Social Media Sidebar

Announcement

Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

When seen through the lens of technology, few resources are truly scarce; they’re mainly inaccessible. 

 

Peter Diamandis

A boomerang-like aircraft could be the first to fly on Mars

RATE THIS! +25
Posted in Science on 3rd Jul, 2015 12:31 AM by AlexMuller

With its various rover missions, NASA has been actively exploring the surface of Mars since the '90s, but now the space agency wants to investigate the Martian skies. NASA is testing a prototype of a flying wing aircraft called Prandtl-m, which could be the first vehicle to fly on Mars. And it looks a lot like a large boomerang.

 
The Prandtl-m will be made of fiberglass or carbon fiber and has a wingspan of 24 inches when deployed, yet its prototype is lightweight at just under a pound. Since Mars has significantly less gravity than Earth, that means the Martian version of the aircraft could weigh up to 2.6 pounds and still fly efficiently.
 
The Martian atmosphere is also much thinner than here on Earth, so NASA will be conducting some high-altitude tests on the Prandtl-m to see if it's fit to fly above our planetary neighbor. Later this year, a balloon will take the aircraft up to an altitude of 100,000 feet, where the air is much thinner, to simulate what it would be like to fly in Martian airspace. Future tests will take the Prandtl-m even higher to 450,000 feet.
 
If these flights prove successful, the idea is to pack a folded-up Prandtl-m inside the spacecraft that will carry the next rover to the Red Planet in the early 2020s. Once the rover mission reaches Mars, the Prandtl-m will deploy over the planet, glide through its atmosphere for 20 miles, and then land. NASA hopes to use this flight time to scope out possible landing sites for a future human mission to Mars.

Tags: MarsspaceNASAplanetspace explorationatmosphere

Read original article » Back to category

Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2015-07-03
+1
The Prandtl-m project is very interesting and will be helpful in further explorations of the red planet with ultimate prospect of human colonies
1 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2015-07-03
+1
There is much focus on Mars and human missions but first we need to know much more - more explorations first! Reply
Reply


 

Recent headlines

  • Posted in Science on 2017-11-20 00:42:21
    Small steps forward as UN climate talks end in Bonn..read more
    Posted in Hardware on 2017-11-20 00:37:56
    US gov should support SpaceX and develop moon bases..read more
    Posted in Business on 2017-11-18 21:15:58
    Companies are realising that renewable energy is good for.....read more
    Posted in Hardware on 2017-11-18 21:07:25
    California may reach 50% renewable power goal by 2020; 10.....read more
    Posted in Hardware on 2017-11-17 18:02:34
    Tesla unveils a truck and a roadster..read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 Downloads..read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into new.....read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs,.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short Sighted..read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, but.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target mitochondria..read more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    Martian landscapes formed from sand 'levitating' on a little.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Scientists detect comets outside our solar system..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Advanced artificial limbs mapped in the brain..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Bacteria have a sense of touch..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Recurrent brain cancer: New hope with phase 1 clinical trial.....read more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Username:
Password:
Remember me
or

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Username:
Email:
Password:
Verify password:
Remember me