Questions tagged [lander]

Questions regarding devices used to make a controlled descent and touchdown onto another object, usually either to transfer objects, or perform scientific observations.

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1answer
337 views

Rover vs pathfinder vs lander?

I am confused in difference between rover and pathfinder and lander I have often read/heard all these three terms when searching/studying about Mars Although all 3 of these are parts of space craft ...
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Chandrayaan 2: Why is Vikram Lander's life limited to 14 Days?

I do know that the 13-14 days of its scheduled life is limited by the duration of sunlight and once the far side of the moon goes dark, the lander will be in temperatures as low as -170° Celsius. But ...
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Exactly what was Surveyor 3 doing with a spring-loaded boxing glove-like device?

The thorough moon.NASA.gov/exploration page Moon Missions shows the image below. I learned almost all of what I know about Physics and Engineering from the Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner cartoons,...
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When will the first Falcon-9 send something to the Moon? Will it be iSpace's HAKUTO-R?

The Teslarati article SpaceX customer iSpace updates Falcon 9-launched Moon lander, rover plans says Japanese commercial space company iSpace has provided an updated schedule for its first private ...
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Why do all recent proposed lunar landers have payloads on top?

Every recently-proposed vacuum lander I've seen has its payload as far off the ground as possible. This necessitates cranes, ladders, and elevators to get things down. (Starship may be a partial ...
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Farthest distance to a solar system object that's been determined by spacecraft transponder?

Bouncing radar off of Venus' surface has yielded a rich body of data about the planet. Based on Venus' aphelion and Earth's perihelion, we know then that the answer is at least 38 million kilometers ...
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Chandrayaan-2 orbiter and lander communications with Earth (IDSN)

In the Seeker video India Could Be the First to Land on the Moon’s South Pole a bit after 04:20 the narrator says: Okay, well right about now you’re probably ...
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Tradeoffs to consider for OBDH system design for a Multi-Spectral Imager payload? (Enceladus Mission)

I am having a problem with designing the On Board Data Handling (OBDH) system for our MSI (Multi-Spectral Imager) payload. Our payload will be detached from Orbiter and it will take photos (for ...
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Why was the origin of the Apollo lunar module coordinate system “underground”?

Even stranger than the origin of the Saturn V coordinate system is that of the lunar module: The X-axis station reference measurements (inches) start at a design reference point identified as ...
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Why does Blue Origin want to go to the moon?

Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin released their first moon lander, Blue Moon. Have Blue Origin published anything about their reasons for going to the moon?
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Images of Mars Phoenix Lander showing what's happened after more cycles of winter ice build-up?

The Mars Phoenix Lander's End of Mission is an interesting story. It was left in a state such that had it survived the Mars winter of 2008, it could potentially be contacted again in 2010. The ...
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ELI5: Why do they say that Israel would have been the fourth country to land a spacecraft on the Moon and why do they call it low cost?

In the news they say that Israel hoped to become the fourth country to land a spacecraft on the Moon. Only government space agencies from the former Soviet Union, the US and China have made ...
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How would this two-stage Mars Ascent Vehicle work? Where do you sit?

This curious answer shows an image of a liquid-fueled Mars Ascent Vehicle with a sign in front that only says Two Stage Mars Ascent Vehicle Question: Is there some NASA program associated with it ...
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Is there a crewed moon lander currently in the works

Recently, the US vice president directed NASA to land astronauts on the moon within the next 5 years [source]. While there are big rockets (SLS, Falcon Heavy, etc.), and crew capsules (Orion, Crew ...
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Is post-X-prize Beresheet better than the X-prize candidate?

As mentioned in this question the total budget of the Lunar X-prize was about US \$30 million, and that included some other prizes beside the winner. However the budget of Beresheet post-X-prize ...
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Why do countries or companies still bother sending landers/probes to the moon?

Countries like Israel, South Korea, or China most recently and companies like ispace have plans to send landers to the lunar surface. At least according to this list. Is it because there is little ...
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Why is Beresheet doing a only a one-way trip?

Why is the SpaceIL Lunar Lander doing a one-way trip? Is that a common project to do nowadays, to send landers to Mars and the Moon without returning them?
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Where is the debris in the Hayabusa 2 touchdown video coming from?

In the video of the touchdown of Hayabusa 2 (https://www.engadget.com/2019/03/06/hayabusa2-probe-ryugu-touchdown-video/) no debris is visible until touchdown. After that, there is a lot of it (though ...
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Why don't SpaceIL's Beresheet spacecraft and Moon orbits line up?

The question Tracking SpaceIL Beresheet Moon lander links to some data files that are from the site: http://live.spaceil.com (also linked here): Raw data: http://live.spaceil.com/data/data_s1....
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Does the Dragonfly project (quadcopters on Titan) envision attached RTG's or would they be static and revisited for charging?

In this answer I link to the Phys.org article Researcher sets eyes on Saturn's largest moon which describes the Dragonfly project, a way to explore extended areas of Titan's surface difficult to probe ...
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Fate of human-made objects on mars

Now that Opportunity is dead, and since there are ideas for future human missions to Mars, I wonder if there is a project to collect all our rovers and landers or at least label as historical sites ...
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What did JPL's 1939 lunar lander look like and what practical aspects of landing on the Moon did this engineering design address?

According to Wikipedia's Jet Propulsion Laboratory: During JPL's Army years, the laboratory developed two deployed weapon systems, the MGM-5 Corporal and MGM-29 Sergeant intermediate range ...
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Chang'e- 4 safeguards to biological Contamination on the moon?

What kinds of safeguards does Chang'e 4, China's lander on the dark side of the moon use, in order to prevent biological contamination on the moon? How well are they documented?
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Where is that lunar-grown cotton seed sprout?

Most of us have seen this picture of the cotton seed currently sprouting inside a Chinese lander on the far side of the moon: Source The image shows see a plastic grid with a gelatinous overlay of ...
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How to communicate with a lunar polar mission?

We can easily communicate with a spacecraft on the Moon on the near side. The Far Side allows for a L2 halo communication relay satellite easily enough. How would a polar mission communicate with ...
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Colors of the Moon totally different in the pictures taken by Chang'e-4 in comparison with the Apollo photos. Why?

None of the pictures taken by Chang'e-4 Chinese lunar probe (see the attached images) in January 2019 have colors similar to the photos taken by Armstrong, Aldrin and the other 10 astronauts. The ...
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Transmission time per day for Chang'e 4?

Congratulations for the sucessfull landing on the back side of the Moon. There is continuous line of site available for radio connection from the lander to the Queqiao relay satellite at the Earth-...
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Chang'e 4, what is planned during December 12 and January 3?

Chang'e 4 is in Moon orbit since December 12, the landing is scheduled for January 3. What is planned during the 22 days in orbit?
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Mars InSight mission. From dull to shiny copper in just 8 days?

In just 8 days, that hexagonal piece of equipment installed on the InSight lander changed its general appearance from dull to shiny copper (see image 1 and 2). How is it possible? Img. 1. Nov 26, ...
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Will Chang'e-4 really take a month to “get to the Moon”? With what trajectory?

The Verge's This weekend, China embarks on a historic mission to land on the far side of the Moon says (near the end): We know that the mission is set to launch on top of one of China’s Long March ...
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Brushing clean a Mars lander's solar panels

A comment by SF. regarding the InSight Mars lander caught my attention: I really, really wonder why they didn't just include a small compartment with a duster brush grippable by the robotic arm. ...
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Could InSight lift off and move somewhere else?

InSight used its built-in thrusters for the final stretch of the Entry, Descent and Landing, and the thrusters seem to still be attached. Would it have been at all possible for InSight to lift off ...
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How many sundials & Sun compasses are there on Mars?

According to https://www.seis-insight.eu/en/public-2/seis-instrument/rweb Sundial Around the handle is a small sundial, which enables geophysicists to estimate the azimuth— i.e. the ...
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How was InSight's vertical seismometer (accelerometer) tested in Earth's stronger gravity?

The BBC article InSight Diary: The silence of space tells an interesting story and has an interesting audio recording of InSight's seismometer signals sped up to audio frequency, made while in ...
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Why is InSight's nylon parachute a “soft good”?

NBC News' Mars InSight's landing team leader is all 'nerves and excitement' ahead of risky touchdown includes a conversation with Rob Grover, "who leads the team in charge of InSight's landing at NASA'...
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Why didn't NASA use the “Sky Crane” method for landing the InSight mission on Mars?

The "Sky Crane" was able to land Curiosity on Mars which weighs about 900 kg. The InSight lander weighs about 358 kg. Why was a new landing method designed, instead of re-using all components of a ...
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What are the tradeoffs of circularly unfurling solar panel over linearly deploying solar panels?

Martian landers like Phoenix and Insight uses circularly unfurling solar panels. The regular satellites make use of linearly unfurling panels. What are the primary reasons why linear unfurling ...
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During final descent how will InSight know cardinal directions in order to land with proper orientation?

As explained in @karthikeyan's answer the InSight lander will rely upon its landing system to orient the lander properly, so that once on the ground instruments such as the RISE antennas will be ...
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How many solar system bodies have had coherent radio transponders?

A transponder amplifies, (often) frequency-shifts, and rebroadcasts a received signal. Old-style telephone and TV distribution satellites in GEO used simple transponders to rebroadcast the uplinked ...
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Has a lander/rover ever examined or photographed another mission?

Occasionally a lander or rover (manned or unmanned) will land close enough to a previous mission to enable examination or photographs of the previous mission to be taken by the new mission. What are ...
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Do the rovers in Hayabusa-2 communicate directly with the spacecraft or use the landers as relay?

I can't infer this from this documentation or the presentation: Do the ROVER-1A and ROVER-1B communicate with MINERVA-II-1, and it then relays to the Hayabusa2 "mothership", or do they communicate ...
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What criteria was used to select potential landing sites for Hayabusa-2's rovers on Ryugu?

The NYTimes' article Hayabusa2 Prepares to Drop Rovers on Asteroid Ryugu says Sept. 19 Rock Hoppers Hayabusa2 is preparing to deploy two small rovers this week, each about 7 inches wide. Ryugu’...
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How does this spinach-growing Mars lander design work?

@geoffc left a link in Chat to the extensive article in Nasa Spaceflight The Evolution of the Big Falcon Rocket. On the second page there is a bit of Mars vs Musk history: Musk’s ambitions of doing ...
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Avoiding rocks when landing on Mars

I'm landing an unmanned spacecraft on Mars (or substitute your astronomical body of choice here.) I would like to avoid rock outcrops and land on relatively soft soil. What kind of sensor could ...
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How much more expensive are scientific instruments for space use?

The discussion on How cold is the Martian sky at night? Or the day for that matter? made me wonder. How much more expensive are scientific instruments on spacecraft or landers, compared to their ...
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How exactly did the floor of an Apollo LM look like after EVA(s)? Seeking photo!

Almost five years ago I posted a question entitled "How was dust-mitigation addressed during the Apollo program?". While the question was answered rather comprehensively, it left me even more curious. ...
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Are the mountains of Venus of any help for us to explore the surface?

The circular orbit and small axial tilt results in no seasons, coupled with the well-known strong greenhouse that makes nights just as hot as days. As pressure gets lower by height, so does ...
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What is the deepest we have penetrated a terrestrial body other than Earth?

Curiosity drills 6.4 cm (2.5 inch) holes on Mars. Comet harpoons have been proposed for future space probes. There are a number of ways in which we can penetrate the surface of terrestrial bodies, but ...
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Does the Mars2020 lander need a new parachute design?

The EarthSky.org article Supersonic parachute test off Virginia coast March 27 and the linked YouTube video NASA’s Mars 2020 Supersonic Parachute: Test Flight #1 describes a recent test launched by a ...
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Why Never-EVER Land?

In this answer @Hobbes points out that data from the Huygens lander is still generating a high flux of new publications in 2018. One of them in the search results linked there is: Never-EVER Land - A ...