It's mostly rumor that wing-shaped aircraft don't fly, says Joe Berger, president of Performance Software Inc. and designer of a new wing-shaped glider. Performance Software Inc. is a computer services organization that provides software products and support for Mother Goose, a project organized to conduct research on Mars. Berger says that the next step in the project is the development of a glider model with a 21-ft wingspan. That's about one-third the size of the craft that might end up going to Mars. The design currently calls for a sensor that would help the craft determine the best location for landing. The aircraft may possibly include solar panels built into the wings for power generation. For more information, visit www.performancesoftware.com and www.jpl.nasa.gov.
With a better understanding of materials’ response to load and temperature, researchers could potentially use the knowledge to improve design. The research could even help geologists studying plate tectonics.
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