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The proposed Mars 2018 mission is a joint mission with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the European Space Agency (ESA) that is currently in the early study phase. The objective would be to land a rover which caches a sample of Martian soil for retrieval and potential return to Earth on a subsequent mission. The Mars 2018 Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) system would largely leverage off of heritage from the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) EDL system in an effort to minimize cost and schedule risk. Despite the desire to have high MSL heritage, a series of trade studies were performed to quantify the impact that incorporating EDL technologies would have on the landed mass. These new technologies include a trim tab, an increased diameter disk-gap-band (DGB) parachute over MSL, a large ringsail parachute, and a supersonic inflatable aerodynamic decelerator (SIAD).
Aerospace Conference, 2012 IEEE
Date of Conference: 3-10 March 2012