NASA Thruster Test Aids Future Robotic Lander's Ability to Land Safely
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.
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Testing is conducted on the Divert Attitude Control System thruster at NASA’s White Sands Test Facility in Las Cruces, N.M. Researchers from the Robotic Lunar Lander Development Project at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne in Canoga Park, Calif., tested the five-pound thruster under vacuum conditions, to simulate operation in a space environment, mimicking potential lander mission profiles and operational scenarios. Such testing conducted by NASA and Pratt & Whitney will help the agency develop robust systems for maneuvering and landing the next generation of robotic lunar landers -- which could, in time, explore the moon and other airless celestial bodies. (NASA/White Sands Test Facility)
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