Author Topic: A Mars Launchpad for MCT  (Read 44054 times)

Offline Hanelyp

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Re: A Mars Launchpad for MCT
« Reply #180 on: 10/11/2016 04:31 AM »
... why don't we simp!y MAKE the craters?

       The task would actually be fairly simple.  Use a number of streamlined 50kg masses, three to five of them, feathered together, much like a bolo set, and eject them from the craft shortly before the deceleration burn into orbit around Mars. ...
A glitch in that plan: immediately prior to the burn to enter orbit the spacecraft should be on a hyperbolic trajectory passing over the surface, probably above atmosphere.  To get a bowl shaped crater you'd want an impact more straight down into the ground.  If the impactors are released early enough they only need a small delta-V to shift the trajectory from the clean miss to near center of disk.

B) A 100m or larger crater would typically include a melt-zone. ...

C) Even if (B) could be avoided, the landing site (by definition) wouldn't be characterised....
A melt zone, given time to cool, should be mostly flat.  Though it might have significant cracking from thermal expansion stress.  But this implies the impact well before the anticipated landing, and perhaps a surveyor satellite to photograph the results before the spacecraft needing the crater departs for Mars.