Chief Engineer, Mars Exploration Directorate, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Landing on Mars is hard, and the bigger you are, the harder it gets. Rob Manning returns to tell us about one of NASA’s best hopes for getting much bigger spacecraft down there—spacecraft that may one day carry humans. Emily Lakdawalla quizzes Mat on the atmospheres of moons. Bill Nye discovers that everyone is talking about getting to Mars. Bruce and Mat take a virtual trip down under, and offer another signed copy of Jim Bell’s “The Interstellar Age” in the space trivia contest.
Supersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator
The six-meter Supersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (SIAD) is spin tested in the Jet Propulsion Lab’s high bay clean room.
Artist's concept of the Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) at Mars