ADAPT is a joint effort between NASA engineers and specialists from Masten Space Systems and is based on the Masten XA-.1B Xombie reusable mast with vertical takeoff capability. The new lander will be far more accurate than the previous model and will allow scientists to land in the places they want.
With the small distance traveled by Mars rovers, this is a very important issue as it will allow for better exploration of selected areas. In the past, accuracy was a major problem, for example, the Curiosity landing zone had an area of over 120 square kilometers and where it hit was largely a matter of chance.
NASA conducted several successful ADAPT tests at the end of last year. The new Lander is equipped with the Terrain Relative Navigation, Lander Vision System and Fuel-Optimal Large Diverts. The task of all these systems is to create a skeleton to observe the terrain over which it flies and then to select a convenient location where it could safely land.
Such accuracy will provide many benefits to scientists.Tweet