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#1 2018-05-07 11:58:00

Oldfart1939
Member
Registered: 2016-11-26
Posts: 1,895

Mars data return capabilities slowly degrading.

In an article published today on spaceflightinsider.com, there is concern at NASA w/r to the aging of current Mars satellites data return capabilities.

Mars Global Surveyor (MGS), and Mars Odyssey(MO) are both aging and cannot be relied on during the 2020s. Mar Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) is now 12 years old, and there has been no recent orbiter sent to augment or replace the 12 and 17 year old communication relays.

IMHO, NASA needs to either send another data transfer link to Mars orbit, or risk losing contact with the various surface rovers. But NASA in all it's wisdom, has again put all the eggs in single-purpose high dollar missions. This strikes me as misdirected priorities, and that having a dedicated mission support transmission relay should be sent to Mars orbit as soon as 2020 launch window. I would ask that they consider a joint project with SpaceX, since that capability is in line with Musk's plans for the Red Planet. Send a satellite with dual capabilities as both  a relay transfer and GPS satellite.

Here's the link to the original article: http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/missi … ble-2020s/

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#2 2018-05-07 18:22:26

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,697

Re: Mars data return capabilities slowly degrading.

The deep space satellite antenna array as well are aging and in need of rehab as well. The fact that all these are the high priced dollar items to Design, build, launch and maintain is just part of the problem as cutting edge is always pushing the cost upward.
Part of the issue for steady state electronics is that it lasts just 7 years from new to obsolete all together. So trying to use what would be lower cost parts means we can not rely on the electronic parts to be available when we want them just after the initial release as the cost would drop over time for those parts as it takes so long to go from design to launch.....

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#3 2018-05-07 19:51:35

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,528

Re: Mars data return capabilities slowly degrading.

I rather agree with you.  I will suggest something, but as you know I am not equipped to assess how practical it is but...

Rather than landing 2 cargo BFS's on Mars directly and then following with 2 crewed BFS's, I would want to....

Send 1 cargo and 1 crewed mission including the assets you have recommended, and also at least one Dragon capable of landing and retrieving samples from the surface of Mars.

I would have the two BFS's do an aerocapture to Martian orbit.

I would want to deploy the assets you have recommended, and to take samples of Phobos, Demos, and Mars.  While taking the samples, I would want radar sounding on the way down, and while on the surface sonar sounding of the objects.  I am talking about the Red Dragon doing all of this.

Outdated but maybe possible still?
https://www.space.com/30504-spacex-red- … eturn.html

Then after having a notion of the nature of the landing site, land the cargo ship and see how it goes.  Then the crewed ship goes back to Earth, possibly requiring a ballistic capture, so that it is not required to hang around Mars any longer than necessary.

.....

The tricks that might make this more possible are:
1) Boost the crewed and cargo BFS's with two other BFS's, or provide them with external tanks.  No refueling required on the Martian surface.

2) Tether the crewed and cargo ships together in the outbound flight, and spin for synthetic gravity.
What about the return trip?  Well a ballistic capture does not require an aeroburn in many cases, they could be offloaded to another BFS in Earth orbit on return.  So frailty from zero gee on return may not be a game stopper.

3) a) Radiation protection:  Skeleton Crew, make a really heavy radiation shelter for emergencies and for their general living space.
    b) An Israeli device.  A radiation vest.

http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-0 … 117848.htm

I would think a protective helmet would not hurt either.

.....

But yes, I understand O.F. out of my league, but this is where I would head if it were up to me.

Last edited by Void (2018-05-07 19:54:04)


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

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#4 2018-05-08 01:34:09

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,868

Re: Mars data return capabilities slowly degrading.

What would it take to set up a live link with Mars?  Is that feasible? I mean a modern day equivalent of the live link from the Apollo landings.

I appreciate you cannot have the direct communication that is possible with people on the Moon owing to the time gap, but could we get high quality live video and sound  back from Mars to Earth?


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

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#5 2018-05-08 17:21:45

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,697

Re: Mars data return capabilities slowly degrading.

A near live link with the moon was possible as it did not turn and the relays were to earth orbiting satellites.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/images.spacere … 18_Web.pdf

Page 8 is a reference of missions slated for Mars from all nations and while its busy its still is not getting man to mars as the missions that are needed are still not on the plate.....

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