Mars' atmosphere is only .088 psi. Is that enough to cause heat at high altitude? Shouldn't you be able to fly close to the surface at orbital speeds like on the moon? How does a parachute work with such little air?
The aeroshell protects the rover from fiery temperatures as it enters the Martian atmosphere in January, 2004.
Wikipedia Atmosphere of Mars:
The atmosphere of Mars is the layer of gases surrounding Mars. It is primarily composed of carbon dioxide (95.32%), molecular nitrogen (2.6%) and argon (1.9%). It also contains trace levels of water vapor, oxygen, carbon monoxide, hydrogen and other noble gases. The atmosphere of Mars is much thinner than Earth's.
Average surface pressure 610 Pa (0.088 psi)
Carbon dioxide 95.32%
Carbon monoxide 0.0747%
Water vapor 0.03% (variable)