Posted by: maboulette | August 5, 2012

NASA BRACES FOR “7 MINUTES OF TERROR” MARS PLUNGE

English: This artist's concept from an animati...

PASADENA, Calif. (AP)NASA’s most high-tech Mars rover on Sunday zeroed in on the red planet where it will attempt a tricky celestial gymnastics routine during a “seven minutes of terror” plummet through the atmosphere.

The Curiosity rover was poised to hit the top of the Martian atmosphere at 13,000 mph. If all goes according to script, it will be slowly lowered by cables inside a massive crater in the final few seconds.

NASA was ready for the “Super Bowl of planetary exploration,” said Doug McCuistion, head of the Mars exploration program at NASA headquarters.

“We score and win or we don’t score and we don’t win,” said McCuistion.

If all goes well, mission control at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory should hear a signal at 10:31 p.m. Pacific. The space agency warned that confirmation could take longer if an orbiting spacecraft that’s supposed to listen for Curiosity during the descent is not in the right place.


Responses

  1. I just heard that they made it down safely. Bravo!

  2. Glad it was able to land! Can’t wait to see more images.


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