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ULA Atlas V to launch Mars 2020 rover

Discussion in 'SpaceX' started by e-FTW, Jul 25, 2016.

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  1. e-FTW

    e-FTW New electron smell

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  2. Nikxice

    Nikxice Member

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    For the 2020 Mars rover landing, NASA is relying on the same technology developed for Curiosity in 2012. The technique involved using a supersonic drogue chute followed by that clever sky crane. A quick drop and go landing of the rover. (Naming it the '7 minutes of terror' was PR genius!) The problem with this landing method is weight limitation. These rovers weigh in around one ton and NASA already has data suggesting chute failure is likely with heavier payloads. This is why NASA is so interested in participating in SpaceX's proposed 2018 Red Dragon mission. In exchange for tracking support from JPL, NASA will share in the performance results of the SpaceX Mars landing data. Critical for future manned missions, because the Dragon's SuperDraco thrusters should be able to land up to 10 tons on the Martian surface.

    Once SpaceX can demonstrate a successful Mars landing, they'll likely bid on future NASA Mars payload missions. I'll bet there's not much doubt they'll offer competitive pricing too.
     
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