Airbags, Lander, Mars, Pathfinder

Image of this Object

This is a prototype of the airbag for the Mars Pathfinder lander. Mars Pathfinder was the first mission intended to gather scientific data on the surface of the red planet since the Viking mission in 1976. An unusual, innovative method was used to achieve a soft landing of the spacecraft. On reaching Mars on July 4, 1997, Pathfinder entered the planet's thin atmosphere, was slowed by a parachute and then rockets, and then landed by bouncing on inflated airbags. The artifact consists of an engineering prototype for those airbags. The mission airbags as well as the prototypes were designed and built by JPL for NASA's office of Space Science. The artifact was transferred to NASM by NASA in 1999.

Transferred from National Aeronautics and Space Administration and Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Country of Origin
United States of America

Manufacturer
ILC Dover, Inc.

Type
SPACECRAFT-Unmanned-Parts & Structural Components

Materials
Synthetic Fabric (Vectran Polyester)
Iron Alloy
Copper Alloy
Coated Fabric
Unknown Coating
Nylon
Silicone Adhesive
Adhesive Tape
Plastic
Non-Magnetic White Metal Alloy Foil
Non-Magnetic White Metal Alloy
Ink
Dimensions
3-D (Approximate, single airbag): 266.7 × 358.1 × 30.5cm (105 in. × 11 ft. 9 in. × 12 in.)
Overall (assembled four airbags): 182 1/4 x 207 5/16in. (462.9 x 526.6cm)
Storage (Rehoused in a PSC): 123.2 × 115.6 × 91.4cm, 102.1kg (48 1/2 × 45 1/2 × 36 in., 225lb.)

This is a prototype of the airbag for the Mars Pathfinder lander. Mars Pathfinder was the first mission intended to gather scientific data on the surface of the red planet since the Viking mission in 1976. An unusual, innovative method was used to achieve a soft landing of the spacecraft. On reaching Mars on July 4, 1997, Pathfinder entered the planet's thin atmosphere, was slowed by a parachute and then rockets, and then landed by bouncing on inflated airbags. The artifact consists of an engineering prototype for those airbags. The mission airbags as well as the prototypes were designed and built by JPL for NASA's office of Space Science. The artifact was transferred to NASM by NASA in 1999.

Transferred from National Aeronautics and Space Administration and Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Country of Origin
United States of America

Manufacturer
ILC Dover, Inc.

Type
SPACECRAFT-Unmanned-Parts & Structural Components

Materials
Synthetic Fabric (Vectran Polyester)
Iron Alloy
Copper Alloy
Coated Fabric
Unknown Coating
Nylon
Silicone Adhesive
Adhesive Tape
Plastic
Non-Magnetic White Metal Alloy Foil
Non-Magnetic White Metal Alloy
Ink
Dimensions
3-D (Approximate, single airbag): 266.7 × 358.1 × 30.5cm (105 in. × 11 ft. 9 in. × 12 in.)
Overall (assembled four airbags): 182 1/4 x 207 5/16in. (462.9 x 526.6cm)
Storage (Rehoused in a PSC): 123.2 × 115.6 × 91.4cm, 102.1kg (48 1/2 × 45 1/2 × 36 in., 225lb.)

ID: A19990073007