Simulation and Spacecraft Design: Engineering Mars Landings.

Research paper by Erik M EM Conway

Indexed on: 26 Nov '15Published on: 26 Nov '15Published in: Technology and culture


A key issue in history of technology that has received little attention is the use of simulation in engineering design. This article explores the use of both mechanical and numerical simulation in the design of the Mars atmospheric entry phases of the Viking and Mars Pathfinder missions to argue that engineers used both kinds of simulation to develop knowledge of their designs' likely behavior in the poorly known environment of Mars. Each kind of simulation could be used as a warrant of the other's fidelity, in an iterative process of knowledge construction.