Impact Analysis of Mars EDL Systems
Jack Li
St George's School
Floor Location : M 096 D

SpaceX’s recent activity in aeronautics has revived the hotly investigated topic of Mars EDL (Entry Descent Landing) Systems. Of the three phases, landing has proved to offer its fair share of challenges - since Viking 1’s success in 1976, only five United States missions have achieved this same feat. The five were dependent on the three principal approaches to landing - legged-landing, airbag-landing, and the skycrane system. Using data from previous successful missions, this project will analyze the various material properties and landing dynamics of these three fundamental landing strategies. Consideration of the tensile strength, geometry and fluid resistance these landing mechanisms are subject to will lead to mathematical models that describe and offer insight into the physical situation of Mars. In addition to the use of AutoCAD as a visual and calculation aid, the experiment will detail the lander’s impact at surface and its stress consequences. Under the framework of derived physical relationships and results from software simulation, the project will determine the most reliable and cost-efficient method of completing this landing phase and will also describe the conditions that will lead to this relatively advantageous approach. Note that the project will be restricted to non-human missions with the goal of preserving the payload.