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mikep

Some cool video footage....

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Leave it to NASA to blow my tax dollars sending 6 Engineers on an all expense paid vacation to play with thier toy. The MLB Bat is a RTF UAV... What exactly was the purpose of their trip???? Nice 4 wheelers too. That will add to the bill :-< Geeze!

Nice report though. Thanks for the link.

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Why did they decide to do a test with GPS? Are we going to launch GPS satellites on Mars just so they can fly their UAV? They should be working on non-gps navigation. I'm assuming they're using a standard combustion engine. How would that function in a lower-oxygen environment like mars? What about the air density of Mars? An aircraft that can fly on earth might not even fly on Mars. I once heard that if you threw a curveball on mars, it would curve the opposite way on Earth. Likely some large implication for any aircraft on Mars. Their experiments look largely like been there done that stuff that the millitary has been doing for years.

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Here is a press release from NASA:

http://amesnews.arc.nasa.gov/releases/2001...01/01_58AR.html

There is a link to some pictures of the vehicle in the body of the release.

More here: http://www.spacedaily.com/news/marsplane-02b.html

More here: http://marsairplane.larc.nasa.gov/

Good pictures from vehicle under test here: http://marsairplane.larc.nasa.gov/reliability.html

Videos here: http://marsairplane.larc.nasa.gov/multimedia.html (scroll down)

Ensignnolo

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The NASA ARES craft is a really intriguing airframe and shows much potential for research on Mars. A good friend of mine is one of the chief engineers on that project. It poses many problems, including how to dampen the wings swinging open at 720 degrees per second! Another interesting note - they had to remove the grease from the servo gears to prevent it from freezing!

Michael

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