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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Future Robots May “Hop” Across Mars Universe Today
NASA’s Spirit Rover has just completed a long hard slog across difficult Martian terrain to reach the Columbia hills. The short journey of just a couple of kilometres has taken Spirit months. Imagine if it could thoroughly analyze an area and then just pick up and fly somewhere new? NASA is considering a proposal from Pioneer Astronautics, which envisions a vehicle that could land on Mars, refuel with local materials, and then fly hundreds of kilometres to explore; repeating this process over and over again – the Martian Gashopper Aircraft.
Multiple Mars UAV Proposals Likely In Next Scout Competition Aerospace Daily & Defense Report
Several competing unmanned aerial vehicle missions are likely to be proposed for flight on Mars in NASA’s next Scout competition, according to Andy Gonzales, program manager for NASA Ames Research Center’s MATADOR project. Set to begin in roughly a year, the next Mars Scout competition will select one or more missions for launch to Mars in 2011. If upcoming flight-tests of MATADOR (Mars Advanced Technology Airplane for Deployment, Operations, and Recovery) are successful, the team may propose a mission, according to Gonzales. “We’re hopeful that the [Mars] airplane’s time has finally come.”
Whirl-A-Drone Begins To Spin defensetech
“Right now, it looks a lot like a Frisbee with four wings,” the Wall Street Journal says. But, one day, this early prototype could become “an unmanned aircraft capable of hovering in the same spot for days at a time.” The craft, known as the Whirl, is being designed at the “Bike Shop” — a small, secretive development shop tucked away in a corner of Raytheon, the giant defense contractor.