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Dior Homme
Hedi Slimane



Registered: Aug 2008
Location: Paris
NASA: 7 minutes of Terror for Mars Curiosity Aug 5th 1030pm

If anyone is interested, its pretty exciting to watch. The video explains much more.


GO SCIENCE! LOL


http://nationalpostnews.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/mars-curiosity-landing.jpg?w=620


PASADENA, Calif., — By the time the robotic Mars laboratory dubbed Curiosity streaks into the thin Martian atmosphere at hypersonic speed on Sunday night, the spacecraft will be in charge of its own seven-minute final approach to the surface of the Red Planet.

With a 14-minute delay in the time it takes for radio waves from Earth to reach Mars 248 million kilometres away, NASA engineers will already have given Curiosity the last commands of its voyage through space.

At that point, the mission control team at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) near Los Angeles will have little more to do than anxiously track the spacecraft’s progress – and wait.

Curiosity’s fate will then hinge on the performance of its pre-programmed directions, a new self-guided flight system and a complex, seemingly far-fetched landing sequence that includes a giant parachute and a never-before-used, jet-powered “sky crane” that must descend to the right spot over the planet, lower Curiosity to the ground on a tether, cut the cords and fly away.

No wonder NASA half-jokingly calls it “the seven minutes of terror.”

“We are all just along for the ride,” said JPL’s Adam Steltzner, who is overseeing the entry, descent and landing phase of the spacecraft, formally known as the Mars Science Lab.

While a great deal of groundbreaking technology has gone into delivering the one-ton, six-wheeled, nuclear-powered rover to Mars, the thrust of the $2.5 billion project is the two-year scientific mission that follows.




Curiosity, billed as the first full-fledged analytical laboratory on wheels ever sent to another world, is designed primarily to search for evidence that Mars may have once harbored conditions favorable to microbial life.

Getting there remains a big hurdle. And the period of maximum danger begins as Curiosity, encased in a protective shell, pierces the Martian atmosphere at roughly 20,921 kilometres per hour, 17 times the speed of sound on Earth.

The lag in radio transmissions between the two planets means that by the time NASA engineers receive an atmospheric entry signal from Curiosity, the spacecraft will already have landed – either intact or in pieces.

But if all goes as planned, NASA’s team expects to receive another radio signal by just after 10:30 p.m. Pacific time (1:30 a.m. EDT on Monday/0530 GMT on Monday), confirming that Curiosity has touched down safely in its target zone near the foot of a towering mountain on the floor of a vast impact crater named Gale Crater.



If no landing signal comes, it could take hours or days for scientists to learn whether radio communications with the rover were merely disrupted or that it crashed or burned up during descent.

Mission directors said they were confident the rather unorthodox landing sequence devised for Curiosity will succeed.

“It looks a little crazy, but I promise you it’s the least crazy of the methods you could use to land a rover the size of Curiosity on Mars, and we’ve become quite fond of it,” Steltzner told reporters at a JPL briefing on Thursday.

Over twice as large and five times heavier than either of the twin rovers Spirit and Opportunity that landed on Mars in 2004, Curiosity weighs too much to bounce to the planet’s surface in airbags or to fly itself to the ground with rocket thrusters, systems successfully used by six previous NASA landers.

Instead, rocket power will be used in combination with several other components during Curiosity’s descent and landing.

I promise you it’s the least crazy of the methods you could use to land a rover the size of Curiosity on Mars, and we’ve become quite fond of it
Plunging through the top of Mars’ atmosphere at an angle producing slight aerodynamic lift, the capsule’s “guided entry” system uses jet thrusters that actually steer the craft as it falls, making small course corrections on the way down.

At an altitude of 11 km and a velocity 1,448 kilometres per hour, a giant parachute will open, and in less than half a minute, the heat shield will fall away, exposing the underside of the rover.

A minute and a half later with the craft now about a mile high and falling at nearly 322 kph), the back shell of the capsule and the parachute are jettisoned, leaving the rover attached only to the belly of a jet pack called a sky crane.

Eight jet thrusters on the crane immediately fire, jerking the craft out from under the parachute and abruptly slow Curiosity’s descent to about 1.5 mph (2.4 kph) as it nears the surface.



The sky crane then lowers the rover to the ground on nylon tethers that unspool from beneath the hovering jet pack. The cords are severed once Curiosity’s wheels are on the surface, and the sky crane flies off to crash a safe distance away.

So hopeful are they of the sky crane’s success that NASA officials see it as a model for the next generation of landers.

“I think what we have is a workhorse for the future,” said Doug McCuistion, NASA’s mars exploration program director.

Still, the engineers at mission control are leaving nothing to chance – not even superstition. In keeping with a decades-long tradition, the NASA flight team plan to break out a can of peanuts about an hour before touchdown, said David Oh, a flight director.

“Landing day will take all the good engineering and all the luck we have,” he said.


Old Post Aug-04-2012 16:12  France
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Swamper
Webmonstah



Registered: Jan 2000
Location: Toronto, Canada

I'm looking forward to this


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Old Post Aug-05-2012 01:40  Canada
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Nicolas Oliver
Supreme tranceaddict



Registered: Jul 2006
Location:

This is fucking crazy! It happens tonight eh? Amazing!

Old Post Aug-05-2012 16:14 
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jester
[enigma within a enigma]



Registered: Oct 2003
Location: The End of Elsewhere by Taras Grescoe

Watching the NASA ustream right now. I can not wait.

Old Post Aug-05-2012 20:31 
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Dior Homme
Hedi Slimane



Registered: Aug 2008
Location: Paris

Nothing the size of a car has ever landed on Mars. It's also amazing how they planned this mission out, I hope all goes well and doesn't get shot down by some drones!

Old Post Aug-05-2012 20:41  France
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Nicolas Oliver
Supreme tranceaddict



Registered: Jul 2006
Location:

Where and when exactly can we view the landing (or, at least as much of the journey as is available)?

I assume it's via this website: http://www.ustream.tv/nasajpl

But when exactly will the live stream be up?

Old Post Aug-05-2012 20:55 
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Beings
Supreme tranceaddict



Registered: Jul 2007
Location: GTA

Just imagine witnessing the landing in person.

I really hope the mission succeeds!!

(On an unrelated side note, our species have really fucked up priorities. Spending trillions on mass murdering each other? Sure thing. Space exploration? Fuck that. I almost wish there were Martians and that their magical man in the sky was different from ours, we'd already have troops and MickeyD's there ;p)


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Old Post Aug-06-2012 00:06  Canada
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djkopernikus
Supreme tranceaddict



Registered: Dec 2006
Location: Lempaeaelae



LIVE TV BEGINS AT 11:30 PM EASTERN : http://www.nasa.gov/ntv
(See your local time for LIVE COVERAGE here: http://alturl.com/frfz8)
(See your local time for the ACTUAL LANDING time here: http://t.co/7zJ6Z2vw)

VIDEO FEEDS:
http://www.ustream.tv/nasajpl2 (uninterrupted, clean feed with mission audio)
http://www.ustream.tv/nasajpl (feed with commentary and interviews)

EXTRAS:
Real-time computer model of MSL's journey towards Mars!
http://eyes.nasa.gov
Landing press kit: http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/news/pdfs/MSLLanding.pdf
Fact sheet: http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/news/p..._Fact_Sheet.pdf

VIDEO's:
MSL/Curiosity Pre-Landing News Conference and Rover Communication Overview
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ps01BLaO7D8
Challenges of Getting to Mars: Curiosity's Seven Minutes of Terror
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ki_Af_o9Q9s
NASA-TV's Curiosity Landing Coverage Begins August 5
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Y6ElWadXbo
Shatner Hosts Curiosity's "Grand Entrance" to Mars
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nttnecwEku8
ScienceCasts: Mars Landing Sky Show
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPrXr_HjFiQ
MSL Mission Engineering Overview
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwXe_X4UKoM
MSL Mission Science Overview
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KP-IR0MkZfs
MSL Mission Status and Entry, Descent and Landing Overview
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yB9-oMj2ew
Dr Matt Golombek's Rover Landing Site video lecture
http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/21799427

NEWS:
What's Ahead for Curiosity?
http://alturl.com/63cdm
Mars engineer did his best to trip up Curiosity
http://alturl.com/hv2w2
Curiosity’s Chances? Most Mars Missions Crash, Burn or Disappear
http://alturl.com/9xj44
Huge Rover Set for Nerve-Wracking Landing on Red Planet Today
http://alturl.com/ckxmh
A peek at Mars rover during construction at JPL, one year ago
http://alturl.com/tfgxx
How Curiosity Will See Red Planet As Never Before
http://alturl.com/joapr

EARLY SURFACE PLANNED ACTIVITIES (after landing):
- aug 6: High Gain Antenna Deploy
- aug 7: Mast Deploy
- aug 8: Instrument Aliveness, Acquire Panorama
- aug 9: Quiet Day (Data Return)
- aug 10: Start Flight Software Change


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Last edited by djkopernikus on Aug-06-2012 at 02:43

Old Post Aug-06-2012 01:05  Finland
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Nicolas Oliver
Supreme tranceaddict



Registered: Jul 2006
Location:

quote:
Originally posted by Beings
our species ha[s] really fucked up priorities.


Huge understatement! We're literally destroying the planet and willfully bringing about our own eventual demise.

Old Post Aug-06-2012 01:15 
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Vivid Boy
TA's GodFather



Registered: Sep 2001
Location: T.O

destroying the planet??? without nuclear energy, precious metals, oil mining and shit load else..how else would we get a fuckin 4 ton machine named curiosity up there?

not to mention all the indirect natural resources we use from day to day just to do small things like ship parts.

goddamn I fuckin hate hippies.....Go fuckin post a Kony sign somewhere.


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Old Post Aug-06-2012 02:46 
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Dior Homme
Hedi Slimane



Registered: Aug 2008
Location: Paris

I'm pretty pumped for this...

Here's a link where you can watch it. It starts at 11pm tonight. Currently they are showing some preprep videos...


http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/ustream.html

Old Post Aug-06-2012 03:27  France
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LightsOut
Antagonist



Registered: Jan 2007
Location: Toronto/Berlin

the prep vids are awesome, this sounds decently exciting actually, kinda pumped to see if this goes off correctly..


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Old Post Aug-06-2012 04:00  Germany
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