Ye Olde Rocket Forum

Go Back   Ye Olde Rocket Forum > The Golden Age of Model Rocketry > Model Rocket History
User Name
Auctions Register FAQ Members List Calendar Today's Posts Search Mark Forums Read

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 05-31-2019, 11:31 PM
georgegassaway's Avatar
georgegassaway georgegassaway is offline
Contest, Sport, it's all good......
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Homewood, AL
Posts: 431
Default Mars Lander - Crew egress and crew location?

So, as I've been working up a few decal extras for my Mars Lander Quadcopter, I've been wondering where the theoretical crew would have been for flight, and where the hatch might be.

If it was supposed to be a HUGE vehicle, then perhaps the nose cone is like a Command Module, where the crew would be inside of that.

Or if it was smaller, more like a Lunar Module but a bit bigger, then the crew would have been inside some part of the Ascent Stage, say perhaps the upper 30-40% of the Ascent Stage shroud (the uppermost segment of the shroud, not including nose cone).

Based on technology of today..... crewed landers do NOT need windows. At least not for piloting purposes for landing. Powered Landings can be 100% automatic (The LM HAD that option but none of the Astronauts allowed it to happen), or semi-piloted (automated with human input to adjust where it lands, more like what Apollo Lunar landings were like. They were not directly hand-flown like a helicopter). But even for semi-piloting, the people doing it could be looking at computer screens displaying video from cameras of the view, plus lots of data, much like a computer simulation, not windows (windows = risk and extra mass). So, I'm not inclined to give it windows for landing, though a lot of that is for example Lunar Module type windows might ruin the stylistic effect of the Mars Lander (Never mind the four arms and electric motors and props, but the markings, color, and details on the surface of the Mars Lander itself).

In the end, maybe I don't do anything decal-wise to address a hatch or where the crew might be for landing. Certainly not going to add a ladder (Even SpaceX is talking about a winch and cable system if they get humans to Mars, not ladders).

Some of the things in the sheet below are things I added but may not use. Cleaned up some things, like the US Flag that was a bit fuzzy in the scan I had. There are some multiples for spares. I changed the "4" to "5" to represent the 5 decades of the kit's existence (not counting calendar decades, but 5 decades as in 50 years) . Later moved the NASA logo and made it to the height of the "5" so that in some ways it looks like 50.

Crash-damaged Ascent shroud, after adding a NASA logo under the 5.
Contest flying, Sport flying, it's all good.....
NAR# 18723
Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2019, 06:19 AM
ghrocketman's Avatar
ghrocketman ghrocketman is offline
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 9,414

George- the decals directly below your NASA Logo on the damaged ascent stage are windows.
It would be "huge" as you say.

I still think "real" pilots would demand windows...just for possibility of camera failure.
They still wouldn't accept "fully automated" landing either....nor should they.... automation should be seen as an aid.

Instead of "Beware of Blast", I'd change that to "IT'S A BLAST !"
When in doubt, WHACK the GAS and DITCH the brake !!!
No Harm=NO Foul advocate

If you are NOT FLYING LOW in the left lane, you need to GET THE #$&@ OUT of it !

Yes, there is such a thing as NORMAL
, if you have to ask, you probably aren't
Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2019, 10:45 AM
georgegassaway's Avatar
georgegassaway georgegassaway is offline
Contest, Sport, it's all good......
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Homewood, AL
Posts: 431

Those four sets of two black circles, I'm pretty sure represent RCS thrusters. Such as in this view of the Apollo Command Module (along the base)

After sleeping on it, I'm thinking the crew cabin (or Command Module) is the blunter conical section, with the horizontal "UNITED STATES" lettering on it (which the Apollo CM had on its Boost Protective Cover). I'm not implying that a "real" Mars Lander would necessarily have a command module that would separate, just that's where I think the crew would be. In area "A" in the image below (sorry I do not recall the original source of this great photo/model, which I modified)

The only way to justify the "Command Module" being the BT-60 nose cone ("B" above), would be if the entire Ascent Stage was intended to fly all the way back to Earth, but that would make no sense to not rendezvous with a mother ship for the flight home. And of course this is the Mars LANDER, analogous to Lunar Lander, not Mars Voyager.

As for the "Beware of Blast" text that I added above the squashed checkerboard decals, that's a nod to an OLD generic decal set Estes used to have. Also used on some aircraft (and aircraft carriers), and the X-15. And when THIS model is flying on quad power, ya better "beware of blast" (and props) if you're THAT close to read it!

Regarding windows for landing, they needed that back in the day. And "Astronaut power" indeed caused Mercury to have a window (for orbital flights) even when it wasn't really needed (there was a periscope). These days, rockets like the SpaceX Falcon-9 land themselves with accuracy of a few feet. The landing spot for Mars Missions would be checked out by satellites long in advance, for a landing area that is smooth enough (Heck, I'd not be surprised if the first crewed landing area on Mars was one that a rover drove thru).

But as I referred to earlier, the crew could look at video monitors to check out the projected landing spot, and if they wanted to avoid some spot and "fly" to a different area nearby, they'd move the cursor and click on where they wanted it to land. No need to be head-up looking out a window. If they could not trust the flight controller to land them accurately, and could not rely on triple-redundant camera systems, they could not rely on anything to survive the trip anyway. Yes, I do realize the Mars Lander was designed 50 years ago, not today's tech. But given that it doesn't show any windows for landing, that could be a viable explanation (uncrewed vehicles were landing themselves before Apollo made it to the moon, and after, like Viking on Mars in 1976. And TV cameras pretty reliable if you kept Alan Bean away from them. ).

BTW - some modern proposals for Supersonic jets to fly passengers, solve the pointy nose and high angle of attack limited view for pilots to see forward for takeoff and landing, with a video camera system. The pilots would never see the runway directly in front of them on landing, they'd look at a TV screen/monitor. As opposed to the "droop snoot" nose that Concorde and Concordsky had.
Contest flying, Sport flying, it's all good.....
NAR# 18723

Last edited by georgegassaway : 06-01-2019 at 11:00 AM.
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:27 PM.

Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Ye Olde Rocket Shoppe 1998-2019