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Propulsive Maneuver Design for the 2007 Mars Phoenix Lander MissionOn May 25, 2008, the Mars Phoenix Lander (PHX) successfully landed in the northern planes of Mars in order to continue and complement NASA's "follow the water" theme as its predecessor Mars missions, such as Mars Odyssey (ODY) and Mars Exploration Rovers, have done in recent years. Instruments on the lander, through a robotic arm able to deliver soil samples to the deck, will perform in-situ and remote-sensing investigations to characterize the chemistry of materials at the local surface, subsurface, and atmosphere. Lander instruments will also identify the potential history of key indicator elements of significance to the biological potential of Mars, including potential organics within any accessible water ice. Precise trajectory control and targeting were necessary in order to achieve the accurate atmospheric entry conditions required for arriving at the desired landing site. The challenge for the trajectory control maneuver design was to meet or exceed these requirements in the presence of spacecraft limitations as well as other mission constraints. This paper describes the strategies used, including the specialized targeting specifically developed for PHX, in order to design and successfully execute the propulsive maneuvers that delivered the spacecraft to its targeted landing site while satisfying the planetary protection requirements in the presence of flight system constraints.

Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
External Source(s)
Raofi, Behzad
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Bhat, Ramachandra S.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Helfrich, Cliff
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 3, 2015
Publication Date
August 18, 2008
Subject Category
Spacecraft Propulsion And Power
Spacecraft Design, Testing And Performance
Meeting Information
Meeting: AIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference
Location: Honolulu, HI
Country: United States
Start Date: August 18, 2008
End Date: August 21, 2008
Sponsors: American Inst. of Aeronautics and Astronautics, American Astronautical Society
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