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Interesting new landing concept...

Posted by: Ekkehard Augustin - Thu Jan 06, 2005 10:10 am
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Interesting new landing concept... 
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Post Interesting new landing concept...   Posted on: Thu Jan 06, 2005 10:10 am
Read the article "Mars Science Laboratory: Next Wheels On Mars" ( www.space.com/businesstechnology/techno ... 50105.html ) - it's reporting the concept by which the next Mars Rover will be landed on Mars.

There will be a craft not landing but hanging in the air. This craft will include a crane and this crane will land the rover by a tether going down. Because of this the craft is called "Skycrane".

The article nincludes several graphics assisting imagination.

It would be interesting to think of further developments of this craft I suppose. Could a way be found to make the crane a spacecraft never landing but changing only between atmospheres and space? A spacecraft diving into atmospheres to land or to hover payloads only? Could the engines designed to be usable at the moon too?

What perspectives does this concept provide? ...



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


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Post    Posted on: Sat Jan 08, 2005 1:22 pm
Couldnt this be used the other way around? Lifting cargo from the planet to orbit to an 'crane' on an asteroid or so? Would be probably easier to build then an elevator.

Anyway, for landing is it porbably a nice idea but imo a waste of money. The airbag idea is probably very defective sensitive but still way the cheapiest, so why not develope that?

The crane concept will probably be perfect for vehicles to big for a headshield or that they want secure readings through the atmosphere. But like all of these concepts, i don't think we'll see this one to soon unfortunately ;)


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Post    Posted on: Sat Jan 08, 2005 7:29 pm
The problem NASA has seems to be that the next MArs Rover will be three times a sheavy as Spirit or Opportunity. They cannot land it by using parachutes and airbags and they want to be sure that it will not be damaged at ladinng.

Like you I would like to use such "Skycranes" to get cargo from a planet. I wuld like it if Scaled composites or another private team would get the order to construct and to build it.

And what about making a Centennial Challenges Prize to get improvements and further developments of it?



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Post    Posted on: Sun Jul 13, 2008 10:20 am
I thought about this concept again from another perspective.

I already mentioned CargoLifter in this section one or a few times. And there are the talks about the Mars-balloon ARCHIMEDES and JP Aerospace's Ascender.

What about the idea to replace the skycrane consuming fuel and oxidizer by a CargoLifter and applying the entry of ARCHIMEDES? This does not mean that I have in mind to change the mission NASA develops the skycrane for but to improve the concept for future missions and in particular private missions and travels.

CargoLifter was a german company that developed a zeppeline 260 meters long and capable o carry a payload of 160 tons to a distant location. Cargolifter has gone bankruptcy several years ago but now Boeing plans to develop such a zeppeline but a bit smaller according to www.welt.de . Boeing's zeppeline will be 92 meters long and have a payload-capacity of 40 tons.

Since thes are weights much heavier than the MSL to be landed by the skycrane zepelines are possible that can carry the MSL.

The zeppelines carry the payload by tethers and thus might be outfitted with cranes like that of Skycrane.

At this point the aspect is of interest that JP Aerospace's Ascender can got to an altitude of 40 km where the air density is Mars-like - an Ascender might be the proper zeppeline for Mars. That the ATO could land on Mars I consider to be of no meaning here because it will have capabilities that would be wasted if it were applied for transports across Mars.

The point I am out on at this point is that the JP Aerospace's Ascender might be outfitted with cranes as well as zeppelines.

ARCHIMEDES is of interest because it is balloon that has an entry system. If this system could be adjusted to an Ascender outfitted with a crane like that of skycrane then there would be a reusable martian transport system that can land a payload as heavy as MSL on Mars... - but it also could lift it again and transport it to another martian location.

And perhaps later landers could be carried into the martian atmosphere by crane-less ascenders, balloons etc. that dock to the crane-outfitted martian transporter to get their paayloads landed by it. Such crane-less Acsender perhaps might leave the atmosphere again to return to a mothership returning to Earth.



What about it?



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