Curiosity   Leave a comment

NASA’s Curiosity rover touched down successfully on Mars on Monday last week.

It was launched from Cape Canaveral on November 26, 2011 at 10:02 EST and landed on Aeolis Palis in Gale Crater on Mars on August 6, 2012, 05:17 UTC, after a harrowing decent pulled off with absolute precision.

 

Flight director Bobak Ferdowski, who gets a new hairstyle for each mission, and his famous mohawk.

Curiosity’s mission is called the Mars Science Laboratory. The SUV-sized rover is the largest ever sent to another planet, and it functions as a semi-autonomous explorer and mobile science lab. The purpose of its mission is “to search areas of Mars for past or present conditions favorable for life, and conditions capable of preserving a record of life.” It’s equipped with cameras to take high-resolution photographs and video of the Martian surface, and spectrometers to determine the chemical composition of rocks and soil, radiation detectors, and environmental sensors to determine air and ground temperature, humidity, air pressure, and wind speed and direction.

Curiosity and older rovers - ScienceBlogs

A model of Curiosity (right) beside models of Opportunity/Spirit (twin rovers, 2004-2010/present) (left) and Sojourner (1997) (bottom)

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Posted August 13, 2012 by benjaminsapiens in cool, geeky

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