Juan Rodgers and Joseph Lynch, systems engineers, recently delivered an interactive presentation about space technologies and the challenges of landing a probe or spacecraft on Mars to the STEM Journal Club for sixth-form students at Magdalen College School, Oxford.
Juan and Joe’s hands-on knowledge of designing, developing, and testing space flight systems gave the students a unique insight into the complex problems and solutions of landing on Mars, and also to get answers to their questions about the subject.
Vorticity is delighted to welcome Negar and Sophie, our summer interns. Aerospace engineering undergraduates from Selwyn college and Homerton college, University of Cambridge, they’re tackling one of our most challenging projects, the design and build of an altitude test chamber.
The past few years saw most international conferences either moved online or cancelled entirely. Fortunately, 2022 travel restrictions loosened enough for Vorticity’s engineers to present at the 26th ADST conference in Toulouse, the 2nd FAR conference in Heilbronn and the 18th International Planetary Probe Workshop (IPPW) in Santa Clara.
Earlier in 2022, Vorticity completed the ExoMars parachute system qualification tests. We were able to share the multi-year development process, describe the design and show videos of the parachute performance. Further information on ExoMars is available on the ESA website.
Vorticity also presented two ongoing ESA-funded technology developments. Vorticity is leading these R&D studies into flexible thermal protection systems (FTPS) and precision electronic-delay parachute reefing cutters. Both technologies could play an important role in future entry, descent and landing missions, on Earth, Mars and the outer planets.
Finally, we reported the results of a parachute inflation wind tunnel study conducted at the University of Cambridge. Vorticity initiated and supported this Master’s engineering project, in which over 100 subscale parachute inflations were conducted.
Further discussions on the Mars exploration programme will take place in the context of the Ministerial in November 2022, where a full statement will be presented. ESA Council has mandated the Director General to terminate cooperation with Roscosmos on the ExoMars rover and surface platform.