They came seventy strong, in the largest ships ever flown across the interplanetary void. Ten of the 3,700 metric ton vehicles arrived in the vicinity of Mars, dropping into orbit before releasing a massive glider, a “landing boat,” to the south polar cap. Skids on the glider secured a smooth landing on the ice, the only sure site for a safe touchdown. From the pole, expedition members set out in pressurized rovers and supply trailers toward the equator in search of a good landing site. Once an area was chosen, engineers set up camp. They carved a landing strip into the Martian plains, enabling two other landing boats to touch down using wheeled landing gear. While 20 crewmembers remained in orbit, the first fifty “Martians” explored the webbed world. The rest is history.
KeywordsAres Versus Artificial Gravity Lunar Mission Lunar Rover Commercial Space
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