PHYS 102 California State University Los Angeles Martian Landing Question

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QUESTION: Let’s discuss a possible vertical landing on Mars at the final stage. First the probe is in a free fall then a parachute opens and slows the descend. This happens when the probe is close to the Martian surface, where the acceleration due to Martian gravity is constant. Let’s consider, lander’s free fall phase starts from the height of 20 000 m above the surface. If we assume it freely falls for 8000 m then parachute opens 12 000 m. Neglect air resistance during free fall.

(a) What is the lander’s speed right before the parachute opens?

(b) When parachute deploys the lander immediately begins to slow. It is calculated, that it can survive hitting the surface at speeds of up to 20.0m/s. What should be the minimum constant deceleration needed during this phase.

(c) How long does it take to land from the height of 20 000 m?

Prof. Angela

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