NASA Mars Rover Curiosity: So Far, So Good
November 28, 2011 8:39 AM
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After launching Saturday, MSL is in good health and ready to continue its long journey to Mars
NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) spacecraft blasted off towards the Red Planet this past weekend, and a recent signal from the MSL indicated that everything was proceeding as planned.
On November 26, NASA’s MSL, also known as
the Curiosity rover
, was sent to Mars via the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. It took off from Space Launch Complex 41 on the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
NASA rover Curiosity is a $2.5 billion nuclear-powered machine meant for the exploration of Mars in hopes of finding evidence of microscopic life. It is the size of a Mini Cooper, and about four times as heavy as the Spirit and Opportunity Mars rovers. Curiosity has a large robot arm, a weather station, a laser that can vaporize rocks at seven meters, a percussive drill, and 4.8kg of plutonium-238.
After separating from the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, officials back on the ground received a signal from the rover that all was well and that Curiosity is on its way to Mars.
“Our spacecraft is in excellent health and it’s on its way to Mars,” said Pete Theisinger, MSL Project Manager from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.
It will take about eight and a half months for Curiosity to travel 345 million miles to Mars. When it finally arrives in August 2012, it will be lowered onto the Martian surface in a protective aeroshell via a jet pack and tether system.
Curiosity will then explore
the Gale Crater for at least two years, which is an area that is rich in minerals and may provide clues as to whether Mars had or has life.
“Science fiction is now science fact,” said Doug McCuisition, director of the Mars Exploration Program at NASA Headquarters. “We’re flying to Mars. We’ll get it on the ground, and see what we find.”
Curiosity is NASA’s most sophisticated Mars rover, and the space agency expects the rover to put about 12 miles on its odometer during this venture. It is also the third space mission to launch since the
retirement of the NASA space shuttle fleet
“Mars really is the Bermuda Triangle of the solar system,” said Colleen Hartman, assistant associate administrator for science at NASA. “It’s the death planet, and the United States of America is the only nation in the world that has ever landed and driven robotic explorers on the surface of Mars, and now we’re set to do it again.”
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RE: Religious implications
11/28/2011 7:54:16 PM
If Moses was writing about what he saw in a vision of creation from the point of view of a person standing on the surface of the earth, the sun, moon, and stars would not be seen until after light was seen. Most of the water was in the air in the form of clouds until God separated the waters of the sky from the waters of the ground. The heavy cloud cover would have allowed enough light to filter through to see by, but would have blocked the celetial bodies from view. The order as presented in the Bible actually fits the order of events as presented by science if you look at it with the understading that Moses wrote exactly what he saw without understanding it.
RE: Religious implications
11/29/2011 11:42:14 AM
Seems to me like you don't understand neither the science nor the religion. Where does it say that these events are Moses' vision of what happened? And furthermore as I said if the entire surface was covered by an ocean what would he be standing on exactly? There was no surface remember? All of which is of course moot because when the earth was created it did not have an ocean OR an atmosphere. All of that came later. One could keep going here, but you clearly don't see that none of this makes sense.
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