NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover will face ‘seven minutes of terror’ during Sunday landing
Posted by satyrikon στο Ιουλίου 30, 2012
PASADENA, Calif. — It’s the U.S. space agency’s most ambitious and expensive Mars mission yet — and it begins with the red planet arrival Sunday of the smartest interplanetary rover ever built.
It won’t be easy. The complicated touchdown NASA designed for the Curiosity rover is so risky it’s been described as “seven minutes of terror” — the time it takes to go from 13,000 mph (20,920 kph) to a complete stop.
Scientists and engineers will be waiting anxiously as the spacecraft plunges through Mars’ thin atmosphere and, in a new twist, attempts to slowly lower the rover to the bottom of a crater with cables.
Scientists on Earth won’t know for 14 minutes whether Curiosity lands safely as radio signals from Mars travel to Earth.
If it succeeds, a video camera aboard the rover will have captured the most dramatic minutes for the first filming of a landing on…
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