By 2035, China promises to create a hypersonic aircraft for transportation to anywhere on Earth in one hour, and in another 10-15 years China will have a fleet of such spaceships that will deliver people to near-earth orbit. Now, Beijing scientists will use hypersonic technology to explore Mars.
The highly tenuous atmosphere of Mars complicates the use of conventional aircraft and helicopters for the atmosphere of the Red Planet. To solve the problem, Chinese scientists have proposed using hypersonic drones – compact aircraft for flights over Mars.
According to the calculations of Professor Xu Xu and his colleagues at the School of Astronautics at Beihang University in Beijing, a 500 kg fueled drone can fly over Martian terrain at five times the speed of sound for a distance of 1,000 km.
“The first hypersonic flight on Mars is not expected earlier than 30 years from now. There are a lot of technical issues to be solved, ”Xu explains. “But when humans begin to colonize Mars, there will be a need for transport that will fly long distances.”
The atmosphere of Mars is 96% carbon dioxide, which means that normal oxidation processes in liquefied fuel are impossible. There will be no combustion, as in the Earth’s atmosphere. But in carbon dioxide, some metals burn well, for example magnesium.
For the efficiency of a magnesium engine, Chinese scientists propose using two sequential combustion chambers. This will solve the problem of low thrust of such engines. At the beginning of the exploration of Mars, magnesium can be imported from Earth, and then used by local developments. There is some magnesium ore on the Red Planet, according to the researchers.