GrafTech’s thermal solutions supported the succesful landing of the Mars Curiosity rover in August 2012.
Seven minutes of white-knuckled, edge-of-your-seat terror! Experts at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) share the challenges of the Curiosity rover’s final seven minutes to landing on the surface of Mars on August 5, 2012 (US Pacific time). Click here to watch the video.
Heat shield, meet Mars. The next video includes a sequence of images showing the (GrafTech!) heat shield hitting the ground on Mars and raising a cloud of dust. The images were taken by the Mars Descent Imager on the mission’s Curiosity rover while the rover was still suspended on a parachute after the spacecraft had jettisoned the heat shield.
A dark spot, the shadow of the heat shield, enters the scene from lower left, moving toward the center. The bright heat shield itself is also apparent just before the shadow and hardware meet in the impact on the surface. The area of ground visible in the images is about six-tenths of a mile (1 kilometer) across. The frames shown here are cropped portions of full-frame images from the Mars Descent Imager.
The sequence includes 25 frames, repeated in five run-throughs for this presentation. The action is full speed in the first, fourth and fifth run-throughs. It is one-half and one-eighth speeds in the second and third run-throughs. Click here to watch a GrafTech thermal solution land on the Martian surface:.