New Mars rover landing tonight

Submitted by M2NASA on August 5th, 2012 at 9:35 PM

The Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity will be landing on Mars tonight at 1:30am. Mission status at the link below.

http://spaceflightnow.com/mars/msl/status.html

Definitely not OT since Michigan is very well represented at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and working MSL.

Also, the Sample Analysis Module on MSL carries electronics built by UofM.

http://www.sprl.umich.edu/projects/SAM/index.php

MSL is about twice as long (about 9 feet) and four times as heavy as NASA’s previous Mars Exploration rovers. It will carry equipment to gather samples of rocks and soil, crush them, and then distribute them to onboard test chambers inside MSL’s analytical instruments. One of the most critical of these instruments, the Sample Analysis at Mars instrument suite (SAM), carries electronics designed and built by the space Physics Research Laboratory at the University of Michigan.

Space bitches, space.

Comments

turd ferguson

August 5th, 2012 at 9:46 PM ^

NASA released a short video called "Seven Minutes of Terror" (or something similar) that's well worth a look. I'll post it when I'm off my phone and on my laptop.

mGrowOld

August 5th, 2012 at 9:59 PM ^

Damn I wish we'd launch a manned mission to Mars.  I was nine years old when we landed on the moon and I can still remember vividly my late Mother waking me up to see it.  I know from a purely scientific standpoint unmanned missions are considered vastly superior and certainly more cost effective but I can think of precious few accomplishments by mankind that would rival setting foot on another planet.

Monocle Smile

August 5th, 2012 at 10:08 PM ^

As much as I hate the thing, NASA MSFC is currently building the SLS, which is basically a vamped-up Saturn V that's supposed to put dudes on Mars. Launch date later this decade from first estimates.

There are many, many more effective and efficient ways to pursue manned missions to Mars, but for some reason Congress has direct control not only over the mission objectives of NASA, but also over how they accomplish them. As if any of them know anything about the subject. I hope this doesn't get too close to politics.

Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, has already stated his desire to retire on Mars, so there are several forces pushing towards this goal.

maizenbluenc

August 6th, 2012 at 7:20 AM ^

it funds companies in my district."

We have the same exact problem with the defense budget. The military tells Congress what they need, and then Congress tells the military what is best for them. What's best always aligns closely with the peanut butter being spread in many key congressional districts.

Dangerously close to the no politics third rail I know, but it has been this way forever, regardless of who controls the House or the Senate. So I guess that makes it apolitical in a way.

tricks574

August 5th, 2012 at 10:33 PM ^

The bill nye episode. They discuss this mission a lot and just space in general. The big problem with a manned mission is the length of time you would be exposed to cosmic radiation and zero gravity. Not insurmountable problems, but nothing we really have practical solutions for at the moment. Although he didsay they were going to shoot some water bears up to a moon sometime.

rob f

August 5th, 2012 at 11:54 PM ^

"Captain Kirk"/Shatner pulls it off with that narrative style of his to enhance the description of how the landing sequence will proceed.   I have to admit, I got chills about the time he was describing how the cords would be cut and Curiosity would softly land as its landing propulsion system  rockets off a safe distance.  Thanks for finding and posting that video!

WingsNWolverines

August 6th, 2012 at 12:15 AM ^

The biggest issue we have with a manned Mars mission is the delay in communication between the craft and ground control. There is a 14 minute delay in signal so if there is an issue with our astronauts and the crew they are on their own. :/ Scary and dangerous stuff but someday man will step foot on Mars. Im watching the feed on NASA TV right now. Very excited :)

Roachgoblue

August 6th, 2012 at 7:48 AM ^

Thanks NASA! Keep up the wise spending. I know, they invented many things from space that couldn't have been invented on earth. I hate tang though, and I am an aeronautical freak. I have flown on and worked on most every Boeing and Airbus, B 52, tankers, C 141, C 5, I have my FAA A&P, FCC w/ Radar, but never saw the value of the money put into NASA. I am no longer in the aviation world and miss it. If the pay was over 100k, and the industry was stable I would go back. NASA really wasted trillions that the private sector could have done much more with the money.