Graham1973

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After the cancellation of Voyager(Mars) in 1967 NASA started up a new series of studies to come up with a spacecraft for the 1973 launch opportunity.

This Martin-Marietta designed soft-lander of 1969 was intended to put the maximum payload weight on the surface of Mars using a mission profile not dissimilar to the later Pathfinder/MER/Curiosity missions.

The solar-powered lander was designed to last 90 days on the surface with the major mission science objectives being completed within the first three days after landing.

Final Summary Report, Study Of A Soft Lander/Support Module for Mars Missions, Volume 1 - Summary
http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19690006268_1969006268.pdf

Final Summary Report, Study Of A Soft Lander/Support Module for Mars Missions, Volume 2 - Subsystems Studies
http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19690006269_1969006269.pdf

Final Summary Report, Study Of A Soft Lander/Support Module for Mars Missions, Volume 3 - Appendixes
http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19690006270_1969006270.pdf
 

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Graham1973

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Further images of the Martin-Marietta Lander showing the proposed imaging plan for the lander and details of the soil analysis experiments.
 

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blackstar

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Graham1973 said:
This Martin-Marietta designed soft-lander was intended to put the maximum payload weight on the surface of Mars using a mission profile not dissimilar to the later Pathfinder/MER/Curiosity missions.

How do you define that? Pathfinder/MER both used airbag landing. Curiosity used skycrane landing. All three were rovers. I don't see the similarity to the 1973 mission.

It's been awhile since I looked into the evolution of Mars missions at this time. Was this lander smaller than Viking and then got expanded to Viking size?
 

Graham1973

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blackstar said:
Graham1973 said:
This Martin-Marietta designed soft-lander was intended to put the maximum payload weight on the surface of Mars using a mission profile not dissimilar to the later Pathfinder/MER/Curiosity missions.
How do you define that? Pathfinder/MER both used airbag landing. Curiosity used skycrane landing. All three were rovers. I don't see the similarity to the 1973 mission.

Oops, actually it's closer to Phoenix than the rovers, spacecraft sent did not include a fully equipped orbiter/flyby spacecraft, rather part of the carrier flew past Mars and acted as a relay during the spacecraft landing sequence.

Aeroshell diameter was to be 11 ft (3.35m) in diameter, landed weight on Mars was 947lb (429.5kg) of useful weight. The attached diagram shows the complete spacecraft assembly.
 

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Graham1973

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General Electrics Hard Landing Mars probe from 1968 was designed to be carried by an updated version of Mariner'71. Was intended to be used either for a fly-by release, a direct from landing from the interplanetary trajectory or a release from orbit.

Mars Hard Lander Capsule Study, Volume 1 - Summary
http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19680026508_1968026508.pdf

Mars Hard Lander Capsule Study, Volume 2 - Mission and Science Definition
http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19680026509_1968026509.pdf

Mars Hard Lander Capsule Study, Volume 3 - Capsule Parametric Study (Book 1)
http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19680026510_1968026510.pdf

Mars Hard Lander Capsule Study, Volume 3 - Capsule Parametric Study (Book 2)
http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19680026511_1968026511.pdf

Mars Hard Lander Capsule Study, Volume 4 - Capsule Point Designs and Supporting Analysis (Book 1)
http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19680026512_1968026512.pdf

Mars Hard Lander Capsule Study, Volume 4 - Capsule Point Designs and Supporting Analysis (Book 2)
http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19680026513_1968026513.pdf

Mars Hard Lander Capsule Study, Volume 4 - Capsule Point Designs and Supporting Analysis (Book 3)
http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19680026514_1968026514.pdf

Mars Hard Lander Capsule Study, Volume 4 - Capsule Point Designs and Supporting Analysis (Book 4)
http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19680026515_1968026515.pdf
 

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blackstar

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Graham1973 said:
Oops, actually it's closer to Phoenix than the rovers, spacecraft sent did not include a fully equipped orbiter/flyby spacecraft, rather part of the carrier flew past Mars and acted as a relay during the spacecraft landing sequence.

Aeroshell diameter was to be 11 ft (3.35m) in diameter, landed weight on Mars was 947lb (429.5kg) of useful weight. The attached diagram shows the complete spacecraft assembly.

Thanks for posting that and for looking up the details. I just checked and the landed mass of Viking was 600 kg. So apparently Viking was almost 50% bigger than this proposed lander.
 

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One interesting detail from the second volume of the study is the instrumentation fit out. The image below shows a summary from the first volume.

The life detection fit out for this lander was:

Direct detection: The Gulliver IV (See attached illustrations).

Sample studies: The Multiple Experiment Life Detection System (MELDS) which incorporated a Wolftrap (created by Wolf Vishniac), a multivator and a version of the Gulliver experiment.

To my knowledge this was the last time the Gulliver series of experiments was incorporated into a Mars mission.

The rest of the fit out with the exception of the soil temperature/moisture experiment broadly parallels the Viking landers.
 

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blackstar

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Thanks again for the insight and sleuthing. I have too many writing projects on my plate right now, but this is interesting. I really don't know much about the transition from Voyager to Viking. It's something that is intriguing me as I watch the current evolution of NASA's Mars exploration program (which I am very familiar with), including the decision to build a new rover.
 

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As far as I can tell from the available documents NASA seems to have initiated a series of studies around 1968 (That's the year of the oldest study I've located so far). A soft lander design by McDonnell-Douglas seems to be a re-working of the design they proposed for the Voyager lander. All of the designs use Titans as the launch vehicle.

The design below is a 1969 hard lander created by GE, it was designed for a descent from trans-mars trajectory mission. Like the Martin-Marietta design in the OP it used a support module, however unlike the other design, the module was a modified version of the Mariner 6/7 spacecraft.

Mission duration on the Martian surface for this battery powered lander was three days.

The instrumentation for the lander was as follows:

1. Facsimile Camera
2. GCMS
3. Wolf Trap Life Detector
4. Water Vapour Detector
5. Wind Velocity Sensors
6. Pressure/Temperature Sensors
8. Soil Sampler
9. Clinometer

One alternate experiment considered for this mission was another version of the Gulliver life detection experiment.

The Support Module for the General Electric 1400lb Mars lander was, as I've noted above derived from the Mariner 6/7 spacecraft. Like the support module for the Martin-Marietta study linked to in the OP and the carrier spacecraft for the Phoenix mission the spacecraft was not intended to carry out science independent of the lander, but rather provide guidance for the spacecraft en-route to Mars, a basic checkout of the lander prior to separation and relay of lander data during the critical landing phase and the first hours on the surface.

For this set of tasks, the science systems used for the Mariner 6/7 missions would have been deleted. The main propulsion system relocated along with the original spacecraft antenna. New antenna needed for the relay function added and the deployable solar panels of the original spacecraft replaced with a smaller set of fixed panels. The analog tape recorder capable of holding 24.37 megabytes of data used on the Mariner missions would have been replaced with a digital tape recorder based system capable of holding 3.75 megabytes of data (Assuming modern bit sizes were being used.)

The second of the images linked shows the basic configuration of the 659lb (299.9kg) spacecraft had it been built.

Two versions of this lander were looked at in the study. Volume 1 covered the preferred design, the second volume dealt with a lander that was designed to both control the flight to Mars and carry out the landed mission.

Titan/Mars Hard Lander, Volume 1 - 1400lb Capsule System Design Study
http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19690009827_1969009827.pdf

Titan/Mars Hard Lander, Volume 2 - Autonomous Capsule System Design Study
http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19690009828_1969009828.pdf
 

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OM

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Mission duration on the Martian surface was three days.


...Do any of the documents you've come across give any specs as to why this duration was chosen? Was this based on estimated maximum RTBF following descent, landing and initial sensor(s) deployment, or just a case of "lowballing" the expectations so that anything above three days would come across as much of a "we're still number one!!" bit of flag waving in addition to whatever extra science could be gathered?


Either way, excellent finds, sir! ;)
 

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OM said:
Mission duration on the Martian surface was three days.


...Do any of the documents you've come across give any specs as to why this duration was chosen? Was this based on estimated maximum RTBF following descent, landing and initial sensor(s) deployment, or just a case of "lowballing" the expectations so that anything above three days would come across as much of a "we're still number one!!" bit of flag waving in addition to whatever extra science could be gathered?


Either way, excellent finds, sir! ;)

All of the reports I've looked at covering this period are based of the same set of NASA requirements.

They required that for a lander with regenerating power (eg Solar panels/RTG+ batteries) the lifespan was to be 90 Sols (Martian Days). For a battery powered lander the minimum lifespan was a full Martian Day/Night cycle.

Science objectives were:

1. Surface Photography
2. Atmospheric/Surface Composition Measurements
3. Meteorological Measurements
4. Life Detection.

Later:

I've found that Chapter five of "On Mars", the official NASA history of the Viking Program covers this period and clarifies the material I've been presenting somewhat.

http://history.nasa.gov/SP-4212/ch5.html

It looks as if these spacecraft are all proposed designs for what became Viking 1 & 2.
 

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http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/04/viking-on-the-moons-of-mars-1972/
 

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I've just completed a check of the NTRS links and it looks like the documents I linked to are not in the 75% restored. :mad:
 

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Although it's not the same topic, I recently found a bunch of the late 1960s human Mars mission studies (discussed in another thread here). They are all big files, however. I'll try posting them to the NSF site, which allows for larger file sizes.
 

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I'm looking into the idea of posting some of these files (Which I've located on a backup drive.) to something like Box.net and then linking. Until I'm decided though, here is the only specific targeting information I've located which applies to the GE'68 proposal and may also cover their 1969 proposal as well.

To think, the first images of the Martian surface could have been of Syrtis Major.
 

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The link below is to a 170mb zip file containing all the files relating to the various 'Viking 73' proposals I was able to find on the backup drive. Some reports consist of the summary report only, others (Such as the 1969 GE hard lander study (Labelled Titan-Mars) are complete.

https://app.box.com/s/mrqmznd9npei84x02u71
 

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Graham1973 said:
The link below is to a 170mb zip file containing all the files relating to the various 'Viking 73' proposals I was able to find on the backup drive. Some reports consist of the summary report only, others (Such as the 1969 GE hard lander study (Labelled Titan-Mars) are complete.

https://app.box.com/s/mrqmznd9npei84x02u71


...Excellent rediscovery, sir! Thanks for sharing ;D


:OM:
 

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...Graham, I went back to download all the other PDF files you've linked to prior to making your .ZIP archive available. Every link is now broken. Does your archive contain these files, or do you have these copied elsewhere where we might be able to acquire copies?
 

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OM said:
...Graham, I went back to download all the other PDF files you've linked to prior to making your .ZIP archive available. Every link is now broken. Does your archive contain these files, or do you have these copied elsewhere where we might be able to acquire copies?

It contains all the summary reports. The GE Titan Mars and the Martin Marietta Soft Lander are essentially complete. I have about 53gb worth of files to go through, so it may take some time.
 

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Graham1973 said:
I have about 53gb worth of files to go through, so it may take some time.


...Totally understood, sir. In fact, I can arguably wear your shoe (sic). Now that I've been able to get some breathing room on the server, I've got not only some 200GB of space-related documents to sift through and figure out what I'm still missing in relation to ASTP, I've got...[does quick properties glance]...approximately 13.9TB of photographs taken digitally since 2003 that need to be resorted and purged of "blurred" shots, and *then* I've got all those JSC Saturn V and Battleship Texas 35mm prints from 1993 to 1996 that I need to get scanned, sorted and properly named. Last time I tried to get just the 1996 set, I got about a hundred pictures into the stack of 400 when the Artec 3x5" dedicated scanner I was using actually caught fire! Didn't lose the print, but Artec wouldn't uphold the warranty for reasons too long to go into here. Needless to say I avoid their products even to this day. :mad: :mad: :mad:


So again, I'm with you. Whenever you come across them will be more than satisfactory and appreciated!
 

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Apologies for another necropost. I've checked and all the documents I linked to originally seem to be back on the NTRS. I've taken the time to clean things up a little. Post #9 has been edited to include more details on the Mariner 6/7 derived Support Module designed for the mission.
 
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Graham1973

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The McDonnell post-Voyager, pre-Viking Mars lander designs were much more preliminary in nature than the ones I've covered previously. The company had been contracted to study landers that made use of a descent from an orbiter flight profile and chose to make use of prior design work for Voyager in doing this. Five designs were studied, but the fourth (A 3500lb (1587kg) lander) was not proceeded with to completion to focus on the smaller designs. All of these made use of a basic circular platform that could be scaled up or down based on the launch vehicle size. Designs 1 & 2 used battery power and were intended to operate a single Martian day/night cycle. Designs 3 & 5 were solar powered and designed to operate for 90 (Earth) days.

The attached images show the general arrangement of the design. This post will be expanded with additional details later.
 

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