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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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Can the Mars lander's/rover's solar panels be cleaned?

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. ...
DarkDust's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
932 views

When things land on Mars what fraction of their velocity do they remove propulsively?

Some recent comments have got me wondering about this What is the distance between one of the mars's satellite revolving near the highest volcano olympus mons and the volcano olympus mons? comments ...
uhoh's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
123 views

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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
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24 votes
1 answer
3k views

What cooling improvements did the Venera missions make?

I've been reading about Russia's (former Soviet Union) Venera missions, and one thing about them that has impressed me is the incremental improvements the landers made in their lifespans before ...
duzzy's user avatar
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11 votes
2 answers
868 views

Is there independent evidence that China landed a robot on Mars in May 2021?

I would like to know if there is independent evidence of any kind that China landed a robot on Mars in May 2021? As of May 16, 2021, the last news on CNSA (China National Space Administration) site is ...
user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
573 views

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 ...
Strabbi's user avatar
  • 193
7 votes
1 answer
413 views

What kind of rocket will ESA(?) launch from Mars? Who will build it?

The NASA-credited images below are from the BBC News article Europe pushes ahead with 'dune buggy' Mars rover which explains that it will drive around quickly on it's big 70 cm wheels (see article for ...
uhoh's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
1k views

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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
3 votes
1 answer
367 views

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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
610 views

Could Schiaparelli's retroreflector array (still) be used?

update 2: It appears Schiaparelli has already been located by satellite. This still represents the first laser ranging retroreflector array deployed beyond the Earth-Moon system! So assuming it is now ...
uhoh's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
325 views

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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
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123 votes
1 answer
9k views

How many extraterrestrial bodies have hosted a "lander" which returned images?

For the purposes of this question, we will consider a "lander" any probe which was sent to the surface of an extraterrestrial body or entered the atmosphere to a point which exceeds an air pressure of ...
called2voyage's user avatar
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17 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is lunar lithobraking 1. survivable and 2. cheaper than a rocket landing?

Lunar Lithobraking If your goal is simply to deliver a science package somewhere on the moon, might it be easier and cheaper to design the package to survive lunar impact? As an example, consider the ...
mLuby's user avatar
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9 votes
4 answers
4k views

Why was there never a lander for the Martian north polar cap?

Since the Martian poles are water ice caps, belong to the most likely locations on Mars to host life, and the north pole being the most likely place for a crewed mission, it seems reasonable that one ...
LoveForChrist's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
225 views

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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
487 views

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-...
Uwe's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
350 views

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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
455 views

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, ...
uhoh's user avatar
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24 votes
5 answers
7k views

Why hasn't NASA planted a stationary lab on Mars yet?

Why does NASA send rovers such as Curiosity instead of remotely building a small building on the surface of Mars?
Zoltán Schmidt's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
476 views

What's the record for the longest time a deep space craft has functioned without a reboot?

The question How is Voyager 1 still operating? and the interesting comparison to the record times that Earthbound servers have run without reboot got me thinking about deep space spacecraft. I'm ...
uhoh's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
454 views

What type of onboard radar did the Surveyor landers use?

The Surveyor landers are the second generation of US lunar spacecraft following the Ranger series. They paved the way for the later soft landings of Apollo. What type of onboard radars were used in ...
Hash's user avatar
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8 votes
2 answers
463 views

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 3B ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
8 votes
1 answer
207 views

Are there methods of lightning detection on Mars?

Teslarati's NASA’s next Mars rover will pave the way for humans includes the graphic below which is an artists conception of a dust storm on mars. It shows what looks like lightning or some kind of ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
6 votes
1 answer
319 views

Premature detonation of explosive bolts when landing on hot Venus?

@Uwe's comment below Parachute material used for the Venera probes to survive 500 °C raises an interesting issue. Venus is really hot, and pyrotechnic actuators (e.g. explosive bolts, frangible ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
5 votes
0 answers
391 views

How many sundials, Sun compasses and gnomons are there on solar system bodies?

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 orientation of ...
uhoh's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
394 views

What is the purpose and necessity of this giant structure being used in tests of China's Mars lander?

Question: What is the purpose and necessity of this giant structure being used in tests of landing hovering and searching techniques to be used by China's Mars lander? It is shown in images (and a ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
4 votes
1 answer
232 views

What's the exact location (lat/lon) of Zhurong?

Thus far, CSNA has announced the landing location as 109.7 E, 25.1 N. On Mars, 0.1 degree is about five km. Most Mars landers/rovers have been found in orbital imagery, and their lat/lon measured ...
Bill Gray's user avatar
  • 1,063
3 votes
2 answers
324 views

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 ...
Jonathan Wilson's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
218 views

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 ...
DrSheldon's user avatar
  • 48k
0 votes
1 answer
235 views

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, ...
argon's user avatar
  • 103
27 votes
6 answers
6k views

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 ...
called2voyage's user avatar
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26 votes
2 answers
4k views

What would the Venus landers look like today?

Between 1966 and 1985, several probes, mostly of Soviet design, successfully landed on Venus. Many of them continued operating long enough to send back audio, images, and various measurements, though ...
Psychonaut's user avatar
25 votes
6 answers
6k views

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 ...
SF.'s user avatar
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24 votes
2 answers
5k views

How exactly did the floor of an Apollo LM look like after EVA(s)? Seeking photo!

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 ...
s-m-e's user avatar
  • 6,461
23 votes
1 answer
1k views

What landings beyond Mars and the Moon are scheduled?

Recent years have brought us some interesting landings: Titan, the comet, the Chinese landed on the Moon, we got a lab the size of a SUV on Mars. Currently, Mars is in the focus of the West, while ...
SF.'s user avatar
  • 55k
19 votes
3 answers
2k views

Potential high temperature power sources for a Venus lander

What power sources are viable on a 'long term' Venus lander? An RTG relies on a temperature differential, and is not likely to be doable with a 457C 'cold side'. Based on this answer there is not ...
OrangePeel52's user avatar
  • 2,561
15 votes
1 answer
1k views

Did the Viking landers detect life on Mars?

The two Viking landers had an experiment on board where they attempted to find life on the planet. The initial results said yes, there was life, but later there were questions raised about the results....
PearsonArtPhoto's user avatar
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15 votes
1 answer
359 views

How are planetary landers to low gravity bodies (asteroids/comets) designed?

How are planetary landers to low gravity bodies (such as the Moon, asteroids) designed to hold on to the surface without bouncing off after touching the surface?
Hash's user avatar
  • 18k
14 votes
1 answer
650 views

Parachute material used for the Venera probes to survive 500 °C

The Venera landers of the former Soviet Union were quite successful on the very hot surface of Venus. Which material was used for the parachutes to survive 500 °C? What about cotton wool? Yes this ...
Uwe's user avatar
  • 49k
11 votes
2 answers
3k views

Are there currently any plans for a Venus lander?

I am interested in what the surface of Venus looks like in true color, but have discovered that true color images of Venusian surface are rare, and am hoping that a lander mission is planned to take ...
Gstestso's user avatar
  • 817
11 votes
1 answer
455 views

Do lunar landers communicate with ground stations during descent and landing?

In about one day China's Chang'e 3 will land on the moon in a fully autonomous way, which is pretty exciting and I think especially the autonomous hazard avoidance system is just amazing. However, I ...
Peng's user avatar
  • 421
11 votes
4 answers
1k views

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 ...
mLuby's user avatar
  • 385
9 votes
1 answer
905 views

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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
9 votes
2 answers
939 views

What factors are considered when choosing a Mars lander landing site?

NASA seems to have a mission planned to send a 2016 lander to Mars, and they say that they are in the process of choosing landing targets. What factors are considered when selecting these sites?
user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
1k views

Could the crashed Mars Express lander be imaged by the MRO orbiter?

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has taken direct images of the MSL Curiosity rover, its parachute, heat shield and sky crane. Could it image, or has it even already, the failed Mars Express lander ...
LocalFluff's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
358 views

Archimedean braking for low density Venus lander + subsidiary question

Subsidiary question: Imagine a sphere 10cm in diameter in low venusian orbit. Slow it down a little in order to deorbit it. What's the density of the sphere, in order to touch the ground at 0 vertical ...
user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
1k views

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 ...
nn4l's user avatar
  • 191
7 votes
1 answer
569 views

Why did Philae the comet lander bounce?

After Rosetta released the lander, it bounced several times upon hitting the comet's surface and its two harpoons did not deploy. Why did the Philae's grabbing mechanism fail?
Brian Leeming's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
296 views

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....
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
7 votes
1 answer
616 views

Will the 2018 Mars Dragon Lander be the largest lander on Mars to date?

Assuming the Dragon V2 will be the lander for SpaceX Mars mission launching in 2018, will it be the largest lander (either by weight or by size) that humans have put on Mars to date? Wikipedia has ...
Ezra Bailey's user avatar
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