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#1 2021-08-17 09:48:12

NewMarsMember
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Registered: 2019-02-17
Posts: 587

Scouting Mars for Landing Sites

This new topic is inspired by a comment of GW Johnson, in the nearby topic: Scouting Mars by Helicopter

It seems to me that ** all ** funding for Mars probes to date has been given to scientists.

Engineers are invited along for the ride(s) because without top tier engineering, the scientists aren't going to get any data.

This topic is set up to encourage engineers to leave the science community in their ivory towers, and set out to find ** real ** landing site candidates for Starship class vessels.

GW Johnson wrote:

Staying out of soft sand is no surprise. 

Guess what:  same is true for landing,  unless you lower the weight per unit foot pad area drastically by using huge pads.  Which is what every successful lander has done since the beginning (on the moon or Mars),  because you never really know where the soft sand is,  until you land. Remote sensing is still not what it is often claimed to be.  Ground truth is still often substantially different.   

GW

(th)

Last edited by NewMarsMember (2021-08-17 09:49:40)


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#2 2021-08-17 12:04:10

GW Johnson
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Re: Scouting Mars for Landing Sites

There is an "exrocketman" article that I posted that has soil bearing strength data in it.  This is "Reverse-Engineering the 2019 Version of the Spacex Starship/Superheavy Design,  posted 22 October 2019;  specifically in the 30 October update I added with the heading "Soil Bearing Loads Estimates".  That site is http://exrocketman.blogspot.com,  and there is a navigation tool on the left.  Click on the year,  then on the month,  then on the title if need be. 

The soil bearing data came from my edition of Marks' Mechanical Engineer's Handbook.  The soil types and descriptions are of Earthly soils.  We have no such data from Mars or the moon,  just impressions of what those alien soils most resemble here on Earth.  The moon,  and the majority of Mars are regolith rock particles,  dominated by fines,  with no cementing cohesion between particles,  or to any embedded larger rocks.  These dusts and sands actually migrate on Mars,  blown by the winds,  including giant dunes very similar to those seen on Earth.   That is the closest thing to Earthly "soft fine sand" that I ever heard of.  The safe bearing load for that is 0.1 MPa.

A minority of Mars has broken,  fractured rock embedded in that same regolith.  This is where the winds have moved the soft fine sand away,  leaving behind only that trapped in the cracks between rocks.  No one knows how deep this extends or what underlies it.  Claims otherwise are either wishful thinking or deliberate lies.  Not knowing the underlayment,  you MUST assume the weaker possibility:  soft fine sand.  Such would be sort of similar to Earthly gravel,  coarse sand in natural thick beds",  for which the safe bearing load is 0.38 MPa.

Solid rock ledge is an exceedingly tiny minority of Mars's surface,  and flat outcrops of that a tiny minority of that tiny minority.  The wise choice is to plan on landing on soft fine sand until you can construct a real landing field with real paved touchdown pads.  Especially on those first missions,  where you might have to hover around before touching down,  looking for a good unobstructed flat spot.  Which is what Armstrong had to do landing Apollo 11.

What I have come to recommend is to look at the Earthly weight at landing,  multiplied by local gees.  That is the local weight at landing.  You double that for the dynamic effects of a hard touchdown,  and double it again for the effects of coming down unevenly upon your landing legs and pads.  That factored-up weight,  divided by the safe bearing pressure,  is your required landing pad area.

For takeoff after refilling,  you need the fully-refilled local weight.  It need not be factored.  That divided by the safe bearing pressure is your required landing pad area for that scenario.  The LARGER area of the two scenarios is what you have to provide!  Otherwise,  you are quite likely to topple a rocket and kill a crew.

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#3 2021-08-17 12:16:09

tahanson43206
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Re: Scouting Mars for Landing Sites

In Post #2 of this new topic, GW Johnson has laid out the problem to be solved by a landing site finder probe.

The landing site would be chosen based upon the best available external/remote data.

The probe would be designed to land safely on sand, as described in post #2.

However, from ** there ** the probe would be designed to perform whatever soil measurements are deemed necessary and appropriate.

I am hoping this topic will attract those who are interested in addressing the problem to be solved, which is finding a landing site capable of supporting a Starship lander, in whatever configuration SpaceX decides to use.

This forum contains a number of posts in which design of drills suitable for Mars are proposed, generally in contrast to what NASA has sent to Mars so far.

It should be possible for ** someone ** to design (and publish here) an unmanned probe that can solve the specific problem of this topic.

If (by any chance) someone NOT already a member would like to cotnribute, read Post #2 of Recruiting, and mention this topic in your application.

Asking Google:

Image result for when is the next mars launch window
The weather at Mars, the type of launcher, and the laws of physics governing the planets determined a 12-day launch window starting on September 20, 2022.Oct 1, 2020

I'm not certain the quotation above is correct for all missions, but at least it provides a ballpark figure for development of a landing site finder.

(th)

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#4 2021-08-17 14:52:07

SpaceNut
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Posts: 25,955

Re: Scouting Mars for Landing Sites

While the helicopter does give a quick close up view to the terrain we need it to have radar capability and some means to bore holes such as the failed attempts to be sure of the materials density as was found not to be when it looks like stone but its not.

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#5 2021-08-17 16:31:07

GW Johnson
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Re: Scouting Mars for Landing Sites

BTW,  I looked up the Apollo LM data.  Using the weight data with descent propellant expended,  and factored up by 4 (for the two factors of 2),  I got a bearing load of 0.08 MPa during the touchdown transient,  with 0.02 MPa the steady static load afterwards (including for takeoff).

Compare the landing transient 0.08 MPa to the safe bearing pressure of 0.1 MPa for "soft fine sand" = lunar regolith,  and you can understand why the pad imprints were only about an inch deep,  with no evidence of uneven penetration leg-to-leg,  and no evidence of settling after landing. 

Mars regolith is no different.  The vast majority is fine soft sand. 

This stuff I've been talking about really is important and it really is right-in-the-ballpark.   

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2021-08-17 16:32:20)


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#6 2021-08-17 19:42:33

louis
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Re: Scouting Mars for Landing Sites

We already know the sites recommended by JPL to Starship and they look good to me. Border of Amazonis Planitia and Arcadia Planitia near the Erebus mountain range.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#7 2021-08-17 19:53:30

SpaceNut
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Re: Scouting Mars for Landing Sites

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#8 2021-08-22 10:18:09

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
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Posts: 4,858
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Re: Scouting Mars for Landing Sites

I'm thinking that we need some sort of pathfinder lander at a couple of these sites that can operate a real drill rig and also do some sort of soil bearing test.  The drill rig would have two functions:  (1) find out what's really down there for about the first 10 meters,  and (2) look for the buried ice that remote sensing suggests is there. 

A fixed lander can do those things.  It does not need to be a rover,  although it certainly could be.  Its size is quite a bit smaller than Curiosity or Perseverance.  This thing needs to fit atop a Falcon-Heavy.  If it's small enough,  it might fit a Falcon-9,  but I rather doubt it could be that small.

I'm thinking the drill rig might be (or be based upon) that Canadian drill rig design that no one used.  It needs a real rock bit,  with multiple replacements and a way to change them.  It needs the supplies for a real pipe drill stem rig.  None of that hammering mole bullshit! 

I'm guessing the bottoms of the landing pads ought to have vertical blades oriented radially,  to enhance the friction against drill stem torque.  The turntable ought to be hydraulically powered.  Silicone oil will work in cold that severe.

If you solar-power this thing,  you need to include a means to shake the dust off the panels. Turn them vertical and wiggle them,  then flatten back out and orient to face the sun again.

The size of the landing pads should be such that 4 x the Mars weight of thing exerts no more than 0.1 MPa bearing pressure during the landing.  It could scoop up surface regolith as ballast to get more static friction to resist the drill torque.   

That's my 2 cents' worth.  Floor is open to all comers.

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2021-08-22 10:21:11)


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#9 2021-08-22 10:39:45

tahanson43206
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Re: Scouting Mars for Landing Sites

For GW Johnson re #8

Thank you for refining your vision of a landing proof probe.

According to the earlier post in this topic, September 2022 is the next launch window (subject to correction)

In order for a probe to be launched by that date, I would imagine at least a full year would be needed to perform all the steps needed to put the probe on a vehicle. Because this probe would benefit the entire space faring community, I would imagine multiple Nation States might be willing to provide support, in return for the data, which would be published to all in any case, if this is a US supervised mission.

All members of the forum living in the US are welcome to send copies of relevant posts from this topic to their representatives.

All members living in nations ** other ** than the US are welcome to send copies of relevant posts from this topic to their space agencies.

We are coming up on two years out from the launch window.

I would like to see any member who has expertise in rough field drilling to contribute specific design elements, to supplement the outline provided by GW Johnson.

if there is someone not yet a member who would like to pitch in, read Post #2 of Recruiting, and mention this topic as your intended focus.

This forum is not in need of more passengers, valuable as they are in the grand scheme of things.  We need folks willing to pull on the oars, and not just for a day or two.  I'm looking for folks who want to make a two to three year commitment.

(th)

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#10 2021-08-23 07:48:05

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
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Re: Scouting Mars for Landing Sites

If memory serves (and it might not),  it was RobertDyck who told us about the Canadian drill rig.  I'm thinking it was during the discussions we had when the hammering mole first failed to work right. 

It is easy to create large torques with hydraulics for the drill bit.  It is NOT easy to get a lot of down-force on the bit in 0.38 gee.  That's why I suggested regolith as ballast. 

It is also very hard to get surface friction to resist the torque of the drill in 0.38 gee. That is the reason for the blades on the footpad bottoms,  and another reason to add regolith ballast. 

I'm thinking the soil bearing tester might be as simple as an arm that pushes a big rod as a probe into the dirt.  You measure the force to penetrate.  That force divided by the rod end area is the failure pressure.  Knock that down by about the same factor of 2-to-2.5 as was used in Earthly soil test tables to get the allowable bearing stress.

If the thing works out to be small enough,  perhaps two can be sent by the same Falcon-Heavy.

It's NOT a science lander.  It's there to pave the way for safe cargo and crew landings.  That's engineering.

Any takers?

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#11 2021-08-23 09:32:26

tahanson43206
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Re: Scouting Mars for Landing Sites

For GW Johnson re #10

The amount of scorn heaped upon the German MOLE design leads me to hesitate to suggest this ...

However, you ** did ** just suggest what I read as "pounding a stake" as a way to measure soil strength/

Even in .38 G, a hydraulic hammer would be able to penetrate even rock.

If I understand your concept correctly (and ** that ** is not guaranteed) it ** sounds ** (to me) as though each hammer blow provides an opportunity to measure the resistance of the soil directly below the point of the tool. 

However, the drill system will appeal to some of your readers, and I hope that RobertDyck may still have access to whatever sources he quoted.

FluxBB is the name of the software that provides services to the members of this group.  I just asked FluxBB to show me all (or any) topics where RobertDyck mentions "canadian" and "drill" at the same time.  FluxBB came back with a list of ... (surprise) 19 topics

I refined the search to look for posts instead of topics ...

FluxBB came back with a total of 21 posts.  The oldest of these is from 2004:  http://newmars.com/forums/viewtopic.php … 998#p25998

To save everyone time, I'll quote it here:

Automated drilling technology needs to be developed if we want to obtain water from the regolith. I suspect that's complicated, too; drills have all sorts of problems with materials so hard they break bits and chunks just the right size to jam moving parts. I saw an article somewhere; people are working on the problem.

NORCAT, a contractor for the Canadian Space Agency, developed a drill for a Mars Rover. It's called CanaDrill. The mission wasn't approved by parliament, but tests had shown some amazing results. It drilled through a 2 metre tall stack of hard rock, soft rock, loose gravel, sand, and even went through the plywood bottom of the sample box. It uses dry drilling (no lubricant) and is all electric powered. It has multiple drill shaft segments with a segment holder that looks like a Gatling gun. The picture looks like it holds 10 segments, each a metre long. The rover would take samples 10 metres below ground, at multiple locations, with sample preparation and handling, and multiple analysis instruments. It would have been a good mission, but parliament didn't approve any funding over CSA's normal budget.

Please note that this post, like so many from that time period, is damaged and must be repaired when one of the Administrators or Moderators has time.

For RobertDyck ... since this was your post, and if you have time, please take a look at it.

Also for RobertDyck ... by any chance, are the plans for the CanaDrill available, either for donation or for purchase?

For SpaceNut ... let's think about how we (forum members with posting privileges) can make this (probe for GW Johnson soil test) happen.

We are ** NOT ** helpless, even though this is a very small corner of a very large Internet.  The Earth is a very small planet in a very large Universe.

The Mars Society just received a donation of $1,000,000 from Blue Origin's (or Amazon's ?) Public Service department (ie, Jeff Bezos).

Can we inquire about tapping a small part of those funds to support a GoFundMe campaign?  We need to move rapidly on this to catch the next launch window almost exactly one year from today.

Is there someone within reach of this message who can help to obtain costs for development of the probe?

Is there someone within reach of this message who can help to obtain costs for launch of the probe at the next window?

The probe is going to need the (by now "standard") landing package used for Curiosity .... The costs for that component should be knowable.

I am interested in that landing package for the Ballistic Delivery concept discussed at length in this forum.

I'd like to see some forward movement on actualization of that business concept.  Time's awastin!

(th)

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#12 2021-08-23 20:05:15

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 25,955

Re: Scouting Mars for Landing Sites

All fixed but the domain is up for sale....
CanaDrill, Canadian drilling technology for Mars
https://www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/multimedi … /Watch/792


Canadrill-1_hr.jpg

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#13 2021-08-24 08:42:51

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
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Re: Scouting Mars for Landing Sites

Does any one have dimensions and weights for this drill?

TH:  my soil tester does not hammer the surface,  it simply pushes,  while measuring force and deflection.  It is an approximation to a standard compression test.  As the load increases,  so does the downward deflection.  Once the rod begins to penetrate into the soil,  the slope of deflection vs load increases suddenly.  That slope break is the soil failure point.  Force divided by rod end area is the exerted bearing pressure (flat-ended rod).  You reduce that by something near a factor of 2 to 2.5 for the allowable soil bearing pressure that will not settle over time.  It would take a real soil test engineer (not me) to refine that concept further.

All:  the idea here is to put two instruments on a potential landing site:  (1) a core drill capable of reaching 10 m depth,  no matter what may be down there (which takes a real rotary rock bit),  and (2) an approximation to a standard soil bearing strength tester,  to find out what bearing pressures can be exerted safely. 

You want those two pieces of data because (1) you need to land a ship there safely which means you have to design rough-field landing gear that will work no matter what,  and (2) you are looking for massive buried water ice to mine for resources (and the nature of what is there determines how you mine it,  and what equipment you must bring).   

It would be nice for the lander that does these two things to move about as a rover,  but that is not a hard requirement.

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2021-08-24 08:43:12)


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#14 2021-08-24 09:55:45

tahanson43206
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Posts: 10,766

Re: Scouting Mars for Landing Sites

For GW Johnson re #13

Thanks for moving the ball solidly forward.  I'll call that a solid 3 yards on a standard US football field.

To adapt to the global audience, I'll change the field to 100 meters and put it on Mars, under a pressure retention dome.

OK ... so we moved the ball 3 solid meters.

A 10 meter line would be crossed if we had the dimensions of CandaDrill.

We have other players in this game.  Let's find the dimensions in the next 48 hours.  Time's a'wastin! 

SearchTerm:CanaDrill dimensions request

***
Regarding mobility ....

You are the lead on this initiative ... Would it be acceptable to propose a time honored division of labor?

Let the drill/pusher reside on a sled, and let a separate CO/O2 powered vehicle perform the movements as needed to survey the entire landing pad.

One of the great disappointments in my time as a project manager for a (very small) project was to fail to survey the entire field of machines I was tasked to upgrade.  I had been preceded in the post by a man with a company wide reputation for frugality, but I failed to appreciate the implications.

I chose ** one ** machine to study, and made the (serious) mistake of thinking all the machines were the same.

By dumb ? luck ? I picked the most powerful machine and prescribed updates for the collection based upon that machine.

Bye-M-Bye, I learned that all the ** rest ** of the machines were configured with components far below what I needed, so I had to go through a second round of funding, with criticism to match the oversight.

With your approval pending, I can only wait to find out if the two vehicle concept will "fly".

(th)

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#15 2021-08-24 11:32:21

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
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Re: Scouting Mars for Landing Sites

TH:

I had been toying with a notion for the design of the probe that might be just silly enough to work.  I was hoping to keep this thing under 500 kg,  so I could use direct entry,  a heat shield and back shell,  then a chute,  and finally a landing rocket.  I was toying with the idea of installing the landing rocket as a tractor rocket on a tower,  shed after landing.  That would let me dispense entirely with landing legs,  and just set the package down on its base in the dirt. 

The thing would need the Canadrill hardware,  some sort of manipulator arm with my soil tester and a camera,  solar panels and batteries,  a "dust shaker-offer" rig on those solar panels,  and the communications gear necessary to get the data back to Earth somehow. 

It might be fitted with retractable powered wheels (6 or 8 of them).  That would make it a short range rover,  to lay back down in the dirt each time it investigates a site.  You just extend the wheels to roll,  and retract them to settle back down in the dirt.

The trick,  especially with the soil strength sampler,  is to sample multiple locations,  and not atop a small rock in otherwise sand.  Need the camera to guide that.

The tractor rocket landing enables it to just sit in the dirt without any landing legs.  That's a really silly idea,  but something tells me it is just stupid enough to work great.

First down?

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2021-08-24 11:33:56)


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#16 2021-08-24 11:58:25

tahanson43206
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Re: Scouting Mars for Landing Sites

For GW Johnson ... The region of the US where I live is famous for a philosophy of gaining ground with a massive effort and a cloud of dust.

From my perch, I can't tell if you hit the 10 meter marker because of all the dust!

I'd like to invite another "real" engineer to help here! Calliban, you've been busy with work and family and all your other responsibilities. If you can spare a few minutes, please look from your vantage point to see if GW is on the 10 meter line.

I ** do ** know that if a line backer shows up with the specifications for CanaDrill, then the 10 meter mark will definitely go up on the Big Board!

***
Mobility on the ground could be accomplished with a turtle walk, if you can (somehow) design your legged feet to accomplish that.

If you can get NASA to buy into this mission concept, it might be possible to persuade them to include another Ingenuity to help with site visualization.

The best guess work appears to have already been done for a number of potential landing sites.

If your probe can show that there is solid stone for 10 meters down, even a cautious person such as yourself might give Elon the green light for a landing with a minimal landing leg configuration.

Personally, it seems to me the expedition should leave Earth with multiple vehicles, so that the Earth-return vehicle can remain safely in orbit, and the Mars Lander can land with rough field legs and pads, and return to orbit as many times as needed.

(th)

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#17 2021-08-24 12:34:24

tahanson43206
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Registered: 2018-04-27
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Re: Scouting Mars for Landing Sites

The upper bounds of what may be possible are given by the launch of the Curiosity rover ...

Atlas V rocket
Launch Facts and Links
Under partially cloudy skies, NASA launched the Mars Science Laboratory mission and its Curiosity rover to Mars on Nov. 26, 2011, at 7:02 a.m. PT (10:02 a.m. ET). Liftoff was from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station aboard an Atlas V rocket.

Mars Curiosity Rover - Launch - NASA's Mars Exploration ...https://mars.nasa.gov › msl › timeline › launch › summary

A lot of very interesting events would have to occur for GW's landing site probe to launch a year from now.

It seems unlikely to me that an Atla V could be enlisted for the launch, even if one were potentially available.

The potential launch providers I can think of would include:

1) SpaceX
2) United Launch Alliance
3) Blue Origin? Long shot but possible ...
4) India (definitely)
5) Chine (definitely)
6) Russia ?
7) Japan (definitely)

Whoever seems like the best provider, an reservation for September 2022 needs to be penciled in soon.

Potential funders might include any of the global construction companies.

As a reminder, Mars Society is a non-profit organization able to accept donations which are exempt from US taxes.

The logic (on the part of Congress) is that activities that qualify (such as scientific research) can flow to US taxpayers.

This would require the cooperation (and close supervision)_ of the Mars Society.

From my perspective, that would definitely be a ** good thing ** !!!

(th)

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#18 2021-08-24 15:43:29

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
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Re: Scouting Mars for Landing Sites

Here's a CBC news website with a couple very short descriptions of CanaDrill. It includes pictures of the actual prototype demonstrated at the 4th Canadian Space Exploration Workshop hosted by the Canadian Space Agency in 2003.
INDEPTH: SPACE » MARS, A Canadian contribution?
norcat_prototype2_030704.jpg norcat_prototype030704.jpg

Globe and Mail (a national newspaper in Canada): Opinion: There's no free ride for Canada into space

Published September 23, 2005

...Canadarm... Another of these is the CanaDrill, now under development by two private Sudbury companies, NORCAT (Northern Centre for Advanced Technology Inc.) and EVC Ltd. In NORCAT's description, the CanaDrill "combines mining and robotic technologies to aid in the exploration of microgravity terrain." It's a lightweight, "autonomous" electric drill designed to dig into the lunar surface, or the Martian surface, and extract samples for scientific analysis by a smart robot. A prototype CanaDrill has been successfully tested in digs to a depth of two metres. NORCAT's objective is 20 metres. It is within depths of two metres (for the moon) and 20 metres (for Mars) that scientists believe they can find evidence of water.
...
The government needs a reminder: where there is no vision, the space program perishes. The CSA is funding part of the CanaDrill. Fortunately for Canada, NASA is, too.

I attended the workshop. The prototype drilled 2 metres into a plywood box of samples: sand, gravel, soft rock, hard rock. The drill was powered by an electric motor, an was a "dry drill" meaning no lubricant. A drill on Mars won't have lubricant to flush down the drill hole. It was slow, but requires an amount of electricity that a rover could provide. I attended a presentation at that workshop, the presenter said it would have 10 segments, each 1 metre long. That would allow it to drill 10 metres deep. Well... a bit short of 10 metres, because the drive mechanism must have part of the drill string to hold onto. But the article posted above (written 2 years later) said Norcat had ambition to drill 20 metres deep.

A couple more recent articles:
CBC: NASA shows off rover armed with Canadian-made drill - Feb 27, 2008
Sudbury News: New NORCAT CEO prepped to take on world - May 3, 2012
Mining.com: Asteroid mining rendered as future of space prospectors - Jan 24, 2013

The developer/manufacturer's website, although I don't see reference to CanaDrill there...
NORCAT: Northern Centre for Advanced Technology: https://norcat.org/

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#19 2021-08-24 19:27:22

SpaceNut
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Posts: 25,955

Re: Scouting Mars for Landing Sites

Tractor motor or in most cases its the escape launch tower unit that sets on top of the capsule with motors that exit at an angle.
Simular angled is the sky crane cradle.

I was intrigued to think of the escape units as a lander would be a very do able with a change of engines and fuels to do the slow descent to the surface with the retro propulsion. The base of the unit is geared for a capsule shape so a throw away pica heat shield works. The base would be a cutting edge circular cup that would bury its self on landing.

450px-LET.png

Apollo_Pad_Abort_Test_-2.jpg

spacex-pad-abort-test.jpg

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#20 2021-08-28 07:35:30

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
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Posts: 4,858
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Re: Scouting Mars for Landing Sites

I was thinking of a center core tower atop a flat,  low-profile body.  The tower would have storable tanks and engines for tractor thrust at landing,  and a small solid to remove it after landing. 

The small body would touch down on its bottom surface,  no legs.  It would have the Canadrill,  a manipulator arm with the soil tester,  and another arm with cameras.  The Canadrill could swivel around to drill through the center well where the center core was,  for the most stable friction to resist drilling torque. 

If possible,  there might be retractable legs with powered wheels that give it limited mobility.  In that way,  samples can be tested outside the reach of the arms. 

If under 500 kg,  this thing could use the same entry/chute/landing thrust sequence of the earlier probes.  And you could fly two or more of them atop a single Falcon-Heavy.

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#21 2021-08-28 08:05:55

tahanson43206
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Re: Scouting Mars for Landing Sites

For GW Johnson re #20

Thank you for continuing to advance this important work.

The launch window is just over a year away.

It seems to me your prime customer is Elon and SpaceX.

They might be willing to donate a launch vehicle, if funds can be secured for the probe itself.

It should be possible to reserve a slot for a launch in that time frame.  If you are willing to delegate responsibility for communication with SpaceX, please let the four Administrator/Moderators know.  We can at the very least consider the request in public discussion.  A communication from the forum is not guaranteed by any means, but it definitely ** is ** a possibility.

(th)

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#22 2021-08-28 11:42:02

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 25,955

Re: Scouting Mars for Landing Sites

So far perseverance has found that what looks smooth is lake bottom sediment and it will crumble under pressure of a landing. Sure if t6he landing pad is sufficiently wide then the mass for foot  can be compensated for but its still an if if the levels of compression are not the same across each foot allowing it to tip.

Will see if I have any documents or can find any of the drill. Since it was not used it may be hard to located any real information.

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#23 2021-08-29 08:36:14

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 25,955

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#24 2021-08-29 10:04:47

tahanson43206
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Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 10,766

Re: Scouting Mars for Landing Sites

For GW Johnson re SpaceNut's report in Post #23

Please evaluate the potential of the ESA concept for the challenge at Mars.

From RobertDyck's report of having witnessed the CanaDrill in operation, I get the impression  that design would work, although I do not agree with the solar power idea.  If we're going to all the trouble of putting a tough-as-nails probe on Mars we need to put a robust power supply there as well.

Is the NASA 10Kw design sufficient for the purpose?

If two vehicles are needed to perform the mission, so be it!

It occurs to me that Jeff Bezos might be interested in this, since he is cut out of the Moon enterprise.

He needs to complete his Mars Lander design within the (Earth) year immediately ahead.

it would not surprise me in the least if other nations decide to pursue the landing probe idea if the US shows an intention to pursue it with intention.

Update at 12:05 local time ... If Jeff Bezos intends to compete in this particular race, he needs to reach orbit well before September of 2022.

Update at 13:08 local time ... Noted OF1939 report on Blue Origin BE-4 delays.

***>> Just sent an email to FriendOfQuark1 asking him to see if there might be an oilfield services company in his area that would be interested in the landing field drill probe initiative.

There's not much oil on Mars, but there might be something else worth drilling to find.  The right equipment and suitable power supply would definitely make the job easier.

(th)

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#25 2021-08-29 18:53:13

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 25,955

Re: Scouting Mars for Landing Sites

2013 testing Canadian-built Artemis Jr. roverCanadianRover_NASA4X3-879x485.jpg

http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=7654
Northern Centre for Advanced Technology Inc. (NORCAT), has developed a prototype drill for potential use on a future Mars mission as part of a feasibility study done for the Canadian Space Agency

http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=15157
Power consumption is about 100 watts, enough to illuminate a bright household light bulb. Drill components are designed for minimum weight and size.

http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=19780

Since the drill is designed to be carried on spaceships, it has weight, size and power consumption limits according to George. At 30 pounds, the drill is heavier than a workshop drill, but lighter than the smallest standard ground drilling rig, making it portable and easy to handle.

The drill consists of a control box, support structure and the drill itself. The six-foot-long, 1.75-inch diameter drill is housed inside a metal tube, called a spud tube, a nod to the oil field term spudding, meaning to bore into a new well.

more articles
http://spaceref.com/search.html?q=canadian%20drill

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