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#26 2008-01-17 12:36:12

dicktice
Member
From: Nova Scotia, Canada
Registered: 2002-11-01
Posts: 1,764

Re: Mars Sample Return (MSR)

Regardless of what the samples might turn out to be, "return" should mean "return to low Earth orbit" (to prevent anything from the surface of Mars from ever entering our atmosphere) until having been investigated under quarntine conditions for any potential off world threat(s) to Earth's ecosphere. The time interval and trouble these precautions would entail, prompt me to recommend against robotic sample and return expeditions. Instead, we should develop robotically assisted sample and testing landers on Mars, where mobility time delay isn't the insurmountable problem that driving from Earth imposes. Tests and experiments at fixed location, using up to date remote operation techniques begining to be practiced by surgeons today, should be adaptable to answer any questions. Besides, the kinds of samples which can be scraped from the surface capable of being conveyed back to Earth aof analysis must be of minimal value compared with selected samples based upon repetitive analyses made at different locations within the operational radius of a fleet of mobile landers and their orbiting Earth/Mars links.

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#27 2008-01-18 07:54:13

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

Re: Mars Sample Return (MSR)

Instead, we should develop robotically assisted sample and testing landers on Mars, where mobility time delay isn't the insurmountable problem that driving from Earth imposes. Tests and experiments at fixed location, using up to date remote operation techniques begining to be practiced by surgeons today, should be adaptable to answer any questions.

Such an analysis should be sufficient to show that there are no viable organisms in the samples, if found they could be sterilized. Then they can be returned. Far more analysis can be done in Earth labs than small robotic ones on Mars.

MSL, ExoMars and AFL will have increasingly powerful detectors for organics and signs of life, together they should ensure there's no risk of contamination. A well designed, robust return capsule will be necessary of course.


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

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#28 2008-01-18 21:47:53

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

Re: Mars Sample Return (MSR)

Regardless of what the samples might turn out to be, "return" should mean "return to low Earth orbit" (to prevent anything from the surface of Mars from ever entering our atmosphere) until having been investigated under quarntine conditions for any potential off world threat(s) to Earth's ecosphere.

Contamination from Earth is the bigger issue dicktice.  This is just one of "the dragons" Robert Zubrin argued about that slows Martian exploration.  I agree with his argument that a Martian germ invading our ecosphere is the equivellant of a shark invading the Sarengetti; i.e. it'd be a total fish out of water with not a leg to stand on.  It might at best be only able to colonize regions like Antarctica.

In addition, I don't recall the ISS being equipped to do jack beyond mager Earth imaging and life science, unless you're willing to pony up a few billion to add another module.

Only other thing I'll add is Martian orbital rendevous, at least with unmanned craft, is more waste of time.  Just send a medium lander with ISFP and launch the damn capsule direct from Martian surface to Terran surface.  roll

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#29 2008-01-19 16:15:50

dicktice
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From: Nova Scotia, Canada
Registered: 2002-11-01
Posts: 1,764

Re: Mars Sample Return (MSR)

By alluding to the the complications involved in returning a sample of Mars's surface to Earth, I meant to show it up as a futile excercise in time and expense for little or no useful result. On site landers suitably equipped and remotely operated via orbiting links to and from Earth, not requiring realtime, would accomplish whatever was indicated by manipulators under offline control by scientists on Earth as the results of ongoing excavations, sample taking and analyses proceed for the operational life of the landers ... which may go on for years of Earth time, as opposed to the time restraints of sample and return missions.

As an aside, what about the so-called Caverns of Mars as potential sample sites? Compare mere surface scrapings, with the possibilities offered by these sites if the time expended in the engineering of sample and return schemes were applied to engineering access to the interior of Mars provided by these surprisingly little mentioned circular openings to the beneath the surface.

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#30 2008-01-20 11:09:43

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

Re: Mars Sample Return (MSR)

By alluding to the the complications involved in returning a sample of Mars's surface to Earth, I meant to show it up as a futile excercise in time and expense for little or no useful result. On site landers suitably equipped and remotely operated via orbiting links to and from Earth, not requiring realtime, would accomplish whatever was indicated by manipulators under offline control by scientists on Earth as the results of ongoing excavations, sample taking and analyses proceed for the operational life of the landers ...

For starters there is no real-time operation, barring a human on Mars.  Second no one's willing to pay for a complete Martian communications network and likely won't until it seems certain humans will be arriving there within say 6 years (the proposal for a Mart Telecommunications Orbiter was scrapped a few years ago sadly).  Third, although they do great science...all landers operate with less power available than the average incandescent light bulb; that says they're efficent but it ALSO says they have EXTREMELY LITTLE POWER TO SPARE.  Give a two-pound rock to a full laboratory and they'll establish its geologic age, full mineral composition, and the structure of even microscopic crystals within.  What the landers/rovers do may be on site, but what they're forced to work with is meager for laboratory equiptment...i.e. a hand magnifying glass compared to either an angstrom or electron microscope.

I think we should continue sending science landers and put as much into them, but at least one sample return ought to be attempted.  I do agree there's been TOO MUCH hoope-la over making it happen.  Just send a simplified package to do a local core or sample, seal it up in a vaccum-packed insulated pod, synthesize the fuel on site, and blast off direct to Earth.  If we can get a comet sample ala Stardust we ought to be able to do the same with Mars.  I think it's just the biohazard worry coupled with too many scientists/engineers cramming their hands into the MSR cookie jar.

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#31 2008-01-20 12:07:08

dicktice
Member
From: Nova Scotia, Canada
Registered: 2002-11-01
Posts: 1,764

Re: Mars Sample Return (MSR)

What kind of shallow core sample would be worth all the time and expense to return it to Earth for analysis? We know it could be done, but a sample taken pretty much at random where the lander puts down hardly qualifies for all the effort expended to acquire it.

On the other hand, any lander designed for on-site analyses of multiple samples from differing spots within its range of excursion would necessarily be robust and powerful--as well as sophisticated enough to operated as (timelapsed)remote presence manipulators round-the-clock from Earth. Why not make this the breakthrough mission which utilizes a nuclear/electric power supply for the first time on Mars?

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#32 2008-01-20 12:16:37

Terraformer
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From: Ceres
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,560
Website

Re: Mars Sample Return (MSR)

Yeah! Sod what the rest of the world thinks about nukes in space, that's what I say. They're holding humanity back from its date with the aliens.


"I'm gonna die surrounded by the biggest idiots in the galaxy." - If this forum was a Mars Colony

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#33 2008-01-21 02:41:52

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

Re: Mars Sample Return (MSR)

What kind of shallow core sample would be worth all the time and expense to return it to Earth for analysis? We know it could be done, but a sample taken pretty much at random where the lander puts down hardly qualifies for all the effort expended to acquire it.

On the other hand, any lander designed for on-site analyses of multiple samples from differing spots within its range of excursion would necessarily be robust and powerful--as well as sophisticated enough to operated as (timelapsed)remote presence manipulators round-the-clock from Earth. Why not make this the breakthrough mission which utilizes a nuclear/electric power supply for the first time on Mars?

Samples from a single core or from a fixed lander probably wouldn't be worthwhile. However, the plan is for MSL and ExoMars to collect samples from a large area during an intense exploration program. Many small samples will be cached onboard each rover. These will be collected later by the MSR system for a full analysis on Earth.

BTW MSL will have a nuclear power supply.


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

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#34 2008-01-21 08:26:20

dicktice
Member
From: Nova Scotia, Canada
Registered: 2002-11-01
Posts: 1,764

Re: Mars Sample Return (MSR)

Okay, okay, I give in. But only because much of the engineering for the sample-and-return mission would be in place for the on-site remotely controlled sample analysis missions which undoubtedly will occur in-between the former and the first human missions. Since I won't be alive to witness the latter, dammit, I guess I'll have to settle for either or both of the two former.

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#35 2008-02-05 03:49:28

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

Re: Mars Sample Return (MSR)

During a media teleconference 4 Feb 2008, Alan Stern (NASA SMD) said that  a budget of $3.3B was feasible for MSR. This might be sufficient for a US only mission, however a joint mission with other agencies, notably ESA, was preferred. Such a joint mission would have an expected budget of $4.5B and would be planned for about 2020. Architectural studies and detailed discussions are in work with ESA and others. He confirmed that MSL will have a cache for up to 10 samples.


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

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#36 2008-03-18 02:52:14

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

Re: Mars Sample Return (MSR)

Science Priorities for Mars Sample Return (doc 2MB) - 15 Mar 2008

More than 35 Martian meteorites have been found in Antarctica and desert environments by meteorite recovery programs, including private and government-sponsored efforts.  The number of recovered meteorites continually increases.  As a consequence, MSR science objectives and sample selection strategy must respond to scientific advances derived from meteorite studies and also strive to complement the existing meteorite collections.


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

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#37 2008-04-28 09:19:03

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

Re: Mars Sample Return (MSR)


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

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#38 2008-04-28 13:10:02

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

Re: Mars Sample Return (MSR)

SCIM looks almost possible.  Tricky, but possible.  I like how the engineering knowledge could be applicable toward aerobraking.  Martian gas I could see easily being sampled but can Martian grains survive being sampled at interplanetary speeds?  That'd be biggest worry I think.

I think this would be a worthwhile mission to try, much as Pathfinder, Stardust, and LCROSS were.  smile

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#39 2008-04-28 14:18:43

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

Re: Mars Sample Return (MSR)

Martian gas I could see easily being sampled but can Martian grains survive being sampled at interplanetary speeds?  That'd be biggest worry I think.

SCIM aims to collect grains with aerogel at 6 kms/secs, the same speed as Stardust proved was possible with grains from Comet Wild 2. Piece of cake.


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

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#40 2008-04-28 15:02:42

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

Re: Mars Sample Return (MSR)

Martian gas I could see easily being sampled but can Martian grains survive being sampled at interplanetary speeds?  That'd be biggest worry I think.

SCIM aims to collect grains with aerogel at 6 kms/secs, the same speed as Stardust proved was possible with grains from Comet Wild 2. Piece of cake.

Alright full speed for this mission then!  8)

Considering all the senseless debate that's holding up an actual surface mission this'd be best idea for a near-term SR mission.  If it works at Mars heck try this at Venus or even at the gas giants and Titan in another decade - the concept should work at any atmospheric planet.  Thinking about it, a Jovian orbital mission could sample Jupiter, Io, and even Europa if a sturdy-enough craft could be put together.

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#41 2008-04-29 05:42:45

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

Re: Mars Sample Return (MSR)

Another approach would be to collect Mars meteorites from the surface of Phobos and bring those back.


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

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#42 2008-04-29 14:58:29

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

Re: Mars Sample Return (MSR)

Another approach would be to collect Mars meteorites from the surface of Phobos and bring those back.

Good option for a Martian Moon mission but I know many scientists would consider that indirect and potentially tedious wandering even a small moon - the meteors might be buried thickly in the puffy dust which'd be a problem.

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#43 2008-04-29 16:15:27

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

Re: Mars Sample Return (MSR)

The Russians are doing a sample return with a Phobos lander. This would be similar but it would hop about collecting Martian rocks - it would use spectrometers like the ones on MER to find matches to the known rock types that MER has already identifed to be sure they originated on mars.


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

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#44 2008-04-29 16:51:56

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

Re: Mars Sample Return (MSR)

The Russians are doing a sample return with a Phobos lander. This would be similar but it would hop about collecting Martian rocks - it would use spectrometers like the ones on MER to find matches to the known rock types that MER has already identifed to be sure they originated on mars.

Might work, especially using a spectrometer and if they find a nice reddish crater.  Still I'd be worried about the Phobos dust concealing alot of it.

Ok so a Phobos venture or SCIM are the most immediate means of aquiring a Martian sample without the hassle of either ISRU or some elaborate orbital rendevous the 'big-wig' science communities have fanned over for long enough.

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#45 2008-04-30 03:34:50

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

Re: Mars Sample Return (MSR)

Yes, it ought to have far less challenges and risks than a full blown MSR mission. Heck it could even use a lot of the Phobos-Grunt hardware such as the Phobos rendezvous and sample return elements. A mission like this would give pretty good samples to enable most of the science that the proposed NASA/ESA project will do for a tiny fraction of the cost - currently estimated around $4.5 billion!

Another thought. Politically this might be a really good idea. Cooperation with the Russians works quite well and as the Russians are already working with the Chinese on Phobos-Grunt, this would be a way for the US to start working with the Chinese without complications. ESA provided the Mössbauer spectrometer for MER and they already are working with CNSA on Double Star, so it could be a very happy international project smile

Yet another thought. By 2018 Ares V should be operational, this guy can put 5 tons onto the surface of Mars. This might allow a Mars Direct style mission, with a direct sample return possible without LMO rendezvous. This would give Ares V an early mission that would help to accelerate its development. It would also considerably reduce the cost of MSR.


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

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#46 2008-04-30 10:12:13

Commodore
Member
From: Upstate NY, USA
Registered: 2004-07-25
Posts: 1,021

Re: Mars Sample Return (MSR)

I think when the time comes we'll be quite surprised how much Constellation hardware can be directly applied to a MSR campaign. It will save a lot of time and development costs.

The question is what do we do between now and then. There doesn't seem to be a whole lot planned in the launch windows in the mid to late 10's. Finding and getting at the water should be our priority.


"Yes, I was going to give this astronaut selection my best shot, I was determined when the NASA proctologist looked up my ass, he would see pipes so dazzling he would ask the nurse to get his sunglasses."
---Shuttle Astronaut Mike Mullane

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#47 2008-04-30 14:27:20

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

Re: Mars Sample Return (MSR)

Oops correction, Ares V can put a lot more than 5 MT on Mars, it can deliver  about 40 MT!


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

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#48 2008-05-05 03:27:11

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,753

Re: Mars Sample Return (MSR)

I posted about the MarsDrive contest to get samples from Mars and as such there were a handful of entries to judge,

Mars Sample Return Design Contest Winners  habe been announced.

When MarsDrive first formed we started a Mars Sample Return Mission Design Contest. This was meant to help stimulate research and thinking into what will be the most complex Mars mission before humans are sent to Mars. We received five entries from interested parties and over the last 18 months have watched as some amazing designs began to emerge.

Today we are pleased to announce the winner and runner up for this contest. Our judges for the final phase of the contest consisted of Dr Louis Friedman, Executive Director of The Planetary Society and Dr Chris McKay of NASA Ames. They unanimously elected Kent Nebergall's design titled "Project Rigel:Mars Sample Return"

As the entry that most closely met the conditions of the contest and also the updated version last year. The runner up was Terry Wilson's design "Mars Challenger".

The other entries were Csaba Boros Sample Return Mission Design, Mini MAV and Multi ERV by Ales Holub, and Mars Oracle by Eric Shear and associates.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all contest entrants for their creative work and their patience with this contest as it went through several structural changes since its inception and for the work they put into their updated designs.

A sample return mission to Mars is going to be one of the most challenging projects in the exploration history of Mars and we at MarsDrive are going to be awarding Kent $500 and Terry Wilson $100 while also submitting the 2 top designs to various conferences such as the coming Mars Society conference, AIAA and to interested space agencies such as the ESA who are beginning work on investigations into Mars sample return missions. Our hope is that the work achieved here will draw us one step closer to the day humans explore Mars.

Ok so MarsDrive does not have a lot of money but the design work speaks for itsself.

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#49 2008-05-09 23:27:51

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

Re: Mars Sample Return (MSR)

People are beginning to think more sensibly about the MSR:

http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/08 … eturn.html

Pricey and risky

There is no question that a Mars sample return mission will be a pricey and risky initiative and opinions at the meeting varied widely when it came time to discuss the best way to get the greatest scientific returns for the least money.

"We don't want to engineer the [heck] out of this and make it a $10 billion return mission. We'll never get samples back. Let's be realistic," said Clive Neal, a professor of civil engineering and geological sciences at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.

"A Mars sample return will be much more costly than other Mars missions. That's not actually a thesis ... I think that's a given," said David Mittlefehldt of the Astromaterials Research Office. "Orbital study is getting increasingly sophisticated. Nevertheless, it doesn't reliably provide an accurate description of the geology of the surface. And that's really what you need in order to plan a Mars sample return mission," he said. "Therefore, I think we should go some place where wheels-on-the-ground provide that geologic context."

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#50 2022-01-12 16:27:03

Mars_B4_Moon
Member
Registered: 2006-03-23
Posts: 4,782

Re: Mars Sample Return (MSR)

ESA is going for Mars again after to failed landings, hopefully this one will land sucessful

The three most recent MSR concepts are a NASA-ESA proposal, a Chinese proposal, and a Russian proposal, Mars-Grunt and Musk seems to plan to join in with Space-X.

Samples had already been gathered on Mars by the NASA JPL Perseverance rover.

'NASA, Scientists Devise Ways To Ensure 'microbe-free' Return Of Mars Sample'
https://www.republicworld.com/science/s … eshow.html

The samples collected by Perseverance will be brought to Earth no earlier than 2031 under the Mars Sample Return campaign managed by NASA and ESA.

At the ESA video social media channel on they have a video about rockets, Earth satellites, search for hazzards from space and PHAs, space telescopes, the Moon and the planned Mars 'Rosalind Franklin' Rover
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mIjy0pUfFg
they also mention the 'Aurora Program' having study with an astronaut with a disability in space

Last edited by Mars_B4_Moon (2022-01-12 16:28:25)

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