Mars Exploration

| July 31, 2020 | 32 Comments

NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover has successfully launched on its epic mission to the Red Planet.

The rover launched into space atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at 7:50 a.m. EDT from Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

After a seven month transit, The Rover will seek evidence of ancient Martian life forms and even attempt powered flight via Ingenuity, a helo the craft transported from Earth.

Manned missions are currently in the planning stages.

AW1 Rod sends.

Florida Tech Researchers Explore Buzz Aldrin’s Mars Cycler Concept

BY RYAN RANDALL

Mars is the next frontier in space for human exploration, but how will we get there? Research underway at Florida Tech is examining travel possibilities via a cycler spacecraft and an associated crew transfer system.

Aerospace engineering associate professor Markus Wilde, alongside university graduate student Larissa Balestrero Machado, recently released a research paper, “Parametric Design of a Crew Transfer Vehicle for Earth–Mars Cyclers” that examines the spacecraft mass and size required to transfer crew between Earth, a cycler spacecraft, and Mars.

The cycler spacecraft would stay in an elliptical orbit around the Sun, performing regular fly-bys of Earth and Mars. The crew transfer vehicle would lift off from Earth during one of those fly-bys, catch up with the cycler to deliver the crew, and after a few months transport the crew from the cycler to a low Mars orbit. After the crew finishes its mission on Mars, the crew transfer vehicle and cycler will then be used in reverse order to get the crew back to Earth and pick up the next expedition. The cycler potentially will provide a providing a potential cost-efficient and energy-efficient space travel solution.

Wilde and Machado’s initial research findings have determined that “aerocapture,” an orbital transfer maneuver in which a spacecraft uses aerodynamic drag force from a single pass through a planetary atmosphere to decelerate and achieve orbit insertion, could reduce the amount of fuel needed to reach Mars. The findings also emphasized the importance of a heat shield, which would be used to prevent spacecraft from burning up on entry into a planet’s atmosphere.

“The idea is, what if we start flying missions to Mars basically every time we can, so that we start a pipeline almost like a train service that would get new crews to and from Mars every two years?” Wilde said. “Instead of flying point-to-point missions that we do with rovers and unmanned spacecraft, we could use a cycler for sustainable, crewed Mars exploration.”

The motivation for the current cycler research stems from Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, whose Cycling Pathway to Occupy Mars system involved spacecraft travelling between Earth and Mars possibly using far less propellant than conventional means, with an expected five-and-a-half-month journey from the Earth to Mars, and a return trip to Earth of about the same duration on a twin semi-cycler.

Buzz was a brilliant engineer and the first Astronaut with a doctoral degree. He also was a fighter pilot.

Read the entire article here: Ad Astra

Thanks, AW1 Rod.

Category: Air Force, NASA, Science and Technology

Comments (32)

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  1. penguinman000 says:

    Just got finished watching the series Mars on Netflix. Pretty good series. Highly suggest it if anyone likes this kind of stuff.

  2. FuzeVT says:

    ATLAS V and Ingenuity – Lockheed products!

  3. HMCS(FMF) ret says:

    There are three missions headed to Mars

    – UAE’s first try – Hope
    – NASA/JPL’s Perseverance (there is a drone onboard called Ingenuity – will try to fly on Mars)
    – China’s Tianwen 1, launched on July 23rd

    https://www.space.com/three-mars-missions-launch-july-2020.html

  4. Toxic Deplorable Racist SAH B Woodman says:

    Hurry up! I wanna get off this planet!

  5. Ex-PH2 says:

    Next, we’ll see Elon Musk selling tickets to ride to Mars, and it won’t be long before real estate signs go up near the Canali… or was that cannolis?

    Will we have to come up with an intergovernmental agreement with the Old Ones. Willis should be all grown up by now; her eggs should have hatched, and Gekko is probably babysitting them, anyway. Maybe the Earth visitors could cook up an agreement to leave the Martians alone while they’re excavating the surface to build the canals for transport.

  6. Mason says:

    Buzz puts the “fighter” in fighter pilot.

    Can’t wait to see if that little drone they built works. The first flight of an aircraft outside Earth’s atmosphere. Guess they had to come up with something cooler than the rocket-powered hover crane.

    • Toxic Deplorable Racist SAH B Woodman says:

      Yep. That’s the Big Reveal for this trip. I read about some of the headaches, conflicts and compromises that NASA went through to design that Mars chopper.

  7. Green Thumb says:

    He should have hit him again.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Buzz is da man! Doesn’t take sh*t.

    “You promised me Mars colonies. I got Facebook.” –Aldrin

  9. Hack Stone says:

    Sheila Jackson Lee wants to know if they will be visiting the American flag that Louis Armstrong planted on Mars.

  10. gitarcarver says:

    The launch rumbled the windows of my home. It is always a nice sound.

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