In the present work, a feasibility study of a manned Mars entry, descent, and landing mission, performed with a lifting vehicle, is analyzed. Mars entry challenges relate to different atmosphere models; consequently, the effective landing capability of a winged configuration is discussed. An entry trajectory study in the Martian atmosphere assuming both a planar and non-planar three degree-of-freedom model is performed. Peak heat rates and time-integrated heat loads during the descent are computed verifying the entry corridor. It is shown that prescribed aerodynamic performances can be modulated explicitly by varying angle of attack and implicitly with bank-angle modulation. Finally, the resulting trajectory is discussed in terms of g-loads, total range performances, and integral heat load absorbed, in the perspective of future manned exploration missions.
Part of the book: Hypersonic Vehicles