View Full Version : Video: Drop Test for Next Mars Roverís Sky-Crane Landing System

2011-Jan-20, 06:07 PM
One of the biggest unknowns for the Mars Science Lab — a.k.a Curiosity — is the landing system, called the Sky Crane, which has never been used before for a spacecraft landing on another planet. It is similar to a sky crane heavy-lift helicopter, and it works like this: after a parachute slows the roverís [...]

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2011-Jan-22, 12:01 AM
Curiosity will also use a new high-precision entry, descent, and landing (EDL) system that will place it in a 20 kilometer (12 mile) landing ellipse, as opposed to the 150 kilometer by 20 kilometer (about 93 miles by 12 miles) landing ellipse of the landing systems used by the Mars Exploration Rovers.

With the landing profile being the same up to the point of the parachutes opening to slow the lander it appears that they only really improvement comes from less drift time while the parachutes are open rather than the powered landing....