SHIELD Prototype Attached to Drop Tower
Oct. 20, 2022
This prototype of a collapsible Mars lander base is part of SHIELD (Simplified High Impact Energy Landing Device), a project aimed at developing spacecraft that would intentionally crash land on the Red Planet, using an accordion-like, collapsible base that acts like the crumple zone of a car to absorb the energy of a hard impact. The design could drastically reduce the cost of landing on Mars by simplifying the harrowing entry, descent, and landing process and expanding options for possible landing sites.
Developed at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, the prototype was attached to a drop tower on Aug. 12, 2022, at JPL.