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From Duna's Western Canyon

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The plan, Similar to 'The Martian' was to land at the ascent vehicle which was previous landed autonomously. The Ascent vehicle came down well short of it's planned landing site due to 'operator error' (me)... It is in a high mountainous area, but did land safely (to my great surprise).


The team (Jeb and Bob Kerman) were to land, deploy their rover and drive to the Ascent Vehicle which would be 'near by', which I was hoping would be a couple kilometers.

I then set them up for the same approach I used to land the Ascent Vehicle, completely forgetting they had MUCH less mass and would decelerate much faster in the Duna atmosphere. They came down about 100 miles away, on the opposite side of an enormous canyon (shown below)


They are at an elevation of about 10500 feet above the canyon floor. The Ascent vehicle is located beyond the high point in the range on the opposite side and is at an elevation of about 15,000 feet.


It was quite a crazy drive, but they made it and have already launched and rejoined the crew in orbit. 

The long drive netted me a huge amount of science, so although it was not the plan, 32 experiments from 3 biomes... Well worth six hours of rover time to drive 159km of parts of Duna I'd never seen before.   The mission was planned to have a big rover excursion, but this exceeded the plan by quite a lot.  And now I've seen a large swath of Duna, up close and very personal... And know a few places where future missions can land, and where they can not.

Edited by Kurtvw

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