Why Mars Is The Hardest Planet To Land On

Why Mars Is The Hardest Planet To Land On


Landing on Mars is easier said than done. Over the last 50 years,
spacecraft have landed on more than half a dozen
worlds including Venus, Saturn’s moon Titan, a comet, and more. But nowhere has proven more treacherous than the Red Planet,
Mars. To date, only 40% of attempted landings
have been successful. But just looking at it, Mars
seems pretty harmless, right? It doesn’t have toxic clouds like Venus and there’s plenty of flat,
stable places to land. Unlike a comet. But here’s the thing. It’s not what you can
see that’s the problem. It’s what you can’t. It’s the atmosphere. Mars’ atmosphere is 100
times thinner than Earth’s. Because Mars’ atmosphere is so thin, it makes parachutes less effective. 10 times less effective, in fact. So let’s say you can skydive on Mars. And let’s use the
same-sized parachute as one you would use on Earth. On Earth, skydivers’ chutes slow them down to about 20 miles per hour. But on Mars, even with a parachute, you would still be falling
at 200 miles per hour. Which, obviously is not good. Now you could make your parachute larger and slow down even more and
that’s partly what NASA does. For example, its Curiosity
rover used the largest supersonic parachute at the
time when it landed in 2012. But even that couldn’t
slow Curiosity down enough. To see why let’s go back to the skydive. If you wanted to slow down at
the same landing speed on Mars as on Earth, you would need a parachute that’s 10 times wider. Or about 110 feet in diameter. Wide enough to cover the length of two and half school buses. Now here’s the catch. NASA’s Curiosity rover
weighs about 13 times more than the average person. Which means to slow
down at the same speed, it would need an even bigger chute. One that is about, oh
boy, 400 feet in diameter. But in reality, Curiosity’s parachute was
nowhere near that size. It was only 70 feet in diameter. Why? Because the bigger the chute gets, the greater chance it will rip. In fact, the largest parachute
ever built and tested was just 150 feet wide. So in the end, it’s physically impossible to
build a parachute big enough. Which makes landing on Mars risky at best. So how do space agencies do it? Well, very carefully. First, the spacecraft deploys
a giant parachute to slow down as much as possible. Usually around 200 miles per hour. Then, it fires retrorockets
to take it the rest of the way and that might not sound so
hard but if the parachute doesn’t deploy at just the right time, or the rockets don’t fire
at just the right height, it’s all over. To date only three space agencies have ever tried to land on Mars. NASA, the European Space Agency, and the former Soviet Union. None have a perfect record. So if landing on Mars is so hard, why do we keep doing
it in the first place? Besides the moon, Mars has
more artificial instruments on and around it than anywhere
else in our solar system. And you could say that’s
because Mars is close by or that it might be the best
spot to search for signs of alien life. Or it could be that with
each successful new landing, we come one step closer to
the grandest ambition of all. To become the first species ever to inhabit a world beyond our own.

100 thoughts on “Why Mars Is The Hardest Planet To Land On

  1. Meanwhile in an alternate universe…

    Year: 1832

    Galileo: I may not know anything about Jupiter but it looks solid!

    Wooden door on wooden rocket: POP

    Astronaut: lets go who-

    Galileo: Hello? HELLO????? ASTRONAUT RESPOND!!!!!!

  2. Sorry to break it out to you but ISRO(India Space Research Organisation) has also landed on Mars and has a perfect record, landed in the first time.

  3. Strange that they find it so difficult to land craft on Mars these days (with many failures) yet NASA allegedly accomplished it twice in a row with no problems with the Viking missions in 1975 with basic computing technology. The Viking missions were very likely faked, and it's possible that the recent missions were not filmed on Mars, but on Devon Island, Canada. See https://www.richplanet.net/richp_genre.php?ref=192&part=1&gen=5

  4. Literally any of the outer planets are harder to land on than Mars. Actually those are impossible to land on.

  5. how do you people live with yourselves? Saying "1ST SPECIES TO GO HERE OR DO THAT "? SUCH ARROGANCE! No wonder we are in the mess we are in. With the individuals running this thing we call "HISTORY", AND BELCHING LIES AS IF THESE NON-TRUTHS WERE GOSPEL FACT. HEAVEN FORBID THE REAL TRUTH WERE TO BE KNOWN. I think I'LL DIG A HUGE DEEP CAVERNOUS SYSTEM AND WAIT FOR THE NEXT ASTEROID OR WHAT-NOT TO DO IT'S THING AND be the "1st species to survive a life/species ending catastrophic EVENT .

  6. Proof of complex biological life on Mars—both past and present—HAS already been obtained by NASA. In fact, books full of photos of complex biological life, past and present, on Mars–straight from NASA–will soon be released! Entitled "Solar Apocalypse," the series is going to unmask NASA's cover-up and shake the world. Now, though, as in today, you may see some real creatures and real fossils—all large and biologically complex—in videos that Tim Cohen began to post in September 2018; these are just a minute fraction of what is coming. Blatantly lying to the public and maintaining a blanket of silence for several decades, NASA and others have been engaged behind the scenes in an active cover-up. This will soon be undone: see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ROWhPrRB_Y and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3KA2MF8K2E on YouTube. For the "Solar Apocalypse" series itself, see http://www.prophecyhouse.com/#SASet at Prophecy House.

  7. R.I.P Opportunity
    'My battery is low, and its getting dark'
    The words that will be remembered.. You will be in our hearts
    2003-2019

  8. You're an idiot. ONE REASON that there've been so many failures on Mas is because we've sent FAR MORE missions to Mars, and you fail to point out that the average success rate has greatly increased as we've gained expertise. Btw, VENUS is much harder due to the incredible heat and immense atmospheric pressure which also contains high amounts of sulfuric acid..

    An once manned missions are sent to Mars, they will NOT rely on parachutes, which is your main sticking point and therefore meaningless, smfh. Seriously the title of this ridiculous video is simply CLICK BAIT and you offer ZERO new information nor insight.

  9. Sounds like fat helicopter blades would work. The wide blades would gain speed plummeting through the thin atmospere. Then the blades could do a dead engine manuver. And the blades would tilt and pull the rover up. Just like the heicopter pilots practice all the time. Then, if neccessary retro rockets could fire up.

  10. It's harder I agreed but at Jupiter it's impossible 😂 there is no way(simple as that we never can't land)

  11. Mars is the hardest planet to land on???? Bahahahaha ok try to land on our 4 gas giants. Exactly, you can't. GAS giants

  12. The Soviets had a parachute system for heavy drops that used little rockets to slow down the load before impact. I'm sure the Russian Airborne has continued using that and probably improved it greatly. I find it hard to believe that all the folks working this problem didn't immediately opt for a similar solution in such thin atmosphere.

  13. 1950 : "Landing on the moon is the greatest ambition of humanity"

    1970 : "Landing on mars is the greatest ambition of humanity"

    2020 : Tries For the 255 Time To Land On Mars

  14. "we'll become the first species ever to inhabit a world beyond our own"
    this guy has explored all galaxies through all time, impressive.

  15. Mars is the hardest planet to land on? That's a very narrow-minded statement since the universe has many planets.

  16. they keep trying bc there idiots n like wasting money on things we don't need instead of things we need like feeding ppl!!

  17. I don’t understand. Mars is small, so the gravitational pull is not that hard, but why landing is still difficult? What’s with the thin atmosphere.

  18. Indian space mission ISRO to Mars also was successful in the first attempt in the year 2014 . This point is missing in your video.

  19. So the first human's that make it to Mars will most likely die there making them the first humans to die on Mars man 'o' man how cool is that. lol

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