Last edited by MARKK; June 15th, 2017 at 01:18 AM.
Future missions to Mars will require that more massive payloads than the one-ton Curiosity Mars rover be delivered to the surface. NASA is developing new large, sturdy, and lightweight systems to deliver next generation rovers and landers on Mars.
These new systems, called low density supersonic decelerators, aim to solve the complicated problem of slowing Martian entry vehicles down enough to safely deliver large payloads to the Martian surface without bringing along massive amounts of extra rocket propellant or carrying a large and heavy atmospheric entry shield.
Landing on Mars is not like landing on Earth, with its dense atmosphere, or on the moon, which has no atmosphere. Mars has a tricky environment somewhere in-between: it has too much atmosphere to allow rockets alone to land heavy vehicles, as is done on the moon, but too little atmosphere to land vehicles from space purely with friction and parachutes.
In addition, parachutes for Mars surface-bound craft must be enormous, because the atmosphere is too thin to fill
a parachute like those used on Earth. Even with large parachutes, powerful retro rockets or rugged airbags
have been required to complete the landing. These factors make delivering large payloads to Mars extremely difficult.
NASA’s current parachute-based deceleration system has been used since the Viking Program of the 1970s.
This system has reached the limit of the amount of mass that it can deliver to Mars. Additionally, because of
the extremely thin Martian atmosphere, regions at high elevations, such as mountainous areas and the high altitude southern plains will remain inaccessible until a new landing method can be developed and proven to work.
The ”LightSail” satellite of "The Planetary Society" sent the first photo of its solar sail, which allows a spacecraft harness the tiny but continuous thrust imparted by photons coming from the sun.
This propulsion, without fuel, is cheap and efficient.
The solar sail will allow to travel to almost any destination in the solar system without major investments in propulsion systems and fuel never runs out, although the speed is not high, stands Bill Nye, President of "The Planetary Society"
Ralph Mirebs took this photos of Baikonur (Kazakhstan) the old "cosmodrome" of the USSR. It's still in use even if Russia is building a new one in Vostochni, (Priamurie)
The most amazing thing is that in the this forgotten hangar we can see an abandoned "Buran" prototype. Buran should have been the soviet answer to the space shuttle.
ISS Symphony - Timelapse of Earth from International Space Station
Wow, what a great thread. Some absolutely amazing pics there MARKK!! Brilliant work!
Got some sites to share that have untold numbers of seriously big pics on them. Some are hundreds of Mb! But all of them are stunning.
You put the balm on? Who told you to put the balm on? I didn't tell you to put the balm on! Why'd you put the balm on? You haven't even been to see the doctor. If you're gonna put a balm on, let a doctor put a balm on...
I am currently going over my old posts and re-upping dead links. Let me know if you want any fixed!!
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