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Mars 2020 Lecture: The Thrill and Terror of Landing a Spacecraft on Mars

Wednesday, February 17, 2021
7:00pm to 8:00pm
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Online Event
Rob Manning, Chief Engineer, Jet Propulsion Laboratory,
  • Public Event

So far, half of all human attempts to land robots on Mars have ended in failure. In the past 20 years the success rate has improved to about 70% but even the experience gained from building on a string of 5 successful US Mars missions in a row can't prepare us enough to guarantee success. On February 18, 2021 Mars 2020 with the Perseverance rover will try again. This time we will be aiming for an even smaller landing area on Mars that is littered with exciting surface science but also with danger. Over the last several years, the Mars 2020 team built on past Mars mission experiences and inventions to develop new tricks that will improve the odds to stack the deck in favor of a safe landing and an exciting start for a Mars Sample Return mission.

Join Rob Manning (JPL) on the eve of the Mars 2020 landing as he explains the challenges and some of the stories and lessons that have led to the Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) design of this newest Mars mission.

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This lecture is sponsored by the W. M. Keck Institute for Space Studies (KISS).

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