Co-developer of the magnetron used in the Radar Altimeter to fire the retrorocket
for the first soft landing on the moon.
Will the retrorocket
landing system designed for the Dragon capsule land smoothly on Mars?
The Atlas V retrorocket
is built by Orbital ATKs Defense Systems Group at its facility in Elkton, Maryland.
Orbital ATK builds the retrorocket
for the ULA Atlas V at its Elkton, Maryland, facility.
Griffin ruled out attaching a deorbit module whose retrorocket
would steer Hubble harmlessly into the Pacific Ocean once it ceases operations.
The Soviets, however, successfully braked Luna 9's descent with a retrorocket
and hit the ground in a semisoft landing on the surface of Oceanus Procellarum, the Ocean of Storms.
Worried about the danger to people and property on the ground should the massive, bus-size telescope burn up in the atmosphere, NASA now plans to develop a robot that will fly to the telescope, attach a retrorocket
, and steer the spacecraft to a harmless reentry over an unpopulated area (S&T: November 2003, page 18).
NASA has therefore begun a $300 million effort to develop a robot that will lift off on an expendable booster, grapple Hubble, and use its own retrorocket
to steer the observatory to a fiery reentry over an unpopulated area.
The panel's worst-case scenario, in which NASA decides not to service Hubble again at all in the wake of the Columbia disaster, would require engineers to devise a way of attaching a retrorocket
to the telescope by remote control--something that might cost even more than a servicing mission.
Unlike the Mars Pathfinder mission, MPL has no airbags - it relies instead on a retrorocket
system at touchdown like the one used by the Viking landers in 1976.
In 2017, he took part as an actor, composer and performer in the science fiction play "D4rkly Your Retrorockets
Fl4re" in New York.