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Посадка на Марс не будет мягкойAlready it is estimated that the flight of interplanetary automatic station to Mars will take more than six months. But even if the machine will safely reach the destination, soft" landing seems quite complicated. NASA during the next mission intends to use to mitigate landing on the Red planet aerodynamic drag in the form of a sphere.

The problem primarily in the fact that when the descent to the surface of the planet to brake in time. In the first four of the six minutes atmospheric braking probe significantly reduces the speed, but it still exceeds 1 600 kilometers per hour, whereas before landing only 100 seconds... In this step opens the parachute dropping speeds of up to 320 kilometres per hour, but the distance to the surface to this point is just 100 metres away. It is clear that in this situation there is quite a high risk of damage of the device and its contents, making mission meaningless.

Today, NASA has developed three variants of solving this problem. The first is landing on engines, as it did in 1976 the Soviet "Luna-24"; the second air bags, softening the blow of the surface; and, finally, the combination of rocket thrust and cables, which allows the Rover to descend to the surface of the red planet at the minimum speed.

But, if we are planning a trip to Mars person, then we must have a ship and the descent module is large enough to ensure that it could fit the crew and all the necessary for their existence. None of the three options above are not suitable for this. However, such tools promises to develop by 2016 company SpaceX, however, NASA believes that they will be adapted only to the near-earth space, and cannot seriously consider this development in the context of managed flights to Mars.

Output NASA sees the improvement of the system of parachutes, which are equipped with the Rovers. While witnessing a sad picture: parachutes used during the recent American mission Phoenix", is a copy of the devices used in the "Vikings", launched to Mars in the 1970s-that is, Even Curiosity, which is supposed to land on Mars in August this year, fitted with a parachute old constructions.

"We need more parachute, which could provide a descent of a greater payload" - said mark Adler, the head of the new project "Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator" ("Supersonic moderator low density"). The project will use technology, first used by the company Armadillo Aerospace for braking rockets. Tests of the device have been unsuccessful, but the principle experts NASA have adopted. On its basis they are going to develop three moderator descent module.

Two large inflatable ball with a diameter of six and seven metres, which will expand the perimeter of the transmitter (not in descent from the top rope as the Armadillo Aerospace), will increase the friction on tenuous Martian atmosphere, while the descent will be within the supersonic speed. They will slow down from the M3,5 to M2. The third moderator will become a parachute with a diameter of 33 feet. He will lower the rate to 1 760 (M2 is in the Martian atmosphere) up to 280 kilometers per hour.

For the first time for a landing on Mars will be used devices such large size. Usually, such systems are being tested in wind tunnels. However, none of these pipes in diameter reaches 33 metres, and supersonic wind tunnel with a diameter of seven to eight metres is still fiction. So now for testing use of the so-called missile carrier.

At the end of this year will take place the test 4,5-meter protective casing, intended for future engines soft landing. And in 2014 will rise command-aggregate capsules at a height of 36 kilometers - to simulate the conditions of landing in a rarefied atmosphere, with a subsequent drop in speed when additional rocket acceleration up to M4.

Project participants hope that the introduction of new technologies will allow to double the maximum permissible mass deployed on Mars devices and provide them with a relatively soft landing.
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