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1

It seems like the real answer is not a single reason but a set of reasons. Because a single approach has to be selected, that approach is the best compromise of the competing cases. The one that stands out to me is the Martian atmosphere. To land without damage without using the skycrane (or rockets) would require an impossibly large parachute (I think the ...


-4

The only reason I can legitimate see for sky crane, was that nasa wanted to be able to impact the surface and penatrate deeply into it. Kind of like how an excavator might use high explosives to blow a hole into the ground and observe the hole. NASA has done this with the moon. Orbiting probes were allowed to de orbit into the moon. They only observed the ...


7

The two media articles I have been able to find on this, at Spaceflight Now and Space.com, didn't really talk about the problem of material being blown around by the rockets. According to both articles, putting a rover on a platform, and landing that on legs, was ruled out because the platform would have to be really wide for stability, and hence heavy, and ...


14

because it would prevent the rockets from contaminating the landing site. No they weren't There was some possible advantage from that, to be sure. But missions to Mars undergo serious levels of decontamination to ensure contamination from Earth doesn't happen, so the risk was marginal at best. If you meant contamination from hydrazine, that's not a ...


41

I think you may be confused about the nature of the problem the skycrane is trying to solve (however I also may be confused!). The rover, being a rover, does not need to stay at the landing site. If the landing site has a lot of dust blown off it, well, they can go somewhere else where the dust has not been blown off the surface. As the other answer says ...


2

In a sense you are right, the immediate landing sites are affected, but both rovers weren't placed on Mars to just study dust. Also, both rovers were not designed to be stationary, they're mobile and they will travel far. Curiosity is far from its landing site exploring uncontaminated regions. Perseverance will do the same. Blowing away dust can also be ...


3

The Mars Pathfinder mission, which landed on Mars in 1997, used inflatable bags. The bags were inflated when Pathfinder was 355 m above the ground. Once the lander was 355 m above the ground, airbags were inflated in less than a second using three gas generators. The airbags were made of four inter-connected multi-layer vectran bags that surrounded the ...


1

Watch this is an old movie. At 2:05 - "To maintain this position in the passive part of the trajectory, its powder engines twist around the axis of the descent vehicle." 2:34 - "As soon as the gauge of overloads will inform on a meeting with atmosphere of Mars, powder engines stop lander rotation." 3:16 - "...the engine to steer the ...


3

"Trade" secrets? I recall hearing that as the reason for no images of the screens in the SpaceX spacecraft. The controls and data on the screen was considered a trade secret and so was not to be shown to the public as that might give data helpful to SpaceX competitors. I expect that there is plenty of data on the screens at a mission control ...


2

The "conical aerodynamic braking shield" was an aeroshell. The "gunpowder rockets" were small solid rockets. A set fired first to spin the vehicle up for stabilization during entry (hence the "control pitch and yaw"), and then another set fired to despin it. Reference and image: Soviet Robots in the Solar System, Huntress and ...


9

In trying to explain my feelings on this question in comments on the other answer, I came around to a possible explanation -- There could be a real PR cost to publishing raw data streams in real time. There's certainly a vocal subset of space geeks who want to see this. It would inevitably spawn hours of commentary in forums and on YouTube, folks with a wide ...


21

A long, long time ago, I managed to arrange to get two passes to see the first light from one of the Voyager flybys of Jupiter. I collected on lots of debts and pulled lots of strings to get those passes. I brought a date. She. Was. Bored. (Needless to say, that was the end of that relationship.) And that was the first light from a vehicle that whose sole ...


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