Does anyone have any additional information on this?
What material, size, what choice of line, who worked on designing/developing it, & lastly who the hell is going to pack that? I personally wouldn't want to be responsible for a $2.5 billion dollar project to crash and burn lol
Can't even imagine the forces being exerted upon opening with 65,000lbs of force traveling at 1,000 mph
(This post was edited by mchamp on Jul 1, 2012, 9:42 AM)
I hope this is a joke. Rube Goldberg himself couldn't have come up with a goofier idea.
It is expensive, in terms of weight, to slow and land with 100% rocket power. The air is too thin to slow enough for a soft landing with a reasonable size parachute. So, this is not a joke, it is building on the success the past 4 Mars landings.
They don't want to land on the rockets because it would kick up dust that would land on or damage the rover. That seems odd to me. First, aren't there really bad sand storms on mars? If so its going to get dusty pretty soon anyway. Second, if that really is a problem, why not encase the rover in a shell that could be opened after a few hours when the dust settles? That seems like it would be cheaper/easier/lighter than hovering with rockets and lowering the rover, but who knows.
Isn't that thing getting ready to land on Mars here soon?
I'm surprised they didn't send up a smaller rover with a proven landing system to try to video the landing of this thing... just in case... so they'd know what went wrong, if they crater Mars... again.
(This post was edited by ZigZagMarquis on Jul 1, 2012, 2:40 PM)
More info: "The MSL parachute is the largest parachute ever made for an extraterrestrial mission with a diameter of nearly 16 meters (51 feet). The parachute uses 80 suspension lines and is made mostly of nylon except for a small disk of polyester. Both the MSL parachute and the MSL test parachute were made by Pioneer Aerospace." NASA/JPL-Caltech
Taken from Wikipedia....Parachute descent: When the entry phase is complete and the capsule has slowed to Mach 2 and at about 10 km altitude, the heat shield will separate and fall away. The Mars Science Laboratory will then deploy a supersonic parachute, as was done by previous landers such as Viking, Mars Pathfinder and the Mars Exploration Rovers. In March and April 2009, the parachute for the MSL was tested in the world's largest wind tunnel and passed flight-qualification testing. The parachute has 80 suspension lines, is over 165 feet (50 meters) long, and is about 51 feet (16 meters) in diameter. The parachute is capable of being deployed at Mach 2.2 and can generate up to 289 kN (65,000 pounds) of drag force in the Martian atmosphere.
Apparently they were having problems with the 2-stage opening. They eventually changed to a ridiculously small PC made of ZP on the advice of the canopy manufacture, but the canopy still opened in a 1 really hard stage. The canopy manufacture was then suggesting to deploy with more forward speed, but it was hard to accomplish in the Martian atmosphere, so they made do with what they had until they could buy a canopy from another manufacture.
(There may not be too many people that get that reference anymore)