Sticking the Landing on the Moon and Mars

A simulation of a spacecraft descent and plume-induced surface cratering using the Gas-Granular Flow Solver. (Image credit: Manuel Gale, CFD Research Corporation)

Future spacecraft bound for the Moon or beyond will benefit from high-powered computer simulations underway at the University of Michigan that will provide a framework NASA can use to better predict how different designs will impact the ground and the landing, and adjust.

As NASA moves toward new crewed missions under the Artemis Program, this work becomes more vital. Not only do humans onboard raise the stakes, they mean larger payloads and, subsequently, stronger exhaust plumes interacting with the planet’s surface.