DAVID DUCROS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID DUCROS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
NetLander mission to Mars. Artwork of the atmospheric entry phase of the European Space Agency's planned 2007 NetLander mission to Mars. An orbiter would have deployed four identical landers (two seen here, each around a metre across) to descend to the Martian surface. Each lander would use a heat shield, followed by deployment of a parachute, and then finally an airbag. Atmospheric entry speed would have been around 6 kilometres per second, and ground impact speed around 70 kilometres per hour. The mission was cancelled, but the similar MetNet mission is now scheduled for a 2014 launch.
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