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#51 2005-04-21 10:38:58

dicktice
Member
From: Nova Scotia, Canada
Registered: 2002-11-01
Posts: 1,764

Re: Dirigibles on Mars - A practical means of transport?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Mentioned in the above source:
"New Mexico is spending $9M to develop space-launching and landing facilities, as werr as related installations at the proposed Southwest Regional Spaceport in Upham, located near Las Cruces."
Cindy, how about a little local colour reportage, eh?[/color:post_uid0]

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#52 2005-04-21 11:01:42

Palomar
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From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Dirigibles on Mars - A practical means of transport?

[color=#810541:post_uid6]

Mentioned in the above source:
"New Mexico is spending $9M to develop space-launching and landing facilities, as werr as related installations at the proposed Southwest Regional Spaceport in Upham, located near Las Cruces."
Cindy, how about a little local colour reportage, eh?[/quote:post_uid6]
*My goodness.  I haven't checked this thread in a while and didn't realize my name's come up a few times, lol.  Dook's description is certainly interesting and colorful, -smile-.

Dicktice, to answer your question, here's a previous thread regarding Upham, NM and etc.  This is when I was somewhat supportive of private spaceflight.

Upham is approximately 30 miles north of Las Cruces.  As I noted in the other thread, Upham is not a town in the traditional sense of the word. 

Besides being part of the Chihuahua Desert of course, there's a narrow corridor of canyon land to the west.  Upham (and Rincon and Hatch) are situated on the high desert, which is loaded with mesquite bushes and cacti.  The land is gently hilly, with tall mountain ranges all around but in the distance (20 to 30 miles away).  So, Upham and the surrounding area is "open."

The spaceport signs are still there, of course; on both sides of the interstate highway.  And there's a small jumble of new buildings towards the northest as you're driving north.  I presume they're the beginnings of the actual spaceport.  smile

Back on topic...

--Cindy[/color:post_uid6]


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#53 2005-04-21 16:28:54

dicktice
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From: Nova Scotia, Canada
Registered: 2002-11-01
Posts: 1,764

Re: Dirigibles on Mars - A practical means of transport?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Upham: That sounds just like the town of Mohave, California, in the 1940's when I rode my surplus Harley 45 (obtained from there) through it every weekend on the way to (dry) Lake Mohave, to work towards my Private Glider License. Nothing there then except surplus WWII trucks and jeeps and motorcycle auctions, a last-chance truckstop, cottage court (motel) several bars and a 24-hour "greasy spoon" cafe. And now look what it's become: The Commercial Spaceship Capital of the World. Will Upham, New Mexico, become the Commercial Gateway to Orbital Space, I wonder? Luckily, you're there for us, Cindy![/color:post_uid0]

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#54 2005-04-22 05:05:20

Palomar
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From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Dirigibles on Mars - A practical means of transport?

[color=#810541:post_uid5]

Upham: That sounds just like the town of Mohave, California, in the 1940's when I rode my surplus Harley 45 (obtained from there) through it every weekend on the way to (dry) Lake Mohave, to work towards my Private Glider License. Nothing there then except surplus WWII trucks and jeeps and motorcycle auctions, a last-chance truckstop, cottage court (motel) several bars and a 24-hour "greasy spoon" cafe. And now look what it's become: The Commercial Spaceship Capital of the World. Will Upham, New Mexico, become the Commercial Gateway to Orbital Space, I wonder? Luckily, you're there for us, Cindy![/quote:post_uid5]
*Glad to be of assistance, Pops.  Actually Upham doesn't even have all [b:post_uid5]that[/b:post_uid5] (your comments on the town of Mohave, CA).  I'm especially wondering about the impact -- economically and otherwise -- on Hatch, which is only 5 miles (roughly) NW of Upham.  Hatch is a true tourist trap; clean little town and a real town in the traditional sense of the word.  Rincon will have to get its act cleaned up a bit (is on the run-down side).  Rincon might greatly benefit too.  Will be interesting to see how it all unfolds.

--Cindy[/color:post_uid5]


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#55 2005-04-22 11:18:08

dicktice
Member
From: Nova Scotia, Canada
Registered: 2002-11-01
Posts: 1,764

Re: Dirigibles on Mars - A practical means of transport?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Greater Upham will of course require a "bedroom" suburb (Hatch would seem to fit the bill) and industrial park (Rincon) to support its vehicle assembly hardware needs, situated some distance away to avoid the noise of flying launcher taking-offs and landings, not to mention unscheduled crew-return capsule retrieval activies.[/color:post_uid0]

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#56 2005-04-22 12:34:16

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Dirigibles on Mars - A practical means of transport?

[color=#000000:post_uid5]Greater Upham will of course require a "bedroom" suburb (Hatch would seem to fit the bill) and industrial park (Rincon) to support its vehicle assembly hardware needs, situated some distance away to avoid the noise of flying launcher taking-offs and landings, not to mention unscheduled crew-return capsule retrieval activies.[/color:post_uid5][/quote:post_uid5]
[color=#810541:post_uid5]*Hi dicktice:  I've a few more comments to make, but will do so in the other thread.

--Cindy[/color:post_uid5]


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#57 2005-07-07 13:31:49

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 15,806

Re: Dirigibles on Mars - A practical means of transport?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]While this is about an Earth Balloon maybe some of the research can be used for Mars.
[url=http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8473871/]Pentagon pushes on with near-space craft
Air Force considers spending $15 million on spy balloons[/url]

Potential problems
For the idea to work, the Air Force will have to overcome a series of potential problems.

Winds are relatively low between 65,000 and 80,000 feet, usually less than 20 miles per hour. But levels of corrosive ozone and ultraviolet radiation are much higher than at the Earth’s surface.

Another downside is that balloons take many hours to fill with helium and launch, and sometimes require hangars to steady them while they are being filled.

[/quote:post_uid0][/color:post_uid0]

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#58 2005-07-07 14:20:59

C M Edwards
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From: Lake Charles LA USA
Registered: 2002-04-29
Posts: 1,011

Re: Dirigibles on Mars - A practical means of transport?

[color=#000000:post_uid1]To my knowledge, there is no high altitude interlude of calm winds in Mars's atmosphere like the region just over the tropopause and mesopause here on earth.  So long term stationkeeping is very problematic for a large blimp on Mars. 

However, a small tethered kite blimp - not too many times larger than the unmanned advertising balloons you might see tethered above a car dealership or other store - could serve as a relay tower for radio communications.  Such systems are already in use in isolated areas, as mentioned in the article Spacenut cited.  The horizon of such an elevated relay might easily extend for a hundred miles or more, allowing direct field communications without relying on an intermittent satellite relay. 

It's conceivable that non-derigible automated airships could be used to provide cell phone service for the first missions.[/color:post_uid1]


"We go big, or we don't go."  - GCNRevenger

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#59 2005-07-07 15:16:58

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Dirigibles on Mars - A practical means of transport?

[color=#000080:post_uid9]*Okay, I'm the first to admit I don't know what materials/fabric (whatever) Martian balloons/dirigibles would be made of...but what are the chances some of the electrical discharges emanating from dust devil intradust friction might cause the balloon to burst?  Devils can reach heights of 6 to 7 km, IIRC.  And there's lots of the critters about, particularly in the late afternoons.  Apparently MGS has noted DD tracks all over the planet. 

Just curious.

--Cindy[/color:post_uid9]


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#60 2005-07-13 04:50:54

srmeaney
Member
From: 18 tiwi gdns rd, TIWI NT 0810
Registered: 2005-03-18
Posts: 976

Re: Dirigibles on Mars - A practical means of transport?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]A dirigible Baloon can be made from a very light weight Memory metal foil to protect it against otherwise permanent damage. ESD will drected across the surface of the Baloon.

That foil baloon can even be rolled up and packed away for the trip.

"Nothing to fear!" cried the Captain of the Titanic to the First Mate as they watched that Penguin steer the Iceberg towards the Ship with the Whale pushing at the back of the ice in insane desperation...[/color:post_uid0]

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#61 2005-07-13 11:08:54

dicktice
Member
From: Nova Scotia, Canada
Registered: 2002-11-01
Posts: 1,764

Re: Dirigibles on Mars - A practical means of transport?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Some time after the Titanic disaster, a sealing ship was accosted in the same waters by a floating polarbear, who had been trained to sign, by a circus trainer and later released at the behest of the Newfoundland SPCA. He signedto the ship: "Have you heard anything of the iceberg? My family was on it, you see...."[/color:post_uid0]

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#62 2005-07-13 12:38:16

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Dirigibles on Mars - A practical means of transport?

[color=#000080:post_uid5]*Out of curiosity I went back through the entire thread and scanned each post.  Dirigibles/Zeppelins aren't [b:post_uid5]hot-air balloons[/b:post_uid5]...right?  Different method of propulsion?  Not sure about the finer differences or etc.

We have lots of hot-air balloon fiestas in my state.  Of course around Mars the basket would have to be enclosed or everyone suited up. 

What about hot-air balloons on Mars?  You know, the ones which look like Yuletide ornaments, are lifted by blasts of fire, etc.

Not just for site-seeing or thrills, but for getting around.  Frankly, I think it'd be grand.  smile

--Cindy[/color:post_uid5]


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#63 2005-07-13 14:56:45

C M Edwards
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From: Lake Charles LA USA
Registered: 2002-04-29
Posts: 1,011

Re: Dirigibles on Mars - A practical means of transport?

[color=#000000:post_uid10] Dirigibles/Zeppelins aren't [b:post_uid10]hot-air balloons[/b:post_uid10]...right?  Different method of propulsion?  [/color:post_uid10][/quote:post_uid10]
[color=#000000:post_uid10]A little about the three terms:

A derigible is any steerable airship which can be driven against the wind.  A derigible can use lifting gas or hot air, and doesn't necessarily have to always have to be positively bouyant or even have engines, as long as it has some altitude it can be made to float at unpowered and can successfully fly against the wind.

Derigible is used as both an adjective and a noun.  Remember, only a derigible airship is a derigible.

Hot airships are derigibles that use hot air for bouyancy.  However, they aren't hot in terms of performance.  If you want a big ship, you want to use lifting gas instead.  Hot airships have to be humongous compared to a gas airship with the same cargo capacity.

Zeppelins are a type of derigible (but not the only type) that use gas for bouyancy and have a rigid internal framework.  Zeppelin is also a manufacturer's name.  All rigid airships of this type are "zeppelins" in the same way that all facial tissue is "kleenex", all cellophane tape is "scotch tape", or all cola is "coke".

Blimps are a type of derigible that doesn't have a rigid frame.  They're definitely not zeppelins, but if the Zeppelin company made one, it would be a Zeppelin. 

Oddly enough, although you can't have a hot air zeppelin, you can have a hot air blimp.  Although if the Zeppelin company made hot air blimps, then those would be Zeppelins, too.

There, that seems confusing enough.    cool  Isn't english wonderful?  It's so... derigible![/color:post_uid10]


"We go big, or we don't go."  - GCNRevenger

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#64 2005-07-13 17:37:43

dicktice
Member
From: Nova Scotia, Canada
Registered: 2002-11-01
Posts: 1,764

Re: Dirigibles on Mars - A practical means of transport?

Honestly, that's the most useless explaination of "dirigible" I've ever read! The spelling is incorrect, for starters, and it goes downhill from there. Zeppelin GmbH is producing rigidly skeletoned airships with envelopes filled with helium, prevented from becoming (b)limp by by balloonets of air, driven by vectored propellers attached to the sides and tail, capable of being docked by a single groundcrew, using neither disposable ballast nor vented liftgas. Wind doesn't exist as such for an aerostat, only speed of the immersed airmass (balloons) plus or minus airspeed vector (dirigibles). Unpropelled hot air or gas balloons are not dirigible, only elevation controllable aerostats dependent upon pilot skills in utilizing varying wind directions at different altitudes to navigate over the ground. Sorry to be so pedantic, but if we are to write about aerostats on Mars, let's keep a grip on the terminology. Dirigibles, yes, but only when Zeppelin GmbH gets the order will there be "Zeppelins" on Mars.

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#65 2005-07-13 18:56:46

srmeaney
Member
From: 18 tiwi gdns rd, TIWI NT 0810
Registered: 2005-03-18
Posts: 976

Re: Dirigibles on Mars - A practical means of transport?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]

What about hot-air balloons on Mars?  You know, the ones which look like Yuletide ornaments, are lifted by blasts of fire, etc.
[/quote:post_uid0]

Probably worth the once off for the adventure. Tack it to the Budget. Worthwhile as a heavy lift tool for the assembly and movement of big things. More likely to get a enclosed balloon like a blimp with helium or hydrogen.

Dont know if we want to be shipping politicians to Mars though. As useful as a bag of hot air is, it aint that useful.


Balloon Cloth: A closely woven cotton fabric vulcanized with thin sheet of rubber so as to be airtight: used for baloons and dirigibles.
This was of course replaced by Machine woven materials.

Balloon: Barrage, Kite, Captive, Sounding, Observation
Blimp: non rigid, lighter than air dirigible.
Dirigible: An airship, non rigid, rigid, semirigid[/color:post_uid0]

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#66 2005-07-14 01:09:31

Austin Stanley
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From: Texarkana, TX
Registered: 2002-03-18
Posts: 519
Website

Re: Dirigibles on Mars - A practical means of transport?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]One thing that certianly will be needed is some kind of stationary ballon to sample the weather at high altitudes and potentialy act as a long range attenna.[/color:post_uid0]


He who refuses to do arithmetic is doomed to talk nonsense.

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#67 2005-07-14 09:51:34

C M Edwards
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From: Lake Charles LA USA
Registered: 2002-04-29
Posts: 1,011

Re: Dirigibles on Mars - A practical means of transport?

[color=#000000:post_uid4]Oops!  Double Post.[/color:post_uid4]


"We go big, or we don't go."  - GCNRevenger

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#68 2005-07-14 09:54:23

C M Edwards
Member
From: Lake Charles LA USA
Registered: 2002-04-29
Posts: 1,011

Re: Dirigibles on Mars - A practical means of transport?

[color=#000000:post_uid4]Honestly, that's the most useless explaination of "dirigible" I have ever read! The spelling is incorrect, for starters...[/color:post_uid4][/quote:post_uid4]
[color=#000000:post_uid4]True.  I humbly change my "derigibles" to "dirigibles", and apologize for misplacing a letter.  Oh, the shame...  :bars3:

(Capricious little "i" !  Now that mischievous letter has even moved into your "explanation".  :bars2: What ever will we do with that letter?  :;):) 

I'll stand by the rest of my statement, though.  In fact,

Unpropelled hot air or gas balloons are not dirigible, only elevation controllable aerostats dependent upon pilot skills in utilizing varying wind directions at different altitudes to navigate over the ground.[/quote:post_uid4]

is not as all encompassing a statement as one might think.  The first dirigible ( :bars3: ) airships were Solomon Andrews' [i:post_uid4]Aereon[/i:post_uid4] and [i:post_uid4]Aereon II[/i:post_uid4], flown in the mid nineteenth century.  They flew upwind [b:post_uid4]without powerplants[/b:post_uid4] through a combination of diving and tacking against the wind.  Their dives were maneuvers to fight the wind, not utilize it.  Essentially, they were sail powered dirigibles ( :bars3: ), and not just "elevation controllable". 

Such a system could be employed on Mars, but only for high altitude flights.  The dive speed would need to be comparable to the wind speed for the airship to make any forward progress, and since wind speeds on Mars can reach hundreds of miles per hour, that's... problematic.

Only when Zeppelin GmbH gets the order will there be Zeppelins on Mars.[/quote:post_uid4]

Yes, but will there be zeppelins even if there are no Zeppelins?[/color:post_uid4]


"We go big, or we don't go."  - GCNRevenger

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#69 2005-07-14 09:59:48

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Dirigibles on Mars - A practical means of transport?

[color=#000000:post_uid2]The dive speed would need to be comparable to the wind speed for the airship to make any forward progress, and since wind speeds on Mars can reach hundreds of miles per hour, that's... problematic.[/color:post_uid2][/quote:post_uid2]
[color=#000080:post_uid2]*So we should have bumperstickers for every airship (-whew-...that seems a "safe word") which read Get In, Sit Down, Shut Up, Hold On -- ?  :laugh:

I suppose a typical hot-air balloon setup wouldn't work what with the thin atmosphere, atmospheric pressure issues and all.  Need to get that flame intense and strongly flowing.

Of course I could be wrong.  ??

--Cindy[/color:post_uid2]


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#70 2005-07-14 13:19:34

C M Edwards
Member
From: Lake Charles LA USA
Registered: 2002-04-29
Posts: 1,011

Re: Dirigibles on Mars - A practical means of transport?

[color=#000000:post_uid1]*So we should have bumperstickers for every airship (-whew-...that seems a "safe word") which read Get In, Sit Down, Shut Up, Hold On -- ?  :laugh:

--Cindy[/color:post_uid1][/quote:post_uid1]
[color=#000000:post_uid1]Hmm...

Now that you mention it, there might be a market for that here on Earth! 

cool[/color:post_uid1]


"We go big, or we don't go."  - GCNRevenger

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#71 2006-06-23 17:08:54

Superluminal
Member
From: Henderson N C
Registered: 2006-06-23
Posts: 2

Re: Dirigibles on Mars - A practical means of transport?

Hi! I'm new here.
I was discussing this here
http://uplink.space.com/showflat.php?Ca … o=0&fpart= and was referred to this thread.

That brings up the point I am trying to understand.

Just exactly how much lifting capacity would an airship have compared with a ship the size of an Earth dirigible?
Or in short

A hydrogen or Helium dirigible on Earth would lift so many kilograms. (Kilogram = 2,2 pounds I think)

How would that equate to the lifting capacity of the same sized ship on mars with one, one hundred atmosphere and .38 gravity.

Lets say we had a small dirigible that would lift 100 kilograms on Earth, How much would that exact same dirigible lift in the thin atmosphere of Mars in .38g and thin atmosphere?


[b] The Ancient Nemesis

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#72 2006-06-24 01:21:46

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,658

Re: Dirigibles on Mars - A practical means of transport?

I'm no good at calculating such stuff, but it would be much less than 100kg with the current very thinatmosphere, and you have to take into account that the Martian atmosphere is different than Earth: mainly CO2, so a heavy gas, so you could use other stuff than He or H2 as buoyant gas. O2 would be possible, for instance.


ExoMars' launcher's 2nd stage is probably en route to Mars. Unsterilised... yikes

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#73 2006-06-24 11:10:24

GCNRevenger
Member
From: Earth
Registered: 2003-10-14
Posts: 6,056

Re: Dirigibles on Mars - A practical means of transport?

Any sort of balloon on Mars would have difficulty lifting much mass; what makes any balloon rise? Gas molecules from the atmosphere under the balloon do the lifting, but the Martian atmosphere is so thin that there are few of these molecules in the first place. Also, the lifting effect arises as a function of the difference in density of the gas inside the balloon and gravity. Since gravity is weaker, I bet the lifting effect would be weaker too, at least partially negating the bennefit of lower gravity. Oh, and the temperature of the Martian atmosphere drops rapidly with altitude, which could make keeping a balloon inflated problematic, particularly during the Martian night.

Good for light weight science experiments or radio antennas, bad for anything else.


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#74 2006-06-24 12:22:08

Superluminal
Member
From: Henderson N C
Registered: 2006-06-23
Posts: 2

Re: Dirigibles on Mars - A practical means of transport?

Any sort of balloon on Mars would have difficulty lifting much mass; what makes any balloon rise? Gas molecules from the atmosphere under the balloon do the lifting, but the Martian atmosphere is so thin that there are few of these molecules in the first place. Also, the lifting effect arises as a function of the difference in density of the gas inside the balloon and gravity. Since gravity is weaker, I bet the lifting effect would be weaker too, at least partially negating the bennefit of lower gravity. Oh, and the temperature of the Martian atmosphere drops rapidly with altitude, which could make keeping a balloon inflated problematic, particularly during the Martian night.

Good for light weight science experiments or radio antennas, bad for anything else.

There you go. That's what I thought also.

I can't think of any gas that would give significant lift in the one, one hundredth mostly carbon dioxide atmosphere on Mars.

But, I'm no expert on planetary physics.

Perhaps someone in the know is and can enlighten us if there is possibly a suitable gas to fill a dirigible that would produce lift on Mars.???  If any... . . ....


[b] The Ancient Nemesis

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#75 2006-06-29 22:48:28

Marsman
Member
Registered: 2005-08-30
Posts: 146
Website

Re: Dirigibles on Mars - A practical means of transport?

Speaking of airships on Mars, here is some art from our site on that-
believe_FutureMars_Blimp.preview.jpg

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