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Question: What's the Smallest Possible Entry Vehicle for Mars?

  1. Feb 24, 2012 #1
    Hi everyone,

    I have a question - what's the smallest unmanned entry vehicle possible for descent from Martian orbit to the surface using an aeroshield and parachute?
    What kind of mass and dimensions would be feasible for a minimal payload?
    Do you think 10cm wide is too small? How about 5cm wide?
    5 kg? 2 kg?
    How small is too small?

    What's the smallest you can go, before weird problems of slipstream turbulence and cross-winds cause too much difficulty in targeting a landing zone?
    The landing zone I was thinking of was a fairly large one - the Hellas Basin - and so I'd imagine it wouldn't be too hard to hit from a polar orbit.

    The payload merely has to be able to measure ambient temperature, atmospheric pressure and water humidity on the surface in Hellas Basin.

    Any useful feedback is appreciated.
  2. jcsd
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