Mars Launch Window 2011

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bipedalhumanoid
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Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 1:55 pm

Mars Launch Window 2011

Post by bipedalhumanoid » Sat Oct 09, 2010 9:25 am

Once every 2.2 years there is a launch window allowing for a minimum energy transport to Mars. Since 1996, each of these windows have been utilised, with the exception of 2009.

2011-2012 are looking like a big years for Mars exploration thanks to this window. Projects I am aware of include the following:

NASA's MSL Curiosity - A very large and advanced rover. Unlike its predecessors, it will be run off a radionuclide thermal generator rather than solar power.

Russias Phobos-Grunt - A sample return mission to Phobos. This one puzzles me a tad given that Phobos is a captured asteroid, but I'm sure the scientists know better than me!

Chinese Yinguo-1 - If this goes ahead it will piggy back on the Phobos-Grunt mission. It's mission is to study Mars's Magnetosphere and Ionosphere. I didn't think Mars had a Magnetosphere! I guess it just has a very weak one.

Canadian Northern Light - If not delayed to 2013 due to funding concerns, will include seismic depth imaging, a rock corer and microscope, and ground penetrating radar.

Finnish MetNet - Meteorology mission that will either be piggybacked to Phobos-Grunt or launched privately. This will be a simple, stationary meteorology station. All going well, dozens more of these will be sent over the coming decade.

Don't let the newspapers fool you. We live in awesome times!
"The fact of your own existence is the most astonishing fact you will ever have to face. Don’t you ever get used to it." - Richard Dawkins... being shrill and offensive again I suppose.
aZerogodist
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Re: Mars Launch Window 2011

Post by aZerogodist » Sat Oct 09, 2010 10:59 am

From wiki:
Phobos might contain a substantial reservoir of ice.
Phobos has also been proposed as an early target for a manned mission to Mars because a landing on Phobos would be considerably less difficult and expensive than a landing on the surface of Mars itself....a lander intended for Phobos could be based on equipment designed for lunar and asteroid landings.
Let's hope The Great Galactic Ghoul doesn't get them:
And the gruesome great
galactic ghoul
does very little
but slobber and drool
as it shuffles about
on the edge of Mars
and anyone flying
in from the stars
should beware the ghoul
link-poem
Phobos-Grunt
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