Launch Window

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by Omn033
Last updated 6 years ago


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Launch Window

Nov 25 2011 to Dec 18 2011

A short video on the rover and how it landed.

Type of Rocket and Parts: The rocket Atlas - V 541 goes through two stages to get into the Earth's atmosphere and then it deploys the main shuttle to Mars. The first stage has four payload thrusters. They burn out and fall into the ocean. Then next is the centaur stage which contains the main shuttle. The centaur fires its boosters and carries it into orbit. Once it is in orbit it waits till it has the right trajectory and fires its last boosters.Cruising Phase: The Rocket now enters the cruising phase which is the 9 month period before it reaches Mars. How long to get there : Average time has been 8.5 to 9 months to get to Mars.

Launch Window:

How did the rocket used for the MSL mission escape Earth's atmosphere and land a rover on Mars?

EDL - Entry ,Descent and Landing :Entry :10 minutes before hitting Mars' atmosphere the crew stage separates. Then while hitting the atmosphere at about 13, 000 miles per hour it starts to slow down and boosters are used to steer towards the landing target. The weights are thrown off to balance the space craft. At 1000 MPH the parachute is deployed. Descent: Once it is below the speed of sound the heat shield separates. The spacecraft then uses a radar. The craft drops out of its shell at 200 miles per hour. And thrusters slow it down.Landing: The rover is released when it is about 60 feet of the ground. The sky crane helps release the rover. It is a safe mechanism that helps the rover land softly without kicking up too much dust that could damage the rover. The rovers wheels deploy and then the landing stage diconnects and flies away.

Figure 1: It takes about 9 months to get to mars using this rocket

Figure 3: The sky crane is being used to lower the rover in the final stages of landing.

Figure 2: This shows how much heat the shield must withstand when entering the atmosphere.

When to Launch : The launch window is a specific period of time that the rocket has to launch in, to reach Mars when earth and Mars Align .This is the time when mars is closest to the Earth. This happens every two years. Ecsape Velocity : The escape velocity is the lowest velocity that a body must have in order to escape the gravitational attraction of a planet. The escape velocity of Earth is about 11.2 km/s.


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