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#26 2004-12-08 06:26:10

djellison
Member
From: Leicester,UK
Registered: 2004-08-31
Posts: 113

Re: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - rover

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Anyone else get nervous just looking at PPT's of the EDL system for this rover. It scares the hell out of me! Sky-crane just doesnt look sensible.

Doug[/color:post_uid0]

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#27 2004-12-08 08:35:34

John Creighton
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From: Nova Scotia, Canada
Registered: 2001-09-04
Posts: 2,401
Website

Re: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - rover

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Interesting. It all comes down to statistics. How many left hand compared to right handed proteins? How likely is that? What is the combination of amino acids? What probability that it was formed naturally? What is the probability it was formed by a biological process? If we find a lot of the same sequence I think that would be a strong indicator of life.[/color:post_uid0]

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#28 2004-12-08 08:37:33

John Creighton
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From: Nova Scotia, Canada
Registered: 2001-09-04
Posts: 2,401
Website

Re: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - rover

[color=#000000:post_uid0]

Anyone else get nervous just looking at PPT's of the EDL system for this rover. It scares the hell out of me! Sky-crane just doesnt look sensible.

Doug [/quote:post_uid0]

But if it works.....the landing accuracy achieved will be awesome. It is alot of money to risk on a new concept. I wonder if it can be scaled down some and launched earlier. Atleas they will be able to test in on earth.[/color:post_uid0]

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#29 2004-12-08 17:50:19

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - rover

[color=#000000:post_uid4]John:-

Interesting. It all comes down to statistics. How many left hand compared to right handed proteins? How likely is that? What is the combination of amino acids? What probability that it was formed naturally? What is the probability it was formed by a biological process? If we find a lot of the same sequence I think that would be a strong indicator of life.[/quote:post_uid4]
    Yes, John. Thanks for the comeback on this.
    I think you're probably right that, if we were to find amino acids which are all left-handed, it would be a very strong indication they were produced by a living system. Even more interesting would be the discovery of exclusively [i:post_uid4]right-handed[/i:post_uid4] amino acids!
    I'm just concerned that amino acids have turned up in meteorites and that Dr. Bada's comments about them seem contradictory already. He knows about the Murchison Meteorite amino acids, and says [i:post_uid4]any[/i:post_uid4] amino acids found on Mars are a sure-fire sign of life. Yet he doesn't seem to think the amino acids in that meteorite are any sign of life, even though there is a significant excess of left-handed over right-handed forms of the acid.
    I suppose he might argue it's all a matter of context. Life may have thrived on Mars but it could hardly have done so in a frozen comet.

    This is all O.K., as far as it goes, but what I'm worried about is the possible ambiguity of finding amino acids on Mars, if that's the only test you're performing.
    What if past cometary impacts have left a smorgasbord of amino acids in the martian regolith, some of them familiar ones we associate with terrestrial life, many of them not the kind we see used by life here, some of them left-handed and some right-handed?
    The playing field is wide open to various interpretations of that data, including the possibility (probability? ) that life had nothing to do with any of it.

    I think sending the amino-detecting chip is a great idea. But, on its own, I worry that it's not exclusive enough. We could end up with another stalemate, as I said, and a question mark hanging over Life-on-Mars for another 5 or 10 years (or more).
    Send the chip, by all means, but why not send a more refined version of the Viking life-detection equipment, too? Talk to Dr. G. Levin - I've no doubt he has a thousand ideas he'd like to share in this regard!

    I think this chip looks like a concession to the Life-Quest brigade; something to keep them amused for a while longer. It's small, it's light-weight, it won't cost much. And if its results are ambiguous, we can just say: "Gee whiz! Mars is a tough nut to crack. We ask it a question and it answers with another question. Sheesh! What can you do?"

    The most important question we have today about Mars (still! ) is whether or not it harbours life. Yet this little chip is the only attempt to address that question in 33 years!
    It's not enough.
                                              ???[/color:post_uid4]


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#30 2004-12-14 15:37:02

Palomar
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From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - rover

[color=#810541:post_uid6]Update

*Instrumentation proposals, ideas.  The run-down.

to explore a local region as a potential habitat for past or present life.[/quote:post_uid6] 

Russians and Spanish getting in on the act as well.  :up:

--Cindy

::EDIT::

-- "Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD)," Donald Hassler, Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, Colo. RAD will characterize the broad spectrum of radiation at the surface of Mars, an essential precursor to human exploration of the planet. 
[/quote:post_uid6][/color:post_uid6]


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#31 2004-12-16 07:44:38

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,096

Re: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - rover

[color=#000000:post_uid14]More details on the Russian effort to get in on this.
Russian Space Agency to Supply Equipment for NASA’s Mars Rover

MSL will carry a pulsed neutron source and detector for measuring hydrogen (including water), provided by the Russian Federal Space Agency.
[/quote:post_uid14]

The project also will include a meteorological package and an ultraviolet sensor provided by the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science.
[/quote:post_uid14][/color:post_uid14]

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#32 2004-12-16 09:57:42

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,096

Re: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - rover

[color=#000000:post_uid14]More details for where the instruments to be included in the unit will come from and to what they will be.
NASA Picks Two IU Devices To Go To Mars[/color:post_uid14]

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#33 2004-12-17 05:35:32

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,096

Re: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - rover

[color=#000000:post_uid14]Another update on device going to Mars.
Los Alamos Laser to Be Launched to Mars

A laser developed by a Los Alamos National Laboratory scientist will be aboard the Mars Science Laboratory. The  "ChemCam" as it is referenced in the article will blast the Martian rocks with a laser beam to determine what they are made of. Vaporizing a small amount of the underlying mineral. Then it collects light emitted by the vaporized rock to see what it's made of. The technique, laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy will play an important part with where has the water gone and for how long was it there question.[/color:post_uid14]

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#34 2004-12-17 06:31:51

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,096

Re: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - rover

[color=#000000:post_uid14]While the contanimation question probably deserves a new thread I will post here. NASA preps spacecraft, hygiene tips for Mars

Preventing biological contamination will be one of the key elements in a series of missions to Mars slated for the next two decades, particularly when samples of Martian soil come back to Earth around 2014, said scientists at the American Geophysicists Union, a science symposium taking place here this week.
[/quote:post_uid14]

Many probes and landers mentioned in the article.

The issue of Earth inadvertently contaminating other planets was first raised in the 1950s. An outer-space treaty in 1967 then made it U.S. policy to try to prevent extraterrestrial infections.[/quote:post_uid14][/color:post_uid14]

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#35 2004-12-22 17:22:57

Stephen
Member
Registered: 2004-01-16
Posts: 68

Re: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - rover

[color=#000000:post_uid0]The Malin Space Science Systems website has some interesting additional details on the three camera systems Malin & co are producing for the MSL. One of those details: that movie-maker James Cameron will be a co-investigator of the MastCam one! (Do you suppose this is his way of making good on those Mars movies he said he'd make after Titanic?)[/color:post_uid0]


======
Stephen

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#36 2004-12-23 22:05:03

GraemeSkinner
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From: Eden Hall, Cumbria
Registered: 2004-02-20
Posts: 563
Website

Re: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - rover


There was a young lady named Bright.
Whose speed was far faster than light;
She set out one day
in a relative way
And returned on the previous night.
--Arthur Buller--

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#37 2005-01-05 09:39:02

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,096

Re: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - rover

[color=#000000:post_uid14]Mars Science Laboratory: Next Wheels On Mars

Very good write up of how the sky crane will work and the testing that will be done to ensure success.

The price tag for the MSL project is just under $1.5 billion – that includes the rover’s nuclear power source, as well as the launcher to hurl the hardware to Mars – either a Delta 4 Heavy or an Atlas 5 rocket.

At present, MSL is a one-of-a-kind robot mission. That could change. Talk has begun on tossing two of the roving labs Marsward. [/quote:post_uid14]

MSL science instruments and their respective principal investigators (PIs) are:

Mars Science Laboratory Mast Camera: Performs multi-spectral, stereo imaging at lengths ranging from kilometers to centimeters, and can acquire compressed high-definition video at 10 frames per second without the use of the rover computer. PI, Michael Malin, Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, California.
ChemCam: A laser-induced remote sensing device for chemistry and micro-imaging. It ablates surface coatings from materials at standoff distances of up to 33-feet (10-meters) and measures elemental composition of underlying rocks and soils. PI, Roger Wiens, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico.
Mahli: This Mars HandLens Imager for the Mars Science Laboratory images rocks, soil, frost and ice at resolutions 2.4 times better, and with a wider field of view, than the Microscopic Imager now onboard the dual Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity. PI, Kenneth Edgett, Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, California.
Alpha-Particle-X-ray-Spectrometer: Reveals elemental abundance of rocks and soil. It will be provided by the Canadian Space Agency. PI, Ralf Gellert, Max-Planck-Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, Germany.
CheMin: An X-ray Diffraction/X-ray Fluorescence instrument for definitive mineralogical analysis. It identifies and quantifies all minerals in complex natural samples such as basalts, evaporites and soils, one of the principle objectives of the MSL mission. PI, David Blake, NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California.
Radiation Assessment Detector: Characterizes the broad spectrum of radiation at the surface of Mars, an essential precursor to human exploration of the planet. The instrument would be funded by the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters. PI, Donald Hassler, Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, Colorado.
Mars Descent Imager: Produces high-resolution color-video imagery of the descent and landing phase, providing geological context information, as well as allowing for precise landing-site determination of the rover. PI, Michael Malin, Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, California.
SAM: This Sample Analysis at Mars features an integrated set of devices consisting of a gas chromatograph mass spectrometer and a tunable laser spectrometer. It conducts mineral and atmospheric analyses, detect a wide range of organic compounds and perform stable isotope analyses of organics and noble gases. PI, Paul Mahaffy, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland.
[/quote:post_uid14][/color:post_uid14]

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#38 2005-01-05 20:04:57

Stephen
Member
Registered: 2004-01-16
Posts: 68

Re: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - rover

[color=#000000:post_uid0]The even better news in that report is that the powers-that-be at NASA may be contemplating sending two MSLs to Mars.

At present, MSL is a one-of-a-kind robot mission. That could change. Talk has begun on tossing two of the roving labs Marsward.

"We have provided the program with estimates of what it would take to fly two. It’s up to my management to decide whether the risk/reward ratio is favorable for doing that," Theisinger said. "There is no technical or schedule reason why it’s not feasible."

A decision on doubling up on Mars with MSL would have to made within the first half of this year, Theisinger pointed out. "It’s a conversation we have to have with those developing MSL’s payload too…what they would need in order to build two."[/quote:post_uid0]
Keep your fingers crossed.[/color:post_uid0]


======
Stephen

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#39 2005-01-06 05:53:54

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,096

Re: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - rover

[color=#000000:post_uid14]yup saw that but if it raises the cost to much or if it comes at all down to the integrity of the quality of the units built IMO just say no and build a real good unit that will last.[/color:post_uid14]

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#40 2005-01-07 00:19:41

atomoid
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From: Santa Cruz, CA
Registered: 2004-02-13
Posts: 252

Re: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - rover

[color=#000F22:post_uid0]I still think we should send a retread MER at every launch window, perhaps refitted with alternate instruments, that should keep the MSL mission within a moderate budget and allow a backup mission that can deliver real science shoudl anything owrong with MSL (just thnk of two 1.5 bil MSL going poof) MER is less than a third the cost, and think how reliable and durable a MER version 2.0 could be with the operational hindsight we have from the current mission. This is not to poo-poo MSL, its great but i dont want to have all eggs in one technological basket, and would like to see MER platform evolve into a cheap all-purpose system for widespread exporation.

I know MER is a very limited platform compared to MSL, but the bang for the buck and engineering improvements possible with doing it over again, it should be much cheaper and better since all the hard work is done and the bugs are worked out. Its about as cheap as you can get with a roving mission.

Cheap rovers are much needed since there is so much to explore and just one MSL will give us a isolated view, just remember the difference between Gusev and Meridiani. I think that in a general sense, exporation should go wider and shallower rather than narrower deeper. Make an exception for MSL and cross your fingers that the funky drop-it-off rocket pack works, among other things, but back it up with a proven MER as a sidekick just in case the complex wonder turns into a boondoggle. Nasa doesnt need another public relations fiasco and i think we have really just been so lucky with the MERs.[/color:post_uid0]


"I think it would be a good idea". - Mahatma Gandhi, when asked what he thought of Western civilization.

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#41 2005-01-07 05:44:41

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,096

Re: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - rover

[color=#000000:post_uid14]Great though for using what works and to keep changing as needed the instrumentation package as we go but there in lays some of the problem that may require altering the MER to much. For each instrument requires power consumption rates that are different, The weight of the instruments that you would want to swap out for the new one would also need to have simular properties of weight distribution and have the same basic shape in addition in order to fit in the same location.[/color:post_uid14]

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#42 2005-01-11 09:46:42

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,096

Re: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - rover

[color=#000000:post_uid14]SwRI® instrument selected for next Mars rover mission to assess radiation hazard for future astronauts

The Radiation Assessment Detector, or RAD,will be used to characterize the broad spectrum of radiation at the surface. The investigation will determine the radiation hazards faced by astronauts on Mars. The need to for an comprehesive Understanding of the space radiation environment is important to the design of shelters, habitats and spacesuits with sufficient shielding to protect astronauts.

Seven other instruments were also selected for the MSL, including a mast camera, a Mars hand lens imager and a Mars descent imager, all led by Malin Space Science Systems; a chemistry and micro-imaging sensor, led by Los Alamos; an alpha-particle-X-ray-spectrometer, led by the Max-Planck-Institute for Chemistry; an X-ray diffraction and fluorescence instrument, led by the NASA Ames Research Center; and a sample analysis instrument, led by the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. MSL will also carry a pulsed neutron source and detector for measuring hydrogen, provided by the Russian Federal Space Agency. The project will also include a meteorological package and an ultraviolet sensor provided by the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science.[/quote:post_uid14][/color:post_uid14]

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#43 2005-01-13 10:30:45

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,096

Re: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - rover

[color=#000000:post_uid14] SwRI Radiation Hazard Instrument Selected For Next Mars Rover Mission

[img:post_uid14]http://www.spacedaily.com/images/mars-m … wri-bg.jpg[/img:post_uid14]

Photo caption:
As part of the Mars Science Laboratory, the Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) will characterize the radiation environment faced by astronauts at the surface of Mars. This image shows a prototype model of a portion of RAD, designed and built by scientists at Southwest Research Institute using internal research funds.


Well talk about your international cooperation..  ???[/color:post_uid14]

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#44 2005-01-15 09:39:35

Yang Liwei Rocket
Member
Registered: 2004-03-03
Posts: 993

Re: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - rover

[color=#000000:post_uid0]how about building a rover for Titan ?[/color:post_uid0]


'first steps are not for cheap, think about it...
did China build a great Wall in a day ?' ( Y L R newmars forum member )

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#45 2005-03-13 22:08:08

Stephen
Member
Registered: 2004-01-16
Posts: 68

Re: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - rover

[color=#000000:post_uid0]There a recent report in Space.com suggesting that the MSL [b:post_uid0]may[/b:post_uid0] be pushed back to 2011.

A scenario now under active discussion is slipping the mobile Mars Science Laboratory from 2009 to 2011 – a move that could see the building of two rovers to double-up the science that can be gleaned from the red planet, as well as reduce program risk.
...
McCuistion said the potential to slip the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) to 2011 is on the table, but it is not confirmed.

"The MSL discussions are swirling around a couple of things,” McCuistion said. “One of them is robustness of the science and the technology."[/quote:post_uid0]
One of the matters being discussed is the possibility of sending 2 MSLs.

McCuistion said discussion is ongoing regarding doing more than one Mars Science Laboratory. "If we do two, we can’t do two in 2009. There’s no way," he explained, underscoring both technology and budget constraints.

"If one of the decisions is to go to two, and again, that decision has not been made, I can’t do it in 2009," McCuistion said. "These guys [two MSL rovers] are expensive."[/quote:post_uid0][/color:post_uid0]


======
Stephen

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#46 2005-03-14 06:50:45

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,096

Re: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - rover

[color=#000000:post_uid14]But what is not noted is the cost associated, unlike the rovers which where build for almost the cost of one plus a little more. Imo this falls suspect that the next gen will be a big cash cow with regards to the current budgeted dollars and cost over runs.[/color:post_uid14]

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#47 2005-03-15 12:40:48

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,096

Re: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - rover

[color=#000000:post_uid14]Happened while searching for the Mars Telecommunications Orbiter which was to launch in 2009. Also coupled that with the latest article on rethinking mars planned mission for the next generation vehicle also a 2009 time frame. This is what I found much to my delight. A Nasa web site for all missions.[/color:post_uid14]

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#48 2005-09-26 09:35:32

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,096

Re: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - rover

Will continue here rather than the newer thread Mars Science Lab getting cuts ?
MSL budget chop ? by Yang Liwei Rocket .
The MSL does seem to be alive and well so far as budget does concern.

The Deciphering Mars: The Future does set the stage for further exploration.

The Mars Science Laboratory, to be launched in 2009, is regarded as a keystone mission that marks the transition to the next decade of exploration. With this mission, to take our exploration for past or present habitable environments and life on Mars to the next level, we will need to respond to discoveries made by the present-decade missions. Under the existing strategy, after MSL, potential science pathways diverge, contingent on what we find out.

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#49 2005-09-28 11:26:34

Yang Liwei Rocket
Member
Registered: 2004-03-03
Posts: 993

Re: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - rover

Will continue here rather than the newer thread Mars Science Lab getting cuts ?
MSL budget chop ? by Yang Liwei Rocket .
The MSL does seem to be alive and well so far as budget does concern.

The Deciphering Mars: The Future does set the stage for further exploration.

The Mars Science Laboratory, to be launched in 2009, is regarded as a keystone mission that marks the transition to the next decade of exploration. With this mission, to take our exploration for past or present habitable environments and life on Mars to the next level, we will need to respond to discoveries made by the present-decade missions. Under the existing strategy, after MSL, potential science pathways diverge, contingent on what we find out.

this could be a great mission big_smile


'first steps are not for cheap, think about it...
did China build a great Wall in a day ?' ( Y L R newmars forum member )

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#50 2006-04-07 20:28:25

Mars_B4_Moon
Member
Registered: 2006-03-23
Posts: 885

Re: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - rover

Lockheed Martin has been awarded a preliminary design and concept study start-up contract by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Jet Propulsion Laboratory for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) aeroshell system. Lockheed Martin and NASA will soon enter negotiations to finalize the value of the contract.
http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n060 … aeroshell/

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