Saturday, October 22, 2016

Schiaparelli Lander Crashed

Awwww....shucks! I guess that Shaiaparelli spacecraft that was supposed to explore Mars crashed on landing. An orbiter supposedly shows a picture of the crash site from way up but I can't see the "white speck" they say might be the lander's parachute.

I  actually remembered to watch the landing yesterday morning but, when I checked the livestream, all I saw was what seemed to be Martian landscape much like the crash photo albeit with even less detail.


At 1:05 PM, Blogger MOLA:42 said...

Just goes to show this stuff is not easy.

Keep this in mind whenever you hear someone proclaiming they will get humans on the surface of Mars in the next 10 years.

Getting them on the surface is easy... Getting them to survive the landing? Not so much.

At 1:30 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

I'm still wondering about other aspects of a Mars landing. For instance, it's supposed to take six months to get there. How would the people involved keep their bones and muscles firm after all that time in microgravity. With little to no stress on their bodies, I would think they'd land on Mars but be unable to stand up or move around much.

I read that neat book Mission To Mars back in the '80s. The author was a NASA engineer or some such, and explained the science and theory of how they'd go to Mars. I don't recall what he might have wrote about dealing with little or no gravity for six months.

Then there's electronic pulse from ths sun which would be much stronger on Mars than Earth. That might fry all their electronics which they'd need to survive. Never mind regular radiation which might also be stronger with no appreciable atmosphere for protection.

At 3:12 PM, Blogger MOLA:42 said...

I'm one of those rare "space-nerds" who believes Mars is not the next logical step.

The reason is there is still too much to be learned and practiced before such an adventure. The only way we can accomplish this (in my view anyway) is to put a "colony" on the moon and work those bugs out through practical experience. If we can lick the moon experiment, then we would be in a far better position to lick surviving to get to Mars and surviving landing (and living) on Mars.

It's not as "sexy" as a Mars landing but it is the most practical "next step."

At 5:32 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

As far as a moon colony goes, I wonder how safe that would be with no atmosphere to protect them from meteors. We already see all the meteor craters, although those were just the big ones. I'm not sure I've ever read how many meteors hit the moon on a given day. Then again, I don't recall seeing moon dust puffing up from meteor strikes when astronauts were walking on the moon.

I just wonder how much a concern that should be? A small sized meteor strike would be catastrophic to a colony, or so I would think.

At 8:59 PM, Blogger MOLA:42 said...

Good question.

I think one needs to forget about the glass domes from the 50's Sci-Fi stories. Moon (or Mars) colonists will probably develop permanent shelter under the surface for better protection from cosmic rays (stone does a decent job of filtering out the nastier hard radiation).

As to the meteorite problem... It would be the same as for a space ship. So far as I am aware, no human space flight has been hit by a significant space rock yet. As they say, Space is really REALLY big. One could fly straight through the asteroid belt with hardly any concern for a strike (we've done that already with many unmanned missions beyond Mars already).

The likelihood of getting hit on the moon by an asteroid (I would guess) would not be too much greater than getting hit in space... Astronomical (sorry) but not impossible.

I think dealing with radiation exposure would prove the bigger technical hurdle.

At 6:47 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

And I've read objects in space are traveling pretty fast- something like 20 or 30 thousand miles per hour so they probably generate a lot of energy. I have also read, though, that when meteorites hit a spacecraft, they generally just bounce off which can be heard inside.

At 10:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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