DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Mars spacecraft design, computer artwork. This is the cargo ship and glider designed by the German-US rocket engineer Wernher von Braun (1912- 1977), as part of his proposal for a manned mission to Mars. These proposals were published in 1952, and are still considered valid today. Three cargo ships and seven passenger ships would be assembled in Earth orbit. After a 260-day voyage, 50 people from the mission crew of 70 would use the three cargo ship gliders (wingspan: 153 metres) to land on the surface for 400 days of exploration. The central section of each glider would be used as a rocket to ascend to the seven passenger ships in Mars orbit, to be used for the journey home. The proposal was published in a set of articles, books (Across the Space Frontier, 1953; The Mars Project, 1963), and television programs.
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