Software makes Mars ‘mission possible’

Click to learn more about : 'Mission critical' challenges accompanied the landing of Curiosity on Mars.


     Video courtesy of Siemens.


On 6 August 2012, the NASA JPL Curiosity Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) successfully landed at Gale Crater on Mars after an eight and half month journey that culminated the ‘Seven Minutes of Terror’, a rapid deceleration from 13 000 mph when first entering the Mars atmosphere to just 2 mph when it was finally lowered to the surface of Mars from a ‘skycrane’. Every phase of this extremely demanding mission was simulated by JPL engineers in a 3D digital model using solutions from Siemens PLM Software. This allowed engineers to exhaustively assess the cumulative effects of all of the forces impacting the MSL during the final descent as well as throughout the two-year mission to assess the Mars environment for conditions that would favourably support the building blocks of life.


Take note

  • The Space Industry is being driven more and more by private industry.
  • Industry is literally expanding into Space.
  • A variety of software tools developed in the first instance for use in industry has been further developed and is now essential in the Space Industry.


Published as:

Enabling the dawn of a new era in the Space Industry

By T Nichols, Siemens

Electricity+Control, December 2012 (page 44-47)

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