How to land on Mars: Curiosity’s ‘7 minutes of terror’

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Frankly I’d have employed David Bowie, he knows a thing or two about Mars, but NASA like to do things differently when assessing the above challenge – impressive no?

A team of engineers at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) performed a series of critical computer simulations of the sky crane manoeuvre sequences to nail this critical manoeuvre.

A selection of the simulations were performed in MSC Adams, proving essential to the mission. For instance, during the rover separation, they had to prevent the flight hardware from clashing or coming into contact with each other during the ‘two body phase’ of the Descent Rate Limiter (DLR)/bridle deployment. Using Adams, the engineers were able to model and simulate this event.