Thermal testing

For testing at Mars ambient conditions, a chamber that can be pumped down to pressures of a few millibar (and that pressure controlled) is needed, probably also with a liquid-nitrogen-cooled jacket to represent the cold sky to which surfaces can radiate.

Special test chambers had to be constructed for the Pioneer Venus and Venera programmes - high pressure and temperature conditions are difficult and expensive to simulate, although the technology for static tests is quite straightforward, being used widely in the chemical industry. Rather more challenging is any simulation that must provide other environmental parameters, such as flow around the vehicle due to wind or descent, or illumination by the Sun.

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