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Planetary Landers and Entry Probes


  • Date Published: February 2010
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521129589

£ 42.99

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About the Authors
  • This book provides a concise but broad overview of the engineering, science and flight history of planetary landers and atmospheric entry probes designed to explore the atmospheres and surfaces of other planets. It covers engineering aspects specific to such vehicles which are not usually treated in traditional spacecraft engineering texts. Examples are drawn from over thirty different lander and entry probe designs that have been used for lunar and planetary missions since the early 1960s. The authors provide detailed illustrations of many vehicle designs from different international space programs, and give basic information on their missions and payloads, irrespective of the mission's success or failure. Several missions are discussed in more detail to demonstrate the broad range of the challenges involved and the solutions implemented. This will form an important reference for professionals, academic researchers and graduate students involved in planetary science, aerospace engineering and space mission development.

    • Covers engineering aspects specific to landers and entry probes in one volume
    • Includes drawings and basic information on every lander or probe design flown
    • Provides references to a broad range of literature and includes a detailed bibliography
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    Reviews & endorsements

    Review of the hardback: '… the book is a must for professionals, graduate and undergraduate students involved in planetary exploration, space mission design and engineering as it is (currently) a unique collection of information in the filed.' Planetary and Space Science

    Review of the hardback: 'As the preface states, this volume seeks to provide 'a concise but broad overview of the engineering, science and flight history of planetary landers and atmospheric probes'. In this, it certainly succeeds. … This nicely designed book, complete with specially commissioned line drawings, is recommended as a valuable addition to the technical literature about the challenges that face engineers and scientists who seek to explore alien worlds with automated spacecraft.' The Observatory

    Review of the hardback: '… very nicely written … an excellent addition to technical space literature.' Spaceflight

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2010
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521129589
    • length: 364 pages
    • dimensions: 244 x 170 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.58kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Engineering Issues Specific to Entry Probes, Landers or Penetrators:
    1. Mission goals and system engineering
    2. Accommodation, launch, cruise and arrival from orbit or interplanetary trajectory
    3. Entering atmospheres
    4. Descent through an atmosphere
    5. Descent to an airless body
    6. Planetary balloons, aircraft, submarines and cryobots
    7. Arrival at a surface
    8. Thermal control of landers and entry probes
    9. Power systems
    10. Communication and tracking of entry probes
    11. Radiation environment
    12. Surface activities: arms, drills, moles and mobility
    13. Structures
    14. Contamination of spacecraft and planets
    Part II. Previous Atmosphere/Surface Vehicles and Their Payloads:
    15. Destructive impact probes
    16. Atmospheric entry probes
    17. Pod landers
    18. Legged landers
    19. Payload delivery penetrators
    20. Small body surface missions
    Part III. 'Case Studies':
    21. Surveyor landers
    22. Galileo probe
    23. Huygens
    24. Mars Pathfinder and Sojourner
    25. Deep Space 2 Mars microprobes
    26. Rosetta lander Philae
    27. Mars exploration rovers: Spirit and Opportunity
    Appendix: Some key parameters for bodies in the Solar System
    List of acronyms

  • Authors

    Andrew Ball, The Open University, Milton Keynes

    James Garry, Universiteit Leiden

    Ralph Lorenz, The Johns Hopkins University

    Viktor Kerzhanovich, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

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