Posts with tag: ‘Mars’

Even Elon can’t get us to Mars

Mars has long been and continues to be a frustratingly elusive dream for many an aerospace engineer, wannabe astronaut, or die hard Total Recall fan alike. It’s a subject many people including myself are deeply passionate about. And despite the nearly 50 years of technological progress since the Moon landing, we are arguably still rather ill-prepared to reach the Red Planet. That’s precisely why watching Elon’s recent Mars reveal in front of the International Astronautical Congress felt like an exasperatingly tragic lost opportunity. Perhaps about as aggravating as Arnold getting blown out of an action set piece to asphyxiate in a red wasteland, albeit without the insta-terraforming plot device to conveniently save the day.

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How to Land on Mars – An Interview with JPL Engineer Steve Sell

A few weeks, NASA pulled off the impressive feat of landing a rover on Mars, the Mars Science Laboratory, as known as the Curiosity Rover. Its mission? To trundle about, collect soil, analyze rocks and discover whether or not Mars once supported life, or perhaps, still does. The MSL was by far the biggest object anyone had tried to land on the surface - so big that a whole new landing system had to be devised: the Skycrane. GrabCAD has a few contacts with NASA, and lucky for you we managed to get in contact with one of their Lead Engineers at the Jet Propulsion Lab in Southern California, Mr. Steven Sell.

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