June 13th, 2019
Leading up to a planned July 2020 launch date, NASA’s latest mission to Mars is currently undergoing testing. Both the spacecraft and its rover payload have been tested and have been equipped with new equipment in preparation for flight.
Recently the Mars 2020 spacecraft completed acoustical and thermal testing at the Jet Propulsion laboratory in Pasadena, CA. The process is designed to replicate what the spacecraft will endure on its way to Mars.
“First we blast it with sound to make sure nothing vibrates loose,” said David Gruel, the Mars 2020 assembly, test and launch operations manager at JPL. “Then, after a thorough examination, we ‘put it in space’ by placing the spacecraft in this huge vacuum chamber we have here at JPL. We pump out the atmosphere, then chill parts of it and cook others while testing the performance of the entire spacecraft.”
The spacecraft underwent vibration testing