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Spacecraft Decelerator Testing

Spacecraft Decelerator Testing

Long before NASA’s Perseverance Rover landed on Mars years of prototyping and testing was first completed here on Earth. Mega Speed high speed Gforce cameras were used during the initial testing and verification of the decelerator designs intended to decelerate Perseverance Rover’s high velocity space craft before landing on Mars. High speed image data was needed during the critical testing of various decelerator designs that included inflatable decelerators as well as large parachute decelerators. It would be absolutely critical that the decelerator design be able to slow the space craft down sufficiently in Mars very thin atmosphere for a safe landing.
Various Mega Speed camera models were used during these tests. Model selection was based on the test environment and the recording requirements of each individual test. Hi Gforce cameras were mounted on the rockets sleds used to propel the test items down the supersonic test track. Other camera models were used on track-side flight followers to record the test item as it passed by. Rocket sled testing was required to accelerate the test items to a high enough velocity to simulate the re-entry speed that the spacecraft would experience while attempting to land on Mars.

The above frames have been removed from the actual high speed test video from the test video related to the Mars missions.
High speed video slows time down to reveal what otherwise would be impossible to see with standard video.

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