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#76 2007-02-12 07:04:52

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,099

Re: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - rover

Swiss lasers light up Mars mission

The Lasers were designed by Neuchâtel. The firm will be looking for life on Mars as part of Nasa's 2009 mission to the red planet.

The Mars Science Laboratory rover mission will be Nasa's seventh to explore the planet.

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#77 2007-03-10 13:49:19

cIclops
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Registered: 2005-06-16
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Re: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - rover

PIA09202_MSL_Laser_Inst_Artist_Concept_br.jpg
Artist's concept - Feb 2007

Caption and higher resolution image

This artist's conception of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory portrays use of the rover's ChemCam instrument to identify the chemical composition of a rock sample on the surface of Mars.

ChemCam is innovative for planetary exploration in using a technique referred to as laser breakdown spectroscopy to determine the chemical composition of samples from distances of up to about 8 meters (25 feet) away. ChemCam is led by a team at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Centre d'Etude Spatiale des Rayonnements in Toulouse, France.


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#78 2007-04-27 11:16:53

cIclops
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Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - rover

EMCORE PhotoVoltaics Awarded Mars Cruise Stage Solar Panel Manufacturing Contract

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., April 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- EMCORE Corporation (Nasdaq: EMKR), announced today that the Photovoltaics Division has been awarded a $2M contract by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Center for the design, manufacturing, testing and delivery of fully integrated solar panels for the Mars Cruise Stage spacecraft. This spacecraft is designed to carry the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover and communicate with the entry vehicle that will carry the rover to the surface of the planet. The launch of the spacecraft is planned for fall of 2009.

    Scheduled for delivery in mid 2008, the Mars Cruise Stage solar panels will provide more than 1 kW end-of-life (EOL) power to the spacecraft while operating at a distance of 1.6 Astronomical Units (AU) from the sun. These panels will be powered by EMCORE's latest generation 28.5% efficiency multi- junction solar cells. Production of the solar cells and panels will take place at EMCORE's manufacturing facilities located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA.


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#79 2007-05-05 07:37:14

cIclops
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Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - rover

Interview with Dr. Ashwin Vasavada, deputy project scientist (QT audio & images    24mins)

Vasavada describes the instruments, EDL, site selection and the work for the upcoming CDR (Critical Design Review) this summer.


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#80 2007-05-05 16:06:54

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

Re: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - rover

Thanks for the links

very good info


'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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#81 2007-05-20 04:16:03

cIclops
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Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - rover

Scarecrow_Crop_2_br.jpg

Less Than a Year from Assembly and Testing Phase - 10 May 2007

The 2009 Mars Science Laboratory, the mammoth grandchild of the 1997 Sojourner rover, is less than one year from the assembly, test and launch operations phase (ATLO). With its immense increase in size comes advanced abilities in power, technology and science data collection. In early 2008, the team will start the flight vehicle assembly and testing, simulating on earth every challenge the brave new traveler will face during the mission.

"We have moved from paper designs to real hardware and software," said Matt Wallace MSL Flight System Manager. "To name a few of the things that have happened lately: the first control and power electronics have been delivered to the testbed, our mobility and touchdown test vehicle is assembled and rolling, the initial versions of the software code for our guided precision landing are running and the landing engines were qualified for flight. MSL is a much more complex spacecraft than those we've sent before, so our assembly and testing is going to be really challenging."

Teams that represent every rover subsystem are working furiously to meet deadlines and overcome challenges to ensure that the most advanced rover to go to Mars will make its date with destiny.


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#82 2007-05-27 07:03:56

cIclops
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Re: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - rover

Rob Manning (Mars Program Chief Engineer at JPL and one of the team working on the new Mars architecture for human missions) recently posted  on UMSF

The MSL team recently completed the construction of the "scare crow" rover. It is the first fully functional MSL mobility system that was built to test landing (on wheels) as well as general mobility (imagine MSL without the "body", just the wheels, motors and rocker bogie system.) It is rather versatile. That have even scale rocks between 0.5 and 1 m without a problem. The also have been doing "landing" tests.

Because MSL's descent stage is more than 7 m above the rover, we can land slower than either Viking or Phoenix. MSL can land on its wheel at a very slow speed (limited only by the amount of fuel we feel we can use - the others need to keep the speed high so as to make good ground contact and to prevent tenching by the engines). MSL's wheels make contact at well less than 1 m/s whereas Viking & Phoenix had to land at 2.4 m/s (vertical). Of course MER was designed to land at more than 15 m/s. The upshot is that MSL's "landings" are rather anti-climatic.

But watching a car-sized rover scale rocks the size of chairs IS impressive.

(Scarecrow image is above)

Seems they have the Skycrane landing technology well understood.


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#83 2007-06-04 13:37:27

cIclops
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Registered: 2005-06-16
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Re: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - rover

Latest must see animations

EDL with hypersonic steering, Skycrane, ChemCam laser, Corer, Crusher, CheMin and Sample Analysis (SAM) ...


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#84 2007-06-20 14:53:37

cIclops
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Re: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - rover

Mars Science Laboratory is going to be HUGE - 20 Jun 2007

Lots of photos and videos - see those half meter diameter wheels rolling over rocks!


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#85 2007-06-27 20:47:15

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
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Re: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - rover

Lab-On-a-Chip Application Development-Portable Test System
Handheld Microorganism Detector Tested Aboard Space Station
Astronaut Sunita "Suni" Williams

took six readings during her recent mission to the station. "The first two readings were controls to show that the instrument was operating correctly," explains Jake Maule, LOCAD-PTS project scientist at the Carnegie Institution of Washington. "First she swabbed her palm, which she had first pressed to handrails and other often-handled surfaces that should have had lots of bacteria-and indeed, we got a strong positive reading."

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#86 2007-07-09 04:30:28

cIclops
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Re: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - rover

roveryard-20070619_br.jpg
Higher resolution image and text

On June 19, 2007, media visited JPL’s newly expanded outdoor Mars Yard where rovers train for future planetary missions. Visitors were treated to a test drive of the “Scarecrow” rover. Scarecrow might still be missing its computer “brains,” but it certainly showed off its monster appetite for large boulders, making easy work of traversing them. In early 2008, assembly of this hefty, hyper-capable rover will begin.

Now that's a rover and a half!


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#87 2007-09-13 02:57:53

cIclops
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Re: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - rover

MSL Landing Site Selection - User’s Guide to Engineering Constraints - (PDF) 24 Aug 2007

USGS MSL site

Mission Engineering Constraints

Summary:

    * 10 km diameter landing circle.
    * Latitude range (45, -45).
    * Below +1 km MOLA elevation.
    * Entire landing site must be radar reflective.
    * Slope:
          o Long wavelength: slopes over 2-5 km length scales <3°.
          o Intermediate wavelength: slopes over 200 m length scales <5°.
          o Intermediate wavelength: slopes over 20 m length scales <15°.
          o Short wavelength: slopes over 5 m length scales <15°.
    * Rocks higher than 0.55 m, thus intermediate or lower rock
    * Load bearing surface not dominated by dust, thus moderate thermal inertia and moderate albedo acceptable.
    * Must not have persistent cold surfaces and CO2 frost


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#88 2007-09-17 00:40:27

cIclops
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Re: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - rover

Project Changes - 16 Sep 2007

In early June 2007, the Mars Science Laboratory project completed its project-wide Critical Design Review (CDR), which marks the completion of the project's design phase and transition into the build up of flight hardware. A key component of the CDR process were technical risk, programmatic, and cost reviews, from which multiple independent cost assessments predicted that this technically challenging $1.7B planetary science rover mission's current content would cause it to exceed its budgeted development costs to launch by approximately $75M.

Engineering changes to the mission include some reductions in design complexity, reductions in planned spares, some simplifications of flight software, and some ground test program changes. These changes were selected largely to help reduce mission risks. Changes in mission science content were limited to removal of the Mars Descent Imager (MARDI), the MASTCAM zoom capability from the mission, and a change from a rock grinding tool to a rock brushing tool. As noted by the science input NASA received, most of MARDI's capability can be provided by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's HiRise camera now in orbit and working successfully. Furthermore, NASA has directed that the project expend no additional funds on ChemCam, and cost-cap SAM and CheMin at their current budgets. Future budget requests for these instruments cannot be funded. However none of the roving instruments were removed from the payload, and the science team also remains entirely intact.


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#89 2007-09-22 20:41:41

EuroLauncher
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From: Europe
Registered: 2005-10-19
Posts: 299

Re: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - rover

Budget Axe Falls on Mars Science Laboratory -- Science Plans for the Mission Cut

September 18 , 2007
sad
NASA announced that science plans for the 2009 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission are being reduced. Five of the eight science instruments are affected, either by outright removal or by constraints to their development.

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#90 2007-09-22 22:31:39

cIclops
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Re: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - rover

No word about this directly from NASA or from the MSL team. It would help to hear the facts regarding how much of the proposed science will be affected rather than speculation from the media and people outside the project.


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#91 2007-09-30 06:43:50

cIclops
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Re: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - rover


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#92 2007-09-30 18:48:29

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

Re: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - rover

I had fore knowledge of these looming cuts I think it was back in September of 2005.

Some person who had been working in the industry chatted to me about the possibility of a number of instruments / designs getting binned to save money.

If I've any new info on the Chinese mission and 2012 Rover I'll comeback and post

MSL's Mast Camera could be the next instrument to be scrapped

The new question that has to be asked, once they start cutting bits of MSL at what stage does it stop becoming a science lab and just become another design representing the goals of a MarsExplorationRover / LunokhodRover?


'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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#93 2007-10-01 02:09:48

cIclops
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Registered: 2005-06-16
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Re: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - rover

MSL's Mast Camera could be the next instrument to be scrapped

The new question that has to be asked, once they start cutting bits of MSL at what stage does it stop becoming a science lab and just become another design representing the goals of a MarsExplorationRover / LunokhodRover?

MASTCAM is a critical instrument, it won't be scrapped. As usual with big complex projects, costs have started to get out of control. Stern has capped the instrument costs. He has the right name for the job smile The new science instruments, SAM, ChemCam and ChemMin are all onboard. These are totally new, complex instruments unlike MAHLI and APXS which are derivatives of MER technology. DAN and REMS are provided by other agencies. This will be an incredible science machine!


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#94 2007-10-01 06:04:52

SpaceNut
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Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,099

Re: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - rover

I sort of wonder if there is another reason for the cuts other than budget such as making the machine more hearty to witdstand the winters and to lower the mass to surface by the instruments removals.

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#95 2007-10-02 12:46:59

RedStreak
Banned
From: Illinois
Registered: 2006-05-12
Posts: 541

Re: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - rover

Almost harsh but nessicary to cap/cut this mission.  I had a feeling this'd happen eventually since they were making this mission almost larger than life.

Regardless I think this mission, once it hits the dirt (provided the skycrane concepts proves itself well), will prove to be equally as intruiging as the MERs have.

I wonder what will follow after MSR, as far as landers are concerned.  I assume once the Constellation program gets underway things will start shifting toward preludes to manned operations; i.e. larger landers prototyping manned ones with fuel production - that ought to be a mission flown within the next ten years and I bet that could be coupled with a sample return.

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#96 2007-10-07 21:27:09

EuroLauncher
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From: Europe
Registered: 2005-10-19
Posts: 299

Re: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - rover

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

I've heard they started cost cutting ( Mardi, ChemCam) so the mission still does fly in '09 schedule

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#97 2007-10-08 06:37:41

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
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Posts: 23,099

Re: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - rover

NASA Spacecraft to Carry Russian Science Instruments

NASA Administrator Michael Griffin and Roscosmos head Anatoly Perminov signed agreements in Moscow on Oct. 3 to add the instruments to two future missions: the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, scheduled to launch in October 2008, and the Mars Science Laboratory, an advanced robotic rover scheduled to launch in 2009.

Roscosmos' Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory will measure hydrogen to analyze neutrons interacting with the Martian surface. The principal investigator for both instruments is Igor Mitrofanov of the Institute for Space Research of the Russian Academy of Science.

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#98 2007-10-20 11:50:47

cIclops
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Registered: 2005-06-16
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Re: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - rover

msladp2.jpg
Ripped from Mars Exploration program presentation (PDF 2MB) - 1 Oct 2007

Status
• Subsystem detailed design activities are mostly complete.
• SA/SPaH subsystem has completed rearchitecture effort & is proceeding into detailed design.
• Two significant system level technical issues are in work – Actuator architecture & Heatshield TPS qualification
• Most Subsystem CDR’s and many Assembly-level Detailed Design Reviews have been completed
• Subsystem fabrication activities are underway
• All manufacturing & production capabilities are in-place

Programmatic
Working to a September 15, 2009, launch date.


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#99 2007-10-26 12:36:41

cIclops
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Re: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - rover

Second MSL Landing Site Workshop - presentations - 23 Oct 2007

Top 10 landing sites:

Nili Fossae Trough
Holden
Eberswalde
NE Syrtis
Mawrth
Terby Crater
S Meridiani
W Meridiani
E Meridiani
Melas


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#100 2007-10-26 12:51:14

cIclops
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Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - rover

mslaeroshellte0.jpg
Ripped from EDL Engineering Constraints (PDF 24MB) - 23 Oct 2007

Project Status

The Good
– MSL conducted and passed CDR • Project, Flight System, Mission System
– Cruise stage, descent stage, rover, and payload being manufactured and delivery starting
– Integration and test starting early in 2008

The Bad
– Cost constraints are real and significant
– Motor actuator lubrication failure • Requires higher operating temps - more detail later
– Thermal protection system (heatshield) material failure/change from SLA-561V to PICA
• Actually working out to benefit of landing site accessibility


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