Jun 29, 2012

Surveyor 1 Descent Simulation

Brush up on your GNC know-how and learn some interesting technical details about NASA's first spacecraft to soft land on the Moon!

This video presentation by White Label Space's GNC specialist, Bart Hertog, explains a simulation of the Surveyor 1 terminal descent based upon published NASA documents from the 1960s. Bart undertook this simulation as a validation exercise to prove that his method can give accurate results for the White Label Space lunar lander mission.

The results of the validation exercise were very good in terms of the propellant consumption and other important parameters of the landing stage. Some discrepancies were found for the braking motor but these can be traced to incomplete data sets, specifically the lack of an accurate thrust versus time curve for the main retro rocket motor.

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