Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Mars Exploration News  

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

NASA Dryden Hosts Radar Tests For Next Mars Landing

This test of the radar system, to be used during the August 2012 descent and landing of the NASA Mars rover Curiosity, mounted an engineering test model of the radar system onto the nose of a helicopter. Image Credit: NASA
by Staff Writers
Pasadena CA (JPL) Jun 16, 2010
Engineers with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., are running diverse trials with a test version of the radar system that will enable NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission to put the Curiosity rover onto the Martian surface in August 2012.

One set of tests conducted over a desert lakebed at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif., in May 2010 used flights with a helicopter simulating specific descent paths anticipated for Martian sites.

During the final stage of descent, NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission will use a "sky crane" maneuver to lower Curiosity on a bridle from the mission's rocket-powered descent stage. The descent stage will carry Curiosity's flight radar.

The testing at Dryden included lowering a rover mockup on a tether from the helicopter to assess how the sky crane maneuver will affect the radar's descent-speed determinations by the radar. The helicopter carried the test radar on a special nose-mounted gimbal.

Helicopter-flown testing has also been conducted at other desert locations for experience in an assortment of terrains. Later in 2010, the team plans to test the higher-altitude, higher-velocity part of Curiosity's radar-aided descent by flying the test radar on dives by an F/A-18 jet from Dryden.

Share This Article With Planet Earth DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook

Related Links
More information about the Mars Science Laboratory radar testing at Dryden
Mars News and Information at
Lunar Dreams and more

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Radar system tested for Mars rover landing
Pasadena, Calif. (UPI) Jun 11, 2010
The U.S. space agency says it is testing a version of the radar system that will be used to land a new rover on Mars in August 2012. Engineers from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory conducted one test last month at the Dryden Flight Research Center near Edwards, Calif., using a helicopter to simulate specific descent paths that might used at various martian landing sites. The new ... read more

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement