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# Flying on Mars

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posted on Apr, 28 2007 @ 02:01 AM

I do NOT yet have the TOPOGRAPHY for Mars, but I DO have everything else, and I have gotten it all entered into X-Plane and designed two planes to fly on Mars as well, and have been experimenting with deign and flight on Mars for the last 6 hours or so. (Could I be the first human to fly a real-time flight simulaton of Mars? I have seen many "movies" of "flying" over Mars terrain, but NONE have been hooked to an actual realistic FLIGHT MODEL... has NASA done a REAL-TIME simulation of Mars flight in a PILOTED aircraft? Has ANYONE?) Well, I have for the last 6 hours, AND IT IS FRIGGIN FASCINATING.

An interesting, but old, discussion about the physics and implications of flying on Mars.

Full of insights.

x-plane.com...

Wonder how accurate his model is?

posted on Apr, 28 2007 @ 07:07 AM
The surface pressure on Mars is only about 0.7% of the average surface pressure at sea level on Earth.
The pressure varies with the season, ranging from 6 to 10 millibars (1 millibar is approximately one one-thousandth of the air pressure at the surface of Earth) Standard sea-level pressure on Earth, by definition, equals 1 atmosphere (atm), or 29.92 in. (760 mm) of mercury, 14.70 lbs per square in. This gives a pressure of 1.029 lbs per square inch on Mars.

With this low pressure, any standard airfoil wing that is typically found on an Earth based plane, would not generate enough lift for flight. Even with the reduced gravity of Mars, being about 1/3 that of Earth, you would still need to generate enough lift for flight to occur. Wing span to weight ratio would have to be significantly greater. You would need very large wings and an extremely light plane. Getting enough lift on Mars is like trying to catch smoke with your hands.

The rocket powered plane he designed has such a poor weight to lift ration that it needed to travel at Mach 1 just to get off the ground. I would characterize that as rocket vectoring and not flight. You can vector a rocket in Space where there is no atmosphere.

posted on May, 29 2007 @ 08:37 AM
Terapin is quite right. As a pilot i can tell you that you would need a runway twenty miles long and an obscenely powerful type of engine to get airborne.

The best one could manage is a prolonged glide on entry to the atmosphere.

posted on May, 29 2007 @ 08:47 AM
mars.jpl.nasa.gov...

I believe that is and will be the way to go in the very near future to get more images and data from Mars atleast. Also there was a balloon sent to venus that sent images from there for a while until it reached the sunny side and got cooked by the heat. With baloons its possible to have imaging platform relatively close to the ground for potentially many years as theres little or no energy used to keep it in the air.

posted on May, 29 2007 @ 05:42 PM
Even a balloon would need to be bigger than the Hindenberg to lift on small package of instruments.

The problem which you can't grasp is the density of atmosphere is less than 1% of that on Earth. Wings and propellers need density to push against and without it aircraft can't get lift on a runway. Balloons need to be lighter than the atmosphere they fly in and with the density on mars the balloon canopy will likely be heavier than the same volume of atmosphere.

[edit on 29-5-2007 by sy.gunson]

posted on May, 29 2007 @ 08:36 PM

Originally posted by sy.gunson
Even a balloon would need to be bigger than the Hindenberg to lift on small package of instruments.

[edit on 29-5-2007 by sy.gunson]

Well ok then, I guess NASA is wrong and you are right and the plans they are sharing with us on their pages are complete fantasy...

Im sorry but on this matter I will trust the NASA information and a balloon filled with helium for example is actually very viable possiblity if and when they manage to come up with strong light enough material to make the balloon trustworthy enough to send it or them all the way to Mars and have an aerial platform that would be actually able to fly for very long time on low altitude and with low speeds so it would be able to get perfect imaging of the surface from close range.

Maybe it would have to be as big as a Zeppelin, does it really matter? The rovers weight about 174kg (384 pounds) and thats with all the drilling and sample taking parts of the package not to mention the whole drivetrain. im pretty sure with all of that taken out as you only need imaging systems you can cut they weight down to 1/10 of the rovers running around on the surface or maybe even less, as there would be no need for massive batteries or massive solar panels for that matter. Does it really sound that impossible to have a helium balloon with a payload of around 20kg if you strip it to bare minimum? Sounds quite possible to me, considering the lower gravity of Mars (0.38g) which makes the whole package lighter to begin with.

posted on May, 30 2007 @ 12:13 AM
sorry gonjo...

It's not a personal attack on you and sorry if sounds that way.

It's just that from a practical point of view it's like postulating how you could support a boat designed to float in water to float on air.

If NASA figure they have the answer then I will eat humble pie. Yes it would be a good way to get around. I agree. I love aviation.

before they spend taxpayer's money I sure hope they test it in a low density atmosphere.

Well if they can get a dirigible as big as hindenberg up there and make it work the bravo I suppose.

posted on May, 30 2007 @ 09:17 AM
www.quest.nasa.gov...

Found this page, theres a kind of calculator on the bottom that apparently calculates the size needed for a balloon to work with hot air or with helium on Earth and Mars. Ofcourse I have no idea how accurate it might be but it would seem to me it does not have to be the size of a Zeppelin unless you plan on doing it with hot air. Helium balloon seems to be quite reasonable size to lift stuff even on Mars.

According to it with helium you need 11.5m radius balloon to float itself but adding any mass on top of that does not actually increase the radius that dramatically. If you try to make it with hot air you do indeed need a balloon with a radius of 150m just to lift the balloon itself.

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