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Mars Pathfinder Airbag Landing System Gallery


One of the signs accompanying the airbag landing system. It reads

Special Delivery

Airbags improved landing for Mars rovers

The first space probes to land on Mars used retrorockets to reduce their speed and land safely on the surface. But these rockets produced small amounts of chemicals that scientists feared would contaminate Martian soil -- and their study samples.

To solve this problem, NASA Glenn engineers tested an airbag system that encased the spacecraft and cushioned it as it bounced along the planet's surface.

Time picture taken Tue Aug 6 12:24:46 2013
Location picture taken Near Escalator (Street Level)
Great Lakes Science Center
Cleveland, OH
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