U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) researchers are using the Summit supercomputer at the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory to model retropropulsion (using rocket engines to decelerate) for landing manned spacecraft on Mars.
The team employs a computational fluid dynamics code called FUN3D to model the craft's descent, applying systems of equations to simulate small-scale fluid interaction during flow and turbulence generated by the vehicle’s flight through Mars’ atmosphere.
NASA's Ashley Korzun said, "This is really the first opportunity—at this level of fidelity and resolution—that we've been able to see what happens to the vehicle as it slows down with its engines on."
From Oak Ridge National Laboratory
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