Mars 2020 System Thermal Vacuum (STV) Test Implementation and Results



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51st International Conference on Environmental Systems


The Mars 2020 Spacecraft, launched July 30, 2020, successfully completed its system-level thermal test in May 2019. The test leveraged support hardware from its predecessor, MSL, while taking a new approach with a surrogate rover due to flight rover unavailability. The surrogate rover had to meet both structural and thermal requirements in order to accommodate the test configuration and perform in both acoustic and thermal environmental tests. While the absence of unavailable subsystem-level flight hardware components is not uncommon, the rover contains the flight computer, completes the flight cruise heat rejection system, and generates 2000 W from the MMRTG (Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator) of heat inside the aeroshell. The test identified unique spacecraft idiosyncrasies while providing the data to empirically and analytically validate the design and verify the implementation. Although overall a build-to-print design, the team observed small performance differences from MSL due to workmanship, differences in implantation, and design changes. The subsequent Rover system thermal test included a vacuum portion to confirm its performance for the duration of the cruise to Mars. The following takes a look at some of these results while focusing on the advantages and disadvantages of a surrogate rover in test.


Jennifer Miller, NASA, US
Kaustabh Singh, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, US
Sean Reilly, none, US
Keith Novak, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, US
Jacqueline Lyra, Jet Propulsion Laboratory/, US
ICES203: Thermal Testing
The 51st International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in Saint Paul, Minnesota, US, on 10 July 2022 through 14 July 2022.


Mars 2020, Thermal Vacuum Test, Thermal Solar Test