View Full Version : Discussion: NASA Picks the Next Mars Lander

2003-Aug-05, 07:18 PM
SUMMARY: NASA announced on Monday that it has selected the University of Arizona's "Phoenix" mission to launch to Mars in 2007 as part of its new, low-cost Scout mission. NASA has granted the university $325 million to build the spacecraft, which will land on the planet's northern pole, which is rich in water ice. The mission will have two goals: to study the geologic history of water, and to search for evidence of a habitable zone that may exist in the ice-soil boundary.

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Juan D. Rodriguez
2003-Aug-08, 10:44 AM

I love this kind of missions and I think they are really useful to obtain scientific data and, at the same time, inspire the public. But I´ve read in the Phoenix website that this lander is going to use fire descent engines to land on Mars.

Since Mars Polar Lander was lost in 1999, I´m not very confident in descent engines... <_< . Mars is not the Moon and landing on the Red Planet is much more dangerous... I know that Viking landers used fire descent engines and both missions were successful, but I think airbags are safer. Why don´t they use airbags?

Juan D. Rodríguez.

2003-Aug-16, 11:30 PM
Hi everyone&#33;
I have a question about the Mars missions. I was watching TV one day, and I heard a scientist (I forgot who) talk about sending probes, and she said, "Why not send a hundred or thousand small rovers or probes at once instead of sending one large rover? That way, if 80% of them break down, we&#39;ll still have 20% left to complete the (or their) mission." Nano technology will play a big role, and large rocks and boulders might be a problem if we send these little rovers to mars, or any other planet. I want everyone&#39;s opinion on this one. What do you ppl think of sending many little rovers instead of sending one or two large rovers at once?
Think about it. The risks are the same, and cost may be much cheaper.