Welcome! Login | Register
 

Worcester Man Arrested Near Burger King With Possession of Drugs—Worcester Man Arrested Near Burger King With Possession…

McGovern, 75 House Dems Introduce Censure Resolution Against Trump—McGovern, 75 House Dems Introduce Censure Resolution Against…

The 15 MA Community College Presidents Release Statement Uniting Against Hatred—The 15 MA Community College Presidents Release Statement…

MA Loses 200 Jobs in July, Unemployment Rate Stays at 4.3%—MA Loses 200 Jobs in July, Unemployment Rate…

Fit For Life: Back-to-School - Have a Plan!—Fit For Life: Back-to-School - Have a Plan!

Old Sturbridge Village Set to Host Militia Weekend—Old Sturbridge Village Set to Host Militia Weekend

10 Great Things to do in Worcester This Weekend - August 18, 2017—10 Great Things to do in Worcester This…

Pat’s Andruzzi on His Personal Journey from NFL to Cancer - #BIF2017 Summit Speaker Series—Pat's Andruzzi on His Personal Journey from NFL…

Finneran: Somebody Loves Her—Finneran: Somebody Loves Her

Charlottesville to Boston: Anti-Defamation League’s Trestan Talks About Boston Events—Charlottesville to Boston: Anti-Defamation League's Trestan Talks About…

 
 

“Curiosity”: A New Era of Mars Exploration Begins

Friday, July 27, 2012

 

An artist's rendition of NASA's new rover, Curiosity, which is scheduled to land on Mars on August 6. Image: NASA/JPL.

The next generation of Mars exploration has already begun.

On November 26, 2011, an Atlas V rocket lifted NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory from Cape Canaveral for just over an eight-month journey to Mars. Soon, on August 6, at 1:31 am EDT, a new rover called Curiosity will land in Mars’ Gale Crater to begin another era in exploration of this world.

Curiosity will follow in the “footsteps” of two other famous rovers, Spirit and Opportunity. While their missions were primarily geologic, Curiosity will be searching for evidence of life, both past and hopefully present. Either of these discoveries would most definitely change our perspective about our place in the universe. It would be an event of historic proportions should it come to fruition.

Meet "Curiosity"

Curiosity is a 1,984 pound rover the size of a small SUV. It is 10 feet long, 8.8 feet wide, and stands 7.2 feet tall with its mast. Here’s an image of the vehicle in a clean room being prepped for the mission. (Note the technician for scale.) Curiosity contains a variety of scientific instruments to help with its exploration as it “roves” the Martian terrain under the direction of controllers back here on Earth.

Though the initial mission is scheduled to last almost two years, Spirit and Opportunity survived for eight! So who knows what the future holds in store, especially if a major discovery is made early in the mission.

I’d also like to note that Jim Bell, the lead scientist for Curiosity’s cameras, is a former member of Skyscrapers, Inc., The Amateur Astronomical Society of Rhode Island. Bell was also responsible for the cameras aboard Spirit and Opportunity.  

Where to see Curiosity online

There are several websites that provide a wealth of information about this very important mission. Curiosity’s Home Page can be found here

If you are only interested in the launch, http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/videogallery/index.html?collection_id=77461&media_id=122049781" target="_blank">access this link.

When the spacecraft reaches Mars it has to land the rover onto the Martian surface. Once the entry into Mars’ atmosphere begins, the descent to landing has been called the “7 Minutes of Terror.” See why in this fantastic animation. And this awesome (yes, I did use the word) animation shows the mission from leaving Earth orbit to the landing on Mars and conducting some experiments.

 

Related Articles

 

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

 

X

Stay Connected — Free
Daily Email