Scale Lander is Ready for Drop Tests
The scale model of the lander is assembled and ready for its first drop test. This model will enable acquisition of orientation, velocity, and acceleration information via high speed video. The results will be compared to analytical calculations and simulation data to verify the stability of the landing and the required honeycomb stroke.
The lander model is one sixth the size and mass of the actual lander, measuring 15 inches across and weighing eight pounds. Because the moon’s gravity is 1/6th that of Earth’s, the 1/6 scale model on Earth simulates the dynamics of the full scale lander on the moon. The model lander's body and legs are made of aluminum. There are aluminum honeycomb cartridges inside the upper struts of the leg. The honeycomb structure crushes with a constant force, softening the impact from landing.