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14 June 2012


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Paul Deavereaux

Nice little animation...


Brien J Miller

Having worked with NASA as a contractor, several possibilities come to mind: perhaps prior budgetary reductions resulted in an undesired limited range on the rover; perhaps the science goal requires the mission to have more time in an viable area of interest (this is also a funding justification issue), perhaps other funding limitations require operations to take place in a shorter time span. In some way, I suspect that some budgetary driver is probably inducing a higher risk than you and I would take given mission structures of the past. I agree, this sounds like a recipe for disaster. How many multi-billion projects go in with 40% catistrophic fail potential? Follow the money probably applies here.



I know a few people on the Entry, Descent, and Landing team for MSL. I have to admit that in spite of being a Vertical Takeoff and Landing rockets sort of guy myself, the Skycrane concept still has me uneasy. That said, the reason they went with Skycrane was that existing approaches couldn't land a payload that big. The MER rovers were as big as you could go with the parachutes and airbags approach. Personally, I think taking the MERs and adding some capabilities with them (to reuse as much of the design and software as possible) would've been a better approach, but I'm not a Mars scientist.


Berta Hargrove

The quality of your articles and contents is great.


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