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#151 2020-02-21 21:32:49

SpaceNut
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#152 2020-02-23 08:13:24

elderflower
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Re: Mars InSight lander

So much more reliable with external percussion or rotary drill. I shall be surprised if anything comes from this device.

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#153 2020-02-23 11:23:11

GW Johnson
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Re: Mars InSight lander

This lesson about drilling will not be learned.  Neither was the aluminum tire fiasco lesson with Curiosity.  They put aluminum tires on the new 2020 rover.

Could be the harder objects are not the soil and rocks,  but the heads of what appears to be a rather inbred group of rover designers.

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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#154 2020-02-23 13:04:54

kbd512
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Re: Mars InSight lander

GW,

It's possible to source significantly harder and more wear resistant Aluminum alloys using the Alumina Oxide nano particle infused ceramic metal.  That said, it appears that NASA stuck with the same alloy and merely changed the tread pattern.  I've no doubt it'll hold up better because it was tested over sharp rocks and held up better than the original design, but truly durable solutions require "next level" materials science.

Most traditional Aluminum alloys, to include the ones selected by NASA, are machined with high speed steel tooling, but these new ceramic Aluminum alloys require carbide or diamond coated tooling and lower feed rates.  Since they're quite good at blunting carbide cutting tools, they're going to live a lot longer.  They also require no heat treatment.  They're cast or forged, then machined, and that's it.  The cost, by weight, is just about equal to a 300 series stainless steel.  It's not cheap, but certainly not as expensive as losing a rover.  The premium for the better material might amount to a few thousand dollars extra.

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#155 2020-02-24 09:01:17

GW Johnson
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Re: Mars InSight lander

Kbd512:

What you say is true.  Wear resistance is important for the rover application.  But wear resistance does not confer impact protection.  Impact damage bashing over rocks is what I saw on Curiosity's wheels.  Big dents and associated tears in the metal.

For a limited life rover,  this would not be so important.  But these are nuclear-powered items,  intended to run for years.  In that scenario,  you must plan on tires surviving rock-bashing damage.  These guys don't seem to have taken that lesson to heart.  That's what I am criticizing.

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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#156 2020-02-24 09:24:27

kbd512
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Re: Mars InSight lander

GW,

Yes, Curiosity's wheels are so thin that they permanently deformed under load.  The usual engineering fix for that is to use more material and/or stiffer structure, which is what they've done with the new design.  I'm more concerned about the torn / gouged metal than the dents.  It looks like someone's taken a file to the portions of the wheel that haven't deformed.  I'm sure the permeant deformation weakened the structure, but it was also obvious to me that it wasn't sufficiently resistant to abrasion / galling (which will eventually lead to the same type of fatigue failures as material is progressively removed by simply driving over the terrain).  The ceramic Aluminum alloy is substantially stiffer and harder, so it will both deflect less under load and abrade much more slowly than conventional Aluminum alloys.  Apart from that, I agree that they don't seem to fully appreciate the need to ruggedize the drive train.  One of the MER rovers was thought to have suffered a motor failure and then Curiosity suffered wheel damage.  That said, both of these vehicles met their design life criteria.  I think the criteria should be a minimum of 5 years of operations, rather than a year or less.

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#157 2020-02-24 18:04:49

SpaceNut
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Re: Mars InSight lander

The rover will be trying to use the arm to press on the top of the probe without damaging the wiring that comes out of the top of it. With the article indicating that its quite dangerous to the probes eventual us if it get set to the distance that is required. The hammering shoe has been moved in preperation for the attemps.
nasa-mars-insight-lander-robotic-arm-push-top-mole-hg.jpg

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#158 2020-02-24 21:46:05

SpaceNut
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Re: Mars InSight lander

NASA Mars lander discovers deep quakes rock the Red Planet

InSight's seismometer detected 174 marsquakes through September 2019, including 20 measured at a magnitude 3 to 4. So far, the marsquakes picked up by InSight seem to be much deeper than most tremors felt on Earth, coming at a depth of around 50 kilometers (31 miles). That's around five to 10 times the depth of many earthquakes. The researchers say that a person standing on the surface of Mars might be able to feel the strongest temblors that InSight has picked up, but the quakes probably wouldn't pose much of a danger to something like a Martian research base or Elon Musk's fanciful metropolis.

NASA's InSight lander mission yields first scientific paper on Marsquakes

What NASA’s InSight lander has learned about Mars’ magnetism and quakes
Scientists release details on the probe’s first 10 months of findings about the Red Planet

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#159 2020-06-04 17:23:28

tahanson43206
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Re: Mars InSight lander

It's been a while since we've seen an update on the Insight lander.

Here is some news ... I'm not sure it qualifies as "encouraging", but at least it is "news" ...

https://www.yahoo.com/news/nasas-mole-f … 00119.html

The idea of piling soil on top of the probe is one I have not seen before, but the research team has had a year to think about the problem.

(th)

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#160 2020-06-04 17:42:20

SpaceNut
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Re: Mars InSight lander

We have talked about the natural use of regolith for making the mass reduced construction equipment sent from earth to Mars in the past as you need that downward force to be higher for the equipment to move regolith around. But it should have a box area for it to be placed within as it might break something.

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#161 2020-06-07 08:50:16

SpaceNut
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Re: Mars InSight lander

https://mars.nasa.gov/insight/weather/

Mars is almost 60% complete along or away around its path. We are heading towards a mars winter of which the Insight page indicates we are warming not cooling for the day time temperatures which makes the page before post #554 of location incorrect. Something else that is on the page is that the air pressure drops with the rising temperature with the wind air speed rising during the mars day.

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#162 2020-07-09 16:54:31

SpaceNut
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Re: Mars InSight lander

The Mole is getting deeper into the soil but not quite all the way in yet.
I was reminded to check the weather from
https://mars.nasa.gov/insight/weather/

and noticed that the nights are very consistent for temperature but the days high can have a wide variation to what is measured.
Which makes on wonder why.

https://www.marsdaily.com/reports/NASAs … e_999.html

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#163 2020-07-09 18:29:48

Void
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Re: Mars InSight lander

It is possible I am overstepping my station, but I will give some suggestions that might be worth considering.

I believe the the Martian nights are very still, so perhaps that is a form of repeatability.  But the days may have winds, and perhaps the direction of the wind, and other factors can apply.  Updrafts that are not repeatable day to day, hour to hour?  For insight, I believe the terrain is rather flat, but if a wind goes downhill the air may heat up.  If uphill it may cool down.

Maybe this could be part of it.

Dust conditions as well perhaps.

Read an article that said that dusty planets can extend the normal habitable zone.  Something that could matter in attempting to terraform Mars.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/science/ … %20leaving.
Quote:

He added: 'Dust can slow down a planet's water loss at the inner edge of the habitable zone - and warm planets at the outer edge.'

These tidally locked dusty planets are expected to orbit just inside the habitable zone of most red dwarf stars - the most common star type found in the universe

Done.

Last edited by Void (2020-07-09 18:32:01)


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

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#164 2020-07-12 12:39:10

GW Johnson
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Re: Mars InSight lander

The latest news releases I have seen show the mole made no progress at all,  not even when being pushed down by the arm.  Looks to me like that particular "drilling" concept is a total failure.  They just have not exhausted all the ways to try yet. But,  odds are,  nothing will work,  based on what we have seen so far.

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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#165 2020-08-07 21:01:42

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#166 2020-08-26 19:54:46

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#167 2020-09-04 12:09:58

GW Johnson
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Re: Mars InSight lander

I saw a report today that the mole is finally underground,  with the scoop applying pressure to the soil above it.  That report gave no figures as to how far underground,  or how straightly it is moving downward (if at all). 

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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#168 2020-09-18 14:41:23

SpaceNut
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Re: Mars InSight lander

For current weather on Mars at Insight location, see:
https://mars.nasa.gov/insight/weather/

From looking at the weather data we see that the higher mars day time air speed is that the max day temperature goes down.

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#169 2020-10-11 07:35:27

SpaceNut
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Re: Mars InSight lander

The weather on mars seems mostly stable with day high temps are above zero F with wind being variable.
Not much news on the Mole....

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#170 2020-10-11 08:07:13

tahanson43206
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Re: Mars InSight lander

For SpaceNut re #169

Thanks for bringing the lander back into view ... The weather report you summarized is sobering (to me for sure).  The planet just passed through the closest point to the Sun in its orbit, and your report shows temperatures just above zero Fahrenheit. Good Grief!

However, that is balmy compared to Earth's Antarctica ... here is a "today" weather report ...

Now
[Partly sunny.]
-63 °F

Partly sunny.

Feels Like: -99 °F
Forecast: -50 / -55 °F
Wind: 14 mph ↑ from Northeast
Location:     Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station
Current Time:     Oct 12, 2020 at 3:00:18 am
Latest Report:     Oct 12, 2020 at 12:50 am
Visibility:     0 mi
Pressure    28.04 "Hg(18.24 "Hg at 2771m altitude)
Humidity:     N/A
Dew Point:     N/A

Life for humans underground might be quite pleasant, given sufficient supplies of energy.

***

As I read your post, it occurred to me to wish there were a webcam of "live" streamed data from one of the Mars landers.

Right now light time is under four minutes, so whatever the view is, it would be (relatively) fresh.

Edit#1: I was curious to see what records exist regarding Antarctic research stations ....

https://www.nsf.gov/geo/opp/usap_specia … istics.jsp

The link above provides a great variety of topics ... this one caught my eye ...

Safety in Antarctica: Report of the U.S. Antarctic Program Safety Review Panel.  National Science Foundation (NSF 88-78). 155p.  1988.  The deaths of two employees in a 24 November 1986 hiking accident near McMurdo triggered this study by seven non-NSF experts of whom astronaut Russell L. Schweickart was chair.  The report has 72 recommendations in management, health and medical care, accident prevention and policies, communications, science field parties, survival and search and rescue, environment and energy, nongovernmental activity, air operations, and occupational safety.

The environment on Mars is going to be at least as hazardous as Antarctica, although the specific risks will be different.   For a considerable time, while personnel there are still supported to a significant degree by governments and organizations on Earth, it is likely such inquiries will take place when accidents occur.

I was interested to note that Rusty Schweickart was asked to help with the inquiry.

I'll bet that most of the 72 recommendations would map well onto the Mars environment.

(th)

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#171 2020-10-18 17:19:31

SpaceNut
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Re: Mars InSight lander

insight-robotic-arm-self-hammering-mole-hg.jpg

NASA's InSight lander continues working to get its "mole" - a 16-inch-long (40-centimeter-long) pile driver and heat probe - deep below the surface of Mars. A camera on InSight's arm recently took images of the now partially filled-in "mole hole," showing only the device's science tether protruding from the ground.

Sensors embedded in the tether are designed to measure heat flowing from the planet once the mole has dug at least 10 feet (3 meters) deep. The mission team has been working to help the mole burrow to at least that depth so that it can take Mars' temperature.


https://www.dlr.de/content/en/missions/insight.html

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#172 2020-10-20 09:11:46

GW Johnson
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Re: Mars InSight lander

What I see in AIAA's "Daily Launch" for today is that the mole is finally fully under the surface for the very first time.  That means,  with the arm pushing down on the dirt to help,  it has burrowed a few inches.  When it needs 10+ feet to do anything useful. The article also said that the first time they tried this,  Mars's dirt actually "spit the mole back out onto the surface",  which I infer is why they are pushing down on the dirt with the arm.

My money is on this Rube Goldberg self-hammering idiocy never working right.  They'd have been a lot better off mounting an actual drill rig on this lander. The Canadians actually had one designed for a lander like this,  but nobody ever bought one from them.  It's not like they can't do space stuff;  the shuttle arm was a Canadian design.

GW

Update 10-22-20:  so also is the arm on the ISS a Canadian-built device.  They sure did a good job on those arms.  So why not try their space probe lander drill rig hardware?

Last edited by GW Johnson (2020-10-22 09:28:30)


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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