In August 2012, the Curiosity rover landed on Mars. The landing itself was a huge achievement and required a lot of forethought and planning by a very smart team. In this TED Youth 2012 Talk, Bobak Ferdowsi, the mohawked member of that team, outlines various aspects of a Mars landing, including the Seven Minutes of Terror.
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Curiosity is a car-sized robotic rover exploring Gale Crater on Mars as part of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission (MSL). The rover's goals include: investigation of the Martian climate and geology; assessment of whether the selected field site inside Gale Crater has ever offered environmental conditions favorable for microbial life, including investigation of the role of water; and planetary habitability studies in preparation for future human exploration.
Curiosity was launched from Cape Canaveral on November 26, 2011, at 10:02 EST aboard the MSL spacecraft and successfully landed on Aeolis Palus in Gale Crater on Mars on August 6, 2012, 05:17 UTC. The Bradbury Landing site was less than 2.4 km (1.5 mi) from the center of the rover's touchdown target after a 563,000,000 km (350,000,000 mi) journey. The landing site coordinates are: 4.5895°S 137.4417°E.
Spirit, MER-A (Mars Exploration Rover – A), is a robotic rover on Mars, active from 2004 to 2010. It was one of two rovers of NASA's ongoing Mars Exploration Rover Mission. It landed successfully on Mars at 04:35 Ground UTC on January 4, 2004, three weeks before its twin, Opportunity (MER-B), landed on the other side of the planet. Opportunity, MER-B (Mars Exploration Rover – B), is a robotic rover active on the planet Mars since 2004. Launched on July 7, 2003, Opportunitylanded on Mars' Meridiani Planum on January 25, 2004 at 05:05 Ground UTC (about 13:15 Mars local time).
The climate of Mars has been an issue of scientific curiosity for centuries, not least because Mars is the only terrestrial planet whose surface can be directly observed in detail from the Earth. Mars Today, created by Howard Houben of the Mars Global Circulation Model Group, is a poster produced daily by the Center for Mars Exploration at NASA's Ames Research Center. The updated poster depicts current conditions on Mars and its relationship to Earth in six panels.
Mars Science Laboratory represents the first use of a "soft-landing" technique employed at Mars. The sheer mass of Mars Science Laboratory prevented engineers from using the familiar airbags to deliver their rover safely to the martian surface. As rovers become more capable and carry more instruments, they become larger. So, in order to accommodate this advanced mission, engineers designed a sky-crane method that will lower the rover to the surface.
After jettisoning the LM, the Apollo spacecraft was ready to return home. NASA used the SM's propulsion system to insert the spacecraft into a transearth injection (TEI), which means Apollo would be heading back to Earth in a trajectory that allowed for a controlled descent into the Pacific Ocean.
From suborbital tourist jaunts to Martian colonies and beyond, the coming attractions in space were on display in the exhibit Beyond Planet Earth: The Future of Space Exploration.
Astronaut Jerry Carr knows space. As commander of Skylab, he spent over 2000 hours in space, orbiting the Earth over 1000 times. Recounting his life story, Carr remembers the enchanting years he spent at NASA.
Could there be intelligent life on other planets? This question has piqued imagination and curiosity for decades. Explore the answer with the Drake Equation -- a mathematical formula that calculates the possibility of undiscovered life.
NASA Mohawk Man, Bobak Ferdowsi, Talks Mars