the reduction of speed necessary for entry, descent and landing
This scene shows a pallet lander
carrying the Mars Science Laboratory. The important thing about
this graphic are the "zeros" in each number. That's
because when the lander first hits the Martian atmosphere it's
traveling at 12,000 mph and in each successive step there is
one less zero until it lands at a gentle 12 mph. The spacecraft
slows down by a factor of 10 in each step.
This all has to take place in approx.
6 minutes, from 12,000 mph to only 12 mph and it's an enormous