Wilson's idea

Avatar Author: Radical Yellow Duck Ok, I'm back. One heart attack, a triple CABG (Coronary Artery Bypass Graft, pronounced cabbage) and two sessions of beating my computer into submission. I am back. I'm old. Real old. I'm so old I remember when dial... Read Bio

So the problem is Mars has the wrong amount of atmosphere.

We’ve been able to land there before, she replied.

Nothing this heavy.

We could use thrusters like on the moon.

It would take too much fuel, he said.

Why not airbags, she inquired.

Above a metric ton they won’t work. Besides you will hit with between 10 and 20 g’s. Ok for robots but people break easier.


Not enough atmosphere. To slow you down enough it would have to be about 100 meters across. And there is no way to get something that large to open safely at supersonic speeds. You would be on the ground before it fully inflated. You can use aerobraking down to about mach 5. From there you have 90 seconds to get sub sonic or crash.

You’re telling me we’re screwed.

No, I’m saying that if we don’t figure out a way to get humans to the surface, it just isn’t worth the trip.

Wilson coughed. I have a thought. What if we…

There are times I wonder about Wilson, and other times I’m sure. And this time he sure got it right.

View this story's details

Comments (1 so far!)

  1. Ahfl_icon THX 0477

    A bit disjointed, but I think you meant it to be, so it still works. Makes me feel like I’m in the brainstorming session semi-paying attention, as I often do in meetings.

Inspired by

10 9 8 Ignition Sequence Start. The turbo pumps came to life. He could feel the rocket move. Vibrations, squeals and rumbles from below. 6 5 ...

Wilson by Radical Yellow Duck

This story's tags are