NASA's Curiosity is scheduled to land on Mars at 01:30 EDT early Monday
(Aug 6, 2012
) after traveling over 500,000 miles. It's mission is to understand the
'habitability of Mars". In other words are their conditions that could have ever supported
life on Mars ( not specifically looking for life itself )
View it at NASA TV: Live coverage begin 6PM EDT Sundayhttp://www.ustream.tv/nasa
Re-entry (called the 7 minutes of terror
) begins with Curiosity hitting the atmosphere
at 13,200 Mph and using a combination of head shields, and supersonic drogue chute
to slow to 200mph, and retro rockets for the rest of the way. The rover is actually
lowered on a 'sky-crane
' to hang 7.5 meters below the rocket platform, and when
the rover touches, the cables are severed and the rocket platform flies away from the rover to
crash a short distance away. This keeps the level of dust and debris at the landing site
to acceptable levels.
Landing is scheduled into Gale crater
which has central 3-mile high mountain peak.
Three satellites that have been in orbit around Mars since NASA:Odyssey:2001
NASA:MRO:2006, etc. will relay the spacecraft signals back to earth.
The communication will need to switch between these relay stations
during re-entry, and it's possible that communication will be lost for
for part or all of the re-entry. Communication
delay is 14 minutes for the signal to reach earth from Mars, so when we get the signal
that re-entry is beginning, the spacecraft's fate will have already happened 7 minutes
The landing results may be known immediately at landing, or delayed up to three
days if communication is lost.
"Between subtle shading and the absence of light lies the nuance of iqlusion..." - Kryptos
Lee Marzke, email@example.com http://marzke.net/lee/
IT Consultant, VMware, VCenter, SAN storage, infrastructure, SW CM