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Assessment of the Mars Science Laboratory Entry, Descent, and Landing SimulationOn August 5, 2012, the Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, successfully landed inside Gale Crater. This landing was only the seventh successful landing and fourth rover to be delivered to Mars. Weighing nearly one metric ton, Curiosity is the largest and most complex rover ever sent to investigate another planet. Safely landing such a large payload required an innovative Entry, Descent, and Landing system, which included the first guided entry at Mars, the largest supersonic parachute ever flown at Mars, and a novel and untested Sky Crane landing system. A complete, end-to-end, six degree-of-freedom, multi-body computer simulation of the Mars Science Laboratory Entry, Descent, and Landing sequence was developed at the NASA Langley Research Center. In-flight data gathered during the successful landing is compared to pre-flight statistical distributions, predicted by the simulation. These comparisons provide insight into both the accuracy of the simulation and the overall performance of the vehicle.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Langley Research Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
Way, David W.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Davis, J. L.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Shidner, Jeremy D.
(Analytical Mechanics Associates, Inc. Hampton, VA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 27, 2013
Publication Date
February 10, 2013
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Science And Exploration
Report/Patent Number
AAS 13-420
Meeting Information
Meeting: 23rd AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting
Location: Kauai, HI
Country: United States
Start Date: February 10, 2013
End Date: February 14, 2013
Sponsors: American Inst. of Aeronautics and Astronautics, American Astronomical Society
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 892840.01.07.15
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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