Scientists Start Testing Model of Manned Mars Lander
(RIA Novosti) — The manned Mars mission project has entered a
new phase, as Russia’s Keldysh Research Institute has started
tests of the components and equipment of an interplanetary craft.
They are now testing a model of the future Martian lander in a
In an interview
with Trud, project coordinator Vitaly Semyonov says six members
will probably go on the Mars expedition: the commander, flight
engineer, doctor, pilot, and two scientists. The experts’ plan
is that the 500-ton craft will approach the planet and, at an
altitude of 400 kilometers, orbit it. A descent platform will
detach from the craft and will land without a parachute at an
angle of 52 degrees, which means the planet’s surface will be
used as much as possible for baking when entering the atmosphere.
Brake flaps will open on the craft’s right and left. The rocket-shaped
platform will enter the Martian atmosphere (which begins at an
altitude of 120km) and descend to 30km. Then, rebounding from
the atmosphere, it will rise to 60km only to start its descent
again. At an altitude of 2km it will switch on its retro-engines.
When the distance to the surface is 50 meters, the platform will
hover for 50 seconds for the crew to select a landing zone before
the craft touches down.
the pilot and scientists, will control the landing. After a month,
they will blast off using a rocket mounted on the descent module.
Then the crew will dock with the spacecraft. The manned Earth-Mars-Earth
mission will last about 730 days.
landing platform will be tested both on the ground and in space,
but the scientists have already begun tests of a 1:200 scale model.
Experiments are being conducted on a rig in the Keldysh Center,
which almost fifty years ago carried out wind tunnel tests on
the first satellite, which ushered in the space age in 1957.