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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Interesting article. Counterpoints are: 1) don’t land on deep sand 2) experience with rovers says the regolith is stable 3) plenty of flat bedrock to land on 4) sky crane 5) angled landing thrusters? 6) crater shapes are well understood and likely manageable with landing gear
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I’d be interested to know how sure we can be ahead of time about the stability of a particular landing site under the kind of stress a heavy rocket would create. Angled thrusters or some kind of sky crane seem like they’d solve it, if they could work for such a heavy load.
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No doubt it’s an order of magnitude more exhaust than what we’ve landed with. I continue to advocate the 1st human mission should land at a previously visited rover site. We have all the ground data you’d ever need.
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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.
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I like the idea of little two-seater sky-crane-enabled vehicles dropped down from some orbiting mothership. Would still need an ascent vehicle but at least you could launch from a spot where you have established ground-truth.
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Now I’m just picturing being lowered onto Mars in essentially a dune buggy from a skycrane and I’m totally into that! πŸ˜‚
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Absolutely, 100% coolest way to make an entrance

1:26 AM Β· Oct 24, 2021

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HALO Warthog with the biggest CHEMCAM laser mounted on the back, is all I’m saying.
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Do we need that much firepower for Martian bacteria? Or has NASA been hiding details about alien life? Huh? HUH?!!
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