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Re: Idea about an P4A (Moon relay station)

        A common mistake is that Pathfinder landed using only air bags.
Having worked on Pathfinder, there was system to land on Mars, made up of
multipule components, each had to work. Pathfinder had four components to
the landing system. The first was the heat shield, which, through
aerodynamic drag slowed Pathfinder from ~ 25,000 fps to about 1500 fps.
Second there was a disk - gap band parachute, slowing it down from 1500 fps
to about 150 fps. Third were the RAD or rocket assist Decelerator, which
slowed it from 150 fps to 0 fps. The last part was the inflatable airbags.
They took care of the release height of the RADs and any slight
miscalaculation of the RAD firing. They were good for around 40fps to 0. 
        Overall, weight wise it is not an efficient system. But it was
effective, and simple. The air bags got most of the glory (better PR) but
without the heat shield, parachute and retros the air bags are useless. If
you look at the weight balance, ie total weight at Mars entry and the final
science package on the surface, kind of like driving a 3/4 ton pickup to
deliever an egg.


At 11:58 PM 6/30/02 +0200, you wrote:
>this weekend I was at the HAM RADIO... 

>What about making some kind of "skippy bal", like with the path-finder on 
>Mars. The "skippy-bal"will bounce on the moon with the P4 station protected 
>at the inside. When it stoppped bouncing, the "skippy-bal" can be defloated 
>and the P4 station is stable on the moon surface.
>73 de PE1RAH, William.
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