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01 November 2018, 01:35 | Edward Lowe
This illustrated sequence shows the stages of Mars Insight's descent. Credit NASA JPL
According to him, the ASPIRE test in detail, showed how our parachute will behave when disclosure in a supersonic flow high above the surface of Mars.
The parachute with the cargo is dumped from the rocket for flight through the atmosphere.
The ASPIRE chute worked remarkably well-better than it will need to.
"Like all our prior Mars missions, we only have one parachute and it has to work", John McNamee, project manager of Mars 2020 at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, said in a statement. The first test flight carried nearly an exact copy of the parachute used to land NASA's Mars Science Laboratory successfully on the Red Planet in 2012.
According to NASA, the payload dove back through the atmosphere and then deployed the parachute when it reached the appropriate distance and Mach number. In addition, the rover is expected to pave the way for manned missions to Mars.
But forget how lovely it is- by far the coolest thing about this parachute is that it effectively managed to carry the test 67,000-pound (37,000-kilogram) load, the highest ever survived by a supersonic parachute.
NASA's next-generation Mars 2020 rover is based on the proven design of the Curiosity rover, but it'll be the space agency's heaviest rover, weighing 2,314 pounds (1,050 kilograms). That's about 85 percent higher drag than NASA scientists think the chute will ever have to face on Mars.
The parachute was carried aboard a Black Brant IX sounding rocket travelling at almost twice the speed of sound (343 meters per second).
New technology has successfully passed the first test.
The mission is timed for a launch in July/August 2020 when Earth and Mars are in good positions relative to each other for landing on Mars. It is made of nylon, Technora, and Kevlar fibers that will enable it to carry heavier payloads in mind and survive a drop through the atmosphere.
'I may not get to shoot rockets to the edge of space for a while, but when it comes to Mars - and when it comes to getting there and getting down there safely - there are always exciting challenges to work on around here'.
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