26 August 2015

Z is for Zero-X

Zero-X is the first manned spacecraft to land on Mars. It uses two separate lifting bodies as wings whilst in the Earth's atmosphere, allowing the craft to take off and land from a runway like a conventional aircraft. One in the upper atmosphere, these detach and return to Earth, as the ship heads off.

The Martian Exploration Vehicle (MEV) at the front of the craft is the ship's main control centre, which detaches on arrival at Mars, leaving the main body (and one astronaut) in orbit. The MEV then lands, using extendable caterpillar tracks to travel on the rocky surface.

The Zero-X appeared in two Gerry Anderson productions - the 1966 film Thunderbirds Are Go and the 1967 TV series Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons.

"Zero X launch" by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Zero_X_launch.jpg#/media/File:Zero_X_launch.jpg

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