Bengaluru: It can take up to a decade for a Mars mission to get from the drawing board to operations. And before it can take off, rigorous trials await, or as NASA calls them, “trials by fire, ice, light, and sound”.
Just how rigorous are the trials, you ask? It’s like training for a 10K race in the spring by running 20K in peak Indian summer, during the afternoon, with hurdles to boot.
Because when you are aiming for the stars (and planets), nothing can be left to chance. And you have to be 100 per cent convinced that the parachute meant to carry the spacecraft through the last leg will sail smoothly even with nearly twice the weight.
But it’s all worth it because, when everything falls into place, and