Monopropellant Hydrazine 700 lbf Throttling Terminal Descent Engine for Mars Science Laboratory

  title={Monopropellant Hydrazine 700 lbf Throttling Terminal Descent Engine for Mars Science Laboratory},
  author={Matt Dawson and Gerry Brewster and Chris Conrad and Mike Kilwine and Blake C. Chenevert and Olwen M. Morgan},
A technology program conducted by Aerojet and the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory has been underway since 2001 to develop a rocket engine for terminal descent of an exploration vehicle to the Martian surface in 2009 for NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission. The MR-80B monopropellant engine is fueled by hydrazine with a throttle range of 7 to 810 lbf thrust. The design is based on the terminal descent engine used on the highly successful 1976 Viking Landers. The primary objective of the… 
10 Citations
Mars landing engine plume impingement ground interaction
A subscale landing site alteration program was conducted in support of future Mars landed Missions to provide site alteration data including soil erosion mechanisms and dependency on throttle level,
Lander rocket exhaust effects on Europa regolith nitrogen assays
Abstract Soft-landings on large worlds such as Europa or our Moon require near-surface retropropulsion, which leads to impingement of the rocket plume on the surface. Surface modification by such
Verification and Validation of the Mars Science Laboratory/Curiosity Rover Entry, Descent, and Landing System
On 6 August 2012, the Curiosity rover successfully touched down on the Martian surface setting off the most ambitious surface exploration of this planetary body. Preceding this significant step were
Thermal coating erosion in a simulated Martian landing environment
Abstract An experimental and computational research program was implemented to quantify the thermal coating erosion that results from supersonic jets impinging on the surface of Mars during landing.
Improving and Testing S-405 Catalyst
Most monopropellant hydrazine thrusters use iridium on alumina catalyst (e.g. Shell-405 or S-405) to spontaneously decompose hydrazine propellant. Aerojet has been manufacturing S-405 catalyst since
Lessons Learned from the Development of the MSL Descent Stage Propulsion System
Development of the MSL descent stage propulsion system required a number of new propulsion hardware developments incorporating technologies not normally found in spacecraft propulsion subsystems.
Flow measurement and instrumentation flow control characteristics of throttling venturi valve with adjustable area
Abstract In this study, a throttling venturi valve with adjustable area was designed to control the thrust of a monopropellant thruster using hydrogen peroxide. The flow rate control characteristics
Relaxed Autonomously Switched Hybrid System Approach to Indirect Multiphase Aerospace Trajectory Optimization
This investigation presents a methodology that simplifies the design of multiphase trajectories for aerospace vehicles using indirect methods. Such systems can be viewed as autonomously switched hy...


Surface erosion caused on Mars from Viking descent engine plume
During the Martian landings the descent engine plumes on Viking Lander 1 (VL-1) and Viking Lander 2 (VL-2) eroded the Martian surface materials. This had been anticipated and investigated both
Hydrazine Catalyst Production: Sustaining S-405 Technology
The development of the iridium-based Shell 405 catalyst for spontaneous decomposition of hydrazine was one of the key enabling technologies for today's spacecraft and launch vehicles. To ensure that
Confidence Testing of Shell 405 and S-405 Catalysts in a Monopropellant Hydrazine Thruster
As part of the transfer of catalyst manufacturing technology from Shell Chemical Company (Shell 405 catalyst manufactured in Houston, Texas) to Aerojet (S-405 manufactured in Redmond, Washington),
Landing induced dust clouds on Venus and Mars
Spacecraft landings on Mars and Venus provide an opportunity to seek and discover transient dust phenomena with various instruments, and to make inferences about local-scale surface modification
Mars Lander Retro Propulsion, 50th International Astronautical Congress, IAF-99-S.2.02
  • 1999
Viking Mars Lander Propulsion,” Journal of Propulsion and Power, Vol
  • 8, No. 2, pp. 320-331,
  • 1992