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Curiosity Rover on Track for Monday Landing

MSL Rover


Curiosity, the car-size, one-ton rover is bound for arrival on Mars at 1:31 a.m., EDT on Monday, Aug. 6.

The landing will mark the beginning of a two-year prime mission to investigate one of the most intriguing places on Mars.

 › Everything You Need to Know About Landing

 › What to Expect From The First Pictures

Also check out this link for more interesting information:  http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/

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Comments

  • The airbag decision was down to weight - Curiosity weighs a lot.

    They reckoned that airbags big enough to land it would be too big, too heavy and probably burst on impact anyway - drop a man on an exercise ball and it's a cushion, drop a car on it...


    It dangles below the rocket pack because they don't want it covered in the backwash of the exhaust - or to carry around an empty rocket backpack for the rest of the mission.

    All the apparently crazy ideas have good reason - but it still adds up to one interesting ride!

    I'm going to be up early on Monday watching NASA TV, fingers crossed...

  • I can't seem to find a link to a test video of the skycrane. It seems like they have never tested the whole system -- the best I can find is the crane extension part, when the thrusters are not firing.

    Also, they didn't go with airbags because the weight of the vehicle would require enormous airbags that would add even more weight, iirc.

    Looking forward to it working!

  • 3D Robotics

    Can't wait to see this tomorrow :)

  • The rover on this mission is substantially larger than any other and the mass is also more substantial.

    The 'ball' method also exhibits a large variability on where it will finally rest.

    On the other hand... this contraption is orders of magnitude more complicated. There is no easy way to go to Mars.

    I will have to tell you some stories of the undergrad course I took at KSC/Canaveral one day - SLSTP.

  • I wonder why they didn't go with the airbags, which were already proven to be successful in previous missions.

  • This will be a monumental achievement!

    tho it's a shame nasa won't have a chase cam for this. I was hoping someone would re-enact the landing sequence with a quadcopter and rover, that would make for an excellent project. i would crash but i'm sure others have the skillz.

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