Wednesday, July 10, 2013

More model solid rockets on Mars

David Portree has another article about JPL's investigations into the use of solid rocket motors for a  possible Mars Sample Return (MSR) mission: Model Rockets on Mars Redux (1998). To get samples back, they would need a Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV). One engineer, Brian Wilcox, felt a low mass, multi-stage solid rocket would be better than a heavier, more complicated liquids. Others ran with the idea. Here's one 'MiniMAV' concept they considered: Three stages, spin stabilized, low metals solid propellant. Read more about the proposed design over at his blog.

MiniMAV in launch/first stage configuration. Red = solid-propellant rocket motors. Blue = sample container. Image: NASA JPL