Friday, June 21, 2013

Model rockets on Mars (1998)

David portee/Beyond Apollo has an interesting article with the same name as above. In a JPL workshop held to brainstorm new ideas for JPL’s Mars Sample Return (MSR) mission, Brian Wilcox, JPL rover engineer and former model-rocketeer, proposed a 3-stage solid rocket as an alternative to the baseline liquid-propellant rocket. He argued that the 20-kilogram solid-propellant rocket would be simpler and wouldn't freeze during the cold martian nights. The idea was rejected but reportedly still modified subsequent planning.

A three stage solid rocket. What could go wrong? (Yeah, I know all solid rockets are not modrocs. But I liked the title and the article.)