Jun 12 2007, 08:45 PM
saw this on the BBC site:http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6745177.stm
(hope this is the right place for this topic on the site...)
Jun 14 2007, 07:19 PM
I'm glad they've gone with a more realistic, larger budget. It was the gee-wiz-on-the-cheap feeling of the initial proposal that concerned me the most.
Will MAVEN or Great Escape (Scout 2011) have the capacity to act as a data relay?
Jun 14 2007, 09:33 PM
Yes - all Mars scout orbiters have to have the UHF relay capacity.
Jun 14 2007, 11:35 PM
It's purely coincidental, but 2013 is also the year NASA plans to launch the Mars Science and Telecommunications Orbiter, a dedicated relay spacecraft (although its initial orbit will be optimized for science), so there should be plenty of relay assets in Mars orbit.
Jun 15 2007, 01:51 AM
Wasn't the Mars Telecom Orbiter canceled? Or is this something new?
OK, the late, lamented Telecom Orbiter was slotted for 2009, so this must be something else. Has it actually been greenlighted? [greenlit?]
Hard to believe that the schedule is "purely coincidental!" :->
Jun 15 2007, 05:00 PM
The thread "two new MEPAG reports" in this same subject category has a link to the newest study on the 2013 Mars Science ( and Telecommunications) Orbiter. It is a different spacecraft from the 2009 Telecommunications Orbiter, with much more emphasis on science (but much more relay capacity than is on Mars Odyssey or MRO).
The 2013 orbiter is not an approved mission, but is the next mission to be defined after the 2011 Scout. Its payload is in the early stages of being defined. And it really is a coincidence that it launches in the same year as ExoMars. Kind of odd timing, really--four years after MSL and two plus years before the 2016 mission, which could be the astrobiology rover. If everyone launches on time, it could be a real boon for ExoMars data return, although the initial orbit wouldn't be optimal for data relay. Come to think of it, the 2013 orbiter would probably be aerobraking for the first several months ExoMars is roving, but if the rover lasts long enough, the orbiter would be available for relay.
Jun 18 2007, 11:01 PM
Thanks for the interesting details about the new orbiter.
Jun 19 2007, 04:21 PM
Bruce Moomaw recounts some interesting recent developments
in the planning for the new orbiter, apparently now renamed the Mars Science Orbiter.
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