Inside InSight – Engineer Helps Land a Spacecraft on Mars


When we enter the Martian atmosphere
we’re going at about 12,500 miles per hour and we end up landing at about five
miles per hour — nice and soft and easy. Piece of cake. I’m Julie Wertz and I help
spacecraft land safely on Mars. We’ll all be in here monitoring the spacecraft. Entry, descent and landing is basically the entire process of how we get from
cruise, when we’re flying through space and on our way to Mars, all the way
through entering the atmosphere, deploying our parachute, and landing
safely on the ground. There are a lot of things that have to go right. I’m going to be nervous but at the same time we’ve prepared for a lot of it. We’ve tested
every scenario we can think of. In this room we’ll be watching for data from the
spacecraft trying to help inform the public about what’s going on and how
we’re doing. My husband was on the entry, descent and landing team for Curiosity.
I’ve been through EDL before as a wife and as a family member. I’ve gone through the stress and the panic of going through EDL but this will be my first
time going through it with something that I’ve helped directly work on. That’s
how we ended up as an EDL couple. It’s my fault.

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