Question Earth probes

T.Neo

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This is a sort of spinoff from the Man on Earth thread, which me and Linguofreak are turning into an addon.

Basically, the Lunatics want to know a little bit more about their parent planet before they visit it themselves.

So, they send unmanned probes.

So, if you were to design a probe to land on Earth from the Moon with 60's/70's technology, what experiments would you include? What would the power source be? What would the craft look like? How would it EDL?
Where would you target it?

Comments and answers welcome!
 

Urwumpe

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I would first send a orbiter. Telescope observations already revealed many details which could be important to know, but about 80m resolution would mean landing is still unsure. Also there would be the theory of oceans covering most of this planet, which would have to be tested first. Using 60s tech, I would let it loop in such a way, that it establishes it's final observation orbit in a way, that it can be seen almost all the time from the moon at least during the first days of observations. topography would also be interesting as the atmosphere makes it hard to get accurate observations.

This program could then be repeated with a reentry probe.
 

astrosammy

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I would say a ballon with some Experiments would be a great idea. Or a rover, I think they would work long, there's enough wind to blow dust on the solar panels away. Maybe also a impactor to find out if there are materials that can be used for fuel production. Maybe an Earth orbiter to make detailed surface maps to choose landing sites. Landing sites would be best in non-desert areas near to the equator.

BTW, why call them lunatics?
A lunatic (colloquially: "looney" or "loon") is a commonly used term for a person who is mentally ill, dangerous, foolish or unpredictable: a condition once called lunacy.
 

Woo482

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I would send some kind of Rover powered with a RTG and Solar Panels that can drill to test for Materials in the Soil
 

Linguofreak

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BTW, why call them lunatics?

It's a joke. "Lunians" just sounds too clunky, and "Lunatics" sounds better, contains the same "Luna" root, and carries a connotation of insanity, which, given the mission being attempted (landing someone on Earth and returning to the moon, with all the technical problems involved), is funny. Someone mentioned it on the "Man on the Earth" thread and it caught on.
 

Missioncmdr

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Maybe an orbiter/lander combination like Viking. The moon is pretty close to Earth, so I would thing that checking atmospheric pressure should be easy.
 

penlu

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Landing something on Earth would be pretty difficult. There is too much life everywhere! If your rover landed in a bush, you would be in big trouble.

And who said the rover had to be solar powered? There is oxygen in abundance at Earth. That stuff could be used for... stuff.

A balloon could actually even control its position in our thick atmosphere with solar panels and a little electric fan. That would be great!

Impactors, drilling rigs, stuff in general too. But what if an impactor hits a rock or something? Or gets snagged in a bush? I think balloons would be best for preliminary exploration.

Heating could be accomplished with a hydrogen burner or a plain old solar heater. Altitude could then be controlled. The balloon could use ambient air to fill itself and have a helium balloon at the top to keep altitude more stable. If the balloon had a fastening device, the payload could land, attach the balloon to a bush, do its stuff, and get back in the air.

If a floating object could be placed in the jet stream, you would get quite a flow of information.

Maybe a rover could be used in Antarctica. But the Lunatics would get a bad impression of our planet then.

Experiments could include the Viking life experiments, for example, and some spectrometers, etc.
 
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