Posts Tagged ‘Mars Science Laboratory’

Touchdown

6 August 2012

Following from last week’s post, I’m pleased to report a successful landing:

One of the first images transmitted by Curiosity from the surface of Mars. (credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Curiosity sees its own shadow. Hopefully that doesn’t mean 6 more years of NASA budget cuts. (credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Now the real work begins:

Seven minutes of terror

30 July 2012

Next week the most recent Mars mission – Mars Science Laboratory, or Curiosity – is scheduled to set down on the surface of the red planet. The mission has four goals: Determine whether Mars could have ever supported life, study the climate of Mars, study the geology of Mars, and plan for a human mission to Mars.

The Curiosity rover, being roughly the size of a Mini Cooper, is much larger than any of the previous mars rovers. As a result, the approach of using airbags to cushion the final landing stage, used in previous rover missions, isn’t an option.

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