Space Brakes(“Living of the Land” by Using a Planetary Atmosphere)
Future space explorers should consider a planet’s atmosphere as a natural resource to be exploited to allow more affordable and capable space exploration. Planetary atmospheres provide a tremendous resources for explorers who want to minimize the amount of propulsion they must carry from the home planet and, potentially, reduce interplanetary trip times. By allowing a spacecraft to have a controlled entry into the upper atmosphere of a planet, the resulting friction with that atmosphere may replace costly and heavy fuel that would otherwise be used tp slow the spacecraft as a means to decelerate and enter into orbit.
KeywordsSpace Shuttle Solar Sail Planetary Atmosphere Mars Global Surveyor Thermal Protection System
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