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Rob Manning, Friday, 11-7-14 November 8, 2014

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Rob Manning, Friday, 11-7-14


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Guest:  Rob Manning.  Topic:  Mars Science Lab Curiosity and Rob’s new book, “Mars Rover Curiosity: An Inside Account from Curiosity’s Chief Engineer.”  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See http://www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.  For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.

We welcomed Rob Manning back to the program to discuss Mars Science Lab and the Curiosity rover plus his new book,  “Mars Rover Curiosity: An Inside Account from Curiosity’s Chief Engineer.”  Please remember to purchase this book through The Space Show/OGLF Amazon portal as Amazon will make a contribution to The Space Show for each purchase.  Instructions can be found on every blog and website archived program or you can email me.  During the first segment of our 90 minute program, we started talking about landing on Mars given Rob was last on the show in November 2009 regarding his paper on the challenges in landing large payloads on Mars.  We discussed Martian EDL, the MSL landing approach, the sky crane, and more.  I asked Rob about engineering errors & what they do at JPL to not make them as opposed to car engineers where there are usually multiple car recalls from most all brands. Don’t miss what Rob said about this, it might surprise you.  Rob then mentioned several errors & mistakes that they made, including incorrectly estimating the Martian gravity at the bottom of Gale Crater which ended up impacting their landing & of course the Curiosity wheels.  I also asked Rob for his thoughts on private Mars missions being able to land a big  payload or crew on Mars.  Listen carefully, his response may again surprise you.  Later, a listener asked Rob why Mars and if we were Mars obsessed.  Rob talked about our Mars culture and the good scientific reasons for our focus on Mars.  We also talked about other solar system targets plus radiation issues for the outer planets that were not as severe for Mars.  We talked about doing more, Titan, Europa, & the NASA budget.

In the second segment, listener Claudia asked about the biggest challenges in designing Curiosity, launching it, getting it to Mars. and Martian operations.  Rob said their concerns were born out, he talked about EDL, the sky crane.  Ben wanted to know if his concerns expressed in his paper referenced earlier turned out to be valid when actually designing EDL for Curiosity. B John emailed in several questions pertaining to Earth-Mars telerobotics & a Mars sample return mission back to Earth.  Near the end of our discussion, we talked about the new Mars 2020 project and finding life on Mars.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.  You can reach Rob Manning through me.