Why It’s HARD To Land on Mars

Support MinutePhysics on Patreon!

This video is about why it’s harder to successfully land spacecraft and landers and rovers on Mars than on Earth, or Venus, or the Moon, or Titan, or asteroids. It all comes down to atmospheric density! When there’s no atmosphere, you can do a powered descent in a flimsy tinfoil spacecraft like the Lunar Module, and when there’s plenty of atmosphere you can do an unpowered descent via heat shield and parachutes like the space shuttle, Apollo command module, Soyuz, Huygens, etc. But on Mars with its thin air, you have to do both powered & unpowered descent, getting the worst of both worlds.

Thanks to Hoppy Price from JPL for fact-checking this video!

Link to Patreon Supporters:

Spreadsheet to calculate landing success rates:

NASA Low Density Supersonic Decelerator Fact Sheets:

LDSD Test Footage:

More LDSD Test Footage:

List of Missions to Mars:

List of Missions to the Moon:

List of Missions to Saturn:

List of Missions to Venus:

Curiosity Rover Landing Overview:
MinutePhysics is on twitter – @minutephysics
And facebook –
And Google+ (does anyone use this any more?) –

Minute Physics provides an energetic and entertaining view of old and new problems in physics — all in a minute!

Created by Henry Reich

Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

50 More Facts About the 50 States – mental_floss on YouTube (Ep.44)
Why are three kids less common? Is it the car seats?
The Deepest Hole in the World, And What We’ve Learned From It
Four ways to subtract numbers

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *