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NASA's car-size Curiosity rover is days away from its high-stakes landing on Mars, and a host of planned events will allow people to follow along as the spacecraft makes its thrilling journey to the surface of the Red Planet.
After traveling through space for about 8.5 months, Curiosity (also called the Mars Science Laboratory) is scheduled to touch down on Mars on Aug. 5 at 10:31 p.m. PDT (1:31 a.m. EDT Aug. 6; 0531 GMT).
The rover will descend to the surface attached to a rocket-powered sky crane, which will be used to slow the spacecraft's speed from more than 13,000 miles per hour (21,000 kilometers per hour) to zero as it flies through the Martian atmosphere. This unprecedented landing is so complex that it has been nicknamed "the seven minutes of terror."
"The Curiosity landing is the hardest NASA robotic mission ever attempted in the history of exploration of Mars, or any of our robotic exploration," John Grunsfeld, NASA's associate administrator for science missions, said in a recent news briefing.
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I also would be watching the landing on my national planeterium if they make a NASA live telecast there.
All the best for Curiosity landing!If the new way of landing was success,then can this kind of landing method be used for next manned space exploration?I know the moon landing using seperate landing module from main spacecraft because moon didnt have atmosphere so it abit easy to pinpoint the landing using direct ascent/descent technique on seperate detachable module.
Everyone is worried. I just focus on the potential of having a chem lab on Mars. You can't set your mind on all the things that could go wrong.
If this thing works properly, 2012 will go down not as the end of the world, but as one of the greatest years for science in a LONG time. First, the Higgs Boson, now this? Nerdrection.
Also, I signed up for an Xbox app which is supposed to stream content to me through my much larger TV. However, I signed up for an Xbox live UFC fight once and missed the whole damn things because their servers crashed. I'm fully expecting to see nothing more than a loading symbol on my TV.
I've got my tablet set up for audio and my computer set up for video coverage of the command center. I'm good to go.