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Phil Stooke
But it will be accompanied by two cute little cubesats:

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/cubesat/missions/marco.php

Phil
punkboi
Send your name to Mars aboard the NASA InSight lander:

http://mars.nasa.gov/participate/send-your-name/insight/

The deadline is September 8 (midnight, ET)
Explorer1
Instrument leak problem identified and fixed: still go for launch!

http://www.space.com/31326-nasa-insight-ma...sensor-fix.html
stevesliva
QUOTE (Explorer1 @ Dec 11 2015, 02:17 AM) *
Instrument leak problem identified and fixed: still go for launch!


I was assuming the latter, but it's great to hear the former! Fabrication snafu, not a design error.
vjkane
If you follow the development side of planetary exploration long enough (especially the books on missions later written by insiders), last minute hiccups like this are common. In this case, it looks like rigorous testing did its job and found a problem to be fixed. Whew!
Paolo
launch reportedly canceled (or delayed):
http://nasawatch.com/archives/2015/12/nasa-will-not-b.html
dtolman
Most reports are that it is delayed until the next launch window in two years, as they could not repair a critical defect in time for the March launch.

http://www.popularmechanics.com/space/moon...nsight-shelved/
Explorer1
Telecon link here: http://www.nasa.gov/news/media/newsaudio/index.html
B Bernatchez
QUOTE (dtolman @ Dec 22 2015, 12:55 PM) *
Most reports are that it is delayed until the next launch window in two years, as they could not repair a critical defect in time for the March launch.

http://www.popularmechanics.com/space/moon...nsight-shelved/

Discovery missions are cost capped. If the delay causes costs to rise above the cap, it may be canceled. I hope not.
MahFL
Wow what a bummer.
Explorer1
Yep, it sucks but just like Curiosity, better to do it right after a wait then do it wrong without one. A leak on Earth is obviously better than a leak up there, right?
antipode
Awww darn. After initially being disappointed that TiME lost out to this mission I was actually getting excited about the mission science. Still, as Emily has pointed out, if she goes in 2018 it will fill a quiet period in the planetary launch schedule and I'd forgotten that ESA is going to Mars next year, so better safe than sorry.

Also in 2016 - Juno!

P
vjkane
Just to be clear, InSight will be reviewed and it may be either cancelled or delayed.

If it is delayed, then it is unlikely that NASA will be able to select two Discovery proposals in the current competition as it had hoped. So we likely will lose a Discovery mission either way.

Sometimes, crap happens and it very often happens in the simplest, low tech elements. InSight got unlucky.
Explorer1
Yep, and honestly, finding a flaw before launch is the best case scenario; there's still a good chance that some great science will result. DSCOVR had it way worse, and look where it is now!
Or contrast Insight's situation with CONTOUR...
PaulM
I would like NASA to use the 2 Year delay to add other instruments to the deck of the Insight deck such as a spare of the Phoenix LIDAR experiment that presumably exists. I think that additional meteorology experiments would help round out the instrument payload of the Insight mission.
PaulM
I think that if the Opportunity rover was to deteriorate further over the next Year then there would be an argument to park Opportunity close to its current position on a North facing slope to carry out the delayed Insight radio science experiment for the next 2 Years. Opportunity has already performed a successful 6 months radio science stint 4 Years ago which showed Opportunity's value in that role.

In retrospect the idea of leaving Spirit parked on a North facing slope and re-purposing Spirit for radio science role after the last winter that she survived on Mars might have been a good idea given the trouble that Spirit had in roving during the last Summer that she was still working.
James Sorenson
QUOTE (PaulM @ Dec 29 2015, 04:19 PM) *
I would like NASA to use the 2 Year delay to add other instruments to the deck of the Insight deck such as a spare of the Phoenix LIDAR experiment that presumably exists.


I can tell you this with certainty, that's not going to happen. Instrument selection happens early in the design and the lander is pretty much now complete. Because of the launch slip and subsequent storage, Insight may hit its cost cap of $675 million. If that happens NASA will have to decide whether to cancel the mission or continue with it. At this point in the game, any new instruments isn't on the table, but perhaps possible descoping some things is?
Explorer1
Removing something is still 'work' so it would still cost money to do anything beyond the storage. Too bad; it would have been nice to add that Mars microphone at last.
Perhaps the 2020 rover....
gpurcell
So what happens to the readied Atlas V that they were going to launch with in this sort of case?

I also don't understand how the contractor that was supposed to deliver the SEIS instrument isn't on the hook for any costs of redesigning that instrument plus damages.
katodomo
The SEIS sphere isn't built by a contractor but by CNES itself. Given that SEIS is an instrument provided to the mission for free (to NASA) no damages are caused (to NASA) if it doesn't work. If they decide not to fly while it's not working that's NASA's problem.

This construct stems from the fact that NASA paid for less than 25% of the instruments for InSight in order to save cost (under the cost cap for the mission) - and it will probably be the last mission with excessive non-NASA instrumentation. CNES' SEIS cost $42 million alone, DLR's HP³ (based on Philae's MUPUS) another $19 million. NASA spent $18 million on the RISE radio experiment (using the lander's x-band link), a robotic arm to deploy SEIS and HP³ in a number of places around it and - to track the arm's movement - two b/w cameras.
mcaplinger
QUOTE (katodomo @ Dec 30 2015, 11:04 AM) *
...to track the arm's movement - two b/w cameras.

Actually (and despite my earlier skepticism), the cameras were upgraded to Bayer color.
mcaplinger
QUOTE (gpurcell @ Dec 30 2015, 10:40 AM) *
So what happens to the readied Atlas V that they were going to launch with in this sort of case?

ULA takes it back and uses it for something else. There's almost certainly a cancellation cost in the launch contract.

Usually the mission-specific fairing sticker isn't put on until encapsulation, but if it's on already they can peel it off pretty easily smile.gif
PaulM
QUOTE (James Sorenson @ Dec 30 2015, 10:54 AM) *
I can tell you this with certainty, that's not going to happen. Instrument selection happens early in the design and the lander is pretty much now complete. Because of the launch slip and subsequent storage, Insight may hit its cost cap of $675 million. If that happens NASA will have to decide whether to cancel the mission or continue with it. At this point in the game, any new instruments isn't on the table, but perhaps possible descoping some things is?

I made this comment because I read that to fund the 10% or so increase in Insight mission cost then another discovery mission would need to be sacrificed. My argument is that if another discovery mission did not fly then it would be possible to fund a few more instruments such as LIDAR on Insight's deck.
nprev
One primary reason that's not possible is that new instruments require not only testing of said instruments but also integration and testing with (and of) the entire spacecraft. New equipment introduces new interdependencies, some of which can be unexpected, difficult to detect, and detrimental. Obviously this increases not only mission risk but also cost--significantly.

Also, it's generally not an easy proposition to shuffle money between programs. It's been done, but it's not done lightly, and I suspect that InSight would only ask for something like that to save the mission from outright cancellation--definitely not to add new instrumentation.
mcaplinger
QUOTE (nprev @ Jan 1 2016, 04:33 AM) *
One primary reason that's not possible is that new instruments require not only testing of said instruments but also integration and testing with (and of) the entire spacecraft.

More fundamentally, there are typically not spare data and power connectors on spacecraft like this. Even adding mounting holes to bolt on new stuff is non-trivial; assuming there was enough unused area at all, the spacecraft would have to be at least partially disassembled to do so.

The combination of Insight being a cost-capped PI mission and the problem instrument not being funded by NASA makes this a complex and AFAIK unprecedented situation. We'll just have to wait and see how it develops.
JRehling
This is vaguely reminiscent of the problems that Dawn had during its development cycle:

http://www.unmannedspaceflight.com/index.php?showtopic=1645

However, InSight has a problem with what is unambiguously its main instrument. You can't downscope that instrument away, or you'd be eliminating the purpose of the mission.
mcaplinger
QUOTE (JRehling @ Jan 2 2016, 09:06 PM) *
This is vaguely reminiscent of the problems that Dawn had during its development cycle...

Thanks for pointing that out, John, I had forgotten that tale of woe. What's missing from Dawn is the international aspect; although much of Dawn's payload was provided by foreign partners, as far as I know most of the developmental problems were with the spacecraft.

I wish there was better information about what actually happened with Dawn and how it was resolved; the best I've been able to find is http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewnews.html?id=1112 but that falls well short of an official report/policy statement.
vjkane
QUOTE (mcaplinger @ Jan 3 2016, 11:42 AM) *
I wish there was better information about what actually happened with Dawn and how it was resolved; the best I've been able to find is http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewnews.html?id=1112 but that falls well short of an official report/policy statement.

Check out this SpaceFlight Now article: http://spaceflightnow.com/news/n0603/03dawn/

At least some of the issues like the xenon tank seem to represent crap happens -- the team did the testing but problems were found late in the process in other tanks of the same design.

I hope that there are quiet review boards done for issues like these so that the experience gained can be passed to other teams. For example, why didn't the thrusters and harpoon function on Philae and what can future comet lander missions learn?
B Bernatchez
Apparently, the project has been given a path forward towards the next launch opportunity: http://spaceref.com/mars/nasa-targets-may-...ht-mission.html

To those knowledgeable about such things, How likely is it that CNES actually gets the instrument working according to specifications?
Paolo
QUOTE (B Bernatchez @ Mar 9 2016, 06:17 PM) *
How likely is it that CNES actually gets the instrument working according to specifications?


the defective vacuum vessel is no longer the responsibility of CNES, apparently
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=5746

QUOTE
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, will redesign, build and conduct qualifications of the new vacuum enclosure for the Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS), the component that failed in December.
Phil Stooke
I wonder if the landing ellipse will change now... as happened with Schiaparelli for its 2 month delay.

Phil
monitorlizard
The MEPAG meeting at the beginning of March had an InSight update that gave some information on the history of the seismometer problems, as well as several photos of problem areas. The Mepag presentations are at http://mepag.jpl.nasa.gov/meetings.cfm?expand=m29. The newest meeting is #31, scroll down to the presentation titled "InSight Mission". Slides 11 through 15 are about the seismic instrument. Lots of other interesting talks also listed.
lilmac
InSight cleared for May 2018 launch. Godspeed.


http://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/nasa-appro...insight-mission
Explorer1
Good seismometer news, passed vacuum testing. https://spaceflightnow.com/2017/03/28/insig...ses-major-test/

Leak free!
PhilipTerryGraham
Ayy! This is good news indeed! biggrin.gif
Explorer1
A second chip full of names is going on the craft (one benefit of the delay, I guess); anyone who missed it the first round can put their name in now: https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=6959
Paolo
an entire issue of Space Science Reviews dedicated to InIsght
https://link.springer.com/journal/11214/211/1
too bad most of the papers are beyond the paywall mad.gif
vikingmars
QUOTE (Paolo @ Oct 14 2017, 09:55 PM) *
an entire issue of Space Science Reviews dedicated to InIsght
https://link.springer.com/journal/11214/211/1
too bad most of the papers are beyond the paywall mad.gif

Yes indeed !
And especially from France when looking to the articles written by Institut de Physique du Globe (Paris-Sorbonne Paris Cité, Université Paris Diderot) in Paris : a French State public entity, managed under the authority of the French Ministry of National Education, for which we, as French people, are the taxpayers giving them a budget to support their teams and their experiments.
They owe their success to their great skills and work, of course, but also to us : their publications should have been made public at least in France.
Look to their website : the links are there ( http://www.ipgp.fr/fr/publications ) but pointing to Space Science Reviews' articles.
No chance to get them for free mad.gif mad.gif mad.gif
JRehling
This inevitably jumps thread topic, but it's too bad that journals use a firewall/pay system, when their actual "market" is so small and the price for an article is extremely high. For the amateur science enthusiast, the economics make participation impossible, which is not anyone's intention.

But in this case, there is a solution. Try a Google search for the names of the authors + the subject, and you can find free preprints in many cases.

https://arxiv.org/abs/1704.05664

Enjoy!
rlorenz
QUOTE (vikingmars @ Oct 25 2017, 01:00 AM) *
their publications should have been made public at least in France.


In the last year or so, NASA, at least, has started to insist that at least preprints are made available. I think the UK has a similar policy.

For what it's worth, my paper just came out (Open Access) on an archive product making the Viking seismometer record easy to access (the product has been on the PDS for a few months - basically I reassembled very ugly short ASCII records of different interleaved types into a nice set of tables, and integrated them with meteorological data so you can see when the seismometer recorded data when it was windy or not, etc.) We even found evidence of a dust devil encounter in the seismic signal.
The supplemental information to the paper includes scripts in 'R' (a free package) to interrogate and display the data - using the figures in the paper as examples.

The paper is at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2017EA000306/full
vikingmars
QUOTE (rlorenz @ Nov 29 2017, 02:42 AM) *
In the last year or so, NASA, at least, has started to insist that at least preprints are made available. I think the UK has a similar policy.
The paper is at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2017EA000306/full

Thank you very much Dr. Lorenz for having this paper published with a free access smile.gif and it is very nice indeed.
I thought that the Sol 80 event was dismissed as a seismic event : now, thanks to your nice work, it may come back as being a real one.
Thanks a lot smile.gif smile.gif smile.gif
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