Thursday, 26 Nov, 2009 Technology

NASA Wants to Build the First Robotic Rocket-plane for Mars Exploration

Scientists from NASA recently unveiled their idea of building a robotic-rocket plane, the mission of which would be the exploration of the red planet from the air. In order to build it, NASA has advertised its project.

The new project is called The Aerial Regional-scale Environmental Surveyor (Ares).

The spacecraft has the size of a small plane and it will be folded into a rocket to be able to reach Mars. It is worth mentioning that Ares will be world's first aircraft to fly over another planet.

The aircraft will enter the atmosphere of Mars within a capsule; then it will deploy parachutes and open up its wings and tail. The final stage would be firing the rocket motor and traveling around the red planet about a mile above its surface, reports The Daily Telegraph. The journey would take about an hour and a quarter.

Researchers say that Ares is different from the rovers used to explore Mars nowadays due to the fact that it is able to explore a larger territory and in more detail. NASA hopes to cooperate with other companies and designers to be able to bring the project to life, which is why it has issued a "team opportunity."

Posted by bart

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