Aerospace engineering and Smart Factory solutions consulting firm CREAN, Inc. celebrates the successful recording of NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover landing. The landing occurred on February 18, 2021 in Mars’ Jezero Crater. This recorded landing marks the first high-definition footage of atmospheric entry, descent and landing on another planet.
As a long-time supplier to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), CREAN welcomed the opportunity to participate in this historic launch. The data collected by the video will provide critical information for future missions and design features.
CREAN, Inc. Mechanical Engineer Dave Sherry supported the testing at NASA’s JPL prior to launch. Sherry’s participation included work on PIXL and SHERLOC (two types of spectrometer systems that can spot biosignatures) as well as a set of EDL cameras, microphone and recording system. The system successfully recorded the “7 Minutes of Terror” that take the vehicle through aerobraking, parachute descent and then the powered descent with the rover on a “sky crane.”
“We always hope for the best and expect success on the NASA robotic missions because of JPL’s great track record, but I was still dumbfounded by the success of the Perseverance landing on Mars,” Sherry said. “The EDL camera system worked perfectly—you can clearly see all the important EDL sequences in color on the stunning video that NASA released.”
Materials & Processes (M&P) Engineering expert and former Boeing Associate Technical Fellow, Lynn Long, was present at JPL to witness the historic landing footage. Long was leading the team at JPL that upgraded the white thermal paint on the rover to a less brittle formulation compared to prior missions.
“It was absolutely thrilling to be at JPL when this event happened and to see the telemetry feed first-hand,” Long said.
Additional team members include former Boeing Chief Engineer and subject matter expert on spacecraft payloads and antennas, Rick Roberti, who supported the frequency synthesizing landing radar that helped Perseverance make the extraordinary and safe landing; and Bob Burns, former Boeing technologist and leader with expertise in spacecraft structure, mechanisms, and deployable structures, who, among other projects, helped to repair a last-minute, slight structural issue on the rover. Burns also observed the rover vibration test at JPL’s much heralded Environmental Test Laboratories (ETL).
CREAN, Inc. provides hands-on aerospace engineering services and Smart Factory transformation solutions that improve the economic and production operations performance of manufacturing organizations. By combining engineering talent from the aerospace industry with leading Smart Factory specialists, CREAN implements proven Smart Factory processes and technologies that will outperform all competition, and helps companies adapt to changes to remain competitive in the U.S. and world markets. CREAN is a Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB) for U.S. government contracting purposes as well as the manufacturing industry sector. The firm is located at 1200 Lakeway Drive, Suite 7, in Austin, Texas. For additional information, call CREAN Inc. at (512)-337-6587 or visit https://creaninc.com.