NASA Breaks a Speed Record in This Mars Parachute Test

NASA Breaks a Speed Record in This Mars Parachute Test

NASA breaks another record when realizing new mission, land on the Red Planet in February 2021.

“Like all our prior Mars missions, we only have one Mars 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 ASPIRE tests have shown in remarkable detail how our parachute will react when it is first deployed into a supersonic flow high above Mars. And let me tell you, it looks beautiful.”

The organization conducted its final test of its new Mars parachute in September as part of its Advanced Supersonic Parachute Inflation Research Experiment (ASPIRE) project. The results are in and the parachute has been approved for the 2020 launch.

“We are all about helping 2020 stick its landing 28 months from now,” Ian Clark, the test’s technical lead from JPL, said in the statement. “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.”

“Earth’s atmosphere near the surface is much denser than that near the Martian surface, by about 100 times,” said Ian Clark, the test’s technical lead from JPL. “But high up – around 23 miles (37 kilometers) – the atmospheric density on Earth is very similar to 6 miles (10 kilometers) above Mars, which happens to be the altitude that Mars 2020 will deploy its parachute.”

This high-definition NASA image shows the final supersonic parachute test for NASA's 2020 Mars rover.
This high-definition NASA image shows the final supersonic parachute test for NASA’s 2020 Mars rover.

Source: NASA

Image credit: NASA