Eyes on the Solar System – Mars EDL

Eyes on the Solar System – Mars EDL

This is just amazing.

They spoke about it at the last briefing. It’s part of NASA’s full 3-dimensional solar system simulation, Eyes on the Solar System, which includes real-time (or past & future) trajectories for not just every planet, but every spacecraft as well.

You can pretty much zoom anywhere in space & time within the bounds of the solar system.

It takes a bit of grunt to run – my laptop at home has issues – but it’s very, very worth it.


They’ve packaged the Entry, Descent & Landing sequence of MSL into it’s own easily accessible preset – the link above. You can watch, pause, ffwd, rewind etc the entire process, all the sequences and separations, at almost any speed, with a beautifully clear animation you can swoop around in.

Plus there’s a full telemetric readout. Speed, altitude, time to major events etc, etc.

It’s stunning.

According the engineers the current setup was the prediction and is about 0.6 sec out from the actual events, and a few hundred metres to one side in the landing zone. Once the full detailed telemetry from the craft is relayed and processed, they will update the simulation so that it actually reflects the historical data.

Hats off.


Warning: Justice is not done by this screenshot…


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