Thursday, December 1

NASA is testing ways to land on Mars | Digital Trends Spanish

To bring machines to Mars, the POT has been deploying various landing methods which over the years have included airbagsparachutes and jetpacks.

In fact, spectacular high definition images Captured last year showed how the space agency deployed parachutes and jetpacks to bring its Perseverance rover safely to the surface of the Red Planet.

Now, the Mars team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in southern California is testing a fourth method of getting craft to the Martian surface: using a deliberate crash landing.

A video (below) released this week shows the JPL team testing their Simplified High Impact Energy Landing Device (SHIELD) lander concept, which could offer future mission planners an inexpensive way to get to Mars.

NASA Tests Ways to Crash Land on Mars

As you can see from the images, SHIELD uses a collapsible, accordion-like base to absorb the energy of a crash landing.

In the test, SHIELD was sent hurtling toward the ground from the top of a nearly 90-foot-tall (27-meter-tall) tower. To fully test the integrity of the design, SHIELD landed on a steel plate to ensure the impact would be even more difficult than what he would experience on Mars.

That accordion-like base clearly takes a heavy hit, crumpling as it slams into the plate at 110 mph (177 kph). But to the team’s delight, the components within SHIELD, which included a smartphone, remained intact.

While SHIELD may not be ideal for bringing something as large and delicate as a car-sized rover to the surface of Mars, the method could certainly be used to bring a smaller, more robust scientific apparatus to the distant planet.

As JPL continues to test and refine SHIELD, we hope it won’t be long before we hear about a mission to Mars that plans to actually deploy the device.

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