NASA welcomes striking new views from Mars
2012-08-07 0:00

From: CBC.ca


NASAs Curiosity rover has transmitted a low-resolution video showing the last 2 minutes of its white-knuckle dive through the Martian atmosphere, giving earthlings a sneak peek of a spacecraft landing on another world.

As thumbnails of the video flashed on a big screen on Monday, scientists and engineers at the NASA Jet Propulsion let out "oohs" and "aahs." The recording began with the protective heat shield falling away and ended with dust being kicked up as the rover was lowered by cables inside an ancient crater.



NASAs robotic explorer Curiosity landed safely on the surface of Mars on Monday and transmitted this image of the red planets surface. Curiosity, NASAs newest and best-equipped rover, is set to search Mars surface for two years, with hopes of finding evidence that the planet could have once sustained life. (NASA/Reuters)



It was a sneak preview, since itll take some time before full-resolution frames are beamed back depending on other priorities.

The full video "will just be exquisite," said Michael Malin, the chief scientist of the instrument.

NASA celebrated the precision landing of a rover on Mars and marveled over the missions flurry of photographs grainy, black-and-white images of Martian gravel, a mountain at sunset and, most exciting of all, the spacecrafts white-knuckle plunge through the red planets atmosphere.





Curiosity, a roving laboratory the size of a compact car, landed right on target late Sunday after an eight-month, 352-million-mile journey. It parked its six wheels about four miles from its ultimate science destination Mount Sharp, rising from the floor of Gale Crater near the equator.

Extraordinary efforts were needed for the landing because the rover weighs one ton, and the thin Martian atmosphere offers little friction to slow down a spacecraft. Curiosity had to go from 13,000 mph to zero in seven minutes, unfurling a parachute, then firing rockets to brake. In a Hollywood-style finish, cables delicately lowered it to the ground at 2 mph.

At the end of what NASA called "seven minutes of terror," the vehicle settled into place almost perfectly flat in the crater it was aiming for.

"We have ended one phase of the mission much to our enjoyment," mission manager Mike Watkins said. "But another part has just begun."
Systems check

The nuclear-powered Curiosity will dig into the Martian surface to analyze whats there and hunt for some of the molecular building blocks of life, including carbon.

It wont start moving for a couple of weeks, because all the systems on the $2.5 billion rover have to be checked out. Colour photos and panoramas will start coming in the next few days.


Curiositys 4.5-metre diameter heat shield falling away about 2 1/2 minutes before the rover touched down on the surface of Mars and about three seconds after heat shield separated from the spacecraft carrying the rover. The image was taken by the rovers Mars Descent Imager when the shield was about 16 metres from the spacecraft. It is among the first color images Curiosity sent back from Mars. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)



[...]


Read the full article at: cbc.ca






Related Articles
Wow! Mars Rover Landing Spotted by Orbiting Spacecraft
Curiosity lands on Mars
Stunning photo shows a big hole on Mars
Does Mars interior hold huge reservoirs of water? Martian meteorites say yes.
Mars One: One-way ticket to the red planet
Did NASA find life on Mars in 1976, and then cook it?
Five "Cursed" Mars Missions


Latest News from our Front Page

Minister of Migration attacked by asylum seeker with fire extinguisher
2015-03-27 2:12
Sweden’s Minister of Justice & Migration also known as Morgan “only 1%” Johansson, has been attacked with a fire extinguisher when he visited an asylum home for future Swedes. Regional newspaper, Kristiandstadsbladet reported that a man who had been living at the home for a couple of weeks grabbed a fire extinguisher and sprayed foam all over the minister who didn’t ...
Hollywood agents: Difficult for white actors to find work now that shows required ‘to go ethnic’
2015-03-27 1:51
According to an article by Nellie Andreeva published yesterday at Deadline Hollywood, the television landscape has shifted so much this season that white actors are finding it increasingly difficult to find roles. In addition to new hit shows with mostly minority casts — Black-ish, Empire, Fresh Off the Boat, and How to Get Away with Murder — shows that were originally ...
Congratulations Pussy Porters!
2015-03-26 18:52
Mural paid for by the government, decorates a Swedish school. On International Women’s day Julia Caesar published this chronicle in Swedish on Snaphanen which I’ve translated but prior to reading it I’d like to provide you with some background information on certain terms which are incomprehensible to non-Swedes. First and foremost “pussy porter” and “penis porter” are terms that third-wave feminists in ...
Germanwings co-pilot appears to have crashed plane deliberately – prosecutor
2015-03-26 18:08
The Germanwings co-pilot seemed to have crashed the plane deliberately, killing 150 people on board. The co-pilot wouldn’t let the captain inside the cabin, with the “intension to destroy” the jet, the French prosecutor said at a press conference. Follow RT’s live updates on investigation into Germanwings plane crash The Germanwings co-pilot was identified as Andreas Lubitz. The captain was between 30 ...
Sweden adds gender-neutral pronoun to dictionary
2015-03-25 19:38
The official dictionary of the Swedish language will introduce a gender-neutral pronoun in April, editors at the Swedish Academy have announced. “Hen” will be added to “han” (he) and “hon” (she) as one of 13,000 new words in the latest edition of the Swedish Academy’s SAOL. The pronoun is used to refer to a person without revealing their gender – either because ...
More News