Reply to post: Re: Curiosity's Landing

SpaceX wows world with a ho-hum launch of a reused rocket, landing it on a tiny boring barge

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Curiosity's Landing

"A working land-by-reverse-rocket solves the problems of the Martian atmosphere nicely: its thinness is irrelevant to rocket braking, and helps with not as much heating."

You're right, but Falcon requires it's guidance/steering fins, which likely won't be much, if any, use landing on Mars in it's near vacuum atmosphere. SpaceX failed with the first fin design and had to re-design to get something which worked in Earth's think atmosphere. Landing a re-launchable rocket on Mars may require more thrusters and more fuel and therefore more mass, but into a 1/3rd G gravity well. No doubt they've already thought of this. Here's hoping the first mission is a camera ship so we can watch the rest of the missions landings "live" :-)

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