NASA Mars Rover Curiosity: So Far, So Good
November 28, 2011 8:39 AM
comment(s) - last by
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.”
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: We need a new Space Race...
11/29/2011 12:02:31 PM
As long as they don't let Howard Wolowitz crash any more rovers... =P
On a side note, stories like these are sure to attract religious fanatics and moon hoax believers with their "NASA are crooks" mode of thinking.
"Well, there may be a reason why they call them 'Mac' trucks! Windows machines will not be trucks." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
Atlantis Blasts Off for NASA's Final Space Shuttle Mission
July 8, 2011, 11:29 AM
NASA Introduces Mars Rover "Curiosity," Debates Its Martian Landing Site
July 5, 2011, 11:23 AM
James Cameron Helps Design 3D Camera for NASA Rover
April 30, 2010, 9:39 AM
Creationists are Mad About Google Doodle Depicting Evolution
November 24, 2015, 8:48 PM
DHS and TSA: Whoops, We Missed That 73 Airport Employees May be Terrorists
November 19, 2015, 2:16 PM
Star Wars Spinoff Film "Rogue One", Theme Park Attractions Announced
August 17, 2015, 12:20 PM
SpaceX Falcon 9's Seventh Supply Mission to ISS Ends w/ Fiery Stage 1 Explosion
June 28, 2015, 1:10 PM
Cool Science Video: Glowing Millipede Prowls the Nevada Desert
May 18, 2015, 12:00 PM
Newly Discovered Costa Rican Glass Frog is Kermit's Doppelgänger
April 22, 2015, 11:26 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information