Publicado: Jue, Noviembre 01, 2018
Ciencia | Por Aurelio Ontiveros

NASA Sets Record with 'Supersonic' Parachute for Mars 2020 Mission

NASA Sets Record with 'Supersonic' Parachute for Mars 2020 Mission

NASA had a staggering amount of $2.4 billion for its mission, and they got themselves the best parachute that money could buy for landing the invaluable rover swiftly to Red Planet aka the Mars' surface. NASA hopes that it can be used to slow down a spacecraft carrying the Mars 2020 rover so that the vehicle can slow in the upper atmosphere.

The third ASPIRE test took place in the early hours of September 7, when the 180-pound parachute billowed out form being a solid cylinder to full inflation in four-tenths of a second. 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 successful test indicates the parachute design is officially ready for Mars.

"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.

But forget how attractive 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. ASPIRE test in detail, showed how our parachute will behave when disclosure in a supersonic flow high above the surface of Mars.

ASPIRE_parachute
ASPIRE unfurling. Image credit NASA JPL-Caltech

"Earth's atmosphere near the surface is much denser than that near the Martian surface, by about 100 times", said Ian Clark, the technical lead handling the experiment from JPL. On Board was the payload, separated from the camera, before he returned to Earth.

'And let me tell you, it looks lovely'.

NASA tested the chute with a payload launched from a Black Brant IX sounding rocket.

'We are all about helping 2020 stick its landing 28 months from now, ' Clark said. While interviews with aerospace engineers and rocket scientists may not sound like the most scintillating podcast, it is a surprisingly captivating story, as the odds of Insight reaching the surface safely are slim, since fewer than half of Mars missions make it.

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