74279143 It s a Curiosity .pdf


Nom original: 74279143-It-s-a-Curiosity.pdf
Titre: Mars_in5min_tab

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IN MINUTES

News and events — visually

It’s a Curiosity

NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory, dubbed Curiosity, is being sent on a
two-year mission to the Red Planet, where it will look for signs of past
or present microbial life in the 150 km-wide Gale Crater.
SPACECRAFT
Aeroshell consists
of backshell and
heat shield.
Backshell houses
parachute, rover
and sky crane.

DESCENT SEQUENCE

Cruise stage provides
power and propulsion
for nine-month voyage.

Cruise stage
separates from
aeroshell, craft
turns heat shield
towards planet.

Aeroshell enters
atmosphere at
altitude of 125 km
and speed of
21,000 km/h.

Heat
shield
largest
ever used
in space –
diameter 4.5m

Heat shield
jettisoned
7 km above
planet. Speed
576 km/h.

Speed slows to 2.7 km/h
20 metres above surface, rover
descends on harness below
sky crane. Rover wheels deploy.

Four minutes after
entry, craft slows to
1,700 km/h. Supersonic
parachute opens at
altitude of 10 km.

Navigation
cameras

CURIOSITY ROVER
Fifty seconds from
Will study planet for
landing, sky crane
at least one Martian
and rover drop away
from backshell.
year (equal to 23
Eight thrusters
Earth months)
ignite to control
descent.
Wheels: 50 cm
diameter, each
with its own
drive motor.
Rover touches down 6.5 minutes
after atmospheric entry.
Harness released.
Rover arm and mast deploy.
Sky crane flies off to
crash land 150 m away.

Sources: NASA

Top speed
4 cm per second
ChemCam
Fires laser beam
at small patch of rock.
Vapourized material
analyzed to identify
composition.

Landing site
Gale Crater
MARS
Nuclear power source
4.8 kg of plutonium dioxide.
Generates electricity from heat
of radioactive decay. Minimum
lifetime 14 years.
Rover
dimensions
Length 3 m
Height 2.2 m

Robot arm
extends
2.3 m.

Turret: Contains
magnifying camera,
element-identifying
spectrometer and
tools for gathering
rock samples.

© GRAPHIC NEWS


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