A cut too far.

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by Trippy, Jul 6, 2011.

  1. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

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  3. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    There once was a policy called "Better, Faster, Cheaper" where space probes and automated science missions would be made on a budget, it was admitted initially that the chances of failure were high but because the machines would cost a fraction of their "galaxy"-class-every-test-possible-on-earth alternatives that several failures would still cost less. That all came to an end with Mars Polar Lander and Mars Climate Orbiter failing utterly: it turns out publicity is worth a lot and the combined loss of ONLY $700 million for two missions was not acceptable to the public or congress. Nasa went right back to the older philosophy of decades of work meticulously building and testing and retesting ever more expensive hardware.

    I think a better philosophy would have been to have had a standardized, assembly line production system. A standardize orbital spaceprobe for example with minor alteration capable of operation from Venus to Mars, or with RTG or a gigantic solar array in place of its standard "Mars" or "Venus" arrays capable of even further operation. The design would only need to be shacked down once, not over and over again for every mission, multiples could have been launched in a mission like the olden days (Viking, Pioneer, Mariner, etc)
     
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