Direct cargo mission
This article describes a direct cargo mission.
Non reusable cargo mission
- An Ares V class rocket launches the cargo on a Hohmann Transfer trajectory to Mars using an EDS (Earth Departure Stage).
- At Mars, the lander detaches from the orbital module and enters the atmosphere. It deploys a parachute, then uses retrorockets (Not mono-propellant rockets like on previous landers, but more powerful bi-propellant rockets.) to land on the surface. A crushable section, in the place of legs, cushions the landing.
- The orbital module aerobrakes into orbit to become a communication/global positioning satellite.
- Bi-propellant retrorockets have not been tested on Mars.
- The heat-shield will have to detach first
- Large payloads have not been landed on Mars before.
This article reflects the personal position of T.Neo
Reusable cargo mission, SpaceX
- A pair of SpaceX Starships launch towards Mars on a rapid transfer orbit.
- At Mars the Starships aerobrake and uses supersonic retropropulsion to achieve a soft landing.
- The ships offload a fuel production plant and a large number of solar arrays, that refuel the ships. They also unload exploration vehicles and other cargo.
- After two years on Mars, the ships take off from Mars as SSTO vehicles and return to Earth.
- Using high velocity direct entry the ships aerobrake and return to their launch sites for re-use.
- The flight path is unproven.
- The re entry conditions may be too severe.
- In situ preparation of propellant may fail.
- The equipment may not re-start when required.
- CO2 condensation on the propellant tanks must be accounted for.
- Landing on an unprepared site may damage the engines or the ships.