Hindsight isn’t entirely 20/20 about NASA’s historic Apollo program. For example, the Apollo 12 lander successfully landed on the moon on November 19, 1969 at exactly 6:35:25 UTC.What happened to the moon’s environment? as However, the astronauts’ landing was not recorded, and the exact details of how nearby rocks, debris, and lunar regolith reacted to the landing engines’ supersonic gas plumes were not documented. And given the vast differences in the Moon’s gravity and geology, not to mention the Moon’s complete lack of an atmosphere, it would be impossible to physically recreate the historic moment of Apollo 12 on Earth.
This is a particular problem for NASA, which continues to plan for the possibility of astronauts returning to Earth’s satellite in 2025 during the Artemis program. The lander that will bring humans to the moon will be much more powerful than previous Apollo missions, so planning for its literal and figurative impact is imperative. To that end, his NASA researchers at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, are using NASA’s supercomputer Pleiades to simulate unexplored information from past moon landings, specifically Apollo 12. ” is used.
As described in detail, NASA Earlier this week, a team of computer engineers and fluid mechanics experts recently designed a program that can accurately recreate Apollo 12’s plume surface interaction (PSI), the interaction between the landing jet and the moon’s terrain. . According to the agency, the Pleiades supercomputer will generate terabytes of data over weeks of simulations to help predict his PSI scenarios for NASA’s human landing system, commercial lunar payload services, and even future Mars landers. Masu.
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NASA recently showed off one of these simulations, the Apollo 12 landing, during an experiment. Appeared on SC23, Annual International Supercomputing Conference, Denver, Colorado. For the approximately 30-minute simulation clip, the team utilized a simulation tool called the Gas Granular Flow Solver (GGFS). The program can model interactions to predict craters in the regolith and dust clouds kicked up around the lander.
by Project conference description, GGFS can take advantage of its highest fidelity to “model interactions of fine-scale regolith particles using particle size/shape distributions that statistically reproduce the real regolith.” However, to perform most efficiently with “current computing resources,” the simulation only considers one to three potential particle sizes and shapes.
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The approximation of the last 30 minutes of descent before engine shutdown includes, among other things, a depiction of shear stresses, or lateral forces, which affect the level of surface area erosion. In this clip, low shear stress is represented by a dark purple shade, and high shear stress areas are shown in yellow.
In the future, the team plans to integrate increased computational resources and optimize the tool’s source code. Such upgrades would not only allow for better fidelity simulations to fine-tune Artemis’ landing procedures, but also potentially allow for the planning of landing missions far beyond the lunar surface. there is.