 2016 window isn't as good as the 2003 one was )


In addition to the 2016 T2 transfer being poor, it arrives during the Global Dust Storm Season (GDSS), so either you
a) wait in orbit for the dust storm to abate, which requires extra fuel or you
cool.gif design the Lander to survive ie. much thicker aeroshell, stronger structure to manage the greater buffeting etc. all of which reduces the useful payload on the surface.
This is the Italian EDM design approach.

But the question I keep asking ESA is: Why develop a new technology which you will never use for a larger robotic (or manned) lander anyway ?

Stuart Hurst
Paolo
ExoMars may not be dead after all Europe still keen on Mars missions
EDL demonstrator to be turned into a longer-lived lander thanks to Russian RTGs and a derivative to land the 2018 rover (this looks like a bad idea to me... if something went wrong in 2016 it would be too late to modify the 2018 lander)
machi
Some new informations about ExoMars from ESA's documents.

Two Russian instruments are now planned for orbiter (some instrument for chemistry of atmosphere, neutron detector + dosimeter) and EDM can be powered now by Russian RTG (so much longer life is possible).
New instruments are planned for EDM - camera, LIDAR, neutron spectrometer, fotometric sensors and atmospheric dust detector.

Rover mission in year 2018 is still not clearly specified, but 2018 date is still preferred.

SFJCody
As a long lived static lander a seismometer might be a nice addition.
monitorlizard
The best launch windows to Mars come once every fifteen years, meaning you can launch the heaviest payload there on any given rocket. 2018 is the next one, so ESA and Russia will fight hard to make that launch date.
tolis
Hi All,

A story has appeared in the news to the effect that Russia and ESA have signed an MoU to collaborate
on ExoMars in 2016 and 2018 with a formal deal expected to be finalised by year's end. For example:

http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1204/09exomars/

Perhaps a knowledgeable person could clarify the following point for me:

My understanding is that work on the 2016 EDM and Orbiter must proceed immediately
in order to make the 2016 launch window. Does this new development untie
ESA's hands on this issue, or must further work await until after a formal deal is reached
in which case the 2016 window is effectively lost?

Thanks for any answer.


Tolis

btw, according to the latest update by anatoly zak:

http://www.russianspaceweb.com/exomars_2016.html#russia

a much longer lifetime of the EDM on the surface is envisioned
than the 8 or so days of the original plan. Nice.

scalbers
I noticed a similar story at this website:

http://www.sen.com/news/russian-agrees-dea...ve-exomars.html
nprev
I must caution anyone who may participate in this thread that political comments will be deleted with no notice.

I understand that politics is a large part of what's happening here, but UMSF just doesn't do that...and for good reasons.

Please confine your comments to the science & engineering of the mission; in the end, that's all that really matters in any case.

Thanks!
tolis
According to a presentation made by Alexander Zakharov during
a workshop I attended last week in Moscow:

http://europlanet.miigaik.ru/2012/English_version/

it appears that neither RTGs (Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators) nor RHUs (Radioisotope Heater Units)
will be available as part of the Russian contribution to the Exomars EDM lander in 2016.
A depiction of the lander shown during the talk included what looked to me like solar panels.

It is not clear what impact this will have on the lander's expected lifetime once on the surface.

Tolis.




Paolo
issue 8 of the ExoMars newsletter is out
it confirms that

QUOTE
The overall design of the Entry, descent and landing Demonstrator Module (EDM) has been reverted to the configuration without the Russian contributions


also, fabrication of the 2016 orbiter has started
Paolo
Testing times for ExoMars drill

what I find funny is that the ExoMars drill is nearly the same drill I was working on for my master thesis back in 1999, when it was to fly on the 2003 Mars Surveyor sample return mission... lots of water under the bridges!
Paolo
I have just read this paper ExoMars Mission 2016: EDM Science Opportunities
interestingly, it looks like the only camera on the lander will be a reflight of the Herschel monitoring camera (which took this stunning sequence http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/herschelplanck...SJZVNUF_0.html) to monitor the descent and landing MARDI-like
note also that the Meridiani landing site (6.1W-1.8S) is very close to Opportunity. I am dreaming of pictures of the re-entry from the surface...
MERovingian
As a European, this should be good news to me indeed:

http://spaceflightnow.com/news/n1211/21exomars/

Halas! By the time the twenty participating EU states + Russia do agree on everything, pass through the Euro crisis and get the cash, build the hardware and go fly, it will be 2020 at best before they land. Then, it will take until 2021 to get the first picture made public by ESA and finally, if they do as with the Huygens probe on Titan (in a released article about a month ago... what a joke!), it will be another seven years before they let us know how the little Exomars rover landed! Once all is said and done we will be close to 2030 and I'll be dead by then or too old to understand what is that bloody red thing I'm looking at on the computer screen!

Gosh, I wish I'm wrong, so wrong!
vjkane
Healthy skepticism aside rolleyes.gif full funding still needs to be secured.

I'm looking to see more on the descent and landing plans -- that is a very capable planned lander and bigger than I believe Russia has done in the past.
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