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Martian holes

Posted by: Ekkehard Augustin - Tue Jul 03, 2007 11:12 am
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Martian holes 
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Post Martian holes   Posted on: Tue Jul 03, 2007 11:12 am
What might be the best way to explore the martian holes?

A lander might change the interior too much by its exhausts and it then couldn't explore more which might mean that a lander is too much of a waste - unless it's landed via a skycrane that later can pull it out of the hole again.

A skycrane could land smaller robots and equipments into a hole but then would have to land other equipment elsewhere to keep the mission cheap - and it is not sure if around a hole there are sufficient other targets.

A lander not to land in a hole but being equiped by tethers that could reach a hole to let down small robots.

A baloon (ARCHIMEDES?) might be able to anchor above a hole and to let down instruments - might it be the best choice?

...

What about the interior of the holes? What if the interior is liquid?



Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)


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Post    Posted on: Tue Jul 10, 2007 6:50 am
Because I was thinking about the balloon here an idea how it might work: the balloon might be connected to three small and light rovers. The rovers would do nothing else than control the position of the balloon. The balloon itself would carry a wheel. This wheel would be used to move instruments up and down using a tether that could be reeled up or down by a rope drum which would mounted to one of the rovers.

Then the balloon could be lifted using Helium. When the balloon is lifted the rovers could be located around the entrance of a hole placing the ballooon nearly above the middle of the hole.

Then the instruments could be let down to explore the hole. May be that this also would be a proper way to safely land very small ball-shaped robots into the hole and to let them explore the entire hole autonomously.

What about it?`



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Post    Posted on: Thu Jul 12, 2007 8:42 pm
With an atmospheric density less than 1% of earth's any balloon would have to gigantic just to support it's own weight. I think a large lander with a small robot on a tether would work out ok. The Lander could supply power through the tether. Of course landing accurately enough to be anywhere close to the hole may be a problem.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Jul 13, 2007 7:22 am
Hello, DanielW,

don't forget about ARCHIMEDES. One that ballon is exploring Mars and/or the martian atmosphere expereinces are going to be gathered. That balloon will carry instruments - like a ballon that let's down instruments or small robots into a martian hole.

There is one problem with such martian holes - tethers hanging just over the rim and moving may be cut by the edges of the rocks of the rim. To avoid that a crane would be required unless something is landed under rocket power which would artificially modify the original interior of the whole and destroy microbes that might live inside the holes. This must be avoided in favour of science. A crane might be a skycrane, a crane like those here on Earth or a balloon-based crane.

A skycrane very soon would have consumed all its propellant and then fall into the hole.

A crane like those used on Earth requires firm and plane ground to not tilt and going to be damaged or suffer the fate of the skycrane.

So what's left seems to be the balloon.

What about it?



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Post    Posted on: Sat Nov 15, 2008 2:17 pm
I seem to have missed the catapult concept her that is discussed to be applied for the installation of an interferometer on the Moon.

Such cataöpults might make a robot jump into a hole as well as jump out of it.

But thos requires previous investigation of the ground of the hole by radar. At best such radar is available on the surface right at the rim of a hole to peer into it.

What about that?



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