Atmospheric Structure During Descent











    curiosity pic



    The Curiosity/Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) entered the martian atmosphere on Aug. 6, 2012 landing in Gale crater (4.6°S, 137.4°E) in the local mid-afternoon. Aerodynamic accelerations were measured during descent and atmospheric density, pressure and temperature profiles have been calculated from this data. Using an averaging technique developed for the NASA Phoenix Mars mission, the profiles are extended to 134.1 km, twice that of the engineering reconstruction. Large-scale temperature oscillations in the MSL temperature profile are suggestive of thermal tides.

    These data summarize the results of a reconstruction of the MSL EDL atmospheric profile. The table includes Time [s] since data was first collected at Spacecraft Clock Time 397501174.997338 s, Radial distance [km] from the center of mass of Mars, Height [km] above the MSL landing site at radial distance 3391.1 km, Latitude [degrees North], Longitude [degrees East], Atmospheric density [kg m-3], pressure [Pa], and temperature [K], and uncertainty of the three, and1 if temperatures were derived from JPL reconstruction, 0 if not.

    References

    Holstein-Rathlou, 2016, Atmospheric studies from the Mars Science Laboratory Entry, Descent and Landing atmospheric structure reconstruction, Planetary and Space Science, Volume 120, p. 15-23, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pss.2015.10.015

    Accessing the Derived Data

    Citing the Data