Space

September 6, 2012

Northrop Grumman aids navigation of NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover

Northrop Grumman’s LN-200S inertial measurement unit is a critical navigational element that senses acceleration and angular motion, providing data outputs used by vehicle control systems for guidance. The company supplied the critical navigation element for NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover.

WOODLAND HILLS, Calif. – Northrop Grumman supplied the navigation and pointing aid for NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover, which recently began a historic two-year exploration of Mars.

Northrop Grumman’s LN-200S is a lightweight, fiber-optic inertial measurement unit (IMU) that will help guide the Mars rover as it investigates the viability of microbial life on the planet – now or in the past.

The LN-200S is a critical navigational element that senses acceleration and angular motion, providing data outputs used by vehicle control systems for guidance. Additionally, the LN-200S helps position the rover’s antennae to relay photos and data to satellites.

“The reliability and outstanding performance-to-package size ratio of the LN-200 products make them ideally suited for mission-critical applications in a range of aerospace and defense applications,” said Gorik Hossepian, Northrop Grumman vice president of navigation and positioning systems. “This product has withstood challenging environmental conditions during numerous space missions, and this extends that legacy.”

NASA has a long tradition of utilizing Northrop Grumman’s LN-200 IMU product series on spacecraft, including the Spirit and Opportunity rovers that landed on Mars in 2004. NASA had planned for those rovers to last only 90 days, but Spirit persevered for six years and Opportunity is still functioning.

During the next two years, NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover will investigate whether the planet’s environment has been favorable for supporting microbial life – now or in the past.

The commercial off-the-shelf LN-200 IMU series is available in multiple versatile configurations to meet unique customer needs for a variety of products and applications, ranging from torpedoes to image stabilization. Northrop Grumman supplies different models of the IMU to NASA for various programs, including advanced research and development as well as the Sounding Rockets program at the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

The Curiosity Mars rover carries the most advanced payload of scientific gear ever used on Mars’ surface. The rover is capable of traveling up to 200 meters (660 feet) per day and rolling over obstacles up to 65 centimeters (25 inches) high. Unlike earlier rovers, Curiosity is equipped to gather, process and distribute rock and soil samples to onboard test chambers.

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., manages the Mars Science Laboratory for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
lm-orion3

Orion spacecraft transfers To launch abort system facility

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j68mszdhTmY NASA and Lockheed Martin have finished fueling the Orion spacecraft with ammonia, hydrazine and high pressure helium at Kennedy Space Center’s Payload Hazardous Servicing Facili...
 
 

NASA telescopes find clear skies, water vapor on exoplanet

Astronomers using data from three of NASA’s space telescopes – Hubble, Spitzer and Kepler – have discovered clear skies and steamy water vapor on a gaseous planet outside our solar system. The planet is about the size of Neptune, making it the smallest planet from which molecules of any kind have been detected. “This discovery...
 
 
NASA photograph by Aubrey Gemignani

New crew launches to space station to continue scientific research

NASA photgoraph Three crew members are heading to the International Space Station after launching in a Soyuz spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 4:25 p.m., EDT, Sept. 25. Three crew members representing the...
 

 

NASA expands commercial space program, requests proposals for IS resupply

On the heels of awarding groundbreaking contracts to U.S. commercial space companies to ferry American astronauts to the International Space Station, NASA has released a request for proposals for the next round of contracts for private-sector companies to deliver experiments and supplies to the orbiting laboratory. Under the Commercial Resupply Services 2 RFP, NASA intends...
 
 

ATK offers solid solution to U.S. Air Force’s RD-180 replacement request

ATK has provided the U.S. Air Force an American-made commercial solid rocket solution as a replacement for the RD-180 Russian-made, first-stage engine of United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V launch vehicle. “ATK’s solid rocket propulsion solution provides a cost-effective, reliable solution based on advanced technology,” said Blake Larson, president of ATK’s Aerospace ...
 
 

SpaceX breaks ground on Texas rocket launch site

BROWNSVILLE, Texas – The commercial rocket launches that could begin as early as 2016 in the southernmost tip of Texas will be a critical step toward one day establishing a human presence on Mars, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk said Sept 22. With waves from the Gulf of Mexico crashing just over the dunes...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>