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Managing the Mars Science Laboratory Thermal Vacuum Test for safety and success

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1 Author(s)
Jordan P. Evans ; Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, 91109, USA

The Mars Science Laboratory is a NASA/JPL mission to send the next generation of rover to Mars. Originally slated for launch in 2009, development problems led to a delay in the project until the next launch opportunity in 2011. Amidst the delay process, the Launch/Cruise Solar Thermal Vacuum Test was undertaken as risk reduction for the project. With varying maturity and capabilities of the flight and ground systems, undertaking the test in a safe manner presented many challenges. This paper describes the technical and management challenges and the actions undertaken that led to the ultimate safe and successful execution of the test.

Published in:

Aerospace Conference, 2010 IEEE

Date of Conference:

6-13 March 2010