Guide Rails for Linear Separation of Powered Descent Vehicle from Mars Science Laboratory Backshell

Abstract

During descent through the Martian atmosphere, Mars science laboratory (MSL) uses three sets of guide rails and rollers to control the separation dynamics of the powered descent vehicle (PDV) from the Backshell and parachute. The guided linear separation of the two bodies over a distance of half a meter mitigates the risk of re- contact which could result… (More)

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