Woo-Hoo the Mars Rover curiosity landed safely on Mars.
I got really excited when I saw it on TV and scared my hubby half to death with my over excited screams, I was on my way out of the room at the time and I spun around and started yelling “they’ve done it landed safely OMG”, “they’ve done it”, “wow that’s amazing”. He had no idea what I was talking about :-)
The amazing engineers and scientists who worked on the project for 10 years punched the air with excitement and I joined them :-)
It is unbelievable how they got Curiosity to land on the surface of mars, the ingenuity and skill was out of this world, the process of getting curiosity to the ground safely sound like how a little kid tells a story.
Teacher asks the class “how would you land a robot on Mars?” and a kid answers “there’s a rocket that fly towards Mars, then another rocket falls out the bottom of that rocket and this one has a parachute that pops open and they fall to the ground”, “but there still traveling to fast so another rocket shoots out the bottom and it has rocket boosters and just before it gets to the floor another robot comes out of it and it’s dangled on ropes above the ground and it’s lowered to the floor softly by the machine with rocket boosters”.
If you heard a kid say this you’d be impressed by their imagination but wouldn’t think anyone would actually put a rover on Mars this way, but that’s exactly what NASA did.
For Curiosity to land the technology involved was like a russian doll with one machine popping out of another to slow it’s decent as it hurtled towards the surface of Mars at 20,000km/h
The Landing was described as the “seven minutes of terror” – the time it would take to complete a series of high-risk, automated manoeuvres, the NASA engineers and scientists had to anxiously wait 13 tense minutes for the signals from Odyssey and the lander to make their way back to Earth and to receive curiosity message it had made it through the mars atmosphere and had landed safely on the red planet.
Within minutes, the robot was returning its first low-resolution images of the Mars horizon.
Curiosity is like no other Rover that has been sent to mars before, its scale and sophistication dwarf all of the previous NASA rovers that have been sent to the red planet.
Curiosity is the size of a car, this robot can run its own scientific experiments to analyse data of rock sample which it cuts with its built-in laser (I heard laser and my inner geek drooled :-)), it has a nuclear battery and it’s mission will last two years, but many believe that it’s mission could be a decade or more after the fist solar rovers went to mars and they continued to transmit information from mars for 7 years even though the mission was originally to be 90 Martian sols which is around 3 month
Curiosity’s mission is to look for evidence that mars may have supported life by studying the rocks that were laid down billions of years ago in the presence of liquid water that the other Mars rover’s discovered on their mission.
By studying the H2O on the planet it’s hoped Curiosity’s on board science station will find evidence that mars’ past environments could have favoured microbial life.
Humans are amazing :-)