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Update August 24, 2012 @ 9:30 AM
In Tribute to American STEM Education!
Cheers and Tears of Joy and Jubilation!
Mars Science Laboratory
"Curiosity" Rover Has Landed!
A truly unbelievable, stunning and spectacular landing on Mars, precisely as designed and planned, landing exactly on target in Gale Crater at the planned touch-down time. Everything worked flawlessly! Pure perfection! Another superior JPL success!
Click on the photos below for larger images
HD Video: 8/24/12 Curiosity Gets Busy - Zapping, Rolling and Robotic Arm Deploy 2:09
HD Music Video: We're NASA and We Know It (Mars Curiosity) 2:48 A cute view of excited pride in JPL's success
Video: Martian Mega Rover 44:58 National Geographic Excellent post-landing overview!
HD Video: Where Were You When Curiosity Landed on Mars? 3:39 Relive exciting landing events around the U.S.
HD Video: Curiosity Has Landed! 2:31 View of the exciting climax in JPL Mission Control
HD Video: First JPL News Briefing at 11:15 PM 56:40
HD Video: Landing Event Summary 1:35 National Geographic
HD Video: Curiosity Bids Goodbye to the Heat Shield 0:51
HD Video: CSI Mars - Zooming in on Curiosity's Landing Position 1:06
Mars Science Laboratory
"Curiosity" Landing on Mars
Final Pre-Landing Status Update Video: Mission Update from JPL August 5th 1 hour
Click on the photos below for larger images
Here is a phenomenal opportunity for adults and children to "stay up
past your bedtime". This will be a fleeting and highly unique
once-in-a-lifetime chance to witness history in the making as it
occurs over hundreds of millions of miles from Earth. So far
away, yet so very personally close to home as millions of space
exploration fans on our "Pale-Blue-Dot" of Earth hold their breath
in energized anticipation. And, some people, especially those at
NASA's & Caltech's Jet
Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA, may even feel sick as
their nerves get the best of them.
This is a HUMONGOUS moment for NASA and JPL. I
am nervous now just thinking about it, but also very proud as an
American that we are attempting this truly daring and scary feat
when you understand the immense complexity of this spacecraft and
how everything has to work perfectly, totally in automatic mode with
no help from Earth, to make a safe landing.
Curiosity, tucked inside its aeroshell cocoon during its 8.5-month trip to Mars, will plunge into Mars' atmosphere during the Entry-Descent-and-Landing (EDL) phase at a screaming 13,000 miles per hour, beginning the famous "Seven Minutes of Terror" as the spacecraft burns through the atmosphere, deploys a huge parachute to slow its decent, opens the aeroshell with the heatshield separating from the backshell, releasing the sky-crane under rocket power and lowers Curiosity on tiny cables to softly touch down on the Martian surface. From 13,000 mph to soft touchdown in 7 minutes!
Another first-time-ever aspect of the Mars Science Laboratory mission is that during Entry-Descent-and-Landing the aeroshell, having Curiosity inside, will actually "fly itself" through the atmosphere, automatically adjusting its positioning using a system of small weights that are jettisoned at times during EDL to change its angle of approach. This will permit the aeroshell to properly approach Gale Crater.
Curiosity was named by a 6th grade student in 2009 from Sunflower Elementary School in Lenexa, Kansas, Clara Ma, age 12. She won a nationwide essay contest and was the guest of the Disney Corporation, with family members, in visiting JPL while Curiosity was under construction. Clara donned a white clean-suit covering her entire body, head to toe, to enter JPL's clean room to place her signature on the Curiosity spacecraft. She attended Curiosity's launch. Her heart, mind and soul are on board Curiosity.
Fingers crossed, once Curiosity is safely on the ground, landing in Gale Crater, and the sky-crane has detached itself from Curiosity and flown off to crash over a thousand feet away, Curiosity will spend at least two Earth years, hopefully more, exploring the Martian surface under nuclear power, searching for the signs of chemical habitability for life, attempting to determine if life could have existed, or might exist today, in microbial form buried below ground.
This will be a fantastic moment for mankind in its quest to learn more about ourselves, our tiny solar system, huge Milky Way Galaxy, and our unbelievably vast grand Universe. It also squarely demonstrates America's continued pursuit of incredible technical achievements in support of mankind and our future survival. This is one of the premier reasons for the absolutely vital and critical importance of rigorous and robust STEM education for all Americans, beginning powerfully in early elementary school. This mission is the very essence of superior STEM education and capabilities.
So, with that introduction, prepare yourself, family and friends for the August 5th landing and enjoy the information viewed via the links below to video and explanations of the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity mission.
Spaceflight 101 MSL Landing Special Mission overview and details. Excellent information.
NASA Prepares to Launch Curiosity Excellent overview article by The Atlantic having many great photos
JPL's Deep Space Network Radio Telescopes in Australia will Relay
MSL's First Landing Communications
HD Video: MSL Launch 4:00
HD Video: MSL Aeroshell Construction 4:26
HD Animation: MSL Cruise, Entry, Descent, Landing and Surface Operations 11:20
HD Video: What is SAM? 2:09 Sample Analysis at Mars
HD Video: SAM 4:30
HD Video: MSL Landing Site: Gale Crater 2:37
HD Video: ChemCam Testing 4:41
HD Video: What Sets Curiosity Apart from other Mars Rovers? 13:35
HD Video: Transporting a Mars Rover to Kennedy Space Center 5:39
HD Video: MSL Instruments Explained in Detail 19:10
HD Video: Communicating with MSL 2:30
HD Video: MSL MMRTG (Nuclear) Power System 2:40
In-Depth Video: MSL Mission Engineering Overview 56 min / August 2nd panel presentation by mission experts
In-Depth Video: MSL Mission Science Overview 55 min / August 2nd panel presentation by mission experts
HD Video: Full Curiosity Landing Practice 2:33 Showing JPL MSL Mission Control is action
HD Video: NASA's Mars Rover Curiosity Ready for Historic Landing Tonight 13:01
HD Animation: Phoning Home - Communicating from Mars 2:30
HD Animation: How Hard Is It to Land Curiosity on Mars? 1:00
HD Video: See Mars, Saturn and Spica Tonight just After Sunset 2:17
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Walter Reil, Atascadero, California