MarsNews.com
July 1st, 2015

This could be the first airplane on Mars cnet

When I think of airplanes on Mars, I imagine a sci-fi scenario with robotic winged flying machines swarming through the Martian air, gathering data like a flock of hyper-intelligent space seagulls.

The first airplane on Mars will be pretty far from this fantasy. Chances are, it will look a lot more like a kind of glider that’s already in use on Earth, according to a NASA photo released Monday.

The proposed Prandtl-m aircraft is a relatively dainty flying-wing-style plane. The prototype will be based on the existing Prandtl-d, a radio-controlled glider designed and built by aerospace engineering students during a NASA internship in 2012 and 2013.

January 23rd, 2015

Helicopter Could be ‘Scout’ for Mars Rovers NASA

Getting around on Mars is tricky business. Each NASA rover has delivered a wealth of information about the history and composition of the Red Planet, but a rover’s vision is limited by the view of onboard cameras, and images from spacecraft orbiting Mars are the only other clues to where to drive it. To have a better sense of where to go and what’s worth studying on Mars, it could be useful to have a low-flying scout.
Enter the Mars Helicopter, a proposed add-on to Mars rovers of the future that could potentially triple the distance these vehicles currently drive in a Martian day, and deliver a new level of visual information for choosing which sites to explore.
The helicopter would fly ahead of the rover almost every day, checking out various possible points of interest and helping engineers back on Earth plan the best driving route.

October 7th, 2010

Robot Airplanes Could Unlock Mars Mysteries Space.com

Various orbiters, landers and rovers that have explored Mars in the past three decades have revealed tantalizing evidence of the conditions for life, from frozen water at the planet’s North Pole to methane plumes in the atmosphere. For atmospheric scientist Joel Levine, the evidence has made the case for flying an airplane over Mars stronger than ever.
Levine champions the ARES Mars airplane mission at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. He believes that a robotic, rocket-powered airplane is the perfect platform for unraveling the Red Planet’s biggest mysteries.
Soaring at an altitude of 1.6 kilometers, an airplane could cover hundreds of kilometers, gathering visual images and remote sensing data that it transmits back to Earth.

March 25th, 2010

Joel Levine: Why we need to go back to Mars TED

At TEDxNASA, planetary scientist Joel Levine shows some intriguing — and puzzling — new discoveries about Mars: craters full of ice, traces of ancient oceans, and compelling hints at the presence, sometime in the past, of life. He makes the case for going back to Mars to find out more.

November 24th, 2009

NASA Robotic Rocket Plane To Survey Martian Surface Popular Science

NASA wants a rocket-powered UAV to fly around the Red Planet, photographing the surface. The plane, repetitively named ARES (not to be confused with NASA’s shuttle replacement, also named ARES), would fly to Mars in a regular rocket. Once it reaches the fourth rock from the Sun, it would pop out of the capsule, deploy its wings, and fire the rockets for an hour-long flight through the Martian sky. During that flight, ARES would cover about 373 miles, which is a little less than 100 times the area covered by the Spirit rover over the last five years.

November 9th, 2008

International Mars Scientists Gather in Williamsburg, Virginia NASA

NASA Langley Research Center will play host the world’s leading Mars scientists in Williamsburg next week, marking the first time that this international workshop on the Mars atmosphere has been held in the United States.
The atmosphere of Earth’s nearest planetary neighbor holds some of the keys to unlocking the secrets of Mars’ history. Was the climate ever suitable for sustaining liquid water on the Mars surface, and possibly even life? Studying the Martian atmosphere also provides a point of comparison for learning more about Earth’s meteorology, improves knowledge for future robotic and human missions and aids Langley researchers working on the nuts and bolts of Mars missions: entry, descent and landing.

November 7th, 2005

Preparations for round-the-world solar-powered flight gizmag

Humans have now spent more than a 100 years under the spell of powered flight, regularly achieving milestones previously thought impossible and developing faster, bigger, deadlier, and more efficient aircraft in which to take to the skies. The challenges show no sign of abating as the second century of aviation begins, not just in terms of sheer human endeavour, but in respect to critical questions of environmental sustainability and renewable energy. The team that accomplished the first ever non-stop round-the-world flight in a balloon back in 1999 is embarking on a new project that will take see it repeat the journey – but this time it’s in a solar-powered aircraft. Bertrand Piccard along with Andre Borschberg (an engineer and pilot and the Swiss Federal Institute for Technology (EPFL) and Brian Jones (who co-piloted on the Breitling Orbiter 3 on its record round-the-world flight) are aiming to complete a full night in the air during the first 36 hour solar-powered round-the-world flight during 2009.

September 30th, 2005

Exploring Mars with Balloons Global Aerospace Corporation

Balloons outfitted with innovative steering devices and robot probes may be the best way to perform detailed surveys of Mars in preparation for human exploration. Dr. Alexey Pankine, a project scientist at the Global Aerospace Corporation, is presenting an analysis of balloon applications for Mars exploration at the Space Technology and Applications International Forum in Albuquerque, NM on February 10, 2004. His presentation, entitled Mars Exploration with Directed Aerial Robot Explorers, is based on research funded by the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts.

August 1st, 2005

Hopping on Mars MSNBC

Imagine a rocket plane that can sail for dozens of miles over the Martian terrain, set itself down, send out a robotic explorer for a month or so, then take off for the next destination. It may sound like pure science fiction

December 9th, 2004

UA’s MAV Team Wins Top Honors in Fly-Off University of Arizona

UA’s Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) team took top honors earlier this month during the 4th International Micro Aerial Vehicle Meeting in Toulouse, France. The event included more than a dozen teams from France, Germany, Belgium, Norway, and the United States. The UA plane, a flying wing with a 6-inch wingspan, was easily the smallest surveillance plane at the competition. The radio-controlled MAV flew a triangular course that was 100 meters on a side. It also used an onboard video camera to photograph and return an image of a target placed along the course. 100 meters is about the length of a football field, including the end zones.