May 15 2008, 11:57 AM
The BBC has a story on the new ExoMars rover technology demonstrator
. "The MDA prototype can be viewed much like a car without its body. What you see in these pictures from a recent test session is essentially an undercarriage" -- which is good, because it's clearly not designed to look good
May 15 2008, 12:12 PM
Full in-line quote removed.
We'll have to set up a poll one day to decide which will be the ugliest : ExoMars or MSL
BTW, your link's not working
May 15 2008, 01:27 PM
May 15 2008, 01:55 PM
Wouah! I first though it was HUGE... until I sew the 2nd picture.
She looks very "primitive" at this stage
May 15 2008, 03:39 PM
Is this essentially equivalent to the "scarecrow" mobility system model for MSL?
I agree it does look rather primitive...
May 15 2008, 04:52 PM
Yeah - there's another one the same called Bridget that was here in Leicester a few weeks ago. I was in Cambridge launching a balloon at the time, but basically it's a joystick-it rover.
May 15 2008, 08:04 PM
Curious that the wheels are joined to the axels on the outside vs. the JPL way....
Is this the design that will be on the final article? Anybody hazard a reason as why this way would be preferred?
Oct 17 2008, 06:27 PM
ESA to Delay Mars Rover Mission http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/0810...-marsrover.html
PARIS — European Space Agency (ESA) governments tentatively have agreed to delay the launch of Europe's first-ever Mars rover by a little more than two years, to 2016, as part of a broader effort to rein in project costs and seek deeper cooperation with NASA and the Russian space agency, European government officials said.
Oct 17 2008, 07:46 PM
I've got a very bad feeling about this delay...the cost cap at $1B Euro is going to be a real challenge and I just don't see how NASA will have the funds to chip in additional money. Slipping from 11 to 13 to 16 sure seems like kicking the ball down the road every time real money needs to be spent on it.
Oct 17 2008, 08:47 PM
I just have a gut feeling this rover will never reach Mars. Sorry, I just do.
Oct 17 2008, 09:04 PM
Totally agree. It's as far off now as it was when first thought of.
Oct 17 2008, 10:26 PM
From the article it seems that the problem is budget rather than engineering. The quoted costs look comparable to the MER, - the same magnitude, at least, allowing a hand-waving +/- 30% for only one rover, inflation, and the absence of the previous experience with Mars landers available to JPL when Athena kicked off. My uninformed guess would therefore be that if it doesn't fly in 2016, we'll be into the 2020s before there's a realistic hope for an ESA Mars rover (and indeed any soft-lander.) The cost of putting tin on Mars is unlikely to fall, after all.
BTW, for some reason I completely missed the follow-on comments after originally posting the BBC story; sorry for the busticated link back in May.
Oct 18 2008, 04:34 PM
sadly, I also agree that with this new delay, the likelihood of this mission launching has greatly decreased. If I recall correctly, the original proposal was for a 2009 launch.
more details here at this recent AWST online article also featured in a recent issue:http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/sto.../aw100608p2.xml
Oct 20 2008, 11:41 AM
Indeed delayed by 2 years... nothing yet on the ESA.int website ?http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7677349.stm
Oct 21 2008, 03:54 PM
This also comes shortly after the other large planetary mission for the next decade, Bepi-Colombo, had a large cost increase that almost resulted in cancelation.
That mission had been studied and designed for over a decade. Compare that to Exo-Mars, which has been on a very fast track in EAS for the last few years. Budget estimates on Exo-Mars have more than doubled in the last three years, from less than 600 million to 1.2 billion Euros.
I'm not surprised someone in the European Union finally said 'stop' to the upward spiral.
Oct 23 2008, 01:24 PM
ExoMars isn't being funded by the European Union.
Oct 23 2008, 01:55 PM
And Politics are not being discussed at UMSF.
Oct 23 2008, 06:29 PM
Sorry about calling it the European Union.
It wasn't ESA that said "wait a second" it was a member of ESA that pulled back on the funding.
I was stuggling for a concise way to say it, and badly stumbled by saying "European Union"
And I'm surprised and apologize that I stepped over the no politics rule by discussing the funding of different probes. It really was not my intention. I really am not sure how to discuss any delay in a mission that is not soley due to technical problems without mentioning funding. But I certainly understand the desire to avoid the long back and forth argue-scussions that can get started that way.
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