Things are stacking up for NASA’s Mars 2020 spacecraft

This entry was posted in Space Administration on by .

“One of our main jobs is to make sure the rover and all the hardware that is required to get the rover from here on Earth to the surface of Mars fits inside the payload fairing of an Atlas V rocket, which gives us about 15 feet [5 meters] of width to work with,” said David Gruel, assembly, test and launch operations (ATLO) manager for Mars 2020 at JPL.

The first step is to place the rocket-powered descent stage on top of the surrogate rover (the real rover is being integrated and tested in tandem with the spacecraft stack). Then, when all the holes line up and everything is attached, checked and re-checked again, the back shell is lowered over them via gantry crane.

This may worth something:

Metal Puzzle at JPL Begins Coming Together to Form the Mars 2020 Spacecraft

  • Publisher: autoevolution
  • Date: 2019-04-19T09:44:23+00:00
  • Author: Daniel Patrascu
  • Twitter: @_autoevolution_
  • Citation: Web link (Read More)

NASA Will Send a Helicopter to Mars With 2020 Mission

Mars has welcomed rovers, landers, and orbiters, but it has never played host to a flying machine. That will soon change. When NASA’s Mars 2020 Rover lands on the Red Planet, it will be carrying the Mars Helicopter, which ‘ if successful ‘ will be the first heavier-than-air vehicle to fly within Mars’ thin atmosphere.

The small helicopter will enable scientists to remotely explore regions of the planet’s surface far from its mothership’s landing site, according to NASA. It will be sent to Mars as a technology demonstrator,’which means if it doesn’t work, the Mars 2020 mission will still succeed.

NASA’s Mars 2020 Spacecraft undergoing detailed Vehicle Stacking

But over the past few weeks, some of these components ‘ the spacecraft-rocket-laden landing system and even the stand-in for the rover (christened ‘surrogate-rover’) ‘ have seemingly disappeared.

In the center of this image is the Mars 2020 spacecraft stack attached to the Spacecraft Assembly Rotation Fixture (SCARF) in the High Bay 1 clean room in JPL’s Spacecraft Assembly Facility. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

* * *

In reality, they are still there, tucked neatly into the entry capsule, as they will be when it’s time for launch. The procedure is known as vehicle stacking and involves a hyper-detailed plan for what goes where and when.

  • Publisher: Clarksville, TN Online
  • Date: 2019-04-19T06:30:19+00:00
  • Twitter: @clarksville_tn
  • Citation: Web link (Read More)

Happening on Twitter

Greetings Earthlings: All systems on halt. The data presented above may one day be zapped to another dimension. Just thought you should be aware. It should be alright to step abroad. It is safe.