Frida Space

InSight launching in 2018

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Well, InSight would have launched in two days... but there might be good news! Yesterday, InSight scientists presented a plan B to NASA officials. The plan calls of a May 5th, 2018 launch and a November 26th, 2018 landing. This delay would cost an additional 150 million dollars, which would fire InSight's budget 37% over the Discovery program cap. However, you have to consider that the spacecraft is fully built and that they "might have found a solution to the leak", as Banerdt stated. If it does get approved - "we hope to get the go-no go by the end of the week" - the additional costs will be covered by taking them from other programs, which is obviously very bad news.

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48 minutes ago, Frida Space said:

Well, InSight would have launched in two days... but there might be good news! Yesterday, InSight scientists presented a plan B to NASA officials. The plan calls of a May 5th, 2018 launch and a November 26th, 2018 landing. This delay would cost an additional 150 million dollars, which would fire InSight's budget 37% over the Discovery program cap. However, you have to consider that the spacecraft is fully built and that they "might have found a solution to the leak", as Banerdt stated. If it does get approved - "we hope to get the go-no go by the end of the week" - the additional costs will be covered by taking them from other programs, which is obviously very bad news.

I hope they do that, what's better, taking a bit of money from certain programs with unbuilt spacecraft or cancelling a (Near) perfect lander that's already (Mostly fully built?

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8 minutes ago, Frida Space said:

We are go for launching in 2018! JPL will redesign and rebuild (from scratch?) the leaky seismometer.

www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-targets-may-2018-launch-of-mars-insight-mission

Whoooo!

 

Btw, you need to change the thread name :)

Edited by Spaceception

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2 hours ago, Frida Space said:

We are go for launching in 2018! JPL will redesign and rebuild (from scratch?) the leaky seismometer.

www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-targets-may-2018-launch-of-mars-insight-mission

However, this likely means only one mission will be chosen for the discovery program this time around. ;.;

2 hours ago, Spaceception said:

Whoooo!

 

Btw, you need to change the thread name :)

No he doesn't, the thread states the 2016 launch has been scrubbed, not the mission entirely.

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4 hours ago, PB666 said:

Well, we already knew that something like this was going to happen....

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I thought the news I posted above on March 9 was an official and final decision, but apparently it wasn't... well, now it is: NASA just announced the launch is officially postponed to May 5th, 2018, with Mars EDL occuring on November 26th, 2018. So now it's official: InSight is safe.

Delay costs are 153.8 million USD. The highlight of the article (but again, we kinda knew it already) is this sentence: "The additional cost will not delay or cancel any current missions, though there may be fewer opportunities for new missions in future years, from fiscal years 2017-2020."

http://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/nasa-approves-2018-launch-of-mars-insight-mission

I wonder if they could still chose two Discovery missions in the next round, one of which would be a sort of "mini-Discovery" costing 400ish million USD to compensate for InSight's delay costs. Although I guess it would hardly cover the launch costs....

It feels to me like a bit of waste to throw away an entire Discovery mission because of additional costs of one fourth-fifth of the total budget.

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Either way, I'm glad they didn't scrap InSight. It doesn't deserve to die just because of one faulty instrument.

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Can somebody please explain why does it cost $150 million for a spacecraft to sit in a storage for a year?
Ok, the seismometer needs to be rebuilt, but that is only a fraction of the $150 M.

Is it personnel? Surely, they have other things to do besides standing in a circle around the bubble-wrapped spacecraft waiting for the next launch window, meaning they don't incur any additional cost.

So, what is it?

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17 minutes ago, Shpaget said:

Can somebody please explain why does it cost $150 million for a spacecraft to sit in a storage for a year?
Ok, the seismometer needs to be rebuilt, but that is only a fraction of the $150 M.

Is it personnel? Surely, they have other things to do besides standing in a circle around the bubble-wrapped spacecraft waiting for the next launch window, meaning they don't incur any additional cost.

So, what is it?

It's probably got to do with the rocket. You can't leave a rocket sitting on the pad unattended for a few hours, much less two years. They (probably) had a vehicle prepped for the mission, or were building one, and had to either scrap it or re-purpose it, neither of which would come cheap. And, of course, a new vehicle needs to be built for the 2018 window.

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36 minutes ago, IncongruousGoat said:

It's probably got to do with the rocket. You can't leave a rocket sitting on the pad unattended for a few hours, much less two years. They (probably) had a vehicle prepped for the mission, or were building one, and had to either scrap it or re-purpose it, neither of which would come cheap. And, of course, a new vehicle needs to be built for the 2018 window.

Also, dust-free storage isn't cheap. It requires extremely high quality filters, overpressure pumps, space built from special materials. Then you need to account for the operating costs of those e.g. electricity, periodically changing those filters, workforce etc.

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8 hours ago, IncongruousGoat said:

It's probably got to do with the rocket. You can't leave a rocket sitting on the pad unattended for a few hours, much less two years. They (probably) had a vehicle prepped for the mission, or were building one, and had to either scrap it or re-purpose it, neither of which would come cheap. And, of course, a new vehicle needs to be built for the 2018 window.

The atlas V that was supposed to be for InSight was repurpoused for worldview 4. also any idea if it will still launch from VAFB?

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I couldn't for the life of me figure out why they were launching from Vandenberg until here:

Quote

InSight could launch from Florida or California, but ULA and NASA agreed to launch InSight from Vandenberg to reduce the Atlas 5 team’s workload at Cape Canaveral, where up to a half-dozen flights are planned this year.

[snip]

InSight’s mass at launch is well below the maximum interplanetary lift capability of even the lightest Atlas 5 configuration.

That means InSight does not require the extra boost of energy a rocket would obtain from the Earth’s rotation by launching to the east from Cape Canaveral. The Atlas 5 launching InSight will instead head south over the Pacific Ocean from Vandenberg

I assume they plan on making a dogleg flight path? Is this one going directly into an Earth escape trajectory? I assume that ULA doesn't want to make it all the way to space with the first stage still attached like I did before I really got the hang of KSP.

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3 hours ago, Racescort666 said:

I assume they plan on making a dogleg flight path? Is this one going directly into an Earth escape trajectory? I assume that ULA doesn't want to make it all the way to space with the first stage still attached like I did before I really got the hang of KSP.

They probably won't need to dogleg. They'll likely launch due-west at the right time of day so that their velocity vector is favorable (and they don't need to have much normal/anti-normal component) when it comes time for the Mars injection burn.

Launching into a retrograde orbit means extra delta-V spent getting into orbit, but apparently they did so well keeping the mass low that they can launch from a retrograde parking orbit even with the 401 configuration.

EDIT: If they do it even remotely like I do in RSS, they're likely going to be launching in night-time (atypical for transfers outwards) and burning towards Mars on the day side of the planet ~45 minutes later.

Edited by Starman4308

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Awww, Insight has little pets to help him.

 

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https://spaceflightnow.com/2018/04/24/insight-mars-lander-joined-with-atlas-5-launcher-at-vandenberg-air-force-base/

 

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In the video, it's said that it will take 2 months to deploy the experiments. I know that interplanetary stuff is made in a slow pace due to a lot of factors. But 2 months seems a lot just to put stuff on the ground. At first I thought that this time included the time to drill, but he said that what we were seeing in the animation would take 2 months, and it didn't include the drilling part.

Anyone knows why this extremely low pace?

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