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MudnuK t1_ivykie0 wrote

No one has provided a solid answer yet, just left replies saying 'that's dumb'. I am very far from an engineer or astronomer (if that's even the right field) - would you mind explaining why a removable film is a bad idea?


[deleted] t1_ivyv3is wrote

it would require additional hardware to actually eject the film, which makes the craft heavier and creates more opportunities for technical conflict/ failure. ex. what if the film isn't applied properly and becomes "foggy", effectively making it a costly and ineffective addition? or the film catches on the craft itself causing issues with other systems? there is also concern about litter, although that is mostly a moral concern/ slippery slope argument as a few pieces of plastic on a planet is negligible. it could also be an ineffective solution if it doesn't remove the dust as well as intended. mars' sand isn't like earth sand; it's extremely fine and by nature more resistant to removal. there's a good chance the film could be ejected only to blow more sand on what it's protecting in the process if the aerodynamics is not accurately predicted. i'm not a scientist, but i'd guess static could play a big part here too. in any case, it would cost a lot of money, time, and research to make a functional film ejection system, which may piss off those financially invested in the project if it doesn't work. an issue like that could hinder future research. NASA is very careful about what they invest their time and money in, and has likely determined that the risk vs. benefit of a sand removal system is not in their favor. i don't think there's a good solution to this problem, but people tend to be creative and continuing a positive conversation about it may reveal one. :>


MudnuK t1_ivz2joh wrote

Thanks for the great answer! Woo science


m4nu3lf t1_ivzjf1x wrote

I don't get how some can possibly have a concern for "littering" a place that is huge, toxic, full of radiation, and possibly devoid of life. The only thing could be contamination with bacteria.


AspieAndProud t1_ivzq9e2 wrote

The sharing of knowledge thru conversations and point-counterpoint is the purpose of r/space. But do you contributors really think you have a better comprehension of the problem than NASA's select experts? NASA engineering has certainly considered virtually all options and, bottom line, the problems with the solutions apparently outweigh the problem itself. The benefits of new tech development is best applied to replacement missions with new rovers equipped to answer new questions. 🤔🧐