Mars’ native atmosphere provides a combination of conditions favorable to the use of one of the simplest and oldest flying machines, the hot air balloon. It is the authors intention to promote a Mars Society Chapter based research and development program of a Solar Montgolfiere (hot air) balloon mission. This would add prestige and a knowledge base to the Mars Society as a whole. The project would be based on a structure similar to that used by Amsat to make and launch their OSCAR series of amateur radio communications satellites and would combined COTS components and SpaceDev’s offer of a commercial probe carrier to reduce mission costs.
August 27th, 2000