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Space Shuttle 750 psi Helium Regulator Application on Mars Science Laboratory PropulsionThe Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) is NASA's next major mission to Mars, to be launched in September 2009. It is a nuclear powered rover designed for a long duration mission, with an extensive suite of science instruments. The descent and landing uses a unique 'skycrane' concept, where a rocket-powered descent stage decelerates the vehicle, hovers over the ground, lowers the rover to the ground on a bridle, then flies a safe distance away for disposal. This descent stage uses a regulated hydrazine propulsion system. Performance requirements for the pressure regulator were very demanding, with a wide range of flow rates and tight regulated pressure band. These indicated that a piloted regulator would be needed, which are notoriously complex, and time available for development was short. Coincidentally, it was found that the helium regulator used in the Space Shuttle Orbiter main propulsion system came very close to meeting MSL requirements. However, the type was out of production, and fabricating new units would incur long lead times and technical risk. Therefore, the Space Shuttle program graciously furnished three units for use by MSL. Minor modifications were made, and the units were carefully tuned to MSL requirements. Some of the personnel involved had built and tested the original shuttle units. Delta qualification for MSL application was successfully conducted on one of the units. A pyrovalve slam start and shock test was conducted. Dynamic performance analyses for the new application were conducted, using sophisticated tools developed for Shuttle. Because the MSL regulator is a refurbished Shuttle flight regulator, it will be the only part of MSL which has physically already been in space.
Document ID
20150011948
Document Type
Conference Paper
External Source(s)
Authors
Mizukami, Masashi (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Yankura, George (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Rust, Thomas (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Anderson, John R. (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Dien, Anthony (Vacco Industries South El Monte, CA, United States)
Garda, Hoshang (Vacco Industries South El Monte, CA, United States)
Bezer, Mary Ann (United Space Alliance Cape Canaveral, FL, United States)
Johnson, David (United Space Alliance Cape Canaveral, FL, United States)
Arndt, Scott (Indyne, Inc. Reston, VA, United States)
Date Acquired
July 1, 2015
Publication Date
August 3, 2009
Subject Category
Spacecraft Design, Testing and Performance
Ground Support Systems and Facilities (Space)
Meeting Information
AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference(Denver, CO)
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other