Mars 'Curiosity' Rover - Landing Sequence

Discussion in 'Science / Nature' started by mosaix, Mar 7, 2012.

  1.  
    mosaix

    mosaix Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    Messages:
    4,726
    The rover is well on its way now, due to land in August.

    Weighing in at a ton the engineers / scientists had to develop a whole new method to get it down on the surface. Half way down the web page linked to bellow is a video of the landing sequence. If it works (and I hope it does) I'll be gob-smacked. Watch it in 'full screen' for the best effect.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17261359
     
  2.  
    Vertigo

    Vertigo Mad Mountain Man

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Messages:
    4,656
    That is seriosly impressive.

    I'm guessing a parachute is the most efficient deceleration whilst it is at high speed (that is deceleration for carrying weight) but to carry enough parahchute material to get it down to a sensible landing speed would be prohibitive so at lower speeds rocket deceleration becomes more efficient.
     
  3.  
    Metryq

    Metryq Cave Painter

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Messages:
    940
    Exactly—especially since Mars doesn't have that much atmosphere to grab. It is probably a matter of control, too. It might actually be cheaper to pack enough chute for the job, but that size canopy would cover the probe. The probe would then have to cut its way out. Also, a parachute cannot fine-tune its landing point. About five minutes after it happened, back on Earth we'd see the video of Curiosity landing off-center on a boulder and flipping over—or landing squarely on a fence post, just like a "post turtle."

    Meanwhile, that sky crane will arc off into the distance and come down on the one Martian plant in existence and crush it flat.
     
  4.  
    Interference

    Interference Destroyer of Words

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2007
    Messages:
    2,573
    I would love if Jeremy Clarkson were on board to test drive it - in situ -- on Mars...
     
  5.  
    Vertigo

    Vertigo Mad Mountain Man

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Messages:
    4,656
    with no means of return!
     
  6.  
    mosaix

    mosaix Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    Messages:
    4,726
    He'd be happy just to be 'on camera'.
     

Share This Page