Inconvenient: any heavy spacecraft trying to land vertically on Mars might end up collapsing into a crater made by its own rocket plume 😬
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See this and other replies from @cirquelar for some Mars landing hope… Seems like some landing spots can be much better than others, but maybe giant heavy vertical rockets won’t turn out to be the optimal vehicle for humans.
The paper does point out that heavy landing is difficult, but maybe it just means humans shouldn’t land in at 40 MT vehicle. A titled cargo lander maybe isn’t a problem. A smaller human only landing system would give more stability.

12:18 AM · Oct 24, 2021

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Deploy The Mars-Zeppelin!
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SpaceX’s solution to this problem is to place the landing thrusters near the top of the rocket, flared outward. Definitely works for the moon (1/6g), perhaps workable on Mars (1/3g)?
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The illustrations currently on their website don’t have that feature. It would be interesting to see it developed if possible.
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I know the space elevator concept has been a bust so far but hear me out....space slide.
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Mars seems ripe for the system's first space elevator.
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Time to dust off the bouncy ball landing craft designs.
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Maybe they could send the landing pad first?
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Preparing a suitable site for landing as mentioned in the article seems to be the most practical method. We need to send advance robotic missions for supplies anyway. It's analogous albeit far more complex to how Ice Camp Barneo is build every year: invidious.fdn.fr/watch?v=bkidoWDg…
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Requiring a prebuilt landing pad is a direct impediment to getting humans to the Moon or Mars. It might require more than one mission. It would also mean you MUST have pin-point landing capability. The ripple effects are huge.
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