Aerojet Rocketdyne Has InSight Every Step of the Way
NASA’s latest visitor to the red planet will rely on
“Mars missions, especially those that deliver a lander to the planet’s surface, are notoriously challenging, but our team of experienced propulsion engineers is up to the task,”
InSight, designed to gather data on Martian seismology, will be NASA’s first interplanetary mission to launch from Vandenberg; previous missions have lifted off from
During its six-month transit to Mars, InSight will be guided by eight
InSight will rely on six pairs of Aerojet Rocketdyne MR-107N engines, each engine generating 50 pounds of pulsed thrust, to bring it to the Martian surface in a controlled manner. Before touchdown, the engines will have to steer InSight clear of the parachute, lest it come down on top of the lander. Once that is accomplished, the thrusters will slow InSight to a speed of about 10 kilometers per hour, enabling a soft touchdown.
Source: Aerojet Rocketdyne, Inc.