Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mission success for MSL Entry, Descent, & Landing Instrument (MEDLI)

Date:
August 8, 2012
Source:
NASA
Summary:
Mission success for the MSL Entry, Descent, & Landing Instrument (MEDLI) Suite. When the Curiosity rover touched down on the red planet Aug. 6 at 12:32 p.m. CDT, NASA MEDLI researchers were already cheering. The instrumentation payload, carried in the entry vehicle's heatshield, included an intricate array of sophisticated engineering sensors designed to measure heat, pressure and other conditions impacting the heatshield during atmospheric entry and descent. The shield is jettisoned prior to landing.

Lockheed Martin installed the Langley-built MEDLI on the backside of MSL's aeroshell/heat shield. At almost 15 feet in diameter the aeroshell is the biggest ever built for a planetary mission. MEDLI is made up of two kinds of instruments (with seven sensors of each kind) that are installed in 14 places on heat shield. It will gather engineering data on aeroheating by using sensor plugs and pressure ports embedded into holes drilled in the spacecraft's aeroshell.
Credit: Lockheed Martin

Mission success for the MSL Entry, Descent, & Landing Instrument (MEDLI) Suite. When the Curiosity rover touched down on the red planet Aug. 6 at 12:32 p.m. CDT, NASA MEDLI researchers were already cheering. The instrumentation payload, carried in the entry vehicle's heatshield, included an intricate array of sophisticated engineering sensors designed to measure heat, pressure and other conditions impacting the heatshield during atmospheric entry and descent. The shield is jettisoned prior to landing.

Related Articles


The MEDLI suite powered up successfully Aug. 5 during the Mars Science Laboratory's approach to Earth's nearest planetary neighbor. About an hour before entry, descent and landing, the sensor suite's temperature stabilized at minus-20 degrees Fahrenheit, readying MEDLI for its journey through Mars' atmosphere. Real-time streaming data from the shield sensors was acquired through much of the vehicle's entry and descent -- barring the brief UHF-frequency communications blackout upon entry -- until Curiosity deployed its parachutes and jettisoned its heatshield. The rover touched down smoothly in Gale Crater to begin its two-year primary mission.

Only about 10 percent of MEDLI's data is now in the hands of the research team; the rest will be relayed by the Mars lander in coming days, and will be analyzed and published in the weeks and months ahead. The team's findings will help NASA engineers design safer, more efficient entry systems for future missions to Mars and other destinations -- missions carrying human crews as well as robotic explorers such as Curiosity.

MEDLI is one of NASA's Technology Demonstration Missions -- a series of advanced technology projects designed to validate and mature laboratory-proven technologies to flight-ready status, reducing costs and aiding our boldest missions of exploration and scientific discovery. To learn more about MEDLI, watch this NASA video.

MEDLI was designed and developed by NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., in partnership with NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. The project is supported by NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate and NASA's Human Exploration & Operations Mission Directorate.

The Technology Demonstration Missions program is sponsored by NASA's Office of the Chief Technologist, managed for the agency by the Marshall Space Flight Center and supported by NASA field centers and partner facilities around the nation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA. The original article was written by Rick Smith, NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Space & Time News

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Asteroid's Moon Spotted During Earth Flyby

Asteroid's Moon Spotted During Earth Flyby

Rumble (Jan. 27, 2015) Scientists working with NASA's Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, California discovered an unexpected moon while observing asteroid 2004 BL86 during its recent flyby past Earth. Credit to 'NASA JPL'. Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com
Water Fleas Prepare for Space Voyage

Water Fleas Prepare for Space Voyage

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 26, 2015) Scientists are preparing a group of water fleas for a unique voyage into space. The aquatic crustaceans, known as Daphnia, can be used as a miniature model for biomedical research, and their reproductive and swimming behaviour will be tested for signs of stress while on board the International Space Station. Jim Drury went to meet the team. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mars Rover Opportunity Celebrates 11-Year Anniversary

Mars Rover Opportunity Celebrates 11-Year Anniversary

Rumble (Jan. 26, 2015) Eleven years ago NASA's Opportunity rover touched down on Mars for what was only supposed to be a 90-day mission. Since then it has traveled 25.9 miles (41.7 kilometers), further than any other off-Earth surface vehicle has ever driven. Credit to 'NASA'. Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA's On Course To Take Pluto's Best Photo Ever

NASA's On Course To Take Pluto's Best Photo Ever

Newsy (Jan. 25, 2015) NASA's New Horizons probe is en route to snap a picture of Pluto this summer, but making sure it doesn't miss its one chance to do so starts now. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins