Space

Watch NASA Test a Wild Way to Intentionally Crash Land on Mars

By Aazam

October 26, 2022

It may be more economical to reach the surface of the Red Planet with a crash lander

The space agency is investigating a new way of landing equipment on the Red Planet by intentionally crashing

This is not an old lander. NASA JPL is testing a design called SHIELD, which stands for Simplified High Impact Energy Landing Device

It uses an energy-absorbing cone that is made to crumple upon impact, just like modern cars do when hit from the front or rear

JPL on Thursday shared a video that shows SHIELD in action during a drop test from a 90-foot-high (27-meter-high) tower

The device makes a hard landing at 110 mph (177 kph) in a thick steel plate to mimic the worst conditions during its arrival to Mars

Remarkably, a cell phone tucked into the prototype survived the trip without a broken screen

A system like the SHIELD could be simpler than current designs, consisting of a parachute and thruster to slow the landing

SHIELD project manager Lou Geers said in a statement to NASA JPL: If the lander ends up working under Mars conditions, it could potentially be used for other interesting places in the Solar System, including the Moon