The rocket powered experiment in which scientists have launched the world’s first fully reusable satellite, has made a successful landing on the surface of Mars.NASA officials said the rocket powered mission has also tested out several other technologies, including a system that sends an electrical current through the rocket’s engine to generate thrust, as well as a system to convert the rocket engine’s electric current into kinetic energy.
The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution mission has flown since November.
It was the first attempt to land a fully reusable rocket on Mars.
The first stage of the Mars Atmospherics and Volatiles Laboratory (MAVEN) satellite is seen in this still image taken by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in this handout provided by NASA on March 13, 2018.
The spacecraft’s solar panels are seen in a still image provided by the NASA/JPL Solar System Exploration Science Mission Directorate.
The MAVEN mission, named for the Latin phrase “magnificio,” launched on Dec. 15, 2017.
It’s the first time a spacecraft has flown in orbit around another planet.
The rocket powered MAVEN satellite is shown in this image provided on Jan. 6, 2019.
It was launched into space by a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, but its solar panels were damaged in a launch mishap and it was later repaired.
The next phase of the mission will test out a system called an “optical and infrared thermoelectric system” that will convert solar energy into electric power for the rocket, according to NASA.NASA is also launching an experiment that aims to send a spacecraft in a rocket’s first stage into orbit, called a “spinning top,” which will simulate how a spacecraft is launched into orbit.
NASA hopes that spinning top will be used to help understand how space flight is performed.
The top of the spacecraft is seen from inside the orbiter as it prepares to lift off on Feb. 15.
The landing test will help NASA assess the launch and return systems, including the first stage and the upper stage of each rocket, NASA officials said.
The launch was part of the Space Launch System (SLS) program, which was developed by Boeing and Lockheed Martin, as part of NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract with the U.S. Department of Defense.
The SLS is scheduled to launch on a Delta IV Heavy rocket in 2019.