Oberth's Landing Maneuver

The situation is different, however, when wings are not to be used at all, as recommended by Oberth, who also addresses the landing problem in more detail in the second edition of his book. As described above, the first part of the landing is carried out as previously described using braking ellipses (Figure 45), without a need for wings. The subsequent landing process, however, cannot take place in gliding flight because there are no wings. Although the parachute will be inclined with respect to the direction of flight by shortening one side of the shroud, resulting in some lift (an effect similar to that of wings). The use of the propulsion system to a very extensive degree could prove necessary in order to prevent an excessively rapid descent of the vehicle. Therefore, a landing maneuver without the wings could only be achieved at the expense of a fairly significant load of propellants. This assumes that applying reaction braking within the atmosphere would be feasible at all in view of a previously stated danger (a threat due to the vehicle's own gases of combustion). All things considered, the landing according to Hohmann in a "forced circular motion" by means of wings appears, therefore, to represent the most favorable solution.

[Previous Page] [Next Page] [Table