National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Solar System Exploration
News & Events
Mars Express Spacecraft Testing Begins
Mars Express Spacecraft Testing Begins
30 Aug 2001
(Source: European Space Agency)

ESA Science News
http://sci.esa.int

The structural model of the Mars Express spacecraft arrived at Intespace, Toulouse on 29 August to begin its first system level test campaign. During this six-week campaign, the spacecraft will be subjected to mechanical qualification tests to ensure the integrity of the structure during launch.

The structural model consists of the flight structure, flight propulsion system and mass models of most of the equipment units. The mass models, which are typically of similar form to the flight units, represent the mass of each unit bolted onto its assigned panel. Exceptions include the high gain antenna which is an engineering model and will eventually become the spacecraft flight spare unit. In this case, the materials used and the form are exactly as for flight.

Other exceptions include the solar array units and the Beagle-2 lander, both of which are appendages with significant mass. The dummies for these units model not only the bolt down interface and mass, but also each unit's flexibility, thus allowing their response to vibration during launch to be assessed.

To provide a realistic launch scenario, the spacecraft's fuel tanks will be filled with simulated fuel and oxidiser during the tests. When the tests are completed, the spacecraft will return to Alenia Spazio in Turin to begin the final flight integration of equipment and experiments in November.

USEFUL LINKS FOR THIS STORY

IMAGE CAPTION: [http://sci.esa.int/content/searchimage/searchresult.cfm?aid=9&cid=12&oid=28224&ooid=28225]
On 29 August 2001, the structural model of the Mars Express model arrived at Intespace, Toulouse to begin its first system level test campaign.

News Archive Search  Go!
Show  results per page
 
 
Awards and Recognition   Solar System Exploration Roadmap   Contact Us   Site Map   Print This Page
NASA Official: Kristen Erickson
Advisory: Dr. James Green, Director of Planetary Science
Outreach Manager: Alice Wessen
Curator/Editor: Phil Davis
Science Writer: Autumn Burdick
Producer: Greg Baerg
Webmaster: David Martin
> NASA Science Mission Directorate
> Budgets, Strategic Plans and Accountability Reports
> Equal Employment Opportunity Data
   Posted Pursuant to the No Fear Act
> Information-Dissemination Policies and Inventories
> Freedom of Information Act
> Privacy Policy & Important Notices
> Inspector General Hotline
> Office of the Inspector General
> NASA Communications Policy
> USA.gov
> ExpectMore.gov
> NASA Advisory Council
> Open Government at NASA
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2001