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Old 7th March 2012, 05:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Mars 'Curiosity' Rover - Landing Sequence

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
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Old 7th March 2012, 07:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Mars 'Curiosity' Rover - Landing Sequence

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.
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Old 7th March 2012, 09:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Mars 'Curiosity' Rover - Landing Sequence

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Originally Posted by Vertigo View Post
to carry enough parahchute material to get it down to a sensible landing speed would be prohibitive
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.
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Old 8th March 2012, 12:47 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Mars 'Curiosity' Rover - Landing Sequence

I would love if Jeremy Clarkson were on board to test drive it - in situ -- on Mars...
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Old 8th March 2012, 11:19 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Mars 'Curiosity' Rover - Landing Sequence

with no means of return!
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Old 8th March 2012, 11:33 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Mars 'Curiosity' Rover - Landing Sequence

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with no means of return!
He'd be happy just to be 'on camera'.
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