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Unmanned Spaceflight.com > Mars & Missions > Perseverance- Mars 2020 Rover
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Doug M.
QUOTE (djellison @ Feb 18 2014, 04:33 PM) *
YES!! Really. It's a refly - not a redesign.


I suppose Moore's Law has become so thoroughly internalized that one's immediate, reflexive response to "it's a refly" is "except for the electronics, of course, right? right?" There are of course perfectly good reasons to use heritage electronics! It makes sense. But if you're not a professional in the field, yes, there is a moment of startle.


Doug M.

mcaplinger
"Better is the enemy of good enough."
djellison
QUOTE (Doug M. @ Feb 19 2014, 05:06 AM) *
I suppose Moore's Law has become so thoroughly internalized that one's immediate, reflexive response to "it's a refly" is "except for the electronics, of course, right? right?"


When it comes to spaceflight - you would probably change everything else before touching the electronics. Look at Phoenix - it flew with virtual Pathfinder like electronics. The RAD6000 has been flying for 14 years or so. 9 years now since the first RAD750 launch.

anticitizen2
Didn't they already fly the spare Marsdial?
JRehling
Regarding's Doug's "Really?" to Doug:

Computer hardware has ceased its breakneck rate of accelerating speeds which was a given (Moore's Law) for decades. Commercial products continue to see incremental improvements, but not on the exponential trend which was true until about 10 years ago. For spacecraft, the value of the reliability of a known system outweighs incremental increases in performance.

It would have been unthinkable to use Ranger 7's "computer" on Cassini, but the computers on spacecraft 20 years from now might be about the same as the ones flying now.

Here's one image that sums up the trend. Note the logarithmic vertical axis.

http://smoothspan.files.wordpress.com/2007...clockspeeds.jpg
craigmcg
It seems clear though, that for rovers to be more human-like in capability and speed (vs. orbiters and fly-by spacecraft that have much simpler operating modes) advances in robust, reliable computing will be one of the key enablers.

I'm sure it won't be a simple, inexpensive task to design, build and test such capability, and the market for this technology is less than niche.
vjkane
QUOTE (craigmcg @ Feb 18 2014, 03:01 AM) *
When you are trying to fly a new mission for a cost of $1.5B (vs. $2.5B for MSL) you have to find some significant cost savings.

It's a tighter budget than that. Inflation will eat up about a third of that spending amount, so in MSL $s, the 2020 mission is closer to $1B. Tight.
vjkane
QUOTE (JRehling @ Feb 19 2014, 09:47 AM) *
Commercial products continue to see incremental improvements, but not on the exponential trend which was true until about 10 years ago.

I used to work for Intel. The killer is heat produced by the microprocessors. The engineers could have continued to pump out the performance improvements, but we'd all be using water cooled processors. (Actually have that in my office.) The reason for multicore processors was to go for lower performance per core, but be able to run multiple tasks/threads at once.
Doug M.
QUOTE (JRehling @ Feb 19 2014, 07:47 PM) *
Regarding's Doug's "Really?" to Doug:

Computer hardware has ceased its breakneck rate of accelerating speeds which was a given (Moore's Law) for decades. Commercial products continue to see incremental improvements, but not on the exponential trend which was true until about 10 years ago.


Yes, but current spacecraft hardware predates the flattening of the curve by a decade or more.

Again, I understand the incentives. It looks like NASA has made a reasonable choice, especially given the cost constraints. But this means that, 20 years from now in the 2030s, there will be NASA engineers poring over the design specs of chips that are older than they are. There's nothing inherently wrong with that picture. Robust technology is robust. (Consider the B-52.) But it takes a slight mental adjustment.


Doug M.
Astro0
>engineers poring over the design specs of chips that are older than they are

I can tell you from first hand knowledge that there are already engineers working in this field doing just that. wink.gif
nprev
And in military aviation as well, believe me. wink.gif
djellison
There are people operating spacecraft at JPL launched a decade before they were born. There are people driving Mars rovers that landed when they were in High School.

Mongo


Red Dragon would work in conjunction with the Mars 2020 sample collection rover, and be ready two years earlier for far less cost than the previous baseline mission. The above image links to the 70 minute video presentation.

Larry Lemke - Red Dragon: Low Cost Access to the Surface of Mars

Published on Jun 24, 2014

Abstract: One of Ames' long standing science interests has been to robotically drill deeply into Mars' subsurface environment (2 meters, or more) to investigate the habitability of that zone for past or extant life. Large, capable Mars landers would ease the problem of landing and operating deep robotic drills. In 2010, an Ames scientist realized that the crew-carrying version of the SpaceX Dragon capsule would possess all the subsystems necessary to perform a soft landing on Earth, and raised the question of whether it could also soft land on Mars. If it could, it might be a candidate platform for a Discovery or Mars Scout class deep drilling mission, for example.

After approximately 3 years studying the engineering problem we have concluded that a minimally modified Dragon capsule (which we call the "Red Dragon") could successfully perform an all-propulsive Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL). We present and discuss the analysis that supports this conclusion. At the upper limits of its capability, a Red Dragon could land approximately 2 metric tons of useful payload, or approximately twice the mass that the MSL Skycrane demonstrated with a useful volume 3 or 4 times as great. This combination of features led us to speculate that it might be possible to land enough mass and volume with a Red Dragon to enable a Mars Sample Return mission in which Mars Orbit Rendezvous is avoided, and the return vehicle comes directly back to Earth. This potentially lowers the risk and cost of a sample return mission. We conclude that such an Earth-Direct sample return architecture is feasible if the Earth Return Vehicle is constructed as a small spacecraft. Larry Lemke will present and discuss the analysis that supports this conclusion.
nprev
I remember ideas along these lines being tossed around on the Forum a few years back. Glad to see that there's some serious study of the concept in work!
DEChengst
Instruments just got announced:

http://www.nasa.gov/press/2014/july/nasa-a...s-never-before/

A bit more detailed information about the instruments is starting to pop up:

PIXL: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2014-253
SHERLOC: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2014-254
MOXIE: http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2014/going-red-planet
Mastcam-Z: https://asunews.asu.edu/20140731-mars-2020
mcaplinger
NASA Selects MSSS to Provide Science Camera for Mars 2020 Rover Mission
http://www.msss.com/news/index.php?id=121
anticitizen2
Is this a different organizational structure than the MSL MastCams? (Prime vs sub-contracting for MSSS?) Was MSSS part of more than one proposal?
mcaplinger
QUOTE (anticitizen2 @ Jul 31 2014, 02:21 PM) *
Is this a different organizational structure than the MSL MastCams?

Generally the main contract is with the PI's home institution, and hardware development is subcontracted. If the PI is at the same institution as the hardware developer there only has to be one contract. We've done it both ways historically.
QUOTE
Was MSSS part of more than one proposal?

Are you asking if we were part of other proposals that lost, or other proposals that won? I can't answer either question, but in the abstract the former is usually never disclosed, and the latter would presumably become public at some point.
mcaplinger
There's some information about SHERLOC in http://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/georaman2014/pdf/5101.pdf

QUOTE
SHERLOC is an arm-mounted, Deep UV (DUV) resonance Raman and
fluorescence spectrometer utilizing a 248.6 - nm DUV laser and 50
micron spot size. The laser is integrated to an autofocusing/scanning
optical system, and co - boresighted to a context imager with a spatial
resolution of 30 μ m. SHERLOC operates over a 7 × 7 mm area through
use of an internal scanning mirror. The 500 micron depth of view in
conjunction with the MAHLI heritage autofocus mechanism...

gndonald
Interesting post about the instrument fit-out on the Planetary Society blog, looks like I might get to see a Mars Sample Return in my lifetime.

QUOTE
Last week, NASA’s managers announced the selection of seven instruments for its 2020 Mars rover from a pool of 58 proposals submitted by teams of scientists. Reading through the capabilities of the instruments makes them seem like technology from science fiction, complete with lasers and x-rays. However, the types of instruments that weren’t selected say almost as much about the goals and expectations for the mission as those that were. This mission will be optimized for finding the best samples to return to Earth rather than carrying out the most sophisticated science that could have been sent to Mars.


Mars 2020 Instruments – A Plan for Sample Return
Don1
What this will be able to do will be to survey a large number of different materials for composition, mineralogy and signs of organics. It will be a good fit for a complex site with a large diversity of targets like Gale Crater. It will be able to check a lot more targets for organics than will ever be possible with Curiosity. The Raman technique should also be insensitive to perchlorates, which is a huge plus.
TheAnt
Late reply at Don1: Yes SHERLOC will be included and it is a good instrument that will be able to get around the measurement methods used on MSL/Curiosity where we cannot be certain if the chlorobutane and chlorobenzene is actually or if they were baked together by the rover from perchlorates and other organics, (yes I am frustrated that we cannot even learn what organics that have been encountered. Like sending someone on fieldwork who do not know what an indicator species is and why it is important in any study.)
The righthand-lefthand organic and direct DNA search experiments that was in the pipeline for MSL but removed in the wild revamp to get the rover finished do not appear to be included or considered this time.
vjkane
QUOTE (TheAnt @ Dec 28 2014, 06:49 AM) *
Yes SHERLOC will be included and it is a good instrument that will be able to get around the measurement methods used on MSL/Curiosity where we cannot be certain if the chlorobutane and chlorobenzene is actually or if they were baked together by the rover from perchlorates and other organics, (yes I am frustrated that we cannot even learn what organics that have been encountered. Like sending someone on fieldwork who do not know what an indicator species is and why it is important in any study.)
The righthand-lefthand organic and direct DNA search experiments that was in the pipeline for MSL but removed in the wild revamp to get the rover finished do not appear to be included or considered this time.

My understanding is that the 2020 instruments will be better at detecting the presence of organics than MSL, but without a mass spectrometer the rover will not be able to do detailed characterization of the organic composition. If samples are eventually returned, then that identification can be done with exquisite detail in Earth laboratories. If the samples aren't returned, then we will be left wondering what the organics are.

By using lasers, the 2020 instruments avoid the perchlorate-organic-destruction trap that comes from heating samples. There were instruments proposed that combined lasers with mass spectrometers, but they would have required the space effectively reserved for the atmospheric oxygen extraction experiment and they might have busted the instrument budget.
TheAnt
QUOTE (vjkane @ Dec 28 2014, 06:05 PM) *
My understanding is that the 2020 instruments will be better at detecting the presence of organics than MSL, but without a mass spectrometer the rover will not be able to do detailed characterization of the organic composition. If samples are eventually returned, then that identification can be done with exquisite detail in Earth laboratories. If the samples aren't returned, then we will be left wondering what the organics are.

By using lasers, the 2020 instruments avoid the perchlorate-organic-destruction trap that comes from heating samples. There were instruments proposed that combined lasers with mass spectrometers, but they would have required the space effectively reserved for the atmospheric oxygen extraction experiment and they might have busted the instrument budget.


Yes SHERLOC is one heck of a good instrument, but not when used as a stand alone unit.
When it has been stated that organics is one priority for this mission I do indeed get a bit frustrated in reading up on what the capabilities will be of the rover.

Instruments is built by universities so there's no direct cost there, but you might mean the budget for integrating and or the power budget? To which I have to agree.
Even so I really feel something is lacking in the instrument package, I would have liked to see a mass spectrometer and some method to determine if the molecules is chiral or achiral could tell us a great deal about if they ever been part in any 'L' system at some point in the distant past or perhaps even is not of Martian origin at all but have been transported to the planet by meteorites.

But yes, SHERLOC could be used to find good samples stored for retrieval later, the problem is that a sample return mission is not even in any proposed budget what I know of.
mcaplinger
QUOTE (TheAnt @ Dec 28 2014, 12:38 PM) *
Instruments is built by universities so there's no direct cost there...

Instruments built by universities cost NASA as much (or more) as those built by industry.
vjkane
QUOTE (TheAnt @ Dec 28 2014, 11:38 AM) *
Instruments is built by universities so there's no direct cost there,

For NASA missions, NASA fully pays for the instruments. For ESA missions, the sponsoring nation pays, but it's still government dollars.
TheAnt
Yes I am european, and so had the ESA way of doing things in mind when I wrote that - so I stand somewhat corrected.

Happy new year BTW. =)
TheAnt
A compelling reason for shifting the gears on the proposed sample return mission might have turned up since unusual sedimentary structures have been spotted.
Explorer1
A space.com interview with the science team (and let's just leave their response as the end of any more discussion!):

http://www.space.com/28218-mars-rover-curi...signs-life.html
stevesliva
Since it seems to be in neither link above, here is a link to the Astrobiology paper "Ancient Sedimentary Structures..." by Nora Noffke

Is the whole 24-page article based purely on images? I couldn't find any mention of evidence from the other instruments, though admittedly that was a skim.

[MOD]....and, in accordance with rule 1.3, let's REALLY leave it at that, guys.
TheAnt
QUOTE (stevesliva @ Jan 10 2015, 06:35 AM) *
Is the whole 24-page article based purely on images? I couldn't find any mention of evidence from the other instruments, though admittedly that was a skim.


Her work is based on images taken by the rover yes, Nora Noffke simply used the interpretation that we would have used here on Earth for such rocks, I am not an expert in such 'mats' yet noted it was a nicely done paper that have gone trough the peer review process as it should have.

So thank you for posting the link stevesliva, I tend to post the popular and more easy to digest ones for the average readers here, though I do read the actual papers when they're available myself. =)
As for your question, MSL do not have the capability for giving a clear answer if this interpretation is correct or not. The Sheepbed sample taken nearby was the first to turn up organics though, and that might be a reason to have a second thought on what instruments should be included on the 2020 rover mission and also consider how to bring samples back to Earth. (Suggestions which are BOTH in line with what is allowed here and the purpose and reason we discuss such matters on unmannedspaceflight.)
mcaplinger
QUOTE (TheAnt @ Jan 10 2015, 04:18 AM) *
...a reason to have a second thought on what instruments should be included on the 2020 rover mission...

The instruments for 2020 have already been selected. It would take something much more definitive than this to change that now.
TheAnt
QUOTE (mcaplinger @ Jan 10 2015, 04:39 PM) *
The instruments for 2020 have already been selected. It would take something much more definitive than this to change that now.



If we already had something definitive, there would not be any reason to test and check on this hypothesis. =)
But yes I know my there's not much hope for any change, too much inertia in the organisations who are behind a project like this.
djellison
Nothing to do with institutional inertia.

Instruments of this complexity require lengthy lead times, and have significant and complex requirements of the vehicle.
nprev
Doug is absolutely correct. Furthermore, selecting and freezing configuration as early as possible also permits as much testing as possible to happen before launch, which vastly increases the chances of mission success.
bobik
Seemingly, the sample-caching approach gradually develops into a farce (slides 15-19). huh.gif A whole set of EDL cameras promises spectacular views (slide 21). smile.gif

ADMIN NOTE: A message has been sent to this member and noted here as a reminder about UMSF rule 2.6

xflare
oooooohhhh and higher res color navcams and hazard cams. ohmy.gif ohmy.gif And a Turret Imager??
Phil Stooke
The new cache arrangement is not a farce. It's not very intuitive at first but it has many advantages, including flexibility in pickup and more freedom (risk-taking) for the collection rover later in its mission. They are trying to avoid a rover with an almost full cache getting stuck in a place where cache collection is impossible (for instance, in a place like Hidden Valley, where the first rover could get stuck in an orientation which would prevent the second rover from collecting the cache).

Phil

stone
The most challenging cost risk is still open. The Planetary Protection requirements definition is still not finished. From the outside it looks plain simple. Sample return makes it category 5. Even if the samples return is in the far future the samples are intended to come back. I do not see how this can be solved. Only a sterile baked sample would lead to less stringent requirements on PP, but this samples would be far less valuable and to ask for a mission to bring back baked samples is a hard job. To build a sample return category 5 mission is possible, but this will take at least two times the cost capped budget.

I wait for the solution of this problem.
Explorer1
Meteorites have been raining down on us from Mars for several gigayears; we can be pretty certain none of those were baked prior to landing here. If one can't trust that nature has done the sterilizing work, why bother to even have sample returns in the first place? It might be easier to just launch them into parking orbit around Mars and wait for the lab come to them (though that's a topic for a future thread, when any return mission is actually even proposed).

MOD: On that note, yes, that's enough on this subject, please. Getting close to rule 1.3 territory here.
stone
QUOTE (Explorer1 @ Mar 1 2015, 10:34 PM) *
Meteorites have been raining down on us from Mars for several gigayears;


The problem is not with this reality, but with a signed COSPAR regulation all space agencies agreed to follow. The point in the signed rules is clear and hard to avoid. If NASA and JPL ignore this rule other space agencies might follow this path. PP is not about protecting this planet, but to protect the future science results from being made impossible by contaminating the places of interest.

I look forward to see how this problem could be solved. I do not know if a clear statement that the new mission is only about geology and the samples are heated to 550°C for 5 seconds before sealing is a solution.

Gerald
There are standard procedures to ensure a given upper limit of spores per surface area of different parts of a probe/rover/parachute etc. to avoid forward contamination. The type of possibly remaining contamination can be determined to avoid possible confusion with Martian material.
Baking on Mars doesn't make sense in this context, since chemical compounds would be altered/destroyed, including geological/mineralogical data.
Sterilization of the probe is done pre-flight on Earth.
I don't see any reason why NASA should change these established procedures.
stone
QUOTE (Gerald @ Mar 2 2015, 03:02 PM) *
There are standard procedures to ensure a given upper limit of spores per surface area of different parts of a probe/rover/parachute etc. to avoid forward contamination. The type of possibly remaining contamination can be determined to avoid possible confusion with Martian material.
Baking on Mars doesn't make sense in this context, since chemical compounds would be altered/destroyed, including geological/mineralogical data.
Sterilization of the probe is done pre-flight on Earth.
I don't see any reason why NASA should change these established procedures.


If you consider it to be a category 5 mission the 0.03 spares per square meter is valid. This means you have to launch a sterile rover. If you look into the MSL history, MSL avoided to go to this level which was based on the assumption that they will sample in "special regions". They stepped back and used the lower stringent requirement which was possible if they avoid special regions. They would have been able to go for the 0.03 spores but the budget they had made it impossible.

The standard procedures are good to get you into a category 4a mission which includes MSL if you do the category 4b or 5 this is not easy and makes everything very expensive. I know of no large mission except Viking daring to bake out the whole space craft at above 110°C. Most spacecrafts are not built to withstand the 110°C for days in fully integrated state. If you sterilize parts you have to do a monitored aseptic integration. The first option drives the engineering people mad and the prize you pay for materials and parts, while the second option costs an fortune if you have to have a spore and bacteria free assembly hall for the rover.
mcaplinger
My understanding is that only the portions of the vehicle that actually touch the sample have to be IVb. http://nodis3.gsfc.nasa.gov/displayDir.cfm...e_name=Chapter5

I think speculating about how Mars2020 will interpret these requirements and implement them at this point is unproductive.
anticitizen2
I'm glad that SHERLOC will have MAHLI heritage and will be able to focus to infinity - I had read earlier that they were dropping infinite focus.

Also, it is looking like the Navcams will be color and possibly have a larger sensor. It seemed to me that panchromatic Navcams were an advantage: being able to get lots down from a new site in one comm pass, and being able to count pixels across important features with precision. I'm mostly wondering about this last point - my gut says color Navcams will not help with their purpose as engineering cameras, but I definitely won't go so far as complaining about it.
James Sorenson
According to this document, both the Navcams as well as the Hazcams will be color, and a possible separate "turret imager" would be included. I'm personally excited about the possible inclusion of the three EDL cameras, oh and hopefully the scout drone can make it to. smile.gif.

As far as the color engineering cameras, I seem to recall the bayer matrix can mess with either the stereo modelling on the ground, or the on board autonomy software. Seems like Paolo said something like that awhile back.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=...Go5oHRq3lutIOnw
scalbers
I would have voted to see an all-sky camera. Where does the turret imager point?
James Sorenson
The turret imager would be like MAHLI, mounted on the arm so it could be positioned in any direction that the arm is allowed to do.
Paolo
Mars 2020 Mulls Sample Preservation Strategies ADMIN: Full article requires free registration.

QUOTE
HOUSTON — While it sizes up high-value landing site candidates for its next Mars rover, NASA is developing strategies for protecting dozens of potential rock and soil samples cached on the red planet for harvest and return to Earth at some time in the future.
The Mars 2020 science objectives are to reach a landing site with ancient astrobiological potential and geological diversity, look for rocks with high potential for biosignatures, and acquire and preserve samples of rocks and some soil for future return to Earth.
Soon, the space agency expects to name an eight-member multi-disciplinary sample-return science board to gather additional advice on the most aggressive attempt yet to scrutinize samples of Mars with the latest in Earth-bound laboratory technologies. The objective is to determine if the neighboring planet was host to extensive habitable environments, such that it possibly harbored some form of life.
"The community is critical to the process," stressed planetary scientist John Grant, co-chair of NASA's Mars Landing Site Steering Committee, on Aug. 4, opening day of a three-day workshop on the site selection process in Monrovia, California, near the project's NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory headquarters. A second workshop is expected to reduce 30 potential landing-site candidates to eight, some of which may need additional scrutiny from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and other spacecraft circling or on the surface of the red planet. A third workshop planned for next year will attempt to cut the list of candidates to three or four sites.
Mars 2020, a $1.5 billion mission using hardware similar to the more expensive Mars Curiosity rover now exploring Mount Sharp, is scheduled for launch in July or August of 2020, with a landing in February 2021. Curiosity marks its third anniversary on the red planet on Aug. 6.
Early in its Gusev Crater roving, Curiosity established the presence of potentially habitable environments, setting the scientific table for its more ambitious sibling.
"One thing I must emphasize," Ken Farley, the Mars 2020 project scientist, told the opening session of NASA's 2nd Landing Site Workshop. "These are all equal goals. We must do all of these."
Using the same landing technique that produced Curiosity's "seven minutes of terror," the Mars 2020 rover will aim for a 10 X 8.75-mi. landing ellipse, where it can use its mobility to explore two "regions of interest."
As the landing-site selection process moves forward, NASA will evaluate whether to incorporate a terrain relative navigation (TRN) system into the entry, descent and landing system that would allow the descending rover to move slightly to avoid a previously unrecognized ground hazard. The TRN option is funded at least through the project's Preliminary Design Review in early 2016, Farley said.
The rover will be equipped with as many as 50 sample tubes, with at least 20 assigned to samples gathered during the rover's primary mission and the remainder available for potential extended operations.
The rover's seven primary science instruments were selected last July.
Most of the samples will be cored from rocks and all cached in sealable metal tubes. Mars 2020 will not be able to analyze the samples by itself, but could examine the walls of the rocks where the samples were extracted. The samples gathered from the first region of interest will be placed on the open terrain at a pre-specified caching depot. The Mars 2020 rover will then move on to the second region of interest for additional sample gathering and later return to the same caching depot to drop off the new samples.
The open exposure of the rover has raised concerns that surface temperatures on Mars could become high enough, especially if a landing site in the Martian southern hemisphere is selected, to degrade the cached samples before they can be gathered and returned to Earth.
"We are investigating how to deal with this," Farley said.
The current strategy is to coat the sealed tubes with aluminum oxide to reduce the excessive temperature threat to long-term preservation.
Still, the fate of the samples is unclear. NASA is focused on the human exploration of Mars in the mid-2030s; that would provide one possible means of transporting them back to Earth. Previous attempts to mount a robotic sample-return mission have been thwarted by technical and cost obstacles.
climber
Gusev crater? Hum...
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