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#1 2014-01-23 17:45:19

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
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Posts: 19,921

New 2020 Mars Rover based on MSL

Nasa is looking to see what proposal's would be wanted for instruments for science to be designed for the next rover to mars.

NASA receives instrument proposals for Mars 2020 rover

PIA17273_artist-concept-plain-br2.jpeg


NASA announced on Tuesday January 21 that it had received 58 proposals for scientific and exploration instruments for the space agency’s proposed Mars 2020 rover mission. The call for proposals received nearly twice the average number of responses for similar instrument competitions. This prototype hardware can package up to 31 drill core samples for eventual return to Earth.

PIA17277_cache-br2.jpeg


http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/mars2020/

Last edited by SpaceNut (2014-05-25 21:25:53)

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#2 2014-02-13 10:34:49

Number04
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From: Calgary Alberta Canada
Registered: 2002-09-24
Posts: 162

Re: New 2020 Mars Rover based on MSL

Why isn't the Mars Exploration Rover chassis used as a template? MSL is awesome, don't get me wrong, but the MER has shown it's incredibility capable and the R&D costs are done. (Yes, modernizing the systems would cost money, but not nearly as much) With SpaceX aiming for Mars, couldn't NASA build a fleet of special purpose MERs? That sounds much more cost effective to me.

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#3 2014-02-13 11:12:19

Midoshi
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From: Colorado
Registered: 2007-07-14
Posts: 157

Re: New 2020 Mars Rover based on MSL

Number04 wrote:

Why isn't the Mars Exploration Rover chassis used as a template? MSL is awesome, don't get me wrong, but the MER has shown it's incredibility capable and the R&D costs are done. (Yes, modernizing the systems would cost money, but not nearly as much) With SpaceX aiming for Mars, couldn't NASA build a fleet of special purpose MERs? That sounds much more cost effective to me.

In the case of the 2020 rover, there are already built spare parts from MSL available. This is similar to the situation of the Phoenix mission, where the lander had already been built as part of an earlier mission (although in that case the earlier mission had been canceled).

I hear this idea to just clone successful missions (such as the MERs) all the time. Every time I bring it up to an engineer or a scientist who has actually lead a mission, they sigh, roll their eyes and admit it's a nice idea in theory, but it rarely works in practice. With the high quality control, complex subsystem integration, and very specific operational parameters that space missions need, even relatively small changes/improvements to a previous mission profile require a lot of time and money to implement. In most cases, for not much more work you can get a better end product if you just do the whole thing from scratch rather than upgrade piecemeal and shoehorn a previous instrument or platform to fit a new mission.

That said, the space industry is really big on HERITAGE. If your proposed mission shares a lot of systems with a previous successful mission, it is far, far more likely to be selected, to be in budget, and be successful than if you are just going from a pure paper design. So, the idea of recycling previous missions is already done, in a sense.


"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Albert Einstein

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#4 2014-02-13 12:58:28

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
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Re: New 2020 Mars Rover based on MSL

Hi Midoshi:

Do you have a feel for how deep these core samples will be extracted? 

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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#5 2014-02-13 18:19:50

RobertDyck
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Re: New 2020 Mars Rover based on MSL

Mars 2020 Rover is about $4 billion. It isn't about any science objectives, it's about $4 billion into the pockets of contractors. I watched video of the last Mars Society convention. The project manager for MSL was one of the speakers, Mars Society members asked him about this. He claimed that parts for MER are no longer available. That I don't believe. Electronics may have to be updated a little, but easy to do. Mechanical parts like wheels and arms for the wheels were custom made. But MER total mission cost $800 for both rovers. MSL (aka Curiosity) cost $2 billion, and Mars 2020 will be $4 billion. That price is according to that same project manager, in that same presentation.

Robert Zubrin pointed out that for the cost of Mars 2020, you could send a lander with a rover the size of Sojourner, and return the samples back to Earth, all in one mission. That includes bringing return propellant all the way from Earth, no ISPP at all. I've argued with ISPP you could do the same with a smaller mission, one the size of Phoenix or a single MER.

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#6 2014-02-13 18:39:23

louis
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From: UK
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Re: New 2020 Mars Rover based on MSL

NASA can no longer be considered a really serious space agency.  This rover business would go on for the next 100 years if they could get away with it. Thankfully Musk is going to blast them out of the water, or out of the crater at least.  Once we have a few people on Mars they will garner more information in 5 days than in 50 years of Rover operation.


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

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#7 2014-02-14 13:54:56

Midoshi
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From: Colorado
Registered: 2007-07-14
Posts: 157

Re: New 2020 Mars Rover based on MSL

GW Johnson wrote:

Hi Midoshi:

Do you have a feel for how deep these core samples will be extracted? 

GW

The proposals for instruments are in review right now, and while I know some people who submitted, they were more of the remote sensing variety. At this stage in the process you have to personally know someone directly involved to have an idea of what's on the table.

One decent guess would be a drilling instrument similar to that on MSL, which can only penetrate up to 5 cm into a target. I know that quite a few Europeans have submitted proposals, so there may be the possibility of an ExoMars type drill which could sample down to 2 meters.

These depths may seem somewhat inadequate given that you need to dig about 3 meters on Mars to get to a depth where organics could be stable against cosmic radiation over geologic time scales. However, one of the discoveries of MSL is that by driving up to the foot of a scarp undergoing active erosion ("active" being on a geologic scale) and digging to a relatively shallow depth you should be able to sample very old material that hasn't been exposed to cosmic radiation for very long. For more details you can check out this video from last year's AGU meeting, starting at 27:18 at watch for a few minutes:

http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/news/whats … ewsID=1564


"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Albert Einstein

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#8 2014-02-14 17:05:45

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
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Re: New 2020 Mars Rover based on MSL

Hi Midoshi:

I guess I just don't understand what is so hard about drilling to 3 meters.  Seems like that is the thing to do,  so as not to be restricted about sites. 

I have a friend in the soil sampling business for the civil engineering crowd.  He drills past 3 m all the time,  rocks or not.  It just ain't that hard. 

Maybe some of these science labs and crowds ought to be talking to some real,  dirty-fingernails engineers,  like him and me.  Their staffs certainly seem to lack people like that,  or MSL/Curiosity would not have the tire damage that it does. 

GW



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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#9 2014-02-17 09:16:50

Void
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Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,561

Re: New 2020 Mars Rover based on MSL

If you could have it go into a newly formed crater, could that do some good, getting deaper without a greater drilling ability?  Of course you might not get the prefered location but perhaps you could get deaper samples, and also there would be lots of ejecta around the crater that might be of interest.

http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1402/06crater/


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

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#10 2014-03-08 10:54:37

RobS
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From: South Bend, IN
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Re: New 2020 Mars Rover based on MSL

Have people seen this?

http://www.space.com/24984-spacex-mars- … ragon.html

The people at Ames have taken the publically available data about Dragon and have concluded that you can put up to 2 tonnes inside a modified Dragon capsule and it can be landed on Mars using the superdracos. The 2 tonnes would be a Mars Ascent Vehicle and sample return capsule. It would receive the sample from the 2020 rover and launch straight back to Earth. The sample return capsule would aerobrake into a high Earth orbit (I suppose to reduce the risk of contamination) and a second Dragon would launch to retrieve it. Each launch would require a Falcon Heavy, in 2022 and 2025 respectively.

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#11 2014-03-08 13:30:46

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 4,103
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Re: New 2020 Mars Rover based on MSL

Nice data,  RobS.  Thanks.

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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#12 2014-05-18 18:49:45

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
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Re: New 2020 Mars Rover based on MSL

NASA Looks To Volcanic Rocks As Target For Next Mars Rover

interesting location to explore..

si_marslanding.jpg

The Candidate site is one that contains Hydrated minerals in the 4-billion-year-old bedrock of Northeast Syrtis Major make it an attractive site for a Mars sample return mission.

The $1.5 billion rover, a near-copy of the Curiosity rover, will collect about 30 samples of rock and soil for eventual
return to Earth.

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#13 2014-05-18 19:40:32

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
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Re: New 2020 Mars Rover based on MSL

NASA Rushing To Get Mars 2020 Contracts Signed expected to be 90 percent identical to curiosity.

NASA is rushing to award sole-source contracts to some 25 vendors for the planned sample-caching Mars 2020 rover, which is based closely on the $2.5 billion Curiosity rover now operating on the red planet.

There are $200 million worth of spare parts left over from Curiosity’s development, according to slides McNamee presented to the MEPAG. They include a flight-spare radioisotope power system — a nuclear battery used for deep-space missions — to be provided by Aerojet Rocketdyne under a sole-source Department of Energy contract announced back in November.  

NASA’s 2014 budget includes $65 million for the Mars 2020 rover, which would notionally lift off in July or August of 2021 and arrive at Mars in February 2021.

NASA requested $92 million for 2015. Annual spending would jump to more than $200 million in 2016 before peaking at just over $415 million in 2017, according to the 2015 budget request NASA released in March. 


Roughly $100 million of Mars 2020’s expected $1.5 billion development budget will go to the science payload...

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#14 2014-05-25 21:22:30

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,921

Re: New 2020 Mars Rover based on MSL

When fantasy becomes reality: first seeds to be planted soon on Mars

The first seeds germination experiment is about to be launched on Mars (Mars Plant Experiment, MPX). Greenhouse, small transparent cube, will be attached to the outer surface of the new Mars rover, that will be launched in mid-2020 and will land on the Red Planet in early 2021.
The greenhouse will be fully sealed, and the experiment will be conducted in the following way. Earth air, water and 200 seeds of Arabidopsis will be tightly sealed inside the cube.

This herb is unpretentious and has long been used by scientists. After landing the rover will start producing heat and water inside the cube. In 10-15 days small plants will appear. During this whole time the rover will remain in one place. Scientists will be taking photographs of the sprouts and compare their development with the control group on Earth.

It is interesting how the Martian gravity, light and radiation will affect the process.

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#15 2015-02-03 22:10:54

SpaceNut
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#16 2015-02-26 07:59:38

Tom Kalbfus
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Re: New 2020 Mars Rover based on MSL

The question is why use wheels in 2020? Wheels can get stuck on obstacles that legs can step over, and I hear there is work on legged robots.
th?id=HN.608012935449610743&w=181&h=101&c=7&rs=1&qlt=90&pid=3.1&rm=2

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#17 2015-02-26 08:06:34

Decimator
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Registered: 2011-11-20
Posts: 39

Re: New 2020 Mars Rover based on MSL

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

The question is why use wheels in 2020? Wheels can get stuck on obstacles that legs can step over, and I hear there is work on legged robots.

C'mon Tom, you know the answer to that.  Legs have more moving parts and are therefore more prone to failure.

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#18 2015-02-26 11:06:56

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
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Re: New 2020 Mars Rover based on MSL

They manager who built Curiosity wants to sell a second one. For money. He sold two of the last model rover: Spirit and Opportunity. So he just wants to sell another. When you look at the entire mission plan, it isn't about science or any serious effort to get any sample back to Earth. It's just pork.

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#19 2015-02-26 19:37:37

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
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Posts: 19,921

Re: New 2020 Mars Rover based on MSL

I see we have a headless horse with no cart...must not be a Nasa design....

Curiosity had problems with the actuators and almost did not make launch so I hope they figured that problem out for a redu of the majority of its design....and while they are at it change the tire design as well as we do not have AAA service yet on mars...

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#20 2015-02-28 07:58:54

Tom Kalbfus
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Re: New 2020 Mars Rover based on MSL

I wonder where the astronaut is supposed to sit. Big deal, yet another rover using 20th century technology! Glad to have the rover though. But Mars Rovers are starting to sound routine. Does it retrieve surface samples at least? We have yet to bring any Mars rocks back to Earth.

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#21 2015-02-28 14:11:31

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
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Posts: 19,921

Re: New 2020 Mars Rover based on MSL

http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/mars2020/mission/overview/

NASA-Mars-2020-Rover-instrument-selection-PIA18405-br.jpg

Rock-studying instruments would assist scientists in understanding which samples would be most promising for the Mars 2020 rover to core, collect, and cache (store). This mission would contribute to the four main science goals of NASA's Mars Exploration Program. The specific ways in which this mission would make contributions to each science goal are currently under consideration.

1. Life: Determine whether life ever existed on Mars

Characterize the processes that formed and modified the geologic record within a field exploration area on Mars selected for evidence of an astrobiologically relevant ancient environment and geologic diversity.

2. Climate: Characterize the Climate of Mars

Perform the following astrobiologically-relevant investigations on the geologic materials at the landing site:

•Determine the habitability of an ancient environment.
•For ancient environments interpreted to have been habitable, search for materials with high biosignature preservation potential.
•Search for potential evidence of past life using the observations regarding habitability and preservation as a guide.

3. Geology: Characterize the Geology of Mars

Assemble a returnable cache of samples for possible future return to Earth.

•Obtain samples that are scientifically selected, for which the field context is documented, that contain the most promising samples identified in Objective B and that represent the geologic diversity of the field site.
•Ensure compliance with future needs in the areas of planetary protection and engineering so that the cache could be returned in the future if NASA chooses to do so.

4. Prepare for Humans

Contribute to the preparation for human exploration of Mars by making significant progress towards filling at least one major Strategic Knowledge Gap. The highest priority SKG measurements that are synergistic with Mars 2020 science objectives and compatible with the mission concept are (in priority order):

1.Demonstration of In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) technologies to enable propellant and consumable oxygen production from the Martian atmosphere for future exploration missions.
2.Characterization of atmospheric dust size and morphology to understands its effects on the operation of surface systems and human health.
3.Surface weather measurements to validate global atmospheric models.

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#22 2015-02-28 15:57:27

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
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Re: New 2020 Mars Rover based on MSL

Ah, the ISPP Precursor experiment that was supposed to fly on the Mars 2001 lander. But after Mars Polar Lander failed, they delayed launch of Mars 2001 until they found the problem. They did, but then forgot about Mars 2001. Until someone noticed it, and reconfigured it to become Mars Phoenix. The ISPP Precursor and the radiation sensor were removed to make room for new instruments. Curiosity has a radiation sensor. So this mission promises to replace the ISPP Precursor, which would collect Mars CO2 and generate oxygen, but not methane. Ok. That's good, but still very expensive.

As Robert Zubrin said, a Scout class mission could use an arm like Phoenix to collect samples, then send then directly to Earth like Stardust or Genesis. It would use full ISPP for return. Scout class was defined to cost between US$300 million and US$485 million. Last budget I read for Mars 2020 was US$2 billion; and NASA mission budgets have a habit of growing.

Yea, I talked to Robert Zubrin about this at a Mars Society convention years ago. He didn't like the idea of a robotic Mars sample return mission at all. He wanted just human. I argued we need a technology demonstrator for ISPP before we commit human lives to it, so I see this as a prerequisite to a human mission. And I argued it could be done in the budget of a Scout class mission, but only if you use ISPP. He didn't like it at that time, but apparently he remembered that discussion. So when Mars 2020 was proposed, he pointed out sample return could be done in a Scout class budget. More people listen to Dr. Zubrin than me; after all he has the degree, I don't.

::Edit:: Instead of collecting samples with an arm like Mars Phoenix, you could use a tiny rover like Mars Sojourner. Dr. Zubrin pointed that out too.

Last edited by RobertDyck (2015-02-28 16:00:58)

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#23 2015-03-01 00:03:24

Tom Kalbfus
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Re: New 2020 Mars Rover based on MSL

Over time robots become more capable. With all these robots we send to Mars, I wonder why we send humans down into coal mines. Couldn't we design robots to mine coal. I think by the time we have a human colony, robots will be doing a lot of things.

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#24 2015-03-11 20:58:18

SpaceNut
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Re: New 2020 Mars Rover based on MSL

U.S. Plutonium Stockpile Good for Two More Nuclear Batteries after Mars 2020

"There is enough plutonium-238 in the U.S. stockpile to fuel three of the same kind of the nuclear batteries used by the Curiosity rover now exploring Mars." Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (MMRTGs) are plutonium-powered batteries (above, the MMRTG for the Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft).

One is reserved for the Mars 2020 rover with enough material left for two other such batteries. Based heavily on the design for the 2-year-old Curiosity, Mars 2020 will use a single MMRTG, which requires about 4 kilograms of plutonium-238 to produce 110 watts of electricity.

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#25 2015-03-12 11:13:47

Terraformer
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From: Lancashire
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Re: New 2020 Mars Rover based on MSL

Could they use Strontium based beta-voltaics instead? They've got plenty of that around, and it should be able to produce more than 28W/kg,,,


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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