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Mars Rover 2020

Grey Havoc

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FighterJock

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Just heard that the coronavirus has just caused the delay in the launch of the European ExoMars rover, would the same thing happen to the launch date of Perseverance (worst case scenario).
 

Michel Van

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Flyaway

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https://flic.kr/p/2iFcFVs
Functional testing of NASA’s Mars Helicopter and its cruise stage occurred in the airlock inside Kennedy Space Center’s Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility on March 10, 2020. The helicopter was tested on a stand while the cruise stage was tested on the rotation fixture. The helicopter will be attached to the Mars Perseverance rover during its mission, which is part of NASA's Mars Exploration Program. Perseverance will land on the Red Planet on Feb. 18, 2021. Liftoff aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 541 rocket is targeted for mid-July from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. NASA’s Launch Services Program based at Kennedy is managing the launch. Photo credit: NASA/Cory Huston
 

FighterJock

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The Mars helicopter has now been named Ingenuity:

So the Mars helicopter has now been named Ingenuity, I like that name. Anyone know how long the helicopter mission is projected to last once it reaches Mars?
 

Flyaway

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You could ask over at NSF considering the backgrounds of some of those who post there?
 

TomS

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So the Mars helicopter has now been named Ingenuity, I like that name. Anyone know how long the helicopter mission is projected to last once it reaches Mars?
The helicopter tests start somewhere between 60 and 90 sols after landing, and they have a 30-sol window for the flights. The test campaign is scheduled to be 5 flights of up 90 seconds each, with no more than one flight per sol because it has to recharge from solar cells between flights.

I keep emphasizing "test" here because I think it's important to note that Ingenuity has very limited capability. Its only sensors are a couple of cameras, nothing NASA is calling a true science payload. The purpose is strictly to see if they can successfully operate a helicopter on Mars; it's up to future missions to integrate a helicopter into the full on science mission.
 

FighterJock

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So the Mars helicopter has now been named Ingenuity, I like that name. Anyone know how long the helicopter mission is projected to last once it reaches Mars?
The helicopter tests start somewhere between 60 and 90 sols after landing, and they have a 30-sol window for the flights. The test campaign is scheduled to be 5 flights of up 90 seconds each, with no more than one flight per sol because it has to recharge from solar cells between flights.

I keep emphasizing "test" here because I think it's important to note that Ingenuity has very limited capability. Its only sensors are a couple of cameras, nothing NASA is calling a true science payload. The purpose is strictly to see if they can successfully operate a helicopter on Mars; it's up to future missions to integrate a helicopter into the full on science mission.
Thanks for that TomS.
 

TomS

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You could ask over at NSF considering the backgrounds of some of those who post there?
The NSF thread is illuminating. The Mars 2020 Rover science folks don't seem to like the helicopter very much (or at least not universally). There's a school of thought that considers it a waste of time, weight, and worst of all bandwidth that they could be using for "real science" tasks.

 

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https://flic.kr/p/2iYRnrg
NASA Kennedy
KSC-20200422-PH-JPL_0002

The Mars Perseverance rover is attached to its rocket-powered descent stage inside the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on April 23, 2020. The rover and descent stage are the first spacecraft components to come together for launch — and they will be the last to separate when the spacecraft reaches Mars. At about 65 feet over the Martian surface, separation bolts will fire and the descent stage will lower Perseverance onto the Red Planet. Launch, aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 541 rocket, is targeted between July 17 and Aug. 5 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. NASA’s Launch Services Program based at Kennedy is managing the launch.
Photo credit: NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
 

Flyaway

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I hadn’t realised the AN-124 was large enough to carry an Atlas V core stage.
 

FighterJock

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I hadn’t realised the AN-124 was large enough to carry an Atlas V core stage.
Same here Flyaway, I cannot believe how big the AN-124 actually is, it is only bettered by the much larger AN-225. I am surprised that they did not use the AN-225 instead.
 

Flyaway

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I hadn’t realised the AN-124 was large enough to carry an Atlas V core stage.
Same here Flyaway, I cannot believe how big the AN-124 actually is, it is only bettered by the much larger AN-225. I am surprised that they did not use the AN-225 instead.
I believe that’s on pandemic related cargo missions.

Does anyone know if they were originally designed to be able to carry Soviet ICBMs?
 

sferrin

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I hadn’t realised the AN-124 was large enough to carry an Atlas V core stage.
Same here Flyaway, I cannot believe how big the AN-124 actually is, it is only bettered by the much larger AN-225. I am surprised that they did not use the AN-225 instead.
I was wondering if a C-5 could carry it, it's longer, but it's tail swoops up earlier than that of the AN-124 so I don't know that the bounding box is long enough for an Atlas V.
 

FighterJock

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I hadn’t realised the AN-124 was large enough to carry an Atlas V core stage.
Same here Flyaway, I cannot believe how big the AN-124 actually is, it is only bettered by the much larger AN-225. I am surprised that they did not use the AN-225 instead.
I was wondering if a C-5 could carry it, it's longer, but it's tail swoops up earlier than that of the AN-124 so I don't know that the bounding box is long enough for an Atlas V.
The C-5 is roughly the same size as the AN-124, I don't know how they compare with each other regarding the internal volume carrying capability but I would think that the C-5 would be able to carry the Atlas-V.
 

Flyaway

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Talking of sample return this in itself is a vexed issue due to the planetary protection issues around it. I imagine current circumstances have further concentrated minds on these issues especially as viruses were one of the earliest life forms to evolve on Earth so possibly did on Mars as well.
 

FighterJock

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Talking of sample return this in itself is a vexed issue due to the planetary protection issues around it. I imagine current circumstances have further concentrated minds on these issues especially as viruses were one of the earliest life forms to evolve on Earth so possibly did on Mars as well.
Perhaps NASA could just postpone the sample return part of the mission until the whole Covid-19 virus disappears, then we could launch the mission sometime in 2022-2024 time frame.
 

Flyaway

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Talking of sample return this in itself is a vexed issue due to the planetary protection issues around it. I imagine current circumstances have further concentrated minds on these issues especially as viruses were one of the earliest life forms to evolve on Earth so possibly did on Mars as well.
Perhaps NASA could just postpone the sample return part of the mission until the whole Covid-19 virus disappears, then we could launch the mission sometime in 2022-2024 time frame.
I think it was always slated for the late 2020s anyway. But I am sure I’ve read that they have already started looking into the issue of bio security and not wanting to bring anything ‘nasty’ back from Mars.
 

sferrin

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Talking of sample return this in itself is a vexed issue due to the planetary protection issues around it. I imagine current circumstances have further concentrated minds on these issues especially as viruses were one of the earliest life forms to evolve on Earth so possibly did on Mars as well.
Perhaps NASA could just postpone the sample return part of the mission until the whole Covid-19 virus disappears, then we could launch the mission sometime in 2022-2024 time frame.
Despite WuFlu's vaunted superpowers I doubt it could shoot down an incoming Mars sample return. If we stopped NASA programs every time there was a flu outbreak we'd never accomplish anything.
 

Hobbes

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Despite WuFlu's vaunted superpowers I doubt it could shoot down an incoming Mars sample return. If we stopped NASA programs every time there was a flu outbreak we'd never accomplish anything.
You're confusing 2 issues:

1. Mars sample return is a future mission that will pick up and return samples collected by the Perseverance rover. One of the issues with such a mission is contamination of the samples and backcontamination (should Martian lifeforms end up in or on the sample containers).

2. NASA's schedule is in flux at the moment because of stay-at-home orders. IIRC they got a few exemption for time-critical launches, Perseverance being one of them.
 

sferrin

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Mars sample return is a future mission that will pick up and return samples collected by the Perseverance rover. One of the issues with such a mission is contamination of the samples and backcontamination (should Martian lifeforms end up in or on the sample containers).
I would rate the odds of them not having already thoroughly thought this out at ~0.0000000000000%. No need to delay for more paralysis by analysis.
 
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