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This book provides a concise but broad overview of the engineering, science and flight history of planetary landers and atmospheric entry probes designed to explore the atmospheres and surfaces of other planets. It covers engineering aspects specific to such vehicles which are not usually treated in traditional spacecraft engineering texts. Examples are drawn from over thirty different lander and entry probe designs that have been used for lunar and planetary missions since the early 1960s. The authors provide detailed illustrations of many vehicle designs from different international space programs, and give basic information on their missions and payloads, irrespective of the mission's success or failure. Several missions are discussed in more detail to demonstrate the broad range of the challenges involved and the solutions implemented. This will form an important reference for professionals, academic researchers and graduate students involved in planetary science, aerospace engineering and space mission development.
Dr Andrew Ball is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Planetary and Space Sciences Research Institute at the Open University in Milton Keynes, UK. He works on planetary exploration, participating in a number of missions including Rosetta, Huygens and ExoMars. He is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and the British Interplanetary Society. James Garry is a Postdoctoral Research Scientist at the Leiden Institute of Chemistry, Leiden University, The Netherlands, and a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. He has worked on ESA planetary missions for over ten years and has illustrated several space-related books. Ralph Lorenz is an Assistant Research Scientist at the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, USA. He is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and the British Interplanetary Society. He has 15 years of experience in NASA and ESA spaceflight projects and has authored several space books. Viktor Kerzhanovich is a Principal Member of Technical Staff of the Mobility and Robotic Systems Section of the Autonomous Systems Division, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, USA. He was a participant of all Soviet planetary Venus and Mars entry probes.